Forge Ahead Create Every Day (F.A.C.E)
By Natalie Dadamio
Forge Ahead Create Every Day, or F.A.C.E. for short, is a method that helps you turn towards the self instead of running, hiding, or suppressing emotions. F.A.C.E. focuses on checking in with ourselves and working with our emotions rather than fighting against them, in order to keep a creative practice alive and thriving.
The F.A.C.E system is designed to use the energy of emotions, either positive or negative, to fuel one’s creativity. The goal is to use emotions as a gateway into the creative process, become more intimate and open with the inner workings of the self, and in turn enable an individual to ground, release, and anchor more fully into a daily creative practice.
The F.AC.E. system enables the individual to push through whatever mental, or emotional creative blocks they may have, and it also allows an individual to open to freer flowing expansive emotions, such as joy, happiness, and freedom. Ultimately, the goal of F.A.C.E. is to help facilitate the realization that all emotions, whether it be sadness and despair, or joy and happiness, are an integral part of the creative process.
We know it’s okay to F.A.C.E. the day, show up and create no matter what is happening.
The F.A.C.E. exercise can be used in a session by first finding out your client’s current mental and emotional state. Some questions to ask: What is present right now? What are you feeling in your body? What emotions are arising? You can have your clients tell you this experience or write it down, or both. Each client may be more comfortable with one or the other so use your own judgment in determining what method is most helpful to get them to open up about the emotions they’re feeling.
You would then give your client some homework and follow up with them. Have your client take what you just discussed and utilize it in their creative practice as mini warm up exercises. For example, if a painter is feeling sad and withdrawn, you would ask your client to take their tools and the feeling of those emotions and create from that mental and emotional state. If they’re feeling uncertain, you might tell them to create some simple marks or scribbles while they feel the emotion, and assure them that there are no right or wrong answers or right or wrong results from this exercise.
Another example: if your client is a writer, you would ask them to do the same thing only use writing as the gateway to release the emotions. If a writer is feeling restless and stuck, they should write out a poem or a paragraph about this emotion.
If your client is a performer of some sort, have them improv the emotion with a friend or create a dance around the emotion.
The main objective is to turn the energy of the emotion into a creative act, which in turn frees up the creator. Remember, it doesn’t have to make sense, and these are all little mini exercises to help free up the emotion that is an energy within the person.
Remember to check in with your client after they have done the mini exercises through the F.A.C.E. method, as that’s essential for giving you insight into your client’s progress.
The F.A.C.E. method can easily be modified for home use as part of the process of becoming your own coach.
A simple practice would be to start with getting a journal and/or sketchbook so that you can write out a dialogue with yourself.
Answer the following questions in your journal and/or sketchbook: What are you feeling in the body? What emotions are arising? Where is this present in your body?
After checking in with yourself about how you are feeling and notating it, it is now time to turn to your creative act. This can be anything from painting, writing, or performing, etc. As you come to your creative act, let the emotion you are feeling rise to the surface, and then feel into the emotion.
For example, if it is sadness, start to paint or write or dance from the place of that sad emotion. If it is joy, then perhaps the colors you pick will be more vibrant, the expressions will be more open and freer, the words on the page will have more energy and vibrancy.
Remember that there is no right or wrong creative act, you are just doing a mini exercise to free up the energy around the emotion in order to keep you creating daily.
Forge Ahead Create Every Day (F.A.C.E.) was a system I needed to develop for myself first, and one that I now apply with my clients. I was struggling with the numerous things all artists, writers, dancers/performers and creators in general struggle with, the nagging fears of self-doubt and criticism, the fear of not being good enough, and the shame of not being where my peers are. I was on the verge of almost quitting art-making altogether.
I developed F.A.C.E so that I would learn how to turn towards the negative emotions and change the energy around them in order to keep making art. I made several paintings for myself around this time, and I found that they were more about the expression of emotion and energy.
I personally had to turn to the self-doubt, the criticism of my own voices and the fear of not being where my peers were and take those emotions and use their energy as a catalyst for my own creations. I dove deep into the abyss, the darker parts, in order to get to the other side, and I redirected those strong emotions towards creating a daily art practice.
I have found in my own work, and my work with clients that as we utilize our emotions in tandem with our creative acts, we can’t help but see new growth emerge. As creatives, we must go through the many fires, joys and sorrows and layers of our lives in order to free ourselves up.
F.A.C.E. is just one of the many methods a creative can use that will help us all on our creative journey.
Natalie Dadamio is an artist, creativity coach and mentor. She incorporates her many years of shamanic studies and energetic training into both her art and coaching. She knows what it is like to personally struggle to return to a creative practice and enjoys helping her clients break free from what is holding them back and start creating again. You can find her coaching/mentoring practice at creationsdreaming.com and her artwork at nataliedadamio.com. She is also on Instagram as: @natalie.dadamio.art and @creationsdreaming