The inspiration to paint healing art
came to me in 1996 as a way to create a sense of wholeness in my life after a year of debilitating and chronic stomach problems that would lead to 20 plus years of chronic fatigue syndrome. I had tried both western medicine and alternative medicine to heal, but without success. I also explored healing on a spiritual level through books but, although helpful, I still felt myself disappearing into depression. So I decided to paint art as a way to lift my spirit.
In order to paint images that would lift my spirit, I first had to examine the areas of my life that needed lifting. So I would ask myself questions, such as, “What is bothering me? How does this make me feel? How do I want to feel? Why does it bother me?” And then I would reflect upon my spiritual studies for advice to see how I could look at life differently, and then that advice was what I painted.
During this time, my creative process became my teacher, healer, and friend
- A friend who was always there for me, willing to listen and eager to help.
- A healer who helped me to process my thoughts and feelings. And helped me to visualize myself strong and at peace.
- A teacher who taught me valuable lessons about life. The most important lesson was that it taught me WHAT real self-love is and HOW to truly love myself.This was something that I could never understand before.
When I first began to paint nurturing art, I didn’t know that my art was going to be about self-love. In fact, I didn’t know what self-love was. I thought I had known what it was before getting sick, but afterwards when I lost the ability to do the things that I use to be able to do, I stopped loving myself and realized that my self-worth had been conditional.
Then one day in 2005, I had an epiphany.
(I wrote the details about this in my book.) After years of painting, I could suddenly see that my creative process was teaching me HOW to love myself and my art was a reflection of that journey. The way the creative process taught me this was that it gave me a SETTING and a REASON to:
- Slow down
- Look inward without judgment
- Ask myself questions
- Look for healthy answers to my problems
- See life in a more positive way
- Process my fears, feelings and doubts
- Be kind and patient with myself
- Believe in myself
- Trust in my intuition and ability
- Value my opinion and sensitivity
- Allow myself to have a voice in this world even when no one else supported that idea.
Now that I could see what self-love was, at least within the boundaries of creating my art, I was motivated to keep learning about self-love in order to incorporate self-love into all areas of my life. I have since gained a greater sense of peace, wholeness and empowerment. I know now that self-love is an ongoing, ever-evolving process and when I remember to realign with unconditional self-love, I am able to shift from a place of negativity and defeat to a place of freedom and empowerment.
I am grateful
For what started out as a path to self-healing has grown into a business that allows me to share my tools for nurturing self-love with others. And it is so rewarding to hear from the people who have received inspiration from my work. I am also proud that my book, therapeutic line drawings and unconditional self-love message card deck are being used by therapists, healers and yoga teachers all around the world.
In 2016, my Mother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. Before she passed, I helped my Dad care for her at home for the last five years of her life. It was a deeply meaningful experience but also very difficult.
I am currently writing a book for caregivers from all that I learned during this sacred journey with my Mother. And I am deepening my experience with unconditional self-love every day as I go through the new challenges of my life.
I can honestly say that I understand what it is like to not love yourself and to search for its meaning.
I hope you find meaning here. I hope you find inspiration to begin, continue or to return to the path of unconditional self-love.