I am not a visionary – I’m neurodivergent and that’s pretty much the same thing.
I am a creator, a powerhouse, a mess; a human. I am a starter who has difficulty finishing, a leader, and both want to change every policy to protect people and run into the forest and forage between paddle boarding and hammocking for the rest of my days.
If that’s a new(er) word for you, you’re not alone. It means a lot of things including:
- Difficulty focusing mixed with hyper focus, including sticky thinking
- Impulsive and great starters
- Anxious and often excellent at planning for any outcome
- Empathetic x100
- Sensitive to environment and to emotion, including rejection sensitivity
Multimedia on canvas
So, I’m saying that I can feel your vibe from here, all while feeling others’ pain, wanting to help with every cell of my body. We are healers, community carers, lovers of children and animals, and fixers of the world.
I was diagnosed with multiple neurological differences/sensitivities in my mid-thirties, after a lifetime of believing I was broken. I worked everyday to fit in, and the day I was diagnosed, I realized that:
- I would never fit in
- I wasn’t meant to
- Those aren’t bad.
Read more about that experience HERE
15-20% of the world lives with neurological diversity (Doyle, 2020) including Autism, ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum, bipolar, schizophrenia, among many others (Disability world, 2022).
If you’re wondering who can identify as neurodivergent, the answer is anyone. Past the echoes of “everyone will say they’re neurodivergent,” consider that society does not consider disabilities as cool, so it’s unlikely that you will say you are neurodivergent without having to live with the challenges that many consider disabilities. For me, self-diagnosis provided me comfort, self-acceptance, and guided me to learn more about who I was and what makes me complex. It helped me find motivation to locate resources I may not otherwise have found and find other people whose brains worked in similar ways.
Through empowering myself to manage the challenges and embrace my beauty, power, and creativity, I created the term Neurocomplex. It is beyond the neurodiversity we often discuss, and includes the lived experience, and the impact of our social and physical environment.
Neurocomplexity is beautiful and intense for me.
Warrior Goddess Series
Multimedia on canvas
It has been what’s allowed me to:
- Express my complex thoughts about how people should accept and love themselves and those around them.
- Create meaning by founding a charity serving the community in meaningful ways because I want to help all the people.
- Embrace being a life-long learner and be in school for what feels like 100 years (I’m completing my PhD.)
- Create works of art that express my deep sense of pain and joy.
Increasing my Magic
Understanding how to adapt my environment to decrease the hard things about being sensitive and increase my sense of joy, invite dopamine and feel good hormones (because my brain doesn’t make or process them the same way as others) has allowed me to increase my magic.
- I spend a lot of time in my art studio, surrounded by things that I find beautiful and soothing.
- I listen to things that make my body feel good (oh, those good vibes) My current inspiration song
- I create to express my intensity.
- I listen to the flow of my energy, with rest and creation when it comes. I track it, so I know what to expect, which includes time of day, week, month and year.
- I protect myself from people who hurt me, without regard for my pain.
- I created a circle of support, with those who live with authentically good hearts = safety
- I taught myself to soothe my pain, so when the waves come I feel as though I will survive them. This included going to brainspotting and processing my childhood and marriage trauma.
The lessons learned
Were difficult –
The road was long.
I’m not sure I would’ve made it
Without that sweet song.
The hum of the drum,
Hitting the notes just so,
The power- it swayed me,
Despite the sound dancing so low.
At the end of the day
Despite what laid in the way,
I think I’d have managed better
If I knew I’d find
Angela Taylor is a visual artist and a resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She uses art to express deep emotion and process complex trauma. She uses photo-realistic and abstract styles with the human body and nature as inspiration. She is an author of three books, based in art and creativity: Get Your Art On! An art for wellness facilitation guide, All Kinds of Minds, and Forever on Fire. She has multiple pieces exhibited at local public spaces, including within organizations. Most recently, the Warrior Goddess, standing 5 feet tall.
Angela creates in alcohol ink, acrylic mediums, mixed media, photography, writing, poetry and live painting performances. She integrates her training as a therapist and mental health and accessibility expert, empowering and supporting community members to express emotion and process pain. Her Inner Fire Project is a new art as therapy initiative to offer another therapeutic and healing experience for her clients. Her passions lie in the love of community and increasing well-being of those living with complex neurology and behaviour. Learn more about her work at the charity she founded at www.InspireCommunityOutreach.ca, or about her story at Supporting Community Together.
Love to you as you find your strength.
Thank you for sharing your magic with me.
Read more about my story at www.emotionalreflection.com
FB and IG @ArtbyAngelaTaylor