Friday, May 28, 2010

Remembering a Little Trauma

Just today I was chattering away to a good friend of mine, when I stumbled upon a memory that hadn't occurred to me for some time (not in my repertoire of oft-repeated stories ;D).

It was of a time when I was 10 years old, in school, lining up with the other noisy kids getting ready to go to another classroom. I was one beat behind everyone else in catching on that it was time to look front and listen. I was talking quietly to the girl beside me. The teacher grabbed me abruptly by my ponytail and yanked me out of line - I so did not see this coming. I had to stay behind and sit in the back of the class that came in, and miss out on the exciting class the others were going to on that Friday afternoon.

I remember the humiliation distinctly - the strong message was to shut up and be invisible - I had been chosen to be the scapegoat. I was also worried about the other teacher not knowing where I was, or whether he'd find out I had been "bad" and think less of me. (In his class I had risen to number one in my class to compete in a school-wide spelling bee, but that is another story!) (And I have another ponytail story, too....)

The reality was - my report cards would repeatedly say I needed to speak up in class. My mother would read them and wonder who was the body snatcher that took her "bossy to her brothers" first-born. My mother only knew me as a leader with strong and logical opinions.

I still don't tend to see myself as, or identify with being a leader - though I can easily list a few things where I would definitely be considered a leader.

Years later, in discussing this teacher with my mom, I discovered good old Mrs. R (all the kids thought she was so crabby) had told my mother I was "university material." Ironic, because I never felt seen or appreciated by her - on the contrary, I felt like I needed to tiptoe around very carefully!

There you are - a little ruminating... pondering how we are shaped as children, and how some things can become quite deep-seated without conscious intervention. And a word to the wise in considering how to treat the children we come in contact with.

Now I specialize in helping people with their self-esteem and relationship issues - how interesting to look back on the path to where I am now...!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Musings of an 8 Year Old

Thinking back to when I was 8 years old... sitting in my grandma's kitchen... the aunts and sweet little old lady friends of Grandma were ooohing and aaaahing over how much I'd grown.

It dawned on me then that I'd be the same person when I was all "growed up" as I had been at age 3, 5 and 8. Such profound thinking for a little kid, wouldn't you think?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Core/Foundations Class well underway!

My Core/Foundations Coaching class with MentorCoach is well underway, and my classmates and I are lovin' it! Don't you just love being able to take classes by telephone?! MentorCoach especially trains service professionals in mental health already and related professions. I've added an Ethics class to it while I'm at it, the sooner to "hang out my shingle" as a Life Coach.

Not to take any of this lightly - we're told that as therapists we're held to the same high ethical standards as in our therapy practice.

Niche ideas... how about "Spiritually Minded Artists? I'm thinking that is still rather broad, but it will become more refined as time passes, along with my ongoing ideas, experience, and more brainstorming with others. My thought is that my niche as a Life Coach would be very distinct from the population I see as a therapist (which is mostly couples in relationship counseling).

Soon I will be "Your Life Change Artist" and you can call me "My Life Change Artist!" I have both of these domains - which one grabs you most?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where am I going with this blog?

Interestingly enough, the direction this blog is taking at the moment reads a lot like an autobiography. Little anecdotes and tidbits of my story of where I've been.

The concept of this title, however - "Life Change Artist" - springs from branding my upcoming coaching practice. I feel that at the very base of my core, I am an artist, and I express that both literally with color on a canvas, and being at work with couples who want change in their relationship.

It has been several years now since I began toying with - then planning on - adding coaching to my services, and the time is now! My fees are paid, my books are purchased, and my starting date for a first rate coach training program is only two weeks away! The dream is becoming a reality.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Two Art Teachers

There were two art teachers I had in high school that really influenced me as a person, and as an artist.

In the earlier case, I was about 14, in grade nine, and rushing to finish my math homework at the beginning of art class (which was just before the math class). I was only mildly surprised that my art teacher did not ask me to put it away - after all, I was a dedicated student in his art class, and applied myself to all the assignments given.

But I could not have predicted what he would say next. He told me that good artists needed to be good in math! I could see that to be true, as we strained to get the principles of drawing with perspective. And you know, I never forgot the attitude he had towards me as a budding artist - his confidence in my ability and yes, my integrity. Because I did not try to hide that I was doing the math!

Tune in, I'll talk about the other art teacher in a future post...!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

High school thoughts...

Besides little tidbits and anecdotes from my childhood that show how I was formed as a person, this blog is about my life as a whole and what I do.

But, here's more from memory lane.

When I was finishing up high school and contemplating what my life career would be, I actually made a conscious choice not to focus on art as a way to make my living.

My concept was--I wanted freedom to do my art the way I felt inspired at the time. I did not want to be tied to performance pressure and deadlines. Back then, I thought it would be hard to make money as a painter; and interior design and the clothing industry seemed rife with pressures.

In addition, the ideal in my mind was to not work a 9 to 5 schedule. (Remember I was growing up in the 70's.) I have always valued self-direction and autonomy when it comes to time.

Ironically, as a self-employed marriage and family therapist, I now do have just the schedule I like to keep (more like afternoon-evening hours), and feel very free indeed!

And now (in my golden years!), I am re-opening the art box, and am very thrilled to be sharing my paintings with the world!

(Go to to see some of my paintings.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The TV got autographed!

Shortly before or after this naming of myself as an artist at the tender age of six years old, I decided to practise my fledging printing skills. I somehow found something sharp enough (just a pen maybe?) to etch my name on the front of the TV console! (My mother was most decidedly not thrilled!)

I think I left out the "r" and put "Sheyl," but I believe I remembered the capital "S!"

(My aunt or cousins might be able to help out on that detail, as the TV ended up being in their home for a few years!)

Well, if you're going to be an artist, I guess it helps to know how to sign your name--that is if you want people to be able to recognize your work!