I am bit of a fan (a huge one already) of Inside Out the new Disney movie that was realised this week as it cleverly portrays what drives from inside our mind.
I dont want to give away the plot but lets just say whoever has the control panel, whether it be Anger, Disgust, Fear, Sadness or Joy dictates our mood, behaviour and actions.
While it might be predictable to say that joy needs to run the show, I am going to challenge this concept as I experience so many people that are trying to let Joy drive everything but what it actually does is alienate the other ‘characters’ more and more.
I have so many people sit in my office and in workshops that are feeling pain, real pain as somehow there is a concept that if you think positive, have happy thoughts or be grateful for everything then life will be full of bliss. But they are not really feeling it. Behind the mask of joy there is despair, frustration, attitude and worry. And they have nowhere to express it.
What we really need to do, instead of deny the other voices, we need to meet them and get to know them. As when we get to know these less joyfull part of ourselves, we can understand more about our life and what is happening and then let joy in. If we don’t, it builds up and there is enormous pressure building. The more we deny them, the more likely they will explode into life – not necessarily in a positive way. It can be anything from withdrawing and not interested in any aspect of life right through to road rage, and losing it at people that have nothing to do with us.
Don’t get me wrong, Joy is good, it leads to happiness, vibrance and a wonderful zest for life and should hang around a lot but there needs to be other voices in the equation. In the movie Joy spends enormous energy denying sadness but what this does is put the rose coloured glasses and doesn’t see the reality of the situation.
I love that the art therapy space holds all of these emotions in a safe space and allows then to be fully heard. It can be really hard to find the words to describe what is happening but the art can take it, the mask can come off and really get into the nitty gritty of why sadness, disgust, anger and fear are hanging around. As when we meet them and understand what drives their intensity we can prevent them playing out in a negative way. That’s why I love art therapy, it give a space to be really real so that ultimately Joy can be dominant rather than the others running the show.
This is a big topic to ponder and my hope is that everyone goes and checks out this movie so you can also consider this type of thing. Let me know what you think, I cant wait to see the ripple effect of this movie – its should be in all schools, youth programs and in homes everywhere. I have already written a program that’s ready to go.
I will be highlighting each of the characters during the week as I could go on forever about this, I look forward to sharing more personal stuff with you,
til then take care of you
PS just in case you didn’t get it, your homework is to see this movie!