What Is BIRD? The Benefits of BIRD The fact that creativity is simply inherently good for our wellbeing is being increasingly documented. Supplementary to that is our belief that the consideration or creative exploration, of our four founding concepts, can have a positive and lasting effect on our wellbeing and the quality of our lives! They can help us: Acknowledge who we are; stay true to who we are; share who we are and value and sustain who we are! There are numerous benefits simply in encouraging anyone in their creative gifts. Expressing emotion through creativity can be cathartic, lessening the detrimental effect that some emotions, unexpressed, can have on wellbeing and on society. Encouraging and enabling another person's creative gift, can communicate something to them of their inherent value as a person too. It can increase their sense of self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence and self-awareness, all of which will benefit their own wellbeing and benefit their immediate communities and the wider community. Key to BIRD bringing these, and further benefits to the lives of our young artists is the specific nature of the four bedrock tenets which we endeavour to reflect and demonstrate in our sessions and wherever possible explore through our creative processes. These are specific ways we believe each of them can benefit not only our young artists lives but actually all of us!: Brilliance: We encourage each young person to consider the idea that they and everyone around them has an inherent 'light' or 'radiance' - a brilliance - to contribute to the world. We hope by exploring this idea, we can encourage each young artist to explore the possibilities of their own brilliance. This process has the potential to 'call out' that brilliance in each of the young adults we work with, increasing the quality of their life and their contribution to society. Exploring these ideas will encourage each young person to believe in their own value and to respect the value of others. Another outcome of this can be that by nurturing an individuals' sense of their own brilliance, they will be generous with their light and in turn, implicitly give others around them encouragement to shine. We challenge the culture of comparison; someone else being able to ‘own’, ’bring’ or ‘allow’ their brilliance does not mean that our’s is diminished. Integrity: We engage our young artists in the idea that it is integrity that determines the 'weight' of who we are in the world; that without integrity we are lightweight, likely to be blown around by circumstance, without any means by which to weigh up decisions in life and without a touchstone from which to take our bearings. Inherent in this concept are ideas of identity. If integrity has to do with being true to one's self, having integrity involves discovering who you really are. Knowing who you are helps you stand in the face of adversity, and also to make good decisions. Growing in integrity also encourages honesty, diligence and trustworthiness. Encouraging and nurturing the appropriation of these ideas in the lives of the young adults we work with can only benefit them and the communities that they live in. Relationship: True, meaningful creativity requires an authenticity and vulnerability from an artist, by which is meant: a willingness to explore ones own feelings and experiences and express them in ways that are honest. Working closely with young adults in the creative process therefore provides a tremendously effective, organic way of developing relationship with them. We are all made for authentic connection with others; it is universally accepted that it increases happiness and well-being in our lives. In developing relationship with our young artists we hope to implicitly communicate that they have 'worth' - that they are valuable and deserving of love. In this process we hope to nurture an understanding of the importance of being authentic in building relationships. This in turn will enable them to build durable, meaningful relationships, that can hugely enrich their lives. Delight: By engaging in and exploring the concept that the 'quality of our lives is proportional to our capacity for delight', we hope to encourage our young artists that not only is there plenty in each day to delight in, but that they themselves are people that can be delighted in. The inspiration for this tenet comes from a book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It goes on to say that 'the capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention'. This is to say that by being present in each moment and by taking notice of the people, things and details around us we will discover delights. 'Delights' nourish and encourage us sometimes at an unconscious level; the more we can encourage our young artists that they are delightful and that there are delights to discover in the every day, the greater their quality of life will be. These concepts represent our core values; they are the ethos by which we run the organisation and yardstick for every decision made. Who are the guardians these values?