Michael Domitrovich (ediblespirit.com) has dedicated his life to the illumination and empowerment of all beings everywhere. His highest ideal is peace, not as an abstraction, but as an attainable state for all beings here and now. Trained as a psychic, medium, healer, and conscious channel, he is also a director, playwright, and artist.
In 2007, Domitrovich co-authored “Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile’s Hunger for Home.” He has also been a guest lecturer at the Culinary Institute of America. Michael holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema Studies from New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
I know you personally as a spiritual healer, but I first met you as a director and playwright. So which came first?
I’ve been super creative since I was about four. I think they’re connected in that I was a super sensitive kid. Very emotional and very empathic. When I started doing more spiritual studies—more so developing my psychic abilities and intuition—I had to harness my high sensitivity. Until then it was not something I considered to be a gift. It made me a better actor I’m sure, but it made my day to day life and relationships more challenging. What I see a lot is that people have a natural state they exist in when they’re very young that then gets traumatized or shut down. What I do does not regress people back, but it helps them to return to that natural state in the course of a healing session. When people start to develop their intuition, they have to come from that very authentic place in order for it to work. You have to be able to be still and be quiet and be accepting of your whole self (strengths and weaknesses) even if only for the duration of the healing.
I went through my teenage years and lived and partied and got into trouble. Then I started writing, directing, and working as an artist. I had a big play produced. It went really well during the first production and then it transferred [to a bigger production]. It still went well, but the producing process was really, really hard. The money people had a lot of caveats and were making all these decisions. It was the first time I had to really advocate for my work with that much of a voice, and I couldn’t do it. I was too scared and sensitive and delusional, so it hit me really hard. Like I said, the play did fine, but I knew it wasn’t actually good.
When was this?
This was in 2007 or 2008. Prior to that I had been doing card readings.
I was always into the arts. I didn’t start dabbling in metaphysics until I was 12 or 13. I had a girlfriend who was Pagan/Wiccan, so I bought a deck of tarot cards to try to impress her. I was always a really good study, but processing the visual images didn’t work because I wasn’t a visual person. So it didn’t really take then.
In 2005, I bought a deck of cards out of nowhere that was based on the works of Williams Blake. In other decks, there are swords, cups, pentacles, and wands [in the minor arcana], but the Blake deck has painting, poetry, science, and music. Instead of page, knight, queen, king [for the court cards], there is man, woman, child, and angel. I was getting into Blake at that time and found out he was kind of punk-rock, and I really loved that. One day in 2006, I laid out all the cards, looked at them, and it completely downloaded. I don’t think I ever read those definitions again after that. Really super cool!
Then this production happened wherein I got this off-Broadway production, superb cast, tons of money spent on the play, and yet something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t advocate for myself and I sacrificed certain things in transferring to a larger production that I would not sacrifice now just for the sake of that larger production.
In the midst of it, I got really depressed and upset and it was hard to pick myself back up. I read this book called “2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl.” I was convinced that the world was going to end, that there was no point, and nothing mattered. I didn’t get writer’s block, but really hit an existential rock bottom. I just wasn’t trying.
But I was doing a lot of yoga, a little meditation, and I had a shrink too. And I remember a day where I said, “I choose to exist in a universe where everything is connected and everything has meaning.”
After all, I knew what happened with that production. In order to get that production done, I agreed to things that I wouldn’t have agreed to if I had just been content with the first production. I knew it was what I was doing when I went into it, and I kept beating myself up about it. When I chose to exist in a universe where everything was connected and everything had meaning, it was like I sent out quantum gong. These are the rules of engagement now and anyone not playing by these rules need not apply.
After that, I started doing more readings. Things started happening more and really fast. Then I took a detour where I ran this restaurant in Montauk.
[Laughs] I did not see that coming!
[Laughs] I was praying for the stuff I needed in order to see this universe in which everything was connected and everything had meaning. I didn’t open myself up into this passive state, but a joyfully expectant, hopeful state. When you ask for this stuff, you don’t get to totally decide the packaging it comes in. It’s why we call it co-creation. You ask for what you want, but you get what you need.
The example I always use is you order a pizza and you pick the toppings, but you don’t get to pick the car the driver will arrive in. You don’t get to say, “Can you take this back? I don’t like the box.” You have every right to say, “I didn’t order this topping.” But if you keep getting the same pizza again and again, the laws of Karma might be telling you something.
So I ran this restaurant. My family had been in the restaurant business my entire life, so it was kind of like familial healing. Every morning, I did tarot readings using the Blake deck. I knew this was happening for a reason. This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I was in charge of two restaurants, three bars, 110 hotel rooms, 220 yacht slips, and we did 31 weddings in the course of the summer. It was a multi-million-dollar operation. And I kept asking myself a truly spiritual question, “What the fuck is going on here?”
In the end, it was to give me man-mojo and show me that I could make really good money in a traditional setting, in a totally non-traditional way. The weird Karma of it was that my mom sold her restaurant, and then that deal fell through, but I was able to hire her and my dad and my uncle and my ex-girlfriend (who I tried to impress with the tarot cards) to work at the restaurant with me. I saw that as a synchronistic call-and-respond. When I said everything was connected, it was like, “This is what you have to deal with in order to do that.”
And this was a great example of the connection between “real life” and spiritual life. It’s July 17 and I’m walking through the kitchen, and running through my head was just, “What the fuck am I doing here?” And then I had what can only be described as a peak experience, where everything slowed down. I felt myself standing in the dead center of the kitchen and had this experience of everything rotating around me slowly. Fast-forward to mid-August, I’m walking through the kitchen again and boom, I realized I was never going to be afraid of being a writer or director again. What the fuck was a play production compared to a summer in Montauk? I managed way more people than I ever had to manage in a theater.
I used to have big anxiety about saying the wrong thing to actors. Am I not going to treat him the right way and is he not going to want to work for me? I was so busy shrinking my colleagues and anticipating what they needed that I forgot I was the director. I needed to tell them what I needed because it was their job to do that for me, in a way that made them feel good about their work. That’s exactly what an executive chef does. It was a real alignment of these two worlds. I had to go through this in order to heal my family’s Karma and to realize I had nothing to be afraid of. Something about working there really dropped in this sense of empowerment and made me re-integrate the restaurant world—which is my family’s lineage—that I had pushed away so hard.
After that, I did this one theater production that I wrote and directed. No reviewers came, we spent no money on it, and I was so happy. It all boiled down to someone who came up to me afterwards and said, “I feel like the last three weeks of my life led me to this play. I didn’t know what was happening, and now that I’ve seen this play, I know what’s happening.” I said to myself in that moment, “Either you can take this in and validate your work, or you can complain that the Times didn’t come to review your play. Which one are you?”
I feel like all writers struggle with that. You don’t want to be that person, but you think about it nonetheless.
Anyone who’s a writer would want that. I can’t say I would say no to that. But if someone asked me, “Do you want to carve out a piece of your flesh in order to get this made, even if it means it might not be what you want it to be?”
No. My art means more to me than commercial success from that art.
(To read part two of Michael’s interview, click here.)