No One Ever Lies On Their Deathbed Saying “I Wish I Did More Practical Things In My Life”

The call came late in the night, like all dreaded calls.

My brother said it was time to come home as Mother was in the final stages of dying.

I was living in England at the time so I  immediately flew back to East Tennessee. 

I had the honor of spending a full month with my Mom, living in her hospital room, sleeping on a uncomfortable narrow cot while witnessing the beauty and depth of oncoming death.  One day it dawned on me I didn’t know as much about my Mother as I wanted. I started asking questions and ended with this one:

Mom, is there anything you regret?

She immediately said “Yes”.  

I asked what that might be.

she said….

I never bought a pair of red shoes.

Red shoes?  Really?

My Mother died several days later, but I couldn’t get over her response to my question.

As the plane landed at Heathrow Airport in London I went straight to Harrods Department Store with a major purchase in mind.  I scanned the shoe department and immediately saw my purchase. They fit, and I never even asked the price. I purchased my first, of many, pairs of Red Shoes.  

As I left the store I looked up to the sky and said…

This is for you Mom.

Today I see this happening over and over with the artists that say “no” to growing their art.  It is no different than the red shoe story because they don’t think it would be practical for them.


Because they don’t feel worthy.

They don’t feel like artistic success can be “real” for them.

They fear they don’t have what it takes.

Their fear stops them in their tracks; but when life is over they will remember and regret the fact they never took that chance on themselves. 

They will not remember the groceries they bought with that money, nor will they remember the vacation that lasted a week.

I witness artists never stepping into their greatness because of their fear of the unknown.

The unknown requires you to get out of your comfort zone and do something scary.  Something adventurous.  

When you do this you will find out it was not as scary as you thought – and then guess what? It becomes your new normal.

This is how you show your friends, children or grandchildren that they too can do what is in their heart – plus, it gives them permission to step into their greatness.

Your art is a piece of that symbol to remind everyone you can continue to get better if you are brave enough to be your true self.

When you are stepping into your genius remember this…

When you awaken your inner giant, you will find a passion that fear can’t touch.

Today, find the strength to do whatever it takes to advance your art to the next level. You will be filled with excitement, but deep down you will be scared. Don’t let that stop you – because actually being excited and scared at the same time is a good sign.

This is the same as finding the courage to purchase your first pair of Red Shoes.


Until then…

Create Brilliantly

– gwen

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