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Inner Vision Quest - Art, Creativity and Healing

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Greatest Gift to Yourself...."Getting Real"

The Transforming Power of Creativity

Creative expression often leads to self discovery and healing.  I invite you to share in how it has done this for me on these pages.  I gain insight, solve problems, develop intuition, and conquer tremendous challenges through the creative process.  And it can do the same for you.  I choose art and writing as a means to tap into the subconscious, as well as the higher self, my true self.  Dance, sculpture, and many other expressions can be  equally rewarding. Creativity is also a means to explore the spiritual, philosophical and distinctly paradoxical  nature of humanity.
  
It is my deepest desire to reveal myself to you, to be known and understood through this creative process. I hope to inspire you to explore creative expression to enrich your own journey.
 
Whether you are exploring new ways of dealing with stress, or perhaps you have experienced loss, pain, or traumatic events, this site has links and ideas for growth, healing and support.
 We welcome input of other resources or links you may think helpful!
 
"Shadow"
Oh, shadow!
Moon child, sun creation,
dark liquid clinging to the earth,
painted by the light.
My silent double,
my eternal companion.
Portrait in black.
You are nothing without me.

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Lions' Watch

At age 62 a few of my life's disturbing questions have been answered. It has been a harrowing journey through hell and back with treacherous terrain, but I have survived. Struggling with how different I was from others, plagued with bewildering symptoms, dealing with the constant threat of death, all with the sense of being in a house of mirrors where nothing was real.  Yet I believe the ultimate quest is one of gradually discovering one's authentic self.... as the deep mysteries of my past have gradually been disclosed, I realize in spite of the seemingly unbridgeable gap between myself and most people, we are not very different after all. We are all wounded, we are each a hero in our own life story.   

Years of suffering and  torment in the first half of my life taught me some of the greatest wisdom and insight I could possibly learn.  As a child, my skin crawled with self loathing. Terror and unrelenting pain had shattered me, paralyzed me. Picturing the person I wanted to become, I set my sights on the seemingly impossible goal of congruence and health.  I have searched over the years to recover the missing parts of myself, while I nurture and cherish those damaged qualities whenever I see them in others.

 Above all I desperately sought what I doubted even existed, something pure and sacred.  Because I had suffered, feeling alone and misunderstood, I wanted to give to others what I needed so desperately and never had. I became a listener, offering others compassion and understanding.  When I despaired that life had no meaning, having seen the darkest side of humanity, I created meaning by countering destructiveness and helping others venture outside their patterns. This slowly transformed my childhood powerlessness over evil.  

  I have worked incredibly hard to transform myself from the emotionally crippled, isolated child who was nearly destroyed. It has required daily discipline, intention and perserverance. Psychologists told me several times the damage was so severe, over so many years, that it was too late.  I won't forget how hopeless I felt each time I heard I couldn't be helped, the first time I was only six years old. 

Art and writing have contributed greatly, but nurturing relationships where it is safe to be authentic, have been essential to healing. This led to becoming a Relationship Coach, in "Getting Real" (Susan Campbell PhD) method of being authentic. I give back to the world the wisdom and compassion I gain, every day. That is my mission.  It seems there is something magical woven throughout my challenging existence.  This quest for wholeness isn't over, but I believe it has all served ultimately for the human good. 

I look beyond our almost obligatory masks to the real beauty and vulnerability within each of us, the needs we all share, the innocent child within. There is a passion to share this vision, it fills my heart with joy, this love for humanity in its essence.

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Handscape-Dusk

We are all artists, creating our lives, each a work of art. Human beings are the most creative and destructive living things on earth. Like the East Indian mythical God Shiva, it is our nature to both create and destroy. A saying attributed allegedly to American Indians, refers wisely to creation and destruction as represented by two wolves, and the one you choose to feed the most is the one that grows big and strong.  

Art and writing can be a conduit for others to become aware of and experience concepts and emotions that are beyond popular consciousness and generally not widely spoken of.. Artists and writers sometimes can lead society to greater depth and to new levels of sensibilities and awareness.  Through art, poetry, and prose we can better conceptualize what it means to be human, to be living life with all its self-defining challenges and choices that unfold for each of us, to even "evolve ourselves" as a society.  Both metaphor and art from the subconscious is a favorite means of accomplishing this. 

Art on this site is intuitively, not intellectually  inspired.  It is art without  preconception in the conscious mind.  Images or meanings emerge as I let my hand start creating on its own, without thought of what is taking shape before me. As something takes on significance and form, I begin to understand and my conscious mind follows and elaborates on it. Sometimes I don't see the meaning until long after a picture is finished.  I may return to it later and see its purpose more clearly, with a satisfying 'Aha!'  feeling". 

It is said that artists shouldn't interpret too much to the viewer as it detracts from the viewer's experience. On one hand her creative expression is about communication, self expression and being known, on the other; it is about maximizing your experience as you perhaps seek to find your own personal meaning in the work and what resonates with you. In any case, if you desire to look beneath the surface you will surely find it rewarding!      

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Among Weeds and Pearls

Saying What's Real by Susan Campbell Best book ever on being authentic!!

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Support

Self Expression & Healing Through Writing Poetry- Wonderful site!

"Daily Strength" A supportive resource for physical or emotional illness or difficulties.

Trauma healing With EFT

Bessel Van der Kolk-Trauma Expert

About Trauma-Informative Site

Understanding Your Emotions

Ericksonian Hypnotherapist, Eric Greenleaf PhD, author of "The Problem of Evil"

Life coaching for trauma recovery (spiritually based, lots of good links!)

Shaun McNiff on Creativity

Best place for cheapest BOOKS! CheapestBookPrice.com

The picture at the top is titled "Lions' Watch".  Picture in middle is "Handscape~Dusk" and at bottom is
"Among Weeds and Pearls"

Artist -Susan Kennedy Stafford
me.jpg
The art and poems here are simply self-expression, not created to market, impress, or even to meet whatever the current standard of "good art" is. Some express the otherwise unspoken or unknown; they reach out to be seen, to be heard, to be known..because I do.
 
Art Bio and Purchasing Information 
I am self taught in art and writing and most other areas as well (only 2 years each elementary and jr high school).  Prints and some originals available in  pet portraits and fantasy, (specializing in dogs and dragons). Likeness guaranteed.  My dog portraits have been chosen to be on well-known international dog magazine covers.  Art for audio tapes, magazines, and book cover designs, also logos, jewelry in"lost" wax (in silver) process.  
My work has won numerous awards over years of art show exhibition. The first juried art competition I entered, I won first place. People were shocked to discover the artist was only 16 years old. No one knew my age when I exhibited, and I never entered any shows for youth, always only regular art shows. When I was 18, my work was selected to be in a traveling exhibit which included New York and Paris, where it was on display for a year.  
I don't use a magnifyer for my extremely detailed pieces, nor projector or light box for larger ones. I am a published writer and former magazine columnist on dogs. I wrote a chapter about my life in the psychology book "The problem of Evil".  My canine website: http://colorfulbostons.com offers help with the difficult task of selecting a good veterinarian, vaccine dangers, training and behavior insights, "easy" housebreaking, (and the very real threat of the extinction of all domestic animals:google philosopher Peter Singer).     
Please get in touch to offer comments and for art sales and specials!

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Inner Vision Art  by Susan Kennedy Stafford
Absolutely no part of this site can be copied or reprinted without express permission!!