True artistry is about growth and reinvention. Artists might easily find their creative selves and the birth of their creative expression, but it is not just this creative birth that defines them. It is the continual growth and reinvention that allows an artist to truly live an artful life.
Often this growth has an artist changing their style or it blossoms into multiple forms of creative expression. But every once in awhile, the growing process really does become re-inventive, and is not just a style change, but a life change. Deeper still is when this life change becomes life changing for others.
Dr. Celia Im could have easily continued her roll as a classical concert pianist. After all, after having a relationship with the piano since the age of four and having become an award winning musician, why mess with success? Why? Because artistry is most rewarded by asking - What else? Also, by taking chances and embracing creative growth, the possibility of reinvention may actually have a metamorphosis effect and this seems to be what happened here. The musician became a healer.
Dr. Im explains of her transition, that there are “Layers of reasons why we do things. Curiosity, really just led to me realizing that first of all, music is powerful, it changes us, as art does, and I began wondering in my life as a performer, is this all there is?” Im grew up with the piano, practiced endlessly, won serious competitions and a scholarship on her way to becoming a professional musician. She heard the applause. She had met every challenge before her in achieving a coveted goal of having a classical musical career, but there’s a career mind-set that comes with the territory.
I analogize Im’s musical career by thinking of all of the energy in a jet taking off. All of the power that goes in to lifting it into the air, only to eventually throttle back and cruise along. Even cruising along a pilot might be thinking about the amazing power of those jet engines, where a musician like Dr. Im was thinking about the power of the music, and during our long discussion, I believe I hear exactly when Dr. Celia Im found her calling.
She explains during a particular big competition in her late teens, she would have to play Saint-Saëns G minor concerto, a big piece of music. Im says,“I could remember pushing through this feeling of me being small, verses this not only big [concert] piano, but big powerful piece of music.” At the time it might not have been the first choice of her teacher, because he felt she was still playing small and she thought, “Whoa, I’m not going to be able to do this. I couldn’t pull it out of me yet.” But somehow she found that big place in her, which she simulates to being outside in nature. She recalls, “Feeling a weightlessness, no trying, no effort, I broke through that part where I wasn’t making it happen, I just let the weightlessness happen and carry me and I began feeling this stirring in my abdomen and I began to feel this bigness that previously I had only felt out in nature by myself.” The performance brought people to their feet and Im, interestingly, not so much caring about being a musician per se, really loved seeing that music could unify people. Not just powerful, but as she says, “Powerful in a way that helped us all feel our bigness.” This was the beginning of her creative future.
Dr. Celia Im is the founder of Lighting the Creative Spark LLC and creator of the unique personal development program Harmonic Resonance Process (HRP) TM using music as a tool to awaken, enlighten, and empower audiences. She is an international award-winning musician and has taught on the faculties of Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and George Mason University. Her degrees include a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Peabody Conservatory, Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin Conservatory and she holds a certification in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music.
In her workshops, seminars, conferences and retreats, Dr. Celia Im uses her seven-stage transformational process – HRP TM – to guide participants along their path to wellness, creativity and leadership. Her clients range from leaders in business, politics and expressive arts, to individuals seeking personal wellness.
She applies music as a key to the inside, to activate the truth that resides in each individual. This music, both live and recorded, is created through a deep sense of feeling and a spontaneous response to her audience. Combined with her speaking, Dr. Im provides her listeners a profound experience that changes them from the inside out.
Fast forward through those years of a professional musical life. Dr. Im had gained valuable lifetime experience in allowing herself to simply be the music, but she also got to a place where she had not only felt one with it, but her fellow musicians, the audience and the room as well. As if, she explains, “There was a visual white dome over them all.” It sounds out of body, but I think more importantly speaks of what she had learned about the affect sound has on us.
Where most musicians are happy to play on, Dr. Im kept feeling a greater curiosity in sound. She asked herself, “If music is this powerful and can change you, but we leave the performance and the next day we are back to old ourselves, can we harness that power to really change us?” She had experienced those who had told her they would have an awareness during the performance that they otherwise did not.
She felt though, that simply being a musician or an entertainer was limiting her ability to deeply explore, as she put it, “The power of sound to resonate in us, to touch us and to touch something bigger.” She felt strongly this principle should be able to be applied to life. This led to her development of Harmonic Resonance Process or HRP, a process that has everything to do with “expanded consciousness”. After a short personal sampling session, I would describe HRP as sort of a motivational meditation. One where the music Dr. Im has created, becomes a relaxing trigger to “disarm us” from ourselves and our “thinking mind” and “allows our heart to come alive”. As she says, “To trust our gut feelings.” Certainly on an even more therapeutic level, Dr. Im now has years of documented proof HRP allows one to break through deeply set barriers and experience personal growth and change.
What is HRP?
HRP stands for “Harmonic Resonance Process”. It’s a unique self-actualization program that uses specially composed piano music in combination with creative visualization and mindful inquiry to open up a powerful connection between your mind and body. Evolving through three stages of development – Heal, Create, Actualize – HRP provides an effective means to gain a deeper understanding of your life’s path, take action to accomplish long-term goals and enjoy overall enhanced wellbeing. How often in life we are told to “follow our heart” or “trust our gut feeling” – yet frequently doubts, fears and the opinions of others prevent us from hearing the clear voice inside that knows what we want, what is uniquely good for us.
Recent neuro-scientific studies increasingly affirm what mind-body professionals and alternative healers have long asserted: the body knows precisely what we need, often faster than the mind. The key to fulfilling our dreams and goals lies in tapping into and trusting our innate body wisdom. In HRP, the mind-body connection is opened through
a harmonic – or vibrational – resonance. This can create a sensation of being physically transported in time and space while still remaining mentally present, allowing fresh insights, as well as shifts in attitude, perceptions or feelings.
As you embark on your journey with HRP, you may experience deep relaxation, more balance in your daily life, increased creativity, clarity in decision making, freedom from stress and doubt, new understanding in relationships, even a calling to do something different.
As Im puts it, “This is all about asking your mind to listen to your heart.” Which often she says, “It begins with this clean up place, where we have to get alined with our head and our heart and I think that is what any great artist or musician or any creative person does_the thinking mind supports that. And why not be able to say, well, if I have to figure out the next step in my life, I can do that too! I can have my head follow my heart and then ask it_and trust it.” Dr. Im further explains, “One thing artists, musicians, dancers and creative people hopefully dabble in and master, is eventually how to go to a non verbal spontaneity that’s not the thinking mind, and listen to it and give it credence.”
Rather than simply labeling HRP as therapy, Im feels her program is actually a creative process. Lighting the creative spark often begins by breaking inner barriers, which then allow for true freedom and growth. But I believe it’s safe to say that many of her clients have felt a powerful healing in their experience with HRP, and this not excluding Dr. Celia Im herself!
With training centers throughout Europe and the USA, Dr. Im has worked closely with business & government leaders, mind-body and health specialists, professional athletes, artists and countless others. HRP can be tailored to meet individual needs and serves as the foundation for Dr. Im’s seminars, workshops, training programs and personal retreats. Learn more at celiaim.com