Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
In October, I went to an amazing conference hosted by Patti Digh.  My brain and heart are still soaking in all the information, creativity and spirit from those 4 days in Atlanta.

Tonight is the deadline to submit to present at next year’s conference in San Francisco. After sitting quietly, and wondering what ‘strong offer’ I could give to others, the title “The Courage to Remain” came to me.

Below is my proposal...and if it is not accepted, I will still share my strong offer (after the conference, here, on my website... and naturally with others personally).  

Proposed Session Title: The Courage to Remain: Choosing Life and Love

Proposed Session Description:
Did you know that one in ten Americans suffer from depression?  Did you know that pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined?  In an eight-year time span, I found a growth on my spine, had an operation to remove it and recovered; I was then told that the growth had regrown and that the neurosurgeons did not know how to heal me. I fell into a deep depression with countless thoughts of suicide. 

Going to the Design Your Life Camp, in 2013, was a reward I gave to myself for not killing myself.  I have survived, despite this growth on my spine, and am beginning to thrive.  

In this session, through my Art Work and Words, I will share the story about my struggle with chronic pain and depression.  I will also share how I am here today.  In dealing with the uncertainty of life and chronic pain, what am I doing to help me live a productive and happy life?  How have I transcended thoughts of death to wanting to live?

Everyone has pain.  Everyone has sadness.  In this session, I wish to give hope to those who are struggling or know someone who is struggling.  I am a Teacher, by trade, but instead of sharing Art, I will share my heART. I will reveal my story and the steps I took to reclaim my life; I desire to share my lesson of “The Courage to Remain: Choosing Life and Love.”

What are the top three things an attendee will learn from your session:
1. Community Services:  Let your guard down to your tribe
2. Creating Space:  Cut Back, not Out
3. Courage to Live a New Way