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.

Feng Shui Immersion: Paint Your Change Pennsylvania Event

I am back from Pennsylvania after a great time painting and talking about feng shui and intention setting. I had the pleasure of co-teaching a mini-retreat with fellow creatively fit coach, Jody Bennett March: Life & Biz Coach.

Our group got to learn some basics of Black Hat feng shui and how to use the bagua map in their homes.  Then we looked at the areas of life where they want to create change and see where in their homes this area of their life was represented in the bagua map.

Jody then led us through intuitive scribble exercises and we used beautiful card decks for more inspiration.  Each person was able to choose the part of their home and life they want to focus on for their painting and selected a symbol to paint.  We had a wonderful time painting and even ran late because we were all in the juicy creative flow of intention setting.

a collage image of the progression through my painting of the Eye of Horus

Heather’s Eye of Horus Painting Progression

You can see the progress of my painting of the Eye of Horus and the progression is took.  First I wrote my intention on my canvas.  I was working on a painting for my abundance and prosperity corner.  I wrote my intentions for abundance and prosperity and then I kept hearing, my cup runneth over so I drew a cup over my intentions and wrote that too.  After that, I started to paint my first layer.  Then I drew my Eye of Horus symbol and started to work on my painting.