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The Intersection of Vulnerability & Creativity: A Chat w/JD Edwin, Author of the Headspace Series

I had one of my writer friends back for a third chat on Dose of Depth podcast. I met JD Edwin, author of the Headspace series at The Write Practice, an amazing online program and community. We were catching up recently, and I was intrigued by JD's admitted growing self-awareness about the connection between her creative expression and vulnerability, and how growing up in a shame-based culture gets in the way sometimes.

The Unconscious Seeks to Create to Expand Consciousness

I'll start with this truth: The unconscious – personal and collective – seeks to create. Your unconscious seeks to create. Create what? You might ask.


Well, sometimes it’s a literal human being, but there are so many other ways we create. We bring a new perspective to an old idea.


The book The Secret did not contain new ideas, rather they were ancient ideas that were presented in a new way during a new time that resonated with a whole new demographic of people who had never heard of those ideas.  


We create new businesses, new inventions, new combinations of healing modalities, and of course there are what you might think of as conventional artistic expressions like music, visual art, film, poetry, songs, and dance.


There are big archetypal energies that are seek willing vessels – human beings – through which to flow and create new expressions of these energies, like love, for example, or ideas about the feminine and masculine, or experiences of grief or processes of transformation.

The Hero’s journey might be an archetypal experience you’ve heard about. There’s an inciting incident, antagonistic characters, an unraveling, helper characters, the meeting of inner demons that bring new insights that are integrated into one’s life, and finally, a circling back to community to share wisdom.


Expanding Consciousness is the Expansion of Love

The unconscious seeks to create to expand consciousness, which is always about expanding love. Our trauma or wounds or adverse experiences are always doorways to the deeper archetypal energies that manifest as unique expressions of being human.


During our lives, we are always navigating two journeys, the one towards Self and the one towards being accepted by the collective. Our psychological DNA contains the entire history of humanity’s experiences. This is why suddenly at some point in your life, you might recognize a pattern that began generations before and that you never noticed until this moment. Or why images show up in people’s dreams that have nothing to do with their personal experience or even their ancestry.


Science now recognizes that humans are meant to deeply connect and that deep connection between humans cannot happen without mutual vulnerability. Allowing yourself to be swept up in a new romance is agreeing to be a willing vessel through which creative intelligence wants to flow to prompt psychological and spiritual growth of two human beings.


The transformative nature of the experience depends upon the consciousness by those two people that there is an unconscious agenda for the relationship that can only be known by willingly going through the intense ups and downs and ultimately learning the lessons presented which prepares you for an even higher-level relationship experience.

What does it mean to be vulnerable?

It is suffering through the state of being unsure, uncertain, being open to chance and risking rejection in the pursuit of deeply connecting to your deeper Self or another.


Vulnerability starts with embracing awkwardness, that state of intense self-consciousness. Courage isn’t needed for certainty; courage is needed to proceed with something that feels psychologically dangerous.


Courage is needed to withstand the discomfort of feeling exposed and naked as you withstand the anxiousness of trusting something that is part of you but bigger than you and knows more than you about your future.

Enjoy my chat with JD on Dose of Depth or YouTube.


More About JD Edwin

JD Edwin is a science fiction and urban fantasy author who believes the first goal of fiction is FUN! She is the author of the Headspace series, an easy-to-read, action-packed science fiction trilogy published by Story Cartel Press.


JD aims to entertain the reader and she embraces Stephen King’s philosophy of “Every word should be the story.” I love it! JD is Chinese by birth and hopes to bring under-represented Asian voices to the fantasy/sci-fi genre.


That’s just scratching the surface. JD has been teaching people how to increase their productivity as writers, and she’s written numerous short stories and articles on the craft of writing.


Our first chat was two years ago, just after JD had published the first in her Headspace series, and then I had her back a year later after she published the second. She’s not only completed that series, but she’s onto to another series. I haven’t gotten to the third in the series, but the first two were amazing.


One thing that I really was intrigued about was JD’s use of non-binary story telling. She doesn’t describe characters by gender. At first, it was challenging because your mind seeks to quickly filter characters by gender but think about it. It’s not really needed to know the gender, it’s just a habit. After a while, my imagination felt liberated by not needing to know. There are so many other traits and descriptions of characters and their behavior that have nothing to do with gender.


It turns out that it is limiting to know the gender because of all the prejudice and unconscious beliefs that go along with the label. You’re freer to get to know the core traits of the character without this detail. If you haven’t read a book written in this way, I suggest giving it a try with the first in the Headspace series. Besides being objectively excellent books with great world building and character development, it’s an opportunity to have a new experience.


It reminds me of when I read Clockwork Orange, which was written in an urban slang that you had to give in to, surrender to and allow your intuition to understand what was being said. The more you tried, the harder it was to understand what was being said. You had to immerse yourself in the words. It was so interesting. Half of the women in my book club were too frustrated to get through the book. Their loss.

I hope you enjoy our chat and check out JD Edwin's website and her books.

Creativity Often Has Nothing to Do With Making Art

Coming into deeper relationship with your unconscious naturally leads to a sense of new purpose, which is a form of creativity. Along the way, before the new purpose is fully known, many of my clients have felt urges to write down or draw spontaneous stories or images that followed them around. In fact, the images didn't really go away until they expressed what wanted to come out.

After one session with a client where we discussed the deeper meaning of sexual arousal not having to do with literal sex, he wrote a short story that illustrated this concept. It just fell out of him onto the page. It was really good, and I'm going to publish it here. That same client, after listening to my guided meditation on Self-Intimacy, used AI to create some dramatic images, produced some music, shared it as his first post on TikTok and it got ten thousand views.

One other client, who had lost a son to suicide years earlier, was plagued with a narrative swirling around in his head. It wasn't about his son, but it was about exploring the experience of death. I suggested he write it down, and out came two thousand words in the form of a beautiful short story. The narrative that had been in his head went away, once it was out on paper, and his new insights were a pivot point in his journey to coming into deeper relationship with his Self.

Wondering About the Role of Creativity in Your Life?

As a Depth Psychology Coach, my expertise is the language of the unconscious. Let me teach you how to come into deeper relationship with your unconscious, and see what wants to be created through you, in partnership with something bigger than you, and in service to the collective. Learn more about my services and schedule a free 30 minute exploratory chat here.

Thanks for being a self-reflecting human!

Dr. Deborah

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