Turning Pain into Enlightened Art

What happens when your favorite activity hurts? I love to stitch. I love the feeling of threading a needle. I love shopping for embroidery floss. I love listening to YouTube or music while stitching. I feel in my bones that stitching is just "my thing".

The Universe does not agree.

Over the years, my hands have had aches and pains and I have been forced to take small breaks from creating art. It is now to the point where I need to take a big, long break.

I have been diagnosed with a muscle sprain (between the thumb and forefinger) and Carpal Tunnel. Luckily, when I am not doing art, I work part time as a Marketing Manager for a wellness clinic. The fabulous therapists at my clinic have been using various therapies including cupping, a GX machine (for deep tissue release) and massage therapy to help relieve the numbness and tingling in my fingers.

In addition to massage therapy, I am also in physical therapy, wearing wrist support hand braces and working on my posture. Most of all, I am opening myself up on a spiritual level to allow in new ideas and ways to express myself that don't involve stitching.

I was in the middle of this self portrait when the pain became unbearable. I spent about 3 weeks in self pity mode. Moping around, not sure what to do with my creative juices. How would I ever finish this piece? Would anyone (including me) enjoy my work without the embroidery part? I am no good as a painter, so what will I do? A friend sent me a text and invited me over for a session of Reiki healing. I felt heavy energy lift from my chest and expand. I magically came home from the session and started to sketch and play around with the idea of creating images without hand stitching. I have to let go of all the feelings that my work will not be as unique or special and just keep creating from the heart.

I am now working on a series of images that will not include hand embroidery. The creative juices are flowing once again, and I am learning to let them come without judgement.

I am excited to see where this goes, and look forward to the day when I can stitch again.

Please follow my progress as I heal and create, and drop me a line and let me know how you have overcome creative struggles.


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Karen Payton Art      Ventura County, California