You might have noticed that I refer to myself as a creative alchemist. What, you might ask, is Creative Alchemy? It can be many things, and it’s incredibly powerful.
What creative alchemy is
- It’s the power to transform pain into the power to change.
- It’s the gift of being able to see light in the darkness, both externally and internally.
- It’s the wisdom of knowing that when things are torn down, there’s an opportunity to build back better.
- It’s the ability to bless that which breaks us because it wakes us up.
Why is creative alchemy important?
When we’re awake, it’s easy to see how we’re stuck, and what we need to do to get unstuck.
To weather the next several years of upheaval, I think we all may need to become Creative Alchemists.
How can you become a creative alchemist?
The creative challenges I send focus on helping you make that transition, which is a step beyond just getting unstuck.
Here’s one, inspired by a friend’s mantra that made me giggle when I first heard it because it felt so impossible to do.
But once I tried it, I discovered the wisdom buried beneath what at first felt incredibly flip. (Spoiler alert: It’s not.)
Creative challenge: Detachment exercise
This week, whenever you hear something in the news that upsets you, ask “So what?”
Not because I want you to be callous or flip, but because I really want you to examine what this event or thing has to do with you.
ASK: “SO WHAT?”
- Do you know the people involved?
- Is there anything you can do to help?
- Will your upset/anger/sadness make this situation any better?
- What can you do to affect this?
- Why do you care?
- What would happen if you did nothing?
Taking a step back from stories and images that roil our emotions helps us regain our balance.
It helps us identify what we can control. And usually, that’s not much more than our words, actions, and thoughts.
When you ask “so what?” you’re forced to examine your role in the drama.
It also prevents you from becoming an ‘armchair expert,’ who feels the need to wax poetic and importantly about things that may be outside your grasp to understand fully in all its complexity.
What do you do after you answer the “so what” question?
- If there’s nothing you can do, let it go.
- If you find that even being detached, you feel a moral obligation to do something, identify actions that will help you help the situation.
A recipe for justice: education + advocacy + direct service = creative alchemy
When in doubt, look at the three pillars of justice for some guidance. The three pilars are:
- education (or gaining knowledge and insight)
- advocacy, and
- direct service
Being able to plug your enthusiasm into one (or more) of those areas tends to be the most productive way to make a difference.
That’s one way to become a creative alchemist. 🙂
Let me know how it goes! Share your thoughts and experiences by replying to this email or tag @trulykristi on social channels. 🙂