|Keeper of the Vision. By Sheri Ann Ponzi|
It's been a few weeks since our last Artist~Healer guest post,
so I am super excited to open the circle back up and hold space for
Sheri Ann Ponzi!
As an artist/healer or healer/artist, it is challenging for me to say which came first for me -- art or healing. Or if they were ever really separate. Actually, I wonder if they are ever separate for anyone.
Back in 2002 I participated for the first time in a healing modality called Holotropic Breathwork (HB). In fact, before I ever experienced the work, I knew it would be not only a part of my own healing, but a part of my life's work. You see, I've always been on both sides of this process, healing myself so that I might hold space for others to heal. In HB one uses breath, music, and focused bodywork in a group setting to enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness in order to facilitate healing on very deep levels. And at the end of each session, while still in the afterglow of Divine healing, participants are asked to draw a mandala that somehow reflects and grounds their experiences.
This was the beginning of my fascination with art. Though I had no idea at the time.
After several sessions of HB, I began to notice messages being brought to me through the mandalas. I noticed that I could look back on these works of art (though sometimes they seemed like childish scribbles) and receive even deeper messages about my healing process. I would see things in the mandalas that I hadn't consciously put there, but that were vitally important to my personal process. I was blown away at the thought that our psyches and the Divine would speak to us through these stream of consciousness type drawings.
Over the next 9 years I dabbled randomly in art. And I do mean randomly... Played with oil pastels. Scribbled with watercolor crayons. Fiddled with collage. Experimented with copper wire and beads. It was what I would do whenever I had a moment where I could choose what to do -- in between homeschooling 2 children and working and everything else life brought.
Over the next 9 years I also deepened my own skills as an intuitive healer and began working with people individually and in groups. I loved this work. I loved playing with art, but I never brought the two together (except when I facilitated HB sessions).
For me, during this time, the art was personal and separate from my healing. And my healing work with others rarely included art.
Fast forward to 2010. I entered a personal, emotional and physical healing crisis that I am dancing with even today.
Fast forward to 2010 when I knew in my bones that art was what was going to get me through.
I spent my days doodling. Just doodling. Just letting go of everything else in my world. Knowing that I was doodling for my life, in some strange way.
Then in early 2011 I felt the call to explore Expressive Arts training programs. It wasn't a logical decision, it was one that my heart called me to in no uncertain terms. In that search I discovered Shiloh Sophia McCloud and her Leading a Legendary Life course. My life changed in that moment.
For the first time I opened to painting. Real painting. Not dabbling. PAINTING. I dreamt of painting. I dreamt of energies flowing through me so strongly that I could hardly contain them. I shook and cried and laughed for hours when the class met on our first telecall. Painting became my healer. My own very personal healer. Painting changed my life on every level.
Once I began painting, nothing was the same again. I had opened a direct portal to the Divine.
At the same time I was diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion and my days were spent mostly on the couch. I was unable to paint. Unable to to much of anything for months. Shortly after discovering something that nourished my spirit so deeply, it was, in a sense, taken from me. Or so I thought. I was frustrated and confused. How could painting heal me, if I couldn't even paint?
I see now that it didn't really matter. The portal I opened by opening myself to painting continued to impact my life. Even though I could barely take any action for months, miracles unfolded in my life that I can only attribute to surrendering to the healing power of art. Just 9 months after beginning to paint, and even with only being able to paint for a few minutes at a time, I was invited to have painting in a show that December. Then the universe brought me the opportunity to facilitate a week-long women's retreat with Tracy Verdugo this November in Puerto Vallarta. And the angels guided me to put together an online course to support people in bringing the images and energies of the angels into their lives. The course started on May 1st (you can still join us since everything is archived and downloadable).
Once I consciously opened to the healing power of art in my own life, everything changed. Everything.
I am still using art is my own healing process and developing ways to assist others in doing the same. This is my life's work and I wouldn't have found art without my healing process -- and wouldn't have found healing without opening to the artistic process.
You can read more about Sheri's story HERE.
Or visit her website
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Sheri!
You are so honored and supported in this amazing journey of art and healing as you step into these roles of leadership.
Much love to you, Sweet Light.