"please don't wait" // Truth Tribe interview: Kara Ashley-Gilmore

You aren't alone. Relief is possible. 

Kara Ashley-Gilmore spent years of her life mired in anxiety, doubt, perfectionism, even "moments of debilitating panic." 

Now a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, art therapist, and mixed media artist in North Carolina, Kara draws on her personal experience to help her clients find relief.

Through her business, Mountain Creative Arts Counseling, Kara offers individual counseling and a weekly anxiety support group for people who “feel crushed by the weight of their worries, dread their next panic attack, and live with overactive inner critics.” She also facilitates art therapy and private art workshops.

I've been a follower of Kara's on Instagram for quite some time now, and appreciate how she utilizes art therapy in her own self-care (one of my own favorite tools for mental and emotional well-being). She walks her talk.

I'm thrilled to welcome Kara to our Truth Tribe with her feature interview in The Phoenix Soul: Brave First Steps. Find her full interview here, and enjoy excerpts below.

As someone who has had a life-long dance with anxiety, I especially appreciate Kara's mission and dedication. I asked her what role anxiety has played in her own life. She answered, in part:

Across all areas of my life, anxiety has kept me small by preventing me from going after the things I really wanted, from expressing my truth, from being seen, and from taking risks. I spent a lot of time living according to self-imposed rules of how I thought a responsible teen/adult should act: work now, rest and play later; hide your feelings; don’t trust strangers; stay in the job that’s making you sick because the retirement
benefits will be worth it in forty years.

Underneath all these rules was fear: fear of what others would think about me; fear about financial security; fear of being rejected; fear of failure; and fear of the anxiety that naturally comes from uncertainty.
— Kara Ashley-Gilmore, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Brave First Steps
  artwork by Kara Ashley-Gilmore

artwork by Kara Ashley-Gilmore

I asked Kara how she finds bravery in the face of self-doubt. Here's part of her reply:

I remember how I want to feel in life, and how the choice I’m contemplating will help me get there. Repeating this mantra usually helps me take the first, small step: “There is no wrong move, only the next move. Life is a series of decisions, and actions based on the outcome of that decision. Mistakes are proof that I am learning, and what other people think of me is none of my business.”
— Kara Ashley-Gilmore, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Brave First Steps
  artwork by Kara Ashley-Gilmore

artwork by Kara Ashley-Gilmore

Kara also shared encouragement for readers who feel stuck in anxiety or self-doubt, what art therapy is and how it facilitates healing, how destructive thought patterns hold us back (and how we can begin to let go), how she discovered passion for her calling, and more. You can find Kara's interview in its entirety here, along with more of her vibrant artwork. 

Phoenix, how has anxiety been a part of your life? Has creative expression brought healing? Come share your thoughts with us in the Sanctuary, our private Facebook gathering.

You aren't alone. You can find relief.
As Kara says . . . don't wait. Help is here.

with love & respect,
Amanda

Join fellow brave-steppers in these life-affirming pages (instant PDF):