Searching for the Real Me

When I was growing up I can remember spending a lot of time trying to be someone I wasn’t. Every year; through junior high and high school I can remember creating a new image or persona before the beginning of school.  This was not just an image in my mind. I created new clothes, a new philosophy and sometimes even a new way of walking and talking.  Each time I would say, “This is the real me!” Unfortunately each time the ‘image’ would last only about a month before I realized that it wasn’t really me. Then I would fall back into my familiar state of silent confusion and disappointment. What I didn’t realize then was that the driving force behind this behavior was the shame I carried about myself.

How could I be me when I had repeatedly been taught that I was hopelessly flawed, inadequate and valueless? To be that person would be too embarrassing. I had to be a different person—one who was smarter, more talented, skinnier, more beautiful, and more lovable.

During my childhood I spent so much time trying to be someone I wasn’t that by the time I was in my early twenties I couldn’t remember who I really was. I remember sitting on a rock by a creek one day trying to digest the reality that I had only a vague sense of who I was, and what I wanted to do. It was at that moment that I set upon an internal crusade to find and reclaim the real me.

This was not something I could talk about to anyone because I was so riddled with shame. So my journey became a silent and solo journey. During this time I tried many things, but the two things I kept finding myself return to was drawing and movement. Whenever I was moving, either my body or my pencil, everything seemed right. I felt okay, content and at peace.

It wasn’t until much later that I began to understand why these two activities were so helpful in guiding me through my internal confusion and helping me eventually learn to be comfortable with and love myself.

The I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program is really an outgrowth of my own personal journey back to myself. I invite you to explore one of the activities that I have used over the years, and continue to use to reclaim my clarity whenever I lose track of my path or myself.


For the last several years I have primarily been teaching the ICWIB program to teachers and individuals who work with at-risk children.

Now, I am happy to announce three upcoming ICWIB introductory workshops that are open to the public.

Here are the upcoming dates:

Introductory ICWIB presentation

Date: Saturday February 15th

Location: Ruch, Oregon

Time: 11:30 -2:00

Presenter: Nancy Marie

For more information and to register contact Nancy directly at


Introductory ICWIB presentation

Date: Saturday March 15th

Location: JCAEYC Conference in Medford, Oregon

Time: 10:00- 12:00

Presenters: Nancy Marie and Cathy Scott

For more information please call Sara Stearns at (541) 552-8225 (W) or email her at


Introductory ICWIB presentation

Date: Friday April 4th

Location: CAEYC Conference in Pasadena, CA

Time: 10:30-12:00

Presenters: Nancy Marie and Kate Ashbey

For more information about the conference or Nancy and Kate’s presentation view the conference website:

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! program:

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