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EP09: Unblock your Creativity

Do you have a novel waiting to be written? Is there an instrument you’d love to play? If being creative is something that you used to do or something you would like to do more of, creative Coach Nancy will guide you through how to access and nurture the spirited creator within you. Nancy specialises in helping clients in the areas of wellbeing, mindfulness, performance, and creativity. Learn her tips for protecting yourself from creative and energetic drains, and how to unleash the strengths and skills within.   

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Victoria: Have you ever had a creative dream you’ve never pursued? Is there a novel in your drawer or a musical instrument that you’ve never taken up? Is being creative, something that you used to do, but life came along and got in the way? If this is you, then keep listening. Because in this episode, we’re going to dive deep into how you can become so much more creative in your life, how you can unblock your creativity and how we can go a little step further and unleash it.

Joining me today to help us unleash that creativity and our inner talents is creative Coach Nancy. Nancy has been a coach for over 10 years, coaching individuals and organizations on how to improve their overall wellbeing, their mindset, their mindfulness performance, and of course, creativity.

In this episode, we’ll be taking creativity into all of its forms and how you can nurture yours no matter what life throws at you. So, welcome Nancy, and it’s wonderful to have you on the show today.

Nancy: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

Victoria: This is a really important topic right now. And I know that there are lots of important topics given where we are in society, in the pandemic and our conversations around COVID and all of that. And one of the things that I’m finding in some of the conversations that I’m having with customers and businesses is people are stifled. And underneath that, there almost seems to be, this is probably something that I’d love to talk you through or talk with you about is how to define or how to be aware that your you’ve got … you’re having a creative roadblock moment or you’re having a creative crisis. That’s probably a far better word. Creative crisis.

What are the symptoms around it? What are the signs that you are experiencing this in your world and how can we help our listeners navigate and unblock and unleash and set forward our creativity? I’m really looking forward to having this conversation with you because I know that this is an area that you are so passionate about yourself, and you’ve had an amazing career as a coach, not only as a coach but also in the arts and music and singing.

We all know that the importance of having a creative outlet is so critical for our own mental wellness. Right now it’s an issue for so many people to the point where I would say that are we experiencing in our world right now, or lack of deep joy. And does that impact our sense of tapping into creativity?

Nancy: Yes. I really believe that. Especially since being in lockdown, people are really programmed to be extremely busy, especially in our culture and where I’ve come from previously in corporate. So even people having time off was this, "I feel guilty" or, you know, there was a lot of shame or, you know, and I work a lot with women as well, but I think we tend to block our creativity because we don’t even know we’re allowed to be creative.

Like people aren’t even switched on with their creativity. So, I speak from personal experience because I was in corporate. I ran a business part-time as a side hustle at night and it was purely out of passion. I honestly was not making much money, but I did it because I loved connecting with the people I was working with.

And it really made me realize that there is a creative flow in all of us. There is a creative flow. It’s just about allowing yourself to tap into it. And so for me, that’s something, I work a lot with my clients.

Victoria: I just wanted to go back to a point that you made a couple of moments ago around being switched on with creativity.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: What would be some of the signs that you know, that you are switched on with your creativity first?

Nancy: Okay. That’s a good question. Creatively, when you’re switched on, feels like you are in flow. There is no resistance going on around. You’re fully connected to a part of you that you could potentially be sitting in a room for eight hours, and you would have no idea that all of that time went by. And there’s something about you that’s feeling very satisfied. You’re feeling happy and joyful and nothing externally – the interesting thing about it is nothing externally is changing. All of the work that I work with and clients with is all internal. It’s actually available to us.

Victoria: So I’ve heard. For all of us. And those who are listening, that it’s like a bit of a checklist that to go through and, and do a bit of a litmus test with yourself that am I in flow. So I’d probably just, I’d love to break those down a little bit because. I love concepts, but I also think that it’s really powerful when we can break it down into real practical steps.

What does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it taste like?

So let’s just talk around because you’ve made, you’ve made four really amazing points. One is, when we’re switched on, we are naturally in flow. The second point was you feel connected to a larger space. Third point was, you have a deep sense of feeling joyful.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: Fourth point was nothing really has changed necessarily in your external environment. So I’d love, I think this would be a great conversation to have to dive into all of these four points. So share with me when clients come to you…

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: How do you help them discover and understand what the ingredients are and what it looks like when you are in flow?

Nancy: Okay. the first thing I do with my clients really is I have a listen to where they’re limiting themselves because my clients come to me … creative people have really big visions. Like they want to be superstars like me. They really do. And they, the thing that stops us or stops them the most is they’re … they don’t even know they’re allowed to think that big. And so it’s an automatic response to just limit yourself all the time. And I talk about it as the analogy with a flea that’s trapped in a glass jar with the lid on it. And he just jumps and all he ever does is hit the lid. But in fact, a flee can jump like six meters.

So when you take the lid off and you actually let the flea jump to its greatest height, it still goes to where the lid used to be. So it’s about breaking through the limitations.

Victoria: Just to recap what you’ve said, one of our self-imposed limitations that prevent us from being in flow is our mindset.

Nancy: Yes.

Victoria: And underneath our mindset is fear and judgment and opinions of what we can and can’t do.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And that puts an invisible glass if we were flea silly example, but you know what I’m talking about.

Nancy: I know.

Victoria: Over our head and we almost put ourselves in a glass. So what are the steps to be able to navigate through that? So I know I’ve had similar conversations, but I know that this is your niche area around unlocking people’s creativity. And one of the things that’ve certainly experienced in my 20 years as a coach, when people come with limitations and certain mindsets are right around what they think they can and can’t do is, giving themselves permission firstly.

Nancy: 100%.

Victoria: To actually take the glass off or step out underneath the glass and see what occurs when you do that. And sometimes initially it is about yes, giving yourself permission, but then choosing to be brave and stepping off the cliff in a way, even though you’ve got the parachute on and you’ve got all the equipment that you need to soar.

Sometimes it’s just asking yourself or giving yourself that first step of I’m choosing to give myself permission to explore what life may look like without having that limitation that often is self-imposed and yes, conditioned with our childhood and decisions and all the other things as we grow up as adults.

Nancy: Yeah. Definitely. And I think a lot of the time people. We need to accept where we are at today and not make it wrong because it’s the first thing we did is like, I’m not good enough. It’s not good enough. I need to be different. But it’s really about self-acceptance and then permission it’s those two pieces are really important.

Victoria: So let’s talk about how do we help navigate clients. And when clients book you and work with you, how do you help them create that connected space within themselves to then feel connected to the larger space around them, because it’s an internal journey

Nancy: It’s very much an internal journey and it’s definitely not overnight, but it’s, there’s tangible things you can do straight away to get into this space. I think one of the most powerful things I started to do myself was that I really started to pay attention to my intuition, but on a very deep level.

And even if something seemed absolutely crazy, I knew in my heart and soul I had to do it. I made the decision to follow my intuition. That was it for 12 months. I was like, I’m going to listen. I’m going to take the time. And I’m going to take inspired action is what I call it.

Victoria: So I’d like to just steer the question in another way on that point around.

Nancy: Okay.

Victoria: Intuition, in my experience, it’s a muscle that needs to be developed like any other muscle.

And so if we want a six pack, we need to do those daily exercises.

Nancy: That’s right.

Victoria: And your intuition is no different. And I’d love to hear some of your experiences with clients of how you have, worked with them to get in touch with the intuitive part of themselves.

Nancy: Yeah. That’s really powerful because that’s really where we start.

Victoria: Correct.

Nancy: And the interesting thing is all of us really have had the same desires since we were small. They don’t really change. So our intuition is like our childlike self, but it’s a part of us that knows things about ourselves. We don’t also even know yet because we’re not taking the time to be silent to listen.

And I know a lot of people go into meditation or they’ll practice really quietening the mind, whatever it is that feels good for them. Like even just going for a walk will help you tap into your intuition. Your intuition is woken up. For me. It’s every day when I wake up, it’s deciding whether or not I’ll pay attention.

Victoria: So that’s a very interesting point because also underneath, underneath those steps, it’s being, it’s also the next layer. With what I’ve dealt with in myself. It’s deep trust with yourself and it’s deep trust of what you’re feeling in your body. And I know this is probably another conversation for another podcast around being connected to your body and as opposed to being in our mind, which is so disconnected from our intuition, it’s not where our intuition lives.

Nancy: That’s right.

Victoria: It lives in our heart. It lives in our gut and it’s all … setting up daily rituals to start with small steps of trusting what you feel.

Nancy: Correct.

Victoria: And what you feel to be true. And just start the, the six-pack workout from that point, because when we have a lack of trust, will never trust our intuition.

Nancy: Yes, right. And it’s like, there’s a lot of people who will, we’ll ask people for advice, or we can’t make a decision. And that’s because we’re so out of touch with trusting ourselves, we probably haven’t even thought about it before to this degree. And that’s why I don’t ever really call myself a mindset coach.

I did in the beginning because I didn’t really know the work that I teach now, which is all to do with energy, your body and your emotions. And your mind is extremely powerful, but the way, you know, how to move forward into a situation or to make a decision is because of how it makes you feel. And there’s many decisions I’ve made throughout COVID that were very uncomfortable, but I knew in my heart that they were the right things to do.

Victoria: Would I be able to put you on the spot Nance – I’d love you to share what have been some of those decisions, because that’s another part that I would love to explore today in our conversation, because we’re not always going to be in this COVID lockdown. However, this opportunity has, I always believe, a lot of situations can be alchemized for good. And often it takes deep digging into that environment to look at.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: What decisions do we need to look at to therefore change maybe scenarios in terms of who we are being and what we’re manifesting or creating in our world? And do they support us to the same level before that?

And I’m curious. I’d love to hear.

Nancy: Sure. I’m very open to all of it. And I, I think it’s really, it keeps changing making incredible decisions, but that’s because I decided to when the first lockdown hit and it was quite confronting as it was for everybody, because all of a sudden we have all of this time. So you’re confronted with literally every demon that you have because we’re so used to filling our time up with being busy.

And one of the things I realized is, my whole mission in this world and what I love most about myself, I can say this now, is that I strive to be better because I care about the planet. I care about my child and I don’t make it about myself anymore. What I did was I realized, I mean, I was in a relationship.

I have had a partner, um, my child’s dad, and I realized that we were not happy. The both of us, we were very honest about it. And it wasn’t really about that. It was about ‘If I stay in this situation, the negatives are I don’t get to be my full potential’, which is me jumping out of the flea jar and he doesn’t either.

And neither does my daughter. It’s all very limiting. So I thought, even though it’s going to be painful for a little while, I’m going to learn how to do this separation, for example, and unconditionally love him through it, which was hard, but, I had a daughter, I have a daughter. And so what I’ve been able to build out of doing that is this very holistic, conscious co-parenting relationship that I had to work for. Like, you know, it was hard in the beginning, it was finances, all this stuff, but, it came back to my energy. It came back to giving myself sometimes two hours in the morning just to calm and connect with myself, not just be in a state of anxiety and stress, which we operate out of, out of default, but we have a choice.

We don’t have to do it that way.

Victoria: I found that in particularly over the last couple of years, that COVID is presenting – these are my words in terms of how I frame it up – it’s a deep opportunity.

Nancy: A hundred per cent.

Victoria: And it’s a deep opportunity to explore under the covers. Not necessarily literally, but maybe, and being able to look at where the, where that the internal edge is that is calling for exploration.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And it has highlighted in many of my clients’ lives and conversations that we’ve been having, that there is a fragility in life that COVID has presented us or in a deep awareness around ‘is this it?’ And they’re, as you said before, particularly if all of us are under that glass with multiple fleas, it is, is this the time to make that leap.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: When we can no longer distract ourselves and feel our lives with issues that potentially could be addressed.

And this is the beautiful thing that I love about coaching

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: is that, as coaches, we. Have the opportunity when your clients come to you to ask those probing questions, to start that exploration around, going back to our create creativity and our joy and our intuition.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: Everything is all connected into one, but ultimately it comes back to one resting place, which is who we are.

Nancy: Yeah, that’s right.

It’s true.

Victoria: And you chose in that moment to be brave.

Nancy: I did I did. And, I did it in a way that felt good for both of us. So, you know, it was something I just decided to do. And I, but I knew, and everyone knows really at the end of the day when they’re about to make a big decision, there’s a part of us that goes, "I know I can do this". We do. We actually know we can do it.

But there’s so much you know, stigma and it does this mean I’ve failed as a family and there’s all of these things that you have to deal with. But the truth is that was stifling my creativity as well. There are so many reasons why our creativity is blocked.

Victoria: So creativity is part of the unleashing of that strength within us and that skill within.

Nancy: A hundred per cent.

Victoria: Is to be able to look at where are our lives are cluttered.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And …

Nancy: Yeah. I call them energy leaks.

Victoria: Energy leaks.

Nancy: An analogy…

Victoria: Energy leaks, energy drains…

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: But looking at, I mean, we could really break this down, you know, our home environment, where is our home environment cluttered, and that doesn’t allow energy to flow. Our closets, you know, I shoot cupboards our, um, environment going down to the really other important areas of our life, such as our relationships, which is what you just shared.

And often it is having the bravery to make those decisions in that moment that, you know, will have a significant and systemic impact across multiple levels of your life.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: Including the human beings in your world.

Nancy: Yeah. And look, some of them have during COVID moved to Los Angeles and are creating amazing opportunities. You know, like my clients come to me and very quickly we make bold decisions and that’s because, they know that when they come and work with me, that I always say I’m only ever going to reflect your higher self.

So if you’re thinking something, we may think. But it’s because I stretch, always stretch them. But in the beginning, obviously, like we said before, it’s looking at where their energy leaks are and energy leaks for me, I use the analogy as well with a straw that has holes in it and you’re trying to suck this divine frappe strawberry, and it’s all like not coming out properly and it’s really frustrating you.

And so I like where in your life are there all of these energy leaks and it can be belief, systems, thoughts, your home environment, your relationship, your relationship with your parents. All of it. Let’s look at it all. It’s quite intense.

Victoria: So you’ve covered off a lot of wonderful solutions and insights to help, connect with our creativity. That then takes us to one of the other really important feelings or experiences that is connected to our creativity, which is feeling joy.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And when that bucket or when those energy leaks are addressed.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: We actually have a full bucket to then fill up and it’s then making the decisions. Once we have gone through that de-cluttering journey of looking at where our energy leaks are to help us stay in flow, to help us feel more connected, then deciding what are the things that bring us the deepest joy,

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And how can we fill up that bucket even more and give ourselves the ignition and the rocket fuel that we need? And the permission exist from a place of joy when there is so much noise to the contrary.

Nancy: Yeah, this resonates because this second lockdown, I remember feeling really sad. I was disheartened and I was like, how am I going to do this? Oh, it was just a heaviness. And I was like, hold on a minute. I don’t want to feel like that. I actually really had to take myself out of it. Obviously the news and the daycare and all these things were going on.

And so I, I, uh, obviously I’m really connected spiritually. I do a lot of that work myself. And, um, I really decided that now was the most incredible time just to create my own reality, even if it was like a total fantasy world, what would it look like? What would it feel like to live in a fantasy world?

And it made my head start to tick, you know, because I love movies. I love watching sci-fi. I love all of that sort of stuff. That’s why I love creativity. And when you go to a show, you go to see a performance of your favourite artist in the world. The whole thing has been designed for like a year of stage production and it’s just come from the imagination.

And I was like, this is such a beautiful time to tap into my imagination and create whatever it is I want. So now I’m launching a whole new brand. Thanks a lot for that. I’m like ‘great’. But imagination is the most powerful tool we have and it’s totally undervalued.

Victoria: And this is one of the things that is now missing so much in our world. And that’s permission to dream.

Nancy: Permission to dream.

Victoria: I know it sounds … we’ve lost this and it’s so critical to be able to tap in and give yourself that space every day, or carve out a moment in the day where you can sit and dream. I have a tool that I’ve given clients over many years, and I just call it ‘balcony’. Time to go and sit on the balcony or sit on a rock or go down to the beach. Wherever you are … going to sit under a tree just and carving out just a moment in the day where you can sit and be still and connect with that deeper part of who you are. That is absolutely just yearning to come out and with the noise of our world, whether it’s digital noise, white noise.

Victoria: Distractions, and we’ve lost the memory of how to dream.

Nancy: Yeah, that’s right. And it’s, it is very childlike, I suppose, because we’ve all been there. We can relate to it. I always talk to my clients about their imagination and I talk a lot about visualization. So I do a lot of visualization work for those that are. They can, there are some people that can’t visualize very well, but it’s about what images you create for yourself when you’re in that place of your fantasy world, what really comes up for you?

Because that’s really what life is about is tapping into this. Like what do you really desire in this lifetime? And rather than sitting in thinking about what it is you don’t want, which we are all doing by default … "I don’t want to be tired anymore. I don’t want to be overweight. I don’t want this. I don’t want that. Don’t want to be poor".

Manifesting the same things. Cause it’s coming from that place ‘don’t want’. And when you ask someone, what do you want? They’re like, I don’t know. And I find that fascinating. And so I that’s when I start to take the lid off and I’m like, let’s talk about it. Because even when I started my business, I had a coaching session and the business that I was starting was not the business I wanted.

But this coach really talked me through that. I had no idea. And then my image, I let my imagination run wild and then I got to create, so that’s something that, I definitely encourage people to do is just get out a piece of paper and just write down everything that you really desire for yourself.

Even if you’re in a situation right now that feels uncomfortable or that you’re not really enjoying, start to at least identify what you do want.

Victoria: I think you’ve hit on a really, great point there, or an action. And, you know, there is deep power in just verbalizing and writing it down somewhere that documents it, that anchors into your state of the intention that you want to create in your world. And with, you know, some of the many sessions that I’ve had, I know that you’d also do this with your clients is the power of a mood board and a dream or actually a dream board and being able to start to, in that permission space during your balcony, time to sit down, grab a whole lot of pictures and words and, and visual cues that represent what it is that you want to create in your world. When you give yourself permission to actually ask yourself the question, what is it that I actually want?

Because what if that’s not evoked and if that’s not ignited – that’s where our creativity also centers from. I mean, I know there are lots of ingredients and this is what I’d love just to sum up in terms of how we can actually unleash our creativity. And we’ve heard so far that to be able to know that we are switched-on with our creativity, we will feel more in flow.

We’ll feel connected to a larger space. We all feel more joyful and often when we have those ingredients in place, we then start to see the external change. It starts from ourselves, but when we connect with who we are and what our dreams are made of, and taking that time out with ourselves, being able to give ourselves permission, exercise, the intuitive muscle of who we are, it helps us. Stay connected to our wise woman or our wise man. And we all have it. We all have that voice inside of us. That is a guiding light in moving, you know, and helping us stay, stay on track.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: So there are some really amazing insights there. So thank you so much for sharing it. it’s a wonderful reminder that we all have the ability to be creative. And often people think when they hear the word creativeness or being creative, they often think that it’s Banksy, it’s singing, or it’s playing a musical instrument or it’s writing poetry.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: It’s where our ideas are centered and they’re born and they’ve got the opportunity to be created. And just to finish up, I read, a book recently I’ve forgotten the name of the author, but she wrote when it comes to our ideas, they’re born from the universe and they choose people to facilitate the birth of that idea.

Nancy: Yep.

Victoria: However, there’s a second point. And she continued to go on to say… if we refuse the calling, the energy of that idea will actually go to someone else. Who is connected and open, and it’s always struck a chord in me. I thought, gosh, that’s such a beautiful summary of ‘we’re all creative’. We’re all creative beings, but it’s to be awake at the same time to hear the calling.

When you get the knock at the door with an idea, it’s just – grab it and run with it.

Nancy: Yep, exactly. And I think just lastly, I think a lot of the time people are scared to tell other people what they want and people won’t understand you because it might sound crazy coming from where you’ve been. But that means it’s for me, that means it’s you’re in, you’re aligned. Great.

Victoria: And again, choosing permission and bravery.

Nancy: That’s right.

Victoria: Hey, that was an amazing conversation. Thank you again for coming on the show. There’s some amazing insights here, and you can get all these insights in our transcript at the end of the podcast. So thank you so much for an amazing conversation and we’ll look forward to having you back on another podcast with Hello CoachCast.

Nancy: Yay. Thanks.

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