When any of us takes a stand, a model has been created to inspire the rest of us. In ways we would never guess, our smallest brave efforts---which may not even be particularly successful---have results that reach beyond us. A single deed of ours may become the stone someone else uses to start building a new foundation.' Believing in Myself by Larsen and Hegarty
Claire Jones is a practicing Buddhist of 30 years. Born into and raised under domestic violence, Claire's journey to scholarship began during the early days in Barbados when she sought relief from the chaos. A high school dropout traumatized from ongoing crises, she determined to, one day, receive a college degree to aid women whose dreams never actualized due to violence and oppression. These crises stunted both she and her mother to self-actualize because of the violence in their home. Her mother's struggles inspired her to pursue a degree and to break the cycle of violence. Claire's long-term goal is to help marginalized women of all ages build their self-esteem by accessing hidden talents.
Her mission is to spread love and light through her writing and art. Claire changed her life dramatically after she was diagnosed with the potential to contract multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. This life-change inspired her to create @clarityisjustsohip on Instagram to aid in her healing in 2016. She has posted writings and her photo-paintings every since then. She decided to create writing projects under her middle and married name Claire Jones. As her life-force spiraled downward, I knew changes were needed to heal. Years of unreality and illusionary living brought ill-health and suffering; she knew her life's trajectory had to change. Utilizing ‘Claire’ has a positive connotation since it means bright. Desperate for a bridge to create a new way of being, she used Claire to represent new beginnings. Using 'Claire' facilitated her rebirth into a reality of clarity, awareness, presence, acceptance, and gratitude for life itself.
ClarityIsJustSoHip! Clarity Talks is the title of Claire's new Podcast, created in July 2020, inspired by her Instagram page @clarityisjustsohip, where she spreads love and light through art, writing, and Clarity Talks. ClarityIsJustSoHip!, is a book in progress that features daily, short, inspirational, and motivational pieces to aid self-improvement and elevate one's daily life in clarity. Claire modeled this body of work after her favorite book titled Believing In Myself by Larsen and Hegarty. Recently, Claire created the podcast on Anchor FM titled ClarityIsJustSoHip!: Clarity Talks to speak up about the events of the day from her perspective of clarity because she wants to spread her version of much-needed healing, love, and light further afield. Claire believes, the only way to overcome the multiple crises in our country and world, is to confront and face everything head-on in clarity, awareness, presence, acceptance, and gratitude just like she did when she learned about her diagnosis. The Podcast and Instagram page are created to inspire, motivate, and encourage healing, thoughtful and honest responses instead of emotional reactions.
Claire accomplished her long-held goal graduating from Mount Holyoke College as a Frances Perkins Scholar in May 1999. Named after the Frances Perkins, the first US female Secretary of Labor, the program's purpose is to finance non-traditional women whose educations stalled earlier.
As a student at Mount Holyoke, Claire wrote Shaduhs uh Voodoo, a play based on her life and her brother's short, troubled life. Claire's brother died of AIDS at age 32. Claire received acknowledgment in USA Today's 1997 All-USA College Academic Third Team. The play won a James Baldwin Playwriting Prize in the 1997 Five College competition. She gained recognition in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities 1996-98.
After graduating at age 36, Claire stayed home tending her newborn daughter. After 9/11, she and her family lived briefly in Japan as expatriates. However, due to unforeseen and exigent circumstances, she remained a homemaker and home-school manager from 2013 until her daughter graduated in 2018. Nevertheless, while still driven to realize her long-nurtured goal to heal internalized traumas and assist marginalized women in achieving their dreams, Claire continued writing and publishing her books and articles throughout the years. Determined to rise above the internalized psychological wounds and dramas, Claire published The Cleansing (Publish America, out of print) Turning 50 is a Bitch (Amazon's Creative Space) and a One-Act Play titled Shaduhs Uh Voodoo (One-Act Play, Canada). Unfortunately, because of hardships at home, she was unable to market the books effectively. Undaunted, Claire readjusted her vision plunging onward to publish articles at Goalcast, YOPP! A Social Justice Blog, Best Self, and onThrive Global, to name a few. Claire's long-term goal is to share Sista Survivor: An Immigrant's Spiritual Journey to Legitimacy, a work in progress and thorough speaking opportunities. She is a recent member of The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Her first speaking gig on Intimate Partner Violence was scheduled for April 2020 at the VA Medical Center, Manchester, NH, but the event canceled due to COVID-19.
Claire persisted with her vision to self-actualize throughout the years, even as she experienced unrelenting obstacles and challenges. Yet, amid the storms in her personal life, her focus never dimmed. In 2013, when Claire's daughter Amaranthia Sepia diagnosed with a severe health issue, exacerbated by middle school bullying, Claire encouraged her to reestablish confidence and reclaim her voice by designing a traveling art show. Throughout her teenage years, with Claire's support and guidance, Amaranthia won Scholastic Regional Awards for her art. Since age 15, and as a part of the healing process, Amaranthia wrote articles for I Am That Girl, MissHeardMedia Magazine, and published at Anxiety and Depression Association of America's website (ADAA). Today, Amaranthia's work focuses on art, mental health, and advocacy for Black women. Claire's work with Amaranthia is an excellent model for future work with young and older women.
See Amaranthia's portfolio here: Amaranthia Sepia's Art
I believe you must bring yourself to the table if you want to thrive in today's crazy world; your personality, sense of humor, and, most importantly, your heart. All of these elements inspired ClarityIsJustSoHip! back in 2016.
Suddenly, a few years ago, I was told of my potential to contract a rare blood cancer. Ever since then, I have infused optimism and hope into the designs and writings I create.
I create art to heal and to spread love and light via my IG page. On @ClarityIsJustSoHip! I posted over 800 pieces in the space of one year with this mission. These pieces are a symbol of my recovery and healing. My 'Sun Angels,' began with a photo of the blazing sun, taken on afternoon walks in my New Hampshire neighborhood as I recovered from my health crisis in late 2015 early 2016.
These pieces represent the days on the journey back to wholeness, clarity, love, and peace. I believe life is too short to waste dwelling on 'what-could-have-been' or the 'what-ifs.' Every day since my diagnosis, I wake up feeling brand new, ready to tackle whatever is thrown my way. Good or bad, I go with the flow. Whenever I can, I post my designs with inspiring quotes and personal, uplifting thoughts to brighten my day and those who might be struggling: to brighten the days of those who might be uplifted by a bright color eye-catching design.
Each piece birthed through the darkest moments of my health crisis, these works share the story of my journey back to whole health and balance via digitally, manipulated iPhone photos, inspirational/motivational quotes, and self-improvement writings. Each 'Sun Angel' is manipulated repeatedly and put through various apps until a satisfactory sun angel. My 20-year-old daughter edits the designs on Gimp.
As an immigrant, high school dropout, and domestic violence survivor, I followed a childhood dream, from Caribbean island shores, to self-actualize as an artist and college graduate. As an immigrant, I spent the early days living underground in New York City, where I completed my GED at age 32, eventually finding my way to the halls of higher education. In 1999, at age 36, I graduated from Mount Holyoke College as a Frances Perkins Scholar with a degree in Liberal Arts. As a result of my experience, I believe clarity is necessary and much-needed during these difficult times. My overall vision is to use my clarifying journey to help provide a pathway for those searching for something similar.
Consequently, my heartfelt belief is that they have to be clear for an individual to get the most out of life. During the past four years, I learned firsthand that awareness rises once clarity is established; when one becomes more aware, this makes room for presence. The presence of the mind then allows the life force to flow. When one allows life to flow, it becomes more natural, with consistent practice, to unravel the many issues that continue to suppress and repress a life experience. Once you begin to see that this method's daily application is helping you deal with life's ups and downs, you feel confident no matter your life situation. Life will do what life will do, but when you bring clarity, awareness, presence, and eventually acceptance to all problematic areas of your life, you begin to realize that everything is manageable because you operate from a peaceful core. This mindset results in a feeling of freedom, no matter what life throws at you.
ClarityIsJustSoHip! when you realize all of the above.
I intend to continue creating works that transport viewers to a place of peace and clarity, even if for a brief moment. In the process, I hope to create a movement so others can also share their stories about why ClarityIsJustSoHip! to them!