Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Creative Story: Cettina Sylvia Catlin Cantù


Cettina was born in London, England, moved as a child with her family to Canada, met her husband in Mexico and married him more than thirty-five years ago. Among her many accomplishments, she is a Reiki and Polarized Light therapist and a writer.

What does creativity mean to you?

To me creativity is giving birth to something original, so beautiful, and particularly unique, something which no one else has ever achieved

What is your creative passion? How do you approach it?

Expressing my feelings and emotions through words is my creative passion. Writing is my passion.

Describe the feeling you have when heavily into a creative activity you love.

This is a feeling of being precisely where I am supposed to be. Nothing else matters, nothing else exists, no hours, no worries or people; all that is real is the space I occupy while I am doing what I love most.

What does the creative process do you, or for, you?

The creative process gives me a sense of freedom, which I rarely experience elsewhere. When I write I feel complete.

How have you fulfilled your own creative urges?

Whenever I get a ‘creative urge’, I experiment and although the results are more than often disastrous, as least, I tried, and will continue to do so, because there are no limits within the creative process.

What do you do to satisfy your soul?

At this very moment, I am satisfying my soul by enjoying solitude at the twilight of this day, while a passionate piano fills the quiet of my home, accompanying me as I write this sentence. Solitude + passion + quiet + writing = satisfying my soul.

How are you creative in your life?

Each new day presents me with an opportunity to be creative because with every dawning there are new challenges to be met, and obstacles to be conquered. My imagination, originality and inventiveness are true allies in my life.

Who has inspired you in your life to achieve your potential? How?
Einstein: because he was not afraid to give space to spirituality within the realms of mathematics and physics.

Hemingway: because while achieving a respectable place in the literary world he lived his life and death according to his own rules, notwithstanding the obstacles of his many accidents and illnesses.

Princess Diana: because she gave of herself without taking. She knew how to love and only asked to be loved in return.

Share your inspiring story about why you love what you do, how it is creative and how you got to do it.
When I was diagnosed with MS six years ago, I became terribly angry with the whole world because all of a sudden my life came to a full stop. Since I was unable to drive, I became a shut-in with absolutely no reason to get out of bed in the morning.

After many arduous months of searching for reasons and meanings, it finally dawned on me not to look back and lament the doors which had closed for me, but to look forward to the many new thresholds for me to cross at my choosing. Although I was confined to my home, I realized that my situation was quite privileged; time was mine to do with as I pleased!

Over the past six years I have studied different courses, am working on my third book, I started a mini home based business, and I have all the time in the world to read while accompanied by light classical music which is my passion.

Enjoying the peace and quiet of a very tranquil lifestyle motivates and inspires me to organize my words, and to design new products for my mini business.

If you have successfully changed careers several times, tell us what you have done and why. How did you get the courage to do it?
Wow! This is a sore spot for me! I never had the opportunity to prepare myself for a formal career: when I was single I was so restless I couldn’t hold a job for more than 6 months.

I landed my first job when I was 13 as usherette and candy counter attendant at a movie theater during summer holiday: a couple of years later as executive floor receptionist at an advertising agency: got my first computer experience when I took a course in IBM machines, and used those skills at an Insurance Company – remember those huge monsters back in the 60’s?

I was a bank teller at TDB, reservations agent for Air Canada, receptionist and language translator for 6 doctors at a multi-lingual medical clinic, and part time sales person at Simpson’s on the weekends.

When I was 32 years old, I decided I wanted to do something worthwhile and went back to school here in Mexico. It took me two years to earn my high-school diploma and bachelors in Health Sciences: after writing the admission exam I was accepted to Medical School. I dropped out after less than a year because I couldn’t handle it. Being married with two little kids was far too demanding, I just couldn’t put my family on the back burner while I dedicate my efforts to University.

More recently I worked as Public Relations manager at a Hotel and acquired a couple of diplomas in different areas of Alternative Medicine. I don’t think these changes have to do with courage. My thirst for doing new things was more than I could ever quench, moving around was a way of keeping life fresh. I was and still am looking to find personal satisfaction. I need to feel proud of myself… I have yet to accomplish this very important goal.

In what way(s) are you creative-thinking in your private or professional life?
One of my greatest regrets is the fact that I do not have any talent at all as an artist, I would have loved to spend days on end immersed in an oil painting, or playing an instrument or even singing, but I must face the truth and understand that I was not bestowed with any of these graces.

Although I do not have sufficient preparation in the English Language, I love to write and do so quite bravely. Writing brings me a good feeling, comfortable and familiar, yet sadly I don’t really think anyone is really interested. We all have a desire to achieve, I do, and it is my dire hope that one day I will feel proud of myself. I don’t believe it is ever too late to accomplish whatever goals we set for ourselves, for this reason I consider my main fountain of creativity is directed towards achieving.

Describe how you have approached a specific problem in a creative way.

When our son committed suicide 16 years ago, I wrote more than 1000 pages of thoughts, ideas, observations, lamentations, about guilt trips and regrets, and memories. This obvious therapy turned into a 200 page book titled A Reason to Live which provides different messages to different people according to their very particular situation. The fact that someone took a sincere interest in my book and published it privately was for me a source of personal satisfaction. At the same time I found relief because the process helped me come to terms with and accept a tragedy which is obviously a part of who I am. One of the most important lessons I learned was the fact that Life Happens! Confront it! Deal With It! And Move on!

What creative interests or projects have you been involved with lately?

My foremost project is a motivational book about my experience with Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed six years ago, and have had a very interesting journey into the world of Integral and Holistic Medicine. Also, I continue to create products for my mini home-based business.

How might you define the term 'Creative X-SpotTM?

Is this anything like that ‘G’ spot which when stimulated and aroused takes one to the culmination of all sensations? Writing is like that for me, when I get an idea it’s like getting a rush that bursts words onto the screen leaving me almost out of breath. When I finally come to the end of the paragraph I feel exhausted, satisfied and very happy because the brainstorm brought a profound meaning to an otherwise dull chapter.

Describe any coincidences, serendipitous and synchronistic experiences you have had.

My mother-in-law’s birthday is the same as mine: February 6. She lived in Mexico City when I lived in Toronto, but we used the very same perfumes: Madame Rochas and Channel No 5. Running into someone from home while miles away on holiday; thinking of a particular person who happens to telephone out of the blue; silently wishing for something and a few days later it finds its way right into my hands. These experiences happen so very frequently in my life that they don’t surprise me. I have come to enjoy and accept them when they occur, and I learn from the lesson that comes with each and every coincidence.

Describe how you followed a 'hunch' to successful creative conclusion.

When we met, my husband spoke minimum English; I spoke no Spanish at all, only Italian and French, which helped a bit. He proposed marriage only 14 days afterwards, and I accepted because I felt that this was right. We married without knowing each other at all, and this year we celebrated our 35th anniversary! That was the best, most right feeling I have ever had.


Visit Tina’s website online at She can be reached by e-mail at


To share your own creative story, fill in and submit your responses to the creativity questionnaires on

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