Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Tool For Healing And Growth, Review In Choice Magazine

A Tool For Healing and Growth

It was our intention for Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth to be not only designed as a beautiful art book, but as a tool readers could use to pull themselves through life challenges and find inspiration. We are grateful that the product reviewer for Choice, The Magazine of Professional Coaching agrees, and has recommended Messages to the Heart as a tool for healing and growth to be used by life coaches and readers alike.

Here is an excerpt from the Choice review written by Marcy Nelson-Garrison, MA, LP, CPCC

Shift Your Internal State

Inspiration is like breathing, we all need it… I love Messages to the Heart… there is grace, softness, and a sacred invitation to pause, reflect and open to a new perspective to shift your internal state… a beautiful reminder on your coffee table…

Inspiration for Journaling

Messages to the Heart can be an inspiration for journaling, used as part of a daily meditation practice or as a simple and beautiful reminder on your coffee table to pause, to open up and to breathe in a moment of inspiration.

A special thanks to Marcy and Choice Magazine. 

Elise and Phil Okrend


Art Gives Hope Through Tragedy

This story, Art Gives Hope Through Tragedy is about one of my original paintings, and how that painting touched one family in a time of need.  The  painting, “Mountain Mist” below is one of the paintings featured in our book, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth.


The story begins with the following email I received about a month ago:

Four years ago, April or May of 2011, we bought a painting from someone in the Kress Emporium and I do believe it was you. You were just setting up your booth that weekend and one of you, you or your husband, was injured (a sprained ankle or some such), which made the set up complicated. You were not really ready for business yet but we were heading back to Charlotte and knew we would never be back to Asheville. Does that sound familiar?

That afternoon, we bought a beautiful painting of the Blue Ridge Mountains from that particular artist, hopefully you … ( approx 16″x24″) Seeing your work on the Gallery’s website, your style seems very similar. Yes???
With that in mind, there is a sad tale to tell:

We bought the painting as a gift for our daughter (a Univ. of Virginia graduate and employee) so she could keep that breathtaking and beloved view with her when she moved up to Boston. It has hung over her bed these 4 years and she loves it every time she looks up!

Last week, there was a terrible and tragic fire in Boston (You might have seen it on the National News) that was her apartment building on Beacon Street. Fortunately she was at work, but EVERYTHING was lost, including the painting and the information about the artist that was taped on the back of the frame. Although we know that it is not possible to duplicate all of her belongings, this painting was one very special piece that we hope to replace with something similar.

Please let me know if you have any memory of that time or conversation (or injury!) and perhaps we can discuss one happy ending to this nightmare.

Art Gives Hope Through Tragedy

I was so honored that I was able to connect with this woman and was able to replace the piece, “Mountain Mist.” I will be shipping it to her daughter this week. Feeling grateful that I was able to help in their time of need, and that my art is touching people in ways that I might not even know.  For you readers out there who have a yearning to create, and bring your creation to the world, don’t hold back.  Bring your work to life. You never know how it will touch and inspire another.

Elise Okrend
Pastel Artist



Imagine A New Story

From Separateness To Oneness

What if we knew that the individualistic ways that we were taught to be in the world are not working, and that there is another way calling to us, that is not yet here, but waiting for us to build. A world that is inclusive, whole and healing.  Imagine a door just waiting for you, and for all of us to walk through from separateness to oneness. Imagine a new story.

Imagine A New Story

From Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth, by Elise and Phil Okrend


Imagine a new story:
Instead of consumerism-humanism,
Instead of greed-giving,
Instead of competition-cooperation,
Instead of conflict-coexistence,
Instead of fear-love,
Instead of sleeping-awakening,
Instead of control-surrender,
Instead of holding tightly,
letting go,
Instead of feeling alone-feeling that we are one.
The truth us that this story has begun.
Let it live into our consciousness

Elise & Phil