In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, Health & Happiness is posting some of its best articles from its first 10 years throughout the month of September.
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Stay posted for more details! And please enjoy the 3rd article of 10 in our 10th Anniversary Celebration September Retrospective Series!
Creative Inspiration: Healing Hearts
by Lucy Jeanette La Faive
Five years ago, in March 2003, on the eve of the war in Iraq, I was very terrified that the United States Government was choosing to go to war. I was feeling helpless and fearful about what the outcome might be, fearing violence, destruction, and the death of many people. So one night I decided to finger paint my feelings. I feel very connected to my emotions when I use my fingers directly in the paint. I can literally feel my emotions move through my fingers onto the paper.
I started with dark colors – black and brown – then I just began dumping other colors on the paper and moving my fear, frustration, anger and helplessness through my fingers. Suddenly I realized the page was green. Green is the color of the heart chakra (energy center), also known as the bridge between mind and body. It is the color of healing.
The realization transformed me. I started to move my fingers in the shape of a heart. What resulted was a green heart. I later highlighted the heart shapes already in the painting with white oil pastel.
This painting transformed my feelings and me. It symbolizes that fear can be transformed into love. I painted two other paintings the same night. The second is mostly red, with hearts layered one on top of the other. The third painting is multicolored, with one large heart and two smaller hearts. I highlighted the colors and shapes already in the painting with oil pastels.
I titled the paintings “Healing Hearts: Transforming FEAR into LOVE,” because these paintings healed my heart by transforming my fear into love. I still had no control about whether the U.S. went to war, but I no longer was struggling with my emotions and a decision over which I had no control.
I could have spent the past five years living in fear, anger and frustration about a war that continues or I can live with love and joy. I choose to live with my heart open with love.
I feel love and joy when I see these paintings rather than the death and destruction I was stressing about at the time I started them. The love came through the struggle, the struggle I was having with my emotions.
I know that if art can be this meaningful to me, it can be healing, transforming and powerful for you too. So next time you are wrestling with something, give art a try. Maybe it will transform you too!
Lucy Jeanette La Faive, certified wellness speaker, uses art for healing and self-discovery. Lucy does coaching, workshops, and presentations on joyful living, self-love, self-discovery, creativity, self-care, healing, body image, personal empowerment, movement, and stress management. Free consultations. Contact Lucy at 906-225-1059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted with permission from the Summer 2008 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2008. All rights reserved.