Women In Wellness: Helen Kagan of HealingArts on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
Learn that Self-Love is not selfishness. Practice it daily (put your own oxygen mask first!) I had to learn (still learning!) that I have to become my number 1 priority for myself in order to show up for people I serve, help, and assist. Therefore, my “lifestyle choices” now are shifting in a direction of “what are the most loving things I can do for myself so I can help others who need me, who rely on me, who I am here to serve“. Yes, it does feel a bit weird, as I am absolutely not used to be the number 1 priority for myself. It is a learning curve, again, but a very necessary one, as many of us, especially women caregivers, are so used to serve others while forgetting to take care of or at least attend to our own needs.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Helen Kagan, PhD, a healing artist who believes that art is a catalyst for healing individuals, society and the environment, a pioneer in creating art with an intention to heal, a creator of her unique © “HealingArts” concept she’s been developing for 25 years. Her art won multiple awards, shown in many cities, countries, Magazines, Catalogs, physical and online Galleries, Shows & Exhibitions including major International Art Fairs. Today, especially in a midst of World-wide crises, pandemic, challenges, stress and uncertainty, Dr. Kagan believes it is her Mission and Purpose to keep creating her life-affirming soulful art as it makes a difference in peoples’ lives by bringing colors, healing and hope.
Please see more @ Helen’s main website www.HelenKagan.com
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Absolutely. Thank you so much for inviting me! I appreciate this amazing opportunity to present my unique HealiingArts to your readers. If you don’t mind, I would like to call our Interview “A Journey to YourSelf. Embodying Light, Love & Gratitude”. Because, in a nutshell, this is what my “HealingArts” is all about (and besides, it’s a title of my book I’m working on “ARTIST OF THE FUTURE. A Journey to YourSelf. Embodying Light, Love & Gratitude” :).
Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color is a power which directly influences the soul.
I believe that art heals. I believe that for many of us, creatives, art — is a spiritual path, a transformational process, a way of being. I believe art is a catalyst for healing individuals, society and the environment. I believe in the inter-connectedness of mind, body and spirit. I believe that now, more than ever, the World needs the positive energy and spiritually-based intentions, beliefs and values. As a statement of all my beliefs, my “HealingArts” is my unique way to synergistically bring together fine art, expressive arts, and the art of healing to enhance well-being in a viewer.
I feel that it is important for a Visionary artist like myself to have a strong and unique message we are communicating to others through our art. A message that can touch people’s souls, uplift their spirit, and warm their hearts. A message so important, that people would want to have our special piece of art in their space, they would want to keep coming back to it to meditate, to recharge, to relax, to find your strength, to get inspiration, love, gratitude, perhaps — to find yourself? They would want to experience something magical when they look at this piece of art, and not only because it is beautiful and unique, but because it directly or subliminally speaks to their Heart and Soul. Because it is saturated with Love and Gratitude I communicate through colorful vibrations, sacred geometry, embedded spiritual messages. This is how I understand the Purpose and Mission of my © “HealingArts”.
But… my own Journey to this deep and profound understanding was not linear to say the least. Growing up in a Communist State of what then was the USSR, where oppression and control were a daily reality, formed my beliefs, values, and a great respect for freedom to express yourself. In 1991 I immigrated to the USA, whereto I brought my Jewish heritage, 3 graduate degrees, 0 English, $100, 2 small suitcases, and an unending thirst to explore the World and its meaning. Coming from a family of scientists, I was always fascinated by the left/right brain relationship, which led me to study many things — from mathematics and science to psychology, therapy and healing to fine art, and finally create my unique concept and venue “HealingArts”. As a refugee from Russia, my art reflects an existential view on life, a desire to bridge Realities and heal the Past. The further I go on my Journey, the more I evolve, the more my art ascends to higher vibrations and reflects higher dimensions of being. Communicating on subliminal levels my art delivers Love & Healing through positively charged intention, healing frequencies of color, embedded spiritual messages, and energetically balanced composition, which all facilitates your own healing Journey and brings you in touch with your own Quest.
In the last several years my art participated in over 50 Juried shows, local, national and international exhibitions, and always elicited a profound positive response. “HealingArts” has been shown in many physical and online galleries, cities, states, magazines, articles, catalogs including FL Design Magazine, FineArt NY Magazine, BLINK Art Resource; major Art Fairs including SPECTRUM Miami, ArtPalmBeach, Art SanDiego, ArtEXPO NY. I was named a “Collectible Artist” by Brickell and Key Biscayne Magazines (“Dealer’s Dozen” 2016), by “Inspiration” International Catalog, by ArtTour International. My art won awards, exhibited in NY, NJ, MI, AZ, WI, MN, CA, VT, and in many cities in FL, featured in many online Galleries including Saatchi, Fine Art America, Art&Beyond, LightSpace&Time, ArtsyShark; is currently on display in VT, NY & FL.
Despite all this vast publicity and recognition, I have never had any sponsors or patrons. In the beginning of 2020, right before the pandemic was officially announced, my hard work finally got rewarded — I got a sponsor and had 3 Solo “One Woman Show” Exhibitions scheduled for the Spring/ Summer of 2020 in 3 major locations — Orlando FL, Brooklyn NY, and Rome Italy. I was in Heaven as it was my dream come true!
The following are links for professional videos made in my Art Studio — https://youtu.be/_fDqInLvoXc “Colors, Healing & Beyond”- Video Interview in Helen Kagan HealingArts Studio for upcoming “One Woman Shows”. Part1 — Studio Visit. February 2020; https://youtu.be/ubI79UIj4V4 (part2); https://youtu.be/rbtmSIZ2Ayc (part3).
But… due to COVID all my 3 Solo Shows were canceled, my art (80+works) which was already curated, delivered and filled the 3 Floors of the high-end Commercial building in Orlando, is still hanging there (a year later) with no further notice… My other scheduled 3 group Shows in Ft Lauderdale FL were all canceled as well. I felt crashed. Again and again. (you are welcome to read my essay “Transformational 2020” @ my blog http://helenkaganhealingarts.blogspot.com).
But I knew I just had to keep painting. Despite all the adversity and challenges, as a healing artist I had to keep creating as much as I can during these difficult times. I’ve started to work on a new pandemic Series “Serenity” which already has about 15 paintings, created several new large healing works for the Collection “5D”, many smaller works for the new Series “Blues”, and am beginning to work on a brand new Series “Ease and Grace”. I am also currently developing a new healing venue and am in a process of trademarking this new concept © “Wearable HealingArts” which is even more revolutionary as it allows to have the healing effects of my art on all possible surfaces, clothes, items, and any of various carriers my HealingArts can be placed on. Just looking at its animated Logo creates a meditative healing effect!
And this is exactly WHY it is so important for me to bring my art to the World to heal. It is my Mission, Vision and Purpose. Because all my “HealingArts” creations are made with Light, Love & Gratitude — that can allow healing and enhance wellbeing.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
I created my brand “HealingArts” over 25 years ago when I first was practicing healing work as a holistic practitioner. Being a scientist, psychologist, therapist & counselor helped me to conceptualize and further develop my concept “HealingArts”, while being a healer and artist — added a gift to express it in beautiful ways that warm your Heart, uplift your Spirit, and touch your Soul. For almost 30 years my “HealingArts” has been a one-person enterprise, which, of course, brings a lot of challenges. In the 90-s I started to develop my concept while working as a therapist, social worker, and energy healer providing services to various populations in need.
At that time, I was very motivated, dedicated, and devoted to build (from a scratch, with no support provided) the unique culturally competent Mental Health & Substance Abuse Clinics for the disenfranchised immigrant client populations. I did develop and ran (literally from a scratch, with my “broken English”, and almost zero resources available) several clinical Programs for immigrant clients and their families in NYC. I was working 3 jobs, I had International delegations visiting my Programs, my Project H.E.L.P. was articled on the front page of NYTimes (1999), I had also developed my energy healing private practice basically by the “word of mouth”, I was using Art therapy, Movement therapy, multiple energy healing modalities in my practice, I had also enrolled myself in an esoteric IM School of Healing Arts with a very demanding schedule and profound inner work one had to embark on their Journey, I was helping people heal in so many different and creative ways, I called myself a holistic psychotherapist (which sounded quite provocative 25 years ago!), my practice “HealingArts” was blossoming serving people in need of healing, and I was really happy doing all that working 25/8…
Then, I burned out. Completely. I was 43. When I was picked up by Ambulance from the streets in Manhattan because I collapsed (it was a massive panic attack which mimicked a heart attack) and spent a couple days in EMR I’ve realized that I have to seriously change something because something was not working. Then I learned that pretty much all of my multiple former traumas got re-activated from the amount of stress I put on myself. I became quite a “vegetable” learning to do many basic things from a scratch… I had to stop working. I had to give up my beautiful small private office in the middle of Manhattan (something I dreamt to have for a long time). I had to transfer all my clients to other practitioners. I felt totally crashed. Devastated. I didn’t know how to be sick. I couldn’t do anything.
But I knew I had to do something, anything, everything — to get back to “normal” whatever it meant. I had to bring myself back. I began to use every healing modality I knew, to help myself get out of that debilitating state filled with overbearing anxiety, panic, hopelessness, depression, uncertainty, flashbacks, and all other wonderful PTSD-related things. In a cold winter of 2005, I felt a strong desire, more like a need, to start painting. I’ve always painted some, here and there, but never done it consistently — I just never had time for doing art between all my studying, degrees, jobs, “surviving and making it in America”! I’ve just always been too busy with my schools, work, family in immigration, patients, clients, projects — all of those very important things (as I thought) that constituted Life (at that time for sure).
Well… That one was a big Lesson. Starting painting felt like a sip of fresh air, like a refuge, like a Divine Guidance. I was immensely grateful. I felt I needed to create more and more healing artwork — first, for my own healing as a person suffering from CPTSD, who began to learn from the firsthand experience that art heals.
Since then, I have been developing my unique “healing through art” modality while communicating its healing message to other people and communities in need. I felt that this is my new way of being a holistic practitioner serving people in need — I was becoming a healing artist. I felt that I can serve many more people this way. Since then, I have been painting non-stop. I have been a full-time artist for 15 years, and I am working very hard (again! :) to ensure that my “HealingArts” is having a substantial online presence, is communicated consistently to galleries, curators, collectors, various art venues and organizations, Hospitals, Medical Centers, Corporate venues & facilities, Hotels, and other audiences, as I believe my unique and special HealingArts has a big future.
It hasn’t happened yet, but I keep praying, believing and keep creating my art knowing that there will be a big demand for it when it’s the right time for that to happen. In our nowadays reality, in the midst of World-wide multiple challenges & crises, COVID pandemics, protests, fires, escalated overall crises saturated with fear, anxiety, illness, grief, and lots of stress and uncertainty, I know that my “HealingArts” can become a tool for serenity, a place for refuge, and bring healing and wellbeing to everyone in need.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Well… I have to confess — I don’t believe in “mistakes” :) I believe there are “lessons” given to us to learn from. Sometimes they can be really hard, even harsh, but… at the end they all appeared in our reality for the one and only reason — to make us better. I can say I made a lot of mistakes, and not only when I first started… I can say I always trusted people and thought that everyone I met on my Journey has the exact same set of dignity and integrity like I do. They did not. I can say I had a lot of people who took advantage of me, used, abused and even betrayed me. And all of the above will be true — but only from my perspective. Because I can choose to say that I had a lot of Lessons given to me to learn about people, to learn about who is right and who is wrong for me, how to be with them, how to act, what to expect, and what to do when you live your life on Purpose while they are not, and so on. I trust that my many very sad “stories” — are not mistakes, but they are my “old stories” that need to be shifted because these “old stories” that constitute my “old reality” need to be changed for the new ones. You know why? Because it will help me tremendously to start anew, to deeper connect with my True Self, to live from a place of Love & Gratitude, to embody the Light that I AM. And because I do believe that in accordance with many of our new age spiritual leaders — “we create our own Reality”.
I believe that life is not happening TO us, it’s happening FOR us, i.e. our experiences (both, good and bad) are given to us to learn, improve and ultimately evolve. I believe that these “Lessons” are given to us to help us shift from our “old stories” and create new ones. What do you think is the ultimate Lesson in Life? Is it different for everyone, or is it pretty much the same for all of us, Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey? (this is my understanding of who we are). What is the grandest Lesson a person can discover on their Journey called Life? I believe that it is when we realize (become conscious, become aware, discover, un-cover, have a life-changing experience, have an epiphany — any and all of these are valid) that we ARE Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey. That we are Soul in a Body with the Mind, and not the other way around.
I can cite hundreds and hundreds of resources and references — from scientists, neurobiologists, quantum physicists, renowned authors, and many other authorities such as Bruce Lipton, Gary Null, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Miguel Ruiz, Dan Millman, Gary Zukav, Neale Donald Walsch, and I can go on and on… And one of the quintessential learnings from all these amazing teachings is that “we are the Creators of our own reality”. We are here, on this planet Earth, to live our Purpose, our Truth, and we all, individually and as a society, create our reality. This is why I think it is critically important to do it with love vs. hate. As an Empath I feel and experience that, unfortunately, there’s too much hate on our planet Earth. I think it is important to feel and believe that we are Love (that “love is all we need” :), we were created from Love, and to be Love, and just because Love & Gratitude have the highest vibrational frequency, when we live from the place of Love, we become it. We embody it. And then — we can bring it to the World to share. My art does just that. This is exactly what I communicate in my art using embedded spiritual messages, energetically balanced composition, sacred geometry, high frequencies of constellations of colors, and some other secret ingredients :)
What I am constantly learning in my “Lessons” is that for many of us, creatives, art — is a spiritual path, a transformational process, a way of being. I also believe art is a catalyst for healing individuals, society and the environment. As a person who strongly believes in and practices the inter-connectedness of mind, body and spirit, I can say that now, more than ever, the World needs the positive energy and spiritually-based intentions, beliefs and values. My “HealingArts” can be an answer for many. You can just look at my artworks, take a deep breathe, inhale the bright healing colors and positively charged high-dimensional frequencies of Love & Light, relax, let go, become grateful for this moment of “here and now”, and just enjoy the feeling… Then repeat.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Oh, yes! I totally believe there’s always help available to us, it can come in very different shapes and forms, but it is definitely there for us. However, I also believe it is our own responsibility to reach out, ask for help, even if we feel quite self-sufficient and independent and don’t think we need that helping hand or feel deserving… Remember — “ask and it’s given”? I am grateful to God, Universe, Multiverse, Higher Power, Angels and Archangels, all spiritual beings, my family, my friends, and everyone else who’s been helping me (both, intentionally and unintentionally, directly, indirectly or adversely) to stay strong, to keep going, to never give up, to continue creating and bring my soulful services, my heart, and my art to those in need, regardless any difficulties, challenges, upheavals, illnesses, and all other complexities of my own Life.
I am grateful to all my big Teachers, to coaches, speakers, and other professionals offering various online webinars, seminars, lectures, challenges, spiritual retreats, providing great content, especially in our current challenging unprecedent times of COVID, bloody protests, political & ideological upheavals, broken dreams, lost jobs, closed businesses, and just many crushed lives…
I am grateful to all wonderful publishers, Art Magazines and Catalogs publishing articles about my art, Galleries for exhibiting my art, collectors for buying my art, all my wonderful friends both in physical reality and online who support me in many different ways in many difficult times, for loving my unique HealingArts and appreciating my Vision, Mission and Purpose.
I am grateful to all people I meet on my Journey. And… my biggest gratitude goes, of course, to my father — a very strong resilient powerful man, a big scientist, a huge mind, a world-known inventor, a role model, a man of honor, a big extremely talented person who has always pushed me (indirectly and quite directly) to be better, whom I always had to rebel against, to prove my own gifts and talents to, to look for and eventually find that proverbial “approval” from (after getting several graduate degrees, earning my “uneasy” PhD in science, working in a few completely different fields, developing and running clinics, and finally doing what I love most — creating my art, which he actually likes), to whom I always compared every man I’ve been with, who’s always ready to give a hand particularly when I don’t ask for it, who still (at the age of 85) continues to work and invent some new age revolutionary scientific and engineering concepts and devices in different fields despite his own very challenging health condition… and who is, was, and always be a very powerful figure in my Universe.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Well… I think there are several important factors to consider when it comes to health and wellness in relation to art as a healing tool. As well as how my unique “HealingArts” can make a really big impact in the World, especially now — in our turbulent trying and challenging times.
I believe that I am doing a very special soulful heart centered sacred work for the betterment of the people, communities, and even society at large. I do believe the more love and gratitude is there in the Universe — the better, happier, and more fulfilled our lives become, the more we can spread the love — the better and healthier we become. It is that well known principle “As within, so without. As above, so below” which is so important to me, and hopefully it will become as important to many more people who can relate to and embrace the concepts of “being on the Journey”, “going towards the Light”, “the more you give, the more you receive”, and alike. These are some of the major spiritual principles I live by and, of course, all of them are very present in my art.
As a healer and artist, a creator of my unique multi-dimensional concept “HealingArts” I’ve been developing for about 30 years, I believe that art is a catalyst for healing individuals, society and environment. I have been called a pioneer in creating art with an intention to heal. As a severe PTSD survivor my own complex Life Journey brought me to the point where I would probably not survive without creating. As a true healing artist who started to use painting, energy and spiritual work, music, movement, and other expressive modalities to support my own healing first, and then — to enhance a healing process to those in need, my art always elicited a profound positive response. My art is intentional — which means that every time I start creating a new painting, I set a healing intention using various sacred tools from my healing toolbox. My work is often described as “symphony of colors”, and is saturated with passion, movement, love, joy, positive intention and high-vibrational healing energy. I synergistically integrate the Fine Art, Expressive Arts, and the Art of Healing by blending together healing frequencies of colors, positively charged intention, embedded spiritual messages, and energetically balanced composition.
My Vision, Mission, and Purpose is to bring my “HealingArts” to HealthCare, Residential and Hospitality facilities — to assist in recovery, encourage joy and happiness, and enhance healing and wellbeing to those in need, by introducing high-vibrational multi-sensory experience, meditation & relaxation. It is not an easy task to accomplish as a “solo-entrepreneur”, but I keep trying, hoping, and doing everything I can for the right people and venues to show up on my Journey.
In the midst of World-wide multiple crises, protests, and escalated pandemic saturated with fear, anxiety, illness, grief, and lots of stress and uncertainty, I do hope that my “HealingArts” can become a tool for serenity, a place for refuge, and will be truly healing to everyone in need. You can just inhale the bright healing colors and positively charged high-dimensional frequencies of Love & Light from my artworks, exhale heaviness, sadness, tiredness — all the junk. Enjoy the feeling and, keep getting better.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
1). Find (create) your Vision, define your Mission, and live on Purpose.
Living on Purpose and bringing my Visions into reality has been always important to me as I consider myself a Visionary and a person of dignity and integrity. But very often, I find myself being conflicted by various things that I do not accept as “spiritual”. I am sharing here my own struggle as an example, but you might need to find and identify your own limitations that are on your way to success — they can be same or different. What’s important — is to find your limiting beliefs, recognize where they are, work with them, and hopefully, get rid of them!
I have always had an internal conflict of how I can simultaneously be spiritual and prosperous. I felt as if I am on my Spiritual Journey it is impossible to become wealthy. Abundant — yes! But prosperous? This is exactly the place of my most and biggest limiting beliefs, blocks, or whatever else you want to call them. I have worked plenty, both by myself and with various holistic practitioners, to get rid of my limiting beliefs about wealth & prosperity, as well as on many other challenges that keep me from being abundant and happy. I can’t say that I am where I want to be in regards to abundance and prosperity, but I know I am on my way there! What was quite surprising for me to learn is that those “financial blocks” I have — are indeed multigenerational, and are also related to my Self-worth, Love and Gratitude… Interesting!
I hope it will be helpful for you to identify and get rid of yours — good luck!
2). Learn that Self-Love is not selfishness. Practice it daily (put your own oxygen mask first!)
I had to learn (still learning!) that I have to become my number 1 priority for myself in order to show up for people I serve, help, and assist. Therefore, my “lifestyle choices” now are shifting in a direction of “what are the most loving things I can do for myself so I can help others who need me, who rely on me, who I am here to serve“. Yes, it does feel a bit weird, as I am absolutely not used to be the number 1 priority for myself. It is a learning curve, again, but a very necessary one, as many of us, especially women caregivers, are so used to serve others while forgetting to take care of or at least attend to our own needs.
I also feel that NOW is the critical time for me and for many of us, to shift. To shift from Fear — to Love, from surviving — to thriving, to bring ourselves from despair — to happiness. Regardless the circumstances. My “HealingArts” — is the foundation for my own shift to Love & Gratitude. It can assist you as well, as it is based on many holistic healing spiritual and energetic principles embedded in each work, especially in artworks from latest Collections “5D”, “Serenity”, “EnergyArt”, and ColorScapes.
3). No matter what your professional occupation or personal lifestyle is, I believe it is very important to create your daily routines. “Morning routine” is an amazing healing tool that grounds you and sets the stage to maintain the high-vibrational frequencies for the day. Meditation, breathing exercises (pranayamas, etc.), singing loud (a very good tool!), doing Yoga, Qi-Gong, journaling, writing, playing music, writing “morning pages” (as in Julia Cameron “Artist’s Way” wonderful bestseller), brisk walking, jogging, just moving your body and thus your energy that needs to get unstuck — use whatever modality or a combination of such that works for you. For instance, I’ve written hundreds and hundreds of “morning pages” when I was in groups to work with “Artist’s Way”. And then I choose various tools from my “healing toolbox” and combine them, just trusting my intuition following what feels right at the moment.
No less important is your “evening routine” — especially considering a nowadays very stressful nature of our external environment, jobs, lack of such, COVID-related complications and limitations, psychological and emotional difficulties in handling and dealing with the current reality, eating, resting, sleeping disturbances, and multiple factors affecting our normal sleep pattern (which, unfortunately, is becoming a “new normal” like everything else, but it is in our power to change that too!). Remember? “Change your pattern — change your Life”!
4). Find what makes you happy. Express yourself!
Find or choose what makes you happy — is it playing music, writing poems, dancing, journaling,
painting, crocheting, singing, making cakes? Get creative — just move your stuck energy & raise your vibration!
My passion is dancing, so for me it would probably be the first choice to move my energy — I’ve been dancing every possible dance including Shamanic Trance Dance (one of my favorites, Chakra dance, and my super favorite is East Coast Swing, Boogie-Woogie, Lindy Hop and alike) So, even in our crazy times of isolation and quarantines, when we can’t go anywhere, let alone — dance with somebody 8ft apart! — I just put my favorite music on (Big Band, Swing, Jazz), and just dance “like nobody’s watching”, to shift my energy. Usually, I do a combo of a few “healing tweaks” daily, like for instance, I integrate some movement, meditation, deep breathing, chakra clearing, Yoga and/or Qi-Gong, playing music, etc. — all depending on how much time I have today, and several other factors like — did I paint non-stop last night? or am I going to spend 25H today on creating some important media campaign? or do I have to be writing an article for a Magazine or preparing for a Show? is there a family emergency? and so on… Just be creative. Express yourSelf! But make it a daily routine. It helps a lot, trust me!
5). Remove clutter, chaos, disturbances. Make clarity. Stop procrastinating. Just do it!
When we are removing all this accumulated junk form our environment (both, external and internal), we are literally shifting ourselves from Fear to Love. One step at a time. From Breakdown to Breakthrough. Just one step at a time. From Surviving to Thriving. Just make one little step in this direction. Just one. Then another one, and another one. See? You are moving in the direction of your Dream Life! And we can go on and on and on… (remember how good it feels when you de-clutter you closet? or when you clean your living room or organize our garage or your study, or get rid of a lot of stuff from your kitchen, or donate lots of unneeded clothes to Good Will or other Charity?) Now imagine HOW GOOD IT WOULD FEEL if you remove all this clutter, chaos, uncertainty, anxiety, overwhelm, lack of clarity, junk, etc. from your inner world? It will feel Divine! The main thing here is the notion of transformation. And it is an internal (vs. external) transformation. We are shifting our “old paradigm” — our old patterns, thoughts, perceptions, limiting beliefs, reactions, etc., and as a result of that we are changing our Reality, and thus — our Life. Isn’t it something magical?
6). (an extra one — couldn’t skip it as it’s too important! :) Define your Vision. Find (discover) what you are good at. Follow your Dream even if it looks or feels impossible.
As multiple wonderful “new age” sources suggest — “Change your mind, change your Life. Change your thoughts, change your life. Change your attitude, perception, emotional state, your energy …. — change your life! And it’s all true (I am speaking form experience). I think it does not matter where and how you start, what is important that you do start. Find or discover what you are really good at. What do you like? What makes your Heart sing? Take action. Map your direction. Listen to your intuition. Follow your inner voice. Define your Vision in your terms and on your language. Embrace your Journey. After all — it is your Soul Journey to yourSelf!
I still keep doing it as I know it is a Process, it doesn’t happen overnight unfortunately :) For me — it is of course my “HealingArts”, and the multiple ways I can bring it to the World to heal. It is my Vison, Mission, and Purpose. But… it did take me many years to get to the place where I felt certain about it, and then — allowed myself to follow my calling despite all the challenges on the way. If I get impatient (which I do :) — I remind myself that I am on my Quest, and the most important thing is not a destination, but the Journey…
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Ohhh, that’s easy — of course my “HealingArts”! :)
It is already a known fact that Love and Gratitude have the highest vibrational frequencies. When we operate from Love, the true miracles happen. When we learn to live in Gratitude, truthfully from the heart, we begin to live happily “for no reason” and good things begin to happen for us, and not because we learned from the “Secret” that in accordance with the Law of Attraction everything we want will magically come to us when we just think and wait for it to manifest in our reality, but because we begin to spend more time in higher dimensions, we begin to operate from higher frequencies, we embody Love and Gratitude, and we become it.
If I could start a World-wide movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, of course it will be a movement embodying Light, Love and Healing through the Arts. As an artist — I speak through art, I express myself through art, I live through art. In fact, I can say that I have already started a few of this kind of similar movements. When I was wearing a “therapist hat” long time ago living in NYC, I have developed and ran several Mental Health & Substance Abuse Programs integrating different culturally sensitive quite advanced and perhaps even revolutionary at that time, clinical treatment, prevention and intervention approaches. Then, I had also developed my Holistic Therapy & Energy Healing private practice where I was using and synergistically integrating multiple energy healing modalities including Cranio-sacral therapy, Polarity Therapy, Reiki, and many others, Energy Psychology techniques, Art therapy, Movement therapy, and other holistic approaches, methods, and techniques to enhance the healing process in my practice. And then, I started to create my “HealingArts” — first as a healing tool for my own devastating condition (as a person with a re-activated severe PTSD), and then — to bring healing and enhance wellbeing through art to everyone in need.
As a statement of all my beliefs, my “HealingArts” is my unique way to synergistically bring together fine art, expressive arts, and the art of healing to enhance well-being in a viewer.
My Vision, Mission, and Purpose is to bring my “HealingArts” to HealthCare, Residential and Hospitality facilities — to assist in recovery, encourage joy and happiness, and enhance healing and wellbeing to those in need, by introducing high-vibrational multi-sensory experience, meditation & relaxation.
Because of my strong belief that art is a catalyst for healing individuals, society and the environment, and that NOW, more than ever, the World needs the positive energy and spiritually-based intentions, beliefs and values — I am sure that Art for Healing will be one of the major ways to bring the most amount of healing to the most amount of people.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
1). If somebody told me that “as an Artist I have to die first to become famous”, I can speculate that of course, I would first think — what’s the odds :), but then… I’d still follow my heart’s desire anyway. I would still follow my Vision and Purpose to become a professional artist and make it a successful career despite all the challenges and difficulties one has to face in the process of becoming a professional artist and treating it as a business vs. just painting as a hobby — which is a very different story.
I believe even if I were warned, I’d still come to a place where my Soul is happy because I am following my Dream of being an Artist living my life on Purpose having a Mission to continue creating my unique “HealingArts” to help people heal. As well as to bring (and even donate) as much of my art as possible to the Healthcare — Medical, Rehabilitation & Residential facilities, holistic practitioners, hospitality & residential markets. For this particular direction of my Purpose, I am currently in the process of organizing a “Healing Arts Initiative” with an intention to bring Sponsors and Patrons to this campaign dealing with the Healthcare.
2). I wish somebody told me how important it is (especially for artists, musicians, writers — people of any creativity-led profession) to organize your day, have a set schedule, and at least try to keep it! Because for us, creatives, it is difficult to focus on one thing, we are constantly “multitasking”, sometimes it’s nearly impossible to focus on one thing as there’re so many ideas, images, sounds, melodies, words, poems, pictures, simultaneously coming to your being that it becomes quite overwhelming… This is why it is so important to organize your day and chose, let’s say, 3 things that you will do today no matter what. Just 3 things. And tomorrow — choose just 3 things. But you have to do them no matter what — just 3 things. Focus on them. And so on. Of course, you can say — but what if I have not 3, but 33 things every day, and I go nuts trying to juggle all of them, and I never have enough time to do them all! Then I’d say — just chose 3 major things and take care of them. Then the next 3 major things, then the next. That’s it. Prioritize, compartmentalize, put perspective, decide what’s most important to do today, just for today. What can be done tomorrow. What can be done on a weekend. Yes — you can do it. And… don’t forget to love yourself while doing that :)
3). I don’t necessarily believe in affirmations. I know lots of people do, and some even practice them regularly. And some are even successful in achieving results they want while repeating daily that “I am x-y-z”, or “I can do a-b-c”. For me — affirmations feel somewhat mechanical, something which is not aligned synergistically with my Soul’s Purpose. They feel like something that doesn’t teach me my “lessons” but rather takes me away from them. I would prefer a deep meditation, a guided soulful high vibrational sound or music meditation, an incantation, activation, a magic formula, invocation, which aligns my own energy with the higher Purpose, something that lovingly and carefully guides me from fear to love, from chaos to clarity, from poverty to abundance and prosperity, from surviving to thriving. These transformational tools need to feel “organic” with my whole being, with all my multiple energy & ethereal bodies that I want to bring in alignment with my Mission and Purpose. My “HealingArts” that I create, or rather “co-create” with the higher Source, serves that for me.
4). One might think that being a “full time artist” entails some sort of a luxurious lifestyle, like similar to what you can see in the movies…:) But let me tell you that a “creative process” is not an easy thing… Really! If you ask me — How does your workday look like? I’d say — usually quite crazy! Those who are familiar with various intricacies of a creative process of any nature, those who know closely what it is, will agree with me, I think. So… my “workday” might look like a regular “working day” for most folks who work like 9–6 schedule, and then work another job on top of that for a few more hours :). Or my “work day” might become totally crazy with a lot of actual painting time and lots of “processing and conceptualizing” time in-between which would result in like 25H “working day”… And then there’s a huge chunk of time going to other (yet important) stuff like creating advertising materials, ordering, producing, and hand embellishing giclees, making prints, taking good photographs, endlessly improving previously worked on images of your art, writing articles, press releases, creating and managing websites, and of course, making arrangements for shows and exhibitions, inviting guests and collectors, actually providing and facilitating your Shows, packing, shipping and handling your art, transporting yourself AND your art pieces to and from those Shows and Exhibitions, producing all possible marketing materials, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. — well… you can see that even reading about all this makes you feel overwhelmed, right? Well, it does make me feel overwhelmed for sure! :) I think the actual time I spend painting is only about 20–25%, if I’m lucky to have this time! Other 75–80% goes to everything else around your art career — of course if you treat it as a career vs. hobby. And it is very sad for me. I’d rather spend 75–80% of my time creating my unique art — because this is what I do best. But I do understand that other things are just a “necessary evil” :) So, you can see that developing my concept, venue & brand “HealingArts” AND creating my actual unique artworks — is of course, a full-time career!
5). And… if I knew what I was putting myself into… — I think I’d still do that :)
My Higher Self would still finally drag me to this place where I will have joy creating. Where I feel Home. That sacred place where the most important things to consider when we are starting anew (after changing our “old story”) — are Light, Love and Gratitude.
I believe everyone at this point most likely asked themselves about those grand lessons we’re given as humanity. Big existential questions like WHO AM I? WHY I AM here? WHAT I am here FOR? What is my MISSION? Do I have a VISION, what is my PURPOSE? What I find helpful in finding answers to these big questions are the following basic spiritual principles (regardless any religious believes):
Learning Forgiveness. Knowing your Strength. Speaking your Truth. Learning and embracing Self-Love. Practicing Gratitude. And… a few more. And as I said earlier, I don’t believe in “mistakes”. I believe there’re Lessons given to us to learn, and if we have not learned the first time, they will be given again, and again — to finally learn what we need to learn being on our Journey. We also need to find and define our WHY-s. I am finally clear about my “WHY”. I chose to be an Artist that I was born to be, and that is my Truth. But I want you to know that it took me almost 40 years to realize that I can not NOT do it because it’s my Truth, because this is WHO I AM. Because this is not only a way for me to express myself but to heal myself and others. I am here to bring this message to the World that my Art is Healing, my art is Love and Light, it is a healing tool that can help you on your Journey to YourSelf.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Well… all four are definitely important, as well as other big themes such as political and economic changes, cultural, racial and ideological shifts, spirituality, 21st Century technology, and others. My “dearest” cause lies, of course, in the Mental Health, Spirituality and Energy Healing (also called Energy Psychology). Why? Because I strongly believe that if we don’t heal ourselves first, we simply won’t have a healthy society, healthy environment, nor a healthy Planet.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it”. Eckhart Tolle
Since I am being invited to present my “HealingArts” in a “Women & Wellness” Series, I would like to remind us that we, women, are beautiful, intuitive, loving, caring, insightful and just simply amazing creatures. All of us. Whether we are aware of this or not, whether we’re living our Truth or not, whether we are still in a “survival mode” or have already made our conscious choice to be on a Journey to “thriving”… Regardless, I want us to remember that we are Beautiful. We are Lovable. And we are Enough. I am not so sure that we are from Venus necessarily, but we definitely are lovers, keepers, and caregivers — by default. The vast majority of us are trying to live our lives by taking care of others, most often BEFORE we take care of our own needs. Wrong. I’ve been learning my big lessons that I need to change the way I live my life simply because there won’t be one to live if I continue doing what I do expecting different results… (remember this popular “definition of insanity”?) As a holistic therapist and a Mental Health practitioner I can say that this definition is quite correct. If we, wonderful caring women, won’t learn how to take care of ourselves first (i.e. to put a proverbial oxygen mask on yourself first), and continue to give yourselves away, and literally waste your energy trying to “fix, rescue or save” others, then we still continue living in our co-dependent and so habitually comfortable reality or pattern (even if it’s abusive, disrespectful or terrifying — we are often still doing it…). I do know this by fact as I’ve experienced these “lessons” many times because I didn’t learn from the first time… Yes, I have been always living my Life with dignity, integrity and intensity, just in my hypervigilant “superhero” mode of saving the World, often just one person at a time, always working or studying or working plus studying 25/8, and literally killing myself while helping others. I got my lessons then and there. Then, there were other ones. Yes, I have had many lessons. And still do. But… I would never call them mistakes. Because they were Lessons teaching me something critically important about me as a Human, as a Woman, as a Caregiver, Lover, Wife, Mother, Scientist, Creative, Artist, and most importantly — about what I need to change, and how. These “lessons’ were all transformational. Some were almost unbearable. Like “life & death scenario” ones. Many of which showed me that I had to change my Life… And as a result, I did change my life completely, many times, and moved on.
I am wondering if, perhaps, NOW could be just the right time we can change our Reality by changing our patterns. Why? Because we lived through a challenging extremely difficult exhausting stressful and really scary for many, 2020. Because we were shown, literally in our face, that if we won’t change “our reality” this reality will change us, and not always in a way or direction we want. Because if we won’t shift our own reality — Life will bring to us new “lessons” to learn, and those new “lessons” could be even more challenging or devastating. And also, because living from a place of Light, Love & Gratitude is incredibly nice, soulful, and rewarding.
We are now in 2021. It was a very transformational year 2020… A year of many Losses. A year of many Lessons. A year to learn embracing and sharing Gratitude despite all possible challenges and difficult circumstances. It’s been a transformational year on our individual and collective Journey to our Truth, Love, and Enlightenment. What will be our new “Lessons” in 2021?
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
There are many ways to reach me on social media. If you just Google Helen Kagan or Helen Kagan Healing Arts, you will get hundreds and hundreds of entries. My official social media handles are:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/helenkagan
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/helenhealingarts
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/elkaheal/videos (channel) + about 20 other videos with my art
Thank you again for inviting me to share my Truth, Love, and “HealingArts”!
Thank you for these fantastic insights!