Season 2, episode 1:
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In this episode I’m talking about:
-Searching for sunbeams
-Moving past a big creative block by finding hope again
-Feeling guilty because I have a nice life
-Anxiety during this time and how I’ve dealt with it
-The science of hope
-Reimagining our future post lockdown
I refer to an article I wrote: Oxytocin: The Cure For Anxiety + Immunity
I refer to Julia Cameron’s Book. The Artists Way from 1992.
Welcome to Episode One of this season of the happier creative Podcast. I am your host, Ruth Hoskins.
Thank you so much for tuning in. The happier creative is a kind of evolution of first season of my podcast. It’s part memoir, part an essay on creative life and part, I guess a bit of a guide to help you upgrade your life and allow more creativity into it. I’m here to help you explore how you live and work creatively, especially as we’re on this kind of lockdown situation right now and beyond.
I believe that creativity is a tool that can massively help reduce anxiety help us live and work better, whether we work full time as a creative or we have a creative business or we want to just bring more creativity into our lives. And now for those of you who listen to my earlier season of this podcast, it was called the happy creative.
You might I’ve noticed that I’ve tweaked the title a little bit. I’ll come on to why a bit later on. But I’m so happy to be back in your ears in this very revolutionary and strange time. And I want to share stories with you because I believe we have to look to the future, to talk about how we feel and to make sense of everything that’s happening right through to get through it together.
So in this episode, I’m sharing what’s been a pretty short 12 months for me from a creative point of view, personally, and how this weird lockdown experience has actually helped me to go back inside myself feel a bit clearer and what I guess just to find a bit of hope, when I least expected it. So thank you very, very much for joining me. If you like these Audio Stories, I’d be really grateful for any subscribes, reviews or shares. Right now more than ever, we’ve got to spread love more kindness, positivity and share more stories that help us get our feelings out of our head and into the world.
And that’s exactly why I’ve created this season of the podcast. Man, you know life is shitty right now so shitty. I’ve no doubt that we all agree on that front. My heart is breaking for everybody affected and yeah huge love and hugs all around that I mean the world feels dark and gloomy.
It is dark and gloomy right now but you know, we have each other’s backs and talking is good. One of my life mottos that I want to talk about today is should the sun beams.
And it also always makes me think of the quote the line in the twits by Roald Dahl, one of my favourite children’s books. That line; if you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like some beans and you will always look lovely.
And it just floods me with the good energy every time and I think it is is so true.
But to be really open and honest with you, I struggled with a massive creative block over the last 12 months.
I felt fine thinking about my incredible clients businesses and supporting them but when it comes to my own creative life, I think just felt totally out of sorts. It’s been really frustrating as it hasn’t really happened to me before. And I’ve always used creation as a way to help me deal with what’s going on in my life.
But this time, the creation just wasn’t happening and it was eating me up a little bit inside and my creativity dried up. It’s like old loose tea bags that you find at the back of the cupboard, so frustrating.
And, actually, as soon as lockdown happened, I was feeling mega anxious as I’m sure you were to, I decided that I was kind of losing my ability to think and that had to take some really radical action to step back and look after my own emotional needs.
But I still couldn’t put my finger on why, why I was feeling like this because I’d had like much greater times of personal trauma five years ago and I was dealing with the grief of losing my mum at the same time is facing my own mortality as I navigated breast cancer, which was a really Strange and humbling experience.
So, back then, despite the sadness, I felt hopeful still, I felt protected. It was like a soft golden light wrapped around me. And I remember thinking at the time it was my mum’s angel wings enveloping me in love when she couldn’t be there physically it did get me through.
And right now I have a nice life a healthy family and my work is good and purposeful. And I kind of felt shame that my life wasn’t feeling as extraordinary as I wanted it to feel but that I shouldn’t be feeling like it wasn’t enough that I should be grateful for what I have and I am but I just had this kind of like empty feeling somewhere inside.
You know, like when you get to a point where you’re like enough now. very strangely, the prospect of lockdown brought this to me it alleviated my off the scale anxiety partly triggered by memories of spending weeks of my life. on a ventilator when I was 21, I decided to get my shit together and create a bit of a toolkit to get me through.
And I want to share these things that I did with you. Now, of course, they might be different for everybody, we’re all different. But I did these three things. And they really helped me get some some clarity in what is a very dark and frightening time in lots of ways.
And so the first thing over the course of a few weeks, I started writing it out every day, because that’s how I work best. And I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing that. And I don’t know if you’ve heard of the book, The artists way by Julia Cameron, was written back in the early 90s. I’ll link to in the show notes.
But the basic basic premise is to write three longhand pages every morning, as soon as you wake up. So she calls it like morning pages. But what I wrote was a stream of consciousness, just writing from the heart asking myself what I needed.
And that’s been a really good practice to Get back into I found it really, really helpful. So the second thing I started doing was was meditating more like three or four times a day, even just for five minutes. And maybe, for you meditation doesn’t come very easily. And I get that because it didn’t used to come easily to me.
But over the years, I’ve really worked on kind of giving myself that time there like brain brain breaks, if you like.
And it really, really is powerful and it has had the ability to just turn me around every time. And I think that kind of having your own spirituality is a daily juice. It’s just like having a daily green juice that we need to keep healthy and to keep our our brains as clear as possible.
And thirdly, I took an extended break from social media, specifically Instagram, I just knew that I had to reduce the noise I guess for a while to help me find my creativity again.
And I just believe it’s healthy today. take a little break to figure out where we’re at and it has given me some mental extra mental space which I kind of needed I think when you get so fulfilled full up with your energy levels having an especially in really scary and stressful times and situations you have less so for me, I just knew that I had an intuition that I had to cut out some noise and actually, it was been very, very helpful and all this felt really powerful.
It’s been a really positive experience for me, despite the obvious anxiety around the situation of Coronavirus, but it felt really powerful because when you get those ah thoughts you feel really kind of well empowered to go a little bit deeper, and within just a few days I felt totally different.
I realised pretty quickly that I had allowed myself to be guided by external influence. Rather than looking within and that’s a massive mistake for me for for anybody I guess. But looking everywhere for advice when the truth is I’m the master of my own life. I’ve built a really successful business before. I don’t really need any more how to knowledge instead, I need to trust myself for the answers, I realised that I’d allowed myself to be guided by external influences rather than looking within and trusting my intuition.
And that’s been a really big mistake actually looking everywhere for advice, but the truth is, I’m the master of my own life.
The world you know, is full of people gurus, experts giving answers which is great if you’re starting out or you’re looking to learn about a new topic or a new a new area of the world.
It’s It’s incredible, but for me, I was looking within to find my next chapter, but I was looking within in all the wrong places outside and what I realised is that I had parked Kind of parked hope at bay.
We had walked away from our best life our two year family sabbatical in Spain. And I had let myself go from the the mindset that, you know, we had walked away from our best life rather than helping myself have the mindset that the best is yet to come.
And that was a really big realisation. How about you what makes you feel kind of wildly excited if you dare to dream a little bit and to reimagine your future to feel really excited, feel ease, and uncomfortable but not alarmed by that glimpse of our future.
I know for me and for us as a family, we’re using this period to make sure we’ve got some solid foundations built ready for living more freely next year. Obviously, the other main issues around wanting to be healthy like everybody else, and that that is absolutely the priority. But after that, you know, it’s to build strong foundations.
It’s to really set ourselves up so that we can and will work from anywhere with good streams of income to support that. So we’re looking at online schooling, for example, because we know we want to be able to travel for longer periods of time than the school holidays allowed me to show the kids the world without being tied to a structure.
And this lockdown is giving me the hope that we can live travel school and work together for chunks of time each year. So like for us to do a long Europe trip in the summer. And then a further afield winter trip for a few months of the winter. And I’m using this lockdown to daydream about that, how we can do it in a sustainable and filling way, fulfilling way to kind of really be architecting and designing that out for us as a family. And I really believe that daydreaming has never been so important.
So I can hope you can allow yourself the luxury of letting go a bit of letting the most incredible things come to life inside your, inside your mind in this way. And I’m sharing all this because if you’re listening and you’re starting to explore how you might want to live in the future, then this is the time to really imagine what might be next for you. So maybe you’re employed and you would like more certainty in your life.
And maybe now you think it’s the time to back yourself. If you’d like to use this to sort of shed some skin and step further and deeper into what matters most to you, then again, there’s no better time. This period is about cherishing the anticipation, pretty powerful stuff right now. And also, if you’re keen on just having a simpler life filled with more creativity and less stuff, then hope can also help move you towards your dreams there. And it’s at that place where you can see those some beams that you’ll feel filled and flooded with high And that’s not just me. I
know psychologists and scientists believe that hope is a trait that predicts resilience and recovery in anxiety disorders. That’s a study I think, according to Gallagher in a book called behavioural therapy, and those that can practice hope are more likely to make a recovery, which I love. And I know like in science as well, the group of scientists Lopez, back in 2013 found that there are actually four pillars of belief and they are that the future will be better than the presence that you have a say in how your life and falls that there are multiple pathways to achieving personal or professional goals. And finally, that there is deep acceptance that there will be obstacles that you will face hurdles along the way. And the other link between immune kind of Yeah, immune boosting stop Start.
Also you’ll be doing your immune system, a massive favour because anxiety produces cortisol and hope produces oxytocin and serotonin, the happy hormones. And for those of you who know how interested I am in that kind of human chemistry, oxytocin and serotonin are so important to us. And so today I’m going to leave you with this quote from Desmond Tutu that I hope can give you a little bit of comfort. It is hope it’s being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
Oh, I love that. Thank you for listening today. I really do appreciate it. And I hope you feel motivated to go and find some some beams too, as well as keep looking inside yourself. Ask and trust your intuition because that’s the place where the real and important answers lie.
I’ll be back next week. I’ve been recording these episodes from my bedroom window. And I’d love to hear from you. If you have a question that you’d like me to explore, or you relate to in some way, please feel free to drop me an email over on Hi, every Hoskins calm. I’m going to be talking about all kinds of things coming up in this series which is about everything including the beauty that lies within ADHD to talking with Tony about working and living together 24 seven language lessons my eccentric dad taught me and loads more. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this.
If you have, please please I’m so grateful if you could leave a review or subscribe or rating, and also, I’m eternally grateful for any shares too. If you’d like to connect with me further over on Instagram, I’m on at Ruthie underscore Hoskins, although I have been taking a break from social recently but I will be going back on it or you can read the show notes and get any links to anything that I’ve talked about over on my website, Ruth hoskins.com. And you can go there and Look for podcasts but thank you very much until then lots of love and sunbeams coming your way. Bye.