It was my father who introduced me to The Artist’s Way. “That’s cool,” I said with the indifference of a woman who, in her early 30s, was working full time, carrying a full course load at university, raising two young kids alone – also buried under a mortgage, car payment, and more credit card debt than should be legal.

Years later, and more or less in the same boat – except by then, I was pushing 40 and finishing up grad school; little else had changed in my life. I was stagnating and feeling suffocated by a job I absolutely hated while caught up in all of the entanglements that come with a path not so much chosen as one haphazardly stumbled upon. Needless to say, I fell into a deep, scary, didn’t-care-if-I-lived-or-died depression as I took inventory of my life and who I was in it.

Exactly six months before I turned 40, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I made myself go to the bookstore to find some salvation because I’d convinced myself that the answer to my problems was sitting on a bookshelf somewhere – all I needed to do was find it.

I crept around the Self-Help section looking for a remedy to soothe the ominous swamp monster who’d taken possession of my mind, body, and soul. Fortunately, that remedy appeared swiftly as I spied a single copy of The Artist’s Way tucked among the brightly-colored spines of other books vying for the attention of similarly injured souls. I could barely make out the title of the book against its dark, earthy cover artwork, yet I recognized it immediately, of course, having seen my dad’s well-worn and dogeared copy laying around over the years.

I picked it up, read the introduction, thumbed through a few of the chapters, and decided that it was time. That was February 25, 2007 – I know this because I wrote the date I purchased it on the inside cover.

So began the 12-week practice; the Morning Pages, the Artist’s Date, the various exercises offered in the book. Did my life change in sudden and unexpected ways? “Yes” seems too simplistic a response, but it’s going to have to suffice for the purpose of this writing. Engaging in this practice allowed me to blossom, evolve, and change my life in ways I’d never even imagined possible. My impulse here is to share with you how, specifically (enthusiastically, even), but the wisdom of my higher-self recommends that this is a conversation better shared in person.

The Artist’s Way is not a challenge, nor is it a competition; it is the gift of permission to the creative being inside of you – permission to fall into alignment with your higher-self and discover the infinite possibilities available to you.

My name is Shannon and, like you, I’m a creative. My husband and I moved to Helena in April, 2019 and, for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m home. I’ve met so many wonderful, talented, intelligent, incredible, successful, amazing women since landing in Helena and, in a very full-circle kind of way, I’ve been led to start a gathering in this new and wonderful place – the first of many, I hope.

My intention is to create a space for this 12-week recovery/discovery process to take place in a very organic way – not to guide, direct, or teach you, but to help you create the space for you to do it yourself.

Whether it’s your first time doing The Artist’s Way or your tenth – there are always new places to explore and awaken within our creative selves and countless, miraculous discoveries to be made. Huzzah!