At the end of 2016, my life was heavily weighted to proving my worth through my ability to earn. I had reached the pinnacle of my career in media sales, meaning, the list I had made of the dream job 10 years ago had been all checked off, every single line. My last achievement was doubling the earnings I had only dreamed of ten years earlier. I enjoyed my success but it was also empty. I knew it was time to dream a new future.
I longed for more creativity. I'd switched between being super creative and not making money to making lots of money while forgetting to be creative. I wanted to integrate the two worlds, but didn't know how.
I hired a coach, and this is what we talked about. I dreamed of opening a shared art making space, sharing through workshops and classes the magic and transformative power of art making. I signed up for online courses and began to make all kinds of art for no reason but to practice. And I went on a vacation.
Now this was no ordinary vacation. This vacation included two courses called "The Way of Wonder" and "Poetry, Seeing Life through the Eyes of an Artist." Being away and immersed in these conversations brought me home to my authentic self in a way that only wonder can. It was just before New Years, and I made my resolution early:
In 2017 I would surrender my life to being an artist, and allow art making to take over my life.
Five months later I had a life changing traumatic brain injury, caused by me slamming a bike rack I'd forgotten about onto my own head while closing the back of my Prius.
The surrender I'd asked for was much more profound than I'd imagined. But as I was able to get out of bed for a couple hours, I immersed myself in art making. I made a stone bracelet in the pattern of my life path 29/11.
I came up with a new way to display my porcelain dream bowls, suspended by macrame on a twig/fairy wand from my daughters birthday party.
I ordered cotton rope to make macrame, which was incredibly meditative and healing.
I allowed myself to paint freely and fall in love with color like never before.
My art became about process and healing.
My cognition was impaired. I had trouble speaking and finding words. I retained no memories, and couldn't conceive of a future. I had only the moment, and I was present to that being a gift. I saw the wholeness of the injury as a response from the universe. Every moment I surrendered, and as I slowly healed, I allowed art making to take over my life.
Over a year later, my brain injury now gives me physiological feedback to take my own pace and find my own rhythm. My time on technology is limited, and I have to use it wisely. I need creative time and I also need a lot of rest, or the headaches come on and my mental health begins to suffer.
I live a healthy, active life between naps and creative sessions. I saw what it was like to lose my identity, and the gift it is to have a functioning brain. I experienced consciousness, self and the power of neuroplasticity in a whole new way.
As I recovered, I observed maverick women artists making money in all kinds of creative ways, and decided to become one of them.
I find that the more I align with my purpose, the more people around me elevate and align with theirs.
While I love making art and carving my own path out of the wild unknown, the most important reason I'm out here creating my art business is to demonstrate to my two creative daughters that they can have successful careers being exactly who they are, being authentic and bringing their unique gifts to the world.
There's a lot here to explore and more being created all the time.
Thank you for being a listener for my story, for all the ways you support my business: coming to my workshops, joining my community, collecting my art, sharing my journey with your friends.
I hope my story of finding my purpose helps you connect with your own.
What the world needs is people who have come alive.