Or: Getting unsplit. For years I was (and this is still a struggle) internally split between my identity as a healer/someone struggling with dis-ease and a creator/artist. I was never quite sure how to marry the two because I couldn't figure out a way to integrate both. I had solid ideas in my head about what a "wellness person" looked/acted like and what an "artist" looked/acted like. I was subconsciously trying to align with both of these images -- without really knowing how to integrate them or step into my power (true creative self). I would swing back and forth between the identities and this took ENERGY. I was essentially burning off all of my creative umph on trying to align myself with an idea. So tiring! I didn't have the energy/vitality I needed in order to be an artist or a guide.
I'm very impacted by the energy around me and therefore require lots of alone time. So, about six months ago during a particularly dark period of time, I took a solo trip to LA. I asked myself what I wanted for my birthday and that's what arrived. Without giving myself time to talk myself out of it, I booked the trip ASAP. I gave myself the time and space to step back into myself and observe. This was HUGE. I literally just watched. I asked "what am I like when I'm alone?" And "how do I like to spend my time?" And "what do I feel?" Answers came: Writing, meditating, sitting quietly, long walks, processing (I had an eye-opening session with Lacy Phillips during this time), and being alone to gather myself. I got work done on several projects but I also allowed space and time for flow. Read: I was finally starting to see the necessary dance between directing my energy and observing it.
This was the beginning (or, one of many beginnings) of a reintegration. I didn't have terminology for it then -- but I felt most clear and authentic when I was balancing the flow state (feminine) with organization/direct action (masculine). I was living in a very split state where I would become depleted, depressed, and sad OR angry, lazer-focused, intense. I started to view meditation/visualization practices as creative work and art making as healing work. This is part of the origin of Plain Alchemy -- a sense of returning home to a state of integration and balance.
The information that comes to us during meditation can be used as creative energy. And magical things can happen when we approach creation/meditation with an attitude of PLAY. Years of school and formal art training had led me to a very narrow view of art. The truth is -- we are all artists. We are all capable of a really beautiful balance between flow and organization, yin and yang, masculine and feminine -- whatever terminology you dig. Alchemization (yes, I'm pretty sure I made this version of the word up) rests on the idea that energy is something to be harnessed and used as information and creation.
More on all of this soon. In the meantime, I'm hosting a workshop where we will delve into some of these concepts. We'll flow through some visualizations that I created, as well as free writing and more directed writing. You'll come away with a clearer sense of your creative process and insight into your energy-harnessing powers. SIGN UP HERE!
If you'd like to connect in a one on one session, where we work through individual creative dilemmas, I look forward to meeting you!
Image: "Pillow Split" 2016. Emmalea Russo. Photograph of digital projection on curtain.