Alan Winter loves to take the beauty of the world and the richness of human connection and process it through imagination and art. Today, he shares with Lisa his story from living on a sausage farm in rural Wisconsin to enrolling in the army, recovering from addiction and alcoholism, and finally regenerating into the creative spirit that was always inside him. Alan traded self-doubt and the feeling of being an outsider for finding his people and stretching his talents in ways he had dreamed of as a child. He also talks about how instrumental the 12-Step Recovery process was, what inspires his music, and why being authentic is the most rockstar thing you can do.
- Alan grew up on a farm community in Wisconsin. His stepfather encouraged him to be a hard-working farm boy but Alan had different designs. He dreamed of a life that celebrated music, nature, daydreaming and storytelling. This caused some friction in his childhood years and ultimately led him to leave and join the army.
- It was in the army where Alan became more socially liberal and found himself with enough money to buy instruments and tools for creating art. One habit that did also emerge was drinking, and Alan found he drank to feel connected and courageous and to relate to the world around him.
- Alan knew his highest callings of being an artist and musician wouldn’t become realized if he still drank. He joined a 12-step program and found his creativity rise as he sorted out his inner emotions. He also felt a sense of belonging and found himself the more he invested in others.
- Alan was also one of the first professional online quitting smoking counselors through a site called QuitNet. He used his own experience with the behaviors and emotions that tie with addiction to help others.
- When Alan stopped drinking, his ability to invest further in his music career rose. He started busking in the streets of Boston and became an award-winning musician with touching songs. He saw being a rockstar for what it really was: living in an authentic and joyful way.
- No matter what stage you are at of your artist ability, practice really does make perfect. The more Alan painted, the better he became. The better he became, the more he wanted to paint.
- Alan created a consistent painting habit by setting aside just 5 minutes a day to be in front of his canvas.
- While reinventing is starting over new, regeneration is just taking something that is already there and growing it so it fully blossoms.
“I had levels of coming to awareness.”
“I saw myself as a creative being doing creative things, and maybe even finding my people. That all came from the work that came from hitting some pretty hard bottoms.”
“Sometimes it’s in trying to love others that we find love for ourselves.”
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