A Story of Light

♥ We are all conduits of light ♥

Month: March, 2012

No one can stop you, not even yourself.

It’s a bold statement, I know!  Especially in an age where the saying “we are our own worst enemy’ exists.  Yes, of course there are times that we get in our own way, sometimes repeatability but that is our higher self presenting us with experiences we need to have for us to learn the lessons we have come here to learn specifically.  If we don’t get it the first time the same situation will present itself to us until we figure out what it is we need to know.

It is so important to explain how I feel when I say that no one can stop you, not even yourself because I had this moment of truth last night as I learned I was officially accepted to NYU for my MA in Art Therapy.  Going back to school for my MA was something I had been thinking about for quite some time, I dare even say the first thought originated over 6 years ago.  I would discuss it with close friends and family, some supportive, others not so much and would even go as far as to try and scare me away from the idea.  I still have memories of being in high school and people telling me I’d never get into college with my grades.  Regardless of what people thought of me or said to me, after high school I graduated and was accepted into one of the top art colleges in the country.  Now years later, I will be receiving my MA from NYU, where the first Art Therapy MA program in the USA was founded.

No matter what, Art Therapy and the idea of my MA always found its way back to me.  Something would always present itself, as well I started meeting people randomly in the field.  It was always right there waiting patiently on my shoulder.  Then, one day about 6 months ago I decided on a whim to apply to some universities and so I did and the rest is history, as they say.

I want to share this with all of you amazing souls because it’s important that you realize and acknowledge that dream, that little voice inside you whispering, reminding you what it is you truly want so that you may go for it.  I believe there are multiple paths available to us, but most of them do include our dreams at the finish line.  You just have to believe and put in the work.  And by work, I mean whatever it is you’re doing in this moment, live to the fullest, because yes I work within the creative field but I have never had any first hand experience with Art Therapy.  Yet NYU saw something in me, they saw all the hard work I’ve put into becoming the person I am, enough to know I have it in me to heal and facilitate change in a positive and possibly global way.

I am here to tell you now, today, to go for it!  If it feels right to you forge ahead and always know that if you are being true to your heart, yourself and those around you in life, you will succeed.

And always remember, no matter who or where you are, when you have those moments where you’re tired and everything seems a little too heavy, I am here believing for you, always  (:

“I am not telling you it is going to be easy, I am telling you it is going to be worth it.”  ~ Art Williams

‘Drift Wood’

“Nevermind, I found what I needed in you, in myself.”

I wrote this a few months ago, but I would love to share it here and now with all of you lovely people.  Every once and a while this happens, an accumulation of life lessons knocks you over and wakes you up.  The death and rebirth,  a new beginning of consciousness.  It seems new every time but really, our awareness is continuous and it is up to us to bring it higher and higher through our own life’s choices and experiences.  I had gone online last night, all of these amazing quotes kept popping up that kept reaffirming what I was feeling and being that there is no such thing as a coincidence, I saw it as a great opportunity to express what I was feeling fully in my own words.  It is amazing what you receive once you’re open to it.  I am so grateful for all of the help I have been given and I am beyond excited at where I am at this exact moment and where everything is headed.  For the sake of making space for everything new and letting go of all the unnecessary stale energy, the following needs to be put forth.

We can only really take responsibility for ourselves once we’ve stopped comparing our lives to that of another’s.  Taking responsibility for every choice we make, for every harm done to ourselves or those around us is essential to our growth.  To stop making excuses and realizing it isn’t about controlling a situation but in how we react to that situation that makes us who we are.  Once we learn to do this, the next step is finding a way to forgive ourselves and those who have hurt us that sets us free.  Because if not, we along with those around us will continue to suffer.  Most importantly, we must allow those we have hurt and those who have hurt us to choose what is best for their own life moving forward without our judgment, even if it means losing each other for good.

I’ve been walked on, used and forgotten but I don’t regret one moment of it, because it is in those moments I’ve learned the most.  Every second of my life has led me to who I am right now and how could I not be insanely thankful for that?  I am grateful, beyond all comprehension.  I’ve learned who I can trust and can’t.  I’ve learned the meaning of friendship and that it is the ones that allow you to shine regardless of their own beliefs that are the keepers.  I’ve learned to tell the difference between a person’s opinions and whether it’s genuine or just a thoughtless projection of ones own fears and insecurities.  I’ve learned that there will be people who are threatened by my unwavering love, appreciation and pride for myself regardless of how they see me.  I have learned it is no longer my responsibility to fix people, it never really was and I have learned to just be there for the ones that deserve it.  I’ve learned that when someone earns my trust and more importantly can keep it, I can move mountains for them and there is nothing I wouldn’t do.  I have learned that people will try to force their idea of what true happiness is on me because in reality, they haven’t truly found it themselves.  I’ve learned to let go.  I’ve learned to take what is good from what is bad and not the other way around.  I’ve learned how to tell when people are lying and when they’re sincere and I have learned to leave it rather then take it.  I’ve learned how to be young, but then when and how to grow up.   I learned what it is to truly, truly grieve and it wasn’t from a silly breakup or the loss of a friend but from the loss of life itself.  I won’t ever take what I have for granted because it made me, piece-by-piece with every choice I have made.  Others don’t need to understand or agree or even appreciate that,  all that matters is that I do  (:

“Anything that is of real value in life only multiplies when it is given.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Remember that the universal rule of nature is to give.  I was given this life because I was strong enough to live it.  I am far from perfect (whatever that may mean anyway), but truly Loving and respecting others, especially those I love has always come naturally to me regardless of what aspects of myself needed fixing.  That takes continuous strength, courage and an undying loyalty in a world that is continuously changing, along with all of the people in it.  I am exactly who I am supposed to be in this precise moment and I will never allow anyone to tell me any differently.  I embrace it and I am continually reminded that only I know what is best for me.  We are always exactly where we need to be, but it is up to our free will and us whether we shine and choose to enjoy it or make it miserable for ourselves and live in fear.

It is so important that every single one of you be true to yourself and those that are good to you, because if you do, there will never be a single regret.

♥All of my love and light♥

Namaste

~Jennifer

Lessons along the way, Part 1.

I’ve learned that you must love yourself completely first if you ever truly plan on loving anyone as much or more. It may not seem like it at the time but by doing otherwise you are doing a serious in justice to those you choose to be with and around. Your relationships will strain and end in torment because of your dishonesty to yourself, your insecurities and lack of self worth.

I’ve learned never look to others for approval. No one can provide that great of an appreciation as you can for yourself.

I’ve learned The Golden Rule has its name because it really is just that!  Please, PLEASE think before you act. Always treat others the way you wish to be treated. Or you can think of it this way, treat others the way you’d have those you cherish treated. Because I have learned this one myself in the hardest way, you may not believe in karma but that doesn’t matter, because it believes in you.

I’ve learned that some people are so broken, you could offer them the best love and care that exists, the perfect life and they would still walk away because they don’t have the ability to see past their own hurt. The old cliche is true in these cases, it is never about you.  They need to heal, and if you have attracted them, then apparently in some way so do you.

I’ve also learned that there are people who will hurt you, not because of who you are or are not, but because they believe they will never be good enough.

I’ve learned that if someone has to tell you how great they are, they need to be helped.  These people usually are the ones with the false sense of pride and over indulged ego. Chances are you have tried to help them already and lost a great deal, so move On! You can only help someone as much as they are willing to allow it.

I’ve learned that I believe in a ‘Source’ of that which we have been created. I’ve also learned that it doesn’t matter what you call it, or how you celebrate it, as long as you celebrate it.  A prayer is simply a desire, a need. If you send it out to the universe, have hope, work your butt off in the meantime, and have faith, it will come back to you, and it will eventually. Call it religion call it spiritualism, as long as you believe.

I’ve learned do not judge people according to their appearance.

I’ve learned that some people, if they think they can get away with it, will do you injustice behind your back. Don’t be afraid to love, but at the same time, there is nothing wrong with protecting your heart. Go with your intuition. I promise it is never wrong.

I’ve learned honesty can fix ANYTHING. No matter how horrific or amazing the immediate outcome of the situation, It will bring you and all those affected to a better place eventually.

I’ve learned when you say I love you, mean it.

I’ve learned to stop making excuses for those who have harmed us. We can not control their actions, nor should we wish to. We can only control ours. Besides, if someone has it in them to hurt us, we can do better.

I have been lucky enough to learn that those truly worth suffering for will never allow you to suffer.  They will do whatever it takes to fix it or have the strength of love to leave, taking the hurt with them rather then have the one they love hurt.  Everyone and every situation is a form of karmic relation, so ‘suffering’ to a degree is necessary for our spiritual evolution.  However, if the suffering gets in the way of our growth, if it leads to mental or physical discomfort or illness, then the suffering is in fact unnecessary and can be changed.

I’ve learned, unfortunately, that there are true forms of evil. I’ve seen it three times in my life. Careful who or what you allow into your life, because it’s precious.

I’ve learned how to never ever let anyone dictate whether you can or can not do something. Follow your life’s passion. You will be a better person for it.

I’ve learned that walking into a room with all my screaming cheering baby cousins in it and having them wrap their small arms around my neck is the best therapy there is. Whether its a bad day, week, month or year. A child’s love is the purest form of love you’ll ever feel.

I’ve learn to be grateful, and funny enough its been through some of the toughest times in my life.

I’ve learned that age doesn’t necessarily bring wisdom for everyone. Wisdom comes through life and its experiences. From failing over and over again only to get back up. Fear is crippling and if you let it get the best of you, you will end up having regrets and a lifetime of choices made on just getting by. Challenge yourself everyday!

I’ve learned never take anything at face value, Question everything.

I’ve learned that prejudice and bigotry is something that is taught. You can’t overcome it until you acknowledge it, understand where it comes from and why.

I’ve learned it’s easier to preach to others what’s right and wrong then to follow it yourself. No one likes a hypocrite. The road is hard and its long but once you start to live the words you preach, it’s a wonderful fulfilling feeling.  The minute I started taking responsibilities for my actions I began to help more people. Why? because instead of just hearing it they could see it. And that’s inspiring!

I’ve learned no matter how much it hurts, how you feel the world may be ending, how it feels as though you cant move on from that ripped relationship or broken marriage. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can or will break your heart like a death of a loved one. And there is nothing that will put your life in perspective more.

I’ve learned chivalry is mostly dead but not completely. When a gentleman opens the door for you, or gestures for you to walk first through an entryway saying “after you” with a smile, thank them most kindly and give them a smile Back. They will get it (:

I’ve learned that reckless drivers are just that, reckless and selfish. They may not have much to lose, but you and I do. So stay clear of them when ever possible.

I’ve learned that right next to love is respect. Without respect there is no love. I’ve also learned that when you truly love someone the respect comes naturally.

I’ve learned how you live your everyday, how you treat others, even how you think towards yourself and others is who you truly are. It will lead you into the person you will be.

I’ve learned how important a firm handshake is.

I’ve learned that every single action I take and move I make directly affects everyone else around me. Live your life to what you believe and you’ll never have a regret.

I’ve learned that the people we feel we need to impress the most usually are the ones not worth impressing.

I’ve learned that stress, does in fact kill. So figure out who and what is worth tour time, everything else is minuscule.

I’ve learned no matter how strong the bond you have with your mother, nothing is more comforting then her hug on a hard day.

I will sing my children and their children to sleep one day. Because I’ve learned the memory of my grandmother singing me to sleep is one of the most comforting and treasured memories I will ever have.

I’ve learned that karaoke with all your closest friends can help heal a broken heart.

I’ve learned that people will make excuses for their behavior whenever they can. We are all a result of our environment, good and bad. We have all been given choices. At some point we need to take responsibly and stop making excuses.

I’ve learned physical attraction is important but values and laughter is what gets us through life.

I’ve learned to never say too much when I am angry, words can be forgotten but can never be taken back.

I’ve learned how not to be superstitious.

I’ve learned that if I am excited about something it feels better to share it rather then keep it in.

I’ve learned clutter adds to the uneasiness we have about certain areas in our lives. And believe it or not, it makes it harder for you to know what you want. Get rid of everything you know you’ll never need and want again. Burn it, donate it or just throw it away!

Give out compliments whenever you can, and mean them!

I’ve learned that I could have a million things to do and not do any of them. But if I write what I need done on an old fashioned notepad I will get everything done in a timely fashion!

I’ve learned we are not as wise as we think we are until we can learn to take a hint.

I’ve learned we can make someone’s day by just smiling back at them.

I’ve learned I am happier when those I love are happy.

I’ve learned that if someone is hurting, sometimes it only takes being around good friends and good energy to lift their spirit, even if it’s in silence.

I’ve learned that if someone has something unkind to say, it’s ususally something in them they are unhappy or insecure with.

I’ve learned there are people who will care for you and love you that will never know how to show it, and that’s ok. But, they may not be meant to play a leading longterm role in your life either.

I’ve learned someone can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle a screaming child.

I’ve learned that we, in fact, can not know a man by the way he treats his mother.

I’ve learned that in life, we get a hell of a lot more then just one chance.

I’ve learned that if there is someone or something that you are continually searching for, stop. It will come to you when you are ready.

I’ve learned that if you send out the questions, you will get your answers. Maybe not right away, but everything you will ever need to know in this life will find you, eventually.

I’ve Learned that miracles do exist. And yes, people can make them happen too.

I’ve learned that when I am in pain, upset or angry, that it’s important not to push it onto others. Misplaced anger is a selfish thing.

I’ve learned to hug someone everyday.

And finally, I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn (:

Jennifer Santaniello © 2009

My Passion.

“What is something you feel strongly about?”

Yesterday this question was posed to me.  For as far back as I can remember, there has always and only been one answer to this question.  My strength, my passion has always been my art from one form to another.  It is one of my truths that I have never had to question. The only way I could possibly explain it, is I knew what art was and its purpose long before anyone explained it to me. I discovered arts healing properties quite young. It is no surprise to me now that I have decided to go back for my MA in Art Therapy. I am waiting to hear back from two Universities in NYC. I am so excited I can hardly stand it! ☺

“Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist.”
― Eileen MillerThe Girl Who Spoke with Pictures: Autism Through Art

Art is something that no matter how rough it gets, no matter who enters, stays, or leaves my life, can never be taken away from me. No one can reach that deep, it’s eternal and limitless. Not even death can diminish it, because my art and what it stands for will live long after me. I am a firm believer that nothing of ours can ever be truly taken away, unless we agree to give it. When those closest to me go through hard times I try to remind them that even when we feel something in us has gone missing, it’s never really lost. What we are searching for is always right where we left it. I feel art provides this power for those that choose to accept it and allow it in. I hope to help people through art and expression for a very, very long time ☺

~ All of my Love and Light ~

Namaste

♥ Jennifer ♥

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

~ Thomas Merton

Photography series titled ‘Drift Wood’ by Jennifer Santaniello

Click here for Jennifer’s personal art website!

Copyright © 2012 Jennifer Santaniello

I believe in you always.

“Until you start believing it, surround yourself with those who believe it for you.”

It is SO important that I found this quote.  And it thrills me because for as long as I can remember, I have always explained how important I believe this truth to be.  When those I love go through tough times I feel it dire to remind them that it is ok if they have lost faith momentarily, because I am here believing it for them, that I am here to believe in them and their dreams for them until they can find their way back to hope.

It is important to remember to surround ourselves with those that lift us higher.  It’s nearly impossible to avoid those that will challenge our beliefs and our dreams but that is apart of our growth and journey towards self.  There would be no lessons learned if everything was made easy or handed to us.  I at the point in my life where I have grown to appreciate the bad as much as the good.  However, keeping our most positive friends and family closest to us, shows the universe a conscious effort and pledge to the love we have for ourselves and our purpose.  As we have all grown to learn, the universe rises up to meet us with whatever energy we regularly put out ☺

~ All of my Love and Light ~

Namaste

❤ Jennifer ❤

Welcome (:

♥ Welcome and thank you for visiting! ♥

Two days ago I was cleaning and came across this card, I knew the time was right because I have wanted to start this blog for some time.  Sometimes life gets so heavy and we start to feel like maybe all the good work we do is for nothing.  But, the truth is, it means everything.  I find that the more I believe the more help I continually receive. Even something as simple as ‘accidently’ finding a card, reminding me that each and every one of us is planting seeds in our everyday and within our lives and within the lives of others. So, make it good, make it positive, make it love.

There is so much I’d like to share with you all, I will be doing that here for everything and anything I feel will bring awareness.  I look forward to sharing with you all and hearing from you as well (:

~ All of my love and light ~

Namaste

❤ Jennifer ❤