My guest today specializes on teaching people how to connect with their intuition and discover their true selves.
Today we're talking about something that may bring you joy or get your stomach in a twist: art.
If you're in a twist, it may be because you're a perfectionist. Or maybe you had someone tell you that art wasn't worth your time.
Let me put you at ease.
You don't need to be an artist to take action on what we talk about today, you don't need to draw a single thing, and it doesn't take a lot of time.
Tracy Nunez, an artist and teacher in New York, shares how she used this technique to discover her true self and reveal different parts of herself she didn't know were there before.
We talk about:
- Using art to create a reflection of what's going on in our brain
- Following her itch to find her creative outlet
- The most important relationship you can cultivate
- How we can connect to out intuition through art (and allowing for mistakes in life)
- What Elizabeth Gilbert says takes the pressure off creating things
- How she discovered her sexuality through exploring herself through collage
- How you can get started with collage
- How one failure to connect to listen to your intuition can completely change your life
- Getting out of fear to do the work
- What a breakthrough in your art feels like
- How she coaches using art
See some of Tracy's art on her website here
Dina Cataldo: (00:37)
Well, hello, how are you doing today? I hope you're having a fabulous day. I am having a fabulous day here recording the podcast. If you've been hanging out with me on Instagram lately, you know, I just came back from Bali and that that trip for me was really all about reconnecting with myself. You probably already know if you've listened to any of these episodes that I'm big on reconnecting and constantly reconnecting with my inner compass or my intuition, whatever you like to call it. My guest today specializes in helping people reconnect with their intuition to see their true selves and she does it in a way that we've never talked about on soul roadmap before. Before we jump into our discussion, I want to share with you a listener review. This one comes from New2Owler. I love the names we can come up with on apple podcasts, so I hope I am pronouncing that right.
Dina Cataldo: (01:28)
They write: “Easy to listen to. Dina's conversational style makes her podcasts easy to listen to. She really tunes into her guest's superpower and inspires us to take action.” Thank you. New2Owler. That really means a lot to me and I appreciate you listening to Soul Roadmap and taking the time to leave a review on apple podcasts. If you haven't yet subscribed, rated and reviewed Soul Roadmap Podcast, I would love it if you did. Subscribes rates and reviews help boost Soul Roadmap in the rankings and get it seen by new people and because sometimes it feels like rocket science leaving a review. I've created a couple of short videos walking you through how you can leave a review on desktop or iPhone to make it a little bit easier for you. You can find those at dinacataldo.com/57 Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, and I may even give you a shout out here on the podcast.
Dina Cataldo: (02:21)
All right, let's talk about our lovely guest now. Tracy Nunez is an amazing soul who has made it her life's work to learn more about herself and help others learn about themselves through art. Whether you consider yourself artistically are inclined or not, you're going to want to listen in because she gives insights into how we can connect with that still quiet voice we all have and oftentimes can't even hear our intuition. She shares how her collage arts helped her recognize a truth about herself that was hidden from her for years and through her art she was able to not only express but really connect with herself. I can't wait for you to hear more from Tracy, so let's listen in.
Dina Cataldo: (03:06)
Hi Tracy. How are you doing today?
Tracy Nunez: (03:07)
I'm doing wonderful. It's so good to see you.
Dina Cataldo: (03:10)
It's good to see you too and I'm really excited about this topic that we're going to be talking about because it's a little different than anything that I've done on the podcast so far, so thank you for being here to share what your experiences in this artistic realm we're going to explore.
Tracy Nunez: (03:25)
Super excited to share it with you.
Dina Cataldo: (03:28)
Can you introduce yourself a bit to our audience?
Tracy Nunez: (03:31)
Sure. My name is Tracy Nuñez. I'm a spiritual art teacher and I focus on helping people to take spiritual principles and put them into action through art. We use different techniques to really tap in and get an understanding of our subconscious mind and work with that energy to kind of build a relationship with a higher power.
Dina Cataldo: (03:52)
Now, I love everything you have to say about this and I just want to let audience members know that we're good to talk about some stuff that's going to sound like energy and stuff like that, but it's actually very practical. It's things that we can use to access our minds in ways that we just were never taught how to do. And Tracy's going to guide us through some amazing things. So Tracy, can you tell us a little bit about what got you into this whole area in the first place?
Tracy Nunez: (04:22)
Sure, of course. Well since I was young, I've always had a real interest in spirituality. It's like had been my obsession since I guess the age of 16 so that's always been very much part of my life in that time I've traveled to India and studied with Shamans in Peru, listening to tons of different thought leaders, like Eckhart Tolle, Matt Kahn just really dived into that area of my life and I always felt like that would just be something for [unintelligible]. It was very self aware and always interested in working on that aspect of just being a human being. You know, digging in, evolving and always leveling up. Just always interested in that. At the same time I've been a creative type. I majored in photography in college and I had been doing art as long as I can remember because I just always had full access to my emotional body, which I channeled through art quite a bit as a evolving, and got older and I went through challenges and evolution in my life, I really started to hand everything over to a higher power and I started to ask my divine to work through me and to actually make the artwork for me. I wanted my artwork to say more and to be more impactful to more people. Now I knew I had something to say through my art, but I knew full well that if I could just become a vessel and allow something to work through me creatively, that I would access something that people could truly learn from and grow from themselves. So I started really calling on that energy quite a bit.
Dina Cataldo: (05:53)
I think it's amazing the way you talk about being in touch yourself and this artistic side of yourself because that was something that I had been drawn to when I was younger, but there came an age when I felt that I was expected to follow a certain path and that was the path to success. And for me that ended up being a path towards being a lawyer, so any interest I had in drawing, any interest I had in singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, all of that, which I was very drawn to where things I've put by the wayside because I started to focus on the practical. And the more I focused on the practical, the more I got into this world of perfectionism and control and all of that, which are great traits if you need to be organized and a lawyer but not so great if you want to get in touch with yourself and be an awesome human being.
Dina Cataldo: (06:51)
So I'm really curious if you've ever had like people that you work with, do they have the same kind of issues come up where they were really artistically inclined at some point in their life and then at some point that just kind of fell by the wayside?
Tracy Nunez: (07:05)
Oh absolutely. And even in myself, I had that same issue. I don't know if you know this, but becoming an artist isn't always very lucrative. So at the same time, I'm a teacher, I've taught at a school for the last 14 years and I absolutely love that, but I've even had times when my art fell by the wayside too. I just, I didn't know if it was going to bring anything else in or if it was really going to be lucrative for me. And because of that and because of life, I really had to put it to the side for a few years there. But you know what? I always had that little itch that told me you need to be creative, you need to find this outlet. And he wouldn't let go of me. And what happened is that I decided that no matter what came of my art, whether or not it made me successful, lucrative way or not, was that it needed to be a part of my life. And when I stopped forcing anything out of my art and allowed it to just be, that's when the magic actually start to happen because I allowed it to be playful and I allowed it to be a vessel to channel energy through. And that's when it started speaking to me and actually have something deeper to say.
Dina Cataldo: (08:09)
I think that aspect of play is important because so many of us, at least in my position as I was in this lawyer world, and as you know, the people around me, oftentimes we feel like we have to be perfect, you know, when we pick up a musical instrument like a guitar and we forget, that takes years of practice to master. It's not as if you pick it up and suddenly you know how to do it. You have to practice every single day, just like you exercise any muscle in your body. You've got to exercise these muscles. So, you know, I just want to encourage anybody who kind of gets that itch gets inspired to play a little bit with us today: Just recognize that you know what? When you try something new, you're not going to get something that maybe you expect and that's okay. What do you say about that?
Tracy Nunez: (08:53)
Yeah, I mean, it's awesome also to be a beginner and to watch your path and to see how it transmutes over time in this process that I'm teaching in this collage process, you actually start to create a relationship with a higher power and speak directly with that energy, so you allow for the room for these so-called mistakes to come in because it actually is something to teach you. And oftentimes we learn a lot more by not doing it perfectly and being humble and also being loving towards ourselves. So being able to sit there and say, you know what? I showed up to do something. Maybe it's not hitting the standard I'd hope for right away, but you know what I showed up? And that could be in this collage process playing guitar like you said, or any other artistic or just new endeavor. What it really teaches us to do is to show up and to let that be something that we celebrate.
Dina Cataldo: (09:44)
Elizabeth Gilbert said something really cool one time, which is that when she writes a book, the way she thinks of it to kind of take the pressure off is that it's actually just coming through her like it's not even her voice. It's something that is not even really hers to create or make. It's just already there and she's putting it out into the world because that's what — you can call it energy, source, God, whatever you want to call it, your soul — has helped you put out into the world whatever name you want to put to that. She says that and it takes a lot of pressure because it's not as if she has to create the book. It's already created. It's just coming through her.
Dina Cataldo: (10:21)
Exactly. What happened to me and actually why I really felt like I needed to share this process. As I started to go to my art shows and when people would tell me like, what a beautiful art piece, I would start to say like, I know isn't it beautiful? And it was because I didn't feel like I made it. I felt like I was a spectator and watching a miracle in front of me that I got to participate in. And that was so exciting because I really did feel like the higher power I'd come in and made that Rps, I could not have done that myself. And I started to see such beauty in the nuances and things I would place in different pieces and just know that something was working through me. And it was through looking at some of my more beginning pieces that I saw. Wow, I really progressed and grew and so did the relationship with my higher power. And that is the beauty of this process.
Dina Cataldo: (11:08)
So tell us how you got into the sector of art — collage making, creating — to really get in touch with yourself. Like what really helped you get to this place where you're like, yes, this is the thing that's going to help connect me. To me.
Tracy Nunez: (11:23)
Well I really understood that the most important relationship I could have is with a higher power. So I set aside some time each week, I think it was like a Tuesday night and I just made a date with my higher power or you know, I think I called it like my artistic self at that time. And I would sit down and show up and then this relationship just started to grow over time and I would start to see the magic flowing through it. And not only did it end up being in my artwork, then I had decided to create a relationship, it started to affect the rest of my life because now like anything else, it was a real bond. You know, just like any relationship, you have to show up for the other person and you have to be authentic. So what I started to see is those days I would show up to do the artwork and you know what? It wasn't very good or I didn't feel like that energy was flowing through because guess what, sometimes it won't be flowing through. And that is when I felt like a higher power was seeing how badly I wanted it and was I willing to come back. Like anything else, you really have to keep showing up for that relationship, you know, and cultivating it. So I did and I would see in other parts of my life, the more I would celebrate the artwork coming through on those days or just showing up the next week. If it hadn't the week before, the stronger my bond would get in. The more I would see miracles have more gratitude in my day to day life and it really became magical.
Dina Cataldo: (12:44)
I really want to highlight something you said because so often we think that if it doesn't come naturally to us, why bother? Like why bother waking up early in the morning? If it doesn't feel natural to us, then why bother doing it? But there's something about that commitment about showing up for yourself and really saying, look, I'm committed to creating this result. In my life. I'm committed to connect me with myself. I'm committed to creating art. I'm committed to fill in the blank. When we really show up for ourselves. I think we're really putting out that energy like, hey, this is something that I want and then you know, it will maybe not just come to you. I mean you gotta work for it. You've got to be there for it.
Tracy Nunez: (13:23)
Absolutely. You know, that is a big important topic that I felt like it was a breakthrough moment for me and spirituality. There is the part of us that things, everything, everything's predestined and it's going to flow to us and it's already a pattern that's going to come into our life and part of that is very true. There is sort of this course, I believe that things that are meant for you flow into your life and the other things that aren't meant for you either room come in and flow out when it's necessary, but there's also the part where you have to put effort in as well. You're co-creating together with a higher power. So any energy you put towards that goal, then your higher power can come and take what you're doing and work with that. You're just going to sit on your couch and not show up? That artwork or that new skill isn't going to develop on its own. You have to put the effort in, put yourself out there so you can meet the right person, join a guitar group, get led to the places that you need to go so that the magic can actually happen. Miracles work through other people and through the situations you also put yourself in. And that's why I also love doing the artwork. It's Oh, creation at its best. Being creative, in any field, and it doesn't have to be collage or artwork, anything that is your career or something you're passionate about is a creative force in a creative energy. So the more you go towards that, the more that energy we'll support you, but you have to know there are going to be roadblocks and hurdles and those are all parts of cultivating your character and actually making you able to play on a bigger stage when you're ready. If you don't overcome those obstacles and when that big opportunity comes, you will be ready for it. You won't be able to show up.
Dina Cataldo: (14:57)
Oh yeah, totally. I love all this. Okay. So once you started showing up for yourself and you started to really be able to connect with your artistic part of yourself, how did this open up your world for you? Like what did it help you see?
Tracy Nunez: (15:13)
Well, with myself, a little part of my thing backstory is that I found out that I was gay. So that was a big part of my personal story. Um, I was married, happily married. I loved my husband so much. I really was hoping to have a family. So all of this time I was doing collage work and through that work I was really able to see myself or who I was and to work through this artwork and express myself beautifully and to transmute fearlessly into the person I was always meant to be. I was able to leave that relationship and [unintelligible], we're still family to this day, which is so beautiful. But it allowed me to really hit things head on because I had a place where I could really process my emotions. They were tough emotions, but you know what? Those tough emotions be it through my sexuality or through somebody else overcoming some obstacles in their life, the emotions I was putting into the artwork was something relatable, and I invite any person to take off that mask and live fully in their truth.
Tracy Nunez: (16:11)
And that's what my artwork really emotes in people is that, you know, there's social norms, there's a lot of social norms and especially pressure on women to have a family or to have, you know, the career or the life fulfillment that we think we're supposed to have. When we really want those things and when we can find out who we are, what we really start to find out is that our happiness doesn't come in a specific package. If it does come through one of those social norms, that's great too, but it's not the only way. And I really did step in my power and believe that if I was 99% happy that I deserved 100%. And this art process really helped me to fully show up. And uh, my artwork ended up being in the permanent collection at the Leslie Lohman Museum and it was sort of this divine winking at me like, “Good job.” And it was a great way for me to express this to friends and family who maybe didn't know my stories fully, that I was there to celebrate my artwork in this day and lesbian museum where it was like a big deal to have a show there. And it was through something I was so passionate about and everybody including my husband was there to support and cheer me on, which was very beautiful.
Dina Cataldo: (17:14)
You know, it's amazing because we have so many feelings caught up in this identity that we've built up to whatever age we are right now. So whatever history, whatever stories we have, whatever our expectations were or are, we've created this identity in ourselves. Going through your artistic process, how did you discover that you weren't comfortable with your identity? That there was something off?
Tracy Nunez: (17:40)
Well, I had started off collaging at one point when I was really wanted to get married. Actually that was the first part of it. Prior to my marriage, I was images of girls in wedding dresses and using the fabric and I really passionately wanted to get married. So this all transmuted throughout an eight year marriage that I had. So it was just different points of the realization like, okay, wow, I'm having these feelings come up. And then collaging through that and just the evolution of, “Ooh, you know what, maybe this isn't a hundred percent fulfilling.” So then I remember I had these pictures of women or are they kind of looked like brides just in a more somber tone. And it was the death of this idea. I had this identity I had wrapped around being married and that I was going to lose that and lose the person that I love. So I started collaging that as well. And then I just sort of moved through the phases that way.
Dina Cataldo: (18:31)
Was it that you were drawn to these photographs and then you could recognize, you could say, “okay, because I'm drawn to these photographs. Like you're asking yourself, okay, what does that say about my mental state right now?” Is that kind of the gist of it?
Tracy Nunez: (18:44)
A little bit. It was a little bit more two-fold. Like I was having these emotions come up that I couldn't quite understand and then I would collage through the emotion and I had inklings of maybe what it was or you know, an attraction to somebody. So I would face those emotions and I would collage them. Or if I was having a moment of sorrow because I sort of knew that this marriage I truly wanted to stay in, wasn't really going to be my be all end all that was very high emotional state. Anyone that's even been through divorce rather it was through this or through anything can recognize that there's part of us. Like I almost wish that it was a bad relationship that I was dissolving. It wasn't, I loved who I was, so I had to really go through this morning and this law and that's really what I was collaging. And through the collaging I could release the emotions and not keep them bottled up so I wasn't really holding on to them. It could help you work through those steps, not only for myself but with my husband as well. Through those moments I could have more honest conversations. I could show up fully for him realizing this is his process too. This is something we're still fully doing together. And it took us years to do and um, we always did it with a lot of love. And I think being able to process my emotions in a healthy place allowed me to get real with what I was feeling and allow me to fully show up when I was in those moments where I need to interact with him a little bit deeper as well.
Dina Cataldo: (20:03)
Can you explain for listeners who maybe aren't familiar with collaging exactly what it is and how you prep for it and you know what you do to gather items that potentially it could have some meaning for you and your artwork?
Tracy Nunez: (20:17)
Yeah, sure, so I love this process. One thing that people can do right off the bat is if they have a certain idea that they want to collage or they have something they want to work through, like maybe their topic can be transformation or fear, then they can start to take magazines, flip through and just do tear sheets of images they are drawn to around that topic, especially with spiritual collage. I often recommend feeling centered doing whatever kind of little process they need to do to really call in a higher power and then they'll start to use their source material. I also really recommend getting higher ends, either high fashion magazines or even books with good images. Let's say they want to do nature or a certain animal, really using good resources. We'll make a better product rather than just getting one of the magazines you get at the hair salon that's not really a high quality paper that's going to make a big difference in your product and if it can save anyone the time they think they're just going to get a cheap magazine and have a great end result collage, they might not. So really taking the time, even when they're in the bookstore to flip through and pick a few magazines that they see a bunch of images that they think might work for them while they're doing that allow for the magic to come in. You may start off with one topic like fear and now all of a sudden you keep cutting out pictures of water or hands or rocks, I don't know, whatever may flow in or whenever the eye is drawn to. I want people to be aware that that is your higher power speaking to you and nudging you in a certain direction.
Tracy Nunez: (21:49)
It also doesn't even need to be that serious. Perhaps you're using a lot of nature items because you grew up in a rural area and that's part of your history that's going to add beauty to your artwork, so you want to be open to all those beautiful aspects that can flow in. Once you have your source material, you can either start collaging right in the same session or you can just start cutting things out and then at another date start to collage. The way I do it as I cut out items and I just use a regular glue stick, I don't recommend using wet glue unless you have heavier items that you want to incorporate like rope or you know anything that may need a heavier glue, which is absolutely, there are no rules to collage so you can use anything you'd like. If people see my art work, they will see that I use primarily magazine paper so I don't have any of those items.
Tracy Nunez: (22:36)
Then you just sort of cut and collage it together. One main tip I have is don't worry about using too much glue glue in the certain spots that gets the pieces to stick together and that's usually enough so you can lay it out the way you'd like. Sometimes people starting out really benefit from gluing on to a board or a bigger piece of paper, but as they get going they'll figure out a way to glue the paper onto one another without having to put it on a back board, which is also a really fun way to make abstract shapes as you're collaging, which is super, super cool as well and made some some beautiful artwork as well. So those are some tips to get started and I'm sure that you'll have links and things, but I have some collaging tips on my website for people who are just getting started as well.
Dina Cataldo: (23:17)
I'll be sure to link to your website in the show notes because I know I did have some good resources for them. When I was trying to kind of figure out what my interests were and try to like just understand myself a little bit better. I was so out of touch with feeling comfortable playing with anything artistic that I went out and I got a book. It was like a very playful book. I'll link to that in the show notes. I have it still. It was really great…that explained to me how to play like it was mixing, how to play with paint. So it's okay if you might be a little intimidated by this collaging. I mean it's new, but do it for fun. If this interests you at all, use this as your play time. This is your time to yourself and I'm always encouraging people to take time to themselves because just like you're saying, that's how we get connected with ourselves. That's how we start seeing these bigger themes in our life that we're not connecting with. And this is also very much connected with control because you have a little bit of control, but it sounds like you're really just moving off of feeling. Does that sound about right?
Tracy Nunez: (24:26)
Yeah, it totally is. And one thing I'll say about that play too with collage, it's nice because guess what, if you can't draw and you're not good at drawing, it's hard to develop that skill you'll get somewhere. But with collaging, the nice thing about being a beginner is you're always cutting out images that the eye is drawn to that you already like and you're piecing them together. So you'll get better at things like composition, color theory and how to actually put the pieces together. But it's a skill that you can develop rather quickly and have fun doing and liking it, you know, in that way. So it is a fun medium to begin with.
Dina Cataldo: (24:58)
Yeah, this is a very accessible thing to do. And if you have kids, I mean maybe you want to have your own time to do this, but maybe it's something that you share with them. You know, maybe it's something that you can teach them to do too. You can make it kind of like I picture the ideal situation is having like some candles and like maybe some music and just kind of like chilling out and then kind of playing around with finding pictures. But maybe it could be, you know, whatever you want it to be. It could be play time with the kids and finding things that you like.
Tracy Nunez: (25:29)
Oh absolutely. I mean, yeah, it can be this more intimate thing that you're doing for yourself, but if you lean around and I collaged with the kids in my class all of the time, you can literally give them materials and give them precut images as well and help them. You'll be amazed at what they make as well. You'll probably learn just as much what they make because they're so in tune with the natural ability to be in flow. And that's really what this process is about. It's about allowing us to have the space to fall into flow. So you recognize what that feels like and you can do it in other parts of your life. Oh, there's that timeless feeling and you get that when you collage very easily. And what you also get out of it is you sort of develop evidence of a higher power working through you and with you, your collage at the end of each session you do is something working with you. And so often, you know, we can journal and do other things. But so often it's like we strive to have a connection with a higher power and sometimes we have it and sometimes it's like nobody's showing up today and we feel that void. But with this process you actually do come away with like I made something beautiful and I made it with something bigger than myself.
Dina Cataldo: (26:34)
There's two pieces to what you just talked about that I want to explore. One is what is your definition of flow and how do you experience it? And I think I just lost the other thoughts. So why don't we just go with that? How do you experience flow and can you explain that?
Tracy Nunez: (26:51)
Oh yes. So one of my biggest areas of focus right now is just really asking to be put in flow more and more. Basically what that means to me is that instead of me dictating where I want to go in life and what I want to achieve, I will still have a goal or an idea in mind. But what I really ask for is for a higher power to be guiding me to the places I actually need to be and places I actually will be in most service. And that way the more I'm in tune with my intuition and open to that space, I feel when it's right to say yes to something, I feel when there's a person I should work with or not work with and that's me being put on my right path so they can make a bigger impact in this world and absolutely let my talent shine through. Um, instead of getting stifled and so tunnel vision on what I think my goal should be, but I actually block out what the divine is trying to give me. To me, that's being out of flow. If you're blocking opportunities coming to you because you're so tunnel vision of what you think, we'll make you happy, then you may be missing where you're actually supposed to make the biggest impact. So that's what I really pray for him. That's what I feel like this process gives me because when I'm in flow, I don't always worry about why I'm cutting out a certain image or why I'm doing ita certain way. And then when I put it on my wall and I look at it, it may not be in the first day or even the first week. I'll look at it and I'll see, oh my gosh, that's telling me I need to be stronger in this area. I can see it or something will come to pass in the following weeks and it's there on my collage. So it becomes this conversation and it's letting me know that I'm on that right track. And it was because I trusted my intuition and allowed the flow to happen. Instead of saying, oh, I never use that color. I don't like that object. I let it be there and I let myself be allowed to change.
Dina Cataldo: (28:31)
It's so funny, as you were telling that I remembered when I was very stuck in my head, I was very stuck in my head. It was like over a decade ago and I was in court in the hallway and a witness, he was a officer, not to be too cliche, he, um, he was an officer and he was asking me like, what am I going to do this weekend? And I said, oh, I don't know. And he said, Oh, I'm going to a soccer game. Do you want to come? And I was like, okay. And it was very just like, I was so focused on my job, like I wasn't even thinking about it. And then after everything was done, we were walking out, he was like, Oh, you want to get some coffee? And I said, well, I'm okay. I don't really like that place. It was just, I was not connected at all that he was hitting on me. I had no clue. I was just like doing my thing. You've given me his card. And by the time I got to my office I realized, Oh, he was hitting on me. Oh, that's why I back be like, because I was so disconnected from just my emotions from the person in front of me, the intuition, you know, all of that I could have missed out on an amazing friendship because we've been friends for over a decade now.
Tracy Nunez: (29:38)
Dina Cataldo: (29:38)
I mean, that could have gone in a very different, and honestly, my intuition told me this is a really good human being. As soon as he walked through my door and my office.
Tracy Nunez: (29:47)
Dina Cataldo: (29:47)
So it was really interesting to see how one little failure to connect with your intuition, failure to listen to what's happening inside of you can completely keep a friendship from you, keep some kind of success from you. I not doing this kind of work.
Tracy Nunez: (30:05)
Right. And that's the thing, you know, and it's okay when that happens because it will, it just all becomes lessons for you to see like, “Oh wow, that time I didn't trust my intuition. I missed this opportunity.” That's okay. They always come back around. It just may take you longer. When you don't get an intuition the first time. It's like a gentle tap. Then it gets bigger until it's a giant smack. Right. And I'm like, oh my gosh. So nowadays I'm just hoping to get the little tap sooner.
Dina Cataldo: (30:32)
The other thing that I remembered that I wanted to explore with you was when you were saying, yeah, we could do this with journaling. However, there's something about collaging. It's very tangible. And when you said that, it made me think it can get you out of that monkey brain that we all have that brain that is constantly chattering at us. Like we're always overthinking things. So at least that's how I was. And I still do it too. But now I recognize when I'm doing it and I can shut it down quicker. But our brains naturally want to come up with stories. We're naturally drawn to stories. So we're constantly telling ourselves stories and we're trying to rationalize and understand and we're grasping at all these different things to try to explain what's in front of us. Well, collaging is something that can maybe create a little disconnect between that monkey brain and our emotional selves.
Tracy Nunez: (31:26)
Right. Totally. And it's imagery. So that's the subconscious part of our brain. It's not the part that's the chatter mind and it's great to journal and get those things out. I do that every single day, like religiously. And this, our form allows me again to be in that timeless where, wow, I've just been creating for such a long while. That is the part of my brain I don't get to explore. It's not the thought part of my brain. And underneath that is the hidden patterns that are actually operating from a my day to day life and don't know about. When we can uncover the subconscious patterns, then we can work on them. And that's what this, our process really does for us. It can bring to light patterns we didn't know were there before. And that's really the operating system for all of our decision making and that's why that's so important.
Dina Cataldo: (32:11)
I love this because it's just a different way to access our brains and access all of the craziness that's inside there because there's just so much going on. There's a few things that I wanted to touch on with you and I know that you have some amazing tips for people who want to try this at home and try to be more connected, but there's some fears that I know have come up with me. I'll speak for myself. I know from speaking to other people who are like me, there's a few that come up. Perfection, failing, looking stupid, judgment, not knowing how to do something like going into that state of confusion. Can you kind of touch on your experience with people with these same kinds of things and maybe help us find work arounds for these monkey mind things that pop into our head when we try something new?
Tracy Nunez: (33:00)
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, one of the first things I do with my clients is let them know if they sit down to make this artwork and nothing comes of it, that doesn't mean that the spiritual work isn't being done. In fact, that might be the work right there where you have to sit and be faced with, wow, I tried something and maybe it didn't come out the way he wanted and what you're actually doing is planting a seed. So if you're working on something like transformation, even if the art piece didn't come out the way you wanted it, it doesn't mean that the transformation isn't going to happen in your life because you actually intended to work on that aspect of yourself. So just know that we can't always see everything that's coming into play when we sit down to do a process like this immediately.
Tracy Nunez: (33:40)
I think that's a big problem that we all have as human beings is that idea of instant gratification. We have to allow this to unfold and I think often what I'm trying to do in my life and with my clients as well is just tell them and have them experience. If you fail, that's one of the best lessons that you can get. Everything is just going to be information for us to build on and showing up in spite of that so called failure, which is all we're actually labeling it as. That's our label. That's not actually the truth of what's happening. It's in those moments when you show up more fearlessly and give yourself more love, not less that you actually become successful. So feeling like looking stupid, you have to say, you know what? I'm not stupid. I tried, I'm awesome and I'm doing my best. I'm doing more than a lot of people wouldn't put themselves in this vulnerable position. So I say if you feel vulnerable, if you're having that feeling of anxiety and oh, I don't want to feel uncomfortable or be in the spot light, that's absolutely when you should do it. That's your intuition saying that's something that matters to you perhaps and that you should try it.
Dina Cataldo: (34:43)
Yeah. You know, that is something that I very much believe is that when we are very scared to do something now, maybe jumping out of an airplane or something, but something that could be crucial to our growth. You know, like really putting ourselves out there as a scary thing. Those are things that we should be going for rather than pulling back from,
Tracy Nunez: (35:03)
Yeah. And you should expect it when you, you expect to have the hurdles and the roadblocks, you know, you're growing. And I always say it's called spiritual work, not spiritual fun for a reason. It's work, and it will get uncomfortable. It gets uncomfortable and that's when you're going to want to quit. So you can assume that your artwork will come out great and then it's going to be something you feel like, oh, well I'm not going to try this or it's not working for me. Our mind will try to come up with the stories to make us quit. And you want to stay the course in anything that you're trying to do in your life. And uh, like I said, it's only gonna make you stronger. And if you really fully go for it, if you totally, you know, it's not for you, then at least you have that information. If you only halfway go for it, you never really know if that thing is for you. Be It in a job or relationship in this art process. Anything fully show up fully go forward, don't stop at the first sign of adversity. That's when you need to keep going. Which is why I love the mind, body connection. You know, if you work out, it's such an easy thing to see. Like of course you start running, it gets uncomfortable, you want to stop, but you know, this is the point you need to keep going. So all the information you ever need, I feel like really happens in your body. That anxiety, that feeling of stress at raising the heart rate, it's all information that you need to battle through.
Dina Cataldo: (36:18)
Oh yeah. And so many of us are disconnected from what our body feels and our body is meant, I believe, to tune us into what is not working in our life and with working in our life. You know, it's meant to show us where we need to put in more energy and where we need to pull back a little bit. And I like the concept of using art to really get in touch with what our body's feeling because I think it's like a nice intermediary for us, like our brain and our body. I mean, you could do yoga, you could do whatever it is, but art is also a really great medium for us to start connecting more with what's going on inside of us.
Tracy Nunez: (36:56)
Totally. Yeah, exactly.
Dina Cataldo: (36:59)
Okay. So can you give us some tips on like some of the blocks that have come up. I know you've explored a lot of them with us, um, to collaging, but maybe some breakthroughs even like what's a sign of a breakthrough and how people can recognize when they are creating something and that it means something, like what can they do to start really understanding what they're making and how it relates to them?
Tracy Nunez: (37:27)
Yeah, I mean one of the blocks that I came across right away is I made this one series called female landscapes and the artwork over time started to get good. And then I had a curator come look at my artwork and he saw many, many examples of the same type of collage and he just told me, you know, you've really mastered this part of your art series. You may want to start looking for new topics. And that really scared me because I had this part down and I thought I found my voice. I found, you know, what I was making and what I was starting to do is just really replicating a lot of the same formula. So that's one block you may come across. Um, I would say when that comes in, allow there to be a pause. It's okay for there to be a pause. You don't have to be creative or have some groundbreaking idea for your artwork all the time. When I allow for that space, I really didn't think anything would come in. But you know what, I had a bunch of different series come in over time. One of the biggest ones for me was this collage series I did with the women's movement and just, you know, it was called women are watching. And I started using flags and I am not one for political really, but here it was showing up in my artwork and I guess it was affecting me more than I even knew. And here it was. I created this whole series and I was very proud of it still looked like me. It felt like my voice is still had that feminine edge and this real passionate part of it, but the hadn't you voice.
Tracy Nunez: (38:51)
Then another series that I did was just really from a love of period pieces. I love the sort of fabrics and close of that era. And again I came up with this series called period piece based around females and sort of reimagining an older time period and that was just the passion. So I would say look to sometimes it doesn't have to be this deep deep topic either. One of the blocks I had was feeling like, oh my gosh, it has to be something serious like this. Women are watching topic with the flags. That was a serious topic, but you know, it could be as simple as like I really love women's legs. So I did a whole series on legs and that was enough. I made some of my best pieces in that series. One other time I made a series on um, just beaches cause I grew up in long island and I hadn't got to the beach that year.
Tracy Nunez: (39:35)
So all of a sudden out of my artwork came these beautiful beach collages and you know what it was telling me I needed to get to the ocean. And at first it would have been something I blocked out as like, this isn't serious artwork, but it was. So I think allowing for those things, any interests, whatever it is, don't toss it to the side, really explore what you love about it. And you know what? If you really passionate for it, it's gonna find its year that it, you can also share it with. And if it's just for you, that's passionate thing you have to have for you as well.
Dina Cataldo: (40:03)
This is such a great way to get into with what's going on in your brain. Like when you explain collaging to me and to everybody listening, I hear that it's really gonna help you get a reflection of your brain. And coaching for me is all about getting a reflection that you're not necessarily going to see. Just thinking it through when you actually have somebody who can hear how you're speaking, who can really reflect back to you what you're saying, then you can truly hear what you think. Because we get so caught up in ourselves, we skip over words. We don't understand that. What we're saying is in direct opposition to how we're behaving and if we take time to do what you're talking about, it sounds like it can really offer a great reflection on what's happening in our psyche.
Tracy Nunez: (40:54)
Yes, absolutely. You nailed it. That's exactly what it does.
Dina Cataldo: (40:58)
Oh my gosh. Okay. So do you have, before I ask you to leave our viewers with ways that they can contact you and learn more about you and maybe discover so many of your artwork and what you have to offer. Do you have any parting words for us?
Dina Cataldo: (41:13)
You know, I just want everyone to understand the power of play and exploration and diving into an area that they haven't tried before. You will always learn and cultivate new parts of yourself and I think that is so exciting and always worth celebrating. I want people to understand they need to celebrate themselves and be their number one fan. That would probably be my biggest takeaway is that you need to see yourself in the most beautiful light as you possibly and through this process you can really reveal different parts of yourself that you hadn't known where there before. Thank you for sharing that with us. Can you tell us where we can learn more about you and get in contact with you? Yeah, sure, so you can find me on my website. It's TracyMarieNuñez.com. You can see all of my different art series there and then I also have one section that's called conscious collage, which is the name of my coaching and classes for this collage process.
Tracy Nunez: (42:13)
I work definitely in person one on one. I'm in New York, but also I do it, you know from a distance as well, so if people aren't nearby, they can work with me that way and they can also find me on Instagram. I always post all of my artwork there. So though my website is just a slice of some of my artwork and is more selective. You can see, you know what I'm making in the moment more on my Instagram, which is Tracy Nuñez for @TracyNunez4
Dina Cataldo: (42:40)
Okay. I think it would be really great if listeners who heard this with tag @TracyNunez4 and @Dina.Cataldo on Instagram. Just post something like you listening to the podcast or something cool. Something that Tracy said that really stuck with you and I think that would be really nice for us.
Tracy Nunez: (42:56)
Oh yeah. And your artwork if you make it, that would be amazing.
Dina Cataldo: (43:00)
Oh my gosh. That'd be so cool. Before I let you go, I was really curious, how do you run your coaching for conscious collage? How does that work? Because it's like probably most people would want to do it online. So I'm curious to know like what do you do? Do you talk to them through their art? Like how do you do that?
Tracy Nunez: (43:18)
Yeah, so I'm, if I'm working one on one with somebody, we come up with a list of three to five topics that they want to work with. I do a lot of spiritual writings, so based on their topics, I will design a program just for them. I have them right and we Skype and things like that based around the topic. And then they start to collect materials and we collage, um, I give intentional blessings to, it's part of my spiritual practice.
Dina Cataldo: (43:45)
So That's part of my coaching program. And then we explore what they've made or if they run into roadblocks while making the artwork, I help them with different tips on how to make the artwork more successful. If the artwork is something that they're really geared on, if they are an artist or they want to dig into that more than I focus more in on the actual product of the artwork a little bit more. But if they're looking for self discovery, the artwork part isn't as deep. We'll do the collaging, but it's really about the lessons around it. So we just use the collaging as a vessel to get to what their objective is to reach in their life and whatever the roadblocks are. And then if they are in New York, we do the classes. So I come up like this last series I did on the Chakras, so they meet every week.
Tracy Nunez: (44:27)
We focus in on a different chakra for each week and we design artwork based around that chakra. That's what we've been doing recently.
Dina Cataldo: (44:33)
Oh my gosh. That's so cool. I would totally do it if I were in New York was like a ton of fun. [inaudible] well thanks again for sharing everything that you did. This is like such a great way to just ray like this could be another aspect of yourself here. I mean we're always talking about self care and like can I use facial, getting a massage or any of that, but we have something fun like this and this is such a cool thing to do.
Tracy Nunez: (44:55)
Right. Well. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and getting in touch with your viewers. The I'm so passionate about this work and I know that they'll be able to create magic not only in this art form, but see evidence of it flow into the rest of their lives, which is so exciting.
Dina Cataldo: (45:10)
Tracy Nunez: (45:11)
Thanks so much.
Dina Cataldo: (45:12)
I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Tracy as much as I did. I'm linking to everything we mentioned in the show [email protected] forward slash 57 and you'll want to be sure to tune in next week. This week's episode was all about connecting with ourselves. Next week we're talking about connecting with others. Specifically, I'm talking about having awkward networking conversations. No matter what you do for a living, you're going to want to be sure that you're subscribed so you don't miss the tools and techniques are guest shares next week. I hope you have a lovely day and I will talk to you soon. Bye.
Dina Cataldo: (45:52)
Hi Lawyers. If you love Soul Roadmap Podcast, I want to tell you about a couple of things that will jumpstart your life. The first is the 10 Day Lawyer Life Detox. We clear out, stress and overwhelmn this Self Study Online coaching program, you can learn [email protected] forward slash work with Dina. The second is my signature online group coaching program. I do a couple of times a year while the 10 day lawyer life detox is like a quick refresh with the lawyer. Soul roadmap is a deep dive in this 10 week online program. I teach you how your brain works, why you do what you do, and how to reach your goals while creating ease in your life. If you're ready for more, join [email protected] forward slash work with Dina. I'll see you there.