I am taking a class and this was the task this week…very cathartic exercise for me…i love walking thru my life and finding significant images and turning points…it may be hard to read, but it is this one beautiful, wild life i have lived!!! and I found that I value applause!!!
I was born in Elkins, WV during a blizzard so intense my parents almost named me Snow White…my maiden name was White!! Rationality returned to them before the papers were filled out and I was named Rebecca Elizabeth for my Grandmother and Mother…somewhat less fairy-talesque, but nonetheless setting the stage for a fanciful life. At the age of four, I drew a portrait of my Mother in crayon and received my round of applause. Later that year I recited The Song of Hiawatha (By the shores of Gitche Gumee) at the dinner table (my aunt had read it to me the night before). More applause. In kindergarten, I told a make-believe story of a pet that my teacher called a pathological lie or creative genius. I chose to believe the latter. So by age 5 drawing and story writing and telling were well established.
At 10 or 11 I loved to run, dance and write, illustrate and perform. I started my own newspaper about this time. Dance became my passion (applause again) and continued until I broke my neck in 1975 and hung up my dancing shoes forever. By 1985, I had four children, a divorce and was drawing (graphic design) and painting (murals and faux finishes) again. In 1995, I published a book called Do What You Love about the business of being a decorative artist, which lead to a 12-year gig as editor of The Artistic Stenciler magazine. This chapter of my life brought awards, press, television and teaching gigs around the world…much applause and recognition.
In 2005, I tried to skip and realized my skipper was broken. Later that year I found I had an inoperable cyst on my spine that was causing the walking/skipping difficulties. This news set in motion what I later learned was a great depression as I literally waited to die. By the time my friends and family had an intervention, I had closed my school, stopped doing speaking engagements, and lost my job as editor. The applause had dimmed, but had not died.
Lest you believe that my journey is all too gloomy, it was during this chapter that Cre8Tiva’s Blog was launched, I returned to journaling and sketching and created a new body of work on canvas, and enrolled in a Christian Spiritual Direction program similar to life coaching.
“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders” – Chuang Tzu
I call the next chapter my two-year spiritual retreat. During this past 24 months, God forced me to slow down by removing ALL obstacles (a job and income) and presenting me with TIME! Time to reflect. Time to mourn. Time to refresh. Time to repurpose. Time to realign. Time to reframe. Time to release.
And by walking and stumbling and, sometimes even crawling my path the last two years of the decade I was able to learn my deepest passion is to communicate in a major way. A gift revealed itself at the tender age of ten when I started my first newspaper…full circle indeed!
I know without a doubt that if you are going to ask the questions, be sure to be quiet and listen for the answers.
I had no choice but to reconnect with myself…find strength to look at what brought me to this place, find fortitude to survive, find courage to move forward, find hope to rebuild, find bits of my soul that had been scattered about the universe over the years and bring them home.
I have been blessed to be able to walk along the beach in my beloved island sanctuary…and capture the moments of my retreat in such magnificence in photos…I step into my purpose, my future, my path with great peace and the completeness of knowing I am who I was born to be…and I am finally able to value and applaud myself!!