We have decided to launch a new intimate style of interview into TheAppWhisperer – the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website. We feel it is important that our community feel close to each other, as it is this support that helps us to nurture one another, gain confidence and continue to grow.
Today, we are publishing this astute and intense emotional intensity interview with Judy Lurie Wahlberg from Boulder, Colorado, United States. This is our twenty eighth interview, to read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, Lisa Mitchell, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith and myself, go here.
All images ©Judy Lurie Wahlberg
What was your childhood or earliest ambition?
I was asleep for so long during my earlier years that I have little memory of ambition. It wasn’t until I received a huge shock-the break-up of my first marriage that I began to discover ambition within myself. At the time of the break-up we had three young children and almost overnight I knew I to put my boots on and figure out why I was on the planet. I literally awakened to a new life. Simultaneously, I want back to school and at the same time I began painting passionately. I was consumed by two loves: my love for my children and my love for art. I immersed myself in both. I was a mother and a passionate artist.
My first recognition was personal. It was the awareness that I had a keen intuition that could serve me both with my art and with my work as a psychotherapist.
I was hired as a Counselor at a Community Therapy Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Because I was raising three children alone, the position suited me perfectly! It was at this point of my life- as I turned away from art- that I began the process of understanding why I was on this planet. Simultaneously, I experienced a passion to grow and find ways to be more than I was. By becoming a Psychotherapist my world opened up personally and with others. I also became an active member of the Feminist Movement during the late 50’s and 60’s.
Private or State School?
I attended the University of Michigan. I wanted to get my degree in Art but did not feel qualified, so I entered into mechanical behavior and eventually graduated with a teacher’s certificate. As I concluded my student teaching, I knew I would never teach. I so admire those who have a calling to teach. It is an incredible profession to give care, and to help others. However, at the time, I was unaware of myself and felt I could not rise to the level of what it took to help children. I felt like a failure. I found my identity in my marriage- which challenged me to grow at that point.
Following my divorce, I experienced a strong drive to find purpose. I went back to school at Western Michigan University. I experienced being driven to find this purpose I was looking for. I eventually received a Master’s Degree in the School of Social Work. Later, I was able to also attend the Center for the Creative Arts in Detroit, Michigan. It was at this time that my passion for art emerged like a dragon! This also led me to find a teacher to teach me how to throw clay on a wheel. My work as a potter was underway! The experience was very intense. I created many hundreds of painted pieces of porcelain.
Who was or still is your mentor?
I met my present husband at a psychotherapy workshop in New York State five years after my divorce. We were both deeply committed to making a footprint of service in the field of psychotherapy. We now work as team separately and together helping those that really need and want change in their lives. We started our Work by creating, “Rainbow Bridge Psychotherapy, Inc.” We have worked together for over forty years. Our work has evolved into an incredible gestalt of information and experiences. We south out outstanding teachers, mentors, and shamans. Each of them contributed to our knowledge for helping others. I cannot express my gratitude to my husband for his guidance, confrontation, and love. He is the greatest mentor of my life. And of course, I am his greatest mentor.
How physically fit are you?
Exercise is the foundation of my life. I exercise daily. Exercise, for me, is a daily spiritual practice.
Ambition or Talent?
Both I think. Ambition comes only with passion and an aim, otherwise it will be lost to the ether. Talent comes from hard work and consciousness.
How politically committed are you?
I work at not identifying with the lack of sincerity that is presented to us. Instead, I put more energy into helping the individual find his or her own truth.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
I hope that there is some consciousness I take when I die. I pray that I can feel and own that consciousness as unique and precious to me.
What is your biggest extravagance?
I feel it is a laziness when I escape from being present in my life.
What places are you the happiest?
I am grateful for my life. Happy is a word that is difficult for me. I only hope to accept and deal with what comes to me in a positive growth giving way.
What ambitions do you still have?
I strive to be the best person I can. I continue to endeavour to let go of my own narcissism so I can continue to fulfil my aims of doing my art and helping others.
What drives you on?
I am driven by gratefulness and my need to give back- to balance what has been given to me.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
My three children are amazing. Each of them appears to have found his/her life passionately. They are on their life journeys. They are all doing well. They live with integrity and passion. They are not afraid to climb the steeper trail-if it is the steeper trail that beckons. From my viewing point of myself through childhood to the woman I am now, I am impressed by my children. My children have done the work; however, I did point the direction. Guiding them through the years, parenting them-it was hard focused work. I am proud of them, as a result I am proud of what I gave them. I also consider the development of my love/business relationship with my husband as one of my fine life achievements.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
It is difficult for me to be in the presence of people who are asleep and unaware of themselves – narcissistic people who are unaware of their boring and passionless give-away.
If your 20-year old self could see you now, what would she think?
She would be relieved.
Which object that you’ve love do you wish you still have?
At a vulnerable moment I impulsively gave something to a teacher that I now regret. I wish I’d simply embraced that teacher and simply said, “Thank You”.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
I believe that the consciousness you gain in a lifetime is never lost.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
Saving the planet with Consciousness!
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
10 is not enough. It has to be something like 100 or 1000.
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