Real Men Feel: Emotional Freedom Through Creative Expression [Podcast]

A wide-ranging conversation on healing trauma thru art, even if you don’t want to call it art.

Listen to Real Men Feel, #232, “Emotional Freedom Through Creative Expression” here:

Artist, author, and coach Sheila Darcey joins us to discuss using art to heal and transform our lives. She shares her wisdom around emotional expression, including how to use the shadow for growth, why suppression will always backfire, and how to overcome subconscious self-sabotaging tendencies.

“Underneath all that perfectionism and judgment, is the emotion you are not feeling.” ~ Sheila Darcey

This week’s episode is a wide-ranging conversation on healing trauma thru art, even if you don’t want to call it art. Sheila shares her daily sketching practice, experiences leading workshops with men, and bringing creative expression into prisons. Andy talks about where art has shown up the most in his life, touching on Holotropic Breathwork and the Akashic Records. Along the way, they explore anxiety, vulnerability, resistance, emotional time travel, and Sheila’s worst assumption.

Sketching, like most healing modalities, is a process as opposed to a tool that fixes everything. Putting pen to paper helps you to let go, to release what is inside, and bring your darkness into the light so that it can be healed. Anxiety is energy in your body that you aren’t releasing. It could result from emotions you keep stuffing down and holding back. Sketching is one simple and powerful way to release those emotions and understand the difference between feeling and expressing our emotions. It can help us break free from the performance and the act of being whatever it is we think a man is supposed to be.

Grab the Real Men Feel Guide to Friendship for a list of places you can meet more male friends and get on the Real Men Feel weekly newsletter.

Topics and Questions Include:

  • (01:50) How did Sheila discover that creative expression could be healing?
  • (04:50) What is SketchPoetic and how can it help?
  • (05:20) Do men and women feel emotions the same but express them differently?
  • (06:15) What is the difference between feeling and expressing emotions?
  • (06:50) What are the dynamics and mechanics behind healthy emotional expression?
  • (09:45) Why does emotional pain cause people to look for physical solutions?
  • (13:00) Are you making peace with your shadow?
  • (14:50) Why healing tools are not panaceas.
  • (16:50) What is Holotropic Breathwork and how can it be used for healing?
  • (18:30) How do you become the creator and healer of your own self?
  • (19:40) Do we subconsciously use perfectionism as a safety mechanism?
  • (21:00) How did men in prison respond to Sheila’s art therapy?
  • (24:00) When is the time to contact a mental health professional?
  • (25:20) “You’re staring death in the face, and you do something else to process that in a healthy way, that’s the brave part, that’s the courage.”
  • (31:10) Why Sheila is passionate about turning prisons into healing centers.
  • (33:50) What is performance activism?
  • (38:30) Is there any advice for people who are resistant to art and creative expression?


Watch Real Men Feel, #232, “Emotional Freedom Through Creative Expression” March 30, 2021

“SketchPoetic is the process of letting go, surrendering to the act of creating.” ~ Sheila Darcey


Connect with Sheila Darcey:
Website |

Pre-order Sheila’s book | Sketch by Sketch: The Creative Path to Emotional Healing and Transformation
Instagram |  @sketchpoetic 
Facebook | @sketchpoetic 
Twitter | @sheiladarcey

See Andy’s book, Healing & Mystical States Are Just a Breath Away: Personal Experiences with Holotropic Breathwork
See Andy’s video he mentioned, ripping up some old ‘art’ he was attached to.

Need to talk about getting out of your own way? Visit

Scroll down to the author bio for all the links to access more #RealMenFeel

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Sketches courtesy of Sheila Darcey


The post Real Men Feel: Emotional Freedom Through Creative Expression [Podcast] appeared first on The Good Men Project.

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