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How Art saved my life…& my business.

Lessons in visibility & courage

'Breakthrough' by Vikki Parker - Acrylic on Canvas
And so there I was……
Tuned into colour….
Tuned into heart….
Representing…….

THE CHILD WHO DREW HER WAY TO SAFETY.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to find ways to survive.

A challenging family dynamic, toxic with mental health issues, instability, lies & uncertainty forced me into a world of escape and I only felt safe when I was hiding in the image I was creating.

It’s taken 49 years for me to allow that process of hiding to be witnessed, in a turn of fate that paradoxically renders me visible on so many levels.

It was a vulnerable step.
It was a breakthrough.
On a day of profound breakthroughs.

When I spontaneously proposed that I could illustrate the day at Helen Packham’s amazing Entrepreneurial Leaders Live conference on June 28th 2018, I was speaking from a place of wisdom that was not conscious.
A ‘playful’ and ‘cheeky’ suggestion to get me in the door because I knew I wanted to be there, became a golden ticket to an inner doorway that had been waiting to be opened.

I was in.
I was ready to be inspired.
I was ready to be all that I am in a present moment.
Unashamed.

  SHAME…. AND HOW IT BINDS US…

Art was ‘not a job’ according to my family message.
But more than that….. being my true self was not allowed.
Art revealed my true self.

It threatened the status quo.
Art does that.

I painted and drew in secret.
For hours
I never told the truth about the hell I was in.
I had no words to process it.
I only had the paint.

I was a very sensitive and empathic child
The hypervigilance I embraced kept me safe
But damaged my nervous system
I was so tuned into the energy, subtext & relational dynamics of a room that I had no time for emotional development .
I drew to stay anchored in the world
I painted to tell the secrets I knew
I hid the shame of my world in the colours

When I was asked to reveal the ultimate in true expression as an artist, by creating a intuitive piece that captured the essence of the event, I was so moved
I knew the art created was to be so much more than the image
I can’t really explain in words the enormity of that permission
That invitation to just show myself

But I wasn’t scared
In fact, what I realised was that all the work I’ve done for myself so far to heal, to grow, to build my own solid foundations and thrive in life on my own terms, had been waiting for that moment.

As someone who suffers from social anxiety and CPTSD the thought of coming to the event would normally invite panic. The thought of networking would normally invite the imposter syndrome
And yet there I was
Being the only thing that ever allowed me to feel real

At my debut as the Artist in the Audience I took a brave step
I held myself gently and trusted that whatever came would be enough
I harnessed the intuitive skills that had saved me and channeled the energy of the room.
I honoured the many years of playing with the art
I ventured into the real possibility of entrepreneurial success
I sat with my own personal understanding of breakthrough
I held all of that in the space
The joy
The depth
The fears
The moments when the penny dropped
And I surrendered

I shared all of those moments, those energies, those subtle shifts between the surge within of insight and excitement and the whispers of yes that creep gently into consciousness.

With every generous sweep of the brush and every delicious application of the wonder that is paint
I revelled
I connected
I felt alive

    THE PERFECT FIT…

The feedback I got was truly beautiful
And it stuck

When someone tells you they love your work we can do one of two things.

We can deny it and diminish it within ourselves so that the external message does not fit with inner reality.

Or we can say ‘yes’ to the feedback and find a match within ourselves that agrees with them

Now that is the moment to savour.
That is a personal win
That is a place from which I can move forward

I’ve been writing about what I want to call the ‘3am Yes!’
You know that time in the early hours when all the external support is quiet and you can hear yourself
When you give yourself the permission to follow your dream
To trust yourself
To make a pact to cherish all that you are
Unashamed

A self that loves all its parts is a perfect fit.

Openly being an Artist is an act of self-love for me
Embracing being an Artist in the Audience as a new and exciting business venture is an act of service
For in the image
My wish is that you see yourself
That you see a moment, a colour, a stroke
That speaks to an unheard part of you
Saying…
I see you
I love you
Thankyou for being part of me

I AM SAFE…

Our sense of wellbeing is our most prized gift.
Our mental health is our most valuable asset.
Expressing that which cannot find the words is the ultimate act of kindness and compassion for the broken parts of us.

Whether that expression be through art, dance, theatre or song
There she is
The truth

What I’ve learned is that the truth is rich.
The truth is powerful

In painting that day
I sat with my truth
And I’m no longer afraid.

IF THIS RESONATES…

If you would like to capture the essence of your transformational event with an in the moment painting, please contact Vikki at [email protected]

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