With degrees in graphic design and psychology, I landed my first job as a designer and product developer for Sunrise Greetings, a popular U.S. greeting card company. This is where my passion for creating heartfelt messages emerged.
Three years later, I became a mom. My priorities immediately lined up. I started my design business to allow myself the flexibility to work from home. Teaching filled the gaps between projects. My business grew as I began working with private, corporate, and international clients to create custom identity, marketing, and promotional materials.
Then I experienced devastating setbacks. When I was in my late thirties, I lost two pregnancies. The ability to sustain life inside me was intimately ripped away. This brought me to my knees like nothing ever before. I stood at the turning point: either self-destruct or look for answers. Fortunately, I chose to embark on a quest. The emptiness I was experiencing provided space to hear the whisper of a calling.
I decided to dive deep and look for answers. With compassionate guidance, I rediscovered my desire to create. I began cultivating a relationship with my creativity. Childhood dreams of writing resurfaced and took hold in my heart.
Tragedy gave me a story to tell, and I was determined to write it. For the next eight years, I continued this quest to write my story. Had I known how long it would take, I may have never started. However, during those eight years, I was led to people and places that nourished me, creative midwives who listened as my voice emerged. I participated in writing workshops. I was led to a program called Women Writing for (a) Change. I took classes. I met friends for tea and writing. I took breaks. I formed small groups with trusted writers. I read books by the masters. I read my chapters out loud to my husband and daughter. I recorded my own voice and listened. I landed my own newspaper column. Two of my essays were published in women's anthologies.
I became certified as a writing facilitator. I wanted to give back to the women who helped me find my voice. And I wanted to offer this experience to young writers. So I helped create a young women's writing program in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. I was awed by the wisdom and imagination I heard in these young voices. Their words continue to give me hope and remind me of something very important:
We all have creativity and inner wisdom that has been with us for a long time.
More recently, I felt called to expand my tool kit. I wanted to become a creativity coach and learn new ways to help people access their inner wisdom and truth. I discovered Kaizen-Muse™ creativity coaching, and decided to try a sample coaching session. I loved the way I felt during and after this call: Less pressure…more fun…excitement…the spirit of adventure, joy, and possibility.
I completed my creativity coaching certification training. I received many gifts from the Kaizen-Muse™ program, including the opportunity to be coached by a mentor and a classmate. This is where I discovered the small steps I needed to take in order to bring my book to fruition. Previously, I would stall out during the arduous process of revision. But Kaizen small steps infused a new spirit of joy combined with perseverance. I now had a vision for the completion of my book.
I finished my manuscript. What I Gave to the Fire is now published. I am an author. I now realize the amount of life support it takes to express our truth, practice our art, and bring a project to fruition. I now know that supportive, creative community is an antidote to the perfectionistic, competitive environment that pervades our world.
And now I am positioned to offer a synergy of services. I offer programs to help soulful, creative business owners access their unique story and bring it to form.I lead workshops that help writers move through creative blocks. I coach people one-on-one, helping them bring joy to their creative journey.
Beneath it all, there's one thing I know for sure: Accessing our creative fire is a really great way to live and lead in the world.