Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendi Knox.
Wendi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In my past life, I was the only female Senior Vice-President/Creative Director at one of the largest advertising agencies in Los Angeles. (Kind of like Don Draper but without the cigarettes or martinis.)
Even though I created award-winning commercials for brands like Honda and Acura, my soul longed for something more.
Unexpectedly, I was forced to find it when I lost my big fat job at 50. And found myself stuck in the muck of self-doubt, worry and “now what.”
Sobbing in my backyard in Westwood, I asked The Universe, “Am I too old to reinvent myself? Please give me a sign.”
I went for a walk in my neighborhood and came home to find hundreds of red dragonflies whirling and swirling above my garden. They stayed four hours the first day and came back for three more days.
I was astonished to learn, thanks to Google, that dragonflies spend most of their lives crawling at the bottom of a pond….for up to four years. While down in the muck, they grow their magical wings. And don’t even start flying until later in life.
Well, that was a sign alright. But it was just the beginning.
I started seeing dragonflies everywhere I went, On the 405, 101 and 10 freeways. On Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd and Beverly Drive.
One day, a swarm of red dragonflies found me walking across the lawn at the Ojai Valley Inn.
As crazy as it sounds, I believe those dragonflies were recruiting me. I think they knew I was a writer and a branding specialist. And they wanted me to get their muck-to-magic story out into the world.
And now, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m on a mission to uplift and inspire others to transform their muck into magic. And to remind them that it’s never too late to soar.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have found that life is a continuing cycle of going from muck to magic and back again…
After my magical, life-changing experience, I felt compelled to find a creative way to share what I had learned from the dragonflies with others.
But I found myself stuck in some very serious muck.
It turns out that losing my job at 50 was not the worst thing that ever happened to me. Almost losing my only child to addiction was.
But like the dragonflies, I learned that the only way out of the muck is to allow yourself to crawl through it. So I gave myself the time and space (and therapy) I needed to process the sorrow, grief and angst I was experiencing.
And then, one day, magic happened.
I was sitting at my computer when a poem “flew” into my head. I knew that those wise and whimsical words were meant to be part of a “children’s style” book to uplift and inspire women of all ages.
So, I set out on a quest to do a painting for every line of the poem. It was a very intuitive process. I would meditate and ask, “How do I show fear?” “How do I show self-doubt?” ” How do I show self-love?”
One by one, over 30 paintings emerged. And I realized that I wasn’t just painting my journey. I was painting the dragonfly’s journey. And all of our journeys.
By going into the dark, we find our light. In our struggles, we discover our gifts. And in the muck, we grow our magic.
The process of creating my book was very healing for me. It helped me rise up from the muck of self-doubt and fear into the magic of self-love and acceptance.
And that’s exactly what I hope it will do for others.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m thrilled to say that I just launched FROM MUCK TO MAGIC, a one-of-a-kind inspirational book. Filled with art, heart, and humor, it’s a storybook that changes the stories we tell ourselves.
My book is a balm for the soul of any woman, at any age, who finds herself in the midst of change, growth, worry, loss, fear, grief, overwhelm, inertia, exhaustion or just the mere messiness of life. (I created it for women, but children, teenagers and men have told me they relate to the message as well.)
Within its colorful pages is a powerful blueprint for transformation. And an invitation for us all to rise up from our personal muck to bring our own unique magic into a world that has never needed it more.
Speaking of which, these days, instead of presenting ad campaigns to boardrooms full of men, I am experiencing the joy of uplifting and inspiring rooms full of women.
With wit and wisdom, paintings and poetry, I speak to groups of 40 to 400, from corporate executives to stay-at-home moms. My signature talk, “From Muck To Magic” is for any woman, going through any kind of transition, challenge or change.
I also share what I call “The Way of The Dragonfly” through my inspirational blog, creative workshops and private transformational sessions.
In my past life, my creative work was ruled by client demands and pressure-cooker deadlines. These days, I am led by my heart and my soul’s desire to help others.
Consequently, my business is evolving organically in unexpected ways. For instance, since the launch of my book, I’ve received so many requests to purchase my paintings, that I’m now taking orders for giclees (which will be available on my website soon.)
After years of structure, I’m learning to breathe through the muck of “not knowing” and to allow space for the magic to reveal itself.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
They say it takes a village. But for me, it’s more of a “fetch.” (That’s what you call a group of dragonflies.)
I’ve had so much support along the way. But I’d like to call out a few of my special flying companions:
SHARON BLAIR (www.immaginarepress.com)
Most publishers wouldn’t take a chance with a first-time author or an out-of-the-box book. But Sharon isn’t most publishers. She’s creative, intuitive and cares about people as much as books. Besides my book, she’s also published a journal and notecards from my art which are also available on the Immaginare website.
VICTORIA JOHANSEN (www.figojai.com)
The owner of two of my favorite stores anywhere, this retail maven has been a generous and insightful advisor. And her stores were the first to carry my book.
ROCHELLE ORION (www.gosacred.com)
I’m grateful for the depths of Rochelle’s spiritual wisdom and her insistence that I was an artist long before I believed it myself.
LAURIE NOLAN (www.90,000feet.com)
Laurie’s marketing mind and compassionate heart have been there for me through the muck and the magic.
WILL KNOX (www.theknoxcompany.com)
I’m blessed with a soulmate husband who reminds me to be in the moment and makes my heart soar with love and laughter on a daily basis.
- From Muck To Magic Book $18.95
- Notecards $5.95
- Journal $14.50
- 11″ x 14″ signed giclee $45
- 16″ X20″ signed giclee $90
- Website: www.wendiknox.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: wendiknoxuplifter
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wendiknoxauthor/
- Other: https://immaginarepress.com/
Akka B Photography