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A little about my creative journey...

There is no perfect synopsis of who I am and why I create. Just like I change and grow over time, so too does my art and what and how I create. Yet some themes remain constant: Nature. Human Nature. Intuition. Energy. Beauty. Photography. Typography. Handcrafts. Writing. Wisdom. Wellness.

The nature of who I am is naturally reflected through my art. Every lesson I learn, I share. Everything I get inspired by, I like to share to inspire others. I was the girl who loved Show and Tell in school and still am to this day, albeit it in different ways. 

Art and creativity have been constants in my life for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory is of standing at the easel my Dad built for me and painting. And I still get giddy in an art or craft store imagining all the possibilities. But it isn’t just art, it’s other forms of creative expression as well. From poetry to explore and express my feelings to writing a memoir of my travels, and even my mental wellness resource book, it’s writing. It’s jewelry making. It’s crafting. It’s sewing. It’s get the idea. If there’s a way to be creative I’ve probably tried it. I get bored easily and learning to create in new and unique ways feeds my artistic soul. 

The entrepreneur in me has always tried to make my art into a business. I was the kid who asked a store to sell my little googly-eyed creatures (which they graciously agreed). From then on, the idea of making things that people might like and buy was ingrained in my “why I create”. Even the path of formal training in Graphic Design was about using art to sell. From art shows, to craft festivals to trying to sell online, there’s been a need to share what I create.

But at fifty-one I realize that creativity is about so much more. It’s about having fun. It’s about expressing my passion and my heart. It’s about exploring and learning and being willing to try and fail at something (and gosh is that hard). It’s about seeing and processing the world around me in new ways. When I look through the lens of my camera I slow down and notice small beautiful details that might otherwise be missed. When I eco-print with leafs I learn how nature provides its own dyes.

My creative process has evolved as my spirituality has evolved. It’s become a lesson in listening. Where once I relied on training and technique, I now create, or rather co-create, with Spirit, with Intuition and with Energy. Sure, the technique and training are still there but the process and therefore the end result is much more magical and unexpected then what I could have created on my own. Some of my best works have been birthed this way and it still amazes me that they came through me. It’s a great lesson in letting go, not holding the reins so tight and letting the process unfold as it wants to.

Today, I understand that creativity is a gift to be expressed and a means to enjoy life. So that’s what I’m going to do. Instead of fitting myself into one box I’m going to explore it all, just like that little girl in the craft store. I’ll let curiosity and play have the lead and see where they take me. I’ll add what I create to my shop, because I still love to share, and see what happens. It’s not a great business model but at this point I simply don’t care. It’s time to create and have fun. It's time to bring that girl back.

A little about my mental health journey...

I was the sensitive girl who feared everything. I was the adolescent who felt too much and didn’t know how to express herself. I was the young woman who wanted to be saved by a prince charming and who ended up on a path that didn’t quite fit. I was the mother who didn’t really want or know how to be a mother yet ended up parenting a child with autism...while being completely mentally unwell herself and in pain for many, many years.

Yet, I am not a victim.

I’ve experienced brutal moments of pain, loss, trauma and depression.

I’ve experienced fear, anxiety and panic that had me gasping for breath.

I left everything behind in order to both escape and find myself.

I’ve wanted to die, many times, because I couldn’t see a path that allowed me to live without shame.

Yet, I am not a victim.

Through many therapists, counsellors and doctors, I realized I had choice.

Through many conversations, I realized I was allowed to exist, exactly as I am.

Through deep, soul excavations I realized that I had to get completely honest with myself.

Through listening to my heart, I learned that I was both worthy of love and capable of loving.

The mind is vast, powerful and terrifying.

I let it have free reign for far too long.

Until I learned that it could be tamed.

Until I learned that my thoughts were just stories that could be transformed.

I came to understand that I had power.

I came to understand that I had choice.

I came to understand that playing victim only served to keep me small, confined, weak, in pain and powerless.

So I learned.

I learned to challenge my thoughts.

I learned to talk back to the stories.

I learned to shine light on all the dark, shame-filled recesses and accept them with radical honesty, self-compassion and love.

I learned that pain is a messenger that wants attention on what’s not working or what's being denied.

I learned that behaviours and decisions were chosen because they helped me to feel safe.

And I learned that I could hold two opposite truths without having to make one bad or wrong.

I also learned that managing the mind is a balancing act. 

Some days the weight of thoughts gets too heavy or incessant and that it’s okay to step back and practice extreme self-care.

Some days pain is just too difficult to ignore and so gentleness, compassion and limitations need to win.

Yet, I am still not a victim.

I am the most creative force for wellness that I know, because I choose.

Every day I choose.

That is my power.

Some fun facts...

I love collecting crystals, baking healthy snacks, making soup, listening to top 40 music, thrifting, reading historical fiction, talking about the meaning of life with friends and spending cozy moments on the couch with my husband and dog. And though I tend to be a perfectionist, I’m working on allowing my best to be good enough.