How am I different? And how can that be something that I can lean into as opposed to shove down? Finding your Creative Superpowers
In this episode I talk about some of the challenges I lived for most of my life, not knowing I had a condition called Aphantasia; which is an inability to conjure visual imagery, or a mind's eye that is blind. And how when I accepted this, I came to see how this condition is what is actually responsible for what I now see and know are my greatest strengths.
Leaning into what makes us different is the path towards true fulfillment and expression of the gifts we came her to both receive and share.
If you are tired of pretending you are "normal" or just like everyone else - even if it is in one tiny corner of your life - that is great news! It means you have a hot clue to finding your superpowers. This mini episode is the pep talk you need to bust out and be unapologetically YOU!
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Hello, thank you for joining me today. I really love sitting down to record these genius moments for you. Because it gives me a chance to reflect on so much of the amazingness that comes out of these conversations I have with these incredible humans who've agreed to sit down and do these episodes with us. And if you haven't listened yet to the episode, that's up right now. It's Phoebe Gander, and she's an artist from New Zealand. And her work is incredible. It's always just made me very happy. And she's got a really wonderful funny streak through her. She's had some larious videos on Instagram that have gone viral and make me I mean, there's one of her videos I watched probably 35 times one day with my kids, and we still go around trying to mimic the accents that she did in that what's funny, and you can find that in the show notes on Phoebe's episode on Kate Shepherd creative.com. And I want to recommend that if you if you even if you actually even if you have listened to that episode, go back and listen to it again, I find it's one of those ones where I mean, I listened to it about five times, I was in the conversation that I listened to it a whole bunch of times in editing and I every time I take something else really useful from that conversation. So do go back and even listen to it again, if you haven't, one of the things that came up in there was how for her as somebody with undiagnosed ADHD for most of her life, she grew up feeling this huge weight of feeling like unworthy and not good enough. And like, why can't I be just like everybody else? Why can't I produce my schoolwork on time and in the quality that my teachers want, and I'm trying so hard, and I'm just I'm there's obviously something wrong with me. And I think this, you know, you've heard me at the top of every show talk about how I think humanity is glitching. And it's glitching. Because, you know, we have these collective stories around who creativity belongs to where it lives, you know, that it's only in certain special people, and, and what it is what it has to look like, you know that it has to have these predictable qualities to it, it has to be familiar, it has to be you know, in order to be accepted, whatever it is that you are, or whatever it is, it's moving through you or that you would might create, has to really look or feel or sound a certain way, in order to be accepted. And so we spend, you're taught this, this is stuff that we're it's everywhere, it's in our air, really, we're taught to that to be truly loved. And appreciated, we either have to be born some sort of prodigy, and even then that's, you know, you could be considered weird, or you or but you at the very least have to create things that are familiar, and you have to be a way that is familiar to other people. And so for anybody who has a quality to them, or a gift in them that really deviates from the quote unquote, Norm, things can be more obviously challenging. Now, I mean, I want to stop there for a second and say, we absolutely each one of us have a unique gift that makes us very, very different. And because of the way we're taught, and because of the way we're I would I'm gonna say it conditioned. And programmed, really, many of us actually don't even know those differences exist, because we've just on knee jerk reaction. And on automatic autopilot, we've just learned how to suppress those differences about ourselves. We've learned how to shut them down, how to shove them down, how to not look too closely at them how to pretend they're not there. And we're not even having intimate enough conversations with each other to find out ways that we're different, like we're not curiously exploring ourselves as we come into out of childhood into adulthood and say, Well, how do you how do you see things and how does this feel to you? And we don't have those conversations, really, for me that led to I mean, I was, I think I was 40 years old, when I realized that I don't visualize the way that you do. So I have what was originally classed as a sort of rare abnormality called a Fantasia which is where my mind's eye is blind. So I, you know, if I close my eyes, if I say to you close your eyes, and picture yellow taxicab driving down a big pavement Street in New York City, you probably chances are, can conjure an image of that you'll see the yellow you might your mind might paint an image of the cracks in the pavement. I mean, you'll get a visual image. I don't see that when I close my eyes, all I see is black. And for a really long time. Well for those 40 years, anytime I was in a situation where you know, there was like a guided meditation and the person said, Oh, close your eyes and picture Have yourself surrounded in white light. I would I mean, this is
I would picture I, all I could see was black. And the story that I told myself was that there must be something wrong with me, I must actually not have access to good energy or white light, or I must be faulty or broken in some way. And that's why I can't see the white light because it was ubiquitous. Everybody always talks about, you know, surrounding yourself in the white light and visualizing, you know, things, and I couldn't do it. And but it wasn't until I read an article somewhere, I think, on Facebook. So there were some posts somewhere way back when when somebody was talking about this and how it was a thing for them. And I was like, wait, wait, wait, what's the thing? I'm, I'm different. And I and I see things in a way that's different than than most of the people around me. And that's what's led me to be so frustrated in all these times and, and my immediate reaction was not jubilant excitement at here's maybe a superpower look at this amazing way that I'm different. My immediate reaction was grief, and jealousy, and feeling. I've heard people call it FOMs fear of missing something. I had this deep sense that, that confirmed this idea that I had all along that haven't broken. You know, there's only here's another way that I'm broken. I can't visualize that everybody does. And it took me it actually didn't take me that long. It took me about two days of really feeling quite sorry for myself, like really, like I got ripped off. I'm i I'm missing out on this amazing superpower, you all have that you can visualize things. And I mean, some of the people I talked to my cousin told me that she could actually like, visualize with her eyes open. So she can like try to open up her palm of her hand and try to see an apple and she can see a faint version of an apple in her head with her eyes open. And I just felt like, wow, as an artist, How useful would that have been? So grieved, I did grieve. And then a very good friend at the time, asked me, well, where's the gift in this? Where how? So yes, you feel sorry for yourself? And okay, I understand this is a shock to your system, you've just found out this thing. But how is it a gift? Like, where's the gift? And I love that question. And I do ask myself that, you know, a lot of the time whenever I'm going through something difficult, okay, well, were let myself grieve that myself really feel this, whatever it is at the moment. But then what is the gift in this experience, and for me, the gift of that way that I'm different, of not being able to have my mind's eye being blind. As soon as I started looking for the gift that just started popping up, you know, left, right and center, I have an incredible intuition. I just know things I know things that most people around me wouldn't know, I know how far away A car is from me, when I'm parking the car, I can kind of park my car with my eyes closed. Once I know where I am, I can measure ingredients for baking without really looking, I kind of know exactly within a couple of grams how much a cup is. And it's fun, like it's a fun kind of party trick to do with it. I show my kids. So here's, here's 373 grams and are like, what, how did you do that? Because there's another way that my mind has had to develop, to make sense of imagery and spatial and spatial things. And, and the list goes on and on. And on and on. There's so many ways that that my mind's eye being blind, led to me navigating the world differently in a way that makes me unique, and can access gifts that I wouldn't necessarily be able to access. I think if I could visualize and imagine and be distracted internally in my mind's eye, like when I close my eyes, it's just black. And I mean, I think when people are meditating, that's, you know, when they talk about emptying your mind, and, and people want that people want that emptiness. And I just have it when I close my eyes, there's nothing there to distract me. And that's a huge gift because I'm able to drop down to a deeper level of myself almost instantly when I close my eyes and sit down to meditate. And that's a huge gift. And that's been a huge blessing. I wanted to just shine a little bit of light on this today because I think that we are so used to trying to be like everybody else. I mean, it's an urn, I see my children do it. There's this earnest like yearning to fit in and to be accepted and to be loved. We are in a in a massive way. Collectively, we are not allowing ourselves to find out the thing about us that's different. And, yes, maybe deal with some of the grief of that, you know, it's hard to be different.
But once you can get past that, if we can allow ourselves to do that. We can get to the gift. And, and the gift is not just for ourselves, we have these gifts to serve each other. So the gift that I get from having a blind Mind's Eye allows me to access things in myself knowings insights that I then get to share with you. And that's how we are, we're relational creatures. So the thing that makes you so different, whatever it is, is a direct portal, it's a doorway, it's the path to the gift that you have, that will help me do something I can't do. And I need you to do it. So this whole little mini episode today really is, if we could boil it down, it would be me saying to you, please be brave, to sit with the way that you're different, find out what it is, and lean into it. And lean into it and know that I'm here. And there's a whole world of people that are here that are waiting for you to do that. So that you can bring your gift to life, and bring it into the world for you. And for me and for all of us. And on that note, if you haven't joined it yet, please head over to the creative genius Facebook page and look for the creative genius family group. It's a closed group. And it's small and growing. You have to answer a couple questions, and then we'll let you in. But it's an amazing community. It's so supportive, it's in its very early days, but it's for this, it's for us to have a safe place to explore, well, I have this I feel like I'm different this way. And this is my struggle with it, or this is this is a piece I'm working on, what do you think about it, or, you know, I didn't, I didn't create for 35 years, and I don't really know how to, I don't have a community of artists around me. And it's a place for us to rally around each other, and have those conversations and be that support for each other. So that exists for you. And we'd love to have you joined. So please head over and do that. And I wanted to tell you, I You know often before an episode with a guest, I spend, I don't know about 15 minutes to an hour sometimes just sort of sitting in quiet contemplation. as I prepare to sit down with our with my guest. And in just before I do that I often pick a word from I have this beautiful, heart shaped wooden bowl filled with cards that just have one single word on them. And I've always been truly amazed. Because every single time and I mean this, there hasn't been a single time where I've gone in Yeah, that one could have gone either way. Every single time, the word that I've picked for the show has been the perfect word for the show. And so I picked one for us today, because I wanted to give you something to carry you through your week until the next episode. And the word is resilience. I love this for what I've just shared with you. Because as you just when you make the decision that you're going to turn inward, and you're going to look at what you really are, and what your gifts really are, and who you what you want, and what you're here to do. And that's a life changing moment when you really stop and allow yourself to do that. That is for me, I feel like that is when life began. And at the same time. That is not an easy process is not an easy road. Because there's so many things that have to be let go, you know, when we when we find out what we are and what we want and what we're really here to do. And we agree to do it. There's a lot often not always, but often there's a lot that needs to be let go. And there's a lot of things I want to say about letting go and when is it time to let go? And what if you want to let go and you can't, I'm going to talk about that in a future genius moment. But for today, I just want to focus on it can be enough. Let it be enough today that you're just looking inward at what that gift is. And are you ready to make the commitment to be that thing to lean into how you're different knowing that's where your gift is hiding. And so resilience. I feel like resilience is such a perfect mantra or thing to kind of hold up in our mind as we do this. Because there are a lot of challenges with that, you know, there are going to be things you have to let go of. You're gonna have you're gonna you're gonna bump up into stories about yourself and who you think you're supposed to be and who you have to be and are your responsibility. Your responsibility is to be to you know,
I'm this to these people I can't change and I mean when you really When you really lean into your gifts, there is a lot that does fall away. And that that must fall away. And to draw on your own internal powers of resilience is really important. And so I'm so happy that that word came up today. Find out how you're different, and how you're weird and how you're unusual. Bring in and draw on your own resilience because you are extremely resilient. You've gotten here, you've gotten to this moment, right now, today, when this when you're listening to these words, and your resilience did that for you. So draw on your resilience as you bravely decide to be who you are, to be who you really are to express what's really in you. And to trust that that's why you're here. And that we all, every single one of us on this planet, whether you'll ever understand it or not. We all need you to be who you really are, and let your gifts out. I'm so happy that you're here. I talked a little bit this week on incremental actions, the power of incremental actions, which ties in really, with what we're we're talking about right now to, you know, the power of incremental actions to get you to the new place that you're trying to go. And that is a bonus episode that's available when you sign up to be a Patreon. So you can go over to patreon.com/creative Genius podcast and find out how to sign up to become a supporter of the show, and you'll get these bonus episodes. So there's this the creative genius moments, but there's also bonus content that comes out every second Friday on the week's in between regular episodes with guests. This week's was around incremental action in the power of incremental action. So I invite you to subscribe to Patreon become a supporter of Patreon, which will also really help me keep the podcast going. There's a lot of work that goes into these and, and I do need some help so that you get something I get something. And I want to ask you to, as you're you know, to share this episode with somebody who you might have thought of while you were listening to my voice today. There's somebody that popped up at some point in listening to this. And there's a reason they popped up. And I want to invite you to just forward them a little note maybe an email or text and to say, Hey, I've been listening to this podcast, I really enjoy it. And this episode in particular, just for some reason you kept popping into my heart and my mind and I wanted you to know, have a listen. And then maybe just tell them what your favorite episode of All Time has been so far yet. I can't decide which my favorite episodes because they've all been my favorite. Actually my favorite episode is almost always the one I'm working on right now. And I'm very excited for the next episode to drop. And I guess that's when we'll meet again. Take care of your genius