Hello Soul Sparkler!
I’m glad you’ve found your way here.
My name is Ally.
I’m an artist.
A Practitioner of Creative Formation.
An Intentional Creativity® Educator.
What are the bends in my journey that have led me to work with others through the magic of drawing, word, color and inquiry?
Below I share the road I’ve traveled to create Soul Kindling — a haven where creativity is engaged as community with Divine Love and sacred imagination is sparked.
Thank you for taking the time to witness the path I’ve walked and the values I hold. Many blessings to you on your sacred road.
ME. I am a creator.
I’ve walked a long path to return to this inherent truth. This bold claim. As a child, there were many days I spent coloring and drawing. As a teenager, art and writing were my safe haven of expression.
Along the way, I lost connection to the purity of creativity. During my college days as an art major, I got bungled up in competition with peers. I was insecure in my ideas. I worked hard to attain the end product with lack of enjoyment in the process.
Over time, I took on many toxic beliefs that weighed me down: Artists can’t make a sustainable living. Artists work isn’t “worth” as much as others’ work in the world. Some people can create well, other’s can’t. Slowly, I moved further away from my innate way of being in the world to become what others wanted me to be. Worst of all, I no longer saw myself as creative.
I’ve done deep healing work around identity to reclaim myself as creator. Nowadays, I know deep in my soul space we are all creators made in the image of a Creator. I believe creativity opens us to the revelation of the Divine if we are willing to try.
Somewhere along the way, many of us have lost our connection. We’ve come to believe that “some” are creators, and others aren’t. I work with people who ready to re-member themselves as creative!
Open to Divine Love
BE. I show up for spiritual practice.
In 2014, I found myself driving toward the mountains of North Carolina for my first class in Spiritual Formation (Columbia Theological Seminary). I knew nothing about Spiritual Formation, what I’d learn or who would be there. I felt radical for taking a leap toward such an unknown.
When I arrived, the place and people deeply resonated with my heart. Over the next four years in this program, I reconnected with Christian mystics, elements of ritual and spiritual practices I’d been longing for in the institutional church. Classes on Sabbath, Spiritual Formation and Metaphors of the Psalms (among others) gave me the gift of understanding Christ as one who lives out radical forgiveness, hospitality, justice and wholeness. Spiritual practices gave me permission to explore faith in a creative way.
I realized living faith didn’t have to look like reading a book and discussing it or reading devotions each morning. Instead, spiritual practice invited all my senses to be part of the living way of Christ. As I experimented with different practices, my pace slowed and I noticed my ordinary surroundings as sacred. I had a profound shift of insight – I didn’t have to “do” for God. In “be”ing, I opened to the ever-present love of the Divine
In my gatherings, I regularly invite all the senses to be engaged. Whether lighting a candle, dipping fingers in water to bless oneself or taking deep breaths to ground, there are simple ways to bring awareness to the sacredness of each moment. By bringing attention to what is before us and naming it sacred, healing happens as our sight shifts to inclusion. I love inviting others into this contemplative way to BE in the world. I work with people who desire to explore sacred practices and open themselves to the love of the Divine.
Healing the Feminine Wound
SHE. I am a woman who upholds feminine equality and teachings.
As a teenager in the Catholic Church, I struggled with the fact that women can’t be priestesses. The lack of equality struck me as deeply disturbing. However, the image of Mary, elements of ritual and stories of women mystics brought me solace even as I felt the divide.
As an adult, I left the Catholic Church for the Protestant church. Initially, I fell in love with the abundance of God’s love called grace. However, as I traveled the road of the Protestants, I became sensitive to the language inside the walls – God was consistently spoken and sung of as Father, Lord, King, Shepherd. I looked for any sign of feminine presence and only saw glimpses.
As I reconnected to creativity as a spiritual practice, the Sacred Feminine wooed me to her. She revealed herself as Wisdom, Ruah, Sophia. She spoke to me as Eve, Mary, Magdelene. She is a Divine form of the mother who has been forgotten. Her sensibilities are creativity, collaboration, voice, ritual, teaching, birth, celebration. Many systems have forgotten her: families, churches, culture as a whole. Individuals rarely speak of her.
Part of my work in the world is to guide myself and others to re-member the lost feminine. Honoring the feminine is a deep aspect of the gatherings I hold. This comes in my teachings through encouragement, ritual, hearing from each voice and re-capturing the essence of sacred women who’ve been villainized, abused and/or forgotten.
Witnessing one another and allowing each voice to have their truth/perspective is imperative to bring healing to the stories we carry. Another aspect of my work is holding space for grief of sacred institutions. When we name and honor the taboo/shadow that we see (even if others don’t), our personal healing can begin. I work with people who desire to connect with the feminine and heal grief from the loss of her presence.
Curiosity is Key
SEE. I am a visionary.
Curiosity is key to transformation. Exploring ideas and asking questions guides my path. I have a natural ability to critique what isn’t working to bring a healthier format to the table. I’m not afraid of change. In 2015, my friend, Kristen, encouraged me to begin a blog. Since that time, I’ve continued to nurture, shift and vision my way through varying thresholds to launch myself as a creative entrepreneur of Soul Kindling LLC. I regularly reflect and make small tweaks to hone what I offer. In my experience, when I take one small action on an idea, doors open. I bring this imagination and way of seeing into family and community life.
I’m fierce in my becoming and love to work with people and organizations who are ready to cross over into imagination and blaze colorful trails. Transitions often bring up fear and grief. Curiosity is a natural way to see what we hold within and envision change for ourselves. This visual way of working allows for healing the past to be an aspect of the work, yet moving forward with hopeful anticipation. I work with people who are ready to vision.
Wisdom Guides My Way
FREE. I am a creative adventurer.
In Proverbs 8, it reads, “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand.”
I take my stand at the crossroads of creativity and the sacred. I believe we are all creators. I believe in the power of creativity to bring transformation. I believe we are all sacred beings who are loved beyond beyond by the Divine. I believe in the resurrection of the feminine qualities of ritual, collaboration and celebration. I believe in spaces and traditions that honor the masculine and feminine. I believe art is a prayer. I believe in the inclusion of all the living. I believe in spoken and written words of inclusion. I believe there are many sacred paths that lead to the Divine.
Ally Markotich is an artist and Practitioner of Creative Formation. Ally is the creator of Soul Kindling LLC and the online creative respite, Colorful Me Sanctuary, where she guides participants to express their truest colors and gently encourages their creative growth.
Ally is certified as a Red Thread Guide and Intentional Creativity® Educator from Musea and in Spiritual Formation from Columbia Theological Seminary. She is also a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner in the tradition of Mikao Usui. She graduated with a BFA (Graphic Design) from Alfred University (NY, 1999). She’s an active guild member of Musea: Center for Intentional Creativity and was trained by artist, Shiloh Sophia. She lives in the Piedmont of North Carolina with her husband, two sons and very silly yellow lab. On any given day, you may find Ally on a day trip for searching for books and ice cream.
You can find more of her art, musings and offerings at www.soulkindling.com and BE a participant of her online creative sanctuary, Colorful Me Sanctuary, at www.colorfulmesanctuary.com. Reach out to Ally at email@example.com.