Thursday, May 18, 2017

New Beginning Part 2

Out of his desire to help, Arnab suggested I find a rehab. There are no marijuana and sugar rehabs, so I was looking at either a spa-type retreat with a strict diet or an eating disorder inpatient facility and neither were the right fit, nor affordable. If the price was right the focus was not, so as a last resort I searched Google for "health retreats Oregon" and Ananda Laurelwood popped up.

Arnab introduced me to Ananda two years ago so I was already familiar with the center's philosophy. "Ananda is a global movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, who showed how everyone can realize God in their daily lives as a tangible, loving reality." (Read more here.) Laurelwood not only offers personal retreats with vegetarian meals, meditation and yoga included, but they have an artist in residence program! In my miserable state, my attempts at art were often fruitless. I had occasional glimpses of inspiration, but overall my self-medicated being was blocked. As soon as I found the artist in residence program I knew I had to go and signed up immediately.

As I sit here writing I am surrounded by exactly 46 works that I have created in the last month and a half. At the center of the program lies Dana Lynne Andersen (Visit her site here), founder of the Awakening Arts Academy where she guides people in finding their spiritual center through all art mediums. I took her course Painting from the Heart and Soul during my first weekend and was immediately able to create. I learned how to tap into my inner voice, that special, sweet place where peace and love take physical form through paint on paper.

Two weeks later I took the course Art, Rebirth and Transformation where I dove deeper into my self. I acknowledged my forgotten longing for a spiritual connection to my surroundings and recommitted to that spiritual life. Dana and the Ananda community accepted me and my shortcomings without hesitation and I wanted to live in the same place of acceptance and unconditional love.

Later, I went deeper still through "Journey of the Soul: Spirit Vision, Soul Collage Dreamwork" and learned that I love myself! Everyone in the class worked on what was inside of them and I focused my journey on what I was medicating with marijuana and sugar. Deep down I have always loved myself, but I had forgotten and creating art is one of the highest forms of self-love because of the connection it brings to Spirit.

I feel as though I have won the cosmic lottery and I can't wait to tell you what my future holds, however such dramatic change brings heartache as well...

Until next time, I will leave you with some samples of my work here (and in case you're wondering, they are all for sale!).


Dana Lynne Andersen said...

It's thrilling to read your blog. Your coming to Laurelwood has been a gift to all of us, particularly the Academy. I am so happy to work, play, discover and grow with you. And we've only just begun...

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