Sometimes life throws us unexpected curves. On this day, August 23, 1996, I was fired from my job as a medical hospital social worker after a very traumatic event that involved the daughter of a patient and myself. My life changed forever on that day. I never truly recovered from being fired. I lost my desire to continue with social work, and I never found a replacement career.
What I did discover, though, was The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, a book that helped people recover their artistic creativity. I saw an ad for a session being held at the local art center a few weeks after I was fired. It was like a message was being sent to me that this was my next step.
The class lasted 12 weeks. It was my saving grace. Everything else in my life had crashed and burned.
After I finished The Artist's Way program, I signed up to do Julia's next book, the Vein of Gold. The above mandala reflects the influence of that process for me. I titled the mandala My Vein of Gold. It was the beginning of a new awakening of the artist I had always wanted to be. In a sense, social work is an art, because you are always looking for creative ways to help people. But it was an outward art, not an inner one. Now I was looking inward, exploring the call to art that had been with me since I was a child. This mandala reflects that experience. I remember it took me hours to draw and color. It was a healing process, a coming together of wholeness, and a vision of the future.