Our families, friends and experiences shape us. They shape our beliefs about the world and our place in it. We think we are so different, but we are all human. The only difference is what we believe. On my journey to healing, I had to unlearn so much of the belief system I operated from my whole life. Beliefs about skin color, hair texture, body image, womanhood, motherhood, sisterhood, friendship, relationships, working, careers, should-dos, must-dos, and cant-dos. I’m still unlearning. After all those years of DIYing my healing, my first therapist helped me recognize a belief that had been holding me back for over 25 years. I told myself creativity was a luxury. The one thing I believed I had to give up when I became a teen mom and be responsible. There is no room for creativity when you have another human to take care of.
As a child, art was my outlet. My imagination was my escape. Creating was my first therapy. I spent hours drawing, writing, painting and dancing. I won awards for poetry. I studied tap, ballet and jazz. I consumed books on a daily basis, knowing one day I would author my own. I loved telling stories through words, images and music. Art helped me navigate life, process the death of my father, the confusion of being a mixed girl, the pain of broken hearts and find the joy in all of it. I dreamed of going to art school. But life had other plans and blessed me with my daughter.
She joined me on this life journey my senior year of high school. She had a rough entry into this world and almost didn’t make it. College, let alone art school, is the furthest thing from your mind when your baby is in NICU fighting for her life. The pile of acceptance letters and scholarship offers began to collect dust. My only priority was her. Once she was able to come home, responsibility took over – and so did the beliefs. Get a degree in something that will get you a good job with benefits. There is no money in art. That’s not responsible. Creativity is a luxury, you need to work. So my creativity took a backseat to all the should-dos and must-dos that come with being a “responsible” mother.
I built a successful career that hovered around “creativity.” Started in radio and spent the next couple of decades in media and marketing. My creativity fought for space in my life as side hustles – becoming a makeup artist, a photographer, painting for friends, improvising and sketch writing. An invisible tether that has constantly been trying to pull me back. Never believing it could be the main thing. These were luxury things – that sometimes gave me some extra cash. I wasn’t in it for the money. I needed it. I didn’t realize how much I was sacrificing myself with my “responsible” career. The whole time my passions were trying to get me back – always pulling me to a hobby to survive.
I’m at the point in my life where “responsible mother” no longer needs to be my primary identity. My children are busy building their adult lives. So I’m back to creating more and taking the leap to lean into my purpose. My creativity has expanded to the healing arts and I’m so ready to blend my creativity with the passion I developed during my corporate career – helping others liberate, live and lead the lives they truly desire.
Love & Light,
Spend some time with the beliefs that guide you. What do you believe about school, work, parenthood, identity? How do those beliefs make you feel? What parts of your beliefs do you question? Where do you need to build new beliefs?