Epilogue & Exhibition: Project 2020

Epilogue Update sent to supporters of the crowdfunding project, April 11, 2015: 3 years. 11 paintings. 11 women who embarked on this journey with me. My journey ends now.  Dear supporters, I thank each of you for enabling me to undertake this journey.There is no doubt that this empowering experience will accompany me for the rest of my life. I have learned so much along the way, thanks to you I went back to look my long-standing disorder deep in the eye without fear.I returned to the darkest places and emerged from them strengthened and unashamed. I met amazing, strong, and brave women with inner resilience and optimism, even if it is not always visible… but it is there. With them. Deep inside. It is also (I hope) what will accompany them on their way out. It and the painting they received from me, their vision for 2020 through my eyes. There is something symbolic for me in starting and finishing this project during Passover. In a way, each of the women I met along the way is dealing with her exodus from Egypt. Each of them experiences hardships along the way and does not give up on herself. I hope that by Passover 2020 each of them will reach the promised land and I wish them all the best of luck from the bottom of my heart. Exhibition The exhibit “2020, an Optimistic Social Art Project”.In 2016 I presented the project for the first time in a solo exhibition at Azul Gallery in Tel Aviv. In 2017, the project was presented again in the Brender Library for Social Sciences Management and Education, Tel Aviv University. It featured the Project’s 11 paintings along with Project Obsession (2011) which constitutes a preliminary project. Project 2020 lasted three years (2012-2015) and is based on my personal story. During the Project, I met with 11 women who suffer from eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive eating. Based on these meetings and a questionnaire they filled out, I created for each of them a forward-looking painting for the year. To the project blog Click here For project details and artworks Click here Project 2020 | Solo exhibition Click here Want to bring optimism into your life? Come choose your art print Free shipping worldwide Quality printing on premium paper Secure purchase Excellent customer service

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Ruth, 29, the last participant in the 2020 project

Ruth, 29, suffers from eating disorders for 14 years, participant of Project 2020 I plead with her to keep on fighting, and never stop hoping for a normal and happy life. Just because it is possible and so right. Two moms are sitting in a car, parked aside by the public garden, talking. Outside the rain is pouring slowly. Winter will soon start and with it my final painting in the 2020 project. Ruth’s painting. An update was sent to crowdfunding project supporters on 30.9. 2014: A few months ago, Naomi asked me to give her last spot in the project to her good friend Ruth. Ultimately, we decided to add an additional painting, making it 11 in total for Project 2020. Ruth is a 29-year-old religious woman who has been struggling with anorexia on and off since she was 15. Unlike the other participants, she is married and has two daughters. I pick her up in my car, and we head to a public park. Ruth comes from a religious family of eight, where her father, who suffered from severe eating disorders, commented on her weight and suggested she lose a few pounds when she was 15. At that time, Ruth was in a boarding school and stopped eating, eventually collapsing from exhaustion during a school trip. The counselor contacted her parents, expressing concern about her weight loss and recommending treatment. Unaware of the seriousness, her parents initially chose unconventional methods, but as her condition worsened, they hospitalized her in an eating disorder unit. After several months, she was discharged at a healthy weight and even volunteered for national service. At 20, Ruth met her future husband through a matchmaker. On their third date, he told her he loved her, and she responded by sharing her secret. She chose not to hide anything from him, preferring that he knew everything. Despite not fully understanding the implications at the time, they married, and she miraculously became pregnant, only to miscarry shortly after. Over the next year, she had two more pregnancies, resulting in two daughters. After the births, her condition worsened, compounded by a work accident that left her nearly incapacitated for a year. With two small children, a severe accident, and a raging disorder, she struggled to function. Her husband, with incredible dedication and love, took on all household responsibilities: working, caring, cooking, and feeding everyone, including Ruth. The rain begins to drizzle, and we get into the car. In March 2012, I met Tamar Brauner, the first participant in the project. That initial meeting with Tamar, which turned out to be the last, took place in a downpour in the same car Ruth and I are in now. The coincidence of the project’s beginning and its end strikes me and amazes me. Ruth shares with me her daily struggle as a mother with an eating disorder. She almost never eats in front of her young daughters and has noticed that her “monster” is starting to affect them. She recalls taking them to the pool a few months ago. While in the water, she asked them to eat the food she had brought. A few minutes later, her five-year-old daughter returned, hysterically crying, accusing Ruth of bringing too much food and fearing she would get fat. As Ruth’s condition worsened, she nearly stopped eating and admitted herself to a day hospital at Sheba Medical Center for two months. She is now finishing that treatment. “I am

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Naomi, 22, the tenth participant of Project 2020

Naomi, 22, bulimic for 5 years, participant of Project 2020 “That’s it, Sarit. That’s the special thing I wanted to show you. I wanted to show you that while your project hasn’t completely healed me and that despite the improvement, the road is still long, your project made me realize that I am trying and fighting only for myself. “ An update was sent to crowdfunding project supporters on June 22, 2014: On Friday, I traveled to a city in the Sharon area to meet Naomi, a beautiful 22-year-old woman with stunning eyes and a captivating smile. Naomi has been suffering from bulimia for 5 years. A few days earlier, she sent me a message asking me to give her place in the project to a good friend of hers who has been anorexic for 13 years. Something inside me told me I shouldn’t give up on the process with Naomi. When we met, I realized how strong my intuition was. Naomi is a religious girl who doesn’t believe in God. When she tells me her story, I can understand why. She is the eldest daughter in an ultra-Orthodox family, an exemplary family. Everything seems fine from the outside: well-mannered children, a father who is a teacher, and a mother who is a housewife. But inside Naomi’s home, nothing is fine. Without looking me in the eyes, she starts to talk about her father, who, in addition to being violent, used to harass her, and about her mother, who had severe eating disorders and complete naivety, failing to protect her from him. She talks about periods when she turned to food for comfort and gained a lot of weight, and the harsh and humiliating treatment she endured at home because of it. Despite the complete ignorance about this issue in the ultra-Orthodox community, Naomi decided about a year and a half ago to start getting treatment at the “Agam” center, a day center for eating disorders. There, for the first time, she told the psychologist who accompanied her about the shocking circumstances that led to her condition. With immense inner strength and the encouragement of the psychologist, she left home about a year ago and moved to live independently, after canceling three matchmaking attempts. Naomi is a strong and smart woman. She chooses not to confront her father at the moment and to continue with her life. She knows her abilities and wants to look forward and realize her potential despite everything. She works two jobs, studies for a degree at the Open University, and takes care of herself at the same time. I wonder how she manages to do all this alone, without support, family, or God. A woman worthy of admiration with immense strength and an amazing personality. We talk about bulimia. I tell her about “the lost years,” as I call the entire third decade of my life, the decade when I should have been enjoying life. About this terrible and dark disorder that took so many years and experiences from me that will never come back. About the slow and difficult recovery and the full and beautiful life afterward. The next day, in response to the questionnaire I sent, I received the following email from her, and again I understood why I chose to embark on this journey. Hey Sarit,  Very soon, I’m going to sit down and fill out the questionnaire… I really want to answer it. You don’t understand, all Shabbat

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Daniel, 38, the ninth participant of Project 2020

Daniel, 38, suffers from eating disorders for 30 years, participant of Project 2020 She is enchanted, amazed, and connected to the result, continuously excited, as am I. The painting of her life in 2020. “No one has ever done something, especially for me,” she says with shining eyes, asking me to explain every detail in the painting, every motif I chose for her. Update sent to crowdfunding supporters, 27.4.2014: I’ll start by saying that Daniel is the only participant in the project who is also an old friend of mine. We haven’t been in touch for the past few years, but there is real love and friendship between us. We met at one of the first advertising agencies I worked at over a decade ago and quickly became friends. Daniel has something special about her, a big heart and an endless capacity to give of herself to everyone around her. Surprisingly, she was the only person I worked with over the years who truly saw me. Daniel understood me just as I understood her but never judged or tried to change anything. She was simply there for me during a difficult time. When you have a secret you try to hide all the time, you feel like you’re living a kind of lie. That’s why my friendship with her was different and special for me. After a while, our paths diverged, and each of us went her own way. A few months ago, we reconnected. During that meeting, I told her about the project and asked if she wanted to be part of it. I didn’t know exactly what her situation was today, but I felt it was right for me and the process I’ve been going through over the last two years. It seemed fitting that towards the end of the project, I would also close a personal circle. Yesterday morning, we met at her small and beautifully decorated apartment in Tel Aviv. For the past six months, Daniel has been in a wonderful relationship. After a decade of trying and failing to find her other half who would truly see her, accept, and love her as she deserves, her Superman arrived. After we had coffee and chatted a bit, Daniel’s boyfriend left the house. I didn’t recall ever really talking openly about the disorder. I asked her to tell me everything from the beginning, and then she started to share. As a child in the kibbutz, in communal sleeping arrangements, the caregivers decided on their own to stop giving her carbohydrates. She recalls how at just four years old, she wondered why all the kids were eating pasta, and she was not allowed. She then spoke about a difficult childhood, her close relationship with her mother, who also suffers from a severe eating disorder, thinking her father didn’t love her because of her weight, and the obsession with cleanliness she began to develop simultaneously. As a teenager, she realized that the only control she had was over food. She started starving herself and quickly lost weight. The starvation filled her with satisfaction and brought her attention from others. During her military service, she gained weight again, and after her discharge, she moved abroad for a few years. When she returned (during the time we first met), she went through another crisis accompanied by a drastic weight loss. Although she was aware of her condition, she never sought systematic treatment but spent long periods meeting with

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Liat, 21, the eighth participant of Project 2020

Liat, 21, compulsive eater for 3 years, participant of Project 2020 She is enchanted, amazed, and connected to the result, continuously excited, as am I. The painting of her life in 2020. “No one has ever done something, especially for me,” she says with shining eyes, asking me to explain every detail in the painting, every motif I chose for her. Update sent to crowdfunding project supporters, 18.2.2014 Two weeks ago, I discovered 60 unread messages in my inbox by chance. Most were spam, but one (from two years ago) was from a young woman who saw me on TV talking about Project 2020 after the untimely death of Tamar Brauner, the first participant in the project. Despite the time that had passed, I decided to get back to her. Last Thursday, we met at her home. Liat, 20 and a half, exactly half my age, a beautiful, smiling, and intelligent girl, welcomed me into a small house she shares with her mother in one of the underprivileged neighborhoods of South Tel Aviv. The meeting was mystical; a few days earlier, I had been unexpectedly and dramatically fired from my job. This meeting with her put things into perspective for me. Liat is the daughter of drug-addicted parents. At six months old, she was placed with a family who had just lost their daughter. She stayed there until she was five, then returned to her mother, who had recovered at the time. She sits in front of me, recounting a harsh and chilling life story, describing periods when her mother relapsed into drugs, months spent living with neighbors, life in a boarding school, returning home, and the onset of binge eating and food obsession that began three years ago. A beautiful, strong, and brave girl who has been raising herself for 20 years. In the small room, childhood photos, school certificates of excellence, piles of books, and a board with empowering quotes she writes to herself are hanging. Daily reminders to herself of what a normal routine should be, reminding her where she needs to be. She shows me the book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” which she returns to time and again, given to her by her commander in the army. The amazing and magical book has accompanied me in recent years too. On the pendant of her necklace is written one word: “to be.” She moved me to tears with her depth and life wisdom, which I did not expect from a girl who was only 20 years old. She is aware of her problem and has been seeking help for her eating disorder for a while, looking for jobs like waitressing and aiming to become an actress. A brave and amazing girl who shows me how hard life can be and how much strength and resilience people have. The timing of this meeting seems surreal to me. I want to be there for her as much as possible. Unlike previous processes, I decided to invite her to stay with me for a while. After about two hours, on my way out, I see her mother waking up from sleep in the small living room. I stop for a moment and tell her, “You should know you have an amazing daughter who will go far in life.” She smiles at me and says, “With God’s help.” And I reply, “I have no doubt about that, it’s just a matter of when.” I am privileged to

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Reut, 24, the seventh participant of Project 2020

Reut, 24, anorexic for 3 years, participant of Project 2020 “…Receiving the painting and confronting it and those it represents made it clear to me that I am on the right path to recovery, on the path to a meaningful life, and above all, gave me the strength to continue this difficult struggle (which now seems small and marginal to me) in the journey of life.” Update sent to crowdfunding supporters, 22.3.2013: Four months ago, Reut contacted me, asking to participate in Project 2020. This morning, we met. She lives with her mother in a small, clean, and tidy house in Herzliya. Reut is a beautiful and slender girl with blue eyes and delicate, pale features—intelligent and articulate. The first thing that stood out to me was that there was nothing on the walls in the house—not a picture, not a family photo. The walls were clean and white. We sat in the living room, and I opened the camera. Reut is the first girl in the project who is not afraid or ashamed to be exposed. Despite being in a long and ongoing recovery process, she is aware of the problem of awareness and is willing to be on the front line if necessary and talk about things without fear. As a teenager, Reut suffered from being overweight. At the time, she didn’t feel it was a problem; she always loved performing arts, singing, and performing at every opportunity and lived a relatively normal life. In the army, she received prestigious positions, went to officer training, and signed a permanent contract. Then it started. An officer in charge of her began commenting on her appearance. She, along with several other girls on the base, started dieting. She stopped going to the dining room and brought only her mother’s food, which she loved so much, to the base, until she stopped bringing even that. She would fast for days, come home on weekends, and eat only one small meal a day, which she prepared herself. Within a few months, she dropped to a weight of 35 kilograms. When she felt she was losing control, she went to a mental health officer and from there to the eating disorders unit at Tel Hashomer. At Tel Hashomer, she truly confronted her illness for the first time. A girl she met in the unit told her she envied her because she looked like a corpse. At this point, Reut understood the real meaning of her condition: she was shocked by the harsh words but also took it as a compliment. The hospitalization did help her gain weight, but it didn’t address the symptoms. She was released but quickly deteriorated again. At 33 kilograms, she decided she wouldn’t go back to the hospital and at the same time decided she was going to get out of this. About a year ago, Reut connected with a psychiatrist and dietitian recommended by a friend from her hospitalization period. Since then, they have been slowly guiding her out of it. The third and most significant factor helping her this year in this tough fight is her boyfriend, a wonderful and supportive guy who manages to understand and walk with her through these small steps, making her believe in herself. But she admits, it is sometimes hard and frustrating for him too. It’s hard to watch someone you love so much struggle with such a complex illness and not be able to help. It’s hard

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Ella, 28, the sixth participant in the 2020 project

Ella, 28, has eating disorder for 20 years, participant of Project 2020 “Ella is in the midst of a tough and intense battle with her disorder, but I feel she is already on the right path, and am very happy to have the chance to be part of her journey.” Update sent to crowdfunding supporters, 7.9.2013: I had been searching for a long time for a participant suffering from compulsive eating who would agree to take part in the project. Ella was the first to agree. This morning, I traveled to meet her. Already at the entrance to her home in Holon, I was surprised by the sign: “Ela and Yoavi live here happily.” The door was opened by Yoav, a pleasant man who suffers from overweight. “Ella is showering, she’ll be out soon,” he said politely, inviting me in. After a few minutes, she peeked at me from the hallway, her face bright and beautiful, and she smiled, “You’re early…” I waited in the living room, looking around. There was a bookshelf with self-help and awareness books, photos of a loving couple, and a pink guitar. Yoav finished getting ready and left the house, then she came out to me, a beautiful and large woman with a big smile, illuminated. “I’m very glad you came,” she says, sitting down next to me on the couch.   Her eating disorder started at a very young age, around first grade. As a little girl, she experienced severe trauma and used food as a refuge. The fat protected her. At home, they hid the sweets, but when she was alone, she would go on frantic searches and binges, looking for and finding the forbidden food, eating and eating. Even when she was full, she continued to eat. At home, they didn’t address her condition, and she didn’t stop gaining weight. She tried to fight herself, but it always ended in defeat. Until this year. About eight months ago, she realized she needed help. The turning point came when she found herself arguing with her partner over the last chocolate he ate. She demanded he go out in the middle of the night to buy her another one and went into a hysteria. After that argument, she looked at herself from the side and realized she needed help. Food was controlling her life, and she didn’t want to live like that anymore. From a Google search, she came across a group of compulsive eaters anonymous and the 12-step method. She went to the first meeting with skepticism. In the circle sat people from all strata of the population, simple workers and senior managers. Women and men, young and very old, bulimic eaters, anorexics, and compulsive eaters.“How did I not hear about it until then? How many years of my life have I wasted?”She thanks God for bringing her there in the end. At first, she just listened and suddenly realized she wasn’t alone. Ela has lost 15 kilos to date and has another 35 kilos to go. She is a strong and determined woman, ready to start a new chapter in her life. Every evening, she commits to the menu she plans to eat the next day. Every evening, she also talks with her group mentor, a woman who has been attending meetings for years and is now strong enough to support new people. She invites me to join her at a meeting and observe, and I agree. It’s strange,

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Neta, 21, the fifth participant in the 2020 project

Neta, 21, bulimic for 5 years, participant of Project 2020 Neta chooses to imagine her life in 8 years, which in itself is very moving to me. She has all the tools to get there; she just needs to make a decision Update sent to crowdfunding supporters, 12.11.2012: Friday morning, and I am on my way to Kfar Saba to meet Neta. About two months ago, her aunt called me and asked to include her in the project. I insisted that Neta herself contact me, and indeed—she called. During our phone conversation, she apologized, hoping she would be interesting enough for the project. “I don’t have a fascinating story, I hope I will still be suitable for you…” Neta is 21 years old and has been suffering from anorexia since she was 11. Later on, another disorder joined, which challenged her no less—OCD. This manifests mainly as extreme and uncontrollable sterility. She opens the door, and I see how thin and fragile she is, and how beautiful and sad her eyes are. Walking upright and slowly, she invites me into the living room. Neta still lives with her parents. Like other girls in her condition, she has not yet left home. A few years ago, she was hospitalized at Tel Hashomer for a period, and indeed her condition seemed to improve, but very soon after her release, she returned to the same place, the safe and familiar one. I ask for her permission to photograph the meeting; she agrees and tells me she hasn’t been photographed in almost 10 years. Neta no longer remembers what triggered her illness, which in itself makes me sad. She used to be a ballet dancer; now I understand the height and the upright walk that probably remained from those days. Today, she depends on her parents in every possible way. Recently, she started going out to her father’s office and learning a bit of accounting, which brings her a new interest. I talk and talk, hoping that something in my words will move her, reminding her that despite being ill for so long, she is only 21. She can still decide differently, and make a change. She looks at me with her big, beautiful eyes, speaks slowly in a small, quiet, and exhausted voice, and describes to me a hard and sad daily routine. I ask her whom she chooses to share with, and am surprised when she says no one—not her parents, not friends. 24 hours inside her own head. Before I leave, she shows me amazing handmade crafts she makes: delicate and beautiful flowers from tea bag wrappers, an incredible labor of precision and patience. I look at her works. They are beautiful and fragile—just like her. The flowers look real and amazing but lifeless. Neta chooses to imagine her life in 8 years, which in itself is very moving to me. She has all the tools to get there; she just needs to make a decision.” Neta’s flowers Update sent to the crowdfunding project supporters, 15.03.2013: After almost three months, the fifth painting in the 2020 project is complete. Neta came to my home, delicate, tall, and beautiful—just as I remembered her. I hadn’t quite remembered how thin she was. She brought me a gift of delicate paper flowers made from tea bags, beautiful and fragile just like her. Each time, it makes me anxious. The moment when I reveal to each participant their painting for the year

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Shiri, 22, the fourth participant in the 2020 project

Shiri, 22, anorexic for 3 years, participant of Project 2020 “And now she is here, with a lovely plant and a chocolate cake she baked especially for us. “Thank you for choosing me to paint my life,” was written on the small note attached to the plant. Such a short sentence that causes me great excitement.” An update was sent to crowdfunding project supporters on June 15, 2012. One morning, I met with Shiri, a 22-year-old delicate, beautiful, and intelligent girl who has been anorexic for 3 years. We met in the park. Shiri had thought a lot about joining the project. In our first conversation, when I explained the process we would go through together and what I expected from her, she got a bit anxious. The thought of having to imagine her future life scared her. “What if I reach 30 and all the things I wanted don’t happen? What if I disappoint myself and forever have a painting in front of me that expresses all the good things I wished for myself?” I didn’t try to convince her. I just told her my motto on the subject: “It’s better to aim high and hit the middle than not to aim at all… Don’t let fear control your life.” And now we are here. The green and bright park complemented her features very well. We sat on the grass. Shiri had a normal childhood and adolescence and joined the army, where the illness erupted. After basic training, she was sent to a base and didn’t return home for three weeks. Then, her family started noticing she was losing weight. At the same time, she was sent for medical tests because she was suffering from heart rhythm problems. After finding nothing, she was sent to a psychiatrist. Eventually, she was diagnosed with anorexia and was discharged from the army. That was the biggest disappointment she had experienced. She disappointed herself and since then has not stopped disappointing. “I see all my friends around me, finishing the army, taking the psychometric test, and starting to study, and what about me? Sitting at home between four walls. I can’t break free from the thing I excel at the most, it fills 99 percent of my existence.” After reading my story, she tells me she identifies mostly with the feeling of living a lie. “That’s why I can’t leave the house and start studying, so I won’t mislead people, so they won’t think everything is fine,” she says. I take out pictures of Ori and Yonatan, my wonderful children, and show her. The biggest thing you will ever do in life is to bring life and be a mother. Everything else will pale in comparison. It doesn’t matter what career you might have or how much money you will earn; this is real and it will be yours if you decide. You are only 22, your whole life is ahead of you. This illness can be a passing episode for you if you decide.” Before we part, I ask her to buy my favorite Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” A wise book with some real insights about life that shows that in the end, our path is the same path, the question is what we choose to do with it. This morning, I met with Shiri, a 22-year-old delicate, beautiful, and intelligent girl who wants to live. In 2020, she will be 30. Keep your fingers crossed

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Noa, 24, the third participant of Project 2020

Noa, 24, bulimic for 5 years, participant of Project 2020 “The key to your prison is with you,” I say, “You just need to find it. To release the obsession, to silence the voices…” “I know,” says Noa, and I feel that she truly understands this.” Update sent to crowdfunding supporters, 21.04.2012: My first meeting yesterday in Haifa was with Noa, a 24-year-old who has been suffering from bulimia and underweight for six years. She still lives with her parents. Noa’s parents surround her with love and concern, sometimes a bit too much. There is nothing in Noa’s refrigerator at home. The food is kept in a locked pantry. We sit in her room, the same room she grew up in, the room she wants to leave to live the normal life of a 24-year-old woman. At the beginning of our meeting, I give her my story to read, two pages I wrote a few months ago that briefly describe 16 years of daily suffering alongside the illness and my way out. “It feels like I wrote this,” she says, the same sentence Tamar Brauner, the first participant in the project, said to me after reading them. I pull out some pictures from my bag. “This is my family,” I say, showing her my loved ones and children, showing her what my life looks like today, eight years later. She starts talking, describing how and what brought her to this state, describing the uncontrollable addiction to the frightening ritual of bulimia that was a part of my life for so many years. “The key to your prison is with you,” I say, “You just need to find it. To release the obsession, to silence the voices…” “I know,” says Noa, and I feel that she truly understands this. Noa has many plans for her life. I give her the project questionnaire, which she will return soon, where I ask her to describe how and where she will be in eight years from now, at age 31. We part with a hug, not before she gives me a colorful and crazy manga sticker she made by hand. Noa is very excited and wants to see her painting already. So do I. On the way back to Ramat Gan, I turn on the radio—50 years of the Beatles. The song playing in the background suddenly seems very fitting.” “LET IT BE”The Beatles (Lennon/McCartney) When I find myself in times of troubleMother Mary comes to meSpeaking words of wisdom, let it beAnd in my hour of darknessShe is standing right in front of meSpeaking words of wisdom, let it beLet it be, let it beLet it be, let it beWhisper words of wisdom, let it beAnd when the broken-hearted peopleLiving in the world agreeThere will be an answer, let it beFor though they may be partedThere is still a chance that they will seeThere will be an answer, let it beLet it be, let it beLet it be, let it be Yeah, there will be an answer, let it beLet it be, let it beLet it be, let it beWhisper words of wisdom, let it beLet it be, let it beAh, let it be, yeah, let it beWhisper words of wisdom, let it beAnd when the night is cloudyThere is still a light that shines on meShine on until tomorrow, let it beI wake up to the sound of musicMother Mary comes to meSpeaking words of wisdom, let it be

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Hadar, 35, the second participant of Project 2020

Hadar, 35, bulimic for 14 years, participant of Project 2020 “I’m starting a fresh page in many ways, and everything in this painting is what I wish for myself to happen.” “You are responsible for how your life will look from now on,” I said. “I’m here just to give inspiration.” Update sent to the supporters of the crowdfunding project, 28.04.2012: My second meeting in Haifa took place at Hadar’s apartment. She is a nice woman in her 30s with hearing impairment, who has been bulimic for 14 years. An educated girl who works hard for a living and helps the hearing impaired communicate with the world.When I called Hadar about two weeks ago to schedule the meeting, she told me that she was just leaving the apartment where she had lived for the past 10 years. “You must see the house before I leave it,” she told me on the phone. “Can you take pictures for me?” I asked, and she agreed.Hadar’s new apartment is tidy and minimalist, sparkling almost to the point of sterility, and very bright. There are good energies. She makes me coffee, and we sit down to talk in the living room. She lost her mother when she was 15 and her father a few years later, never really allowing herself to mourn. Despite coming from a large family, she is lonely in the world. Her siblings have cut off contact with her. She cries. The loneliness is sad. Hadar is very aware of her situation; the large library in the living room is full of books, many of them related to her mental state and illness. Awareness is a huge advantage on the way to healing, but unfortunately, it is not enough. Recently, she tried an innovative treatment with an alternative therapist in Jerusalem; it helped a bit, but she is still struggling. Alone. The clean and orderly house lacks life. I remember the apartment where I lived alone in Tel Aviv, how many secrets I had in that apartment, how much sadness and loneliness I experienced there, how I feared letting people into my life, and the great shame I felt about my illness. Before I leave, she takes out her cell phone and shows me a video she filmed for me of her old apartment. A small, sad, and dark home where she spent 10 years of her life. “I’m happy for you that you treated yourself. The new home gives the feeling that something good is going to happen here,” I say, looking at the empty wall in the living room, where I imagine Hadar’s optimistic painting will one day hang. On the way back to my messy and crowded apartment, with the laundry, the dishes, the paintings that changed my life, and my beloved family, she calls. “You forgot the pictures…” she says, and I tell her to keep them. “When we meet, you’ll return them to me.” In my heart, I think that maybe it is not a coincidence. Maybe my pictures need to be there with her, in her clean, orderly, and bright apartment a little longer, until her painting arrives.” I take pictures of my family and show her. Eight years later, I am in a different place. “You can get out of this illness, even after 14 years. You need to believe, hope, and act. There is a whole life out there waiting for you,” I tell her. Something about her touches me

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Tamar Browner, the first participant of Project 2020

Tamar Browner, the first participant of Project 2020 Tamar Braunner’s email, March 17, 2012:“Hi Sarit,I apologize for not chatting with you since yesterday, but there’s no doubt that our meeting provided me with a significant emotional upheaval in a positive sense. I’ve been sitting and thinking about everything that happened there since yesterday. I wanted to tell you that today, after a long time, I woke up with a smile and with something I call ‘appetite for life’ (I brought this phrase from there and I’ll share it with you, of course). First of all, thank you. Even though I know it wasn’t easy for you, the fact that I saw you physically, talked with you, heard you, shared with you, and even hugged you made me realize that stories like these about healing have their place in reality and not just in fantasy. There’s truth in it. Indeed, it’s possible to try. There’s no choice but to roll up our sleeves and fight with all our might. Like you, I also want my own family, a loving partner, and a life without small doubts that gnaw at you. And I will win and succeed because it’s possible! Two weeks after I received the email, on Passover 2012, Tamar Braunner passed away at the age of 31 from heart failure. Tamar suffered from anorexia and bulimia and was the first participant in the 2020 project. Her tragic death confronted me with some not-so-simple questions: Did I take on a project that I couldn’t handle at all? Why do I need this in my life right now? Do I continue the project, or do I stop even before I started?  Tamar Brauner | 1981-2012 The decision to continue the project was not easy, but in hindsight, it was the right decision. Her sad and unnecessary death was the driving force that pushed me all the way. At a certain point, I felt that this project was part of her will. Tamar didn’t manage to fill out the questionnaire I prepared for the project, a questionnaire in which she was asked to describe in detail where she would be in 2020. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to paint her an optimistic vision of her future. I feel that even in our only meeting, she already knew she wouldn’t make it there. In that surreal meeting, we sat together in a car, outside the rain didn’t stop pouring, and we didn’t stop talking. There, in the car, she showed me the compass she received from her father, and I asked for her permission to take a photo. When I returned home that day, stunned and shaken by the powerful encounter, I discovered that I didn’t have a memory card in my camera. Our meeting was the only one not documented in photos, and the memory that remained with me from it is probably meant to stay deeply engraved in my mind.During that time, I painted the thematic painting for the project, a painting that was supposed to accompany the crowdfunding campaign. In hindsight, I realized that the girl with the compass, the humming, and the pink goggles looking at me from the submarine window was created in her inspiration.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=ukgbKyLSbeA The process of creating the theme painting of the 2020 project, inspired by the meeting with Tamar Brauner  COMPASS | 60 diameter The theme painting of “Project 2020, an optimistic social art project” The exciting meeting with Tamar Brauner’s father, at

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How can one learn to be a realistic optimist?

How can one learn to be a realistic optimist? Realistic optimism is a psychological approach that combines optimism with a realistic understanding of life’s realities. Essentially, it involves dealing with challenges and difficulties in life in a way that acknowledges reality but still believes in the possibility of influencing it and creating positive changes. The principle of realistic optimism is that it does not ignore reality but simultaneously seeks positive options and focuses on opportunities for improvement and progress. It acknowledges the difficulties and challenges but looks at them in a way that seeks ways to cope with them and move forward. Generally, realistic optimism promotes the ability to cope with difficulties constructively and productively, without being overwhelmed by them or ignoring them. It sees reality with open eyes but does not give up hope or belief in the ability to improve the situation and influence the outcome positively. MY SALVATION Teaching realistic optimism is an important task, especially in challenging and complex times.Here are some ways to promote and empower realistic optimism in yourself and others:1. Focus on the process, not just the outcome: Understand that the journey itself is very important.2. Help people focus on the efforts they make and the processes they go through, rather than just the final result.3. Future planning: Help people consider various options for the future, plan paths, and cope with plans and goals.4. Future planning: Help people consider various options for the future, plan paths, and cope with plans and goals.5. Practice coping skills: Help people develop the ability to cope with challenges and succeed in overcoming them constructively and effectively.6. Raise awareness of positive future images: Help people envision themselves in positive future situations and feel capable of achieving them.7. Crisis management in a constructive way: Teach people how to cope with difficulties and crises in their lives in a way that promotes realistic optimism and helps them connect with a sense of control and independence.8. Encouragement of coping abilities: Help people develop their ability to cope with challenges and progress, rather than feeling disconnected or pressured by the situation.9. Identification of differences between realistic optimism and naive optimism: Teaching people how to identify and act according to realistic optimism is a central skill. When focusing on developing realistic optimism, it is important to exercise patience and understanding. These processes often take time and require perseverance. However, their results can be significant and improve the quality and level of personal and professional lives of the people around you. Portfolio Click here Exhibitions Click here To purchase this art print Click here Want to bring optimism into your life? Come choose your art print Free shipping worldwide Quality printing on premium paper Secure purchase Excellent customer service

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