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"I’m a cancer-thriver with a heart full of messy art. I truly believe if you can hold love in your heart, in your body, and in your soul, you can pretty much accomplish anything with gratitude, grace, and with an ease you would not have believed possible.
Cancer ultimately taught me the first step on the path to stillness. On stopping long enough to rest, reflect, and replenish a well I didn’t even realize was almost bone dry. Cancer, at the time, gave me permission to put on the brakes in a life that was not by my design, at a time when things were really starting to “look up” and happen for me.
Throughout my illness, I made it a point to remain positive, to stay active, and to make sure my morning writing time was sacred. I focused on myself and my interior life during this time - what moved me, what made me feel yucky, what my truths truly were. I started writing more and more. I started tuning in to listen and learn what things really mattered to me.
And I started painting again.
One of the reasons I stopped painting before was because I could never get it “just right”. It was a huge source of frustration for me - a self-diagnosed perfectionist. This time, however, I picked up a brush and just let things happen.
I still had moments of “Oh God, this is horrible!” But I kept going. And there was still a part of me that was trying to get it “right”. But then one day, I heard something that spun everything around for me: There are no mistakes in art. And another whisper in my ear: "Follow your intuition, even when it doesn’t make sense."
The very day I heard these things, I went out and bought some giant canvases - so giant, I had to borrow a friend’s truck to get them home!
I’ve been using my intuition and my dreams to paint ever since.
Now, I have a bone-deep knowing that the gawky awkward stage of a painting happens in perfect time. Now I know in my heart that art - whether painting, writing, or something else - is a metaphor for life. When you start, you may not have a clear idea of where you are headed, but you just start. And in art, just like life, there will come a point where things get sideways, or a little dark, or murky, or even ugly.
If you keep following your intuition, if you keep doing the next step in front of you, if you keep putting that next splash of color on the canvas, you’ll eventually get somewhere you want to be."
Cami Miller’s breast cancer diagnosis in late 2018 made her decide to change her life’s course and go back to her true passion: painting. She made it her mission to build a life she loved, one painting at a time. She is now a full-time working artist and facilitator and has expanded her mission to include empowering others to find what makes their soul dance and help them do more of it, every day.