There are those sacred, and precious, people on any University setting, who always add to the educational experience for students. When you are an international student, those people illuminate your experience, even more. At the American University In Cairo, I have had the pleasure of meeting more than one of those beautiful Spirits. There is just something about them, in how they bring joy to any person, and realm, they interact with.
One of those precious Beings is counseling psychologist, Dr. Ola Morsy-Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology; and Chief Clinical Counselor at AUC’s Student Counseling Center. There is something radiant about Dr. Morsy. If ever you see her on campus, or enter into her office spacing, you feel an energy level of calm, comfort, and utter bliss. Scents of Heaven surround her. You can’t come into her presence, and not feel an aura of spiritual relaxation and happiness. And yet, that’s Dr. Ola! She’s one of those mental, wellness women, healers, whose super human traits are to ease away any tensions, frustrations, discomforts, and unease of the mind.
During break times, social times, celebration times, and popular events on campus, there are special moments when creativity finds you. Or you happen to stumble upon it. Walking around with Dr. Morsy, at a very sacred and colorful bazaar, was a moment of additional healing, and wellness, for my very Spirit. There is something about entering into silence with your counselor, in spaces of beauty. Observing beauty in whatever form it may take. There is an awakening about that counselor and student bond, when they are traveling a certain path of wellness, together. Both are being guided in the presence of the other. While the counselor listens to lay the steps of where the student should go, that person is also seeing revelations of their own craft. When it comes to the essence of mental wellness on University spaces, psychologists, and wellness counselors, are given ample opportunity to reflect upon their own healing work and artistry. What does their interaction, and professional healing relationships with students, reveal about how far they have mastered their very craft? How far have they evolved in their own artistry, when it comes to the healing of the mind? Interesting pathway, isn’t it?
On that particular day, during one of my many explorations on campus, I had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Ola in an oasis of visual artistry. Spread behind the AUC library, in an abundant, green landscape, I had come to this area numerous times, for similar campus events. On this particular day, artistry surrounded the area, in a boxed-style, rectangular shaping. Taking ownership, and imitating, the very design. Many times, when you come across certain spaces on campus (or anywhere for that matter), you don’t need to say much. Often times, it’s best to simply observe and soak things in. Permitting yourself to experience representations of Universal beauty, and every sense of wonder, arising from it.
Walking with Dr. Ola Morsy (of course in my cultural tradition of Black American Vernacular English, I can refer to her as Dr. O.), the simple act of taking a break was a precious moment. When you have given your energy (through time and labor), into a particular spacing, it’s always great to receive that level of energy back. Whether people are aware of it, or not, studying, scholarship, teaching, and others, are forms of pouring life and wellness into University domains. Such activities are responsible for sustaining the illumination in higher levels of education. That illumination is bright and vivacious, when it is done, correctly.
Taking that mini-tour with Dr. Ola was a living proof in the healing power of art. Those random, and sporadic moments when its presentation is not planned. Yet, you appreciate that element of surprise, as you do not have time to plan for it. Either you jump into those moments of spontaneity, or you allow them to pass you by. Choosing the latter means you have missed an important opportunity in visualizing how art heals, in its very celebration of beauty. There is an intrinsic moment surrounding it. Being cradled by beauty is healing. Authentic beauty, in the ability to create, is a powerful healer. It’s a telling lesson that true beauty comes from a domain, greater than ourselves. Working through, while creating through, that Universal energy; permitting ourselves to feel the euphoria of an invisible realm, which houses a wealth of greatness. That truly is one narrative of art. It gives an opportunity for a person, or a group of people, to experience what it’s like to float through those mystical lands of the Universe. All of the treasures, and wonders, awaiting us.
Capturing ourselves together, both counselor and mentee, sealed the deal for this occasion. It doesn’t matter how surprising it was. Those spur of the moment photos are sometimes the best ones. One of the two photos, which captured myself and Dr. Ola’s adventure together, was the presence of Native dream catchers. Looking at this photograph, I found it fascinating as, though Dr. Morsy is an Egyptian-Arab woman, phenotypically, she could pass for a Native woman of the United States. I have even conveyed such to her. It is surreal! The fact that culture has the power to travel, and show up in a space that one has not even thought of, is extremely nourishing. These kind of sacred moments are examples into how intertwined myriad cultures can be with each other. Just like the Earth, creativity moves. It turns through people, and it moves through art. Furthermore, it brings together those unique Spirits, and individuals, who are part of a spiritual family. Of course that’s for another conversation. Nevertheless, it’s one of an auspicious nature. Members of your spiritual family get you to see how interconnected the human reality, truly is.
It was another beautiful day at the American University in Cairo. Another memory to be archived, for future explorations to come. Nevertheless, one could not help, but to safeguard this mental treasure, into the present moment. Being in the comforts of nature, while exploring a bazaar with a former counselor was another domain of wellness. Consider it an impromptu meeting of checking in, and seeing how life had been treating us. That’s the serenity of healthy relationships with others. When they have been established holistically, and properly, time can pass in your distance of each other, and you can still check in. The energy feels just as fresh because the foundation had already been established.
Remembering that counselor-student moment continues to be one of the treasures of my adventures at the American University In Cairo. It’s the joy in being reminded, that everything is going to be alright. No matter how bad things may seem, or how daunting things may be, life is beautiful! Continuing to sparkle, even when we may not recognize the traces of our own shine. Furthermore, by continuing to glitter, life is in an eternal mode of reminding us of our own magic. Like that special day, it has the power to come through, art! The expressions of Universal treasures arise through this creative realm. Creativity is a major tool in the realm of mental health. For a counselor and student to navigate this realm together, is a magical reward. For at the end of its journey, awaits magical paintings in showing how both parties in the path of mental health, have been. . .reborn!