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The Butterfly Spot Ep. 4: Interview with Monica Brown of Studio314bymb

On episode 4 of the Butterfly Spot, we have an interview with Monica Brown of Studio314bymb. Monica is an amazing woman, a mother of three, a surface designer, a teacher, and creative coach. Monica shares about her experience with parental loss and grief, her healing journey, and her lifelong love of art.

In this episode, you’ll hear about:

  • Four steps for starting a creative habit,

  • The importance of showing up for yourself, especially when you are grieving,

  • How being creative doesn’t require spending a lot of money,

  • How art involves mindfulness, the need to be present in your body, and embracing the process. Monica mentions ways to encourage your art and creativity by setting up your space for success and utilizing white noise or music.

Trigger Warning: Like all of our podcast episodes, we discuss grief and loss. In this episode, Monica briefly mentions her father’s struggle with mental illness, traumatic brain injury, and his death by suicide. If this topic is triggering for you, please skip ahead to the three minute mark.

My key takeaways:

  • You don’t have to be an “artist” (in whatever way you think that means) in order to start a creative habit.

  • If you practice, you will improve and you will feel the benefits. You don’t need fancy materials or a lot of time to create. Start with what you have. Enjoy the mindfulness that art requires.

  • We need someone to witness our pain and to help us feel safe. Grief demands a witness. Art provides an outlet.

  • Close family and friends of those grieving often describe a sense of helplessness, a feeling that there is nothing that they can do or say that will make a difference, but this is not true.

Four Steps for Starting a Creative Habit:

Step 1. Setup a space and simple supplies, and keep it clean with: printer paper or sketchbook, pen or pencil, eraser, sharpener. Plan for a time to create where you are mostly uninterrupted. Put in headphones and listen to music to focus. Rain or water recordings are great for white noise backgrounds.

Step 2. Use one shape to cover the whole paper you are using. For example, a circle, a leaf, linework, doodles. The concept is that we are mark makers. Make the same mark over and again until the page is full.

For something different, use your non dominant hand, and gently draw whatever comes to mind. You'll be surprised at how much this practice will feel natural after a few tries. Remember it's about showing up. Not performing.

3. Set a 5 minute timer and paint. Use 1 color and focus on how it feels in your body to make marks. (Use kids paint to begin with, watercolor or tempera, so you're not worried about your product. Get as expressive or quiet with your marks as you like.) If you want to, think ahead and use a photo you like to draw from, or sketch a few ideas to get your thoughts on paper first.

4. When ready, use a nicer art medium. Invest in a new paintbrush, some quality paper, or new paints. Just remember, these tools are not precious. They are yours to use. Don't think too much about it, just go with something that feels playful or inviting. Keep experimenting with your materials to uncover your hidden talents.


Podcast Episode 4 with Monica of Studio314bymb

[00:00:00] Katie Hill: We are so excited to be welcoming Monica Brown to the Butterfly Spot today. Thank you so much for coming on today, Monica. As I mentioned in the intro, Monica is an amazing woman and mother and entrepreneur. She has an art as therapy business called Studio314 byMB. And we are so glad that you are joining us here today on the Butterfly Spot.

This podcast is for women in the butterfly baskets community, and all those who have experienced grief specifically related to pregnancy and infant loss and really all types of grief. So thank you so much

[00:00:42] Monica Brown: for joining us. Thank you, Katie. This is my first time on a podcast. So I'm so excited.

[00:00:48] Katie Hill: I wanted to see if you could share, you know, a bit about your background with art and grief and what led to you creating this beautiful business that you've started. And if you wanna share a little bit about what exactly Studio314 provides.

[00:01:02] Monica Brown: Sure. Okay. So my experience with grief started in early childhood. I had a dad who he had mental illness. I saw him struggle with like depression, most of his life, but then he had two truck accidents. He was a trash truck driver.

And after that he had two traumatic brain injuries and his capability of like really thriving was really just like eliminated. It's like he became a different person after those accidents. And so I saw him, you know, it was hard like seeing an adult, especially a parent like that. And then it ended up getting so bad that he ended up taking his life.

So I was 11, it happened in 1998. So I was 11 when it happened. I'm 35 now. So it's been a journey. It was really rough, especially, I don't know. It was like I had to just survive. One thing and then move on to another, like, I couldn't really grieve until I left home when I was 19 and started living my life separate from everything I'd known.

And so that's part of what inspired me to have a company about grief. I think too, just experiencing a sudden, like it wasn't expected a sudden tragedy. and it was apparent and it really impacted all of our lives, my immediate family. And now looking back, I can see how it impacted our community too.

It wasn't until I got older and I started talking to friends of mine and they relayed. What they remembered from the day my dad died. And I was so young that I didn't even think about that. How Greek affects the entire community. We don't experience grief in a vacuum. When I went to college, found a therapist, she happened to be an art therapist and that she really helped me to have someone.

I could share my biggest fears with and say anything to, I felt really safe with her and she just listened a lot of times she was so quiet. She didn't say anything. And I was like, oh my gosh, am I doing this wrong? But now I can see, she was really just making space for me to really be with my thoughts in a safe place.

So all of those things, and then obviously going through a healing journey, like with grief, I've always been drawn to people who were suffering. Like, I, I couldn't get them outta my mind. I always wanted to do something to help. I saw a pattern of people who were caretaking for people who were grieving. So like, Close family members or friends of people who were experienced a tragedy or a sudden loss. And there was this sense of helplessness. Like the person who's grieving, like you don't know, it feels like they're sort of like in a blown up like tube or something. Like it's hard to connect with them.

And I think a lot of that just comes down to one, not really feeling prepared. I think generally as a society, we're not prepared to handle grief, we don't make it easy, like the skills to deal with to really best practices of supporting the grieving are not I think mainstream communicated.

[00:04:24] Katie Hill: That's a great point. I was thinking about that as you were saying about the impact of grief and tragedy on the community and when you're the one that's grieving, that you don't always see it, especially, I think that's probably exacerbated by the fact that the people who are caring for the grievers don't know how to show it. It's not till, like you said, till you're out of; that you can see. Oh, oh, it did impact you too. Even though I didn't know

[00:04:48] Monica Brown: For me, like with the past two years, I've been learning how to become a service designer. I found out about Bonnie Christine, this artist, who's a fabric designer and she teaches you through a course how to learn Adobe Illustrator and how to make repeating patterns. I went from a fine art background. I went to art school in Philadelphia and then Rosemont and wanted to do art therapy with my background of being interested in mental health and also combining art, like seeing it as a natural means, like a cathartic practice. Something that you're engaged in that is naturally like, you're mindful, you are in the moment, what they call it in art as like reaching the flow state.

So you are focused on something and it takes all your energy in order to do. And in that mindfulness, being in your body and being aware of your sensations, you experience some relief. And then also with the business, Studio314bymb, I hope to combine products that directly deal with immediate grief. So what do you do for someone who experiences sudden loss? How do you talk to them? What do they need? These are things that I'm really just thinking about a lot, cuz I just keep seeing you talk to people and I say, oh, I'm really interested in grief. I'm an artist and I really wanna help people that are grieving when I tell them that. And then they start opening up and a lot of times people talk about, I, I think it's helplessness. Like you want to help and you feel like no matter what you do, it's not gonna be enough, which isn't true. Right. You know, from your experience, it takes intention.

It takes preparation, you know? So like before the awful thing is happening. You already have resources set aside for these people. First of all, we're all gonna experience a death, like the loss of someone, you know? And then, there's a million other things that can happen, so none of us are immune to it. It's just a matter of I think perspective and intentionality, like how do we look at. Cuz if you just wait, you know, like you wouldn't wait in order to drive a car, or I don't know a lot of things, you have to be prepared.

Like you take tests and you study and you prepare yourself to do that thing. And I, and that's what I'm seeing as the gap. I see this gap in grief support. I really wanna do stationary. And I think especially grief stationary. There's such a gap in effectiveness of language and sensitivity and just appropriateness and where you can't relate to it.

It feels very, just cold. So that's something I think about too. So all of these things, I just kind of wonder about, I'm curious about. And then I talk to other people about and I'm trying to like, develop the language, like understanding, like I said, in the beginning, what do people need to hear? What do they need? What support do they need?

[00:07:58] Katie Hill: Yeah. I think you're right. A lot of times people, because they feel that helplessness, they're like, oh, well, I'll just wait till I have the perfect thing to say, or, you know, or, oh, there's nothing I can say anyway. And I think you're right; there is no perfect thing to say. You can't say something that's gonna change the situation. Mm-hmm connection is huge in letting people know. That's such a big part of Butterfly Baskets. Is just letting people know that you're not alone and it's okay that you're going through this.

And I think it's so beautiful, the way you're meeting people in that immediate grief and providing the stationary as an option for these supporters. So thank you for all that you're working on. I'm so excited to see it continue to grow.

[00:08:37] Monica Brown: Yeah. I actually just, so I have a life coach and in her community, two 16 year olds had a sudden unexpected freak accident in their car. They both passed away. And so this entire it's a big community is really suffering and I developed a 12 day care package. So I just went to the dollar store. I went to dollar tree. I thought about like, what are some things that might be really practical, practical? Like what's an immediate thing. And I mean, it's a dollar 25 a thing. So it wasn't expensive. It was more symbolic. I think I started the first was breath mints. And with the card I had a scripture in it because I'm Christian and so is the community that I was ministering to. So there's a gift. There's a scripture. Then I had an encouragement talking about like, this is hard. This is hard. I see you going through this really challenging thing right now. So just identifying or noticing, I see you, I see you, you're seen. You're not doing this on your own. And then it also had an activity. So I recommended set a timer on your phone in a once an hour, remember to breathe, just stop and breathe.

So I've had this idea of doing a kit and then this woman. I know her kind of well, so I knew things that she might like, so I tailored it to her, but I mean, that'd be so easy to take my format, like the template of the 12 days and tailor it to anyone.

And the thing is like one it's accessible, two, anyone can do it. Like you don't have to write long things. It was just like, I see you. I love you. Like I'm with you today for 12 days, or you could give, you know, send on in the mail once every 12 weeks. Like that would be cool once a month, just meeting the people, letting them know they see you in a very like noninvasive way.

And I feel like because it's so understated, it makes even more of an impact because they don't feel like they have to do anything back. They're just like able to be in their space, but they're not doing it alone.

Right after my dad died that night someone came and picked us up and took us out for ice cream and I was 11 and I was like, why are we getting ice cream?

But. I mean I'm 35 and I look back and I'm like, oh, like we didn't talk about my dad. We didn't talk about how hard it was. Like they were just spending time with us. And that was so powerful.

[00:11:32] Katie Hill: Yeah, that is huge. As you were saying about the 12 days or potentially weeks or months do you find that as you're working with people experiencing grief. Does the support drop off and in your own experience, I mean, you were so young at the time, but did you find that a lot of times people have a lot of have support in the beginning and then it drops off even though they still need support.

[00:12:00] Monica Brown: For sure. Well, yeah. So I know that. From talking with Liz, who's an art therapist and they have a grief counseling nonprofit in Chester county and she did say that that's a common trend that they see is that there's overwhelmingly so much attention and so much support in the beginning and that it totally does drop off. And I mean, for me personally, yes and no. I think the hardest thing was. That looking back, like I definitely, as a child did not get enough emotional support or talk about grief. There's so many different factors that contribute to that. I was so excited when I heard that Liz was starting a grief support non-profit around children because in a way, as an adult, like you are able to care for yourself and get help if you want it. Whereas children, like you don't really know what they're needing because they don't even know what they're needing.

I mean, as an adult, that's hard enough. That just really excites me. But I would say I'm really fortunate that, I mean, emotionally not support, but like resource wise, I feel like I'm just blessed. I had so many people offer to help me, like taking me for a weekend at a friend's house. Like my friend's parents including me. I did volleyball. And I remember, when my dad passed away, they made a banner and had a card, even though it was awkward. Still wow. What an expression of love, right? That like tangible, like demonstrative, not just, oh, like I'll pray for you, but really truly, I'm expressing that I'm thinking about you. And I mean from a young age, so I remember in third grade we had a new girl come. I thought she seemed like she felt left out. So I left her little secret notes in her desk and. I feel like that's related in a way of just like, I see you, you know, like that desire from a young, from a young age to want to nurture and bridge that gap, creating community and also using my art.

Even more so as an adult, I'm realizing how unique my ability is. Like, I can just look at something and draw it and how powerful it is. You just draw like a simple flower and write it on a card. And people are like astounded and I don't think it's necessarily because my art is so great, but I think it's just the fact you take the time to do something that's like unique to that person. I sat and hand wrote a card, you know, like that's so powerful.

[00:14:46] Katie Hill: Right. You recently led a session at our butterfly baskets retreat. For anyone who doesn't know, we held a retreat in may and we had about 30 women there and it was beautiful warm day in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

And we had different instructors and speakers and Monica led a art session a few times during the day. Yeah. Could you share what made you be interested in hosting that session and what you focused on?

[00:15:19] Monica Brown: Yeah. Oh my gosh. So like the day before I'd been. I've been like working with a life coach.

She's really passionate about business. And I read one of her emails about just selling your product, like just putting yourself out there and making an offer. So I filmed myself making an offer of one on one artist therapy, just saying I'm getting my entrepreneurial self started. I'm trying to build this business based on grief support.

And I was like, okay, I'll offer one on one sessions. The next day I saw that you posted about having a spring retreat. And I was like, I was so excited at the idea of having a party for women who are grieving. Like I was just. That's amazing. I was so excited for you. Like you didn't even say Hey, come do this. And I already wrote it on my calendar. I was like, oh my God. I would love to participate in this. And then you saw my video and asked if I do an art as therapy session. And honestly, with the past two years, learning about surface design, trying to figure. What do I wanna sell? What kind of business do I wanna have?

And being definitely have always known like grief stationary as part of it, but then also education about grief and how art can help. So, and honestly, like it's only been. So I've been a mom for 10 years. This August, Sadie wi ll be 10. And most of the time, like I would say the first six years I was dealing with postpartum depression. For six years, I really didn't make consistent artwork.

So even though I had. Graduated art school. I had honors and straight A's and had a gallery show. All these dreams came true with it, but the one thing I didn't have was the consistent study habit that with learning how to do digital illustrating has helped me just to make it more accessible, like, okay, I'm just gonna do this five minutes a day.

And that idea of just five minutes a day. You can do anything for five minutes a day. That consistency has been so grounding and I can do it every day. Like I've met my goal every single day and then exceeded it. So I wanted to bring that to the women as like, listen, art will not fix everything.

It will not change everything. But what if there's a woman who, and I, and I see this a lot aside from grief conversation, the art conversation, like no one believes that they're an artist. There's such a narrow definition of creativity and who it's for and who does it and who does it well. It's like so narrow and there's just these lies about artists. So like if I'm an artist and having a five minute daily habit has been so impactful to where I literally have notebooks full of just sketches and doodles, like not finish art, but just I'm showing up, I'm getting myself expression out.

I'm teaching myself how to be present with myself. And I think, especially with women, we have these expectations and, it's like, oh, I'll get all this other stuff done and then I'll take care of myself. And the thing is, especially if you're grieving, like you come first. I think even in a family, if the mom's not good, the rest of the, family's not good.

Like, the mom is the heart of the family and it's true if mom's not doing well, no one else is doing well. So it's like, oh my gosh, we need to take care of ourselves. And so with this art habit, I really just broke it down in four steps.

Step one is just doodling, like just doodle on the page five minutes. Have a sketchbook. And I saw you were asking about like how expensive .

Yeah. And the thing is sometimes I do my best work on like recycle, things that my kids have drawn or papers I don't need because I don't care about them, I just am present. Sometimes with the white paper or I have fancy watercolor paper, I asked for my birthday, I still haven't painted. When I graduated college, I bought these watercolor paints and it was 11 years later that I opened them and it's been within. The past two years when I started having the creative habit that I was like, oh, maybe I should actually use these like watercolor paints and I'm an artist.

Right. You know, so if it's that for me as an artist, like I think the key is just breaking it down and realizing like anybody can doodle and that's really the beginning of a creative habit.

[00:19:57] Katie Hill: I had heard something today. Doreen Korba, who was our keynote at the retreat, just mentioned something today. I heard, I think on one of her podcasts or group, she was saying about how the mom is the one that sets the tone and the energy in the house, generally the kids and everybody, they balance their nervous systems off of the moms. So as you, you were mentioning about that the mom is the heart of the family and it is so important to take that time for yourself.

I guess that was the question about the five minutes. So when you do the five minutes yeah. Is that just for you. Do you consider that time just for yourself or is that time that you're like making stationary? For other people?

[00:20:42] Monica Brown: That's a really good question. So I started out because I was starting from not being consistent. The goal was can I do five minutes a day? And I've done that for two years so that it totally was like, just doodling mm-hmm and naturally, because I kept it up, I got better. Like, I didn't used to be able to just draw things from my imagination. I didn't trust myself enough. And because of all that work of building that habit and just making that time of five minutes, I just got better at just doodling whatever I thought and it's so cool to see how it transforms. And it's just more confident in more interesting work. And I guess sort of what you're wondering is what does a five minute practice look like? And I would say you wanna make it as simple as possible.

You wanna start with having a set space, if you literally can't make physical desk space. I would say, have a bag with supplies ready, where you're like. Oh, I'm gonna set up my area now. That's not your five minutes. Your five minutes starts when you either sit down or stand at a counter and you're actually ready to doodle, like you have a clear enough space. I loved when I started out my, the teacher that I learned from, she was like, oh, the first three pieces of paper are trash.

First three pieces of paper are trash. Don't even care about it. And she's this multimillionaire artist whose primary paper is printer paper, like it's sustainable habit to keep and I love having like clip board that I put the pieces of paper in. So it's pretty cheap. It's a pretty cheap habit to have.

Or if you go to Walmart, they have those like dollar, 50, you know bound notebooks that are unlined. Anything that gets you started, even if you're really nervous about buying good stuff, like literally use what's in your house. Because that may even be more interesting. So I would say first of all, make it accessible, have a bag or a space where things are just set up, really simple start with just a pencil and a sharpener and eraser, or start with a pen. I used to feel the opposite where I hated doing pen, cuz it was permanent. Then I realized I was more confident with a pen because I would doubt myself with a pencil. Whereas with a pen, I just keep going. So that's sort of person specific, your level of comfortability. So first have the supplies, then have a time or a place, even if it's in your car, even if it's at the library while your kids are looking at books, even if it's like the kids sat down to watch TV. Like that's your time, you know, something that's a part of your day that's just missing minutes, use that time. So simple, affordable, like a sustainable habit. And then from there then you can play and be like, wow, what is one thing I can do for a month? Like we got those for the ladies at the retreat was the Tombo markers. And I was terrified to use them when I first got them and now I took a little class, and this one artist loves using 'em and I saw her using them and I felt like I had permission to just use them and then you stick with something for like a month and you're like, oh wow, you start kind of having a relationship with that material or whatever you're using, where you start really seeing yourself come out with that particular medium. And I mean, in the beginning, it's always awkward. You know, mental blocks, creative blocks.

And the thing is you just have to start, you can't be thinking you really need to be like in your body. So another thing would, that might be helpful is having white noise. So sometimes I'll turn on like a rain station, like just the gentle background rain noise and that helps me or music. I like, you know? Just something where you're not worried about the outcome, cuz that's my thing is. It's about the process. Like you are the process. You are becoming who you're becoming and this is gonna help you. It's not about making pretty things. It's about what is inside of me, that's untapped and being curious about yourself, like, what can I do that I don't even know I can do.

And I think art is such a like creativity. Just realizing you probably already have what you need to have a creative habit in your home. You don't have to go anywhere. There's one artist I follow, her name is Stacy Bloomfield and that's one of her things. She leads women to become creative entrepreneurs and she's like use what you have. Don't look for cuz then you'll spend all your time looking for like the perfect thing to use and you never actually do it. And I think of it if I'm gonna brush my teeth today, I'm gonna draw, it's what I have to do. It's not optional.

[00:25:45] Katie Hill: Yeah, you mentioned about the process and the journey of it. You had hosted a zoom during the pandemic and you talked about this five minute habit and I had never even really tried to draw because I was like, oh, I'm not creative. Like that's not, I don't do that. But the way you presented it got me, I was, you know what, I'm gonna try this. And for me, a big part of the habit of doing it is practicing accepting. For me, practicing accepting myself and taking what I'm doing and just letting it be what it is. Doesn't have to be per- it's not perfect. I'm not a fancy artist that I'm never going to be. But I also, that doesn't mean...

[00:26:26] Monica Brown: It's not valuable. It's something to give there's. Yeah. There's something valuable for me. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And

[00:26:33] Katie Hill: I've been kind of glancing up. I have this sign that I made with my Cricut and it says what you practice grows stronger. For me with this art practice, my artwork gets better, which is really cool because I don't think I realized that I could develop that skill. And of course I can because we all can and yeah, what you practice goes stronger and even that practice of accepting yourself and accepting where you're at and part of that's in the grieving process, there's an accepting part. And I talked about this in my first podcast, how after I had the first miscarriage, I could not even consider acceptance and and I had like a block around it.

So part of like, just accepting the way things are, everywhere I practice that helps. Accepting things doesn't mean, you're saying that you're glad something happened the way it did. It's just accepting it is what it is. Yeah. And accepting you are who you are and you can keep trying to improve and making space. I feel like that is such a beautiful part of this And the other piece was about putting it on paper, like something about the physical act of it. Especially after you've had a tragic loss where something went wrong, something went awry, didn't go as you expected. And you still have this love inside of you and if you're pregnant and you're growing this baby, and then the baby doesn't come out into the world, you have that creative, like growth energy that totally is in you, you know? Yeah.

[00:28:08] Monica Brown: And all of a sudden like and the thing is like, it's so personal to you.

Like it was in. Body. And it was, you know, this baby was real. Like you didn't just like, it's like dream it up. Like it, it was real, like it was a part of your life experience in reality. And then for it to just be to just disappear, I would imagine that. . And I think too, that would be really difficult to process because it's like on the outside, it seems like a lot of people just don't know, especially I think with miscarriage because it's like, well, what do you say?

like, right. You know, like how do you communicate that? So it's like this inner and outer. So like, I guess relating to my experience with my dad's death, but it also affected the community. I mean, right. People sacrificed what they had so we could have, and that is like just pure love. And I, I think that's one of the best things that comes out of tragedy is that.

The resources, you know, in a way like with the art, you didn't realize you had it in you like it inspires people to give in ways that they wouldn't other give was just. Reinforces our need for community. My favorite part, one of my favorite parts with Doreen speaking at the retreat was she said, okay, ladies, like don't close the door and suffer alone.

And I was like, oh my gosh. Why not? Like I want to , but I'm so glad she said that because she said we heal in community. And that's exactly what I experienced in my therapy with the art therapist was like I had someone to witness to my pain and help me feel safe. When I was feeling like, like I was just on fire on the inside and had no idea what else to do with it, you know, like I think right.

All the, all the, the anger and all of the hurt. And you feel so vulnerable. Like I think, I think a lot of times with grief. It feels like people can see your outsides. Like you're so raw that it feels like when people look at you, like they can see how hurt you are. And that naturally we just wanna like wall ourselves up because it's so painful to be seen in our pain with our vulnerability.

But, and that's like our, that's our brain trying to protect us, but to be like, okay, brain. Safe that's safe. Yes. To, to and having someone to like honor us in our grief. You talked about with, with having the baby. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

[00:31:24] Katie Hill: Yeah. I, I think that part is huge. Like the space, the space. And the honoring and the, and the acknowledgement, you, you know, you were talking about how the community showed up for you and your family and how it made a difference.

Yes, because it does. And I think that's sometimes I, I think it happens in, you know, all areas of grief and including pregnancy, especially early pregnancy loss. Like you said about miscarriage when, you know, either people don't know or they. Just are like, oh, that's no big deal. Yeah, for sure. You know, that's, there's a painfulness in the loneliness of not having community.

And I think the same thing with, you know, sudden tragic loss is like the loss of your dad when you're so young and people don't understand. And. Yeah. It's so it's so great that there are, you know, I'm, I I'm, there are communities out there and there's support out there. Like, like you mentioned, a Haven is such a beautiful space for, for children in our community.

And butterfly baskets. We are offering space for for women and families and, and children too. Siblings. Siblings who've lost. Yes. You know, whose mother was pregnant, it's for sure. It's a confusing time

[00:32:52] Monica Brown: for them and it's, and it's under like, because you're adults and you're dealing with it. I think it's just so easy to overlook how it affects, like the younger ones.

Right. Like Because they, like I said before, like they don't have the resources to help themselves. So even more importantly like I loved, I was telling my friend about my vision for starting this company two years ago and how I felt like God was giving me like pieces of like ideas that would eventually come together and help me to get started.

But the one thing. We were talking about suffering and needing help. And I was, I can't remember how we got to this, but she shared with me how one time in church, the pastor asked, like, who needs help right now? Like, can you just be vulnerable and say like, I need help with something. And everyone raised their hands except for my friend, because her arms were full of children.

So like she literally couldn't raise her hand. To ask for help. And that is the person that I wanna meet the need of the person who's not feeling seen, or who's literally like underserved. And I think that's what butterfly baskets doing. Like I was so moved and surprised. Like I was so excited. Like I've always been obsessed with the suffering and you know, you're.

You're like, it's like a bond, you know of, you don't have to explain you just get it. Mm-hmm . And so being able to be with other women and to have a beautiful day, like not a solemn heavy day, but like I'm gonna throw a party for you was so like, Everything that I want for my company to be like a celebration of life, you know, like a celebration of life and a celebration of like, like you said, where you're at, like meeting you where you're at, not come bring a fancy dress and let's do something, but like, Where you're at.

So anyway, this idea that like, there are people who cannot ask for the help really is so powerful to me. Yeah.

[00:35:16] Katie Hill: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for what, everything that you're doing. So being conscious of time, is there any final thoughts you wanted to share with the group?

And can you also tell us about your handles your Instagram handles and yes. Whatnot. Yeah,

[00:35:37] Monica Brown: You can connect with me on Instagram at Studio314.mb. That's my handle. Especially if you're interested in just trying out art as therapy or what does a creative habit look like?

I'm offering free like 25, 30 minute sessions over zoom. That I'd love to, I mean, just having the connection with people who are grieving is awesome. And then the likelihood of continuing our relationship and offering you continued service. I'm excited for that to, to happen.

[00:36:15] Katie Hill: Yes, it's so beautiful and needed. So thank you so much, Monica, for all your important work and thank you for coming out for our spring retreat. And we, we really appreciate everything that you do, and thank you for joining us on the podcast today.

[00:36:32] Monica Brown: And thank you. Thank you so much for what you do. It's awesome.

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