Simply being aware of our bodies can bring about such tremendous change. To create a piece about this, I asked my friend Henny Stern to pose for me.
Henny is a trauma-informed psychotherapist, somatic practitioner, and embodied dancer, and helps people heal trauma through their bodies.
When Henny arrived, she shared her process of meditation: She begins sitting, noticing the position her body is sitting in naturally. She doesn’t try to shift her position to “a better position,” but honors the downward, closed position she finds her body in initially.
Moving deeper into this experience, she notices how her body shifts. Her body opens, she stretches her legs and arms, and slowly moves into a standing position. She then begins to dance.
While this is Henny’s process, she wanted to impart to the viewer that “each of our bodies communicates and guides us to our own authentic truth. It’s about learning to listen to these messages and then having the courage to honor and respect them.”
You can follow Henny on Instagram @holisticpsychotherapist and learn more about the power of healing trauma through the body
36’’ X 48’’
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas
What incredible power there is in just sitting and talking with each other! To capture the dynamics of a simple conversation, I arranged for my friend Malka and her roommate Chani to pose for a painting while conversing.
When they showed up for the sitting, I found out they had never actually sat down together and had a deep conversation. They looked up “36 questions to get a conversation going” on the internet in order to get personal right away, and both remarked later that the exchange was the highlight of their week.
This is the capturing of that exchange.
The Light and Life of Spirituality
16’’ x 20’’
Acrylic on Canvas
Spirituality delivers abundance if you have the right hook up. My friend Aura Chaya posed for this piece. Her name in Hebrew means Light (Aura) and Life (Chaya). A sensitive and hopeful being, this sitting was a pleasure to engage in the depths of her light and thoughts.
One way Aura Chaya found her calling in life was through fusing her knowledge of ancient wisdom with cutting edge technology; using neuro and biofeedback to help people resolve pain and trauma.
Deep friends can bring us higher. Deep friends delivering deep ideas can bring us higher still.
Feel free to contact Aura Chaya to learn more about her approach at email@example.com
A Woman Without Her Instrument Is Still A Woman
22’’ X 30
Mixed Media on Paper
My friend Laura became a brilliant cellist at a young age. Cello was her tool to feel significant and loved, and also a way to avoid the grief of her mother’s passing. Most of her social interactions involved showcasing her cello talent.
When she was 18, Laura decided to begin the separation from what she did to who she was, and attend a gathering without her cello. As she told me: “Beginning Shabbat observance (which prohibits playing music on the Sabbath) was the glue that began the process, and having children was the cement (to an identity separate from a musician).”
When Laura posed for me, I asked if she wanted me to draw her while she played cello.
“I don’t think so,” she said. “I would like it to be just us.”
Follow Laura’s cellist journey on Instagram @LauraMelnicoff
Dance of Freedom
11’’ X 14’’
Acrylic on Canvas
Strengthening our bodies is an essential practice. I switched this year from yoga to dance,returning to the power of original, personal expression. The raw power of music hitting my senses and catapulting me into movement is extraordinary.
It’s what we as humanity have always done to express our freedom, and will always continue to do.