Soul's Heart Desire
This is a story about endurance and decision-making held together by laughter and hope on a journey to victory with a sense of purpose.
After 18 years and a successful career in Telluride, Colorado, I moved with my family to Tucson. My husband Buck encouraged me to return to school to finish my degree, put on hold for a family. His broadcast job could provide so I didn't need to pick a major for financial reasons. I returned to the university, with my sophomore son, to complete my art degree. Two years later, three months before graduation, my husband lost his job. “Oh no!” I exclaimed, as a vision of the starving artist appeared.
A few days later, discussing our living room remodel, Buck said, “With no money left, you're going to have to make the coffee table.“ With an easy laugh he took my hand and said, “And we're going to find a hot cake to get back on our feet.”
I had a seven-dancing-women sculpture. I redesigned it into great table legs. We did a local wholesale show and the response was fantastic. It made us realize that with slight changes, the sculpture could become a menorah.
We were accepted into a national wholesale American trade show Market where sales were bolstered by winning the coveted Niche Award for Judaic Design. The dancing ladies, uplifted hands holding the light, was colorful and filled with joy. We laughed as they were dancing their way around the world, and we were stopping at banks on their journey. We had known we needed to find a hot cake: it manifested in its Jewish form as a latke. Ching ching was a welcome sound in our ears.
The success brought us closer together, regenerating our finances, our sense of purpose, our intimacy. On every level we had what most people want when they think of happiness. Did I mention that Buck was an actor, oftentimes the tall, handsome leading man? We entered the empty nest syndrome delighted to be alone … together. We worked and played from our beautiful home (with its lovely coffee table) and gardens for three glorious years. Then, suddenly, Buck died from cancer.
He collapsed at a trade show in July 2000 and passed away in September of the same year. We had over 250 orders for menorahs that needed to be sent out by Thanksgiving. With a lot of help from friends and family, I put my head down and began to work through the shock.
There is never such a thing as a good time to die. At the turn of the millennium things seemed to be uncertain for many people. The world was quickly changing. China radically altered and undercut the art market. 9/11 altered the worldview and my priorities. And now, without my partner, I had to re-evaluate every aspect of life and business alone.
I moved my home operation to a commercial location, adding employees and new designs. Expenses went up, but sales were flat. Three years later the location sold and I had three months to find a new studio, which I did, and settled in with new resolve. In 2006 I had an offer to help create an entire Metal Village of studios; I eagerly accepted the offer because what I missed was community. By 2011 I was exhausted from the responsibility of management of the Village, my retail gallery, wholesalers, marketing, social media, commission-designing during the day, and then coming home to create the art at night. So 11 years after Buck's passing it came full circle: I moved back to my home studio.
The economy was still challenging for artists. I hoped downsizing would help me decide what to do next. The move addressed some of the issues, but energetically things were still not working. That's when, in deep reflection, I clearly realized that the thread connecting all my artistic efforts was to bring an uplifting energy of possibility to my audience. I called this urge my “Soul's Heart Desire” and began defining my legacy as an artist: to connect people with the inherent power of their own spiritual journey.
This brings me to today, and you, reading this.
True happiness is knowing you are on the right path to find your soul's heart desire. When you are engaged with this journey as your raison d’être you find an internal strength—endurance—which in turn supports your decision-making process. When you take hope, laughter, and joy as tools on your journey, you too can find victory through a sense of purpose.