close-up of a mixed media art piece
Sometime there is not a clear cut path to where we’re going, sometimes we need to just show up and then we get the reward.
Posted Sep 15, 2013



Hi Friend,

It’s been a while since I posted and I feel like a bad friend.  But it has been a challenging month, and I want to share with you what’s been going on. A few posts ago I wrote about being in the middle of a character building time and I’m glad to say that I have made it through and am on my way out of the trenches.

Sooo here’s the story:  hang with me its a little long.

I’m gonna back up a bit to give you the whole scenario, as you know about 6 months ago, I quite my long term, safe job in the dental field to pursue my artistic dreams, I had a part time job lined up with a small design company which I was excited about. The rest of my time would be devoted to my art and building my brand… etc… etc.  The part time job fell through, and left me without some steady income to cover bills.  My honey said “why don’t you do your art and let’s give it some time and see where it goes”.  I was more than thrilled to accept the challenge!

 I had been working all day and then coming home to work on my art business at night and the weekends for more than a year now… so I was ready!

Being a full time creative took some getting used to.  I felt guilt, shame, unworthiness… alot of things, but the business grew and so did my online community of beautiful souls. I was creating this beautiful space of love and kindness and creativity… what an amazing feeling…

Fast forward to about 2 months ago, sales had slowed and I could feel the pressure… not from anyone but me.  So I decided to look for a part time job again, in a creative place that would give me that steady income, that would calm my nerves a bit.  I put applications out.. and nothing…:(.  Then the trusty ol truck that had given good service for ten years died… and we needed a new vehicle, we were hoping to get another year out of ol blue but that just didn’t happen, so with a new vehicle comes a new payment… sigh.

I stepped up my application submissions and even thought about going back into the dental field, but my honey said no!  So I ended up landing a job with a large creative box store, just minutes from the house.  Was the pay good, NO, but it was a job, in a creative atmosphere, (I thought) that would give some steady income, until something else came around.

The new job:

I was part of the new team to open the store…. little did I know that we were setting fixtures from a plan o gram…. from the ground up… I have not worked so hard in a long time.  I’m talking physical labor, for 9 hours a day. With one day off here or there. I was exhausted,…. I am exhausted.  I was second guessing my decision and I was left with no time to create because when I got home from working so hard, all I wanted to do was sit and pop some Tylenol to take the pain away. On top of the physical work, corporate people were leading the opening, screaming at us that we’re not going fast enough, to stop whining, blah blah blah. One of the corporate people spoke to me as if I was a complete idiot, every day, EVERY DAY!  I tried to find my happy place, I tried to think about how hard this persons job must be to be so miserable all the time, I tried everything to understand why a person would treat people like that. I tried kindness, I tried conversation… still the same….. I gave up. 

My honey said to me about a week or so ago, that he would support my decision not to stay.  But I believe everything happens for a reason, I know there is something good that will come of this, some lesson that I need to learn… some reason that I am no longer in my happy little cocoon of my studio.

I didn’t feel trapped in this position, It is needed from the financial perspective, but I know that I can change my path at anytime. I just felt that I needed to stay… to wait it out to see if it would get better.

As we were nearing completion, there were creative projects that needed to be done for displays… so the corporate gal asked in our morning huddle if there were any painters in the group…. I raised my hand so fast I thought my arm was going to fall off... I was assigned a couple of project sheets!  I got to pull the products needed to complete these projects and for the next 4 hours, painted and created! aaaah…. a little smile on my face for the first time in almost a month.

Then, the bosses boss, more corporate people started walking each isle, and when they saw something wrong, a flutter of little ants started changing things to make these guys happy.  Ugh. When the corporates were just about done they noticed that the visual merchandising done was not acceptable, I happened to be close by and so I was assigned the job.  Yes! I spent then next day and a half redoing all of the visual stuff, I was happy as a clam.  But … no pressure, the corporates were coming back the next day to see if it was ok. I fluffed, set vignettes, pulled products to creates stories, as fast as my 48 yr ol legs would take me, I was exhausted...but I still had a smile.. because I was creating. The next day I held my breath running to complete everything before all the uppity ups came in…..I saw all the suits arrive and I was nervous…..but the corporates loved it!  So it looks like I will have some regular duties with the merchandising…. yeah!   Hopefully without all the pressure.

The store opened… I made the first sale and everybody was happy. My back is aching and my feet hurt……… and because I was such a hard worker, I was given the honor of closing down the old store.  Packing it up, tearing down the fixtures and shipping it off to different destinations.  REALLY!  I get to do this again!.... I’m taking Tylenol just thinking about it.  The only good thing about this is, is that there are no corporate people in charge of the tear down. Hallelujia!

I tell you all of this because I have learned, grown, had some aha moments in the last month and I’m sure there are more to come.  I want to share them with you in case you find yourself in a challenging, character building situation.

You are not alone. You have a choice. You get to decide what your next step will be.

Action and change takes courage and sometime there is not a clear cut path to where were going, some times we need to just show up, do our best and then we get the reward.

Lessons: kinda random and in no order, and I’m not sure they will all make sense.

1. I know that I want to be creative someway everyday.

2. I’m stronger than I thought.

3. I like a challenge.

4. I will do my best to work in a creative environment for the rest of my days

5. Creating puts a smile on my face

6. I have to work like a crazy person for 9 hours a day for a month to lose some weight:(

7. Life is too short to be miserable everyday.

8. You can get work done and make your point, and still be able to build people up.

9. Kindness is not an everyday thing with most people, and it should be.

10. I don’t like punching a time clock.

11. I don’t like feeling like I’m a number.

12. I want to make people feel loved.  Even if they look at me like I have horns growing out of my head.

13. I need arch supports in my tennis shoes.

14. I’m not as young as I think I am.

15. Wisdom is better than youthfulness.

16. I always have a choice.

17. To change your path is courageous.

18. I am determined to make my life happy, joyful, meaningful… not drudgery.

19. I will never give up on my art, creating my business, and creating a world of creativity.

20.. Sometimes just showing up in the face of fear, will reap reward.

I don’t know how long I will be with the company, I don’t know what I do from day to day. I just show up and work hard. Hoping that I will learn alot and find some creativity and kindness in the day.   I do know that everything happens for a reason and I get to choose how I live my life. It can be happy, peaceful and full of love and kindness or it can be drudgery. Not every day is a bowl of cherries, but I can choose to have the courage to change my circumstances at any moment.

My hope for you is that even in the midst of a character building time, you will allow the circumstances to teach you and help you get really clear about what you want your life to look like or not look like.

Big smile=Shawn

 Transformation web




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Posted Sep 15, 2013
Headshot photo of artist

Hello there! I’m Shawn Petite

I’ve been teaching and creating for well over 25 years. About 15 years ago I found my art soul mate in mixed media, and it changed my life! I love the story that can be told by combining paint, texture, ink, paper and—really anything that you can imagine.

But what I’m truly passionate about is being your guide, walking with you step by step and helping you become your own hero in your creative journey.

Along my path, I’ve learned that the creating art also creates a healing space. Life can be messy and complicated and painful, but something about a paint brush can help heal your soul. I believe—no, I know—you are worthy of love, and I want to teach you to know that about yourself. Join me on this journey of art and inspiration!


  1. Carmen Whitehead

    I’m sorry you had a hard time my friend. But, it looks like God has you there for a purpose. So glad you’re feeling better. Blessings!

    • Shawn

      Thanks Carmen, I truly appreciate it…. everything happens for a reason! Hugs!

  2. Kimberly

    I feel guilt and shame and unworthy since my car accident. I’m not making the family any money. Just costing them money. It’s been a character building season, to say the least. I’m learning to accept that I am not the sum of the $$ I produce. That family is give and take and there’s not a tally sheet I need to “measure up” to. It’s ok to be a human be-ing and not a human do-ing. I need to create in some capacity or I wither and wilt. Even cooking becomes an art form to me… Thanks for sharing, Shawn. I don’t feel so alone anymore. 🙂

    • Shawn

      love u! we are all walking together!


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