CC 007 – Living vs Observing Emotion with Sheila Darcey of SketchPoetic
Are we truly experiencing and connecting with our emotions, or are we simply treating them like our most recent obsession on Netflix and watching them from a safe distance? This realization of living vs observing our emotions came pouring out of Sheila Darcey, a.k.a. the Sketchpoetic, once she began to put pen to paper.
Her art became an emotional translator of years of suppressed thoughts, beliefs, pain, and joy. Sheila continues to use this form of expression as not only her own therapeutic tool but is now her mission to share this practice with the world and to help others find their own way to optimal well being.
What does true health mean to you? Connect with us on Instagram @curednutrition and share your journey on our most recent post!
Welcome everybody back to the Cured Collective podcast. This show was a lot of fun. This is our first guest from outside of our affiliate team with Cured. I met today’s guest at the Summit Winter Jam Series 1. Summit is a collection of thought leaders, entrepreneurship, VCs, investors, LPS, and a bunch of people that kill it in this world and are really forward thinkers.
I was out there in the beginning of February and met today’s guest Sheila Darcey AKA @sketchpoetic on Instagram. We were sitting in a discussion on the enneagram, and Sheila sat down close to me. We introduced ourselves and just started diving into conversation about coming home to ourselves, and learning who we are at our core, and understanding our darkness and our pitfalls that we all have, and just being really, really vulnerable and really real with a stranger essentially.
In the course of five minutes, I felt like this would be an awesome person to have on our platform because she really emulates the Cured brand message, introspection and lifestyle, and what she’s doing through her art therapy – hence the name sketch poetic. You guys gotta check her out on Instagram. Absolutely amazing artwork and she’s been on a journey. She opened up to me in our first meeting there at Summit, but then also on this podcast and I just really enjoyed talking to her. And I know you guys will as well.
Just wanted to also announce the release of our 250mg raw tincture. We also just released 60 and 30 count Full Spectrum Gel Capsules, so those of you that enjoy our full spectrum raw oils can now take them in capsule form just like the THC free gel capsules that have previously been available. Full spectrum oil is always better to use, or I should say, more effective. If you need a THC-free option, our mint oils are always great, but full spectrum is always more effective it includes all of the cannabinoids in the terpenes which is the flavor profiles of the plant. All of those constituents work together to create what is the entourage effect and basically give you more bang for your buck so check those out at curednutrition.com. Our 60 and 30 count Full Spectrum capsules and the 250mg raw tincture are now available curednutrition.com. Remember to use coupon code “collective” at checkout as you are a listener to this podcast.
We do have an ask for people that are enjoying this podcast to go ahead and share it with your community while you’re listening to it on your iPhone or your smartphone, take a screenshot of it, tag @curednutrition on Instagram, tag myself Joseph Sheehy, tag our guest of the day, @sketchpoetic, or with any other podcast episode the guest for that day. We would love for you to share this via social because that is one of the best ways to get the word spread through platforms like that so if you’re enjoying this, truly appreciate you sharing this through social media. Tag cured nutrition tag myself tag any guest and we will uh be seeing that and sharing that ourselves because we always love to hear your guys thoughts on all of our content including this now, the podcast that is extension of what cured is and the cured lifestyle. Without further adieu, today’s episode with Sheila Darcey.
Want to read along? View the full transcript below
Joe: I’m sitting here with my new friend Sheila Darcey aka the sketch poetic. We met at Summit Powder Mountain Winter Jam 1. I can’t even remember the first words that we said to each other, but about the second or third sentence in we started to get really vulnerable and it was like oh this is really cool. So I was super stoked to spend the time that I did with you in Utah, but then again I was like man, it would be super super amazing to have you on our podcast The Cured Collective. We’re a group of people that are just trying to be really vulnerable and figure this life out together, and I saw instantly that – through the vulnerability that we shared with each other – I knew that this would be a great time to spend with each other, so thank you so much for joining me i’m super excited to have you here.
Sheila: I’m so honored and I had the same exact response when I met you. I was so struck by your vulnerability and how open and how quickly we connected, and I knew immediately it was meant for something bigger than even that one conversation. So when you mentioned it a bit later about the podcast, I went “there you go” that’s part of the reason we met.
Joe: Yeah and we were sitting in… were we sitting in the enneagram talk?
Sheila: Yeah, yeah we were.
Joe: Yeah and you know all of that is really figuring out who we are, how we operate and how that plays into relationships. If you know why people operate the way they do, you can approach conversations, arguments, anything, a little bit differently because you can see people for who they are. You know, the way they talk or interact is a culmination and a result of childhood, the past or the way they were raised, and we instantly started to dive into that. So I wanted to talk about how you’re aka the sketch poetic now. That’s been going on for how long? When did that kind of become a thing?
Sheila: The name, or what I call the pseudonym, of sketch poetic didn’t start until 2018, but the journey started in 2016. It was late 2016, and I cannot explain it Joe, but I woke up one morning and I saw this tsunami was coming. It wasn’t a physical tsunami, although I do live near the ocean so that could’ve been a prediction, but it wasn’t that. I just felt this energy coming towards me and it was so overwhelming. Because I’m a visual person, I felt like it was a tsunami and I couldn’t knock the feeling. I went to work that day and I’m like what is that feeling? And it coincided serendipitously with the fact that I was suffering some severe anxiety flying. I had been flying all my life, for work especially, and my anxiety around turbulence had progressively gotten worse. And I also knew that was not coincidental. So at that time, between the feeling of the tsunami coming towards me and this constant ache of trying to solve this anxiety that I could not remove and it was worsening, I just decided to just login and really really search deep about what that was. And that’s how the journey started, because it was really my commitment to finally unpacking what I knew was bothering me. It was me addressing a lot of stuff that I had been avoiding all my life.
Joe: So, tell us a little bit about what your career was at the time, and what your job was in the business world. We briefly touched on it at Summit, but I want to dive into it here, and see that fall apart and see what was going on there.
Sheila: Yeah, it’s interesting because when that feeling hit me I was at a startup. I had just joined a company called Beyond Curious. It was an innovation agency. We were helping big brands transform themselves – how ironic is that? Well, not ironic, it’s actually the right setting because here I was trying to help big brands transform, and here I was about to go through a major transformation myself. But prior to that I worked for a company called CPN. It has since evolved and was acquired by larger agencies. But in that job, I was able to do project management, client executive, you know, sales. I even went internal for a while and did people success. So in general, I was more of a consultant and able to meet with people and understand problems. I feel like that’s what consultants ultimately do is to unearth problems and help. What’s interesting about consultants is it’s not our job to give you the answers. It’s our job to help guide you through it. So I think everything in the business world prepared me for this part of my life, which is to help people find themselves through art. So, yeah I would say part tech, part agency, part consulting, all business though. And I say all business because – you and I are in this world – there is just constant energy in the business world. It is sometimes much faster than you can even catch up with, so you have to really stay grounded and rooted in it, whatever it is that you’re feeling or doing.
Joe: So, would you say that you were… or are you a high stress person? And were you under a lot of stress at the time?
Sheila: Yes! I was. You know I am a type A personality, and perfectionist and…
Joe: Checking in!
Sheila: Yeah, I know that’s why you and I saw kindred souls immediately.
Sheila: Exactly. I was probably so anxious all the time because I was completely stressed out. Burnt out, stressed out, um, I don’t even think I realized how stressed I was because I didn’t know until I got off the treadmill. I was like, oh my God I’ve been running a marathon on the treadmill not going anywhere. Right? And I don’t mean that in the professional sense. I went into great places, but I’ve been running the treadmill for a while and I was feeling like… what is this all about? That purpose and meaning and I think its life stage too, right? So yeah, I was really stressed out and I definitely think that was the backdrop of my transformation back to art. So I went back to art because I had found out through my own digging, and through some conversations with some healers and guides, that my anxiety was really stemming from emotions I had not been releasing. Because those emotions were emotions I had deemed negative, right? Anger, shame, guilt, all of these emotions that I felt like I suppressed. I think I wasn’t ready to admit it, and I didn’t know how to express it in a healthy way because I had only seen negative expressions of anger through my childhood. The only people I had ever seen angry expressed it in a way that was not only unhealthy, but made me scared and fearful.
Sheila: So, consciously, I never expressed my emotions in that way because I didn’t know how to express anger in a healthy way. What does that mean? What does it mean to express anything healthy?
Sheila: So then intuitively I just started to go back to my art because I wanted to get centered. I first thought it was going to be a meditative practice, but then when I found out I wasn’t expressing these emotions I just decided “eff it.” I’m going to just put it all on paper and that’s kind of how it all started. Like here it is. This is sheila in every, but I didn’t want to go by sheila, I wanted it to be about what it was and that’s where sketch poetic came from. I’m sketching poetic, i’m sketching through theses emotions, through this pain, through this trauma.
Joe: Right, and that’s so hard to grasp because, for me… Well, actually, it’s not hard to grasp if you think about it. If you’ve been conditioned to think that by expressing emotions you’re inherently bad or there’s just something wrong with you, how do you ever feel? I feel like over time that can play out in so many different areas, and I’ve experienced it firsthand with somebody in my life. Obviously, we talked about my girlfriend when we were in Utah and how you can get so bound up and just feel like you’re shrinking, or I don’t know what it may have felt like in your life, but that’s a scary thing. It’s like this loss of being a human, because we’re supposed to feel and feeling isn’t bad. Purging, whether it be sweating, crying, laughing, whatever it is, we have to do that. If you don’t do that you’re just getting so bound up, and I think that that’s scary. It sounds like that’s how you were conditioned to live. It’s like, “You can’t do that!” Or if you do so there’s something wrong.
Sheila: It’s so interesting you said the word purging. It’s not something I always talk about publicly, but I have talked about it personally. I suffered from bulimia in high school and a little bit in college. It was true physical purge that I knew had to do with emotional purging, because I was so conditioned to not express who I was. That word is such a perfect word to describe what you’re talking about and the thing that happens when you suppress your emotions. You intuitively know you’re doing something to yourself. What you don’t understand, and this is what happening to me on my journey, is the judgement you actually feel towards the people that express those emotions.
Sheila: I would work with people that would easily express their anger, and I would judge them and I didn’t know I was judging them. I think it was enviable in my mind that they were so free to express their emotions, so even the way I was interacting with people was guarded. I was coming in with these preconceived feelings of whatever it is they were expressing, so it’s such a cycle. That’s why I think you mentioned we met at the enneagram about getting to know yourself. That’s the entire purpose of sketch poetic – folding in, stop looking out, stop seeking validation, stop creating expectations of who you are based on other people’s expectations of you. Stop looking at yourself through their eyes and stop, just stop it. Just start looking in – whatever that form needs to be to make it happen. Whether its dance or something else, you can do it through work as long as the passion is there and purpose is there. For me, it was sketching and I started looking in and Joe, can I tell you? It wasn’t so pretty. There were parts of myself that I didn’t think were good. Not good in the sense of good and evil or judgement. Parts of myself that I didn’t like but, instead of rejecting that, I started to embrace that. I get emotional and it touches so deeply when I speak about that part of myself, because that’s the part that I want sketch poetic to be about for people. When they start to go in, you have to be prepared to be really uncomfortable. Like, it is super uncomfortable to look at the parts of yourself that you don’t want to see, but then embrace that part of yourself as a reason why you are the way you are and that it’s okay to be that person.
Joe: Yeah, I was looking through some of your art this morning and I can’t remember exactly which picture it was on. I think it might’ve been one of your collaborations, but you’re talking about sources of dark and light sort of existing together and how expansive that really is. We talk about yin and yang, masculinity and femininity, and light and dark. We’re all human and we’re all made up of all of those pieces, but sometimes we only live in a small percentage of it. I think that to show up for yourself and to show up for others in your life, you have to do exactly what you’re saying. You have to understand that that exists. We started talking about it, you and I, and I was talking about my codependency, my codependent tendencies.
View this post on Instagram
Joe: Sometimes, if I can control a situation by saying the right thing or doing the right thing to make that other person happy, only then I’m going to be happy and I’m going to feel okay. But at the basis of it, that’s kind of dark that you’re going to feel better by controlling somebody else.
Joe: But then I realized that if I can own that and understand that I do that, then it’s okay.
Joe: It’s not my favorite thing about myself.
Sheila: Right, right. It’s a part of yourself that you don’t want to see.
Joe: Yeah. How did that start to play out as you started sketch poetic looking at the emotions that are coming out onto paper? Did you know some of that darkness was there? Or was it so put away in a box that you just never wanted to face for so long, that you almost forgot about it?
Sheila: Oh, it’s so complex. Sometimes, I don’t know where to start, because to me it’s all cyclical. So, I’ll start with the first part of your question which is ‘how did it feel when I started to sketch.’ That’s, I think that’s how I would answer your question.
Sheila: Rationally, I’m very hyper aware of who I am. Good and bad by the way. Sometimes I’m my worst inner critic, but it’s very rational. What happened is I started to be emotional, I was an emotional creature. And it seems so obvious when you’re moving through life that you are an emotional creature. But when you don’t express your emotions, you’re not an emotional creature. You’re just a person moving through life, observing emotions, but you’re not necessarily living it. When I started sketch, it unearthed trauma I had rationally known I experienced. It also made me realize how much I suppressed and therefore blocked. I’m realizing now more than ever how much of my childhood I don’t remember.
Going through recent trauma in my life, I’m seeing how it’s like a reverberation and echo and ripple of that trauma. What I’m learning is whatever your spiritual belief is, Joe, whether it’s God, the universe, consciousness, or you don’t have a spiritual belief, there is something bigger at play in our lives. What happened is that I started to realize that the lessons I hadn’t learned yet where continuing to come forth in ways I hadn’t expected. So what art does, and the beauty of art, and that’s the reason I’m so passionate about it, is it takes you back to a state of childhood where you aren’t thinking. You are just playing and you’re creating this peace. When you’re creating something all of those layers just, they just magically drop. I do these collaborations with people and I see it like I physically see it. This shield around them that just suddenly dissipates, and it naturally happens when you’re actively creating. I don’t care what you’re creating, it just does. So when you do that, you’re able to finally let the doors open and you start to see things. For me it was darkness. I think I would venture to say most people would say I’m a very optimistic positive person, but that does not negate the fact that I had a lot of darkness. A lot of it. If you look at my earlier sketches it was all about that. I believe strongly that part of the reason people were connecting with my work was because of how raw and open I was about my darkness and that I saw beauty in it. That’s the key. I didn’t see ugly, I saw beauty in that darkness because of the yin and yang. And I’m sure eastern and western philosophies all speak to it in their own language and their own way. I found my art was a visual way for me to connect with this idea that you truly can’t be your whole self unless you raise both the darkness and light, and that it is okay. Hence why I want to delve into the world of mental and emotional well-being, because that is where the darkness lies. That is the parts of you that you’re afraid of, let’s just be honest. I think we’re all afraid to open that box. Why wouldn’t we be? Because we don’t know what’s there. The last thing I will say is that fear is real. I think we’re afraid that if we open that box, we’ll actually experience or feel things that we’re afraid to feel. What I’ve learned, and this is the most valuable lesson that I have learned, is that I was feeling it anyway I just wasn’t expressing it. It was always in my body, it was always in my head, I just didn’t express it. So that’s why I was anxious, that’s why I was controlling, that’s why I was a perfectionist, and that’s why I hate validation from everything and everywhere, from everyone, because I didn’t want to express what was truly in my heart so I didn’t make room for me. I just didn’t.
Sheila: I was making room for everyone else.
Joe: I’m super curious about the transition, stepping into your power, your ability to help other people through art therapy and if there was any resistance to it. Because I’ve met a lot very, very, skillful, powerful, transformative people where in the beginning, there’s almost resistance. Especially if you’re conditioned the way you are and the way I am to have that outside validation. And like, am I enough? Stepping into our end and saying okay, I’m going to use my experiences, and my path, and what I’m learning about myself to then help other people… but am I enough? What are my credentials? What’s my background? And I think that’s where a lot of people get stuck, and I know I do myself. It’s like, well, I guess I’m human and I guess you’re human and I guess we all, we’re all the same at the bases and we forget that very easily. So I’m curious what that was like.
Sheila: Oh my goodness. You know, as I’m hearing you talk, I’m actually surprised I did not go down that path and I’ll tell you the one reason why I didn’t. I can totally see that I could have. I started for me, and that is the singular answer to that question. When you start to fulfill yourself. I never went into doing this the way it looks today. I never went into it with this idea that it was going to be this big thing that was going to transform people’s lives. I didn’t. I went into it to help myself. I went in it to heal myself. I went in it to unearth myself. And in the process of it I’m like, oh my God, this is powerful. How can I help other people do this? And so every part of my life that led up to this moment I pulled from. I was a facilitator. I’ve always been a person that wanted to help people and I knew a lot of people through my network in the business world, so I didn’t feel like it was a coincidence that I suddenly went into this world of art having come from the world of business.
Sheila: Because I don’t think my path would have accelerated as fast as it has. I’ve only been doing this for a little over two years. I know people that are art therapists who have been doing this for decades and aren’t getting the exposure that I am. I don’t take that lightly. But it’s because I came from that world and I understand how to navigate that world. So yeah, I never really got uncomfortable. The only time I did get uncomfortable, though, you spoke about. That stuff is now starting to come up. The stuff where you said am I good enough? Why me? Right? So when it surfaced, it’s when I lose the reason why. The moment I start to feel like I’m preaching something or I’m trying to force anything I have to learn to surrender. So that was the word and I actually had a good friend of mine at a dinner who I was sharing all of these ideas with her about, I was, it was coming at me so fast Joe I couldn’t keep up. I was like what the hell is going on? I’m getting all these ideas and it’s like blowing out of control in my mind and I was so ready to pounce on all of them because it’s my personality right you gotta get all of this stuff done and she looked at me exacerbated like what the hell is wrong with you? And I went what are you talking about? and she said it in a very biting way at first, and it took me back. She said you’re already on the path sheila. She had seen, she was watching me unfold and she saw what was happening and she already knew something I didn’t quite understand at the time. She said you’re already on your path, you don’t need to do anything you’ve got to surrender to it. And that word by the way. I rolled my eyes and I’m like, surrender? What the hell is that? What is that? What does that mean? I’m a control freak. I don’t know how to surrender. When she said that I went..okay. And I, again, rational. I heard it and then that truly, that where it was like, kicked in. Surrender. Surrender. What does that mean? What does that look like? What does that feel like? So, a lot of my sketches talk about surrender.
Sheila: What does it feel like to surrender? It is truly letting go of control, letting go of this belief that whatever it is you’re doing is going to create something. You’re kind of fooling yourself a little bit because the reality is you have no control. If you are living your purpose and you are living your mission things come to you. Like you came into my life for a reason. Right?
Sheila: I wouldn’t have this platform to share what I’m sharing had you not come. But we were drawn to each other for a reason, and I know that. I think we’re connecting in a way that’s truly meaningful and people are listening in and I hope they understand and connect to that more than anything else. That the way you and I are talking right now is how we spoke in the first ten minutes of our meeting.
Sheila: And that is powerful. It’s powerful.
Joe: Yeah, I wrote down before the podcast word patterns and something that you were just discussing made me think..is that a pattern? So, your friend saying you’re already on the path and if I, I could be wrong, but um, I’m trying to, I’m looking at my life. I”m looking at you and somebody that has had success and somebody that has had things catch on and overall I would say is a person that has been able to achieve things that you want to do. You set out and you can do it. Is that, is even this, when your friends saying hey you’re already on the path. Is that, is it, maybe looking at yourself and oh like, is this a pattern coming back up of thinking well once again maybe I am, or maybe I need to do more and over the course of your life every time you’ve had success or felt progress in a certain direction do you feel like that you still need more or you’re not enough or is that..
Sheila: Oh, yeah. I appreciate you asking that question. Where that shows up for me is old patterns of things that – again remember I mentioned earlier the parts of myself I don’t like? Part of what I have to do to create an impact that I want to create is to promote the work I’m doing.
Sheila: The part of myself that I remember looking back at, and I didn’t really like that part of myself, is the self-promoting part. When I was in an environment that was so dog-eat-dog and needed to stand out, I did. I was a self promoter and I didn’t like it. I didn’t know I was doing it, but when I was self promoting, I felt like I had to tell people what I was doing. The outer part of it was being the center of attention. I loved walking into a party and being that person that everyone went to, and being that friend that everyone like, I have to go to her because she’s the only one that gets it. That made me feel good. It filled a need in me that I needed to fill. But that doesn’t serve me anymore. What’s happening to me now is I’m filling my own sense of validation, my own sense of self care and love through whatever it is that is happening. So I don’t relate to people in that way anymore. To answer your question, sometimes it’s showing up in a different way. For example, as this journey is taking me to more success, sometimes people will connect with me in the old way, and I don’t connect like that anymore. They’ll want to connect with me in a way that serves a purpose for them, and it’s not synergistic anymore. I now have boundaries I guess is a better way to say it. I have better boundaries, Now I’m saying if it’s not coming from a place of curiosity for what it is I’m doing, or coming from a place of how do we mutually lift each other up?
Sheila: I sense it and that’s one way it shows up. I would say the other way it shows up is when you’re surrendering, you don’t know the outcome. That, to me, is the nuance of what you said. All of my life I’ve driven to a outcome, a goal, however you want to describe it. A milestone, a checkbox, a checklist, a bucket list. I can honestly say I have no idea where I’m going. I really don’t. All I know definitely is whatever it is that I am doing has been given to me, channeled to me, by a god, by the universe, I mean call it whatever it is. Something is happening to me, but it is not for me. It’s for everyone else. Part of the reason sketch poetic is so meaningful and purposeful is because I’m walking the walk and talking the talk. I’m actually still doing it. I’m actually still doing the work. By the way, I’m in the process of writing a book about this. I have an incredible writing partner and even in the process of writing the book, I’m in the process of learning stuff about myself, right? And my hope and my intention is that as I continue on my path to help others find their own path. I’m not asking you to follow Sheila’s path. I don’t want to see, Joe, if you do this and start to sketch daily or start to use art, that you become me or have the same transformation I did. That’s not at all what I’m saying. I’m simply telling people that there’s a tool called art. I like to call it creative expression. I don’t like to call it art therapy for a reason. It is a way for you to express something you may be afraid to express, but in a way that is naturally something you did as a child.
Sheila: It’s one of many tools out there. There’s yoga, there’s working out, there’s cooking, there’s singing. This is just one of them. I’m not asking or telling people this is the only tool and this is the only way. It’s just one, but I just think it’s a tool that not a lot of people have talked about. Hence why I say my purpose is to elevate art as a tool for healing.
Joe: Yeah. Have you ever tried um, have you ever tried ecstatic dancing?
Sheila: No! I would love to try it. What is that? Is it like where you’re like, you just let go?
Joe: Yeah, you let go in a weird way that you feel like you can’t let yourself do, and that’s part of like going back to the child parts.
Shiela: Same idea!
Joe: I did that at the first mastermind I went to. I’m not sure if you know who Aubrie Marcus is? He’s somebody that I’ve followed for the last couple of years who has really helped guide me on my path, but yeah we did ecstatic dancing for an hour.
Shiela: Oh, wow.
Joe: And, basically the whole thing is to just move however you want to move. They turn down the lights to where it was like 60 people in the room but you could barely see others. So we felt comfortable, and by the end I felt like I had transcended or I was like basically tripping, but it was all natural. I was moving in any way that emotion or the sound wanted me to.
Joe: And that was like woah, like it was crazy.
Sheila: Oh my God.
Joe: And I feel like that’s similar tying into everything you’re just kind of laying out working out, yoga, whatever it is. Just let your body move or let your emotions flow on the paper just the way that they want to.
Sheila: Oh my gosh, I’m so happy that you brought that into the conversation because you mentioned the word ‘transcended’ but immediately said the word ‘trippy’ and I think that’s an important part of the conversation, especially given the world you’re living in. I’m seeing lots of conversation around psychedelics and people experiencing things that put them out of their body or out of their element. And my hope, and I keep on saying this, my hope is that art is a natural way to experience that. Because not everyone should, or not everyone desires to do that. Should you want to, great. But what about the people that don’t deserve it? How can we help them achieve exactly what you just said, this feeling of transcendence, this feeling of true connection to something bigger than ourselves.
That just naturally happens when you’re creating or releasing. It’s just a release. And so I wanted to acknowledge what you said because that is actually part of the thing that I try to tell people is that whether or not you’ve experienced those types of things in life, I want you to appreciate and experience it naturally because there are natural ways people experience it. Through meditation, right? Some people experience it unfortunately through traumatic events. Whatever the case may be, how do you tap into that in a more purposeful, intentional way? And ideally in a way that’s more frequent so that you can really move through life feeling connected to something greater than yourself. I think that’s a big part of who I am and what I’m trying to put out there in the world.
Sheila: Because it is more than us.
Joe: Oh, 100 percent. I want to talk about the art and how you help others with it and guide them. We’re talking about transcending, but I kind of look at it like a flow state or getting completely 100 percent absorbed in the task at hand, and how that can let so much out because sometimes when we’re not fully in tune what whatever the task is at hand whether it be because of anxiety or thinking about the past or the future or opinions of other people we have like there’s this filter and we’re not really stepping into that flow state or that state or just total expression so how do you guide people through that and if there’s a block how do I, how do I get through that block? Or, you know, it’s not easy even just journaling and that’s something I think about that’s hard for me is I have a lot of thoughts and I try to put them onto paper, but, sometimes I make them sound a little bit better than they actually sound in my head.
Sheila: Haha, no! I love how honest you are. Can I just say that about you? Let’s just pause. I want to just look in your eyes and say that’s beautiful that you are able to acknowledge that, that you do that. Because we all do it
Sheila: So, I just wanted to acknowledge that. I’m going to say a word you probably are not going to expect it but the way I help people get to flow, and it is the right word, is compassion.
Sheila: So what happens is I sit with you and I show compassion. And when I feel compassion the person feels that I’m not judging them. They feel I’m being open and that I’m just letting, and this is a line a use a lot in my writing. I hold space for you. Because if I’m holding space for you, you’re able to hold space for yourself. And ideally that transfers when you go home and so what we do whether its a 1 on 1 setting or what we did in summit which was a group setting which by the way we should talk about that really cool event because not only were the people incredible but that’s not usually how my group settings go. It doesn’t look like that but it really taught me a valuable lesson about creativity and people, but I’ll go back to that in a minute. When I sit with someone or a couple or a few people that’s kind of how I start. I share why this matters and I share that fact that we all have that voice in our head that says “I’m not an artist, I don’t know how to draw a stickman, I don’t know how to draw a straight line, I’m not creative”. I’ve heard it all. And guess what? I actually am an artist and I still say that to myself so that’s the funny part of all of this.
Joe: Damnit, you don’t have a lot of answers for us!
Sheila: Haha, I don’t! Well, but this is the best part of the conversation is that even if an artist and a non artist same the same negative narrative. That’s the problem. It’s not even about the art. So that’s what we start off with is… You think that you and I are any different if you’re in Africa, Asia, and Australia and America. You don’t think we’re all having the same narrative in our heads of not being good enough? Why are we hear? It doesn’t matter if you’re 13 years old and getting bullied or you’re 70 years old and you’ve not lived a life that you thought was fulfilling we’re all connected. We’re all connected. And so, I think, Joe, and I still probably don’t know how to fully articulate what is fully happening, but that word compassion I think is that one word that is probably I felt like summarized the energy and emotion I bring into it.
Sheila: I just come in with love. I just come in with this idea that you’re supposed to help them express something they’re not expressing and the only way I can help them do that is to be there in non-judgement in full of love and oh here’s the other word. Safe.
Sheila: I have to make them feel safe. And so, that’s how I do it. Now how it looks, the space it’s in, whether I’m in their home or in the school yard or in the, you know, art studio. It doesn’t really matter. How you make people feel safe maybe that is a gift that was given, I don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t know why I was chosen but I was. And I am here to help people because of that. So yeah, that compassion and making people feel safe in it.
Joe: Yeah, I think something has been so powerful for me to hear and then say to other people and see their response is that like I see you and maybe I don’t understand your trauma or whatever it is that you’re working through but I understand that you’re in pain and I understand that that might be holding you back or whatever it is.
Joe: And that is compassion.
Sheila: It is compassion!
Joe: 100 percent! And the way that that can make people feel and the way that that is creating that safe space for whoever it is is it’s really incredible and I want to then transition into our time at summit because I came in with a little bit of a block there and I sat down on a piece of paper and I used one of the markers that I never used before and I splattered out a bunch of paint and i was like OH what am I going to create from this now? And then I just, I just explored and that environment that you created it was, it was so so intimate. And I just sat there and I didn’t even talk for a while. I just literally absorbed what was going on around me.
Joe: Amazing, it was so much fun. So I wanna talk about how that experience was kind of different for you and what you say you’re usually used to.
Sheila: Yeah, wow. I came back and i said wow that was a magical moment. And there, it was magical for 2 reason. 1 it was magical it was I didn’t expect the turn out, I’ll just be completely honest.
Joe: Same here!
Sheila: It was 10pm at night. I just thought you guys had been snowboarding and skiing all day, we had been to a lot of speakers, and I thought there going to be exhausted and more importantly I was next to a freaking dance floor. What the hell? I’m competing with music? There’s no way. I thought there would be some tethering in. oh my god. The turn out itself was so amazing to me and what that showed me is that people and this is actually why summit invited me because I had hosted this at the LA series as well where I went into a coffee shop and I did hold a space, but it was more of a trickly, trickling in, people going in and it was very different vices so that;skin of what i was expecting. What ended up happening was I could tell people needed to center and ground because the energy at summit is so incredibly palpable. Every person you meet has not only a really cool and incredibly story, but their so passionate. Like the passion just oozes like you can just feel it, it’s everywhere. And so that passion sometimes you could’ve been around that passion all day you need to center yourself again. So one of the reasons summit mountain was different for me, and because I kind of go with the flow myself, like you said. I had this weird thing, intuition, saying you know what I’m going to create in the process of this whole event. And so what i had planned to initially do you know that spots were set up and as people were coming in I was basically going to do a quick 1 on 1 at the water coolers and materials which I had done at the summit LA but for whatever reason something was telling me don’t do that. You need to create in front of people. And so, one of the employees at summit had these really cool white leather sneakers. Which I had just inked a pair of white sneakers about two months before that and again because I like to connect things, that’s not a coincidence, so i asked him like can I have your sneakers and she looked at me like I was crazy and she said No, hell no, and then one of the jet skis ones, the person that recommended me was like no she’s an artist. She can do some great things to your shoes and she was like oh okay well then she gave up the shoes but what was really cool about it and going back to the experience I realized now why I intuitively had to do that. I was trying to show faith again, to say even with 50 people in a room or whatever, 20 people in a room, people glaring, people dancing, people drunk, people tired, that I could hold faith for myself and create and do it in a free flow way. Right? I wasn’t. It was free inking and I didn’t know what i was creating i was just going for it and to me that was just a ripple effect. Because you were able to do it, other people were able to do it. Some people walked into the room they didn’t know who was hosting what, all they saw was art supplies. And I was like oh my god, here’s the funny part. The older me probably would’ve judged myself. Hazardous and chaotic, what the hell is going on? Who owns this shit? But I had the complete opposite feeling, I’m like this is success, because it’s organic, it feels authentically natural that people are coming in i’m letting things flow i’m not controlling it. That’s the key. I didn’t control it. I just honored myself in the presence of others and that is my mantra to people if you can learn to honor who you are and yourself in the presence of others with all of the noise going on in the world- you’re, you’re on the path.
Joe: Yeah, yeah, so I, this brought up a thought. When you were saying, you said free inking. Is that what you said?
Sheila: Yeah, I call it. It’s actually called uh, stream of consciousness. People do it through
performing. Its flow, you’re in a stream of consciousness and that’s all I’m doing.
Joe: So you don’t know where you’re going when you start drawing?
Sheila: Never, I never do.
Joe: It’s just so, woah, what comes out. Is like, wow, looks like you planned that one out. But like if you can’t. You know, it’s amazing. So amazing. It’s so amazing.
Sheila: Thank you, I never do. Um, you know, what people see, what they think it all depends on who you are you know some people might see the technique, some people see the outcome, some people see the process. But what they see more importantly is I think they see the emotion behind it because of what it is. It’s an emotional expression. Every piece that i have done is an expression of an emotion and it’s almost like a visual snapshot um of that point in time. And so, it’s interesting that we’re in the world for selfies now and people are taking pictures of themselves and capturing the moment when the reality is is that’s what i’m doing but I’m doing it through emotions. I’m dong and emotional selfie. This is my emotional selfie and I actually didn’t doing that until now so thank you for that but that’s what it is. They’re emotional selfies through sketching.
Joe: Yeah, it’s honestly, if if, so people listening to this podcast you gotta check out your work. Sketch. Is it the sketch poetic or I’m drawing a blank or just sketch poetic on instagram.
Sheila: No, no, it’s sketch poetic. It’s sketch poetic and I do want to talk about a book I’m writing and so I’m hoping that it eventually catches fire and eventually gets other people to do it, but yeah it’s sketch poetic it’s on instagram.
Joe: Yeah, and please, please. I wanted to you know wrap things up but I wanted to allow you to share the book, share how people can get in touch with you share how people can see more of your work even if its not through instagram just please dive into that because I think or I know um i’m gonna be a fan for a really long time but I know that a lot of other people through this platform will join the party and I wanna invite everybody in.
Sheila: Aww, I’m so grateful for you. I think it’s 3 uh, 3 pillars for sketch poetics and it falls in three buckets. Its connection, collaboration, and community. So that’s the three ways you can find me. Connection is through my work and through me being this artist hats finding or working her way through something and sharing that story and helping that connect with people in some way. So you can kind of be a passive observer of that which is through my instagram, well through my website sheiladarcey.com or sketchpoetic.com. Collaboration is where I felt like you experienced me, actually we experience each other in both collaboration and community that we connected first. Collaboration si the workshops that I host. I do multiple versions of it whether it’s 1 on 1 so you can schedule some time with me 1 on 1 and we just have a dialogue and we’re creating two pieces of watercolor in the process. So I’m helping guide you through how to express through a visceral form. I also do group collaborations. There’s two types of group collaborations and they’re both very different for a reason. I do group collaborations while we’re working on one big piece together so it’s kind of like one cohesive piece and i get people to move around the table and build upon each others pieces or sketches. Well paintings. And that’s really beautiful because it unites the energy of the room and it’s all about the collective energy right? And then the third way to do it is a group collaboration but people just do their own piece. And i usually do that in collaboration with someone else so I’ve been doing these workshops Where I partner with a person that does healing art, her name is Geetna Nebrotni, incredible opera singer, she is one of my collaborative partners, but the idea of it is to create experiences around expressions that allow people to release. So she was an incredibly talented but also successful opera singer that turned into the healing arts. And so we co create this experience together sound braz and uh, and creative expression and in that I get people to just uh, in a group setting create on their own and then they go sound baz and I have one of those coming up with yoga rakki person, someone that loves to cook so the idea is get people to kind of experience all of these different ways to express because i don’t think that one size fits all. And the last one is community, and communities like summit are communities, and my hope, and it’s really around the faith of health and wellness. Emotional and mental well being and prior to this class, I had been sketching a lot around breaking through something and I couldn’t figure out what I was breaking through. I finally figured it out. Last week I decided to go back to school. I’m getting my certificate, yeah I’m going to UCLA’s arts and healing program. And you mentioned something earlier, I’m going to be going backwards in a way because I have been doing everything intuitively and through my own experiences of facilitating and I, my husband, Michael Linton, who is an incredible source of inspiration and power for me, he is in the healing arts space. He’s actually a therapist that does creative expression. He tries to tell me his theory, but he’s also my husband so, I can only learn so much from my husband!
Joe: It’s true!
Sheila: So, I decided to go back to school and he’s been encouraging me for a while, but it’s going to take up so much of my time and I have to sacrifice so much of my time as a mom but it will totally be worth it. All leading up to the book which is the book that I’m hoping, I don’t know how long it’ll take to be released but I know that it’s meant to come out in it’s own time. But really the book is a kind of part guide, part inspiration to understand the theory behind it, but really to getting people as a catalyst to do it themselves. So that’s what’s going on in my world and I’m so, I just keep on feeling so much gratitude for everything that has been happening. I’m in awe every day.
Joe: Yeah, I’m literally just this last hour sitting here I’m like, wow. You said you’re very grateful, but I gotta express that back to you, I’m so grateful that I met you and that we’ve come into each other’s lives and we gotta share this hour because it’s funny I was thinking about this this morning and I was thinking about the podcast that i reseed over the past couple weeks and how its been like uh, I’m going to school every time i sit down and talk to somebody because 1 I just show up this is me I have all these weird things going on and I don’t have it figured out and teach me like teach me because and it sounds selfish but it’s so amazing because we no matter if tis a baby or if it’s somebody that’s 80 years old wherever it is we have something to learn from every single person we cross paths with. We just have to understand that like looking at a baby they’re going to teach us how to play again ana dlya on our backs and do happy baby like we’re in yoga so. Yeah i’m super excited sheila and I’m super excited to hear that you’re going back to school because that’s kind of an inspiration for me as well because I feel like i always want to learn
Joe:And I feel like I’ve lost that a little bit so you’re motivating, and you’re probably motivating everybody else too.
Sheila: Yeah, yeah. It’s not a long program, it’s a long program in terms of duration but it will be very intensive it is really understanding a lot of theory. I think it’ll help me, I think it’ll help me become even better at doing what i’m doing. But yeah, so grateful for that. And yeah I couldn’t agree with you more, and in those master classes she talks a lot about this but the idea is that every person you meet is a person that you can learn from, but you mentioned the word and I had to touch it because you said it, you felt like it was selfish. And i’ve been trying to tell people if you rephrase it as self care and self love that’s all it is. Because people like you and I that are always giving to other people it feels selfish to take care of you as first and foremost, but it’s not because the more you can take care of you, that’s self care, that growth of mental growth is only going to help us help others. So if you can’t feed yourself how the heck are you going to help other people be nourished?
Joe: Yeah, yeah.
Sheila: That’s a good thing. OH, my gosh I feel so excited that we were able to have this conversation and be able to put this out into the world.
Joe: Yeah yeah, thank you so much I can’t wait for this to get out there and just thank you for your time.