Breathe and Believe

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” — Jonathan Swift, author

As a visual artist I so get this statements. For I see things with my internal eyes and I paint them. I also know that, as the artist and the boss of my own painting, I have the license to even change what I see in real life and then have the amazing privilege of calling it “art”. I am awakening to the realization of using this creative power within myself to create the life that I want and to help others do the same.

I know every parent out there who has teenagers will understand what I mean when I say, that somehow the child we thought we had disappears into what I call “the teen tunnel” and you wonder what happened to my child. After raising four children, I know what it is like to be holding your breath for five years and praying to God that they will just make it through without messing up too bad! Yet every time I noticed, I was holding my breath, something inside would say, “Breathe and believe”. I would then see my child as a grown responsible adult living into all the amazing qualities that makes them who they are.
I remember one day one of my son’s said to me, Mom I don’t think I have integrity, after telling him that his character and integrity where the keys to a successful life. I looked right at him and said, Oh yes you do! Even though he had just done something that was not so cool. I had vision and I kept having vision and kept saying my vision so he knew what I saw in him. The invisible came forth one day while taking a dinner break at a local eatery and my son’s high school teacher approaches me to talk about how great it has been for her to see my son grow over the years. She then offers her summing up of my son by saying, the one word I would use to describe him is integrity!

I believe that whatever I put my focus on will increase. When I decided, I wanted to open my art gallery and art class center I knew I had to get a vision for what I wanted. One day I was at an art show and I saw a clock that an artist had made that looked like an artist pallet. I loved it and thought this would look great in my new gallery. So I bought it with a vision of the invisible. This one act of faith set in motion a whole series of events that led me toward my vision and here I sit writing to you in my gallery/art class center of ten years.

Here are some key steps that I hope will be helpful in creating the invisible for you:

Decide what you want. I decided that character was the one thing in life that I would make a big deal about while raising my kids. No mater what they did or said, if they got an F as a grade or talked disrespectful to me, because character was what I focused on that is what I would pin point my talks with them around. I would say, Years down the road no one is going to know if you got and A or an F but they will know if you are a man of integrity. When I decided I wanted to cut down on my expenses, my biggest being my rent on my apartment, an opportunity appeared for me to move to an artist work-live space in a newly renovated Lowell mill that cut my living expenses by more than half.
Opportunities are everywhere, be open. Once you decide what you want, it is amazing how many opportunities you will attract. Including, oh my, the opportunities for that teachable moment for your teen! When the lottery for an amazing mill apartment came to my attention in Lowell, I needed to be willing to be open. I had made a commitment with my son’s dad to stay in Billerica until he graduated from high school. The apartment was coming available one year shy of his senior year. We shared custody and my son spent every other week with me. I talked with his dad and he encouraged me to go for it. I did and simple drove my son to school on my weeks for a year and now he lives with me full time and will be going to college right down the street here in Lowell saving thousands of dollars!


About Colleen Sgroi

Teaching Artist from New England. View all posts by Colleen Sgroi

3 responses to “Breathe and Believe

  • Dolores

    funny, I was just thinking of you this morning, and opened my email to this. Very nice. I am going to breathe and believe today.

  • Pamela Wamala

    Hello Colleen –

    Beautifully put … made me cry. My son turns 17 in September … and it certainly is like you described. Thanks for writing,


  • Melody

    YOU GO GIRL!!!!! Your faith in the unseen brings all you can imagine and more right to your ftont door! Keep on Keeping on and never lose your essence of encouraging others.

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