Sunday, September 06, 2015

In The Fabric Of My Being

It's fascinating to look back on old blog posts and art journals and see my own words declaring my hope to become an art therapist one day. 

I knew I wanted this, but I forgot just how much. 

I'm pretty sure it is in my bones and in the fabric of my being.

I had so many hesitations - the money, the time, the fear of the unknown, the not feeling ready to dive back into school while working full time plus a part time side job (or two, or three, if you count canning preserves to sell locally with Tahlia and Nurture: A Retreat, which is one week away.) 

One thing I've noticed in the patterns of my life is that I settle into one of two speeds: slow and steady or full tilt. I studied my masters in 2008/2009. Since it was a full time program, adding it to my full time job was a bit ambitious. Luckily my work is only a couple blocks from school and my boss was accommodating. I kept telling myself, it's only one year. You can do anything for only one year. Not only did I do it - classes, three placement days per week and a major research paper - I also met the love of my life. I find the full tilt pace offers an energy of abundance. 

My major research paper for my MSW was about art and healing. I knew it was my place. Three years later when I was researching Art Therapy schools, I came across the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute (VATI) and it gave me chills. Could I have studied locally? Absolutely. But, I somehow knew I needed to go to Vancouver. I applied, knowing the cost was a barrier. I asked the universe to please make the money fall from the sky. When it didn't, I was devastated. As a person of my word, it felt so weird to turn around and say, I'm not going to art therapy school. I turned away from blogging, went inward and let go of the dream. I figured it wasn't meant to be and might not ever be. Even after deferring my spot one year, I still could not manage the finances. 

Three years after my initial application, the school contacted me asking if I might want to join for the 2015 cohort. I couldn't believe they were still willing to give me a shot. I knew I had to go. I just had to. I'm pretty sure in this situation, it was a matter of how badly do you want this and are you willing to ask for help. Even up until the last day, the day I told myself I would send the down payment, the day of the Aries new moon, I didn't have the money. The bank said no, my mom was hesitant and stressed. I didn't have anyone else to ask but my dad. I didn't want to ask him (he has the biggest heart and will give me anything he can, so I am careful about what I ask for) but I didn't know what else to do. As soon as I talked to him, he went into problem solving mode. Within hours, he called me back to say both my parents would lend me money I needed to go to school. It all came together at the final moment. My mom also kindly gave me some of her air miles to buy my ticket to Vancouver. 

Even walking up to the VATI door on Granville Island in July, I still felt like it wasn't real. I was living in a dream the entire three weeks. I was there to meet my classmates and teachers and learn the studio portion of my schooling, along with ethics and family/group art therapy. 

I made it to the ocean, saw the mountains, painted in the studio with my 8 classmates, met a diverse group of art therapists and kind of met myself again. 

I realized how much this work in ingrained in my being. It feels natural and important and special and yet I am in awe of it. It took a long time to get here, but I'm here and I'm strangely glad it all happened the way it did. The longing, the waiting, the asking, the conquering. It all made this process so much more meaningful. 

As I enter into September, classes will commence, work gears up, placement hours will accumulate and art will be made. I've never felt so sure about something. It's taken 15 years, 3 university degrees, and a whole lot of asking and answering questions for me to get to where I am right now as a student studying art therapy. 

I don't ever want to forget how amazing this is and how lucky I am.

Thank you, Vancouver.
Thank you, mom and dad. 
Thank you, art therapy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


In the spirit of paying it forward, we're giving away a free spot for our weekend retreat! The lucky winner will be chosen at random & announced on Friday, August 21st.

1. Repost this picture on Instagram.

2. Tag @nurtureretreats/#nurtureretreatcontest

3. Tell us how you self care & tag 3 friends you'd love to go on retreat with!

For full contest & retreat details visit:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Dreamy Trip West

Falling in love with BC...

I'd say it's impossible not to. 

I'm living in a dream. From the moment I received the email asking if I wanted to join, to actually saying yes on the Aries new moon, to flying over Canada in tears.

Here in this beautiful place, learning my heart's work with people who are sensitive and passionate. 

Art therapy opens the door to a whole new chapter of my life. 

The pull was always there, but the fear slowed my pace. 

Make space for the pull. 

Imagine the impossible. 

Ask for help.


One week left to soak it all up. 

The rain is falling outside my window. I'm two tea cups deep. My beach plans might be thwarted. 

I'm ridiculously grateful.  

These trees are considered small.

Overlooking English Bay
Walking to Sally Ann and enjoying the scenery.

Community garden over the rail tracks.

Vanier Park overlooking English Bay
Trees and trees and more trees.

At the top of the Rose Garden UBC.

The Rose Garden at UBC.
Jericho Beach during the folk festival.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Nurture: A Retreat

What is Nurture: A Retreat?

A gathering place.

For creatives.

By creatives.

The one thing all creatives need: self care.


We believe in:

The power of restorative fellowship. Intimate connection with oneself and one's dreams. Inspiring workshops focused on good, honest self love. Fueling our bodies with a hearty menu of seasonal organic meals while we fuel our souls with heart-filled conversation. Dock sitting. Labyrinth- walking. Art  making. Yoga. Flower arranging. Deep sharing. 

We believe in our power to self heal. 


Is your soul stirring? 


Asking for you to take some time just for you?   


Come jump off the dock with us!


Meet the team. 

Join us?  


Saturday, May 02, 2015

Art Therapy School

The experiences meant for us come back around. They pull to us like magnets and the Universe makes it relatively easy for us to say yes. To begin. To go with the flow.

There are so many experiences I've tried to force. I decided the time was right and assumed I was in charge. The more I pushed, the more I felt at odds with everything. Instead of feeling in the flow of things, I felt I was putting a lot of energy trying to move an unmovable object.

I'm learning every day to trust more. To let go more. To accept what is.

VATI 2015. Art Therapy school is happening. 

It's real and it's happening.

On the Aries new moon I said yes.

My silk cocoon is unraveling.

Can you feel it?

Yours might be, too.



Site Design By Designer Blogs