1. Who are you and what inspires you today?
I’m a Transpersonal Art Therapist from South East Queensland, Australia. I’m inspired by my children, my mum, my husband and my friends. I’m inspired by artists, musicians and many people who share their life stories and wisdom.
2. Please tell me a favourite story about your childhood? What positive life principle did you learn from your parents/caregivers - that still informs your life today?
My mum taught me from a young age that if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.
I try to be aware of my dark and light sides so I can be true to myself and others, and express myself honestly, sometimes we need to face painful truths in order to heal.
3. Was there anything in your past that caused you pain, struggle or hardship?
When I was 11 one of my caregivers became ill and I fell into being in a counselling role. I didn’t know how to talk about what was happening or where to go to for support. I used drawing and my guitar to find some solace. I found out about art therapy when I was 19, but I wasn’t able to study it. I had my own health challenges in my teens and early twenties and continue to manage my health with creativity, nature nutrition and exercise.
4. If relevant describe a difficult event or circumstance in your childhood, teen or adult years that caused you to "act-out" or "act-in" in a detrimental way. How has your emotional pain been a wake-up call for growth?
At 35 an event triggered me to re-visit memories from my teenage years and I had a breakdown. This involved flashbacks and affected my emotional stability and my sleep and I felt helpless and unable to function. I cried everyday for about 18 months. Asking for help was not easy.
5. What is the main thing that you have needed to heal in your lifetime?
Connection to others and to nature through creativity has been the main thing that I needed to heal.
6. What is your greatest strength as a result of that healing?
Compassion and the motivation to help others realise their ability to heal themselves emotionally and spiritually.
7. What is your favourite healing modality?
I like painting and walking in nature at the moment; if I’m feeling low, playing music can change my energy. Dancing makes me feel alive. Being in the rainforest gives me a sense of belonging, of being home.
8. Please describe the details of your creative process and how it has evolved.
My creative process involved drawing and writing lyrics and poetry when I was young. Recently I still make up lyrics and find painting soothing. I love mandalas, I found a colouring book about 15 years ago called “Power mandalas”, by Klaus Holitzka, and I finished colouring them in with my children a couple of years ago. I like to use watercolour pencils and brush over the colouring in with water.
For a while after my breakdown a few years ago I drew patterns with fineline pens that were very repetitive and soothing but it wasn’t until I studied art therapy that I totally released any concern and judgement of the end result of my creativity.
I’m currently making my way through Shelley Klammer’s online workshop, A Course in Creating Miracles.
9. Describe yourself as whole and healed. Who are you in your essence?
An expression of life, love and joy.
10. If the major healing theme of your life had a book or a movie title what would it be called?
Strands, stitches and steps
11. How has your past pain informed your life purpose? How do you specifically want to contribute life?
My past pain has informed my life purpose to include being compassionate and understanding and accepting self and others. I want to share how creativity and nature can help us to heal ourselves.
12. What strength-based inspirational advice would you give someone who has similar challenges?
You have inner strength.
It can be helpful to ask for support and find others who also suffer similar life circumstances.
13. What famous inspirational quote sums up your life journey?
“We are all on a spiral path, no growth takes place in a straight line...” (Kristin Zambucka)
14. Create your own quote to inspire others on their life journey.
“Sometimes it’s best to leave things where they fall.“
(Originally inspired by “let the chips fall where they may”, but years later I now see a metaphor about autumn leaves falling, in essence it’s about choosing your battles).
Online course: Art and Nature on Coursecraft: https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9XFf