The “Heart” Works of Robin Okun: Amazing Art from Her Heart

My art emerges from my heart. It is rooted in the stories carried within my mind and body.

This is accessible only when I am relaxed enough to let go and connect to trust and intuition, bypassing judgment.

This mindful practice requires a commitment to the conscious awareness of sensations, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and breath.

I invite you to take a moment(s) with open or closed eyes to connect to your breath and notice your body as it is right now.

As a girl, I spent countless hours drawing and blending colors. At nine years old, fear, insecurity, and discomfort in my body rendered me unable to draw a shoe. The raging self-judgment stopped me and my heart. The voices in my head said, “You are not enough.” I disconnected from my heart.

Goddess Warrior - Robin Okun

Like many women, and people, I continued to carry fears and insecurities as an adult. I pursued paths to heal these struggles and realized healing is possible. I became a psychotherapist and continued to grow and heal while helping others to grow and heal.

Sadly, life-altering traumas interrupted this work. The voices in my head said, “You are not enough.” I disconnected from my heart. My body and psyche started to wither. Then a health scare reawakened me.

I began to dance, move and embrace my body. I began to live in my body and life differently. The movement fed me and began transforming my thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and actions.

I began sharing movement with other women. We danced, moved, and honored our emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies. We spoke little, connecting instead through movement and sensation.

An essence of healing was experienced, sometimes for only a moment, sometimes longer. Feeling at peace and at home in the body opens possibilities for even more comfort in the body. Maybe we are all enough.

Sitting - Robin Okun

Sharing healing through the mind-body relationship became my focus. I welcomed the opportunity to create sacred spaces for women to heal. We embodied practices that support positive body image, strengthen self-esteem, and heal old and new wounds.

We were learning to override the negative messages in our society and in our heads. We are enough to feel safe. We are enough to feel strong. We are enough to be loved.

When we develop authentic relationships with all parts of the self and body, we can become aware of difficult feelings and memories as well as joy and ease.

While it may not come as second nature, with practice, mindful awareness can lead to a deep love of self and acceptance of every body, even our own. It is possible to activate feelings of being enough.

After years of healing and being healed, I moved to the East Coast, picked up my brushes, and began to paint. I fully embraced the creative energy I had learned to suppress as a child. Women of all shapes, sizes, and colors started showing up in my paintings.

Moving - Robin Okun

Finally, I felt safe enough in my mind and body to risk sharing my paintings with people. Most of the time, my fear of being seen no longer immobilized me.

I felt surprise, then gratitude, when people expressed their emotional connection to my heart work. The paintings offered opportunities to relate to the body, others’ and our own, with powerful thoughts and feelings. Feeling and being seen, receiving love and acceptance, these help us to feel that we are enough.

Paintings, like movement, can be a compelling nonverbal vehicle to communicate and experience the power of body love, acceptance, and respect. When we engage with a painting, we engage with ourselves. It’s possible to feel we are enough.

In love and gratitude,


About the Author: 

Robin Okun ImageRobin Okun is a working artist in Boston. See her art in the Eating Disorder Hope Art Gallery or at Robin’s website.

Robin was born and lived in the suburban midwest until relocating to Boston in 2013 when her husband began working in New England. She describes feeling energized by its culturally rich urban environment steeped in history, the European sensibility of the city, and the proximity to the ocean. Robin recalls a childhood filled with drawing detailed pictures of doll-like girls, using mixed media to create collages, and always feeling engaged and moved by color; color remains a striking element in all of her work.

Robin’s visual voice is unique and recognizable, expressing the human figure in a contemporary style with emotionally intuitive paintings. The work reflects a practiced and imaginative use of line, shape, composition, and of course color, layering acrylic paint and charcoal on stretched canvas. The relationship of women and their bodies is a recurrent theme in her work as is an emotional sensitivity to what it means to be female.
Robin welcomes visits to her studio by appointment.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective on eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on February 18, 2019.
Reviewed & Approved on February 18, 2019, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC

Published on

The post The “Heart” Works of Robin Okun: Amazing Art from Her Heart appeared first on Eating Disorder Hope.

The “Heart” Works of Robin Okun: Amazing Art from Her Heart