Wellspringwords: The Podcast

Cultivating Your Experience as a Writer + Trusting Your Authentic Self

July 10, 2022 Nkem Season 3 Episode 12
Wellspringwords: The Podcast
Cultivating Your Experience as a Writer + Trusting Your Authentic Self
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode of Wellspringwords: The Podcast, Nkem answers several questions from the Wellspringwords community on creativity, writing, spirituality, and the writing process. Sprouted from an idea from one of our writing fellows, Surabhi Raj, we asked you all for questions about sharing your heart with the world, cultivating your experience as a writer, and authentic self-expression. Nkem shares her insights from her own lived experience as well as what she’s observed as a writing coach and spiritual guide. Grab a hot drink and settle in! Let us know what the episode brought to mind or heart for you in a podcast review, on Instagram, or via email at bewell@wellspringwords.love. Be well!

View this episode's complete shownotes on our website here: www.wellspringwords.love/podcast
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https://www.instagram.com/naturallyfree123/
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https://www.wellspringwords.love/
https://www.instagram.com/wellspringwords/


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In this episode of Wellspringwords: The Podcast, Nkem answers several questions from the Wellspringwords community on creativity, writing, spirituality, and the writing process. Sprouted from an idea from one of our writing fellows, Surabhi Raj, we asked you all for questions about sharing your heart with the world, cultivating your experience as a writer, and authentic self-expression. Nkem shares her insights from her own lived experience as well as what she’s observed as a writing coach and spiritual guide. Grab a hot drink and settle in!  Scroll below for the topic timestamps.

Nkem starts this conversation by acknowledging her own creative background and disposition. She has both a Leo and a Pisces stellium which makes her highly tapped in, creatively. The Leo in her makes her a creative performer — it’s all about bringing that creative feeling from the internal to the external. Pisces, on the other hand, is about tapping into everything and divining information from other realms. Her performative Leo self doesn’t feel as much of her intuition as when she is directly channeling that Pisces energy.

Our first question to tackle is: How do you create a safe space for your authentic self to come out in writing? In our last episode, we spoke about the Hindu chakra system and how the first of the seven main chakras is the root chakra. The root chakra represents stability, security, and an immovable rootedness — which translates to a solid sense of safety to the point where you don’t even need to think about it. Your sacral chakra is where your sexual power sits as well as some aspect of your creativity. Thinking in terms of the chakras is a reminder that the freedom to be creative comes from dropping into the body and allowing the body to be part of your experience. Once you feel rooted and safe in your identity as an artist or writer, it becomes much easier for creativity to naturally flow without inhibitions. You have to first be able to say “I am a writer” and have a clear unquestionable understanding of who you are in this frame — that what you produce and what comes through you matters, means something, and provides something of importance. 

Creating a safe space isn’t just about rituals of our writing space but also about the energetics and our state of being when we perform creatively. That means doing things that truly make you feel comfortable, whether that’s sitting in your bed, lighting a candle or incense, and playing music or not playing music — you must set the vibe. Personally, Nkem wants it to feel like an occasion when she sits down to write because safety for her means being able to perform her truth — she needs the stage to be set, the audience to be ready, and a glass of water on the side. Anything you can do to make sure you’re having fun will help ease the process.

You might have mastered creating a safe space within yourself but what if your pressures are external? Our next question is: How can we encourage creativity despite being part of rigid institutions? An institution is anything that is or has a system — an operating body outside of the human body. This can span from marriage to school, a job, or a relationship. For example, even as a creative writing major at a university, how creative can you really be in that kind of an institution? In Nkem’s experience as an instructor at a university, she found that people want to be authentic and write personally but without actually being fully allowed to incorporate personal experience in an effort to preserve the academic standard. One way that Nkem encounters this dilemma even outside of academic institutions is when it comes to editing. If she’s trying to help people make their writing sound better, she finds herself asking, “What does better mean?” When writing or editing, you must then ask yourself: Whose standard am I trying to reach? What is my intention? What am I trying to say? What emotion am I trying to evoke here? Then, see how best you can serve your answers through your choice of language. An awareness of what the standards you seem to be operating under can allow you to plug in and plug out depending on what you’re trying to communicate. 

The issue here is less about the specific institution and more about the fact that the institutions we are a part of are often rigid. Rigidity implies that there is no flexibility for experimentation, exploration, and allowance. While we need structure in life because life can be crazy, it shouldn’t be to the point where those structures aren’t allowing what needs to come through to come through. This is why we must create our own standards for excellence. Try saying to yourself, “My standard of excellence is to flow!” You’d be surprised to know how easy it is to accomplish flow when you put on the sound of water flowing or drumming sounds and just dim the lights. The body listens and responds in sync with the environment. When you’re finding limitations to your creativity, change the way you do things. Shake up your flow and see what’s possible!

Up next: How do spirituality and creativity connect? Nkem urges us to think about how we feel when we’re in a creative act. Be conscious when you’re in it — even if you’re the kind of person who does creative things without thinking — and try to tune into what it feels like for creative energy to flow through you. Nkem likes to use astrology and numerology as a language to help her understand things on a deeper level and communicate them with people that also use those languages. In numerology, Nkem has a life path number of 11 which signifies a soul that has been here many times and is basically doing their masters in this life. Life path 11’s have a connection to the unseen realm of emotions, a sense of energy, psychic knowing, clairvoyance, etc. Strong 11 in the chart makes for a psychic connection between the unseen and seen — an open channel of energy that flows between them. Because of this, Nkem has learned to know she’s never wrong about what she senses, even though for a long time she’d doubted her intuition. Nkem’s observation of herself when she’s creative is that there’s always something that wants to come out of her — her journal is constantly on fire and there’s so much creative energy that it’s hard to find stillness. Look inside and define what spirituality and creativity are to you and then see how they connect in your life or potentially cross paths.

Maybe you know creativity and spirituality are linked but you want to lean deeper into your spiritual side. Over on Instagram, someone asked: Advice for someone who is new to tapping into their spirituality? To that Nkem says, “Aren’t we all new to tapping into spirituality?” Spirituality is a continuous process of discovery and the more you’re present to your experience of life, you inherently bring in a spiritual quality into your everyday material existence. Our material existence has a tendency to be dull and feel like a trap when it doesn’t have nourishment from the unseen. We think, “I need to see it to believe it and I will only believe I'm safe if I can see it,” completely dissociating the two. However, by being present in her life, Nkem can deepen into herself and have more room to breathe — the different parts of herself are always ready to be acknowledged.

What exactly does it mean to be present with life? This journey may start with mindfulness, which is a fantastic way to assess where you’re at and how you feel. You can find out if you value slowing down, if you’re impatient, if you’re excited or you’re anxious — you get to know all of that when you’re present with yourself. Nkem has found that even pausing to take a drink of water while podcasting can provide an opportunity to check in with how she feels. She takes a moment to think, “Do I feel guilty about taking a  break to drink water or am I happy that I did that because now I can continue talking with more ease?” In the same way, if you recognize that you’re an anxious type, you can prepare for that. You can make a change and say, “I don’t want to do things at the last minute because I know it'll make me anxious so now I prepare in advance.”

Another question we received from Instagram was: Have you ever felt like coming back home could be holding back your creativity? Nkem’s initial response is “no” because she approaches creativity by returning to self and wholeness. Whether we look at this question in a physical way or an internal way, it can be easy to get trapped in old paradigms that limit creativity when you return home — but it can also mean facing your fears. Coming back to self means coming back to the parts of yourself you’ve locked away or hidden — all of the pain, fear, and shame that you feel but don’t confront. It can also feel stunting to your creativity when you want to bring through newness and have ideas that want to flourish and bloom but returning home to the perhaps neglected parts of you makes you feel small. It’s important to recognize how going through a difficult healing journey changes your expression, often for the better. Nkem has realized how good she is at bringing people up with lightness but that she isn’t so comfortable with expressing darkness. Instead, she tries to learn from people who access their own darkness with ease.

Finally, a question that needs to be asked in order to truly express from the soul: How do we better trust our authentic self and not judge it? Nkem has recently gained new insights from her higher self; she’s found that when judgment towards her authentic self comes up, she usually judges the judgment. Nkem is hyper critical — which makes her a very good editor and writing coach but also makes her have a tendency to be judgemental in personal relationships as well as within herself. One key to trusting your authentic self is recognizing that if you find yourself in a place of judgment, you’re probably just trying to keep yourself safe. However, the ways in which we try to feel safe aren’t always going to be sustainable and appropriate and they can even be outdated.

Habits like being overly self-critical, especially when being creative, can feel like necessary or unavoidable parts of the process but they don’t have to be. In Nkem's life transitions due to her Saturn Return, she finds that old parts of herself want to continue with her on her journey but she doesn’t need them anymore. Every time she levels up, she first has to get through confusion and muck to make it to the clear waters. Going through a purge, such as making internal or external life transitions, can also make it so everything in your energy force field serves the intention of positive change and growth. Similar to how pimples work to purge something through your skin or how bowel movements purge what is not needed anymore, energy in life consistently and constantly wants to be moved once it has served its purpose in our lives — like a magnet pulling toxins from an organism. Nkem believes that judgment comes from a period of things being ready to be moved through us so we can allow for new things to come. Like pent-up anger that you take out on someone because it's seeping through your pores and heating up your body, it needs to be felt and experienced and cleansed. Ultimately, trusting our authentic selves comes down to self-compassion and understanding it's all part of a bigger game. Cultivating ease, peace, comfort, and freedom makes for authenticity, even when what feels authentic does not always feel good and easy.

We hope this run down on creativity and spirituality resonated with you. Sharing like this with all of you is great for Nkem to be able to articulate her thoughts so please let us know if this conversation brought anything to mind or heart for you in a podcast review on Apple Podcasts or Podchaser, on Instagram, or via email at bewell@wellspringwords.love. Be well!

Introduction
How do you create a safe space for your authentic self to come out in writing?
How can we encourage creativity despite being part of rigid institutions?
How do spirituality and creativity connect?
Advice for someone who is new to tapping into their spirituality?
Have you ever felt like coming back home could be holding back your creativity?
How do we better trust our authentic self and not judge it?
Stay connected and dive into more!