The purpose of life: stop struggling

When everything you do feels like a struggle, it’s hard to believe life is supposed to be filled with joy and ease. And yet, that’s the whole purpose of life.

This may look chaotic, all these colors and bits of fabric struggling together, but really, it’s an expression of joy and ease.

If you’re feeling rudderless…

If you’re drowning in that sea of struggle, convinced you’ll never feel joy again, convinced nothing is ever easy, you need support. Support is critical to reconnecting you to purpose. Support is how I did it for myself and it’s what my business is centered around now.

When I was stuck in a place where work and life felt hard, I was depressed, angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed. I was unwilling to really talk to anyone about I how felt because I didn’t want to bring them down into the depths with me.

But this was the wrong approach. That became clear when my negativity began to leach into my relationship with my guy. Something had to change.

My guy knew I was unhappy. It was impossible not to know it, but while he expressed encouragement and gave me hugs, he also grew really tired of hearing me say “It’s fine” when it clearly wasn’t. Really, how fine could it be when I was cranky, angry, and weepy all at the same time? Dinner isn’t particularly delightful when the person across the table pouts the whole time. It’s a wonder he stood for it as long as he did.

He called me on my shit one day and I started talking, sharing my thoughts and feelings about how conflicted I felt. Deep down, I knew nothing was supposed to be as sad and difficult as everything seemed to be but I couldn’t see a way out.

That conversation led to others. As we talked our way through what I was really seeking, I found hope. Once I found hope, I was able to see my situation more clearly. Once I could see clearly, I discovered all the ways I was blocking my own joy and ease.

With clear vision, I hired a coach and was then able to create the mindset shifts I needed to leave struggle behind, in every situation, in every experience, and in every thought. Now, even when I’m doing something I’ve never done before or my day is long and full of work tasks, I feel joy and ease. Consistently. And that makes life amazing.

Getting support…

Start by talking to someone who has your best interests at heart. This can be your partner, another family member, or friend. Keep in mind this person may be biased towards keeping the status quo (because that might be easier for the other person) so give serious thought to who you choose. I started with my guy, but eventually, I knew I needed greater and unbiased support.

Next, consider working with a coach to receive that unbiased support. This is the work I do with my clients, providing a safe space to work through the struggle, opening the mind to discover the blocks, and then helping them create the mindset shifts they need to live a life of joy and ease.

Finally, do the work you need to do to release the perception that everything is a struggle. It’s easier to do this work when you’re supported and encouraged, when you work with someone who can see what you can’t see. You’ll shift much more quickly and the work will be easier to do.

With joy and ease…

If I can go from literally decades of push and struggle to consistently feeling everything is joyful and easy (even the tough stuff), you can too. The whole point of getting support is so you don’t have to keep doing it alone. Give yourself the gift of working with a coach to expedite your shift from struggle to ease.

Let me help you find your joy.

If you need support around shifting from struggle to joy and ease, let’s set up time to chat.


If you’re ready for a private (virtual) showing of my art, you can schedule an appointment here.

To discuss commissioning me to make a textured fiber painting specifically for you or someone you love, please schedule an exploratory commissioning conversation and we’ll see what we can create together.

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please share with the ONE person you know could use it too!

Roadtripping during COVID

Life recently felt more like “normal”, even as we played fast and loose with our health. Roadtripping during COVID can be anxiety inducing.

Or not.

We chose not.

Me, wondering if a road trip is a good idea during a pandemic.

Roadtrippin’…

✅ Florida
✅ Georgia
✅ Tennessee
✅ Kentucky
✅ Indiana
✅ Illinois
✅ Wisconsin

And back again. All in the span of a week. It’s an 18 hour drive to Illinois, then another few hours up to our oldest son’s house in Wisconsin. We split it up, taking two days to travel from Florida to Illinois, where we stayed with my sister-in-law and her family. The next day, we drove to our son’s first home so he could show off his adulting skills.

After an overnight with him, it was back to Illinois to spend time with our younger son, family, and dear friends. All in all, we spent 3-½ days up north and 3-½ days driving.

I’m a little worn out!

But it was worth it.

There were birthdays to celebrate and hearts needing the comfort of seeing each other. 💖

To be anxious or not…

I’d been a little anxious about this journey. It was the first time I’d left the house for an extended period since March. I felt socially awkward, like I’d forgotten how to people.

I had some concern about traveling during a pandemic.

Would hotels really be clean?

What if we, or one of our family members, were asymptomatic?

What about gas station bathrooms? They’re never spotless during the best of times; would they be hotbeds of virus now?

These and other questions spun through my brain even as we drove north. Even as we stopped to fuel up the car and the “natives” gave us the side-eye for wearing a mask.

But then I realized something…

It’s okay to be a little nervous. Everything carries risk.

We’re not afraid of the virus, but we don’t want to get it either, or give it to someone else. Roadtripping felt a little like upping the ante on that risk.

While traveling during a pandemic may carry more risk than at non-pandemic times, it’s still a matter of finding your unique level of comfort with that risk, just like you would with anything that feels risky.

After all, the magic happens when we step just outside our comfort zone. And the magic of reconnecting with family and a couple dear friends was so needed.

We were prepared with our face masks and a jug of hand sanitizer.

Sitting in a car for 18 hours is a textbook definition of socially distant.

We practiced caution over recklessness at every stop, chuckling a little at the side-eye, knowing that everyone has their own way of seeing the world and the current situation.

So I made a decision…

I could choose to continue feeling anxious or I could choose to enjoy the journey.

I chose joy.

Everything else is fear.

With joy and ease…

Life is about choices. We can choose fear or we can choose joy, even when the world feels upside down and sideways.

Especially when the world feels upside down and sideways.

Which do you choose?

If you need some support around choosing joy over fear, drop me a note at hilaryclarkstudios@gmail.com and we’ll set up time to chat.


If you’re ready for a private (virtual) showing of my art, you can schedule an appointment here.

To discuss commissioning me to make a textured fiber painting specifically for you or someone you love, please schedule an exploratory commissioning conversation and we’ll see what we can create together.

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please share with the ONE person you know could use it too!

Why inner peace feels impossible when it isn’t

Last week, I wrote about the changes coming to my business as I pivot (again…this is a year for pivots) back to coaching with a focus on helping my clients live a life of joy and ease. This week, I want to talk about why inner peace feels impossible to achieve.

(Spoiler: It isn’t; it just feels that way.)

Achieving inner peace can feel as dodgy as walking through this gauntlet of cranky ducks. Seven are pictured. There were a couple more who didn’t make the photo. All gave me the beady bird eye as I crossed over the bridge. It was decidedly unnerving.

Inner peace? Really?

Yes, I’m really going to talk about inner peace. I’m into the woo, so there it is.

One of the reasons I’ve pivoted several times this year in terms of my business is because I was focusing on things that felt disruptive, chaotic, and too much like “hustle”. I over-complicated how I wanted to work and who I wanted to work with. I ignored my two highest values — joy and ease — as I tried to force square pegs in round holes.

I got in my own way, which turned my inner world into one of struggle rather than one of contentment.

(By the way, that’s how I define inner peace: contentment. The woo can be understood in real terms.)

I bet you do the same thing to yourself. Whether you also have your own business, or you’re actively employed in the corporate world and immersed in your work, you probably get in your own way more often than not. You push yourself to live a Type A existence when you really lean towards Type B and your heart is begging you to slow down.

You have no inner peace and it’s killing you.

Taking the “im” out of “impossible”

If you can’t remember the last time you felt content with your life or your work, you’re in the struggle and stuck zone. Nothing feels like fun anymore, right?

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can actually achieve inner peace and experience joy and ease, even when you’re in the middle of hard work, even when you have deadlines to meet.

We’re all meant to live lives filled with joy and ease. Life is supposed to be fun. We go wrong when we fall into the belief that taking it easy is bad and work is supposed to be hard.

Inner peace is not impossible. In fact, it’s the most possible thing there is if you do one simple thing.

Choose it.

You can make the impossible possible by choosing a different perspective. You have that power.

Inner peace is easy to achieve when you see it that way.

With joy and ease

Inner peace, defined as contentment by me, can feel impossible to achieve in today’s world where “hustle” is rewarded. And yet, nothing could be further from the truth. The minute you get out of your own way, joy and ease slide into your reality, bringing inner peace with them. All you have to do is choose.

Isn’t it time you chose inner peace for yourself?

If you’re tired of struggling and want support to make inner peace possible for you, drop me a note at hilaryclarkstudios@gmail.com and we’ll set up time to chat.


If you’re ready for a private (virtual) showing of my art, you can schedule an appointment here.

To discuss commissioning me to make a textured fiber painting specifically for you or someone you love, please schedule an exploratory commissioning conversation and we’ll see what we can create together.

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please share with the ONE person you know could use it too!

Change Is Coming

2020 has been a year, hasn’t it? From going to an office every day to working at home full time. From the kids out of the house at school to home learning at the dining room table (that you need to oversee). From casually running errands to hoarding toilet paper. From social gatherings to isolation. And the reality is these situations are the new normal for the foreseeable future.

We’ve all learned to pivot and adjust, adapting to the constant that is change. I’m changing too, specifically another shift in my business. Today, I thought I’d share a bit about the direction I intend to go.

The stitching phase of my art creation is a constant change in direction as I follow the outline of every shape and space with the needle and thread

Where I’ve been…

If you’ve been around the Studio for a bit, you know we relocated across country in the early days of the pandemic. Prior to the move, I was focused on my coaching business, out networking at least once a week, generating buzz and connection to create clients. I was gaining some traction as a leadership coach.

After the move, as we settled into a new home in a new location, confined to the house, I began to give serious thought to being a coach. It no longer felt aligned, so I made the decision to pivot my focus to my art and turn that into my business. And that was fun…until it wasn’t.

It didn’t take long for me to realize I’m not prolific enough to generate a full time income from my art. I enjoy taking 4 to 6 weeks to create a single piece of art. The slow, steady pace allows me to sink into the feeling I’m creating, to feel it, to observe it, to process it, and to discover what lesson the feeling has to teach me.

Our feelings are meant to guide us to transformation and my creative process, as is, serves that purpose.

The more I pushed myself to make more, make faster, the more out of alignment I felt with my art. I discovered I want to create my art for the pure joy of creating. If others want to purchase it, that would be lovely, and I’ll continue to offer it for sale but I won’t look to it as my primary income source.

This left me struggling and I sank into a depressive episode that lingered for several months. I continued to show up here with weekly articles and on social media with daily posts but I felt disconnected. Did I have a business? Did I want a business?

The answer to both of those questions was yes, so the next question became: what did I want my business to be?

Where I’m going…

Once I determined I did want to continue as a business owner, I found myself returning to coaching. I realized my thought that coaching wasn’t aligned in the early days of the pandemic, after our move, was actually just fear getting in the way. I’m no longer fearful, so I’m returning to my dream of owning a coaching business where I can help others every day.

I’m still working out my focus. Each day, I’m gaining greater clarity around who I want to work with and how. As that solidifies, I’ll share it here with all of you. For now, I’d like to share my Big Why for owning a business and doing the work I know, deep down, I’m called to do:

I believe joy and ease are our purpose. These are our birthright, our soul right, the way we embody our spirit life during our human life. Anything we want can be realized when we finally and forever release the “hustle” to embrace, integrate, incorporate, and LIVE from a place of joy and ease.

Work and life can feel easy, all in flow and joy-filled, even when you’re busy. I believe it’s important to take a stand for down time because its daily inclusion in your life leads to joy. I believe a person can be astoundingly successful without being Type A.

Including relaxation and recharge time in the schedule feeds the heart, mind, body, and energy field, giving each of us the mental, emotional, and spiritual food we need to carry us through the obligations of the day.

The world needs to slow down. We’re missing the beauty of being “off”, of the power of a good nap, a good book, a long walk. We need to have more fun.

I believe in making joy, ease, and fun a priority. These produce peace – personal and global.

I believe the purpose of our human existence is to learn how to embrace joy and ease in all aspects of our lives, which connects us to our spiritual home in the Universe. Life is meant to be fun.

I’m passionate about living a life of joy and ease, seeped in creativity and personal leadership, with a foundation grounded in spirituality. It’s all about shifting your mindset. If I can shift mine, I can help you shift yours.

With joy and ease…

My business is changing direction, back to coaching. I’ll still create my art and share it here as each piece progresses. I’m doing the work to define who I want to serve and how, which I’ll share with you as the plan develops. I believe experiencing joy and ease are the purpose of life. By connecting to your most dominant negative feeling, you can observe it and learn from it. Once the lesson is clear, it’s about doing the work to shift your mindset from the negative to the positive feelings of joy and ease.

I’m an expert at joy and ease. Let me help you feel more of these in your life.

If you’re ready to finally shift yourself away from the frustration of “hustle” to experience more joy and ease, drop me a note at hilaryclarkstudios@gmail.com and we’ll set up time to chat.


If you’re ready for a private (virtual) showing of my art, you can schedule an appointment here.

To discuss commissioning me to make a textured fiber painting specifically for you or someone you love, please schedule an exploratory commissioning conversation and we’ll see what we can create together.

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please share with the ONE person you know could use it too!