A Guide to the Louniverse with Louise Androlia
Over a year ago I held the first ever Making Positive Changes talk in Brighton. The aim was – and still is – to bring together women working in creativity to be inspired by other creative women with their own unique stories and the gifts they share with the world. The first talk was something really very incredible; I got to work with and meet for real (not just on the interwebs) my spiritual soul sister Louise Androlia. Louise shared her incredible talk on Empowering Change. It was an extremely insightful evening and I bring what Louise shared into my everyday living. Since then Lou has empowered her own changes and has made a dream move to LA from where she joins us for this month’s Celebrating Creativity interview, so please give Lou a warm welcome as she shares her work, her art and what creativity means to her.
Hi Lou. Welcome to Up Coaching, why don’t you start by telling us a little more about you and what you do?
I am a woman with octopus arms, I feel my best when I have my heart in many projects. I currently make a living seeing clients for one-on-one Coaching + Tarot Therapy, through writing monthly Tarotscopes and spiritual & wellness articles, and via making art.
What’s involved in being a holistic empowerment coach, artist, tarot therapist and magic maker?
Everything comes back to one thing; a desire to help others feel less alone and to help them value their feelings and experience. My best tools are the things I am passionate about and I am confident in my own story and authenticity, my voice is strong, so I love to share that speaking to individuals and groups and then putting my guidance into art to share also.
In the past 15 years I’ve had a lot of life shifting experiences and after a lot of self-healing I feel a huge responsibility to help others, especially in the arts of anxiety and stress management and in discovering empowerment through self-awareness.
When did you first realise that you had such an incredible gift for intuition and being connected to spirit?
As a child I always found it very easy to see people, this caused me to feel very alone, as I didn’t get why other people couldn’t see me in the same way. As a teenager I tried on various hats, experimenting with being the types of people around me, rather than to attend to my own personality and interests. In 1997 at age 17 I saw a woman standing at the end of my bed – a spirit we discovered had been seen by many people over the years in the very old home I grew up in. This was an example of the veil being visually lifted and from then on I dedicated time to honouring my spirit, my intuition and valued the way I see the world, above and below. I truly believe everyone has access to a full spectrum of awareness; it’s just a case of how much we’ve had it covered up by our experience so far. For me, I was fortunate to never be around anyone who told me my experiences and thoughts were invalid, so my spiritual access has never been a ‘belief’ or ‘choice’ just a very practical knowing. To ask me if I believe in being able to connect to the ethereal is like asking if I believe there is such a thing as an apple. It’s my reality and I love it.
How do you define spirit?
In an embodied state I think of our spirit at the centre point of the chest, a matchbox on its side; it is the point within us all where we can strike and light up. To be spiritual all we need to do is honour our spirit. So to explore and discover what makes us feel alive, to find what whisks us into our most empowered self and to be at one with that which we can shine into our darkness.
In an external sense I see spirit as many layers of invisible chiffon, curtains to reality that is beyond our human experience. We can peel them back if we so wish.
You are a tarot therapist. What is the therapy aspect of tarot and why is tarot such a powerful tool for connecting to our subconscious? How do you use it to help people connect to theirs?
Tarot is my nerd subject. The cards in the deck tell us the story of the human experience and what we might find along the way. Each card holds either direct access to our subconscious or an important way to approach an event or experience external to us.
When I read Tarot, I do not tell fortunes. The cards are your subconscious laid out in front of us and I am acting as an interpreter as well as speaking on behalf of your highest self. I am just reminding you via a compassionate voice, of what you already know. My sessions guide you back to a connected state so you feel confident to move forwards via a solid trust in yourself.
You talk about surrender (and thank goodness – I use it ALL the time. What is the essence of surrender, and how should we bring it into our lives?
A surrender practice is an understanding that it is safe to let go. We can live our lives via restriction or via expansion. To live and think restrictively is to trap ourselves in tunnel vision, to perceive only black and white and to be blindfolded from our intuition. To live expansively is to step into our natural flow, see 360 degrees and feel connected to our journey. Surrender frees us from the blocks our restrictive mind creates.
To start – begin each day by saying ‘I SURRENDER’ on waking and every single time you feel blocked, stuck, anxious, afraid, controlling, judgmental and so on – say ‘I SURRENDER’. See how your experience stretches.
What is it to get connected in order to be empowered?
I believe that when we don’t feel good it is because we are experiencing some sort of disconnect from mind, body or spirit, or perhaps all three. I believe that empowerment comes from self-awareness and self-knowledge. So, in essence, if we can learn about our own unique mind/body/spirit make up and flow then we can discover how to recognise when we are disconnected and in turn learn tools to get back home. To be fully embodied in our experience, without personal judgment is to feel truly empowered.
When are you most connected to yourself and what does that help you to do?
I am the most connected when I value every feeling and experience I am having – so this is a daily practice for me. Stopping to be present with myself all the time, to check in, to be compassionate and to honour what is coming up for me. When I value myself I am connected and in turn feel like I can do anything and everything.
What inspires you so much it makes you cry / laugh / your heart quicken?
I am inspired by the weird and the wonderful, the surreal and the idiotic. My heart skips beats when I am in the company of those who lift my spirits, within those moments that I feel grateful for being allowed to be surrounded by great faces and souls. I am inspired by animals and weirdos. The human experience is completely embarrassing and ridiculous. I love all of it.
What does being creative mean to you?
To me it links back to the honouring of the spirit.
Being creative is different for each of us. For me, it’s about making and sharing, my mind is very visual and for me my creativity is discovering how to get those stories and feelings out into a tangible or solid form. Painting has always been my favourite way to get things ‘out’.
Your artwork has a beautiful essence and ethereal flow. You call it ‘heart-fuelled brain spew’ (love that); when are you most in flow, and connected to this creative output?
Painting and drawing is like journaling for me, so when I’m bursting with feelings, positive and negative, I’m most connected to this way of working. I also find that putting pen to paper gets me tapped in to myself, so I’ve learned that if I feel stuck then it’s a tremendously important form of therapy for me.
You have had some pretty awesome collaborations, including your jewellery line with Jessica De Lotz (As Above So Below) ; why is collaboration so important, and what have you learnt from this project in particular?
I have been working alone, running my own businesses since 2006, and although I’m an introvert and a true loner at heart – I also really really love people. Collaboration is important because it’s great to see how other people work and what their brain spew is like. It’s also incredibly important to share talent and appreciate what other people do.
Most recently I’ve been seeking artistic collaboration opportunities and this jewellery collection was the dream deal, to work with an old friend who is hugely unique and inspiring. This project taught me that I can trust that other people can ‘get’ my visions, something that has always been an anxiety of mine. Jess absorbed all my ideas and input and we worked together to create this collection that we both adore so much. It also reminded me how much I love to create something that people can hold, to go along side the internal work I do with clients.
How can we bring magic into our everyday?
Well, to start with, you have to believe that it’s possible. I believe that magic goes far beyond illusion and is in fact an energy that we have at our disposal to support ourselves internally and externally. To experience magic is to see the world with full spectrum 360-degree vision – to take off the restrictive blindfold and to give the space on either side of you a chance. It’s there, but it doesn’t live in the tunnel vision.
To be present is to see magic. So for an every day experience, you can reel yourself back to the moment but just focusing on one thing. Notice everything, smell, touch, feel. Magic exists right NOW – don’t look for it, or place expectations upon it.
Magic today might be a dog galloping in the park, a line in a book or a point of inspiring synchronistic change in your hour. Experiment with your experience.