Healing Arts: How Cathedral Arts Project Uses Arts to Influence Mental Health

Photos by Tiffany Manning, Provided by the Cathedral Arts Project

Co-written by Veronica Nabizadeh and Kimberly Hyatt

I thought it pertinent to write about art as it relates to health as this month’s entire edition is devoted to highlighting the veritable performing arts schedule this season.

I’m going to step out on a limb and proclaim that every health organization, school institution and any corporation for that matter should incorporate the healing arts into their offerings or benefits package. The evidence is conclusive: healing arts works.

The Cathedral Arts Project mission is to enrich the quality of life in Northeast Florida through unleashing the creative spirit of young people. By providing access to instruction in the visual and performing arts empowers underserved, school-aged children to succeed in all areas of their lives.

Healing arts is the process of doing something that brings you peace and joy while aligning your whole self: body, mind, spirit and is the process that provides accessibility to more self healing and fun. Healing arts is delivered by professional artisans, musicians, energy healers, spiritualist or even animals, as in companion therapy. You might have read articles or heard thought leaders express how important self care is. Self care, by the way, means all the hygienes we practice for our daily “body” care and the imperative and explicable need to take care of our soul.

Healing arts can be taught and is easy to do. It can be accomplished by listening to music, painting or sculpting, moving your body, journaling, breathing, meditating or providing care for an animal.  While you are focused on “doing” the healing art, the intention is set on healing, recovering, and reducing one’s physical or emotional pain.

Here is an interesting question, why do we need to heal our soul? The answer is simple. It’s so that we can keep on living, creating, loving, overcoming and enjoying this God given life and experience the profound feeling of abundant joy.

Cathedral Arts Project, Healing Arts: Arts Influence on Mental Health
Photo by Tiffany Manning, Provided by the Cathedral Arts Project

By the way, experiencing this type of profound joy doesn’t come after smoking a doobie or drinking your favorite brewsky. It’s better. It comes from the balance of you as a whole person. Your physical body doesn’t hurt and your emotional wounds no longer control you: the way you think or operate. You can effortlessly improve your life’s condition and experience joy abundantly, at will.

Healing art professionals help by teaching you these methodologies.  People are feeling better, overcoming and experiencing joy. They are changing their belief systems, reducing their anxiety and fear and overcoming their condition.

Meditation is my favorite healing arts modality. Before I started my meditation practice, I remember not being able to separate me from my thoughts. That might sound odd to you if you haven’t read any of my previous articles about how our thoughts are just voices in our head derived from past trauma and drama. I thought they were me and I would allow these negative, anxious, fearful thoughts dictate my state of mind. These darn voices have an opinion and judgement on every single thing presented before us. I remember feeling this constant conflict of negative thoughts in my head and wanting to be happy. These are unnecessary competing forces- all of which can easily be addressed.

I didn’t believe that sitting still and focusing on my mantra would create this kind of awareness. I remember the sensation that I was seated very strongly in myself and I witnessed these thoughts just chattering away. I could see the various personalities of these voices.  It is like watching a movie in real time.

I can only imagine the thoughts that come up for any of these performers before they walk on the stage. Fear of forgetting one’s lines, singing off tune, forgetting a note or a chord can be debilitating to any performer.  Adopting a healing arts practice will provide peace and confidence to any performer so they can fully enjoy their life’s passion.

Everyone I’ve ever known who is raising a child longs for three things above all – for their child to be healthy, safe and happy.

Cathedral Arts Project, Healing Arts: Arts Influence on Mental Health
Photo by Tiffany Manning, Provided by the Cathedral Arts Project

But no matter how well families provide for the children entrusted to their care, there are no guarantees. No child is exempt from the fear of school shootings, the anxiety of testing or the competitive comparisons of social media.

It’s taking an increasing toll on our community’s youth. The CDC reports 1 in 5 American children ages 3 through 17 have a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder.

Now more than ever, it’s important that kids be equipped to utilize the visual and performing arts as a means of self-expression, perseverance and finding purpose. When kids aren’t sure of what they are feeling, the arts provide a vehicle for them to explore, process and express a whole range of emotions.

The arts help children find their voice and use it wisely. At the Cathedral Arts Project children are learning the arts of ballet, jazz, violin, drumming, chorus, theatre, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and more each year. More than that, they are learning the skills they need to succeed in all areas of life – skills such as self-discipline, perseverance, teamwork and imagination.

They are committed to serving the youth of Northeast Florida and believe participation in the arts can be the catalyst for extraordinary change. To that end, we will continue to grow our programming until we reach our vision for tomorrow, and every child has equal access to an arts-rich education.

It takes practice and a willingness to be persistent to have the benefits of this healing art. Our thoughts will never go away but now they will no longer have an effect on us.  Imagine the peace you will have not being the effect of your thoughts. It’s heaven on earth. I want this for you!

About Veronica Nabizadeh

Introducing Healing Health Coach Veronica Nabizadeh For your Personal Restart Our military life exposed me to many deeply rooted cultures and traditions, which cultivated our family values. I experienced life in various cities in Germany, Korea and Italy before living in the U.S. At an early age, I learned how to pack up and restart somewhere new. It was refreshing to re-invent myself, always hoping to do things better and with more ease. I was born in a scantily populated German town called Landstuhl. My father became an American citizen by enlisting in the Army and we lived in Europe for most of my young adult life. I am the second of four children and am proud to be a first-generation American of Mexican heritage. Today, I'm a devoted wife of 18 years and mom to my seven year-old-princess. While I am a Florida licensed attorney, I have always had the privilege of working with my husband in our medical practice. I've had the opportunity to study life and relationship coaching with Tony Robbins and Strategic Intervention and am a Master Certified Health and Wellness Coach through the Catalyst Coaching Institute. It's easy to renew oneself with the added benefit of youth, change of environment, living under the roof of one's parents and without the bumps and bruises suffered due to life's lessons. We were invincible, indestructible as young individuals. Getting old, feeling old was off the radar. As an adult however, It's so easy to find oneself in a rut. We've paid our dumb taxes (not related to IRS) and suffered through the lessons that life has presented to us. Some of those lessons, being repeats. In a non-sustainable way, we fixed our ideas, shaped our viewpoints, limited our beliefs and all of this negatively impacted the health of our bodies. We start feeling old before our time. Well, on one fine day, I found myself in the fast lane of a downward spiral. I had inadvertently and unequivocally formed a very nice rut for myself and I decided I needed to get out. Pronto. This is the basis for the creation of Personal Restart, a lifestyle and medical wellness practice that helps people do exactly that: Restart. We help people restart their lives through the use of cutting edge coaching practices and state of the art medical science. I have had a personal restart and feel that my life is spiraling up. I believe that everyone has the ability to look and feel their best through self-love, self-healing and self-reliance. Everyone deserves to have their hormones balanced, their energy restored and their limited beliefs replaced by the truth. I'm a self-taught herbalist and aromatherapist, practicing kitchen witchery at home for my family and friends. My kitchen is my favorite place in my home. I love making my own infusions, tinctures and body lotions and filling my medicine cabinet with workable natural products that I've created. Cooking for my family gives me so much joy. I've learned how to prepare healthy noninflammatory meals by fusing Persian and Mexican cuisines. My dream is to gently awaken the powerful spirit in all of us, helping us heal from the inside out, and experience the gift of living through health, gratitude, and forgiveness. It is an honor to write health and wellness articles for EU Jacksonville and it is my hope to share and spread my knowledge of how to do and be your best because it can be done if you so desire. If you want a personal restart, please call us at Personal Restart, 904-565-1001.