Creative Status: Episode 42: Ana Baldaia: Creativity & Transformation

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, I was joined by Ana Baldaia – a transformational coach who has worked with a plethora of people in the creative and artistic industries.

Ana is somebody who has given a lot of thought to creativity and what it means to be creative and she shares a lot of insight based on what she’s learned by helping so many creative people to reach their goals.

There’s some great stuff in here about the creative process as a whole and Ana’s framework for helping people get creative results:

Reflection: brainstorming and coming up with the good ‘stuff’.

Action: getting out there and materialising things

Sharing: putting things out into the world and making it real through connection.

As Ana says, it’s really important to do this in loops so you can keep going deeper and getting results!

Check this conversation out if you’re a creative person and you wanna go deeper into yourself, life, and creativity!


Oli Anderson

(Scroll down for show transcript)


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Creativity & Transfrmation (Show Transcript)


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there. Oli Anderson here – you’re listening to Creative Status. If this is the first time you’ve found the podcast. This is a place where we talk about the creative process and how it applies to the human condition and growing real. Growing real means that we’re moving towards wholeness, a sense of connection to our true selves, true values, true intention, connection to the world because we’re expressing something true in it, connection to life itself because we’ve raised our awareness and we’re going quite deeply into what life is and how life flows through us.

If you don’t know, I’m a creative performance coach, which means I help people to bring more realness into their lives and business. Creativity is the vehicle that allows people to do that in 99.9% of cases. And so that’s why I’ve started this podcast, Creative Status, where I interview inspiring, scintillating, interesting people about the human journey.

Ultimately, what does it mean to be a human being? What’s real? What’s not? How can we use creativity to be more real and to feel better overall? Today’s episode of Creative Status is no different. It’s an interview with Anna Baldaia. She is a transformative coach who has worked with tons of different creative people from all kinds of creative backgrounds and creative industries. It’s given her a really interesting and quite deep cerebral perspective on what creativity is, how we can be more creative, how we can live a better life, how we can dive deeper into all these things that we like to talk about on the podcast.

So I’ll stop ranting and raving like a lunatic, but the interview is about to come up. If you enjoy it, please leave a review somewhere wherever you’re listening to this podcast. If you have any recommendations for guests or you want to be a guest yourself, then reach out to me. But other than that, Anna, thank you so much for your time. Everyone else, thanks for listening. Here’s the interview. Peace to you. Boom.


Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there, Ana. Thank you so much for joining me today on today’s episode of Creative Status. We have a lot in common. You’re a coach as well, and you also help people with their creative stuff. So I’m assuming the conversation is going to take us down a lot of rabbit holes to do with creativity, which is a good thing because that’s what the podcast is about. Before I start asking you questions, do you just feel like introducing yourself and telling people what you do and also what you want to get out of this conversation today?

Ana Baldaia: Yes.Hi, Oli. Thank you so much for the invitation. It’s really great to be here. I’m Anna. I’m a transformational coach, and I’ve been working in the creative industry for for over a decade now. In terms of coaching, I coach all sorts of creatives.

I work with writers, actors, filmmakers, sculptures, ceramicists, designers, I mean, you name it. I was actually thinking about this before our conversation and sort of thinking, is there an actual sort of creative domain that I haven’t worked with and I can’t find one. So I’ve had a client, at least one client from, you know, all areas of, you know, of the arts and the creative industries in general. And yeah, I help people find their flow. I help them grow very much around their personal development and their career development, which come together because when you connect with your personal growth, then your career unravels.

Oli Anderson: Yeah, 100% agree. That’s what I found as well. So like, obviously, when it comes to being creative, it’s a very personal thing, because I found that the creative process itself is always about us becoming more real, having a better relationship with ourselves, going deeper into understanding our true values and intentions and all that kind of stuff.

So just to dive right into this, you said that you’re a transformational coach. Ultimately, do you think that the creative process is transformational in the way that I’m talking about? And if so, what patterns have you seen? Because obviously, you’ve worked with so many different creatives, but what are the underlying themes in relation to creativity itself, I guess, and the personal development stuff?

Ana Baldaia: Yeah, so that’s a really big question. But the transformation that is common to everyone is in very simple terms, moving from what is your creative impulse or creative idea, and being able to really tap into that. And usually the idea is what people sort of get stuck in. But actually, the impulse comes even before that. And it’s really important to go back to it to really understand where the idea started to form.

And then when you get the idea, which is kind of a world of of mental cognitive level, you need to bring that to the practical world. You need to materialize that. So the journey is how do I go from these impulse to this idea that I’m holding and entertaining? And how do I make that idea become an outcome and be real and be materialized, right?

That’s the process. And I often break that process into sort of three parts really for clients, which help the first one being reflection. So that’s just a simple way of talking about this moment of the creative process where we reflect and we brainstorm and we search and we develop this idea in very experimental, playful ways.

And that’s kind of a thinking space. And then there’s the action, which is the second part of that process, where you start implementing, you start rehearsing, you start drafting, you start really materializing and taking action and committing to your habits of developing the idea into the project. And then the third cycle or the third stage of the cycle is sharing. It’s the moment where you share that idea and you get feedback.

Now, it’s really key to keep doing these in loops, because each project, any piece of art that we create goes through these stage time and time and time and time again. And the more you do that, the more cycles of reflection, action, feedback you do in one single project, the more you tend to become productive and get it done and get it happening.

Oli Anderson: Hmm. Do you think there’s an element where the original impulse that starts to arise within people, it’s got something to do with the personal growth journey that we were talking about. So I think most of the creative process, unless we’re just doing something to be kitsch or whatever, most creativity is ultimately about making the unconscious conscious and allowing kind of the shadow itself to emerge or whatever.

So we can start integrating the whole of who we are. And so this process you just described kind of aligns with that. It starts in very broad, very nebulous, very vague. And as you go through the three cycles of reflection, action, and then sharing with the world and get feedback and all that stuff, it becomes much more conscious. So ultimately, it goes from unconscious to conscious. But I suppose the question is, where do you think these original impulses come from?

Ana Baldaia: Well, I think it really depends on, you know, what sort of creative work do we do in the sense that a lot of people in the creative industries have to work to assignments that are given to them as well.

Oli:Yeah, yeah.

Ana: So, you know, it’s not always an impulse of something that you want to do. In fact, a lot of the times, what people get stuck is, Oh, I’ve got to do this project. And I need to use my creativity to deliver it. But I’m not even excited about the project.

Oli: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ana: You know, and so if we’re going to be realistic, and talk about the creative industry as a profession, for those who are actually making a living out of it, that happens quite a lot where you get to do stuff you have to do work that isn’t necessarily connected to your own subconscious, your own process of healing or your own really deepest desire. Right?

Yeah, I think it’s easier to go deeper into what what is my subconscious telling me here, how are my dreams being expressed? How are unknown parts to me being known, becoming conscious when we do projects that are very much of our own accord? We just we just had that call and we’re doing it. And that’s why I often like to develop what we call the passion projects, alongside some of the, you know, paying projects that, you know, creatives often have to do.

And I think it’s very healthy to have creative really passion projects working alongside your main income projects, always align. Yeah. But I all I also feel that when you are a professional and you’ve been doing it time and time again, it’s a little bit like a muscle, the creative impulse.

Okay, so if you think about it as a muscle, the more you are tuned to doing it, not necessarily waiting for the muse and the inspiration, but actually, you just show up to do that to do that work, you become much more connected with your own intrinsic style, and, you know, your own message, which which comes across in any work that you can do. So I don’t know if that answers your question.

Oli: No, no, it makes sense. You’ve raised a really important point because actually this is a trap or a problem, shall we say, that a lot of people who use their creativity for a living end up facing. And it’s basically the difference between something coming from the inside out, which like you said, it’s going to be more likely to be aligned with our own healing journey and the things that we need to integrate and blah, blah, blah.

But then there is a situation where our creativity in scare quotes becomes kind of a commodity because we’re using it in this kind of mechanical way where we’re getting directions from the outside in and we have to find a way to feel like we’re actually putting ourselves into it in the way that you said. So one way to do that is to use our own voice. We can have our own sense of style, etc.

But ultimately, if we’re just doing it for the money, or whatever, it becomes more about the mechanics rather than the creative processes at all, I would say. And so we’re just going through kind of a technical process of creating something in that sense. But in those cases, then, what kind of things can people do along with what you’ve already said? So like the style thing and the voice thing, what can people do to bring a bit more of their their own selves into those mechanical, commodified processes?

Ana: I think, first of all, is actually knowing if you are not enjoying the project or, you know, you’ve been assigned something to do and you’ve lost your mojo in a way because you’re feeling how mechanic this is or commercial. That’s something I get a lot from clients, you know. So I’ve been assigned this massive project. It’s really commercial. I don’t feel my creativity is in it.

And, you know, I would like to really reframe that for people because you can you can do whatever you want out of whatever project, really, there’s a lot of freedom once you overcome some of the struggles that people are facing. And the most common struggles are either a sense of perfection is number one. And that’s that’s around thinking that I’ve got to do these and it’s got to be perfect.

And there’s a sense of pressure that comes from big projects. I find that is quite common, even and particularly with people who have had quite a good level of success already in the creative industry. So, for example, someone who has received already an award and has now received some funding for the next project, but they have no idea what the project is going to be. But the funding is already there. They need to deliver and they need to deliver to a high standard because they were they did really well last time. And so the sense of perfectionism comes in that it’s got to be really good. It’s going to be perfect.

And that can stop them from connecting with the impulse. The fear of failure, if I do it and it fails, it’s going to be the end. And that stops the playfulness that every artist started with. So the fear of failure is very connected to what if I do these and it’s crap and it’s not going to be accepted and no one is going to like it. There’s no way back. So that’s that’s another one, which is intrinsically linked with the third one, which is I don’t feel good enough. I think that’s the most common. I don’t feel good enough. I’m not good enough.

You know, I do find that behind and when you go deeper into the majority of sort of any creative blocks that, you know, that we all face is a deep sense of I’m not good enough, which comes from a sense of self-worth, which is different. May I just highlight from self-confidence? I’ve got so many clients who are so confident, you know, they have had they have great skill. They know they have talent. They have worked in the industry. They are established. They are confident people. They are outgoing. They are outspoken. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that deeply inside they have a strong sense of self-worth.

Oli: Yeah, yeah, like a lot of the time that kind of confidence, if it’s, you know, braggadacio or whatever, it’s actually a form of compensation for the lack of self-worth that you’re talking about, or it’s a form of control-freakery. Like they’re trying to control things to hide the feelings that they have of worthlessness. But this, these things that you just said, so, you know, perfectionism, fear of failure, a lack of self-worth, all of those things, in my opinion, they just lead people to create a false image of themselves, a false identity that they put out into the world, AKA the ego.

And that is just a conceptual block, basically, that stops this natural process towards wholeness from unfolding in the way that it needs to. And creativity is ultimately a vehicle. If it’s the real kind of creativity, so it’s coming from the inside out, not the outside in stuff that we run about, where it’s agenda driven, and you’re just doing it because you need to pay the bills or whatever.

Ultimately, the main block is always exactly what you said. It’s a feeling of self-worth, shame, guilt, trauma that causes us to create this version of ourselves that hides those feelings from us and attempts to hide it from the world. And then because we’re filtering everything through that, the creative process keeps getting stimulated, keeps getting blocked. I want to backtrack a little bit because actually these emotional and personal issues that you’re when it comes down to the real creativity where it’s about healing and the unconscious becoming conscious and everything, but also in relation to the commercialized commodified creativity as well.

Because in both cases, if you don’t believe in yourself, you have a feeling of worthlessness, two things are going to happen. One, you’re going to keep blocking the process because you’re going to keep putting mental obstacles in your own path, basically. But also, you’re going to choose the wrong projects. So you’re going to choose projects that are going to be driven by your ego, basically. So they’re going to keep you hiding and help you to compensate for those feelings you’re feeling.

But also, in relation to working with other people, so working with clients and doing things just for money, you’re ultimately going to have a scarcity mindset because you don’t believe in yourself. And so you’re not going to realize that actually you can still pay the bills, but you can actually choose the clients that you work with.

And so a lot of the time when people are finding themselves doing these things that are just draining the life out of them, it’s because they’re taking opportunities purely because they think there are no other opportunities out there.

And so when they start working on themselves and their real nurses, I call it, they can shift into making choices that are more aligned with nourishing their creativity and still kind of paying the bills rather than just being in this kind of desperate place where they’re just doing things because of scarcity. So that was a lot to throw at you. But what do you think about that?

Ana: Well, I do work a lot on the abundance mindset versus the scarcity mindset. And that’s something I go through with clients to really understand what that means and how to change our thinking. In fact, actually diving deep to really understand where our ideas around money come from, inevitably from childhood, and actually start breaking down some of the thoughts that are feeding the way we think about, you know, abundance and opportunity.

We are also constantly told by society that there is no money in the arts, you know, not just by society, but at least me, even by my parents, sort of like, oh, you’re going to be an artist. No, no, no, there’s no money, you’re going to be put forever. So, you know, I think we have a syndrome of the poor artist that lives within subconscious mind that needs to be really challenged because the creative industries are currently one of the biggest contributors to the economy in the UK. It’s the fifth biggest growing industry. And it’s really filled with opportunities.

So there is money in the arts . So it’s actually good to start understanding that, to realize that we use that excuse ourselves in our fear of being visible, to self sabotage the projects we want to do. That’s one point I want to make. But the second that I just want to sort of bring in is that this process that you’ve defined us inside out creativity outside in versus outside in, that ambiguity and, you know, that ambivalence can cause quite a lot of tension in, you know, in individuals in us as artists.

And I like to dissipate that a little bit because I think that part of our work as creative professionals is to be able to take work that comes from outside in. Yeah, yeah, of course. And, you know, and merge ourselves in it with no resistance.

Oli: Yeah, yeah. It’s a matter of degree, though, I’d say. So if you have a total scarcity mindset, you’re going to just work with any client that pops up, you’re going to take any project because you’re worried about paying the bills and all that kind of stuff. And if you get in that situation, that’s when you end up basically being a slave to the client and their agendas and all that kind of stuff. If you start from this abundance mindset, where you realize you can actually send notes to some clients that aren’t a good fit.

That is when the projects you choose, obviously, they come in from the outside in because you’re doing work for people, it’s a service that you’re providing. But it’s going to be aligned with your interests, your style, your voice, all that kind of stuff, your what’s real for you. And so even the, yeah, the original impetus for the idea came from the client, you’re going to be able to get into a sense of flow. And I think the flow is the key distinction between whether you’re purely doing it for the outside in reasons or whether it is connected to your inside out healing journey at some level.

And if you’re not flowing, you’re just going to get mental resistance, you’re going to get friction, you’re going to be frustrated by the projects, you’re not going to get the results you want, you’re not going to enjoy it, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so the feedback as to whether or not you’re making healthy choices about what to do with your creativity is how you feel whilst you’re doing it. And, ultimately, the feeling becomes a barometer. And so if you keep finding yourself in a situation where you’re getting frustrated by the projects that you’re working on or whatever, that means you need to make some changes, like ultimately, that’s, that’s the simplistic way of breaking it down.

When even though, you know, we all have to pay the bills and all that kind of stuff. If you choose projects that keep frustrating you, then it’s a sign that there’s something unreal going on at some level. And ultimately, the only only unreal thing can be the ego thing. So again, it comes back to our self worth, our self belief.

We think we deserve, we don’t deserve better basically. And so we keep getting those projects. But when you realize, okay, I can make a choice here. So like I can set the boundaries. Obviously, you need to have the skill set and you need to be professionally lived to deliver and all that kind of stuff. But if you’ve got all that, then you can use your work to pay the bills but also to springboard you into where you want to go with your passion projects and all that stuff as well.

Ana: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And as you spoke, it reminded me as well of one other aspect that I just want to bring into the conversation to add to that. Yeah, which is the actually our relational intelligence as well. And so the abandoned mindset as you’re putting it is also is having that positive outlook, but also having the generosity and having a mindset of wanting to give and share knowing that there is enough out there for everyone, rather than a competitive mindset. And I think people get very caught up in seeing others as competition and feeling threatened by their success.

And, you know, the collaborative mindset of seeing people and other creators as collaborators as sources of inspiration, in fact, and being more celebrating more of everyone’s success can really empower your success. And I also have a question I think if about kind of staff relates to fraud and fraud by means of official Relationship Act, we smells of frauds and fraud. Likes to be alone, actually, and Julie prefers working on their own. And I know this is also a bit of a myth that, you know, the solitary creative that is isolated, but it’s actually quite easier to just connect with your own flow than to manage your creative process when you have a lot of other people in their own creative process.

The reality is that we create collectively, really. I mean, even visual artists who are sort of the most lonely people, they still, I don’t want to generalize, but it is, you know, like, it is something you do mostly alone, but you still need people to be with you. And, you know, you need curators and you need galleries and you need other people to sell your work. That’s why the loops are so important where you gain, you go through the process of sharing more often. And that’s not just necessarily sharing to the world. You know, sharing can be sharing with your coach, sharing with another artist, a colleague that, you know, helps you see other aspects of the piece, the piece is completed on where it could evolve.

Oli: Yeah. Like really, if you think about it, like anything that you create, it isn’t truly finished until somebody else experiences it. And until you do that, it’s just something that exists in your mind ultimately, even if it just exists, you might have physically created something. But if you haven’t shared it, then it’s still just very much your assumptions, your thoughts, all your stuff. And it’s only when you put it out into the world that it expands into being whatever it actually is.

So for example, maybe you write a book, you think it means something, people start reading it, they’re going to put their own interpretations on it, and then that’s going to allow you to interpret it even more deeply and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. There’s this constant interplay. And so you’re 100% right. Like, all artists, creatives need other people is it’s not a solitary thing, even if the process of creating something seems that way sometimes. And just to backtrack to what you were saying about giving and receiving. That is so, so important.

The way that we relate to other people is ultimately coloured, I believe, by the depth of our relationship with ourselves. So if we have a real relationship with ourselves, which means that we accept ourselves unconditionally and that we’re moving towards wholeness and we’re not judging ourselves and yada yada yada, it’s more likely that we’re going to be able to do that with other people. But the creative process of getting to that place where we can accept ourselves unconditionally, because the creative process strips away a lot of the fragments and the ego stuff that stops us from seeing ourselves clearly. The creative process of getting there means that we eventually find ourselves in a place where we have something real to give to the world.

And there’s two things I found happen there. When we have something real to give to the world, well, obviously we’re going to receive more back because, you know, the nature of reciprocity and all that kind of thing. Like if we give, we’re allowing other people to have opportunities and blah, blah, blah. But also the second thing is we find ourselves in this place where exactly like you said, we have better relational intelligence because we know who we are. We know what we’re all about. We know what we have to give. We know what other people have to give.

And that makes it easier to find the opportunities that are right for us, but also to align other people with opportunities that may be a better fit for them rather than us based on what we know we have to give. So a simple example is let’s say somebody comes to me for coaching and they weren’t coaching about trauma or whatever it is. I would probably refer them to somebody in my network who is better at dealing with that stuff than me. If I had the scarcity mindset, though, I wouldn’t do that. I’d be like, Oh, I need this client. I want to have this client, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And then I get myself engaged in a relationship where I’m not giving the best I have to give because I’ve been unreal. And then that’s just going to screw up the whole relationship. Basically, they’re not going to get the results they want. Etc, etc. And so basically what I’m saying is it always, always, always comes down to having a real relationship with ourselves. And when we do that, the rest all kind of falls into place.

Ana: Yeah, 100%. I totally agree with that. And it’s a really good example that you’ve given with coaching, which can also apply with, you know, with other creative industries. You know, people choosing the projects that they decide to participate on not based on what their essence is.

Having said that, I think there is a you know, also a realistic sort of, you know, I want the audience who hears us to, to realize that if they make some choices and take on projects because they do need to pay the bills, you know, I’m just thinking of a client of mine, for example, who owns a creative studio and animation studio, and does lots of excellent work with different brands throughout the years.

The studio has been operating for more than two decades, and they work with brands that they really align with. Having said that, since the financial crisis kicked in, they have had to take on projects which are with big massive brands, corporate brands that they don’t necessarily align with. And I don’t want people to feel shame, or, you know, that they are failing because they are doing that, or that they can’t be creative because they’ve decided to work, you know, with a different type of client.

I think it’s very important to be able to stretch ourselves, become millions, use our skill set and our assets to adapt. And that adaptability and resilience is something I coach on a lot, because I actually don’t think you can have a successful creative career if you don’t take on projects that are not always your cup of tea.

Oli: Yeah, yeah. I think it comes back to two things. One, you’ve got to be honest with yourself. So if you’re taking these projects just to pay the bills, and you’re still trying to trick yourself into thinking, right, I’m like an amazing artist, and it’s all about, you know, my creative vision, and blah, blah, blah. If you do that, you’re just going to create problems for yourself. But the solution is just to say, right, for the time being, I’m in survival mode, I need to pay the bills, I need to do the best work I can. But this is just a job. And it’s a job because, you know, I’m basically getting paid to just do something for the results. That’s it.

But the other thing is, if you find yourself in that situation, and it keeps frustrating you, then it goes back to what we’re saying, you have to see it as feedback that you need to make a shift. And obviously, like it comes down to the law of cause and effect, you’re not going to change the situation overnight. But you need to know, right, this is the time for me to create a vision, the vision for my future, basically. So what kind of clients do I want further down the line, what kind of work do I want to be doing?

And then it becomes that kind of Marcus Aurelius thing where he said, you know, what stands in the way becomes the way. And the current obstacle actually becomes the way of spring body into whatever that vision is. And so it’s just about ultimately been honest with yourself. I think the problem for a lot of people is they get frustrated because they’re adding this extra level where they know they’re just doing it for the money. But their self image doesn’t like that. So they try and trick themselves into thinking something more. And actually, if you just see it as a temporary thing, then you can pivot eventually into going where you want to go.

Ana: Well, I think what you’re alluding to is how our thoughts create our feelings. And our feelings create our reality. Okay. And that’s the actually the first step of the process that I usually do with my clients, which is naming. Naming is the process of noticing and being fully aware of your feelings, and your thoughts, and how these shape your behavior and your reality. And notice the sequence here, because a lot of people get this sequence wrong.

A lot of people get So, in this case, just to make it very concrete, the example you were giving, I am feeling frustrated. So this frustration is a sign that maybe this type of job doesn’t align with who I am. And then you’re suggesting, okay, so let me change this thought.

Oli: Sorry, not just changing the thoughts, changing the direction that you’re moving. So basically frustration in 90% of cases, I think, it is a sign that we’re disconnected from who we really are, the feeling of being real. But it’s also the disconnection from being on the path that is going to allow us to become even more real, to become more whole in ourselves. And so the thoughts, okay, you need to change the thoughts, but really what you need to change is the actions that you’re taking. And the first step is the awareness, like you said.

But once you become aware, well, you need to accept the reality, like, okay, I put myself in this situation because of my fear, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I’m scared that you might say, what am I going to do about it? And if you don’t take that action, you’re just wasting your time. So that’s how I see it. But yeah, sorry. So your first step is name it. But then what happens?

Ana: Yeah, well, you said it. I mean, the first step is naming and actually being aware of which thoughts are causing those feelings, because the feelings are not the facts. The feelings are just your perception of the reality. So you know, you’re feeling frustrated. What are you thinking that is making you feel that frustration? Maybe the thoughts that you’re holding isn’t helpful. Maybe thinking that I’m just doing this for the money isn’t necessarily helpful.

So I would start by actually challenging that thought and breaking it really down. Because I think there’s always much more in each experience. Not, you know, even the worst possible job can bring a lot of learning into it if you’re open to it. Right. So that’s what I mean by these. How can I actually frame step two?

Really frame the perspective that you’re taking about yourself, which leads you to have those particular thoughts. Because if you’re going to change your thoughts, you need to change your frame and that’s your perspective. So that’s where coaching comes in.

You know, a coach can be really helpful to help you gain an objective view, a deeper knowledge of some of your bias perspectives that you may be holding. And then it’s shaping, you know, which is what you’re talking about in terms of action. I call it name, frame, shape. So shaping is about embedding this new way of thinking into options that you can actually act upon. Actions that you can take.

Oli: Wow. You’ve raised something really important, which is the perspective basically does affect everything. But it’s not just the case of you change your thoughts and everything’s magically going to fall into place. Obviously thoughts, feelings, actions are all linked. And so if you get mastery of one, you can usually get mastery of the others if you keep doing the things that you’re called to do from within side you inside out, not outside in again. But ultimately, if you feel like you’re stuck and you’re frustrated and all those kind of things, it’s it there’s a lot.

Basically, you’re getting signals about whether or not you’re living in a real way. And so a lot of frustration is exactly what I said is, you know, you’re disconnected from your real self at some level. But also, basically, you have bought into the illusion that your current situation is not going to change. And that adds to the level of frustration because ultimately reality itself, if we’ve been real, it’s constantly moving. It’s constantly flowing. It’s constantly changing. It’s expanding and blah, blah, blah.

But if we get the thought in our head that right, this is the situation and that’s it. Ultimately, then we take ourselves out of that natural flux and the natural flow. And then we get even more frustrated because we’re creating barriers that don’t need to be there. And so going through this process, you’re talking about name it, frame it and shape it allows you to basically start moving with reality again, instead of against it, something like that.

Ana: Well, the reality is a concept that you’re bringing in, you know, and I would be curious to find out what you mean by that because.

Oli: Yeah. So for me, yeah, yeah, reality, ultimately, is that we’re moving towards wholeness. So for all of us at any time, there is something that is an obvious thing to do that is going to allow us to be more connected to ourselves, more connected to other people and more connected to life itself. And it almost always comes down to letting go of these ideas we’ve picked up that causes to identify in a false way.

If we’re filtering everything through these ideas that we’ve just picked up because of our shame and guilt and trauma. That’s when we end up having all these problems we’ve been talking about. So you end up having to stress that you might say you think that you stuck you take everything at face value and all that kind of stuff. And actually. What we need to do in most cases, if we do feel stuck and we’re not getting results through one and ETC, we just need to align ourselves with that expansion towards wholeness.

And if you do that, that’s when you ultimately you get aligned with the way that things work. This is why it always starts with awareness. If you feel like you’re stuck, for example, you’ve taken yourself away from the natural law of life, which is about cause and effect. So you’re forgetting or you become unaware of the fact that if you do certain things, then as time progresses, you’re going to change your situation.

So it’s just about understanding those kind of natural laws and working with them instead of against them. So in the case, the example we’re talking about, if you think you’re stuck, you just have to survive all the time and you’re taking orders from people that you don’t really want to be taking orders from, you’ve forgotten the natural law of cause and effect, like I just said, you can change the situation.

But also that you have choice, you can make choice, no matter what ultimately, that doesn’t mean you might choose something and the situation is going to change immediately. But if you make choices and then start acting in alignment with those choices, taking action again, then things will change. So that was a lot.

Ana: Yeah. So just to respond to that, thanks for sharing your, you know, your concepts of what reality is because reality is whatever, it’s very relative basically, the reality is whatever we make of it really, what is real.

Oli: Yeah. I think, sorry, like when, when people say that, ultimately, there’s a distinction between our interpretations and reality. And I like to say we all have our own interpretations and perceptions, because of what we’ve been through and everything. But the reality is that there are certain universal laws that apply to everybody and you can’t change those no matter what. And so it’s about understanding that the more aligned we are with those, so like the law of cause and effect and all that kind of stuff again, then the better results you’re going to get basically.

So 100% we all have our own interpretations, no question, we need them to survive. But ultimately, there’s the universal stuff. And if you can figure that out, that’s when you’re gonna have a better time.

Ana: So I have a, you know, that’s, that’s a very empirical approach. I’ve got a very humanistic approach as a coach in that I stay with the client’s experience. So if the client wants to evolve into wholeness as you defined it, then that would be the journey we would take. But if the client wants something else, and that’s not in their sense felt world, not meaningful to them, then I go with the client’s agenda.

Oli: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, like that’s basic coaching. Like the client, it’s their agenda, obviously, it’s not about being directive and telling them what to do. But ultimately, at all times, people are trying to get that connection. And it’s up to them, like, even, obviously, the things they choose to do are the things that make the most sense to them, and you have to support them and help them see the blind spots and blah, blah, blah.

But anyway, we’ve been talking a long time, we’ve covered a lot of stuff. How would you sum up this whole conversation? And can you let people know where they can find you online, if they want to work with you or any of that stuff?

Ana: Yes, absolutely. So I am online, you can find me on LinkedIn and on Instagram, and on my website, which is probably the easiest to get to both of the others. And my website is and that’s Ana with one N so a na

Oli: Brilliant.

Ana: And I’ve got some freebies that people can get to access my work. I’ve got two ebooks that people can download for free on my website. One is three myths about creativity. And the other is actually about abundance, funny enough, which is three mindset tools to create abundance in your creative life.


Ana: So I hadn’t planned to talk about abundance, you brought it up. But I do have a little ebook on that. If people want to follow up, they can download it. They can sign up for my newsletter, which is a monthly newsletter with lots of tips to self coach, but also some updates on the creative world in London, mostly London based. And I do a monthly free workshop. So if people sign up to my newsletter, they’ll be informed of these free workshops that changes the different topics.

And usually people tell me what they would like me to be teaching. And that’s something that people can attend for free to get to know my work, get to know me and to connect. And from there, you know, people can decide if they want to do a free discovery session where we meet on one to one and really look at what aspirations people have, what may be, you know, stopping them from or what issues they may be facing right now in their creative world, to see how I can help them. Or as you said at the beginning, how someone else may be better suited to help them. So yes, and please do connect.

Oli: Brilliant. So I’ll share that link in the show notes for anyone that wants to click it. But Anna, thank you so much for this conversation. It’s been a good one. And I really appreciate your time. So thanks a bunch.

Ana:Thank you, Oli. It’s been great. Good to see you.

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