#7D4H - Final blog from Marian Brown

7 DRESSES 4 HEALTH: Day 364 - Day 365 ~ December 30th - December 31st ~ 

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” 

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

One final blog from Marian, with Love

Week 52! 

Week 52! 

As I continue to grow through this experience called life I have realized that my purpose and mission in this world is fairly simple: to love

This time last year I was beginning a rather strange, intricate, experimental and beautiful artistic pilgrimage focused on loving the world, 7 Dresses 4 Health. Thank you for walking this path with me — and for sharing your love with me on this journey. I am deeply humbled by the community that came together to make this possible. Thank you for investing your time, talents and love, and for helping me grow my own capacity to love in return.

As we all begin the New Year I would like to share my aspirations for contributing the extraordinary love you bestowed upon me to the world. My deep desire is that I can return even a modicum of the love I’ve been given, and continue to receive. To all of you who have touched my life, and countless others, thank you. I am a direct reflection of your love. In truth, we all are a direct reflection of the love we both give and receive. 

As we begin a New Year both together and apart, and as the first phase of 7 Dresses 4 Health comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on conscious love. Conscious love comes with the intentionality to continually open ones heart. This is undeniably difficult in the face of adversity, giving this practice life-long meaning. 

Correspondingly, to build my conscious love I have reflected on eight main vehicles for loving the world present in my life. We all have various vehicles available to for this conscious love, so I deeply encourage all of us to pause and reflect on how they manifest in our lives and worlds. 

When naming these eight categories I realized that they strike a balance between investing love in the world and investing love in self. At fist I experienced self-doubt and blame around investing in self. In truth, investing love in self is paramount for success in loving the world. Too often self love is shamed when it is utterly essential to the human experience and our innate capacity to love. Therefore my greatest wish for you, myself, and the world, is abundant self love in 2016.

Today, on the last 7 Dresses 4 Health blog, I share my eight vehicles for loving the world in the hopes that it resonates on some level, and that it serves as an offering of vulnerability. I hope that this year brings continued discovery, learning, compassion, and light to all. 

Sending my love out to the world, today and everyday.  

#1) Loving the world through learning… 

Learning feeds my soul and enhances my ability to lead my life with love, quenching my insatiable appetite to understand the world. Continued learning throughout life can be both intentional and unintentional, structured and unstructured. It is innate to the human experience as long as one remains open to it. 

#2) Loving the world through art… 

Art keeps me centered while sharing love outwardly, inviting others into a lens that may not be readily available. I want to be intentional about preserving time for making art; both with self and with community. Art is incredibly integral to how I see, perceive and communicate with both the world and self — it is my conduit for understanding. 

#3) Loving the world through traveling… 

Traveling helps me to challenge perceptions, engage in learning, and in the presentation of wonder. One can travel far, near, and even within oneself: therefore travel is a lifelong pursuit in the quest for knowledge and understanding. 

#4) Loving the world through self care… 

Self care is incredibly important for the sustainability of unconditional love. Correspondingly, I need to be more intentional about self care and remove guilt from this aspect of loving the world. It is often easy to downplay the importance of these pieces and it is critically important not to. 

#5) Loving the world through living an active life… 

This is vitally important for long term self care, happiness and health. Happiness is dependent on movement in my life, and I am my happiest while moving outside. As I age with my body I continually learn from this form of challenge. I am currently in the depths of learning about self-acceptance and self-love through my yoga practice. 

#6) Loving the world through family and friends… 

Simply put, friends and family are the human experience — they make the entire trip worthwhile. They support my ability to live and lead with courage, laughter and love. They build resilience, understanding, empathy and love. They can be your source of protection — extending love back to you when you need it the most, and vice versa. They give life meaning. 

#7) Loving the world through Shinnyoen… 

Buddhism is essential to my life as it helps me sustain and grow my love for the world while being protected by community. It gives me the space to question and grapple with difficult questions — asked of both self and the world. It gives me space to “go in” when I need to gain perspective. It keeps me learning. Lastly, it is an everyday piece and part of my life that keeps me both balanced and present regardless of what lies within or ahead. 

#8) Loving the world through Arts Connect International… 

ACI is my vehicle for extending and amplifying love for the world. It connects and cultivates community where it is most deeply needed. It exists to ask the difficult questions of self and the world. It is a hypothetical and actual space and community that is continually growing the global inclusion movement. For me, it makes meaning out of loss and creates heat for a more inclusive world… one artist at a time.

Once again, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. 

Stay Connected! Please stay connected both through Arts Connect International and MarianTaylorBrown.com. Marian can be reached directly via email: marian@artsconnectinternational.org, on LinkedIn and via Facebook. She'd love to hear from you! (Really). 

About 7 Dresses 4 Health (7D4H): 7D4H is a year-long arts and health education campaign lead by visual artist, Marian Brown, in conjunction with Arts Connect International. The objective of the campaign is to promote inclusive community practices through adDRESSing health artistically and collaboratively. To learn more about the genesis of the project, read Marian’s New Year Blog

About this week's look & location: All of the dresses for 7 Dresses 4 Health were designed and sewn by Kim's Fashion Design. Love the look? Visit Kim at 100 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02116, call her at (617) 267-9299 or email her: info@kimsfashion.com. Mention 7 Dresses 4 Health for a special discount! 

Campaign Update (2017): All 7 Dresses 4 Health blogs were migrated from a former site, so the sharing analytics are inconsistent from when they were first published. We apologize to our guest bloggers, and readers, for this inconvenience. That said, the campaign garnered an average of 5K hits per blog, over 500,000 readers throughout 2015! Additionally, the average number of shares per guest blog was over 150x on social media (through Facebook and Twitter). Thank you for making this incredible campaign possible - and for all that it was for so many. With gratitude, Marian & the ACI Team