1. Please tell me a favorite 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 little girl, I spent a lot of time adoring bugs and animals. On one occasion, I found an injured bird in the yard. It was raining and cold outside. I felt so bad to see it suffering; I wrapped it up in a towel and held it in my arms for well over an hour.
The next day it was hopping around good as new and would jump right onto my little finger. I was amazed that a bird would trust me in that way. It was a very special moment and it felt so good to love that bird with everything I had.
I learned to have a wild sense of humor from my mom. It has been a profound source of pleasure and relief for me over the years and takes on many forms. My dad showed me how to persevere and tackle just about any imaginable issue with full dedication. My grandma taught me the gentleness of painting.
2. Was there anything in your past that caused you pain, struggle or hardship?
I’ve always been a very sensitive being. As a young girl it was extremely hard for me to socialize. I had painfully low self-esteem and felt ashamed of how impacted I was by everything. For many years I felt alone and unknowable. I struggled with depression and did not understand how to love myself.
3. Describe a difficult event or circumstance in your childhood, teens or adult years that caused you to "act-out" or "act-in" in a detrimental way. How did your emotional pain manifest and limit your life thereafter?
Growing up, I really wanted to experience romantic love. I was fascinated by it and thought about it frequently. Maybe it was an escape for me; I felt so disconnected from other people. For some reason, many of my attempts to put myself out there went embarrassingly wrong. I was convinced I must be unlovable.
Ongoing painful and disappointing social interactions with both peers and adults, led me to believe I was a bad seed. I turned that rejection inward. The self-loathing and sadness lead to numbing out, body aggression and shoving down my needs. I especially struggled with erupting emotions once pubescent hormones started flooding in.
4. What has been the main theme of struggle in your life? What is the main thing that you have needed to heal in your lifetime?
As far as I can tell (being within it), my biggest struggle is learning not to reject myself so I can be here fully and participate with what brings me to life. The catch with following your inspiration is you have to believe you’re deserving or you’ll keep sabotaging the good things that come your way.
5. What is your greatest strength today?
I’ve had an surprisingly dynamic life so far. At a certain point in my development, I no longer wanted to settle for a half-lived existence; so, I pushed myself far beyond known comforts. I had to experience what else was out there. It was exhilarating and sometimes risky.
Now, I’m approaching 30 and that style is too destabilizing for me. I am refining and it feels wonderful. I feel the closest to home I’ve ever been. My personal journey has taught me a great deal about humanity, love, purpose and compassion. I love to teach. I don’t claim to be a master at anything, but I can hold people well (I’m also funny as hell if you catch me in the right moment).
6. What is your favorite creative healing modality? What makes you feel alive, passionate and whole? Please describe the details of your creative process.
I absolutely love to play. I rarely let myself when I was younger, because of the shyness. As an adult I cherish it! Play arrives in different ways. The more embodied, present and spontaneous it is, the more it heals me.
Not participating with that force leads to pain and stagnancy in my body-heart-mind. I love to dance and move around in nature. I like entertaining people with random comedic acts. I appreciate situations that feel game-like. I need to engage the world creatively. I can’t get through the challenges of life without it!
As far as my artistic process goes, sometimes I like to get very precise and detailed. This enables me to study and honor the outside world. Other times, I enjoy fluidly riding my emotions through color, texture, form, line. I don’t think it’s good to confine myself to one style.
Striving towards mastery quenches my thirst for growth, but can deplete me. Free-flowing expression is lively and expands my senses. It helps contact my innermost self, but can become too off-the-handle. Generally speaking, my artistic focus depends on what is inspiring me at a given time and what I am realistically willing/able to experiment with.
7. Describe yourself as whole and healed. Who are you in your essence?
In my whole, healed self I am a soft, gentle person. I am understanding, compassionate, excitable, insightful and doting. I am also sarcastic, edgy, silly and gritty. I think it’s a great combo! In my essence I feel earthy, spacious, strong, fluid, wise and passionate. I have found it challenging to integrate all my polarities of self, especially in art, but I think it’s a worthy pursuit.
8. If the major healing theme of your life had a book or a movie title what would it be called?
How a Bud Becomes a Bloom.
9. How has your past pain informed your life purpose? How do you specifically want to contribute to life?
In every painful scenario something important may be gained. I don’t recommend prolonging pain if there are healthy ways to address it, but it can instill great wisdom. Painful experiences have, at times, opened my eyes and heart when nothing else was getting through. During moments of great suffering, I discover what I most need and treasure. There have been several junctures where I actively reprioritized my commitments based on those insights.
Pain and inspiration have continuously chiseled away at my raw ambitions. I do believe I am coming into a more honed relationship with my life. I presently focus on art production, teaching, supporting children, writing, love, family, dance, communing with nature, animal welfare, etc. My life purpose will continue to evolve over time as I enter different phases of maturity. I aspire towards balance with what fulfills my soul, realistically supports me and benefits others. I like to align with causes and paths that grow me into a better person while benefitting others. That has taken many forms over the years via personal work, career, community and volunteering.
10. What strength-based inspirational advice would you give someone who has suffered in similar ways to you?
Self-acceptance is so hard sometimes. When I most lack it, I can become consumed with attaining it somehow. I’ve learned that it takes time. It takes many small, positive experiences accumulated through the years. It takes letting good, trustworthy people enter your life and love you because you are you.
Try not to neglect the rest of your life because that aspect isn’t ticking quite right yet. You are still worthy, still valuable. And yes, lovable. Even if there aren’t many people in your life, you can still participate with the outside world in a way that puts you in touch with others.
Happiness is amazing and that state alone will not put a foundation under your feet, a roof over your head; it won’t maintain your relationships for you or make your career. Life involves a great deal of attending to complexity. If you abandon practicality on a wild hunt for happiness, you might not have a proper home to sustain it with anyway.
It is extremely important to find ways to nurture one’s soul. I hope everyone gets to experience that richness. I equally urge us to sink our roots into all that is required of us while we are here. Sometimes, that which looks boring or challenging ends up being the very food we need to thrive. Responsibility and accountability are incredibly humbling and dignifying. I recommend participating with a cause in which people work together towards a greater purpose. That can be deeply healing and a heckuva heart-opener!
11. What famous inspirational quote sums up your life journey?
I had a hard time picking just one, but here are three I appreciate.
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” – Andy Rooney
“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.”– Nancy Rathburn
“I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do. And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss
12. Create your own quote to inspire others on their life journey.
“What you heal in yourself supports others in doing the same work. Do not be ashamed of what you require to find that ground. You don’t have to do it in ways the outside world pressures you to. Take care of your heart. Regard your being as dear. Stare your chaos straight in the eye and let your pain teach you. Don’t be afraid of how hard it is to change. Show up enough for the right things and life will grow you.”
Natasha is a very playful artist located in Southern California.
With most pieces she creates, she intends to bring viewers a sense of wonder, beauty and pleasure.
She also loves making raw, humorous and fantastical renditions.
Website - www.natashaterry.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/NatashaTerryArt
Email - NatashaVisArt@gmail.com