Something happens…you lose your job, you’re forced to move, someone dear to you is ill. All of the plans you’ve made in the past suddenly seem pointless and you feel as if you’ve lost your direction. Five years ago, feeling stuck and missing a certain passion in my life, I too questioned myself. “Who am I? Where am I going?”

Experts say change is the very essence of life. Desperately wanting to make a change in my own life, I armed myself with self-help books and a wonderful mentor, and through hard work made a number of changes. I was an accountant who became a fulltime artist. I returned to college to finish my Bachelor’s Degree and now — in the midst of my Master’s Degree — I am painting, exhibiting and teaching creative art workshops.

I recently suffered a blow when my husband passed away after a difficult illness. I found that despite all of my progress I was again asking myself the same questions; “Where is my voice? Who am I now?”

A famous yogi once said, “Go inside and listen to your inner voice. Every question has an answer-your soul is full of wisdom and knows the way.” I believe this is true, yet it is difficult to hear that inner voice when there is so much noise in your heart and mind. Still, I pondered that yogi’s words. Why was I asking myself those same questions again? Was it grief or had I truly lost my way?

Upon reflection I decided to practice what I preached and take the advice I give my students; to slow down and breathe, appreciate life, write in a journal, listen to music, take time out for yoga, meditation, and to read and create.

I have learned through the teaching experience that we all have a creative instinct. The more time we allow ourselves to explore that creative part of ourselves, the more open and free we become. We laugh more, enjoy our lives and find peace in our creative world. Little by little, we begin to hear the inner voice inside…telling us where we are meant to go.

What did my inner voice tell me? I realized it wasn’t just my husband’s death that made me ask “Who am I?” My life had become one of goal-setting, school work, and painting schedules.  I had been working so hard at rearranging my life, I had lost sight of the reasons I wanted to change in the first place. I was working so hard at making a creative life…I had stopped living my life creatively. I needed to enjoy those creative moments again, with a renewed spirit and an open heart and mind.

From time to time, all of us – teachers and students – need to be reminded to open ourselves up to our creative nature; to enjoy the present moment without expectation or judgments.

Starting fresh, with more insight and humility, I realize that I am on a creative journey that continues to unfold. I invite you, dear reader, to experience your own journey and suggest you not be afraid to try new things. With baby steps, dare to explore your creative nature, for I believe from the smallest seed begins the creative journey and from that seed you will find your inner voice.

Judy Nemer Sklar is a professional artist, teacher, student and business owner. She teaches a workshop series she has developed entitled “Planting A Seed: Creating Art Inspired by Words, Music, Artifacts, Texts and Tweets”@2010 and “Aging Artfully: The Power of Creativity” @2012 . For more information on her 2013-2014 workshop series visit or call (760) 902-5467.

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