An Interview with Whitney Freya
Author, Spiritual Teacher, Speaker and Creativity Coach

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Whitney Freya was a wanna-be artist and did not paint AT ALL until she opened her own art center in 1996 in Nashville, TN. When her first book was published in 2008, she closed the bricks & mortar location to go online and travel the world to activate infinite, creative spirits globally.

 

She now has trained over 280 Creatively Fit Coaches who bring her frequency of creative coaching to their own clients and has published her third book, Rise Above, Free Your Mind One Brush Stroke at a Time. All her books and actual line of products are available on Amazon and WhitneyFreya.com

You can join for FREE her Life Artist Master Class at WhitneyFreyaStudio.com and her Painting with Heart online course at DailyOM.com (DailyOM’s first ever painting meditation course). 

Photo: Whitney Freya

Creativity can play out in so many ways in one’s life. What are a few ways you encourage creativity for healing with someone who perhaps doesn’t see themselves as naturally artistic or imaginative? 

Great question! If you don’t feel like you are creative, the first thing I want to share with you is that EVERYONE is creative—it is just the STORY that we were raised with that taught us that creativity was only inherited by some and that it only encompassed things like painting, dancing, music, etc. That story is “old paradigm” and the new story is around us remembering that we are HERE TO CREATE the art that is our life. 

 

In his book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says that the Toltec word for human was “artist.” He writes that the art we are all creating each and every day is our life. We are either creating it with or without awareness. I want to help you create the art that is your life with awareness! 

 

The second thing to understand is the nature of the relationship between our right and left brain personalities. The infamous TED.com talk by Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor is a must watch on this subject. 

 

What we know is that the left brain, ego-centered personality is fear based and physiologically programmed to resist all change. In Elizabeth Lesser’s book Broken Open, she shares that the source of all human suffering is the resistance to change. 

 

On the other hand, the right brain is oneness-centered, love based and completely present. Since our modern world is left brain heavy (think schedules, passwords, the way proof, science and the facts are rewarded, capitalist, product-oriented, etc.) we are all deficient in the amount of time and energy we devote to activities and states of being that engage our right brain.

 

All my creative practices are designed to stimulate and strengthen your right brain activity so that you can look at life and what is possible for you FIRST through a lens of love and a presence that does not include limiting beliefs and old stories about what you are “good at” or not, for example. 

 

Once you understand how these two personalities are illuminating your current reality and sense of future potential, you can choose WITH AWARENESS in each moment more of what you WANT to create into the art that is your life. 

 

Now that you can see and feel this right and left brain dance, you are open to the simple creative practices I start you with that will physiologically stimulate your right hemisphere and cultivate this energy of creative possibility.

 

Creative practice becomes like meditation, a hike in the wilderness, or a swim in the ocean. It is rejuvenating, centering and empowering. 

 

What are a few of the limiting beliefs that were difficult for you to overcome when you opened The Creative Fitness Center? Can you tell us a bit about what that process was like for you? 

 

When I was 9, an art teacher held up a painting I had just created and pronounced to my mother and I that “Whitney has a great eye for color and balance but drawing is not her thing.” 

 

What I heard was, “Whitney is not artistic.” From that moment until I opened the doors of my first art center, The Creative Fitness Center, I believed that I had not inherited that creative gene. I was SO jealous of my friends who could paint and draw. I would lean over their shoulder reinforcing the story that I had accepted. 

 

What changed was this incredible awareness, inspired by a couple different articles I was “randomly” exposed to about the nature of right brain thinking and the connection between living life as an artist, that ART MAKING was a portal to remembering how to live as a LIFE ARTIST. 

 

After years of wandering in the landscape of “what-should-I-do-with-my-life,” it became instantly clear that I wanted to create a safe space for people to “work out” their right brain muscle so that they could go back out into the art that is their life and create the change they desired. 

I am still doing this, online, with private clients, and in my live events, 22+ years later! And the alchemy that happens STILL amazes me. 

 

I have also overcome the limiting beliefs around “artists can’t make enough money” and that my own preference for right brain thinking does NOT equal financial business success.

 

What I create changes lives! The difference you can experience in your life when you choose the fork in the road that is grounded in the truth that you are here to create your life, that you have access to infinite possibility (dependent on spending time in the present moment) rather than only to what you are “qualified” for, trained in, or inherently gifted at, and that life responds to the images you “paint” in your mind is PRICELESS! 

How did you begin your journey of using creativity and artistic expression to explore the deeper aspects of your soul?

I do believe that at some point in anyone’s creative journey, there is an inevitable entrainment, or attraction to, your spiritual journey. Colors and symbols led me to chakras. The painting process itself developed within me a much stronger sense of and relationship to my intuition. The more I tuned into the canvas as a mirror and a guide, the more I accessed deeper reservoirs of my own inner wisdom and the more I attracted synchronicities and coincidences that led me into a more and more magical life. 

 

One day a client of mine spontaneously offered, “One is either a creator or a consumer.” In other words, we are either looking outside of ourselves to fill the “void” or looking within. 

 

I tuned into the truth that everything is energy, and my painting practice evolved to using sacred symbols and layering energy and intention into the colors and paints. 

 

It felt like that familiar reference to “lifting the veils.” One of the greatest benefits of this type of creative practice is an expanded sense of vision, clarity and understanding about the true nature of how daily life responds to our intentions, thoughts, ideas and expectations.

 

I teach how to practice being super intentional and aware about what you want and what vision you want to create into your life AT THE CANVAS and, with these new levels of awareness, you detach from that which is no longer serving you and focus more and more on what you desire. 

 

You would never paint something that felt sad, hopeless, angry or depressing at the canvas, right? And we allow our minds to create images that cause us stress, worry and dis-ease. Once we learn how to allow our minds to paint pictures, or imagine, the BEST CASE scenario, rather than the worst, life can really accelerate in the direction that you most desire.

 

This is the desire of our soul, to experience this physical life as joy and authentic personal expression, to relish each moment, to create into physical form love, beauty and possibility. “Life is the canvas of your Soul” has become my guiding mantra. My physical expression is like the paint brush and my soul is the artist. Over the years, I have learned how to surrender to my soul’s promptings and inspiration and detach from the logical mind that tells me “that is not possible.” 

 

I want you to feel more connected to your infinite self than your limited, historical self. That I believe is the desire of our soul and the intention of any spiritual journey or practice. 

Your book, Rise Above: Free Your Mind One Brushstroke at a Time, is beautiful not only visually, but in the content and tools you provide. For those who haven’t read it, can you give us three key take-away’s or lessons that someone could begin to implement today, around using creativity to cultivate inner peace?

  1. You can create the FEELING, or the energy, that you want to experience more in your life AT THE CANVAS. Whether it is freedom (chap. 1), abundance (chap. 4), peace (chap. 9), or joy (chap. 11), you can create the experience of feeling more free, more abundant…through colors, symbols, and intention at the canvas. Once you FEEL this energy, it is easier to create and attract MORE in the rest of your life off the canvas. 

  2. I love working with the 4 earth elements on a daily basis. In the Peace chapter I share how to create elemental altars in your home. To the casual observer the altars simply appear as accessories or part of your home design, but the pieces are intentionally there to remind you to connect to the elements on a daily basis, weaving your being into Mother eARTh all around you. This cultivates feelings of inner strength and calm. You can call on fire to help you let go of something that is worrying you, or air to blow in a new idea or ah-hah, or water to wash away stress, or earth to help you to grow more of what you desire. Practical magic at its best!

  3. Each chapter has an animal totem. I love reconnecting to indigenous wisdom in general. Seeing animals as allies is part of the fabric of our human journey. If an owl hoots in the night or a coyote dashes in front of your car, there is a message there. Guidance that can only be received via the intuitive, present-moment right brain, not the logic left. 

 

My recurring question as I wrote this book was, “How can I love my reader even more?” Life is complicated and difficult these days. There are a lot of demands on us on so many different levels. Rise Above adds a whole new dimension to your life from which you can draw more LOVE, strength, inspiration, possibility, hope and joy! How does it get any better than that!?

 

 

How do you feel strengthening your intuition has helped improve your life, career, and relationships? 

I imagine that my intuitive voice is the highest vibration, the highest level of wisdom that I can access. Intuition does not come from thinking, rationalizing…it comes from pure truth. It is love. So I can worry much less when I am in touch with my intuition. I can trust that everything is working out perfectly, even when the immediate experience is topsy-turvy.

 

I can take bolder action, inspired risks, and embody a greater level of self-confidence when I know I am making choices that are in alignment with my intuition. My business thrives when I can “follow the energy” and spend time creating offerings that will serve the highest and greatest good of all. And my relationships all become learning, growing opportunities that are ALL here to love me. Intuition honors the natural ebb and flow of life. To go with the flow is infinitely less work and more fun that to try to control life’s circumstances. 

 

Intuition can be taught and developed. That has not been reflected in traditional education or in the way most of us were raised. It is available to us now, much like how we update our phones or upgrade our computers, we can now upgrade how we process and create our lives through focusing on our intuitive levels of inner and outer communication. 

 

The chapter in Rise Above on intuition gives you fun ways to practice and heighten your intuition. For example, (so easy) next time a friend crosses your mind that you have not seen or heard from in a while, reach out. Tell them they crossed your mind and so here you are. See what they say!

 

What are 3 nuggets of wisdom you feel you could share based on your experience, with someone who is dreaming of living life from a place of trust to manifest their biggest dreams, but might be experiencing doubt or fear?

  1. If you are not experiencing some doubt & fear, you are probably not in the right biz! LOL. If you are on this site you are what I see as a Rainbow Warrior. You are here to create change. You are here to pioneer new ways of living, being AND earning a living. That means the newness triggers fear in the left brain. It is simply protecting you from the unknown. AND your right brain, intuitive, infinite self, clearly knows something different, something that is not based on your past or a potential future based on your path. It is seeing and feeling in the present moment into the field of pure potentiality and you are sensing the call to waken this dream into reality. So, first, embrace the fear & doubt as a sign that YOU are a Rainbow Warrior business person. Then, expand your consciousness to include your fullest creative and intuitive expression. You got this! 

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE. PASSION PASSION PASSION. Connect to these energies in the seed of your business. What are all the reasons you LOVE this business and why are you so PASSIONATE about bringing it to the world? Create this energy around your business first, then, share (i.e. market) and strategize from this place. Sometimes we forget the love & the passion and we get bogged down in the left brain, money, numbers, emails, websites, SEO…side and the energy just drains out of us. Keep yourself filled up and then share from your overflow! 

  3. KNOW that you will have to take risks. Inherently in any new venture or experience there is going to have to be a leap out of the known and into the unknown. In my experience, this is a constant. How to negotiate the leaps with the greatest ease & grace? This is why the snake is the animal totem for the Ease & Grace chapter in Rise Above. You will constantly be called to “shed your skin.” Being a soul-based entrepreneur is a spiritual journey—not a financial one. You will learn and grow and expand more through your business than any retreat or guru. Your business is your teacher and it will constantly be guiding you into higher layers of trust, authenticity and self-expression. You will cross personal and spiritual thresholds on a quarterly, if not more, basis. What stands that the gateway of each threshold? Fear. Not to stop you to to thwart your efforts, but to inspire you to take back more of your power, to get stronger in your personal convictions and detach from the trappings of modern, fear-based realities. Get excited, take many deep breaths, and leap!

What does your daily spiritual practice look like? Does it change or do you prefer structure around it?

My daily spiritual practice cycles. I think it has to live in this cyclical world, not the linear one. Life is cyclical. The seasons, our planet, the moon, ocean tides…are cyclical. My cycles include traditional meditation, painting meditation, yoga, crystals, hiking, paragliding, and sound meditation. 

 

When the thought crosses my mind, “I haven’t done yoga in a while,” I know I am coming up on a yoga cycle. We get these prompts to illuminate what our soul wants more of right now, not to beat ourselves up for not doing whatever more regularly!

 

My home is also my sacred space. My elemental altars, my intentional, energetic paintings, and other sacred objects are always within my gaze. So I am constantly getting the reinforcement of love, beauty, and positive energy. 

 

My intention has been to merge the elements of my life so that there is nothing that could lie outside of my daily spiritual practice. Everything is here to love me and everything is an opportunity to learn & radiate even more joy. I haven’t always been in that state of mind. I made it a priority. I made choices to allow myself the time, space and permission to create life in this way. It is my greatest joy to help others to do the same. 

What is coming up next for you? In your career and on your own personal journey of growth and expansion?

Woah! There is always something! I have some “irons in the fire” that have really blasted me into the truth that truly life IS infinite possibility. So, both personally and professionally I am most excited to really lean into living from a place of pure potential.

 

What does that mean? It means saying yes to the even “crazier” ideas, learning to follow the ah-hah’s and flashes of insight that might have previously been filtered out of my awareness by the logical mind. 

 

From a more left brain perspective (not a bad perspective, just not the whole), I am really excited to expand my ArtGypsy.guru brand of experiences. I am planning a trip this spring that will merge travel to an exotic location, paragliding and my new Owl Painting online course. How fun is that!?

 

I am also in a new chapter, after much personal growth and taking back much personal power, where I am embracing some radical independence and personal freedom. It comes from knowing my own value, my own divinity, and desiring to share it with the world from a place of joy. It’s like, “Hey, I’m just on the other side of this threshold and it is AWE-some! Come on! You can do it. Let’s raise the vibration of this planet together!” 

 

I sense the entire world is about to be a new kind of blank canvas. As the old paradigms and fear dissolve into the truth of human kindness, love and compassion, we will be able to create, up until now, unfathomable change that is in alignment with love. 

 

Bringing heaven back down to eARTh. How about that for what is up next!? Wheeeeeeeee! 

 

Thank you, Rachel, for these inspired questions and for all you do to fan the flame of our own internal GLOW!

Whitney Freya was a wanna-be artist and did not paint AT ALL until she opened her own art center in 1996 in Nashville, TN. When her first book was published in 2008, she closed the bricks & mortar location to go online and travel the world to activate infinite, creative spirits globally.

 

She now has trained over 280 Creatively Fit Coaches who bring her frequency of creative coaching to their own clients and has published her third book, Rise Above, Free Your Mind One Brush Stroke at a Time. All her books and actual line of products are available on amazon.com and WhitneyFreya.com

 

You can join for FREE her Life Artist Master Class at WhitneyFreyaStudio.comand her Painting with Heart online course at DailyOM.com(DailyOM’s first ever painting meditation course). 

 

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Photo: Whitney Freya

Photo: Whitney Freya

Photo: Whitney Freya

Photo: Whitney Freya