You’re Going to Heal through Your Art

November 9, 2017

Usually, my muse shows up on my bike, but it was pretty chilly today so she visited me in a hot shower.

She had me reflecting on what it is I do, what it is I like to do, and what it is I need to do.

They’re not always the same thing, are they?

Two old childhood memories appeared out of the blue.

One was of my seven(ish) self who wanted to take art classes, piano lessons, and ballet.

I grew up in a humble little home in Detroit. Looking back with adult eyes, I’m guessing that my parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they did an excellent job of not making us feel that we needed more of anything.

I had to choose and so I chose art lessons. But my friend, Nancy, was taking ballet and so we conjured up a plan for me to show up at the class as if I was enrolled.

That didn’t end well. I was punished.

Another time a door-to-door salesman came selling a drawing course (Imagine my excitement!) that promised to make me a better artist.

I don’t remember how it happened that I could sign up without my parents’ permission (Did I forge a signature?), but I did just that. When the bill arrived, I got into trouble.

No mail order drawing class for me.

Sounds like the 1950’s, doesn’t it? Because it was.

We barely had music at our Catholic school and so that part of my brain never quite developed. Many years later, as an adult, I tried taking piano and guitar lessons, but let’s just say that it wasn’t a gift that I’d been given. Still, I like to imagine that I’ll be more musical in my next lifetime. 🙂

I have, although, always called myself an artist.

Most of you who read my blog or newsletter know me as a holistic health practitioner. When my life took a sharp turn down that path several years ago I had a newfound passion. I wanted to help others heal as I had.

I went back to school and studied nutrition, Ayurveda, and energy healing.

When I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I started a new health counseling business. I began to write this blog and send out monthly newsletters.

I never considered myself a writer but with each new article, I began to enjoy it more and more.

And I began making art less and less. It was nothing new for me – I’d had many dry spells in my life where my muse was MIA. Days, weeks, months, yes years of not making art.

Looking back I can see with clarity how all of these dry spells happened during times when my focus needed to be elsewhere.

Sometimes it was because my focus had shifted to caretaking others and ignoring my muse, even when she got in my face.

Because let’s be honest here. It’s not her fault I was ignoring her.

Energy healing made me realize that I had imbalances in chakras which are key to our creativity – two and five to be exact.

I was the poster child for weaknesses in both of them.

And I’ll throw my third chakra in there, too. I can remember (long before I knew anything about energy healing) feeling a pang in my gut, sometimes even nausea, when I would pass by my work table filled with paper, paint, and possibility.

I was frozen and unable to draw anything artistic out of me.

Fast forward after several years of energy healing. I was seeing clients, doing a little bit of energy work, but feeling something missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I was graduating to another level with my energy medicine teacher and we were having a little ceremony. As each of us walked up onto the stage, my teacher would tell us what she saw as our special gift. Our dharma, perhaps.

When it was my turn, she leaned in and said to me

“You’re going to heal through your art.”

What??? I was dumbstruck. I’d just spent years studying all the modalities I mentioned above. Wasn’t this my path? My dharma?

But, oh, the wisdom in those words. It took me a long time to take them in. But they ring so true for me today.

And so, while you might wonder why a holistic health blog or newsletter is selling prints and notecards, well, I just can’t seem to separate healing from art anymore.

In fact, it’s my creativity, my art, that fuels my own healing and my ability to help others heal.

I see it with such clarity now. The more creative I’m feeling, the more I’m a clear channel for others.

My humble little notecard business began because every time I would send someone a card, they would declare “You should sell these!”

I really had no desire to mass produce notecards, or to turn the selling of them into something that would take over my life.

Sometimes I like to do things the simple way. These are meant for snail mail after all.           

I noticed that when I was making the cards – taking the photos, printing them, wrapping the package, I was in a Zen-like state – thinking about where the photo was taken, and to who they were headed. Especially the Nature-inspired ones.

So, I like to think that there’s some kind of healing connection going on between me and the recipient of the cards.

And it’s also allowed me to integrate that third element of myself that I don’t want to separate from my business – the Nature-lover.

I can’t help myself every time I write about trees or plants that have started whispering in my ear.

To some, it may have nothing to do with holistic health – to me it has everything to do with holistic health.

Nature-lover, artist, and healer. That’s what I am and I’ve decided that there’s just no separating the three.

I imagine I’m not unique in this regard and I hope that you are honoring the different parts of yourself and bringing them together in the best way possible.

Sometimes our greatest gifts that we have to offer have been staring us in the face our whole lives. Or maybe they show up out of the blue later in life.

Nothing is ever too late, in my opinion.

Living life doing what you love and sharing it with others is a remarkable kind of joy. It took me many decades to figure out what that meant to me and I’m so grateful I did.

It’ll all be in the book that I’m writing. Pink is Everything!

Much love,

P.S. You can find my cards and prints online here. Send some snail mail! And 11% of all sales go to TreeSisters Reforestation Revolution. Some serious Tree Love!

  1. Dear Barbara, all of your newsletter make me very happy, and this one in particular!
    So true and so beautiful to feel that you are whole, that all of your skills and gifts make you exactly the healer you are meant to be.
    I too feel that it is possible to be myself in a total and yet unique way.
    You are an inspiration and healing many souls.
    Thank you.

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