For context my nickname at work and among close friends and family is “Dragon” and our company is nicknamed “OMG” which is short for ohmygreen.
This is the email & work-chat (Slack) message I sent to my company colleagues asking for support:
Good morning my dear OMG-fam!
First, I want to acknowledge our illustrious leader Captain Kirk @Michael for always encouraging my personal growth and continuously providing pathways for it.
For as long as I can remember I have had this dream to be a transformation artist & leader. I didn’t even understand the dream until I began meditating & did Landmark (both gifts from @Michael & OMG).
A childhood friend offered to make a Vision Video for my blog. As part of my commitment to giving back to OMG I presented the idea of making a vision video for OMG to Michael as a way I could live my personal vision (transformation artist & leader) within OMG. He graciously embraced the idea. And the OMG vision video is now close to being done. 🙌🏼
This was a huge step for me. You see I come from a very DARK past… Aka Hollywood nightlife. In that world it was all about EGO, drugs & alcohols, greed, superficial beauty, covetousness, and the last thing you did was SHARE.
So even though my EGO did not want to share the idea of a VISION video because in the world of ego it would be competing with my own personal vision video for my blog… I did it anyway.
I did it because I am ready to heal. I did it because I have chosen to live a new possibility — the possibility of being a GREAT FAMILY-MAN. This includes my personal family AND my professional family (OMG). Part of being family is SHARING.
OMG has been my REDEMPTION. It has been my FAMILY to heal with.
Another thing I have come to recognize is that I still have growth & learning to do around ASKING FOR & RECEIVING support from anyone.
So I am using the OMG-starship as a vehicle to travel through this personally confusing & scary opportunity to heal around asking for & receiving support .
@Michael told me nearly 2 years ago that I should share my writing & my videos with the OMG team. Back then I was too scared.
I am still scared. But I am going to embrace the fear this time.
I wanted to humbly ASK for the support of the OMG-family to live my artistic vision .
I recently released a prelude to a vision video for my blog here:
I set a personal goal of getting 10k views. I’m a little over 8k right now.
This is me [your OMG 🐉 ] ASKING my family to support my personal artistic vision & goal.
It would truly mean the world to me if you “liked” & “shared” my video — “An Awakening Begins”.
Building a body of work. That is what I have been dying to do.
Or perhaps, I have felt like I am dying a slow death for the last two decades as I kept my artistic self locked away. All wrapped up in my fear, anxiety, & self-limitations.
[This is me refusing to face my FEAR, ANXIETY, & AUTHENTIC SELF — all bound up by my very own doing as a result… |Photo by Noelle | Undergarments by RLTD]
But I’ve finally tapped back in. Found new life. Answered a calling. To be of service. To take the experience & wisdom that resides in this human vessel and offer it up. To harness it and share it. Actually doing that. Putting it all down into writing, videos, audio recordings, and various other art forms and storing it on the interweb for anyone to access. This is what has been missing from my life for so long.
And now. Finally. I have found renewal & true life sustenance through creating & sharing.
Something I did so effortlessly as a child. But then I forgot…
I went on to live over 20 years of my life with his nagging feeling that I am not building and creating something of value during my time in the world. It created such a massive void in me. I’ve tried filling it with material success (money, status, etc.), drugs, sex, food, exercise-addiction & pretty much anything else that I can greedily over-consume & over-focus upon to drown out and hide from the inescapable emptiness.
I’ve recently overcome a lot of my past addictions. And by the grace of the Gods I’ve found a new way to fill myself up.
Since I have started writing, blogging, vlogging and sharing my creative work here and on other social media platforms I am beginning to feel as though I am filling that void that has left me feeling so empty & desperate for so long.
Do I understand or know where I am going? No, I don’t.
But I can sense the right direction pulling me the right way. And I am becoming ever more comfortable with the fear of the unknown. Learning to embrace and cherish the mystery of my unique journey.
Through this artist reawakening process I am coming to learn that the uncertainty of it all is what excitement is made of. At least a large portion of it is.
The sense of adventure comes from the unknown — the anticipation of discovery & learning during the unpredictable endeavors. I regularly experience the joy of this uncertainty now in my startup adventures here in Silicon Valley and am finding the same joy in my artistic creations now.
At times I am in rapture from the excitement of it all. At other times I am wracked by ANXIETY and lose myself to FEAR. Often, completely shutting down when the anxiety hits. Again, this happens with both my professional work & my personal artistic work.
I have been fighting my anxiety for most my life. Pretty much ever since I forgot my artist-self. The one I locked away when a teenager decided that being an artist wasn’t going to cut it in this life.
As I locked the artist part of myself away, I also cut off my access to the ever-evolving intuitive learner that loved the unknown, the mysterious, the puzzles, the trials, and the tribulations. The one who loved the uncertainty of it all. Because within that uncertainty lived infinite POSSIBILITY.
For the last two decades I’ve been shackled. Self-oppressed. Anxiety literally killing my life-force.
But now I am being reborn. An artist rebirth is underway. And the insight & self-knowledge that is being cultivated during this process is truly LIBERATING.
Finding my art, making my art, and sharing my art is making me a better entrepreneur, partner, family-man, and more! And of course the shear joy of living as an artist in all areas of life is something I can barely understand & appreciate yet, but it feels AWESOME! And I know it’s only going to get better the more I embrace it. It is like…
TRUE AFFLUENCE: abundance & flow working together in synergy & synchronicity.
One of the biggest lessons that has come from this reawakening process is my understanding and beliefs around the infamous state of ANXIETY. This dark thing that seems to rob the joy of life from many of us. 🌑
Here is what I’ve learned about this dark state we call ANXIETY:
** Anxiety is just another facet of the same diamond that “excitement” also lives within. **
I am just an excited Spirit. A Spirit and Soul that is so electrified to be here on earth that if I am not directing my abundant energy into noble endeavors I am wracked with anxiety letting me know that my energy is not focused and directed in the right spectrum.
No wonder that after spending two decades suppressing my artist-self my anxiety had built to a point where I was left feeling so anxious that death seemed like a far better option. It was literally boiling up inside of me. Trying to show & tell me something. And it was either going to get me to listen or kill me trying.
And this leads me to the next powerful paradigm shift I’ve recently come to understand & embrace:
** Anxiety is a guidance system of “right action” and “right intent”. It is also a barometer for one’s current level of self-acceptance, self-worth, and ultimately… the state of one’s SELF-LOVE. **
The more “in tune” I am with myself and acting in accordance with Divine Will the less anxiety I have. The more I unconditionally love myself despite the ever-changing weather of life the more anxiety fades and something new & empowering comes in.
When I am fully inline with Divine Will I have no anxiety. Only pure joyful excitement. Anxiety is literally transmuted into usable positive energy to thrive in the adventure of life. I go from being completely shut down, being killed by my own life to…
Energy bursting forth like a waterfall that cannot be contained. Mesmerizing. Majestic. Powerful.
That is me when I am in alignment with my higher calling. When I am taking the “right” intuitive steps towards my own apotheosis. Even when it doesn’t make rational sense. When I can flow with my higher self who doesn’t operate from the limitations of rational-thinking then I “know” and “feel” the right steps unfolding before without having to even see them.
Scary I know. But so damn exciting too! 😁
This is the gift of anxiety & fear. If we can face & embrace them they will allow us to heal, to grow, and to TRANSFORM into a higher state of JOYFUL LIVING.
As I begin to embrace my fears and follow them with trust I literally feel the anxiety transform into excitement.
It is so subtle though. If I am not paying attention, if I am not in awareness, I miss the switch. The line between the two is so delicate. So fine. Like balancing on the edge of a sharpened sword.
Yet, when I pass into the excitement as I surrender to the calling of my fear-sirens that same sword cuts the oppressive bonds of my anxiety and I fly free. I soar. I grow. I transform. And I electrify everything and everyone around me.
Like the master pendulum in a room. So strong is my underlying force that I pull everyone in my field of energy into accordance. An array of pendulums that were all swinging in discord are now swinging together in grace.
I have seen this so many times when I am in my power. Bringing forth magic and laughter to a group of people. Amplifying their joy to a level where we can all feel it. And it is wondrous! ☄
When you can feel the energy of a group of people singing in harmony. This vibration. This movement of unison is something to behold! Rocking back & forth in synchronicity. An ocean of energy ebbing and flowing in unity.
It is dynamic co-creative fire setting us all ablaze! 🔥🔥🔥
What is awesome is that we can all do this. All of us have this power of being the master pendulum that pulls everyone around them into a higher state of being. And we have all done this many times in our lives. Even if it just with a few other people, or even one other person. We have witnessed consciously or subconsciously how our energy has pulled another’s into accordance.
The scary part is that this works both ways. Those with incredibly strong energy dark or light can pull a group in either direction. This is why each of us must maintain dominion over ourselves.
Ever interacted with a parent, partner, boss or great friend who is in a terrible mood or energetic space and then shortly thereafter find yourself in the same state? How do you think that feels for all the people you come into contact with after you have moved into that darker state of being?
How is that felt by your loved ones? Anger, anxiety, depression, and the like… those are palpable energies that can easily be felt by those we are closest to.
And because of this we must maintain dominion over our own energetic emotional state. This does not mean suppressing or denying your feelings or states of energy. I am a firm believer that we must emote to release and be cleansed by our own emotions. No matter the emotion, they always happen for a positive reason if we can recognize, acknowledge, & surrender to their healing powers. [more on embracing darker emotions and allowing them to free us here.]
When we sense our energy is dark we must be careful in how we are transmitting to others.
Out of love and respect for others we must open ourselves to receiving their lighter energy and surrender our own darker energy and flow with them. Thus we transform ourself by surrendering to another.
Paradoxical in a sense. But this is the power of communion. We are all here together to be of service to one another.
We must constantly work on our own self-derived energetic ethics. So as a world-community we are empowering one another through an infinite interplaying of leading & surrendering. Healing & harmonizing through one another.
We must hold ourselves in DYNAMIC DOMINION: allowing ourselves to be served by others when in need and serving others when they are in need.
In this way we all dance together into greater living divinity.
And in this way we can hold ourself in personal integrity, dynamic dominion, & have fun in life even when it gets turned upside down.🙃
What we need is the intention to allow creativity to create through us. A surrender to the creative force that lies within us all. The eternal ever-burning Sun. Do we hide it away in some dark deep closet? Hidden from all, including ourselves. Or do we open the door and let whatever reflections of brilliance are there shine outward into the world? What mystery and revelation will come bounding out of this inner door of light? It is so exciting it can be scary. I am scared. But once again I embrace the darkness with love. Transmuting it into light consciousness to cast forth into the world with valor. God grant me valiance.
I do not know what will come forth, but I trust the Universal design. I trust that as I tap into my diamond consciousness and the Universal Mind whatever is meant to come will come and it will be right.
I have been wrestling with my old self. My old self who says that I cannot live my artistic creative dream and have the rest of my life (and family) be okay. Or more succinctly, I cannot live my artistic creative dream with integrity and commitment if anything else in my life is out of order. This is the old commandment I have been living all my life. The wounded warrior character that never gets to do what his inner child artist wants to do. But it is time. Time to change my story and change my life. To recognize that my compassionate heart is strong. I can hold everyone in my life in compassion and live my artistic vision with truth at the same time. I have the power of the Sun ever-burning within. There is more than enough energy to create and hold all of my life and those within it in compassion. It is time to let go of this self-defeating illusion. There is nothing wrong with creating my bliss and sharing it with others while other aspects of my life are under the fire of healing, growth, and transformation. This is the infinitely dynamic way of life. An infinity of moving parts. I can trust they are all working together in a divine dance for divine evolution. I reach in and grab my trust and I wield it with a furious heart. Sun-fueled. Let me burn away this ice that freezes me in stagnation. Spring is here. Let me call forth new growth in all its green glory. As I shine this diamond brilliance on these frozen memories I compassionately watch as they melt away. Freeing myself from their frosty grip. A goodbye to winter. Spring-time veneration.
The Sun is here and it’s shining bright. No longer enveloped in the bond of my frozen emotions, memories, patterns, and DNA — I evolve. No longer frozen, I grow forth and go forth into the world and share my brilliance. Light-bringer awakening. Old commandment broken. Self-imposed chains dissolved. Darkness alchemized. Self-integration realized. Time to dance with freedom of Spirit.
Starting before you’re ready… and the beauty of being unfinished… THE ART OF THE START
(This video is far from perfect or even excellent. It is not a finished product. It’s messy, I make mistakes, you can hear the nervousness in my voice, But… I started. And I’m sharing my messy unfinished artistic process in service to others finding their own courage to start something that both calls to them and scares the hell out of them.)
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” –Hugh Laurie
The old version of myself took forever to start anything that I deeply dreamed about or deeply desired to do. The more intense the dream or desire the longer it took. A prime example of that is starting a blog. I thought about it for almost a decade. I finally started it sometime in 2014 and even then it was a painful and slow birth. I don’t think I even managed to get a piece of writing up until 2015. Really it wasn’t until I committed to posting one piece of creative work every week that it finally began to gain momentum [more on that commitment here].
Another thing I have deeply desired to do was start a newsletter. I thought about this for several months. I’ve made a commitment to myself to just jump in and start on the things I dream of. Instead of waiting another decade I am starting now. To free myself from my own self-oppression. To embrace the fear of the things that call to me. To make mistakes, look like a fool, and not know what I am doing. To hold ever so tightly to the wisdom that it is by doing and taking action that we learn, grow, and transform. I am still pretty slow to start on these deep callings, but I am getting faster. So, in the spirit of just jumping into the fire of life…
Welcome to my newsletter–> ALCHEMIZED
*I will never send spam or share your email. Only awesome alchemical things I want to share sent directly from me to you!
This is my commitment to discovering, making, and sharing ART & TRANSFORMATION in SERVICE to others.
I have discovered that one of the best ways to illuminate oneself and others is to SHARE. It is through people and shared experience that we find inspiration, consolation, healing, growth and transformation.
When we share something that has authentically touched, moved, or inspired us something magical happens. It not only transforms those we are sharing with, it transforms us.
The full disclosure is that I don’t really know what the iterations of Alchemized will be. This here is the first one. And I’ve already revised it over 50 times… No joke! Learn by doing & incremental improvement are KEY.
The whole point of this is to start something while allowing myself to sit in AMBIGUITY. And then to let the whole thing evolve into whatever it decides to be.
My initial guess is that it will be some sort of email of several things that I have recently found particularly transformative in some aspect. They will likely be things I have created, discovered, learned, found fun, fascinating, growth-inducing, transformational, soul-soothing, and maybe even lit my spirit on fire.All of this in the SPIRIT of SERVICE, ILLUMINATION, and TRANSFORMATION. My own and others…
And who knows what this will become. I am definitely the one most anticipating the unfolding of this. Nonetheless, I am deeply appreciative for all who join me in this journey! 😀
This whole project and concept both scares the hell out of me and is at the same time incredibly exciting. The line between excitement and fear is often almost impossible to find.
Regardless of what Alchemized becomes my commitment is that it will be in service to alchemical transformation.
The goal of the Alchemized is to be a renewable resource of potential catalysts. I firmly believe that we should interact with catalysts of awe, wonder, fascination, magic, growth, healing, and transformation each day.
LifesRake and the Alchemized are all about ALCHEMY — the seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, and combination.
Sometimes we discover one small catalyst and a whole aspect of our life literally transforms… I aim to be a lantern-bearer & a bridge for others in discovering those catalysts.
The main vision of this inaugural Alchemized is to to share the scariness, vulnerability, and transformational power of creating and starting something that calls to you. And sharing it even if it isn’t finished. By no means is this easy. And we often have to forgive ourselves for holding ourselves back before we even begin. Or begin again… I am constantly forgiving myself for holding myself back…
In this newsletter are three videos I created in July of 2015 all about starting before you are ready [see version 1 at the top and version 2 & 3 at the bottom – FYI: these are far from the first few versions – I filmed this a TON of times (30+)…]. These are three versions of the same filming. I filmed this concept over and over. And still I lamented over the belief that none of them were good enough to share. It has taken me 6 months to gather the courage to post these. Half a year to embrace the unnerving fear of judgement, both from within and without. Over 180 days of being too scared to share my art and connect.
(Work on La Sagrada Familia, one of Spain’s most famous and epic pieces of art, began in 1882. Over 130 years later and it is still not completed. They are still working on it. I used to live right next to this mesmerizing piece of growing artistic magic. Every day I even glimpsed this living piece of art I was blessed with creative sustenance. I cannot even quantify the loss of life experience for myself or others if Antoni Gaudí, the architect behind this, had chosen to wait until it was finished to share it with the world. Imagine how much less grand and less awe-inspiring this world would be if we were only allowed to view completed creative works of art? I am not laying claim to this level of art, but how much more compassionate, inspiring, and inspired would this world be if none of us were afraid to show our creative work in progress?)
To be crystal clear — at the time I compiled this post I had little-to-no experience writing, blogging, filming, recording audio, and have just barely started to learn how to edit any of these. I am sharing all of this because I am tired of hiding my creative process. Tired of trying to be perfect. And I am tired of treating imperfection and vulnerability as an excuse not to create art and share it. I now harness my imperfections and vulnerability and show it to the world and connect. I now use my authenticity and vulnerability as a source of empowerment for myself and others by sharing it.
I also want to highlight and remember that we all start with little-to-no knowledge, experience, or expertise. We are always in a state of becoming. Let us always remember this. So the next time we feel the call of something and the fear of starting rises to challenge us… we embrace the fear. Deeply knowing & understanding that FEAR is often our best guide for UNLEASHING our most AUTHENTIC, POWERFUL, & HIGHEST-SELF. It is also often our WAY-FINDER to living a life of PASSION & PURPOSE.
Or in other words, a life worth living…
My inspiration & alchemical discovery that lead to this idea (Alchemized) being actualized:
It goes perfectly along with the vision of the Alchemized. It’s a book all about embracing your fear and creating art. It will awaken your inner artist. And if you don’t think you are an artist this book will change your mind about that too. It is the book that was the final catalyst I needed to birth Alchemized. Even if you would never consider yourself an artist this book will catalyze some area of your life — career, relationships, life, etc. If you are an ENTREPRENEUR in any way this is a MUST READ.
Please join me in this mission to let people see and understand that IT IS OKAY TO FEEL LIKE YOU ARE NOT READY. It is okay to SUCK. It is okay to be SCARED. It is okay to have no clue what you are doing…
But we must do it anyway… Because the fear shows us our higher callings…
So far in my life it seems like fear and feeling like you’re not ready are always front & center anytime you are doing anything that you are really deeply desire and/or are destined to do…
The paradox of surrendering to fear is rarely easy in practice (at least for me so far). But…
Maybe even try what I am doing & just jump in and learn and grow along the way. That is exactly what I am doing with this newsletter, my blog, my writing, my filming and all of my creative work.
I am starting with the faith that I will become something by doing. I will discover, learn, and maybe even that something will be great. But really, who knows and who cares…
Let us live for the journey! The magic always & forever lives in the adventure (not in some final destination).
And before I end, some suggestions for getting the most out of the Alchemized:
Try what grabs your attention.
Keep what works for you.
Share what you personally like.
And leave the rest.
THANK YOU for being a part of the birth of the Alchemized! It is always through others that we manifest, realize, actualize, and LIVE our VISION & DREAMS. Because YOU have taken the time and energy to view this (and maybe even share it) I am living my vision & dream of being a transformation artist & leader. And for this I will always & forever be grateful to you. Even if we never meet. You are still a part of my journey because we shared this creative work together.
In the following newsletters I will continuously optimize for form, function, and resources that you can harness for all aspects of the alchemical journey of life.
In gratitude & service,
Justin David Carl
P.S. Please forward this to anyone who may find it useful. That would mean the world to me!
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.” –Neil Gaiman
If any of this any of this moved, touched, or inspired you please join my newsletter here:
*I will never send spam or share your email. Only awesome alchemical things I want to share sent directly from me to you.
(Another take of “Starting Before You’re Ready” — still a mess. But finding incremental improvement by DOING. And I am learning to embrace my own fear by sharing my unfinished creative mess.)
(And a third version… confidence & flow on film is improving, filming angle & setup improving, and then the camera overheats and shuts down before I finish…FML… Oh, the irony of learning by doing and incremental improvement…)