Tina Klonaris-Robinson is an author, inspirational speaker and painter. She established the Meah Foundation in 2012 to use stories as tools to promote understanding between diverse people and teach them how to overcome their differences nonviolently. She lives on the Island of Nassau in the Bahamas with her husband and three sons

Today I live an inspired life. I love the choices I make and I feel passionate about my path. I have a beautiful sense of purpose and lead a life of meaning, but it wasn’t always this way. For many years, I thought that I had missed my calling. Some experiences broke my heart and turned my life upside down. When I was 29, I experienced a crushing loss. During the birth of my second child, my daughter, Meah, there were complications. I was fortunate to survive, but unfortunately, my daughter did not. I have never experienced such intense grief before or since. I felt every negative emotion imaginable for a very long time. I knew that if I were to survive I would need to learn to navigate the emotional lows and find my calm in the midst of this storm of grief.

The period of my recovery from this loss was when I decided to become mindful in a way I’d never before been: to be present and aware of my thoughts, words, and actions. With practice, I learned how to keep my heart and mind open, to love bigger, to give more, and to find beauty in places I’d never imagined it would be possible to find it. And I healed. Through years of deep inner work, my sadness and pain taught me profound and uplifting lessons.

During my healing adventure, I accidentally (sort of) became a painter. Many people have told me that my paintings hold an energy they find healing for themselves. I find painting a meditative experience. When I paint I aim to imbue my art with prayers and affirmations. My art holds images of angels and creatures from the sea around the island where I live with my family.

It is my hope that my book of paintings and writings will inspire my readers to dream and take action to create a life that feels good. I hope that it reminds you that your dreams matter. They’re precious because they are a part of you.