Remember this book? I wrote and birthed this babe back in 2008. Ten years ago! It was released just before I started licensing my work for the gift industry and just as I was finding my footing in a creative life (fun fact: I wrote this book when I was still working my day job as a social worker). It went on to sell over 60K copies (what??!!). I still hear stories of its ripple out into the world, how women found their creative wings right along with me as I found mine.
My heart is forever warmed by the experience of Taking Flight – both on the pages of the book and in my own life.
(Me, the year Taking Flight was published. I turned our only bedroom into a studio in Oakland.)
Between the book, my licensed gift products, my Etsy shop, and my blog (this was before FB/Insta), my art career went soaring to heights I couldn’t have imagined. It was A LOT of attention for a young woman who was just finding her way. And sometimes, despite all the joy, the pressure was intense.
Just a couple of years into the soar, I gave birth to my son, baby True, and life sort of felt like a whirlwind there for several years as I navigated new motherhood, a booming art biz and career, exciting travel all over the world for teaching and business, and a couple of big moves (John was in graduate school for these early years and we moved from Portland to Oakland for a couple of years, then to Seattle, then back to Portland).
(When my gift and wall art products were at their peak in the industry)
And now here I am. It’s been a solid ten years since Taking Flight was published. Life and business have settled considerably (whew!) and my creative life has continued to evolve and find new grounds and seasons from which to soar.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about those whirlwind years. Life was bursting with excitement all the time: A new magazine feature/cover! Baby True turns 1! A new gallery show! Baby True starts preschool! A new product launch! A new creative retreat! A new ecourse! A big trip to China! Italy! Bali!
(Archival print available here)
HOLY SMOKES, looking back, I wonder how I traveled such intensity (the highs and the lows) for so many years. The answer? A ton of support from John who became a stay at home papa for many years, flow/inspiration (Spirit was in full collaboration with my dreams!), a community of friends who cheered me on, and a lot of hard work (I was doing the work to live the dreams into Real).
And now here I am. We have just moved to Sisters, Oregon in pursuit of slllooooowwwwer and quieter living, I’m still chasing my dreams, finding new ways of soaring in a new season of life. Baby True is now 8 years old. John is returning to work. And I’m – in so many ways – returning to that still and quiet place that resides within, the place where the whispers reside, where their wisdom is collected and ready to be heard and transformed into Real.
(Archival print here)
For those of you who have read this far, my wish for all of us is this: To cherish whatever season we’re in. Whether it’s a whirlwind season, or a quiet season, or a mighty season of transition – those times when we’re on the threshold of one way of being into another.
Through it all, may we emerge wiser, softer. And may we savor the beauty of the full experience, even when it’s brutal. As someone who is in the center of a threshold myself, I am with you.
PS: Speaking of taking flight, it’s International Women’s Month. These women – companions of mine on the canvas – have been beautiful guides and angels for me along the way. If you’re seeking an angel guide of your own, hop on over and see if there’s one waiting for you, ready to deliver a message of Hope, Courage, Trust, and more.
One more thing! Taking Flight – the book – is still available over on Amazon if you fancy a copy.
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.
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