Author Archives: neverlandeffect

Question 9: List 5 Pieces of Art that Stimulate Your Brain Stem

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Below is my list of 5 art pieces; but I encourage you to make your own list. Just remember that art does not mean just visual art; feel free to use any form of art.

1) Jonathan Larson’s Rent 

– This Broadway musical tells the story of one year in the life of a group of friends living with little to no money in New York City. The musical addresses drugs, AIDS, homosexuality, transgenders, loss, and most importantly love. Almost everyone has heard the song, Seasons of Love; but not many know about the musical. Not only is Rent my favorite musical, it is my number one piece of art that stimulates my brain to think about what life really entails.

2) The 1967 Photograph of the Peace Marcher

– This photography was first shown to me in US History and instantly it ignited something in brain. Perhaps it is the contrast between violence and nature; or simply the fact that the picture can solely speak for itself. Simply put, this picture really makes me think about the world and the history of mankind.

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3) Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights 

– Anyone who knows me understands that musicals are perhaps my favorite form of art; and this musical is one I talk about nonstop. In the Heights tells the story of a small neighborhood in Washington Heights, as they rediscover their passions and begin to learn what it means to grow up and follow their dreams. The musical itself is full of intricate dance numbers and amazing songs; but it is the story line that ignites my brain and makes me think about what will be important to me in my future. This is a must see musical for anyone who loves Broadway.

4) Banksy’s Protest Graffiti 

– Any form of protest art ignites my brain and makes me think about what I could do to change the world;but Banksy’s always seems to do it the fastest. His art is impeccable and the message behind it is great. There isn’t much else to say but if you enjoy protest art I do recommenced looking up his work.

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5) Disney’s The Newsies 

– Unlike the previous art pieces, this musical does not contain a necessarily deep message ( though it does teach you to seize the day and make change). The music and choreography from this musical ignites my brain to create something. Its the type of music that makes me hyped up to do something about the things I see in the world. It tells the story of the newsboys strike in 1899. Sound boring? The strike was organized by the kids themselves and the musical adds art, romance, and comedy to this historical event. Sometimes it just takes catchy songs and a lot of energy to ignite a brain.

What are your favorite pieces of art? What did you think of mine? Post it as a comment! Share it on Facebook! Tell the world what pieces of art ignite your brain!

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Question 8: What is the Purpose of Art?

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Art. What a broad term. For many, the term art refers to mostly to paintings, sculptures, and sometimes collages. But for me personally, art can refer to both visual and performance arts. What do I mean? Visual arts are what people typically describe as art; that is anything that you make with your hands. Some commonly overlooked visual arts include printmaking, sewing, and photography. On the other end you have performance art; that could be theater, spoken word, singing, or dancing. Why am I describing this? Well for one, I am a performer; so in order to talk about art I like to make sure it includes performing. But I also feel that in order to describe the purpose of art, you need to make sure that you are aware of what art is. 

To me art has many purposes; one of the most prominent is to express. All art is an expression of either an emotion, a time period, or a person. Van Gough’s Starry Night is his expression of the night. While Jonathan Lawson wrote Rent,to express not only the time period but the emotion of love. It is through the fact that they express such a strong idea that they are widely appreciated as great works of art. 

But in order for art to truly be great, it has to evoke an emotion. So perhaps a purpose of art to create emotion. For example, the covers of Time Magazine are a form of art, and they typically produce an emotion. Not only does this sell the magazine, but it makes you appreciate the picture or design on the cover. As for a performance art example; think of your favorite band. Do their songs evoke emotion in you? Most people would say yes. Art is meant to make you feel something; though it may not always be a positive feeling, it will be something. 

Part of the greatness of art is that it can encompass both of these purposes. By the artist expressing something, the viewer is able to have an emotion towards it. Next time you see a piece of art ( it could be at a museum or it could just be the next movie you watch) I challenge you to first look for what the artist could be expressing, and then ask yourself what emotion you are feeling because of it. 

Now of course these are just my thoughts on the purpose of art. What are yours? What do you think the purpose of art is? Post it as a comment! Share it on Facebook! Tell the world what you think the purpose of art is! 

 

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Follow Up Activity

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As I was looking through Soul Pancake I realized that the next page didn’t include a question, but a follow up activity to what drains and recharges your soul. So here is a brief post to help lead you in discovering what your soul is. 

In order to truly see your soul it takes art. But not just any art, I believe (as does Soul Pancake) that it takes a picture collage. Lucky for you, making picture collages is one of my many hobbies. 

The first step in making a collage is locating magazines,books, newspapers, and/or actually photographs. Make a big pile of all of these resources before even beginning to look through room. I personally think that collages turn out better when you create them in natural light; so I recommend finding a nice spot near a window. After finding your resources grab some scissors and dig in. Start flipping through the magazines and cut out any and all pictures that provoke an emotion in you. Remember that words are not out of the question; have fun playing on words, or even creating your own. Most importantly remember that nothing has to be perfect; it just has to be you. After cutting out all of your ideas and pictures; find a large piece of paper to paste them on to. It can be a color or it can be white. It can be whatever size best suits you. The background is just as important as the pictures. After finding your background it is time to paste your pictures down. Now there are two different ways to go about this. You can use Mod Podge (found at Michaels) or you can use glue. Mod Podge goes on to hold the pictures to the background, and over the pictures to hold them in place. It produces a more professional looking collage. Though I do like how that looks, I have found that Elmer’s Glue Sticks work just as well. The final step in your collage is to hang it somewhere so that you see it every day! It is important to be reminded of what your soul is! Below are several pictures of some of my favorite collages; both in progress and finished! Feel free to use them as inspiration; but in the end yours should be uniquely your own.Image

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Make a visual of your soul! Hang it in your house! Post it as a comment! Share it on Facebook! Show your friends and family! Show the world your soul! 

 

 

Question 7: What drains your soul? What recharges it?

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What a great question! Before even beginning to delve into what drains and recharges your soul; you first have to identify what a soul is. Now a soul is a lot like religion; there are many different viewpoints of it. Please keep in mind that this post is about how I personally define a soul; your idea of soul might be completely share it. Please share your thoughts on the matter! 

For me, a soul is your inner self. Its the part of you that goes beyond your appearance and hobbies; its the part of you that you leave behind after death. Your soul is something that even you can’t escape. Simply put, it is your true self.

So now; what drains a soul? Well I am sure for many it might be work, school, extended family, etc. But I challenge you, and myself to dig deeper. I know that for me personally sitting at a computer all day drains my soul. It leaves me feeling empty and tired. People with high energy (or who are refereed to as hyper) drain my soul. Draining your soul could be any task that you complete that makes you feel sad, tired, even hopeless. Though I know that you can’t always get out of soul draining activities, you can fight them. Try doing an activity that recharges your soul after spending a long time draining it. Also, while doing the draining task, make sure you tell yourself that its not that you are hopeless or tired its just that the task you are doing is soul draining. Just by acknowledging that simple fact, you can start to see things differently. 

Now before you can start combating draining by recharging; you have to figure out what recharges your soul. Again a lot of people might say being outside, yoga, exercising; and yes those are all positive ways to recharge; I challenge you to go beyond that mindset. Think about the activities that really make you feel alive. What makes you jump for joy, feel motivated, be alive? For me personally, listening to music, performing on stage, and being around younger kids really makes me happy and alive. Those are the moments in my life where I feel like I could change the world. An important part of being happy and loving life is making sure you recharge. We all take time out of our days to make sure we charge our cell phones; yet very few people take the time to recharge themselves. 

What drains your soul? What recharges it? What even is a soul? Post it as a comment! Share it on Facebook! Talk about it! Think about it! Tell the world about your soul! 

 

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Question 6: People Watching

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For the sixth question in Soul Pancake it talks about another activity. Luckily for me, this is an activity I take part in almost daily; People Watching.

The first step in People Watching is to learn what exactly it is. I am not telling you to go follow someone, in fact I am simply telling you to go found a spot that you can sit in for a long period of time.  So Step 1; think of a place you could go. It should be somewhere that experiences pedestrian traffic, but that would not be weird for you to be standing there for a long period of time. For example; a mall or a grocery store would work; but standing in a neighborhood might not be your best option. Now that you have chosen a location for your people watching; it is time to make a music playlist. Why music? Listening to music is not only good for the soul; it also helps you get rid of the excess noise around you. People watching is not a time for you “listen in” on conversations; you are simply watching their actions. So make a music playlist of songs that bring your energy up; your theme songs. It doesn’t matter how cheesy the songs are or how cliche they might be; no one will hear them but you. The final step in people watching is to go to your location, turn on your music, and observe the world around you. Look out for how families are different than couples; how women and different from men. Notice what times of the day people seem happier; wonder why that is. Ask yourself questions about what you see. Take away positive actions you see, and take note of the negative ones. People watching is not only a fun activity, it is one that can help you grow.

Now I challenge you to go out and watch people! I would love to hear about your experience. Post it as a comment, share it on Facebook, tell the world what you saw!

 

 

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Question 5: How do thoughts affect reality?

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What an open ended question! I mean everyone has very different thoughts, but we all live in the same reality. Some people are constantly thinking, while others “live in the moment”. That is another factor that makes this question difficult. I think it will be best if everyone answers this question using their own life as the example. Here goes my answer…

 

I am a thinker. I always have been the type of person who is constantly in thought. Over the years I have tried to be more in the moment, but a part of my brain is always in thought. Whether it be what I am going to do over the weekend, or me replaying a conversation; thoughts are always present. Now my reality is early college. I just started back at school last week and it is already intense. The teachers move quickly over topics and most things are only said once. My reality is fast paced and full of noise and distractions. Yet there I sit, quietly in my own world, thinking about my friends, lunch, my outfit, pretty much anything but school. I have noticed before that if I am thinking about happier thoughts then my attitude towards those in my reality will be better then if I am thinking about negative things. Sometimes my thoughts lead me to miss important information in my reality; and often times I stare blankly into space. My thoughts have a rather large affect on my reality now that I think about it. I have noticed that over 5 times during writing this blog post my mind has been many other places. I found myself thinking about what I could send as a text to my friend, when my parents were going to get home, how school would go tomorrow, and even about my outfit for school… on Tuesday. Therefore this blog post took longer to write and I made more typos then usual. Obviously my thoughts have a major affect on my reality.

 

How do you think thoughts affect reality? Post it as a comment! Share it on Facebook! Tell the world how you think thoughts affect reality.

Question 4: What is the interplay between fate and freewill?

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I am now back to doing my Soul Pancake posts; and this question is definitely a great one to get me (and you) back onto the Soul Pancake Journey. As usual I think to answer this question fully you will need to do it in steps. The first step is determining, What is fate? Dictionary.com says that fate is that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny. Honestly, that definition doesn’t help very much; in simpler terms fate is something that most certainly will happen to you, it’s something that you can’t escape. On the other hand free will is the ability to make up on your mind, and act on it. Now back to the initial question, how are these two things intertwined? For some people the answer may be simple; perhaps you don’t believe in fate, therefore they aren’t intertwined. But, since I do believe in fate it’s a little more complicated. To me the word fate reminds me of Mulan (if you read the post entitled Disney Culture you will understand where this is coming from). It was Mulan’s fate to save China, yet how she did that was her free will. No matter what happened in her life she was going to save China but how she did it was determined by her own free will. I know that using a Disney movie as an example makes the concept seem very farfetched, but it works in an average life as well. For example, I believe that when we are born our fate is determined; whether it be to cure cancer or be a world famous celebrity; the Universe (or God or Allah or Yahweh or whomever you believe in) already has that planned for you. But once you are born you are on your own. You have free will in your life; you make your own choices and mistakes. Some people might find their fate sooner than others; but in the end everyone finds their fate.

 

In short I think that the interplay between fate and free will is that your free will eventually will lead to your fate. So maybe it wasn’t your fate to work for minimum wage at the mall, but that was brought upon by your free will and the choices you have/had made, and you just have to know that it is only temporary; that your fate has yet to be shown to you.

 

What do you think the interplay is between fate and free will? Post it as a comment. Share it on Facebook. Tell the world what you think the interplay is!

 

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The Disney Culture

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You may have noticed that I haven’t made a post in a while, that is due to the fact that I was in Disney World for a week! Since then I have been working on making a creative space in my house. Normally, I would make a post about the next question in Soul Pancake, but for today’s post I decided to write about Disney after all my blog is named after Peter Pan’s home.

I have been going to Disney my entire life.. To me, going to Disney World is more than just going to an amusement park. Going to Disney is an experience; one that changes with age. When I was little Disney was magically.           I was the little girl who went around the parks in her princess dress.Image

I had every character’s autograph, and I even learned the Princess Stance from Jasmine. For me, Disney was that one place where all my dreams and wishes came true. I could see Cinderella’s castle, eat breakfast with all the princesses, and I could even perform with Belle. When you’re young Disney isn’t about the rides or the souvenirs, it’s about seeing your favorite movie live on stage,or  getting to run up and hug your favorite princess.

I went to Disney the most when I was young, but I also went when I was 12. At 12 you get in your head that your just a little too cool to take pictures with characters. But that doesn’t mean that going to Disney wasn’t/ isn’t an experience. At 12 I was old enough to understand and appreciate the details put into the theme parks. I was able to ride Splash Mountain and see all the details during the wait. That year I got to help with the planning of the trip, so I learned how to use a map, time management, and I even learned how to go with the flow. Even though I spent hours planning each day in the park, sometimes things don’t go as planned; for example we ran into a talking/walking tree; sure it put us behind the schedule I had but it created a memory that I will never forget. One of the greatest gifts I received from the trip was a chance to be a kid again. That was the first time we had went since moving 4 times. Moving 4 times in one year didn’t leave a lot of room for “magical moments”. Going to Disney really helped remind me that I was only 12, and having fun is an important part of being a preteen. Image

For this Disney trip I was 15. A teenager. Now most people assume that when a teenager goes to Disney they are only seeing it as an amusement park, but that is definitely not how I saw Disney. This trip was full of roller coaster rides, amazing shows, and fantastic food; but mostly this trip was full of magic. Not the kind of magic where you get items that you’ve always wanted, and not even the kind of magic that brings princesses to life. This was the kind of magic that was able to take a 15 year old girl, and make her feel like she was 5 again. It was Disney magic. It allowed me to get a break from the workload of an early college, get away from the drama of a 15 year old, and just have fun. I was able to sit on the ground and wait 45 minutes to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid, I was able to reach  the level of Star Space Cadet in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I was able to face my fear of the Yeti on Expedition Everest. I was even able to eat a crepe in France. This Disney trip was just what I needed; it was a reminder that there is still fun in the world, and that I’m still just a little girl. Being able to have the experience of feeling young again was the most magical gift I have received in a long time.

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On the drive home from Disney, I sat there thinking about a way that I could help keep that magic alive. I tried to remember how I had done it when I was little. Then suddenly I remembered. When I was little I would play with Disney toys,

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I would make the characters act out the movie that they stared in. Lucky for me I had seen the movies so many times that I knew them pretty much word for word. Thinking back I realized that these Disney movies have taught me valuable life lessons. I decided that to end this blog post I would list some of my favorite movies and the lessons they taught me. You would never realize how much you learn from movies, whether it be good or bad. But for today’s challenge I challenge you to think about what you have learned from movies. I know that now I am guilty of watching movies with very low life lessons, they’re mainly just comedy. But when I was little I learned a lesson in every movie I watched. So think about it. What do you learn from movies? Post it was a comment, share it on Facebook, tell the world what you learn from movies.

The Newsies: Seize the day; Anyone can make a change

Finding Nemo: Just keep swimming

Beauty and the Beast: Never judge/love another based on their appearance

Monsters Inc: Laughter has more power than screams

Toy Story: The power of friendship

Peter Pan: Growing up is important, but you don’t have to turn mean and grouchy in the process

Lion King: Hakuna Matata

Mary Poppins: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down; finding joy and fun in things makes them easier to deal with

Question 3: How Do You Reconcile Discrepancies Between Reason and Faith?

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For me this is an extra hard question because I am not religious so I don’t have a clear cut faith. Religion has never played an important role in my life, I didn’t go to church when I was little, I went to a Unitarian Universalist Church for a couple years but decided to stop going. In today’s society it may seem odd that I don’t go to church and I’m not religious; but for me it has always been something I’ve done on my own. I came up with my own faith and belief system. No I didn’t write a new Bible and come up with a new creation story, I just came up with my own faith. I really only believe in one saying, and that is  Everything happens for a reason. I have pretty much lived by that saying since the fourth grade. That was the year I moved around a lot and my way to deal with it was to just keep saying, “We are moving here for a reason”. That was the first time I really thought about the idea of faith.

Reason is usually what I rely on. I have always been into school and academics, so it’s no wonder that I have always leaned towards reason. My brain is constantly trying to grasp the idea of how something happens or why it happens. Science fascinates me, especially the idea of evolution. I have always been the girl who would choose to look for a physical way to help someone rather than to send them a prayer. Reason is something that I am always looking for and trying to understand.

So I guess the answer to this question depends on the person. For me I choose reason over faith. Whenever there is something contradictory between the two of them I always choose reason. I like stuff that I can completely grasp and that we have proof of. Don’t get me wrong I think it is important to have religion and faith in your life, and I love seeing people being passionate about their faith; it’s just not for me.

 

What are your thoughts on this question? Think about it, write it down, share it! I have a new Facebook page for the Neverland Effect so share it on there, or make it a comment, or just share it with your family. Tell the world how you reconcile discrepancies between reason and faith!

 

 

My idea of faith also includes love, love makes everything better  Love is an important part of my belief system

Question 2: Sidewalk Scribe

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For the second question in Soul Pancake you had to complete an activity. But before I tell you about the activity I completed, I have to answer the question; What is your personal philosophy on life?  Instantly, the acronym YOLO came into my head. Not because its my philosophy, rather it is most other teens philosophy. To me YOLO (you only live once) is a good concept but not really a philosophy. I grew up a Disney buff, I have been to Disney World several times and could recite most of the movies by heart. Therefore my motto has always been Hakuna Mattata (it means no worries). Perhaps this is because of the famous Disney song, or maybe it is just simply that it is a good motto. But a motto is not a philosophy. Hakuna Mattata is a part of my life philosophy, as is the entire idea of the Neverland Effect.

My life philosophy is simply to live each and ever day to its fullest. Don’t worry about tomorrow or the past, just live in the moment. While living that way I try to keep that “childhood magic” alive in my heart and soul; for what’s the fun in a life without magic.

The second part of this question was to indeed be a Sidewalk Scribe. A sidewalk scribe is something most people have done at some point in their life. All you have to do is grab some chalk and find a sidewalk. Once there just relay your thoughts, life messages, mottos, anything you want on the sidewalk.

In case you need clearer instructions:

Step 1: Acquire chalk

Step 2: Go outside and find a sidewalk with your chalk

 

Step 3: Make your masterpiece

 

Now I challenge you to sum up your life philosophy then go be a sidewalk scribe. I would love to see your beautiful creations. Post it as a comment, share it on Facebook, show the world what your philosophy is!