"When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
- Adrienne Rich
When I was 13, I started starving myself.
I can't pinpoint one specific reason why, but it happened.
And when anorexia took over my mind, I lost my creative light.
A girl once full of laughter and ideas became obsessed with calorie counts and learning how to hide her obsession. I went away to a summer theatre conservatory, thinking I could spend the 5 weeks away losing weight without interference from parents, teachers and friends.
But instead, the theatre saved me.
The empty person I became when I starved myself couldn't keep up with the demands of my performance teachers. They wanted to see my energy, my light - and I desperately wanted to give it to them.
The energy, commitment, and full-bodied physical and emotional expression required to be present and whole as an actor snapped me out of my disordered thinking.
Suddenly, I had something to fight for.
Myself, taking up space.
Since then, I've been an experimenter, moving within the creative forms of writing, theatre, performance art, poetry, music, dance and storytelling through digital media like podcasts and video.
I have lost my voice and my power again and again, falling into perfectionism and fear - frozen in shame for my human flaws. Yet again and again, storytelling, creativity and performance has saved me.
I am as intrigued and inspired by the healing power of creativity and facilitating others' creativity as much as I am by my own artistic pursuits. It is nothing less than my calling to use my voice to bring out more creativity in the world, especially from girls and women.
Our culture either fetishes or fears the creative woman - and most often, encourages women to aspire to be muses for others rather than for themselves.
I say, Be Your Own Muse.
Here are some ways to do that:
- Join my free online Be Your Own Muse Women's Writing Group. We meet bi-weekly to for free-writing on 3 prompts. No obligation. Come when you can. Learn more here.
- Watch my performance of "When I Have Gumption" at the Omega Women & Power Retreat 2015. The energy from the women in the room was amazing and I brought my best performance of that piece yet. Watch.
- Read the comments on Youtube on my poem, "For Girls Who Had Eating Disorders Not 'Bad Enough' For Treatment." We need to start taking eating disorders more seriously.
To express my experience of life authentically and help others do the same. To speak up when I have been trained to be silent, to take risks when I have been told to play it safe, to build a solid foundation of discipline and systems that support the creative life my clients and I aspire to. To find the grain of sand in everything, that irritating itch that makes us pursue questions and projects that make the journey of being alive an worthwhile one. To come clean, cause the cleaner I get is the messiest yet.