Hello and welcome!  I am Liz.  I am a daughter, sister, wife and mother.  I am an x-ray and mammography technologist.  I am an artist and a runner.  I am a recovering perfectionist, learning to accept the new me following a head injury that left me unrecognizable from the inside, while completely unchanged from the outside…until my exterior fell apart because my internal path was lost.  Learning to not only live with, but thrive with an invisible injury/illness has been the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome so far in my life.  And it has taken it’s toll on my family and friends.  Yet, through this experience, I have been given many amazing gifts!

One has been the gift of self care.  I began my artistic and self exploring journey with “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown.  I took her online art journaling course, and learned that I love to create and play with colour.  I was introduced to Kelly Rae Roberts and took her online course “Hello Soul, Hello Mixed Media Mantras” and learned to play and experiment, and appreciate the happy accidents.  It’s amazing to be in a space where there are no mistakes.  I followed Kelly Rae through the Wear Your Joy Project, where I was introduced to Jane Davenport.  Through Jane’s online workshops, I learned how to “trust the mess, forget the rules and just do your best”.  I learned that I can do whatever I set my mind to if I just believe I can and put self criticism and perfectionism aside.  Along the way, I have been introduced to and met many other artists that have touched my heart and my life in one way or another, including, but not limited to Donna Downey, Annie Hamman, Tamera Laporte, and Heidi Easley.  All of these ladies have inspired me, and helped to bring something out of me that I have never imagined even existed.  And, through art, I have found peace, and play.  I can work through emotions and thoughts and even experiences of fear, and learn and practice coping strategies that I can then apply to real life.  Or I can play and relax and have fun…an active form of meditation, if you will.  Art has been a saviour for me.

And then I found running, which not only feeds my mental and emotional soul, but also helps to take care of my physical body.  I began with the idea of learning to run so that I could participate, rather than spectate, at my son’s triathlon while he was still young enough to require a parent with him.  So I joined a Learn to Run clinic at the local Running Room.  I was not prepared for what I experienced…I fell in love with running.  And I found that the running support system is very similar to the art support network.  Just because I was over weight and out of shape didn’t mean I was out of place.  They welcomed me and have supported and encouraged my journey so much that in just 8 months, I went from not able to run 30 seconds straight without feeling like I may pass out, to running in my first 10km race.  10km!  When I couldn’t even run the length of a block!  It’s truly amazing to me.  And through running I have learned that I CAN accomplish my goals, I AM good enough, and I CAN do anything I put my mind to.  I have learned to listen to my body and trust when it’s actually tired and when I need to push through and get motivated.

Both art and running have helped me to accept where I am right now AND strive to be better, without all the negativity around wanting to be better and not being good enough until I get to my goal.  Both running and art feed my heart and soul, my mental, emotional and physical self.  I am inspired.  And I’d like to encourage you to embrace your inspiration.  What do you want to do and never thought that you could?  What seems completely crazy but totally achievable at the same time?  What little thought keeps popping up in your head?  Stop telling that little voice “I can’t do that”…and think about what would be possible if you DID do it!  Because you can!  I believe it now.  And my hope is to share some of my moments of inspiration, in hopes of lighting a spark in you to do the same.  Embrace your inspiration!