Transformation Can’t Be Forced: A Conversation with Emily Capshaw
It’s been another day of caffeinated hustling under the conviction that pushing harder will lend to reward and rejuvenation. Manufacturing transformation is an oxymoron. Emily Capshaw says transformation is in the art of unknowing and undoing; “The thing about transformation is we can’t actually know how to do it; otherwise it’s not a real transformation. What we know leads us to where we’ve already been.”
Emily is an artist. She leverages the power of storytelling and social media to convey lessons gleaned on her quest to befriend her psyche. The daughter of a director and a musician, Emily was innately drawn to theater as a child and pursued acting in college. As she aged, her struggle with mental health intensified. Therapy and medication could not ease escalating anxiety and depression.
She decided to embark on a world-wide yoga and meditation expedition to discover various tools to gain control over her well-being. Many people struggle with inner turmoil. Few have the resources to dedicate themselves to self-discovery fully. Emily considers herself a translator, meeting people where they’re at — through their digital devices — to assist healing.
When she first started making online content, people advised Emily to do things that were trending: TikTok dances, impersonations, general nonsense. She politely declined and stayed true to her message and story of psychological healing. Intentionality paid off. “It took longer for things to catch, but I have several videos that are way over a million views, and I think that speaks to the fact that people are craving a break, space, and permission from the rat race of content creation and everything they’re bombarded with,” said Emily. People are hungry for purpose. What keeps them hungry is the consumer’s diet: the idea that you must do more to improve oneself. Emily instructs her clients to do less: “I found that it’s more helpful in the healing and transformative process to think of what we can strip away.” Her theory is that we are conditioned to believe we must meet specific standards to be worthy of love. In reality, love is abundant and exists both within and around us — we are already worthy.
Along with surrendering to the unknown, people must “undo” false beliefs that prevent them from living authentically. Emily asks her clients what they enjoyed doing as children. Before social pressure, bills, and frequent attempts to “make it big” — what lit their souls on fire? When Emily was a child, she would play pretend and tell stories while getting lost in the woods. She tries to bring that playfulness into everything she does now: “When I lose passion, it’s because I’ve lost the sense of play.”
Humans have endless creative potential, and the best creations are fueled by an innate passion for serving others with their talent. For Emily, and many others, the creative process bypasses intellect — it can’t be forced. The trick is to create space and pauses in life to allow that passion to breathe. Instead of pouring another cup of coffee, opt for a short walk into the unknown. Go somewhere new.
Are you interested in working with Emily Capshaw? Her Club Membership is only $5 a month and includes weekly lessons and abundant resources.