Do you have a dream that you’d like to come true, something that gnaws at you and won’t leave you alone at night? Do you try to ignore it thinking that someday you’ll get around to it? Do you even know what you’d really like to do with your life?
Sometimes a life purpose is revealed very early in life, like a child prodigy who starts playing the piano in the womb, or a natural talent in baseball where there’s no mistaking where that kid is going. However, sometimes figuring out a life purpose comes from doing everything wrong, like I did. Take heart, there’s hope. Here’s how I found mine and how you can find yours.
A psychic, whom I’d consulted many years ago about my life purpose, told me that I was an artist, a writer, a teacher and a healer. I thought, “Great, how about narrowing it down to one thing?”
One morning, about a year earlier, I was waking up from a dream, and I had been to heaven. I was talking to someone and I said, “Oh, that’s what I’m supposed to do!” It had something to do with writing. I didn’t know what I was supposed to write about – all I wrote were entries in my journal, and product brochures that I churned out for our business. Around that time I started homeschooling my sons and began learning energy healing. But the artist in me kept waiting for the perfect opportunity to come around, but the perfect opportunity never came. I finally had to ask myself, ”How old do you have to be before you’ll finally get serious about painting? You’re not getting any younger you know.” By then, I was 47 years old and wanted to practice art full time but my attempts over the years never amounted to more than fits and starts. I just couldn’t keep going.
I thought that once the kids left home, when I quit my job, when I moved, when I got divorced, I’d have the time. I would be able to do all the things that I put off while I was doing everything for everyone else. I had big plans.
I had a big surprise.
The kids left home, I quit my job, I moved, and I got divorced but I couldn’t move forward. I was paralyzed with fear and my fear literally crippled me. I thought I had it all figured out and I would be fine and my new strategy would be easy to execute.
Everything that could go wrong, did.
The dream of supporting myself as an artist started to take form as a commercial, decorative painter and the work was plentiful. But by the time I was ready for action I was ready for hip replacements. No kidding. There was no way I could handle the physical work of scaffolding, ladders and being on my feet all day. I was going to have to be a studio painter. And that’s when the problem really began.
I couldn’t paint. I could paint a room and put a decorative finish on it but I couldn’t face a canvas on my own, to save my life. I was blocked – severely blocked. It wasn’t funny. I was losing it and the past was gaining a foothold on me.
I had already experienced six major life changing events in a two year period; suicide, terminal illnesses, kids leaving the nest, losing our business, moving out of state, menopause (that’ll make you crazy) divorce and a nasty wine addiction that landed me in Rehab. I was flattened. The mental, physical and emotional exhaustion of trying to do something that ran counter to my subconscious beliefs drove me to the brink and I needed to retreat and regroup. I kept hearing, “Everything you need to know is within you,” so I withdrew from the outside world and from everyone who “knew what was best for me”and entered a dark night of the soul. All I did was paint, meditate and process. I dove into the abyss, using only my intuition as my guide and everything I needed to know showed up in a dream, except
I wasn’t dreaming…………
And the craziest thing happened.
I decided to design children’s murals. I was working on a sample board and painting a clown with a rainbow flowing out of his bucket. It was finished but at the last minute, I thought a purple background might make it look better. It didn’t, so I grabbed a rag and began rubbing it out. I took a break, grabbed a smoke and when I returned to my easel, my cigarette almost dropped out of my mouth. (“How I Quit Smoking” is featured in Louise Hay’s book, Modern Day Miracles by Louise Hay and Friends)
Underneath the clown’s rainbow, in the residue of the pigment I’d just removed, was the unmistakable figure of a woman, right down to her bellybutton. She was dreamy, ethereal and looked like a Greek goddess. “Where in the world did that come from?” I wondered, staring in amazement at the apparition that had just appeared on my canvas. “Not from me.” At least, not on purpose. With a few flicks of my wrist, I had rendered an otherworldly being, anatomically precise, and completely unintentional.
“Cool,” I thought. I figured I’d just paint some clouds around the goddess and that would be that. However, my paintbrush took on a life of its own, like it’d been highjacked. The clouds became cats, wolves, horses, and God forbid, the devil. Some things I did not want to see, like that devil. I only wanted to see the good things. No more bad things, no more pain. Mesmerized, I continued to paint, sensing that something new and entirely different was eagerly awaiting to be unveiled.
When I finished I was pleased. This goddess was completely different from anything I had ever painted before. It seemed like I was painting a dream, and I was, the nightmare of my old life and the new dream that was emerging. I witnessed my story taking form, illuminating the contrast between light and dark, the masculine and feminine, the profane and the divine. My soul was speaking to me in the language of the dreamtime, in the medium of paint, and my brush had become a conduit of Spirit. It was loaded with meaning.
Every image in my DreamScape represented an aspect of myself represented by color, symbols, animal totems, and metaphor. I saw the parts of myself that had been disconnected, disowned, abandoned and denied, my gifts and talents that had been ignored and forgotten, the abilities that I had carefully hidden under a bushel. I had been living my life in my shadow but now my truth was about to be set free. As I began to wake up, I dared myself to step into my purpose and take my power back.
My self portrait, Finding the Goddess Within, illustrated my life purpose and a new means of self-discovery that I could share with those who were struggling like I had been. I was amazed at the amount of wisdom that could be channeled through a brush. I also knew that by helping others discover their truth, take back their power I would be of great service in a world where authentic, personal power is sorely needed.
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~ e.e. cummings
From one painting I found my new life purpose and combined my gifts as an artist, writer, teacher and healer into a business helping others discover and express who they really are. All you need to know is within you. It’s already there! If you want a reminder, think of what you loved to do as a young person. What do you love to do and would do it for free?
If you’re still stuck, a soul portrait can help you get unstuck. And if your life is falling apart, you may be doing better than you think but if you want to do even better, give me a call, and I’ll help you paint a path to empowerment.
For more information about DreamScape Painting and Coaching go to www.MakeYourLifeComeTrue.com
or schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session HERE
Teresa Leigh Ander is Psychic Painter and Relationship Coach. She is the founder and facilitator of Make Your Life Come True, a Transformational Arts Program which focuses on personal development through DreamScape Soul Portraits. Teresa’s unique combination of channeled Art and Spiritual Teachings gives you the ability to transmute the energy of life’s challenges into knowledge, wisdom and deliberate manifestation.
Teresa, shown here with Toto, her horse, is a contributing author in Modern Day Miracles, with Louise Hay and Friends, and is documenting her own miracle through her DreamScape Soul Portraits blog and the equine experience in her forthcoming book, The Shadow of My Horse, Finding the Goddess Within.