Friday, April 9, 2021

Lightbulb Moment Number Two Million and One - Heartful Art by Raphaella Vaisseau

I am a forever student of Life. One of my currently favorite teaching organizations is Good Vibe University (GVU), founded by Jeannette Maw.

During a recent class I had a lightbulb moment that is changing my life (again). I had been caught in discouragement regarding lower than usual sales at the gallery in the first 3 weeks of March. Wanting clarity, I shared my concerns with the group. When Jeannette asked me, “How are you supporting yourself vibrationally?” I instantly felt a huge shift within me. After the call, I attuned myself with my Inner Being in a different way that I had understood prior to that realization. The Universe immediately responded and today, 17 days later, I surpassed the 30-day goal I had set for the 4-week class.

Most conscious creators know the value of self-love and sincerely practice it. For me, this is slightly different. Plus, I often say the very words. I tell people who visit my gallery that I’ve been supporting myself with my art for over twenty-five years. Interesting, right?

I’m learning there is a subtle but important distinction between loving myself, supporting myself financially, and supporting myself on other levels (vibrationally, emotionally, physically, intellectually, etc.). It feels like I am awakening (once again) to a more profound understanding of how to be, and it feels like falling even deeper in love with my Inner Being.

I’m listening, feeling, aligning, and realigning. Even when I’m sharing with others, it feels that I am sharing more authentically because it’s through a lens of supporting myself. Inside, I’m fine tuning. I’m placing a priority on what I want and need on subtler levels. Like breathing. I’m noticing my thoughts and replacing anything less than fabulous faster with thoughts of things I love and want more of.

It’s curious that no matter how conscious we are, or how much we’ve studied, and how much we know and understand the laws of the universe, there is always more to learn and know. There is always a deeper level of understanding. How great is that?

-Raphaella Vaisseau

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Follow Your Dream - Heartful Art by Raphaella Vaisseau

Raphaella Vaisseau at 5 years old with mural she painted in Kindergarten
My Kindergarten teacher at Munger Elementary in Duluth, Minnesota in 1953 told me I was an artist. She asked me to paint the mural that's behind our class in the photo to the right. Every day at my Heartful Art Gallery in Asheville, NC, I share with gallery visitors that it's probably because of this teacher that I feel I am in "perpetual kindergarten" as I create my art and work in my art business. Growing up, my parents acknowledged my artistic talent even though being practical they also said, "You can't make money with art." A college degree was required in my family so as a Senior in High School I picked the fastest degree available and became a dental hygienist. It wasn't until much later in my life that I saw an artist making money and the childhood myth I was taught by my parents was shattered. I was at an art fair in Los Angeles and the artist was Vicki Leon who creates amazing glass sculptures. She had long lines of buyers waiting in line with arms filled with $400 pieces of art. I was shocked. I stood in line as well and when it was my turn I asked her, "What's different about you that you don't seem to have poverty consciousness?" She shared a few things with me, and then I asked if I could volunteer at her art shows over the summer to learn her way of being. She agreed. I did. And at the end of that summer I started my own art business painting flowers and blessings on greeting cards. Six years later, in 1997, I quit my executive secretarial job and moved to Ashland, Oregon to live my dream as an artist. That was 23 years ago.

When I read a quote from Abraham-Hicks in this morning's email, I was inspired to share my story. Actually, a few more stories as well. When I shared my dreams with my ex-husband and said, "I'm going to do this or that," he'd say, "I bet you won't." And, I remember saying to my Mother as a young girl, "I want to sing on the radio." Her response, "You can't, you weren't born in Hollywood." Her saying that to me was like cold water thrown on my face and on my dreams. At the time I didn't know how to process it, but years later, while driving on the LA freeways with my friend Rob Hanson, my song came on the radio and we heard it!!! It was on an NPR station and they were showcasing local singer-songwriters, which I was at the time. To say that experience was a thrill, and a HUGE confirmation from the Universe is an understatement. We screamed and hollered in the car as we listened and I told Rob the story of what my Mother had said to me all those years ago. I sang on the radio after all.

It wasn't always easy for me to break away from the traditions of my parents and their goals for me and forge my own path in life, but I am so glad I did.
-Raphaella Vaisseau

Friday, June 5, 2020

What kind of reality can we create together? - Heartful Art by Raphaella Vaisseau

As a student of new thought and the law of attraction, I'm called to contemplate the times we're currently living in through the lens of how we can create a future where we all can win. Facing not only the Covid 19 pandemic globally, but the urgency of race relations in my country, I want to use this time wisely and do my part to create a better world. It's not enough to watch it unfold. At least for me it's not. I am a conscious creator who believes in the power of creating my own reality. Millions of other people do as well. We can do this.


Knowing that pushing against anything makes it stronger, the way conscious creators can most effectively execute change is through imagining and believing in what we want, how we want it to look, and see it that way. However, in times like these, as awareness is exploding, I am now embracing a combination of learning, action, and imagination as the best path forward in lifting myself and the people of the world into a reality more aligned with justice and happiness for everyone.

Through inspired action I am committed to creating my own reality which can in turn impact and transform the people whose lives I touch. I've known for decades that we are all at unique points in our awareness and understanding of our own purpose in life and how we are manifesting it. We can't tell by looking at another person what their experience is, what their reality is, so best not to judge. Instead, I strive to give the benefit of the doubt and focus on my own integrity of action and reaction in any situation. Back in 1975 I embraced the notion that Earth is a giant school where we're all taking different courses and learning in our own ways.

Do what you can with what you have where you are - Teddy Roosevelt
Still, as I've matured in my awareness, I find moments where it's important to step up outwardly and do what I can to help in a more direct way. For me, this is one of those moments. Nevertheless, while taking action I am attuned to my own vibration so I can monitor and realign as needed, keeping in mind that what I focus on I bring more of to myself. Also, I keep in mind Abraham saying, "You didn't come here to fix a broken world. It's not broken." OK. So, you might ask, if it's not broken, what's all this I see?

Balance, possibility, awareness. We learn from each other. We learn what to do and what not to do. We learn how to take care of ourselves and how to take care of others at the same time. We learn how our speech and our choices affect others, how our actions impact our daily lives and we learn what we're creating as a living context if we are awake enough to know it. Life is beautiful and magical when we know we each create our own reality. It's all in how you look at it. An example of this is George Floyd's six year old daughter Gianna saying, "Daddy changed the world." This is the truth.

Although there have been many times since Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012 (and, I know, for the past 400 years) that I sadly watched the news of yet another black person senselessly murdered, it was on May 8th after Ahmaud Arbery was killed while jogging that I started waking up about white priviledge. That's the piece that's new for me. In my Instagram and Twitter feeds, white people have been speaking up more and about white supremacy and the responsibility of white people to change the conversation in their own families, workplaces, and within themselves. An avalanche of news and events followed that ignited a mass of white people to join with the Black Lives Matter movement. It's been heartening for me to see the diversity of cultures and colors of the protestors.

As people have been waking up, I've seen people make rules about how to awaken, how to protest, and how to unlearn. I've heard "if you're a white person, don't join in the chant of 'I can't breathe' when you protest" because it's not for you to say. They've said, "if you post a black square, don't use the hashtag #blacklivesmatter because that will distract from the work" or "if you post a black square you have to do all of the other things required of being an activist or you don't get to post a black square" and on and on. This is called taking someone else's inventory, and it hampers the process of awakening. Remember, we are all at different places in our process in life. We all have different lessons to learn. We all have different roles to play. We are all a part of the dance of life. And, conscious creators do things differently.

What I'm choosing to do in this time is threefold: (1) learning how to do it better; (2) writing to my local elected officials, especially the mayor to encourage alignment with the Obama Foundation's My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge (launched in 2014), and enact Campaign Zero's 8 policies of 8cantwait.org that have decreased police violence by 72% in cities that have done so; and, (3) envisioning a world where everyone can win, a world of peace, justice, and love, and a world where we all keep learning how to let life get even better for each and every one of us. What is your vision?
- Raphaella Vaisseau

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Empathy in a Time of Uncertainty - Heartful Art by Raphaella Vaisseau

Today is March 31, 2020. Most of us have been staying at home for awhile now as the people of the world come to grips with the pandemic of Covid_19. Anna Galland posted a tweet over two weeks ago on March 16th that I came across today and I feel it's still relevant: "You can safely assume that everyone you talk to today has *something* going haywire personally ..." All of us, around the globe, are finding ways to cope, discovering new ways of being, and for some, enduring the day to day challenges of saving lives. I think we can all agree that gratitude helps. Empathy does too.
     I'm reminded of a quote by Henry David Thoreau: "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?" Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Merriam-Webster goes further: "Empathy is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner."
     A friend in Denmark, Melinda Knudsen, offers empathy counseling through her company, Empathy Catalyst. A student and practioner of nonviolent education, Melinda offers empathic support and communication coaching to groups and individuals around the world. A perfect skill for the challenges we face during this unusual time of our lives.
     As Anna reminds us, "Be kind. We're all figuring this out." If you're struggling, Melinda may be able to help. Find her on Facebook.
-Raphaella Vaisseau

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Writing Advice from Elizabeth Gilbert


Elizabeth Gilbert’s free 10-step Writing Academy:
1) Tell your story TO someone. Pick one person you love or admire or want to connect with and write the whole thing directly to them —like you're writing a letter. This will bring forth your natural voice. Whatever you do, do NOT write to a demographic. Ugh.
2) Start at the beginning of the story, write what happened, and keep going until you get to the end.
3) Use radically simple sentences.
4) Don't worry if it's good; just finish it. Whether or not your project is good, you'll be a different person at the end of it, and that’s always worth doing.
5) Don't write with the aim of changing anybody's life. That will lead to heavy, irritating prose. Just share what delights or enrages or fascinates you. If somebody’s life is changed by it, that’s a bonus. 
6) Whenever you can, tell stories instead of explaining stuff. Humans love stories, and we hate having stuff explained to us. Use Jesus as an example: He spoke almost exclusively in parables and allowed everybody to draw their own lessons from his great storytelling. And he did very well.
7) Your work doesn’t have to be any particular length or written for any particular market. It doesn’t have to even be seen by another human being. How and if to publish your work is a problem for another day. For today, just write.
8) Remember that you’ve been doing research your whole life, merely by existing. You are the only expert in your own experience. Embrace this as your supreme qualification.
9) Every writer starts in the same place on Day One: Super excited, and ready for greatness. On Day Two, every writer looks at what she wrote on Day One and hates herself. What separates working writers from non-working writers is that working writers return to their task on Day Three. What gets you there is not pride but mercy. Show yourself forgiveness, for not being good enough. Then keep going.
10) Be willing to let it be easy. You might be surprised.
- Elizabeth Gilbert via her Facebook Page @GilbertLiz on 08-31-2019

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Art News: River Arts District Gallery To Open January 15, 2020 Featuring Artists Karen Maugans, Raphaella Vaisseau, and Walter Arnold

In Suite #104, 191 Lyman St., the current location of Karen Maugans Gallery in Riverview Station in Asheville's River Arts District, come January, 2020, three artists will join to create a brand new Asheville art destination. 
From now until then, you're welcome to stop by any day from 10-5 to meet Karen and view her botanical art. Karen's website is KarenMaugansGallery.com. Call her at 407-456-2225.

As for Walter Arnold's work, it can be found in numerous galleries including Woolworth Walk, Kress Emporium, and Grove Park Inn in Asheville. Discover more about him and his process on his website, The Digital Mirage, and on his blog, Art Of Abandonment, where there is a link to the Ron Howard short film, "When You Find Me" which includes one of Walter's images that was selected from almost 100,000 entries as part of Canon's Project Imagin8ion. Well done.

I am thrilled to be a part of this new gallery and look forward to seeing you all there. My website is HeartfulArt.com, and I may be reached at 941-993-7001. In the six months before we open, you're welcome to call me for press information and updates.
-Raphaella Vaisseau

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Good Move to Asheville, North Carolina for Raphaella Vaisseau and Heartful Art

Raphaella Vaisseau at Olivette Riverside Community
     During the three and a half years I took care of my parents in their final years, I thought about all the places I have lived in my life and where I might want to go next. I picked Asheville, North Carolina.
     I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and lived there for forty years. Next was Los Angeles for ten years. In 1997, I committed myself to being an artist and moved to Ashland, Oregon. I stayed there three years and then moved to the SF Bay Area and opened Heartful Art Gallery in Sausalito in 2001. In 2008, I moved to the Gulf Coast of Florida to be closer to my aging parents, and in 2015, I moved to Miami to be their caregiver. They wanted to stay in their own home as long as they lived and my going there to help them allowed that to happen. So grateful. They had been happily married for 73 years, and both passed fairly naturally at age 96. By December, 2018, I had completed handling their affairs in Miami and set out on a journey to my new home in Asheville.
     I had never lived on the East Coast, and was attracted to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the forests, and the thriving art community in Asheville, a town of 92,000 people. I loved the idea of being able to have Asheville as a home base and take short trips up the East Coast to NYC, Boston, and Maine, travel to the North Carolina coast for a weekend, or explore the surrounding states of South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and beyond. This country is vast, beautiful, and has so much to offer.
     I've been in Asheville for six months now. There are many "best parts" of living here, but my favorite is nature. It is accessible. I don't need to seek it out or drive anywhere to get to it. I simply look up, look around, pause, and enjoy. It's everywhere, around every turn in the road, on every path.
     Mountains surround Asheville. To me, they are living art, with the sun rising and setting and splashing shadow or color on them, clouds and storms moving over them, trees blossoming in spring and turning colors in fall, and birds singing everywhere.
    For a nature lover like me, this area is perfect. I'm told there are sixty waterfalls close to Asheville (I've hiked to only 3 so far), and neighboring Transylvania County has over 250. I love trees. Being in a forest is a breath of Heaven for me, and I now have hiking boots, trek poles, and a backpack. I'm all set.
     True, Asheville doesn't have an ocean. However, I so cherished the Gulf Coast waters of Caspersen Beach when I lived in Venice, Florida, the ocean lives inside me now. Also, I know winter does exist here, since I arrived in the middle of an ice storm last December. But the weather here is moderate, especially compared to the cold of Minnesota or the heat of Miami.
     As for my required necessities, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and EarthFare provide plenty of organic, healthy food. Then there's the bonus of family and friends. My sister-in-law and niece both make their home here and have families of their own. Friends from California and Florida live here now too, and, being the gregarious person I am, I'm blessed with wonderful new friends as well.
     So, that's the story. In my life, I like to move toward my next adventure and this is it. I'm happy here. I'm painting, creating, and thriving. Onward.
- Raphaella Vaisseau