Can you describe the creative path you took to where you are now?
Personally, the creative path for me was a very organic path. I was in a place in my life where I was done taking on different roles to be people pleasing. This all started was when I realised that I was exhausted with not knowing my authentic self and being what others wanted me.
Being very real, the aspect of body painting came personally when I realised the stigma and affect our skin colour had on people. Just the way we look, with no words needed, had the power to create perceptions and assumptions. When listening to the opinions of others, I was left in wonder of how far we as people have drifted from the soul of a person’s being. At that time I was involved in community outreach in Taunggyi - Myanmar, Chiang Mai - Thailand, and Cebu - Philippines. It was a beautiful time of my life where everyone just connected and engaged with one another, regardless of where we came from.
The joys of painting came to me at a later stage in life while I was studying in Tasmania and a couple of friends encouraged me to boldly step out with the idea to intertwine body painting and deeper conversations. This was also fueled by the perception people had with tattoos- aesthetics verses meaning, and the battle against stigma. At the same time, I came across a PHD student doing a research on tattoos and a person's story. Having experienced this for myself in my own life- experiencing different cultures, parental pressures and societal pressures, I found myself taking it personally and engaging in body art myself. The encouragement and affirmation received allowed me to move forward with a body art and dialogue experience for the community. The entire process has proven to be strangely ‘therapeutic for others as often people struggle to talk about themselves in such a vulnerable manner. However here with MHOM we realise that reflection and realisation are key components to a deeper relationship and continuous breakthrough. We value the power of vulnerability when facilitated in a respectful manner.
There are no hard and fast rules with MHOM and we choose to be this way because we love diversity and respect that everyone reflects and comes into realisation differently. Hence there is no need to engage with just body painting. We have had a session where we run with people or allow the individual to play their guitar or even just purely engaging in deeper conversations.
This led me to realise how needed such an avenue was for safe spaces to be made available to people. Strangely when I look back at the path I had taken, art provided a safe space for me where I could not provide for myself. Having an innate drive to connect deeper relationship and continuous breakthrough was the birthplace of body art therapy. I use the term therapy loosely and not a means of certified therapy but to present a strong gateway for people to engage in wholehearted living.
I got into this as I’ve seen for myself and for others how when we have the time to speak, ask, acknowledge and listen to one another, it begins the journey of healing, restoration and empowerment. We all have hurts, disappointments, anxiety, pain, hope and dreams if we never get the chance to speak them out it is a real tragedy. MHOM hopes to stand in the gap between often stigmatised issues in this world, availing a space for anyone to be encouraged, equipped and empowered.
What is it?
MHOM is a movement of missional communities sparked by deeper relationship and continuous breakthrough. An experience organically designed to sow Faith, Hope & Love back in the hands of everyday people. Helping people find authenticity in a diverse world. MHOM engages the community in three social experiences - Workshops, Huddle Coaching (Individual/ Groups) & Open Community Events.
What were some of your memorable conversations that happened during your sessions?
Memorable conversations include but not limited to interfaith dialogues, the power of thanksgiving, parental pressures, societal pressures, cultural pressures, our ‘shadow’ side, how can I love my job, what are my strengths and weaknesses, how can I contribute better to society, and the list goes on... Remembering that what is best for ourselves could also be what is worst about ourselves.
All of which is brought through a process of encouragement and empowerment to engage more in the space of self- awareness. Hence with aging, it gives us an opportunity to redefine ourselves and relationships in order to arrive at a new understanding regarding the fundamentals of life.
In today’s society, where people “disconnect in order to connect”, what do you think young adults are missing out on?
Themselves. I think that people are missing out on the journey to discovering their most authentic selves. I realise this not only for young adults but adults, teens and children as well. We truly miss out on the unique factor that only you can provide to this world. The idea of disconnecting is so fluid that often in that space of desiring connection we so easily find ourselves placing another mask over our most authentic selves. I am reminded of this quote by Mike Breen “We have become human ‘doings’ rather than human ‘beings’”.
As humans of survival, we tend to neglect our hearts conditions to place masks over our truest self. That is what we miss out on the time and space to discover our most authentic selves. But what happens if a person doesn’t reach for wisdom, wholeness or gerotranscendence in elder years? Unfortunately, for those unable to respond to this new call for inner growth there is a tendency to experience depression, despair, fear of death and regret. Yet our culture ignores that and continues to spread the idea that ageing is best either denied or concealed, making it obvious that the biggest denial of all is the inevitability of death. And in spite of the goal of us all to hopefully avoid disease, disability, waning mental and physical functioning along with some disengagement with life, there will likely come a time when some, if not all, of those aspects, become a part of our experience.
Could you explain the joy you feel when connecting with others via MHOM?
Well the joy comes in knowing someone and valuing someone for who they really are and for what they really think and feel. Often at the end of our workshops or coaching sessions one will realise how much power one has to choose joy, gratefulness and contentment in every waking moment. As Carl Jung says “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
What do you do for fun ?
-‘Fun for me is meeting new or old friends over a meal, beers, real raw conversations and laughing our hearts out.
Three greatest influences:
I have more than three ...
Jesus Brene Brown
Ian Morgan Cron
What’s in the pipeline for MHOM in 2018?
In 2018, MHOM has envisioned this year to be one of sustainability, accountability and empowerment. As we focus on our coaching experience we provide a safe space to encourage, equip and empower continuous breakthrough through online international huddle groups that make space for authenticity. Whilst building a global network of communities that are sparked by deeper relationship and continuous breakthrough.
Our coaching experience is facilitated in 6-month blocks of time where people come together to engage in deeper relationship and continuous breakthrough within their different context- family, friends, work, business, new relationships, community, etc. This platform is currently open to anyone who is willing to commit to understanding ourselves on a deeper level in the community. Feel free to write to us, we will love to hear from you.
Also, we have extended an open invitation to gather a MHOM team who is passionate about driving MHOM in different countries, and in a different context.