My journey towards becoming an artist - Part 1
Looking back it’s easy to see that I was headed in this direction. But as I moved through my various careers it was not at all clear to me that I was going to be an artist.
I began as an art teacher, and many of you might think that this career was a natural gateway to being an artist. That might be true of others, but it wasn’t for me. I did take courses in art and thoroughly enjoyed my teaching, but something was missing for me. Although I loved teaching, there was no subject on the curriculum that matched what I wanted to teach. Art was the closest. I wanted to teach students to like themselves and have confidence in their intuition, spontaneity and creativity. At the time I had never had therapy and didn’t realize that I was encouraging my students towards a journey of self-reflection.
The end of my first marriage sparked a desire for change within me. I felt compelled to begin my own journey of self-reflection, which led to my taking a leave of absence from teaching and embarking on a year of travel and inner exploration, searching for what I wanted to do with my life. I spent time learning yoga, massage, counseling, and various other activities that caught my fancy. My own personal psychotherapy was a large part of what consumed me during this time. Interestingly enough art was not part of this discovery.
The two areas of massage and therapy emerged as being truly significant to me and became the foundation of my next career. I officially left teaching at the school board and became a registered massage therapist while I was also continuing my own psychotherapy and taking courses in psychodrama which is an action method form of psychotherapy. After graduating from Sutherland-Chan Massage School, I was hired to teach there and so I found my way back to what I loved. This time the subject matter was closer to my vision. I was teaching communication skills and helping the students understand the relationship between touch and the emotions. These students were experiencing being touched more than ever in their lives as they practiced the techniques of massage on each other. This inevitably brought up feelings that usually took them by surprise. So my courses were very relevant and necessary. I taught part time at the school, and the rest of my time was spent in private practice with massage clients. These clients were receiving the benefit of my two areas of expertise. I was combining my massage treatments with my psychotherapy training. It was a very rich time for me and I thought that I had found my perfect career. Little did I know that I was still en route to that goal.
After ten years it felt right for me to leave Sutherland-Chan Massage School, I coincidentally had many of my massage/psychotherapy clients, simultaneously ask me to teach them about my combination of therapy and bodywork. I formed a small group and began teaching. That group was so successful I decided to offer it on a larger scale and this gave birth in 1990 to my next career of offering a training program called Psychodramatic Bodywork®. Finally I was teaching self-reflection to a willing and eager audience. I had actually assembled subject matter that made teaching feel complete and gave me my sense of fulfillment. For 26 years I focused on building this career and became very successful with students from various parts of the world. During all of these years, I had little to no connection to art.