“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”

— Kurt Vonnegut

You’ve probably wondered what art is all about, in fact you’ve probably looked at a number of paintings, curated photographs, sculptures, or “objets d’arts” and said “Pff… I could do that!” 

What’s art anyway?

Art has as many definitions as it has colours. But today we’re not here to debate that. What I want to share with you is how art has allowed me to transform my life and can help anyone who is willing. Art has allowed me to heal in ways I could never have dreamt of. And it’s not just because I’m creative, it’s because I allowed it to take me places where I could go in no other way.

Art has helped me find creative solutions easily, naturally, and effortlessly; explore unconscious beliefs; manifest peace; get to the other side of anger and frustration; and most importantly, helped me heal from emotional pain, loss, and deep sorrow. It took me years of perpetual lessons laced with repetitive themes, numerous anxiety attacks, and a complete burnout! Sound familiar?

Transformation, change, and healing can occur with pain and resistance, or, with gentle grace; it is our choice. What we believe in will, in large part, determine our experience and journey. This presentation shares my experiences using self-expression as a tool for gentle yet profound transformation.  Did you know that the body does most of its healing while we sleep? Numerous scientific data provide examples of how the body learns, adapts, and heals optimally when relaxed. I am humbled by our bodies’ beautiful, mysterious, creative complexity and cooperation. Our body speaks to us all the time; when we understand its language, metaphors, and symbols, we can easily interact with it to improve our lives.

Our body intricately weaves our reality through our mind, body, and spirit; it sees no separation. Creation starts in our minds with our imagination and intent. If we imagine a conversation with our body that includes knowledge, kindness, and gratitude, our body, mind, and spirit work together to shape perceptions and realities. Art-making naturally allows this integration.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

Watch your words, for they become actions.

Watch your actions, for they become habits.

Watch your habits, for they become character.

Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

— Unknown, widely attributed to Frank Outlaw

We cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to it. Preparation and practice are required to construct a resilient creative mind. We have the power to change our lives and I gladly share my experience with you to show you how to create a life built around purpose, health, and joy. Transformation requires your collaboration because it needs to be personal to be meaningful.

Although there is no cookie-cutter approach or prescription, I can guide you through a maze by pointing out the main roads, side paths, and dead ends.   With over 20 years of using a variety of tools and combining various practices, I can show simple systems that are easy to learn and live by. Most of all I can share successful, gentle healing practices that integrate balance, beauty, peace, and harmony.

This isn’t to say that there is no pain, however, the manner in which we face pain magnifies or diminishes it. Perception, gentleness, and support are key.  If you’re ready to embark on this journey with me, jump in!  Let’s have some fun in the process.

First published in Tone Magazine, March 2018

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