015: Comparison & Competition

“Think of it like Game of ThronesOh, look, that person has more power or influence than I do… great! I’ll just kill him.” ~Edwin Ruiz, on comparison & competition

Since comparing ourselves to others always makes us feel bad, WHY do we do it?!

This episode was inspired by my conversation in Episode 14 with travel blogger and creative entrepreneur, Beth Santos, founder & CEO of Wanderful and The Women in Travel Summit!

Get the full episode here!

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…when we compare, we undermine the fact that each of us [is] on a unique journey and that—even though it looks like we’re sharing space in a world together—each and every one of us are only experiencing exactly what is helping us to evolve in the fastest amount of time. So, when we’re comparing, we are really abandoning our own journey and looking at what other people have to decide what’s missing from our lives.” ~Matt Kahn, author of Whatever Arises, Love That. 

Resources for you, from me:


I’d love to hear from YOU!

When do you find yourself spiraling into the “calamity of comparison”? How do you get OUT?

Send me a voicemail and tell me about it!

Just click the tab on the right of the screen. A little window will pop up and once you hit record, you can leave me a 90 second message that I can include on a future episode of the creative impostor. Include your name, business and website if you have one or you can just say you’d like it to be an anonymous story.

And if voicemail isn’t really your thing, you can also email me by clicking the contact page.

Links from the episode:

Comparing Yourself to Others: It’s Not All Bad… article from the New York Times

Why Do We Hate and Judge Others... blog on Care2.com

Whatever Arises, Love That (Pt 2)… podcast interview with Matt Kahn on Sounds True: Insights at the Edge

Global Ambassador program from Wanderful

 

NOLA Jazz

NOLA Jazz!]

Our first Creative Space Travel Retreat to New Orleans is in the works! Get the inside scoop…


Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t know where to begin?

My How to Start e-course is designed to help you take those first few bold steps on your creative path no matter what! Truly, I’ve taken all the wisdom from my podcast guests, past teachers and a whole lot of experience with failure AND success. Coming spring 2016…


This episode was mixed by Edwin R. Ruiz of Mondo Machine.
The Creative Impostor theme music was created by JoVia Armstrong.

I want to hear from you. If you’re listening in iTunes, PLEASE leave a review. It’s how iTunes decides which shows people find when they are searching for specific topics like this one.

Also send me a message! What do you think so far? What’s your greatest impostor moment? Email your written comments or leave a voicemail using SpeakPipe — and when you do, I just may read the message or play your voice on a future episode.

 

 

013: Toolkit: Yoga Nidra (Relaaaaax…)

“I didn’t know or understand what was happening or why — I was just doing downward dog and shoulder stand and feeling… better.” ~Andrea, on yoga practice

What if you had a direct line to uncovering your life’s purpose?

One of my favorite things to do in my life and work is to take potentially weird, esoteric or “out there” concepts and ideas, explore and test them with what I like to call “open minded skepticism” and then translate and share them with people who might not otherwise seek them out, but can REALLY make use of them.

So, let me give this one a try!

Whereas the Paper Planner I featured in the previous episode is about as down-to-earth practical as one can get, today’s tool, a technique called Yoga Nidra, is about as far on the other end of the spectrum as possible.

And while it may sound a little woo-woo to some, I’m going to strongly encourage you to keep an open mind and maybe even try it out for yourself as it can be an incredibly useful and in some ways easy method to gain direct access to your own inner well of deep creativity, and at the very least, an excellent way to truly relax and let go of stress… who couldn’t use some of that?

Get episode 13 on iTunes to get the scoop!

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“‘Creativity is directly proportionate to the ability to produce imagery in great abundance in the brain. This resource of imagery allows us to access the deeper layers of the mind which often contain solutions to problems we think we have to look outward to find.” ~Andrea Klunder

How to get some Yoga nidra in your life

  1. February – April 2016 – Come take my class in Chicago! Saturdays at 5pm, Moksha Yoga, West Bucktown
  2. Follow me on Periscope! I’ll be sharing some yoga nidra practices on live streaming video this winter/spring.
  3. Download the original yoga nidra visualization I fell in love with for FREE, right now!

Links Galore

A creative impostor challenge for you!

Yoda PumpkinReady to experiment with tapping into your own deepest creative resource?

I’d love to hear from YOU!

Download & listen to a yoga nidra practice — once or many times, mine or someone else’s and let me know what you observe.

Send me a voicemail and tell me what your experience was like during the practice, immediately after or in the week following. 

Just click the tab on the right of the screen. A little window will pop up and once you hit record, you can leave me a 90 second message that I can include on a future episode of the creative impostor. Include your name, business and website if you have one or you can just say you’d like it to be an anonymous story.

And if voicemail isn’t really your thing, you can also email me by clicking the contact page.

NOLA Jazz

NOLA Jazz!]

 

Our first Creative Space Travel Retreat to New Orleans is in the works! Get the inside scoop…

 


Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t know where to begin?

My How to Start e-course is designed to help you take those first few bold steps on your creative path no matter what! Truly, I’ve taken all the wisdom from my podcast guests, past teachers and a whole lot of experience with failure AND success. Coming soon…


This episode was mixed by Edwin R. Ruiz of Mondo Machine.
The Creative Impostor theme music was created by JoVia Armstrong.

I want to hear from you. If you’re listening in iTunes, PLEASE leave a review. It’s how iTunes decides which shows people find when they are searching for specific topics like this one.

Also send me a message! What do you think so far? What’s your greatest impostor moment? Email your written comments or leave a voicemail using SpeakPipe — and when you do, I just may read the message or play your voice on a future episode.

 

 

Your voice matters.

I’ve spent the past two weeks without my voice.

It comes in fits and starts — raspy, breathy, squeaky or barely audible. Though for a good 4 days, I couldn’t make a peep.

Laryngitis.

Every singer’s nightmare.

It used to happen to me a lot when I was in high school. My friends would tease me jovially saying, “Andrea, do your Joan Rivers voice!”

In college, it was less funny because for a while I was studying classical voice and losing your voice could mean missing a critical audition or failing a midterm.

What it looks like to teach a yoga class with no voice.Here’s what it means to me today.

95% of my fledgling business and the work I do that make up my livelihood rely upon my voice.

Imagine, if you will, a yoga class that I taught completely silently with a lovely meditative playlist in the background, poster-size flash cards, physical demonstration of each asana (pose) and a meditation bell to signal when it’s time to look up for the next poster.

Networking with Post-Its!

Networking with Post-Its!

Or a women’s forum and networking event where I happily sat in a booth and listened to the speakers but when it came time to mingle, I had only a stack of post-it notes, a pen and a smile. I even ordered water with no ice from the bar on a post-it!

Or the look on a 5-year-old camper’s face when she asked me a question and I had to squeak out that I lost my voice. She told me I was faking! Five minutes later, she reconsidered and asked with concern, “Did you really lose it? Where did it go?”

So I’ve been drinking herbal remedies by the gallon, steaming my face with eucalyptus, self-prescribing vocal rest and pouting a little… because, well, I feel limited.

It’s easy to slip into “oh-woe-is-me” mode or throw my hands up and say, “well it’s not my fault things have come to a grinding halt — I can’t speak!”

But that’s not useful.

What IS useful is to take advantage of this opportunity to pause, get quiet (ha!) and check what’s happening in and around me… to take stock. Like an obligatory silent meditation retreat!

Two days before I came down with the cold that spiraled into this voiceless state of being, I recorded a pre-season podcast episode of The Creative Impostor and talked about a spring cleaning of sorts I was doing in my professional life.

I had valiantly decided to pare down some of the services I’m offering in an effort to bring more focus and clarity to my personal brand (always a struggle for me because I like to dip my fingers in sooooo many different pots!)

The ultimate decision was that everything would center largely around my voice and supporting my clients, students and community in discovering and nurturing their own creative voices. I’m even designing a new training with the working title Reveal Your True Voice: an exploration of sound, mantra, and vocal confidence.

I felt FANTASTIC about that decision, my UVP (unique value proposition, or uniquely vibrant point of view) felt clear, strong and true. And then THIS.

My mind fluttered around from theory to theory and rationalization to rationalization.

Of course this would happen. Every time I try something new, it never works!

Maybe I’ve made a mistake and need to reconsider my direction.

It’s just a reminder to slow down and take better care of myself.

Perhaps the universe is testing my resolve to see how much I believe in this purpose.

Purely coincidence, there’s no lesson here. It sucks, just wait it out.

Who am I without my voice?

Oh God, what if this is it and my voice NEVER comes back?!

It got to the point where my boyfriend said he kept thinking I was mad at him because I wouldn’t talk and that he missed the sound of my voice.

Besides being super sweet, it made me realize how much of how people perceive us is dependent upon our voice. There is a lot of focus in our society right now on content, the WHAT of the conversation. But maybe what’s more important is even just the sound of our voice, HOW things are being said.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the world of podcasting. As I’ve listened to hundreds of podcasts at this point, I’ve realized that the ones I come back to time and again are the ones with the best combination of engaging content and superb audio quality including the sound of the host’s voice. 

There are voices I can fall asleep to and voices that energize me, voices that soothe and voices that inspire. And then there are voices that irritate me so much, I’m hard pressed to tune in again even if I really want to know what they have to say.

So I guess that’s the point.

Your voice matters.

My voice matters.

And that’s really all I have to say.

Podcast PreSeason 007: Late Night Confessions, Giving Up & a Big Blue Beach Ball Globe

If you haven’t already, please subscribe for access to the whole PreSeason by entering your email below. Thank you!

“If you don’t have 15 minutes a day put into your art, then you are just making excuses.”

~Michele Theberge

 

In this episode, I talk about:

Three Questions

  1. What’s your attention span?
  2. What makes a good story?
  3. What are you giving up on?

What happens when you stop being an impostor

I teach yoga. And I chant mantras. I just began teaching the class of my dreams at a gorgeous studio in the West Loop neighborhood in Chicago, Sat Nam Yoga. Recently I had a glorious opportunity there to feel like a total impostor.

My class is called Bhakti Flow Yoga — it’s the class of my dreams because I get to integrate hatha yoga postures, breath work, mantras, meditation and live music in order to help students (and myself) cultivate a deep sense of restoration and peace — that feeling where everything is right in the world and you are exactly where you need to be.

GaneshaI learned this style from one of my best teachers, Govind Das, who’s based in Santa Monica, CA, where people are a little more open minded when it comes to singing out loud in a weird foreign language (Sanskrit) during a yoga class and talking about elephant-headed deities who can remove all your obstacles (come on, don’t we all want that?) than people are in the Midwest.

So I’m teaching one of my first Bhakti Flow classes and I have 3 students, all of whom are new to the studio and (as I discovered later) all of whom thought they were taking a regular hatha vinyasa class (no chanting.)

I introduced the style, the concept, the theme. I tried to make it easy by just starting with the mantra “om” and then after that, I’m not sure if anyone chanted with me at all. About 10min into class, I got SUPER self-conscious…Oh my God, they hate this. Maybe it’s too weird. Maybe I should just skip the chanting for tonight and stick with a regular yoga class.”

harmonium-andrea-indiegogoThen a new voice entered my head (all of this while playing my harmonium and singing)… “No. Stick to your plan. This is Bhakti Yoga, dammit. Keep singing and chanting even if you’re the only one.

So I proceeded with the class as planned.

I chanted mantras for Sita and Rama, integrating masculine and feminine energy, I offered asana (physical postures) and mantras (energetic postures) for heart-opening, and I sang to them in English in Savasana (the most delightful 10minutes of class at the end where you get to lie on the floor and do nothing.)

“True Love, there is no fear. Love, there is no fear here.”
~Kristin Luna Ray, Sita Ram from One Shared Heart

After class, two students left quickly. One woman lingered.

She asked what the style of class was. I explained briefly and then her tears started to flow as the mantras had brought up some deep sorrow that needed cleansing and release — emotional tension she had been holding on to without even realizing it. She had walked into a class she wasn’t expecting and found exactly what she needed.

And to think — I almost got lost in a moment of self-doubt and insecurity and we could have missed the opportunity for that beautiful opening.