The magic I feel today is difficult to put into words. The synchronicity of today's photo shoot surpasses anything I've ever witnessed. Today marks the beginning of an incredibly healing process. Christina DeHoff has begun a fantasy commission painting of me - yet another fantastic example of following your intuition. She has painted many other women before, transforming them into mermaids, fairies and other beautiful, mystical beings. My fantasy is simply to walk on the beach.
She begins with a photo shoot to capture the face, body and other details. My vision is to walk out of the ocean, very pure and cleansed, as a rebirth of sorts. She typically shoots with a similar backdrop of the desired end result, however in my case, she will add that as she paints. I also sent her multiple photos of my legs pre-injury for a point of reference.
As we spoke after the shoot, I surprised myself with a thought so pure, honest and on point, but somehow I didn't know existed until today. I told her with tears streaming down my face, "I believe I will walk again and this picture will one day come to fruition, but I'm ok with the fact it hasn't happened yet as I still have a lot of work to do. This picture will be a reminder of how hard I need to work. When I look at others who have been in my position and are now walking, I get angry and frustrated. I think I'm not walking yet because I need to be able to connect with others who are also disabled and need to be at their level in order to do it. I need to remain relatable for now. And then we will get to a place where we can all rise together. Today I felt simply gorgeous, more than I ever have since the accident, and I would love to help other women feel that way too".
3,200 women have Spinal Cord Injuries each year in the United States alone, and are left to sit on a very masculine piece of metal. It strips your femininity and the ability to feel pretty and sexy. There has to be something done to help all those women struggling with that loss.
This project will take approximately 3 months, with a goal of being done around the time of my 5 year anniversary of the accident in September. Healing is an understatement, as is extraordinary. Extraordinarily healing wraps up today as it was felt by all involved. Thank you Christina DeHoff, you have a way of bringing out the inner goddess and translating it into fine art. I'm filled with utter amazement and gratitude.