I didn’t expect to write this, however, learning about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain hit me hard. I’m going to get personal and go all over the map with this article – you’ve been warned. I’ve been aware of the link between depression and creativity since childhood. “Crazy” runs in my family (i.e. bipolar, multiple personalities, ADD, ADHD, depression etc.) so does creativity. People I love have attempted suicide, a few have succeeded.
For a long time, I assumed extreme emotional vicissitudes – fluctuations between highs and lows was simply the price of being weirdly creative. I tried therapy. For me, it didn’t do much and kind of pissed me off.
I eventually found my therapy in sports, friends and yoga + meditation.
In 2013 I was unhappy and yearning for — something. Happiness? Kindness? I didn’t know … but it led me to yoga teacher training, studying the sutras, and the eightfold path. These millennia-old traditions – connected my understanding of OB and the creative + design process with the essential nature of humanity. Slowly things started to make sense. It put me on a path of aligning my values, finding my people, starting my own business and truly ACTING on my values and living my creativity.
What I’ve discovered along the way is that the highs and lows are the extreme energetic transitioning through fear and love – the void and energy. That to create anything new, we have to journey into the void, dare to be alone and often really lonely. It’s painful but it’s part of the process of being human. The braver and more alive you are — the scarier the ride. Whether you call it the void, fear, an overactive survivalist brain, or demons, those feelings are real.
That tight grip on your heart, squeezing out all hope until all you can see is your imminent doom, that’s the feeling of your demons constricting the fourth chakra — cutting you off from energy, from the light, from your people, your truth, and the collective consciousness.
It’s real and what is also real is the fact that they can’t hold forever.
If you are going to create and venture into the unknown, and I realize for some of us that isn’t really a choice, grow your heart muscle, open it up wide, make art, make love, be kind. When the demons come and take away your energy, remember the darkness is in proportion to your ability to shine. Create your energy touchstones. Come back to your faith, your friends, and your art.
You are divine and human – and this is simply the price of the journey.
I love you. Have courage.