Workshop gets rid of tension with drumming
Rafael brusilow for metro toronto
In a busy world filled with stress and uncertainty, Michelle Currie helps people walk to the beat of a different drum.
Currie, 27, and a North York native, teaches meditation through creative drumming, visual arts and writing at a variety of health and wellness centres throughout Toronto. She also runs her site (www.meditativearts.biz), which outlines her meditation programs and links to contact information.
Unlike the stereotypical image of the stone-faced instructor leading immobile students, Currie’s seminars focus on channelling creative energy to reduce stress and alleviate tension.
“A lot of people think that to meditate you have to sit for an hour on the floor with your legs crossed, but I feel that anything that requires creative activity can be used as a form of meditation,” Currie said.
Currie says meditation can help relax the mind and body but it can also open up spiritual thoughts and feelings.
“There’s definitely a spiritual element to it. It’s hard to describe because it’s unique to every person, but it’s a great way of becoming in touch with yourself and other people,” she said.
She attributes the popularity of her meditation workshops, which draw up to 25 people in a single session, to the desire many people have to throw off the shackles of daily stress in their lives.
“Stress is contagious. Sometimes we’re forced to ignore it to get our work done, but doing that for an extended period of time is extremely draining emotionally and physically,” Currie said.
Currie has always had a strong desire to help people in their everyday lives, something that led her to attain a master’s degree in adult education.
Today, along with her meditation seminars she still teaches adults who have been injured on the job, helping them get over their pain and find motivation again.
Currie says discovering meditation six years ago helped her find peace, something she now sees in her students.
“Every single session people say that they feel the benefit of it, and that’s what fuels me to continue. As long as people are getting something out of it, I’m happy,” Currie said.
Life is too short to spend on uncertainty, Currie says, and for many people meditation can offer a powerful means by which to focus on their own mental and physical health.
“We often don’t take time for ourselves. Life is short and I’d rather spend my life enjoying every moment instead of worrying about what can happen or what has happened,” Currie said.
For now, she feels like she’s found her niche.
“This is where my heart is — it’s meditation, art, music and it’s helping people,” she said.