Do you remember what you were doing nine years ago? Hmmh, probably not. It may have been an unremarkable pre-spring March day for you, but for me, this day was monumental. It was my first day waking up in India having left everyone and everything I knew in America, in what would turn out to be a 2-year inner and outer odyssey. It was a radical but necessary decision and a pivotal time that changed the course of my life.
When I left the country, I had two intentions, to find a better version of myself and a new creative path for my future.
Working on myself was the first priority. Did you guys know that? Yeah, I wasn’t running off for some fun, extended vacation. I was suffering a psychological crisis that gave way to a spiritual awakening (although I wouldn’t have used that language at the time) where I saw clearly (finally!) that no one was coming to save me—not friends or family or God or anyone—I had to save myself. Drastic measures had to be taken.
Having spent the better portion of 3 decades suffering from depression, anxiety and C-PTSD I saw I could no longer put my focus on big business America or any of our “normal life” activities here. I had to place every ounce of my attention and energy on healing. It was absolutely necessary to unravel myself enough to see what was going on so I could put myself back together again in some form of a healthy human. I ripped a hole in the fabric of my own reality and stepped through it to another dimension of self inquiry (still in progress).
I know a lot of people have a hard time understanding the true gravity of psychological suffering or the importance of “inner work” if they haven’t experienced it but if you have unstable mental health foundations, especially from your developing years, please put everything you can bear towards your well-being and figuring yourself out. I’m really passionate about people taking personal responsibility for their own healing (can’t you tell?! Haha). Seriously folks, you owe it to yourself and all those in your life to do the work.
But ok, ok, I’m trying to tell you about some new exciting stuff in my life! Geez Eryn, why you always gotta be so serious?! Stick with me people, I’m getting there…
Ok, so the second intention—the creative path—well, I thought it would’ve arrived a little sooner than it did, honestly. I mean, I’ve been creative all the way through, it’s true; there have been mandalas, a few art exhibitions, my Conscious Creations project, publishing Facing Freedom and co-authoring Art of Awakening, and how could I forget, designing and building a tiny home in Hillsborough, NC? But not until now, 9 years after the initial intention, have I felt firmly planted in a solid, new, creative direction.
That’s why I’m writing today, to share what’s going on and to invite you to a party March 31st! I know it’s unlikely you can make it, you are in different states and far away countries, but everyone loves a good party, right? Come on out!
So, what’s it all about? Well, I have a fabulous art studio in downtown Hillsborough and I’m working full-time on a 12 piece large-scale series I’m calling “Icons of Transformation”. I’m taking all my experiences of travel, inner work, spirituality, and a masters in transpersonal psychology, and creating major works of art along these themes.
Oh yeah, did I tell you I went back to university? Can’t remember. Yes, after all my experiences overseas, I came across a master’s program in Consciousness Studies, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology. I could not have found a more perfect degree to suit my interests and dedication to inner work after traveling so I completed my degree between 2018 – 2021. It gave an incredible framework and scholarly structure to all I’d known experientially. Who even knew these fields were being formally researched, published and offered?!? You can read my journal publication from my thesis research if it interests you—an empirical study on mandalas and altered states of consciousness.
My focus within the degree was creativity and transformation, so I’m taking it all, experience and education and putting it into my art. I’m working with wood, epoxy and mosaics. I enjoy pushing the limits of the wood, with intricate design, then building back structure with epoxy and finally bringing it to life with backlit glass.
Of course everything I do is symbolic. With mosaics I love the idea of assembling something beautiful—a new whole—from broken pieces. Like the shattered pieces of ourselves we sometimes have to transform and make new.
To me, this is art. Full of depth and meaning and story. It’s the way we transcend the suffering of life, to create and/or appreciate something beautiful.
Choose to Rise is completed and sold – she’s 3′ wide and 4′ tall, backlit.
Currently, I’m in progress on two special pieces. One is a 5′ mandala representing the healing path towards Self. The other is a floating girl above a lotus flower, the icon of silence and inner work. Here are a few pics of the process. All three large scale pieces (in varying stages of completion) will be featured at my studio opening party! Hope you’ll come out to visit.
And if you’re interested in the intersection of psychology and art, stay tuned. I have a feeling I will be writing more along those lines. Hopefully my sharing allows people who struggle to feel less alone, reflect on their own experience, and finally, the aim is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health challenges. We are survivors of ourselves.
Yowza people, let’s do this!
Big love from NC!
What a welcome and happy surprise to see you in my inbox today! I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how you were doing. I am thrilled that your path has brought you to this point, it sounds like you are *just* where you need to be, doing exactly what you should be doing. My heart is really happy after reading your entry. Of course I wish I could attend your studio opening party, I will definitely be there in spirit on the 31st!
Sending you big love from Venice as you continue making the world a much better place,
Eryn, these are beautiful! So proud of you and happy th