This summer I lived my dream! I went to Florence, Italy, to attend art classes for four weeks. It was my intention to move to Florence when I was eighteen to study art, but finally, I felt too scared to leave my parents’ house and live on my own, so I decided to stay with them in Germany in our little village. How should I organize my life? How should I prepare meals? Wash my clothes? I swear, I was afraid of these daily routines my Mom usually did for me. I was not ready to be on my own, to be an adult, to be independent. So I stayed with my parents for another two years, then I felt grown up enough to leave the nest and study, but no, not in a different country, I just moved 260 km away and studied something which did not have much to do with art. I went for something “safe”, civil engineering. At that time the future for engineers was good and so I listened to other people’s recommendations, but not to my dream, inner self or my soul. Too bad.

I do not regret it, today I know everything happens for a reason, so obviously what I have lived since then, was meant to be lived.

But finally for my fiftieth birthday this summer I came back to my soul desire of making more art. All my life I painted a bit here and there and in the last few years I felt a stronger pull back to creativity. Teaching yoga and doing yoga daily certainly helped to bring me back to my wishes and desires, and through meditation and working on the chakras (especially the second chakra for creativity) I got the connection back. Being in Florence and going to art school was such an amazing experience.

I felt like a different person, totally ageless, a person who is happy, independent, with a free spirit, no strings attached to anything.

Standing in front of an easel for 6 hours did magic. Sometimes when the teacher said: “Ok it’s time, finish up, you can go home”, most of the students looked a bit puzzled. “What? Already? Hmmm too bad, ok I am going to continue tomorrow”.

Then I came out of school and found myself in the street, in front of a church, on the marketplace, surrounded by people eating “gelato” (ice cream) and I had to reconnect with my brain to understand where I was. Six hours of painting and drawing had transformed my mind into a spaceless and timeless something, not knowing where I was or who I was. It always took a bit of time after class to come back into my body. Mostly I sat down in a church for meditation or in a cafe for a delicious espresso to sort everything out. I never knew if I was relaxed or exhausted after class, it was just like being in a bubble. The most beautiful bubble you can be in.

Now being back home in the Caribbean (in the meantime I left Germany twelve years ago to live another dream, being by the ocean),

I feel so many changes:

  • I am more open-minded
  • I paint every day now
  • I feel more positivity in all areas of my life
  • I feel more creative in my work as a coach/healer and yoga teacher
  • I am much more relaxed
  • I know my goals and have clarity
  • I feel more self-love
  • I feel more compassion
  • I feel more connected to my body and just want to take care of it
  • I acknowledge who I am

It is so amazing, and I feel so different, that I already said to friends, I have to get to know myself again. I love this new version. And I can tell you how this all happened:

While standing in front of the easel and drawing, it felt like pure meditation, I spaced out and sometimes visions and images of childhood came up and I had to live it again, but this time it was different. I saw the situations from a higher space. It was like watching and observing it and understanding that it happened, but it is over and it is not defining me anymore. Sometimes I felt super angry, what I expressed in the painting, or I felt rejected, when the teacher had put me in another room, just for the reason of space, but I felt stuff from childhood, and in this creative space, it felt totally different. I was able to observe it and be aware, express it in art, and finally to let go of it.

It feels so liberating, I hope that more and more people can get to this space. Be open-minded, get in connection with creativity, paint, draw, cook, make music, anything that sets you into a different state of mind, which disconnects from the daily thoughts. Of course, with meditation, we get this result, but for some people being in ‘meditation’ while being creative might be easier, instead of sitting still.

Find what you love

Even while swimming or running you can be in this space, where you disconnect and let go. That’s healing.

And only when you heal, you can change your life and the world.

If you would like to get ideas or exchange about your art, please feel free to connect with me. I am here for you.

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash


  • Petra Rakebrandt

    Executive Meditation Coach, MBA

    Petra Rakebrandt is a Wellpreneur, an intuitive Health Coach, Yoga teacher, energy artist, specializing in a Yin approach to healing. She helps people suffering from loss of energy, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, find their gifts so they can feel at ease in their body and mind. After transforming her own health with Energy Medicine (Polarity Therapy), Reiki, ThetaHealing and Nutrition, she dedicated her life helping others achieve their highest potential – physical, emotional and energetic. Her holistic approach includes interactive therapies such as yoga, meditation, journaling, bioenergetic bodywork, and natural remedies. As a former Managing Director in a technical company, corporate wellness is part of her consulting work. She is the founder of Petra Rakebrandt-Mind-Body-Soul and the author of "Yin is the new black-How to get rid of imbalances in life". She teaches regularly internationally retreats.