Hi Everyone! My name is Alina and I am most known for my work outside of the wellness community, but you may have come across a part of my recovery story on the Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS) blog in 2019. Prior to gaining the awareness that I had a limbic system impairment, I worked in the commercial art world of New York City. I had a fast-paced, successful career that spoke directly to one of my passions in life—art. 🎨 However, I had also built a life around what is more commonly referred to as high-functioning anxiety, and that eventually proved to not be a sustainable way of living!
I discovered my passion very early on as a child and as I grew up I turned to art again and again as an outlet to process life’s challenges and to fuel and nourish a very soulful part of myself. I majored in Studio Art in college and immediately immersed myself in the gallery scene of Manhattan’s Chelsea district, soon working in a management position for a prominent international fine artist. In building a career out of my passion, without the resilience tools that I have gained now through retraining, I unconsciously cross-wired my joys to also be stressors. Art changed from being about play and exploration to primarily being about deadlines, a sense of urgency, a need for perfection, and other thoughts and behavioral tendencies that engaged my body’s fight/flight/freeze response at a chronic level.
Perhaps something in your life has evolved in a similar way at some point, too. At the lowest point in my health journey, the chronic symptoms I developed from an overfiring limbic system completely veiled my ability to create and tap into what was previously my most transformative coping skill for healing—making artwork. The "high-functioning" anxiety eventually rendered me non-functional. It was a level of brain fog that seemed to have erased my sense of identity, however, that is all in the past! 🙂 Through brain retraining, or brain gardening™ as I prefer to call it, I have not only regained my health but I have built windows and doors to creativity where there were once walls!
This blog is the first of a series of entries I will be offering here on “Rewiring for Creativity” where I will share tips and tools I implemented for shifting out of the fog and into clarity to awaken creative inspiration again. I will also be discussing some of the ways I was able to tap back into the intuitive wisdom that we each have within ourselves that sometimes can be overshadowed by fear or uncertainty. My goal is to speak to those in the chronic illness and autoimmune disease communities and others who might feel that they have lost their passion—that thing that makes you feel vibrantly alive and whole, whatever that means to you—in the midst of working on physical health challenges or maybe just living life. Perhaps it’s a part of you that you haven’t yet discovered. That’s okay! 🙂 This blog is not exclusively for visual artists; any art form can be a very therapeutic component to rewiring, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you have even considered yourself creative previously!
I will be going through what worked for me to build that bridge to experience the joy and meditative qualities I knew art to provide even though I was unable to access it directly from the limbic state I had gotten temporarily stuck in.
It involved me:
Switching up what I had grown used to;
Stepping out of that metaphorical box of comfort; and
Revisiting the sense of wonder and adventure that I originally had as a child creating art.
We can identify and squash any limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from discovering or rediscovering this part of yourself, too!
Let's begin with the concept of creativity. Creativity can take on so many different forms that go beyond "art" in its traditional sense. I believe we all innately have this desire and ability to create—which should remain a Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphin (DOSE) producing activity—and it's my goal to help you get there if you aren't already!
So, what does creativity mean to you? There are probably thousands of ways to be creative. This is of course not a thorough list of all of those possibilities, but just some ideas to get those gears turning for five simple ways to express your creativity!
I would love to hear the ways you explore creativity for yourself in the comments and I encourage you to try implementing an idea that is something you might not typically do. That was key for me in unlocking those creative doors in a way that was free from the cross-wiring to stress hormones!
I will be sharing more details of my journey to wellness and wholeness and how I reignited the creative spark in my blog entries to come.
If you would like more individualized support or other neuroplasticity tips from me, I invite you to visit my new website: braingardening.com where you can currently sign up for my emails. I recently stepped back from my day job to open up space for this project, which I truly feel to be my life’s purpose, and will be rolling out more content over the next few months to support others in their journeys to wellness and wholeness! As each of us knows in this journey, great things take time to grow. 😉 You can also follow me @braingardening on Facebook and Instagram, and of course, here at the Rewiring your Wellness blog with the other brilliant brain retrainers! 😀
Remember, your brain is a garden and your thoughts are the seeds. Nourish the flowers and pluck out the weeds! 🧠🌱🌷
Alina Bachmann is an award-winning visual artist, certified level II Reiki practitioner, and creator of Brain Gardening™, a neuroplasticity module based on her own experience recovering from chronic illness. After a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), coupled with natural disasters, chemical injury, and toxic stress levels, Alina developed lifelong health and anxiety issues associated with a maladaptive stress response. Art was a beautiful buffer, but that outlet also became impacted by declining health. Through her program and publications, she hopes to inspire others in their own healing journeys. Whether people are experiencing similar health effects or feeling creative blocks and disconnect from their passions, Alina guides others to find peace and reconnect with their own intuitive wisdom that is uninhibited by fear.
Comment below if you spotted the chameleon in my bio picture! 😉 He's there as an added reminder of our amazing ability to also transform and change our brain!