A Little Bent, A Little Beautiful…

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A little bent, a little beautifulIn 2011 I had the absolute pleasure of meeting a beautiful young woman at Rick Pursell’s Heart Mastery Retreat in Bali.  Cheri’s journey has not been easy and she has used her art as part of her healing process. She has amazing talent and here she shares her very personal and inspirational story of courage and determination…

It takes courage to dream. It takes even more than that to turn dreams into action…

But it is possible, I am discovering, for anybody who dares to dream. My life turned a corner when I travelled to Ubud, Bali and journeyed through a Heart Mastery Retreat. This is where (for the first time) I stopped, gave time and space just for me, and asked myself what it was that I truly wanted for my life. I listened to my heart and I discovered my passion – art.

Although I needed quite a nudge to get me to Bali in the first place, I had always been a dreamer. I fantasised about travel, of becoming an artist, and of living by the ocean. Taking the first steps toward these dreams were always put off for tomorrow – until I had to come to terms with a condition which placed a time limit on my ability to achieve these goals.

I was diagnosed with Retinal Dystrophy; an untreatable, unpredictable, genetic condition where my retinas gradually deteriorate, forming tunnel vision. Coming to accept this condition was not easy, but as I did I realised that if I wanted these dreams to happen, I had to take action. As I came to terms with my condition, I found a fierce determination. My intuition guided me to Ubud, to take time out and decide on a new direction for my life.


Creativity had surged through my blood since I was a child, yet there had been an overbearing voice within me which said “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not allowed to enjoy this”, that kept me away from pursuing my artistic talent. Something always blocked me from doing what I enjoyed and potentially could be good at.

Cheri Charles original

Cheri Charles original

I had a chance to peel back many layers and fronts I had masked myself with over the years of living in cities and working in retail management. In the safety of a guided retreat, I listened to my heart for the very first time. It spoke to me as clearly and as certain as anything. “Create”. I returned home to Australia knowing in my heart exactly what I needed to do. I had wasted enough time keeping myself in environments, situations and relationships that were toxic, stale and unenjoyable.

I was ready to let go of the belief that I was undeserving of good things.

Within a few months of returning from my trip, I quit my office job, I ventured on another overseas trip and then I moved to Byron Bay, a place that had been a sanctuary and favourite holiday destination for many years. I enrolled in a 12 month art course. It was to be my year, just for art. An entire year to give to myself what I had always denied myself.

I found support to begin my recovery from addictions and depression…

With the uncertainty of my deteriorating eye-sight over shadowing me, I couldn’t afford to delay exploring my artistic potential any longer. With the future suddenly looking uncertain, I decided to have faith and took steps forward into the unknown. I gained a lot more than I ever expected. I found myself in the perfect environment at the right time to begin healing on many levels. As I gradually let go of what I thought my life should look like, I created space for what was intended for me, which usually is richer and beyond my expectations.

Cheri Charles original

Cheri Charles original

My faith is growing that I will be provided with what I need at the right time, if I let go & follow my heart..

Little by little, my life adjusts and allows for me to pursue my creative passion. I have found that when I am immersed in my true creative purpose, my life is abundant. My artistic practice has a way of funding itself, and opportunities arise to keep me motivated, challenged and flowing in the direction of my creative purpose.

I am using what could be seen as a limitation or threat, as a springboard to reach my once far away dreams…

Had I not been nudged forward by my eye condition, I believe I would still be running the mundane rat race, day dreaming about art and travel. My condition is a fierce motivation for me to achieve the most I possibly can. It allows me to feel true gratitude for every single thing I can see today. The way I see my life & the world around me has shifted, into something much more precious than what it used to seem.

Commissioned Portrait by Cheri Charles

Commissioned portrait by Cheri

My Retinal Dystrophy is a gift to me. It fuels the courage to put my dreams into action, and to continue to follow my true passion. I am coming to learn that there are no limits in life, only those which I may impose on myself.

I now share my art with the public and sell portraits through my Facebook page. I enjoy sharing my passion with others. My dream is to become an art therapist to help others heal and release themselves from the past, and create a future with purpose and passion.

I would love for you to visit my page and please contact me if you would like a portrait drawn from a photo, or artwork on my page…thank you.

Beautiful Blue by Cheri Charles

Cheri Charles original

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  1. Hats off to you Cheri for applying what you have learnt and for following your heart. I believe each one of us comes downloaded with a gift to share with others, you found yours and are helping others to heal. Thanks you too Paula, another awesome woman changing the world, one shining soul at a time. With love & gratitude, Rick

    • Thanks so much Rick and I totally agree with you about each of us being downloaded with a gift to share…we all have our own special gifts and sometimes it takes a while to listen to our heart and follow the whisperings…but when we do – WOW, magic happens :-)…thanks so much for your own beautiful gifts you share selflessly with others – you’re a total inspiration and I’m so blessed to have met you and spent many beautiful moments with you and Lita and the girls…I look forward to many, many more…thank you for YOU xx

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