My Power Symbol for 2016 – the Violet-Backed Starling

I taught 2 workshops recently on Painting Your Power Symbol for 2016.  My first workshop was so full that I didn’t have much time to work on my own symbol, though I wanted to paint a fish for working on my financial goals and releasing my money blocks.  I never finished that painting but there is plenty of time.

In the second workshop, I had a bit more time to work on my own since the group was smaller.  I was working on my health issues and how I want to break through them this year. I came up with a cute chubby little bird and I looked around online and saw a painting so I based the idea for my painting on that one and painted away.  I painted this cute chubby bird, full of vibrant purples and didn’t think much of it, I just knew I was drawn to these colors and this shape of bird.

image of Heather Shalhoub's painting in progress violet backed starling

Heather Shalhoub’s painting in progress of a violet backed starling

Well, today I was talking with a friend about spirit animals and I mentioned that I keep seeing blackbirds or starlings, especially in large swarms swooping in patterns across the sky, so startling, that I can only describe it as beautiful yet a little scary and overwhelming like I feel like I could be in a Hitchcock movie. I also seem to have starlings live above the tower room in my apartment.  I decided to google birds with purple backs, since that is what I painted and believe it or not…one exists and not only does it exist…it is a type of starling! It is called a Violet-backed starling, also known as an amethyst starling or plum colored starling. Pretty freakin’ cool!

The symbolism of starlings has a lot to do with:

  • speaking your voice while being sensitive to others and being too sensitive to the words of others (too sensitive to what others say, who me?)
  • communication in groups
  • balancing your feminine and masculine power (like this has not been coming up in most conversations I have had lately)  
  • using all the resources available to you to achieve your goals and be fierce
  • holding on too tightly to ideas, perceptions or people (clingy when feeling insecure? who me?)
  • gaining a sense of protection and hope.

That is some powerful stuff. I look forward to finishing my power symbol painting now that I know more about the bird that I was drawn to.

Photo of a violet-backed starling by Anna Eksteen as posted on

Photo by Anna Eksteen as posted on, click the photo to view the original source

My Starling Sources: 

“Animal Totem: Starling.” Animal Totem: Starling. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

“Animal Totems: Dictionary of Birdswritten by StarStuffs ©” Animal Spirit Totems Dictionary of Birds. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

“Wild Facts Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve | Violet-backed Starling.” Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

“Violet-backed Starling.” TrekNature. Web. 22 Jan. 2016.

New Year, New You: Paint Your Power Symbol Workshop

After a successful first workshop at Core Fit in Mayfield, NY, I am offering this workshop again on Saturday, January 16, 2016.


Do you feel stuck or blocked?
Do you have goals you want to reach in the new year?
Do you feel like you are overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start?
Do you just want to bring more creativity into your life?
Do you think you aren’t creative at all?
If you said yes to any of these questions, this workshop is for you!

A personal growth workshop with Certified Creatively Fit Coach, Heather Shalhoub. We will do writing and creativity exercises to find what changes you want to make in the new year and what you would like to bring more of into your life. Heather will then walk the group, step-by-step, through painting your power symbol. We will paint backgrounds freely, no pressure. Then based on the activities we do, Heather will help you select a personal power symbol for 2016 and you will paint it with her help and instruction. This power symbol will be a way to bring your intentions home to help you manifest and create the change you want in your life. Images don’t have the baggage attached to them that words do so this is more powerful than setting an intention using just words. Create the change you want in your life by first creating it on canvas!

No art experience necessary. All art supplies will be provided.

Saturday, January 16, 2016 from 2-6pm
@ Core Fit
2430 State Highway 30
Mayfield, New York

Feel free to bring snacks
$40 per person
To register: RSVP  on facebook by joining the event (click going) OR email

Space is limited so make sure to register and if you can’t make it, let me know so I can open the space for someone else.