Tapping Into Creative Potential
Daniela Londoño (DaniLV) explains how to burn karma that's blocking the flow.
Unsurprisingly, I’ve read several seemingly unrelated books recently that have Venn Diagramed in my mind in interesting ways, and left me ruminating about creativity, innate talent, and fate, and where all of these come from.
I read Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act: A Way of Being when it came out earlier this year—I love seeing it sit there on the New York Times bestsellers list with books about habits because Rubin’s book is so starkly insistent on a different kind of truth, one that’s more ephemeral: Bring through what wants to come through you, otherwise it will come through someone else. Ideas and creative potential can’t be owned so much as channeled. (This has always been my experience.) Accordingly, Rubin touches on a bit of urgency, ya know: move it or lose it.
A few weeks ago, I then power-read James Hillman’s fascinating The Soul Code: In Seach of Character and Calling, which deserves more newsletters: In a nutshell, Hillman argues that we each have a daimon (or a genius point, or a guardian angel, or a higher self, or a ka body, ) that is the most dominant force in shaping our lives (not only despite all other factors, but because it chose all factors including parents, conditions of childhood, etc.).
“At the outset we need to make clear that today’s main paradigm for understanding a human life, the interplay of genetics and environment, omits something essential—the particularity you feel to be you. By accepting the idea that I am the effect of a subtle buffeting between hereditary and societal forces, I reduce myself to a result. The more my life is accounted for by what already occurred in my chromosomes, by what my parents did or didn’t do, and by my early years now long past, the more my biography is the story of a victim. I am living a plot written by my genetic code, ancestral heredity, traumatic occasions, parental unconsciousness, societal accidents.”
Hillman argues—at times, a little too neatly—that we are who we are. (I see his point, that yes, we are who we are, though I would argue that painful programming and traumatic experiences can make it awfully hard to get back to anything that feels like your true self.) Here’s Hillman again:
“The soul of each of us is given a unique daimon before we are born, and it has selected an image or pattern that we live on earth. This soul-companion, the daimon, guides us here; in the process of arrival, however, we forget all that took place and believe we come empty into this world. The daimon remembers what is in your image and belongs to your pattern, and therefore your daimon is the carrier of your destiny.
“As explained by the greatest of later Platonists, Plotinus (AD 205-270), we elected the body, the parents, the place, and the circumstances that suited the soul and that, as the myth says, belong to its necessity. This suggests that the circumstances, including my body and my parents whom I may curse, are my soul’s own choice—and I do not understand this because I have forgotten.”
I agree with Hillman that we all have a genius point, that we each carry specific gifts and are differently abled—and that our future on this planet generally relies on each of us fully accessing the way in which we’re intended to serve. I think this is an essential act for our own sense of vitality, peace, and joy. To go to the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas for one hot second (a list of 114 aphorisms that Jesus purportedly said): “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” Ka-pow. (For a full exposition of this text, I love Elaine Pagels’s Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas.)
I think “not living up to our potential” is a painful fate, as is letting gifts lie dormant and untouched. But stretching into what your daimon, or genius, wants is also hard—I guess you could say it’s the work of life. I recently picked up Gay Hendricks book The Big Leap—the fundamental premise is that we each have a genius zone, though we typically spend our live in our “Zone of Excellence” or “Zone of Competence.” (We also each have a “Zone of Incompetence,” which you know you’re in when you spend hours trying to navigate a task that someone more equipped would find…very basic. This is me with most technology. When I first met my husband, Rob, I owned a wireless router, but I couldn’t figure out how to set it up, and so I had a 50-foot long ethernet cable that I would just drag around my NYC apartment so I could get online.) Anyway, Hendricks asserts that the “Zone of Excellence” is so comfortable for most of us that we will spend our lives excusing ourselves from fully stepping into ourselves—or to go back to Hillman, continue to justify ignoring our genius point or daimon.
I feel closer to my daimon then I ever have, and yet I still feel this pull—at least twice a month—to “give up on myself” and get a full-time job. It’s easy to convince myself that it would be much simpler. And it would! But even that language—“give up on myself”—says it all.
It was during one of these moments of self-doubt that an email from DaniLV popped up in my in-box. She had reached out to me a long time ago, via one of my favorite people, J.J. Martin (founder of La Double J), and so when her name showed up again, I took it as a sign and we hopped on the phone. What followed was a fascinating conversation about much of the above: What is it to step into your creative destiny, what might stand in your way, and why we’re so quick to stand-down when it starts to feel hard. Daniela offers that there are break points in our path—tests, really—where it feels like you must descend before you ascend. “You need to burn through some karma,” she offers. Below, she explains why.
A Q&A with Daniela Londoño
ELISE: How do you describe your work?
DANIELA: There are two ways I describe my work. First, by my “job title.” I’m a shaman, which means I’m someone who has cultivated a connection with the spirit world and can bring down information from that realm. The information I channel serves two purposes: it’s either insights to guide others, or spiritual medicine to heal others. Most of the time, it's both. Secondly, what I actually do as a shaman is serve people who are looking to live more authentically in their life (but especially in their career/business) by teaching them spiritual tools to release fears, connect with their higher self, find their north star. The spiritual tool I use for the two issues is called Clear Therapy. It’s a method I developed that uses encoded words to release subconscious patterns of thoughts and behavior from our past. Old patterns are what keep us stuck in situations (with people, with work, with ourselves) that make us suffer.
Our reality is an exact vibrational match to our internal patterns, so every experience is either mirroring the truth of who we are or our baggage. When we release our baggage (we can do that very quickly with the help of our higher self), our reality goes through an upgrade—because we’re upgrading our patterns. The spiritual tool I use for the third issue is called Find Your North Star. It’s a method I developed to help you gain clarity on your creative purpose and what you’re here to do in this lifetime. Humans can do something no other animal can: we catch ideas that don’t yet exist and alchemize them into matter. I believe our greater purpose as humans is to be idea alchemists. Embodying our creative essence (the truth of who we are as creative beings) is how we flourish and help the planet evolve. So when we set a “north star” for ourselves in our career or business—that is aligned with our creative essence—it’s so much easier to make choices that energize us and positively impact others.
ELISE: How did you come to create these tools?
DANIELA: I created these systems out of a deep desire to link two worlds that have often felt like opposites to me: the spiritual world and the business world. Early on in my career, I was an e-commerce consultant for entrepreneurs. Back then, I thought success came from building solid structures: financial planning, marketing strategy, smart choices in technology. I was convinced those were the skills that helped entrepreneurs thrive. But, over time, I realized that wasn’t completely true. Structures are important, but so is the energy with which you do things. If you’re inspired and hyped up about your product, that vibration will show everywhere: in your marketing, in your sales pitch, in your website. No Instagram ad campaign can buy that kind of radiance. If you listen to and trust your intuition, you can avoid ill-fitting partnerships/clients and headaches in the long run. If you have a purpose-filled “why” for your business, it’s easier to reach the right people with your marketing strategy. These subtle skills were impacting my clients’ success even more than the planning and the strategy. And I hadn’t learned any of them in business school!
So I started to look for answers. First in personal development, then in spirituality. I went to shamanic healers, astrologers, studied Vedic philosophy, meditated, did Kundalini Yoga...I was trying every healing modality under the sun and I was noticing a huge difference in myself! The most interesting part was I started hearing whispers inside me saying do this, don’t do that, reach out to this person, both in my personal life and in my business. When I followed through on those whispers, they proved to be right. An inner voice was guiding me and it knew (better than I did) where I had to go next. The more I cleared my mind, the more precise those whispers got. So I decided to get training in a couple of shamanic healing techniques; I wanted to hear “my higher self” as well my healers did. Clearly, every good insight was coming from that inner voice. To my surprise, as I began to do DIY healing on myself, I slowly began to unblock myself financially too! I found this SO exciting—that clearing your energy could lead to more aligned sales. I started offering this healing service to my entrepreneur clients. As the pandemic hit, I felt an inner calling to make this (the shamanic healing) my full-time job. During that transition, a really wild clairvoyance got activated in me. I began to see people’s past lives during sessions. I could hear people’s higher self speak to me as clearly as when you talk to someone on the phone. I got downloads on how to heal certain issues like creative blocks, conflicts with family members, blocks to attract aligned clients, etc. I would teach these protocols to other healers and they would have similar results. It became really clear to me that I wasn’t the only one that could tap into this magic.
I was even healing physical issues: Vishen Lakhiani’s (the CEO of Mindvalley) eyesight problems disappeared after a couple of sessions, to everyone’s surprise (including myself). You can see his video testimonial here. Eventually, I started to receive downloads about creating entire methods. My higher self told me that other creators (artists, entrepreneurs, content creators, etc.) could benefit from these tools, not just healers. You do need a strong inner compass to not be consumed by the uncertainty and emotional exposure creating your known career path brings. There’s no better guide than your own higher self. That’s what Clear Therapy & Find Your North Star are all about.
ELISE: In your view, what is the higher self?
DANIELA: Your higher self is the part of you that operates without an ego and in a higher dimension. It can see your past and all the baggage you’re carrying from your childhood, family lineage, and past lives. It sees the truth of who you are as a spiritual being and the lessons you chose to learn in this lifetime. It can see your future and all of the potential possibilities you have access to. Because your higher self operates in a higher dimension, it has a bird’s eye view of every situation you find yourself in. It knows what baggage is causing it (if the experience is making you suffer), it knows how to release the baggage, and how to upgrade old patterns so your physical reality can upgrade as well. It knows your creative purpose and what you’re here to do in this lifetime. Most importantly, it wants to guide you (here in the 3D) to create that authentic life where all of you fits, because it sees the pathways to do so.
ELISE: Can you explain the 5 bands of creative expression ? Does this apply to all of us?
DANIELA: As humans, we all have a unique creative nature. There are only certain ideas that inspire us. There are only certain crafts or professions that call to us. There are only certain types of job activities that can make us feel “in our element.” This is not haphazard. How alive we feel at work is directly related to how aligned that work is to our creative nature. To how our creative energy (that force within that alchemizes ideas) likes to express itself. Because your essence has a creative purpose, a vocation. In Find Your North Star, I work with a great system that helps you better understand your creative vocation, called Varna Dharma. Varna Dharma (which means “soul purpose” in Sanskrit) was used in ancient Vedic societies to help assign the division of labor according to a person’s creative nature. It is based on the belief that your essence—like everything else on this planet—is a heterogeneous mixture of five basic elements: earth, water, fire, wind, and ether.
The five elements are living, moving forces that serve a purpose on this planet. Earth nurtures and supports. Water gives life and abundance. Fire transforms and protects. Wind spreads seeds. Ether unites and breaks structures. Your essence is a mix of these forces, but it has one primary element. It’s like your sun sign in Western astrology, but it influences specifically how you naturally flourish at work. It applies to all of us (no matter if we consider ourselves “creative” or not) because we all work or make things. When we work, our essence thrives when it gets to “act like the element is mostly is.” So we tend to feel alive when our job allows us to “be in our element,” literally.
There are five bands of creative expression:
People with creative fire are here to spread order and justice. They feel alive when they protect, when they create structures, when they build and manage teams, when they execute. Varna Dharma calls them the “warrior class.” Famous creative fire types are Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez.
People with creative water are here to spread pleasure. They feel alive when they harmonize, when they make others feel alive and full of joy, when they create abundance. Varna Dharma calls them the “merchant class.” Famous creative water types are Margot Robbie and Ellen Degeneres.
People with creative earth are here to support and nurture. They feel alive when they hold space for others, when they support others, when they nurture others, when they build foundations. Varna Dharma calls them the “labor class.” Famous creative earth types are Oprah Winfrey and Salma Hayek.
People with creative wind are here to spread wisdom. They feel alive when they weave data into a story, when they spread information, when they teach, when they move others with their storytelling. Varna Dharma calls them the “educator class.” Famous creative wind types are Brené Brown and Gloria Steinem.
People with creative ether are here to give freedom to others. They feel alive when they bridge two units that weren’t connected, when they break structures, when they understand others and empathize, when they channel new information into the planet. Varna Dharma calls them the “outsider class.” Famous creative ether types are Lady Gaga and Elizabeth Gilbert.
Knowing which is our band of creative expression helps us understand what our creative purpose is. What type of jobs are most likely to fit us like a glove. What ideas are most likely to energize us and positively impact others. It helps us set a north star for ourselves, so we can choose projects in our careers or businesses that are aligned to who we are. Because we can only access our inner power and the radiance it takes to reach people’s hearts when we’re in our element.
ELISE: How can you tell if you're stuck in a pattern? Are all of these patterns karmic lessons that need to be learned or resolved, or does it depend?
DANIELA: You can tell if you’re stuck in an old pattern because:
1) The situation brings you suffering.
2) The situation has likely happened to you before.
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