Have any of you wondered what the name Open Hearth Studio is all about?
When I think of the image of the Open Hearth, what I see is an old fashioned kitchen: a shelter from the stormy weather outside. I envision a life centred around the fireplace where it is warm, bright, and comfortable, and where conversation is intimate. This is the environment that I try to create, despite not having a fireplace in my studio! This is the atmosphere where I believe healing can happen. I’m writing this in a brief sunny moment, right after a sudden and surprising hail storm.
People usually come to Open Hearth Studio in the midst of the most stormy and stressful periods of their lives:
when they are grieving, or struggling with a big change, either happening in the present or coming up on the horizon.
Grief, loss, and change can arrive much like that hailstorm – we might know that it’s natural, but it might have surprised us if it arrived without warning. We’re certainly having a lot of feelings, and some of them might not make sense or seem “right” to us. A move, retirement, or job change can be exciting and full of potential, and it can also bring feelings of loss and fear. A divorce can feel devastating, and sometimes we see a glimmer of new possibilities. A new diagnosis can be frightening, and yet there may be some relief that at last you know what is wrong. Death can come with terrible sadness, worry about the future, and confusion. Yet alongside it may live tender memories, feelings of love, and gratitude for suffering ended.
So the invitation is to come in out of the cold, stomp the snow off your feet, and settle down for a healing conversation, where all the parts of you – the pain, doubt, confusion, love, and hope within you – can be met with warmth and acceptance, and where you can move towards reconciliation and healing. The Open Hearth (even without a real fireplace) is waiting for you.
This month, I am offering an introductory Art Therapy Workshop for grief called “Art to Ease a Grieving Heart” where you will
- Connect deeply with yourself so you can discover exactly what you need to avoid emotional overwhelm as you grieve.
- Learn how to communicate with family and friends about expectations so you can make plans and decisions without defensiveness or guilt.
- Create a concrete self-care plan for dealing with important milestones and special days to help you stay grounded and moving forward in your healing.