Stories Competition finalist: Queen Seitshiro

Queen Of Change

Many times resistance to change hinders progress in existence, and that may result in devastating ways to try and sustain balance of life to fit in the standards of society. Illness may not only be physical but pain and dis-ease affect our holistic being, our physical body, our emotions and our spirits. As human beings we are affected by situations we come across, obstacles we face and overcome, our mistakes, wrong decisions, worry, stress, conflict and other forms of external stimuli that contribute to our livelihood. These stimuli perpetuate our souls and therefore our minds and our whole functioning. Some people may react in anger or aggression by the fear or pain they carry within themselves caused by traumatic experiences they go through. Many social activities affect us, the loss of a loved one, being violated, or being a victim in general of anything, can sometimes leave scars that later haunts the individual and in that manner becomes trapped in the circled of fear, this is called trauma. It does not have medication, but it can be treated. In many cases we are quick to fix our physical ailments and fail to treat our internalized illnesses, but this is not because of ignorance although in some cases it may be, but its due to lack of knowledge, and unfamiliar culture to be open to therapy, therefore we suffer internally and all that we carry eats on us, and in some ways because we seek to live, we seek to escape and don’t know how to be independent in our troubles so we tend to commit suicide as a way to live or cope, we tend to isolate ourselves because we are misunderstood and feel unrelated, however this does not have to be the culture.

Whatever the challenge maybe this is the dawn of the new era, where ways have been discovered to help heal those deep internalised cuts, all it requires is for us to be open to the therapy, these mechanisms are created to craft a being to optimal development. Brendan, who works for the curriculum development project organisation based in Johannesburg is an in-house artist who does amazing work, facilitating different women from different backgrounds, uses art as a therapeutic tool, develop skills and as a way for women to embark on a journey of self mastery and be able to express themselves through the spectrum of art to the broader world. Brendan works with women who have been affected by many things in life, from abuse, unemployment and trouble with the law, through a series of activities that help these women reflect on themselves and attribute their lives from then until the point they have started the program. Many times as ordinary beings we tend to look at others on the surface, when we see their smiles and clean clothes we believe all is well with them, but life is not only lived on the surface, there are deep scars harboring pain which are invincible to the naked eye but affects us dearly.

In most cases we don’t know how to take that negative energy and turn it in to a creative positive energy, to practice peace and how to deflect destructive emotions. Brendan uses artistic techniques that help these young women to interact with themselves, to articulate themselves via free association, to look at pain differently not as a source of darkness. In the sphere of the sessions there is one activity in particular where she asks young women to use their none dominant hand to write their name and paint any artform, this exercise is aimed at adjustment, how do people adjust in situation that are not in their favor or perhaps not going according to how they anticipated, it teaches the participants that sometimes in life we get in to situation and that is the reality, and for us to move on we need to accept, adjust and then we can be able to progress or come with solutions to our predicaments. Brendan is a womanist, who believes in the abilities and visibility of all women.

 She comes from a background of work dominated by male people, the art world, but throughout her work was considered excellent by art lovers. Brendan the curious scholar who lives on the ethos of art as a universal language and ultimate expression of life, she believes that the secret to life lies in the learning’s of everyday living. These means to expression can be used as advocacy against violation of human rights; it speaks to many situations that causes disconnect from opportunity, the internalized issues that affect the orientation and livelihood of women in society. Brendan is always confident that any women who participated in the program will never be hungry in their life because the skills passed on are not only healing in process but are also means that can be use to make a living, mark history and most importantly a tools to expressive means. Brendan helps these women to carve history of self to know its importance, the biography or memoirs of the individual’s life story and how they can use their newly acquired skills to craft their own story.

 As a young woman Breandan has always wanted to be a part of something bigger, she has always been a mystical child who believed in fairy tales and enchantments, she believes that each and every one of us is born with a gift and that gift was bestowed upon us organisms for a specific purpose, but if people don’t take the need to explore themselves then it distorts the flow of life. Disorder and chaos becomes the better of humanity. Brendan has exclaimed that art for her was salvation she found life and resurrected as a different being after sorting out her gift as an artist from the universe. Upon meeting Brendan I was fascinated by her aura, her presence she is full of life and positive energy, very optimistic even in situations that seem impossible, she is dedicated to helping many young women to awaken from the social blindness that has set new a culture for youth to care much about what is fleeting and passing instead of creating what is everlasting.

Myself as a young woman I am inspired and enlightened today to learn that art is a therapy of the soul through Brendan, it can be used as a aid to amend that which we have been hiding in shame and isolation, it also help us to reach one another, manifests a reality where we are no longer strangers and be acquainted with ways to be interconnected again. It is important in life that when we give ourselves to others, that we present ourselves as gifts but without knowledge of self we are mere bodies walking on earth surface, fulfilling a temporary existence at a certain era of time. But if we can wake up in reality were a language of the soul can be understood by all perhaps the structure of humanity in our world and among the human race will take a different shape. 

The methodology used by Brendan is made to change the system living inside women, to change the structure of their minds so that it can vibrate innovatively and actively. And upon completion of the program many women confess how their lives have changed, the lenses in which they look at life have changed drastically for the better. It may seem like a little change but this woman has changed the face of history, she is changing the system that will live in the next generation through changing their mother’s mentality towards life. She has changed the setting of society that it’s ok as a woman to think different and express yourself, because freedom of expression is the only truest way to heal and feel alive.

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