As a mum I struggle most days to get my girls to do simple tasks like eat their vegetables, wash their hair or stop eating their boogers, so when I decided that 2017 would be my year to raise $100k for Love Your Sister through an artwork that only existed in my dreams. I thought to myself “Hun you will need a miracle if you think you can pull this off!”. As the year gently comes to a close I am so proud to say my dream was achieved and boy did I learn the most valuable lesson of all in 2017.
For the entire year, I was obsessed with “Connie’s Heart” a mammoth art project consisting of 2025 individual hearts created by fingerprints on ceramic tiles. In the centre of this sea of tiles, a single red heart belonging to Connie Johnson OAM the co founder of Love Your Sister. Together with her brother, actor, modern day super hero, head cancer vanquisher, Samuel Johnson OAM, they have created a following of over half a million villagers joining in the fight against cancer by raising vital funds for cancer research and it won’t be long till they crack the $10m mark!
I was obsessed because I wanted to join in the fight, but I also had the desire to celebrate the beautiful soul driving the charity, to give Connie a small gift, a legacy if you may, for all the love and sacrifices she and her family made so that no other family would have to experience losing a family member to cancer ever again.
Once the intention was set in my heart, I pictured the artwork in my mind every night before I went to sleep and replayed the vision over and over in my mind. The artwork was square and huge, white hearts surrounding a single red heart, I remember walking on a stage to unveil the artwork and then the vision would stop. “How could I possibly do this?” I asked myself. I have two kids under 4yrs old, a business to run of and a family to take care of. To reach my target of $100k I would need to convince 2025 people to donate their fingerprints and hand over $50 to someone their barely even knew! All I can say is if the intention is set from the beginning and it is from your heart anything is possible. Nothing fell into my lap, I had to work hard, make lots of sacrifices, take risks and think outside the box a lot of the time. Since I had never worked on anything of this scale before I really had no idea what I was doing most of the time, but with prayer, meditation and lots of trust and faith I was always guided to the right people and the right places. It soon occurred to me that “Connie’s Heart” was so much bigger than me and I had to trust the hand that was guiding me so that I could finish the project (a) before Connie passed away and (b)complete it by the 30th of October 2017 as that is the date that I also dreamt about. I know you’re probably thinking at this point reading this blog that I am either a fairy or delusional but trust me this is all true.
The part about my project which didn’t go to plan however was the death of Connie on the 8th of September, just 2 weeks after I had seen her in Canberra where we held a heart station for the public to participate in the artwork. Her visit even made the news that day with the headline “Connie’s Hospice Breakout.” Even though Connie was actively dying her desire was stronger than her body that day and she willed herself to be there to meet her adoring villagers. I was privileged to hug and talk to her, we both had a giggle at how close I was to completing the artwork. I made a promise that I would complete the artwork for her to see but this was not to be, she would only see the finished product from the heavens, which would have been the best view in the house anyway.
As the media caught on my to the project, celebrities joined in too which accelerated my project even further, there were so many other miracles that happened throughout the year to enable me to finish the artwork on time but I would need to write a book about it as each encounter or event or person led to my next destination or event to collect more hearts- it was an amazing experience one I will treasure forever.
So if you’ve read this far I guess you’ve figured out what the lesson is and the lesson I took away from 2017 – don’t be afraid to dream. No matter what your circumstances are, no matter what people say, no one can steal your dreams unless you allow them too. When your intention is in your heart and in your mind 100% and you are willing to work hard and have faith that your dream will be realised- believe me- it will. I was there. I blocked myself from any negativity and surrounded myself with positive people with positive energy. I took care of my body, mind and spirit and never ever gave up.
In the end this was the result.
- My final donation to Love your sister was $110,977 (almost $11k over my target wohoo)
- After months of searching for a suitable wall to display the artwork within the Garvan Institute (the size of the artwork was too big 5mx5m square to be exact) A custom made frame was built by the Garvan in the Galleria of the institute, the exact frame and orientation of the artwork I had envisioned a year prior.
- The artwork was unveiled at the Garvan Institute of Medical research on Monday the 30th of October 2017, there was a small stage and lectern for me beside the artwork as I delivered my speech to 200 guests before the artwork was unveiled.
- My girls still don’t like their vegetables, washing their hair and insist on eating their boogers but I still believe in miracles and I know one day that time will come!
Happy New Year to you all, and cheers to achieving your dreams and having the courage to do so in 2018!