Desiree East

The first time I met Desiree I was utterly struck by her energy. She is a petite powerhouse of vibrant light with the most delightfully deep roots. Deeply connected to nature, an avid surfer and plant lover, Desiree emanates joy and love.  This Shift Series interview takes us into the world of transformation and healing through creative expression.  Desiree shares her secrets for how she helps her clients unlock their potential, overcome challenges, and find true healing in the most gentle, (yes, creative), and beautiful ways imaginable. So happy to share her work with you here.  Enjoy. xo Lindsay

Desiree and Lindsay talk about the healing power of creativity.

Healing Power of Creativity

Q. Tell us a little about yourself

I’m a creativity coach, visual artist, and world traveler, and I love sharing my creative bliss with the world. My favorite things in life include, surfing, dancing, and connecting with Mother Nature on a regular basis. The heart of my work is encouraging others to embrace life lessons, however big or small, by nurturing your purpose-driven soul through mindful art-making, unique self-expression and creative play.

Q. Tell us about your path to creating your business and your vision

In 2008, the small eco-friendly landscape and design company that my husband and I own was at its peak, until the housing market took a dive, shortly after in 2009. Being that our business was directly to the housing market, our business took a dive, too. As we struggled to keep it afloat, we went into pure survival mode, and there was a breaking point, where we had to let everything go, which meant walking away from our home that we so lovingly cared for.

I knew there had to be a better way.

In that moment of survival mode – amongst the fear, the doubts, and endless nights of worrying – I realized I had a choice. That I could still create any life that I wanted, and instead of choosing to be a victim of unfortunate events, I chose FREEDOM.

We down-sized the business, sold nearly half of our possessions, and started to save up for two years, in order to take a break — to go on a sabbatical and take a step back to look at what had just happened to us. We wanted to figure out a way we could get back on our feet and creatively and purposefully re-design our lives, so that we wouldn’t get back on the ‘Joneses’ program. (My grandmother warned me about following the Joneses, while growing up).

At that point, I had started an Art/Travel/Photography blog — mostly for fun, because, with everything that was happening, I had this burning creative surge of fire in me that had to be released and nurtured. I had realized that, even though I was a creative by trade, I had put art-making for myself on the backburner. The creative blog that I had created ended up being a vehicle for healing and creative transformation for the new life I was designing.

That is when CREATIVITY COACHING fell into my lap. As a creativity coach, I help others focus-in on creative solutions that they may need to make in their lives and/or businesses by giving them a platform for their muse to come out and play. Using creative meditation and creativity exercises, such as drawing, painting, and photography, I help people re-connect to their creative wisdom in a soulful way to find the answers they need on an intuitive level. I use a combination of creative coaching and transformational coaching techniques by inviting my clients to see the infinite possibilities that are available to them on a blank canvas, as it is in their lives.

Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your philosophy on wellness:

When I think of the word, ‘wellness’, I think of the word, ‘holistic’. Just as we are all a part of the eco-system that is Mother Nature, I believe that we are intrinsically connected to every aspect of what makes our individual lives ‘whole’. For example, there are five areas of our lives that we tend to focus on when it comes to wellness, success, balance, etc:
1) Love and Relationships
2) Money
3) Career/Business
4) Health
5) Higher Calling/Purpose/Connection to Spirit/God/Universe

Let’s say we looked at all of these areas as an eco-system; if any of these areas were to be neglected (or if we solely paid attention to only one area), the system would eventually collapse. This is where my passion in creativity, as a tool for wellness, comes in. Most of the things we do to try to create balance in all of these five areas of our lives, usually come from left-brain thinking: the shoulds, the musts, the to-do lists, the deadlines, the right way, the wrong way, etc…This is where all of the judgments, criticism, fears, and doubts come into play. As a creativity coach, I’m an advocate for ‘whole-brain’ thinking, which includes inviting clients to exercise their right-brain hemispheres: the unknown, the infinite, the creative possibilities, exploring love-based truths that are accepting, non-judgmental, and intuitive. As a creative wellness coach, I encourage my clients to take a holistic approach in all areas of their lives by recognizing ‘whole’ brain thinking.

Q. What was the catalyst in your life to fuel your commitment to wellness?

The catalylst in my life to fuel my commitment to wellness was when I had hit rock bottom during the Great Recession. I had realized that, even though we were ‘living like kings’ just before the market crashed, I had realized how much stress I was under, just to keep up with the fast pace of life and being an entrepreneur (who wasn’t leveraging my talents and skills in the most effecient way possible). Adversity was the catalyst, because it was only then, when I had realized how exhausted I had become, because I was always working so hard to please my clients and their needs, rather than taking time off for self-care and wellness, which for me, was art-making. Heart disease was also the catalyst…it was only then, when I had realized that I hadn’t taken my family history of heart disease into serious consideration, when it came to dealing with stress. Now I know the significant role that stress plays in our lives, when it comes to self-care and wellness.

Q. How do you stay healthy, resilient and vibrant?

Surfing, dancing, hiking, connecting with Mother Nature and eating fresh foods, as much as possible. Creative meditation now plays a huge role in my life, as well as, letting go of unhealthy habits and/or toxic relationships that no longer serve me. I surround myself with positive thinkers, people who are like-minded, and feed my soul with lots of sunshine and self-love. Generosity also keeps me vibrant and full of gratitude.

Q. If there was only one thing a person could find the energy and resources to make a priority what would it be?

It’s hard to narrow it down, but the 3 things that come to mind right away is movement, sunshine, and stillness. I suppose you could squeeze all of those three things into one thing, for example, taking the time to connect with the outdoors…CONNECT WITH NATURE at least for 5-15 minutes a day.

Of course, my other TOP choice would be to connect with your creative side for 5-15 minutes a day, even if it means doodling on a napkin or painting, coloring, or playing with play-doh with your children.

Q. What is your favorite inspirational quote for wellness / awesomeness / thrival?

“The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.” Isak Dinesen


desi profile bwLoving all things to do with art, nature, and everything beautiful (including the remarkable people who surround me), and as I mature through the years as an artist and educator, wisdom has taught me that sharing my passion for creativity empowers others — young and old — to tap into a world of creative thinking that promotes self-growth within their own hearts, minds, and souls. I’d like to explore and share the endless sources of inspiration – from this wide world we live – with others. I welcome you to join me in this journey.