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It was just a matter of time before the call would come. The one where my principles would be called into place and my resolve would be tested.

A couple months ago, after nearly 8 years of supporting a local competition with several thousand dollars in entry fees and sponsorship, I chose to keep my purse strings tied and ego under wraps. Not everyone agreed with my decision this year but a recent bad experience left a bad taste in my mouth so I chose to simply not participate. Some may call my decision selfish, but to me it was a simple case of my actions meeting up with my core values – art first, ego last. I was so proud for not giving in for the sake of “serving” another. Instead I calmly declared my decision, thanked them for their interest and encouraging words then hung up feeling more empowered and confident that any award could ever bestow.

Taking a stand is difficult work. It means standing in front of your words instead of behind them. It means clearly defining the whys and allowing them to reverberate across dark chasms already passed over. It means never looking back…only forward.

Today I celebrate the creation of principles worth standing in front of…in full naked vulnerability.