By Carolyne Taylor
I first met Cheryl at her beautiful home in Puerto Vallarta and admired her spirit, kindness and generous soul. She is an inspiration to me and someone I am so happy to call friend. Cheryl also is the artist for the recent Unlimited Woman Awards.
I caught up with Cheryl over our computers and can’t wait to catch up with her in person again this summer! Here is her BLISS interview, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
What do you BELIEVE in? I believe that I am good enough- I have enough and I have done enough. In my heart I know that god loves loves me and that god does not make any junk and I am a perfect child of god.
I believe in doing small things with great love. I believe inclusive; for example, I joined a gym with a friend, Mat, and we went five days a week at 7 am to meet the best trainer ever – Danny! To make the experience more uplifting I introduced myself and Mat and Danny to everyone who went to the gym at that time. At first some people were not approachable but I persisted to say hello and ask them their name. Everyone likes to hear their own name. It became the best part of going to the gym. We had a whole group of people who were supporting each other and caring for each other. I believe we are on this earth to connect and care for each other. Whoever is in my sphere of influence I try to introduce myself and ask them about themselves. Caring and Sharing that is what my life is about, to lighten someones load with a smile or words of encouragement make all the difference in my day and in theirs.
I live in Puerto Vallarta Mexico in the winter months and I have been trying to learn about the Mexican culture. Did you know if you are raised by a good family you will say hello to people you pass on the street! I loved learning this and it has become a part of my life now. When I go back to Canada I continue with this practise and sometimes people do not know what do with my greeting! But mostly it seems to connect our souls for a moment I believe that is the reason we were put on this planet.
How does LOVE show up/present itself in your life? Love is a mirror- the more loving I can be to the world the more love is reflected back to me. Loving myself and knowing I am lovable is something I need to remind myself daily because my mind likes to tell me differently. It tells me I am fat and no one will love me even though I am a size 8 and my husband adores me! So I know not to trust my negative thinking. When I sit in prayer and meditation in the mornings I ask god to give me the courage to love myself as I am and share love with others. When I do that my day is filled with love. My dog, Whytecliff, she showed me how to love as well. Unconditional love of animals- I try to be as loving as my dog when my family comes through the door. So they really know how much I love them – I run to the door and wrap my arms around their necks and say I missed you! I love you so much! They say when you hug someone for 8 seconds or more happy hormones get released in your body! I love how greeting my loved ones like my dog does how it makes me feel happy. Being loving is an action – When I am in action lots of love shows up for me in my life.
Who or what INSPIRES you? Positive, loving, generous, adventerous, smart and funny people inspire me. Open hearted people who have a smile on their lips and a twinkle in their eyes. My husband calls them sparklers. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by many many sparklers! Too long a list to name them all but you know who you are! Thank you for being apart of my life. I met an inspiring man recently, Rajesh Jetty who talked about saying thank you to more people in your life who have made a difference. If you are successful in life in anyway many people are responsible for getting you this experience. Rajesh says you may have someone who you have to thank for a lifetime. A doctor who saved your life needs to be thanked annually on the anniversary of the operation for example. I would like to share his speech with you because I think it is the most important way to be inspired in your life. https://youtu.be/QYAzDrsypB4 I made a list of 50 people who I am grateful to and I am writing them thank you notes and sending some gifts for the real big ones. Gratitude is the most inspiring action to feel good about your life because it connects you with people who matter and by appreciating them they will want to care for you more. It is like a deposit in the friendship bank.
How do you, or can you, SERVE your community? My husband and I like to give anonymously. I was taught to do one act of kindness each day and if you get found out it will not count! Sometimes I do several kind acts each day just to get one that no one knows about but me! I love giving to recovery from addiction organizations, supporting sick children, garden clubs who beautify communities I live in, cancer research, education and animal care. I feel it is one of the most important parts of my life to give back to my community. I love being involved and making a difference where I can. I think giving your time is more important than your money; sometimes I can only give money and I am grateful for others who give their valuable time. I donate money to my community with every painting I sell. I love the full circle nature of my art work because it feels like I am creating beauty to serve in someones home as a reminder of how beautiful they are and then give a donation from that effort back into my community to make it stronger too.
What does it mean to you to SURRENDER? I have surrendered a lot of negative destructive behaviours with help. Like smoking, it took me over 200 times of trying to quit to finally surrender it and quit. It took my husband saying he was going to leave our relationship emotionally because he felt he was losing trust in my word. When we met he told me he never wanted to date a smoker and I said after a super weekend together what if I quit
would you date me then? He said yes so I quit for the 185th time! But I found myself every six months smoking for a few days especially if I went away or if he did. When he said that I broke down and understand I am not a crying emotional type of girl but I could not help but weep at the prospect of losing the man I loved. I was sitting at the dining room table with tears rolling down my face and our 7 seven old son asked me what was wrong and I told him I broke his Daddies trust and he said oh he will forgive you. His faith and my desire to quit was all I needed to finally let smoking go. I just read I think the most important book of my life by David Hawkins called Letting Go. I am actually going to reread it again and again. He says you need to let your feelings run their course then you can let them go… I am working on letting go of sugar and my feelings about sugar are intense. I need to admit how powerless I feel over this powerful food. I know it is not good for me but it seems to comfort me when I am stressed so I am thinking of other ways to create comfort and not numb out when I am stressed with food. Asking for the craving to be removed has helped me too. Getting on my knees in the morning and saying my prayers seem to help me surrender my ego and gives me good orderly direction for the day. To surrender you need to be willing and sometimes that is hard for me…I sometimes pray for the willingness to be willing. I wish it was easier but when I do let go I find relief.
Cheryl Wheeler is a highly sought after speaker, visual artist, seasoned entrepreneur, philanthropist, wife, mother, private pilot and agent of change. As a successful venture capitalist along with her all-women investment team they financed a silver mining company, which discovered millions of ounces of silver and created a billion dollar company. Cheryl left the world of finance to pursue her true calling in the arts and enrolled in art school. Through her custom artwork she works closely with her clients and draws deeply from their life and spirit. The paintings are a symbol of their truth and a reflection of the beautiful person within. She also achieved her dream of owning and flying her own aircraft, and flies from Whistler to Puerto Vallarta every year. This is a 12-hour adventure with many fun stops along the way! Cheryl was awarded Volunteer of the Year, in the City of Vancouver for her leadership role in opening the West Vancouver Avalon Recovery Center. She continues to build a life of giving back which she is truly passionate about and abundantly grateful for. Most of all, she is a student of persistent learning of herself and her role in this world as she paints her ultimate life-design.
Name: Cheryl Wheeler
Birthplace: Nanaimo, British Columbia Canada
Style: Abstract/ realism/
Medium: Acrylic of Canvas
Online store (if available): www.cherylwheelerart.com
Latest art-show (if available): Whistler Art Work June 28, 2014 to September 1,2014: Come walk the show and enjoy many artists from Whistler, BC
Question 1: Cheryl, I assume from looking at your works that you can paint anything, but you get drawn to flowers mostly. What it is about them that attracts you? How do you tie it to people, if at all?
I can promise you I cannot paint everything! I feel like I can only paint a few things well. I love the beautiful nature of flowers, they’re so powerful to me. I think the life cycle of flowers from seed to bloom to wilting and dying is very similar to the cycle of human beings. And then imagine, if for one brief moment, you could gaze at a flower and see the beauty and then have that beauty reflected back to yourself. There is power in that. The purpose of my artwork is to create a symbol for people to see the beauty and feel their own beauty. Inner Beauty Art.
I love landscapes as well, I am open to painting anything that is beautiful so I can support my customers in knowing their own beauty. The focus of my work is to have my clients use my art as a symbol, to love and accept themselves. I support my tribe to live their best life! I am asked to speak at events on this subject often and it is a gift to share some of my life experiences around living your best life full of beauty and self-acceptance.
Question 2: Many of your paintings approach flowers at a great close-up. What are you hoping to bring forth this way?
I love the intense nature of the close up. I think it is perfect and imperfect, just like us! When I get really close I sometimes become lost in the curves and the flow of the flower. As well, I think it’s inspiring how bold, strong, delicate, sensual and perfectly imperfect a flower can be, and all those nuances come through in the close up. When you get really close to someone, don’t you see that and more?
Question 3: You have been learning from other artists, correct? Which one of them opened your eyes to something in painting you had been struggling with?
Every mentor I have had the privilege of working with has shared something of value to me. Mentorship has been the most important gift I have been given, and the generosity of my art masters has been incredible. From making my art affordable, to brush stroke techniques, to using the largest brush I can, to not over thinking my work. One gift that was given to me was to paint your painting until you love it, and then you do not have to care if someone does not like your work—because you do! And not everyone is going to love my work but that is okay, people who do, really do, including me!
Question 4: Do you have a movie that you come back to? Oh I have a few movies I could watch over and over again. I like Pretty Woman, The Notebook, Dirty Dancing…I think I love love stories!
Question 5: What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
I loved playing outside with my friends playing kick the can. We used to stay out until the sun was gone and then my Mom would call my brother and I back in for dinner. I loved the freedom of playing and roaming about our neighborhood. I slept so well in those days!