Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Reeves.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Mark. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
About five years ago, I worked in the social service sector as a Social Services Coordinator in the Boulder/Denver Metro Area. I had been working in this capacity for about six years and there was a growing discontent with my work that was spilling over into my personal life. Something felt incredibly misaligned and the burnout from working in a very difficult field began to take its toll on my health, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I didn’t feel like myself. I woke up one morning, incredibly aggravated that I had to go into work and said out loud, “Universe, show me what I should do next.” The very next day, I received an e-mail from a yoga studio that I had been to once over three years prior with the subject line, “What you are seeking is seeking you.” Intrigued, I opened the e-mail and it was a call for applications for their 200-hour yoga teacher training. I thought to myself, “well then, I asked, and you delivered, Universe.” I filled out my application and received an email back from the owner saying that my application had been accepted and that a previous graduate of the teacher training offered a scholarship to one applicant in the next round of teacher training. I was offered this scholarship and I knew in that moment, I had no excuse not to do it. During my teacher training, I devoted myself to deepening what I would call my “shoddy yoga practice” and the relationship with myself that I felt like I lost over the years.
During my teacher training, I began to become incredibly aware as to how creative I am and began to engage with a book called “The Artists Way.” It was during this time during my yoga teacher training that I began to explore my relationship with my creativity, the fears around being an artist and opening myself to the possibility that maybe I was an artist. In doing so, I really had to explore the stories conditioned in me from a very young age around “being an artist.” I had always been creative as a child and while my parents fostered this creativity, they also told me, “Art is only a hobby. Make sure you have something to fall back on when it fails.” I began to unravel how deeply this story and wounding went in my development and my choices as I began my entry into adulthood. I chose to go to college and study Psychology and Spanish because that was “practical.” However, I never really lost my connection to art, taking as many art classes as I could to fit into my “practical schedule.”
After college, my creative side took a backseat and became dormant. It was only through my yoga practice did I begin to see the deep connection between art, spirituality, and myself. After teacher training, I continued to work in the social service sector and three months into this, I was driving to work one day and felt my shoulders up in my ears, my jaw clenched, and my hands gripping the steering wheel. As I passed a huge tree, I actually had the thought, “if I just crashed my car into that tree, I wouldn’t have to go to work today.” I knew in that moment, I had to stop working at my job. I left after an hour of being there and returned home, unsure of what my next move would be. In total fear of unknowing, I told my husband, “I think I have to quit my job. I can’t continue to work there.” He responded from what I remember something along the lines, “I was waiting for you to figure that out. You’ve clearly been unhappy for a while.” That day, I sat down at my computer and typed out my resignation letter, having no clear idea as to what I would do next.
I had saved enough money to live for one month without working and to figure out what I would do next. In the last week of my ” soul search vacation,” out of the blue, the owner of the yoga studio sent me a text saying, “when are you going to come in for an audition to teach here?” I responded, “this week?” We set up a time on a Friday, I went in auditioned, and afterward, she said, “can you start on Monday?” This was exactly one month to the day of my official resignation.
I began teaching weekly classes at the yoga studio and eventually the Rec Center. During this time, my creativity and art began to grow and take on a life of its own. I was astounded by the pieces that were coming through and decided as an exercise of moving through fear to begin posting them on social media. The reactions and feedback I received was astounding and people began to ask where and how they could buy my stuff. It never really occurred to me until that moment that maybe I could begin to make some money off of a “hobby.”
I’ve been in business as an artist for a little over a year and I’m still blown away that people are interested in my art. It’s really kind of taken on a life of its own and my hope is to start offering yoga workshops that help others unlock their own fears, blocks, and stories that keep them from their own creativity. I hear so often, “man, I wish I could draw/write/paint/dance/act, etc.” and my only response is, “You can. Somewhere along the way, someone said you couldn’t.”
It’s been said that there will come a point in your life when everything you have done will become the catalyst to what you are meant to do, and I feel, this is where I am in my life. Combining my need to help people, my yoga practice, my art and my experiences with creativity, I hope to usher in a whole new generation of artists, dreamers, and storytellers. The current state of the world needs us now more than ever.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not, there have been so many obstacles along the way. I touched on a lot of them in my story, but the biggest obstacle is that of fear. Fear of lack of money, will I be accepted, am I good enough? All of these play out in so many aspects of our lives. We make so many of our decisions in life rooted fear as opposed to love and in doing so, we hold ourselves back from living an authentic life, myself included. However, I’ve really come to see these obstacles not as something to stop us dead in our tracks, but as creative ways to find our way back onto our true path.
Please tell us about Mark Reeves Art.
My business is a reflection of everything I’ve been through in my life. It’s a yoga and art business. I’ve really been drawn to a type of yoga that incorporates complete intuitive movement and my teaching style has begun to morph into this. No longer should yoga be about a sequenced flow but rather back to its roots in which you become your own teacher and you can move in your most authentic way, no matter what that looks like. I always say, “throw what you’ve ever seen in yoga journal out the window and let yourself move.” By doing so, we can give ourselves the permission to flow with life. This type flow is exactly what is needed if you ever hope to recover your own inner artist. I feel this is what sets me apart as I help people make the connection between their creativity as spirituality and a way of being.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I don’t think I would do anything differently. All of my experiences, failures, mistakes, successes, and obstacles have led me to where I am today. Living my most authentic life, even if it looks very different from what I was sold as a young kid.
- Most Originals pieces range from $250-$500
- Prints range from $10.00-$160.00
- Address: Boulder, CO
- Phone: 7208549379
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Mark_Reeves_art
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markreevesart/?eid=ARDe5bdFI0gN_6nmJDqAbYg-EoH_0qF6zU_LPVt04JIRnIgpnVlbo5ad6lIrrmRqdllmTp4xjwzoid7z
- Other: https://www.markreeves.art & https://www.redbubble.com/people/markreeves3
Annabelle Denmark for the personal photo