Then I stopped and realized that isn’t it. My motivation is helping others.
Helping people has always been a part of my life. Even when I was a child I would help the other kids from the neighbourhood with their homework or help my mother look after the little ones in her home day care. Changing diapers, washing an apple sauce face, or singing, playing and creating with the younger children wasn’t a chore for me.
Early on it was clear to me that I wanted to become a teacher. And I did. (smile) There are many things that I don’t like that much about the Swiss school system but the best part is that crafts, woodworking and art are still an important part of the curriculum. I was teaching all subject matters which made it easy to incorporate creative tasks into the learning process. Students with special needs often ended up in my class because everyone knew I would be able to support them in all kinds of creative ways.
Growing up I always had a creative project on the go and in my early twenties I started to pay more attention to my own painting practice. After eleven years as a teacher I decided that it was time to combine my calling to help others with my creative side. Stepping into the four year Art Therapy training was a logical next step.
An internship at a mental health institution gave me insights into depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia plus a knowledge of the many implications (good and bad) medications can have.
In 2000, I opened my practice as an art therapist. I helped children with war trauma, school anxiety, and difficult home situations. I supported adults through challenging times in their lives and connected them to their inner strength and resources. Further studies in meditation, mindfulness, and interests in spirituality followed and have become a part of my work.
Since my move to Nova Scotia in 2004 I have worked with autistic children and teens, helped adults find their bearings in difficult life situations and facilitated various art based community development projects.
In 2013 my mother died. Although I had helped many people navigate through difficult life challenges and had experienced dramatic loses in the past myself nothing prepared me for the sadness that accompanied the days, weeks, and months after my mother's death.
All of a sudden I felt like I had forgotten who I was and with my mother gone, no one was there anymore to remind me from time to time.
Since I had no support to find my way through this difficult terrain, I turned to what I already knew. I created little rituals to honour my mother. I painted a lot as a way to express and transform what I was feeling. And I shared my sad feelings only with people who I trusted to listen and not shy away from them.
By taking actions such as these, I discovered that my pain and sadness moved into a new direction. I was able to release the ifs and should-haves and felt a much greater sense of peace and balance. Rather than feeling consumed by grief whenever I thought of my mother, I was able once again to think of her with a smile on my face.
It became clear once more that what I wanted most was helping others.
What is your life's calling?
Is it hidden behind the overwhelming sadness of grief? There are steps you can take too to discover it again.
If you like to talk about your journey and hear about new steps you can take please consider a free Grief Relief call with me. You can find all the information at
Take good care,