Artist Residency in Healing

The beginning of an artist residency in healing…

After reading about the artist residency in motherhood I felt inspired to explore some options for myself. What do you do when you would love to go and get creative in an inspirational space just for artists, but you’re stuck at home? In my case on a healing journey, house bound by health circumstances. Day in and day out.

Well, it turns out you change the way you’re looking at things. You change that lense and begin observing life through an artist lense, just as you would an artist in residence. You provide an outlet for those creative juices that have been feeling stifled and cooped up. A dream is to one day go on a residence and write, looking at at lavender fields, smelling roses, hearing bicycles tinkle down cobbled pathways. Actually my dream is just to write more. But since it’s tricky sitting with a fistula, and lying on my tummy writing has a short life span, I don’t write as much. It’s not an excuse, it’s simply a fact.

I also love playing with my camera, so camera it is for now…


Today’s view from a prostrate healing position – on my deck on the first day of Spring under our outside table.


Admiring the scattered patterns of lichen underneath the table slats.

I’m in what some may call a flare up. My gut is struggling to process much and with it goes my energy and strength to do anything at all really. I’m drinking probiotics, swallowing turmeric, eating fermented goodies, dropping big pink drops of B12 under my tongue, Vitamin D, talking lovingly to my body, massaging acupressure points…and on it goes…it’s a slow process this one. My fistula thinks it’s all too much, but we’re working out ways to ease the journey.

I am lucky. Today is a gloriously sunny day and it almost feels like summer isn’t far away. That perks up my spirits and I’m sure sends more healing energy through my body.

So, top of my gratitude list for today is:

  • Delicious warm sun on my bare legs and blue sky all above me!

I had a dream: losing and finding dreams

“I’ve had this dream for so many years,” my mum was saying to me in anguish, “and now at 72 I’ve lost it. And it’s too late. It’s gone. It’s dead. I know it’s not a death, but it’s the death of a dream.”

I had been listening to her and offering different ways of looking at the situation, and different ways of self talk that could help her intense and utter remorse. But for some reason when she mentioned her age in relation to the dream I felt my chest tighten and that uncontrollable sob fill my upper body.

“It doesn’t matter at what age you lose a dream,” I sobbed. “I’m only 32 and I lost my dream 3 years ago. The dream to be young and carefree and beautiful in this world while you still can. Adventuring and spontaneity.”

Then I realised what I was saying. “I know it’s buying into society’s ideas that youth and beauty is fleeting, and to make the most of it, so I know I need to work on all that, but still I lost that dream.”

I stopped and thought about that for a while. “But my point is, it doesn’t matter at what age you lose a dream. A dream is a dream.”

I have worked a lot on remorse around the changes in health that happened in September 2012, so it was interesting to see there was still sadness there. Not surprising really. I very quickly went into observer mode which for me was nice, I didn’t feel like the wallowy tears and sadness around the situation. Especially considering we were talking about my mum.

Before I left I went into my old room and took out my photo albums from the top cupboard to bring home. I flicked through a few briefly, the ones from high school, noticing what I looked like, yet how I believed I looked back then.

The interesting thing is, as I started my drive home I felt a little sensitive. I could feel a slight rawness, yet openness of tears not too far away in my throat. Something had changed. I realised, while looking at the evening light playing with the fresh, vibrant green leaves of spring, and thinking of how lovely I looked as a teenager, that maybe through this health journey I had found a dream I didn’t know I could find.

How long would it have taken me to love myself the way I do now if I hadn’t ‘lost’ the dream of health and youthfulness 3 years ago? This ‘loss’ catapulted me into a place where I worked hard, especially on maintaining sanity. Hours a day of training for something I didn’t know. Every day working my way a little closer to a place within myself where I felt more comfortable…in my own skin…with who I was as a person…with my way in the world. More comfortable with the difference between my journey and my place in other people’s journeys.

And as this realisation gently landed on me on the drive home I felt a wave of intense gripping fizz in my chest, of gratitude. A deep gratitude that makes you breathe deeply and just stop with all the thoughts, just for a moment and realise where you are in this world. Yes I have a sore bum, and yes it does still restrict certain things, and clearly there are still a few tears around that ‘lost’ dream. But oh my, I see myself and the world around me in such a different light now. I can actually feel love for myself and I can see my beauty. Not in a conceited way. In an overflowing loving way that you feel for those close to you.

So yes, a dream was lost, but another one was found that I didn’t even know I was looking for and I can never compare what things may have been like if I hadn’t ‘lost’ that dream.



A change in perspective…


“You are not suffering because of the things you are experiencing. You are suffering because you think that what is happening is not supposed to be happening.”- Teal Swan

How true! A change in perspective can be so powerful, and this weekend I had a wonderful introduction to Teal Swan via her interview with Jessica Ortner on the Hay House World Summit 2015 – I want to love myself but I don’t know how. She’s brilliant and it was perfect timing for me! I can see that her wise words are helping me change perspective already. I love her! Her story is so inspiring and I love the way she talks about love, acceptance, forgiveness and everything else. I promptly followed her on youtube and listened to some of her short videos. I may also have pinned a few of her quotes in Pinterest 😉

I’ve been tapping (EFT) for quite a few years now, often on my own and often with my mum (a trained psychologist who loves EFT). A few weeks ago when my body gave a little shake I decided to change perspective. I lay on the couch crying to Harlan and he told me that I could do all the health things in the world, but that if I didn’t work on the way I am with myself, then all of those would simply be bandaids. I took it on board and we talked more. I realised I seriously needed to put some good old fashioned energy into pampering my mind.

Over these years I’ve become much better at pampering my body, and even though I’ve been working on the mind aspect, I think that’s a never ending journey for most of us. So I booked in 3 tapping sessions with my EFT tutor in America, Deborah (1 weekly). I’m not good with commitment, so that was a biggie in itself. I have done two already, and a lot of my own bits of tapping in between and how it is helping. I can feel a shift in my perspective and that feels beautiful! I can’t describe how beautiful it is actually after 32 years. May I always be willing to shift my perspective.

Last Tuesday we worked on my fear of failure which tied in with me beating myself up.

What led to this was while discussing my perfectionist tendencies with my mum, she told me that in the first few weeks of school I came home one day and asked her what druip meant. She said that it meant to fail, and I asked her what that meant. I had never been exposed to that concept up until then and she saw the look of shock on my face. From then on it was hard to draw me away from my school work. Once carefree and a barefooted nature baby, I was determined never to fail at school. My parents would coax me away from the books, but it was a hard job and never lasted long.

You see when I went to school at the age of 9 (after 4 years of home-schooling), I was very new to systems and rigidity, coming from a remote farm in South Africa where we did maybe 2 hours of school work a day, and the rest of the time I was outside doing real-life learning. I was also the only English speaking kid and one of the only ones who mixed freely with the ‘coloured’ children on the farm (another story for another time). Anyway, early in that year I have a very clear image of one of the boys coming back into class trying to look brave, even though he was limping and had tears streaming down his face. He had failed a maths test and been sent to the headmaster to be caned.

Reflecting during tapping I realised that this could be a key to why I have spent most of my life beating myself up. Is it because I am so scared of failing and being beaten up by someone else that my subconscious decided it was safer to do the beating in-house so that there was never a chance of failure? Who knows, but I’m now exploring these notions with the desire to change perspective and clear beliefs that no longer serve me.

Of course there is no such thing as failure, only lessons learned.

So when I am judging that what I’m doing in business isn’t good enough, is less than, could be better, is bad, and as a result turning into a manic perfectionist stress ball, roll in a little change in perspective. To be fair, I’m most likely doing the best I can at the time with what I’ve got! But what would be really useful would be minimal energy spent on judgement of good or bad, something I’m sure many of us work towards. And rather simply an acknowledgment of the situation. How nice would it be to use that energy to flow as healing through my body or love and kindness directed inward to encourage me flourish?

What changes in perspective have helped you on your journey?