Interview with Carolyn Elliott
1. What was your prime motivation for creating the book "Awaken your Genius A Seven Step Path to Freeing Your Creativity and Manifesting Your Dreams"?
I knew (and still know) so many astoundingly brilliant and creative people who’d experienced the trauma of not having their gifts deeply honored and received by this mixed-up world.
In reaction to that kind of trauma, folks tend to shut down their creativity and magic altogether – or else they use it to create lives and belief-systems that are safe and familiar but not deeply fun or fulfilling.
I know all about this kind of defensive, limiting response to hurt mostly because I did it myself for years and felt miserable and stuck. Gradually, I figured out a way to free myself from those limiting patterns and move into a life of immense fun and beauty.
Realizing that if profound creative transformation and healing was possible for me then it was possible for everyone, I felt a deep need to share the process and techniques I had found with as many people as I could. So I wrote the book.
2. Could you go into the 7 steps with us a bit introduction wise?
The 7 steps in the book are based on key experiences in the archetypal hero’s journey that Joseph Campbell outlined in his ground-breaking work, Hero With a Thousand Faces. The steps in the path include Hearing the Heart’s Call, Crossing the Threshold, and Union with the Divine.
The book shows how we can step outside the conditioned habits of our everyday lives in order to take this profound trip. Along the way we uncover who we really are, fully own our power, and learn share it with the world in a way that helps to create heaven on earth. It’s the path of becoming a fully individuated, fully original human soul. It’s literally the work of soul-making – and it happens through play and daring and imaginative experimentation.
3. What exactly do you mean by awaken your genius and to what extent?
Awakening our genius means digging through the layers of our social conditioning to find our irreducible originality and our inner authority. And we gradually learn to live from that hugely spontaneous, wise, and unfathomably gorgeous strength instead of from the small, self-pitying, approval-seeking ego persona.
4. How can we break free of being held in bondage by old beliefs and fears?
We break free by doing the intense alchemical work of making our unconscious conscious. Through reflection and investigation we uncover who we’ve been taught to believe ourselves to be – and all the resentment and terror that’s come from living as that little, alienated self. We use the giant power of love (through metta meditation, which is taught in the book) to alchemize all that terror and resentment and alienation into power that can fuel a new, more accurate imagination of ourselves as heroes and heroines.
5. How can we hear our heart’s call to awaken our genius?
In the book, I teach a process for hearing the heart’s call that involves using a kind of poetic language called dreamspeak to access our unconscious, intuitive knowledge about the playful steps that we need to take in our lives in order to begin reconnecting with our originality.
6. What do you mean by meeting our guide?
Meeting our guide means finding a figure in our nighttime dreams or in our waking life who either deeply repulses us or deeply attracts us or both. And then we hold imaginative dialogues with that figure, seeking to learn what they want from us and what we have to learn from them. The key to this is that any person who draws an intense reaction from us (i.e., huge attraction or huge repulsion) represents aspects of our own selves that we’ve been denying – which we need to learn to integrate in order to become whole. And it’s through imaginatively interacting with that figure that we get the guidance we need to do that integration.
7. How do we accept the call and move forward?
We accept the heart’s call and move forward by being willing to actually do the irrational, silly, play-for-play’s sake that it asks us to do when we let it speak to us in the dreamspeak language. This is a powerful shamanic practice that helps us to reverse the grip that our cynical, uptight, all-business-all-the-time adult minds have on us.
8. This is a wild card question. What would you like to share from the book with us that our readers might find helpful?
What I want to share is just this key idea: the genius within us is always hungry. And the only real food for genius is unconditional love. If we don’t give our genius huge love to nourish it, it’ll just eat us alive through resentment and addiction and every other form of self-destructive misery conceivable. So if you want to free your genius and halt your suffering, cultivate giant love energy within yourself. And the best means I know to do that is through daily metta (i.e., “loving-kindness) meditation – which you can learn about from my book or through a simple Google search.
9. What are you up to next book wise and any links you’d like to share? Thank you.
Lately I’m doing research for a book on practical magic and tantra. To find out more about me and all the neat stuff I offer (including a private Facebook group for magic people) check out my blog: www.awesomeyourlife.com
Brought to you by North Atlantic Books