Article Published by Bend Chamber, Written by Rachael Rees van den Berg, January 2015
From age five, Amy Turner understood what made her come alive.
She recalls turning the corner in Fred Meyer and being mesmerized by the items in the arts and craft aisle.
“I would nearly drool in Fred Meyer at the Crayola art kits,” she said. “But as the youngest of a large family, I was rushed along to the more important tasks of the day.”
While Turner was told she could do anything she wanted to do, her true passion for art wasn’t nourished or cultivated.
“No one knew it needed to be,” she stated. “That was my job.”
Instead, she was encouraged to pursue a career in a field more practical, like finance.
But as the years passed by and she traveled around the world, she realized none of the careers she dabbled in seemed to fit.
“I didn’t see the connection of possibility for what I really wanted on the inside,” she said. “It’s hard to have clarity and presence of mind when you’re busy numbing the real you to meet perceived external terms of acceptance – and clarity was something I was so very desperately lacking.”
It wasn’t until her late 20′s that Turner first picked up a paintbrush and a canvass.
“I didn’t know exactly what I was going to paint, but I picked a color, and it was blue, and I started painting the whole thing,” she said. “From the inside out, it was just this spark of… I love this.
“Seeing the texture of the brush stroke, the color go on; seeing some of the canvass ripple up through the paint as it was spread around. It was really the first time that I cognitively remember the reaction of when you put paint to something, or how the color comes through.”
In that moment, Turner said she realized and accepted who she really was: an artist. However, it took several years for her to feel comfortable identifying herself that way.
“I was always drawn to art … but only as a critic,” she said. “I could really talk about the balance and composition of art. But for me to be the one doing it, no way, because I would be exposed, I could fail, it may not look right, I wouldn’t know what I was doing and it just wasn’t in my realm of possibilities. It was unfathomable to me.”
Beyond her art, Turner opened herself up to make an “impractical” investment in self-enrichment, enrolling in a Yoga Teacher Training program.
“I never intended to teach. It was not a career move; for that, I simultaneously enrolled in something more “practical” to the newly divorced mother of two young children that I was – a Mortgage Lending Certification program,” she said. ” I even began interviewing for positions. And by the end of the yoga training, I couldn’t hide from myself any longer.”
Turner said she had to step into courage and find the strength within herself to pursue her passion. And today it’s her mission to share what she’s learned in her life-long journey through her business, The Courage Tribe, so her clients can bring the gift of their true selves to the world.
“Having the courage to be who you are should be rich and celebrated,” she said.
Her goal through The Courage Tribe is to ignite sparks of passion in others and help them overcome their fears so they can pursue what energizes and brings them happiness.
“I desire to be alive in a community of people who are using holistic courage,” she said. “If you are true to who you are, you can bring more to the table in both your personal and business relationships.”
And on Jan. 29, during the Women’s Round Table Kick Off at the Rosie Bareis Sanctuary at Deschutes Children’s Foundation on NW 14th Street, Turner will be helping local women find the connectedness and strength of their mind, body and inner guidance during an experiential workshop.
Attendees will be inspired through discussion and exercises. Then, Turner will introduce the group of women to intuitive painting – art not for aesthetic value, but for the process of painting to help participants break through barriers that might be holding them back personally and professionally.
“No one is telling you what colors to use or what to paint. It’s about listening to what you want,” Turner said. “There are no wrong moves or mistake, which creates a freedom in you, to be you without feeling like you have to be perfect.”