*Shared Stories* (40): Kat Fulton and Tracy Verdugo
Today’s *shared stories* come from Kat Fulton and Tracy Verdugo
Doing what you love is an extension of being the person you love to be. I think you first must be who you love to be before you even know what inspired actions to take. Once you live out who you want to be, then doing what you love comes naturally.
I went to grad school for music therapy on a whim. I had never heard of it. I thought my parents would disapprove, so I went for it. I always follow my gut, and my gut was telling me “Yes yes yes.” At the time, I was coming out of intensive studies, practicing piano hours and hours per day. I felt a bit burned out. I was ready for a drastic change, and I was ready for more human contact. 10 hours per day of me and a piano was fine for a few months, but I could never imagine a life-long love affair with the piano. As a music therapist, I’m having a life-long love affair with life on earth. I feel so blessed to have found this career.
When I moved to California as a music therapist, I was deeply moved by the rhythm-based wellness practiced by so many. I was sold. Doesn’t it just make sense that if you were born with a heartbeat, then you were born with rhythm? It’s common sense. It blows me away that so many people have turned common sense off, and listened to the false belief of “Oh no no no, I don’t have rhythm. I can’t make music.” I love defeating that belief with pure logic. We make music every day! Footsteps, breathing, heart-pounding, cycles of nature, etc… There’s no escaping the rhythm of life. Realize it, live it, love it, and take joy in the rhythm.
When pure logic kicked in to defeat false beliefs held by so many, I realized that this career was my calling.
I started developing marketing materials. I connected the research with the practical application. I delivered the message in as many places as I could. All these actions were 100% inspired. Now I have a booming business working with Alzheimers patients, older adults, children affected by cancer, support groups, corporate team builders, and more. On the side, I have created a site to connect with other music therapists and drum circle facilitators.
I’ve had to move far away from my family because my practice fits better into the culture here in San Diego. I’ve had to turn down social events in order to meet deadlines. I’ve had to live frugally in order to make ends meet at times. But I sincerely believe that any sacrifice is worth opening the space to just be yourself. I’m so fortunate to have found a gainful career where I can just be myself. If you must make sacrifices in order to be yourself, do it!
With hindsight, I wish I hadn’t been so stressed about getting work when I started. I wish I had realized at the time that when you are living the life of someone you love, all the chips fall perfectly into place. Everything always works out. Bills get paid, mouths get fed, and lives get lived. Taking inspired action is the way to go.
My big dream now is to expand my online reach. I realize that my body won’t always be able to lug around drums from place to place, but reaching people online is so convenient and fun. That’s the next big thing for me: being open to more web-based exchange.
What does it mean to do what I love? I feel truly blessed to be at a point in my life where I am on the cusp of living the life of my BIGGEST dreams……painting, inspiring, teaching, learning, exploring, creating, spreading love, cultivating peace, appreciating beauty.
2012 will see me teaching my wholehearted, exploration-encouraging creative workshops in Australia, the U.S, Mexico and Thailand and in less than two months I will be holding my first International exhibition on the beautiful island of Koh Samui. I am also honoured to be joining an amazing team of artists teaching in the beautiful Tamara Laportes Life Book e course which will run throughout the whole year. It has been 18 years since I first picked up a paintbrush~a journey of self discovery, of moving through pain and joy, letting go of fear and embracing love and having the courage to name my greatest desires and give myself permission to feel worthy of receiving those gifts…
and then…. to help others to do the same. What do I love?
Having the courage and commitment to spend 27 years “growing up’ and “becoming” with this amazing man.
Designing a life of adventure with our family and teaching our girls by example that our dreams can become our reality.
Seeing LOVE and BEAUTY in all places,
and spreading happiness and inspiration through my art.
Gently guiding others……
to find their own unique creative spirit.
Creating a home which nurtures our souls
And our senses….
Looking at the world around me through compassionate eyes…
And standing up for the rights of those whose voices have been silenced.
Having the freedom to record our music in our own studio in my dressing gown if I want to!
And being brave enough to expose my soul in performance
Travelling far and wide,
Exploring and learning from other cultures…and making friends along the way.
Learning to give AND to receive with grace… (Photo by Sienna Verdugo)
Daring to dream my biggest dream,
And taking the action needed
To bring it to reality…..
Through my art I seek to discover new worlds…
Explore the microcosm and the macrocosm
And tell the story of beautiful moments embraced and appreciated.
[All images courtesy of Tracy Verdugo unless otherwise indicated. To find out more about Tracy’s art and her upcoming workshops visit her website here or join her Magically Mixed Art Group on Facebook]
See here for more inspiring *shared stories*
Have you heard about my collaboration with surface pattern designer Rachael Taylor?