9Muses is the place I go to just be. Feeling fickle today, but there I am okay. Driving there today was somewhat challenging. These racing thoughts interfere with my focus. Right on University, I go North and cross Oakland, puzzled and frustrated; the time ticking, tick, tick, tick. Am I going to be tardy to one of my favorite meetings? I arrive during introduction. A deep breath brings composure. I am looking forward to learning something new. My thirst for enrichment and knowledge must be quenched. I am here.
Inspiration doesn’t always hit, but when it does it invigorates the soul. As I found myself sitting In Wham Lab (whole health action management) early Tuesday afternoon I found myself struck with inspiration. After watching several short clips on the power of positivity, hopes and dreams, I knew then what my group from South University would be doing their group project on; mission to hope.
As I sat there listening to these wonderful people from all walks of life sharing their stories I knew that this was the project needed to instill a little hope and a lot of dreaming into these defeated souls. I was told most people run from the idea of hopes and dreams because it’s scary. They don’t want to get excited over a possibility just to have it ripped out from under them. I completely understood.
So, Thursday morning my team and I walked into 9 Muses Art Center and presented our hopes and dreams with the people of the art center. Each individual was given an envelope to decorate however they chose with what made them happy. On the inside, each person had a hand stencil and a thought bubble stencil. On the "Hand of Hope" we had each person write five of their hopes, no matter how big or how small. Then on their thought "bubble", we asked them to illustrate their dreams and they proceeded to draw or write about their very own personal dreams. So dreams were to become a wife and mother, to become a singer, one lady wrote of finishing school, another had hopes of seeing his granddaughter graduate. By the end we pulled together their hands and bubbles and pasted them onto a board and stepped back to look at the bigger picture. Upon this board, you saw the heart and souls of these amazing, one of a kind people. That despite their shortcomings, and tribulations, and fears; each of them had a song to sing, A dream to dream and the hope that one day these things will come to fruition. It was beautiful.
This week spent at 9 Muses Art Center has opened my eyes to a new unseen world. Coming into this Mental Health semester I knew little to nothing about the actual background of Mental Health. Chris, the supervisor of the art center was the most passionate man I have ever come across. His passion clearly showed for these people and the community outcry.
Mark Twain wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” This is a quote I heard today while sitting in Peer Zone. During a group session we watched a TED Talk on overcoming hopelessness by Nick Vujicic. I found myself asking that very question, why was I born. And as I sat there and eternalized I came to the conclusion that maybe just maybe, I was put here to do more for these amazing people life had somehow forgotten about. I will never forget the people that I met here, or their stories, or their beautiful personalities. I will also carry with me the outcry for support in Mental Health and in the community. I will march forward with a flame igniting the way.
Occupational Therapy Student
Amazing things happen every day at 9Muses Drop-in Center on Oakland Park Blvd.
On my very first visit, I sat in silent awe as Rick and Pat (Music Therapy instructors) engaged, encouraged and ignited a small gathering of vocalists and musicians that were also mental health consumers. Strumming guitarists were finding the right chords, a pair of young singers were discovering the beauty of their own sweet songs, an accomplished vocalist serenaded us with a poignant, expressive melody -heartfelt in its delivery.
This scene invoked in me a feeling, that which can only be described as...holiness. What came to were the words of a Nuevo gospel song "no one is a stranger here, everyone belongs..."
Personal acceptance, warm encouragement and a healthy shot of good humor is the order of the day at 9Muses.
Persons living with mental illnesses gain hope and do enter into recovery. 9Muses is a healing place.
Thank you to Chris (Director of 9Muses) and his awesome staff.
When I first came to 9Muses, I was a little bit scared. As time went on I started to enjoy myself.
What I benefit from is relaxation and meditation class and Music class on Thursday and Friday. I enjoy singing very much. I also attend support groups and participate in other activities. This is how I spend my time at the center.
Recycled paper? Who would have ever thought recycled perfume boxes would make beautiful, in color, light in weight, wonderful to wear, jewelry. Necklace, bracelet, and earrings are made by the talented artist, Kathy Garcia who takes different kinds of paper and creates jewelry to be worn on special occasions or for everyday wear.
The combinations are endless; Original one of a kind jewelry. They seem to have a calming effect on me when I wear them. People are always commenting on my necklaces. What a conversations piece.
Rita Claire Rosenblum
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9Muses Art Center 7139 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Lauderhill, FL 33313 PH: 954-746-2055