The Me In The We: Feeling Myself Within Community

SoulFullHeart Mandala designed by Christopher Tydeman

SoulFullHeart Mandala designed by Christopher Tydeman

by Christopher Tydeman (now Sequoia Heartman)

Since I can remember, a part of me has generally been a loner. Not in the lonely sense of the word but in the “I enjoy my me time” sense. When I wasn’t playing with friends (yes, I did have them), I was in my room playing with my Star Wars action figures, building with my Legos, or outside climbing trees and acting out loud some dramatic scene of me saving the world. Though I had a few close friends in my life, ones that I spent a lot of time with, I still found myself enjoying my “me” time.

In regards to my family, I can remember liking my space from the volatility of my birth parents. The stresses of everyday life found there way energetically into the house and my room was a respite from that. I remember having close family friends that I spent weekends and summers with. That was my first taste community outside the family unit. As kids, we fought, argued, did the silent treatment, forgot what we were mad about, and then continued on. All within a span of 30 minutes most times. Having fun was way more important. But when I got into my room, I felt like I was home. I could rest and be me.

When I became a teenager, this need for personal space amplified, as it does for most. I had a core group of friends that I partied and hung out with quite often, but, again, I found solace in my room. This time it was with music, television, and art. Staying up until the wee hours drawing album covers for my favorite heavy metal bands. I felt a “me” in my room that no one could touch. When I was “out there”, it was about fitting in, staying away from the assholes, and following the rules. Community was a much bigger and scarier place.

As I entered college, and moved into dormitory life, community felt a bit safer and more real. So many different people coming together with so many different ways of seeing and feeling the world. It was exciting and engaging. I was not feeling the need as much to have my own space, plus it was impossible anyway. During that time, I felt another “me” that I hadn’t experienced before. One that saw life through a bigger lens. My “room” got a whole lot larger. Then, I began to wonder who the hell I really was.

During my time in the dorms, I met my former wife, Jillian, and we became a community of two. We had friends, but it was our relationship that felt more like the room of my youth. Together we explored who we were in the great dance of Life itself. Not long afterward, our daughter made her way to us and community changed once again.

Suddenly, my “me” became a father. I had to became a provider. I stopped exploring and started working. The part of me that felt unsure about being a father, held on tightly to being responsible in the Western-style ethos. I was too tired from work and child raising to feel me anymore. I continued on the path of being a good provider that led me to a “solid” job an elementary school teacher.

As a teacher, you, by default, become a member of “the community”. The neighborhood, the families, the teachers, and students. You are trained to leave your Self at the door. It’s not about you, it’s about them. So for someone who had been not feeling himself for sometime, teaching young children was not going to get me there anytime soon. A good teacher is dedicated to their students. That is the mantra of the Good Teacher Brigade. You also go to concerts, sporting events, meetings, conferences, social events, recess duty, bus duty, field trips, and on and on. Who am I again?

During this time, I was no longer married and was living on my own with my daughter half the time. After a few years of teaching 24/7, I realized that I had ignored that part of me that I used to hang out with in the room of my youth. The care free, happy, creative part of me. I began to be with myself more and do things that I enjoyed like exercise, hiking, and playing guitar. And through that, I began to feel the depth of my unhappiness. I missed Me. The Me that could create a world from scratch. The Me that could stay up all night with a piece of paper and a pencil. The Me that saw beauty, love, and magic in all things. The Me that felt the Great Spirit and wondered about the Great Mystery. Where had I gone?

Enter SoulFullHeart. Jillian, my former wife, had been on a healing path for many years. She offered to help me with this question. It started as an exploration and has evolved into intimate community. Through my process I have been healing my way back to Me. There are a lot of layers, more than I ever imagined. To feel those, there has to be vulnerability or else they can’t move. And that is hard for someone so inclined to be alone. In essence, to be hidden. For a while, it is necessary. I wrote about it in a blog I wrote a couple of years ago. But then there is a graduation to another level of intimacy.

Beginning in March of this year I, along with Kathleen, moved to an RV campground with Jillian and Wayne. This was a new level of community, in that we began to share meals, exercise together, and generally spend more time together and in closer proximity. After coming to the decision to exodus to Mexico, I sold my RV and began to live with them in their camp site. My personal space had gone from a one-bedroom apartment, to an RV, to a tent in 4 months. For a part of me, that tent was my room from years gone by. He felt safe and comfortable just as he had when he was a child.

It is important for me to feel the needs of this part of me. Without doing so, he gets depressed and tense. The feeling is similar to having a hard time breathing. This certainly goes back to more than just this life. I haven’t gotten there yet but there is something soul-based about it. It is more important for me to feel it, than to figure it out right now. Especially, now.

Since we left Canada for Mexico, I have not had much of my own space. This is the most intimate I have been my whole life. We are currently living in a studio-type dwelling, which is more reminiscent of youth hostel than an apartment. We eat, sleep, change, read, write, cook, talk, process all within 750 square feet. We are waiting to get to our sanctuary on the ranch while the home we are staying in is completed, the roads get grated and the river water recedes. Though this is temporary, it is the perfect trigger to highlight my relationship to community and my Self. How do I feel the Me in the We?

I have to feel the needs of my parts alongside the needs of the group. There are times when I have to advocate for my space even if it means not being a part of something that I may be needed or desired to be a part of. That is hard to do when another part of me is a people pleaser. An internal conflict arises. But the more I advocate for that, the less I actually “need” it. There are also times when a part of me will need to be negotiated with because my community, my family, needs me. It won’t always be on its schedule, but I will always find the time. That is what it means to hold a part of you.

This experience has highlighted something that I have forgotten. While my community needs me, my parts need me as well. And sometimes my parts don’t want to be in community, and that’s okay. It actually get me back to Me. Remember? The one in the beginning of this blog. It gets me back to my roots. The reason I am here in the first place.

I am an artist. I want to create art. Art for me, art for others, art for the Divine, art for the earth. I am a healer. I want to heal myself and the earth, and I want to help others heal themselves. I want to use art to do that through sessions. That is the Me in the We. That is my heartsong in the choice. That is what I will continue to wake up for and be a part of in the way of life called SoulFullHeart.

Sequoia Heartman (previously Christopher Tydeman) is an apprentice facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit soulfullheartwayoflife.com for more information. 

Healing Art: Day 5 – The Ache To Be

Day 5005

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

By Christopher Tydeman

*Note:  The drawing was in response to a feeling I had inside me around claiming my essence as an artist.  At the time, I was working with a part that was keeping me from fully inhabiting my passion. But shortly after, I made a decision to leave my current culture and move to Mexico with Jillian and Wayne.  This triggered something in me that seemed to also be reflected in the drawing.  It took on a new meaning for me so I began to journal with the picture and this poem emerged.
My soul draws, but does not tug
It calls, it aches, it desires
To feel, express, experience, and love.
But there is a pull, a grasp,
A spaghetti pretzel of fears, doubts, and deafening critical voices
Of social, familial, and cultural conditioning
You cannot be free, you see
You don’t have the skills, the courage, the mettle.
You only know one way to be
And that is comfortable, safe, and settled.
But that does not bring me closer
To what I feel I am or can be, do you see?
I am born of life and life is change
And change is risk and risk is unknown.
That is why you should stay with me, you see.
It is unknown and unknown is not knowable
Not clear, preplanned, controlled, or dependable.
Take my advice, heed my warning, and let me take care of thee.
I feel your concern, your love, your genuine protection
Your need to encase me in bubble-wrapped isolation.
But it enslaves me, and does not save me
From a life of restless deadness, can you see?
I do not see what you see
Or feel what you feel
Or ache what you ache
My only will is to keep you safe
I will need you on the next phase of my journey
Your awareness, your sight, your vision, and might.
I wish to bring you with me, not leave you behind
For without you I am reckless abandon in the shadow of the blind
I will heed your words, and feel your cry
I will need more time to accept and understand why.
That is all that I ask for you now to see
How one day we both can be fearless and free
 Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio ShowFor more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com.

Healing Art: Day 4 – The Gift Of Despair

By Christopher Tydeman

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

This picture was done during a time where a feeling of great despair had bubbled up within me.  I did not journal with it at the time and to do so now would be inauthentic and contrived.  However, I did feel a desire to share my process around the theme of this drawing.  Maybe as I write a voice may choose to be heard and felt if it felt safe enough to do so.  

There was an overall feeling of hopelessness that overcame me.  Like a black cloud that covers the sun that seems to go on forever.  I began this picture with the cloudy background to capture that feeling.  Next, came the road, or path, that I had found myself on.  “A road to God-knows- where in a hurry,” a part of me felt it was on.  Then, an intuition to make dark columns from the horizon up toward the heavens.  Foreboding monoliths towering over to suggest that there was no hope of salvation.   Lastly, I could feel my desire and passion being guarded, protected, quarantined,  or off limits.  A part of me felt it could not have what it truly wanted.   Enter despair.

This picture represents several parts of me all at once.  My inner sensitive, full passion, love, and sense of beauty.  My inner critic, with its perpetual barrage of criticisms, judgements, and punishments to keep my inner sensitive in a state of oppressive depression.  Then my inner muse.  My vision and creative energy.  My connection to the divine within and without.  A holy trinity, if you will.

The separation of a sensitive from its muse is part of a journey to remember what we, as artists, have always known ourselves to be.  Messengers, prophets, divine creators.  That comes with great reward as well as great pain.  To be open to such inspiration, one must be sensitive enough to receive it.  But that leaves the door open to much toxic energy and conditioning.  Through the course of one’s life, and even lives, these external influences can become internalized.  The inner critic is born.  But this part of us can be viewed as a “negative” to be combated and banished.  The emotional reality is that this part of us was developed to protect us from the pain our inner sensitive was too sensitive to digest.  By keeping constant surveillance on us, the inner critic is trying to keep us from being heart broken once again, even while it is breaking our own spirit in the process.

Before SoulFullHeart, my inner critic was a harsh self-punisher.  The bigger the desire, the harsher the punisher it seems.  But as I began to heal my punisher, it has softened to a critical voice.  Admittedly, I still feel some punishment but not as acute as in my past.  I am feeling my inner critic as my guide and keen protector of my inner sensitive.  Its voice is of my fathers, both biological and step.  They were just trying to do what they felt was best from their own experiences and conditioning to help me become successful and happy.  I am grateful for that, but it no longer serves me.  I am to be a father figure to my own inner sensitive.  To field the harsh criticisms and digest them between me and my inner critic, leaving my sensitive to be what it is meant to be…a receiver of divine beauty.

In this drawing, you will notice that there is space in between the bars.  There is opportunity.  There is a way in and through.  I will take the figure on the road by the hand and walk with him.  I will love the bars for what they truly are and in time they will come down to reveal my heart, my muse, and my gift to the world.

Over the next few weeks, Christopher Tydeman will be vulnerably sharing works of art that he has created that reflect his inner world. In SoulFullHeart, our inner world is comprised of a tapestry of emotionality, which is held by what we call a “part” of us. These parts live in different emotional terrain, such as hurt, anxiety, control, depression, rage, and shame. When we courageously venture inward, we feel this terrain with our parts to feel and heal woundings that have been been stuck for many years, many lifetimes. Christopher says about this series, ‘”As a creative soul, I desire to help my parts heal through images, words, and music. I also desire to serve others with the same passion of healing and creativity. I do not have a plan other than to be as transparent as I can and see where the road takes me.”  Check out his previous blog entries, An Artist, His Muse, and His Inner Critic, and Healing Art to Heal Your Heart to find out more about this series. Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio ShowFor more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com.

Healing Art: Day 3 – Hope in the Face of Hopelessness

By Sequoia Heartman

Hope

Today I am going to be journaling with the artwork itself.  I am choosing not to connect to a particular part of me, as there is a level of protection that my parts need.  Instead, I will use the word “pArt” as a way to differentiate me from the picture.  What I will be doing is demonstrating how you may be able to begin to connect with the energy of your art piece.  What comes back to you is a part of who you are that needs to express and be felt.  Before sharing, asking permission is always necessary so this part of you can feel they trust you.

Sequoia:  Hello, pArt.  I was wondering if you would be open to speaking with me?

Drawing:  Yes.  I would like that.

S:  Thank you.  Before we begin, I wanted to see how you feel about sharing this on the blog.

P:  I guess I will have to see how I feel after we talk.

S:  Okay.  Fair enough.  What would you like to tell me?

P:  When I made this, I didn’t really know what I was going to make.  I was feeling a swirling in my head and just started to make a circular stroke.  This turned into a deep dark cave.  That is another feeling I was having.  

S:  Can you tell me about the swirling feeling?

P:  I was feeling overwhelmed with feelings of despair and desire.  Desiring to feel light and alive, yet being overcome by futility and stuckness.  I could only sit and hope for relief.  

S:  Did drawing this help?

P:  Yeah.  It did.  But in the past it always comes back.

S:  This is why we need to feel the root of this so we can heal it together.  

P:  I would like that.  I feel imprisoned by a force stronger than myself.  I don’t have any chains on, but still feel immovable.  It’s like sludge.  I don’t like it when this happens.

S:  I don’t blame you.  I would like to feel you separate from the grey sludge.  It feels like you soak it up like a sponge because you haven’t known any better.  Do you feel responsible for this feeling?

P:  I don’t know.  Feels like I have been used to taking in all sorts of energy and making it a part of me.  

S:  Do you have any idea why?

P:  Hmmm.  Not sure in the moment.  I have always felt an ability to feel other people’s pain.  I am sensitive to it.  As a kid, I held all sort of energy from my parents.  For some reason, I felt responsible to do so.

S:  Maybe you were made to feel responsible.  This can happen easily as a porous being.  Your parents couldn’t hold it themselves and somewhere recognized that you could.  

P:  Hmmm.  That sounds strange, but sadly true.  

S:  There can be other things at play here too, such as past life experiences, that have led to this feeling of being responsible for taking in toxicity.

P:  Wow.  So this energy that surrounds me in this picture is not mine, but I take it on.  What is wrong with me?

S:  There is nothing “wrong” with you.  You have done what you felt was needed to help others.  What you needed was someone to advocate for and protect you.  That is what I plan to do.

P:  That feeling is pretty intense, Sequoia.  

S:  I know.  I was there, even though just barely.  

P:  I know you were.  Or else I wouldn’t have been able to have the space to do this drawing.  Thank you.

S:  You are welcome.  I desire to hold this sludge energy and not you.  

P:  That would be heaven.  

S:  Is it okay to share this in the blog?

P:  Yeah.  I feel okay with that.  Maybe someone can get something from this who feels like I do.  

S:  That would be awesome.  Thank you for sharing.

P:  Thank you for talking to me.

The grey cave in this picture represents Despair/ Futility, hopelessness in the face of Hope.  It does not wish to be made public at this time.  It is the feeling that comes after intense inner criticism.  I feel this is a crucial place for me to go.  I am hoping that with some time, and trust from this part, I will be able to share any movements.  I can feel how this is a universal part of artists and how it can be used as a source of inspiration for their creativity.  Some of my best work has come from this feeling of despair.  But I do not want to live that way.  I wish to express it as it needs to be felt, but I don’t wish to suffer with it.  I desire my art to reflect more than my despair because I am more than that.  My inner sensitive needs a boundary from the heaviness of this energy.  That can only happen with an ongoing dialogue with my critic and despair.  

Over the next few weeks, Sequoia Heartman will be vulnerably sharing works of art that he has created that reflect his inner world. In SoulFullHeart, our inner world is comprised of a tapestry of emotionality, which is held by what we call a “part” of us. These parts live in different emotional terrain, such as hurt, anxiety, control, depression, rage, and shame. When we courageously venture inward, we feel this terrain with our parts to feel and heal woundings that have been been stuck for many years, many lifetimes. Sequoia says about this series, ‘”As a creative soul, I desire to help my parts heal through images, words, and music. I also desire to serve others with the same passion of healing and creativity. I do not have a plan other than to be as transparent as I can and see where the road takes me.”  Check out his previous blog entries, An Artist, His Muse, and His Inner Critic, and Healing Art to Heal Your Heart to find out more about this series. Sequoia Heartman is an apprentice facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. For more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheartwayoflife.com.

Healing Art: Day 2 – Reign Of Criticism

By Christopher Tydeman

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

The following dialogue is between me and my inner sensitive (Eli) around the images he drew above. In my blogyesterday I talked about the process of feeling how art can be a reflection of a part of us needing to be felt. Through facilitation, space between you and the part can be created. Through journaling, the part can be felt by you, the artist, and healing can begin. This is an ongoing dynamic and not a one shot deal.

Christopher: Hello, Eli. Would it be okay to talk about the drawings you made?

Eli: Sure. It’s okay.

C: Can you tell me what you were feeling when you made the one I shared in yesterday’s blog post?

E: It was a while ago, but I remember wanting to draw something, but I didn’t know what. I remember we talked about drawing the feeling of wanting to create but being blocked by a feeling of heaviness and a whirling sensation.

C: What is the heaviness?

E: It is a feeling of defeat and despair  that I can’t draw. I don’t know what to draw. Even if I had an idea I am not talented enough to make it look the way I want. It feels depressing when I really want to create. It is like a gray cloud that comes over me.

C: Hence the charcoal.

E: Yeah. Charcoal gives the feeling of despair and depression.

C: What was the whirling feeling?

E: Just this voice barraging me with all the reasons why I can’t create, whether it is around practical things or lack of ideas or skills. The swirl leads to the feeling of depression. Like I can’t do anything about it. I am defeated.

C: So this voice comes in and blows out your flame?

E: Yeah. Sort of like that. It dampens it for sure.

C: But it doesn’t go away completely.

E: No. I guess not. I still feel desire in me to create.

C: Of course you do, Eli. It is your essence to create. That can’t be denied when it is what makes you, you.

E: But the voice seems insurmountable. Like I am trying to push against a large building that won’t move. I feel hopeless and I just give up.

C: Is that the feeling in today’s picture?

E: Yeah. It is.

C: What is the rain about?

E: Just that feeling of being dampened.

C: I see cracks in the building and a light around the corner.

E: Yeah. I don’t know why they are there.

C: I think you do. What do they feel like to you?

E: Well, I feel like the building is getting old. It is ready to fall down.

C: Maybe the part of me that feels immovable may actually show some signs of vulnerability and movement.

E: Hmmm. Maybe.

C: What about the light?

E: Feels in the moment that it could be hope. Or maybe my desire that is always “just around the corner”. One in the same I guess.

C: I like the feeling of that.

E: Me too.

C: What is this drawing trying to tell you now?

E: Hmmm…maybe it is telling me that I don’t have to push against this big building anymore. That all I need to do is leave that to you and head toward the light of my passion and desire.

C: You can put an umbrella there, Eli, so as to not burn out your flame. I will be that for you.

E: I would like that a lot, Christopher. Thank you. I am tired of feeling this way.

C: I know you are, Eli. I can feel that. You need some protection from the reign of criticism. That is my job.

E: I believe you. Thank you for being there for me.

C: You are so welcome, Eli. Thank you for your beautiful heartwork.

E: Don’t you mean artwork?

C: Nope.

E: Ooooh! I get it. Very clever.

C: I thought so. : )

Over the next few weeks, Christopher Tydeman will be vulnerably sharing works of art that he has created that reflect his inner world. In SoulFullHeart, our inner world is comprised of a tapestry of emotionality, which is held by what we call a “part” of us. These parts live in different emotional terrain, such as hurt, anxiety, control, depression, rage, and shame. When we courageously venture inward, we feel this terrain with our parts to feel and heal woundings that have been been stuck for many years, many lifetimes. Christopher says about this series, ‘”As a creative soul, I desire to help my parts heal through images, words, and music. I also desire to serve others with the same passion of healing and creativity. I do not have a plan other than to be as transparent as I can and see where the road takes me.”  Check out his previous blog entries, An Artist, His Muse, and His Inner Critic, and Healing Art to Heal Your Heart to find out more about this series. Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio ShowFor more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com.

Healing Art: Day 1- Critical Chaos

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

By Christopher Tydeman

Over the next few weeks, I will be vulnerably sharing works of art that I have created that reflect my inner world. In SoulFullHeart, our inner world is comprised of a tapestry of emotionality, which is held by what we call a “part” of us. These parts live in different emotional terrain, such as hurt, anxiety, control, depression, rage, and shame. When we courageously venture inward, we feel this terrain with our parts to feel and heal woundings that have been been stuck for many years, many lifetimes. As a creative soul, I desire to help my parts heal through images, words, and music. I also desire to serve others with the same passion of healing and creativity. I do not have a plan other than to be as transparent as I can and see where the road takes me.  Check out my previous blog entries, An Artist, His Muse, and His Inner Critic, and Healing Art to Heal Your Heart to find out more about this series.

We have all heard the term “inner critic”. The voice inside us that showers us with a litany of reasons why we can’t do this or that. Why we are not good enough, talented enough, skilled enough, or attractive enough to be or have the things in life that bring us joy and passion. It is the buzz kill, the saboteur, that knocks us off our cloud nine. This part of me has been with me a long time. As I have slowly become more conscious of him, I have experienced the voice at almost every minute of my day. It is enough to drive you mad if you let it…and I have come close. Even as I write this, I can feel something around me, watching me, checking to see if I am being clear, using proper grammar and spelling, or wondering if I am just wasting my time.

Another part of me begins to wonder if he is right. “Maybe this is a waste of time. Who really cares about this? Am I really qualified to be doing something like this? Will I just be laughed at and be considered crazy?” Those questions are being fed to inner sensitive parts of me that have had no protection against the chaos of criticism…until now. Through the SoulFullHeart healing process, I am beginning to create a space between my inner critic and my inner sensitives. The art that is made helps bring much needed relief to the holding of this critical energy, which can be quite potent when left unfelt by me as the centered self.

This critical voice can begin as a small judgment from something I would normally consider routine such as making coffee. But if that part is up, a simple act, such as spilling, can turn into a bite or a lashing out. “You idiot! Can’t you do anything right?” Ouch. If I don’t hold this and be with that kick, my other parts get kicked. The energy stirs up rage, hurt, anxiety, shame, control, and depression. It is like a rolling snowball. The criticism is left unabated, and it permeates my being. Inside I am a torrent of critical chaos. This is what my drawing above represents. This is what my emotional terrain feels like to my parts when I am not home amidst the storm. This picture was a call for help from my parts. “We don’t know how to handle this part of you, Christopher. We need you!” is what it tells me. Now, in the moment I made the picture I didn’t really feel that. I was just expressing what it felt like in my emotional body at the time. I didn’t have the image in my mind when I started it. It evolved and presented itself. I just let my hand and heart do the work. I later was able to digest this with my facilitators, Jillian and Wayne, and they were able to feel what was happening because they were outside it and could feel it with their clear hearts. This is the power of facilitation.

So there is this “Ah-ha!” moment. I could see and feel what was being brought to me. A reflection of myself back to me. But that is only the beginning. I don’t want this violence inside me to continue. I don’t want my parts to get thrown into the blender again. It is not to say it may not happen again, but if I am not engaging in feeling the pain of my inner critic, it will persist indefinitely. I can try a heavy dose of positive thinking reframes and rewiring strategies, but that is still ignoring this part of me and will only lead to hurting him even more. The next part of the process is to dialogue with this part of me to feel the pain behind the energy. Giving him the space to be heard and felt by me, a safe container, not a mortal enemy. If I come at this part with the energy of exorcising him, he will only dig in more and tell me to go fuck myself. I wouldn’t blame him. But at the same time, I must be challenging as well as loving.

I feel parts of me not sure where this will go, but there is a real need and desire for them to feel my presence with this inner critic. Taking the “heat”, so to speak. I could only do this once I felt more separated from the feeling of despair that arose out of the criticism. The first step was to create, even amidst the heaviness. I would say especially in the midst of the heaviness. The next step was to be felt by another heart-opened other to feel me and my parts and give reflection and guidance. Now is the step of what is called differentiation, where I and the energy of the part are not fused together, but have a bit more separation. I can feel some resistance from this part of me and will need to negotiate any sharing of journaling that would arise out of this artwork. As with any new, unknown adventure what happens next is a mystery until it isn’t. Stay tuned….

Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio ShowFor more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com.

Healing Art To Heal Your Heart

img001

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

By Christopher Tydeman

I have received three callings. A calling to heal, a calling to create, and a calling to serve. My healing has taken the form of journaling and sessions through my way of life called SoulFullHeart. For years I have felt a desire to reclaim my passion for art, whether it be visual or written, as I share in this previous blog post. I have done much writing, and the visual is beginning to reemerge. The connection with parts of ourselves, which is the bedrock of SoulFullHeart, is made possible through our imagination. Parts of me send pictures to express deep joy and pain. Sometimes words can’t quite express a feeling tone as efficiently and dramatically as a picture. The process of creation itself is a healing, in and of itself. But it doesn’t stop there.

 It was only a natural to feel the power of integrating healing with art. And by art I don’t mean just visual. Poetry and music can also deeply lead us to places we feel deep woundings. These creations reflect back to us, like a mirror, an aspect of ourselves. A part of us that desires to be felt, even if it feels defensive or resistant. I would say the more resistive, the more desire there is to be felt.

The world is full of beautifully tragic creations of art. Someone’s vulnerability outed for the world to see. As I feel this with my Soulfullheart, it feels like a part being prostituted for attention or profit by another part. This pArt (I use this as an integration of the part of us behind the art) dangles on the walls of galleries, or in the cloud of the virtual world. What I would love to feel is an intimate dynamic between the artist and their art BEFORE this occurs. The art becomes a doorway into feeling rather than just a reflection to ponder. It is a gateway to a part of you that needs to felt by you. This pArt can hold a range of congested trauma with symptoms of depression, rage, anxiety, hurt, control, or shame. While there is relief from expressing these emotions, by not “going in” to them, they persist without healing into a more healthy frequency.

I have no experience with art therapy, but can see how what I have described must sound like it. I prefer to call it Healing Art, in the most literal sense. It is a process of you, your art, and a facilitator, someone who provides a safe container for your pArt to be felt by them and you. This is a self-authorizing process. You and your parts determine the depth and pace of your healing. But this is not some meandering and disconnected process. There are fenceposts. Places to go and grow, only to find more places to go and grow.

I am beginning my own Healing Art. I will be sharing these along with any journaling that comes from them. They are my mirrors and doorways. They are sacred to me and will only be shared after fully felt by me. I will be feeling the parts of myself that hold my inner critic, my inner muse, and inner sensitive. I am also going to be hosting an introductory talk about accessing these parts of ourselves through engaging with art in my local area Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

 I feel it important to express that this is meant for anyone, not just those who consider themselves “artists”. At our essence we are creation, so we are by birthright creative. You just need your heart and your passion to heal yourself and the world. The feeling of disqualification comes from our inner critic ultimately protecting us from pain. I know I feel my inner critic up as I write this and prepare for this unfolding, unknowable journey. I have some healing to do with this part. This is where I begin. I am curious to feel where this takes me…and maybe you?

Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio ShowFor more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com.

An Artist, His Inner Muse, His Inner Critic

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By Christopher Tydeman

I am an artist. That is what I have been told by many artists to tell myself. “If you create a doodle, you are an artist.” A part of me would disagree since I don’t have many pieces to justify that claim. That is my inner critic voice. The one you hear about in most art classes. The one that decides what an artist is or isn’t. What art is or isn’t. Will my time be rewarded by money and/or accolades? A litany of excuses why I shouldn’t even put in the effort.

Then there is my muse. My creative spark. My constantly open third eye that scans for beauty, genius, and energy. It is in resistance to this quelling of my inner critic. Throw water on it and it finds a way to not be silenced for very long. I can hear my inner critic exclaiming, “Why won’t you just surrender?”. The response back is the same. My muse has a major advantage. It is what makes me… me.

Since I was a child, I had an imagination. I played with Star Wars action figures (not dolls!), Hot Wheels, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Playdough, crayons and pencils. I loved to build forts and play Star Wars at recess with my friends. Eventually, that imagination was sequestered and replaced with sex, schoolwork, and then adulthood. Even as an art student in college, I was graded and critiqued. Though, I did find some classes to be inspiring. After graduation, I had a child and needed to be a provider, not an artist. At the time, I convinced myself I couldn’t be both.

Years later, I found myself a teacher of children ages 7-12. Being around an age where I left my creativity, I found myself wanting to wake up my muse, to bring life to an otherwise dull curriculum. I had an explosion of creativity and passion. So many great ideas and lots of work, but it was worth it. But the constant behaviour difficulties and the micromanagement of teaching led me lose my umph, yet again.

I tried to replace that with my own creative projects, but they wilted as soon as they began. Not enough light, not enough water, not enough me to ground them into. I took classes occasionally to rekindle that spark, but the inner critic prevailed once again. I find myself aching to create once again. My muse sitting beside me waiting to be heard, felt, and seen. Beside me is my critic. My fear. My judgment. I choose to dialogue with this part of me so I can give it space to be heard and felt. I cannot create without doing so. It has an intimate relationship with my muse. The more I can feel this part of me, the more I can open the doors of creativity and inspiration, of power and self-love. It has good reason to keep me from my essence. I do not wield an ax to sever it from who I am. It is a part of who I am. It is me, just not all of me.

I may choose to share my journaling with this part of me, if it agrees. I hope that it will illuminate something for you, as it will for me. I have no idea where the journaling goes or what it will manifest. I just have my desire, intention, and choice. I desire to create, I intend to create, I choose to create. That is all I can do today and the next. The rest is a mystery.

Join me….

Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio ShowFor more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com.