A few things… Something is happening in my world that is causing my life’s trajectory to shift. I felt a change at the start of the year that was more than your typical bout of New Year optimism. And now there’s a sense of quickening. The clouds are parting. Sunshine is beaming through. Touching my face.
It’s not easy to talk about but I will anyway…
The last two years or so of my life have been complicated. The energy around me has felt heavy. I’ve had my spiritual experiences to draw strength from, but even so, some days, things just felt plain bad, sad and hard going.
There were also times of joy and gratitude. Life is often mixed with peaks and valleys. And even when things felt rough, I’d remind myself that I’d feel better again; that this was the path I’d chosen to trod – and trod it I must.
When my body hurt, I thought: I am more than my body. When I worried after my children, I thought: These are experiences from which they will grow. When people pushed my buttons: These are reflections for my learning.
When I was afraid, I thought: Let go. Be carried.
A little background to my recent trudge: By mid-2016, six months after the publication of my first book, my hands seized up. They stopped working. Yep. No more typing. I couldn’t hold a toothbrush.
That’s a serious problem to have when you’re a writer.
I’d overdone it.
It followed years of typing and then a year of intense typing and clicking of the mouse.
I was working very hard learning technology, social media, blogging, book promotion, etc and I was up until the wee hours every night making things happen in my creative business – and being a mum – and everything else.
Well – burnout.
It lasted a while.
My hands eventually improved.
In September 2016 my uncle died. A week later, I was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder (which explains the hands). I’d spent my entire life watching my dad bravely deal with this disease.
Now, it was my turn.
What I was most concerned with was my kids – did they have Marfan syndrome too? There was a fifty percent chance they had it. Mama stress! Genetic testing followed for the whole family. By February 2017, they were all cleared.
A big sigh of relief.
Over the next four months, I broke my foot and a toe, at different times. Some bad luck – or a sign I was losing direction. I gained weight because I couldn’t move easily. In August, my maternal grandma died and in September my dad died.
My world changed, forever.
Come 2018, I hoped for better times. But our son, who was hating school had another challenging year. We moved house and in the process, I did something really bad to my back.
I was also worried that my aorta might split (which happened to my dad). The stress caused me to have lots of heart palpitations. I tried to get my mind off it but its a bit like knowing there’s icecream in the freezer. I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
I was in a spin. In fog.
I felt drained and uninspired.
Then one day, late last year, a simple truth penetrated me: anyone can die at any moment. The point is to live in the moment. The power is now. So – I let go. My new motto: Whatever will be will be, mama!
Then 2019 came along.
And something shifted.
Out of the dark came a light
Spiritually, creatively, energetically speaking something big has shifted in me. I’m so happy it has. I can see clearly now. If anything, this post is a reminder to you, that if you’re ever feeling stuck in the muck – things will eventually get unstuck. Hang in there!
I thank Dr. Nicole Gruel for an inspiring conversation we had last week. I’m participating in her epic 9-month transformational mastermind group. I highly recommend it! She helped me to remember who I wanted to be.
That’s some remembering. You may like to try it too. For a day. A week. See what happens.
Our talk made me think: What did I pour over endlessly as a girl? What was my favourite subject at school? What activity filled me with heartfelt joy?
Answer: Art. Always art.
I wanted to be an artist.
Lately, I haven’t painted much. I tried getting back into it a couple of years ago but couldn’t maintain the energy for it (you can see why).
I was a working artist before I had kids and a little after. I exhibited and sold paintings.
Then eventually, everyday life took over. And I was fine with that. I wanted to be a present mum to two little boys. For me to do that, I felt I had to let go of something and it was painting, and it kind of happened naturally anyway, because I wanted to write a book.
I just had to share my soul story – if it was the last thing I ever did.
I preferred writing in the early years of motherhood because I could fit it around things. Painting required at least three hours of daylight, but I could write in snatches of time, and at night. I could think up sentences in my mind as I cooked and cleaned.
My babies are 12 and 9 now. My second book is nearing completion. So, I feel it’s time to put the painting back on my agenda in a big, devoted, loving way. But this time, I want to do things a bit differently. I want to bring inspirational art and words together.
I’ve decided, come August (my birthday month) I’ll be setting up a studio and from there, work at developing an art business for myself that involves inspirational art and products.
You may enjoy following the process. If it’s also your dream set up a creative space for yourself at home or out of the home, we can do this together.
And if you’d like to grow a creative business, perhaps we can navigate the ins and outs of it together. Bravely. With entrepreneurial spirit.
I love writing books, that won’t change – but in my heart, I really want to paint regularly again. The fiction writing may have to take a backseat, for now.
Why share my story about my recent life challenges? Because our stories matter. Authenticity matters. Mine. Yours. Why just celebrate a good time. Why not celebrate getting through a tough time. Let’s celebrate our perseverance!
A lot of people have dreams in their hearts wanting to come out and play. And a lot of people have personal challenges going on. But we can still get up, still, create – still make a difference in this world. One small step at a time. One word at a time. One brush stroke.
Today, I am grateful for the opportunities coming my way. I am blessed. I am healed.
My mission is ever clearer: I want to heal people’s hearts with my art and words.
What is your mission? Do you remember who you wanted to be?