by Kris Bella
I am an owner of Arte Soleil. I am also an artist, art therapist, mother, wife, advocate, community mobilizer, neighbor, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, friend, supporter, voter, citizen, healer, teacher. When looking at ourselves in the wholeness and complexity of the self, the possibilities are endless. So what happens when we put people in a box? When we stereotype someone based on appearance? When we conclude based on other people’s perceived notions?
We all come from a foundation in which we are raised by the teachings of our parents, caretakers, elders. We learn their truth. And that truth can be shadowed in fear and misunderstanding. Finding our path to our own truth can be a lifelong process filled with detours and dead-ends. To this day, I still hear the words of my parents. And, at times, those words come out of my own mouth as I share my wisdom with my own child. We all learn, create, struggle, grow, cry, laugh, and love. We are all finding our way and doing the best we can.
In finding my truth, I have learned to move through the world from a place of compassion and appreciation. People have so much to offer if we take the time to authentically connect. The earth seems to shift. The sun seems to shine a bit brighter. The rain feels a bit warmer. I welcome people of all shapes, sizes, colors, cultural norms, interests, ethnic backgrounds, social status, religions, political leanings, ages, gender expression, financial standing. I welcome all people. Judgment and fear strangles the heart.
As Maya Angelou had written, “Prejudice is a burden which confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”
I am doing my best to create a space which allows every person who walks through the doors to know they will be treated with respect and dignity. They will be accepted for the wholeness of who they are are in this moment and time.
Welcome to Arte Soleil.