Bridge the gap between making art and making a living,
… one tip at a time
Your smARTip for the week:
What Do You Do When Grief Takes Over?
I remember when my mother was dying. I was getting ready for my orals in graduate school and the one thing I couldn’t have imagined, since all mothers are invincible, is that my healthy, 83-year-old mother would die.
Time stood still as the nurse put me through to her hospital room. Only, the woman who answered the phone was not my mother. Until I realized she was.
The woman who answered did not have my mother’s voice – that sound that is more familiar to us than the throb of our own heartbeat.
The woman who answered was not my mother because she didn’t sound like my mother. It wasn’t until this woman said, “darling” with a slight, familiar lilt that it hit me.
This was my mother only her voice was the voice of a dying woman.
It took a lot of arguing with the nurse (Oh, no, dear, of course your mother isn’t dying!) and the doctor in charge (No, your mother isn’t dying.). But finally, he admitted to me that, yes, her organs were shutting down, and yes, she was very likely dying.
The grief was uncontrollable. It overtook me as I stood in line at the bank. It swept me out to sea when I went out to collect the mail. It engulfed me as I fell into sleep.
But what it never did was keep me from celebrating her life, and in the process, celebrating mine.
Your smARTist Move of the week
When grief or loss lines up at your door, ask yourself
- How will this change in your life increase your connection to your art?
- Are you willing to use your art to find your center in the midst of the grief, loss, and change?
- Work on a piece that lets you tunneling down into the very atom of your emotions.
- Work on piece that gives you a ten thousand foot perspective of your emotions, from on top of the Himalayas.
- How could you use your art to confront the ultimate loss: your own death?
P.S. If you like this smARTip, you’ll love Guillermo Cuellar’s presentation on “How to Keep Grief, Illness, and Loss from Derailing Your Art.”
…where this remarkable psychotherapist gives you a beautiful process to help you process any grief or loss that enters your life . Add It To Your Art Career Library!
P.S.S. I almost forgot, Guillermo is also a visual artist!
- Why major life events often paralyze your creativity
- How to use your art to move though difficult times, with difficult feelings, to a space of clarity and freedom
- How to uncover what’s going on behind the Big Picture
- How to use your art to bring people together and strengthen connections
- How your art can become a celebration of life—even when life brings grief or loss
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Besides Guillermo Cuellar’s psychotherapy practice of 33 years, he also co-directs the Center for Creative Consciousness, a non-profit organization working with groups, and individuals interested in using creativity and the arts as a way to communicate and develop long lasting, sustainable change. Originally a native of Bogota Colombia, Guillermo has lived for the past thirty years in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.