Collaborative Painting: Saudade to Pronoia, A Work of HeArt

From Saudade to Pronoia, A Work of HeArt: A Creative Work of Connection and Healing

What have you endured during this pandemic that you’d like to release and let go of to make room for something new?
What have you longed for, allowed your soul to crave, knowing you can’t have it yet but are so close?
What have you spiritually and cosmically created that will soon bloom?

Send me your scraps of paper and notes to self. Send me your Hail Marys and your 3am angst and the fabric that literally held you together through endless dark. Package up those small-enough-to-mail reminders of what you’ve suffered, lost, given up, longed for, reached and grasped for, mindfully created to keep your sanity in relative place, and the totems that have held your hopes and dreams for the future.

I’m creating a painting, a work of heart, with you, that will hold it all.

Saudade Portuguese, [saʊˈdɑːdə], is a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one cares for and/or loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never be had again.

Pronoia is a neologism coined to describe a state of mind that is the opposite of paranoia. A person experiencing pronoia feels that the world around them conspires to do them good.

Think: Honoring the gorgeous, sacred, and soulful Japanese art of Kintsugi, where we will put the broken pieces back together with gold, as a metaphor for embracing our collective past and future. Help me create beauty and hope out of our collective trauma.


Collaborators: I will need a volunteer(s) to help with creating a web-based map of the painting. If you’re called to the work, let me know.

Contributors: Small items to adhere to canvas. Must be mailable. You must be able to let go. You won’t ever get it back again because it will be transmuted into something new, something bigger. What you will receive is room for grace and healing and the support of being seen.

Please complete your submission by smailmailing:

  • Contribution item(s)
  • A few notes or short story about the items
  • If you’re open to being contacted about the story/notes/items by me for supporting projects (web-based, audio, print)
  • Contact info including address and phone/email
  • Send to:

    Leah Blooms
    A Work of HeArt
    PO Box 322
    Bellevue, WA 98009

    Zoom Workshops

    Workshops are listed by date.

    Fairytale F*ckery – Workshop Full

    Workshop via Zoom
    with Brandelyn Bergstedt &
    Leah Blooms
    Sat. May 22, 11am-1pm Pac

    • Brain chemicals and body reactions
    • Repeating family trauma and matching trauma styles
    • Why love at first sight is bullshit
    • Cultural brainwashing
    • Understand your “In Love” reactions and learn how to be the boss of your brain, even when you’re being swept off your feet!

    Brandelyn (she/her) is a queer femme passionate about relationship-building, especially as it relates to understanding each of our own blind spots. She works in academic medicine ensuring that patient experiences are central in program and policy development. A certified trainer in Crucial Conversations®, part of Brandelyn’s work includes training staff and providers on navigating challenging situations that include intersections of fear and bias. She is a frequent presenter and has published work on the topics of including patient voices in research and rebuilding trust with patients following medical error.

    Leah (he/they/she) is a mentor, writer, and artist who is passionate about learning, sharing, and empowering others to live their best lives. Their mentoring focuses on intimacy, mental health, gender, sex, and practical self-care. He helps clients understand where these major components of life converge and how responses to them impact our ability to be successful. Leah uses a variety of healing modalities in their mentoring practice including reiki, practical self-care/self-discovery, kink, mind/body connection, craniosacral, emotional processing, and aromatherapy.

    Coming Up!

    Relationship Check-In Workshop
    ~Foundations of a healthy relationship
    ~Figuring out the ways you’d like to show up
    ~What to look for in potential partners
    ~How regular check-ins can make your relationship closer, deeper, stronger, and healthier
    ~Compare different check-in templates with an intimate look at how my partner, Brandelyn, and I created ours and how it evolved during the pandemic

    Untangle the Clusterf*ck Workshop
    ~Know when you’re triggered
    ~Steps to deescalate
    ~Get some objectivity
    ~Identify your core beliefs
    ~Change your behavior

    Essay – The Power of Wearing What You Want, Shondaland

    My piece about embracing my gender is up on Shondaland:

    She grew up wearing girly clothes to fit in with her family. Years later, she cut off her hair and dressed in masculine clothes, embracing her true gender identity.

    “When I was little, I learned that pretending was a skill I should cultivate. I pretended because I came from an abusive household. As long as we looked perfect, sitting in a church pew all in a row — girls with curled hair wearing modest, fluffy dresses and boys in their white button-ups with ties tight around collars — all pretending to pay attention, we wouldn’t get a pinch from mom or a thump from dad.”

    Workshop Signup!

    Daily Ritual Creation + Self-Tying as Self-Care
    Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) Activation Workshop

    Build a daily ritual that creates space for healing and processing. Help yourself heal and learn to relax by embracing the built-in self-care system your body came with + learn and practice rope self-tie.

    Limited space! Rope included.
    Please bring a yoga mat or thick towel to sit on and a journal + pen.



    What an honor to share space, time, and energy with you all!
    San Diego, CA
    Portland, OR
    Oakland, CA
    Los Angeles, CA

    You were the best. xoxo
    Next workshop series coming this summer.
    Bring me to your city! Details here.
    Gotta Queer Love Story to share? Details here.

    Pulp Mag – Being The Feast

    And I think I’ve been content to let it go, not think about it too hard, and not let myself want too much or care too deeply that the feelings of disgust and vileness about my body persist. I turn the attention away from me and on to them. I make my partners feel beautiful and desirable because I experience them that way and don’t ask for that in return.

    I can feel pleasure. I have lots of good sex. I’m good at achieving an orgasm now. Isn’t that enough?”

    Read the full piece here: Being The Feast

    Podcast – League of Badass Women on Gender

    Parts 1 & 2 of a podcast I did with Valerie Orth from League of Badass Women is live today. I get personal and talk about how instrumental Joe Crawford was in my process of coming out. <3

    “In this week’s episode I continue speaking with health and wellness writer and mentor, and serious badass, Leah Roberts Peterson, on how society instills us with certain perceptions of gender—and what it would be like to one day live in a post-gendered world.

    If you haven’t listened to Episode 12 yet, I recommend starting there. All League of Badass Women episodes are short (under 20 minutes), meant to be able to listen to on, for example, your commute.

    So take a brief break from the chaotic world and take in some badassery to make your day a little brighter 🌞

    You can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud.”

    Ravishly – I’m Genderfluid and Here’s What I Want You to Know

    “Believing in a gender binary, where only “men” and “women” exist, has created a stifling system where personality traits are attributed to one gender or the other. This ignores the vast intersections where male, female, and non-binary characteristics exist, co-mingle, and crossover. What’s wrong with a man crying and being sensitive? What’s wrong with a man in a dress? What’s scary about a woman who is strong and capable and assertive? Nothing but what we’ve made it be, and it’s all arbitrary.”

    Read the full piece here.