Creative Status: Deconstruct ego, integrate the shadow, manifest real life.

Creative Status is a podcast about using your creativity to grow towards wholeness so you can live a REAL life.

In general, this involves a three-step process:

1) Deconstructing the EGO - looking at how your fragmented beliefs hold you back from yourself and life and how your conditioned sense of identity might keep you in this state.

2) Facing and Integrating the SHADOW - exploring how the creative process allow you to move towards self-acceptance and owning the hidden/disowned parts of yourself.

3) Manifesting a REAL LIFE - moving towards your greatest vision for your life.


The Journey to Self-Acceptance & Inner Harmony (Creative Status: Episode 87: Jennifer Norman)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this episode, we dive deep into the realms of self-acceptance and inner beauty with Jennifer Norman, founder of the Human Beauty Movement.

We explore the profound journey towards loving oneself, embracing authenticity, and the transformative power of inner beauty.

From External Validation to Inner Acceptance: Jennifer discusses the societal obsession with external beauty and how it often leads to a disconnect from our true selves.

Discover how shifting the focus from seeking external approval to embracing inner beauty can lead to a more fulfilling and authentic life.

Breaking Down Barriers: We delve into the importance of breaking down generational and societal barriers that prevent us from being our authentic selves. Learn how embracing vulnerability and authenticity can foster deeper connections with ourselves and others.

The Role of Creativity in Healing: Jennifer shares her insights on how creativity can serve as a powerful tool for self-expression and healing.

Understand the distinction between creating for external validation and creating for personal growth and catharsis.

Creative Status: Embracing Inner Beauty

Join us as we explore the journey towards self-love, acceptance, and the authentic expression of inner beauty.

This episode is a call to reconnect with your true self and to live a life that is aligned with your deepest values and intentions.

Stay real out there,



Episode Links:

Jennifer’s website: ⁠⁠

Humanist Beauty: ⁠⁠

Super Captain Brave Man: ⁠⁠

Creative Status Links:

The Creative Performance Transformation Lab: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Follow me on Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

My YouTube channel: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Get my books on Amazon: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock for Realness and Life Purpose: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Free one hour creative workshop to take your creative brand or project to the next level:⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Free 90-Day Journal Challenge: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

The Law of Attraction for Realness (mini-course): ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠


Creative Expression, Ego And Creativity, Inner Beauty, Self-Acceptance, Self-Love, Mind-Body Connection, Human Beauty Movement, Jennifer Norman, Authenticity, Personal Growth, Overcoming Social Conditioning, Wholeness, Mental Health, Art And Catharsis, External Validation, Living Authentically, Beauty Standards, Self-Discovery, Inner Peace, Holistic Well-Being

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Rewriting Your Inner Story for Realness (Creative Status: Episode 86: Dave Robinson)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this episode, we delve into the transformative power of storywork with Dave Robinson, a holistic mental health and mindset coach.

Discover how the narratives we tell ourselves shape our realities and learn practical techniques to rewrite these stories for a more empowered life.

The Power of Language: Dave shares his expertise in story work, highlighting the profound impact of language on our self-perception and life outcomes. Learn how simple shifts in the words we use can transform our internal and external realities.

From Limitation to Possibility: Explore the categories of speech that create internal conflict, such as negations and absolutes, and discover how to translate these into language that fosters growth and possibility.

Healing Through Story: Dave dives into the process of identifying and rewriting the stories that hold us back, using personal anecdotes and client examples to illustrate the power of this work.

Understand how acknowledging and reframing past narratives can lead to profound healing and personal growth.

Creative Status: Rewriting Your Narrative

Join us as we explore the art of storywork and its potential to transform your relationship with yourself and your life.

This episode is a call to examine the stories you tell yourself and to choose narratives that support your journey towards wholeness and realness.

Stay real out there,



Episode Links:

Dave’s Website: ⁠⁠

Dave on Instagram: ⁠⁠

Creative Status Links:

The Creative Performance Transformation Lab: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Follow me on Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

My YouTube channel: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Get my books on Amazon: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock for Realness and Life Purpose: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Free one hour creative workshop to take your creative brand or project to the next level:⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Free 90-Day Journal Challenge: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

The Law of Attraction for Realness (mini-course): ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠


Transformation, Holistic Mental Health, Mindset Coach, Story Work, Language Use, Self-Talk, Personal Growth, Healing Journey, Rewriting Your Story, Emotional Wellbeing, Overcoming Shame, Self-Improvement, Practical Advice, Identity, Inner Conflict, Personal Evolution, Self-Awareness, Mental Imagery, Practical Transformation, Relationship With Self

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Embracing Yin Energy in a Yang World (Creative Status: Episode 85: Vera Thomlison)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this episode, we dive into the tranquil world of Yin Yoga with Vera Thomlison, a dedicated Yin Yoga teacher and life coach.

We explore the profound philosophy behind Yin Yoga and how it can serve as a gateway to deeper self-awareness and inner peace.

The Yin and Yang Balance: We dive into the fundamental differences between Yin and Yang energies, emphasizing how Yin Yoga provides a counterbalance to the often high-energy, action-oriented lifestyle many of us lead.

Discover how the stillness of Yin Yoga can help you find strength in slowness and surrender.

Returning to the Root: Drawing on wisdom from the Tao Te Ching, we delve into how Yin Yoga helps us return to our roots, fostering a deeper connection with our true selves.

Learn how this practice can guide you back to what is real and essential in life, helping you stay grounded and present.

Trusting Life: Vera shares her personal journey of embracing stillness and learning to trust life – a powerful testimony to the transformative power of letting go and how trusting the natural flow of life can lead to unexpected yet fulfilling outcomes.

Creative Status: Embracing Stillness

Join us as we explore how the principles of Yin Yoga can be applied both on and off the mat, helping you navigate life with greater ease and authenticity.

This episode is a call to slow down, breathe, and reconnect with the REAL essence of who you are.

Stay real out there,


Episode Links:

Vera’s Website: ⁠⁠

Vera on Instagram: ⁠⁠

Creative Status Links:

Creative Status Links:

The Creative Performance Transformation Lab: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Follow me on Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

My YouTube channel: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Get my books on Amazon: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock for Realness and Life Purpose: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Free one hour creative workshop to take your creative brand or project to the next level:⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Free 90-Day Journal Challenge: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

The Law of Attraction for Realness (mini-course): ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Yin Yoga,Transformational Coaching, Stillness, Yin And Yang, Breathwork, Spiritual Healing, Emotional Healing, Tao Te Ching, Meditation, Yoga Philosophy, Mindfulness, Anxiety Relief, Self-Discovery, Personal Growth, Yoga Practice, Inner Peace, Life Balance, Creative Status

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Addiction, Shame, & Spiritual Suicide (Creative Status: Episode 84: Eric Fisher)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this episode, we delve into the realms of addiction, trauma, and spirituality with Eric Fisher, a recovery counselor and addiction specialist.

Together, we unpack the complex tapestry of the human psyche and the pervasive nature of addiction in our lives.

The Illusion of the Void: Eric Fisher sheds light on the ‘void’ that drives the addictive itch, exploring the origins of addiction and how it reflects the underlying relationship we have with ourselves.

Fragmentation to Wholeness: We discuss the fragmentation that occurs during childhood and how it leads to the formation of a ‘false self’—a facade that we cling to, often resulting in ‘spiritual suicide’.

Letting Go to Grow: Eric provides actionable insights on how to let go of the ego, embrace our true selves, and heal from the spiritual suicide that keeps us trapped in cycles of addiction and self-deception.

Creative Status: Embracing Realness

Join us as we explore the journey from disconnection to wholeness, the grieving process of letting go, and the cultivation of qualities like curiosity, honesty, and gratitude that guide us back to our authentic being.

It’s a conversation that not only enlightens but also offers a path to liberation from the chains of our addictions.

Stay real out there,



Episode Links:

Eric’s Website: ⁠⁠

Eric’s Author Page on Amazon (check out his book ‘The Martial Art of Recovery’: ⁠⁠

Eric on Instagram: ⁠⁠

Eric on Facebook: ⁠⁠

Creative Status Links:

The Creative Performance Transformation Lab: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

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Addiction, Trauma, Spirituality, Recovery Counseling, Human Psyche, Void, Fragmentation, False Self, Spiritual Suicide, Ego, Authentic Being, Gratitude, Curiosity, Honesty, Healing, Transformation, Letting Go, Wholeness, Identity, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Carl Jung, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Grieving Process, Catharsis

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Cultivating Realness in Life’s Garden (Creative Status: Episode 83: Kareen Erbe)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

Join us for this episode of Creative Status as we dig into the fertile soil of garden design with Kareen Erbe, a permaculture expert and educator. Discover the profound parallels between tending to the earth and nurturing the human spirit.

The Garden of Life: Kareen guides us through the symbiotic relationship between gardening and personal growth. Learn how creating and maintaining a garden mirrors the cultivation of our inner landscapes.

Harvesting Wisdom: From the principles of permaculture, we glean insights on sustainable living, the richness of participating in natural cycles, and the abundance that comes from aligning with the rhythms of the earth.

Seasons of the Soul: As we discuss the ebb and flow of growth and dormancy in gardens, we uncover the lessons of acceptance, the importance of presence, and the natural progression of life’s seasons within ourselves.

Roots of Reality: Kareen shares how the act of gardening can ground us in the realities of nature, teaching us about interdependence, the beauty of decay as part of the life cycle, and the humble acceptance of our place in the larger ecosystem.

Creative Status: Cultivating Realness

Be inspired by Kareen’s deep connection to the earth and the wisdom she imparts on living a life in harmony with the world around us. It’s a conversation that plants seeds of transformation and invites you to nurture your own garden—both literal and metaphorical.

Stay real out there,



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7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock for Realness and Life Purpose: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

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The New Age Deception & Spiritual Narcissism (Creative Status: Episode 82: Melany Oliver)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this episode of Creative Status, join us as we unravel the deceptions of spiritual narcissism with Melany Oliver, an intuitive soul coach who has navigated the murky waters of misleading online spirituality to find her way back to authentic healing.

Truth vs. Illusion: Melany shares her transformative journey from being ensnared by the allure of ‘quick-fix’ spiritual modalities to discovering the liberating power of truth and emotional processing. We delve into why so much online spirituality is a trap, keeping seekers from the very growth they desire.

The Heart of Healing: Learn how sincerity, humility, and a genuine desire for truth are the cornerstones of real healing. Melany discusses how embracing our shadow self and processing our emotions can lead to a more authentic, joyful existence.

Emotions as a Pathway: Explore the crucial distinction between living in your emotions and processing through them with truth as your guide. Melany’s insights reveal how we can avoid getting stuck and instead use our feelings as a catalyst for personal transformation.

Creative Status: Where Real Healing Begins

Be inspired by Melany’s candid conversation about the simplicity of healing, the pitfalls of spiritual ego, and the profound relief that comes from aligning with our true selves. It’s a dialogue that challenges the status quo and invites you to look inward with courage and honesty.

Stay real out there,

Oli Anderson



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7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock for Realness and Life Purpose: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

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The New Age Deception & Spiritual Narcissism (Show Transcript)


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there. Oli Anderson here. You’re listening to Creative Status. This is a podcast about growing more real, creating lives for ourselves that are, aligned with who we truly are when we clear away some of the mental garbage that holds us back from ourselves, holds us back from other people, and holds us back from life. The creative process is a big part of that, because the creative process can make the unconscious conscious.

Today’s interview is one of my favourite ones so far. Definitely. It’s with Melany Oliver. Melany is an intuitive soul coach. I originally stumbled across her work on Instagram. I found a post where she was talking about two different approaches to spirituality. She was sharing her own story and showing ultimately, how years ago, whenever it was, she had kind of fallen into the trap of being deceived by a lot of the spiritual bullshit that’s online.

This is something that I’ve thought about, like, a lot, because obviously, a lot of the things I talk about can be classed as spiritual because we’re dealing with uncovering the truth, contemplating the truth, and then living and breathing the truth. But there’s a lot of stuff out there that really holds people slaves to themselves and slaves to their egos, because it encourages them to run away from the truth rather than towards it. And it dresses itself up as spirituality. It’s a very deceptive kind of thing.

A lot of it has to do with marketing and all that kind of stuff. And, it was just so refreshing to see Melany’s approach to this on her own Instagram. So I reached out to her, I explained that I wanted to talk about all that. And, that’s what this interview ultimately is.

We’re diving into why so much of that stuff is deceptive and how there’s maybe a healthier approach to kind of being spiritual, if you want to even use that word, to just basically moving towards the truth and uncovering the truth without any of the mumbo jumbo, none of the nonsense, none of the marketing gimmicks and all that kind of thing.

So this was a really great conversation. It was so powerful that we set off some dogs barking. I’ve managed to remove most of that from the, background noise, but it’s kind of cool, actually, to hear these dogs going crazy. And just so you can tell that we really annoyed the satanic forces of the world or, something like that. Little bit dramatic.

But anyway, here’s the interview. Melany, thanks so much for being so chill about everything and for sharing all this stuff. Hope this helps. Anyone who’s listening might piss off a few people, so apologies in advance, but, you know, it’s all part of the learning process. Here we go. Thanks a lot. Boom.


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there, Melany. Thank you so much for joining me on today’s episode of Creative Status. I’m actually very excited about this one because, we had a conversation like, a week or two ago where we, started to unpack some patterns that we both noticed around some of this spiritual, bullshit pardon my French that seems, to be taking over the world, especially online. So we’re going to unpack that even more before we get into it. Do you feel like introducing yourself, telling people what you do and what you’re all about, and also you want to get out of this conversation that we’re about to have?

Melany Oliver: Sure. Yeah. Hi, Oli, and thank you so much for inviting me on. I’m excited about this conversation. I think I told you before, like, I used to rant about this all the time online and got a lot of stick for it. So it’s nice to meet someone who can see, you know, as well, and, have this discussion, because I think, like you said, it’s super important. Well, obviously, we’re going to get into it. But, yeah, I’m Melany. I’m a holistic therapist and emotional, healing coach. I’ve been doing this for about, well, 18 years now. Yeah. And I’m excited to share this conversation, with you and to share this with the world.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. And see what we can learn and where we end up. So let’s start right at the beginning. The reason that I reached out to you is I found you on Instagram somehow, and there was a post that you’d put on there where you were basically doing a sort of, before and after comparing contrast of a kind of old way that you’d kind of used, as a kind of philosophy for, like, thinking about life and healing the things that you’ve been through versus a new way.

And I suppose if I was going to give the abridged version of what that was, it was almost as though the old version, which didn’t actually help you get anywhere, was that, you’d fallen for some of this kind of new age deception, let’s call it the new version, was that you’d kind of tuned into something quite different. So maybe that’s a good starting point, just kind of saying where you were and where you’ve ended up. And I can hear that the hounds of hell are trying to attack you.

Melany Oliver: Yeah. I’m so sorry. About that. That’s Mexico. Yeah.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, so if we do the compare and contrast, like where were you, where did you end up and how did you learn to kind of break through the deception, I guess.

Melany Oliver: Okay, so, I guess it started throughout my childhood because, I’m half Brazilian and half English. And in Brazil, I’m not sure if you know anything about the culture there, but at least in Bahia, they’re very much into the occult.

You know, there’s, I remember doing all these rituals, you know, my grandmother used to take me to see witch doctors and they would give you like what they call bayous. and then you’ll go buy certain plants and herbs and you’ll light a candle at a certain time, you know, for the saint and then have a bath and yeah, basically it’s a little ritual, you know, and say incantations and what have you and prayers.

So it started off throughout my childhood and to me that was natural, right. And my aunts used to take me to these spiritual centres there where you’d go get your energy cleansed and speak to medium, ah, doctors.

And so that was really ingrained in me from childhood. So, when I started my healing journey when I was around 14, in my mind that was healing, right? So that’s kind of what led me down, the new age sort of path because I didn’t think to go to see a psychologist, for example. I thought I need energy healing or I need to see the spirit doctor or the witch doctor. And I guess that’s what started me on the new age path. I’m not sure if you heard me say like, I ended up more lost than when I started. And after ten years of being on the search and doing everything like you name it, I’ve probably done it and trained in it.

Reiki, hypnotherapy, theta healing, conscious access, consciousness, violet flame, God knows what, quantum touch matrix, energetics, like you name it, I’ve done it. And what I felt was that there was always something missing from all these, modalities and also I didn’t heal, I wasn’t healing and when I say healing, my search was really I just wanted to heal from depression.

I was depressed and I had severe, suicidal ideation and that’s all I wanted. I just wanted to live depression free and not have the suicidal ideation. That’s what led me on my search. But then I would do these energy healings or courses and whatever. And then two, three months later, I was depressed again with severe suicidal ideation.

And I could not understand why I’ve invested so much of my time, energy and money. I was meditating, saying my affirmations and doing my sage. And so when I talk about this stuff, like when I make fun of it now, like it’s coming from experience, it’s not, you know, as a judgement, I did it, you know, and I know how lost I was in that field. And my transition, came out of desperation, actually.

 And, I remember just being… just breaking down one day and really praying from my heart and I was so desperate and I just prayed to God and I said, you know, help me. Like, I really, sincerely, all I wanted was to heal and I just wanted the truth. That’s all I wanted. And it was that one desire that I had that set everything in motion and that kind of changed, my course in terms of the, of spirituality or healing.

Oli Anderson: I, ah, should say that’s amazing. So as you were going through that story of like how you, you know, you, you kept looking in one place and then maybe you get a bit of a release, but then eventually the effect would wear off. You go look in another place and you’re just caught up in the cycle of constant distractions and, nothing ever changed.

My question for you was going to be what was the missing ingredient? And then right there at the end of the story, just shared, you basically summed it all up like the missing ingredient was the truth. Like it basically boils down to that.

The way that I understand all of this now, based on my own experience and just working with people in my coaching practise, is when people feel that they need healing or that they’re dealing with some kind of an existential void or that restless itch that they just don’t know how to scratch is because they’ve become disconnected from themselves. And, the only reason that they’re disconnected from themselves is because for some m reason, normally, because what happened in childhood, they’ve become disconnected from the truth.

They’ve, they’ve created a version of themselves, an ego that needs to resist the truth in order to maintain its hold over them so that they can keep the shadow self at bay. Maybe we’ll get into that. But also along with the resistance, they end up distorting the truth like they don’t want to see it. Because if they do see the truth, then even though they’re in pain and they’ve got this itch that needs scratching they’re going to have to make all kinds of changes in their life. And the biggest change, which is the one most people don’t want to make, is that they’re going to have to let go of the current identity that they’ve got and create a new one. And ultimately that’s what you just shed. Like all of these practises that you were, kind of trying to heal yourself with. They weren’t taking you towards the truth, they were kind of taking you away from the truth.

Melany Oliver: Yes, you’ve just nailed it. And not even that. yeah, I was basically in denial about. I mean, I’ll say I was in emotional denial because intellectually I was aware of the child abuse and everything that I went through, but I. But emotionally I did not accept it. And I was still engaging with, you know, my abusive mother, which was obviously not healthy for me.

And because of the, conditioning – like, we are conditioned to accept abuse because they are our parents. You know, they have given everything for us to survive. My mother cooked for me every day and I went to good schools. My father was a good provider. How dare I point the finger? Like, what an ungrateful daughter I am, you know, how dare I point the finger at the abuse? And so that was kind of like capping my emotional acceptance. I don’t know if that makes sense.

Oli Anderson: It makes perfect sense. So, actually, the reason that the truth is so, powerful and healing, it’s because exactly what you just said, it leads to acceptance. Acceptance is ultimately what we’re all looking for, so that itch that can’t be scratched. It’s really just a lack of acceptance. And the way to get that is to find the truth or to find reality.

Because the only thing you can accept is the truth reality. And if you accept the reality of life, then you have to accept the reality of yourself. And maybe this is kind of going to open this up a little bit more because it comes down ultimately to something that we talked about in our last conversation that we didn’t record. The hounds of hell are getting nervous again. And, basically what that is is humility.

Like, ultimately, the only way that we can heal, I have found, at least in my own life, is to learn humility. When we don’t have humility, we end up because of that emotional denial that you were talking about, trying to control everything. This is the tragedy of these people that are kind of lost with some of these spiritual deceptions. They’re in emotional pain, which is why they’re in denial in the first place, because they don’t want to ride out the short term discomfort of returning back to acceptance.

But that denial causes them to try and control life no matter what. And all I mean by that is that they try and control things so that life doesn’t ask them to face the emotional pain that they need in order to set themselves free. And so they go in all these wild goose chases and they do all these kind of courses and things that you’re talking about, or they invest money in people that have basically got the same emotional denial, the same emotional problems. And it becomes a case of the blind leading the blind.

And there’s just all these people upholding this illusion that you can avoid your emotional pain forever and heal yourself. But actually the only way out is through, as the saying says. And, basically it sounds like that’s what you did. So when you did finally realise that the only thing that was going to help you was the truth, that allowed you to kind of face the abuse that you went through when you were younger, that allowed you to face how that had caused you to become fragmented in yourself. And it probably allowed the shadow itself to re-emerge. And it ultimately put you on the path towards wholeness. That’s what I’m assuming.

Melany Oliver: Yeah, 1000%.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Melany Oliver: So, and then when you say emotional, like, when you say acceptance and emotional pain, and, you know, the only way out is through, that is actually how you accept truth.

Oli Anderson: Yes.

Melany Oliver: You know, when I was talking about, I was in it, I had an intellectual awareness that my mother was abusive. But I. But emotionally I didn’t accept it. Which means that I didn’t process the hurt that she caused me throughout my childhood. And that’s, the way to accept the truth emotionally is to process your emotional wounds, which I talk about all the time. and that’s painful and it does hurt. But one thing that I noticed throughout my emotional processing is that it only hurts when you resist it. Because when you actually accept it emotionally, it’s such a relief. You feel so good when you feel emotions and you accept it and you release it. Yes, of course it’s sad. And it broke my heart.

You know, it would break any child’s heart to have the realisation emotionally that your mother doesn’t love you or your father doesn’t love you. Of course you’re gonna grieve. I grieved for a good two, maybe three months, you know, and that’s what it takes, that’s what it took to really accept that fact. Yeah.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, well, I think the choices are we either stay in emotional denial, which sucks in the long term, or we face the emotions, which sucks, but not for quite as long. And then on the other. On the other side of it, we get freedom because we finally become whole again. And I think the good news, if you want to call it good news, because it kind of is, is that, once you do put yourself in that process of accepting the emotional pain and letting it kind of pass, you’re working with life.

Because life is always calling us back towards more wholeness, and it’s a natural process. And so, in a way, you can’t lose the battle. You just have to trust that process and go with it. Because, like you said, the only thing that really screws you up is the resistance of those emotions. It’s like the Carl Jung thing. Carl Jung said, what you resist persists.

Melany Oliver: Yeah, exactly.

Oli Anderson: And so by resisting it, you just exacerbate it. You make it worse, especially if you’re going on all these wild goose chases and you think you’re doing something, but you’re actually resisting it at an unconscious level. And so, is there something there? Because I think part of this transition from going from running away from the truth, but thinking that we’re running towards the truth to running towards the actual truth and freeing ourselves because we’re moving with life instead of against it, is our unconscious drives.

Because I think in your case, it sounds like what happened when you reach that crunch point where you had to get down and, like, pray for help. That was the point where the. The ego version of yourself, let’s say, ran out of steam. You took it as far as it could go, which is what a breakdown is, right? Like, you took it as far as you could go. It didn’t work. And so you’re like, “Oh, shit, right. I’m gonna pray to God”.

And then by doing that, you actually aligned the unconscious intentions with the conscious intentions, and then you could put yourself in a path. And so my question for you is, how do you see the role of the unconscious in this? Because the way that I look at it is all these people in emotional denial, they’ve basically been driven by their unconscious to eat.

Melany Oliver: Yeah, and that’s tricky, isn’t it? It’s so tricky. And, it comes back to what you said before. It’s two things. One is humility, and two is a sincere desire for truth. Because most people, they don’t want the truth. They want the results, or they don’t want the truth. They want something else other than the truth. And then when you share the truth with them, they will either get triggered or get angry or attack you or, and that is an indication that actually they’re not sincere.

They don’t want the truth. They want their ego stroked. They want an illusion. But yeah, it comes down to that. So you can still be deeply wounded. and to save you years of time and money and going around in circles, if you can just develop sincerity for truth, a passionate desire for truth and, and humility, that’s gonna, that will help you to bypass your unconscious, your unconscious beliefs and your wounds that are keeping you trapped in this, in these negative patterns.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. Do you think, we can reverse engineer our relationship with the truth by the results that we’re getting? I don’t know if that’s too vague, but basically what I’ve learned from myself and coaching people is the unconscious is always the main driving force. And if our lives are like, really fragmented and we’re constantly hitting brick walls and we’re constantly saying that we want to make changes in our lives, but then things never do change, then it means at some level that the, there’s a wide gap between the conscious and unconscious mind.

Melany Oliver: Yes.

Oli Anderson: And if we can start to understand little things like that, that’s when we can maybe wake up and say, okay, like I’m telling myself one thing, but there’s something going on inside me where, you know, I’m sabotaging myself or I’m just attracting totally different scenarios and situations because there is a block. And I suppose the question is how. How do we learn to listen to ourselves and listen to life so that we can start to really, get into that flow of moving with the truth instead of against it, even if we.

Melany Oliver: Yeah, right. Yeah. And the way I see it is, you know, and I’m talking about your immediate law of attraction because obviously we have a collective one as well. But your immediate law of attraction is showing you what’s still unhealed inside of you. You know, that’s it. And if we can see it that way and get curious about it instead of, you know, trying to force things, which doesn’t work, you know, and, yeah, see that as an opportunity.

Okay, this, I’m stuck in this pattern. Let’s dive in. Like, let’s do some inner work. why am I stuck in this pattern? And the key for me is emotions. You know, like, what is this? What, what do I feel when this pattern shows up? And then, and then from there, from the emotions that come up, you can start to process the emotions, navigate, you know, the emotional layers and see if, if that’s an addiction or, you know, an emotional addiction or, you know, a wound, and then obviously do your inner work.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, there’s a saying I often throw out. And, like I say, often is probably too often. But basically it’s the idea that the truth will set you free. Like Jesus said. Okay, that’s, that’s great, but, first it will piss you off and it will make you miserable. The reason it will piss you off and make you miserable is because ultimately the truth. I don’t think the truth ever makes anybody feel bad. I think the truth makes us feel good.

That’s why, as far as I understand it, spirituality really is just that, a journey to uncover the truth and then to live the truth. That’s all it really is. And anything other than that is going to cause problems in our lives. But the reason we think that the truth hurts, as the old saying goes, is because it causes us to have to let go of the illusions and let go of the belief systems and let go of the identities, basically let go of all kinds of things that are stopping us from healing, but that we’ve identified with and that we think are, the solution to our problems. And so I guess it keeps coming back to the same thing, which is this relationship with the truth. How. How do we, like, know if we are seeking the truth or if we’re on one of these wild goose chases?

Melany Oliver: I guess, firstly, Oli, I’m loving everything that you’re saying. I’m so resonating with everything. And I agree with you. The truth does set us free. And, it feels good, but what feels bad is the lie that we’re confronted with. That’s what hurts.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Melany Oliver: You know, if you had an illusion, like I was talking about, my mother wound that mummy loves me, but then you realise, actually she doesn’t. Of course that’s going to hurt. And it’s the lie that hurts that you’re releasing, not the truth. Because once you accept the truth, you feel good, you feel peace, you feel a relief.

And it’s like, like you said, it’s freeing. yeah, sorry, going back to what you’re saying, yeah, it is a relationship with the truth. And that’s why we have to want to know the truth and we have to desire truth, and live our truth. I think that’s where true happiness and joy comes from. And that’s what we’re all seeking to be our true selves in the world. In a world where that is constantly trying to, make us not be our true selves and to be something else.

Oli Anderson: How does the humility thing feed into the true self thing? Because this is another kind of avenue that’s maybe worth opening up, because I think a lot of this spiritual deception stuff is aimed at people who have a lot of inner fragmentation. When people have that inner fragmentation, it just means they become disconnected from their true selves. Okay?

And when that happens, they become driven by shame. Like, they’re not driven by truth anymore because they disconnect. It’s the shame that drives them. And when they’re driven by shame, they feel like they’re not good enough. They feel like they can’t trust themselves. They feel like they can’t trust life. And normally what happens is they go to one of two extremities.

They either become total control freaks, where they feel like they have to be a big hero to compensate for the shame that they feel. So they act like, you know, they just. It’s all hustler, it’s all grinder. They’re totally omnipotent, basically, and totally in control of life. Or they go to the other extreme, which is where they end up playing the victim, and they basically roll over. And any problem that happens is, like, the worst thing that’s ever happened. Nobody else has ever experienced it in human history. Any emotional thing that arises is going to be like a big roadblock.

Melany Oliver: That’s a disaster.

Oli Anderson: And, yeah, all this kind of stuff. So they go to one extreme or the other. But I think the middle path, so to speak, is humility, where we realise, okay, that in truth, we’re not a big hero because we can’t control everything. So there’s, you know, do your best and forget the rest.

Like, we still got to take action and, like, go out there. Yeah, make a dent in the world, but, like, we can’t control everything, so there’s no point taking that approach. And we’re not a big victim either, because we always have the power to make choices. We always have the power to kind of figure out our next move or to just patient until something changes, whatever it is. And so humility, for me is just getting to that point where we’re like, okay, I’m an amazing, powerful creature, but I can’t control everything.

I’m going to screw up sometimes, but it’s not the end of the world, and I’m not going to just trust myself and try and force everything through my own interpretations because of my shame driven relationship with myself, I’m going to actually know when to let go and trust life. And so humility basically puts us back in alignment with our nature, which again, puts us back on track to reality and truth and acceptance. And so there’s something there just around how we’re basically designed to be humble.

Ultimately, there’s a quote by Mike Tyson that I love. I might have said it to you last time. Mike Tyson said, “Man wasn’t made to be humble, but to be humbled”. And I love how he said that. It’s like we go out there, m and we got this idea about, right, I’m gonna go out and just smash life and, get attacked by the hounds of hell.

Ultimately, I’m gonna become humbled, which means I’m gonna find my true self through that process of, I suppose, setting audacious goals, whatever, but then finding out the truth about myself. So, anyway, that was a long ramble about that. But how does humility come into, I guess, your journey and the lessons that you’ve learned by not deceiving yourself anymore?

Melany Oliver: Yeah, firstly, I have no idea why they are like this today. I don’t know why. they’re not normally like this wild.

Oli Anderson: But anyway, although we’ve opened these.

Melany Oliver: Funny. Yeah. so, yeah, humility is everything. And humility, firstly, it’s about accepting reality. That’s like it in a nutshell. And, ah, when you accept reality, you also have to accept and process your emotions. Right. So it’s about, feeling everything as it is, not resisting it. yeah, so I think that’s a big part of it. And life, as they say, humbles you. Right.

If you’re trying to force things and trying to do things and it’s not working, you can continue to force it until you have an emotional breakdown, until something happens to make you really face yourself and realise that, yeah, what I’m doing is not working. I’m not being humble here. You know, I’m not being honest with myself right now. I’m forcing things. I’m going against reality, like you said, rather than seeing this as feedback and saying, actually, you know, maybe that’s not the way, maybe this is not the truth.

Yeah, and humility, for me, that’s it. It’s about accepting reality as it is, not trying to make it something else and to feel all your emotions as and when they come up because that’s how you experience life.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. Do you think there’s an element in going from this kind of ego driven state where we, you know, we tried to be a hero or we’ve lapsed into victimhood. We go from that state to humility. And on that journey, we end up facing our shadow self, basically. Like, because acceptance is the final lesson.

Like, ultimately, you can’t become humble without accepting your shadow. And I think that’s why it’s so healing to find humility. Because the main reason people feel unhealed, let’s say, is because of the inner fragmentation. And inner fragmentation just means they’ve disowned loads of parts of themselves or they’re hiding from, like, that shadow understanding, let’s say, of what life is and how it works, who they are within it, and etcetera.

And so by going from, I guess, pride to humility, and even victimhood is pride in a way, because it’s a denial of the truth. It’s in that we’re in control of everything. Like, going through that process, it makes us more whole. And ultimately, I guess that’s what we’re talking about, right? Like, the truth is wholeness. And by aligning ourselves with it, we become more whole as well. And then we don’t need to worry about all of these wild goose chases and, like, these, yeah, crazy things.

Melany Oliver: And it helps you develop compassion as well. So what was coming up for me, when you’re saying that about shadow, you know, one of the reasons, I was depressed, obviously, was because of a lot of my childhood abuse. But I had rage. I had, like, unbelievable amounts of rage that I was suppressing because I did not want to be like my mother. You know, like, Ah. And then I, you know, throughout my, you know, doing inner work and all of that, I had the realisation that I was becoming my mother. And that killed me because that was the last thing I wanted to be, you know, was like my mother. But I realised, shit, I’m becoming. I’m becoming my mother.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Melany Oliver: I’m full of rage and my ways, my manipulative ways and things like that. I was just like my mother.

Oli Anderson: Wow.

Melany Oliver: So that was humbling. And I had to accept that and face that within myself and then obviously process and allow myself to feel rage and to be okay with it. not to live in it, but to release it, you know. So that was a huge shadow self of mine because that was my worst nightmare. I was doing everything not to be like her. And then I ended up like her.

Oli Anderson: This is a really common thing. Like, I’ve spoken to quite a few people that have been through that. And, it’s the Carl jung thing again. Right. What you resist persists, and actually, it goes even further. Like, we can almost say, like, what we resist and leave in the shadows, it eventually takes control of us.

Melany Oliver: Absolutely. Yeah. And in ways that you can see, it’s subtle, isn’t it?

Oli Anderson: Yeah. And, like, by you facing it and accepting it, like, it’s not going to go anywhere. This is the thing with all of these real things and these emotions that we try to hide from. They’re real. And what’s real is always really. It’s never gonna go anywhere. And so, actually, the only way to get mastery of it is to. To embrace it, to see that it is there.

So, okay, I’ve got this rage because of, like, this shame of disconnection or whatever it was that caused it. When you own it, that’s when you can decide what to do with it. If you keep hiding from it behind all of the rituals and the things that people do to try a false sense of control, if you keep hiding from it, then you end up giving it power.

This is what people don’t understand. And it’s like, people get so lost, and, Yeah, so just by embracing it and accepting it, you don’t have to get rid of it. I think that’s a common misconception. Like, if we go, if we judge our emotions, anger, is another.

Well, anger is a form of rage. But, like, anger, hatred, rage, whatever it is, as soon as we judge them, we put distance between ourselves and them, and that’s when we lose control of them and they become a problem. So that’s very powerful, what you just shared. I think there’s another issue around trust. So trusting the emotions that are there, but also just learning to trust the process of, moving towards wholeness.

One thing that I think, which I’ve, you know, I’ve pissed quite a few people off around in my lifetime is that things like the rituals people perform and the, you know, things like astrology and tarot cards and all that kind of thing, I personally don’t think you need them in any way, shape or form. Like, I know people that use that stuff and they’re always popping up and trying to convince me that I need it.

But, like, my life has gone really well and I feel like I’ve healed myself because I haven’t had to use those kind of things to find some kind of a controlled connection to the truth. Because the truth is just always there. Like, we can connect to it without the intermediary step of a, ritual of some kind or control. Event. And so I now see that when people are performing those kind of rituals and doing those kind of things, it’s because they can’t trust. Like, it’s a way of putting distance between themselves and the truth in order to get the answers that they want, in order to maintain the ego and to keep avoiding the shadow self, if that makes sense.

Melany Oliver: Yeah, it does. And not even that, it’s. They’re giving their power away because they don’t feel they have power to change.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, yeah, basically that’s the simple, you.

Melany Oliver: Know, and they, on top of that as well, they don’t know how to do the inner work. And like, in your words, you said they can’t connect to themselves and find out the truth that way. So they seek something outside of themselves. And then what you end up doing, which is what I did for, you know, ten years or more, you keep seeking for something outside of yourself and all these tools and techniques, and then just end up feeling more lost and disempowered and confused about what the truth is.

And yeah, I agree with you. I don’t believe now I don’t use any of those tools either. I was super into that as well. But I don’t need that anymore. I can find out the truth by connecting to my heart and tuning into my heart and praying and. And doing it that way, rather than giving my power away to, you know, whatever else is out there.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, yeah. I think, another element of this side of things I’ve noticed is that a lot of it is just projection as well. So a lot of the time, you know, people, people might make, they make some prediction about the future or whatever it is, and they’ll say that it’s because the tarot card said this or like the stars have said that, or there’s some kind of spirit guides or whatever thing it is that they’ve connected, to have told them a certain thing, basically.

But that in most cases, it seems like that is just projection. Like it’s their way of taking their emotional stuff and the desires that the emotions are kind of leading them towards and then repackaging it so they can kind of hear it from something that’s not them, if that makes sense. And again, it comes down to what you said. Like, it’s almost like there’s a… there is a block to hearing the truth from themselves, of course, because that’s what the ego needs to stop people from healing and to keep them in that ego state.

But the projection, it’s almost keeping the truth at arm’s length. And that’s what’s so frustrating to me with these kind of people, is that the truth is there, but it’s just been. It’s been repackaged so that it’s no longer experienced as the truth. Something like that. And I think. Sorry.

Melany Oliver: Like, yeah, I was just going to say it’s spiritual narcissism, isn’t it? In some ways, you know, they’re getting their spiritual egos stroked, and so it makes them feel good, but then nothing changes in their life. Oh, I have so many stories about people like this, which I may not get into here, but anyway, yeah,

Oli Anderson: That term, you know what? You just summed it all up right there. Like, the kind of people I’m talking about. That’s what it is. It’s spiritual narcissism. The thing that nobody. Well, this thing that people rarely say about narcissists is that they feel like shit inside. Like they’re driven by shame. They hate themselves because they’re judging themselves. And they’ve got this inner split.

And obviously, like, I’m, been a bit blasé about it. Like, you should have some compassion for them. But anyway, they. They feel bad, and so they end up doing these kind of things to compensate for the shame. And it’s basically, they’ll do anything except face the truth.

What they end up doing, they create a self-image that allows them to compensate. So they’ll create some image of themselves as being this, you know, majestic healer who has his super holier than thou, all that kind of stuff. Instead of understanding that, like, if they do work as a healer or something, it’s not them that’s actually done anything. They’ve just introduced the truth indirectly into the equation. And it’s the truth that helps people, not them, in their egos. It’s narcissism.

So, this has been very therapeutic for me. Like, allowing myself to, like, say all these things about the things that have been frustrating me. But I suppose to make this practical, how do we bring it back to what you said a few minutes ago? The thing that has helped you has basically been getting in touch with your heart. I think that’s how you described it. And, listening to that directly, because basically, there’s some connection inherently between the heart and the truth. And I’m assuming. Yeah, how do we. How do we basically avoid all the things we’ve been talking about and just keep it very, very simple, which is that all we need is the truth. We can expect it to piss us off, but that’s part of the process and we can trust it.

Melany Oliver: You just said it right there. That’s the key. You have to have a sincere desire for truth. If you don’t have that, you’re screwed. Basically, you have to have a desire for truth. That is the key. And to be humble to it, because, you know, you could think that you have a desire for truth, but when the truth is presented to you, you deny it, but then it just means that you’re not being sincere about the truth.

So there are some key elements, you know, obviously, desire for truth, humility, those are the two main ones. And in terms of healing, when you talk about, like, healing, breaking patterns for me is processing emotions or feeling emotions, that’s also key, because if you’re not willing to feel the emotion, you’re going to be an emotional denial and you’re going to continue to repeat those same patterns. and really, if you have these three things, and I’m sure that there’s more, but let’s just, you know, for the sake of this conversation, like, if, let’s say these are the three key things, really see from your heart that way, because people can present something through marketing and they can talk a good talk.

You know, there’s so many fake spiritual gurus out there, but when you really feel from your heart and see from your heart, you can feel that they’re empty, that, they’re just regurgitating what they read in a self help book or whatever, they haven’t really walked. They’re not walking their talk, you know, that you can feel that they haven’t done the work. And this comes, obviously, like, what I’m sharing now.

Like, the more that you do your inner work, the easier it is to see, right. But if you’re just starting, just having that desire for truth and being humble and really feeling, and being open to feeling emotions, you’ll start to see without having healed, you know, or done years of therapy, if that makes sense.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, it’s amazing. I think, there’s a really important thing as well, just around what you just said. When I think a lot of people get lost because they think that their heart, getting in their heart means feeling your feelings and staying in your feelings. But actually, I think the truth is the thing that allows us to purify our feelings by feeling through them until they dissolve. And I think there’s something there about how ultimately.

Melany Oliver: Yeah. Can I just say something before I forget, because I just came up earlier. And you, cannot process an emotion if you’re not in truth.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Melany Oliver: And people that live in their… In certain emotions, for example, you know, take me as an example. When I was talking about my depression, I wasn’t in truths.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Melany Oliver: So if you can understand that if you’re stuck in an emotion, you’re not in truth, you’re in denial about something there. Yeah.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, yeah, exactly that. And I think that’s kind of what I was alluding to. So a lot of the time, people, a lot of these people, they talk about their emotions and their heart and all that kind of stuff, but they get stuck in the emotion because of the way that they’re identifying with it.

But the truth is constantly moving towards acceptance, it’s constantly moving towards wholeness, or it’s constantly calling us towards those things. And, that means that the emotions will pass eventually. It’s that whole thing, right?

Emotions are energy in motion. If they’re not moving, then something needs to change. And I think that’s one of these things, like we were saying about low retraction, where you can get feedback from the results you’re getting about whether or not you’re actually in the truth or whether you’re kind of fooling yourself. So this has been awesome. This has been therapeutic for me.

Melany Oliver: I’ve loved it.

Oli Anderson: I appreciate you so much. Have you got any final words? Like, I know you kind of just did some up, but if you want to sum up. And also, can you let people know where they can find you as well?

Melany Oliver: Sure. Yeah. And ultimately, this is the path, like you said, like we both talked about throughout, is to live in truth. And the only way to do that is by doing, you know, this type of inner work, to accept the truth, to feel your emotions. And, Yeah, because this is. This is the path so that we can be our true selves in the world, you know, and live true to ourselves and follow our hearts and our passions and desires. I think that’s what we’re here for. so, yeah, if more people could have the courage to do that, we would have a happier world, I think.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, 100%. And it’s so simple. Like, it’s simple. We make it more good than it needs to. That’s all kind of worlds. Can you let people know where they can find you if those dogs don’t eat you?

Melany Oliver: Yeah, I honestly don’t know what it is. We must have made some spirits angry.

Oli Anderson: We’ll see that as well. What’s happened. But anyway, yes. What’s your website?

Melany Oliver: So it’s just my name. Melany with a y dash ( And it’s my, Instagram. It’s Melany Oliver. The same with my Facebook, my TikTok, LinkedIn, if you prefer that as well.

Oli Anderson: So, yeah, awesome. Well, I’ll share all that stuff in the show notes. Melany, thank you so much for this one.

Melany Oliver: Thank you. I’ve really enjoyed this.

Oli Anderson: Thank you.

Trusting the Seasons of Life & Balanced Intuition (Creative Status: Episode 81: Raman Hari)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this transformative episode of Creative Status, we embark on a journey through the seasons of trust with Raman Hari, an intuitive coach with a passion for guiding individuals to embrace their inner power and purpose.

Trust as a Cornerstone: Dive into the essence of trust and its critical role in our lives. We discuss how trust is the foundation for letting go of fear, living without constraints, and allowing intuition to guide us towards our true potential.

Seasons of the Self: Raman shares her wisdom on navigating life’s seasons – from the winters of introspection to the summers of action. We explore how aligning with these natural rhythms can lead to a deeper sense of peace and fulfillment.

The Dance of Yin and Yang: Engage with the delicate balance between the masculine and feminine energies within us. Learn how embracing both can lead to a harmonious existence, where intention meets flow and action coexists with surrender.

Integrating the Shadow: Uncover the transformative power of facing our shadows, as each season reveals aspects of ourselves that we’ve hidden away. This process of reintegration leads us back to a state of wholeness and intrinsic trust.

Creative Status: Where Trust Unfolds Realness

Join us in this heartfelt conversation that weaves together the threads of trust, balance, and self-acceptance, as we learn to honor the season we’re in and trust the process of returning to our authentic selves.

Stay real out there,

Oli Anderson



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Trusting The Seasons of Life & Balanced Intuition (Show Transcript)


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there. Oli Anderson here. You’re listening to Creative Status. It’s a podcast about using the creative process as a vehicle for growing more real. If you’re new to the podcast, welcome. If you return into the podcast, thank you so much. And, it’s nice to spend some time with you virtually again.

Here on Creative Status, we like to explore life itself, the human condition, some of the universal truths that we can accept and live with in order to move towards wholeness, a sense of connection to ourselves, connection to others, connection to life, allow our purpose to reveal itself and so we can flow instead of force things.

Today’s interview is with Raman Hari. Raman is an intuitive coach and for that reason we talk about all kinds of issues related to intuition. But we mainly focus on one of my favourite topics in the world, which is trust. If you don’t know, trust comes up a lot on this podcast because ultimately, when you break everything down to the building blocks of the human experience, trust is the thing that is the, biggest game changer. If we can trust, we can let go.

If we can trust, we can live without fear. If we can trust, we can allow our intuition to tell us where we need to go sometimes. If we can trust, we can basically just relax into being what we need to be. And so all of the other virtues like patience and things like that, ultimately stem down to our capacity to trust. So anyway, we talk a lot about trust, we talk about balance, we talk about yin and yang. It’s a great interview.

So Raman, thank you so much for your time. There is a slight glitch on the audio, so I apologise for that. That’s the recording platform I was using, so I’m not going to be using that anymore. but either way, this is an awesome interview, Raman, thank you for your time. Once again, everybody else, hope this helps you to, go deeper into trust, go deeper into realness, and to live the life you want to live. Here we go. Thanks a bunch. Boom.


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there, Raman. Thank you so much for joining me on today’s episode of creative status. We’re going to be talking about probably my favourite topic in the world or something that I seem to be obsessed with, at least throughout all of these podcast episodes recently, which is trust. Before we get into it, do you feel like introducing yourself, telling, people what you do, what you’re all about, and also what you want to get out of this conversation that we’re about to have?

Raman Hari: Ooh, I love it. Yes. Thank you. For having me on, Oli? Yeah. My name’s Raman. I work as an intuitive coach and really been leaning into trust a lot lately. I help people with, really into their intuition and into that spirit that is within them, so that they can really step into their power and their potential and their purpose.

So lots of really fun stuff. I am, super excited to have this conversation. I feel like there’s so much that we can talk about in terms of trust and kind of what stops us from feeling that peace in our life. So, yeah, really excited to be here with you.

Oli Anderson: That’s awesome. And I love how you just linked trust with peace. I think when I really reflect on this idea now of, like, just trusting life, that’s ultimately what it boils down to, like, peace. If we can learn to trust, and I think learn is the key word, because it’s kind of, it’s basically like a muscle that we can stretch, is what I found, then we can kind of flow a lot easier and we don’t have fear holding us back and all that kind of stuff, because I now believe that fear is the opposite of trust.

And, we can just feel a sense of kind of inner peace, if you want to call it up. So before we get too deep into it, I suppose let’s just start with, like, your experience, if that’s cool. Like, what is, what is it about trust that’s got you riding this kind of wave that I’m getting excited about as well? Like, recently, it sounds like you’ve kind of tuned into it as well or something.

Raman Hari: For sure. So I think a lot of people are looking for more peace nowadays. something happened with 2020 pandemic COVID, all that, where it feels like more people are feeling almost more distrusting of life and more irritable or anxious or it’s. Something happened there. And so I think people are looking for that trust more than now, more than ever.

But for me, it really started when I was born, but I was very young when I started to experience a lot of social anxiety. And I just had a lot of anxiety in general. And, for me, I find that the opposite of anxiety is peace. And that peace really comes from trusting and trusting in life. And, one of my favourite things that I ever heard that I carry with me all the time is, I don’t know if you saw that Steve Jobs commencement speech at one of those Ivy League colleges. but he talked about trust and how, you know, when we look forward in life, we can’t actually connect the dots of what’s going to happen and what’s going to lead you to that next thing or that next career or that next person or whatever it is.

But it’s only when we look back that we can connect those dots. And so what he talked about was how, we have to trust that one day we’re going to look back and the dogs will connect because they actually will and they already have. If you look back in your life, like, whoever is listening to this, maybe you’re 15 or you’re 20.

Either way, you’ve lived some time on this planet where you can look back and connect some dots on how things worked out in a way that you could not imagine. So, that’s something that I think about often is Steve Jobs, man, he really knew what he was talking about. I loved it.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, yeah, that’s so true. Like, one of the ways that I’ve kind of taught myself to trust in what’s coming, at least, is to look back in exactly the way you said and to realise that a lot of the, you know, the bad in scare quote things that I’ve been through sucked at the time. But now that, now that I’m further down the line, I’ve really kind of just learned to see that, like, they were a blessing.

 I, like, I didn’t realise that when I was going through it because like, obviously my ego was getting in the way and like, I was resisting life and where it was taking me and like, all the illusions I had to let go of and all that kind of stuff. But in retrospect, it’s exactly like you said. You always see that the dots lined up and everything is always just happening in the best possible way.

And I suppose you could say, you know, that’s just, some kind of cognitive bias. Like, we look back and we’ve put everything in a narrative and we try and just make everything make sense. But, like, it really seems to me that, like everything is happening in a way that is allowing us to just become more real. That’s what I call it, right?

Like, whatever we go through is making us more connected to wholeness. And if you just take that as a basic premise of life and being a human being, then everything that happens, good and, bad, is just all part of this overarching process of going deeper into life. Something like that. And if that is the case, which it seems to be to me anyway, then we can just trust at all times. Even if bad things do arise in the future, we know that eventually we’re either going to die so we won’t have any problems or, like, something will emerge out of that, probably. So am, I being too idealistic or is that how you’ve kind of experienced it as well?

Raman Hari: Here’s the thing. You can look back and yes, you can tear apart your life and only focus on the negative. And we all know that all that does is it releases cortisol in our body. It causes havoc and disease and illness. And so I think there’s something really powerful about that.

Just realising when we do look at the positive of what’s come out of our life without negating, like, the hard times and not, you know, obviously feeling our emotions and whatever is happening. but when we really focus on that positive, it genuinely changes our physical body, changes what’s going on chemically and, you know, in our biology. That’s incredible. Right. So I think there’s something really powerful to be said about that. It’s like our bodies almost nudging us in a way. We can smile that the more we can actually look back at the positive, the healthier we can be. So really thing that I about often.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, that’s really interesting. So maybe I’m opening a can of worms over one of the ways that I’ve. I think I’ve got better at trusting. And basically for me now, trusting is just letting go of that need to control things that you can’t control and trying to force life according to some plan that you’ve come up with in order to kind of, I suppose avoid that fear. It’s almost like a self-perpetuating kind of thing.

But anyway, one of the ways I think that I’ve been able to kind of do that is by really like, helping my nervous system to become regulated by doing things like yoga and meditation and all that kind of thing. And normally when we’re talking about those things, we think, okay, it’s like a, it’s a nice mental workout. We can, you know, just learn to relax and all that kind of stuff. But I think it’s exactly like you just said as well.

Like, it helps our biological systems to be better equipped to be able to deal with life and the uncertainty of moving forward in the way that Steve Jobs was talking about, where we don’t know, what’s coming and what dots are going to connect or even if they are going to connect. And so ultimately, if our nervous system is healthy, you’re as healthy as possible. We have a stronger foundation for being able to trust with our mental attitudes and all that kind of stuff. So I don’t know if there’s anything there that’s, you know, relevant to the thing that your work, that you do.

Raman Hari: So relevant. I love doing my yoga stretches every morning. That puts me in a good set for the day. but something I think about often is the fact that we’ve been giving this. We’ve been given this free tool. It’s free 99 and it’s called our breath. We have our breath all the time. and obviously there is something there.

There is something powerful there that we’ve been given. And so it’s not that we don’t have sources, it’s just we’re being resourceful enough and realising that we have everything right here. And so, yeah, I mean, I love yoga. I love really breathing and getting still going out into nature. Those are some of my favourite things. And one thing that I always like to come back to is play.

Like actually having fun in life, I think we get so damn serious about everything. Like you said, we’re all going to die and we are on a rock floating throughout our space. And so it is important to see that, you know, we don’t have to be so serious. And, you know, in the beginning of my coaching work, I did a lot of inner child healing with my clients. And what I found was, yes, let’s acknowledge the inner child.

Let’s acknowledge the stuff that we’ve suppressed. Let’s acknowledge the fact that when we were young, someone told us that he wasn’t worth anything. And so now we’ve suppressed this creative part of ourselves and whatever, let’s acknowledge all that stuff. But at the same time, the inner child, what that inner child wants more than anything is to play and to be free and to have fun. And so going into that is also so healthy for our nervous system. And I think that’s something we don’t talk about enough.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. Yeah. Do you think the play thing is linked to trust as well? Because ultimately, I think when we’re trusting, we’re kind of living in a. We’re living in a way where we’ve been spontaneous, so we’re not holding back because of all that social conditioning or because of self-doubt and all the emotional baggage that we’ve picked up over the years.

We’re just acting in a spontaneous way, but we’re also kind of controlling that spontaneity because we have a kind of vision for where we’re trying to get. And if we can play within that kind of space, then in a way, we’re going to be more trusting as well, because I suppose the opposite of play is that seriousness, which really is just fear, ultimately. And if fear is the opposite of trust, then play, maybe, is a way to start cultivating this kind of trust muscle that we keep talking about.

Raman Hari: Yes, absolutely. I think it’s all so linked and interconnected. And, again, when we focus on only the difficult things, we forget that life, for the most part, is not made up of difficult things. Like, right now, we’re sitting here. Anyone who’s listening, we’re safe, right? Like, you. You are so safe. And, and life is happening, and. And the stuff that’s hard, like that comes, too, but that’s, like, 0.01% of life. Like, the actual really hard moments or those moments where you might actually feel unsafe.

And so really tuning into that is really big. But you’re right. Like, you really hit the nail on the head with the play and the trust being so interconnected. I’ve actually, I haven’t thought of it that way. but I think, you know, there is something to be said as well for planning, and I love planning. I love envisioning my future and setting goals, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. And it’s not that we completely let that go, but because it provides some structure. And honestly, if I didn’t have an idea of what I’m doing tomorrow, like, that doesn’t seem fun to me. I do like to have some fun things in store.

But it’s trusting, I think, is also allowing yourself to make those plans and trusting that if those plans don’t work out, it’s all right. And the right time to trust is always right. Like, what’s gonna be is going to be, and we don’t have to force anything. But, yeah, make the dang plans. I have plans this weekend. I have some fun plans coming up. but if those get derailed, it’s not gonna end my life. Do you know what I mean?

Oli Anderson: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 100%. I think this is a really important thing that you brought up. Like, ultimately, it’s about. About finding balance. And so the way that I like to think of it, when I’m thinking about the trust thing, there’s two different kinds of trust. There’s trusting ourselves, and then there’s trusting life, and we need both. Trusting ourselves just means that we do what we can do.

Like, we have to take action. And I think, you know, I’m happy that you brought that up, because sometimes when we talk about trusting the universe or trusting God, and all this stuff, we act like we don’t have to act like we don’t have to do anything. But actually, it’s still incumbent upon us to make plans and to decide what we want and to figure out where we go in to have a vision and all that kind of stuff. But then the next level, besides just trusting ourselves to be able to handle what ah happens and to do what we’re responsible for doing is to trust life when it gets to that point where we’ve done our best and it’s time to forget the rest, basically.

And I think that’s the, that’s the sweet spot. Knowing when we have to let go of our abilities, let’s say, to be able to control things or to force things and to know when to stop. It’s kind of like, do you know the Taoist concept of what it basically is? The Taoist concept of Wu Wei? Effortless action.

So you like doing things, but with, you’re doing things without doing things sometimes. Because sometimes the best action is to do nothing and to wait for a new opportunity to arise or to wait for something to change or whatever it is. And I think if we can learn to trust ourselves, to be able to let go, then we can put ourselves in that space, and that’s when we can actually do both. We can make plans, but we’re not so attached to the plans that they take us out of the flow or they take us out of reality itself.

Raman Hari: Oh, my gosh. Yes, yes, yes, yes. That balance is just beautiful. And I think you’re really touching on this balance of masculine and feminine as well, because the masculine is the envisioning, the goal setting, and the fun. And I think it’s so interesting how we do this as a society, but I think for so long, everything was very masculine, and now I think we’re all, we’ve swung the pendulum all the way to the other side where we’re like, oh, no, no, no.

Now we’re gonna go all feminine. And, and I think we do this a lot in society, in general. Like, you’ll constantly seeing, you’re constantly seeing the pendulum swaying from one side to the other. But it’s like, like you said, there is this middle way of that balance. And, the masculine is more of the envisioning, and the feminine is more of the flow and also just being, And those are energy states, and those are. And those are ways of showing up. It’s not necessarily, male female kind of a thing, but it’s the state of, how we show up. And I love that.

Cause that balance is so key. I find that if I’m too in the feminine and I’m like, flow, flow, flow. And I don’t make any plans, then I’m kind of like, what is my future? What am I doing here? And if I’m too in the masculine, then usually I’m a little too rigid.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, this is. I think we need both, though. Like, whether we’re in, whether we’re male or female, we need to find the perfect balance for us of yin and yang or masculine and feminine. So, if we’re only in, in yang energy, only in masculine energy, that’s when we just forced life all the time. So we’re constantly on the grind, we’re constantly pushing. Basically, we’re asserting ourselves on life constantly.

And if we constantly assert ourselves on life and force ourselves on life, then we’re going to stress ourselves out. Basically. We’re going to cause friction, frustration, and then misery and depression, because we can’t force life completely. That’s neurotic. It’s the illusion that we’re omnipotent and that we do have total control over life. But on the other side of the coin, if we too feminine, if we’re just yin all the time and we’re just like, well, I’m just going to let go completely.

And I’m not going to decide anything for myself and use all my human volition and capacity to make decisions and choices and take responsibility for my life and blah, blah, blah. Then we become so open minded that our brains fall out. And in both of those cases, whether we go to the extremities of, yin or the extremities of yang, we end up distancing ourselves from life itself because we had been so reactionary that we can’t respond. And so I’m really starting to think of this now. There’s kind of a zero point.

And I think the way into it for men and women may be slightly different. Like, obviously, I’m a guy, so I can only talk from my experience. But for me, I’m generally quite a young person. So I’m very disciplined. And I’ve got loads of, habits that I try to do every day. And I normally know what I’m doing when, and I can. If I say I’m gonna do something, I’ll do it basically.

And then I’ll push through until I get the results that I want. That’s very young. But obviously, if I push through too much, then I’m gonna end up falling into that trap. I just talked about where I’m forcing life. And so for me, I’ve found that I can really stay in a consistent flow state by kind of pushing and having some tension, but then releasing. It’s like tension release, tension release, tension release, if that makes sense.

And if you can live like that, then you can flow more. So I feel like I’m in the flow state quite a lot by pushing, but then letting go, if that makes sense. And I don’t know if it’s different for somebody who’s more feminine, predominantly more yin. Like, if they have to be like really open and flowy, but then sometimes they have to add a bit of yang energy to kind of get into that zero point. And I think the end result is the same. We’re all moving in the same direction, which is just wholeness and that balance. But I think the paths into him might be a little bit different. So that’s just me throwing out some completely random theory. I don’t know what you think about.

Raman Hari: It, but I love it. That made sense. I mean, I feel like it’s. It. I feel like everyone’s a little bit different, and I think that zero point that you talk about is going to be a little bit different for everyone. And, Yeah, I mean, I grew up very masculine. I’ve been working since I was twelve. Don’t ask where I was working when I was twelve. I was just like busting tables at a restaurant in the summer.

But, yeah, no, it’s just I feel like I grew up very masculine and I still, to this day, have to remind myself that, all right, okay, yeah, I can be more soft and I can be more playful and have more fun, and that is such a valuable energy to have. And I think, it just depends on who you are and maybe you grew up more feminine and you want to feel into more of like, wow, how would it feel like to actually be a little more assertive here or, you know, speak up for myself or, any of that? So I think it really depends.

And some people might feel called to be super in their feminine in this lifetime, but, for me, I just, I love a little middle ground of bone. I’m like, I like the spiciness of the masculine, and I like the softness of the feminine. Like, I like a little sweet and salty, you know what I mean? Post. So, yeah.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Raman Hari: Depends on the person.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, I suppose it depends what we want as well. So, like, it’s hard to explain I suppose, but, like, if we, if we’ve decided that we have, like, a vision, for where we’re going in life, like, say we want to create a new business or we want to, I don’t know, write a book or do something that is going to involve consistent effort over time and kind of navigating cause and effect to be able to reach the point where we’ve achieved whatever it is that we’re trying to achieve, then we’re gonna have to bring in some kind of yang energy, some kind of masculine energy.

Because ultimately, you know, and, I mean, m for people who, you know, think I’m being misogynistic or whatever, I know all I mean by, you know, yang energy, masculine energy is like this yin Yang definition of just forcing life to some extent to get where you’re going. But then if we, if we only force in that way, then we’re basically gonna go mad, like I was saying. And so it is about finding that balance.

But ultimately, what I’m saying is, like, if we. If we want to achieve something, then we’re gonna have to bring in the yang energy. But I think the Wu wei thing, the effortless action is bringing in that, I guess, balance, our feminine balance, so we don’t become so attached to what we want that we lose sight of ourselves and we lose sight of life. Something like that.

And so I suppose what I’m trying…And what I’m trying to figure out, I guess, is like, how. How do we stay in that state without losing a perspective, I guess, like a real perspective of what it means to, like, be authentic. Because, you know, all this talk of masculine feminine, like, we can put them on as like, masks or whatever, but how do we find that. That true? Balance, I guess, is what I’m trying to figure out. And I don’t have any answers. And I might just be, you know, making things up.

Raman Hari: Totally. I mean, I. First of all, I love that you mentioned attachment and, this feeling of, like, taking action and not being so attached. I think that’s such a key thing to feel into. now, balance is a funny thing because sometimes I’m like, yes, okay, I understand balance. But then other times, I feel like balance doesn’t really fully exist.

Like, you can’t always be full balance all the time. So for me, I feel like we go through different seasons and, maybe you’re in a season where you are more in the, you know, I don’t really know what’s next for my life. And I don’t have that vision right now. And so I am more in that like receptive mode. I’m just feeling into what feels good, what I’m curious about, maybe more in that energy. And so I think it depends on the season. And for me, like this past winter, like I’d say like December, I was in a very feminine, like I was healing some, like physical stuff.

And so for me it was all about, okay, like right now this is a season I’m in and I’m accepting that and I’m going to celebrate that. This is where I am. And you know, maybe I’m grieving a little bit of that, like, oh, shit. Like I kind of want to get shit done, you know, energy. and so, but really celebrating what season you’re in. And so I think some seasons, some seasons I’m very masculine and that’s just what that season is requiring from me. And so I think really tuning into that, not always going to be 100% just like how in relationships if you feel like one day you, you’re bringing 100%, of your energy and you’re like, yeah, like, ah, I can do everything. And then the next day you might feel like, oh, babe, like, I’m gonna need you today because I’m me. So I think it depends.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, yeah, that’s a very important point. And it’s so true. Like it comes in, it comes in cycles and waves. I guess it’s like tension and then release. So, like if we get into this, say we have a season where we’ve been very young and we’re just kind of going at it basically we’re just grinding and, you know, pushing towards our vision or whatever. Eventually we’re going to burn out because you can’t stay in that state forever.

You’ll literally just kind of run out of energy and then stress yourself out and die. And so, you get to a point, I guess, where you’re like, right, I need to go to the other side of the spectrum and get some of this, yin energy and kind of just relax, wind down. And then during that period of been in the yin, then you’re probably going to get some inspiration about what your next moves need to be and your intuition is going to be doing whatever it needs to do beneath the surface.

And then when the time is right, you’re going to go out there and be more young again until maybe that’s another way of looking at this zero point. Because the way I was looking at the start of the conversation is if you design your life in the right way, you can kind of maximise the amount of time that you spend in the flow state of the zero point, as we’re calling it. But actually, another approach is probably healthier as well, is the one you just said where, okay, basically you trust your body and your mind and your emotions to tell you what you need, and then you kind of let go of the ideas that may be taking you away from that, if that makes sense.

So, for example, if you’re in a very young place and you’re just forcing things and blah, blah, blah, you might get to that point where you do need a break, but you’re so attached to the idea of, like, moving towards that vision that you don’t take a break and then you burn out. And so maybe there’s something there on the trust thing, which is just super simple, just learning to trust ourselves, to be able to tell what kind of energy we need to go into, if that makes sense.

Raman Hari: Absolutely. I think that’s. I love that we’ve brought it full circle back to the trust. and, you know, the truth is, the reason I talk about intuition so much and trust and more of, like, these are more feminine concepts, right. Intuition and trust. The reason I talk about that stuff so much is because of the season that I’m in and how, you know, a lot of my life, I feel in, like I said. And so for me, these topics are things I hold close so I can remember over and over again. Right.

But for someone else, maybe they grew up very feminine and they never take action. And so, you know, they might be learning more about that masculine and, like, oh, right, I am allowed to take action and I. And it is going to be hard. And like you said, and there’s, you know, I, I heard something recently where someone said, you know, when you have intention, the word tensions in it, and so you can have intention, but to move forward, there’s tension. And so I really, I’ve been feeling into that as well lately.

Just this feeling of, it’s so fun to dream, you know, and be in that really receptive, excited, curious state. and then taking the action does. It takes a bit. It’s uncomfortable. So, yeah, I don’t know if I answered the question at all, but I kind of went off there. I do that sometimes. but, yeah, I think, like you said.

Yeah, we’re going up and down and I just, I always go back to the seasons and how, you know, I’m sure in the springtime, I don’t know all of the, you know, the physics, the, like, the nature of it, but if you look out into nature, this, you know, cherry blossoms are blooming in the spring.

There’s so much happening, so much happening. Things are coming back to life and I’m sure it’s taking a certain amount of energy for all that to happen. Now in the fall, everything’s just releasing and it’s letting go. And so nature is constantly showing us these cycles of, intention, planting seeds, right. They grow in however long. Right. It’s just so beautiful. It’s already out there in nature. Nature as well. trusting in our own nature, I think, is huge, like you said.

Oli Anderson: Do you think, like, sometimes we might be in a certain season, but we don’t realise it because of the attachment stuff that we were talking about. And maybe, you know, maybe about to go through a winter or whatever, but we’re still identifying as somebody who’s in summer or whatever it is, and that ultimately ends up causing a kind of friction for us. And I guess what I’m saying is, like, sometimes, because we fear to face reality and the season that we’re actually in, in life, because we’re scared to let go of, as the seasons change or whatever it is, we end up putting ourselves in the wrong energetic state, if that makes sense.

And I suppose the question for you is, like, how do we. How do we know when a season’s over? And, how do we know if we’re just attached to the idea of a season versus actually moving with the seasons as they change? Do you know what I mean?

Raman Hari: Yeah, that, that. I get that. I think if you feel like you’re actually flowing with the seasons, you’ll feel that in human body, that’s a peaceful, peaceful state to be in. Now, if you feel like there is tension and there is this frustration and you feel burnt out and you feel like maybe you’re distracting yourself all the time and now you’re like, on Netflix for 16 hours and you didn’t realise and it keeps telling you, like, are you sure you want to continue watching? And you keep watching and you’re like, I don’t like. You know what I mean?

It’s, you know when you’re not, like, feeling fulfilled at, peace. And sometimes we don’t know until, like, we know, like maybe someone’s listening to this podcast and they’re realising, oh, shoot, like, I’ve really been forcing something that doesn’t, that doesn’t feel right. And so I think having these sort of resources is so helpful, even for myself, because sometimes I’ll find myself forcing something and then I hear something and I see something or I intuitively feel something and that’s when we shift.

So, I’m grateful for podcasts like these because this is what keeps us reminded of that. And I also. I feel like a lot of the time we do this thing where we compare our winter to someone else who’s having a summer. And that is just going to create so much, just so much. What’s the word?

It’s like it’s not peaceful at all. It’s going to create so much tension and havoc within because it’s like someone is in Australia right now and they are experiencing a different season. And I’m like trying so hard to change happening. And so it’s. We do that a lot where we compare and, you know, I think sometimes we just gotta get off our dang phones, set our butt down and. And look at the season that we’re. Action. Yeah. just get real with ourselves.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. Wow. Well, I think ultimately we’re all on the same path, which is like a path that is naturally unfolding and it’s just taken us all towards wholeness. That’s how I see it. Right. So the abridged version of that, which I’ve said 6000 billion times on this podcast, is like in childhood, something happens. It basically causes to become, split or divided within ourselves because of shame, guilt and trauma.

Then we create the ego version of ourselves. And so we put that into the world and we’re just living this fragmented life as an idea rather than as an experience a lot of the time. And then the journey for most of us, for the rest of our lives, is to undo that conditioning and to return to realness so that we can start flowing with wholeness and all the kind of things that we’re talking about. The way that that works is that it’s going to take us through these natural cycles of just removing layers of fragmentation. So we become a bit more real and then a bit more real and then a bit more real again.

And ultimately that means going through these seasons like you’re talking about. But the only way we can go through the seasons is to actually accept the season that we’re in. And I think one trap that we can fall into in relation with all this stuff that we’re talking about is that some seasons seem more attractive than others. Like we think, okay, if I could just stay in the summer of my life and you know, I’m just gonna be flowing and in this yin energy and having a free flowing wonderful time all the time.

Then I can just kind of surrender to life and I don’t have to make any decisions for myself or whatever it is. And then it becomes a, it becomes a trap literally. Because the more we try and cling to the identity that’s keeping us in that season, the more we block that flow and the cycles. And so exactly like you said, like I might be in summer, you might be in winter, like somebody else is in autumn or spring. It’s a very personal thing. And so that’s why we have to, it comes back to trust again because we have to trust that the season we’re in and we’re going through is the best season for us.

And we also have to know when to let go of it because it’s always going to change. And like maybe, you know, as with life itself you’re going to get more than one summer. But I suppose as you get older and wiser you, you can appreciate it more or something. But the point I’m making is it’s really about acceptance ultimately. Like you said, you have to accept the season you’re in and then trust it to teach you what it’s going to teach you so you can go into the next one. And so it really does all come full circle with the trust thing, I think.

Raman Hari: Oh, exactly, exactly. You nailed it. And you know, with the really accepting the season you’re in also just recognising that every single season is nourishing you. Every single season. Like sometimes we think all winter, you know, it’s so dead and dry and whatever, but I mean, I live on an island and it rains all winter and let, me tell you, it could get real gloomy and a little depressing at times. But we’re like, we’re also so aware that that’s nourishing the island and like all the green that we have to look forward to is because of that winter, because of that gloom.

And so, and I think we have such fundamental beliefs about what is, good and bad and so we automatically think if I don’t feel good that’s like a bad thing. Or if I feel, you know. Yeah, like, like I said, if I feel bad then that’s a bad thing. But, the truth is that our emotions are just happening and if we can really allow them to just flow through us and know that they’re all nourishing us in some way, I think it would really help. It’s. It’s not like, you know, I’m sad today and therefore I am not valuable or something.

I think we have these ideas just because of, you know, if you want to be in the workforce and, like, be a productive citizen, like, if someone asks you how you are, you say you’re good, right? So we have these ideas of, oh, oh, shoot. Like, I’m not allowed to be a little sad right now, or I’m not allowed to feel a bit lost, or I’m not allowed. And so just giving yourself that permission to feel anything in all of it and embrace that because it’s nourishing us, that’s a part of the human experience.

Oli Anderson: This is a bit of a curveball. but do you think different seasons end up revealing the shadows of part of the process of going through these seasons and letting things fall away and learning to let go or to release certain emotional things or to integrate things we’ve been hiding?

Ultimately, as we go through the cycles of the seasons and learn whether or not to be in yin or yang, depending on who we are and the context of our lives at the time, all we’re really doing is just learning to be more real, which means that we’re removing the barriers, basically, to accepting life. And if in the way that we said and if we go through those cycles, then ultimately our identity is going to be way less rigid and it’s going to be pointing us in the direction of, like, the truth more than anything, I suppose.

And by going through those cycles, sorry to be repetitive, we’re basically bringing the shadow self to the surface because the identity was holding us back from facing. That is. Seems to be unreal. I know I’m being very kind of random, but does that make any sense?

Raman Hari: That does make sense. And I think, a really important part of our evolution is going through that and going through the uprising or the uncovering of those shadows. And so, yeah, you might be going through a season where you feel like, man, I feel blocked. What is this? Let me sit with this. And then, you know, you might, you know, have this, you know, these breakthroughs and revelations about how, oh, shoot, like, I’m not living. I’m not living.

You know, I’m not, going forward in the way that I always saw myself going or whatever it is. And I. God, I just. I keep thinking of this quote, which I wish I could quote, but I’m gonna butcher it. And it’s something like, I forgot who even said it, but they said something like, I’m starting to feel like the second half of life is letting go of all the things I feverishly collected in the first half.

And that letting go process is not easy. And, God, I mean, you were talking fragmentation. He was talking splitting of our internal self. And I, think that that is kind of what’s happening for a lot of our, you know, the first part of our life. And I think a part of the growth is, like you said, coming back to those parts of us. Re looking at those parts relearning and. Yeah, like getting real, like getting to, who we are. So I think that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. And I’m glad you brought that up because it’s not all sunshine and roses all the time. All those parts do come up. Yeah, yeah.

Oli Anderson: But then the other thing there is like, it does take us totally full circle in a way, and it brings together a lot of the themes that we’ve kind of jumped over in this conversation. So when we integrate the shadow and we step away from the false identity and the split fragmentation that we’ve been identifying with up until that point, not only do we reintegrate all the parts of ourselves that we disowned because of the conditioning and the emotional stuff that we went through, we reconnect to the playfulness and all of the qualities, the spontaneity, etcetera, and the trust that were our birthright.

Anyway, I think, like, I think we’re all born actually very trusting. Like, part of, you know, developmental psychology is that we, we have to be able to trust our parents to meet our needs and things like that. And one of the reasons people get so screwed up is because that doesn’t always happen. And then they, you know, they don’t trust life and they become fragmented and etcetera, but that trust is always there. It never goes anywhere.

And so as we go through these cycles and through these seasons, the lesson ultimately, if. If we’re successful, and I don’t mean, you know, successful in schedules, but if we can go through those cycles and return to wholeness, then we return to trust as well. That’s really how I experienced it, I guess. And it’s not like we have to, Like trust is a muscle in the sense that we have to train ourselves to go against our conditioning. But really all we’re doing is just returning to where we were supposed to be all along.

And I think that’s ultimately what we’re kind of talking about, like trusting the process of getting back to trust something like that. And so we’ve throw. I’ve thrown a lot of random things at you in this conversation, and I do normally ramble on this podcast, but I’ve rambled more than usual. But, like, how would you sum all this up?

Because we kind of have gone full circle and there is, like, a theme that’s kind of emerging here. And, luckily for me, I’m going to put the onus on you to kind of summarise, that, if that’s even possible. So, if. How would you sum all this up, basically? Like, what is the main lesson of this conversation we just had? And, can you let people know where they can find you as well, like your website and stuff?

Raman Hari: Absolutely. Yeah. So everything that you just said, it reminded me of a quote that I once saw. And the quote goes something like this. The healed inner child is the God within. And when we can come back to who m that child is, who is trusting, then we can feel into that essence that has always been there. And like you said, we’re just unlayering. We’re looking at what it is that got split, in our personality, growing up. So the healed child is the God within us.

And so, to sum up this conversation, I mean, that quote, really, that quote. but also, trust. It’s always a good time for trust. and, God, what else do I wanna say? How do I end this? Wow. It’s been a fantastic conversation. I, think one thing I would like to leave with everyone is that all of this healing that we’re talking about, all of the stuff we talked about, it always comes back to love. And so, you know, whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re going in life, really, like, have compassion for yourself. You’re a human on this earth. Have compassion. Come back to love.

In terms of where people can find me: That’s my website. You can see my offerings. Everything that I do is on there. And if you want to find me on Instagram, come say hi. It’s @ramanhari3. And those places can, get you to wherever you want to go, otherwise. But, yeah, those are the two main places. So thank you so much for having me on. This has been, seriously, so much fun.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. Thank you so much, honestly. And I’ll share all your links and everything in the. In the show notes. And, yeah, just. Thanks. Like, I really appreciate energy. It’s been awesome.

Navigating the Ocean of Self (Creative Status: Episode 80: Barry Winbolt)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this compelling episode of Creative Status, we plunge into the depths of mental health and the power of self-awareness with the insightful Barry Winbolt, a seasoned therapist and writer.

As we navigate the turbulent waters of life, Barry shares his profound understanding of depression, the traps of our own minds, and the transformative potential of facing our challenges head-on.

The Illusion of Stasis: Barry dissects the deceptive nature of depression, illuminating how it convinces us of our own immobility and the necessity of challenging its narrative to rediscover life’s shore.

The Art of Letting Go: We discuss the liberating act of releasing our ego and the false identities that shackle us, enabling a return to the flow of existence and the pursuit of a life aligned with our truest selves.

From Learned Passivity to Proactive Living: Uncover the steps to break free from the paralysis of inaction and how, by embracing humility and the transient nature of life, we can reclaim our innate power to change.

Creative Status: Where Realness Guides the Way

Join us on a voyage towards REALNESS, as we learn to shed the weight of our misconceptions and sail back to the shores of authenticity and purposeful living.

Stay real out there,

Oli Anderson



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Navigating the Ocean of Self (Show Transcript)


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there, Oli Anderson here. You’re listening to Creative Status. This is a podcast about using the creative process as a vehicle for growing more real. More real just means that you’re moving to a place of deeper acceptance: Acceptance of yourself, acceptance of other people and the world, acceptance of life and the way that it works.

If you can do that, then you can put yourself in a place where your unconscious mind and your conscious mind are pointing in the same direction instead of pulling you in different directions and, making your life miserable.

Ultimately, that’s how I now see the creative process. It’s about making the unconscious conscious because it brings up things that we’ve been hiding. It helps us to face life, helps us to see how we can move in a way that is life enhancing instead of life denying.

Anyway, today’s interview is with Barry Winbolt. Barry is a therapist and a writer. he’s been doing this kind of work for a very, very long time. And he has some amazing insights about just mental health in general, how we can look after ourselves, how we can avoid depression and those kind of unsavoury emotions we break down why people may get depressed in the first place, what we can do about it.

And ultimately, this is really just a conversation about how sometimes life asks us to face difficult things and that we may be tempted to run away from them because of our programming and, our habitual ways of identifying. But if we can face them, we can really dissolve a lot of our own inattention and get back into the flow of life.

So, Barry, this was a good one. Thank you so much for your time and energy and all your insight that you’ve, garnered over the years. Everybody else, thank you for listening. Hope this helps. Here we go.Boom.


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there, Barry. Thank you for joining me on today’s episode of Creative Status. This is gonna be. Sorry, sorry.

Barry Winbolt: Cut you off in full flow there.

Oli Anderson: It’s okay. I like to just dive right into the start and just ramble over my guests.

Barry Winbolt: Yeah. you did that very, very proficiently.

Oli Anderson: Well, thanks. I’ve had a lot of practise now.

Barry Winbolt: Yeah. Well, look, this, Oli, it’s a real privilege and a joy to be here. Absolutely. Genuinely, because to be on the delivery end and not having to do all the stuff you’re doing to get this into a podcast, it’s. I do what I prefer to do what I like doing most, which is speaking. So thank you for the opportunity.

Oli Anderson: Well, thank you for being here. What I was about to say in my little ramble was that this could, be one of those conversations that goes in absolutely any direction. I’m not quite sure where we’re going to end up. before we start kind of conversing and exploring things, do you feel like introducing yourself, telling people what you’re all about, what you do, what you care about, and also what you personally want to get out of this conversation that we’re about to have?

Barry Winbolt: Can I start with what I personally would like to get out of the conversation? It is the engagement with you. It is the meeting of minds which, not to say grand or special minds, but I am a firm believer in the fact that when people converse, when people speak, something else happens. It’s kind of like we create a meta-mind to include both of our minds and new ideas emerge. I’m looking for, I’m not actually looking, but I’m open to any sort of inspiration, new ideas, freshening up of my ideas, and adding to them that we might produce together.

That’s kind of a rather nebulous way of saying it, but I’m looking forward to it because I think good things happen when you talk, basically. And the next thing I, I’d say is that about me? Well, the short answer is I’m a psychologist, therapist, coach, conflict resolver. That’s kind, but what actually, Sorry, you’ll have to cut that bit out. I needed to clear my throat.

What it actually is, I do. Let’s start with the podcast because I’ve been, for 30 odd years I’ve been a trainer, psychologist, coach, all of those things. I’ve shied away from too many labels, but obviously I’ve needed the label of therapists. That’s been a lot of my work. And consultant has been in organisations and training, done a lot of training of people, both professionals, counsellors and social workers and people like that and also corporate people like employees, managers and so forth. That’s how I’ve earned my living for 30 odd years.

About ten years ago I thought this travelling is no fun anymore, bit less than ten years. And I decided to how can I make a living by thinking, I thought. So I googled that and there was no satisfactory answer so I had to come up with it myself. but it’s kind of morphed into that. I sit and think and then I talk and I do some radio, I do a podcast and I still see clients. And my philosophy now is if somebody stumbles across my path and I can be of use reasonably speaking, I have to protect myself as well, not just take on anything, but when therapeutically speaking somebody is there who can benefit, I think, and we start a conversation and that’s the way I work and some of those pay me and some don’t, you know, I’m working with somebody from Ukraine at the moment.

I’ve worked with people all over the world in that capacity and that people find me by various means because I’ve been around a good few years. and I suppose really my mission is, as I said summed up in the podcast, which is life doesn’t have to be like that, or get a better handle on life. Choose which title you like. The podcast title is Get A Better Handle On Life.

What really drives me is when I see how we, including me, and I’ve got an example of that, how we all screw up, but for the want of a bit of awareness or a bit of knowledge. And where I think this really shows up is in the idea that you have to be qualified to help your neighbour if it involves anything from the neck up, you know, so when people, I have met so many people, and a man in the gym sort of got me going down this path about twelve years ago, he said, no, I’ve been asked to work for victim support as a volunteer and I’d really like to do it, but I think I’m not qualified. And my hackles went up when I heard not qualified.

And I said, well, since when were you not qualified to be a human being? You know, and you’ll get training for all the rest, don’t worry about that. But compassion, support, guidance, mentorship, role model, whatever role you take in that capacity of working for victim support, you will be a role model and you will be a human being. So that kind of got me started. Now that’s a very long answer to a short question, but I hope I’ve given enough of a drift on that.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, I thought that was a great answer. You’ve opened up so many different avenues for exploration in this conversation. There’s a couple of things I love that you’ve said is this idea of not having to be qualified to be a human being. One thing I’m always saying is that real always works. Like ultimately human beings are just looking for that human connection and we can give that to others by just being real.

Ultimately, that’s all anyone is looking for, like a real connection, real experience. And there’s a kind of issue, I guess, in our culture where people buy into credentialism they think they need a certificate or a diploma or, you know, whatever it is, like a scholarship or something like that, so that they can feel qualified in the way you said, to just be human and to help people when the opportunities arise.

So 100%, there’s something there. But I think also this little phrase that you’ve thrown out there, which is kind of connected about life doesn’t always have to be like that. Life doesn’t have to be like that. Ultimately, that’s the theme of this podcast, life doesn’t have to be like that. And I think we need to clarify what we mean by that. But ultimately, I think a lot of people, they buy into all these unreal ideas because they lack awareness, ultimately, because they’re just running through life on autopilot and just following the promptings of all this cultural stuff that tells them they need to be qualified or they need to be something else other than what they are. And it causes all kinds of problems.

So maybe we can bring all this together. Like now I’m running a little bit, but what do you mean? Let’s start with that. When you say life doesn’t have to be like that, what are you talking about specifically?

Barry Winbolt: Right. With my clients, I’ll start with 30 odd years ago, I became a therapist, among other things. Excuse me. And I’ve always had kind of two parallel or two strings to my bow at any given time that don’t seem capable of just doing one thing. So I was training, in therapy, first of all, various forms, for about ten years, actually. I was very lucky for various reasons. I got exposed to all sorts of stuff, because the other string to my boat at that time was publishing and with a colleague, I’d started a psychology kind of professional journal called the therapist at the time.

And, so we got lots of offers to go places and do stuff. I was exposed to many things, and that’s very valuable when you’re training in these sort of human skills. I always say to trainees, look over the fence. People tend to buy into a model of therapy, and there are over 400 and counting, so people tend to buy into their preferred model. Initially, they become a bit evangelistic, and they want to save everybody, and they think, and I did this, of course, and then we gradually calm down and get a bit more realistic, bit more balanced. And I always say to people, look over the fence.

Don’t just buy into one model. That’s the first thing. so that was how I came to this. But I very quickly started to see people that who, but for want of a bit of knowledge, were suffering? so let’s take depression because that’s a really big problem. And I’ve specialised in depression, all my working, all my therapeutic working life, mainly because I was very fortunate to be trained to, attend a number of trainees, but principally by a guy called Doctor Michael Yapko in the states.

And he just gave me a picture that I could understand. And I’ve had depression in my life earlier when I was a teenager and after that for probably good reason. But anyway, I think I was probably depressed. but I, and I’ve had several life events when I’ve had great opportunities to be depressed, but I’ve chosen not to be because I’ve got kind of the tools now.

And so I think I can speak in a qualified way, having worked with it for 30 years. And most of what let’s just talk about the lowlands of depression, the early days, you know, the mood change, the low mood that people can’t shake off, lack, of motivation and the various other indicators, if I can call it that, one might say maybe I’m depressed, maybe I’m not. This sort of thing now at that point, social contact activity, we know what works and what works is not therapy and it’s not doctors necessarily. It is social and it’s making sure your life is balanced.

And all the stuff you talk about, Oli, you know, social, connection, being with the right people, clearing up your life. I brought this down to. It was a joke at the time when I was doing my seminars, but more and more, and I did this 20 years ago, I came up with this and more and more. I think it’s an element of truth in it, in a rather clumsy way.

And I’d say to people at the beginning of the seminar, look, I’m going to tell you how to be happy. I guarantee that I can give you the recipe. Whether you choose to use it or not is another matter. But after 30 years of experience, blah, blah, blah, I give him the big build up. 20 years, what it was at that time. And it was a joke, but it was a bit of a cliffhanger to keep people paying attention. And then right at the end of the day I would say, oh yes, by the way, and I forgot a couple of times and somebody would actually come to me and say, you forgot to tell us.

So I said, “Oh, yeah, it comes down to two simple questions or two simple steps, really, in theory”. Simple, yeah. Find out what’s bugging you and do something about it. And that, you know, jocular joking though it is. I mean, actually, you know, there’s a grain of truth in it, isn’t there? So. And I was seeing people in my clinical practise who were, bothered by something but not able to do anything about it.

Yeah, very often because they didn’t realise they could. And so their life was like that, you know, in the doldrums or one, woman I spoke to had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. you know, they crossed the board. Another person with, alcohol dependency problems, more. Less serious. Perhaps somebody wanted to stop smoking. People with relationship problems and they didn’t realise that the starting point for most of these things might only be a decision, go and get help. It might be something technical like get the right sort of help. It might be read a good, self-help book or something.

But they had kind of, relinquished responsibility for themselves because they didn’t. They didn’t realise that they could actually, If they have a conversation with the right sort of person. And it doesn’t have to be a therapist by any means, they can actually start to improve their outlook. But that conversation has to happen a certain way. or more to the point, it mustn’t happen the way they so often happen. It has to be forward looking, it has to be, curious and inquiring on the part of the person speaking to them and so forth.

So my view is, I’ve been peddling this for about ten years now, that if we could get more of this information out among people, and it’s happening in some countries, you know, they’re using sort of folk therapists in Nigeria, in India, you can find all these things on YouTube, because they haven’t got enough psychiatric or psychologically trained people. They’re training people from the village or people from the township or wherever it happens to be. And those people, for one example, is they have friendliness or friendship benches.

I’ve forgotten which African country it is. And every day at a certain time or every week, the wise woman of the village who’s been trained will pitch up and sit. Typically a woman pitch up and sit and anybody who comes along and talks to them, they get some support. Now, a large part of that we know from research is being heard. That’s the first thing. And then there may be some strategic. Well, have you tried this or have you thought about that? Have you actually said this to the person? That sort of thing. Low level stuff, common sense, day to day stuff, but oriented in such a way that it’s a bit more valuable than what your mates tell you down the pub, but beyond that it’s pretty much the same. And that’s so people find themselves in a difficult situation and that’s the. Like that, okay?

And I want to say to them, and do say to them, life doesn’t have to be like that. You can stick your head up above the parapet and look around you, but first you have to believe, and goodness knows it’s easy now with the Internet, not so easy to get the right stuff, but easy to get information. Somebody somewhere in the world has solved your problem. Find them. So when I was grieving a number of years ago, my late wife died after a long illness, and I was in a pretty unhappy state, as you can imagine. And I was getting all sorts of very unpleasant physical symptoms.

And I thought at age 20 years, give you an example. I was teaching in London at the time, at the, ah, university, and I in the afternoons, and I got the train up to London from where I live, which is about two hour train ride. I got to the Victoria station and I couldn’t stand, I saw, this is really embarrassing… I’m going to have to ask somebody to help me stand up and walk off the train. And finally, after about five minutes, I managed it.

So I was getting all these weird symptoms and eventually I found a psychiatrist, a psychologist in America, who said she understood it, she’d done research and she said it’s only with women. But you’re describing exactly the same symptoms, which is really basically the somatization of emotion that I couldn’t otherwise accept or deal with. And that doesn’t make me a failure, it’s just I have locked gate mechanism in my mind.

You give me a little bit of crap and I’ll deal with that. And then just so I’m feeling okay, it’ll hit me with some more. But in my case it tends to be physical and I’ve been through that process twice since one sort of now because my mother in law died, but that triggers all sorts of other stuff, and supporting my wife. So, you know, and I know now that if I start to get physical symptoms, I know where that is.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Barry Winbolt: Doesn’t mean they don’t need checking out, but I don’t panic. And so that was my little bit of, it didn’t have to be like that. I know it’s a process of time, I know that I will get over it, if you can use that term. and so on and so forth. So that’s what meant by life doesn’t have to be like that. And it’s partly driven by frustration in a society where we can’t get help anyway, and yet people still try and look for help and it’s not available, or they just don’t realise that this, and this is very common. They just don’t realise that actually there is something that could be done to help them.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, amazing. And in a way, what it comes down to is being human and embracing the human condition. And I think a lot of the time when we’re stuck in that gap between finding out what’s bugging us and doing something about it, and, getting caught up in the kind of learned passivity that comes from that, the only reason we stay stuck there is because with we’re identifying with some narrative in our heads, ultimately that’s telling us that our situation is so unique or so complex or, so convoluted that there’s nothing we can do about it. And ultimately it comes down to what you said, like, no problem is a singular thing, ultimately.

Like, first of all, there’s a state of interdependence between us and everybody else. So if we reach out for help, then we can get moving, or there are going to be people out there that have already been through the same thing and we can learn from their experiences and we can see that actually there is a way forward. And so the thing that I’ve found that keeps people stuck in a life like that is this learned sense of passivity, ultimately, which means they’re not taking action because they’re identifying with some emotional thing, let’s say, that’s causing them to hold back from the flow of life.

Or they have kind of blown everything out of proportion, again, because of some underlying emotional stuff. And it’s causing them to forget about their own power, ultimately, the power to actually get back into the flow of life by taking action, like those small steps day by day, they’re actually going to start moving them again towards flow and freedom.

For me, I think that a lot of the time when people are depressed, it’s exactly like you said. They’ve got caught up, in, that gap between finding out what’s actually bugging them or taking a good look at it, at least, and then figuring out what to do about it. They caught in that gap and it’s basically taking them away from a sense of kind of purpose and movement and momentum. But actually, when we’ve been real, that purpose and movement and momentum is always there. And so anytime we take ourselves out of it. Reality continues to move without us, but we’re basically in this state where we’re fighting against it in a passive way because of our unconscious stuff. And so if we can unblock, it by taking a good look first of all, at what’s bugging us and then deciding, right, what am I going to do about it?

We can put ourselves back into that flow. So I suppose the question for you is, does that align with how you see things and how can people, I suppose it’s a twofold question. How do people learn to be passive in the way that we’re talking about or the way that I’m ranting about? And how can they kind of decondition themselves so they can start taking action again and trusting that that’s the way forward?

Barry Winbolt: I rightly say, it’s also been called depression, the selfish disease by Michael Yapko. Because we become so self-centred, me, me, and we think nobody knows how we feel and well, nobody knows how we feel in life generally, really. But you know, we get so absorbed with our uniqueness in our pain and our self-pity and I don’t want to, I don’t want it to sound like I’m putting depression down.

I’ve been there, I’ve lived for a very long time with somebody who was depressed and I’ve watched it as a clinician and a partner. So you, you know, I’ve had close hand, including those close to me and one in particular. So I’m not judging people who get depressed, but I am frustrated by the hold it has on our societies. It’s on the increase worldwide in all developed and developing countries. And this is not explained by being a medical illness. Okay, let’s get that out of the way straight away.

It’s a sociological and cognitive syndrome, if you like, as much as anything else. Now that’s not to say that some people don’t get depressed for clinical other, you know, it’s comorbidity with something else. They get depressed because something bad has happened to them. But even that. So let’s take a man I saw some months ago had a heart attack. 53 years old, had a heart attack.

Understandably, the poor guy’s depressed because suddenly he’s learned about his own vulnerability. Active sportsman, you know, all this stuff and suddenly he’s got to rewrite his maps and how he lives his life. So quite reasonable to be depressed at a time like that. It goes on for six months, for a year maybe. It’s not so reasonable anymore. Maybe he could do something about it. But to say that that was a choice of his, to be depressed. Of course it wasn’t. It was a, if you like, it’s an evolutionary development. He needed to be at that time to withdraw and reflect and remap his terrain. But that doesn’t mean that he can trust his thoughts. And that’s what I mean by the logic of depression, that depression lies to you. You know, it’s quite clear, and it tells you all of those things we’ve talked about.

You know, you’re unique. It’s your problem. Da da da. So I think to some extent, we have to understand the metaphor I’ve used lately, because I was speaking to somebody, we lived near the sea. So I speak to somebody who was a bit boaty. And I said, well, have you ever been rowing, out on the water in some way in a hand powered craft, a boat or a kayak? And you can see the shore, but the current’s against you or the tide is against it. Doesn’t matter how hard you paddle.

You can see the shore. So, you know, eventually, if you’ve got any familiarity, that you’ll either find a way of zigzagging, tacking, or the type will change or something will happen and you’ve still got hope. You will get to the shore because you can see it but as soon as you’re out of sight, as soon as you’re over the horizon, it’s a much more hopeless situation and I think that’s what depression is like.

When I was very depressed after my lake rift died, I knew the shore was there. I wasn’t on it, and I didn’t feel like going to it. Because that’s the other thing about depression. It’s very persuasive. But I knew it was there. it’s kind of like I had a handhold on something, an alternative way of life. But truly, seriously, deeply depressed people don’t even know there is another place to be, another way of being. They’ve forgotten that.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Barry Winbolt: You know, they would have been like it all their lives. They would have had moments where they were not depressed. But they will be unable to grasp that, or remember it or relive it, because if they could, they could start to move towards it. And that’s really the role of therapy, I think so. I seem to be talking a lot. So have I answered the question?

Oli Anderson: Yeah, I think so. The question ultimately was like, how do people find themselves in that gap where they’ve basically learned a kind of passivity that stops them from kind of paddling back towards that shore. And I think, you’ve said that there’s various reasons why that can be.

Like, ultimately, there is an evolutionary advantage to being depressed in the short term. but then eventually we can identify, I think, too much with all of the thoughts and the distortions and the resistance just getting back to the shore that the depression shows us. And for me, that’s why it always comes down to the same thing, which is that when we’re depressed or we’re anxious or we’ve got some emotional thing going on inside of us that doesn’t feel that good for a prolonged period, then we’ve ultimately lost our view of reality.

So I suppose in the metaphor that you just shared, reality is just the shot. It’s always there. Like, it’s always, always there. Like, reality can’t go anywhere. But if we’re lost in our thoughts and the ocean of emotional stuff that’s kind of holding us back, then the situation just gets worse and worse and worse. The more that we cling to the boat, so to speak, and try and stay where we are. And I think the only way out is exactly what you said.

To start to basically remember that the shore is there and to find a path back to it. And I think therapy can help if it’s not just one of those therapeutic, interventions where people are just talking about the problem. So it’s like, you know, what does the boat look like and how disagreeable. Yeah, all that stuff. We need a vision, basically, is how I see it. We need a vision for what we want to do. Let’s say once we’ve returned to the shore. The reason the vision is so important is because we can design it based around what we remember about who we are in our most real moments, like our true values and our true intentions and all that stuff.

 It puts us back into the flow of life. I keep using this phrase, or the flux of life. Like, life is always, always moving. We’re always moving towards wholeness, but we block it behind cognitive concepts and identifications, basically, that put obstacles in the path that actually aren’t there. There’s something that we’ve thrown in our own path, basically as a way of surviving in the short term.

But in the long term, if we stay out at sea for too long, then we’re basically just going to deplete in terms of our energy levels and our motivation and everything. And, life becomes like that. And so I suppose the question now is, how do you think we can get back to the shore without therapy and things like that? Is it even possible, as you understand it? Like, in my own life, I’ve been really depressed, like, at times, and I’ve never had therapy or anything like that. Like, never.

I’ve had some coaching and things, but in general, I’ve never done the talking therapy thing or anything like that. And I’ve found just by, I suppose, taking responsibility for my life is the short version, and just incrementally building a bridge, let’s say, back to the shore, then I’ve been able to get to a place where I feel better than ever, ultimately. But obviously what worked for me isn’t going to work for everyone. It’s not like a one size fits all thing. But I suppose, yeah, like, how do we get back to the shore? How do we start getting back to the shore?

Barry Winbolt: Well, first of all. Sorry.

Oli Anderson: Sorry. No, no, I was just going to say by ourselves, if possible.

Barry Winbolt: Yeah, if by ourselves, or possibly with our close ones, with our families or, you know, people we trust, that type of thing. I think you’ve really nailed it, actually. We use slightly different language, but the first thing is understanding. I call it getting over ourselves. you’re nothing. While I was writing my first book, I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t even start it. I’d spent the advance, until I persuaded myself. I suddenly realised one day that probably nobody’s going to read it. And then I just. I flew through it.

It was some sort of I didn’t know what it was. It was being intimidated by the idea of putting this stuff on paper. It was a non-fiction book, by the way. It was about photography, so it was hardly great, art. And once I got a perspective. Look, this is a small publisher who’s going to buy this book. I’ve been paid for it. Just do the job, deliver the goods and take the money. M and so once I got that in my head, so I got a perspective.

And, you know, the Buddhist idea that we’re all great grains of sand, I think, or that were insignificant in the universe. It’s good to remember that. It’s good to be humble about our own sense of place in the world, which is nowhere, you know, nobody cares. Nothing cares about you. And now that sounds very harsh and blunt, but it’s not a bad starting point. I would certainly say that of myself.

Now, I know I’ve got people who care for me, but if I’m so full of myself that I think that I am important and I deserve stuff. I only deserve stuff on my own merit. I deserve stuff that I work towards, you know, I mean, you might say that I deserve respect of other people. I think we’d all like to say that. Yeah, but you don’t get respect unless you are respectful. You know, it’s not something you get with your job position or a title or a bigger car. You get respect not from people who matter anyway. You get respect because you’ve earned it.

And so, you know, that’s where I’m coming from when I’m saying getting over ourselves, just getting a sense of how minute we are in the grand scheme of things, and spending some time with ourselves and thinking what it is, our, true values. How do we want to show up in the world, as people say these days, and what do we want to represent and what fits with our values? And to come back to a question, you know, how do we get from what’s being called this sleepwalking state or this sleep and this state of non-awareness?

And I want to make it clear, I’m not talking about depression anymore at this point because, as I said, I think it’s a slightly special case because it’s harder to break free from, because of the logic of depression that goes with it, that’s constantly trying to keep you stuck where you are. And I really do present it often to clients as an adversarial position. I don’t like terms about beating or winning, but negativity loves, you know, I mean, what is it? What do they say? I don’t know, something about negativity loves company or something like that.

Oli Anderson: Misery loves company.

Barry Winbolt: Yeah, that’s the one. Yeah. And so it is in ourselves, you know, depression wants us to stay where we are. Thank you very much. And so we do have to do something, to break away from it.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Barry Winbolt: Now I was speaking to a guy yesterday who is 24. He’s a, motivational guy in Denmark called, Daniel Hauger. And very impressive guy. 24 years old, history. Father died at 13. He mentioned at the end, because I asked him about his support structure and he said his mum and his little brother. Now this guy has made such a transformation in his own life from being a druggie 16 year old to having an epiphany to doing what he does now at 24. And I naturally wanted to know how he’d done that. And he did it; I think he used sport quite a lot.

He did it through, a decision he looked forward into the life he wanted. He wanted a good, quality life and he wanted to. Not a mediocre life, as he described it. And he knew the path he was on was potentially disastrous. So he took the decision to change. And he said it wasn’t easy. I had to change my friends, had to change the people I hung around with. I slipped back a few times. I read every self help book I could, get. I enlisted my mother and my brother, who were very, very helpful and supportive. Best mother and brother in the world, he said.

So it was a slog, but it started with him realising, even if he couldn’t see the shore, he knew it was there. And then he took the steps. So I think if I’ve understood the question, then there’s only one place to start, and that’s with yourself. And that’s with being brave enough to think. Maybe everything I’ve thought up until now, or anything I’ve thought up to now, maybe that’s not the only way. And once again, life doesn’t have to be like that. What if. A really powerful question is what if, you know, if you can’t see a different life? And I use this a lot in my work.

Well, you know, this, that and the other, and nothing is any good, and blah, blah, blah. Well, what if it was? Well, it wouldn’t be, would it? Because blah, blah, blah. Yeah, but what if it was? And just keep going with what if it was? And not everybody can do it. Actually, some people are so sort of blocked up that they can’t get there and they just get irritated. And irritated isn’t bad either, by the way, but. So I think we have to realise there is a different way of being. We don’t know about how to get to it yet, but we have to accept that our, current reality is not serving us well. Does that answer the question?

Oli Anderson: Yeah, very well. I think it all comes down to this idea that you have to lose yourself to find yourself. I think depression is a special case, like you said. But the reason it’s special is because the volume on the problem has been turned all the way up. And what I mean by that is the main problem that stops us from returning to the shore or moving towards the life that we actually want to be living. That is possible in many cases, is our ego, the false self-image that we have picked up because of underlying shame, guilt and trauma and all this stuff that causes us to become fragmented within ourselves.

The more strongly we are attached to that image, the more we end up falling into the self-centred nature of depression, as you described it earlier. And ultimately the reason we become self-centred when we depressed m in the clinical sense or in the extreme sense, we become self, centred. Because ultimately, the battle that you’ve mentioned between this idea in our minds that’s causing us to believe that we’re stuck, that everything is static, that we can’t grow, we can’t change, there’s no hope, all of those kind of things. That battle is actually just our old identity fighting to keep its hold over us, even though reality is calling us to move in a different direction.

And the more we cling to that identity, the more friction that we bring between ourselves and ourselves, between ourselves and others and between ourselves and life itself. But because people are scared to kind of lose themselves, to find themselves and then get back in the flow, that battle ultimately causes them to freeze up. And, that’s how you get the learned passivity and all the stuff that we’ve been talking about. And so the way forward, ultimately, is humility.

Like, you kind of alluded to this in your answer. Like, ultimately, humility means, I believe now at least accepting the truth about life. The truth is embracing all of these kind of facts that I, like the one you mentioned. Like, ultimately, we are a lot more insignificant than we may originally believe. At first, when we become aware of that and have to start accepting it, it seems kind of terrifying. Like, oh, my God, I’m insignificant, people don’t care, whatever, blah, blah, blah.

Actually, it’s a gift. Like, if you’re insignificant, like, you’ve learned in your own case with the writing, you can free yourself up because you don’t have to worry about being judged. Another one is that we’re all going to die one day. Like, at first that seems like a kind of depressing thing, but actually, if we’re going to die one day, then again, we can kind of loosen up a little bit because we realise, okay, things are changing, I need to grow with it and I can let go of this and I can let go of that, etcetera.

It’s all about stepping into the humility of accepting that life keeps changing, that it’s not within our control. And so we don’t need to be a big hero who’s in charge of everything, nor do we need to be like a victim who rolls over and kind of tries to escape from these facts. And the humility, basically is putting is in alignment with not being omniscient, not being omnipotent, but kind of learning to trust and go with the flow in the way that you’ve kind of talked about.

So we can get to the other side of the, ocean, so to speak, and find the shore again. And I think it all comes down to identity, basically, if you attach to your identity too much, then when something bad happens, you’re going to get very depressed because you’re not going to go through the grieving process. But if you can let go of it and get over yourself, then probably things are going to be okay because you’ll put yourself back in touch with reality and then you can be responding, you can be responsive with life. Sorry. Rather than just reacting to it based on all that old conditioning, something like that. That’s how I see it, in it.

Barry Winbolt: Well, I think, you know, that. That’s all. I’d agree with all of that. And I think the thing about it is that, ah, we come back to this fundamental idea of non-awareness. You know, many people, well, first of all, in this country, particularly the UK, I’m m talking about now, we pooh pooh the idea of personal development. We’re terrified of psychology.

I’d go to a party, I’d never tell anybody I’m a psychologist or a counsellor, because the first thing they do is they find the other counsellor in the room and chances are we’ll be diametrically approached to each other in our thinking because the other one will be somebody who thinks it’s great to talk about the problem ad nauseam. Which I think is fundamentally immoral, actually. If people want to talk about the problem, that’s fine. But every time they repeat it, repeat it, repeat the story, you know what happens. So it just gets reinforced.

So I think that’s not to say there aren’t some very good analytical therapists out there. I don’t mean that, I don’t mean to pooh pooh it, but, you know, a bit light heartedly when I say, but it has happened several times. Oh. So and so is a therapist or a coach, you must meet them. And, chances are we got nothing to talk about because we’re all pretty individual in our…We’re all trying to carve off a furrow of a living somewhere, and we very readily see competition where it isn’t and all that. So I think, quite often, people, when you say you’re a psychological therapist, people think they put meanings onto that, like, oh, you’re going to analyse me, are you? No.

There are so many different types of psychologists anyway; it’s just a natural term. so I think, yes, I certainly agree with those ideas, but the thing I hear is notions of responsibility, people very quickly get into, and don’t ask me how they make the leap, because I never have in my own life.

If you imply there’s a choice somehow to some people that equates to blame, that they’re not doing something right, and it’s blameworthy, which is part of the problem, of course, that you’re describing, which is all the baggage they bring with them and that sort of thing, you have to be open to realising that whatever the words that are used, the concept, you know, change the words, fine, you don’t like responsibility, use self-awareness or whatever, but, you know, it’s, don’t rebel against a bit of language when basically the idea is a good one. And I do think, too, that there’s been a tendency.

There is still a tendency, probably, but I’m not as active out there in the world as I was. I do most of my work online now, so I don’t go to conferences as much as I did and that sort of thing. But there is a tendency to, over sympathise, over empathise with people’s plight. And of course, when we see a person who has a plight, whatever it is, or is in plight, whatever the expression is, we lay straight away our own interpretation of that.

So I had a scary health related event not so long ago, and I remember when my late wife died, soon shared the diagnosis, and, that meant probably she wasn’t going to be very well for quite a long time, probably would die, although we didn’t know that at the time. Straight away, she got the address book out and she put a red line through about 50% of it and said, I’m not going to speak to these people for the duration of this illness, because I know they won’t deal with it, because what do people do?

They start telling you, you tell somebody, oh, I’ve had a condition. Oh, is it cancer? Oh, yeah, my sister in law had that. She died, and these sorts of. And I think it’s probably stress or worry on their part, but all the wrong stuff comes out. And so she quickly weeded them out. And I think there is a tendency when we put forward our vulnerability, our, you know, the thing we fear, and there may be a lot of shame under it, there may be trauma, as you say, we’ve spent a lifetime keeping it at arm’s length, or mostly. And of course, that’s very tiring as well.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Barry Winbolt: You know, it’s burning up energy for nothing, fighting with ourselves. And the moment you open your arms and welcome it in. Sounds terrifying, but works for me every time because suddenly it’s not such a big problem.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Barry Winbolt: And then it can start to become something to deal with.

Oli Anderson: That’s an amazing way to sum all this up. There’s a quote that I loved by Joseph Campbell. He said, well, I think he was quoting like, an old proverb or something, but anyway, he said, when the angel of death appears, it’s terrifying, but when it reaches you, it’s bliss. And I think that’s ultimately what’s going on in a lot of these cases.

Like, things are calling for us to start moving again and it seems terrifying because of what’s going on beneath the surface. But when we do actually reach the shore to keep this metaphor going, it is bliss because we get back in the flow of light.

So, Barry, we’ve covered a lot to say we didn’t know where we were going to go. Can you quickly tell people where they can find you online?

Barry Winbolt: Certainly. yes, thank you. My website is, and that’s Winbolt, w I n for November,, because occasionally people put an m in. Well, often they do. That’s Winbolt, and,, that’s my website, YouTube. You’ll find me same name, Barry Wimble. the podcast is called get a better handle on life and that is on the usual platform, Spotify, Apple, Google, that sort of thing.

But if you google it, it’ll come up and. But you’d probably better to say get a better handle podcast. Better handle on Life podcast to Google because otherwise all sorts of other stuff comes up. So that’s where you can find me. And, you know, I’m always happy to chat to people if they want to chew, over some of these ideas.

Oli Anderson: That’s awesome. I’ll share all your links in the show notes as well, so it’ll be easier for people to find. But Barry, thank you so much for this conversation. It’s been a good one. And, let’s keep paddling to the shore, so to speak, and, staying real. So thanks again.

Barry Winbolt: Well, thanks for the opportunity, Oli. It’s really, really, I was going to say inspiring. Well, it is, but it gets overused, doesn’t it? But it’s true. So thank you. I’ve enjoyed the conversation immensely.

Oli Anderson: Thank you again.

Creative Expansion for REALNESS (Creative Status: Episode 79: Phoebe Camilletti)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this episode of Creative Status, we delve into the concept of expansion and how embracing creativity can lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the universe.

I’m joined by Phoebe Camilletti, a writer, artist, and coach whose insights on creativity challenge us to rethink what it means to grow and expand.

The Essence of Expansion: We explore the often misunderstood concept of expansion, revealing how it’s not about grandiose achievements but finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life.

Creativity as a Path to Self: We examine how even the simplest acts of creation can be a catalyst for profound self-discovery and change.

From Fragmentation to Wholeness: Explore how societal pressures and self-judgment lead to fragmentation, and how the creative process helps us unlearn limiting beliefs, inviting us into a state of wholeness and flow.

Creative Status: Where every moment is an invitation to expand.

This episode is an open door to anyone seeking to embrace their creativity, expand their understanding of self, and live a life aligned with their true nature.

Stay real out there,

Oli Anderson



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Expansion, Creativity, Self-Discovery, Meditation, Incremental Growth, Wholeness, Flow State, Identity, Playfulness, Gratitude, Societal Narratives, Self-Acceptance, Fragmentation, Inner Reflection, Personal Transformation, Mindfulness, Creative Expression.

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Creative Expansion for REALNESS (Show Transcript)


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there. Oli Anderson here. You’re listening to creative status. This is a podcast by exploring the depths of the creative process to see how deep it can take us into life itself. Just made that up. It sounds quite good, but, yes, if you’re into creativity, this is the place for you. If you’re into being human, this is the place for you. If you’re into growing real… Well, welcome.

Today’s interview is with Phoebe Camilletti. Phoebe is a writer and a speaker and an artist. And this is just a really nice, free flowing conversation about how creativity can help us to expand what expansion is, what it means in practical, real terms, and how we can go through the creative process in a way that’s going to make us more aligned with who we really are, what life really is, and what it’s all really about. So, Phoebe, thank you so much for your time. Everyone else, here’s the interview. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks a bunch. Boom.


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there, Phoebe. Thank you for joining me on today’s episode of creative status. We are going to have a conversation that could go absolutely anywhere, but I believe we’re about to start with the topic of expansion expansiveness. But before we do, do you feel like introducing yourself, telling people what you’re all about and what you actually want to get out of this conversation?

Phoebe Camilletti: Yeah, absolutely. So, first of all, thank you so much. I just… Any opportunity to talk creativity with someone who is well-versed is very delightful to me. So I’m very honoured. It’s very privileged to be here. My name is Phoebe Camilletti. I’m an artist, I’m a writer, I’m a coach and a speaker, with my platform being one of creativity.

So I believe that creativity is a main lens for expansion, and I help people who don’t feel creative embrace creativity for themselves to essentially arrive at whatever growth and purpose they’re looking for, but maybe they haven’t been able to find. So, in terms of what to get out of this conversation, I’m honestly just psyched to be here with you, Oli.

Like, we’ve had some good conversations so far, and you’re a very creatively minded guy, obviously, because this is what you’re doing. So I think it’s just going to be fun, and I’m looking to get out of it, whatever we both get out of it. So I’m ready for it.

Oli Anderson: I think that’s the healthiest attitude. Like, no expectations, except to both be as awesome as possible, because we’re recording this and whatever we do say is just going to be there, there forever. So there is a little bit of pressure before we get into. Well, not before we get into it. Let’s actually get into it with the expansion thing.

What do we mean? Because some people might have heard us say that already, and they think, right. That’s one of those kind of buzzwords that all those hipster coaches like to use. What does it mean? Because I think it’s a very valuable, very important word. But what are we referring to with that?

Phoebe Camilletti: That’s an excellent question. I will say first, what comes up for me is the idea of gratitude. And I don’t mean to say that expansion means gratitude. I don’t mean to say that expansion has to mean gratitude, but I’m just expressing that. I think that that’s one of the pieces that we don’t necessarily connect to this puzzle of what is growth for me? What is expansion for me?

What am I looking to achieve in life? Because it starts with this place of deep reverence for where you are, right. And it’s not just like gratitude. Like, oh, say thank you and move on. Right. It’s. It’s. It’s a very creative thing, I think, to be able to deepen into where you’re at with the discomfort, perhaps, of where that is, to be able to fully embrace it because it’s part of you.

So when we talk about expansion, Oli, I feel like that at least has to be a platform, if not an essential part of it. So I’m wondering kind of what you feel about that, too.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. I love how you’ve taken it in that direction. I think gratitude is one of the key things that we need to cultivate in order to be able to put ourselves into the flow state. And for me, expansion, ultimately is about growing in a way where we doing what we can do that’s under our control, but then we’re kind of trusting and leaving the rest to life to present the opportunities that we need or to kind of allow things to swim up from the unconscious that maybe we didn’t know we can be there or to let go of things.

Whatever it is, gratitude is actually the best way I have found in my own life to build a solid foundation for allowing that to happen. Because if we can get to a place of gratitude, then ultimately we get to a place of acceptance.

And only if we get to a place of acceptance are we going to be able to accept life itself on its own terms, without all of the ego distortions and the scarcity, thinking and all those kind of things. And so gratitude, it’s almost like I had a coaching client, and he summed it up really well with my coaching clients. I get him to do this thing every day in the first months where it’s like a little gratitude journal and a thought log.

But anyway, he was saying of the gratitude journal, he said, I love doing this gratitude journal because it makes time stop. And, like, the way that he said that, I was like, “Wow, that’s exactly what it is.”

When you list things that you grateful for, but more importantly, really tap into that feeling of gratitude, you see that actually, your life is just amazing. Like, when you accept life on its own terms, it is amazing. And that means that all of these other things you’re trying to bring into your life as you’re trying to expand and grow into the next version of yourself, they’re not something that you need in an outcome dependent way.

Like, you don’t need them to fill the void inside you. You’re already kind of full, but you’re actually just bringing them as an expression of that fullness. And so, for me, gratitude leads to acceptance, and then acceptance allows you to get into the flood. So I don’t know if that’s how you see it.

Phoebe Camilletti: Oh, I mean, absolutely. And there’s so much about what you just said that I find really exciting, but I think I’ll touch on one point to start and then maybe two. The first thing that really stood out to me that I want to talk about is how you said your client conveyed that when he does this practice of the journal, its like, time stops. And the reason I love that is because, you know, you’ve used the word flow a few times, right?

Like, this idea of being in a flow state and how that’s related to time, because we tend to think of time as very linear. Everyone does. Even if you’ve done work surrounding, like, how do I manage my time? Or how do I perceive time the way that I want? We still are locked in this mentality of time as a very linear, deliberate thing. But the reality is, when you access that flow state, I think that you are more perceiving time correctly, by which I mean, it’s all happening at the same time.

Your future, your past, your present, it’s all right now, right? There is no real time as such. So when you’re able to use gratitude, especially as a way to get into that zone. Oh, my God. Like, talk about the endless possibilities for yourself emotionally, creatively, in terms of your expansion, as we’re saying.

So that’s one thing that I think is really cool, conceptualizing flow, within the practice of gratitude, within the grounding of timelessness. And so that’s what that brings up for me.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. And I 100% agree. And I think that is the power of gratitude. It’s allowing us to taste wholeness. So on this podcast and everywhere else I go, I’m always blabbering on about how it’s ultimately about the journey from fragmentation to wholeness.

And what you just said about, like, linear time. We perceive time has been this linear thing because we caught up 90, 9% of the time in the perceptions of our fragmented bodies, which means that we caught up, in. In the illusions, so to speak, of time, space and causality, which are all just fragments based on the way that we have fragmented our experience, because of the way we’re embodied in these fragmented bodies. And we project it out into the world.

The truth, I believe, based on what I’ve now experienced in life, is that it’s about just stepping beyond that every so often. So you get a taste of your true identity. And your true identity is that timelessness that you’ve just alluded to. That timelessness is a taste of wholeness.

And maybe you can’t live there all the time because obviously the world is going to creep in and things are going to happen, and we’re going to have problems and obstacles, and we’re going to have this very human thing going on. The duality of man, where we just get caught up in all of the bullshit of the world and the past. And now it’s keeping a hold of us and all that stuff.

But if you get a taste of that timelessness, that’s all you need to be able to stay in this flow state as much as possible. And if you can get there, even just a little bit every day, then you’re going to be able to experience it more and more.

And as you do that, you’re going to let go of all the things that are going to stop you from being in that state, if that makes sense. So all of the fragments, basically, that block the flow of the unconscious becoming conscious are, things like time, space, causality, fragmented emotions, fragmented beliefs, etcetera. I’m getting very rambly, I can tell, and I told you I’d had a lot of coffee.

But ultimately, if you can cultivate rituals like that that just remind you who you really are, then the expansion process is going to become a lot easier. That’s how I found it.

Phoebe Camilletti: Oh, yeah. I mean, I completely agree. First of all, I think you made some really excellent points. One of my favourite ones, I actually just wrote down. You said, timelessness is a taste of wholeness, and I want to compliment you for that, because I think the phrasing itself is really important, and I think someone just hearing that phrase alone could really get some real value out of that.

But timelessness as being a taste of wholeness. Not only do I agree, but I I want us to kind of maybe take it a step further into the idea of play and creativity through play and how we tend to, all of us, look at play as antithetical to what it means to be a productive adult. Okay?

So even if you’re someone who does embrace creativity in some way, there tends to be that idea of, like, okay, you know, this frivolous thing, this frivolous thing that’s not for me. But I think that when we really embrace play, that is a way of embracing flow and gratitude. So a lot of these concepts, of course, just fold in on themselves.

Obviously, that’s. That’s. That’s why this is so fun to talk about. But I really believe that how can you let yourself play? How can you let yourself maybe go back to a more wholesome place, a place more of wholeness from where you were a child, for example? How does that bring up gratitude for you? How does that bring up expansion for you? How does that bring up a new sense of seeing time and seeing yourself and play?

I like, the reason I’m talking about it is because I think that’s a really approachable thing for people. It’s only not approachable in your mind, but something that you can do to experiment; just a little action that you can take that is in the direction of play. I think that’s all wholeness and gratitude and creativity.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, I think a lot of the things that we’re now talking about are just about returning to our nature. I really think our nature is to be as connected to wholeness as possible, to be playful and spontaneous and joyful, to allow our creativity to flow and to take us where we need to go so we can release things that need releasing and integrate things that need integrating or just be. Be.

Instead of being caught up in the human doing stuff that we have kind of valued so much as a culture, that’s causing people to be locked inside themselves. And these things that we’re talking about, like cultivating gratitude in an active way or, reminding ourselves to play and finding ways to do that, they’re ultimately about deconditioning ourselves from the limited image that we’ve attached to of who we are and what’s possible that stops us from actually just being in this state. And I think one of my buzzwords these days is flow. Because it ultimately does come down to that.

Like, if we can put ourselves in that natural state by aligning ourselves with who we are, away from all our conditioning, then we do just flow. Like life is about flowing towards more wholeness constantly. And we all have this natural drive towards wholeness, but we block it with all of the things that stop us being grateful, stop us playing, stop us just being, or at least being before doing.

And if we are doing things, making sure that it’s inspired action, which means that we’re injecting the being into the doing, if that makes sense. And so I suppose the question is this twofold. One, what other things can we do to kind of return to this, realness, as I call it, like our true nature? And, two, how do people find themselves in this state in the first place, do you think? Where they have become fragmented and they’re disconnected from they’re birthright?

As dramatic as that sounds, which is this capacity to actually flow with life instead of, you know, living a life as quiet, quiet desperation as through said, which is another quote I’m always flinging out now these days.

Phoebe Camilletti: Yeah, absolutely. Again, so much good stuff in what you said, and I think those are two really great questions. I’m going to suggest that we start with the second, like, how people find themselves in the state, especially because that’s coming off of something you said that I really liked, which is there was one segment of what you were saying where you kept saying, like, stop this, stop this. And for me, that brings up that idea of fragmentation that you focus on. Right?

So in other words, when you are stopping yourself from doing something that is creating fragmentation, because if you think of it like a line, right? If you. If you’re letting the line flow, so to speak, you’re not like stopping at different points on the line. It just creates itself, right? It’s just progressing. But the stoppage is like the distinctive breaks in that line. So why and how do people find themselves in a state where they feel unsure, they feel stuck, they feel demotivated?

I think a lot of it comes back to that idea of what you’re stopping yourself from doing more so than what you’re allowing yourself to do. Like those limitations that are creating the stoppages, the chinks in the belief system that you have let be created because of what society has fed to you with this narrative of scarcity, with the narrative of productivity. It’s actually kind of funny when I put those two words together in this moment, because productivity and scarcity, both of those are extreme values of our society, but they are, in a way, kind of antithetical, yet related.

At the same time, when you do have scarcity, you feel more inclined to operate from a place of productivity that other people will see as productive. But at the same time, productivity implies a certain expansion, a certain moving forward, whereas lack doesn’t. So I think that all of this to say, okay, all of this to say that I think really, we have abandoned our ability to think critically for ourselves because we see other people not thinking critically for themselves.

We see other people flowing along with what we perceive to be reality. And so that’s what we go with. And we don’t develop or cultivate our own belief system. We don’t cultivate our own critical thought. So I would suggest, I mean, there’s so many ways we could discuss this, but I think that’s one way that people find themselves in this state. It’s succumbing, whether due to fear or indecision, it’s succumbing to this idea of what other people do and what that should mean for our lives, and we stop ourselves.

Oli Anderson: You just said so many interesting things, and now my brain is dancing around, and I could go in a million different directions. Like, ultimately, what you’re talking about is kind of a case of monkey see, monkey do. I like. People are brought up in a culture where many, many people are, kind of locked inside themselves because of other people been locked inside themselves.

And it’s basically this intergenerational trauma thing that everyone talks about, where down through the generations, people have become disconnected from the truth about themselves. They have had horrible, difficult lives, and that sent them hurtling into a scarcity mindset, which is understandable, but it’s a very overly survivalistic way of viewing the world, and it causes people to focus on doing things in a way where they force life ultimately instead of flowing with it.

I think that’s kind of what I was getting from what you were saying. So when you were talking about scarcity and productivity and all that kind of stuff, what we’re actually talking about now is the approach that human beings have to action that either allows them to expand or to shrink inside themselves. And I think obviously, we need to do things. Like, I think there’s two ways that people go.

Like, they tend to choose one way or the other. Like, they become so open minded to the idea that the universe just loves them abundantly and cares about them that they don’t actually take any action anymore. And then their lives go horribly wrong because they’re not taking any responsibility for their own lives. And then they start to believe that the universe doesn’t love them or whatever it is. But then the other approach is people think that their whole lives are up to them alone. And so they become hyper-productive.

But the actions that they’re taking are, fear driven because they’re hyper productive. Because they feel like if they don’t stop moving, if they don’t stop taking action, then they’re going to lose control completely. And in that case, they just end up forcing life. Many times they end up burning out. And because they are forcing things, they don’t actually get any results anyway because they’re not being open and responsive to the information that life or the flow state is giving them about what actually needs doing if they take inspired action. There’s an awesome quote I heard the other day by an ancient Greek philosopher whose name I can’t remember is, like, Xenophon or something.

And he said, “Nothing forced is beautiful.”And I think that kind of applies to, like, life itself. Like, if we want to live the beautiful life, which is like a real life where we’re aligned with our values, we’re allowed with that, aligned with our true intentions and all that stuff, it can’t be false, but it’s finding that sweet spot where we’re expanding with the promptings of life, and we’re taking action, but we’re not trying to control everything. And I think there’s something, something there to be kind of cracked open based on everything you’ve shared.

Phoebe Camilletti: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I really like a lot of that. But one thing that’s standing out to me is how you talked about forcing just now. And for me, that brings up, like, a visual of, whenever you’re applying pressure to something, pretty much anything, right? If there’s, like, a compressor, if there’s, like, an extreme force, that thing that has the pressure applied to it, it’s going to break, it’s going to fragment, right?

So when you force, that is another way of looking at this idea of fragmentation. You are going to split things apart, okay? Like, whether it’s beliefs, whether it’s, a certain emotion that you have, I don’t care what it is, it’s going to. It’s going to be forced apart. Whereas if you are able to nurture that in a space where there is some pressure, because you have to hold it in some capacity, you have to take ownership of it, right. But it’s the right amount of pressure.

And so I think that part of life, one way of looking at life is like, actually to say, what is the right, like, pressure? What is the right container? How do I hold and own and take responsibility and take care of this thing about me or this dream that I have? But I don’t assume that my ego is calling the shots here, because when you call the shots with your ego, that’s when the fragmentation happens. Right.

So it’s like the right amount of pressure. I like that as a way of kind of looking at what you’re saying about, like, your beliefs in alignment with your actions, because that’s the last thing I’ll say on this. Maybe this idea that I think we, when we look at productivity as the ideal, that is us taking a belief that’s ready-made and not processing it, and we just roll with it.

So in other words, it’s just action. That action is not coupled with the critical thought and the introspection of defining our own belief system. But it’s when we take that time, we cultivate the critical thought in a creative way, and that’s when we can take the action. That’s the full package. That’s what we want.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. So the question now is, how do we find that sweet spot? Because I, 100 million% agree with you. Like, in coaching, there’s these three different levels that people always talk about:

There’s the comfort zone, which is ultimately just staying within the confines of your ego. Nothing’s going to change. Your edge is basically determined by your fears, by yourself, because of underlying shame and guilt and trauma and all that stuff that leads to the creation of the ego in the first place. If you go too far, you find yourself in the panic zone, which means that maybe you’re trying to overcompensate or whatever it is.

You’ve set some goal that is, like way outside of your comfort zone. And, it basically scares the shit out of you. And then you just end up stressing your whole, whole nervous system, and then you don’t get results.

The sweet spot is the stretch zone, and it’s kind of what you’re talking about where you’re just beyond your comfort zone. You’re just beyond your ideas about yourself and the ego and all that stuff. So you’re, like, really pushing the edge, as I call it, which is just where your ego meets reality, and then you can kind of transcend your ideas by yourself. But to get there, there are, ah, just myriad different ways and different approaches.

Obviously, we’re talking about the human experience. It’s not like a one size fits all approach, but the underlying structure of it is ultimately the same for all of us. And it’s that we need to find that place where we are stretching just beyond our current capacity, I think. And if we can do that and we’ve done the work that you’re talking about beforehand, where we actually have a strategy behind it, we know who we are, we know what we want, we have a real vision, and we’re moving forward in a way that’s real, real, rather than been something that’s prompted or motivated just by ego. If we can do that, then we find that stretch zone, and, that’s when, you know, we get in the flow state and the magic kind of happens. But how do we do that?

Phoebe Camilletti: Like, how do we do that indeed? I mean, I think that one path that we can go down together about that question is literally applying creativity. So not just the creative thinking that we’re doing, but the actual, actual act of creativity in whatever. Whatever form that takes, right?

So whether that means picking up an instrument that you maybe haven’t played before, but you’ve always wanted to play since you were a kid and you just didn’t give yourself permission or, you know, like, a pencil just to do, like, a simple sketch on a piece of paper where you were taking notes.

Anyway, like, how can we implement m creativity is as that vehicle, as that catalyst, maybe, for what you can use for yourself, for recognizing that you are uniquely capable and that no one else is going to be able to cultivate the same kind of life experience. No one else is going to be able to fulfil their dreams the way that you do, because your dreams, and, this is something I was thinking about yesterday a lot. I love this idea that I think our dreams are as unique to us and as much a part of us as, like, our body parts.

Like, no one’s teeth look like your teeth, no one’s dreams look like your dreams. We’re just like, oh, they’re dreams, but they’re a part of your being. They are as much a part of your being as your physicality. So what are you doing to take care of them? Right? You’re taking care of your teeth, you’re taking care of your skin. What are you doing for your dreams?

So that’s a, that’s a form of fragmentation, as well, we’ll just kind of put these ideas of, like, what we’re told or what we believe into boxes instead of opening up the boxes with curiosity and creativity to see, like, oh, hey, maybe I know what was in there, but you’ve actually changed. Or, hey, maybe you weren’t in this box at all. Maybe you were in a different box. So… So I know that that’s a little bit of a tangent, but to return to my point, how can we use any creative act that we want to label as creative?

Because everything’s creative. How can we use any creative act as a way of moving forward in ourselves? Like, how can we use that as a vehicle for expansion?

Oli Anderson: Yeah. Wow. Ultimately, I think the creative process is exactly what you just said, is a way of clearing the fragmentation that we have become attached to so that we can have these tastes of timeless homelessness and we can see who we really are.

Like, in those moments, we strip it all the way. It’s like the wholeness is basically the unconditioned consciousness that kind of flows through all of us, and we all have different ways into it, I suppose, because of the individual fragmentation that we carry. But the end result is ultimately always the same. It’s that we put ourselves in this magical flow state that I keep talking about, and that’s when we kind of get the answers, I think, about what actions are going to be the right actions for us to take.

And so, if somebody is really fragmented, like, they’re constantly holding themselves back, they’re hesitating, they’ve got imposter syndrome, and all these different symptoms of underlying shame driven relationships with themselves that show up as fragmentation. If they’ve got all that going on, the creative process can help return them back to themselves. And then they’ll start to kind of get some inspiration, let’s say, or promptings from who they really are, which are, ultimately just showing them the direction they need to move in to, you know, live the dreams that you’re talking about and stuff like that. T

here’s a kind of… There’s like, a way you can get into that place by…It’s basically like, I’m going to get a big kind of off the wall here, maybe. But, like, ultimately, what we’re talking about is the union of opposites, so to speak. So, like, the only way you can get in that creative place when you’re playing your guitar, or whatever it is, is you have to let the unconscious and the conscious minds be pointing in the same direction. But it’s not just at the level of the unconscious and unconscious mind. It’s basically all of the duality we carry kind of coming together in a kind of weird zero point so he can transcend it.

So I know that, like, the unconscious and conscious mind, that’s a, fairly common example, I guess. But another way of looking at it that might make this more tangible for people and make me sound like less of a lunatic is the. The masculine and feminine sides of us. So recently, or ying and yang. Let’s call it yin and yang, right? So I think we all have masculine and feminine energy, and we predominantly have one over the other.

If we have predominantly masculine energy, we need to find a way to loosen up and to be receptive, which means that we’re putting ourselves in the yin stair. Like feminist, receptive to these intuitions and ideas that are available when we get in that place. If we’re, predominantly very feminine, then we actually need to be a bit masculine, which means we set a vision in a direction. The end result of both, either the masculine stepping into the feminine or the feminine stepping into the masculine is that they get that kind of resistance that you were talking about.

And if you get that resistance, that’s when you kind of reach the zero point. Like an example from my life recently to make it even more practical. Like, I do yoga every day, Monday to Friday, I do power yoga. Power yoga, as the name suggests, it’s very yang, energy. Like masculine. Like, you’re doing all these standing poses like a warrior, and you’re doing push ups and all this kind of stuff.

On the weekend, I’ve been doing the yin yoga, which is just. Yeah, like yin yoga. If people don’t know, it’s where you basically just slow down. There’s no standing poses, and you hold the poses for a very long time. And, like, when you hold those poses for a long time, you eventually just get to this point of stillness, like real stillness, where your body is just doing what it needs to do. But then there’s this next level where in that stillness, you kind of get this, like a presence of motion. Because I think everything is constantly moving.

And I think the reason you get that presence of motion is because you’ve kind of. I am making this very complicated. But anyway, it’s because you get that union of, like, the masculine and the feminine, the yin and the yang, and in that place, this is how I’ve experienced it anyway, this is where you get all these ideas kind of swimming up about, like, what you need to do next.

Like, the answers to certain questions that you might have been, thinking about unconsciously or consciously about the next steps you need to take and stuff like that. So I suppose the question for you is, is that a load of bullshit, or does it make sense? And if it does make sense, have you experienced anything like that? And what are the practical implications, if they are?

Phoebe Camilletti: Okay, first of all, it makes complete sense to me. Second of all, I love that you’re a fan of power yoga, because I am as well. I. And I especially like that you’re saying that you deliberately counterbalanced the power yoga with more yin style yoga. Like, I think that’s incredibly smart.

For myself, the way that I like to experience yoga is just on the power side. I don’t actively counterbalance it. So any yoga experience that I…That I partake in, I use, like, weights as part of it just to make the intensity breeder for myself, because to me, the ability to challenge myself in this place of meditative work and flow is a sweet spot for me. And so I feel like that’s very generative for myself.

I think that other people don’t understand. I feel judgment sometimes from people who will kind of. At least this is what I perceive, right? People like, oh, like, she’s trying too hard. Or like, oh, like, this is a yoga class. Like, why is she using weights? But for me, that’s just it. Like, that is my creative license. That is what I do for my body, for my spirit, for my whole mentality about everything, to have that deepening in the way that I want.

So that was maybe going a little bit off from your question, but that’s just to relate back to your experience, because I think that yoga is a fantastic tool for everyone. But you had been asking if it makes sense. You asked kind of like, what do we do with that? I forget your exact question, but I can still speak to the generality here.

One thing that this is bringing up for me, and I…I hope this is along the lines of what you were looking for, is this idea of comparison and competition, I feel like. And what I mean by that is specifically in regard to your focus on fragmentation. So I think a lot of the time, one of the barriers to creativity that we run up against, especially if you’re a person who doesn’t identify as creative, is this idea of what creativity should look like or what that means?

Right. But all of that is based on looking outward to other people, seeing what they’re doing, seeing Michelangelo’s this or da Vinci’s this or whatever, right? And so we have these implicit standards of what creativity is. But the true reality is that what makes creativity creativity is that it is unique to every single person. So in another way of looking at it, everyone’s identity is their creativity, and everyone’s creativity is their identity. But when we look to other people, when we look outside of ourselves that is the fragmentation.

That is a way of looking at fragmentation, because it’s this idea of, like, oh, we are against each other or we are separate, but the reality is that we are all together, while being a unique angle of that togetherness at the same time. So I like this idea of, like, how is creativity something that we can re embrace a narrative of so that we can find these things about ourselves that you’re talking about?

How can we access flow, and how can we access this balance, and how can we reinterpret creativity, to reinterpret our identity? So I do realize that was a little bit off from what your question was, I think. But I think that’s still a generative thing to talk about.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. And it’s really is powerful, because ultimately, what we’re talking about is how everybody. What we kind of talking about is what. How everybody has a relationship with life, first and foremost. And if you forget that, that’s when you kind of get into all kinds of trouble with fragmentation and all of the symptoms that kind of stem from that.

Like, I really think now, in the simplest possible terms, all fragmentation is just because of a disconnection from the truth. Basically. It’s that simple, right?

Like, the truth is whole, the truth is real. And if we detach from that because of stuff that happens in childhood normally, is ultimately just causing us to feel shame about who we are. Then we end up creating this whole kind of veil that we project thing over reality and treat has been the real deal, which leads us to look outside of ourselves, because we have to keep looking out.

We have to keep looking outside of ourselves in order to uphold the illusion. And so, when we get in that state, that’s when everything we do, like, not just our creativity, but literally everything we do, is not for us, because. But for some imaginary idea of the outside world. And it ultimately comes down to judgment.

That’s how I see it. Right? Like, if we’re aligned with the truth in the way we’re talking about and we’re expanding, then we’re in that place of acceptance, because the only thing you can do with the truth is accept it. That’s why gratitude is so powerful. I was saying, it’s why playfulness is so important, I would say because they put you in an acceptance of yourself and an acceptance of life. If you don’t have that, well, the opposite of acceptance is judgment.

You’ll be judging yourself first and foremost, which is why you have the inner split, the fragmentation in the first place. Although there’ll always be some, because we’re like human beings and like fragmented bodies, but you can get rid of a lot of it. And, when you’re judging yourself, you’re going to project that judgment out into the world, and you’re going to just experience judgment from others, as well as a kind of extension of that.

Or the actual judgments of others who are fragmented and judging themselves are going to bother you because you’re judging yourself, basically. Like, if you’re not. If you’re not judging yourself, the judgments of other people don’t bother you because you know that, first of all, you can’t be judged because it’s not real. It’s fragmentation. But also, the only thing that can judge you, if judgment is even the right word, is life itself, based on the results you get in the actions that you’re taking.

So, in relation to what we’re saying, like, ultimately, the creative process, I think, and creativity can be anything. Basically, like I was saying, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. It’s anything. It’s anything that puts you in our place of presence that is creative, because it’s going to allow you to flow with the creative flow of life, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

So anything that puts you in that state or anything that allows you to cultivate these kind of qualities that we’re talking about is just undoing the conditioning. Like, we kind of said this right at the start of the conversation, but like, all of that comparison, all of that competition, all of that forcing life to keep running away from ourselves instead of facing ourselves head, on all of that is just conditioning. And it’s this classic thing that people love to say.

The way we heal our lives isn’t about learning anything new. It’s unlearning all of that bullshit. And the creative process, in whatever form, is just about that. Unlearning all of these things that keep us from seeing what was already there, ultimately, and allowing ourselves to start moving with it instead of kind of doing all these crazy, absurd things that people do because they don’t see it.

Phoebe Camilletti: Yeah, I mean, really, profound things in what you said. A lot of different ones. One that I’ll touch on is I like how you said, look outside ourselves to maintain the illusion. That’s something you said kind of early on in that train of thought. And I like that because I think I’d like to use that as a way to return to one of your questions, which is what people can do, you know, when they’re feeling like maybe they don’t know what to do.

So it’s not easy to look in, inwardly, Even for people who are practiced at it, you know, it, it. There’s difficulty. It’s never just something that you perfect. It’s not something that you just, you know, arrive at one day and you’re done. It’s a constant process of learning how to reflect and learning how to be with yourself. But that idea of yours, of looking outside ourselves to maintain the illusion, I think an approachable way for someone who wants to do something that we don’t usually see as creative. But it is truly creative.

Don’t think of meditation as such, where it’s this narrative that we’ve all been given of what meditation should look like, what it is, what it means. What if you just took 1 minute blips of like, I’m setting a timer, or, heck, don’t set a timer. I don’t care. Close your eyes, breathe for 1 minute. That is your meditation for the day. Because at least it’s starting to get you into yourself. At least you are starting to cultivate the looking inward versus the looking outward that you’re doing 99.9% of the time.

So I, don’t care if you don’t think it’s real meditation or not. It is. It is real meditation to do even something like that. Let yourself show up, let yourself know whatever you feel in the 1 minute. Maybe you feel uncomfortable. Maybe you’re judging yourself. Maybe you’re like, I don’t know why I’m doing this, but some girl on a podcast told me to, so I’m going to do it. Right. So it could be any of these things. Just a minute. Do it and then see what that brings up for you. Maybe it doesn’t bring up anything. Okay.

Maybe I’ll try it again a few days from now. Do it again. Right. So I think that this idea of increments is, something that I really want to underscore, ollie, because I think that a lot of us, when we think of incremental steps, we’re like, oh, that’s such a small thing to do. That’s bullshit. I don’t want to do that. You know, like, what’s the point? Why I’m so busy? Why would I do something?

That’s how we get anywhere. I don’t care what expert in creativity, I don’t care who the heck you’re looking at. They got to where they wanted to be, be, because they allowed themselves the discomfort of the steps, they allowed themselves the discomfort of that, looking inward instead of looking outward. So if you’re here listening to this podcast, because that’s something that you want, you want to progress in your life, you want to arrive at yourself better, let yourself have permission to do little things. So I would say that like minute of meditation, I think that’s a cool idea.

Oli Anderson: This is a super cool idea, and it’s super real. Like ultimately, there’s two things in what you just said that I want to elaborate on, because I think they’re super important. The first thing that you said is that people fall into these traps where they tell themselves, right, this isn’t real meditation, this isn’t real yoga because I’m lifting weights, this isn’t real creativity because blah, blah, blah, that is all bullshit. And it’s ego.

And it shows you that people like to dogmatize any little thing so that they can create a sense of kind of control, or because they have ego resistance to actually just facing the flow of life and moving with it. Like by the sounds of it, like what you’ve seen in your yoga class is kind of a similar thing. Like people have got this very rigid idea about what yoga should mean on etc. And any deviation from that. It kind of affronts, it’s like an affront to their whole sensibilities and the identity that they’ve created for themselves.

That says nothing about you lifting the weights. He says a lot of stuff about them, actually, and how they relate to themselves and how they’ve turned yoga into kind of a set of stabilizers on the bicycle of life, so to speak, because, because it’s giving them control and actually that need for the control and saying, this is real yoga, and that’s not real yoga is actually holding them back from, from m making the changes they want to make, which is moving towards wholeness.

But that happens in all areas that’s no different to like a, you know, like a religious extremist getting really worked up about their religion. Let’s say, I was going to paint a very crazy picture there when I’m going to rant about it, but anyway, like, it’s the same thing. Like, dogma is dogma, and it’s always going to hold you back. It’s control freakry. But the other thing you said, which is super important, it’s about the increments, the little steps, like the ego.

When people are coming at, life through the lens of the ego, they think that the only way they’re going to solve all their problems is by having some, you know, angels swoop in and give them some divine inspiration, or to make some massive, grandiloquent change that is just going to be so massive that nothing is ever going to be the same ever again. But actually, what we’re talking about is flowing. Surprise, surprise.

Like, I’ve used that word like, 6 billion times now in this conversation. But we’re talking about flowing. Flowing is about being real and embracing the flux and movement of life that is always taking place. And so we’re going from fragmentation to wholeness. That means we’re going from one state to another state, which means that we’re talking about the fundamental law of cause and effect, which applies to everybody. And we don’t need massive, swooping changes in order to use that, law, of cause and effect. We build incrementally, day by day, moment by moment, because that’s how it works.

Ultimately, it’s a process that we’re talking about, not these events that are going to change things forever. It’s the little actions, day by day, that actually build up and make a difference. So, for example, if you’re writing a book, you write 100 words a day, then you got 700 words at the end of the week, and then before you know it, you’ve got, like, a huge book. That’s how life works. So those increments are the thing that makes a difference, but only if we understand that, it’s only if we’re not judging ourselves and the actions that we take, are we going to be able to put ourselves in that place and to work with life on its own terms? Something like that. Ah, that’s my rant about that.

Phoebe Camilletti: Oh, no, that’s perfect. I really, really, really like this thread of our conversation, because that’s bringing up something for me that I feel passionate about. So what I’m thinking, and I hear you on all of that, I think I agree completely. what that’s bringing up for me is this idea of what we think of when we think of the idea of expansion. So, to return to, like, our original topic of the soul, conversation. So, expansion.

We tend to look at societally expansion in these broad, sweeping terms of, like, what it means to be expansive, what it feels like. And then we look at these people who have achieved success, maybe in ways that we wish we could, whether that means financial abundance, whether that means recognition, whatever that means. And we think, like, oh, like, that’s expansive, right? Like, that is like, the full expression, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

 So we look at expansion in that huge, grandiose sense, pretty much exclusively. But what if… What if we could look at the expansiveness of each step that we don’t see in that larger mural that we tend to think of as expansive? What if. What if true expansion? What if true expansiveness is the minute of meditation? What if it is that moment of discomfort that you sit in instead of judging yourself?

What if it is picking up the paintbrush for five minutes? What if each of these is true expansion, and we just don’t want to see it that way because we would rather be hard on ourselves to keep us from the thing that we actually say that we want.

Oli Anderson: That’s exactly what’s happening. Like, actually, I could maybe even take it a level deeper, where we are always being invited, to take the next step towards expansion. Like, in every literal moment, like, every moment, we can either choose wholeness or we choose fragmentation. Basically.

If we choose fragmentation, well, we just cling into those old patterns. If we choose wholeness, then we just take the next step, and then the next step, and then the next step, and then the next step, and then before we know it, we’ve expanded. Because this is just always happening.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, so, Phoebe, we’ve been talking for 43 minutes already, and I can’t believe it because, it feels like I’ve been talking for hours. But, not in a bad way. Like, normally I say, like, the time. If it feels like a long time, then obviously it was boring or something, but it’s the opposite. I suppose what I’m saying is we reached that place of timelessness somehow. Let’s… Let’s say it like that if you were going to sum this up, if you could, because we have covered all kinds of things, how would you do it? And can you also let people know where they can find you, please?

Phoebe Camilletti: Oh, yeah, sure. Okay. so I’ll speak to the second point first. I have a website that is under construction, so I will not share that specific link. But I am reachable on Instagram and on, TikTok. Those would be two great ways to connect with me in this exact moment.

My username on Instagram is synesthetic, and I’m sure that text could be posted somewhere with the podcast. and my TikTok name is alightent. So I very happy to connect with anyone on either or both of those platforms.

I would love to see you. I would love it if you said, hi. I’d, like to talk to you and hear what you got out of this conversation as you were listening. So that would be great fun for me.

Quite delayed, to come back to the point of wrapping up conversation. Ah. so there’s been a lot of really great threads here. And the thing about it is that this conversation itself is kind of a microcosm of the last idea of expansion that we were touching on. And here’s what I mean, and I’m very interested in this thought creatively, how when something looks like it’s condensed, when something looks like it’s compressed, that doesn’t necessarily means that it’s limited. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it needed to be more.

I mean, after all, if you look at big bang theory being what it is, like the whole cosmos came from a very small, dense space, right? So I think that, Ali, you and I have talked about a lot of stuff, and even though we could have expanded more, Uncertain things, that doesn’t mean that the conversation in and of itself wasn’t expansive. Right.

So it’s all just a matter, I think, of course, of perspective, and it’s a matter of what you listening to this podcast, or you in a broader sense, allow yourself to deepen into whatever, whatever small thing, whatever thing in life that you think might be frivolous to other people, and you’ve convinced yourself it’s frivolous, too. What expansion can you actually achieve in that thing? How can you actually rewrite the script for that thing? I don’t care how small it is. I don’t care what someone else has told you. Their perspective is of that thing. You feel drawn to it for whatever reason. So go there.

What expansiveness is in that small, stupid thing? Like, you know, like, where, where can you go yourself? And by doing that, how can you allow yourself to expand your view of yourself? It’s all expansion. Everything. Yeah. everything can be a vehicle for expansion.

Whether that’s someone’s crass comment on Facebook, where they were, like, trying to argue with you about something that didn’t matter, that can be a vehicle for expansion. I don’t care what something looks like. If you want to grow. If that’s why you’re here, you can find it. So this is this, and, ah, and the funny thing is, like, this is one way of summing up this conversation, but I’m not choosing to look at it as like, oh, I didn’t cover all of these different points when I was summing it up. Right.

This is just like one. This is one lens. And that’s all anything is. It’s a lens. Use your lens. See how it expands for you. See how you expand for it and then move to the next thing you know, like, like allow yourself that. That’s, that’s one response I would give.

Oli Anderson: That’s what I would say right there. Like, basically, that’s it. We’ve always been invited to expand.

Phoebe Camilletti: Yes.

Oli Anderson: And if we decide to accept the invitation, life will probably be awesome. And if we don’t, it’ll still be awesome, but we just don’t see it or something like that.

Phoebe Camilletti: Exactly.

Oli Anderson: I am going to stop talking, believe it or not, but Phoebe, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for your energy and the insight. And, I don’t know, let’s just go expand and, see where we end up.

Phoebe Camilletti: Absolutely. Thank you so much. I really, truly enjoyed this. I thought it was fantastic.

Oli Anderson: Thank you.

Creative Relationships with Life & Death (Creative Status: Episode 78: Lauren Spangler)

Creative Status is a podcast about using creativity as a vehicle for improving your life by deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow self, and designing and manifesting a real life.

Every episode explores how the creative process can help you GROW REAL by moving towards wholeness in yourself by making the unconscious conscious.

In this thought-provoking episode of Creative Status, we dive deep into the essence of creativity and its profound connection to our sense of purpose and wholeness.

Join host Oli Anderson in an enriching dialogue with creativity coach, artist, and strategist Lauren Spangler, as they explore the transformative journey from ego-driven ambition to authentic self-expression.

This episode will help you improve your relationship with your own creativity!

Uncovering Creative Purpose: Lauren imparts her insights on cultivating a healthy relationship with creativity, urging us to move beyond external validation and towards a more fulfilling, purpose-driven practice.

The Art of Being and Growing: Discover how embracing the creative process with intentionality and play can lead to personal growth and a deeper understanding of one’s artistic journey.

Navigating the Practical and the Profound: Lauren and Oli tackle the artist’s conundrum of balancing the existential drive with the practicalities of everyday life, offering wisdom on how to harmonize these often conflicting aspects.

Creative Status: Where Artistry Meets REALNESS

This episode is a call to all creators to reflect on their creative well-being, to align with their true purpose, and to embrace the finite nature of our existence as a catalyst for meaningful work.

Stay real out there,

Oli Anderson


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Creative Relationships With Life & Death (Show Transcript)


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there. Oli Anderson here. You’re listening to Creative Status. If you’re new to the podcast, welcome. This is a place where we talk about how the creative process is actually a process of growing real. Growing real means that we’re becoming more authentic, that we’re unpacking our true values, our true intentions, that we’re stepping away from social programming, from emotional self-hypnosis that keeps us down and keeps us stuck. And ultimately, that we can make the unconscious conscious and move towards wholeness instead of a fragmented and divided state within ourselves.

Today’s interview is with Lauren Spangler. Lauren is a, creativity coach and an artist and a strategist. And I really enjoyed this conversation a lot because we ended up talking about death, which is one of my favourite topics, but also because we took it a little bit deeper than usual in the sense of normally we look at, how creativity can help us become more real, which just means that we improve our relationships with ourselves.

In this episode, we talk about how we can improve our relationship with creativity itself, how we can clear away some of the mental cobwebs, I guess, that keeping us stuck, how we can, be more outcome independent, how we can just use anything that happens in our lives as a kind of springboard for getting where we need to be, and ultimately just having the attitude required to get to that real place that I keep talking about. So, Lauren, that was, an awesome conversation we had – thank you so much.

Everybody else, thank you for listening. If this podcast helps you in any way, shape, or form and, you feel like sharing it with someone or leaving a review, that would be most appreciated. But either way, here we go. Enjoy the conversation. Boom.


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there, Lauren. Thank you so much for joining me on today’s episode of Creative Status. We’re going to be kind of exploring the idea of healthy relationships between ourselves and ourselves and ourselves and our creativity so we can move towards wholeness that could lead us in any direction.

Before we, get onto all that, do you feel like introducing yourself, telling people what you’re all about, what you do, and also what you want to get out of this conversation?

Lauren Spangler: Sure. Oli, thank you so much for having me. It’s a treat to be here with you. I’m Lauren Spangler. I’m a creativity coach. I’m also a painter, a musician, a writer, and a wife and a mom of two young boys. So there is never a dull day at my house. And, man, I’m just so excited to talk with you about creative wholeness and healthy relationships with our creativity and how that can help us experience a sense of wholeness. Yeah, just really excited to dig in.

Oli Anderson: I’m getting very excited hearing you use all these words like creativity and wholeness. I like to rant and rave about wholeness every day as part of my self-care routine. So I think this is a good opportunity for me to dive, into that a bit more. Let’s, start right at the beginning.

So there’s all kinds of definitions that people use about creativity, just as a thing, like what it even is. How do you see creativity? I guess as a creative person doing all those things you mentioned, painting and writing, but also helping other people with your coaching business to kind of tap into their, I guess, core essence of creativity, or however you want to describe it, and putting words in your mouth now.

But how do you define creativity basically based on everything you see?

Lauren Spangler: I think creativity is actually pretty simple. I think we’re all creative. I, think creativity is just the act of making something that wasn’t there before, and that could be as simple as a connection between two things. it could be something we think of as a traditionally creative act, like creating a painting or a song or a poem. It could be baking a cake, putting an outfit together, having.

You and I are creating a conversation right now. We’re creating connections between thoughts, connections between people. All of these things are creative acts to me. And I think different people go about cultivating their creativity in different ways. And people who have decided to devote their life to creativity in some capacity, just have a more intentional and more invested approach in how they’re relating to their creativity and what they’re pulling out of that relationship.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, that’s awesome. So, ultimately, it’s a kind of universal thing that we all have in some capacity, but like, some of us, I guess, take it a little bit more, maybe seriously is not the right word. We treat it with a bit more reverence, let’s say, because of what we think it can do for us.

Where others have maybe a bit more of a passive approach, but it’s still there in all cases, because it’s actually just a very human thing. where does the wholeness come into, just to kind of crack this up? And like, how does creativity align with wholeness as a whole? Which is a weird way of saying that.

Lauren Spangler: No, I know what you mean. I think for some people, creativity is a frame of mind or an, ah, approach that is imbued into everything that they do throughout their day. And don’t it’s not really a conscious act for other people. I think that there’s this urge, this desire to go create something that they feel this pull to go write their book or to go, make their album or whatever it is.

And for that second set of people, I think if they are not engaging with the creativity intentional container in that really intentional way, I think there can be this sense that something’s lacking. there can be this sort of hunger or this feeling like they’re craving this activity and, when they’re not attending to it and they’re not spending time there, sort of like, there’s this piece of themselves that’s not getting daylight.

And I think when they start to act upon that desire to go make something, it can feel like now they’re sort of circulating oxygen through all the different parts of themselves. Right. And their personality, that can be a really gratifying sensation and I think sometimes when we are, when we consider ourselves artists or we consider ourselves creative people, like capital c, capital p, like we are creative, you use this really interesting term earlier.

You said, we take it seriously, and then you kind of cross that out and you’re like, actually not seriously. We’re just more invested. But that’s interesting because this thing happens where deeply creative people start to take it too seriously and actually block themselves into this sort of serious, rigid space, and they lose a lot of the play and a lot of the sort, of light-heartedness and curiosity that I think actually fuels their creativity.

And that’s one of the places where I think they can start to chip away at their own sense of wholeness, because when they get into that space where they’re being creative and they’re wanting to relate to themselves creativity creatively, if they’re doing so with too much seriousness, too much rigidity, it can start to feel frustrating.

And, yeah, so I think wholeness. So back to the topic of wholeness… I think when we’re really clear on what we want out of our relationship with our creativity, and then when we’re taking steps to do that and to bring that into our daily experience each day, it starts to round out the way we’re experiencing ourselves, the way we’re experiencing our life, and it starts to bring a sense of fulfilment and wholeness.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, that’s amazing. I think there’s so many things you’ve just kind of talked about that have kind of opened up some of the deeper themes around creativity as a whole. And it all comes back to the idea that creativity is something that we all have. It’s part of our nature, but that our attitude towards it is going to affect where those creative impulses are going to take us.

And as you were, talking, I kind of broke it down into three different levels, which I’ve kind of seen now quite a bunch of times on the podcast and just in general with people. But it goes basically, there’s one level of creativity where it’s almost like people are trying to prove themselves in some ways.

Like they’re trying to create something in the serious way that you’ve talked about, not the playful way, which is a bit more real, in my opinion. They take their creativity very seriously because they want to prove to the world that a certain image that they carry of themselves is the truth, even though that image may just exist as a kind of, way of compensating for underlying emotional stuff, shame, guilt, and trauma, as I normally say it.

And that first approach, it’s kind of a choice about the creativity that’s causing them to try and cling to the ideas they already have. Let’s say the second approach is that some people just use that creativity as a way of just putting themselves in a place of being. So instead of being a human doing, as people say, they’re just being. And so they’re just creating something, for the sake of it.

Maybe they’re doodling or they’re just painting a picture. And, you know, the unconscious is becoming conscious in that process, but ultimately, they’re just, they’re just being like, they’re not trying to get anywhere, and they’re not trying to prove anything. They’re just being. And then the third level is kind of the one that I normally end up ranting and raving about, which is where we’re using our creativity as a way of consciously growing more real or towards wholeness. And like, these elements, these three elements, we’re either trying to prove it, prove something, sorry. Or just be, or to grow.

I suppose they’re all interconnected, but I think if we make the conscious choice to learn to listen to ourselves and those creative, pulls that you talked about, then 90% of the time, those pulls are some unconscious thing from the shadow self, I believe, calling us to either release something or to integrate something so that we can move towards wholeness. And the creativity in that third sense can be a conscious vehicle for growing, obviously.

Like, that does sound very serious, but I think if we take that playful attitude as we go down that path and we don’t overthink it, even though I’m clearly overthinking right now, then we can use our creativity, to consciously become more whole, because we have to be more responsive to ourselves, and we have to kind of trust the process of following those creative, poles where they want to take us so we can, I guess, release the things that are making us all.

So I’ve thrown loads and loads of you right there. I apologise for the verbiage, but what do you think about, I guess, that deeper level of kind of using our, creativity to grow? And how does it maybe contrast to the other two levels if you think it does, absolutely.

Lauren Spangler: Yeah, I love that. I love that way of breaking it down into these tiers of prove, be and grow, because, I think as creatives, we’re all sort of fluidly moving through all of those at any given time. I know a lot of creatives who spend a lot of their time up at the top of that sort of evolution where they really are sense making with their art, and they’re very conscious in how they’re impacting the world with what they’re making or themselves what they’re making.

But, they still have days, right, where they wake up and that ego kind of rears its ugly head and they’re like, I gotta go show somebody I know my stuff, right? Like, I’m gonna go make this great thing to be great, right? so I think we all sort of, I would say we oscillate among those three things. And part of building a healthy creative mind-set is being able to be conscious of where you’re falling on that scale in a given moment, in a given point in your career, or a moment within your practice, even, and being able to use that consciousness to then pull yourself up a level or two and sort of move into that most meaningful space where you really are filling your full capacity as a creator to be making sense through your work and to be, bringing true meaning through and forward.

I like to think of it, I always go back to this principle that there’s a relationship between an artist and their own creativity, and that that relationship has various states of health, just like any relationship between two people or entities. Right?

And so if I was going to try to overlay your three tiers with my philosophy of, like, the creative relationship, it totally matches. I think there’s a lot of alignment there, because in the lowest tier, where you’re trying to prove something, I think about that in terms of an artist whose relationship with creativity is oriented around the approval of others, oriented around external validation.

And if you think about, I liken it, to any important relationship in your life, a relationship with a friend or a loved one or a significant other or a business partner. In all of those relationships, we have to be really intentional about, the way we’re treating the other, the energy we’re bringing into that connection and what we’re expecting back out of it, and the clarity we feel on why we’re connected to that person and what service we bring them and what they’re giving back to us.

And all of those things are places where we can either enrich and deepen the relationship and the connection, or where we can sort of undermine ourselves and shoot ourselves in the foot and set our relationship up to fail and be evil and difficult. Right? And so back to these three tiers. An artist who is creating for the sole purpose of proving their skill or their worth, really, in my mind, they’re not relating to their creativity in a whole and fulfilling way.

They’re using their creativity to try to pander and appeal to others. And it’s so tempting and easy to do that. We’ve all fallen into that trap. I know that I will fall into that trap many more times before my career is over. it just, it happens because it feels good to get a gold star and a pat on the back and we want someone else to say, hey, you’re good at this. But if that’s the sole driver for our relationship creativity, I think we’re really building something hollow. And over time, we’re going to start feeling the lack of strong foundation in that relationship.

So if we move up one tier into, you know, you talked about artists using their creativity as a way to be, as a vehicle for presence and, like, being in the moment. I would say for me, probably this is my default at this moment.

Like, if I have my, if I go into my studio and I can just be with my work, that’s pretty good day for me. Like, you know, I would be okay with that. and then I love those days when I’m able to transcend even further and, like, find this meaning. And that’s great when that happens, but, most days I’m happy to just to just be present and be able to let go of the things outside of, outside of being my work in the moment. So in that moment, I would liken that experience to someone who’s really present in a relationship and who is enjoying the company of the other person.

In my relationship with my kids, I strive to be present; to just be with them is great. And that’s sort of, I think, an honourable goal. But then if we can move up one level to that top tier you described, where creativity is a vehicle for meaning making and for, really attaining this sense that we are bringing our deepest gifts to bear and bringing them out into the world and doing something meaningful. In my mind, that’s a relationship where you have a deep and abiding connection with someone.

You both feel a sense of shared vision. You’re not just looking at each other; you’re looking in the same direction. some of us have been lucky enough to have a best friend or a partner who we feel that sense of connection and synergy with, where, like, yes, you’re my spouse and I enjoy spending time with you, and I enjoy being beside you, but also together, shoulder to shoulder, we are pointed in the same direction. We have the same vision, we have the same dreams. We’re building this life together. And I’m looking out 510, 2030, 40 years with you in what reality I want us to create together, and that is the most fulfilling and meaningful type of connection. And I think artists can build that and can have that level of connection with their creativity as well.

Oli Anderson: You’re just given such an amazing breakdown of all these different tiers, as we’re calling them. I think in a way, there’s a theme emerging here around, like, intimacy, if you want to call it that. Like, I think in terms of what we’ve been saying about relationships, I think the healthiest relationships, the most real relationships, are the ones with the least barriers to intimacy. And in relation to, like, these tears that we’ve now brought into the conversation, if we enter a relationship with ourselves or with others or with life at, that first level of just trying to prove ourselves, ultimately, then we come in from a very fragmented place.

We’re fragmented in the sense of being disconnected from our fundamental, core being, ultimately, which is what causes us to create the ego, the false image, false version of ourselves that constantly needs validation from the outside world to continue existing because it doesn’t actually have any grounding in anything. And so if we approach relationships as a vehicle for kind of proving to ourselves that we’re who we think we need to be to compensate for all of the underlying emotional stuff, then we’re going to have a fragmented relationship ultimately, that is always going to have barriers to communication and to that intimacy, which is just two people really seeing each other in the realest possible way.

The next level about being like, also, ultimately, like, being is what it’s all about. Like, we want to get to a point where we’re being like, we’re just being ourselves, which ultimately means we’re just enjoying, I suppose, a moment of intimacy, let’s say, between ourselves and life and between ourselves and whatever it is that we’re doing. In this case, creating a piece of art, or something.

But I think being is often misconstrued as being about just stillness. But actually being is about putting ourselves back in the flow, I think. Like, when we’re really present, things are still moving. Like, ultimately, like, you know, the present moment is just motion from one moment to the next. And if we can put ourselves in that flow, so to speak, then we’re going to end up eventually flowing towards wholeness. But if we can get to that third level, then we can flow towards wholeness in a more conscious way, because we are just being. But we also understand that our being needs to bring in the vision ultimately that you kind of you talked about, which is the thing that gives us a direction to be able to use as we navigate those moments of being from one to the next, if that makes sense.

And, the relationship quality as we do that, whether it’s just the relationship with ourselves and life and knowing what our vision is based on, where we’re going, when we’ve kind of transcended the. Transcended, strong word, but stepped back from that need to prove ourselves, which is blocking this natural expression of a vision that’s probably always there. But the quality of the relationship with a vision is it’s gonna be more long lived than a relationship that is just about being, if that makes sense.

And so, yeah, I am rambling a lot, but there’s something here about the healthy relationship with our creativity in relation to, I guess, being present, but also moving at the same time and how we. Yeah, so. But, yeah, sorry, I can tell you’re gonna…

Lauren Spangler: No, no. You call it rambling. I call it digging deep. I’m loving it. Oli. I think this is good stuff.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, I think I’m no longer a rumbler. I’m a dig deeperer, deep digger.

Lauren Spangler: I think that’s great. I think. Wonderful. Yeah. I think I would bring in the word purpose, I would say when we’re being. I, agree with you completely. It’s dropping in flow. It’s allowing. Allowing yourself to be present with what is. And, man, I’ve tried meditation, in the traditional, like sitting on a meditation pillow, eyes closed. I’ve tried that so many times, and I’ve just.

I’ve never been able to get past, like, five or ten minutes. I cannot seem to break into that club of people who can be there, sort of in this peaceful stillness for 20 to 30 minutes. I just can’t do it. But I will tell you, when I do feel a heightened state of mindfulness and awareness and, like, transcendence of, like, the daily whatever is when I’m doing dishes.

Oli Anderson: Wow.

Lauren Spangler: Don’t know what it is about doing dishes. The repetitive motion, the ease of, like, I know what. Like, I’m just scrubbing a plate. Like, this is easy. there’s something about it where if I can get really mindful and I can get really aware and really in my body and in the moment, I can actually experience a deep level of peace when I’m doing these really mundane daily tasks.

And I think it’s the same in the studio where if we can get into this space where sharpening our pencils is an act of creative, enjoyment, and where watching how the paint is spread. I started working with watercolour a while ago, mostly as therapy for my perfectionism, because I could not control the watercolours the way I could control the other mediums I worked in. and, like, watching as soon as I started to just, like, notice, like, what is the doing? How is the pigment spreading?

The water is moving in a way I didn’t totally expect it to. What happens next? There is this same type of allowance and awareness that we can bring into a creative practice where it can become this really peaceful, mindful act. And I think purpose comes in when we can both be in the moment, like, deeply grounded in just what is happening now and simultaneously be able to zoom out and say, okay, I have a finite number of years on this planet. Like, we’re about to go deep, Oli.

 Like, if I’ve got 100 years to work with, I’m lucky. And what am I doing with that time? Like, the fact that I’m sitting here watching the watercolour flow across the paper feels meaningful to me. And why is that? And what am I wanting to bring? And what am I wanting to leave? And. And why am I spending my time this way?

Because my time is finite and my time is precious. And when we get to that deep of a level and, we can answer those questions for ourselves and come up with, like, a solid response where we know exactly why we’re painting that painting or exactly why we’re having this conversation right now, I think that the union of this deep, mindful act with this broader, like, large scale alignment.

That’s where we find this purpose and this sense that the tiny little steps we’re taking in the moment are incongruence with this bigger purpose and reason for being. And if we’re not afraid to go there with ourselves and we’re not afraid to sort of fumble through the dark at first and go, gosh, I don’t know why there are all these little gremlins that will come out as soon as you ask yourself that question. Right?

It can be a really challenging experience, but if you walk yourself through sort of those dark woods to find those answers, I think that’s where we can really get in this fun place where, creativity and artistry can move into this deeply personal, purposeful and meaningful, experience.

Oli Anderson: Yeah. First of all, I’m really happy that you kind of brought death into this conversation. I feel like if somebody mentions death, then it’s a successful podcast, because ultimately.

Lauren Spangler: Ring the bell, then death bell. Ring the bell. Yeah.

Oli Anderson: But death is kind of the doorway into all this because like, if you accept death, memento mori, all that stuff, you start to make real choices, and ultimately real choices, as opposed to unreal ones, which I for brevity think are just the choices motivated by ego, rather than the real stuff that’s going on inside of real choices, are, always going to bring you back to your purpose.

And if you have a sense of purpose, like you said, then it’s no longer just about what you do, but it’s also about how you do it, because everything that you’re doing is kind of feeding into that sense of purpose, and it’s allowing you to be present in the way we talked about, but it’s also moving you forward. And I think if we have a sense of what our real purpose is, then it basically brings in like all of the levels we’ve talked about so far, because initially we may set out to prove something to the world or whatever, but as we kind of go down the path towards manifesting our purpose, we’re going to grow more real in the process, because it’s going to challenge us to grow through all of those kind of outdated ideas about ourselves, or the fragmentation that we’ve kind of become attached to and etc.

And as we do move forward, we become more whole, ultimately. And so this idea that you brought into the conversation about creative purpose, I think is kind of a linchpin for understanding a lot of these things. And so I, suppose I’ve got two questions for you now, like, one, in relation to what we were kind of trying to unpack about, like, a healthy relationship with our creativity. Are we saying that it ultimately comes down to being purposeful with our creativity?

But the second thing, which is going to open things up maybe a bit deeper. So bring death in if you can, like 100 million%. But, like, the other thing is, like, how do we find that purpose? And, I’d like to think it has something to do with what you said right at the start of the conversation about feeling the pull. And I think feeling that pull in many cases is about something beneath the surface telling us to get back on track, ultimately with that purpose.

So, again, I’ve thrown words at you, but is it all about creative purpose in terms of having a healthy relationship with our creativity? And then two, how do we start to, become aware of what that is by listening to ourselves in life?

Lauren Spangler: Yeah, I do think purpose is the keystone. I think that it may not be something that has to be a conscious element of every single day, an artist. Like, it’s not something you have to constantly be sort of wrapping yourself around the axel about. But I do think that if you haven’t, if you haven’t visited that topic and found some truths there, then it’s one of those things you’ll miss as you go along, and other things will start to unravel and crumble a little bit. So do I think it’s all about purpose? I think that purpose is a key ingredient. It would be like making a cherry pie without the cherries. Like, you’ve got to have it somewhere in there, or nothing’s going to work.

And when I work artists, this is where I always begin. Like, our first conversation is always about purpose. I sit them down and I say, look, you’re going to die. No, I don’t, I don’t start there. but really, I do think that that’s where most creative, dysfunction stems from, is when we haven’t had that conversation with ourselves around why we’re doing what we’re doing.

 So how do we figure that out? Typically, it’s deeper than we think it is. There are several layers on top. We kind of have to dig through a lot of, motivators that we’ve experienced in our lives and that drive our work. And all of those external sort of things are clues, and they sort of lead us down into this core where we can start to uncover what really is driving us, or maybe what is driving us and what we want to be driving us, which may be two different things, and then we reconcile that and we go about sort of mending and, like, recalibrating ourselves around the purpose.

We want to be driven by one, exercise that’s useful that I would recommend if someone was listening, to this conversation and wanting to sort of guide themselves through a process like that would be, you know, through drinking or maybe a long walk or whatever, asking themselves why about five or six times, like a chain of six whys, you know? Okay, why am I doing this? Well, I’m doing this because I want to win such and such. Okay, why do I want to win that award? Well, because, you know, my mother won that award, and it’s important to me that, I wrote rise to that same bar. Okay, why is that important?

Well, because we have this legacy in my family of, you know, we all are artists and we all, you know, okay, well, why is legacy important to you? Why? You can dig down. You can dig deep, deep, deep in. Or, you know, a different artist may ask themselves, why am I doing this? And decide that, well, I really want to write this book because I really want my kids to read it. Well, why do you want your kids to read it? Well, because I want to impart this, you know, gem to them.

Okay, why do you want to impart, like, if we can ask ourselves five or six times in a row, what is really motivating our actions and our desires, a lot of times after about half a dozen rounds of that, we get down to these fundamental core values and, we start to go, oh, I’m driven by play. You know, when I’m in my studio and I’m in a painting, everything else kind of falls away.

When I can get in that flow zone and I can start to escape the, like, administrative of my life or like, whatever conflicts are distracted, like, I can forget all of that and I can just be in the zone, escape. Okay, well, why want to escape? Oh, because, you know, and then we get deeper and deeper. So it might be play. It might be catharsis. It might be. It might be that we have something we deeply want to express. It might be that we have something we’re trying to, shine light on to bring others awareness.

You know, everyone is going to have a different reason for why they do what they do. But if you can ask yourself over and over and over again until you get to, like, a one word answer, a, one or two word answer, that’s when you start to know that you’re really circling in on the core motivators that can guide your creative life and can sort of become your north star. Because when you peel away a lot of that external, stuff, you peel away the award, you peel away whatever revenue goal that you might have for this year.

When you peel all that external stuff away and you get down to what actually matters to you, then when you layer the external pieces back on, you can do so with intentionality and you can say, okay, if what I’m really trying to experience is play, I always go back to that one a lot because I find that most of the clients I work with at the end of the day really enjoy the playful pieces of their work.

But if it’s play, right, then you can still go after that award, you can still hit that revenue goal. But if you’re doing it with a spirit of playfulness and wanting to spread that sense of play to others and wanting to share and make that playful spirit in your work a contagious thing and allow people into that sensation, you can still reach those external markers, but from a totally different angle than this. Sort of like, egocentric, scarcity based, like, I better get that award or else, right? Or else I’ll be. I’m not going to feel good enough. I don’t know.

You put a lot into your question. I put a lot into my answer. I hope this feels like I’m actually answering what you asked, but I think it’s possible for any artist to drill down to what that is. And if they’re willing to do it alone, this is where a trusted friend or a creativity coach can help, because they can ask you those questions and help you sort of shine the light on the spaces you may not have seen or considered before.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, I think, what you just shared is so important because ultimately, a lot of the time, unless we, unless we do some of that work of raising awareness, ultimately by digging into our assumptions, then we’re just running around on autopilot, not realizing that the assumptions that are driving us are either going to be real or unreal, to sound like a broken record. And this comes back to what we were saying about choices.

Like, ultimately, the only way to have a healthy relationship with your creativity and with life itself is to be acting intentionally, because you know that the choices you’re making are coming from that realist part of you. And I think if we look at that three, pronged kind of tier system that we were talking about earlier, if you’re at that earlier stage or you’re just trying to prove yourself to the world.

Ultimately, then you’re… You kind of lost, like you had been driven by the right thing deep down. But because you don’t know what it is, you end up in this trap that many people fall into you where you’re looking for the right thing, which is wholeness in fragmented places, let’s say. And if you do do some work, either consciously or, because that system that you’ve built for yourself of kind of chasing these things, eventually just runs out of steam and you have to confront yourself to some degree.

If you do that work, then you’re always going to end up back in the same place, which is you’re going to be reunited with your creative purpose in the language you’ve been using, but also your being. Like, deep down, when you do that five, six wise exercise, it can only really lead to the things that give you that feeling of being the things that make you feel most alive. And, only if you consciously bring more of that stuff to the surface are you going to be able to kind of move in the direction that you want to move in. So it’s super, super important, I suppose, what I’m seeing here.

Lauren Spangler: Absolutely. And this is where. Oh, nope, go ahead.

Oli Anderson: No, sorry. It’s okay. Please go ahead.

Lauren Spangler: What? This is where I’m gonna throw a monkey wrench in. Are you ready for a monkey wrench?

Oli Anderson: I’m always ready for a monkey wrench. Let’s go.

Lauren Spangler: So artists have this interesting conundrum because we are answering all of these beautiful existential questions, and we have to be driven by these existential things, but within the constraints of our, very real life. And so artists, especially professional artists, walk this line where they have to be driven by their deepest purpose, and they also have to be driven by needs and demands of their lifestyle. What do they require to support themselves?

What are they? You know, they’re going to have to pay the mortgage next month. Right? And so I think one place we get tripped up is many of us love to live in this sort of abstract, esoteric, nebulous space where we can talk for days about why we do what we do and why it’s important, and then at some point, we got to go pay the bills. And I think that’s one place that can be really challenging for artists to navigate, because they feel like these two things are at odds with one another. And so the other thing.

I love people. why do you do what you do? Is, why do you do what you do? And how can you support yourself to do that in a way that will give you the space and time that you need to reach those highest levels with your creativity, find that fulfilment and that experience that you want out of it. And so that’s the other piece, because in this relationship we have with our creativity, one of the biggest strains can be money.

It can be the financial reality that’s pulling us in different directions, and, you know, causing us to fixate on some of those external markers. Because, yeah, you know, as an artist, we never want to be driven by what someone else thinks, but as soon as that someone is a collector who’s either going to pay you for your work or not, dang. It’s hard not to be driven by what that person thinks.

So this is the other piece where I think it’s critical for artists to sit down and get clear on what is the big picture for them, what is their purpose, what are the tangible ways in they can support their creative spirit and give themselves the financial stability that they need over the long run. And that’s a hard question to answer, but I think it’s a critical one.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, I think this is where it comes down to understanding that, I guess two things. Like, first of all, creativity applies to everything, as we’ve kind of been saying. And so, it’s not just about creating our work. Like, on the deepest level, what we’re actually doing is creating ourselves. And so everything that happens is actually fuel for creating this next version of ourselves, this next level of ourselves. I’d say that’s taken a step or two closer towards wholeness.

And it doesn’t need to be a massive step, but it needs to be some kind of a step. And we’ve always been invited, ultimately, to take the next step. Like, in every moment. Like, I seem to say this all the time recently, but, like, literally every moment, there’s a choice between wholeness and fragmentation, between a connection to ourselves or, to just go back to the old ways of kind of thinking and doing things that are kind of outdated software, let’s say.

So I think that’s one important part of this, because even if we find ourselves as an artist or something, painting something, just to make money, well, we can still use that challenge in some way to look at, what we actually want in the long run and all that kind of thing, and to just even just become more solidified in our commitment to our purpose overall, because we say, right, well, you know, right now I’ve got to take this commission or whatever so I can pay the mortgage, but ultimately, my creative purpose and vision is going to lead me to a place where I’m not going to have to do this, because, you know, I’m just going to have artistic integrity all the time, or, whatever it is.

But the other thing as well is nothing exists in isolation, does it? So it’s. It’s kind of what you said, like, it’s about understanding the bigger picture. And I think this is so vital and important not just to creating, like, art in the traditional sense, but to, again, creating ourselves and, like, the real lives that we want to live.

Like, life is just one big process. And I think we’re all on this. We’re all on this journey from fragmentation to wholeness. We can always go deeper into wholeness, as throughout the course of our lives. And then we die, of course, and we just become one with everything, finally. But this journey of fragmentation to wholeness is always taking place.

And so, if we just look at things in isolation, like individual projects or individual, scenarios and situations that pop up throughout the course of the day, then we kind of taken ourselves out of that flow. And I think we can get to this state where no matter what is going on, ultimately, and maybe it sounds a bit idealistic, but I really think we can live in this space. Like, no matter what’s going on, we’re just taking everything as fuel for that journey towards more wholeness. So even if something bad happens or something that goes, something that deviates from our plan or vision, there’s always going to be an opportunity. There’s always going to be a lesson. At the very least, that’s going to give us fuel for this wider journey towards our vision and purpose and all that stuff. That’s how I see it.

Lauren Spangler: So I don’t think that’s too idealistic. I think that’s the goal. I think that’s attainable. And I think the artists who I’ve worked with, who are the happiest and who are able to maintain their inspiration and their consistency and their momentum over a long career have done that. I think that’s the key.

And I think a lot of times the fragmentation we’re experiencing is, like, self-imposed because we have all of these preconceived notions around the value around what we’re doing. Like, is it worthy money if we’re not making it with our art? Is it, you know, does it make us less of an artist if we have an income stream that doesn’t directly tie back to our core, like, passion? and I think if we can deconstruct a lot of the value charges we’ve placed on the various activities in our life, we can start to pull these things together and start to remove the polarities and go, you know what?

Yeah. Like, the fact that I’m taking that commission is allowing me the space that, you know, I can spend most of the day working on that commission, and then I can spend the last part of the day working on my passion project. And the two things are in harmony with each other. they are supporting and feeding each other. And, like you said, we’re on this continuum. We’re, like, on this path to ultimately, like, fulfilling this beautiful, creative act of living our life. And if we can start to see these things as, you know. I would argue that if you have like, I had. I was a, I served coffee for a while, and for a long time, it was just, like, this never ending source of frustration for me that I was, like, serving coffee.

 Like, oh, my gosh, I should be making music. I should be painting paintings. Like, why am I serving coffee? This seems completely perpendicular to everything that I say I want to do. And if I remove that value charge and go, you know what? Yeah.

Of my entire set of knowledge and expertise and skills and opportunities in that moment in time, I had the opportunity to be playing music and releasing an album and building, you know, a collector base for my art. I also had the opportunity to be making delicious mochas and serving them to people who like to come back to my coffee shop because we liked to connect with each other and, like, that’s beautiful and valid also. And that day job was an ally.

That day job was giving me. It was affording me the stability, the creative freedom, the time and space to become the artist that I was becoming. And when I began to treat that day job with gratitude, like, it’s part of my origin story. Right? Like, I cannot do. I can’t afford, a keyboard without it. Like, I’ve got to have it. And as soon as I began to see it not as a threat to my creative identity, but as a tool that supported the development of my creative identity, then all the resistance sort of falls away, and you go, yeah, okay, I’m gonna go serve coffee for a few hours, and then I’m gonna go make some music.

Oli Anderson: Yeah.

Lauren Spangler: Like, this is great. This is my life. This is my day today. And, you know, even today, ten years later, there are still parts of my life where I make choices based around my values, based on my desire for stability, based on my financial commitments to my family, and instead of villainizing those choices to be able to say, yeah, I’m one 3d person with a bunch of facets to my life and a bunch of different things that are driving me, and all of those things are valid, and all of those things are living within this ecosystem that is harmonious, and I can allow it to be harmonious.

That’s where I find even less resistant. Like then when I’m doing the things that I really, really do care about, when I’m working with a coaching client that’s just lighting me up, or when I’m making a painting that I’m just so proud of in those moments, then I’m available to enjoy, the reward and joy and excitement and happiness of that, because I’m no longer burdened by resentment or a sensation of failure or whatever else it was that I was layering on top of myself the entire time. You know what I mean?

Oli Anderson: Yeah. I think the lesson is that everything that happens can be a springboard into what we want to have happen next. Like, it’s really that simple. Like, it’s all fuel for moving in the direction that we want to move in. And, the only thing that stops us is the ego stuff we were talking about.

Like, when we feel we have to prove ourselves to the world and when we become outcome dependent, basically, instead of outcome independent. For me, outcome independent means that we are investing our self-worth in some external thing happening.

So, for example, maybe you’re an artist or an author or something, you want your art to be received in a certain way, and you’ve decided, purely because of arbitrary emotional reasons, really, you’ve decided that you’re not going to feel good about yourself until that happens. And then that just distorts you, that distorts the view of everything that happens instead. And then you become resentful and judgmental, and you’re not grateful for what you’ve got. And then that takes you out of the flow and it stops you spring-boarding with what you’ve got into where you actually need to be. And so it’s all about that, in my opinion, just the choices we make to kind of stay present and to keep growing towards that vision. Something like that.

Lauren Spangler: So, well said.

Oli Anderson: Well, thank you. But now I’m going to challenge you to sum up everything we’ve talked about, if that’s even possible. Have you got, like, how would you sum all this up? What’s the main theme of this conversation? Have you any final words of wisdom? Can you let people know where they can find your website as well, please. And anything else you want to share.

Lauren Spangler: Absolutely. Let’s see. I think if I was going to sum up the last 45 minutes here, it might take me 45 more minutes to sum up everything we covered.

Oli Anderson: Well, we can die soon, so we don’t have 45 minutes.

Lauren Spangler: We don’t have 45 minutes. Let’s go. I, think it would come back to the fact that we’re, working with a finite amount of time. We’re working within our very personal realities. And the more honest we can be about what we want to make of that and why we want to make what we want to make, the more clearly we can begin to align ourselves to the things that are really the most important and the easier that will make it for us to create the work that we feel called to create.

And that deep digging conversations like this one, might be the medicine if we’re feeling frustrated or stuck or blocked, because sometimes, the deeper challenges we face have to have deeper answers to resolve them. And so if I was going to encourage, if I was going to encourage a listener to take a step out of this, because it’s nice to take these big, abstract things and make it something that’s, like, concrete and doable, I would encourage someone to sit down and really take stock of their relationship with their creativity.

And, you know, not in a self-judgmental way, we’re not giving ourselves a grade or a score, but to sit down and just really honestly ask, how am I doing? How am I relating to my creativity? Am I going in the direction that I want to go? is it feeling the way I want it to feel? And to just let that answer come honestly and to just receive wherever they are in the moment and meet themselves where they are and move from there and start to more intentionally build the relationship that they want to have with their creativity.

This is really my favourite stuff. I’m so passionate about this, and I just feel like any artist can benefit from having that honest checkpoint with themselves. And so I actually made a tool that folks can use. It’s completely free. You don’t even need an email to download it. It’s totally just a free gift but I made a self-assessment tool that helps people take a pulse on their creative wellbeing. And it’s ten questions long, takes about ten minutes to complete.

And it gives you a holistic picture of where you might be really strong in your creative relationship, or where there might be places that you could make some changes to set yourself up for more fulfilment over the long run. So I call it my spark or sputter test. It’s, again, totally free. It’s at spark. So that’s one place people get introduced to me in my work. It’s a good place to start. And if you go down, I hope it helps you shine light on some things that’ll improve your creative wellbeing over time. The other place to connect with me. If you want to see what’s happening in my studio this week, I do hang out on Instagram. I’m Laurenspangler, and I would love to connect there too.

Oli Anderson: Awesome. So I’m going to share both of those links in the show notes. But, Lauren, this has been a really good one. I feel like it’s just flowed really well. So thank you for bringing that energy to allow us to do that. And, I feel like I should write this up somehow in a humorous way. I’ll say something about death.

Lauren Spangler: Ring the death bell again. Yeah, yeah. No, no.

Oli Anderson: There we go. We’re all going to die. Thank you so much.

Lauren Spangler: Thank you so much. Oli, this has been a total blast. It’s been the highlight of my day. I appreciate you taking the time, and I hope this conversation helps people.

Oli Anderson: Thank you so much once again. Lauren, that was awesome.

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