The last few weeks my team and I have been busy fielding inquiries and booking spots for my upcoming trainings The Fundamentals of Interactive-Graphics and The SHIFT-IT Certification Program. It’s always an interesting process as we witness the different manners and attitudes in which people value their creativity and make their way into my programs (or not).
Some registrants charge confidently full speed ahead — over the years we have had many people who through some synchronicity or other stumble upon my offerings and immediately sign up. Drawn to the power of the visual way of working and instantly and intuitively get how these skills can be of use and value to what they are doing (or want to be doing). Or, are at least so powerfully drawn that they trust that pull and jump in — taking a leap of faith that their attraction will pay off. And it does.
Others take a much more hesitant approach. They circle around for years – finding themselves drawn to me/my work but something keeps them from acting. Sometimes its just ‘right timing’ … due to different factors in their lives the timing eventually becomes right for them to follow their impulse … and they do. For others, its something much more complicated.
The Denigration of Art & Creativity
Perhaps it’s a harsh word, but some of what I see and hear in my role as an international Interactive-Graphics mentor and as the SHIFT-IT Coach can only be summed up as ‘denigration’ of that which is associated with being artistic, creative or even ‘feminine’.
That even in 2010 some men and women still have very old-fashioned beliefs about art, creativity and collaborative-style methods being ‘silly, fluffy, stupid, frivolous, unserious, childish’ and the like. Sometimes its challenging not be personally offended by the energy that is implied in some of their comments or in their questions — the more aggressive (which is thankfully not many) kind of having this ‘prove it to me’ attitude when they approach us. I’ll admit that it does get tiresome and I’m not as sweet about it as I used to be.
First off, I don’t need to prove anything anymore – my own life and livelihood has proven to me that it is totally possible to live a creative-based life – and a prosperous one at that. And so I do. Second off, I’ve gained a bit more maturity (thank god for aging!) and understand that it’s more about them proving something to themselves. They’ve got an internal battle going on between the different sides of themselves. And are drawn to me as a step in potentially resolving their split … or not.
My Own Journey
I know enough about Law of Attraction to know that these conflicted people are in my realm because at some level I am a vibrational match (and its part of my mission and purpose in life to go through my own shift and then help others).
I come from a pretty traditional background myself, having been raised in a Canadian air force family. While education was highly valued, nobody in my early environment had any overt creative or artistic talent or drive – or at least I couldn’t easily see or communicate with them. I was always a natural athlete and had a knack for doodling, but its only in the last few years that I can honestly say that I am self-identified as an artist (even though others have seen me and my work in that light for over a decade).
My entry to the graphic way of working came through graduate school and my studies in Organizational Development and Change Management. I entered the visual realm through the backdoor of academics and process work. Perhaps even denigrating the artistic and creative sides of the work (and myself) in my desire for it to be useful, logical and of service.
So my journey with the visual methods that I am now so known for has been an inner alchemical process — uniting the masculine and feminine principles into a marriage so both are valued … resulting in a healthy and strong union. Those people who call or write in with their conflicted attitudes who need some convincing and reassuring that they are not being crazy or silly in being attracted to this stuff … are, at one level, my younger, less informed self. I had to go through an interesting integration journey to become who I am. And so will they if they care to continue pursuing it.
The Rise of the Feminine
Much has been written about the present SHIFT that we as a world society are going through. Integration is happening between the logical and mechanistic energy of the last two thousand years with the feminine energies that have been suppressed. This connection between the masculine and the feminine is not just happening to the collective, it is also happening to us as individuals. Some people are conscious of this happening and some are not.
The graphic recording, graphic facilitation and graphic coaching work that I do in my professional practice and teach others about … is very integrated work. It brings together the left and right sides of the brain and of your being (and the beings of your clients who you co-create with). It is both practical and logical AND intuitive and emotional. It has it all. It’s a very holistic way to work and, in my opinion, aids the massive transition we are all in the midst of. It’s a cutting edge technology.
Yes, You Can Be Creative AND Make Mo.ney
For the record, let me state unequivocally for those of you who need to hear it, YES YOU CAN MAKE MO.NEY DOING WORK THAT YOU LOVE! You do not need to split yourself. You do not need to do work that you don’t enjoy because you think that is the only way you can make mo.ney and look after yourself … and keep your creative life stuffed into the corners.
That way of living is perfectly fine for a stage in your development and as part of a larger, unfolding picture. But if you are in pain with the reality you have created for yourself (and many of you who call and write into us are in pain), please know that there is something you can do about it. You don’t have to live your life like that forever. I have made my own SHIFT so I know it is possible (I’m living proof) as are the many, many people I get to witness and assist. There is a very big tribe out there creating new ways of working and being! You are not alone – many are also going through the hero’s journey. Our planet is banking on it.
P.S. Watch the Soothing Saturday announcements as in the months ahead I will bringing guests in to talk on these exciting topics … so we all get some good mind and heart food to aid in our creative unfolding!
© 2010 Christina L. Merkley
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Christina Merkley, “The SHIFT-IT Coach” and creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Visual Thinking and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and conscious businesses to define and manifest what they truly want. And, trains other helping professionals in her innovative ways of working. For more information visit: www.shift-it-coach.com.