#270 - The Magic of Creativity with Chris-Anne
#270 - The Magic of Creativity with Chris-Anne
How can creative business owners equip themselves with the magic of creativity? If you’re a visionary entrepreneur or artist, you likely know the struggle to find a balance between the mundane and the meaningful. In this episode, Emily chats with Chris-Anne, an oracle deck creator, designer, and marketing strategist. Together they explore the power of creativity in business, rituals for finding balance in productivity, and how to create work that fulfills your soul’s higher purpose.
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Emily Thompson: (singing) Welcome to Being Boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And today I'm joined by Chris- Anne, Tarot Deck creator and marketing strategist live from The Gathering, a virtual event for the Being Boss Clubhouse to discuss deep creativity, connecting with inspiration and the intersections of creativity and business. As a boss, you know that starting and scaling your business are two very different things, but we have to dive into both, first starting then scaling, and you're going to need all along the way. And since you're obviously a podcast listener, I recommend checking out the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast as another resource to help you on your path from episodes on getting funding, to building businesses based on creative ideas, it features amazing conversations, strategies, and tools that help you tap into your entrepreneurial spirit no one matter where you are on your journey. Listen, learn, and grow with Entrepreneurs on Fire on the HubSpot podcast network at hubspot.com/ podcast network. Chris- Anne is a deck creator artist and magic maker, as well as a marketing strategist and owner of Pixel Brand, a branding and graphic design company. She has successfully kickstarted three independent card decks, the Sacred Creators Oracle, the Light Seers Tarot, and the Muse Tarot and she offers unique courses for creators that combine marketing and branding with manifestation and intuition. We are back. We are back and this time I am joined by none other than Chris- Anne. Welcome.
Chris-Anne: Thank you so much for having me.
Emily Thompson: I am stoked to have you. I will share a little bit of backstory for everyone. I invited Chris- Anne, well, first I backed your Sacred Creators Kickstarter. How long ago was that? When did you do that?
Chris-Anne: Like maybe six or, I don't know, my sense of time is so horrific and the last couple of years it's gotten worse. I think it was about six or seven years ago.
Emily Thompson: Okay. So six or seven years ago, I will also share... What is it called whenever, an embarrassing hobby... Is it an embarrassing hobby? I don't know. I troll Kickstarter for decks. It's something that I do pretty regularly. Probably every once every three to six months I will go to Kickstarter and just see all the decks that I can go buy. And I will back a lot of them. It's one of my favorite things, but I also, I think it started with me backing your Sacred Creators deck six or seven years ago. So I backed that deck. Got it. It's on my desk. It lives right here on my desk under a clear quartz crystal. And I use this deck all the time when it comes to writing content for Being Boss. So there's like several little secrets, Emily secrets, hidden away in there. One, I love decks on Kickstarter and all of my friends, they hate it, because I'm always like, go buy this one, this one's totally you. And they're like," Emily, stop looking." crosstalk
Chris-Anne: It's so addictive.
Emily Thompson: It it. It is. But then also that I do use an Oracle deck to write a lot of content that I write for Being Boss. And it's this deck, it's one of my favorites. I know several bosses in the community use it. And so whenever I reached out to you to do this, I was having a little bit of a fan girl moment. And then you came back and said that you are familiar with Being Boss, which just heightened my fan girl moment. And here we are finally, after all these years getting to have a conversation together about creativity and magic, which is just going to be the best.
Chris-Anne: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah. And I've known about Being Boss for a really long time too, so I, yeah, it's fantastic, because I think we kind of got started in the online space sort of at least within the similar timeframe, same couple of years, I would say, when the community was a lot smaller.
Emily Thompson: Yeah, for sure. And so you have gone on to create more decks. I create more podcast episodes for sure. More and more all the time. So it's so exciting to me to have you here. I'm so excited to have this conversation and with our bosses in the room as well. So I think just to get us started, let's start with hearing more about you. I like to start these with hearing your entrepreneurial journey, how it is that you got to where you are today.
Chris-Anne: Gosh, it has been a long journey and it's so funny because from the other side of the screen, people often say to me," Wow, you had such fast success." And I always think you were not here on this side of the screen for all of the all of the moments in the building and all of the backstory. I did start out kind of as a, I would say more conventional entrepreneur, if there is such a thing. When I first, so I, gosh, where do I start? I started a design and creative agency when I lived in Chile. So that's how I got started. I moved to Chile because my husband is Chilean and I couldn't speak Spanish well enough to work in creative. When you're working in creative and marketing and that sort of thing, there's so much of a, you need all of the nuances of language, edge culture, and I didn't have it when I first got there. I just couldn't do it. So I started my very small online business, way back when that was really new, when E- lance it was called, which is one of these kind of like Upwork or grew online systems where you can pitch to companies, was first getting started. So I was one of the very first people that worked in that sort of system.
Emily Thompson: Wow. I remember E- lance back in the day.
Chris-Anne: And I was able to work with English speaking companies through that and find speaking clients. And then so, I mean, really I started my entrepreneurial journey a long time ago and then it evolved. It evolved slowly and surely. I mean it evolved to me kind of wanting to show up more in my business and in my design business and wanting to show up more in every thing that I did. Isn't that always the way, right? We kind of, we do the thing we do what we think is going to be successful. And then we get to a place where we're like," Okay, no longer feels like..." It's like a bad fitting suit, right. It just doesn't feel right. So I started to shift my business and began only taking on clients that felt aligned, so that was anyone who was in the healing space. I took on work a lot of like chiropractors and acupuncturists and healers and other clients that were in kind of the green space thing, anyone who was making the world a better place, or that felt really aligned. I started saying no to a lot of work. I was able to say no to a lot of work. I couldn't do that in the beginning. So it was nice to see that growth. And then I really started moving more into the what's making these businesses tick and why are they doing well? Because when you're working one on one with so many different types of businesses across so many different types of fields, you start to see that it's the entrepreneur themselves who makes the difference in the business, not even the business model necessarily, and not even how fantastic the product is, but I started to see," Well, like this entrepreneur is a lot like that business owner and that business owner" and all of them just kind of took off. And so I kind of began to," Okay, what is it that they're doing the same? What is it about their personality that's the same? Or about their aversion to risk?" Or whatever it was. I just started taking note and doing that for 10 years, ish. I just began to see this pattern emerge. And then I was really excited about that pattern and wanted to share that pattern. And that's where Sacred Creators kind of, it was birthed out of that, but also out of me wanting to bring in more Oracle decks into business meetings and never being able to find the right Oracle deck. So that was my first deck and it was 100% my transition into what I'm doing now.
Emily Thompson: Nice. And it came from you really wanting the tool for yourself.
Chris-Anne: 100%. Yes. Yeah. I was going into some brand strategy sessions with... By that time in my business, it was finally sort of this size that I wanted it to be. And I had some larger corporate clients and I was working with some municipalities. And so I was able to go in and do brand strategy sessions with like 20- ish people in the room, which was what I had always wanted to be able to, I wanted to scale my business, I wanted to get there. And when I was there doing those sessions, that's when I was really like," I want to bring Oracle decks in because they're such a fantastic tool." Even if people are not into decks, because they're are just, they're able to, it's like they give themselves permission to say what they see in that moment. And that's when the truth comes up. And that's when all of a sudden things fall into place so beautifully, right. Because they're, and it's like, they would've had all of that magic inside of them anyways, but they needed the tool in so many ways.
Emily Thompson: You feel like you could've put it on a Post- it note.
Chris-Anne: Yes. That's all they needed, right? But people don't always believe that. They sometimes need to think that," Wow, this is the card that's telling me the thing that I need to say. And I already kind of knew it, but I never wanted to say it or I didn't have the courage." So I brought in lots of different decks trying to... It was a test. It was really a huge test because I'd have to kind of almost check out the different businesses, you know, which business is going to be okay with this and which corporate experience is going to be okay with this? And so I would kind of talk around it without actually saying, I'm going to bring it an Oracle deck. What if I bring these cards that are going to help us? And some people were like... I lost some clients by taking those chances on occasion because they just thought that it was far too out there at that time in history, I don't think that would happen today. And, but then I really got closer to other clients because they did really, really loved the experience and loved being able to do that and going through... I don't know how many decks I brought in trying all different types of decks. And finally, when I was like," The perfect deck does not exist for this," I thought," I have to make it."
Emily Thompson: Perfect. Oh, I love that. And how many boss stories have we heard that are exactly the same? Where you are here doing some work, you need something it's not available, so you have to make it yourself. And because you were almost your own test group, you were able to do something that has really, I mean, six, seven years. That's not really standing the test of time, but isn't it? In the online business world, isn't that definitely standing the test of time?
Chris-Anne: Yeah, I think so. And I mean, the deck definitely changed my trajectory, my life, the way I work, what I do now. And so, yeah, it definitely had long term effects. Who knows how long, but hopefully... I knock on wood here.
Emily Thompson: It'll steep. Keep going for sure. It will keep going. Perfect. Well, I want to move into this idea of magic and creativity sort of started, I think you've started sort of paving the path there for sure. But I think I want to get us started around something that I've seen on your site and social and just the way you're positioning yourself and the way I think you are attracting that dream client. Because I also think there's something very amazing to say about you or showing up as yourself and if they didn't like it, they could go, and if they did great, let's make amazing things happen. One of the things that you say often or one of the things you ask often is what's your soul creating? And I'm wondering why those words in that way, and what does that mean for you?
Chris-Anne: It's such a good question. Those words in that way. Well, they're definitely words that we don't often hear in business, right? So when people are... So that kind of draws more on the artistic side or the intuitive side of the work that we're doing and almost is this playful energy where you kind of follow the muse or follow the signs or you follow the inspiration. And when you ask those questions in a business to an entrepreneur, it doesn't even have to be in a business scenario. But any entrepreneur that hears that, I'd like to think that it calls on both sides of us, that side, that part of us, that started the business that knew that we could make great change. That part of us that knew that it was our soul calling or we felt this tug, but that it also is going to bring up that logical mind and that logical side often. And there's often, there's sometimes it's a little bit of a rub between those two things. We start businesses with these amazing ideas." I'm going to change the world. I'm going to do this thing." And then so very quickly it gets chiseled down into what you think you have to do and creating what you think you have to create because all of a sudden you are doing it for an audience and not for your soul and you're doing it for the money and not for your soul. And you're doing it for the success, the whatever abstract thing that means to each one of us. And so it's really, I think for me anyways, because I am that kind of serial entrepreneur, constantly creating, that's often a rub in my system too. And that's often where I go back to that like," Well, what's my soul creating?" Not what do I need to create to be successful, not what I need to create because that's what's expected. And I struggle with that a lot. That's not something that comes easily to me. So I think that's probably why I'm able to... I identify with that so closely because I need to, or else I would never do what I do.
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Chris-Anne: Does that make sense?
Emily Thompson: Absolutely. Because even as you're saying that and I can think back, I started, I don't know if you know that I started online business in 2010, so started working online in 2010 and doing websites. And I thought I was going to build a web design agency, right. That's what I was going to do. So really similar. And I remember getting to a point finally, where I just realized that I wasn't passionate about websites, right. What I really loved was online business. And the thing that I had been sort of trying to piece together and put together is what Being Boss now is. It's just, I was doing it in a way that quote, unquote made more sense that like, had a better business model, right. Or had a business model that was more easily recognized by other people because a web design agency is one thing, a podcast and community was not even a thing back then, right. And a community of creative business people for the purpose of everyone being better at business. So it was that creativity and business that was really at the core for me. And so I really love this question, because what a great way to help the creative entrepreneur evolve their idea of what they think they should be doing in their business, into what they should be doing as a creative soul on the earth wanting to make a difference.
Chris-Anne: Absolutely. Yeah. And I mean, when we were starting out, I'm sure you may resonate with this as well. I took years to put words to what I wanted to do because back then nobody told me that creativity and inspiration could be a business model.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Yeah.
Chris-Anne: What do you mean that that can be a business? How is that possible? And so I did the same like creative agency. Well, that's something creative and I could use my skills and, but I was always using them for, of course, as you know, someone else's dream, not my own. And, and that's great. I mean, there's a lot of people that, that is the business they want to build and that's fantastic. But for me, part of what I wanted to create didn't exist in that framework.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Same. And I feel like probably 90%, I'm pulling that number totally out of the air, 90% of creative business owners are in a similar situation, where the thing they want to do, the thing they want to create the thing they want to, what launch and make their living off of is something so weird and so out of the box, that one, they probably struggle with actually seeing it. And two definitely with communicating it to someone else, right. But if you can just get centered in that question of, not do I want to create, because that is like, because someone told me I should, because I was educated to do so because that's the next logical step on my path. But instead, what is my soul creating? That just, I feel, leapfrogs eight steps into something that is way more aligned with what it is that you want to do and accomplish. That's beautiful.
Chris-Anne: It was also, I mean, even just asking the question for me from a strategic point, from a strategic point of view, it really kind of separates those who would say," Well, that's a ridiculous question." And those that would say,"Ah, I love that question." By putting that front and center my work, it also helps me to call in the right people who are going to, I hope, love what comes next, you know?
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Right. People who are interested in shedding the shoulds, right, and the expectations and look into a solution that is maybe weird, definitely different and definitely more aligned. That's beautiful. I love that question. I'm glad I asked you. Inbound 2021, hosted with love by HubSpot is taking place online from October 12th to 14th. Find inspiration, explore the custom digital platform, grow your network and learn from global industry leaders across business, marketing, sales, and customer success, featuring exclusive breakouts and spotlight conversations from Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, David Chang, and more, you can access groundbreaking tools and ideas safely from wherever you are with this 100% online experience. Featuring three full days of events with leaders from the world's biggest brands, save your spot at Inbound 2021 today with a free starter pass to access all spotlight conversations or upgrade to a Powerhouse Pass for full access to breakout sessions, curated meetups, on demand content, and more. See the full Inbound 2021 lineup and register now for free at inbound. com. Hey boss, are you enjoying this episode? Then you will love what we have available to you in the Being Boss Clubhouse, the extra content tier of the Being Boss community. This episode was recorded live at The Gathering a virtual event that is now accessible as a set of amazing replays to our Clubhouse members. Inside you'll find all the sessions from this event, hearing more from Chris- Anne and a handful of other boss experts who joined to talk rituals, creativity, and business. But it's not just this event, you'll also get access to last year's Gathering as well, an inspiring event of sessions filled with boss goodness, to help you nurture your intuition and connect it to how you do business. Find all of this and more and get access to future events in the Being boss Clubhouse at beingboss. club/ community. Let's dive into the magic piece. So that's creativity, that's you showing up to do in the world what it is that you are here to do in the world, creativity, right? To make something do you agree with actually, what is your definition of creativity? How do you go at that word?
Chris-Anne: Oh, another great question. Creativity is sort of... Because people have all sorts of ideas about creativity and I've done this in seminars where I've asked people like," Do you think creativity is in you, or is it external?" And for me, and a lot of people will say that it's inside, that they kind of get ideas and it all kind of becomes mulched inside of them and output is something different. But for me, creativity often feels like it's external. It often feels like it's the muse energy. It often feels like it's inspiration. And so creativity is sort of a type of spirituality for me, if you will. And I know that sounds like it's very abstract, but it just feels like when I'm fueled with creative inspiration, then I am also aligned in the work I'm doing and I'm also on the right path. And I'm also just fed with serendipity all day long. But when I'm not feeling creative, then I'm feeling so unaligned, uninspired and not myself.
Emily Thompson: So yeah.
Chris-Anne: Creativity is like my food.
Emily Thompson: Right. And I feel like probably for some, if not half- ish again, pulling these numbers out of the thin air, of the people, listening to this probably feel the same. I feel very similarly. I often, I think externally very much so aligned with, y'all probably see me as very much so a business person, which I love. I love that you see me that way. And I am very much, I love a spreadsheet so much, but I am a hugely creative being and I feel out of whack, I know I'm not doing okay if I have no urges to create. If my ability or inspiration or connection to some desire to make something, anything, whether it's cooking or personal projects or riding or if that fire is gone, I know I need to take care of myself because something is off. It is very much so part of who I am. A lot.
Chris-Anne: Exactly the same.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Oh, I love it. Okay. Then let's look comparatively at magic. How do you define that? And what are some similarities and differences between magic and creativity?
Chris-Anne: Magic I feel like it is, they're... Gosh, they are, there's some similarities there for sure there, because magic is sort of serendipity and synchronicity. And then also, so there's that side of magic, that's very much linked to creativity and being aware and being aware of the path you're on, but then there's this whole other side to magic that I play with that's much more linked to ritual and to the things that we... It's like an output, something that we create, or something that we do, magic we can take part of and we can also be aware of magic. And also it's kind of this give and take. I, depending on the project and I don't do a ritual for every project that I put out or everything that I create, but there are definitely, if it's a large project, especially with Sacred Creators, that was like my first time doing a, I'm going to put something of my own out into the world. I did a lot of ritual around it. I did a lot of little things to kind of help to number one, give it the most success that it could possibly have. Number two, seed my own understanding of what it was that I was doing. I often think that again, this may sound out abstract, but I often think that when we remember something, memory is so important in our sense of identity. So the more ritual I can imbue in something that's launching, the more beautiful it will feel. I'm such a visual person, the more beautiful it will be in my mind and the better I will feel about it. And then it's like that whole getting aligned in your feeling and your emotional side, is it actually that you can do kind of a ritual or some sort of spell and make something happen? I'm not sure, but I do know that I can actually get myself aligned enough in that energy because I have the memory of doing the work.
Emily Thompson: Y'all, my mouth just dropped open. I don't know if you saw all that. Yeah. I feel that a lot. I feel that a lot. And I'm wondering how you connect all of that with this idea, with that sort of comparison of creativity being internal or external, right? How do you bring those? How do those work together?
Chris-Anne: Well, I feel like magic is just an extension of creative energy. So, if I want to create something, I could just go right to the task and pick up a pen and try and create. But if I'm not feeling the inspiration or if I'm not, that just feels like, because I've done that work for so long, it feels more like work, so do I bring more flow and excitement and inspiration into it? Well maybe I do something where I'm going to... whether it is something simple, like just meditate on it or journal about it, or if it's something more involved like a full blown ritual, they help to kind of stir the pot of creativity, you know? Because as I'm doing something else, let's say I'm in nature and I'm doing something, then maybe there's a connection to the project that I hadn't thought about because I start looking at an oak tree and had I not done that, it would've just been Chris- Anne, whatever she thought in her room in that moment. And sometimes I need a lot more ingredients, you know?
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Chris-Anne: So magic feels like an ingredient of creativity.
Emily Thompson: Oh, I'm feeling that. I'm definitely feeling that. Perfect. Then let's stay in this vein, but I want to ask you about the other two decks that you've created. So we've talked about Sacred Creators, but then you moved on to create Tarot decks. What was that transition like for you? And what was that transition like for you? I guess let's start there.
Chris-Anne: Yeah. Well I really, I mean, I'm a long time fan of tarot. I love tarot. I've been creating tarot for a long time, but I was really not very upfront about it in a lot of ways because it just didn't have the same sort of global acceptance as it does right now. So when I would go into business, of course, business meetings, I would bring an Oracle deck, I didn't bring tarot decks and, but I wanted to create a tarot deck and the Sacred Creators Oracle was, in many ways it was. It was much easier to produce the graphics of that tech because the graphics are much simpler and a tarot deck is much more involved. And so after having done it the first time and figured out the manufacturing and figured out how do we do this thing? I felt like I had a proof of concept in a way so that I could spend the year and a half, that it would take to actually produce a tarot deck. And the transition was something that, I didn't do perfectly and I'm still not doing perfectly, I would say, because in that transition, I kind of, from a business perspective, I couldn't do it any other way from a Chris- Anne, who I am, what I want to create perspective, but from a business perspective, the transition has been a little bit like I split my audience, so I have the business and creatives as part of my audience, but then I have tarot people who are not interested in business. So that meant a lot more, I kind of waver between the two now, but it also gives me a little more space to create whatever I feel like creating. So that in a way it's really lovely.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. You just have to make more Instagram posts, more marketing. That's all I hear. Wonderful. Okay. So you moved into these two ducks, you have the Light Seer tarot and the Muse tarot and you brought up the muse earlier and I would love to hear about sort of your perspective of the muse, how it is that you perhaps work with muses and what that looks like for bringing forth creativity.
Chris-Anne: Absolutely. Yeah. The muse, it's funny when in the creation process of the muse, I was in the middle of creating the light seer tarot and the muse showed up and it was like this crazy intense that it is, was the, the fullest form of that creative, intense energy where you're gifted an idea and it's go time and you have to go. And if you don't do it in that moment, it's gone. It was just like,"Ah," and I, but I pushed it, I pushed it away. I kind of kept it at bay because it felt like this is ridiculous. I can't do two decks at the same time. And eventually I just stopped the one and I jumped into the other and I allowed, I kind of had this conversation with the muse, the muse energy, this kind of creative energy that I sense from the muse. It is that like, it's almost... This is going to sound, I don't mean it to sound necessarily from the psychology perspective, but it almost sounds manic. It sounds, because for me, it's this, it overtakes my system. I get so inspired that that's all I want to breathe and drink. It's just like that typical creative that wants to stay up for five months straight to finish an art piece. That's what it feels like to me, this when I'm fully in that muse energy, but I can't live in that energy. It's just too intense. I just could not. My human body cannot function that intensely for, for an extended period of time. So muse energy, I love it. It can feel almost addictive because you feel so inspired to create. I say muse energy and I often call the muse it because I'm not really sure if it's like, sometimes it feels feminine, but I don't, it's just, I don't always have it a sense that it's, I don't always have it in my mind as something personified, it's like just this energy, this spiraling energy that I step into and I create, and I feel kind of like the creativity runs through me and I'm like creating by proxy and I allowed that to happen with the muse tarot. I didn't put on any blockers as far as"Well, it has to be like this, or it has to be like that." With the Light Seer was much more logical. And I was in my head a lot more with the decisions and with the Muse, and I think it was probably because they were happening simultaneously. The Muse was just, this is what showed up and it's go time. And this is what we're doing. I didn't question it. Very different, different energy between the two.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. It sounds like it, it sounds like it. And it's amazing visually the difference between the two of them as well, and hearing the story even more fascinated by them. We talk a lot here, have you read Big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert?
Chris-Anne: Part of it, yes.
Emily Thompson: Well, we prescribe more or less here, I read that book and felt complete resonance with how it is that she has, she experiences creativity with this idea that external, and I think it's both. Personally, I think you create the fertile ground, and you are gathering inspiration of your own to influence and affect the creativity that comes to you. But otherwise I've definitely experienced what I call my big magic moments, similar to the moments when the muse show up. And they're like, BT dubs, here's what you need to be doing, right. And you could be doing something completely different or not even... You don't have the time or the space or whatever, but it shows up and you either do it or you don't, and those are moments when something comes over you, right. And you just have to create or do, and I love that you're talking about this in the context of like creating, because a deck is a, it's a body of work like of artwork, right? It's 78 or whatever different pieces of artwork that you are creating. But I also think that it can happen for those ingenious creative ideas for something to implement or something to do, or the clicking together of puzzle pieces that you've been trying to put together. I used to experience this a lot with whenever I would code my websites back in the day. Weird works of creativity, writing lines and lines of code, but that's totally what it is. And then I would have these moments of just beautiful clarity of like," Oh, that problem I've been solving, or trying to solve has just solved itself in my brain." And there are these like little flicks of I don't know, magic, of the muse showing up and whispering the answer in your ear or delivering to you an entire body of work in one moment as it may be. Is there anything that you do to ready yourself moments? Are you, is this something, do you have like a lifelong work of preparing or are there moments where you're like," Okay, it's time for the muse to show up?" What does that sort of ongoing or occasional work look like if at all?
Chris-Anne: I do a few different things, pretty religiously now, and that, or part of the year. And it used to always be in December. And this started before just before Sacred Creators Oracle actually, because I was such a busy doer, implementer, constantly focused on production. And I was always writing to do lists and always capturing a million ideas. And I would, and I mean, I still do it and I'll look back and I'll have like, five very full notebooks of a million seeds of ideas that if I'm constantly in capturing mode, I can't actually produce any of them because all I'm doing is capturing ideas and that feels overwhelming. And it makes me feel like I'm not getting anywhere. There's this sense of like," Oh, there's just all of these beautiful things that are sitting, locked in a notebook." And so I started to, for the month of December, just stop writing. So I don't do to do lists. I mean, if I need something like a note for the grocery store, sure. But the actual, that creative kind of churning the pot creativity where there's this cute idea where I start to sketch and I start to imagine all the things. So I just stopped, for December, writing. And the first year I did it, I was absolutely, it wasn't that it was, I didn't have a panic around it, but I had an angst around it. Like," Oh, what if I missed the good idea? What if I missed my big idea?" And inevitably of course the best ideas just stay in your head. You don't forget them. So after that month, I had the idea for Sacred Creators the first time. And that was, it was going to be an app. It wasn't going to be a deck. I mean, it was amazing how these projects kind of shift as they go was going to be a deck, but a digital deck. And so I've done that yearly now because I found it to be really useful to just give my, that creative, obsessive creative energy, a little bit of a pause in my life. So every year, it's not always in December now, but I will, there's at least one month or two sets of two weeks in a year where I will not allow myself to write anything down. And the other thing that I do quite religiously, is I do a lot of studying. So not studying to be better at what I do, but I do a lot of studying of other things, because whenever I feel like my creative cup is dry, I feel like I need more ingredients. Creativity, I think, it's just all about ingredients and putting ingredients together in unique ways. And so I will, last year I didn't have a lot of inspirational energy, after having done so much, an extreme amount of output in, I think, two years I did two decks and then I had to redo Sacred Creators for inaudible House. So it was just so much intense creation that I took some time off. And I did, I wrote it actually, I did a post on this yesterday because I was like," Wow, last year I did, I was studying Mandarin and I did some inaudible courses and I did a neuroscience course" and I still didn't feel like I was, my creative co was full. So I'm actually going to college right now. Every eight to 10 years, I go back to college for something. Just, maybe it's a semester. Maybe it's more. But that ingredient seeking is key in my process.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. It sounds like it's key too, the way you defined both creativity and magic, right? It's this idea of sort of gathering the pieces so that when the moment comes, either way, an opportunity for some magic or the need to create, you have all the ingredients in your fully stocked pantry to whip up whatever it is that you need to whip up. I think that's wonderful. I also love that there are times in your life when you kind of literally make education, further education, your job. You were showing up for it in the same capacity that you spent two years creating for like all of the output you put the same amount of effort and energy into the input, refilling and gaining more ingredients for your next, whatever it may be.
Chris-Anne: Who knows, right. For the next, who knows. And I think that who knows is a place that we tend to talk about, but we don't always jump right in. And that there's a lot of chat about it in our community. Of the well, sitting in surrender and sitting in pause. But it's so uncomfortable that a lot of us will kind of dip our to toe in, but actually jumping right into the, I have no idea right now, because I'm not actively producing anything right now. So as someone who makes their living on production, it is quite scary. But I also know that if I'm feeling called to do it, I have to trust it, you know?
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Chris-Anne: And I also feel very grateful that I'm able to do it. I'm able to do it and work part- time right now. Whereas when I used to do it, I felt like it was, I could only do it in short spurs because I would still be working full time and trying to study at night. And it just was, it was a lot. I had more energy I guess, or it just wasn't as sustainable and now I'm wanting it to be more sustainable.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. I understand that for sure. Someone asked me recently, they were like," How are you doing everything that you're doing?" And I was like," Because I'm young." In a couple of years, I'm not going to be able to operate at this capacity, but while I have the ability to do it, yes, I love it. And you know, whenever you have the ideas, when you have the time and the ability, I think there's nothing wrong with just doing it, committing yourself to producing the thing and doing it, especially when you're done, you can flip it, you can flip the switch back, and just sit and surrender or focus on input rather than output. And almost release the leash of the need for productivity. What's that like? It sounds amazing.
Chris-Anne: It's actually, I will be completely honest, it's fairly new to me. I spent so much time producing, producing, producing, constantly producing. And I think that it was somehow linked to this need to be validated or this need to be liked or this need to show up and be seen so that I felt like I was always trying to prove something to myself. And I think in the last few years, my ideas around success and what that means, I had this idea of success. And I remember even when I first did the Sacred Creators Oracle, and I did that Kickstarter, I will be successful if this Kickstarter gets funded, that's what I thought. And then it gets funded then I'm like," Wow. I don't feel any different. Okay, well I will be successful if I can create this other deck or I'll be successful if it gets published." And now it's like, we just got a, another email from my publisher today and they're like," Oh yeah, we just got the 11th contracted published inaudible series in the 11th new language," which is insane.
Emily Thompson: What? Congrats.
Chris-Anne: But I don't... Thank you. Thank you. But what I've come to realize is that all of those things that I thought that would mean success, none of them mean that I feel successful. And so leaning into that and wrapping my head around these kind of new ideas of like," Well, what is success really?" Well, success really is having the time to go study a little and not need to be producing and not need to always show up. So as a creator, I'm in a real, I'm in a massive shift in my life.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. Well, it's definitely resonated with some bosses over here. I don't know if you're seeing the chat we got a oof. Right. This is hitting deep for me. I think that you're definitely hitting on a subject that is, that is imperative for anyone who is a prolific creator, right. Or who at least depends on their creativity to make a living, needs to hear. There is this other side of it. And I love that you, instead of you... What am I trying to say? I feel like what highly productive people often do in your situation where they hit the mark, don't quite feel it, hit the mark is they just keep going, right. They just keep beating the dead horse or whatever it may be. Whereas you are like, okay, doing this, still accomplishing things at the moment without super trying, but instead you are dialing it back and tuning in and listening. And I hope also, I don't know, really refining what that definition of success is for you because if it was not 11 languages, which is amazing, then what is it? So I love that you're giving yourself the space to explore that and sort of redefine what success is, truly is for you.
Chris-Anne: Yeah. Well, I mean, it goes right back to that question. What's your soul creating. Because I could easily continue to create spinoffs of this and keep doing the same thing and just allow that, like you say, to go to the next level, to the next level, to the next level, the opportunity is there. I've been handed that opportunity and I'm like," I want to pause." Because I don't know what my soul wants to create next. And so I'm not going to just create for the sake of creating until I feel it. And I feel like that is in alignment with my very best work. And if I've learned anything in the last 10 years, when I'm in that alignment, it comes easier and that's when the best work shows up. And that's when the most healing work shows up. And that's when, yeah. It's quite the experiment that I'm in right now, but I'm really happy to be in it.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. I look forward to hearing what you've learned on the other side, for sure. All right. There's one more little question here around this, because what you're talking about is sort of the intersection of creativity and business, right? This idea of like being highly productive humans for many needing to consistently create, or, and I say feeling as if we need to consistently create to make a living. And most creatives I know super struggle with this. What sort of mindset shifts underneath there are you making to settle yourself into this? Or if you can't even think about for yourself, if you were talking to another creative and encouraging them to make this shift, what would you tell them to do?
Chris-Anne: So some of the things that I've done, because there are the two sides, right? There's the very mundane, earthy, real side as an entrepreneur, I have to make money. And then there's the other side of, well, my heart needs to be happy or else, where am I headed? Why am I working so hard if it feels overwhelming? Or if I feel like I'm just exhausted or, you know what I mean? So there's this when does that feeling of success kind of come on any day. So part of the mindset work that I'm doing part of, the one side is like, what can I let go of and allowing my perfectionist self to," Okay, I'm going to get more help here, systems in place, things that I' don't need to be on all the time and also limiting time to social media, because that can suck a lot of my time. So that's been a big for the last two years for me, which has been fantastic. And the other part, I'm really, really spending a lot of time with trying to understand where that push comes from, that push to produce that push to... And I've been working a lot on just my own self, if you will, or my own inner landscape so that I don't feel like I am not full if I'm not seen producing by other people. And so I've been, my last deck, I just, I have a new deck that's coming out in a few weeks it launches, actually. And that deck I created in a very different way. I actually didn't share it. I didn't share the process. I didn't share it along the way. I talked a little bit about it, but I didn't put it all over my feed, because I thought, let me try and create from a place of no external validation, just completely internal. I like it. We're good to go. And so this is also, I mean, this is huge for me because I've never created this way before.
Emily Thompson: Yeah. I mean, way to take something that, a sort of tried and tested, tested and proved, right. Situation that, you know works and just be like, let's not. Let's not do it that way. That's wonderful. I appreciate you sharing all of that. I think all of that's incredibly valuable for those of us, raises hand, right, who feel this and I think you really hit something there around having other people see you be productive. There is this, that hit home for me, for sure. Because I think that's, I think we're raised to value looking productive.
Chris-Anne: Yeah, absolutely. And to doing a lot of work and being productive and constantly doing our best and there are ways to be productive and do our best work that are not necessarily the ways that I have been doing them. I've been doing them with long hours. I've been doing them with like, and that beautiful muse energy, which is fantastic. But I was so exhausted at the end of that. I did a year and a half of like, I would say 12 to 18 hour days, just engrossed in my work. And it was wonderful and it was fun and it was energy rich. But then when I got to the end of that, I was absolutely exhausted. So I'm really paying attention to balance. And I used to talk about balance a lot and I used to do lots of meditating in that time. And I look back now and this is going to sound like, oh my gosh, like I was, I almost see what I was doing back then with meditation as almost an abuse of the energy that I could get from meditation, because I was just like meditating and doing my stuff to fill my cup so I could keep going as opposed to I'm going to meditate now and just find balance in my life and figure out how much work do I need to do today, and if I have the energy for four hours or five hours, that's great. And I make those hours count.
Emily Thompson: You just blew all of our minds because you're right. Oh, wow. Okay. Wonderful. Thank you for that insight. That's-
Chris-Anne: crosstalk No shame in it because I mean, how could I ever know that without having done it and how could I ever have created what I created without having done it? I don't think I could have. And so I don't know if it's a right or a wrong, but I just know that I got to the place where I don't want to be as exhausted from work and I want to still be productive. So what does that mean? Well, I think it means long time balance now. And so what does that look like? I think I'm kind of, I'm leaning over to the other side where it's, I'm working less right now, but knowing that my cup will get to the place where I really have that. I'm trying to find that balance.
Emily Thompson: Yes. That's something we've talked about in the community a lot over the past couple of weeks, this idea of like, what is balance, isn't it crap? What does it really mean? Right. And I think we all settled on this idea of long term balance, right? Or long term, sort of flow. With flow, there be this like average that is balanced, but you're never really at that moment of balance.
Chris-Anne: Of course, of course.
Emily Thompson: It goes and it is long- term. Think of it months, a scale of months or an entire year or so, or you come off of two years of heavy creating, enjoy two years of legit rest and rejuvenation if that's what you need. Whenever you can think about flow or balance or whatever on that long- term scale, I feel like it's way easier to achieve probably than day to day. And two, you release a lot of, it's funny mentioned shame a moment ago, but there is some shame around the hustle or the flow or whatever, when you're thinking about it day to day or week to week. But if you can just let all of that go and otherwise live a life that flows easily between the two, it's a lot more easy to digest. And I think a lot more aligned with how it is we actually do show up and need to create.
Chris-Anne: Yes. And I think that your community and my communities, the type of people that we work with specifically, like people who are entrepreneurs, but spiritually minded, we can hold shame around hustle and balance and flow simultaneously, because we can be like feeling like we should hustle more because I see this other person, I see this what's happening or I see, or I know that this will bring me somewhere in my business, but also shame around, oh well, but I didn't have time to meditate today. And then also like, well, my balance is, should be more, but it's... We hold shame about it. About all of it.
Emily Thompson: Full spectrum. Full spectrum shame all at the same time.
Chris-Anne: And so we don't need it. It's much easier to think long term like that. And that's that because I have, I say, I'm in this other side of it much more kind of striving for balance, but my husband would be from the outside looking in, but you're studying and you're running a course and you're... There's still stuff happening. But it just doesn't feel like I'm extended so much. So I can still push and finish something and launch when I need to. And I think that I have a much better... I'm really trying to make sure that my meditation is not is just for me. And that's something that's new in my world.
Emily Thompson: Okay. I feel like that unlocks something. I love it. Chris- Anne, this has been a total treat. I so appreciate you coming and having this conversation with me. I think that bridging that gap between creativity and magic does so much for making how we show up and do this kind of work fun. If nothing else, if we can connect the two, it makes this so much more fun and I think potentially fulfilling as well. So I appreciate your candor on that. And then also all the things related to your journey and how it is that you've gotten to where you are. Will you share with our listeners where it is they can you around the interwebs?
Chris-Anne: Sure. Yeah. So my, my social media place where I tend to hang out the most is Instagram and my Instagram handle is Pixie Curio. Just the way it sounds. P- I- X- I- E C- U- R- I- O. It's horrible for branding. This is a do not this. It just happened. And then it's too late to change. So Pixie Curio over on Instagram and you can find me at chris- anne. com as well.
Emily Thompson: Perfect. And then one last question for you. What makes you feel most boss?
Chris-Anne: Oh gosh. You know what? Friday's off probably.
Emily Thompson: Yeah.
Chris-Anne: Friday's off is a good one.
Emily Thompson: I agree. Perfect. Well, I'm, again, so grateful that you came to share all of this with us. I'm excited to chat with you all day tomorrow at the Gathering, but this has been a complete pleasure. Thank you.
Chris-Anne: Thank you so much for having me.
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