Into the Forest

When I was in my early twenties, now nearly twenty years ago, I embarked on a journey of healing and transformation. I knew it was a journey that for all intensive purposes was do or die (or at least do or live without joy and peace in my life.) I had lost my mother a few years earlier and found myself stuck in the grief and unable to move forward.

I began with a blank journal and a handful of prisma colors a friend had given me. I had never been much for drawing or art for that matter, but I was tired of feeling hopeless and decided to charge into my imagination to find what waited there. To my amazement an inner mythology seeped out onto the page and my story of becoming unfolded.

Many of the images from my journal have stayed with me. They live in my mind like full-sensory memories. One of the first drawings is perhaps among those that has had the strongest impact. It was of a small girl headed into a burning forest. As I drew it I felt compelled to face the flames, something in that forest needed me to witness it, and although I was terrified of what it might be, I couldn’t ignore it. (I have attempted to recreate that drawing here.)

Over the course of several years, I kept drawing and writing about what needed to be expressed and the more I explored, the more alive I felt. My drawings eventually told stories of triumph and peace, which brings me to the painting I was working on last night (the one on the right).

It too was of a forest. In fact, several of my drawings have been of peaceful forest-scapes, and each gets more joyful and more magical.  As I sat with last night’s painting, I thought about how different the forest of the past felt from the ones I have been drawing recently, and how very different I feel from my twenty-something scared-ling.

Then I realized that I WAS the forest all those years ago, so full of potential energy, so terrified of my big dreams and my brilliant spirit that I spontaneously burst into flames. The difference in my life these days is that I constantly express the fire within.  Although facing it sometimes still frightens me, I have grown to love this journey I have created, love my life, and at the center of it all, deeply love myself.

the woman in the forest - the forest in the woman


About Rachél

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
This entry was posted in Creative Living, creativity, Dreams, Expressive Art, Intentional Art, self-love, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Into the Forest

  1. What a wonderful realisation – finally knowing that you ARE the forest. Beautiful.
    Bless xx

  2. amarie64 says:

    You’re so awesome! Love you my friend.

  3. seashoremary says:

    Wow! Thank you Rae for visiting my site and clicking “Like” on “The Artist.”

    I like your own article and discovering who you are as you relate to your art, finding your own meaning, and sharing it with others.



  4. lambertjill says:

    I love your analogy of you and the forest–interesting:) Trees are some of my favorite “subjects” to paint so I was instantly drawn to your new creation.


  5. Rhonda F says:

    I love your post; I am full of allegory, mystical dreams, a sensitive being seeing things that I usually never share…visions, knowings without knowings….and I love your bursting into flames. I see that as a pyre to your past, and the fire and smoke clearing your path to new things. Your new work is much more friendly and warm….you have emerged. God Bless Your Path! You are peaceful and free….enjoy that!

    • Rachél says:

      Thank you, Rhonda. Somedays, my artist needs to be messy and a bit dark…I think that is the nature of soulfulness, but for the most part I am in a place of light.

  6. Sofia says:

    What a beautiful post!

  7. Love the transformation of the fire from the external to the “fire within” ! And what a beauty-FULL thing to come to know the Fire Within! And Fear..that internal BeAsT called FeAR…..She keeps us from coming to know our authentic self but when we embrace her and face her head on, FeAr is no match to the power AND energy of knowing of our authentic self! Your post is inspirational and thought provoking. Thank you for sharing!

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