Meet Maggie

It was not good news. The kind of news that could have been the beginning of a long and scary journey.

“Your test results are abnormal and we need you to come back in for an [invasive procedure] to make sure you don’t have cancer.”

Hello, freak out! And, “no thanks,” said my young art student self that wanted to treat everything naturally.

Instead, another message came from inside of me: “Follow your intuition, nurture your intuition – you can heal this through the creative process of making art. Trust what you can’t see until you can see it. Your art will guide you.”

So I did.

I created a series of pieces that were born from a dream. I silk-screened and beaded, embroidered and sewed my way through the fear and confusion. I illustrated the beauty, wisdom, and truth I found inside of me after facing the beliefs of ugliness and shameful self-criticism.

Three months after I received that message, after I’d created 3 separate pieces of art and put them through student and professor critiques, I returned to the doctor and was given a clean bill of health.

I was left with this one single insight: Art healed me.

I was using art to “heal” before I even knew such a concept existed. It’s been my life’s work, really. It probably all started when I was very young in elementary school. I’d come home after the end of my full day of learning and retreat to my room to create. It was how I relieved stress, it’s how I transitioned between my school day and the rest of my day at home, it’s how I came to know the world around me was to make art – ALL THE TIME. I beaded hair clips to sell at the end of the driveway, I designed and sewed dance costumes, I created paper masks, clay bead necklaces, then I learned to knit and went to college to study art.

And then that all stopped.

I found myself in a relationship that didn’t support my creativity, that shunned my habit to knit in public, that expected me to store away my art supplies and sewing machines to make room for his belongings. Instead, I worried, I turned on myself and hitched a ride on his shame. I unconsciously agreed to feel and carry the anger and resentment he projected onto me. I was told that I was the problem in the unhappy relationship; if I was just this and that we’d be happy. I was drained of my resources – financial, emotional, and mental. I felt crazy just like you do now.

I’d completely lost my way.

I’ve known my share of darkness, of overwhelming torment, and never-ending sleepless nights obsessing about the myriad of ways I wasn’t good enough. I’ve known what it’s like to put on a smile and pretend you’re living the life.

And then I found a way out.

I began working with a therapist who could see my creative spirit when I couldn’t.

Creating became my road map again.

Art saved my life.

Now I work with individuals who are unraveling, fumbling, and falling out of relationships of all kinds. I work with raw emotions, uncensored feelings, and darkness on the daily. And let me tell you, this work is way more satisfying. I was born to slog through the murky waters with people, to hold space for crying and shaking, for confusion and discomfort.

I know you did all the things you were supposed to, took the steps that everyone told you were the steps to take to achieve success, and find happiness. You made yourself available, you twisted and turned and molded yourself to create a happy home. You showed up in all the ways you were told you should. You worked hard. And what has it gotten you? The makings of a supposed dream, but what the fuck is that worth if you’re miserable and anxious all the time?

So life as you’ve built it’s been crumbling. You’re overwhelmed, jittery all the time, “looking over your shoulder” everywhere you go, and can’t sleep worth crap. The proverbial barn has burned down.

And now, standing in the rubble, you’re meeting yourself for the first time.

The leaves have fallen from the branches, the air’s turned cold, the light’s dimming. Like you, my clients come to me during their winters, when life around them seems dead, no sign of life. As we all know, winter doesn’t last forever. I hold the vision of spring and the knowledge that an abundant summer is to come.

Now we can get to work.

Together we will wade through the muck, into the darkness and you will illustrate and paint and draw all of the facets of who you are and what your life can be.

Art making is like breathing to me. I know it in my bones and can guide you into your own process with grace, patience, and deep trust.

Click here to read about how you can have all this through laughter, creativity, and fun all while you’re doing the hard work.

 

 

Now for the cut-and-dry, letters-behind-my-name shit:

ATR-BC (board-certified art therapist – national certification) #17-266

LMHC (licensed mental health counselor)

MA in Transpersonal Psychology with an emphasis in Art Therapy from Naropa University.

Yep, I got a Buddhist graduate education! My studies were rigorous and sometimes downright terrifying, where students were weeded out left and right if we couldn’t show up in our most honest, raw, vulnerable selves. We didn’t have written tests, we had Warrior Exams! But I learned, if I’m not willing to do the work I’m asking my clients to do, then I have no right to sit in that therapist’s chair – or, let’s get artsy about this – wear the smock!

BA in Art with an emphasis in Textiles from Western Washington University.

Current member of the American Art Therapy Association

I’ve worked with abandoned, neglected, and abused youth in St. Lucia, West Indies, and inner-city Denver. I’ve coordinated programs for adults and adolescents with eating disorders, run art studio programs with adults with major mental illness, painted with elderly individuals with dementia, and supported young homeless mothers. And remember, I’ve also worked with brides!

Click here to schedule your FREE 15-minute phone consultation and get started today.