it is Okay not to be Okay

“From recovery to rags and rags to recovery symbolizes art – a perfect compilation of human imperfections.”Criss Jami (Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile).

In a culture that rewards the image of pedantry, “having it all together,” and moral efficaciousness, developing the artist within is an endless challenge.

We are repeatedly being brainwashed by belief systems and lectured what to feel, not how to feel, about ourselves, others, and the surrounding environments. There are periods when adversity strives to smother our growth and throw our peace into chaos. There will be instances when we will not feel our best, have all the perfect answers or easily understand our next steps. And that is okay!

In a world that applauds being right and appearing right — it is okay not to be okay. As we wrestle with instant gratification and collective behaviours, it is okay not to be okay as we studiously practice, create, and push ourselves towards our next golden opportunity. Life is not just about success, the finished product, and living triumphs. Our lives are about the passage and process of never surrendering our dreams.

Pablo Picasso once said, “All children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Much the same as art, our lives are a canvas. And on occasion, our canvases can appear messy and chaotic, cheerful and distressing, sluggish and expeditious, calm and crushing, sensitive and healing. Despite how your canvas feels or looks today, lean into it with commitment, kindness and grace. When we lean towards the emotions, we concede and become aware of what is, while letting go of, what is not. When we lean in, we move unfadingly into the understanding, uncovering, and realization of who we genuinely are.

As artists, students of life, and difference-makers, we need to permit ourselves to show up as damaged, kind-hearted, empathetic human beings.


  • We are going to make mistakes
  • We are not always going to have it all together
  • We are not always going to feel our best

And that is okay!

Instead of running from those moments, we have the fastidious opportunity to lean in, stand in, and take responsibility for where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow (lesson learned).

This week, let’s be more tolerant and sympathetic with ourselves. Let’s be considerate to ourselves, the people we love, and everyone we meet. Remember, your canvas is uniquely yours. There is no duplication of you. We were all born artists. We were born with the right to show up in this life and work towards the real us, not a picture-perfect illusion of whom we think we need to be.

Never stop believing, asking the question ‘Why?’ and being unique.

—Brian Nadon

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