Artist, Healer, Wanna-Be Monk
ARTIST: As a child, I loved all kinds of artistic expression and especially enjoyed creating things that brought joy to others. I discovered mixed media art in 2008 and fell in love with the endless possibilities. So many layers are usually present in my artwork. In the end, many of the first layers aren't even visible anymore, but that's okay. I know they’re there along with the energy and intention that went into creating them. As my work is evolving, I'm learning to trust my intuition more fully. This is especially true when I am working on a commission for someone specific. I tune in, listen deeply and do what feels right, even if it doesn't seem to be going where I thought it would. I am learning to trust that what ends up on the canvas is exactly the right thing for the artwork's recipient. Prayer plays a huge part in my creative process.
Blessings are infused in each brush stroke and glued in with every image.
HEALER. To be truthful, I don’t believe it’s ever ME that heals anyone. I believe our own bodies and spirits are capable of amazing things when we provide them with what they need. I believe God does the healing. I believe healing is not always "curing" and that it looks different for all of us. And I believe it’s within the space of connection – with each other, with God and with our own beautiful souls - that healing happens. I'm a Board-Certified Holistic Registered Nurse, a Board-Certified Licensed Massage Therapist and self-taught mixed media artist. I use the skills I've learned in each of these disciplines to create healing connected spaces and help people move toward wholeness. Over the years, I’ve learned that a “connected healing space” can look like a lot of things. Sometimes it’s actual physical space. Sometimes it’s a pocket of time. And sometimes it's space in our own heart and mind. It could be:
A massage and bodywork session.
A creative workshop where we make stuff and hang out.
A retreat where women gather to learn and practice techniques that enhance our wellbeing.
A circle of centering prayer.
An intuitive piece of art for yourself or someone special to you, with prayers and love painted into every layer.
Regular time and space with other women to breathe, rest, laugh and talk about things that matter.
A piece of writing that moves us and connects us to God and the writer.
An invitation to silence, stillness and solitude.
Creating and holding those spaces is part of my calling.
I know I still have much to explore and that there are many healing spaces I've yet to encounter.
MONK: Christine Valters Paintner (virtual abbess of www.abbeyofthearts.com) is one of my favorite people. In her book, “The Artist’s Rule”, she describes our inner monk as a person who “seeks God as the source of all being, searches for a mystical connection to the divine source, longs for what is most essential in life, and cultivates this through a commitment to spiritual practice.” All my life, I've felt connected to something larger than myself and aware that there is more to this existence than we know. I'm a follower of Jesus and learn more every day about what that truly means….and what it doesn’t. I require solitude and silence to feel whole, but I also love to be surrounded by people and beings I love. I straddle the worlds of mystery and mundane. I see connections everywhere and am often aware of the sacredness of even the most ordinary things.
I've been married to an amazing man for over 30 years and am the mother of two young men who are my heart. We live in the Baltimore/Washington suburbs in a house that is over 100 years old. Three cats live with us, and four chickens have their own house in our backyard.
I could go on….but this is already long enough and you get the idea I think. I’m hoping you’ve gotten to know me a bit. If you'd like to know more, keep exploring my site. Subscribe to my newsletter and get real-time thoughts once in a while. Maybe something you discover here will feel right and good and we will find a connection.
I would love that.
Licenses, Training and Certifications
Michelle Lisenbee, RN, BSN, HNB-BC, BCTMB is my official title.
Here's what all those letters actually mean:
RN, BSN - I'm a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor's Degree. I studied nursing first at Northern Virginia Community College, and then at George Mason University. I received my BSN in 1990. (Yes, really!)
HNB-BC - In 2018, I discovered a program called the Integrative Healing Arts Program in Holistic Nursing sponsored by the American Holistic Nurses Association. After reading the description, I fell immediately in love and registered that day. I completed the program in 2019 and and am now a Board Certified Holistic Nurse. (Holistic Nurse Bachelor's - Board Certified)
BCTMB - Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. I graduated from The Baltimore School of Massage in 2003 as a licensed massage therapist. I became Board Certified in 2015. I've taken continuing education courses over the years in many modalities including aromatherapy, comfort touch, oncology massage, bodywork for depression and anxiety and others.
I'm a member of the following organizations:
American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA)
American Nurses Association (ANA)
Maryland Nurses Association (MNA)
National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA)
Association of Massage and Bodywork Professionals (ABMP)
Howard County Arts Council