Genius Moments #7 - 5 Lovely Rituals to Help You Connect With Your Creative Self
Hello, friends, I admit I was a little bit shy about doing this again, I did a few Genius Moments episodes. They were little episodes that were intended to be sort of bite sized messages from me - things that I didn't get a chance to say in the conversations that I have with the guests during the regular episodes.
You know, my job, as I see it, as host of the Creative Genius Podcast, is to really see our guests as the whole human being that they are not just the product of their art, not just the famous person that they are (if that's the case) not just their successes, not just who we see they are as a public persona, but who they are, creatively as a creative entity, as a vehicle for this incredible intelligence that the world talking about all the time.
And so what that means for me practically within an episode is often I'll have ideas or opinions, or things that I just want to say that don't get said, because I don't want to make it be about my ideas. I'm sitting there trying to listen and ask questions that I think you know that for sure, I want to know, but also that I think you would want me to ask them. And the result, after you know, 20 some episodes was I realized, well, geez, I have all of these ideas and offerings and thoughts and little inspirations that I want to share with you. And I didn't really have anywhere to put them. And so I started doing these little mini episodes.
And then I got a little nervous, I guess I felt a little self conscious, because it was just me in the episode. And believe it or not, I'm shy. So I kind of stopped doing them for a little while there.
I also do have a really lovely little series of bonus episodes that happen every other week, inside my Patreon, so people who support the creative genius podcast, get to belong to this private community where where I share much more little intimate episode every other week.
And you know, the truth was with all of it happening, and then myself consciousness around just putting myself out there and just talking to you directly with nobody else around. I kind of shied away from doing these episodes.
But I have been getting a lot of feedback from people asking me to do more of those solo episodes that I did last season. So here I am.
And you know, the intention is to share a little bit more of myself and my process and my thinking and my inspiration and ideas that come up and thoughts that struck me during the show or things I'm working on personally, that I think would be helpful to your work as you find and deepen your connection with your inner creativity and your inner creative genius.
So today I want to share with you a little bit of the work I'm doing to cultivate my own deep connection and communion with this presence that lives inside of me and we can call it lots of different things. soul or spirit or creativity, or self I think today probably I'll call it SELF with a capital S because that's kind of the lens I've been looking at it through for the last month or so.
And it's that it's that voice inside of us that whispers, inspiration, and desires. And it's the source of the urging, we have to create and share our gifts with the world. This is the presence inside of us that can tell us what we're here to do. It's where we ultimately need to look to for purpose questions, for meaning of life questions, it's the source of all those things, it's actually the only source of those things, it's only it's the only trustworthy source of those things. And many of us find it really difficult to actually come into contact with or find that within ourselves.
And it isn't because it's necessarily hard to find, although sometimes we do put it away in a safe place tucked deep away for safekeeping for various reasons. And we'll get into that in a minute. But for many of us, that voice is difficult to hear, because we're not trained to know how to listen for it. And so that's one thing.
And then also, it speaks in a language that we don't understand from our conditioning, you know, we're conditioned to see the world, through the lens of our mind. Through our rational mind, it's kind of how we look at everything, from ego from mind.
And there is another way to navigate and feel and sense around in in our lives. And but we're not taught to, to explore life, from that seat or from that place. And, and, you know, many of us experienced trauma as younger people or at any point in our lives. And as an act of self preservation, we have these instincts that kick in. And they talk this radiant, knowing, gentle, quiet part of ourselves, our self with the capital S, those instincts come in and tuck that part of ourselves into a quiet part of our being for safekeeping. While we're going through the terrible thing, whatever that is. And, you know, depending on how long your trauma goes on for you, all of us, we develop these, these parts of us emerge, they sort of spread up all around us to protect ourselves.
And so now, it's not our self that's leading our life anymore. It's these parts that we've sort of fabricated to be the soldiers at the door protecting that sacred special thing. And then And then before, we know, we're kind of living a life on autopilot, or somebody else, or something else, or this group of protectors is actually where we're, where we're sourcing our most of our reactions, and responses and ideas, and even even perspectives on the world are all are all informed by our protectors and what they think their job is.
I've recently embarked on some pretty deep work to go inside and identify and sit with and get to know these really incredible parts of myself that that sprouted up to protect me, and and that somehow got left alone and are now the ones in charge of my life. And it's really fascinating, incredible, difficult, a little bit scary, but beautiful work to do. And I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to do it. And I want to share little bits of it with you when I can, because I think it's so powerful, and it's so transformative.
So whatever the reason is that we're not in open contact with this aspect of ourselves, this capital S elf of ourselves, it is possible in every moment, to find it, to come into contact with ourselves, and it doesn't take a lifetime of therapy or reprogramming your mind or transcending some part of yourself or beating your ego into submission.
It really is about curiosity, and compassion, and acceptance and a willingness to befriend these parts of ourselves that sprouted up to to help protect us to help keep this quiet, radiant creativity, alive and burning somewhere within within ourselves.
And when we start to look at it, what I'm realizing is that, you know, I used to think I had these certain parts of my personality that were self sabotaging, or that would hold me back or I would be mad that I had this conditioning or this programming or these parts that were in charge and why can't I just come from a place of love all the time.
Now that I'm starting to really have a deeper look under the hood, I realize that actually all of these parts that I've created to protect myself are on the same team. We're all on the same team and we all have the same MO. We're all trying to honor and protect and in our own way steward, this spark of creativity, the self spark that lives inside of us.
So I don't know if you know this about me. I mentioned it sometimes on the show, but I have two children, one who's 10 and one who is seven And they're with me half the time they go over to their dads the other half of the time. And I make, I made a really conscious decision a while back that when they're with me, they're really with me, they're not with my business and not with my stress, they're not with my anxieties, they're not with my grown up business, you know, as much as possible, obviously, I'm a human being, and there are things that they are going to be exposed to.
But one of the things that that meant for me was that I was in a very lucky position to be able to keep them with me and not have to send them off to a bunch of summer camps, I could get work done this summer, I took some time off to, to spend with them. And, you know, now that they're going back to school, and we're back in the rhythm of that, I'm now really sort of looking at all of the work that I have to do, there's there's actually quite a bit of ketchup work I have to do from having taken that time off work. But this is my one of my first weekends alone since they've gone back to school.
I realized that I wasn't going to just dive headlong into catching up on podcast editing and putting it together all the morning noon, jewelry orders, and do my marketing and my advertise, like all that stuff needs to get done and it will get done. But that I realized that I needed to take some time for myself to really work on cultivating a connection with some of these parts that I've been sort of identifying lately through some of this work that I've been doing. I'm somebody who, and you may have picked this up through listening to the podcast, I've gone through quite a bit of trauma in my life.
And, you know, I had a really difficult time coming into this world, my family of origin was very violent, and dysfunctional, there was a lot of alcohol abuse, and violence and tumult and chaos. And and that all resulted in me leaving home at a very young age, I was 14 When I first left home, and I've been on my own ever since. And I'm not telling you that from a victim-y place, I'm actually extremely grateful for every single thing that I've ever gone through each and every one of those experiences and traumas made me into the person that I am today. But they did have an impact on my being, and there's stuff that's dropped inside.
As I get older, and my connection with this creativity gets bigger, and it seems to just kind of want to it's like a flower that just needs to open, I realize that there's a version of myself that has been trapped along inside with a lot of those traumas. And so, and when I say trapped, I guess I mean more, you know, I buried it, we bury those things in it's a it's a protective instinct that we have. And it was the intention of that was to bury this tender, gentle, sensitive, radiant part of me. And I believed I needed to do that to survive the trauma of my life, which maybe I did. But but but in so doing, I kind of put this, this really special thing away. And and then what ended up happening was all these other parts sort of start to show up and take over. And I've managed to create an incredible fortress of a personality that's very guarded, and does an amazing job protecting me from the outside world are all the things that believes is a threat.
The truth is that those threats are not really even there anymore, most of them. And so all these protective parts are vigilant and, and running my life from this place of panic and worry. But the truth is, they don't really need to anymore. And for me, one of the things I noticed in my particular case is that they keep me really buttoned up physically.
I'm scared to dance, I'm scared to sing. I'm scared to kind of move my body, I realized I've become this person who's a little bit terrified of my own body, I don't really know it. And I know intuitively that probably a lot of that is because I've stored a lot of this trauma in my body somewhere.
Maybe there's a protective mechanism that's like, Hey, if you move it around too much, you're gonna jostle some of that trauma out and you're gonna have to deal with it, and it's better where it is. So just leave it where it is. But the truth is, I don't want to be that way. And I actually don't feel like I need to be that way anymore.
It's just that it is really habitual now. And the truth is right now it is, it is really safe to start to look at some of those things slowly. And that that habit of keeping it guarded really is just from a lifetime of protecting myself and so, so this week, I'm dedicating some time for myself to just explore, embodying and again, when I say self, I mean self with a capital S, I want to start to come into contact with his truest version of me, and what are some of the things I can do to help that part of me have a voice and I think that that can be through movement, because I think, that part of us that capital S self is a wordless, timeless, very present being that can communicate with us but not necessarily with language because you know, language is of course, the vehicle of ego and mind and this self this net, this entire elegance, this wisdom speaks to us with a different language and in other ways.
Can I let the part of me that wants to create something good, even on this private sketchbook page in my own private journal, can that part just sit down for a minute, please, and make room for this other part to come out and play?
I'm starting to suspect that movement is a big key to that. So I want to share with you five things that we can do this week to begin to strengthen this connection with our both our protective parts, but also with our sense of self. So that ultimately the protective parts can hang back a little bit, realize that that the war isn't on anymore, that it's safe for them to maybe even explore new job opportunity within our being, maybe they can help us with our creativity. Maybe they can have another job that's more fulfilling, maybe they don't have to be so on guard right now. And what that can do is allow ourself, this wisdom, this knowledge, the truest essence of our being back in the driver's seat of our lives, so that we can live the lives we were meant to, we can find and express our purpose. And we can give and be of service the way we most deeply yearn to. Because ultimately, underneath all of it, that's what we're yearning for. We're yearning to be in service to one another, and to this intelligence itself to creativity itself.
So let's talk about five things we can do this week, to start to cultivate some of that connection.
1. Ask yourself what you want! what do you want to eat, or drink? Or do? As i write this, I just ate my lunch about an hour ago. And I knew it was kind of approaching lunchtime. And I was starting to get hungry and trying to think about what I want to eat. And I started thinking about like, well, what would be good for me to eat right now? And what do I need and should have protein and I got really in my head about what I needed to eat. And I realized, oh, no, I'm going to ask my body, what it wants to eat. And I just, you know, in the in my head, I just said, What would you like, sweetheart? (I have started calling myself sweetheart. And I highly recommend it. When you're having these little conversations with yourself, throughout your day, just see what it feels like to come up with a little pet name for yourself. I find it quite sweet. It makes me very happy.
So I said, Sweetheart, what? What would you like to eat? Like, what do you want? If you could have anything right now? What would you like? And right away? Egg on toast, please? That's like, Okay, done.
And so a couple things. One thing is, it's important to listen to the tone of voice that's answering you when you ask that question, because ego is really good at masquerading as self. And it starts to understand what self sounds like and what and so it starts to mimic it. And then it can actually start to kind of derail you with its own sabotage. It's a whole separate thing. We won't talk about that right now. But just notice the feeling tone of the answer that comes back. So for me, it was a very simple, it was just there was no pushing, there was no begging, there was no urgency to it, it was just like an egg on toast, please. It was very, it felt very unloaded. And I find that once you start practicing this for a little while, I do think you start to feel there's a feeling tone that comes with the answers when you know like, oh, that came from my mind or that came from ego or that came from urgency or fear or there's a feeling quality that you'll start to get better at identifying when it's coming from self. And so as you go about your week this week, ask yourself, Sweetheart, what do you want? What would you like to eat right now? What would you like to drink right now? What would you like to do right now? Should we go for a walk. And we all have really busy lives. It's not just this indulgent thing that you're going to go around and and now you're only going to do the thing that you ask yourself to do. That's not what I'm saying in as many times as you can, weaving it into your day, just find moments when you can check in with yourself and ask it what it wants. So that's one thing.
2. Yoga. We all know it, Yoga is really good for us. And there's all kinds of ways that it strengthens connective tissues and lengthens your muscles and helps you with your breathing and relaxes you and opens you and strengthen. I mean, there's just no end of benefits to yoga. And I don't think it has to be something where you like go and you spend $500 on a monthly membership to the local Oh, you don't have to do that if you want to. But you do not have to do that.
There are plenty of amazing free yoga tutorials online. You just have to google them. I signed up for a yearly subscription to go it's like a library of yoga classes. There's 1000s of them. So I just type in yoga for runners and you know on a day after I've gotten on a big run And then I can do a nice yoga that opens the hips and helps the knees and all those things. And I think committing to a movement practice like that is really especially important, because over time you start to see how a practice like that is changing you and opening you.
I've been noticing that as I do more yoga, obviously, the flexibility is changing. And it is almost like a symbol, like as my muscles open. And as my body opens, it's almost like a symbol of my overall opening. And so how can we integrate yoga into our lives? Maybe it's a 15 minute class three times a week? Can you do that? Can you find yourself 15 minutes for that?
3. Make a little playlist for yourself of the songs that your voice loves to sing.I mentioned earlier that I am pretty zipped up when it comes to dancing and singing. So I've been finding ways for me to dance and sing in the car. As I'm driving down the grocery store. I've started a little playlist for myself, of songs that I love to belt out. And you know, even if you're not a natural singer, when I say natural singer in quotes, you didn't come out into this world with a glorious voice without practice.
I think we all love to sing. I think it's in us, I think music is just in us, and we'd love to sing. And there are you know, if you're not particularly good, quote, unquote, at singing, there are still certain songs that and maybe there's only two or three. But there are certain songs that whenever you sing them, you feel like oh, yeah, this song was written from my voice, I can sing this song, I can't sing 90% of the other songs in the world. But I can sing this one. And when you're driving around, belt them out, start to practice connecting your voice with the voice of the person in the song. So you're almost trying to harm might not harmonize, but you're trying to resonate your voice with their voice and see if you can go on a little musical journey with them together. And even that with the sound waves opening you and let yourself dance a little bit.
And you could also have a little dance party in the morning. You know, my kids and I when they're here, we often have little impromptu dance parties where we'll just especially if people are feeling like the kids are fighting a lot or people are stressed out or you can see that people are just like we've had too much homework and what if something is stressful. breaking out into five minutes of just some crazy dance music is wonderful.
3. Get Lost - this is one of my absolute favorites. Last season at the end of last season, Autumn Skye (if you haven't listened to that episode, oh my gosh, go back and listen to it - incredible wisdom, incredible woman, beautiful shares deep, deep deep connection and wisdom pouring out of her in that episode, please go back.) But she she talks about at the end, I love that she shared this because it's something that I really liked to do, too. She shared that when she goes to a new whichever she goes on vacation somewhere. One of the first things she does when she's dropped off her bags is goes and gets lost in the city that she's in on purpose and cast have to kind of has to sort of wander her way back and find her way back. And, and well, we can't go on a vacation every week, we can certainly get lost in our own neighborhoods. And so I talked about this. So this is something I call unscripted walking. And this is where you just look at your clock and you say, Okay, I'm gonna go, I'm going to walk. I mean, we should all be walking for at least an hour everyday anyway, right, guys. But if we're not, let's try to bring that into our lives because walking is so amazing.
Give yourself a little 45 minute window or an hour or longer if you have the time and walk around your neighbourhood, your very same neighbourhood that you live in. But instead of having a plan about where you go, because we're creatures of habit, aren't we we got on our evening walk. And it's the same route every every stinking night, it's the same route. Because that's how our brains work, right? We're efficient, and we're amazing that way.
But give yourself a couple walks where you just, it's not even that you're coming from your mind to try to do something differently. Come from your body, go out of your front door. Before you turn right or left, check in with your body. Which way does it want to turn? Don't ever think this. So really just ask it right or left. And you'll there's all kinds of ways that your body will tell you that maybe you feel a little heavier on your left side than your right side. And that means you want to go right or maybe it's the opposite for you.
You'll know! You are a finely tuned instrument of knowing you'll know if you want to turn right or left and then go and then you know, do you want to stop and look at that leaf? Do you want to look up at that tree and see what that bird is? Do you feel like just stopping in the middle of sidewalk for a minute and not going anywhere? Let yourself do all of those things for that walk and just see what happens and we're not trying to make something happen.
We're not actually trying to go out there and like, oh, and then I ran into this amazing person and there was this crazy serendipity and we're not trying to facilitate a big experience. What we're trying to do is come into contact with this part of us that can navigate our lives better than our mind. And that comes from cultivating a deeper connection with, with this sense of, do I go right? Do I go left? Is this a yes? Or is this a no? Oh, do I go up? Do I go down? Am I hungry for an egg? Or do I want a piece of cheese? What we got to start to learn to understand the language that that intelligence speaks, because it isn't verbal.
5. DOODLEtime without thinking. So for the person listening to this right now going wait! but I am not an artist, and I don't sketch on it. Okay? Stop. Go get yourself a sketchbook and get yourself a nice little pack of markers, not Crayola ones that are going to fade over time, and not ones that cost, you know, $90 for a set of 24 bit, get yourself a nice middle of the road, good quality pack of markers, and a sketchbook that has heavy paper in it. Ideally, if it's watercolor paper would be great. But you can also get like a mixed media sketchbook and they're not expensive. You can get a really good mixed media sketchbook, eight and a half by 11. For like $12
So the very first step is you open up your sketchbook and you lay out your markers in front of you. And you just look at the markers. You just take them in you're not think try not to bore down on them and stare at them and determine which color you want to use. It's more of an allowing, it's more like, can I get out of the way?
Can I let the part of me that wants to create something good, even on this private sketchbook page in my own private journal, can that part just sit down for a minute, please, and make room for this other part to come out and play? Because there's another part that would pick orange. Instead of you know, the rational mind wants to pick a blue because everybody likes blue and blue is my favorite color and all the reasons that you'd want pink.
There's this other part of you that wants to pick a different color. Because it's actually trying to tell you something. And you can only get that message if you let it move your hand and pick up the orange marker. And then what shape does that part of you want to create doesn't want to fill the page with that color doesn't want to do stripes or lines or dots? Is it moving quickly? Is it moving slowly.
Let your inner intelligence lead you, let it take you on an adventure. Imagine you have this friend inside of you that doesn't know how to talk doesn't know how to speak your language, but it has the most important message you'll ever hear, and it is inside waiting to share with you. And imagine yourself, you know, a scientist trying to come up with a way of understanding what that part of you is trying to say.
So those are the five things that I'm going to be working on this week. And I would love to hear from you. If you do any of these things. Or if you've already been doing some of these things and what comes up for you, I would really, really, really really love you to share that you guiding encourage you to post on Instagram and tag the creative genius podcast, hashtag the creative genius podcast, you can tag me in your post to at Kate Shepherd creative.
Or you can find my email address on my website, Kate Shepherd creative.com. And send me a direct message if you don't feel like being super public about it. But it can be really powerful to share some of these experiences with people because we're all having them. And I think we're all having them. In a lot of times, we're all having them kind of in private and not sure if we're crazy or weird or, and sharing them with each other can be a powerful way to deepen our own practice with all of it, I really do feel like we have the capacity through simple things like this to heal and transform our lives. We have imprisoned a part of ourselves deeply inside of us. But the good news is that it's inside of us, it's not somewhere else we'd have to go looking anywhere else. It's all right inside. And all of the tools that we need to let that beautiful part of ourselves back up and out, exist right here for us. So I'm so glad you're here. And I'm so glad you're listening. And I'm so happy to be embarking on season two of the creative genius podcast with you. I feel full of excitement and gratitude and on the liveness that we're on this journey together. And I feel excited. I just I'm buzzing with the possibilities of everything that will happen for you. And for me and for all of our guests this season. And I'm just so glad that we get to share it all with each other and I'm so glad you're here. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 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 faves. Are things to do. It takes a lot to put together the show, please consider supporting me to do it. visit patreon.com/creativeGeniuspodcast to find out more.
Thank you for being here, for opening your heart and for listening.
My wish and intention for the show? Is that it reach into your heart. Stir the beautiful thing that lives in. May you find and unleash your creative genius