From The Archives is a series where I look back, dust off curated posts from long ago and present them to you, with new purpose. I believe in remembering who we are, who we wanted to be. For me, looking back is a thoughtful way to lean into how far we’ve traveled, how the lessons still ring true, how old insights and wisdom become new again.

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I wrote the following post in the summer of 2009 – a time when I was feeling some serious pressure of a life taking off without me. Inspiration (In-Spirit) was at the helm and in some ways it felt (and still does at times) I was just along for the ride. My line of products had released earlier that year and were quickly embraced by retailers and finding their way into stores nationwide. It was an unexpected step (truly) and I was a full-on newbie in the world of operating a rapidly growing creative business. I also just never imagined my art would be seen by so many people. So, the pressure came from navigating the feelings of not just my art being widely exposed, but my heart. As a sensitive (growingly introverted) person, I was struggling with the energy and forces coming toward me in all capacities: pressure to make art for my licensing partners, pressure for that art to be accepted, pressure to make money, pressure to get pregnant, pressure to teach, pressure to leverage the biz momentum into something sustainable, pressure to be what people wanted me to be, or thought I was.

Big stuff.

Since then (three years!), I’ve found my way on more solid ground on these pressure points. But the pressure most definitely is still there. These days it’s more of a dance between mamahood and biz. The pressure to do both, and to do both really well. That, and marriage, friendships, self-care. As I read back on this post, I’m proud of this girl who allowed herself to feel the vulnerabilities and the fear, and to keep going anyway, figuring it out as she breathed, taking some steps to protect herself from cracking under the pressures.

From the archives: originally written Aug, 2009:

(THEN: large painting. it reads she was grateful for the brightness of being alive NOW: it’s been reworked into a newish print. )

in the spaces of the friction, i feel deeply loved. and protected. i’m just a girl navigating the next step, intimacy vs armor, creative longings, and some pretty intense pressure. sometimes it all feels like a whirlwind with unseen forces spiraling toward me, at me, all around. the energy is good, but overwhelming. my linear brain can’t make sense, my creative side frazzled and undone. my gratitude is huge, but i sometimes feel lonely, like i’m pioneering a new road for myself as i try to grab ahold of what’s left to keep from behind. it’s all very hard to wrap my head around. the language comes in broken stream, both to my heart and to those i hold close.


still, my friends call, and my husband gently tends. i try to explain. i explain my way through. and through again. i accept the comfort, all of it. i allow myself the tears, the release. and try very very hard not to restrict myself to only five minutes of falling apart, but perhaps more time. our hearts don’t work well with deadlines, i remind myself. through all the muck, i’m acutely aware of the shine and sheen of my life. and i’m grateful beyond measure for the brightness of my crazy life, of being alive. i’m one lucky girl, cracked open heart and all.

Hi, I'm Kelly Rae Roberts!

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my whispers and started playing with paint and everything changed. Now I’m a full-time artist, author and Possibilitarian, who helps women explore their creativity, nourish their souls and build a thriving creative business.

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