“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the Imagination.”
– Poet – John Keats
I’d like to tell you a story, a sacred story, of sorts. In some of my classes and workshops, I tell the story of how I came to do this teaching work that I do, but I realize I’ve never shared that story here through my Creative Sparks E-news. So, this is my story.
I have always been an extremely creative person, who loved the realm of the Imagination, the Arts, Creativity and creative play. Since I was a child, I’ve been making things with my hands, playing music, making up stories and poems and songs, dancing. In high school, I acted in and directed plays, sang in a choir, played the violin, studied drawing and creative writing and photography, took dance and yoga classes. I’ve sewn my own clothes without a pattern, designed and helped build my own home (with my former partner), taught myself to be a professional graphic designer. . .
And yet all through my growing up, no one ever suggested I might be an artist, that I might have a calling or talent for the arts. In my family “artist” was always equated with “starving,” and the attention was placed on excelling academically (I did this) and finding a good job with secure, reliable, sustaining income (I didn’t do as well at that).
Nonetheless, when I got to college, I chose to major in Music. It was what I most loved and wanted to do. I threw myself into it with passion and rose to become a shining star in the music department of my tiny liberal arts college, winning awards and getting a lot of praise. But my parents kept asking, “What are you going to do for a living?”
Sure enough, when I got out of college, I sank like a stone. Suddenly, I didn’t have a supportive community, eager to hear my music, and loving teachers to guide me. And I didn’t have any idea how to make a living. I found myself living in real poverty, scared and confused.
A Story of Longing
After five long years of casting about for a career I could love, abandoning each path as soon as I saw how little time it would leave me for creating, I took a huge leap of faith and decided to follow my big dream and enroll in graduate school for music. I got accepted to a prestigious school and went deeply into debt to go there, but I was sure everything would work out at last because I was “following my bliss.”
Instead, the opposite happened. Almost immediately I found myself having a nervous breakdown. My self-doubt about my abilities as a musician, my deep sense of inadequacy, my doubts about whether my music had meaning or purpose in our world, my perfectionism and ambition and hunger for approval, my ego-involvement with my art, became crippling. I spent nine months in a very dark, suicidal depression and then dropped out of graduate school literally to save my life.
I was so devastated. I felt I had failed at my one true dream, and was unable to play or write music for nine years after that, despite the fact that I missed it every day painfully. I thought my life was over, but in reality, this is when I began to truly find my heart path.
I started on a profound healing journey that led me to deep transformation within, to cultivating a healthy, joyful, sustainable relationship with my creativity and myself (something that had seemed impossible), to fostering my creative path as a writer (which I’d loved since I was a child, but had thought I wasn’t good enough to do), and to finding my spiritual path and amazing teachers and tools to help me on my way.
One of those remarkable tools was The Artist’s Way, which played an important role in healing how I relate to my creativity, my dreams, myself and my life.
A Story of Soul
It is truly astonishing the life I’ve been able to co-create, thanks to my journey of transformation, healing and creativity. As I healed, I became passionate about sharing what I’ve discovered with others, so that I could help spare them the pain and confusion I caused myself, and so that our world can benefit from the gifts that each of you uniquely brings to our world when you follow your dreams and learn to have a loving relationship with yourself.
I was called to teach and have been teaching The Artist’s Way, creative writing, poetry and creative dance since 2004. This teaching has brought profound depth, fulfillment, joy, and also challenge, growth and learning to my life. I’m deeply grateful for this sacred work.
If you are curious about how working and playing with me might transform your life and help you walk your own heart path, I encourage you to find out more by clicking here: Offerings. I would be truly honored to walk that path with you.