Undercover Creative: Artistry in Blogging

Photo by Emily Lambert

Photo by Emily Lambert

Claudia Germuga is a multi-hyphenate blogger, fitness instructor, dancer, nutritionist, and all-over wellness warrior who’s in the business of positively bolstering other’s work and potential while simultaneously documenting her own journey. We love her platform Enchanted By Sunlight where she delves into everything from healing yourself to ‘gram worthy smoothie recipes. She was one of our dreamers at our three-day East Hampton Deep Dive and we can’t tell you how much she contributed to the beautiful energy of the group. Take a read; we know you’ll be inspired.

Why do you do the work you do?

I feel like one of my super-powers is that I pick up on people’s potential. I also have a unique fervor for self-discovery, and believe understanding myself is the most valuable relationship and access to wisdom I'll ever have. I want others to experience the fullest expression of themselves, as much as I want it myself. I crave that awakened state. I've felt so many things unlock along this crazy journey for authenticity, I feel called to help facilitate that state for others. If I can play a small part in any of their ‘unlockings’… what a wildly fulfilling feeling it is to play a small part in sparking discovery?

What I know is that our state-of-mind is a priority — it’s the key to happiness we’ve been seeking; healing is a beautiful process, not a shameful, isolated one; and everything around us is material for understanding ourselves deeply. Those messages aren’t plentiful enough in our culture, so I plan on shouting them whenever and wherever I can.

Define your creative process.

Cut + Paste. I love weaving things together. My strongest concepts are born from little whispers, clippings from here and there, and soundbites accumulated over time. It’s like collecting evidence, and then threading it all into a new conclusion. You could also describe it as an inductive process. I’d say.. I have to go the long route, because I’m in it for the arrival. That moment of a-ha. When the many puzzle pieces you’ve been holding in your hands finally snap together. I let things add up, layers accumulate. It’s definitely a process that requires duration. It’s not necessarily efficient, but I do think it’s effective.

What is your favorite creativity-sparking tool?

Flow + stillness. The state of flow is such a special one. I get some of my best ideas while I’m standing on the side between groups during a ballet class. My flow state is most easily accessed through movement, so my go-to’s when I’m stuck for inspiration are working out or dancing/improvising. The intense physical immersion and focus required gets me out of my head and into my body. I find that's when ideas arrive clearly. Stillness was something I softened into and embraced the effectiveness of during a recent injury. Meditation, savasana in yoga class, that weird nap state you enter during acupuncture are all forms of stillness I turn to. The act of being still kind of allows the fog to clear. It distills the chatter so the meaningful ideas can be heard, seen, and recognized.

What place in your life to you use creativity in a surprising way?

I use my creativity to cultivate my optimistic outlook. The same way I use my creativity in movement (dance and fitness), writing, or artwork, I use on any situation around me to consider all perspectives. I try to view the world conceptually, as though anything and everything has potential to help me understand on a deeper, wiser level. It's one giant metaphor -- the key is to be looking at it through the lens that allows you to see it that way.

Tell us some advice you received that continues to guide you.

My dad always taught me from a really young age, it's not what you say but how you say it. I think that's always stuck with me, and the concept has definitely evolved as I've grown up. Now I understand it not only through the tone of my voice, but more along the lines of (pardon my French): "energy doesn't f***ing lie." As humans we pick up on so much; our instincts are sharp. When you're with others, you're imparting so much to them subconsciously. We can sense one another's insecurities, compassion, envy, wholeheartedness, enthusiasm, attraction, indifference. These are things you don't necessarily get to choose you're communicating or not communicating, so it’s important to get your energy in order. I do believe it’s something that can be cultivated through a daily consciousness or mindfulness practice, and people undoubtedly feel that. There's a vibrational difference you bring to the table that's undeniable, and eventually, irresistible.

What challenges have become your biggest learning moments?

My struggles with body image and disordered eating/orthorexia, especially in the arena of dance, have been a huge source of darkness and discovery for me. I’ve learned my juiciest lessons about self-acceptance/self-love, balance, and nourishment through them. I have a nuanced understanding of these beautiful concepts only because of a period of deeply feeling I needed to drastically change myself in order to be successful.  I used to be incredibly resentful I wasn’t gifted with the ‘typical’ dancer’s body and constantly at war with myself, but now I don’t think I’d ever be as passionate about spreading messages about self-love, mindfulness, and food as medicine if I’d not undergone those challenges.  

Describe your tribe. How do they serve you and how do you serve them? How do they feed your creativity?

Two words: light beams. They are so bright, yet introverted, too. They think deeply, they feel deeply. They’re lit up with enthusiasm and passion. They are high-achievers who struggle with balance — their ambition to be the fullest expression of themselves often makes them prone to extremes.

The best part about them is that they’re curious and open, even when they're suffering. They serve me in their hunger for knowledge — they’re already self-motivated — they’re just looking for the ways they can harness it to serve them best.

I serve them by hopefully being the positivity they need, a spark along the way. There’s a type of nostalgia, fantasy, and magic I believe in that I want everyone to experience. So when things start to feel ordinary for these light beams, I help them believe that the extraordinary is just around the corner. They have to be open to it, they have to conjure it, welcome it in. You have to be in a very specific mental space for that, and everything I hope to give my tribe, content wise, leans towards their ability to find this state-of-mind.

What’s been the proudest moment in your creative work thus far?

Thus far it was the shift to step into my own as a creator — launching Enchanted by Sunlight was that platform for me — and committing to spreading a message that was uniquely mine. As a dancer, you’re constantly working to be chosen as the vessel for someone else’s vision. Before I was injured in 2016 (a nasty tibial stress fracture) I was incredibly restless, and also frustrated during my artistic processes. I think I felt a bit limited.

Between technique classes and rehearsals, I always tried to carve out specific time for research in other mediums that spoke to me: reading, writing, drawing, curating but any ideas that arrived during this research were always placed on the back burner until I got hired by a ‘full-time dance company.’  In retrospect, it was silly, limiting logic.

My injury gave me the permission I needed to go ahead and prioritize those other dreamy, entrepreneurial desires. And also think about myself as an artist more comprehensively. Enchanted by Sunlight is the integration of all the things I feel I’m passionate about. It includes my movement as a dance artist, but it also encompasses a lot of other mediums I feel fluent in: writing, curation, fitness, spirituality, nutrition. It’s a message I felt I needed to express, but which, I don’t feel dance was the most effective channel of communication.

What’s next for you? Can you share one of your dreamiest dreams with us?

What’s next? Hm..  I have this dream of creating larger scale projects inspired by Enchanted by Sunlight’s mission that have the potential to become their very own entity. I’m currently in the infant stages of developing a project with the working title: On Recovery based on the question, is recovery a universal human experience? I did this journal one day on a cab ride back from JFK airport, and realized the many facets the word possesses for me. I asked my FB and Instagram community who would be willing to contribute their interpretation, definition, or stories related to recovery in any sense of the term, and the response was overwhelmingly inspiring. Right now, I’m following a hunch.

Some quick fire questions:

Favorite self care ritual.

Cooking for myself. There is nothing like food cooked (or blended) with your own love and energy.

Favorite inspirational instagram account.

@alison_wu has the dreamiest aesthetics. From her smoothies, to plants, to her wardrobe - it’s spot on. I love her brand and holistic lifestyle. She’s definitely a curator at heart. Her taste is on point.

Guilty pleasure. (Though we don’t think you should feel guilty if there’s pleasure in it!)

Staying in on weekends.

Almond butter or peanut butter?

Currently Almond - Maisie Jane’s is one hundred.

Dream, set or make? What’s your favorite part of the process?

Dream. I am a vision boarding princess all the way. I love the state of possibility, of imagining, of incubating the ideas until they grow more and more grand.

Today’s mantra.

Let the walls come down.

Hop on board. Join the movement.

Dream. Set. Make.