let yOurself be mOved

“A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way.”

-Deena Metzger

In early January of this year, I got a notice that the amazing artist and teacher Jeanne Bessette (http://www.bessetteart.com) would be teaching a 5-day art class in Sedona, Arizona in September. I remember laying in  bed, which was where I was still spending about half of my time, thinking what a great opportunity this was. Jeanne lives in North Carolina, and as far as I knew, had never come to AZ.

As I continued to read the details about this “Soul of the Artist” class , I felt this rush of excitement, and an absolute and resounding “yes!” in every cell of my body. You know. One of those times when all logic goes out the window, only pure heart energy takes over, and there’s nothing to do but hang on for the ride. It’s quite exhilarating, and at the same time, scary as hell!

Before I really knew what was happening, I electronically plunked down my $250 non-refundable deposit and somehow trusted that in 8 months I would be well enough to attend and participate in the class. You’d think there wouldn’t be any doubt that it would be enough time, but after 4 years of this chronic illness, I’d become leary of banking on any kind of steady improvement.

As the months clicked by, I moved between “how awesome is this” and “what the hell was I thinking” many, many times. I even emailed Jeanne to make sure it would be workable if I still needed to take my daily 2-hour afternoon nap. She kindly reassured me that she would make sure I didn’t miss anything big. Luckily, to my amazement, my energy steadily improved, and on September 18th I happily and nervously drove myself to the magical land of Sedona.

Funny things happen when you say “YES” to your own heart strings.  Like:

  • you get a partial view of the gorgeous Sedona red rocks from your “basic” hotel room.
  • you find a comfy couch, perfect for napping, in the room next to the art studio.
  • you put your well being first and find out that really cool people still value you.
  • you begin feeling surges of energy you haven’t felt in years.
  • you begin embracing a part of yourself that has needed attention for as long as you can remember.
  • you begin to feel a strong connection to something greater, something grander, something magical, and can’t believe how happy it makes you.
  • upon returning home, you are greeted with many kisses and a giant bouquet of sunflowers.

I always doubted the reality of Sedona being a place of energy vortexes, strong spiritual energies, and healing. It just sounded too good to be true, and more a creation of good marketing than actual facts. Oh, how wrong I was.

It’s not that I’d never experienced the natural beauty of “Red Rock Land”, but for the first time, with support and love from the wise and transformational Jeanne Bessette, I was encouraged to be “in relationship” with it. And it changed everything.


I’m still in process with the whole experience, and it hasn’t been all flowers and puppy dog tails to say the least. But not many things in this life are. I’m still working on being okay with that. In the mean time I will keep loving myself, fighting off shame when it sneaks in while I’m not looking, harvesting priceless energy that has been locked inside unprocessed and unloved anger, and painting like my life depends on it. Because I’m pretty sure it does.

"the light bearer"

Pay attention to your heart strings, dear friends. They will never lead you astray. Promise.

Be Brave.

 Be Happy.

Be True.

lOve, vickiO


say yes.

take the risk.

let yOurself be mOved.

it’s wOrth it!


    • vickioart

      Thank you so much, Lisa! You continue to be such a great support, and I will be forever grateful. And thank you for leading by example – following your beautiful heart❤️

  1. Sandra Eakes

    VickiO, I just love reading your posts and continue to look forward to the next one! As I read your messages, They truly affirm that many of my doubts about myself are very real and that inspires me to keep working on positive self talk… simply, you sharing your thoughts and feelings helps me more than you know… others too, I am certain! You are a beautiful soul… ❤️sandy

    Sandra K. Eakes Cell: 308.379.3504

    “We’ll sing in the sunshine, we’ll laugh everyday..🎶🎶🎶”~Gayle Garnet


    • vickioart

      Sandy, your comments brought tears to my eyes. It’s always so helpful to me to write about what is happening on the inside, and that it helps others is such an incredible bonus. Thanks so much for your honesty and sharing your beautiful heart. Hugs to you!❤️

  2. julie

    Thank you for sharing such motivating words. I am invigorated by your testimony and heart. Keep on moving forward and sharing your journey. You are a life lesson for some of us that really need it!


    • vickioart

      You are so welcome, Julie. I’m always amazed at what comes out when I start writing, and it warms my heart to know it touches yours. Keep taking the steps that work for you, knowing you are worthy of tender self-care and much love. Sending you healing blessings❤️ Love, Vicki

  3. Susan Kipp

    You captured it in words and paint. It was a privilege to sit across from you and fell your beautiful spirit.

  4. Susanne Lane

    Hi Vicki!
    What beautiful words and thoughts you are sharing! It was so nice to meet you in Jeanne’s class! Hopefully you will be back again next September…I signed up right away when we were there and offered the chance!
    I understand chronic illness. I had much the same worries when I signed up myself and the miracle of the Sedona workshop pulled me through as well!
    Best wishes to you and hope to see yo in Sedona again!

    • vickioart

      Thank you Susanne! I haven’t signed up for the September art class, but I am committed to the “Finding Your Essence” retreat. Sedona is such a perfect setting for both!
      I really feel for you having to deal with chronic illness as well. There is really nothing quite like it. I’m so happy the Sedona, and Jeanne’s magic, helped bring you through. Be well, and it was a joy to meet you!

  5. Lahna Chaffee

    Thank you for such a beautiful, inspiring message. You seem to somehow touch on messages that seem to be so perfect & timely for me. I too am struggling with making the decision whether to make an annual trip. Every year it seems I am walking this same trail, and since this involves going all the way to Guatemala, away from my usual medical help (such as it is!), it is a major decision. I have not made reservations yet, just trying to decide will I be well enough in time to go. You help me believe that I will. Thank you for your constant inspiration & encouragement.
    Namaste, Lahna

    • vickioart

      Hello Lahna❤️ Thanks so much for your touching and truthful message. Big travel, and sometimes little travels, really are major decisions. The truth is it takes a lot of energy just to get there, and then it’s scary to wonder if we’ll be able to do anything once we do. I sure hope you are able to make the trip, and that it is inspiring, fun and supportive. Just make sure self care is at the top of the list. I’m only reminding you, because I have to remind myself of that almost every day😊 Much love and peace to you, Vicki

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