Kelly Rae Roberts, will you be my friend (yes, no or maybe)?
Before Disney’s Frozen, there was this:
I saw it in a shop window in Boulder City, NV on April 21, 2013 and almost had to sit down because I was so…struck.
I was overwhelmed.
I felt strong, sad, lonely, inspired, hopeful, angry, joyful and I was not sure whether I was going to scream or cry or scream cry. So I just looked at my husband and said: she’s coming home with us.
She hangs on the wall outside of my bedroom so that we can see each other at the start of each day. Let it go. I move forward.
I google searched the artist the next day and was struck by how similar we are (http://kellyraeroberts.com/about). Kelly Rae Roberts gave up her career as a social worker to follow her true purpose and she has a toddler boy. If I hadn’t gone to law school, I would have been a social worker for women and children in domestic violence situations. If I hadn’t given birth, I would probably still be practicing family law, but I too felt compelled to follow my true purpose; I just didn’t know exactly what that was yet.
There is this cute little stationary store in Village Square in Las Vegas called Alligator Soup. I walked by it one day and could see them on the wall, even though the angle was not ideal, so I went inside and just stared. Like a dozen Kelly Rae Roberts pieces staring back at me, calling to me, pulling at my heart. When the clerk asked me if I needed any help, the tears brimming in my eyes spilled over and I had to take a minute before I told her that oh yes, I was taking some home with me.
“Kindness matters. The hope and kindness we give to the world not only nurtures us but it becomes a gift for someone else to receive for their own healing.”
Every single time I look at it, I pause and am moved by its beauty. It is hung on the wall when you enter the front door of my home.
Kindness is a huge theme in this household. As an advocate for social change, I understand that it is the loss of feeling, the loss of caring, the loss of kindness and compassion that is my BIGGEST hurdle. If people don’t care, then things stay the same or get worse. If things are SAD and people FEEL sad, then they are more likely to DO SOMETHING to change it for the better.
“The whispers of our lives want us to take notice. They may just be whispers, small voices tucked deep inside the pockets of our hearts, but we must hold their possibilities close to our chests and allow them to step into the light.”
This piece…you know…I don’t want to say any of them are my favorite because I love all of them…but this spoke to me the loudest. Obviously because I saw potential in myself that I was not tapping into. An important part of me was in the dark. I owned this piece for 5 months before I allowed myself to say: I am a writer. When that happened, I stopped crying every time I looked at it. I don’t cry because I am just so proud of myself for having the courage to be ME.
Part of being ME involves sharing my light; that fills me up. I could not stand to be the only one basking in the glow of Kelly Rae Roberts, so I started buying them as gifts for family, friends, people I just met…Off the top of my head I can think of 17 pieces of Kelly Rae Roberts art that I have gifted away and I get even more joy out of that.
So I treated myself to what I consider to be the crowning glory of all Kelly Rae’s: Kindness Changes Everything. My son pointed it out and said “pretty” for the first 3 weeks this was hung in our family room and I think that his awestruck facial expression alone was worth it. I want my son to know the truth: kindness changes everything.
I started to follow Kelly Rae Roberts’ blog and I noticed that she began to do this “wear your joy” project right about the same time I noticed that I needed to start putting myself back together after the “new mom” phase. Showering, getting dressed in clothes that make you feel like YOURSELF, smiling when you look in the mirror. Thank you Kelly Rae Roberts for the wear your joy project.
This is me being kind to myself for my 32nd Birthday. I am wearing my new boots and Kelly Rae scarf from my mom and enjoying my new Kelly Rae iPhone case that was my birthday gift to myself. I blow dried my hair! I was beginning to recognize myself again after having a baby, which is a miracle because I very dramatically told my close friends that the old Rachel died and this less passionate, more boring shell of a person was here to take her place. (Thanks for letting me vent, guys!).
“Slow down. Breathe in the season. Wish upon a star.”
Breathing is a big deal for me. I don’t always remember to breathe. This was a Christmas gift from my Aunt Pam and I LOVE it! It hangs in the hallway between my bedroom and bathroom and I can see it from my bed. I see her when I wake up, I breathe and I smile. Thank you, Aunt Pam!
“Dream. My wish for you is that you feel the full breath of possibility. And that love and kindness embrace your heart always.”
This was my Husband’s 2014 Valentine’s Day wish for me. It hangs on the wall next to my bed. I try to breathe that in as much as possible. My Husband wanted to remind me to give myself the love and kindness I deserve, to protect my own heart as I practice courage on a daily basis.
It’s not easy. But it is the right thing to do.
“Remember who you wanted to be.”
I remember when I was in first grade and began to write stories for the first time. We used the rectangular paper with the dotted lines that ensured your printing would be huge and hopefully legible. I remember watching my classmates struggle to finish the assignment: write 4 sentences, a paragraph if you will.
I got bored waiting and wrote a much longer story, mine took up 4 pieces of perforated paper and still I waited for my classmates to finish. I remember feeling energized, excited and competent.
My first grade teacher was one of my all time favorites. Mrs. Andelora supported my strengths and encouraged me to pursue what came very naturally to me. I think about her all the time. Mrs. Andelora was an amazing teacher.
I remember now who I wanted to be: a writer.
Kelly Rae Roberts wrote this ebook that has helped me embrace the HOW; it’s called Flying Lessons. I bought the whole Shabang, parts 1, 2 & 3 and highly recommend it to anyone interested in owning a successful creative business.
What REALLY struck me about the ebook was a random link. The link brought me to Liv Lane’s blog and her blog contained a link that brought me to an entry from 2012 in Kelly Rae Roberts’ blog.
That’s when I figured it out.
Like me, Kelly Rae Roberts was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shortly after her first child was born. We are kindred spirits.
When I purchased my first Kelly Rae, Let it Go, I didn’t even know I had PTSD yet…but I knew what this meant:
The cage…over her brain…the wings…
Here is an excerpt from Kelly Rae Roberts’ blog:
“I wanted to share this story because I believe in telling the truth of our stories. Not all stories we hold close need to be released, but some do, I believe. And this is one of those stories for me. With every piece of art I create, I release it out into the world in an effort to make more room in my heart spaces for more, new, fresh art. If I hold onto it, I can’t move forward – I need the mental space. Same is true for some stories – they need releasing so that we can make room for new, fresh, emerging experiences and new stories, so that we are no longer defined by a particular story by holding it too close.
Besides, our connections live inside our stories, where we see ourselves mirrored in one another’s stories, where comfort and belonging reside. Some of these stories are private and some are not. Either way, there is just so much, so much beauty in our brokenness and our wholeness. I believe in sharing both.” (Kelly Rae Roberts).
The courage it took for Kelly Rae Roberts to speak out about her PTSD caused a visceral response within me because I’m supposed to do it, too. I am supposed to share my messy, complicated story.
This is my Kelly Rae Roberts writing furniture. My Husband got them for me for our 4 year wedding anniversary this May because he believes in me and wants me to succeed. I cried so hard when we unwrapped the huge package, I could not believe how LOVED this couch made me feel. Our cat understood immediately and has been napping on it ever since we brought it into the bedroom.
The chair sits at my vanity in my bathroom and every day when I get out of bed and get myself ready for the day, I sit in that beautiful chair and declare: “I choose hope.”
Thank you Kelly Rae Roberts. For everything.
The next creation I launch will be my YouTube video about PTSD and it will be in the month of June in honor of PTSD awareness month.
It’s about to get real.
For more information on PTSD, please visit the website: a gift from within.
Thank you for your support!