I have created a creative life. It has always been my dream to create a creative life and share it with others. After all, two is better than one...
I have always been deeply in love with drawing, painting and all forms of creativity. It has been my obsession for most of my life. Being creative makes me feel ALIVE. It is who I truly am. A free spirit with creativity flowing through my veins. It feels like breathing to me. In fact, my mother recognized this when as a child I began to receive awards for my visual artwork and my constant craftiness around the house. My love connected a relationship to all of the arts- music and dance and theater (imagine that?). She put me into the CAPA program (Creative and Performing Arts) and a comprehensive High School visual arts programs and finally a degree in Art Education. All of my early experiences gave me much needed confidence.I felt like I could take all of this good stuff inside me and change the WORLD.
I started out my career as a public school Art Teacher, first working in a middle schools then grade schools. On the weekends I participated in art shows. I painted all the time. I painted pieces from my heart. You know, the soulful kind. I was full of ambition and drive. I dreamt about BIG stuff and ways to change the world through my art. I felt something bigger inside my heart.
Then I was blessed with two beautiful babies. At home raising my babies, I wanted to create a way to keep my need for art going. I started creating decorative pieces for the home...holiday, painted furniture, home decor. My art found new eyes and many sales. I feel deeply in love with creating pieces that made others happy. And what followed was big partnerships with large companies. Contracts were signed. My art became licensed — which put me in BIG showrooms in major gift markets and then in home decor stores & gift shops all over the world. I traveled the country doing artists signings. I created television and radio segments teaching others how to be creative in their everyday life. Strangers would stop my on the street, visit my home studio (some as far away as Australia), and ask for photos and autographs. I initiated a scholarship program for young artists. I invited young college interns into my world. My friends were encouraging and loving and supportive. My family was healthy. Life was good. I was feeling confident, happy and free.
But somewhere along the road I stopped trusting myself. I woke up one day and I felt like my wing was broken. I crashed. I worried..."is this burn out"? I wondered, "where was that good ol'me?" I felt like I was stuggling to get through the day. And I couldn't figure out what was wrong. Seemingly everything was great, right? I realized that over a period of time that although things were great on the outside, I needed to confront the stuff I had been pushing off. The big FEARS in my life. The fear and decline of my Mother's health and watching her mind slip away, the betrayal of friends, the feelings of not being good enough, the struggles of everyday life and raising two daughters, the pressure of what's next-what's new in my career, the loneliness (of being so busy but lonely- how can that be?)
Hummm? All the while I was busy living in a dream, I was not nurturing the healing that needed to take care of the difficult parts of myself. How could that be? I felt ashamed. After all, I was coined as "the girl who was always happy". But have I succeeded good enough to sustain the sad times?
I think suffering is a choice. I choose not to suffer. Instead I choose healing and growth. And my goodness, they seem so small compared to the weight I feel when I look into the eyes of my neighbor Karen's daughters (Karen passed away in December in a helicopter accident). But I understand pain too is a part of life. Creatively getting through it is my quest.
I believe my greatest asset is my spirit. So I have decided to take that spirit to guide me through this.
I am lucky to have made a really good friend along the way. The kind of friend I always wished for. (A "no- one- left- behind" kind of friend.)
I have also decided to use the material to inspire my art and creativity ...it will help navigate these waters. I am hopeful that my navigational journey will help my daughters too. These are some of the bigger issues in life, stuff that I want my daughters to know. I feel like there needs to be a guide "What I want my daughters to know". What we can do together is far greater than what we can do alone.
Let our faith be stronger than our feelings and let our optimism help us navigate through the pain. It helps to write it down..and see it again and again.
I am determined to take this broken wing and nurture it back to full swing.
Yes! I'm ready. NO FEAR.
I will trust myself, paint my way through it...and let go!