This content is difficult to write. Before getting to the why, here are 10 lessons I've learned (and am learning) most deeply from painful experiences...
10 PAINFUL LESSONS
1. Persevere to follow my bliss and co-create goodness with and for people I love.
2. Take a leap of faith and embrace the blank canvas of my life.
3. Trust myself the first time around.
4. Connect with my whole self, especially given this is directly related to my ability to authentically connect with others.
5. Face the Truth of My Reality, providing me with the clarity to make decisions that are most aligned with my True Self.
6. Discern what I can or can't handle and accept what IS.
7. Be open to new ways of relating and being in the world.
8. Appreciate the Beauty within myself and my relationships.
9. Transform darkness by bringing in more lightness.
10. I'm good enough and strong enough to love in all kinds of ways, from the grey to the most colourful.
While I accept that pain is part of life, I also accept that it's OKAY (and really necessary) for me to feel this pain and to also let it transform itself (and myself) into a more Beautiful time-space.
So, enough about me + pain....let's talk about the Beauty captured in the photo below.
1 Beautiful Connection
For those who are new to the story behind Superstar X, its creation was inspired by Edward's life and artwork, and Edward is Superstar X’s debut X Artist. In 1999, Edward was diagnosed with schizophrenia and while hospitalized he started to draw the genre of art you see in The X Gallery and The X Shop, fuelled with 💜 by Superstar X. This art brings us back to the photo of Myles and Edward.
With Leslie's permission, I asked Edward if he'd be open to meeting Myles to co-create some graffiti art in the backyard of Leslie and Myles' home. At that time Edward kept mostly to himself and didn't socialize much but to my delight he said he'd do it.
On March 26, 2017, Myles and Edward co-created something beautiful. I'm forever grateful that this photo was taken, as it helps us to remember their smiles and their very special connection (in addition to the special art they co-created). We will celebrate this forever.
A few months later, June 2017, was the last time we've seen Edward. While our family still has some hope for reconnection, we also face the reality that this might not happen. Of course, our mother and I also have a very special connection with Edward; although he is not physically in our lives, he is with us in spirit, always.
Superstar X is our family's way of dealing with the pain of Edward not physically being part of our lives...it is a way to collectively give back to Edward (and future X Artists), honouring his life and artwork, while also giving back to initiatives, programs, and/or organizations that positively impact multidimensional wellness, especially for children and youth.
For those of you who have "found us," becoming fans of Superstar X and/or customers of The X Shop, helping us to promote awareness and understanding of mental illness and multidimensional wellness, THANK YOU. 💜🙏🏻
Beyond tragic, after courageously dealing with mental health challenges for much of his childhood, on May 18, 2018, Myles ended his life. The loss of Myles has been devastating, especially for Leslie, inspiring her to "take action to improve the accessibility, affordability, and integration of child-friendly mental health services."
Leslie courageously founded Myles Ahead to "ensure that the courage and spirit of Myles in the face of enormous challenges lives on through the establishment of a charitable organization dedicated to advancing child and youth mental health."
Our hope is that by sharing our stories, it will encourage others to share theirs, helping all humans to feel a greater sense of belonging in the world and to better see the Beauty within ourselves and each other....helping all humans to connect even more to our humanity and to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and the barriers to suitable and timely treatment so that all humans can receive the holistic care we need when we need it.
Given Edward and Myles' special connection, Myles Ahead is the current charity that Superstar X donates 10% from each of the products sold within The X Shop. In addition, we invite you to donate directly to Myles Ahead. Thank you!