Hello Friends, Family, and Loved Ones,
I’m writing to you today to tell you that it is with a somewhat sad heart that I have decided to sell the building that has been the home for Art•Body•Soul for the past three and a half years. I didn’t come to this decision easily, and it still pulls at my heartstrings today.
I’d like to share a little bit about my journey thus far in making this decision. We at Art•Body•Soul had reached a certain momentum when the unfortunate experience of COVID-19 entered all of our lives. My fourth grandchild, Ellie, was born on March 13, 2020, and I made the decision with my daughter to care for this new grandchild for the first year of her life. Ellie is an amazing blessing in my life, and I am grateful for this pause that allowed our one-on-one time together to occur.
I felt that when my year with Ellie came to an end, I would be able to find direction, to discern what it was that I wanted to do with my beloved Art•Body•Soul. My tenure with Ellie came to a close in August, and I didn’t find myself in a place of ease and flow with the idea of going back to where I left off in March, a year and a half ago.
I am sharing this painting with you all today because I think it is relevant to not only this transition but also what we are all going through globally. At one point, when painting on this canvas, I decided to bring it into my lap, as best as I could. It is quite large—about 30 x 40 inches—but I felt that I wanted to bring it in close, into an intimate setting. I watched as my hands created these beautiful circles and lines, chose colors, and seemed to know exactly what to do.
This was my first experience of really watching creativity flow through me without any effort on my part, judgment, or input from my ego mind. In that moment, I was able to allow what wanted to come through to be painted on the canvas.
When I created Art•Body•Soul, I had a similar experience of watching and allowing the beautiful space and concept to unfold. It seemed that every time I was at a turning point or needed to make a decision, a dear friend, a loved one, or an acquaintance would drop by the studio and give me a gem that would later be incorporated into the evolution of the center. It was an easy process and one filled with joy and the satisfaction of a job well done. I believed with all of my heart that I was bringing a beautiful new concept and a community of healing to help people come to know themselves better—a real center for self-discovery and transformation.
I have many cherished moments of time with my beautiful yoga teachers, healing professionals, dear customers, and the amazing artists that came to display their works. We had visiting teachers and healers from across our city and beyond. Collectively, we filled Art•Body•Soul with beauty and magic.
At this point in my journey, I am aware that my need for freedom and my desire to grow and learn doesn’t fit with returning to the helm of Art•Body•Soul right now. I have made the decision to let it go and see what God has in store for me next.
After completing the painting, I titled it Souls Intertwined because to me it looks like beautiful beings entangled with one another.
The first layer of the painting is a black ground or base color on top of which silver blocks of color were painted to form a structure and a foundation on which to create and hold something more.
On one level, we are all sovereign beings with our own unique expression, seemingly separate from one another, much like these foundational blocks. We each have our own journey, our own learnings, and our own healing to do. There is also another reality at play, on a higher level, in which we are all connected and never separate. Each of our beautiful colors, our movement and dance, all come together in a beautiful, harmonic way.
We are, in actuality, a unified body, and yet when we look at the world today, what we see is disheartening division, fear, anger, and judgement. I feel sadness for our world and yet I also feel a great deal of hope. As we each continue on our path of self-discovery, we grow more sovereign and have a deeper understanding and love of ourselves. Compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude for ourselves and others blossoms within us. This foundation that we create and allow in ourselves opens us to connect with all of humanity without judgement, without a need to interfere or a need for right and wrong. Together in our unique expressions we can paint a whole new world.
When I look at this painting, it fills my heart with delight to see what is possible and, in fact, already a reality beyond this physical scenario we are experiencing.
As each of you continue your healing journey of self-discovery, I hope you will uncover this place inside of you as it already exists. Our traumas and life experiences can block us from knowing the unconditional love and acceptance we already have for ourselves. My hope is that each of us can live in joy and peacefulness as we move through this difficult time on our planet.
It is with much love and gratefulness that I sign off today. I don’t know yet whether I will reimagine Art•Body•Soul and continue this venture in some other form, but you’ll be the first to know if I open myself up to that creative process!
Until then, much love,
Madeleine Newkirk, Artist, Spiritual Junkie, Dalian Method and Art Process Facilitator.