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Long ago I was given the privilege of access to my inner voice through painting. I managed to survive high school and college by practicing this precious gift. Yet, when real life hit, I became afraid of losing myself in my dream world and let it go. I took a more practical route. I needed to make money and start a family, and be an overall reasonable person.

However, it hit me with time that a huge part of me was dying little by little. It felt like I was blindfolded while walking through the dilemmas of this world, and instead of developing my best self, I was selling my soul to the devil. That child within me had no way out. It was imprisoned, dying of thirst for a connection.

When things got really bad and I was crying nightly about a miscarriage, about lost opportunities in my career, about my life that was going nowhere, I took a three-day painting workshop and realized that I almost killed this little beautiful child inside me, my real me, my true self. I began devoting more and more time to painting and to re-connecting with this fragile voice.

I had noticed with time, as my practice got more and more constant, that this voice does not push. It guides gently. It assures me in my abilities. It builds out the inner strength that I never knew I had.

If I die today, I would be forever grateful to this voice of intuition that I was able to utilize. I so hope that more and more people find their true voice by doing something for their soul, be it meditation or yoga, dance or painting, making music or playing with yarn.

I inevitably come out of my painting sessions with an ‘aha’ moment, a solution to a real-life problem that has been nagging me for a long time. Somehow, whatever issues I resolve on canvas have their roots in the psychology of life. It’s quite remarkable that the little inner voice only comes out during painting but I’m so grateful that it does. I really wish for more of us to connect to their true selves, to find our humanity.

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Diana Stelin is an artist and an inspirational painting instructor who has garnered a much revered Best of Boston award. She's also a mother of three and a brilliant writer. Ms. Stelin creates multi-layered landscapes painted with a mixture of oil and wax. While she produces her pieces, she reflects about her process and writes deeply about the connection between artmaking and psychology. Her articles have been featured in Harness Magazine, and among others. Follow her journey by joining her email list via

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This Post Has 10 Comments

    1. Yes, I am seeing that more and more. And even though I typically speak about what the painting process does for me, I find that oftentimes what I come across is pretty universal, no matter what discipline one might find himself in.

  1. Very insightful and personal article. Thoroughly enjoyed getting another glimpse into your inner-self. Thank you for opening up to us!

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