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2012 Twenty Questions Interview with Judith Westerfield : Page 2 of 2

20 Questions Interview
with Judith Westerfield

continued from page 1

11. What challenges have you faced?

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1996 and then developed heart electrical problems (I have a pacemaker now but am still having some debilitating symptoms). It took me many years of mourning the loss of "who I had been" to understand how these chronic conditions have helped me be more compassionate, grateful and know where my priorities are. (Well, I admit that I KNOW what my priorities should be but don't always practice what I preach.)

12. What worked for you?

I did a lot of painting and journaling during the early years before I had a diagnosis. Years later I was asked to use these works as a keynote presentation for the National Fibromyalgia Association. When I put it together and reviewed my work I was shocked by the intensity of my feelings expressed in the paintings and poems.

13. What didn't work for you?

Taking too long going from doctor to doctor trying to get a diagnosis (in those days fibromyalgia was considered a woman's middle aged hysteria) and the desperate need to know what was happening to me. I wasted a lot of time being scared which exacerbated the symptoms. I probably would do it all over again the same way! But I did learn that desperation and fear don't work.

14. What three tips can you share with those starting on a similar path?

Healthwise: I have one tip for anyone with a chronic condition: You will mourn who you were, what you did. Don't try to stop the mourning, you will only prolong it.

Workshopwise: For those who want to sell or teach the best tip is that it doesn't matter how creative you are, how much you know or how passionate:

  1. YOU HAVE TO BE A BUSINESS PERSON, A MARKETER, AND YOUR OWN PERSONAL ASSISTANT. (Unless you have the money to hire people — and then you still have to be a business person to figure out if the people you've hired are doing their job!)
  2. It takes lots of time to develop people's trust which is one of the most important things in business.
  3. Don't do anything that takes this much time and commitment unless you are passionate about the subject. Otherwise, you will resent it, burn out, and ultimately fail — (unless you hire others that ARE passionate to do all the work!!)

Max15. What are you working on now?

I'm putting a lot of time into my blog (actually it's my dog Max's blog — I'm his hire). I enjoy the writing aspect, the connection with people from all over the globe and inspiring others to try Therapeutic Creative Expression.

16. What's coming up for you in the next year?

Along with a hypnosis colleague, Laurie Miller, I'm developing Therapeutic Creative Expression workshops to put on-line. We have done live workshops together. She is my left brain and I'm her right brain. It's been a great collaboration.

I'm also going to put up more free tutorials and downloads.

17. What else do you desire/dream to do?

I would like to make more time for my own painting, mixed-media and journaling. Right now everything I do is a demo or a sample for the workshops.

18. How will you make that happen?

Gradually, I will reduce my therapy case-load to make more time. I've been in practice since 1986 and don't have plans to stop but find I have less energy to keep all the pots on the stove cooking.

19. What question do you want to answer that's not on this list?

What is the Max in CreativitytotheMax?

Max is my dog and all my sites and blogs are dedicated to Max. He often writes his own posts and always answers his mail and comments. Max is the most creative creature I know. He agrees!

20. What's your Web site address (or other place people may connect with you)?