What do you really do anyway?

I was asked by someone recently to explain what I actually do, and share a little about my life. At my age it is difficult to sum all that up in a few words. Starting with being raised on dairy five miles out of a small town, being the fifth of six girls, we all milked cows before and after school. After chores and homework, I loved to spend hours drawing while designing clothing for young adults. Once married, I put away my art supplies to focus caring for and raising my five daughters.

At fifty I began my educational journey. For fun I was able to take one art class at a community college. We started our day playing music while enjoying the freedom to explore with different mediums and colors. Finishing the community college I enrolled at Simpson University where I graduated with two Bachelor of Arts, Organizational Leadership and Psychology. I continued my education at the University of San Francisco, graduating with a Masters of Art in Counseling Psychology. Education is a continual process. Although I am currently licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist Intern, I have a combination of three and half years of Doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology as well.

Spending thousands of hours working with clients I found no matter the challenges people faced, art is a powerful therapeutic tool to help them. I watch clients set free, facing fear of an empty canvas or white paper, create their own art while expressing deep feelings and emotions, releasing the pain and shame of the past.

I also attribute part of my education to members of a local Art Association. When I faced my own fear and visited their meeting I was amazed how I was welcomed. There was freedom from fear, no competition, no judgment, just friendly artists excited to be together. I encourage others who desire to be creative to seek out others with the same passion and join or start their own community group.

At the time, I was on a mission. I was asked to draw a portrait for a famous man named Rich Little. It was to be a thank you gift for helping us with a fund raiser. He too is an artist and had donated some of his drawings toward the cause. When I explained my situation to the artists they directed me to contact a teacher who was also an awesome artist. She gave me tips and showed me techniques to be improve my drawings. More importantly she helped me believe in myself. When the time came to drive to Las Vegas to deliver the picture I finished to Mr. Little I was really nervous. What if he didn’t like it? It was too late to turn around and go back home. When we met he was totally surprised. Pleased I was able to capture his dimple he laughed and said, “I will hang this in my house!” From that time forward his wife and I became good friends. The picture seen here was taken minutes before I was to present the portrait to Rich, capturing my uncertainty as well as the art piece. I share this information to encourage those who may also desire to step outside their familiar arena stretching towards a desire or passion for something new. If I would have let fear paralyze me I would not have this story to tell, nor could I have experience a new friendship.

To answer the question I was asked earlier, “What do I actually do”? I am now taking my combined knowledge of Art, Doctoral Life Coach and Consultant training, Psychology with health emphasis, and my Organization Leadership training and creating a new career as a “Heart Mender Specialist.”

While working with clients we get to the heart of the matter and relieve suffering. Healing broken hearts, Empowering through making good choices, using therapeutic art, journal and free style writing, with talk therapy, are a few of the tools used to help set people free.

To set up and appointment for free consultation with the Heart Mender contact: xtremecounselor@gmail.com

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