In this season of the Inner Alchemy Podcast, we’re focusing on the very human journey that each of our guests have navigated to come to their own beliefs, values, and methods of healing. Through their own ups, downs, and in-betweens, each of our guests continues to harness the power of inner alchemy to create a life of balance and reciprocity.
We are joined this week by Kristin Sweeting on Season 2, Episode 2 of the Inner Alchemy Podcast. Without further ado, let’s grow, learn, and heal together!
How Grief and Choosing Yourself Helps You “Human”
Kristin is an international wedding photographer turned coach-for-creatives. She uses her extensive, experience-based knowledge to cultivate a sphere of influence where she can create dangerously, live fiercely, and break free of the box in which society so often confines us.
She embraces the beauty of the human experience – in the grief and the vulnerability, the healing and the rediscovery, the romance and the whimsy, the natural ebb and flow of life. Kristin discusses how allowing space for herself to exist as a human being (not a human doing) has affected her career, creativity, community, and sense of self for the much, much better.
Kristin has learned that her own vulnerability is a way to foster the connection on the other side of the camera, and in doing so, has found it to elevate both her art and her being beyond the surface level. It provides common ground where the photographer and the subject can co-create a magical moment.
Vulnerability is not weakness – it is strong, courageous and (you guessed it)… healing!
Grief is an inevitable part of being human. And, in our culture, we often shove it down as a way to do what we think is necessary for our very survival, or rather, when really, that’s what we have been taught (mind you, mistaught) is necessary for our survival. Kristin’s story shows us that by going through hard things, we are able to become more empathetic, compassionate, and intuitive.
As I chat about at length over on my Instagram, we exist in a culture in which of many of us feel trapped in the daily routine, the expectations, the hum-drum of life. We feel like society has put us in this box and that there’s just no escaping it. Maybe we pursue the career picked out for us at the age of eighteen, or stay in the not-so-fulfilling nine-to-five job, or measure success in timelines, or determine our worth on the size of our paycheck. The ‘or’s’ are seemingly endless.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can put an end to it, if we choose to. You don’t have to abandon who you are in pursuit of what society tells you to be.
You can honor your being. You can make bold choices. You can uphold boundaries. Most importantly, you can choose yourself.
In Kristin’s words: “I would rather make people angry than abandon myself, my creativity, and my voice.” No matter how scary (and tricky!) it may be, when you choose to embrace yourself, you are choosing healing.
4 Steps to Learning Life From Life Itself
Healing doesn’t always demand confetti or an epiphany in your therapist’s office. It’s also in the simple moments and in the day-to-day; you’re healing all of the time. Here are four ways that Kristin has found healing in her life, in her business, and as a creative:
- Romanticize your life. Whether flying to Paris to run through the Champ de Mars or walking to the coffee shop around the block for a reading break or spinning a vinyl of Dean Martin’s On An Evening in Roma while you cook the spaghetti carbonara recipe you’ve been wanting to try – romanticize your life. Look for intentional ways to create magic.
- Question the WHY. Why do we do things the way that we do? Why do we run on autopilot? Why do we push off those big bucket-list items for another someday? Why do we desert ourselves? When you begin to question the why, you can start to identify and deconstruct those systems that are holding you back from your truth.
- Learn to let go. Letting go isn’t something that we like to do of our own accord. that we love to do. I won’t lie to you either— It isn’t easy. Acknowledging that a major part of your life (whether that be a ten-year relationship or a year-long move) was only temporary can come as a bit of a shock to the system. But remember: Your life is meant to evolve and blossom and change. Just because it doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your time. Trust the process and let go.
- Get creative. Create the life you want. Experience new things. Rediscover yourself. Travel the country. Have a dance party in your office. Pursue simplicity. Take Wednesdays off. In Kristin’s words: ‘Life is creative work.’ YOU are a creative simply by existing, so get to creating!
For more healing methods available to you and to hear Kristin’s comparison between life and a charcuterie board, listen to Kristin’s episode of the Inner Alchemy Podcast.