Back in May 26, 2000 in desperation I was trapped in my house bound in a wheelchair and just released from a mental hospital after experiencing a massive mental breakdown. All of this forced me to have to drop out of art college as a fine arts student specializing in drawing and painting. It was from the ashes of losing everything including the suicide death of my dear friend Stephen Nemacheck who was a fellow art student at UW-Milwaukee who had PTSD and was Blackfoot Indian who always wore his medicine bag wherever he went. Through Stephen Nemacheck’s death was born The Artist’s Way Circle. I wanted to let his spirit live forever by being there for artists who were struggling to make their dreams happen. I wanted to be there for them in a way I couldn’t be there for Steve. In my deepest pain and loneliness I needed to reach out to the art community that existed on the Internet. The only art community at that point I could reach from my home. The Artist’s Way Circle was my way to redeem myself in my eyes to be part of a greater art community. The Artist’s Way Circle started as my personal art therapy and then expanded to reach over 1,000 members over the course of 13 years. And before me I witnessed miracle after a miracle. I saw new hope be born as I help midwived others people creative hopes and aspirations through the Artist’s Way tools and process and in doing so I gave birth to myself. I give all the credit to the Creator. The Creator who inspired Julia Cameron herself to share her creative journey and soul with all of us. The same Creator that led me before the storm to the High Wind bookstore with all the power to change my life and spark to inspire others.
The countless number of my friends in my life are tied to me through encountering The Artist’s Way Circle. My Artist’s Way Circle that meets in Waukesha was a milestone in my personal creative recovery journey. My Artist’s Way friends and I share our journey together. We help each other in ways we never thought possible. The journey is powerful and it has opened doors and opportunities like never before. I know the fact that I even took a chance on myself and pursued the opportunity to apply for the Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages in Washington DC is the mere belief I can take a calculated risk thanks to the Artist’s Way. And the same insight inspired so many others to take calculated risks in their own lives. A Mother and Daughter once joined The Artist’s Way Circle and through their joined journey I heard the love of for a mother for her daughter. I heard the story of the Pennsylvania Lenape people through the Artist’s Way Circle member Chief Robert Red Hawk Ruth who poured his heart out to me about how his people were putting together a cultural museum display and that it was the Artist’s Way that inspired him. And when I look at the museum display I have tears pouring from my heart knowing that my Lenape people are waking up and finding themselves again. Just like I am waking up to myself finding I am searching for Mahican and Munsee language in the archives of the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institute through Breath of Life. Through the Idle No More movement the Native American nations are waking up more and more and going after that which fires their spirits again reclaiming themselves. My Two Step story as told through words and video honoring the oral tradition is a story of my journey as a Mohican woman searching for recovery but is also in a way telling the story of my Mohican people too. We are finding ourselves through The Artist’s Way the parts of us long forgotten or numbed out. We are rising back and reclaiming that which is lost hunting down the fabric pieces of ourselves. We write our Morning Pages and a little more of us surface. I go out to do an Artist’s Date and I ask the Creator come spend time with me speak to my heart. Talk with me. I need you as I need to find myself. You are a part of me and the mirror of my heart. Let me be in the middle of your heart.