When I’m in the middle of a trial or struggle, I’m often advised to stand strong. Yet I am never quite sure what that means. I looked one day at the tree planted in front of my house and somehow it all became clear.
That tree has withstood every season and every storm and it still stands. When hurricane winds hurled through our neighborhood, it did not fall, because it is rooted deep in the ground on a firm foundation.

Be sure your life has roots that run deep. Don’t allow your dreams and goals to be so emotionally shallow that they change with every disappointment. Rejection will come, criticism will come but you can persist because of your roots. Let’s call your roots, your training, your dream, your calling, your support system. Your roots are those things that ground you and keep you pushing through even in the midst of high winds.

The leaves of the tree change every season. In the fall, they become beautiful in color. In the winter, the tree is bare. In the spring, it bares fruit and in the summer, that same fruit baring tree provides shade.

So it is in our lives and careers. Things can be going along beautifully. Everything you touch is golden, then winter comes. Now, it seems you can’t do anything right.. You can’t book anything and you feel your mojo is gone. If you stick with it long enough, you will find that spring does return and you find new meaning in your work. You are no longer in the glaring sunlight of your own ego but under the shade of peace, knowing the work you’re doing is solid, anointed and fulfilling. Those who are supposed to notice will, but the need to be noticed has been balanced by the need to be whole.

That same tree has been there for generations. It was there before I was born and it will be there when I’m long gone.

It is my desire that the body of work that you create will be here long after you’re gone. The young artist you inspire will impact those beyond your lifetime.

That tree is not always perfect and beautiful. In the winter, it’s bare, exposed and vulnerable.

In the winter of our lives we often want to put on a strong front, because we think that’s what standing looks like. It takes so much more energy to put on a front. You need your energy for so much else, don’t waste it being inauthentic.

If the roots are solid, the tree will do the same thing every season. Seasons will come and go, leaves will always change colors and fall, and the tree will always bear fruit and grow.

You will always have highs and lows in this business and in life. You will always change colors (moods and emotions), but you don’t always have to bear fruit and you don’t always have to grow. That is your choice. It is Standing in faith and in courage that we bear fruit and that we grow.

Choose to stand strong! After you’ve done all you can…stand. Be like that tree, bare fruit and leave a legacy. Stand firm through every season. Never, ever give up. Stand! YOU ARE AN ARTIST