Comedian, Philosopher, Joy Sparker & World's Worst Motivational Speaker Rodney Norman joins us to talk about comedy’s powerful role in the healing process, the many benefits of making a fool of yourself and how nobody is really paying that much attention to you anyway so you may as well go do the thing you love doing.
Formally educated as a philosopher, Rodney Norman found his way to stand up comedy 25 years ago and has been featured in the Boston Comedy Festival and was the Winner of the Rhode Island Comedy Festival.
Rodney firmly believes that finding ways to laugh at ourselves, our foibles and even our traumas is one of the most powerful ways we can take the charge out of those things and get on with the healing process, and back to enjoying life - which according to him, is the point of the whole thing.
His character Leonard, The World’s Worst Motivational Speaker, is unassuming and intentionally unpolished, delivers deep wisdom in a mumbly-fumbly way that has a widespread appeal - many of his videos going viral within days of being posted. Chances are good, if you have been on the internet at all in the past year, that you have seen one of Rodney’s videos.
There is homework at the end of this episode, so listen out for that and if you want even more, have a poke around the Creative Genius Patreon - there is lots of really supportive bonus content there - homework, downloads and this week a gorgeous little Guided Meditation about Trust (which is also available for purchase for non Patreon supporters)
Be sure to stick around to the end - Rodney’s character Leonard answers our billboard question for us today!
So many nuggets of wisdom in this episode.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT
-Rodney's secret to accessing and unleashing creative genius
-The ridiculously simple thing we all have in us that would let us be creative geniuses, and why nobody wants to do it
-How we often use our past difficulties as an excuse or way out of growing and how we can begin to use comedy to rewire our brains, heal trauma and truly enjoy life
-The hard truth about the learning process and what to do about it.
-Why it's never too soon to look for the funny side of your situation. Even in the midst of grief.
-The secret to having everything in your life open up, according to Rodney.
-The thing he noticed after 25 years of doing stand up that helped him let go of needing to get it right when it comes to performing
-Get out there. Be stupid, look weird. Perfection is a turn off anyway.
-How we often use our past difficulties as an excuse or way out of growing and how we can begin to use comedy to rewire our brains, heal trauma and truly enjoy life
-And we play you his favourite viral clip (and mine!)
You know, as a comedian that that's really kind of how I think I see myself is I'm getting up here and I'm talking about the experiences of my life to help you deal with your, here's how I'm coping with my trauma. Here's I'm coping with my difficulties, and hopefully you're walking away from from saying, you know, my life's not so bad, because that's what he's got to deal with. I'm doing okay
Kate Shepherd 0:33
Hello, friends, we have a really special treat for you today. Comedian, philosopher and Joy SPARKER, Rodney Norman joins us. You've probably seen one of Romney's Instagram videos. He's the guy with the big white hair and beard who shares words of deep wisdom, but kind of in a fumbling, bumbling sort of way. He's the enjoy your stupid life guy. We're gonna play you some of his clips in a bit. Remember, last episode where we talked about our creative genius word for the year being synthesis. I've been finding so much soul medicine in this word. And I wanted to say a little bit about that before we get into the show today. You know, it can be so easy to always be striving and reaching and moving on to the next thing. At least it is for me anyway, there have to be times when we're integrating and processing and embodying synthesizing our experiences and learnings and grow wings. And especially at this time of year when we can maybe feel a little daunted by the whole year stretched out ahead of us our big to do list and our goals and our dreams and all the things we're going to make happen. Finally, this year, maybe before we throw ourselves headlong into all of those things, we can gently give ourselves some time to really let all of the experiences of the last year settle into our being and integrate into the deepest level of us. And so that it can really take root. And I know sometimes during that process of synthesis, it can feel like nothing's happening. It can maybe feel like we're being lazy, or we're procrastinating or there's this sort of anxiety triggered by this urgency to just get going and start things and be productive and be helpful and be in service and do your thing. And I caught myself in that really stressed out place the other day, you know, beating myself up because I didn't feel like I was doing enough. And I happen to look out my window, I caught a little glimpse of my front garden, which is mostly sleeping right now. That's what it's supposed to be doing. And I remember the 200 heads of garlic I planted in my front yard of Much to the chagrin of my very suburban neighbors who likely prefer a very manicured lawn, I realized that underneath that bed of straw, there's something magical happening. There's a wise intelligence that's feeling around in the soil aware of the temperature and aware of time in some magical way. And it's waiting for the perfect moment to pop its head out through the soil burst into life. The same thing is happening inside of you and me when it comes to our creativity and our dreams. Which brings me to the word for today's episode. I want us to hold this word gently in our hearts and our intentions as we walk about our lives for the next couple of weeks. It's really powerful. And it's really important. And I'm going to say more about that towards the end of the show, because it felt so important to me that I actually created some homework for you around it. So stay tuned for the end of the show for that. Now I'm really passionate about helping you rediscover and activate your creativity. It really is almost the only thing I think about. I know that humanity is glitching because of our disconnection with creativity with this intelligence that lives inside each and every one of us. And I also know that the world so needs what you have inside. And so I was thinking about this, how can I most powerfully support you on your creative journey. And I thought if I got to know you a bit more it would help me create tools and content that would be most useful to you. So I made a little form for you to fill in. It's on the website. If you go to Kate Shepherd creative.com and look for tell me everything. You can also find it on Instagram and the profile. You'll see the feedback form there. It will probably only take you about three minutes to fill in. And I want to read you a really great review that came in it was left anonymously title is tears of joy and relief. I just found your podcast at the end of the show. I was in tears nourishment has been received. Thank you Kate and Lynn 10 stars. So this listener is talking about my episode with Lynn Whipple that I loved that conversation. Lynne has this amazing way of making you feel like you matter and like your dreams are possible. And actually much easier than you thought. She's written a really beautiful book. Towards the end of that episode I read Lin an excerpt from her book back to her and by the
The end of that we were both crying. It's a great episode. Lynn's an amazing guest. Go back and listen to that one. And have a poke around the creative genius Patreon. There's a lot of really supportive content there. Above and beyond the freebies, I give away with the show. There are exclusive pieces of content there just for Patreon supporters things like journal prompts. And this week, there's a gorgeous little guided meditation about trust, go to patreon.com/creative Genius podcast, and know that when you do make the choice to support the show, you're doing something really important for people all over the world who are tuning into the show and who are writing in and telling us how it's changing their lives supporting that as a really special and important thing you can do. I don't want to keep you any more from Rodney Rodney joins us today to talk about the importance of looking stupid and messing up. He tells us the story of how he wrote his now wildly famous internet character Leonard, and he in a really unassuming way reminds us of some of the most universal and important truths that we tend to forget in our day to day lives. This conversation had a really big impact on me, it helped me remember things that I had forgotten that I needed to hear. And I hope the same is true for you. Enjoy my conversation with Rodney Norman. Rodney Norman, thank you for coming.
Rodney Norman 6:20
Oh, it's a pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Kate Shepherd 6:23
Where are you in the world?
Rodney Norman 6:25
I am in currently in Connecticut.
Kate Shepherd 6:28
Is that home for you?
Rodney Norman 6:29
Yes, home in Connecticut.
Kate Shepherd 6:30
Okay. So you call yourself a comedian, a philosopher, and I love this a joy sparker.
Rodney Norman 6:38
I'm literally just some doofus that made a video. And people thought it was funny and started following me and started giving me importance for some reason in this world. And so now a whole bunch of people follow me and listen to things I say and most of is complete and utter nonsense. I've been doing standup for 25 years. And then I've done a lot of acting. And of course, having a degree in philosophy just sort of brought all these things that I enjoy and brought them into one wonderful, confusing and enjoyable mess.
Kate Shepherd 7:13
I want to share with you why I started this show in the first place. I'm an artist myself. And I would see people come up to me all the time and say like, Oh, I wish wish I had that thing inside of me. And it really made me sad for a long time because I feel like we all have that magical thing inside of us. But over the years, I started to really see how widespread this disconnection that we have from that part of us has become and how much damage and suffering it causes for humanity. Like I actually think that's, I say, We're glitching. And I think that's why we're glitching. Because we've lost connection with this, you know this thing. And when I say just for clarity sake, when I say creativity, I'm pointing to that alive current of intelligence and gut instinct, and, you know, curiosity and ideas and insights and inspiration, like all that stuff. That's what I'm pointing to. And I don't mean just like the ability to draw or paint, right like, which is kind of we've dumbed down that word so much. But there are all these limiting beliefs about creativity and everything from what it is and who's allowed to have it in them to what it has to look like when it comes out of us. We believe these things. And we kind of hide behind those ideas, because nobody really wants to risk looking weird or being different or looking like they don't know what they're doing, which is what creativity is actually asking us to do all the time, right? Like it wants you to be in this place of the unknown. When we don't do the thing that creativity is trying to do through us in our own individual lifetimes. We start to experience great pain, we start to feel depression and anxiety and and we don't know why why do we feel that because it's, we're not doing the thing that we're that we're here to do. And we also are depriving the rest of the universe from experiencing the joy of experiencing that thing coming through us. Like at the end of the day. This is all relational, right? Like I'm doing the funny thing so that you can laugh, or I'm making the beautiful painting so that you can feel all I'm doing, I'm doing it for you. And you're doing it for me. And it's all this one big loop. And when we cut that loop off, we just break the whole thing. When I saw that I realized I had to dedicate my whole life to sort of facilitating as much as I could a reunion between people and creativity. And I honestly feel like that's the most important work that we could take on in this. What's the point? Like if we're going to make it as a species, this is the thing that we have to heal. How does that all land for you? And I say that
Rodney Norman 9:24
I love every word you just heard the idea behind my character wandered, and other things that I do is you know, showing that you don't have to be perfect. And that's really what's holding you back is this idea that I don't want to look stupid. I don't want to look crazy. It's like do it look stupid look crazy. Make mistakes get out there do it the inspiration for this for the for the characters partially based on my grandfather who was an alcoholic, and he would always try to share stories with me and my cousins, and it was just really quite funny. It was just combined deleted most of the time, while also I was watching a friend of mine who had an Instagram where he was trying to be a life coach. Right? And so he was making these videos telling you how to how to live your life how you live your best life. Well, he has an amazing life. He's he's wealthy, he's got a big, fancy Mansion House he's got drives a Ferrari, to a beautiful wife, who also makes a lot of money he's got he's perfect. He sounds perfect. And he's making this video and he's saying, Hey, do you feel like you need permission to be happy while I'm here to give you that permission and give permission to be successful? And, and I'm watching this thing, and this is this is corny and ridiculous. Because I'm like, why he's saying something great. He said, You know, every message you had was positive and everything, but nobody was paying attention. And I think part of that was that he was so perfect at what he was doing. I mean, everything. The lighting was perfect. The angles was perfect. The diction every single word was put on us well scripted, and it was perfect. And that perfection is what turned people off. That's why they don't watch it. Because this is this guy. What's he got to relate to me? That's when I kind of put that idea together. I was like, Oh, that's it. My Drunk grandfather is the world's worst life coach. Everything they tell you to do, I did it the wrong way. Every I do everything wrong. The hair's a mess. The diction is wrong, he sounds like an idiot, if numbers and fumbles isn't quite clear all the time. But he's but at some point in time, he pulls it together. And, you know, during the videos of cars are going by and in the middle, know how to start coughing and just instead of doing the video over, I just keep going, that there's all these mistakes, everything's wrong. But what's coming across as the message is still getting across. And that's that's the goal. And so what you're saying about getting people to be creative again, yeah, you can be creative in everything you do. You don't just have to be an artist or a musician or a painter. Or you can find creativity and you know, an auto mechanic. You can find creative ways to fix cars could find creativity, I was a school teacher, as we were going to McDonald's, you know, the drive thru, you can still find ways to bring your creativity that can live up to what you're doing and add smoke out and add energy creativity is is not limited to just one field of study. You know, it's it's part of everything. We worry about looking stupid. We worry about making mistakes. Well, nobody's paying that much attention, and nobody really cares.
Kate Shepherd 12:23
When did that land for you? Like when you were a kid? Are you weird? And people accepted you? Or were you normal?
Rodney Norman 12:28
I had this one incident when I was a little kid. That was about third or fourth grade. Yeah, we were weren't a very wealthy family. And so I wear a lot of hand me downs and very close to my brothers in age. And so you know, we kind of had to take turns, who was who got to wear what, hey, and I was trying to get ready for school and morning. And the only shirt that I could find I already wore that a few days ago. And I was like, you can't wear the same clothes, you know, two days in a row. And it you know, thing I wanted to wear my little brother wore it. I was all upset about going to school, I can't look this way. And my mother told me she said, you know, if everybody else was so concerned about themselves as you are right now, nobody's probably paying attention to what you're doing anyway. And it just clicked. That's when I did an experiment where I started just I wore the exact same thing for for two weeks. No one said a word. No. And that's when I realized, you know, nobody's paying attention. If they are, that's a good thing. Because no, you know, it's like, it's this weird thing. It's like, well, we want attention, but we don't want to be singled out, right? And so it's that weird balance of like, well, how do I get attention without being noticed? It's kind of a silly thing. And then I just got divorced, like, I just, I just stopped caring, then I want to continue that through most of my life. And now that I'm old, and I can get away with it even more, it's even more enjoyable.
Kate Shepherd 13:48
It's like a current of that is just taking you away. You're really in it.
Rodney Norman 13:51
It's total freedom when you stop caring what other people think it's amazing. This idea that, Oh, I'm gonna look stupid. It's like no man, people admire people who are willing to just put themselves out there. It's like those viral videos of people basketball games, you just start dancing, you're going crazy. We all love those. And we enjoy them. Because there's just one person in the moment just enjoying themselves. And yet at the same time, we're all thinking, I would never do that, you know, the camera comes on them. They're like, Oh, go, please, I feel
Kate Shepherd 14:22
like creativity is the way it kind of operates is I'm going to use this person over here to bring to life this thing for this person over here to enjoy. And so the, in the in the example you just gave like that creativity is like moving through that person. They're dancing in this crazy way that feels really good for them because they're free. And then the other person over here like you and me watching them are delighted because we get to enjoy that experience of watching this person, be free. And it's like, I'm doing it through this person over here for this person. And it's like this giant loop of giving and receiving. I feel like that's all that's happening in every corner of the universe. If you had to sort of pin it down One thing What do you feel like in this lifetime creativity is trying to do through you
Rodney Norman 15:04
that you can enjoy being creative yourself that it's all it's all within you that you know, anything that you see anyone else do, you are very capable of doing the same thing, you can become an whatever it is that you want to do, you can do it. The only thing really holding you back is your own thoughts. You know, all these things that we keep holding on to your past negative experiences traumas, often we use those as an excuse to not progress we use that as a as a way out. But when you fully just embrace it, and just start enjoying yourself, everything just starts opening up. I've been doing stand up comedy for 25 years. And one thing I noticed is even a stand up comedians, we will get this thing where we want to get the joke just right, we want to have every word perfect, we want to look perfect, and we're gonna have all this you know, everything's gonna be just right. We want to be the most important person in that room and we have all these things. It's like we take it very seriously about being funny. I think I got to a point where it's like, I don't I don't I don't want to be so perfect. Like an example is Seinfeld he's he's really the, the epitome of what every comic thinks comedy shouldn't be. He's a wordsmith, every single word, every single gesture is just perfect and concise in in. And he's a professional. He's amazing at what he does. But I think when it gets to perfect, there becomes a disconnect with the audience. Because now it feels too good. Being able to just free yourself that just be in the moment. I mean, that really is what it comes down to is just be in the moment, enjoy for what it is, and just have fun. You know, it's like you can't really watch people do karaoke. People are really good singers. You go Oh, yeah, they seem really good. That's very nice. Cool. But the ones that were horrible at it. That's the entertainment. They're horrible at it. But they're still having fun. That is everything. It's like, Yes, I know. I'm horrible. But I don't care. I've got an audience, I got a microphone, and I'm singing a song that I love. And I'm doing that, for me is the most enjoyable part of karaoke is people who are bad, but just love doing it. Just enjoy them. All right, perfection is what screws most of us up. Because we think I have to be so good at it before I can get it. No, you've got if you're only trying something new, you're going to be horrible at it, you're going to be really bad at it. Just embrace it. And the more you do, the faster you get through it, the faster you learn, the more you learn. It's the mistakes, it's the failures in life that you learn from. I see it in comedy where somebody will come along. And they're they're obviously very talented. They're very funny. And they get a lot of attention very quickly. And they, you know, take off those ones usually kind of plateau, because they think oh, I'm actually naturally talented. And everything I do is already perfect. I'm I'm gifted. And they get to the point where they don't think they have to progress. They don't even understand the idea of progression, because they think they're already perfect. And when you that point, you're you don't progress. You just stop, you're plateauing. And then I see these people later in life where the world was literally just handed to them, and they let it slip through their hands because they never thought they needed to improve or do anything different. Whereas when you start you're horrible at it, and it takes you a long time to work at it to get to it. When it finally gets to that moment where you have your opportunity you're ready for it because you've had to work so hard to get it and you understand how difficult it is to get there. But when you finally get it, you love it, you embrace it and you know that you've got to keep going that there's more you can't stop there you have to keep progressing.
Kate Shepherd 18:40
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Rodney Norman 19:28
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Being able to just focus any kind of energy creatively, I think helps in in every aspect, being able to take an emotion or tragedy and be able to really kind of flush it out and work it out and just deal with it. The creativity is really the key to overcoming a lot of the traumas and things because you're able to take something in and change it when you have a traumatic experience. If you continue to let it bring you down. You don't like death of a friend or you you happen to have a bodily injury that causes you some discomfort for a while, and you have to rethink your whole life. Because if you let those things drag you down and hold you down, and you keep giving power to that thing, it will continue to drag you down. But once you are able to take that trauma, and then that negativity, and mock it, and ridicule it, and take the power that it has over you, and be in control of it, they are going to laugh about your your circumstances, that power is what helps you heal, and getting people to see that and know that and embody that, that all this negative things that's going on your life, if you start mocking them and having fun, make fun of the situation, make fun of yourself, make fun of your foibles and your mistakes. And just laugh at it. Your brain doesn't allow it to be traumatic anymore. You know, as a comedian, we get to a point where we enjoy the difficulties, because that gives us the great material to get upset about the the lady at the checkout counter taking forever to sit there getting upset, we're sitting there going, Oh, this is cold. This is comedy gold, right? You know, these difficult circumstances and these strange things, we started enjoying them. Because it's like, oh, this is a great story. You know, and when you can go back and look at your whole life and all these traumatic experiences, and you realize, oh, this is pretty funny. Yet everybody can do this with their life with taking yourself and life Soul series. We're all here for a short period of time. Best case scenario, you want to hit 100 years, maybe you're lucky. For a lot of us, it's a lot less than that. You're spending all your time worrying about stuff you're gonna regret while I'm going to die eventually, anyway, might as well enjoy yourself. Enjoy yourself, and sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride and have some fun if you can get everybody else to enjoy themselves, too. Oh, better.
Kate Shepherd 21:47
So what is the line though, between processing a traumatic or terrible experience? And feeling it and letting it? You know, do? It's because we mean, you can't jump straight to making fun of it when something terrible happens. Right? So what's the line? How do you help somebody navigate maybe a new way? Like, let's say my pattern has been to just a terrible thing happens. And then it drags me down for years. And then finally I emerge and I just have to know that I want to speed that up. What What would you tell somebody who is trying to have a new way of moving through that to get to that place of seeing the funny in it sooner?
Rodney Norman 22:19
Well, as a as a, as a comedian, I can say it's never too soon, really never too soon. Start right off the bat. I mean, just do not let it overwhelm you. You know, it's like when when somebody passes away, for example, that's very close to us, you're going to have that grief, of course, we think, Well, I have to grieve, or it means I don't really care. If I don't, if I'm not crying, and I'm not sad and downtrodden, then I didn't really love the person. And so we kind of buy into this false idea that we have to show our love by never being happy again.
Kate Shepherd 22:54
Right? Which is a horrible idea, terrible idea.
Rodney Norman 22:59
I mean, the person, the person that passed on, they don't want you, every time you think about them go into fits of depression, they want you to be happy, they want you to move on with your life. So when you were able to let go that idea that grief is the only way that I can show that I love someone or when we have something that something horrible happens to us. I see this all the time where people refuse to get better, because if they get better than that means the what the person that committed this horrible thing to them is somehow justified in doing so will will spite ourselves despite someone else. Yeah, horrible thing. And you can't and it's hard to get people to see that that's what they're doing. You know, they can't let go of that grief that can't go to that, that trauma, because now it's become a part of them. And they refuse to get better because I won't give them the satisfaction of me being good hate my life. And I will. I'm gonna just drag it right down into the ground and be a complete failure because of them. You know,
Kate Shepherd 23:57
it reminds me of that, quote, I think it's the Buddha saying, you know, you're holding this hot coal in your hand with the intention of flinging it at the person who upset you, but who's the only one getting burned? Right? Like you're the one holding the thing and just put the hot coal down? Enjoy yourself?
Rodney Norman 24:14
Yes, yeah, just let it let it go. Let it go.
Unknown Speaker 24:17
Let it go. That same
Kate Shepherd 24:19
part of us that wants to curate others experiences of us, you know, like the weird painting I have in me or the weird joke you have in you or the whatever the weird, weird dance it is that I feel weird about, you know, the part of us that wants to curate your experience of me is also at play in that moment that you're talking about there with the forgiveness, right. It's like I can't possibly be seen to be forgiving. That means I'm weak. That means I'm right. I don't see the real me like what if we really had permission to just imagine in every moment if we just felt empowered to express and feel all of our desires, all of our ideas, all of our movements like imagine the world that we would live in?
Rodney Norman 24:59
Yeah, As we're all just open and honest and, and free and supporting other people, yeah, yeah, that's why, you know, you see the weirdo dancing at the basketball game, people don't sit there and go, Oh, that's terrible. I know, for sure. And I think this is fantastic. I love this. That's one of the fun things as a comedian that we get to provide for other people is, we get to be the clown, we get to be the one who's making fun of ourselves and making fun of life. anybody watches something, you watch a band, you go to a movie, you watch a TV show, you put yourself into that experience, you want to be the one up there playing the guitar and singing you wish you could do that. Next Best Thing to get him to do that is to be there watching it and experiencing it. Just like the movies. You know, it's a way of escape. And you know, as a comedian, that that's really kind of how I think I see myself is I'm getting up here and I'm talking about the experiences of my life to help you deal with yours. Here's how I'm coping with my trauma. Here's I'm coping with my difficulties. And hopefully you're walking away from from it saying, you know, my mind's not so bad. If that's what he's got to deal with. I'm doing okay. Or you know, that you'll, you'll you'll gain some perspective, life isn't as difficult as we make it.
Kate Shepherd 26:16
Yeah. So of all your videos, what's your favorite one? Oh, I'm gonna tell you my favorite one minute, but I want to hear yours. First.
Rodney Norman 26:23
I say it's a toss up between those two in particular, I have one that I made. I remember it was a arrest up just outside of Sydney, Nebraska. And I was driving from Utah to Missouri. And I didn't have any money. So I was trying not to stay and get a hotel or anything. So I just stopped in at rest, stop and sleep for a little bit and then take off and I woke up and I thought I'll just go for a little walk. Kenny wake myself up a little bit. So I'm walking around and I see this really cool looking mound behind me, you know, some rocks and stuff. And this is a cool place to make a video right now. And the sun was just coming up. You know, I didn't even know what I was gonna say. I just started I'm just going to just wing it. So sir the video and someone where I say you know, if you're watching this, you're still alive. So you can still do something with your life.
Unknown Speaker 27:19
Just say the future see and this video, it means that you still is still alive. So you can still you know, do stuff. You should just take minutes go. Okay, this is craziness going on in my life, but I can't do it. So I'm still here. Yeah, nothing else to do. To deal with stuff sucks. Scum deal. Okay, so post super awesome day.
Rodney Norman 27:54
I was super freaking off day. That's pretty much the message. And when I was done, I thought that was done. This is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever done. And I've learned that when I feel that way, that's the 40 videos I need to post. I don't know it's it's one that I still go back and watch her once in a while because something I need to remind myself of, and then another one kind of in the same vein as the you know, life is stupid things stupid things happen all the time. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people and there's no rhyme or reason any of this. Regardless of it all. It's still beautiful. There's still so much to enjoy.
Kate Shepherd 28:31
Let's play them the clip. Sure.
Unknown Speaker 28:35
This is certainly going on. Besides stupid people doing stupid things. Man, he's gone. Man. He's gone crazy. And seems like every day just people get more ridiculous and plays again more ridiculous all the time. And yeah, I think it's been fairly ridiculous for a long time. Just now we're just more of aware of how ridiculous they are. Because, well, I have access to more of the ridiculousness that's going on. So tell students to always do it's always rather gonna be stupid. So take some time to just play around as well and go out. This place is pretty cool. This live thing is pretty cool. Spider balls. stupidness Alright, so hope you're enjoying your stupid life. appreciate it for what it is. Okay, Sarah. Yeah,
Rodney Norman 29:24
just go enjoy your stupid life.
Kate Shepherd 29:26
I'd say that last that second one is that a tied with I also really love Go be weird. Go go do weird stuff. Like I've watched that probably once a week just to remind myself like, yeah, go just keep doing the weird stuff. What do you think is the best thing society could do to support people to have this reunion with creativity that we're talking about?
Rodney Norman 29:45
As an artist, the one of the first things you start to experience is one you get a lot of support people who appreciate what you're doing, but you also get a lot of negativity. You have a lot of people who will call you stupid. Why are you doing this and I I think it's just being supportive of other people's dreams. giving, giving support to other people's art in their work, that just acknowledging people, I really enjoy the idea of namaste of I see you, you see me, it's just that that connection, it's not, it's not groundbreaking. It's just I acknowledge you for what you are and who you are what you're doing. If you don't feel like you are an artist, you're not a painter, or a musician or whatever. But if you have an appreciation for that, being able to just express it to someone, you know, if you see somebody who posts up a photograph that they they took just a simple, hey, I appreciate what you're doing. I appreciate you sharing this. And it doesn't take much. And showing that your appreciation for other people, you'll find that it always comes back to you. Because when you when you do something nice for somebody else. You can't help but feel good. If you really feel down and depressed. Just take a moment, very simple. Go through Instagram and everything that you like, just make a comment, say, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this or you know, just something simple. And you'll find just expressing that gratitude and expressing that joy. You can't help but feel joy and gratitude. And then you're spreading that positivity to somebody else, because I never get tired of people telling me how much they appreciate what I'm doing. And so get negative comments. Just I've just learned to just kind of laugh at them, if not, at least just feel a little sad for the person. Yeah, I had somebody who wrote some really nasty things to me. I just wrote back and said, Look, I'm really sorry that you're you felt this way. I hope that you're doing better. And this guy, he just writes back, he says, You know what, I'm really sorry, I just have been having a bad day. And I just, you know, you're you come across being so positive. And I'm just like, you know, he was just mad because he didn't feel positive. They didn't want me to feel positive. So you're just throwing all this nastiness at me. And I said, Well, look at if, if posting something nasty about me on the internet keeps you from, you know, lashing out at your own family. I'm okay with it. You know, and the guy was just, you know, we ended up become pretty friendly, you know, instead of getting mad myself, because most people when they say something negative when they do these things, it's because there's part of them. They're just acting out from themselves. It's, it's more, it's always it's about them. It's not about you, it's about them.
Kate Shepherd 32:34
Always, but only 100% of the time.
Rodney Norman 32:40
Everything you say in a mirror, you understand? Is you talking to yourself, you don't understand that. Everyone else is also a mirror. And you're still just still talking to yourself.
Kate Shepherd 32:51
That's true. Okay, couple things. I want to know what's next for you? Do you know what's next for you? Well, I've
Rodney Norman 33:00
reserved a movie this year that it's going to be coming out soon. I'm talking to people about doing web series. There's all kinds of stuff. It's kind of up in the air and nothing, for sure. But okay, well keep watching. Still doing stand up and just getting out there. What's the
Kate Shepherd 33:19
best place for people to go and find you so that they can we will post some stuff on the show notes,
Rodney Norman 33:23
Rodney norman.com. And there you can find the link to all my other social media and my calendar and all my stuff. That's the best thing.
Kate Shepherd 33:33
Okay, I have one question that I asked at the end of every show. And you don't have to do this. But I thought if your game for it, we could have Leonard answer this question. Okay. All right. If you had a billboard, that every person in the world who longed to be more creative and free, but for whatever reason, just felt they're not good enough. They can't do it. They're too tied up inside, but they're going to see this message from you. And it was going to land in their heart.
Rodney Norman 33:59
What would you put on it? All the greatest, most amazing people in the whole world started out as a complete idiot. They had no idea what they were doing, but they just just kept doing it. And eventually you just start doing it. And most people around you don't know what you're doing. You don't know what you're doing. But people start realizing, hey, this guy's doing some pretty cool. You're not even quite sure what it is that you're accomplishing. You're doing but they don't like and so you just keep doing it and you keep doing more and and pretty soon all of a sudden, you're you're an amazing genius. So just remember to be really, to be a genius. You got to be a complete disaster first.
Unknown Speaker 34:38
Kate Shepherd 34:40
Thank you so much for joining me today. I had such a great time talking to you. Oh, thank you. Isn't Rodney. Absolutely wonderful? To hear my top takeaways from this episode? I loved it when he said to be a genius. You got to be a complete disaster first part of why his videos have been viewed and shared millions of times is that he's unpolished. He's unfinished. And in fact, he's intentionally roughing up his own edges. He's not worrying about looking stupid, or making mistakes, he's still allowing this wisdom to move through him even through the fumbling and bumbling and he said himself. That's why people respond so ravenously to his content, that character he's created is just free. unedited. The only thing really holding us back is our own thoughts. And so how can we begin to release our grip on them and let them go, if you're going to try something new, you're gonna be really horrible at it. Might as well just embrace it and do it anyway, know that it's part of the learning process. And it's never too soon to look for the funny side of your situation. Even in the midst of grief, I want to tell you about the word that I chose for today's show. And I did this before we even went into the studio to record this interview, the word was trust. If you look back over the conversation that you just listened to, that is woven through so much of what Rodney shared with us trust that the thing that's trying to come out of you does deserve to be here in the world. And trust that people aren't looking for ways to make fun of you, they probably don't even care as much as you think anyway. And trust that there is a wisdom in the process of learning. There is a wisdom that's guiding you through your life. It's okay to trust the process, I wanted to offer you an invitation or a little bit of homework, start to notice where you trust things and where you don't? What does the experience of trust, feel like? The reason it's important to start to understand what trust feels like in your body is because when you can recognize it, figuring things out becomes a lot easier. Let's say you want to quit your job, and make your side hustle your full time job. You have this little inner voice, it's been whispering that to you for a long time now, and you're just not sure if you can trust it. How will you ever get to a place where you know how to trust that voice if you don't know what trust feels like, so start really small in your day, every day for the next two weeks. Just notice when something happens in your life that feels trustworthy. So when you get to knowing about something that you know you want to do, let's say somebody invites you out for dinner, and you don't want to go, how do you trust that that's the right answer. Just begin to notice your relationship with trust in your life? And what is the tone of voice that goes along with these various different things that come up in your day to day? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? For me, I know that that inner voice is trustworthy, when it's pretty quiet. So for me when there's a lot of noise around an answer. So let's say I'm struggling with something I need to figure out, you know, do I want to do A or B, if I hear oh, you should do a because data and there's like kind of an urgency, it almost feels like someone standing behind me pushing me that feels less trustworthy than the energy of even stillness, or silence. It's January is really rainy here, I've been a little down, my energy's been a little bit low. I'm in that after Christmas kind of law. And the other day, I knew I needed to get my ass in gear and get myself out into the forest for a run. And it was pouring rain, and I really didn't want to go. But there was this little voice in me, and it didn't even hear it, it was more of a feeling and where I felt it say just keep going. You got to keep going with the running. And it wasn't like a yet gotta keep going and get out there. If you don't do this, you're gonna lose all your progress that you've made and your fitness and debt. No, it was just a really gentle like, sweetheart, you got to keep going. And it's that kind of tone of voice when I'm looking for the trustworthy navigation system. That is my inner intelligence, you know, ego and the rational mind is really good at masquerading as that wisdom. But you can learn to differentiate between the two, between your rational mind and your programming, and this deeper intelligence that's in you that's offering you a more trustworthy roadmap for your life. So for the next two weeks, experiment with that experiment with information as it's coming up to you and does it feel trustworthy? Does it have that soft, loving gentle quality to it? Or is there an urgency where it feels like it's trying to push you because the pushing is probably one of your protective parts trying to kind of jam you into a situation that will make it feel better and the soft quiet voice is a sparkling invitation towards the life that you really want to be living the life of your dreams and you get to decide which one you listen to. To help with all of this. I have made a trust worksheet and a trust guided meditation available to all my Patreon supporters that's inside your Patreon account already. If and if you haven't signed up to be a Patreon This is an amazing time to do that. There are more resources being added to our Patreon library every week. And the feedback that we've been getting from them has been wonderful. So I highly encourage you to sign up to become a patreon and I think you'll really find it will be worth every penny. Hey, you know,
Unknown Speaker 40:15
you can just do stuff. Like you don't need everybody's permission, right thing you just you just can't come up with stuff you want to go do you just go do it. Okay, go be weird. Okay, bye.
Kate Shepherd 40:29
Make sure you're signed up for my newsletter. I pick a random person from my email list once every month and send them an original piece of my artwork. It's one of my favorite things to do. It takes a lot to put together the show. Please consider supporting me to do it. You can visit patreon.com/creative Genius podcast to find out more. And please keep my jewelry or paintings and especially gratitude birds, which keeps selling out in mind. Next time you're looking for a treat for yourself or for a loved one. You can find everything I've mentioned on Kate Shepherd creative.com. Thank you for being here, for opening your heart and for listening. My wish and intention for this show is that it reach into your heart and stir the beautiful thing that lives in there. May you find and unleash your creative genius
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