Today I know I can lay my heart in my hands, but for so many years I had been outsourcing my need of love, belonging, and appreciation because of my belief that the force that bestows these blessings is outside me and not inside. I wish I could have known that before. No one had ever thought to tell me that powerful fact, and I would like to ask the little girl in me for forgiveness and understanding. My life journey touches this in so many ways, I would like to share my story with you.
What’s my story? It started in a beautiful farm town in the Galilee, Israel where I was born and raised in a farming family. The quiet peaceful childhood in the country, immersed in nature and soulfulness, but also with a very traditional, structured way of thinking, being, and doing. The unspoken message was that women have the job of raising a family and the responsibility of cooking, cleaning, and laundry. I followed the rules, helped in the kitchen, did some house cleaning. I do remember struggling inside myself with these messages to be beautiful, be quiet, be framed, but since my family supported this role, I was blocked to any change that was coming from the voices inside me. A lack of appreciation and no support to strengthen my natural artistic abilities led to an insecure feeling and low self-esteem, which affected my life very deeply.
As a teenager and a good girl, I was busy studying, putting a lot of my time in schooling. Turning away from my gifts as an artist and designer was the first step in getting pulled away from my path. As a little girl, one of my strongest memories was going to my grandparents’ home on Saturday morning to color coloring books filled with wonderlands of castles and princesses, Indians, dinosaurs and Mickey Mouse. I used to color for hours, immersed in feelings of inner peace, joy, and love. The relaxing, joyful feeling of these moments brought so much love to my inner world. But since I thought I should aim for a profession that would support me as a grown up, I gave up my loves, my passion, my uniqueness. So many beliefs ruled my world and I had no one that would guide me to stay true to myself.
When I graduated from high school, I joined the army as a tank instructor. I taught soldiers how to use the tank and various functions. I was very proud of myself. I wanted this job, aimed for it, and got it. Leaving my parents’ home was a very empowering experience, and probably was the building block to my next phase in life, which was leaving my homeland of Israel to learn abroad, at a college in the United States. Yes, I faced many challenges along with this decision and my parents’ resistance, but changing my major from hospitality to multimedia and computer based programs made me fight back hard times and homesickness. This was a very meaningful turning point, the beginning of turning back to my strengths as a child and to my natural true colors glow.
After graduating from college, I returned back home to the Galilee, Israel. Facing an unknown future as a young woman whose biological clock was ticking, I wanted to find a good man and settle down, marry, and have my own family, like I was expected. Teaching animation in a college in northern Israel led me to my future husband. Our relationship was loving, but also had arguments that didn’t go away. I married him. I wish I could have had someone to tell me not to.
Divorcing him, letting go, and leaving a broken marriage twelve years later was a huge milestone in my life, and a powerful message to the girl inside me. It took me back to my loves, grew confidence to start my own international business, to design and color as a tool for healing my inner world, to love the little girl inside me. Practicing meditation, Yemima, along with coloring and journaling, took me back to my soul, to grow self-love, gain trust in myself, and open me to embrace a creative entrepreneur mindset of growth and goodwill.
My life journey led me back to the art that had inspired me as a little girl and gave me a profound sense of happiness and well-being. And as a grown up, once again, I experienced the magic of coloring! This meditative practice, which is a form of art therapy, encouraged me to safely explore my innermost thoughts and feelings through a powerful, silent, non-verbal tender healing process. My art helped me heal my body, mind, and spirit, connected me with my deepest wishes, and brought me home to my soul, my passion, and my purpose. Listening to my heart guided me to create my dream job, revealed my mission and continues to illuminate my destiny in the world.
Writing down my story is a call to all women of faith and integrity to stand up for the future of our girls of all faiths and foster a strong universal sisterhood bond with a worldwide goodwill message of love, goodness, and peace for humankind, nature, earth, and the Universe for future generations. Amen. Healing is an option, be yourself, let’s shine - enlighten our beings with our own true colors. Glow. I’m committed to my soul’s love and to the promise I made to myself, staying loyal to my heart and doing what I love. ♡ My heart wish is to inspire and empower women and girls from all around the world to journey within, discover their deepest wishes, enhance their spiritual growth, heal their minds, bodies, and spirits, make their dreams come true, and create positive, remarkable changes in their lives, their families, their communities, and our world.
Faith, Love, and Good Energies,
Orit Gutmacher Levy Owner of Zebratoys & Designer of HALELUYA Sacred Soul Art