Barbara Gastelum believes that we all can function as healthy, loving human beings with respect for ourselves and the people around us. As an Expressive Arts Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, Barbara created Senseslab through which she helps people explore the richness of self-exploration to connect their senses and imagination. Barbara helps people explore the richness of self-exploration to connect their senses and imagination. Through her practice, Barbara helps her clients ease and restore balance, as well as find new ways to connect with themselves and the special people in their life. We sat down with Barbara to learn more about what she does, why she does it and the passion that drives it all.
How would you answer this year’s Cardboard Project question: “What is something you wish more people understood about you?”
There is a voice behind my silence. I try to do the right thing according to my worldviews and what I believe in.
Why do you think an event like the Cardboard Project is important?
Like an imaginative child, a cardboard box can be a house. The Cardboard Project is home to many of us.
When I was little, my mom always explained to me that there is a real, full-dimensional person behind the piece of cardboard someone is holding up on the street. Often, there is a story of pain behind the sign and any help can mean hope.
And, you know what– my mother was right. This event is hope– a hope to be heard and to be a part of a community. Together we will move forward with the hope of becoming better, smiling and seeing the past for what it is.
What is one thing you hope people will take away from your segment of the Cardboard Project on May 14th?
Draw a smile on a piece of cardboard and when you feel like there is no reason to smile– it will be there.
What drew you to speak at this event?
My belief, and connection. Thanks to Iven, Christina, Lara, and everyone for letting me share this space.
What’s a part of your story you think is important to share with others?
In prayers, I talked with my pain and said, “If you’ve come to teach me something then just show it.” I prayed, cried, and didn’t run away from pain. I approached the right people. You can advance, and you choose if the pain is sterile or an initiative to go further and forgive.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give others?
Your path in this life is worth it. Everyone deserves to be loved. You deserve to be part of a society and belong to a community. The challenges you’ve overcome and your beliefs deserve to be valued. Be you. Dare to be you.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you have talents and gifts, you must share it and be involved in serving others. Be respectful of life. Support however you can: it could be money, your presence, a bit of advice, or an ear to talk to. With this support, we can all prosper together. Support the Cardboard Project!