Artist, Art Therapy, Psychotherapy and Belief Statement

I believe all people have the need and ability to create. Using various art and therapy methods I provide a safe and empathetic environment, to encourage life-enhancing expression that brings wholeness, physically, emotionally and spiritually to people's life.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer 2017

It has been a half a year since my last post. What is happening in your world? What does your world include?
The beginning of this year could make some of us very disheartened by the increase in discrimination,  outright hate, and judgement. It does make me very sad to believe that people want to limit each other's potential and growth by sending messages to each other that controls and restricts us from being who we are meant to be.

In the last year, I have been exposed to the effects of discrimination and control on several groups of people. The long-term impact on people's lives and their ability to overcome the trauma, self-hate and self-judgement is overwhelming. I provide healing presence for those who have experienced trauma and discrimination on multiple layers and levels; hate, abuse, beatings, (and more) on those who identify as LGBTQ2; those who have less power; those who are perceived as being dispensable - including children; and women...

I think for me, the impact on how our society, systems and especially religions controls women has been the most upsetting. The use of the law, distribution of money, distribution of power, enforcement of 'cultural and religious practices' all make woman less than... and contribute to how our society ALLOWS women to be seen and treated as less than. I never would have thought that I would say it ... but I believe I have become a feminist. Feminism does not mean a brow-beating, man-hating philosophy... Rather Feminism means that we are all created equal; and supporting and empowering women is only BUILDING our society to be healthier; to use and implement all of its resources. Feminism means empowering and supporting one another.

Feminism aligns with my belief in a God who is ever present; who works through us; who moves among us; ALL of us ; not just the men.

I leave you with the Womanly Living Tree. May you be able to grow as God intends.

Peace, healing, growth.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends, from the news and comments of others, 2016 was a year of stress and questions about humanity. While I have also experienced a lot ... a lot of stress, it has not necessarily been all negative. Rather, the year has been quite a mixture of highs and lows.

On the positive side, I completed the requirements of my Masters degree in Psychotherapy, Spirituality and Art Therapy. This included writing my thesis - a major accomplishment all on its own, finishing practicum hours, and ensuring all my documentation was completed. I also graduated officially in November 2016.

Wow! Then my gorgeous daughter got married in September, 2016, and we had a beautiful wedding - a wonderful, warm, beautiful wedding. I couldn't have been more proud of her and her husband Albert.

Then in October, 2016, my comrades on the Canadian Art Therapy Conference committee successfully ran the Annual Art Therapy conference in Toronto. We hosted Donna Betts, the President of the American Art Therapy Association, and David Gussak, a famous art therapist who works with the prison populations, as well as over 250 participants.

In August, 2016 I got my first fulltime job as a psychotherapist and art therapist at the Riverdale Immigrant Women's Centre supporting women leaving abusive and traumatic experiences. I am learning a lot.

And I turned 50. Whew. Those are all pretty incredible high points.

The negatives have been just as monumental. A family member was involved in a car accident which totalled the car in July, 2016. I watched as one of the saddest and discouraging elections took place in the United States.

In November, 2016 my father-in-law passed away after a 9 year battle with colon and lung cancer.

A friend and son of dear friends was diagnosed with sarcoma in May, 2016 and died the same day as my father-in-law on November 24, 2016.

So 2017, I hope is more 'mundane'?!!!! Of course there are always opportunities for growth and seeking out challenges. Why would I seek challenges? Because, with challenges come change, new ideas, enhancement, building character, and wisdom.

At the same time, I have been thinking a lot about Vision. My vision, people's vision. That is, how people's vision shapes our focus, our intent, our identity, what we seek and the direction we end up going in. If my vision is positive, optimistic; and seeks to understand, then my direction in life will be shaped by that vision; and my focus and reality will be shaped by that vision. If I believe that I can succeed, and that despite challenges, I can make a positive impact, then that will shape my reality. I have seen people with immense struggles, who should be overcome by pain and find it impossible to go on, and yet ... they still go on... they encounter the pain, find strength in God, suffer, but they know that there is something positive in the struggle, and believe that there is something greater than themselves. But I have also seen people who have seen problems, but find them overwhelming, and then become shadows of their former selves, because they understand life as only handing them problems. One's vision and the way we deal life's challenges define us and our direction in life.

With positives and negatives in life, which do you focus on? How do you meet the challenges? How do you celebrate the positives? Where do you gather your resources from that provide strength to handle life? And what direction are you going IN?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

New Beginnings and Opportunities for Growth

This summer has been a roller coaster of emotions, struggles and growth. Between changes with my thesis, numerous submission for employment, supporting my children through individuation, weddings, and monumental birthdays there has been endless room for learning and growing - as long as I accept the task. It has not been easy. Sometimes our dreams get lost in the everyday demands and our responses to 'survival' require alternative focuses that distract us.

As I begin the new stage in my career, and my role in my family, I see opportunities for my own blossoming, and that of my family. I see it as my role to let go of my desire to 'be everything' for my family. This enables both of us to grow. Family is this binding and loosening of our connections. I see, that in the loosening of my everyday involvement, there will be a rubber band effect. They will both stretch and grow, and yet come back when needed. This is what I want for them. This is what I want for myself.

And so, I expand too; as I become more confident in this internal ability and strengths that can only be expressed. So be it. I am ready to let these abilities out. And it is exciting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Time

Summer Time is here. How do I know? Because I must use my summer quilt!

Yes, I still quilt - piece, quilt on my long-arm - create: both artistic and practical quilts. As you can see, I love colour. Colour makes my heart sing. And this time of year the world is full of colour. Flowers, trees, people's clothes and the gay pride rainbow.

This week has been difficult for the LGBTQIIA+ community. The catastrophe in Orlando highlights how discrimination and hating create pain in all of us. This is not just a 'them' problem, we must all love and accept one another despite differences and disagreements. We are all responsible and part of a society which allows it to be okay to hate and cause pain. So, instead of alienation, let us ask, 'How can I help, and How can I understand you?' Love one another.

These two tiles were created in combination with the Kumomi painting and Zentangle. I enjoy the colour, and then finding ways to integrate Zentangle patterns among the random colours. I worked on these while I was in the waiting room at the doctor's office. Zentangling while waiting reduces my anxiety about the often very long waiting times. In the end, I feel productive about my artwork, and I also enjoy the beauty that I have created. 

Try it! Zentangling is a great way to reduce anxiety and depression because it follows the simple idea of taking action. Taking action while in the midst of anxiety and depression changes the direction of the brain patterns from the downward spiral to the upward spiral. The act of starting a pattern with placing line on paper creates new brain patterns that develop positive and healthy neuronal networks. 

Try it. Move on the upward way with activation. Do something. Anything. Just change the direction in a positive way and your brain will develop the new positive "using the positive" to move forward rather than remaining stagnant and not going anywhere.

And if you want to learn a simple way to be creative, to develop a meditation using art Join me for my Zentangle 101 class on Sat. June 25, 10:00-12 noon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

One Person's Junk is another person's treasure. 

On my daily walk, I came across a pile of Forget-me-nots on a pile of garden compost. Someone did not think they were worthy of garden space. And yet, in my own garden, I was carefully digging around the forget-me-nots to keep them blooming until their season ended. Garbage. One person thinks it is done - not of use: Another can imagine what more can be done with it. What additional pleasures can be derived from it. Likewise, we have the dreaded dandelion. Throughout my neighbourhood  people are piling up dandelions pulled from their roots in an effort to vanquish them from our yards. What purpose do these items have? Well, each has a purpose in Creator God's kingdom. We may not know the full purpose, we may not recognize the beauty or intent. But it is there. Dandelions, I know are very important first flowers that the honey bees drink nectar from. So while we strive to delete them from our yards - there is a purpose there. A very important one.

What else in our lives seemingly has little purpose? What else do we struggle with and want removed? Yet all living creatures have a purpose in God's Eyes, in God's Kingdom.

With patience let us wait for the purpose.  And hence - Forget-me-nots, always a purpose.

I am planning for this Saturday's Zentangle workshops. Please join me for the Zentangle 101 at 1:00 p.m. or the Zendala (if you have taken Zentangle 101)  at 10:00 a.m.
Mini Zentangle garden- some 101 patterns

Please contact me to attend - I still have 2 spots in each class.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Upcoming Classes

I have two classes coming up on Sat. May 28. The first class is Zendalas - the fantastic circular combination of Mandalas and Zentangle. This unique experience incorporates more difficult patterns in a repetitive and centering experience. Join me at 10:00 a.m. for Coffee, treats and Zendala!
 The second class I have on Sat. May 28 is the Zentangle 101 class. You will learn the meditative art form of drawing simple, repetitive patterns into a unique abstract and beautiful piece. Come enjoy art-making in a relaxed open environment. This is a great hobby to take with you anywhere - great for vacations, airports, doctor's offices. Great for any age - if you can put a mark on a page, I can teach you how to draw a Zentangle.
Join me!  email

Friday, April 8, 2016

A New Season

I have just completed a major task in my life, with the completion and submission of my thesis on Zentangle. Now I wait to for reviews and recommended changes on the thesis. It's a waiting game.

In the meantime, well, catch up. I am working on the completion of final paperwork and one final paper. There are many thoughts and anxieties going through my head. I am looking for a job, and with all my schooling and yet not graduated, I am unsure where to orient myself in the working world.

And then I continue to work on my own business, to enjoy teaching Zentangle, to quilt for others, and also help my daughter with wedding preparation. So despite the reduction in stress on my thesis completion, there are many other tasks I have to work on. Life continues, and I like it that way.
Really, I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have. I have a supportive family, I have all my basic needs met, and I can be creative. I am thankful.

Recently I completed several sessions with a seniors group in Scarborough. I really enjoy working with many different people. The participation of the seniors, whether they come eagerly or with hesitation, are all welcome, and I learn and enjoy their presence. This was the final project we did - my examples (I will not post any participants art without their explicit written permission). I will be holding this class in the next month. Come and join me creating the Triskele Globe in Zentangle.

Tangle On!