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Monday, June 1, 2015

June: Counting down the days inchie by inchie...

Hey!  It's my wedding month!

“I am not here to change the world. I am changing the world because I am here.” ~Lisa Wilson

Hope everyone's week is off to a good start - I write to you as a proud Etsy shop owner now, and actually spent this weekend shipping off some of my first orders!
And more paintings on the Gallery!
I also got a taste of doing business yesterday at the Beechwood Arts Immersion Salon, where I sold my posters, cards, prints and inchie pins.
And next week, I'll be a vendor at LIV Free in Shelton, CT - a fundraiser for Leukemia.

My wedding is this month, by the way, but I'm still making time to paint every day!  Important to take some quiet time in the studio, even with crazy planning going on!
(gotta have a little singing tree in my day)
I've been creating a ton of inchies lately...for wedding things, pins to sell, and just as nice accents to some little paintings.

Beechwood Arts Performing...
Yesterday was an amazing experience.  I had the privilege of sharing my art, my theatre, my writings, and my story with eight other amazing resilient artists
An "Arts Immersion Salon" is exactly what it sounds like.  It was a crazy fusion of creativity - culinary pairings, writing, songs, sonatas, paintings, sculptures, monologues and readings that all centered around resilience and healing from trauma.
The take-away message was, that although everyone had been through something different, each artist found some kind of comfort in their art - whatever form it took - and were able to emotionally heal and rediscover who they were, find transformation and liberation, through their art.  
Each artist's "trauma" was vastly different, yet the general arc of spiritual growth was the same - basically, our passion for creativity led us out of whatever rut we were in and changed us for the better.  
Talking with others during the reception, it was so rewarding to have the audience reach out to me and share how they were touched by my story and more importantly, my work.  I received some comments that almost started out apologetically, saying "I really resonated with your experience - but I mean, I haven't been through anything like what you've been through..."
I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Suffering is relative.  What I've been through is no worse than any other hardship in anyone else's life - no matter how trivial it may seem.  What matters is how we choose to move beyond it and how we allow it to change us.
I even got to perform some monologues I co-wrote with Beechwood Art's founder and curator Jeanine Esposito that were based on my journey.  If you have patience to watch a poorly filmed I-Phone video I uploaded to YouTube - you can watch it HERE :)
Watch "5 Windows of Resilience" Here
One of the artists presenting their work was the amazing composer, (and my mentor and dear friend) David Friedman - funny how everything is connected.
David performed one of his amazing songs, "Listen to my heart"

I first met David when I appeared on the TODAY show and he wrote a song for me.  
Watch the clip HERE

We clicked, and started working on a lil' cabaret act...which then became my one-woman musical Gutless & Grateful!

Anyway, it's funny how things happen.  And it brings me right back to the last few lines in the monologues I performed yesterday:

"Looking back, I don't think I would change anything.  Every little twist and turn has made me who I am.  10 years ago, I never would have imagined feeling this way, but I'm bolder and stronger than ever before.  Best of all, I like who I am."
"This beautiful detour has turned into one of the richest times in my life, and I'm overcome with gratitude.  I've found beauty in the teardrops, and I feel like I can help others through my own experience."
"I'm not just alive...

...I am living!"

Before I go...

“Don’t bend; water it down; or make it logical; don’t edit your soul for fashion. Follow intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~Franz Kafka

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