Take an Art Break Podcast

How can art help you find your purpose?

How can art help you find your purpose?

Transcript for the Take an Art Break Podcast Episode

Lauren (00:04):

Okay. Hi everybody. We are live on Facebook, and we’re here back again for another taken Art Break podcast, and today we’re lucky to have Rae Luskin joining our conversation.

Lisa (00:18):

You’re welcome.

Lauren (00:19):

Rae is a artist, an and activists and author. She’s authored multiple books including one which I love the creative activist. And this subtitle is just perfect for just all, all around there it is. Yeah. Make the world better. One person, one action at a time. And Art is Moving is just totally vibes with that. She’s helped hundreds of people heal, find self-worth, create social change through creative expression. So I am so excited to have you here with us. We had a great chat with you back in September, so I I can’t, I can’t wait to have another one with you today.

Rae (00:58):

I know, me too. I mean, and this obviously is one of my favorite subjects of all times, so I do have to say right off the bat, I’m missing my two front teeth. That’s all I want for Christmas. So it’s a little weird. Sometimes I spit. So it’s a good thing we’re not in the same room, you know? And what can I tell you? That little bit of a list sometimes it’s easier for me just to say it. I was singing all I Want for Christmas and my two front teeth for the last few months, <laugh>, forget them by May, which is my birthday. So that’s what I’m hoping. Yes,

Lauren (01:29):

That’s good. <Laugh>. That’s

Rae (01:31):

Awesome. So, you know, it’s one of those things, it’s like what I first, I, I was thinking I have a mask. I don’t ever have to show my face. And then I’m like, you have to, this is part of life. There are things that happen and, you know, we may not like our looks, but again, this is part of being an activist too, is talking about weird things that may happen to you and telling these stories. Because to me, when I talk about art, it is not just being, you know painting or pho photograph. It’s a story. It is a message that we all have to share with someone. And it could be the, the most minute thing or the biggest thing in our lives and how it changed us and propelled us into, all into other parts of our lives. And so that’s why I’m sharing this. You know, I, I could have worn, I do have some fake teeth <laugh>, but I am like, ah, no, I, I’m, I’m gonna be honest, because I think that’s part of being an activist is being vulnerable, you know? And really being that creative activist is, is sharing who we are, what we’re going through at that moment in time. So

Lisa (02:34):

I, I love that because Lauren and I started this podcast because we wanted to talk about our really authentically and really you know, vulnerable, my, you know, not the fine art world, but kind of like the Yeah.

Lauren (02:47):

That’s why I, like, we have no, we’re doing this live, we’re recording it live. There’s going to be no editing. This is, this is us in our true form, so, right,

Rae (02:57):

Right. And I, and I applaud you for that because that’s how I like to have conversations with people without the editing, because this is where the, the juice is. This is where the, the real heart of the person is seen. And, and I, and I think all three of us are about, we want, we wanna give people a voice. We wanna give them a safe place to be seen and heard. And that for sure going with everything you do and with everything that I do, and that, that’s, that’s activism, that is making a difference in having purpose. And, and you, you two are amazing at what you do and stuff. So thank you. Thrilled.

Lisa (03:31):

Well, you’re amazing. Well, we love to kind of pose a question. How can art help you find your purpose? Okay. Because I know that’s what you’re really all about. And then prefaces it also with how did art help you find your own pur purpose Ray?

Rae (03:46):

Okay. Well, it, I’ll go back with my backstory. So that’s the way that, that I can really share this. I was sexually abused as a child by my grandfather, who was an artist, and it was in his art studio. So for years, you know, I go to his art studio and he, you know, he’d have fun with me. And I, I was seven at the time when it started. So, you know, I didn’t know what was going on. Nobody did. And I’m 70, so nobody ever talked about these things. You didn’t know what was happening. And so art has always been a part of my life in, in so many ways. And, you know, it was a big struggle for a long time. And you know, I was that kid who, you know, wanted to sing, and they told me mouth my, you know, mouth, the words in choir, you know, I had a, I had a teacher tell me it was a terrible writer.

Rae (04:36):

And then in college, I had a professor tell me, get out of art, because you are a horrible artist. Oh my God. He, he taught, kicked me outta his class, and he, my God, said, get a different, you know, and I didn’t have the, the stamina to say, no, you’re crazy. And I like, and I didn’t know at the time I was having flashbacks either, so it was sort of like the smell of the turpentine and oil paints did it, you know? And I didn’t, I didn’t have anything for that. So that’s sort of the real backstory. Right. so art has always been in a big piece of me, but I finally went into talk therapy when I was in my twenties. I quit college as a senior. Did not go over well in my family, <laugh> <laugh>. And but I did go back and I got a master’s too.

Rae (05:19):

But in the meantime, you know, I quit. I went into talk therapy, and I got healthy enough to have you know, get in a relationship, get married and have kids. But I still suffered. The depression was so severe, you know, and nothing I could do. I wanted to kill myself. It was, I’d get my kids off to school, I’d crawl back in bed. I mean, dirty laundry everywhere. My hair was greasy and oily. You know, you didn’t wanna be around me. But at the same time, I never let the rest of the world know, you know, my kids look great. They never had any inkling that mom was depressed. You know, I, I pulled it together for them. Wow. And one day I just said, I’ve had enough, and I was gonna kill myself. So I started to make a li a list of 88, you know, and I wrote, I wrote it out, all the bad things that happened in my life, and I had 88, and I quit.

Rae (06:09):

I said, okay, now you better start on the other side. One of the good things. And at the time, you know, it was my kids, obviously, and I had a house, and I had a nice husband. But I said, okay, I’m gonna do everything in my power to get healthy for my children. And so I started journaling, you know, which again, is, is an art form. Writing gratitude list, did wells, you know, and some days it was okay, I washed my hair, the sun rose, you know, and it could have been the same thing forever. And, you know, I kept going on and on and because, you know, I, I was an artist at one point. I hadn’t picked up a paint. I hadn’t done anything 12 years at this point. I had never picked up anything, but I had crayons in the house for the kids.

Rae (06:49):

And one day I just picked up a black crayon and I started to scribble, and the tears were pouring down my face. The rage was coming out of me. I could not believe. And again, I didn’t know what a somatic response was. I didn’t know we kept things in ourselves, you know? So it was like, okay, this is what you have to do. And the art became, you know, it was like, it saved me. I mean, it became my safe, you know, my safety net. It became my superpower, because once I started to release and using, and it was scribbles and doodles, it wasn’t, you know, fine art. It was scribbles and doodles. And I always work with people, and I tell them to start with scribbles and doodles, and I tell ’em to close their eyes, use your non-dominant hand. You can’t judge yourself.

Rae (07:34):

You know, it is, but it is a way to express yourself. And that sort of led me on my journey in making a decision and finding out that art could heal. I didn’t know anything about art therapy or any of these things. And, and found out that, you know, wow, it is an on, it not only creates beauty, but it’s a healing tool. And, and I made this decision. I would become a workshop junkie, you know, self-help person, <laugh>, and I, I started following people all over the country. This was before Hay House and, you know, abroad. And it was transformational. Psychologists had their body and soul conferences, and I traveled all over. And that’s how I, I tapped into who I was and my purpose. But it was a combination of doing art, of writing, of then expressing myself. And I used art. I, I actually did do some pieces that were personal pieces about how I felt. And if you could, hold on one minute, I’m gonna grab one painting just to show you. Great.

Speaker 4 (08:45):

It’s so beautiful.

Lauren (08:46):

I know. I was just admiring that <laugh>. That’s a great background. I need to have a nice background to mine. You have your paintings up behind you too. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I should, I should make a virtual background of some of my work. Oh,

Rae (09:03):

That would be really cool. I did a series of artwork, you know, my pain pieces, I called them, you know, and over the years, and they were always in black and white and dull toes, and it was the Depression and the Oh, and this, and, you know, and I had tons of these pieces. And then one day I noticed my color started to change. Oh. And it was like an inkling I started to change. So I, I just stopped myself. But this was called Door of Truth. Oh. And it was the first time I really started using color again, you know, and it was like, who did I have to become to step through that door to live a different life? And and knowing that I had to share my story, I had to share the, the, my journey of healing. And that’s how I found my passion.

Rae (09:53):

You know, it was sort of like using the arts as a doorway into my soul, into my healing. Yeah. And then as an expression of who I really am, you know? Yeah. And you know, you, there are other angel stories along the way, you know, <laugh>, it’s sort of, I went to a conference with my, my ex-husband now well, he’s deceased actually. But we had gone to a conference in California, and I’ve seated next to this gentleman, and this is after I’d made the decision, I will do anything. Right. And he starts talking to me about yoga and visualization and things that I had actually explored when I was like 18 and 19 years old. But I had an out-of-body experience, and there was no internet. There was no way to know that anything, anybody else experienced this. I thought it was just crazy.

Rae (10:41):

So I stopped doing these things, you know, <laugh>. And, and so, you know, we had this conversation. It was like this light bulb went off. And the next day I went to the local bookstore, and I got two books, feel The Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers, which became my mantra for many, many, many years. And the next one was Creative Visualization by Shakti One. Oh, you know, okay. You know, it, it is, it was a pivotal book in my life. It was one of those aha moments that said, okay, you know what? Because I, I didn’t, half of you what my life could be. I didn’t understand that I could take the pain that I experienced and make a difference. I didn’t know that that was even possible. It wasn’t in the realm of my, my consideration. So I started to visualize things, and I did it by a visual diary.

Rae (11:34):

So I would start, you know and this is when oh God, the vi the artist’s way came out mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And she had you writing, I instead had you collecting images, you know, instead, because there were too many people who were saying, but my husband’s reading my words and this and this. There’s no safety in my home. So I said, just get images and start putting those in a book, because if you’re the only one who can interpret those images, then, right. And so I started doing that kind of stuff. And then, you know, and, and it kept leading me on this thing. I have a purpose. I didn’t know. I never heard the term purpose, you know, up until then. And it’s like, what does that mean? Well, I’m here to make a difference. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, I just, I never knew that. And, you know, and I kept saying, I don’t want anybody else to go through what I went through.

Rae (12:22):

You know, I wanna share my story and talk about Terrifying. I finally, you know, got up the courage and I went to my health club, and I said, health is more than exercise. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So I wanna have a day of health <laugh> and healing. And I organized it and had a couple speakers, and I was one of them. And it was the first time I ever told my story. Wow. Wow. And this girl came up to me afterwards and she said, you saved my life. And, and to this day, I, that is what motivates me to keep going. I want to inspire people to take their story, their pain, whatever. Cause it could be mom, mom was an addict, dad was an alcoholic. Somebody lost a job. We lived in a kaha. And, and find ways to express your story. And yes, it is through art, but art is much broader than just being a painter or a, you know, a ceramicist. It is a much broader concept to me.

Lauren (13:16):

So I’m, I’m hearing that your personal purpose that you found by sort of navigating your own personal story through art Yeah.

Rae (13:23):


Lauren (13:24):

Help other people navigate their own pain by using art. And also to tell people that they don’t even have to ever pick up a paintbrush in order to get

Rae (13:35):

There. Right. All I ask them is if they, I always say, if you can hold a crayon, you will be successful. It’s about play, explore, experiment, and that you, you have that ability. And I, you know, and the creative activists, as you know, it’s, it’s got 36 stories of people who’ve done incredible things, and they’re not all artists, but they’ve all made a difference. And I think that’s what’s key for me. It’s like, what are we doing to make a difference, to make the world a better place? I want to, you know, tell people don’t be, you know, don’t let circumstances outside of you or telling yourself you’re too old or you’re too young. You know, look at Greta Thunk and, you know, and then, you know, and, and then all the people who’ve done things in the late seventies and eighties. I want, I want people to know that there are no limits to your purpose in your calling, but it takes work. It takes time to actually explore and to find out who you are to answer the question. You know, who am I? Why am I here? What are my gifts and talents? How can I make a difference? All that, and what is the legacy I wanna leave?

Lauren (14:38):

That’s beautiful. Yeah. I, I feel like when I think of the question, how can art help you find your purpose? I, I, I mean, I relate very well to what you’re saying. It’s like you, you use the art in order to, to sort of unpack everything that is you mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that you can kind of take another step forward into what it is you will do. Right. Because I would, I would define purpose as like, a purpose is what your, what you can use your qualities to make good, you know, a positive change. Right. Right. Finding your purpose would be knowing yourself well enough to know how you contribute can contribute positively to the future or the present time. Right. I think the way that art can help you do that is by we talk about this a lot, becoming more self-aware,

Rae (15:36):


Lauren (15:37):

Of who, who you actually are.

Rae (15:39):

Right. It does make you self-aware. And it also has the ability to educate and create awareness in others. You know, so it’s dual purpose because you, there is always the, the one who creates it, and there’s also the witness if you’re willing to share it. Right. And whatever that looks like. And so that can open up greater conversations and create greater change. You know, we’ve seen so much about what’s happened, you know, with Black Lives Matter over the last, you know, year and stuff like that. And, you know, and things opened up stories. I, I mean, I ended up taking a class with a Florida studio theater company. And each week we were reading plays written by black playwrights and white playwrights. So there’d be both. And we, we get to see what, what their voice said and how they did it, and created new conversations. And so that’s, that’s why I love that. And I, I love the term creative activist mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, because we, we all can do that with whatever we are investing our time and energy in, like you do with what your work is. Yeah. And I know, I, I think, Lisa, you’re, you’re gonna be speaking at one of the conferences, is it Ida or something? Yeah.

Lisa (16:46):

Yes, I’m doing a, a workshop. Yeah.

Rae (16:48):

Yeah. So, you know, it’s, again, it’s, it’s taking what you know and your story and, and giving them an opportunity to say, Hey, I could do that too. I mean, I, I’m, it’s like, I wanna inspire people. I wanna ignite their, their spark of interest, and, you know, and also just give them hope. You know, that what your, what your past is doesn’t dictate who you are

Lisa (17:10):

And your peace. Yeah. What I, what I love of your story, and I mean, the, I I line with that story. I know that story. Yeah. But it is like you, as you open the door right, to the person, and once they take the leak through the door, then they have to tell their story, their real story, and like, scratch it out, scribble it out. Right. And the transformation comes when you are like, Hey, I, I can create a new story. I can be larger than myself. I can make a big difference in the world.

Rae (17:42):

Yeah. I, I, I sort of, I had an acronym for art, you know, A is awareness, R is it, it is oh God, now I’m drawing blank. But it is, it’s re retelling your story. Yeah. And it is. And then the t is the transformation. Who do you become in the process? So there are those three in that acronym, and it’s, it is, and we, we have that choice. And I think too many of us are still in the victim mode, you know, that they, they get stuck there, and they don’t realize you have a choice how you want to feel or what you wanna do with your life. And that is also part of my purpose, to tell people, you have a choice. You know, whether you’re thinking of Victor Frankel in the Holocaust, or Anne Frank, I mean, she’s talked about, here’s a 13 year old girl hiding and talking about, we’re never, you know, at any moment you can create change. You know, I mean, those are stories that inspire me and say, Hey, what do I have to say? You know, and, and what can I do with my life?

Lauren (18:39):

So, yeah. What, what would you say to that person who is like responding to this conversation in, in a, in a sense that it’s like well, it’s worked for you three, what do I do? Like, how do I even get started? You know, because I feel like we are, all three of us are like, on this. We know that our can do it because we’ve experienced it. We’ve taken, we’ve taken that, that scary step, that really scary step of, of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. Right. So, how do you get someone who is sort of not ready to open that door yet? What’s the first step that they can take towards finding their purpose with art?

Rae (19:24):

Well, you know, I, as I said before, is I really believe in the power of scribble and scribble and doodle, because it’s a two part process. So with the scribble, you know, you can just start and just start, you know, you can either ask a question, and I do that often. I’ll say, so what is my purpose? You know, and I, I’m a blank, or whatever, or whatever it is. And then you just, you allow yourself to go into this deep space and just scribble. And then what I would say is, what colors did you use? Because I’ll say, scribble first with one color, then another, and then color it in. And now if you’re coloring in the lines, switch outside and color it outside the lines switch, you know, turn the page, you know, so that you are now not just in the boundaries of what you’re used to.

Rae (20:08):

And then I would have them say, okay, what colors did you use? Free associate, what those colors are. So, you know, it’s blue water, green money, whatever, purple Mountain Majesty. And then I have them write a story like once upon a time, and they use all the word, the letter the words that they’ve used. And, you know, because you’re also looking at saying, oh, I see a heart in here. Or, how did that make you feel? Because, you know, I’m, obviously, you have to have some probing questions in there to get them to think.

Lauren (20:38):


Rae (20:38):

You know, but did anything surprise you? You know, what, how did it feel to, you know, go outside the line? So then they start writing this, and then it starts taking them into another place, because again, you’re not thinking about it. It’s not your normal thought process. So you are bypassing a lot of the intellect and getting into your heart. I call, you know, I, I like to work with people. I call them heart storming sessions, where I actually work with them to do that sort of, excuse me, like a 30 minute just introduction to see if there’s, you know, something I can do to help them. And, you know, if they’re really ready to make a decision to go forward, and I do these three, you know, these three, you know, and I will do them for people who wanna contact me after this. You know, I’ve got a few openings this week and next week, and we will go through a series of questions. I’m big on asking questions. You know, if you’re not willing to a answer the questions, then you’re not willing to do the work yet. You don’t have to the answers, and you don’t need to know the how, but you have to be willing to explore, experiment, and play.

Lauren (21:40):

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa (21:42):

Powerful. It, I, it also draws, I mean, you were talking about the witness, but this process that you’re talking about is you’re really seeing them for who they really, really are. And I think that’s what scares a lot of people, you know? And

Rae (21:56):

Oh, I think you’re right.

Lisa (21:57):


Lauren (21:58):

I, I think that’s why, I think that’s why art is scary for a lot of people, because I think, like you just said, it was like a dual process, right? It’s the, it’s the artist and it’s the viewer. I mean, I walked into the MoMA one time and saw a painting, and I started crying, and I have no, I still to this day have no idea why crying. There’s definitely a reason, and I needed to let go of that emotion. But a lot of people don’t wanna go there, because I was standing in a public building in there, <laugh>, like tons of people standing around me, looking at me like, this lady is crying in front of a painting. And I, I had experienced stuff like that before, so I was definitely more comfortable. But that will happen. Like,

Rae (22:40):

Imagine watches the soul. You can’t force somebody into this process. They have to be reached a pain point and said, I can’t live like this anymore. You know, I’m miserable. I I’m not the person who’s gonna force anything. Right? You need therapist, you need the I am the extra that, that gets you catapulted to a new level. And that’s how I look at, I’m not, I’m not, you know, I’m not the, the therapist anyway, but I, I give you tools that will help you get further in your journey. And Nonverbal has the same goals as far as the journey. Some people are like, I just wanna feel a little better, you know? And other people wanna say you know, this part of my life is fabulous and I only wanna lose weight. Or I want this, you know, we’re, we, we sort of subdivide our lives into this. And our calling, our contribution is sort of the last thing, you know, it’s like, the world owes me, you know? So you have to reach a level of self mastery on some level and awareness before I think you can get into a calling and a purpose.

Lauren (23:41):

Hmm. What do you think, Lisa? How can art help you? How can, how can can art help you find your purpose?

Lisa (23:47):

Great question. Well, I, I love this conversation. I love this kind of like, art is a story. Art is your story. And I love that going into your dark wounds, <laugh>. But it’s interesting, even interesting because you get wounded along the art path by, by a teacher, by a <laugh>, a parent. And so they’re, it’s like multilayers. It’s not just, you know, your own trauma, but it’s the wounds that come from creating and trying to express your true, authentic self. So, right.

Rae (24:17):

Yeah. Cows aren’t purple color inside the line. Stop daydreaming. We’ve all experienced that. And you know, I, I, it’s hard sometimes for me, and I, because I’ve been on this journey for such a long time, to go back to the beginning, and I realized I’m not the person to work with, to go back to the beginning. I, I, I, I, I did that for a long time. When I first got into this, it was like, I only worked with abused women. I’m like, okay, this is not where I wanna be. Right. You know, it burned me out. And I said, I want the person who wants to take whatever their challenges are, whatever the causes that have touched their heart, and do something with it. So I recognize that myself. And that’s, that was hard because I consider myself this kind, compassionate person, but it’s like, but I, I don’t wanna help everybody anymore, you know? Well, and you

Lauren (25:04):

Can’t. You have to be That’s

Rae (25:05):

Right. That’s

Lauren (25:06):

Another thing. You have to be honest with yourself. That’s another reason I love this process that you’re talking about, all the journaling and the doodling and the scribbling and the, those are tactics for getting that out of your body and, and realizing that it’s okay. That you’re, you’re better off you know, knowing what you’re supposed to be doing, then trying to do everything right. You know, you don’t, you don’t serve everyone when you’re trying to do you, when you’re trying to help everybody. That’s why there’s so many people in the world, because we each can have our own little nook and cranny that we help. And if we all did that, then imagine what the world would, would be like. Imagine if everybody took the time to know how they could contribute positively and, and, and focused on that, you know, that would be amazing.

Rae (25:56):

Yeah. So what would you say if you had just a sentence or two, both of you to say what your purpose was? I’m just curious,

Lisa (26:05):

Lauren <laugh>.

Lauren (26:07):

Yeah. I would, I would say that my purpose is to get other, get as many people possible to, I feel like I’m at the beginning, you know how you said you’re more, you’re more on the back end. I’m at the beginning. I’m trying to get people who have never done art or don’t remember doing art to do it, to try it again. I’m trying to make art less scary for people. And so I love your, like, art of scribble and things like that, because I think of my mom often. My mom will come to art break days, and she’s my best volunteer. And she always says to people, just take some paint and swish it around for a little while. Right. And that really helps people understand that it’s about, it’s a process based. So my purpose is to make art less scary and to really encourage people to just kind of, to realize it’s easier to do than they might think.

Rae (26:59):

Right. Right. Yeah. I love that. And, and I think the idea of artist process, that was a big thing for me. You know, realizing it wasn’t about a product. You know, I, I, I had an art school for a long time as well, you know, this is before I started doing this work. And, you know, and I was teaching something called Monart, and it was much more about learning to see, but also it should, you know, it had to look like something. And it didn’t quite gel with where I was. And so then I developed art from my Heart, which I did with families, and, you know, and, and, and many of the women who were abused and stuff, which became all about process. You know, I said, we have to go on this journey together, whether we’re talking about our bodies. Oh, about, you know, and I, and I do believe we have to teach this to our children, you know, it has to start early to counterbalance the school, the educational system that says art is, you know, first thing cut in the budget, you know, yet it, it is so imperative for learning and teaching and, you know, all that kind of stuff that we don’t, we don’t have that.

Rae (28:02):

So I feel we have to talk about that as well. So I think that’s wonderful.

Lisa (28:06):

I love it. My mission, <laugh> I mean, for me, art is, art saved my life too. So what I try to teach people and, you know inspire people that art can really save you and it can transform you. So art, my mission is Art is the catalyst for transformation and healing. And so what I love to do is kind of like spark people that they can find something larger than themselves. Because when you’re really creating, even if it scribbles, and all of a sudden your hands starts moving kind of automatically, you’re, you’re tapping into something larger than yourself. And I think once you tap into that, that, I mean, the creative source of everything, I think you, you, you’re, you, you become harmonized. So you become like, you’re imbalanced in harmony. So I, yeah,

Rae (28:56):

We are the creators of our own future, right. And if we adopt that, that message, create our creative, you know, and, and, and I do, I mean, I’ve been on a spiritual journey as long as I’ve been on this healing journey, you know, because I, I thought it was a vengeful God, why me? You know, all those things. And spent a lifetime saying, ah, you know, and walking away from my, you know, from what I knew as religion and looking for spirituality. And it was very interesting, you know, as I, as I progressed and I got into Eastern philosophy, I’m Jewish, you know, and I got into Eastern philosophy and Buddhism and all these different things, and I would go to Unity, and I’d go to healing services, a ca, a Catholic service where they actually had catchers. You know, they would touch you when you were catchers.

Rae (29:40):

Oh, yeah. I tried anything, you know, I was, I was into that. And it was like, it, that has been as big a journey for me, I think, too. And it’s, the newest piece I think that I’m most, I think I’m supposed to talk about is my spiritual journey, which I never really, I always sort of put it in the background, but I think as my purposes evolved, I think that’s part of it is sharing that journey. Because I’ve always been searching. And I, and it’s so interesting because of Covid, my sister’s in Florida, you know, I’m in Chicago, and she got their zentangle, they have this they’re teaching Zentangle at this Jewish Soul Center in Maryland. So she’s said, why don’t you try it? So I did. I’d never done Zentangles. She’d been doing it, and I did, and I enjoyed it.

Rae (30:24):

And then I realized they have a religious service of gra they call it gratitude, but it’s also all the prayers that they say every morning for a minion. And I’ve been going for five weeks now. Every morning I’m like, who are you? And my, my son is like, who are you? Where, what have you done with my mother? And we’re having kids, you know, but it, but it fits who I am, because it’s about breath work. It’s meditation, you know, the rabbi says, get out your gratitude journal. Well, this fits my parameters of what religion could be. It’s, it’s joining the traditional prayers with all this other stuff. So I think as I’m going through this, and we are talking, my newest purpose is to start sharing those stories. Yeah. Because as part of my healing at one point, and this was long before they ever did any memoirs, I had you know, on it was called, I was writing a book called The Odyssey of Healing Survivor to Thriver.

Rae (31:19):

Oh. And I talked about my tools, my toolbox, which nobody ever talked about any spirituality, and they weren’t talking about any of this stuff. And I had gone to the healers at the time, I was telling you about that conference, and it was Joan Boko, it was Jean Shinbo, Larry Dossey, they were all the premier speakers at that time. And I gave them a copy of my memoir. And I, and I, everybody said, oh, this is nice, but you need more, you need more stories. And so I went back, you know, and I, I went back and I was really disappointed, but I also had a master’s in Urban planning. I knew how to write a questionnaire. So I wrote a questionnaire, and it was like 13 pages. Again, it was before the internet, so there was no computers. And I got 150 responses. Wow.

Rae (32:07):

You know, and, and it really, what what amazed me was how many people were u were really using alternative tools, which nobody was to talk about any of these other modalities. It was just talk therapy was the only thing at the time. And it, it validated everything I said. And I mean, I remember stories, you know, we’re talking, this was like 1990, you know some woman rehabbed her home and every room was a part of her heart. You know, things like that. I can still hear these stories in my head, and I’d start to write this book, and it’s, and you know, and, and I couldn’t, you know, it was the voice of, who do you think you are? You’re not smart enough, you know, who’s gonna believe you? Why would anybody listen? So I never wrote that book. Now I contributed to other people’s books.

Rae (32:53):

You know, Laura Davis, courage to Heal. I talked about, you know, forgiveness in one of hers, and then somebody else wrote another book about using art for healing from sexual abuse. So, you know, I did contribute, but these are all stories that I don’t think I really shared enough, you know? And so I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk about this purpose piece, you know? And because my purpose has evolved and changed, and, you know, I wrote a one aunt for God years ago, you know, I, I needed to find a God of my own belief. You know, whether you call divine love, infinite wisdom, it, it doesn’t matter. You know? So, and the rabbi today, and our call said, so why, why, you know, why do you think God for loving you? And I’m like, oh my God, you, it was like full circle listening to her talk about, almost like asking you to write a one ad for God today.

Lauren (33:44):

So, yeah, I, I think it’s really interesting. I, I like the idea of a purpose evolving. And I think that’s another thing that, that art can help you, is if you, if you kind of have a creative expression as part of your daily routine, it can open you to things that you may not be noticing because they’re in part of you that just isn’t in the, in the forefront of your mind, you know? Right. I, I’m constantly, like, I, I, I look at my brain as a kitchen because I’m a baker, and I, I’m <laugh>, I’m constantly thinking that I, I know that I have like eight pots of boiling water somewhere in my brain. And I think that that art really helps you kind of notice the ones that you’re forgetting to notice.

Rae (34:27):


Lauren (34:29):

Constantly processing. I’m definitely cerebral kind of person, and art helps me, helps almost my brain organize it in a way for my, like my eye eyes and my heart to see. But it, I love the idea of it always evolving and that you, you can have a purpose, but that it can change as you discover more about yourself and you experience more just like Lisa was saying. Right. Because as you go along, you’re going to have experiences that might shape

Rae (34:55):

You. Yeah. I mean, we’re all growing, and if we’re not growing, then what’s the point? I mean, that’s my feeling. We have, you know, we’re all curious beings and, and growth is an integral part of any life, you know, to, to make it a, to me, valuable. You know, that’s one of my core values is Yeah. Learning and evolving. So, yeah. And, and I’m, I’m glad I love discussions like this because it does bring up things that you don’t necessarily think about, but it’s been yelling in the back of my mind. But to actually say it out loud, you know, it’s sort of like, well, maybe I need to actually write like a, an ebook on my spiritual journey, you know? And, and includes some of my artwork that, because I found where I found God is in nature, that is where my connection is. And so many of my pieces over the last few years always incorporate, you know, animals, birds, leaves, flowers, trees for that reason. Yeah.

Lisa (35:45):

What I love, what I hear, and I’m loving is that it’s almost like art makes you remember that you’re a holistic being <laugh>, you know? Yeah. It’s like we forget that, you know, we are mind, body, spirit, and it’s almost like the art of living, you know, it’s almost like art, the scribble, it’s like, it’s transcendence, this, you know, you can scribble and then you evolve <laugh> and expand and grow, and then you become, you become art. Right?

Rae (36:11):

Right, right. We are, we are the artists of our own lives. The, we are creating masterpieces every day. So what do we want it to look like? You know, do I, I guess, do you want it to be the sorrow and the pain, or do you wanna look for the bliss and the joy and the wonder and awe, you know, that’s where I am, you know, and my artwork is all about using color and texture and things like that. For that reason, because I spent a long time in my blue period, you know, <laugh> <laugh>, I don’t want that. I just wanted to show you, this is my latest thing I’ve been playing with. Oh,

Lisa (36:44):

I’d love that.

Rae (36:45):


Lauren (36:45):

That out.

Rae (36:47):

Yeah. So I had taken a class, you know, I, I took some workshop cuz of Covid with some women from New York who was using these mannequin heads and creating all these, these birth pieces. I said, huh, I think I’m gonna try that. You know, and it was like, I got on Amazon, ordered two heads, and, you know, they’re taking longer than I thought that I would do them. But they’re fun and it’s evolving. Again, I, when I do my artwork, and I don’t know about you ladies, you know, it’s like, I don’t necessarily have a plan in mind. I, I will almost always start with like a scribble and a doodle. Just make a mark and see where it goes. So

Lauren (37:21):

Yeah. I love it. Wow. What a great conversation. Thank you for joining.

Lisa (37:26):

I just have one last question for you, Ray. Yes, for sure. We have our viewers. What is one nugget of wisdom that you can tell them to begin the scribble process or, you know, something? What, what do you wanna share with the

Rae (37:39):

World? Well, I do want them to start with the scribble process, but I think before that, I think you’ve got to get into a state of gratitude. Just because it gives you, it opens you up to more if you are so closed off. I mean, if you can take, and I believe in the practice writing gratitude again, it gets you outta your head. It’s not the same and not, and if you can do it by hand versus a computer, you’re even better off because it, you know, your neuro pathways, they, they’re better that way. Yeah. But I would say if you can start with three gratitudes in the morning and three at night, it will open you up. That’s part of it. And then, you know, you can start playing in your imagination. Look for images. I do a lot of vision board work with people where if they don’t have an idea what’s calling to them, I say go start looking through.

Rae (38:24):

You know, now it’s Pinterest, there’s not as many magazines as there used to be, but you know, go on Pinterest or get some magazines or cards at the Dollar Store. And instead I don’t, and I say, don’t cut anything out. Rip it out. Because again, it’s a very the sound makes a difference. The physical act makes a difference. And start collecting images that just, and words that that talk to you and, you know, put ’em in an envelope. Don’t look at ’em right away, put them away. And then one day just take them out and start seeing if there’s any themes. You know, is there anything that you see, anything, words that jump out at you you know, that kind of thing. I even do that with a magazine, you know, like, especially used to be when I was in the airport, you know, I take ’em page of a magazine and I just circle the words that call to me and then I’d write something about it.

Rae (39:12):

Oh, love it. You know, it was like, yeah, those words, oh, and then whatever. And it, it, it just sparks something. So I think those are ways to, to really start your process of whatever you wanna do to find it. My book, that creative activist has questions that lead you on a journey of personal development and a you know, and activism as well. So that’s another way if you, and as I said, call me if you really, you know, contact me through Messenger, Ray Luskin and we can set up a, you know, a heart storming session if you ready to, to play a little bit and to see where, what is your passion and purpose, where do you wanna go?

Lauren (39:52):

I, I love it. Cuz what I’m hearing from you is that like, don’t worry about the why part yet. You don’t have to worry about the why you’re doing it. You just need to do it. Right. Like, you just need to, you just need to pick up that pencil and scribble or, I love the idea of, you know, just like, like even if you aren’t a magazine or card person, just go walk outside or go walk around your house and take pictures with your phone of things that are calling out to you. And then you don’t need to know why they are, but

Rae (40:19):

You can. Right. Not at all. You know, it’s like, and you, yeah. I mean, I take mostly I take my grandchildren in nature. I, I, I’ve been trying to go out even in the winter and I have more snow pictures this year than I’ve ever had in my life. You know, and so, yeah. And it calls to me, you know, it is, that is my calling and that is my, you know, there, there’s something there. I, you know, and then have conversations with people who you respect and love. I think that’s another piece of this. Find somebody who will support you in whatever it is that you are thinking about and doesn’t ha you know, that will listen. You know, start the conversation please. I’d really like you to listen to what I’m talking about first. You don’t have to fix me. You don’t have to change me <laugh>, but respect, you know, that I’m going through a process right now and these are some of the thoughts that are coming up for me. 

Lauren (41:09):

I love it. I love

Lisa (41:10):

It. Well, thank you. Thank you. This was a risk. Yes. Do you see conversation? And I hope it inspired people to take an, our breaks starting <laugh>.

Rae (41:19):

Oh, definitely. And there’s so many ways to take your art break. I mean, you’re right. Get outside, take a photo at least one a day, you know, and it could be in the hallway. I, I live in a condo and sometimes I’ll just take, oh, the light on the window, you know, or whatever. So yeah.

Lauren (41:33):

Love it. Love it. All right. And we’ll put all your info when we update the video so people can get in touch with you.

Rae (41:39):

Okay. And then I will go ahead and I will start circulating it and I’m sure it’s gonna be wonderful. And again, anytime that I can help or be of service to you guys or collaborate with you, I’d love to. Oh, yes. I feel like the three of us would do a fabulous workshop, honestly. Yeah. <Laugh>. Yeah. Let’s do workshop. Yeah, let’s do it. I think so. I mean, I could see that between, you know, where we each are on our journey and what we’re trying to accomplish. I could see that easily.

Lauren (42:06):

That’d be awesome. Okay.

Rae (42:08):

All right. Next time. Thank you. All right. Bye. Thanks.