1. Meditation & Visualization
When our minds are dominated by the ego, or judgement, that exists within, the creative process is inhibited by daily anxieties and survival tactics. When we get into a meditative state, we create a neutral consciousness, or state of mind. Meditation allows us to find a place of peaceful awareness and compassion for ourselves. When we create from that place, it helps us reset, find a neutral field of awareness, and create a container for ourselves to make art from a deeper consciousness and self-compassion. As artists, it is essential that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and feel deeply.
Incorporating visualization into our meditation engages sense memory in our practice. Visualization allows us to revisit memories and trauma from a safe space in which we can engage the experience with security and greater awareness. Visualization also lets us more intuitively see our lives and ourselves moving in the future, expanding our ability to see beyond our current reality and into other worlds.
2. Active Imagination
“The whole is something else than the sum of its parts" - Kurt Koffka
Active Imagination is derived from the work of depth psychologist Carl Jung. Combined with the perceptive principles of Gestalt therapy, The Intuitive Voice Method explores Active Imagination primarily through written and illustrated dialogues between the self and that which you’re in dialogue with. This could be an aspect of yourself or your life that’s proving challenging or problematic, a project you feel stuck on, or a recurring feeling you face. It could be a group, entity, place, event, or person. There are many possibilities here. One might type, write, draw, or speak the dialogue.
Active Imagination is a powerful tool for revealing answers we hold within ourselves. It allows us to engage with intuition, clarity, and truth revealing direction, relationship, and empowerment.
3. Improvisation / Pen To Paper
Improvisation is the result of entering into flow: a perfect equilibrium of control and release, technique and surrender. This state allows for us to respond to the moment. We observe flow in our greatest athletes and artists. Flow denotes a level of mastery and is achieved through the consistent act of showing up and doing the work at hand.
Inspired by Natalie Goldberg’s work wherein mindfulness merges with creative writing, Pen To Paper, is a flow practice. As we put pen to paper, we notice the internal critic, we give it voice and we continue to write. We write through the judgements, through the ego. We allow for the words to show up on the page and, in doing so, we override the internal editor and express a truly authentic and completely original voice.
5. Inquiry / The Work
The Work™ is a process of self-inquiry that uses a series of questions to help us examine and transform our core beliefs. By identifying beliefs that cause us pain and inverting them, we open ourselves to the possibility that the opposite of our thoughts could be just as true.
The Work™ most benefits people when they are particularly stuck or there is an aspect of their lives that makes present reality unpleasant or painful to exist in. In this state, it’s important, if even for a fleeting moment, to create an alternative perspective. When a new frequency comes into our consciousness, it begins to shake up our most locked negative beliefs and opens the potential to break them down, making an eventual shift possible.
That act of service is empowering and transformative. Working in support of something greater than ourselves, we step outside of perceived limitations and channel a deep well of clarity, intuition and wisdom.
Our capacity is revealed to us when we become the one holding the space for another. In doing so, we enter into a consciousness of gratitude, compassion and peace. As artists, we recognize that the work we make is a service to others. Our vulnerability, even our imperfection, is our offering as it helps others experience and accept their own humanity.
The body holds memory and innate wisdom. Most of us move through life disconnected from our capacity to live wholly because we siphon off our somatic experience. Embodiment practice starts with the breath and evolves into an expression of the voice and body.
Reconnecting to our natural inclination for sound and movement, we enter into a feeling state wherein we bypass the neocortex. We work through older emotions and new creative material arises from this deeper level of the unconscious.
Breathwork is a highly effective physical technique for getting to the root of unconscious material and the deep wounds, trauma, and blocks we each carry. Breathwork is a breathing pattern which alters the oxygen levels in our bodies to allow our conscious minds to take a backseat to our somatic processes. As a result, stored energy and emotion come to the forefront to reveal themselves.
This very cathartic experience is best used to work through deeper trauma as, through this altered state, we obtain access to parts of ourselves not present in our everyday consciousness. This work is hands-on, palpable, and ultimately transformative.