Fierce-ass Woman: Rachel Awes

A fierce-ass woman who tells stories and creates artwork that speaks to your heart?Ohhh, don't mind if I do. Allow me to introduce you to Rachel Awes, author of All I did was Listen. She is love in a red-headed, art-girl package. J'adore.

Describe yourself in a tweet... Rachel Awes is a psychologist, author, art playgroundist  + mom ~ who listens to the beauty + strength in peoples real stories.

What work/play do you do in the world, Miss R? My favourite things probably involve hugs + naps. so I try to hug people with words + pictures + try to nap between it all.

I am in complete LOVE with your book, All I did was Listen, what made you create it? I was repeatedly moved by the beautiful things i heard my clients say over my years of psychology practice + would scribble down the words, until they overflowed from my table + my heart + then i knew i had a story to tell that was everyone's story.

The book took 4 years to create, with multiple revisions. The client quotes came first. then my drawings. then my prose-like reflections. I create best in the morning + in the space of generous quiet. I primarily use copic markers.

When I am at the beginning stage of creating something of a larger scale (like just beginning the drawings for my book or just beginning the writing of it), I need whole weekends away, with suspended solitude + nature, to get momentum going. Once begun, I sit at my desk in the corner of our family kitchen in the early morning + create one page at a time.

What 5 tracks would be on Rachel Awes soundtrack? 1. "you set me free" I just saw this on American Idol tryouts this week. angela miller wrote it. i share it here because i was deeply inspired. I thought she was an amazing example of living her gifts out loud fully + beautifully. 2. "unwritten" this relates directly to my book + to the pages of all our lives. 3. "edelweiss" duets take my heart, as does tenderness + love! 4. "through heaven's eyes" i adore this lineage + passion. 5. "september grass" simple guitar, sweet voice, melty.

What's your favourite rituals? I'm not sure if it's unique to me, but I enjoy praying as a walk in nature, or walking a labyrinth or in colour.

What inspires you? Kindness inspires me. Always. + soft voices. + laughter.

What makes you shine? I think shining comes from listening to what rises from our deeps + sharing those thoughts with the world.

What's your life mantra? 

Keep looking for ways to love + then nap. Breathe + repeat.

Quick fire round - what's your favourite... place to hang out: on a couch with a friend, sharing a blanket. Food: chocolate + black licorice. Swear word: oh goodness, i've never been very good at this! Movie: Notting Hill Book: Mary Oliver poetry Website: going to girlfriends blogs, like:, + to name just a few.

What I wish all women knew (and all people, really)... I will share an excerpt from my book. It is one of my written reflections in the last chapter:

 "I am learning from the wild kingdom. from the starfish in the depths to the mountain goat in the heights + all life in between. who abide in their strength. who breathe into all they are + who are art on earth.

 Maybe our only business is to be beautiful."