Something truly inspirational happened while I was at Holden Beach. As you know I love to write, paint and create songs. I love my company and at the same time this part of my creativity feeds my soul. Sometimes it is a conflict within me as there are times when I am like "I need to do get this and that done." I do my best to honor that creative space as I have felt that God is showing me that this important to be the best in my life here on Earth so I continue to push and do these activities. Sure enough it has improved my work and coaching with my clients in such dramatic ways that it is hard to put into words.
When we checked in at Holden Beach I put some of my clothes and suitcases in the guest bedroom. On the wall were 2 paintings and in the corner I read the Artists name: Mary Paulsen. There were beautiful pieces of art and paintings throughout the house but for some reason my little voice said to me “You should Google Mary Paulsen and see who she is.”
That voice compelled me to grab my tablet and do a search on Mary Paulsen. I discovered that she had an art gallery in Holden Beach. I continued to read on and discovered the truly inspiring story of Mary. When Mary was young her father was killed in a Shrimp Boat accident and she was in a family of 10 children. One day her younger sister broke the china face on her doll and they did not have the money to get a new doll. Mary ended up fixing the doll for her sister and before she knew it all the children in the neighborhood would bring Mary their dolls to be fixed. With her father deceased, there were many days and nights that they had no food to eat or just cornbread. It was in those moments of hunger that an impact larger than she knew would build her life.
Mary grew up and as her life brought her to get married and have her kids she worked. Again as heart-hurting disaster hit her immediate family again with the loss of her husband. Ironically he also was in a shrimp boat accident. Mary knew she had to support her family and became a waitress in Calabash NC for over 20 years.
The story continued that she got a message and a vision from God to build houses for the dolls she had collected over the years and that people would come see them. When the people would come they would make donations and that could feed hungry children all over the world. Hungry children like she had been at one time.
Yes, people thought she was a bit “crazy” in those actions she took but she did it anyway.
“I would like to find her gallery tomorrow.” I said. Early the next morning we got up before the sunrise. I brought my camera and we sat on the empty beach with our coffee and enjoyed the beauty of God’s work. I felt such peace and at the same time heaviness to paint that day and explore my heart. Before starting on my artwork at 7:30 in the morning Kurt and I got in the car and thought we would see if we could find the gallery as well as any others. I put Mary’s address in our GPS and off we went.
We almost missed it. I saw this home with tons of art hanging from the trees, buildings and really a hodge-podge of things that we would throw away in our life. Windows no one would want, boxes of wine bottles, and more. But it was then I saw the ‘OPEN’ sign. Excited I said to Kurt, “Stop honey! This is it! This is the place!” Then we realized the time. It was only 8:15 and on the website it said 9am. But my eye was brought to the small open sign casually hanging in the midst of the plethora of things. We parked and this lady walked out with this beautiful smile and I said “Are you Mary?” She said, “Yes, that’s me.” I immediately reached out and hugged her and said, “I am Tricia. I saw your Art in my rental beach house and found you.”
She said, “Well let me walk you around.” I replied back, “Are you sure I see it is early and I don’t want to disturb you if you aren’t open.” She said, “I am always open sweetie to those that come.”
As she walked us around she showed us her art. She took us into each cottage and as I saw all this art which was very whimsical I realized as a fellow artist, it was VERY difficult to do this type of art. Even the ceilings were painted. It was a dream; a dream where your heart immediately felt HAPPY.
She sat with me in the rocker and me beside her. She began to share with me more about her mission and the reason for her art. “Tricia, she said, I fed 40,000 hungry children last year with my art.” I, in that moment had tears fill in my eyes and within my heart.” I said, “How old were you when you picked up the paint brush?”
“I was 49 years old.” She said. I was touched. I said, “What do you think made the vision happen for you at 49?” And she replied, “This was the next chapter in my life.”
At that moment I started to cry. I shared with her that I have owned my business, love it and over the last 5 years I have written my songs, recorded them, and am 40% done on my novel and have been compelled to paint. Through all this creativity my business book also flowed out of my head and it went #1 in less than 4 hours and on multiple best seller lists in under an hour on the charts. But the conflict was what was compelling me for all the non-business creativity? She said to me, “Tricia, you are an artist and God is giving you these blessings for you to use.”
I realized in that moment that she was right. God gives us so many signs to use the gifts he has provided us. Sometimes it is not in the form of traditional ways that we would expect. If we don’t honor them we will lose them. If we don’t honor them it may close the path to something more.
As I was thinking back yesterday over my experience with Mary, I realized that my songwriting and recording was the pathway that opened me to write my business book. Did the creative process of songwriting open something within me to start writing? Perhaps so.
One of my songs “You’re Never Too Old” is reinforced with the story of Mary. You are never too old to get your story told.
Bless people like Mary who by the way was the angel to remind me of this in life. So with this in mind, I am going to go honor this feeling and message. My heart is saying “Tricia, go create your world.” I hope by reading this you will do the same.
#1 Best Selling Author, Coach, Visionary, Artist (Yes Artist! I own it!)