“Niani Be Free” is about my journey to reclaiming personal empowerment, sovereignty, and freedom. My goal in sharing my stories is to inspire others to feel that they can do the same.
Since I was a child, I always had this undeniable feeling that I would die in a car accident….Well…at age 28 when I went sliding through an intersection going 50 mph, with my foot slammed on the brake, arms locked tight, jaws clenched and holding my breath…I thought to myself, “This is it!” It was almost as if I was waiting for it, like I somehow knew it was meant to happen. In that moment everything seemed to go from real-time to slow motion, kind of like in the movies. I kept my eyes open the whole time and after the impact, I sat in my car, unable to move (out of disbelief that I was still in tact!). So you would obviously assume that my childhood premonition, fortunately, did not come true…you would think. I did not die like you would think, or like I would have thought either! I endured some of the hardest times of my life after that accident, and after all was said and done, I realized that it had led to the death of my old self. Essentially, I had to let go and allow EVERY aspect of who i was to crumble beneath my feet. In the same year of the car accident, I also lost my mother figure to suicide, 2 weeks following my fiance at the time chose to walk away from us, I lost my job, my home, friends and family. When you hear about all of the hardship and loss, I think it’s safe to say my life was a tragedy, and in that moment it was. It was definitely what some could call a midlife crisis, or dark night of the soul. I was left with no supportive family members, no friends to just be there with me, no emotional, physical, or financial support. There were nights where I was not confident I could go on. I would sit in my closet crying and my only solace, was when my daughter (5 yrs old at the time) would comfort me and remind me of what I did have left…her, which was enough to keep me going. I’m here to say now that as hard as it all was, and as much as I really was not sure sometimes if I would make it out alive, all of those experiences caused me to BE FREE of any attachments. Attachments to who I thought I was, to old beliefs, ideas, thought patterns, friends, family or careers that I identified with. Maybe it still doesn’t sound all that great but those hardships I experienced I hold as my greatest treasure, and blessing in disguise. The greatest gift of all was coming to truly know myself like I have never known before. And I am confident I could not have done that without first being wiped clean and left with nothing but a blank slate. Every great artist first started with a blank canvas, every great author, a blank page. So there I was, my canvas was as blank as it could get. With no outside influence from a career, from relationships or even a home-This is where I discovered the creator within me! After a very uncomfortable period of time where I was trying to keep grips on everything I knew in my world, I eventually let go and decided to paint my life with the most magnificent of colors.
The truth is…we are ALL creators, but we must start with a blank canvas (specifically those with a negative self-image or tough upbringing). Sooo….I would like to encourage those that are holding on for dear life to the known, to things, people, places, or your identity that are no longer serving your highest good to just LET GO! If any of your world is falling apart, just let it! Allow the world beneath your feet to shake, rattle and crumble, for beneath that is your greatest gift…your canvas! I fully understand that the unknown is a scary thought, but it’s not a scary place, when you realize YOU are the artist!
Happy painting to you all! <3