The Benefits Of Tears

Do you ever wonder why we cry? So often we believe that tears are a sign of weakness. Have you ever been told that you’re a “crybaby”? Unfortunately our society devalues tears. However, tears are actually cleansing. If you’ve been through trauma, tears are a good thing. They help us purge negative emotions and thoughts. Tears need to be felt, released and then understood. Tears can be a misguiding influence at times if we feel the pain, cry and continue to be stuck in it. But if we feel the pain, cry and learn from it tears are a beautiful thing.

It is actually a sign of strength to show weakness. It is so easy to hide from hardship instead of having the approach of learning from it. When times get down and dirty, like death, divorce or financial distress, it can be so easy to get mad and want to get even. It takes great strength to feel the pain, learn from it and move on. I can almost hear you asking, “How do you move on when someone dies?” My answer: you learn from the situation, decide to be grateful for what you had and make the most out of your future to honor that situation.

When my children passed, I wanted to be angry. And I was for quite a while. But then I knew that I had to find good in the heartbreak and use that wisdom to move forward in becoming a better person any way that I felt I was being led to do so. And out of their loss came my books and my art. It was an outlet for me to not only help myself but to also help others who have experienced the same types of things head on. And when I was reeling from the effects of being abused and molested, I knew I had to find a way to make some good come out of all the agony and negativity. That was another reason why I wrote my books, talking about my life and healing journey to help myself and others. Gut wrenching pain like that needs to be acknowledged. And the journey of healing needs to be shared so that others affected by the strain and pain of difficulty can know that there is hope for better days to come.

This life isn’t easy. For anyone. Some go through more than others but the struggle of pain is universal. When we understand why we cry and why God gave us tears in the first place, we know that He wants us to learn from hardship the truth of His reality. He’s in the healing business. He’s in the business of growth and understanding. When we experience trouble,. we gain wisdom and insight not only into ourselves and others but also life in general. This world is a place to stretch and expand into a more loving, creative version of ourselves in His image. And with His depth of character and wisdom, the most effective way I have learned was through the pain I suffered. Fun is great and success is amazing but we can’t be “well rounded” beings without understanding both the valleys and the mountains. I believe God gave us tears, in His great mercy, to empower us to withstand those lessons. So if you’re having a particularly difficult time processing your pain, try the stance of being grateful for your tears. That in itself is an empowering lesson!

“Why Did You Leave Me?” available  here.

“Why Did You Leave Me?” available here.

The Gathering Place

In my two most recent books, I write about my kids that have passed into Heaven. I tell stories about them and speak of what their lives meant to me. My youngest daughter who passed two years ago loved fairy tales and spiritual stories. When she was young, we spent a lot of time swimming in the summer. One of our favorite activities was swimming in the rain. There was something magical about being in the warm water while the cool rain dropped around us and created a mist. It was like being in another world. It was beautiful. Those memories are bittersweet now.

We used to talk a lot about folklore and fairytales. My daughter was convinced that she had been a mermaid in a previous life. She told me how she remembered sliding down some type of embankment as a mermaid child. She was always very accurate in telling the same story: she hit her head and fell into the water, drowning before her mother could get to her. It was magical listening to my daughter talk about the things of other realms. It made me believe more in other universes and possibilities.

This piece of graphic art is one I created in remembrance of my precious child. How she loved to dream and imagine! This is a piece I call The Gathering Place. It is a place of serenity and rest where mermaids come to relax and reminisce. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

The Gathering Place available  here.

The Gathering Place available here.

I find it intriguing that at the age of twelve I attended a writing class at a local university. In that class I wrote a story about a mermaid who fell in love with a human. Their story was one of sorrow because they weren’t able to marry and be together. Maybe there was a reason for that story. Some day I may receive a confirmation about that! In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the memories of my daughter and think of her when I look at this piece of art. Perhaps she’s waiting for me in a realm somewhat like this. You never know. Many times truth is stranger than fiction!

Essence Of Soul

What happens when we leave this earth? Where do we go? What do we do? Age old questions of uncertainty. As I speak, my father is wondering what the answers to these questions are. He has been advised to be put on hospice. I am again contemplating the answers to these questions myself. My daughter passed into eternity two years ago and I am preparing for another round.

I have spent years studying the afterlife-since I lost my first child nearly 30 years ago. I have read books, watched documentaries, even delved into a sampling of physics and other sciences. I have read the Bible. I have learned a few things but it seems that the more I learn the more questions I have.

Essence Of Soul I available  here

Essence Of Soul I available here

Is it even possible to understand what we look forward to after we leave here? I think as God’s children we will come to know much. But I don’t think we could ever know all. Only God, in His wisdom could ever understand all of the nuances and infinite possibilities that His realm has to offer.

When I was younger, I imagined Heaven to be a place where we floated around on clouds and watched angels fly by. Now I believe Heaven is so complex that it would take eternity in itself just to begin to comprehend all there is to know. I guess I’m grateful for that. Because I don’t like to be bored! So I am looking forward to being infinitely amazed once I get over there. And very much looking forward to seeing my children again.

A parent-child bond is a beautiful thing. I could share stories of visitations from my children; signs that they are still around. And actually I do share quite a few stories in my upcoming book. It was written as a dedication to my youngest child that passed away two years ago. I prefer to say that she graduated. Anyway, now as I prepare to send my father off in God’s love and light, I hope he sees her and tells me that she’s doing well. I know she is. I still feel her around me, wrapped in God’s love. A beautiful feeling. I am and ever will be grateful for that love and that guidance until I too join them on the other side.

Essence Of Soul II available  here

Essence Of Soul II available here

I created these pieces of art as I imagined what we look like when we journey Home. I think of us as being healthy, happy, in perfect condition physically with God’s beautiful light shining in and all around us. Overwhelmed with gratitude and peace. That’s how I hope it will be. I look forward to hugging and laughing with my dearly departed ones. Until then, I will write and create art inspired by the beliefs that I hold.

I am convinced that this life is a learning ground. A school for the soul. I know I’ve learned a lot here and I still have time left. So I strive to do my best through the good and the bad to evolve to a point where I can be happy and peaceful here as well as in Heaven. That is what I wish for all of us. And for understanding that we can forgive and move on from all types of hardship, knowing that the harshest of days create in us empathy, compassion and understanding. All qualities that I consider to be of high spiritual significance.

Until next time, take care and try to enjoy your journey. The time we have here really isn’t that long. Even one hundred years happens in the blink of an eye. If we make the most of it and learn from our pain, I believe we have gained enough wisdom to enjoy our next phase of existence!

Peach Blossoms

The peach blossoms reach And grasp for the sky, Watching graceful birds And insects fly by;

They drink in the essence, Of the winds' lusty breeze, And the sweet scented flowers, Growing nearby their trees.

They watch and marvel, At the vibrant colors, Of the grass, the skies, Flowering sisters and brothers;

All in due season, All in due time, There is no worry or pressure, In nature's rhythm and rhyme.

Available on Fine Art America at:

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/peach-blossoms-diamante-lavendar.html

 

Welcome artist Audrey Keenan! Angel creator extraordinaire!

I ran across Audrey on twitter and was intrigued by her art.  I looked through her photographs on her twitter account and instantly wanted to interview her!  Her art is one of a kind as you can see: Cg8BzfxXEAAEQ56CheoiB0W4AEoXjw

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So without further adieu, here is her interview!

1.  Please tell me what led up to you beginning to create your art and why you decided to create it.

I was looking for a purpose after being diagnosed with cfs and fibromyalgia so I began praying. I spend a lot of time bedridden.

Art was something I tried in hopes of finding an interest which would enable me to work at home in my own time.  The feeling of being able to release my emotions onto canvas brought a sense of peace within that I found comforting.  Expressing my love for life and compassion for humanity meant inner freedom although I was physically limited.

2.   Please describe your creative process.

The creative process is taken with a very easy going, intuitive approach.  It's effortless, free and without much thought...I invite my angels, guides, god's loving intention and the rest is pure surrender.  I'm simply a channel as I hold the brush and paints.  It's like I'm in another state of consciousness.

There's no fear of outcomes.  What I feel can be described as divine love and joy flowing through me as the painting comes to life.

3. What would you like people to know about you as an artist?

I had no previous art experience other than a few lessons.  One day I was in severe pain and read a book entitled God Calling.  I was praying for strength to cope.  Suddenly I felt a strong urge to paint a picture in thanks to God.  Without realizing it, I painted an angel.  I was amazed and delighted.  I proceeded to do more painting on small canvases.  Eventually I looked around and counted 13 angel paintings in a short space of time.

I then heard a soft voice which I believe was God, saying,  "Now do you believe in yourself?" Then a conversation took place.  I fell to my knees overwhelmed with gratitude, love and happiness.  I was also completely drained.  My art was presented to me as a gift in my mind.

4. What do your paintings represent? Is there a universal theme behind them or does each one mean something completely different?

The paintings represent hope.  I feel we as humans want to believe in angels and guidance; comfort that in times of sadness we can sense we're not alone.  There's a universal theme that the angels are there for us.  Emotions of love, sorrow, freedom, peace and joy are transferred onto canvas.

How do you feel that situations in your life contributed to your work? Was it a process of everything in your life leading up to your art being created or individual situations causing your art to be creating as an evolutionary process over time?

Situations in my life have allowed me to feel deep empathy.  I've overcome much adversity.  The loss of 3 babies in one year at the age of 19;  aged 3 months called Tammy and 2 miscarriages brought inner turmoil and higher insight into my spiritual life.  I meditate and focus on eternal life.  Therefore I have come to realize that angels are dedicated to those who suffer.  Loss and grief is something we all inevitably will have to endure.

On reflection, I believe there were many events that led me to this calling.  Some do appear in the pictures unintentionally.  So it's therapeutic.  I cry after many of them as a surge of emotions are released.

A combination of life experiences and working in mental health allowed me to understand human suffering.  Healing is something we all need at some  point.  It can be delivered in many ways.  I have dreams where angels appear and guide me;  also messages from spirit as I paint or connect with other energies.

The art is my way of contributing to help lift hearts and to shine light into others' lives.  People often share stories with me of their own situations which can lead me to subconsciously paint an event that transpired in their past, present and possibly future.  This brings them meaning and gratefulness.

 6.  How has your art affected you?  What do you wish to achieve with your art?

We can have low self esteem for many reasons at different times in our lives.  My esteem has grown as a result of creating my art.

I would love for anyone reading this article to ask yourself to believe that trusting in a higher power can lead to the manifestation of your dreams.  My life has changed as I'm doing what I love and receiving so much support and encouragement.  It gives me the will to continue and develop as an artist.  For this I'm truly grateful.

I'm also paying tribute with my art to my lost angels.  I'm reminding others that some things are unseen and a mystery but can be felt through imagery.  That departed loved ones may be ethereal angel beings living in majestic realms at peace.  Watching over those they hold dear.

It gives me the greatest pleasure to know that my beloved family, friends and art lovers will have something of my soul within these creations.

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Where you can find Audrey:

https://twitter.com/AngelHealingArt

My colored pencil piece entitled Eternity

Here is my newest piece of art. It is made with colored pencils on paper and is entitled Eternity: Eternity with Diamante written over it

This piece is available on Fine Art America and Red Bubble (minus my name printed on it--that was done only for security reasons).  I wanted to create a piece of art that speaks about all humans as being part of the circle of life.   Nature, humanity and creation are all one big, beautiful piece of art.  One revolving system of love and light.  Here is my description as seen on Red Bubble and Fine Art America:

Eternity is around us and in us. Each of us makes up a piece of eternity and combined we are eternity alive. We are all filled with the same spirit and life essence plus we are gifted our own unique talents and abilities to share to make the world a better place. When we realize this truth, we will be living in heaven on earth.

This piece can be purchased in many different items including stationery, gift items, home decor and more.  I've included the links below in case you may find yourself interested in taking a peek!

Red Bubble:  http://www.redbubble.com/people/diamantelavenda/works/21711043-eternity-by-diamante-lavendar?p=greeting-card

Fine Art America:  http://fineartamerica.com/featured/eternity-diamante-lavendar.html