Pick Up a Colored Pencil, Open a New World

A few weeks into my Chemotherapy, I remembered that the Anthroposophic doctor I had seen the week before hosted painting classes for some of her cancer patients.  She herself had amazing drawings she created when battling illness. For those unfamiliar with Anthroposophical medicine, it is a complementary approach to medicine that integrates the theories and practices of modern medicine with homeopathic medicines, physical and artistic therapies and biographical counseling.

The medical approach has its foundation in a spiritual-scientific understanding of the human beingthat regards human wellness and illness as biographical events connected to the body, mind and spirit of the individual.

Anthroposophical medicine uses a holistic approach ("salutogenesis") that focuses on factors that support human health by strengthening the patient's physiology and individuality, rather than solely addressing factors that cause disease. The autonomy and dignity of patients is a central theme; therapies are believed to enhance a patient's capacities to heal.

This system was founded in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner in conjunction with Ita Wegman as an extension to conventional medicine based on the spiritual philosophy of Anthroposophy.

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Up to that moment I used to spend the first few days after Chemo reading stacks of books by my favorite authors, taking my 'round the clock list of supplements, attempting a short walk in the afternoon, and doing light cooking till my son and bf came home around 4pm.

sharpie-ultra-fine-point-permanent-markers-profile.png

Based on that recollection of art as therapy, I felt the urge to try to paint, so my daughter brought me some paints, a few small canvases and brushes.  As a teenager, I dabbled with my father's oil paints, but enjoyed drawing a lot more.

I attempted an abstract painting, but didn't like the medium, so I asked J to buy me a drawing tablet on his way to work the next day, and he gave me a huge box of colored pencils. I ordered a rainbow of Sharpies from Amazon too.

In the early 70's I loved drawing psychedelic pictures, and actually had a couple that my Mom thought to bring me from Lebanon on one of her trips here in the early 90's.

HAC_love_small
HAC_love_small

Below is the template of one of them done in pencil that I decided to redraw in color.

A World of Colors

This began a journey that wove a thread from the past into the present in a lovely healing pattern.  I was addicted to cranking out a picture every 2-3 days.  Since I have never really 'grown up', I brought my favorite animated or cartoon characters into surround, and asked them to join me in this play with shapes, color and images.

The focus, the colors, and the call to be creative in a world of fantasy, helped me ignore the raging battle inside; my body dealing with the onslaught of Chemo drugs (I was on a dense-dose regimen with a treatment every 2 weeks), trying to cheerfully weather the awful taste in my mouth for 6 days after treatment and still eat well, and the stunning transformation of my hair into a brittle patch of falling squiggles, and the inevitable a drop in energy. (I shaved my head not long after that very disturbing experience began!)

HAC_ipod
HAC_ipod

My family had fun being surprised by each new creation, and made suggestions for the next picture.

HAC_record
HAC_record

Since my boyfriend J is in the music business, and we all either play an instrument, sing, or are avid music lovers... I had come up with a tribute to the what is essentially the backdrop of our lives.  Remember, my creativity was dampened more and more each week by the Chemo doing a number on my brain cells.

I laughed that these were worthy of a child's portfolio!  But I was having a blast, or as much of one as I could during this amazing process of rebirth.

HAC_mushrooms
HAC_mushrooms

Conclusion

I framed the originals, three were gifts, and made good quality copies of the rest, since my family thinks that I should make them available for purchase!  Cute people, aren't they?  :)

Art is a meditation, it reduces stress and summons creativity... as side many of us may not nurture enough.

So next time you're dealing with an overwhelming situation, whether you think you have talent or not (it didn't stop me!), pick up some colored pencils, crayons or markers, and Go WILD!

~ In Good Health!

Hoda's Clip Watch 2 - A Grand Surprise!

True Love...one of life's greatest inspiring emotions.  It gives birth to sacrifice, selflessness, creativity, generosity, service, and romance. I'm not talking about the inferior emotions we mistake for real love... you know those: selfish love, manipulative love, co-dependent love. Sit back and share the overwhelming joy one human being created for another in this video, motivated by his love.

Best Wedding Proposal Ever !! (The Americana at Brand, Glendale, CA)

"All for You".

Hoda's Clip Watch 1 - Copenhagen

Clip Watch is a series of video clip posts meant to lift your spirits while they entertain you.  They can be music videos (foreign or domestic), ads, TV show or  movie snippets. Get your glass of green tea, and enjoy the next 8 minutes!  Copenhagen Central Station - FLASHMOB - Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

Flash Mob on the Underground Train- Copenhagen

Undercover Orchestra 'Bolero' classical flash mob 'kinda'

Flash Mob and Ravel - Copenhagen

 

Send me clips that make your heart smile.

Shake It... Twice!

First Shake ingredient: One pair of hips

First Shake Recipe

If you just can't seem to get outside for a run or a walk, put on some belly shakin' dance music and MOVE!

Sometimes it helps get you in the mood to wrap a scarf around your waist.  I love the jingle of coins, so I bought a couple of belly dance scarves to play with.

I am going to suggest a list of 7 beat-filled songs that will make it very hard for you to sit still.

If you're not into belly dancing, then do your own thing during the 23 minutes of music.  You too guys... dancing moves a lot of muscle groups, done right!

Before you start spend 5 - 10 minutes stretching.

Youtube Song list:

The first video includes dancers to get you started. Make them all into a playlist and off you go!

  1. Amr Diab - el Allem
  2. Amr Diab - Nour el Ein
  3. Ragheb Alama and Gypsy Kings
  4. Yalla Beena Yalla - Eres Tu
  5. Alabina - Salma ya salama
  6. Ishtar  - Shukran
  7. Ishtar - Sawwah

 

Second Shake Recipe

When you're on the go and need a pick-me-up, this yummy shake will do just that.

Pumpkin is incredibly rich in vital anti-oxidants and vitamins. This humble backyard vegetable is very low in calories yet good source of vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants like leutin, xanthins and carotenes. It is high in fiber so will help you feel full.

4 servings

  • 4 c. almond milk
  • 4 scoops Whey Protein Powder (low sugar) -about 8 Tbs.
  • 1 c. 100% pumpkin (frozen in ice-cube trays for 2-3 hours)
  • 1 water-soaked medjool date
  • 4 tsp. Xylitol or 2 packets Stevia
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice

Place all ingredients in blender, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. You can make half a recipe, or share with friends.

Pour and enjoy.

~ Be Well!