Hello all, This is the first posting to the new blog of my brand new website. To kick off something new, let’s look at something old from a few years ago. Sharing one of my favorite professional experiences seems appropriate for a new beginning.
The Many Faces of Mien Shiang: Mattel’s Design Xchange
Wherever I go people ask about my ‘other’ Mien Shiang events or teachings. To my medically-based students — especially those in Traditional Chinese, Oriental, and allopathic medicine —‘other’ refers to my public and corporate workshops and seminars. To my corporate clients, the ‘other’ means the varied medical groups and specialties to which I offer seminars and presentations. A few weeks ago, I had a unique and rewarding, ‘other’ experience.
In early March, Peter Helenek, Design Vice President, Global Girls Packaging @ Mattel, Inc., (parent to Barbie and Ken and a multitude of other toys many of us grew up with) hosted a Design Xchange. Over the last few years, I have done many workshops for Mattel, for their Platypus program, and for individual design teams. This event was different.
Three hundred multi-talented Mattel designers gathered for a day of creative, innervating workshops presented by outside artists, sociologists, and cutting-edge entrepreneurs brought in to help shake up and wake up the creative processes of the design teams. Because nearly half the participants had signed up for the Mien Shiang workshop, the Design Xchange coordinator, the fabulous Lynde Hartman, suggested I do three intimate workshops rather than one large one.
Well, we couldn’t call workshops with more than 70 people each spilling onto the floors intimate. It was, however, exciting. I brought along to the Design Xchange Henry Lee, a full-time student of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Yo San University, who works part-time for The Mien Shiang Institute. It was his first time to witness Mien Shiang used in any way other than as a diagnostic tool for Chinese Medicine. Henry was blown away as corporate employees and mainstream designers clamored for information on how Mien Shiang could give them a more profound understanding of their true nature, as well as similar insights to their loved ones, friends, and especially, in this case, their coworkers.
When he saw how these creative people then began to apply this new knowledge and skill to become better artists and to work more cohesively and productively with each other, he was excited and moved by their openness and by the power of this simple diagnostic tool — for mind and spirit, as well as body. Henry’s experience at Mattel is similar to the one I have every time I teach or present to a unique group of people eager to learn new ways to improve their personal and work lives.