Recreate yourself, Recreate the world
HEATHER TAYLOR-ZIMMERMAN, PhD
A Journey of the Soul
Creativity is your birthright. When you awaken the soul of creativity you reclaim the power to create your life.
On this path you are recreating yourself and your life in the image of your soul. Using an archetypal or inborn ability called active imagination (like prayer or meditation with a creative twist) you learn to heal and transform yourself. By exploring and mapping your psychology through creative imagery, you follow your soul's guidance from darkness to light and learn to see the beauty of the night.
“Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is."
In this process you will discover new abilities and soul qualities. By creating symbolic images from your unconscious, you remember and embody the soul's creative power to initiate and transform, discovering new hope, love, peace and joy.
"Making art is a rite of initiation. People change their souls" Julia Cameron
More importantly, our souls change us.
"Heather is a masterful educator on how to heal and grow through art." Mary gibbons, MD, author, educator
“I really feel that you have made such a huge contribution to our souls, to our artistic creative selves...I would like to have a lot more Jungian work like this.” Fanny Brewster, PhD, MFA, author and analyst
Heather "clearly brought scholarship and art together to achieve a transcendent function in a really beautiful way.” Jennifer Selig, PhD, co- author of Deep Creativity
A TRANSFORMATIONAL JOURNEY
This journey transforms us from one state to another like the soul's symbol, the butterfly..
On the alchemical path of the Soul of Creativity, we transform the lead of our false self and habits into the gold of our authentic Self through the soul whose nature is life itself. When we are authentic or natural, the soul enlivens us and connects us to all life and all of our life. By integrating unconscious shadow material, accessed through creativity, art helps us to remember parts of our past and Self that we have separated from to heal as whole. Following the archetypal path of a heroic journey, we gather the gold nuggets of our separated self from our past to be recast in our soul's image. The soul of creativity can be seen as a soul retrieval and a mythic journey, patterned after the story of the soul or Psyche who overcomes insurmountable challenges for love. Embodied in the image of psyche as the butterfly, the soul initiates us from one stage to another as we unfold our unique wings to fly. Like a butterfly's effect, each person's creative soul expression in art and life are unique and powerful.
"Individuation is our journey towards understanding ourselves. It involves becoming the most integrated, whole version of our unique self as possible. At its highest level, individuation is the art of personal transformation."
C G Jung
(Lapis Lazuli or the philosopher's stone symbolizes the treasure we seek: soul's wisdom, awe, love and healing.
STEPPING STONES ON THE WAY
Each life path is unique but a mythic perspective helps you understand your experience.
The experience of the stages of the creative journey vary in each person's soul story, but they can be understood as a structure for transformation and a map when seen from an archetypal perspective. Reflected in stories through the ages, the heroic myth or rite of passage is universally consistent, marking the stages of separation, transformation and integration. Essentially, you are called on a journey, leave your home to face unknown challenges and come back transformed with a gift to give to the world. This coursework is designed around this core structure to help you move or initiate from one phase of life or state of consciousness to another. While some stages are initiated by the seasons of life, like puberty, childbirth or middle age, some are brought on by life events, like a divorce, birth or graduation (or virus). In either case, these transitions require guidance that is lacking in modern society and in our disconnect from our wild or natural soul (and nature). These transitions are natural times to start upon the soul's path. They are soul passages and can be seen as a revolution or turning of the wheel toward a more full, authentic and soulful life. The soul's path returns you to your Self only to realize that you have always been home.
"The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature to nature."
This is about the creativity of the soul and the soul of creativity. In this transformative process your Soul is your guide...
MEET YOUR GUIDE
Though most modern people have forgotten the way, this is a well-traveled path of the soul.
Your soul is your primary guide, and your first step in answering your soul's call is to invoke your soul's guidance by saying yes. When you step up and join up, arriving at base camp, however, Heather will be there to help prepare you for your journey like a secondary guide. As someone who has walked this path for most of her life, she will serve as a trail guide to help you navigate difficult points along the way, creating trail signs and markers to help at challenging junctures. In her role as a guide, she is fulfilling her calling to help others remember this path and following in the footsteps of her soul and Jung who "so often traveled this path" by himself and with his patients--a path many have walked before. Heather guides from her own life experience and that of those she has studied and taught. Teaching art from preschool to college, youth to elderly homes, she has charted this path through the lifespan, integrating the natural cycles and seasons into this span in harmony and balance with nature. This is an ancient blueprint for transformation embodied in us and a well warn trail--though overgrown. So, take a deep breath and relax. You are in good hands (your soul's). You were made for this. To follow the soul is natural: you know the way. This is a path of trust, courage, hope and surrender. A path of LOVE.
"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."
A JOURNEY OF THE HEART
This journey is about more than paint. It is a journey of the heart as much as art.
This is an embodied creative path that reminds you to drop into your heart, to breathe and live deeply. Though this is a personal journey, it is ultimately inter and transpersonal. It is about relationships and love: union and connection. Like any heroic quest, you are not alone on your journey, just as you are not alone in your life. Like any relationship, you will have challenges, and often the journey begins with a crisis or calling. So the First Step on this path prepares you with a soul toolkit, map, orientation and initiation into the dark night of the soul. (Also a workbook.) This path is playful and serious, fun and hard. This coursework is here to help you meet life's soul challenges. Imagine this as setting off on an adventure that requires some packing and training. Each day, week and course is designed to lead you on your soul's path. Step by step, surrender ever more deeply and trust that your soul has got you. This is a journey into the heart of love. Your soul plays with what it loves--you. You are falling in love with your soul. This is the union or alchemical coniunctio at the heart of transformation, you uniting with your soul mate in a marriage of head and heart.
"Your vision will be clearer only when you manage to see within your heart" "Shadow work is the path of the heart warrior."
SUPPORT FOR THE JOURNEY
The first step of this journey is to establish Self-care to support you on your way. This is a soul toolkit.
Filled with helpful (and essential) habits and skills, this journey begins with a Deep Self-Care offering and a Soul Tool Kit that provide the foundation for the path before you. From body care to active imagination techniques, think of this as hydration for the imagination. In these first steps you establish soul habits for your mind, body and spirit that will carry your through the travels and travails ahead. Beginning on the Soul's Path your then learn Soul Mapping to navigate the Dark Night of the Soul. While this path is natural and archetypal, it is a forgotten path in the modern era and Heather has broken it down into steps to make it simple and safe. Like any rite of passage backpack that holds everything your need to sustain you in the wilds, these beginning courses are designed to have everything you might need. They are the training that prepares you for the deep dive into the wilderness as what Jung called an "advanced" patient or student. Because this is psycho-active or soul activating (soul awakening) deep healing, it is essential that you learn to navigate on your own with some training before you go off and follow your soul over harder terrain. Even if you are a life-long Jungian, analyst, therapist or wise woman the simplified yet intensive teaching in these steps will provide a container for rich growth.
WHAT MAKES THE JOURNEY UNIQUE?
This path has been walked throughout time because it works.
It is unique because it is created by your soul to reflect your psychology and give you the guidance that you need. Walked by people throughout time, this path is both collective and individual, reflecting the nature of the soul and unconscious. It is built within all of us but manifest differently for each of us. Based on the nature of the soul that connects our nature to nature, this path is grounded in nature and returns us to nature. Yet it also connects to our divine or spiritual nature, bridging above and below or spirit and matter through the alchemical nature of the soul. It is an alchemical path reborn in an era whose technological infrastructure brings the practice out of the laboratory and into the world. This technology allows people to interact with the material in ways that are private and global, applied by each person in their own way, body and home but also in community (in the creativity labs of Soul Space). While there are many unique features, the key is the soul whose transcendent vision connects and guides us. The soul's deep creativity lies dormant within us and these courses activate this ancient wisdom in a system of embodied technology to create a path that is uniquely powerful.
WHAT MAKES THE PATH VALUABLE?
This is an "Invaluable " and archetypal method walked by many feet through the ages.
Art has been proven invaluable in treating life issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, grief, PTSD and loss, and it is a proven treatment for addiction, eating disorders and suicide prevention. It takes these conditions and alchemizes them into the hidden gold they offer, transforming crisis into an opportunity for soul initiation. Like a wounded healer who heals themselves to heal the world, the soul of creativity takes the creative inspiration and energy of art and uses it as a psychological healing agent. From studies that show creating art for 45 minutes changes your brain state to evidence of art's positive long-term effects on learning to somatic healing from childhood abuse, art heals and teaches us. Creativity transforms and informs us. At the heart of creativity is the imagination, a word that contains image and magic and holds the key to the power of creative alchemy.
"Everything you can imagine is real."
A NATURAL PATH
This path unites our creative nature with Nature to heal us and the ecology of the world.
This is as much about ecology as psychology, about the world as ourselves. It is a path that takes us back to our nature and mother nature by recognizing that mater (from the root mater for mother) in ensouled with spirit. This is a natural path because the soul is a part of nature. The soul heals through art because it integrates our creative nature. It teaches us to root deep and remember that not only we but the earth are ensouled. The soul's creative nature reconnects us to our hidden inner nature. It teaches us to be natural (which is the key to healing and learning). It is art and nature therapy that heals us and heals the world. Beyond becoming natural (healthy), in walking this path, you remember how to commune and communicate with the natural world. In a fundamental way, this is the biggest shift that the Soul of Creativity offers. The emergence of Jung's Red Book and the art-based transformation it embodied in 2009 can be seen as called forth by the ecological and psychological need of our time.
It is designed to be Sustainable. From carbon neutral shipping to not driving to class, this learning platform is ecological and transformational. It is global and accessible, reconnecting us to each other and the world.
WHY TRAVEL THE PATH NOW?
Paradoxically, it is not what you get but what you give that makes you rich.
From Hildegarde of Bingen to Einstein, Jung to Picasso, new ideas emerge through the soul of creativity. In modern brain scans we can see the brain is the most active during unfocused imagination, and this path brings us back to the unconscious imaginative play of childhood, both our own and our species.' This is not traditional but imaginal research, and even though decades of research went into designing this coursework, blending modern neuroscience, depth psychology, ecopsychology art-based research and more, this part will remain under the surface (other than a dedicated bonus section in each weeks offering on the underlying science). The journey is about playing with creativity to get to the deep roots of our child-like imagination. So we return to childhood memories and abilities in tapping these creative roots. As Jung acknowledged that "everything essential" was decided by his soul's images, Einstein recognized that "Play is highest form of research" and Picasso called his art research.
This is as much about ecology as psychology, about the world as much as ourselves.
WHAT IS THE GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW?
Paradoxically, it is not what you get but what you give that makes you rich.
This is a serving path. It turns out, this journey is not about you or even your transformation, though that is part of the path. It is about the soul and the world's transformation that you serve. The paradox is that when we serve others, we serve ourselves--and this is the golden insight, the golden rule. We not only transform the world by transforming ourselves, we transform ourselves in the transforming the world. The gift of this path is that you arrive at the same place you started to realize you are the same person but with a new insight. By looking through the psychological lens of the soul, you see the golden light of Co-Creation.