We recently connected with Vivian Thwaits and have shared our conversation below.
Vivian, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. What was the most important lesson/experience you had in a job that has helped you in your professional career?
The most important lesson that I have learned from my career as a Registered Nurse is practice what you love. I believe that those of us who are in “healing” professions often have a story to support why we are attracted to this field. Anyone who wants to work in a healing profession should understand what their motivating factor is. In my Gestalt practice, we call this “your unfinished business.” I entered the nursing profession for a couple reasons: I had experienced the death of my father at 26, which was a long, painful process. The other reason is that, despite my ambition to become a working artist, I was told that artists don’t make enough money to survive, a.k.a., the “Starving Artist Story.” When I eventually became a nurse, I quickly learned that I was excellent at easing sorrow, providing comfort, and advocating for patients and families. I also realized that the medical system in this country has little respect and compassion for the ongoing struggles of those in the nursing profession. (And this assessment was all pre-COVID-19.) It was clear to me that, in order to survive this grueling profession, I needed to discover what truly fed my soul. Thus, I returned to my childhood passions, including art, horses, and vision work. I learned to step away from giving to others 24/7 and how to redirect the energy of love and compassion inward. I made it my mission to teach others about the importance of doing what they love.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
Art Soul and Horses is based on the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method. The horses are co-facillitators in the method. We service our clients by involving the horses in private coaching sessions and group-based workshops. Our core mission is to assist clients in exploring their unfinished business and helping them create a new story. We work with them to uncover what is preventing them from taking the next step. Horses have an inherit gift of helping our clients move into our sacred heart space aka ~The Heart Chakra. It is from this very space that our clients can begin to explore who they are and release themselves from old stories/unfinished business, which often impedes them from experiencing a life fulfilled. From this place, they can change the narrative and re-write their vision. When they experience this feeling in a safe and secure place, there is this powerful, collaborative energy that moves them into the voice of “I am.” That voice of “I am” lives within their hearts, not in their minds. When our clients fully engage in the energy of “I am,” their voices emerge; they’re able to allow color, images, and words carry them into their new vision. From there, they can play with that energy and begin creating a new vision for their journey here on earth.
Training and knowledge matter of course, but beyond that what do you think matters most in terms of succeeding in your field?
I want to be a source of inspiration for people, encouraging them to never give up on learning to love themselves and to have self-compassion. These are foundational principles to thriving in any new endeavor. There will be inevitable ups and downs. But people need clarity in order to fully understand their vision, so that nothing holds them back. When we learn to reconnect with the feeling of self-love and fully embrace that feeling, love will pass though us and our energy will positively touch others.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
I tragically lost my first horse Yanni in spring 2011. To purchase him, I spent three years working on weekends as a Home Health RN. Yanni was my heart and soul; he played an integral part in helping me connect to my childhood love of horses and art. The vision for Art Soul and Horses grew out of my journey with Yanni and the other horses in my life. My time with Yanni was short lived and melancholy. He taught me so much about love, loss, and forgiveness. I know now that Yanni was here for a specific reason, and he guided me from one pivotal step to the next. I learned from Yanni that, even amidst our pain, horses help us enter a state of peace and joy – and in this state we are free to flow in mind, body, and spirit. There is always a next step and a new, undiscovered story awaiting us. There is always light to be found. The key is listening to our innermost heart’s desires, even when it is broken into a million pieces, and being willing to believe that we can create joy out of the fragments.
- Website: https://artsoulandhorses.com
- Instagram: Art Soul and Horses
- Facebook: @artsoulandhorses
- Youtube: art soul and horses
Rebecca Lindsay Kuritz