Wholehearted Art

My heart is pounding.

I’ve stopped breathing as I scroll down my blood test results, looking for that ONE number.

The number that will tell me everything.

The number that speaks into every piece of food I have eaten in the past three months, every liquid I have drunk, and every supplement I have taken.

It speaks into every choice, and the swings of frustration and isolation I felt staring at fruit, pizza, beer, and cookies.

My A1C.

When I finally find it, at the bottom of the third page, I can’t believe my eyes.

I never expected THIS.

It’s the lowest it’s ever been.  It’s a total reversal.  My body chemistry has completely changed.

I stand in shock for a moment, staring at the number, just to convince myself it’s real. And I think,

Oh my gosh…I MADE it.

Have you ever felt this;  that feeling of arrival in your Art?

Do you believe in change?

 

You are pre-diabetic.

Even as the nurse on the other end of the phone was telling me this, I was in complete shock and denial.

I’ve been active my whole life, I eat organic, and I’m thin. How is this possible??

Her diagnosis was confirmed by a bio chemist nutritionist named Kylie Reiffert of KR Nutrition.

And I made a decision in that moment.  I wanted to be healthy, and I would do whatever it took to bring my blood sugar down.

I set my sights on a number, and started working with Kylie last summer.

In one fell swoop, most of what I was used to eating was taken off my plate. I had always had a dancer mentality around eating, and now my body was going to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs.  I mourned my popcorn, chips, and crackers.  I said goodbye to craft beer, and had to learn a completely new way of eating.

I was hungry a lot, and felt really isolated going out to eat, as I struggled to find things on the menu I could eat.

Everything was turned upside down.

In three months time, we were able to bring my A1C down from 5.8 to 5.5.  The range for pre-diabetes is 5.6 – 5.9. This was a HUGE win, as Kylie shared she had never seen anyone do this before.

I went from being pre-diabetic to just under.  I wasn’t out of the danger zone yet, as pre-diabetic starts at 5.6, so the diet continued, and I stayed the course.

And then I plateaued.

The next blood test was exactly the same, and I cried.  It had been a rough four months for me, including getting a nasty stomach flu, and trying so hard to get back to a healthy weight.

But even more so…I felt so discouraged.

Why wasn’t my blood sugar number changing?
Why was it standing stock still?

Have you felt like this in your art?
Worked so hard towards your goal, and see the same results?
Do you set a timeline to achieve your goal and then find yourself at the date with no change?

It can be SO frustrating!

So, what do you do?
Do you believe in change?

 

I was recently listening to this brilliant podcast called the Dharma Ocean. The teacher was speaking into one of the greatest questions we ask, especially as we are working towards our goals.

The goals of,
Publishing your novel
Booking your dream gigs
Selling your Art
Producing your show

and ultimately,
Thriving in your Art.

His question was,
How do we create change?

The answer was very simple,
Commitment.

He spoke into a deeper commitment, a wholehearted commitment.  One that isn’t dependent on what you feel by the day or hour, but transcends swings in moodiness and experiences of pain and pleasure.

Unless your commitment transcends that, it doesn’t mean anything, and we won’t change.

The commitment has to be unconditional.  It means you leave the option to quit out.

It’s really LOVE.  Love for your Art, for your voice, and for the passion that expresses through your words, music, and brush.

This is why it’s wholehearted. 

He had a brilliant ship analogy, saying you get into your boat, you point your ship due east towards your goal, and head there. Your journey is not dependent on the water.  Storms may come and go, you may pass shiny islands with palm trees, but you stay the course.

It can be common to have commitment that is contingent, which translates to
I’m committing BUT leaving options open.

If our commitment is not wholehearted, we won’t make the journey.  And then we won’t experience the fulfillment and fruition of our efforts. In essence, we give up.

And I get it!  We go through SO much on this path.  Some days we feel inspired, and other days we feel we want to run ANYWHERE and hide.  I felt all of this in the last year, and it was compounded by other health issues like a neck injury, building my business, and also experiencing disappointment after disappointment in dating.

But the main point it, whatever we are feeling in that moment, we practice self empathy, allow it to pass THROUGH us, and then come back to the direction.

Come back to the goal.
Come back to the number that tells you everything.
Come back to the journey.

Stay in the Boat.

 

If I had given up, I would have diabetes.
If I had given up dating, I would never have met my incredible man and experienced the love I was hungering for.
If I had given up, I would not have doubled my business in one year and be writing to you.

In one year’s time, I went from 5.8 to 5.0.  This is a miraculous result. I could have given up at the plateau and said, It’s NOT working! It wasn’t easy, I went through some hurricanes, but I stayed the course.  Why?

Because underneath every wave was the belief in our greatest reality,
CHANGE.

Change is constant.  You are changing as you read this.  

And the beauty is,
YOU decide what that change will be.

Believe in change.  Nothing is permanent.

Set your sights on your goal.

And stay in the boat, with your whole heart.

 

 

 

Photography by: Caitlin Cannon

The Secret to Success

HOW did you do it?

I’m being asked this a lot right now.  I’ve been interviewed by two love experts, and had many women reach out in response to my love story.

Friends and family are reflecting back such loving remarks, reflecting back my inner glow, and something deeper,

Happiness

My story has been one of struggle, heartache, and wild discovery.  It began with a bonfire, and then slowly I built from the ashes.

Much slower than I thought…..

Yesterday, while being interviewed by my first love coach, I had a moment of,
Is this really me??

I remember watching endless interviews, seeing other success stories and wanting to dissect every THING they did to find love.

What were their steps?
What did they do that I wasn’t doing?

And now here I am, sharing the success…..

A total reversal!

Have you ever felt this way?

Watched your favorite artist, leaning in to every word they say, wanting to know HOW did they do it?

Wouldn’t you LOVE to know the secret of their success and how you can achieve the same?

 

Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action.  Those who aren’t, submit to their fears and live with regrets.
-Jay Z

 

I remember coming into my acupuncturist’s office last year, crying about another disappointment, another man I had dated who was unavailable.  I was feeling lonely and something deeper,

Hopeless

She looked at me lovingly and said,
You’re not giving up.  You keep going.

I felt a calm in my heart because she was right.  I had my vision in place, I knew what I wanted.  Yes, I was lying on the table with tears streaming down my face, but the commitment was still there.

We can experience disappointment and still work towards our dreams.

Your disappointments do not define you.  They are the reaction to what matters.  Allow them to rise and fall.  They are not permanent.

 

I had a choice, to stand still or move forward.  To let things happen or make things happen.  Every day I wake up, I make a choice not to let the world decide for me. I decide for me.  I decide to get going.
-Beyonce

 

My simple answer for HOW I did it, is the same for all successes.

I didn’t give up, and I had support.

With each wall I came up against, I took it as a moment to reflect, regroup, and try again.

I had a LOT to learn, after being married for 15 years, and going on my first date EVER at 38.

It can be easy to think success just happens, but it’s really a testament to time and effort put in.

And a deeper willingness to look at WHAT is actually happening in your Creative life.

What are your results right now?

Can you take your ego out of the equation, and ask simply,
Am I showing up?
Is this working?

If you are hitting up against the same wall over and over, there is a REASON, and the wall is there to stop you so you can make a NEW choice.

Release the judgment against yourself.
Stop making yourself wrong, or bad.

Shaming will stop you every time.  Let’s break out a Beyonce tune and move you forward instead.

Come back to your vision of what you want to do with your Art.

Who is the Artist you want to be?

 

This past weekend, my man surprised me with a romantic getaway weekend.  He drove me to this picturesque town right on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, taking me to an incredible bed and breakfast right on the water. And the name?

New Hope

I was transported back to the woman who felt so hopeless and unloved, lying in the dark in acupuncture.  The woman who’s heart was broken, feeling so rejected.

I could have given up.
I could have believed feeling hopeless was permanent.
I could have decided my vision wasn’t possible.

And trust me…there were MANY days I wanted to.

But in every moment, I reached out for help, and was CURIOUS, and I didn’t do this alone.

As I stood in the sunshine staring at the bed and breakfast and saw my man’s wide and loving smile, I was struck at the change. Struck at where I began and where I stood now. And one of my favorite poems came to me,

Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words
and never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson

This is my invitation for you.

Stay in Discovery.
Don’t give up.

Bust out your inner Beyonce, and be curious around your fears.

New Hope awaits, for you and your Art.

Make the choice today so that you can have the success you desire.

 

 

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography