free to feel
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free to feel
creating from emotions
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"This book captures a year of emotions. Ones that slapped me in the face, that came to me in sweet messages, sorrowful sighs, rageful gushes and melodic phrases, longing to be expressed. Sometimes faster than I could write.  

Emotions of fire, water, earth and air.
Of mother nature. Of human nature. Of my nature.
They offer themselves to you."

- Anne Koller

emotions
to words

In Free to Feel, Anne Koller shows there is power in opening our arms to the brightest and darkest within us. Organized by the timeless elements of fire, water, earth, and air—and the emotions they inspire—Anne’s raw and approachable prose teaches that emotional wellness is derived not from a static state of happiness, but a willingness to ride the wave of ever-shifting emotions and express them creatively.

 

COVER ART: How the cover of Free to Feel came to life and transformed a bunch of words into an elemental experience of my inner most emotions.

POEM: "We are of the same drop. A multitude of droplets that make the whole." Water said to me in May of 2017. I started to weep and my body began to shake. I didn't know what was happening to me. All I could do was write down the words that were coming through fast and furious, angry and compassionate, frustrated and loving. Water had something to say. These are her words.

 
 

fire

angry. anxious. passionate. powerful.

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Mad At You

It feels good to be mad at you
the fastness of my heartbeat
a drum in my chest
my belly turns warm with heat

- excerpt from "Mad At You" in chapter "Fire"

water

graceful. melancholy. curious. resilient.

 
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Layers

You pull at something deep within me
I can no longer guard.
As it comes out slowly,
I weep.

- excerpt from "Layers" in chapter "Water"

 

earth

lonely. reflective. confused. aware.

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Worthy

I am not worthy
of nature’s beauty.
Crying at her majesty

I feel part of something
I am not worthy of

What will it take to protect her beauty?

Feeling worthy
she whispers

- "Worthy" in chapter "Earth"

air

dreamy. relaxed. hopeful. impatient.

 
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Each Breath

        In and out
inhale and exhale.

    Not promised
yet necessary.

One by one,
a gift.
Out of our hands
yet essential to life.
Entering cool,
exiting warm
filling and emptying at the same time.

We long to hold the intangible.
We demand to control the untameable.

Peace within
                      is learning to let go
                             of the next one.

Each breath.

-  "Each Breath" in chapter "Air"

 

story behind the words

 

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pull back
the curtain

Each poem emerged from a unique experience. While the poetry in Free to Feel captures the emotion of the experience, you can also learn where, when and why each piece was created in the Story Behind the Words chapter at the back of the book.

Free to Feel is a brave exploration of the inner self that beckons each of us. Koller writes an unabashed, fearless, and vulnerable recount of her journey as she encounters these raw emotions head on and expresses her feelings as an objective inspection in the form of poetry. The book has a voice which is unfiltered and personal. Many of us go through similar emotional roller-coasters but fail to have an honest dialog with ourselves. Koller sets an example by showing us her path and the book is an invitation for each of us to awaken and have that conversation with ourselves.
— Nimesh Ranjan, Book Reviewer
We can get so bogged down in our day to day routines in life that we barely take time to notice what’s going on around us and more importantly inside of us. Free to feel gives the reader a glimpse into one year of the author’s life. The pain, joy, sorrow, and resilience expressed in the poems makes you look at your own life and wonder, “What have I been blocking out? Am I numb or hiding from my emotions? How much greater could I be if I allowed myself to be Free to Feel?” A must read!
— Porsha Childs, Book Reviewer

emotions as colorful pathways

There is an undeniable link between feeling and creativity. When we feel our emotions, we open ourselves to a palette of colors to create with.

Emotions can serve as colorful pathways that fuel the longing in us wanting to be expressed and aching to help us move through our human experience with strength and ease.

 
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Feel them
Create with them

Explore the ways in which you can communicate with and move through your emotions, creating and using your own unique process to be free to feel by trying the exercises throughout the book.  Want to schedule a "Free to Feel" art experience with Anne in your city?

about
the author

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Anne Koller is an artist and facilitator who believes that diving into the spectrum of human emotions is the only way to live free. Anne’s sudden loss of her father in 2011 spurred her to explore the intersection of emotion and the creative arts, resulting in The Ashes Project. For nearly a decade, Anne has courageously faced her feelings head on and encouraged others to do the same through such projects as TAPINFollow the WaterH2flOw and now, Free to Feel

Anne guides corporations and individuals to pursue emotional wellness through art, meditation, movement, writing and other tools. She draws on a decade of experience at world-renowned organizations (e.g. Google and the World Economic Forum), as well as a unique background in athletics, Kundalini yoga and community building, to craft experiences carefully designed to unleash the power of emotional awareness.

With a Master’s from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, experience working and living in four countries, and fluency in four languages, Anne seamlessly translates her unique approach for audiences around the world. Her voice has been featured in various media outlets, from Huffington Post and the Today Show to GOOD Magazine and New York’s Village Voice.

Anne was born and raised in inner-city Milwaukee and currently resides in Alameda, California.

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