Creative Status: Episode 30: Anjl Rodee: The Art of Vulnerability

Your creativity THRIVES under pressure ?

This is because the creative process is often about pushing through perceived limitations so that we can see what’s REALLY there.

If we understand this and refuse to block this natural process then we can learn to be truly VULNERABLE and to flow, grow, and expand with life no matter what.

In this episode of Creative Status, I had the pleasure of speaking with Anjl Rodee, founder of BrushCapades, about the power of creativity and its ability to promote well-being.

Anjl’s unique approach to teaching painting focuses not only on the technical aspects of the craft, but also on the meditative and self-kindness benefits that come with it.

Anjl shared her personal journey of discovering her love for painting and how it eventually led to the creation of BrushCapades, a business that offers virtual painting classes for people of all skill levels.

She emphasized the importance of making art accessible and attainable for everyone, and the positive impact it can have on mental health.

We discussed the benefits of improvisation in both art and life, and how being vulnerable and embracing mistakes can lead to growth and creativity. Anjl also shared her experiences leading workshops for companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and Twitter, and how virtual classes have allowed her to connect with people from all over the world.

Throughout the conversation, Anjl’s infectious energy and passion for painting shone through as she emphasized the importance of incorporating creativity into our daily lives. She encouraged listeners to take the time to explore their own creative side, whether it’s through painting, writing, or any other form of artistic expression.

Overall, this episode is a reminder of the power of creativity to promote well-being and bring joy into our lives.

Anjl’s unique approach to teaching painting is a testament to the positive impact that art can have, and she brings the energy and inspiration to incorporate more creativity into our daily routines.

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Episode Links:

Anjl’s Website: ⁠https://anjlrodee.com/⁠

Brushcapades: ⁠https://www.brushcapades.com/⁠

Connect with Anjl on Instagram: ⁠https://www.instagram.com/anjlkr

Creative Status Links:

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Show Transcript

Intro

Oli Anderson: Oh hi there, Oli Anderson here, you’re listening to Creative Status, this is a podcast about using your creativity to become more real.

What that means is probably different to all of you. The creative process, how we have to deconstruct our egos, raise awareness, how we have to accept ourselves unconditionally and whatever the creative process brings up, how we have to take inspired action once we’ve been through that process and figured out some stuff. And on the podcast I basically interview people about that and related topics. This episode is an interview with Anjl Rodee.

Anjl has a company called Brushcapades, where she goes out into organisations and she puts on workshops and that kind of thing, helping people to use the creative process through painting and that kind of thing to get out of their heads a little bit, stop holding back, figure out what’s really going on inside them, be vulnerable and to really share something that’s real with other people and a whole bunch of other things. So if you take that into account, she’s a perfect guest for this show because ultimately she understands the whole thing that we’re ranting and raving about over here.

And she has some amazing things to say about it. There’s some stuff in here that she said about vulnerability that was really powerful I think. There’s so many misconceptions that people have out there about what it means to be vulnerable.

Ultimately, they seem to think that it’s just about pouring your guts all over the floor and playing with them in front of people. But actually there’s a real approach which means that we’re accepting that we feel a certain way and we’re sharing that when it’s relevant and necessary to do so but we’re growing through it, we’re not letting it hold us back. Ultimately just sharing where we are. So anyway that’s the thing that came up. All kinds of cool things about how we can use the creative process to be more human, more creative, more flowing, more growing. Yada yada yada.

I’m going to stop ranting and raving and let you just listen to the interview. But if you get some value from this, please leave a review or something or send me a DM and let me know who else might be a good guest. Angel, thank you so much for your time and everybody else.

Enjoy the episode. Here we go.

Interview

Oli Anderson: Oh hi there Anjl. Thank you so much for joining me today on Creative Status. You’re a terribly artistic person with a lot of energy. I can sense that. So we’re going to talk about creativity today because that’s what this podcast is about and I think we’re going to be exploring that in relation to stress.

Before we get on to all that, do you just feel like introducing yourself, telling people who you are, what you’re all about and what you want to get from this conversation? If anything.

Anjl Rodee: Every day.  Every day I feel like doing that. So yes, my name is Angel Rodee and I have a company called Barushcapades and I basically teach about the importance of creativity to teams, corporate teams all over the world actually. So through the medium of painting and drawing, but it’s pretty much a lesson about how important creativity is.

Oli Anderson: Wow. So one thing that always pops up on this podcast or one little thing that I always like to ramble about anyway is that creativity isn’t just about painting pictures or taking photos and all that kind of stuff. Obviously you work in that area, but do you find that creativity itself is much bigger than that kind of thing? And if so, how would you describe that to people?

Anjl Rodee: The way that I’ve heard creativity defined is making something out of nothing.

So you know, that could be bread, that could be a sweater that is knit, that could be a perfect circle of stones on the ground. Really? Because that wasn’t there before. We’re the only living creature that makes things out of nothing just to do it, not because we need a nest or to impress a mate.

And it’s really inherent to what we are as a creature. So I always tell everybody, go back to your LinkedIn and after whatever it is you do for your occupation, put back slash artist. I don’t think anyone’s taken me up on it, but I’m pushing, I’m pushing it.

Oli Anderson:  I might try that after this.Let’s see how it goes.

Anjl Rodee: It feels like a lofty word. It feels like if you say you’re an artist, that either means you’ve got stuff in galleries, or you’re sleeping on your girlfriend’s couch.Yes, maybe both. But it feels like a weird, lofty word that’s hard to own. Doesn’t it?

Oli: Yeah, I think so. There’s so many connotations, or there’s just so much loaded stuff with that word. And I think This is where this conversation might open up a little bit now. I think it’s because a lot of the time we filter what we need art to be through the ego and how we want to see ourselves.

And so there becomes all these kind of pretentious ideas about what it actually means to be an artist, create art and blah, blah, blah. But actually real art, I would say, and I don’t know if you agree, goes back to what you just said, which is that it’s just about making something out of nothing. And when you go through that process of making something out of nothing, actually, even though you’re making something out of nothing, that’s something ends up revealing something to you about yourself.

And if you do it right, that helps other people to understand themselves a little bit better as well. Now that’s maybe pretentious.

Anjl: Yeah.Yeah. So you can’t not create like yourself. There’s a piece of you in whatever it is you just did. And I think that that maybe is inherently scary and people because they realize that even if they don’t know it, they know it.You know, you’re revealing a little bit of yourself, but that little bit of vulnerability is what draws people to you.

Oli: And I think a lot of the time, this underlying revelation of the self or whatever you want to call it, this aspect of the creative process is what causes people to have creative blocks and things like that. Because a lot of the time people actually don’t want their real selves to emerge. They’ve reached the end of, you know, one current incarnation of their identity or whatever, they’re trying to cling to it. And so they don’t want that process to unfold. And actually what I’m learning is that process is not just about, you know, painting pictures and all this stuff. Like I just said, it can be literally anything. You can, it can be a yoga session.

It can be walking through the park. Anything where you are becoming more present and aware within yourself and within life is the creative process. And it’s always unfolding. It’s constantly moving us towards wholeness, because that’s what we’re here to do. I think it’s just to keep growing and evolving and expanding and blah, blah, blah, blah.

And so that is the creative process. And so just to end this little ramble and bring it onto the stress thing. I think that most stress in our lives is when we are living in a way that kind of blocks that natural unfolding towards wholeness. So it can be like psychological barriers that we erect or the identity stuff that we cling to.

That stops us flowing. It can be doing things physically, I guess, where we’re pushing ourselves too much or we’re not doing enough. And all these different things take us out of balance with reality and these natural processes. And that’s what causes stress in our lives. So I don’t know if that’s aligned with what you think about all this stuff.

But if we’re just going to open up the stress thing, what do you think?

Anjl: Yeah, don’t you think that you, we count in what we’ve made something that wasn’t there before? If you have a new idea or a new mindset today that you didn’t have yesterday, that’s something you created.

Oli: So can you elaborate a little bit? What do you mean?

Anjl: When we talk about making a thing, being creative, making something, we think that it involves the pen in the paper or the yoga position or a thing outside of ourselves. But really, you are also your creation.

Every day you make decisions that make you different than you were yesterday. That also counts as creating. Yeah, 100%. It’s a really cool thing to be mindful of that you get to be in charge. You know, if you’re like, oh, I’m so lazy. Well, today I’m not, you know, I’m a new person.

Oli: Yeah, yeah, because most most of the stories we tell ourselves, they’re just our assumptions that we’ve carried over into the present from the past, but they’re not actually real. There’s just concepts in our head. But how do you think that the capacity we have to create ourselves and make choices and all this stuff, how does that fit into the stress thing?Do you think from a creative point of view, if it does? And it’s a curveball question.

Anjl: It is a super curveball question. Let me see if and correct me if I’m off course. But I think that a lot of the stress.

Well, no, I’m going to just go out on a limb and say all of this stress and fear and anxiety that we see as a real thing in the world is actually, just like you said, a little voice inside our head, a thing, a story we tell ourselves. I’ve just as an example, I am taking care of my cousin’s dogs. They live next door, three dogs, taking care of them for eight days. And I was really, really anxious about how me, who just has a cat and have to empty the litter box every few days.

Other than that, she pretty much ignores me to be in charge of animals that need you. Was filled me with a lot of anxiety. And I got a lot of work to do. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this.

I’m totally able to do it. So that was that as an anxiety that I built up inside myself. That wasn’t an actual thing. It is a story that I told myself that it was going to be overwhelming.

So I think that, you know, a lot of things that we count of is, that we think of as a stressor, we’re kind of stressing ourselves out because we could also tell ourselves, this is going to be a challenge that I am up for. Then you’re excited about that same thing that’s coming up that could have potentially been a stressor.

Oli: Yeah. Like this is something that I’ve found in my own life. So I think really, like it sounds a bit extreme and some people will obviously disagree, but really there are no problems in life. There are, there are obstacles or challenges and, you know, things happen. But ultimately, if you have a problem that lingers, then it’s something going on in your head.

Ultimately, that you are attached to, because if you realize that there is a problem, your brain is either going to go into solution mode and you’ll find a solution and then you’ll do something about it so you won’t have a problem. Or you’ll eventually realize that it’s not a problem, it’s just part of life and there’s nothing you can do about it, so you just need to accept it. And the problem actually isn’t something external, it’s a lack of acceptance of the truth about life within inside yourself. And again that comes down to the stories we’re telling ourselves. And so when you view things through that lens, that makes it a lot easier to get into this creative flow state.

And again it always comes back to the identity issue. So, ultimately, I think nearly all stress is just, it starts with some mental thing that is just out of alignment with life and the creative process can tap you back into that.

Anjl: Absolutely. And we’re not perfect people. We’re going to get stressed, we’re going to get scared and stuff. But if at some point you can stop yourself and say, hang on, what is another message I can give myself today? Yeah, this thing feels really stressful. But what is a positive thing?

And then just stare at that thing emotionally. Stare at that thing. The issue, the problem gets smaller and smaller. And staring at your solution or your better attitude about it is also good for your self-confidence and your attitude in general. Both things are always true. A negative thing happens, there is a good side to it. There just always is because that’s balance, that’s the in and in of life. You can decide which one you stare at.

You can stare at the scary stuff or you can say, now what is also a good thing that can come from this?

Oli: Yeah. And I suppose in a way the creative challenge there is trying to reframe things, I guess. So you can see the very least you’re going to get a lesson. So you can do something with that if something bad happens. But there’s almost always an opportunity as well. But the thing I found that holds us back is not wanting to keep flowing and keep growing and expanding in the way that I was on about. Because we’re just attached to a certain version of ourselves.

So I guess what we’re saying is that a lot of stress is caused in the mind. Is that true though, do you think? Or am I being a bit too over the top? Because I’m making it sound like you can kind of think yourself out of any stressful situation and then you’ll just be all enlightened and blissed up in everything.

What are the, you know, are there some practical things I might be missing? Do you think?

Anjl: I don’t think so. I think that there is, there may be something to the fact that people just have things going on chemically in their head and they just need a chemical balancing thing. Whether, I’m not saying no to that, but I am saying there is a way to help think your way out of a stress thing. And meditating is one way to get there.

And me personally, maybe it is because I have this Dory the Fish energy that we talked about. When I meditate, Oli, I sit for 15 minutes and I just beat myself up because I can’t shut off my to-do list. But I can draw or I can paint and two hours can go by like the snap of a finger. That is also meditative and that is, that’s meditating with a parting gift, I like to say.

So it’s a way to help train yourself to bring your brain to another place other than the place where it’s gotten itself so worked up that you can’t see beyond the cloud.

Oli: How does, like the, I suppose, literal creative artistic work that you do with people help people to train themselves in that way?

Anjl: It gets you out of your brain without you having to overthink the fact that you are out of your brain. Once you get past the fact that, once you get past the feeling that what you produce on paper needs to be good or needs to be perfect, otherwise I shouldn’t be doing it.

When you think of art as play or as a therapeutic tool or just as a process, rather than I need to make something that looks good, otherwise I’m not good at it, and I shouldn’t be doing it. Take that out of your brain. Just the act of doing is what is so good for you. And sometimes we have to learn how to get out of the critical part of our self. And there’s really no other way around just the doing.

Oli: I think ultimately that is 100 % right. So when I’m coaching people, they often, when they first start working with me, they might be less confident than they want to be, or they’re a bit anxious or whatever, it’s got an inner critic holding them back. And you can’t really talk anybody out of that kind of stuff. All you can do is help them find inspired actions to take that are going to give them evidence that whatever that little narrative in their head is saying is bullshit, basically, is not true. And once they start taking action, and they start seeing the story they’ve been telling themselves is not true, then it slips away quite quickly.

And I think what’s going on there is what you’re saying about when you’re drawing or painting or whatever. They just become present basically. They’re just in the moment, they’re in the flow. And again, it comes back to this process we were talking about, where they’re just moving towards wholeness. Because that little voice, that inner critic, it’s just fragments that we picked up from the past because of our emotional relationship with ourselves. And so once you take action, obviously, you see that’s not true.

Anjl: When we’re six years old, we’re all artists and singers and dancers. And at some point, we decide that our efforts are just bad or wrong or just embarrassing, and we either never do it again, or never do it in front of people.

But it is really inherent to what we are. And when I teach people in a group, one of the benefits of teaching people in a group, like a corporate team, for instance, is when we get partway through the process. And right when I can start to see on people’s faces that they are starting to get disappointed with themselves in what they are doing, I make everybody hold up their art so everybody can see it. And I said, now I want you to look at it. everybody’s thing they’ve got up there.

And then I don’t say anything, but they all start naturally doing this. Oh, John, I love your sky. Oh, Clarissa, that is so cool what you did there. I love how you, that choice you made. And I say to people, do you notice that your brain is doing this? Mine sucks, but everybody else has something so different and so cool and so creative. And then I say, I don’t have a left lobe.

My mom says I qualify for handicapped parking and I am looking into it, but I know that math doesn’t work out. If we’re all thinking ours is the only sucky one, then it can’t be true.

Oli:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Anjl: And then I tell them when I’m working on art, I beat myself up too, but I yelled, I nailed it. I’m nailing this, I nailed that at myself to just kind of remind myself, you know, pen to paper. I am doing the great thing right now. Yeah, and just the action that counts again, like he said.

Oli: Yes. Why do you think most people in a group are telling themselves this story that theirs sucks? Like, where does this come from? Like, it seems to be, you know, like a bit of an emotional pandemic that’s taking place in the world. Everyone thinks that creative work sucks or whatever. Or some people are just compensating and they’re almost too confident potentially. But in general, there seems to be a lack of balance.

I don’t know if I’m making things up, but that’s how it seems.

Anjl: I think like a part of it comes from the fact that they are watching an instructor do it and they feel like if mine doesn’t look exactly like hers, then mine is wrong. And so I remind people, if Andy Warhol and Van Gogh were both on your team and trying to paint like each other, they’d be having aneurysms, but they’re both amazing. And the other thing is, I think social media just doesn’t help because everybody puts their best stuff up there. I’ve been thinking lately, I think I’m gonna start posting my sucky drawings because I’ve got them and I don’t post them. But I think it’s important to see that even somebody who does this for a living, they’re not successful.

My drawing wasn’t successful, but I learned something from it. And so therefore that thing is just as valuable as the ones that really turned out. So I think that’s a part of it too. And then just, when you hit a certain age, somewhere between six and 13, where you just decide that everything you put out is wrong or bad. And like I said, art is inherent. And I think if we met on a tennis court and you hadn’t played tennis before and this was tennis 101, you wouldn’t expect yourself to be good, but that’s what you find with it.

I’ll whack away at it. But art inherently, inherently personal. And I think people, even though they don’t realize that’s their thinking, they’re like, eh, that’s putting myself out there. Don’t know if that way. Yeah, yeah. No, no, that’s not, yeah.

Because you write like- Especially in this age of social media where everybody just puts their best stuff out there. It’s, we just forget that the process is the important thing. Not the stuff that belongs in a gallery wall.

Oli: Wow. Like the interesting thing there is, ultimately what we said right at the start of this conversation is the creative process is ultimately about the process of revealing more of who we really are, our true self. And so the conflict that seems to be going on with a lot of people is they’re creating art or they’re creating creative things that are an expression of who they think they should be rather than who they actually are. And so like you said about Van Gogh and Andy Warhol, like those guys, obviously, they were expressing something that was real inside themselves.

They weren’t trying to be anybody else. And so actually it comes back to that again, which is that if you really want to get the most out of the artistic process or the creative process and be able to create something, I guess, of value, then it has to be an expression of you. So how do we take all the shuds out of it? Because the shuds, I should be like Van Gogh, I should be like whoever, they’re actually causing people stress in a way.

Anjl:  Yes, that is true.I think it’s just inherently going to happen. I don’t know if there’s a way to tell people how to do that, but I can tell you from my own experience because I started my career as a commercial artist, excuse me, and as a commercial artist, people would say I want you to draw a car for this ad, do it in this style. So I made a living out of copying styles, right? So when I learn like my favorite art to do now, personal art is urban sketching. I like to go sit in front of a building and make a nice little watercolor and a sketch of it.

And when I was learning how to do that, I found people’s work that I liked, that I admired, and I would copy it. One of my very good friends now is someone I took a class from early on, and his style is very clean and looks like a comic book from when you were a kid. Very clean, strong lines.

And so my early, early urban sketches were very clean and strong lines. I find now it’s even hard for me to do that again because I just naturally, I’m just messy. The brain is messy on the inside. My art’s a little messy on the outside. We’ll say free and playful.

That’s a better way to say messy, right? And so I just naturally, when I stopped looking at his so much, my art is just gonna gravitate toward what I like. If you have a very type A brain, your art is gonna be very clean and type A. If you are playful, your lines are gonna be a little more playful. It’s just gonna get there. The more confidence you have in your structure, not even in your art, but in your process, the more you are gonna come out.

It’s gonna be hard to be structured if your brain doesn’t work in that way. And that’s fine, and that’s awesome. If we all painted the same way, what would you bid on at Sotheby’s like you do? There’s all kinds of stuff out there.

Oli: Yeah, I’m just thinking like, What we were saying about social media and everything and how it’s all curated. Actually, that applies in art galleries and stuff as well. Leonardo da Vinci, everyone’s seen the Mona Lisa or whatever, they think it’s amazing. But he went through so many test runs of just that painting itself and he’s got all these sketches and all this messy stuff that he put out there. Most art or most creative work actually is messy, isn’t it?

Anjl: Yes. 90 % of it and then 10 % the tip of the iceberg is what we show to the world. But the first, there’s a quote by Ernest Hemingway, I think, he said, the first draft of anything is shit.

And like ultimately, that’s just so true because it has to start like that and then you just refine it and then put out there what you think meets the standards. Yes. Each one of Van Gogh’s paintings are painted on top of another painting. There are no less than four paintings underneath every one of his paintings. Picasso, same way. It’s just what they did.

You just get to reuse it on top and on top and that’s okay.

Oli: Wow. And that’s actually, sorry.

Anjl: No, I was just saying that is process.

That is process and something that we need to keep in mind. They weren’t all the Mona Lisa. They weren’t all Starry Night.

Oli: And it applies to life as well because I guess, you know, we all start off quite messy. And then we kind of start to figure ourselves out and then we know to, I don’t know, interact better socially and all that kind of thing. It’s the same underlying process again.

Anjl: It, it reminded me of something you said earlier about vulnerability. I’m also an improv comic and one of the exercises that we do as a, as a group is we all stand in a circle and the medi, the moderator stands in the middle and, and points to everyone and says, what are you afraid of? What are you afraid of? What are you afraid of?

And it starts with the dark spiders, asparagus, whatever. And as you go around and around, it starts to become that my dad never loved me, that I won’t, you know, that I’m a failure because I didn’t finish college and all these things. And you start to realize as you’re listening, the more vulnerable people, vulnerable people get, the more you want to go hug that person and say, me too. I feel that way too. Or I have this other fear that feels like yours.

Let’s have a hug on that. Vulnerability is what attracts people to you, not your perfection. And, and it’s, you know, without looking for someone else to fix you, just to, just being that vulnerable human is your gift. The bravest thing you will do is to put that out there.

Don’t you think? And your art is, is that it’s your vulnerability on paper.

Oli: Do you think avoiding vulnerability for too long just creates more stress?

Anjl: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that’s where fear and stress are born. Yeah, absolutely.

I will tell you 10 years ago, I moved to Seattle with a relationship from the midway. I moved to the west and the relationship ended tragically and instantaneously five weeks after I moved to Seattle and he was a pilot, no, to self. And he gave me two weeks to find somewhere else to live and I didn’t have a job. So I squatted for a while.

And the having been kind of a fearful person before that, everything I had, everything that I thought defined me, my job, other things that I did were kind of stripped from me in a place where I didn’t have a support system, 2000 miles from my home. And within six months, I had built up a better life than I had before and found bravery that I didn’t have before. And I am so grateful to that guy because had I not been tested and found out that nobody’s going to die today and good things are coming. Oh my gosh, I’m the bravest person on the planet now because of that horrible thing that I really feared and really tried to live safely so that thing wouldn’t happen.

Oli: Wow. So by I suppose being forced to be vulnerable in a sense, you found who you really are basically and I think normally, well always when we find out who we are, we’ve got way more strength than we actually may have originally believed. So on the other side of that fear and vulnerability is normally realness, that’s what I call it. Yeah, so in relation to people avoiding being vulnerable and everything, on the other side of the coin, do you think there’s a misconception around what vulnerability is? And by that, what I mean is it seems like some people in society, they think being vulnerable just means basically pouring their guts out all over the place and then playing with their guts in front of everybody.

Obviously that’s a metaphor, I don’t mean literally, but yeah, what do you think about that? So how do we fine tune this capacity to be vulnerable?

Anjl: Yeah, I think you’re right. People either see vulnerability as the same thing as victimhood or the same thing as weakness. And it is neither.

The vulnerability is not saying, here, fix me. It’s saying, here’s my humanity. He here here’s all of me And that is the difference and and again, that’s the the messages we’re playing in our head, right? because I don’t think and anybody if they are looking at your Authentic vulnerability and saying oh that person is weak that says way more about the viewer than it is about the guy Doesn’t it that’s that’s that’s playing and messages.

He’s giving himself Very little is about us very little in this world is about me Nobody’s walking down the street worrying about whether or not my socks match nobody Nobody’s worrying about you know Whether one of my ears is higher than the other because it is But nobody worries about that but me yeah, that’s my deal.

Oli: Yeah so we were saying like, ultimately, if we avoid been vulnerable it just causes stress if we’re too vulnerable in this unreal way and it lapses into victimhood or whatever that can cause stress as well. So another curve ball question what are some of the barriers to being vulnerable both internally – so in in our relationship with ourselves and then also I guess externally in the world – like what’s stopping people? being as vulnerable as they need to be or as real as they need to be and, you know, living less stressful lives?

Anjl: I think I think when when people are looking for their self-confidence or self-worth to be based on something external then that external thing becomes a shell that is not only keeping the world out.

It’s keeping you in, right? That is that is what I so I so I think if you’re a place of I don’t even want to call it confidence the veneer of confidence maybe right your the thing your safety wall is based on something that isn’t Just inherent if you’ve got a voice inside you saying I’m gonna keep showing you my shiny stuff so that you don’t see the socially unacceptable child that lives within that is that is an issue that and and man how do you crack that without hitting some low point like me? Oh saying squatting and having that shell taken away for me.

Yeah, I don’t have an answer for you there It’s something only you can do I don’t I don’t know that, you know, it’s something you have to do for yourself I think and it’s just so crazy to think but it is true, isn’t it Oli?

It is the voice in your head, so you have complete control in turning that voice off You know in a second you can be like, oh, this is my story now. It doesn’t feel that easy. I know it doesn’t feel that easy Hmm, it’s simple reality. Don’t you think?

Oli: Yeah, 100 % – so I always think there’s two ways to go about this ultimately what we’re talking about is stepping back from ego or identity, or whatever you want to call it, stepping back from this version of ourselves we’ve constructed to deal with all the shame gill and or trauma that we picked up in childhood like you were saying and most people this so for most people this out here right they they they’re born and life is good their kids spontaneous running around free then something normally happens that causes them to feel ashamed of themselves or to feel bad about who they are and then they put a mask on to Hide the parts of themselves that have been shamed.

So let’s say just hypothetically somebody I know kid has a bad temper or something and their parents shame the anger so they send the anger into hiding and then when they grow up they’ve ended up being a people pleaser because they’re totally detached from the angry side of themselves and anger is a healthy emotion like anything else and so that part of them has been disowned it goes into hiding and then they create a false version of themselves like I keep saying to keep that hidden keep it a big and for most people that Version of themselves the ego just ends up being automatic. They’re just going through life on autopilot they might feel avoid inside themselves.

It might feel a bit restless whatever but they don’t know why that is because as far as they’re concerned this mask that they put on is who they are they forgot that they even put a mask on in the first place then two things can happen:

So, one, something ‘bad’ in scare quotes might happen where they hit hit rock bottom. So for you you ended up squatting In my life. I ended up I got a I was ill and it woke me up to all kinds of things basically when you hit rock bottom you can no longer hide from yourself and that’s when you can see like a true vulnerability true realness. You see what’s actually there and you can build on a solid foundation. So actually rock bottom It almost always turns out to be a blessing.

That’s what I found when I thought to people but, ideally, you don’t want to hit rock bottom dude so I think another way that people can wake up is through some kind of you know spiritual practice or whatever you want to call it where you know They’re having these kind of moments that you were talking about actually where they get into the present moment they get into the flow state Maybe they’re meditating doing yoga going for a hike having a peak experience.

Whatever it is there things you can do that instead of you hitting a low point and seeing the truth you kind of experience a high point even if it’s just for a few seconds and you kind of having a epiphany I guess where you can step back and say oh, okay. That’s not me. This mask. I was wearing is just a It’s a construct basically. Yes.

So I don’t know if that feeds into all the stress stuff. But what do you think?

Anjl: Totally agree with that totally totally agree with that. Yeah, the more authentic you live, the easier it is to live. When you’re looking for your self-confidence and your identity and all this stuff to come from outside of you, it just takes a lot of work to seek it out and to build things, to make it stick around.

That’s a lot of work. It’s easier just to be authentic. Vulnerable is just a part of that. We all have it. If anyone says they don’t have it, they’re not being honest with them with themselves.

Oli: Do you think getting our confidence back and all this kind of stuff, learning to accept ourselves again, all these things that people try to do by chasing all this external stuff, actually what we’re really trying to do is just unlearn things. I think in our natural real state, we do accept ourselves completely. We are confident or we can take action that will make us more confident.

A lot of the time, when we’re ultimately stressed because we think we’re not confident enough and ETC, ETC, it’s purely because we’ve forgotten who we are for some reason.

Anjl: Absolutely.

Oli:  Whatare some things we can do then, based on your work and what we’ve been saying, to tune back into that or to unlearn and strip away some of this stuff we’ve picked up?

Anjl: That’s where I think art, the creativity making, I call it art. Arting is such a great, if not baby step, it’s at least a step because if you don’t know where to start, putting a brush to canvas or pen to paper and just starting, then you aren’t just connecting.

That movement is connecting you with the inside, but whatever comes out on that paper is you, but it’s disconnected to you a little bit. You can see that little mark there. I love that mark and I’m proud of that mark. It’s a baby step to being able to say that about yourself because if you’re really in a self-deprecating mode, it’s really hard to just turn around and go, oh, but today I’m amazing. No, but this little mark that I made and this little painting I made, it’s amazing.

I did it. It’s amazing and it’s a part of me. To me, it’s such a great baby step to that self-confidence and self-love, which is so hard and self-acceptance. It’s so hard, but so important. You’ve got to start from a place of self-love in order to love well.

If you don’t have self-love and you’re looking for that to come from your friends, from your partner, from your teachers, from your mentors, then as soon as that person is gone, you’re back to zero again. But if you start in a full place and it’s all infinite, it’s just going to reflect rather than fill. Coming from someone else is going to reflect. I just feel like art is such a great place to start the process.

Oli: I love that way of describing it. Let’s say people ask stressed or they’re depressed or they’re feeling anxious or whatever. There isn’t going to be a panacea, is there, where they can just click their fingers or click their heels together and return home from Oz or whatever. It’s a process.

The reason they found themselves being depressed and anxious is because for whatever reason, and it’s not through no thought of their own a lot of time, but they ended up making choices about their identity and the way they see life and so on and so that has made them tell themselves a story that’s led to this state of stress, depression, anxiety, whatever.

The only way back home, so to speak, is to reverse the process, even if it’s just in increments, like you’re saying. You draw a little picture, you get some self-validation, whatever, instead of doing it externally, and you can return step by step, I guess, back home. Sometimes you might have a big epiphany and something amazing happens. I just mentioned stress, sorry, I just mentioned depression and anxiety. How do you think that fits into all this stuff that we’ve been saying, those two things?

Anjl: Again, because art is such a good meditative process.  When that big black cloud is over your head, it’s hard to see outside of it. So just using a little color, I still beat myself up when I’m painting too. I still like a lot, that’s not my favorite tree, but I can also say at the same time, well, I nailed it, I nailed that tree, I’m nailing this and I nailed that.

And I do say that all the live long day with the eggs I make in the morning, the paintings I make during the day, and my attempt at meditation later. Nailed it, even though I didn’t. But I can laugh at myself a little bit and move on to the next thing. Or I really did nail the thing and I need to celebrate that. I just walk around and probably tell from my voice, I walk around celebrating everything. And I’m sure I annoy people, but I am

And just I really dig that little vibrating that happens in your body when everyone near a child and your birthday is coming or you’re on your way to your grandma’s house for Christmas. I can invoke that feeling by looking at side my window and noticing just different patterns on the water.

Get me. I’m like, this water is a living thing. It’s amazing. Yeah. Yeah.

And so I love to get myself excited about things and that keeps me in a place where it keeps me out of what might be depressing or whatever. Am I getting off track? No, no. I’ve had some caffeine already today.

Oli: It’s okay. I’ve had loads as well. I’ve been dancing around while you’re talking. But ultimately, I think the theme of this conversation is basically about our inner state.

And like maybe I’m just, I’ve been basically everywhere I’ve been going this week. I’ve been talking about this inner state. The inner state and managing that is basically the most important thing we can do for our lives.

Because ultimately, if your inner state is where it needs to be and it’s real and you can accept yourself and you can flow and you can feel excited about things and all that stuff, then the outer state is eventually going to reflect that to some extent. That’s how I’ve found it. So do you think a way of kind of summarizing everything we’ve talked about is linked to that idea just to throw another curveball at you?

Anjl: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And if you don’t know how to connect to that inner state because some people haven’t found it yet, put a pen to paper and start making circles and make circles with your breath up, upper half of the circle with your breath in, lower half of the circle with your breath out. And mindful about the pen hitting the paper and the pen leaving the paper.

That will help you connect, connect, connect to the inside. And yes, absolutely. And you are a part of everything. What a powerful spot you’re in. You know, you’re a powerful thing that is. And when you give yourself the power to say, today, I am not a lazy human today.

I am resting up for something really big. Right? Yeah. Looks the same. Different message. Different message. Yeah. And that is okay.

Start the message there and that message will pop up more and more in other areas.

Oli: Yeah, absolutely. I love what you just said about how we’re, you know, we’re basically connected to everything and it’s that’s ultimately for me, what this all boils down to.

So right at the start of this conversation, I was saying the creative process is ultimately about this natural drive that we all have towards wholeness. And it’s always unfolding. Like we’re always, we’re always connected to wholeness anyway, but we just forget it because these stories are telling ourselves. And so as you go through the creative process, you just get better and better and better at connecting to that, which is just always inside you.

And then the more you can focus on that and keep it in mind or keep it in heart, however you want to say it, that’s when you have less stress in your life in general, because you’re not creating friction for yourself. That’s how I see it anyway.

We’ve been talking quite a while. If you were going to sum all of this up and we’ve covered quite a lot really, it’s gone quick. You know, what would your final words of wisdom be? And can you let people know where they can find you as well if they want to check out your art or whatever?

Anjl: Yeah. Yeah. I guess I would sum it up by saying, just nurture yourself and appreciate when you are making things because I think everybody makes things every day and they don’t realize they’re eating doing it, right? From the egg you ate for breakfast in the morning to the notes you scribble for yourself while you are working, that counts as making something. Every thought that you have is something you created.

It’s pretty amazing. And if you one time are able to turn your message from, I didn’t, you know, that wasn’t successful to, nope, I nailed that and I’m going to nail it even better the next time I did it. I did the brave thing. I made a brave shoe choice today, whatever it is. Giggle at it a little bit, but be proud of that.

Wow. And the more negative messages you give yourself, the more you shut yourself off from other people and from the world in general and the more you love yourself, you’re attracting love and you feel a part of everything, even if you don’t see other people during the day. So just be conscious of it.

Be really mindful of everything that you are nailing to do it. Yeah. You can find me on the socials. My name is so very highly Googleable because it is so phonetic. Hi.

My name is Anjl, but I changed the spelling when I was 14 because I thought that the Halo Wings version wasn’t memorable enough in the corner of a painting. Hashtag genius. It not just looks like I can’t spell, but as a business owner, highly Googleable. So A N J L is my how I spell Angel. And my last name is Rody R O D E E. So phonetic.

Yes. And I’m searched that through then Google all my socials come up, but also Brushcapades is the name of my company.

Coincidentally, I made that word up as well. Brushcapades. Wow.

Oli: Another genius moment. I’ll share a link to some of your stuff anyway in the show notes. But Angel has been really interested talking to you. It’s been really good. I can’t believe how quick he’s gone actually. So yes, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all this wisdom.

Anjl: Thank you for having me. This has been so much fun.


Creative Status Podcast

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