It is almost painful for me to think about my childhood now. I see how emotionally intense my environment was, how consumed by fear and idealism, how polarized.
And inside of this atmosphere I started to have short spiritual experiences that were like glimpses of another way, a way of seeing and being that was so different from everything I knew. I could not talk about them with anybody because they were really impossible to describe in a way that the people I knew would understand. I also did not understand them.
I lived a life that acted out the beliefs and ideas of everyone else around me and suffered greatly for not being who I am. This is what happens to most of us in childhood and then we carry it on. When you don’t allow your true voice to speak, you feel disconnected from everyone and everything. This was a major feeling I had throughout my life for many years. I also remember many things with intense love. The sky. I was in love with the sky. I remember the countryside with trees, fields and the mild Mediterranean wilderness. I remember birds on my windows and the trees around the house very fondly.
In the end I came to love my family and all the people who surrounded us just as they were, and as some of them who are still alive, are today.
This happened when I reconnected with who I truly am, and it became possible for me to forgive myself and everyone else. It took many years to come to this.
I had a gift that I discovered in my twenties. I could read art and know how the people who made it felt when they made their art. This gift has developed a great deal since I started working with people to lessen their suffering, using art-making in the process. Today much more information comes to me through people’s art. And more still comes through my own art-work, done in people’s presence, or when I am aware of them.
I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator. I wrote for children and a little bit for adults. I came to NYC in 1985, 40 years old, married with three children and started a new career as an illustrator only. A few years later I became involved with Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. I became very stable. When people came to me and asked about problems in their lives answers would arise from a knowing that did not come from books. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to NYU to study art therapy. I was 58. My last children’s book, told with pictures only, “A Circle of Friends,” (http://bit.ly/1Hpldv4) predicted what I would start doing shortly after it was accepted for publication. It is about giving and receiving. As I write this now I suddenly realize that the book teaches the main principle of healthy manifesting.
I sat one day in a psychiatric unit at Bellevue Hospital, during my first internship, watching an interview that doctors, therapists and social workers had with one of the patients. I was new, so I did not participate. Instead I took a piece of paper and started to draw what I felt from the patient. Suddenly I knew exactly how he felt. I felt it within myself overwhelmingly. He was lost and terribly lonely. It hit me so strongly that I started to cry. Luckily I was in the corner and nobody noticed. But this drove home to me what a gift I had.
I was not supposed to do any work with the patients in my first internship. But my supervisor sensed my comfort with people and allowed me to participate. It was then that it started. Every time I was involved with a patient, something deeply good happened. It still continues today. I never felt that it was I who did it. All I did basically was: knowing that the person next to me, is exactly like me, in that his layers of beliefs float above the same endlessness. And as we spent time together things happened.
All my life I made abstract art, creating different emotional or experiential structures. It slowly dawned on me that I was describing for myself the energy that I experienced all the time. In art school it was always hard for me to draw from life, because I kept feeling that this information was not what really mattered and did not convey what I felt. When I tried to draw from nature it would go like this: I would draw a line, following, let’s say, the cheek of a person and suddenly I would feel an urge from within, from my truth, telling me to turn right with the line, while the cheek went left. Going to the left would convey the shape of that person’s cheek, but going to the right would tell about what I felt coming from that person and my encounter with him.
When I studied art therapy I did not agree with a lot of what I had to read and listen to. In the margins of the books and articles that I read for school I wrote why I did not agree with what they said, and what I thought would work better, or what was really happening to the people in the articles, when they changed. In my papers I wrote what the teachers expected me to know, but then I wrote why I thought it was not true and not what really can help. Usually my teachers were pretty nice about this. Only one very old teacher placed big question marks in the margins of my papers where I wrote what I truly believed.
I chose to do two internships as an art therapist in jail, where there was no supervision, so I could do therapy according to my understanding. This is where my method started to develop. The inmates were in that particular jail because of drug violations. In my first session with every group I told them that I had no opinion about what is good and what is bad. I did not understand much in this area and I knew that every person lived his life, trying always to do the best he could. But what I was interested in, I told them, is how to become free. Not free from being in jail. This I could not do. But free from limiting beliefs in the subconscious mind. If they were interested, I could show them how to do it, and they would be able to choose what they wanted to do in the future, from a feeling of freedom.
Right from the beginning of the development of the method that I created, it was meant to do two things at the same time: To alleviate suffering by releasing blockages from the subconscious mind and to create growth and development.
An important part of the method was already the activation of intuition. But I did not think about it in these terms at the time. I just acted intuitively and still did not have the words for what I was doing.
In the years that followed I worked with many people and the method continued to develop. I learned some other energy healing modalities but felt that for me there was no better modality than the one that came to me as a gift, the method of intuitive flow. I started to present this approach in conferences, I wrote a little about it, I did a few workshops, and the more I use it, the more I am amazed at how good this method is.
I have just published my first book about the method in the end of January. It is called: Opening Intuitive Flow Through Artwork (http://bit.ly/1EUdaR5). The book teaches the method for those who want to use it to help themselves and to help others. There is a big section in he book where I tell with pictures why we all need to listen to our intuition if we want to be fulfilled and live with joy. And there are quite a number of sample sessions where the method was used, with all the art that was created and its readings. What moves me more than anything else is the beauty of how healing happens, and especially through this method.
When I became convinced in the effectiveness of the method and when nothing else helped, as I was trying to heal a nerve damage condition that was extremely painful, I decided to use my own method to heal myself. The process is described in my blog, called Intuitive Flow. (www.IntuitiveFlow.org)
When I started, both my feet were numb all the way to the knees. Now I feel everywhere in this area and I haven’t finished yet. The healing part of the blog is in entries 1-58. After that, I continued to use my method as a spiritual path and you can see that too.
In the last two years I became involved with The Law Of Attraction Club. I started to have wonderful, patient and loving guidance from nonphysical beings. As I look at my work now I realize that I too have been guiding people patiently and lovingly for quite a while.
For now this is a good life for me.
I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator. I became involved with the Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to New York University to study art therapy.