I’d like to think of myself as a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to creative output. I’ve always known I was “different”. I just never gave myself permission to really be that person. It took me a while to expose and tame my saboteurs of choice; fear, judgement and an unhealthy default setting for perfection. What I learned to label as “different’ in myself was just the genetic DNA for an artist in the making. It’s kind of crazy how it took 45 years and a life-threatening illness to bring clarity to this lifelong conundrum. “Different” is a gift. Perhaps it’s even many gifts. They are talents that I know I have and want to share with others.
Hello world, I am an artist.
Life threw me a massive curve ball in 2010. I received a diagnosis of breast cancer and it completely changed my life. I had to make some very brave choices to get through it. There’s nothing like a cancer diagnosis to bring about a radical and immediate change in perspective on life. I was 43 at the time with three teenagers and a very busy entrepreneurial husband. We all went through a few very rough years but I’m glad to say that I’m feeling better now. Life is good and I am truly blessed.
I started a blog while I was in chemotherapy treatments which was a bit of a false start for me. My son suggested that I write about what was happening to me. It seemed like an interesting approach and a powerful suggestion. I gave it a try but immediately felt uncomfortable about this process. It wasn’t for me. Somehow I knew I wanted to write but the timing was wrong. I didn’t want to focus my creative energy on the illness. Writing about getting through treatments was too emotionally draining for me and I really needed to focus all my energy on healing. I am a cancer survivor but it does not define who I am. My life is so much greater than that. I know that my artistic body of work will be richer as a result. It will come from a much deeper place now that I am better because of what I have experienced. It’s my creative process that ultimately shapes who I am.
I have always believed that in every difficult experience is the kernel of an equal or greater opportunity for personal growth. Opening up to my creativity has been a desire of mine for a long time. I believe many people share in this desire in our culture today. We are a generation of tentative artists. I believe that many people globally at this moment in time are really searching for a way to unleash their own personal creativity for the good of all. There is a real hunger today to see a kind of renaissance of the collective when it comes to authentic creative expression. There is so much untapped creative potential out there. Imagine what change we could inspire if this creative potential was harnessed and put to use in the service of humanity.
Healing is fundamentally a creative process. Tapping into my creativity is a way of exploring my life. It helps me discover and express what brings meaning and purpose to each of my days. To consider thoughtfully how I can live a life of intention. Life is an experience that you create. It’s not something that just happens to you. Creative expression is a means of reconnecting with the self on a number of levels, intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally. It’s about integration and wholeness. Lasting healing and recovery of any kind is transformational. It starts from the inside out. The heart and the soul lead the way.
I learned to be kind and gentle with myself as a result of the cancer diagnosis. I learned to love my authentic self and feel comfortable in my body. My hope is to share this insight with others and help them in this transformational process. We all have stories to share. We all have an infinite capacity to love and be loved. Artistic expression is an act of genuine communication. It is an act of sharing in which there is giving and receiving. I believe that in its highest form, creativity expresses unconditional love. It inspires the best in us. I hope that you will share this call to action. Together we can create more love in this world. May we bear witness to the creative energy that heals us all.