1. Who are you and what inspires you today?
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?
When I was a child we had a cat who would carry frangipanni flowers in her mouth and drop them at my windowsill, years later I checked this was true with my parents, because I wasn’t sure, and they remembered the cat doing this as well.
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 young one of my parents became very fearful and paranoid and had to take antipsychotic medication. 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 mental health challenges in my late teens and early twenties and continue to manage bouts of anxiety and depression with creativity, nature 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. My children were two and four years old at that time. The breakdown involved flashbacks and I relived events from my memory and this 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?
My favourite healing creative modality: I cannot pick a favourite, 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 being held by the earth.
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. when I’m busy I sometimes forget to make time but preferably even in busy times & especially during stressful times I’d like to prioritise doing creative activities to release stress, and find answers or guidance.
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. Around the same time I found a book about nature worship and started learning about pagan traditions.
For a while after my breakdown a few years ago I drew patterns with fineline pens that were very repetitive and somehow 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, I hope to radiate healing and calm energy.
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)