Dreams and Magic. by Lynna Goldhar Smith
When I sit down each week to create the post and introduce the next Artist~Healer Circle guest,
I typically find myself floored, at least once, in the sharing that is offered by that person.
Mostly because it is as if they have found the words to speak a morsel
of my own heart's truth about all of this.
See, I don't just believe in the power of art and self to heal.
I KNOW it.
I have witnessed it, personally and in service to others during times of great suffering or change in their lives.
So has today's guest.
I think you will sense what she has learned from her participation in compassionate service right away.
Please welcome to the circle,
Multi-Disciplinary Theatre Artist Actor, Musician, Playwright and painter
(who also is getting ready for a
she wrote and performs!!):
Lynna Goldhar Smith!
What does being an Artist~Healer mean to you?
Art has always been my passion since childhood. I also make art with people in
various therapeutic and community setting. I know that art can make a difference in people’s lives. To me Art is the healer and I am the messenger or the facilitator.
Art is the source of the healing and I feel privileged to help people open themselves to the process.
Are they separate facets of your self & life?
I don’t separate art and healing. Even in the professional world, where art is bought and sold-- no one is talking about healing-- but healing is definitely part of the process. Art can be a commodity that is sold in the market place --but somewhere in the process something broken has been repaired, something painful has been soothed, something lost has been found. Some truth has been discovered. Some struggle has been resolved. Sometimes the healing is invisible. An artist does not necessarily know what effect the painting or the performance has had on someone-how they have been touched or changed by the art. So even when the intent is not on healing-- healing happens.
Have you always identified yourself as BOTH an Artist and a Healer?
I always knew I could make myself feel better and I always knew that art was my calling—at least deep inside myself I knew. There have been little clues. I always knew as a kid babysitting for example that getting the kids painting or making things with their hands-- could calm them--and later in life I became aware how art had helped me deal with my own childhood trauma. My children are all artists. Art in my family is a way of life.
Have you always been comfortable with calling yourself an “Artist” and “Healer”?
To be honest I am not comfortable calling myself anything. No labels ever seem to fit what I do or who I am. I am learning to accept and embrace the artist/ healer title-- not as a label-- but as a name for the practice. It is something I am doing, and working on and creating as I go along. It is like saying I am walking. I am learning. I am making art and I am healing.
Why do you think it is often difficult for Artists and Healers to claim this title for themselves?
Well for me it’s the way when a label is applied--an expectation or a definition arises-- and I balk at that. I don’t want to be boxed in by expectations. For others I think there is some kind of shame around this title as if it were an honorific. When we call our selves artists we are simply saying that we make art. Yet we think that it means I am important. I am special. I am a genius. And that is not it at all. When I call myself an Artist I am naming what I am devoted to.
Is there something specific that has to be present or open in a person in order to accept one's self as either or both?
Just a willing spirit to be humble to the work.
To accept-- that it is not the artist that makes the art --but rather the art that makes the artist.
We need to be humble to the process and to trust it and love it. Then the healing and can walk in the room and we can be in awe and wonderment.
by Lynna Goldhar Smith
Do you think all Artists are Healers or all Healers are Artists?
Yes. Even when they don’t know it. A vain and arrogant actor who as a person is a bit full of himself can perform a play and unknowingly change the life of someone sitting in the audience. And a painting hanging on the wall of some little café can fill someone’s heart and mind with beauty and love. You never know how you create change or affect healing. It’s beyond us. Really. It’s something very spiritual and miraculous.
What are some difficulties or challenges for Artist~Healers?
Dealing with Self doubt and Resistance. Getting in our own way.
Fear of course is behind all of this.
And sustaining the positive loving energy and compassion. We have to take care of ourselves so as not to be drained and then available to the destructive forces of our own fear and negativity. We have to replenish and nourish ourselves with self care.
How does your creative expression inform you, or offer you unique perspective, as a Healer?
I think of creative expression as essential . I am not well if I am not using imaginative self expression in some focused and intentional way.
I am out of sorts-- out of sync, disconnected. I need to make art.
Flight of the Soul. By Lynna Goldhar Smith
How does your healing work inform you, or offer you unique perspective, as an Artist?
Humbleness, Compassion. Gratitude. Connection with the Divine. Love Love Love. And of course Learning. Patience. Commitment. And then there is the gift of just being a compassionate witness to someone’s suffering This is a powerful gift. To see how suffering is a part of life-- and how it teaches us and changes us. This is something really important that I feel privileged to have observed. To learn to practice unconditional positive regard for another human soul is a wonderful thing.
These are some of the many gifts of the healing profession.
What unique offerings and services do you feel Artist~Healers have to offer people of the world in our times?
To help people re-connect with their natural creative impulse--
To help people let themselves imagine and play and dance and express.
Some think they are not imaginative. But You know I think we are all using our imaginations constantly but often in very negative ways. We are imagining and speculating and discussing and creating negative and fearful thoughts . See that’s imagination too. You can bet that where you find debilitating anxiety and rage you will find an imagination employed by fear. Art can help us find the door that opens creative imagination in positive ways and that frees us to see the world with the eyes of our soul
by Lynna Goldhar Smith
At this time, what do you see as your true work in the world related to Art and Healing?
My purpose is to make a difference in myself and in the world around me--by the work I put out into the world- my writing and performing and my painting—
and by the ways that I facilitate others to discover their own creativity and put their own work out into the world
I believe the world needs to change. And Humanity needs to change if we are to sustain ourselves we must live differently. I think that we are part of a creative soulful loving revolution and it starts with a brush or a pen or a computer and an opening to the miracle of life.
Has anyone had major influence or impact on your journey of discovery as an Artist~Healer? (If so, who? And share how.)
Well of course all the artists that inspired me- to try to do what they do. All the actors and playwrights and poets and painters who opened my heart and my mind when I was young. Patti Smith, Matisse, Neil Young, Jane Austen, Frida Kahlo, Lynda Barry.--I love Lynda Barry. She is my favourite artist for sure. And of course there’s you, Hali, and Connie of Dirty Footprints and you know-- artists and creators everywhere who are opening their hearts and minds --because yes we are all creating a soulful mindful creative world changing movement. And that inspires me.
Heavenly Messenger (dedicated to Hali). by Lynna Goldhar Smith.
I work sometimes in places where I see terrible trauma and abuse and cruelty and pain and suffering and impossible sadness and hopelessness in the eyes of youth and young adults--suffering from various forms of mental illness and addiction. I see some of them come to the art room from their hospital beds shuffling under the weight of their pain. After a few hours of painting, they leave the room-- and I swear-- you would think that they were any other healthy normal teenage kids off to do some happy mischief with their friends or go to a concert or hang out on Facebook. They are changed. Inspired. It is as if the painting filled their brains with buckets of seratonin. You would never know that they were so hurt or damaged. Of course they are not cured by art but there is a window that opens with in each and everyone of them, that allows them to see a part of themselves, they did not know was there. And that is the beginning of a profound change in them. A deep healing.
Where can readers find out more about you or connect with you?
I blog mostly to keep myself writing and thinking and reflecting.
It helps me with the discipline of a dedicated art practice.
You can find me at:
And I have just begun to build my Creative Transformation Workshop business –it’s a work in progress—
I hope to focus on tools and resources for change and healing. I am at
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