The Journey

(Commission Piece by Debi Payne for a Private Project)
(Commission Piece by Debi Payne for a Private Project)

The past three years have been an incredible journey for my husband Tim and me.  We have gone from living the life of our dreams to being homeless and having nothing.  Many times Tim and I have asked ourselves “what happened”?  “Where did we go wrong?”  We couldn’t figure it out.

 Last night with some alone time by myself I sat quietly to try to figure it out.  I thought and I cried and I prayed my little heart out asking for the answers that I needed.

 I decided to call a council meeting.  A great council meeting!  I called together God, my creative source, the Universe, my higher self, and all my guardian angles to ask them two questions; (1) what went wrong? and (2) how do I fix it?

 For what seemed like forever, I sat in silence just waiting for an answer.  Then out of the blue I remember a book that I had read over 20 years ago.  The name of the book was Simple Abundance.  Why was I all the sudden remembering this book?  Was my answer in this book?  I tried really hard to remember what the book was about.  I couldn’t remember much about the book, but I did remember that it talked about being your authentic self.  Was the council telling me that I wasn’t being my authentic self anymore and is that why I am so off track?

 Then I started looking at the time line of our decline and what was going on at the time when things we at their best for us.  At that time Tim and I were both working at great jobs making great money and I was creating great art.  I developed a new method of creating fine art with Polymer Clay.  I was accepted into my first art gallery and my work was receiving great attention from the gallery and its patrons.  I even made my first sale from the gallery on my birthday!  People were asking me about my art, and how I made it.  I spent my time explaining the process I used and where the subject ideas came from.   I created an artist statement for each piece of work I created.  The artist statement was a story about the individual piece of art that told my thoughts and feelings involved in creating the art.  People loved reading my artist statements and they were an integral part of my art presentations.  Not only did they want to see more art, but they also wanted to hear more stories.

 I remembered how Tim and I were thinking about how great this was and wondering how could we kick this up to make even more sales.  Without knowing it at the time, (and looking back on it now) it was at this very point in time that things changed.  Our focus turned from just making art to selling art.  As galleries started closing because of the recession we took our focus to selling art on the internet. 

 I opened up an on-line store through Zazzle which incorporated my designs onto products.  I went to work studying internet marketing with all its ‘do this’, ‘do that’ jargon from everybody I could find.  I was tweeting, blogging, posting here and posting there.  It was driving me crazy and I hated every minute of doing it, but still I continued because I knew I had to sell art.  I was becoming desperate to sell my art.

 At the same time, our financial situation was crumbling around us.  Our jobs went away, we had to move out of our house and put everything we owned into storage.  With no income we had resorted to living with relatives.  (And you know the saying of what happens after four days of living with relatives being like fish… it really does stink!)  I stopped keeping up with my daily routine of internet marketing.  I hated it and I just couldn’t do it anymore.  However, looking back on it now, once I stopped doing all of that, over the past three months, my sells in my Zazzle stores have been higher than ever before.

 Last night in the council meeting, they were showing me all of this.  They were showing me that internet marketing and all my attempts to sell my art weren’t working.  That wasn’t me.  That wasn’t the authentic me.  What was the authentic me was creating art and telling stories.  This is what I was supposed to be doing!  I felt so relieved.  As we continued to talk we made a deal, from now on I will create art and tell stories and God, my creative source, the Universe, my higher self, and all my guardian angles will provide everything we need.  And for all of this, I will have faith.  Having faith sometimes can be very difficult, but then so can internet marketing.  Of the two, I am happy that my job is having faith.  From now on there is no more internet marketing or selling from me.  From now on I will only create art, tell stories and have faith! 

 Today my journey takes a turn down a new path.  It is an path that I am excited about traveling.  I get to be my authentic self again and I no longer have to do what everybody else tells me to do.  Today I feel like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders.  It is good knowing that life is going to be fun again.

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