I've been planning workshops (details to come!) and thinking a lot about my own processes as a writer/artist/meditator. I have often felt split -- bouncing between realms.
This is where brain waves (one of my favorite topics) come in.
BETA WAVES - the "normal" brain wave frequency. Alert, awake, go-go-go. This is the wave that dominates when we engage our critical mind.
I completed two graduate degrees while actively trying to find alternative healing for my neurological symptoms. I was in an MFA in Visual Art program. This called for serious Beta states. I was constantly using my critical mind -- making work, writing essays, and participating in group critiques. I also wrote for an art magazine and worked in an office as part of an editorial team. I was living in NYC and overstimulated. At the same time, I was experiencing seizures fairly regularly.
One particular day a few years ago at my former job in Brooklyn stands out. I was feeling stressed, probably from being overworked and staring at screens all day. But I spent the day sipping herbal tea between projects and closing my eyes and dropping into relaxation whenever possible. I left work and walked to the subway, where I had a grand-mal seizure. The next thing I remember is the ambulance.
After an extremely stressful event like a grand mal seizure, the body/mind can't help but relax. And so, for the twenty-four hours, I was in a slowed down state. I had dropped out of Beta and into something else. A more spacious wave pattern.
Even though I was in art school, I found it difficult to make art while in this highly stressed, nervous system alert mode. (Duh.) I realized that the creative flow state would happen when I was actively engaged in meditation (breathwork, visualizations, or even things like walking or running or riding my bike). But often times during these practices, we are told to "release thoughts" or "let thoughts pass by." I was that girl taking notes after meditation. I couldn't shake my art/writing training (always be prepared for ideas, etc).
While letting thoughts pass is important to staying in meditation, it's not the whole story. At the same time, staying constantly critically engaged and Beta-dominant is not helpful, either. This state of heightened creativity and visualization happens at the Theta-Alpha border. A magical land!
The Theta-Alpha border is where deep visualization takes place. This is an active meditative state where we can create our own reality. Visualization, deep relaxation, relaxed-but-conscious. I find that the most transformative work happens when I don't deny either of my aspects -- critical or meditative. Rather, I actively oscillate between them. After a visualization or meditation, I take time to write. Some of the lodged bits of info that come up while we are in meditative states can serve as a direct line to creative energy. Learning how to harness that has been transformative. This is why I created Alchemization Sessions and Alchemization School (more to come on this second one). I so look forward to working with you.
P.S. These sorts of practices are NOT just for writers or artists.
They create a spaciousness and pliability in the brain that can serve anyone.
(Art by me. Peruse more at The Alchemy Collection).