Turning ordinary into the extraordinary
Alchemy is any process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, "a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination". Every thing, person, thoughtform - can Alchemize before your eyes; just as your breath is Alchemical in meditation, your body when in the flow of dance, or how hearts and souls Alchemize, transform, and expand in conscious witness, conscious living, in conscious love... it's from these truths Alchemy of Hearts was born.
"You can always remodel
The Founding Alchemist
Ani Khēmia - Soul Creatrix At Aoh
I remember turning five and bobbing for apples while missing my two front teeth, absolutely eclipsing my dad with cans of yellow and pink silly string; and sitting on the tattered stone steps while I waited for my cake that day.
But the thing to cross my mind the most, that has run miles in my head over the past 18 years, is a pin-the-tale-on-the-donkey poster we nailed to the back of our peeling yellow, wood-sided home.
We had bought this set, no doubt, at the closest outlet with party supplies. It was just a simple printed donkey (less the tale of course), and an attached package of appendages to pin - but somewhere in the packaging process - the integrity of the game had been compromised.
Folded, to save space on shelves or shipping, there was an obvious grid pattern when laid bare to our siding.
Or at least, I thought it was obvious.
I didn't live in Michigan always, a child of divorce made not only moving but visits to other states a regular Tuesday for me. And this ended up making everyone at my birthday that year older that I, whether by 3 or 30 years, I was the baby of the bunch.
We started to play and I thought it would be just one tack above the next. But person after person that day, blindfolded and trying their damndest to pin the tail, would miss the mark.
And Gods I really thought: am I the only one who sees it?
Writing was always a way to express emotion, to take something buried deep within my stomach and smear it over a blank canvas for any and all eyes to gleam.
It was a raw form of rebellion. One where simply putting myself out there- (my feelings into poems; my poems into the world),
-became a war declaration to a now seized territory.
Somewhere in the ebb and flow of feeling and witnessing, feeling and witnessing -
I finally found the outer shell of mechanisms for what is was:
to be cracked wide open.
& therein lies the beginning of AoH (and the many gardens that has become...).
I'm not here to uncover some darkness in you, to heal you, or to change your life.
The Alchemy starts in the ordinary.
I'm only here to pin the tail.
heart offerings from the alchemist:
Opening myself up to Soul expression came as easy as my pen to the journal, but putting my work out there, in more ways than a poem to my Facebook, was a challenge that would later grow into the most integral pillar of my offerings.
There was a lot of time spent in solitude, in my head and in my body - searching for a way to share what felt authentic & Real without losing my Truth in the process. And as I waded through the ideas, and through the ideas those birthed, there came a moment when I saw with the clarity that would carry AoH forward: the power of nothing less than sight itself - to be seen, to be witnessed, to be held. In facing the fears of putting myself out there, of finding the acceptance before anyone else, in not only allowing imperfection into my life, but welcoming it whole heartedly - I found how truly Alchemical the power of witness could be, not only when seeing your Self for the first time, but also in the first time that Self is seen by another.
Our ability to See is what makes all the magick -
A sky is ordinary until someone sees the rainbow-
or the lightning
or the moon in the middle of the day.
Where Is The Moon
Intermingling AoH's effortless ability to witness with the simple, childlike inclination towards photography was only made possible with a specific goal in mind. The mission of branching AoH into subject photography was rooted in the desire to bring others into the Alchemy. There’s a lot of space between experience and witness, and that’s a space I’ve been roaming around in, uncovering caves and tunnels throughout my entire life, but only through the landscapes I was capable of traversing on my own - through my own perspective.
Sharing my writings with the world meant opening the door to new realms of expansion found only when Souls collide...
and once the door was open, with a foundation of witness consciousness steering my sea-ship, I was finally able to navigate the waves of expression I had been dipping my soles into since my first reach to touch the water.
I worked to witness myself, to allow others to witness me, but uncovering the full iceberg below the shore meant stepping into a role of witnessing others - not just for myself, my own growth or even my own instinct for judgement - but for reasons so selfless, it became a service for the Soul.
In serving You, I serve Myself.
In serving Yourself, you serve me, too.
I love you.
Please forgive me.
Be The River
I used to think that I was all of earth’s ocean. Overwhelming, encapsulating, in control of every flow of water. And I would push currents and make waves and never understand why the rivers weren’t responding.
When I learned that I was simply a river, I expected ease with that understanding, but knowing you are a river and living as a river are two very different things.
So many people try to be the whole ocean, and if you’ve done that your entire life, relinquishing the reigns of control can feel like setting your safety net aflame. Every says to trust in yourself - but to realize this trust comes not from controlling everything but by being uncontrollably Yourself - is to bring death to what’s comfortable and to let be reborn what simply is.
Allowing yourself to live simply as a river gives space for the true ocean’s waves. And as this massive body affects your current, for maybe the first time in your life, you will see the face of God; you feel the greater forces at play because you are no longer fighting them: you are simply a river.
To be a river one must be both constant and ever changing.
Both erupting with life and swelling with predators.
Both flowing and eroding.
Learning from the river means understanding how to change without moving from the bed of the self,
how to erode Self pieces that no longer serve the flow,
how to ly with your inner predator as it is dining on your inner prey.
Learning from the river means holding the jagged edges so steadily they become smooth.
Surrendering to the flow. Letting life and all its currents have you, take you, shape you. Moving even in the times you want to be stagnant.
Learning from the river means learning to dance with your depths as the current of life leads you.
2023 Travel Schedule:
The place I call Home, this is where I serve the largest amount of my clients, with a larger capacity for booking at my base level prices. Whether we're shooting in the city or by the lake, at a forest or cliffside, Michigan has it all.
Many different types of sessions will be available during my island getaway. Though I expect to mostly book beach portraits and couple sessions, I invite you to reach out with something more creative, always.
Join me mi-April for some sunny-beach sets near South Florida. Take me to your favorite spot or meet me at a location of my dreams, and let's make some magick!
PNW adventure on the horizons, and I'm opening up segments of my experience to showcase a very limited number of clients in the beautiful early-March of expansive, wild Oregon.
on learning to swim:
I slipped into every deep pool I found myself in
and the slipping,
scarce of steady ground,
gave me a rope to hang by -
accountability is a harsh word it seems
but if I tell you to see yourself
it won’t surprise me if you only look
in the bathroom mirror.
If you never find the bottom of the pool -
it won’t surprise me if you never dive head first into the blue.
Because that’s what I did,
I slipped Into every abyss,
I felt — only by happenstance,
I reacted to life -
but never summoned it within me.
Until one day I neither slipped nor dove,
but was drug ankles first -
below where my breath existed
to a place I’d never swam
and it became my battle not to touch the water, but to overcome it.
There’s no pathway out of the deep
the only way to find your way —
is to find your way.
A lot of people won't slip in water,
many aren’t pulled beneath the surface,
and most won’t dive headfirst.
I don’t know which is right for you,
all I know is:
It’s better to know how to swim-
before you’re already drowning.