Describe yourself in three words.
Loving, tough, sensitive.
How would those you love and respect you describe you?
What helps you feel safe and grounded?
My husband and kids.
How would you define trauma?
An incident or event in one’s life that leaves a lasting effect of pain or suffering.
How has trauma contributed to your suffering?
I have experienced a lot of loss, at times abuse, and I’ve been forced to let go when I didn’t always want to. Through this, I’ve learned nothing is permanent... which is scary and has caused anxiety and fears. But because of this I have found a way to have a certain emotional detachment from the trauma I’ve experienced in my life. I’ve honoured its imprint on my heart and soul, but tried to not live in a place of suffering or letting it define me.
How has suffering contributed to your personal awakening or evolution?
Suffering is painful. It’s a dark web we can so easily become stuck in. In life, we all experience a certain amount of pain and suffering, and I think the amount of change and loss and catastrophic shift I’ve experienced has forced me to decide to identify myself as separate from that. The suffering has absolutely forced me to stand on my two feet and survive. When you have absolutely no choice but to go on, you just go on. Especially when you have little ones who depend on you. You evolve and you fight, because it’s the only option.
How has suffering contributed to allowing you to align with your highest creative self, if it has?
Creativity is such a helpful tool to funnel our pain and separate ourselves from it, but still honour and acknowledge it. I’ve been an artist my entire life and before I allowed myself to be free in tapping into my pain my work was much more shallow. Art is not only for others to see, but it’s the artists job to bare their soul and their most painful wounds and turn it into something beautiful. The world needs creativity that is an exhibition of the beauty in pain, to show we can still be soft and raw. So I think not only has my suffering made me a much better artist, but it has helped to not hide that I’ve suffered... because we are all human and there’s a healing in the mutual unity of that. For everyone.
What words of wisdom would you offer to those who are stuck in suffering that is similar to what you have been through in the past?
Just put one foot in front of the other. Remember who you are. Allow yourself to dream about having peace and a life you want, because you can get there. You are stronger than you think.