I say the universe got my attention when I hemorrhaged and it did but, in spite of the fact my doctors insisted I take 3 months off, I went back to work in one week. I’d been taken to my knees and I still WENT BACK TO WORK. We human beings have a powerful draw to what we know, even when it no longer serves us, if it ever did. I had a deep understanding my life was off track, my job was killing me and I still went back to work.
All my life I’d accomplished whatever I needed by strength of will but, now, no matter what I did, I wasn’t healing. The reality was my old ways of being had died on March 8th, but I was still fiercely holding on because I didn’t have any idea of what was being birthed, or even that something was. I felt lost and confused. I wanted my old life back!
One day my assistant, Piper, came into my office and found me crying, something that just never happened. She knelt down and told me about a tarot card reader she knew, suggesting I call her. I did. In that moment, for the first time in my life, I let go of control. I suspended skepticism. I closed my eyes, took a leap of faith, and stepped into magic. This is where my new life began.
I’d taken one question with me to my appointment: How do I heal? She pulled my cards and nearly gasped, “You’re an artist!” as though it was the most unlikely possibility she could imagine. She asked what my art was and I told her I sang and wrote a little (you see, in order to leave painting behind all those years ago, I’d had to wipe it from my memory). She stared; her eyes boring through me like hot coals. This was not the answer she was seeking. I got very uncomfortable as she looked deeply into me, searching, and finally I remembered. “Oh!” I said, “I used to paint.” She clapped her hands together and pronounced, “That’s it! In order to heal you have to paint!”
I didn’t go back to work. I went home, walked directly to the bookshelf in my living room and pulled out a book Piper had given me the year before. It was The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I opened it to a passage that read, “… all I knew was how to make these headlong dashes and hurl myself… at the wall… I fell… I bled…” Clearly, I was being guided, so for the second time in one day I took a leap of faith into the unknown that had become my life and, for the first time ever, gave myself over to magic. Within 3 months I’d given a year’s notice to my employer and set about re-learning how to paint.
This artist’s journey is all about faith and trust and a willingness to live in not knowing. We are asked, every day, to hope against hope that our dreams can come true. I think it’s why art is so precious and why we all long to be artists. It’s a journey into the wilds of the soul and it is there for each and every one of us if we are willing to believe even when we can’t see.