Hello, my name is Raydene Nash and I am inspired by art, music, poetry, nature, romance, and just about all of my life experiences.
A favorite story from my childhood involves an experience when I was in Grade 6 playing my flute along with 4 other flautists my age in Band Class. I shared with my band master that I had never won anything in my life and that I would like to sometime.
After that, the band master of the small private school took time aside after Band Class to teach me proper flute breathing techniques. I listened very closely, followed all his instructions, and had an easier time playing my flute as a result. That Christmas at the school concert, he gave me an award for being the Most Improved Band Student.
During the preceding speech, he told me not to forget to breathe. There was a great big black and white picture of us in the local paper following that. I felt thrilled. I recognized that most teachers want the best for their students, that when I give it my best and follow instructions where possible, I get better results. I could go on with other stories like that, like when my art teacher kept the ceramic tiger I’d painted in Grade 12 on display in her public-school classroom, and the time my piano teacher, when I was in Grade 4, gave me my first broach.
A sad catastrophe in my life was that my Mother died in a one-car accident, wherein I sustained a head injury, when I was aged 11. Losing her was my worst tragedy, but bereft as I felt, I grew to love my Step-Mother and Step-Sister dearly. I also have three brothers whom I love dearly,
Another emotional event that happened in my teenage years led to me becoming somewhat anorexic and withdrawing even more than otherwise. As a result of being singled out for teasing at school most of the time, my self perception changed so that I saw myself as being valued when I looked good to men.
These types of experiences fed into my negative self-view and choices that I made later. I then punished myself by not feeling my emotions and repeatedly recriminating myself, which resulted in long, debilitating bouts of anxiety.
The main thing I have needed to have is a recognition for my soul, a recognition that it is mine and it exists as a part of me, as well as to live with myself as I am. Perhaps that is in part because of the religion in which I was brought up, which gives a limited definition to the word “grace.” I have discovered that I enjoy making collages.
I made my first collage when I was in a Self Esteem group at the age of 19. Over time, I’ve made other collages for assignments in these types of class settings as well as of my own initiative. When I joined Shelley Klammer’s online expressive arts classes, I got into collaging again, big time.
I feel that part of my being whole and healed is doing my collages as well as other creative practices. In order for me to hold on to the freedom I have gained from anxiety, I need to keep seeing and creating beauty.
The major healing theme in my life might be named, “Keeping My Mind on Beautiful Themes.” I would like to encourage anyone, religious or atheist, to take part in the creative processes laid out by Shelley Klammer in her workshops online. Anyone can benefit from them, whatever stage or phase you might be in today. It is better to recognize integral aspects of yourself than to block them out.