Kathleen Shannon 0:00
Hey Emily, guess what I'm looking forward to
Emily Thompson 0:03
if I had to guess I'd say your next meal all through that.
Kathleen Shannon 0:08
But even more than that I'm looking forward to our annual being boss vacation in New Orleans.
Emily Thompson 0:13
Same. We still have a handful of tickets left. So if you've been wanting to join us on our annual being boss vacation in New Orleans and consider this you're signed to join us for a live podcast recording, masterclasses and workshops, and an epic Abbas celebration and more with me, Kathleen and your creative peers from all over the world
Kathleen Shannon 0:35
in the most magical city in the world, right?
Emily Thompson 0:39
Kathleen Shannon 0:40
All right. The being boss vacation is happening September 26. To the 28th in New Orleans. Go to being boss club slash Nola. For all the details.
Emily Thompson 0:50
We hope to see you there.
Kathleen Shannon 0:55
Hello, and welcome to being boss,
Emily Thompson 0:57
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.
Kathleen Shannon 1:01
And I'm Kathleen Shannon. I'm Amber Ray and I'm being boss.
Emily Thompson 1:11
Today we're talking about choosing wonder over worry with Amber Ray. As always, you can find all the tools books and links we referenced on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot club.
Kathleen Shannon 1:24
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Emily Thompson 2:39
called a millennial motivator by Fortune and their Bernie brown of Wonder by Mind Body green. Amber ray is an author, artist and speaker whose work invites you to befriend your emotions and express your gifts. Her writing has reached over 5 million people in 195 countries. Her public art has spread to over 20 countries. And she's spoken to and collaborated with brands like Kate Spade, Apple Amazon and Seth Godin. She's here today talking about her first book choose wonder over worry which Deepak Chopra called a guide to unfold your infinite potential.
Kathleen Shannon 3:20
Let's jump in. Okay, Amber, I feel like you're one of those people who I always say your full name in my head amber Ray, but you go by amber right?
Amber Rae 3:29
Amber is my first name. Yes. Ray Ray is my last name. But quick, funny story. When I worked with Seth Godin, he thought my first name was amber Ray. And so for the entire time and Ray and Ray and Ray and then one day I was like, you know my name is just amber right?
Emily Thompson 3:43
That's fine. Does it feel like you know, when your mom gets on to you, and she uses your full name? Like did it feel like that? Because I would imagine it would
Amber Rae 3:50
I mean, it definitely made me sort of stand up and pay attention cuz Yeah, totally. It was like, wow, he's like really has something important to say,
Kathleen Shannon 3:58
that is so funny. Well, you have a book out called choose wonder over worry. And I've got it right here. And it is beautiful, and inspiring. And all of the things and I just want to say real quick about the book because we talk a lot about fear and frosty feelings and worry and anxiety. And one of the coolest thing about this book that I want all of our listeners to know is that sometimes all of these different emotions and feelings of worry present and show up in different ways. And what I love that you did in this book is you almost gave each emotion, a little mantra. And so I maybe never thought I experienced self doubt. But then whenever I read the mantra of what self doubt sounds like I'm like, oh, but I recognize that voice. And so for example, one of them is meat loss. That didn't go how I expected. I never realized that I was experiencing grief or loss whenever it came to like a failed project or something. Not Um, you know, hitting goals or whatever, but but I didn't really, I wouldn't have labeled that loss until I read that line that didn't go how I expected. And I was like, oh, and so then I read through that chapter. And it's just you do such a great blend of sharing your own story and helpful tidbits and just making it also relatable, and also a little less scary to confront these feelings of worry, and everything that comes along with it. Hmm, thank you for saying that. I feel like a lot of this book, and a lot of what you're about, and what I've been following and catching up from you on Instagram, is that you have been on a journey of, you know, going from this external approval. So needing the likes meeting the probably the clients or the money or all the ways that we measure success, right, and going from that kind of approval to internal awareness. So can you tell us a little bit about that journey?
Amber Rae 5:55
Oh, yeah, if you would have met me a decade ago, I would have been rising the ranks in Silicon Valley, working in the tech startup world and the world of marketing, you know, looking at Facebook and Google as possible moves, popping Adderall to get more done, which I was really just like popping approval, because I thought I could perform better. And if I were, it would make me more thin. And then men would approve of me, it was just this whole cycle of of hustling for approval. And you know, at one point, even sleeping with one of my bosses, it was like full self destructive, but massed as high performance. This is a trajectory of success. And it all really culminated to a full blown panic attack breakdown moment, where I recognize that Whoa, this is not working. Obviously, the breakdown really led to the breakthrough. And that's when I began to really like look at how I had constructed and designed my life, the stories I was telling myself, like, I need to make these leaps, and be successful in tech in order to be seen as worthy as a woman. And all of these, these internal narratives that I was buying into became much more clear. And really, I think of that in my story as sort of when like, worry, yeah, when the worry breakdown happened, but also what opened me up to wondering again, because then I started to wonder, like, Wait, where did I learn that? from? Where did I learn that I needed approval in order to be a worthwhile human? Or where did I learn that tech was my version of success? Or where did I learn, you know, all of these questions? Why am I sleeping with my boss? You know, and so as I began to wonder, that's when life really began to shift and open up and that wondering, was really an internal wondering, and internal curiosity, and internal, like, almost, I felt like I was examining and assessing and investigating all of these parts of myself. And that's what really led me on more of the inner quest in the inner journey.
Kathleen Shannon 8:03
Do you find awareness to be a little exhausting? Like sometimes I'm like, I kind of wish I could just go back to not asking why with every single decision, and thought and all of the things
Amber Rae 8:16
Oh, man, yes. I mean, it's, it's such a dance because it's like, we can like, examine and question and why the hell out of something to the point where it actually becomes detrimental in too much. Or sometimes like, like, even yesterday with my fiance, he, I was like, I'm feeling a little abandoned. And he immediately was like, Oh, is that the wound of you losing your father? And did it did it and I'm like, it's not always like that.
I'm just like, I'm really like, I went a little bit more quality time. And, and so it's, it's so easy to like, you know, go get to the
source and understand the route and want to explore, explore, explore, and swim to the depths of our stories, which I think is really, really important. And it's, it's, you know, at an extreme, it can take us away from the present moment and take us away from living and enjoying and being. So, yes, I think it's really critical and important work to know and see who we are, while also, you know, giving ourselves spaces and a spaciousness to integrate and to be into like, sometimes keep buying into stories that don't serve us for a little while longer, because there's still some lessons there for us.
Emily Thompson 9:25
I want to talk a little bit about this curiosity piece because I feel like this is the exact opposite of what you're talking about Kathleen, where like, you have this like deep questionings but then there's also like, on the flip side, there's this very, like surface curiosity. I want to hear a little more about how your discovery of that really helped you, you know, find some peace with, with all the things that I guess you were expecting of yourself?
Amber Rae 9:49
Well, I like to think of curiosity as both. And in the book, I talk about wonder having three friends curiosity, courage and compassion. And curiosity is both that investigative Side Kick that's like Let me get to the root of this. And then curiosity is like, wow, I like the color turquoise. And I feel drawn to this conversation or that thing that person is saying really resonates with me or that really triggered me and pissed me off. And I wonder why. And so I love curiosity as it as a tool for just finding resonance, finding alignment, and really giving myself permission to be curious and follow curiosities was so pivotal for me when I was transitioning from the world of marketing and tech, and just wanted to do something for the sake of curiosity. Like I ended up after nine months of thinking about it, making this move where I quit my job, sold my belongings and moved from San Francisco to New York and in 48 hours. And that was because literally, curiosity was just like, you gotta go, let's go, let's do this. And so then when I landed in New York, I spent about nine months just doing things for this, that sake of curiosity, just you know, I didn't need to know what the outcome would be. I didn't need to know if it was going to be this big thing. If it was going to be my forever if it was going to be my life's work and grand purpose and reason for being curiosity. And the exploration of that was just enough.
Kathleen Shannon 11:10
I feel like curiosity. And really, the whole theme and point of your book of choosing wonder over worry just helps me change my tone from, for example, this awareness tone of why why to Hmm, I wonder, is like it just be the exact same, same question, but it just changes the tone. And then with that follows perspective, and the action that then follows that everything seems a little less heavy.
Amber Rae 11:40
Yes. I love that you made a difference in the distinction between those two voices, because it's so easy to fall into, like, oh, why is this happening to me? Oh, not again. It sounds like, Huh, interesting.
Kathleen Shannon 11:52
Yeah. Okay, I went to one of the things that I've been thinking a lot about lately is how we define success. And I've been on this own personal journey of defining success, as I've been focusing on abundance through the year of 2018. And what that really means, and it's so easy to go to the money and to go to the social proof and the metrics and all the things. How are you defining success?
Amber Rae 12:20
I love that you asked that someone tweeted, something that I wrote in the book that I actually forgot about yesterday, which was I love Amber, Ray's version of success as inner truths expressed, and had me think of like, what if and he labeled them it ease? I was like, Can it be the new ROI? And so you know, yes. So you know, for me as an artist, it is it's like, I feel like I have these truths inside of me that are like dying to come out. And I feel most alive, successful, abundant, connected to source and home when that inner truth is expressed in some form, whether it's a poem, a book, a conversation, a dinner party, whatever that looks like. And so for me, yeah, success is really the inner truth expressed. And I found that when I'm acting and aligning from that place, that's where like, the money and the abundance and the opportunity comes from, like, I think of, you know, years ago, I started this art project called the world we want, which was an interactive chalkboard and public spaces. And curiosity totally led me here, I was like, this has no business model. I have no idea how I make money doing this. But I just like feel like I have to put chalkboard in a public space and ask people about the world that they want to live in. And Kate Spade, got wind of it, and then hired me to be like their keynote speaker, and they want to do interactive art and all these things, which, again, is something that I could have never predicted plan for strategized toward, but rather, because I followed curiosity and allowed this inner truth inside of me to be expressed, it led to abundance that I couldn't have predicted.
Kathleen Shannon 13:53
That is so wild. And did you even identify as an artist? Whenever you did that project? Were you like, I am a fine artist. And I'm going to do this thing. This installation, this public work?
Amber Rae 14:03
No, I was, in fact, what the moment what led me to it as I walked into this art gallery, and my like, voice of Wonder was like, it's time to make some art. And worry was like, Who the hell are you to make art, you didn't go to art school. And I ended up that was something I really had to grapple with. But I remember distinctly when we launched the installation, someone came and said, Who's the artist, and I was there with friends nail pointed at me. And I was like, let me noticed. You know, and so it was this, it was this this grappling. And so No, absolutely did not think of myself as a fine artist. And I don't even know how I pulled the thing off. But it happened. So
Kathleen Shannon 14:38
I want to come back to inner truth Express because in the book, you have this page. And so one of the other cool things about your book is that it's very interactive. And there are some cool areas where you can literally write in the book and so one of them is named three times. You acted on your truth and it led you to learn and grow so that makes me think of this inner truths Express. And I highlighted this and it's so it's so cool with our conversation to even think Name three times you were successful because you acted on your truth. And it led you to learn and grow. And so I'm actually just curious to hear from both of you. What are some times that you acted on your truth? And it led you to learn and grow? Oh, hard questions.
Emily Thompson 15:27
It is a hard question. Amber,
Kathleen Shannon 15:28
Ray's making us think.
Emily Thompson 15:30
Thanks a lot.
Kathleen Shannon 15:32
Well, I can say when a mine is definitely I was I had a starter marriage, and it was fine. But you know, everything was okay. But it just wasn't what was true for me. Like it wasn't the right relationship or had run its course for sure. And, you know, whenever you get into a marriage, you think it's gonna be forever. But I listened to my gut, I listened to my inner truth. And I got out of it. And it wasn't even that dramatic. I mean, there were definitely like, any breakups are hard, right? There's lots of tears and whatever. But it led me to my husband now who is the love of my life and our child together? Who is my everything. And so that's one example. But another example I thought of was even this podcast, it was just this like inner inkling. And so that could even be another word of truth for me, because sometimes I'm like, I don't even know what's true. But that like that inkling, that little spark of like, you know, this feels right, like, let's try it. And so this podcast is another one of those things. For us. It's probably like your art installation project that led to more things than we could ever even imagine, without the goal to monetize off the bat, or to turn it into a book or all the things that it could become
Amber Rae 16:42
totally. And, you know, I thought of a precise moment, which was when I wrote an email to the woman who was in charge of the festival, which is where the art premiered. And it was in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. And right after I had the idea, I was walking around, I saw the sign the Dumbo Arts Festival is coming up. And I was like, why didn't three weeks This is crazy. This is a sign. And when I looked into it, I found out that applications for it had closed three months prior. And so at first I was like, Oh, I totally, this would be so rude. Like who am I to email her and be like, by the way, you should fit me in last minute. But I like wrote up, it was like that moment where your fingers are dancing at the keyboard, and something is like coming through you. And next thing I know, I have like an entire proposal to her. And I'm sitting there at my email browser thinking, you know, my worry, boys don't send it don't send it that's like you're gonna offend her. And wonder was like, let's just see what happened. She can say no, don't choose no for her. And so I sent it. And she replied within 24 hours saying it sounds like you know what you're doing, I found you a wall. And so I was just like, you know, and so that was such a moment of like that inner truth, so deeply wanting to be expressed. And I had no idea what was going to happen. But you know, I think I sometimes think about like, what if I didn't send that email? And how many other times have I not sent the email or not made the ask because I was like, Oh, I don't want to offend or upset anyone.
Kathleen Shannon 18:05
But then do you ever send it and then don't get a response or get a rejection? It's so hard. That definitely happens to that? Definitely. And then how do you deal with that? Like, how, how does the Wonder piece kick in whenever you've gotten a hard No, or no response at all?
Amber Rae 18:21
Yeah, that makes me think of because the other thing that fit the like, biggest dream for me was this book. And so when I was reaching out to literary agents, one literally wrote me back and he came through a friend, one wrote me back and said, I suggest you go on an egoless journey for three or four more years before you give any more thought to a book. I was like, Hi. Yes. It's like nice to have this guy's
Emily Thompson 18:42
Unknown Speaker 18:45
I'd love to have his address.
Amber Rae 18:46
When I when I finally decided my age, and I told her about like, what's his address? I'm sending him a pile of shit. I was like, okay, easy.
Unknown Speaker 18:57
Okay, okay. But I mean, that was like, it sounds like he needs to do. Right, right.
Kathleen Shannon 19:05
Well, even in your book, you talk about judgment being a reflection of your own shit, right. So that was just a reflection of his
Unknown Speaker 19:12
Amber Rae 19:14
Totally. But how I dealt with that is I first cried. I like, you know, this was like the second email I had sent out to literary agents. I'm thinking, Oh, no, my dream is smashed. Like it triggered my imposter syndrome. It triggered my fear of not being ready. All the fears. I feel like he reinforced some of them. Which is where like, so first I felt it I cried. I like, you know, part of my work is like, Hey, I see you worry. I see you fear. I understand. You're really freaked out right now. This was really uncomfortable. It's okay, we're safe. And so it's a lot of like settling down the the anxious worry. And then, you know, I like to think of everything is a mirror and a reflection. And so I was able to see how he you know, he
Kathleen Shannon 19:53
triggered things in me that I was buying into and believing in myself. And so at first I like you know, felt it And then I looked like okay. Yeah, I still have a little bit of that fear of I'm not ready yet. Okay, cool. Glad, you know, thanks for illuminating that. And then I went in said five more emails. Yes. And then coming back to compassion that others see is that I have found whenever I'm more centered and rooted in you know, probably wonder over worry. I can handle rejections was so much more compassion like one not to have personal or to really seeing what about my proposal like if I were you it'd be like okay what about my proposal triggered him? Yeah. Why is he so hurt that he sent back this like, kind of crappy email like What's up with him? But then also not spending too much time in that because like, Who cares if that's on him? That's his not yours totally
Amber Rae 20:46
well. And what's funny is I sent the exact same proposal to the woman who's on my literary agent who was like, I screamed on the train Holy shit, this girl can write, and I was obsessed and knew I needed to sign you immediately. So it's like, you know, I don't know if it was like some patriarchy not
Emily Thompson 21:01
true at all.
Amber Rae 21:04
So, so yeah, but I asked him a question. Like I was about a few of his author. So I don't know if like, it was a question I asked that offended him. Or, yeah, I love that.
Emily Thompson 21:15
And there was Yeah, he just looked like a girl who rejected him in high school, it could literally be something like that. You never know. You never know. Um,
Kathleen Shannon 21:24
yeah, this is a good reminder to always be nice. Even whenever you're saying notice someone. Okay, so one of the things that I always think about is that intellectually, I know, like, I know the things, but sometimes emotionally, like, my emotions completely hijacked me. And sometimes I feel like if I can just remember the tools that I have learned and the kinds of tools and tactics and philosophies that you write about in your book, if I can just remember that I could probably get out of that space where I'm completely spiraling. And so I'm wondering if you have any habits or routines, or little things that you can do to practice consistently choosing wonder over worry, or like to pull you out of that space? Whenever you're completely hijacked? By worry?
Amber Rae 22:10
Yeah. So anytime I'm spinning, there's the first two things I do just to get me back in the moment, cuz anytime we're, we're saying we're either in the past or in the future. And we've lost touch with the moment. And so first is, obviously take a breath. And then the second is to name it to tame it. And so this is to name as vividly as possible, what you're feeling, what the sensations are in your body, what thoughts are flying through your head. And when we do that, what happens is that we literally come back to the here now because we're witnessing, and naming what's going on inside of ourselves. And neuroscience research actually shows that when we do this, we can reduce the anxiety around our sensation by up to 50% in that moment, and so like, you know, there the other day, I started spinning, because there were like an artist got mad about something like there were a few things that happened all once and all sudden, I was like, Oh, my I'm really dizzy. And I can't I'm like losing it. And in that moment, I just breathe. I'm like, Okay, I'm feeling dizzy. Because the thoughts in my head? Are I disappointed? Someone? Oh, no, did I let her down, I respect her like, you know, just getting really clear on what those are. I'm noticing tension in my chest, my hands are feeling a little palmi. And my heart is beating. And once I do that, it's like, Okay, and then again, it's, this is where compassion comes in. Again, it's to be like, it's okay, you're safe, reminding myself that I'm safe. And it's okay is so helpful for me. Because all of a sudden, I'm like, everything's wrong, and it's gonna happen forever. And I'm gonna feel this way for the next like, 20 years of my life. And then it spirals it gets worse. It's okay, I'm here, I'm safe. So that's, that's really the breath. And the first step is to name it to tame it. And then once I've like, had a little bit of space to breathe into it, and come back to the moment, one of my favorite tools is to have a dialogue and a conversation, so to talk with it, and to make a request. So like, I think, you know, a better example of this is when I'm writing, my inner perfectionist comes up a ton, and is like, this is terrible. Everyone's going to hate it, you should probably stop so that you don't offend anyone. And this story, by the way, can never go out. And you know, if I listened to that perfectionist, I wouldn't have written about 75% of my book. And so that's when I can like say like, okay, name it. This is the perfectionist right now, here's what's happening. And then I can talk to the perfectionist and be like, hey, perfectionist, I see you hanging out right now. And these are the things that you're saying what's going on? Like, why are you here, and the perfectionist will be like, well, I just want a really good high quality product and clearly we're not there yet. Um, and so you know, the perfectionist, I want a really good high quality product, and then that's where I'll say, great. We have the same goal. I'm so glad and then this is where the request comes in. Here's the thing though, because in order to create that high quality product, I need spaciousness to get messy. I want to be the artist. I want Write a bunch of really shitty and bad words until I can create that that good stuff. So do you mind going to get a massage for a little while while I create just wildly and unabashedly. And then when I'm in the editing process, I love your feedback at some point. Nice. I
Kathleen Shannon 25:17
love that incident, whatever your perfectionist is, like, No, I'm gonna stick around
Emily Thompson 25:23
Kathleen's perfection, his name is stubborn. He probably
Kathleen Shannon 25:26
is like, you know what, I'm just gonna sit here next to you, I'm not going to go get that massage, but I'll be quiet. I mean,
Amber Rae 25:34
and sometimes, you know, so as long as they're quiet, like the goal is to get them quiet. And I find that when I acknowledge it, name it and make a request, they do loosen their grip. And if they are persistent, I'll be like, Listen, you're not welcome here right now. So I need you to leave. And it's like, it's remembering that I am the one in charge, and not allowing something to take over. And you know, and then what I'll do if it like, is really persistent. And this actually happened at one point in the book. I was like, Okay, great. Perfection is right. And so the perfectionist started writing all the things that was pissed off and thinking, and then that actually led to a really good essay. So it's like, then we can actually use whatever it is, is fuel, like, Okay, great. You want to keep showing up? Great. Let's use whatever you're saying, as creative material.
Emily Thompson 26:19
I love that this is not just a complete dismissal of you know, and not even negativity, because I don't think like perfectionism is purpose is negativity. But I love that it is, you know, occasionally inviting them in to see what it is that they do have to say, because I think it is that the alternative of just shutting them up and keeping them out that you know, leads to, you know, more panic attacks, or, you know, more episodes of complete and utter, you know, an inability to create the thing. So I like that you've sort of met in the middle with stay quiet most of the time. But also, if you have something useful, say, Here you go,
Amber Rae 26:57
totally. And I think that's so key, because that's, I mean, that's the biggest thing that the trend that I've noticed in our society. And what I observed in my own life is that I was repressing and pushing away anything that was quote, unquote, negative or uncomfortable, and I only want it to feel the happy, joyful things. And that is just completely unrealistic, and really detrimental, actually, because so often these quote, unquote, negative or Messier emotions have wisdom and insights for us, if we ask them, why they're here. And we ask them, How can we have a relationship together? So like, you know, if I'm having a lot of anxiety, it's typically because I'm either over committed, or I'm saying yes to something that I don't want to say yes to. Or I might make a decision that's actually not an alignment. And so anxiety I like to think of as a loyal friend that wakes us up in the middle of the night to say, hey, pay attention, this is not okay. And so it's, it's really, how do we relate and welcome every emotion, particularly the uncomfortable ones, to speak up and have a voice not to let their voice run the show, but to allow them to speak because when they speak it, there's a release, otherwise it can stay stuck in our body and create disease.
Kathleen Shannon 28:09
One of the things that you wrote in the book that really sparked for me, something that I had never heard or thought of before, was this idea of wanting to run away. And I often have this fantasy, whenever I get overwhelmed of literally hiding under a rock, like I imagine a cave and crawling into it and never coming out. And one of the things that you talked a little bit about in your book was addiction, which I thought was interesting, because I'm not an addict. But I do have this feeling of wanting to run away. And that is indicative of like, or that might be how an addict feels whenever they're going for the booze or for whatever. And I realize that, like I go for Instagram, like and I will start to numb out with it. And one of the things that you wrote in your book is, I think you're quoting someone else, but that the opposite of addiction isn't sobriety, it's connection. And so it's almost like I was wanting to run away to feel connected and getting on Instagram and mindlessly scrolling only to feel less connected than ever before. And so it became this like, cycle. And so reading that even just today over lunch, I was flipping through the book, and I was like, Oh, that's what I was doing. I was running away and I was numbing out. Because I just wanted to feel connected. Yes. So that's the thing that I'm going to search for, you know, that's one of the big takeaways I'm going to get from this book is like, okay, whenever I feel that way, like I want to crawl into a cave, or drink a bottle of wine or scroll through Instagram, and numb things out, I just need to find connection. So it might be going to dinner with my husband, or facetiming my sister or whatever that might look like is like instead just seek out the connection and that can really be like a bomb or a solve to that feeling. Yes,
Amber Rae 30:00
yes, yes, yes. Yes. love all of that. And I'm so glad you brought that up. Because, you know, when I approached that essay, I did talk about my addiction to Adderall. And I went really deep into that story because I see quote, unquote, addiction show up in so many ways, which addiction more just the form of how do we numb out. And you know, so often it is technology or Instagram or wine or avoiding hard conversations and addicting, being addicted to easy, you know, and so I wanted to make that accessible. So I love how you just like, my heart just was like blue.
Kathleen Shannon 30:39
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Emily Thompson 31:23
I want to talk about some other emotions, and especially those that could be super helpful for people like us who are showing up to do work that we love, and hopefully get paid for it. So which emotions you think that we as creative entrepreneur entrepreneurs that should be cultivating? And maybe which ones do we need to be a little more timid around?
Amber Rae 31:46
Well, I think everything has a healthy, unhealthy or toxic and useful. But one of my favorite emotions, particularly for creative entrepreneurs is envy. Because envy often is like oh, like my like they did the book that I want to do are so annoying. They're traveling the world and like doing what they love, or like whatever comes up for you. Because I think envy is such a powerful tool for illuminating untapped potential within you and pointing you toward inspiration. And so at one point, I made an envy map where I literally mapped out every single person like Austin kleon, I'm envious of him because he like puts together words and some like drawings in books, l Luna, I'm envious of her because she did the damn book, you know, and had this whole map of what specifically and who I was envious of. And what was so interesting is that envy, you know, in everyone we see we're seeing ourselves, either what's possible within ourselves, or something we don't want to see in ourselves. But the envy map became a way for me to thread and see how I wanted to do my own creative work. So like Liz Gilbert, my envy toward her was her memoir style writing. But I didn't want like only to do memoir. So it was like by having the 10 people I was most envious of, I was able to pull and actually create my own unique way of approaching my work. So I think envy is so so so so powerful to identify inspiration.
Kathleen Shannon 33:12
I love becoming friends with the people I'm jealous of. So like even looking at your Instagram as you were doing your book launch and even sharing some of the numbers like some of your goals were even bigger than some of ours. And I was like full shit, I guess of our gear on the podcast. We love that. Because Truly, I think that that is okay. So one of the things that you're talking about earlier to overcome some of that anxiety, like if you're in the moment, having a panic attack is getting really specific about what you're feeling what you're thinking. And I think that that specificity is so important, not only whenever it comes to what you want, but also what you're experiencing, and maybe even what you don't want. So I think that it's really great even to I don't know how this relates to the jealousy thing. But I just wanted to come back to the idea of specificity. But oh, circling back around to jealousy, sorry, this is my creative mind. I love it. I love it back and forth. But coming back to jealousy as I think that also really humanizing the people that you're jealous of can be really helpful. So like, let's say you create this envy map of all these different people if you were to go to them and ask them what their biggest struggle was or what their biggest insecurities were, or how they feel like they've failed or disappointed someone recently, they're having they're all having the same issues and problems that anybody else's like everybody is human, no matter how pretty their lives look on Instagram or on their websites or while they're speaking from a stage. They've got their shit to totally
Amber Rae 34:49
Yeah, absolutely. And that you know, I talked about in the book The Myth of not enough. And that was what I really found was in interviewing even like the doctors or the therapists or working because I at one At one point with a coach, working with 1000s of people, I found that if you had all the money in the world and all the resources, you still didn't feel like you had enough time or money to do the things that you want to do. And I'm talking about like access to a billion dollars, I was like, What to like, you know, you came from nothing. And you're, you know, barely able to get by same things, no matter no matter the background. And so I realized that there was this this myth of not enough in our society, I'm not good enough, powerful enough, influential enough, I don't have enough time, I don't have enough money, whatever that not enough story is, every single person that I've ever met has one in some capacity. And it's just noticing it, recognizing it and deciding if you want to keep buying into it.
Kathleen Shannon 35:44
Okay, let's talk about not enough time, because we have a lot of people who listen to our podcasts that have full time day jobs, and they're really wanting to get their side project or their creative hustle off the ground. And the thing that we hear over and over again, is that I'm too drained after my day job, I don't have enough time. And I feel like you threw the SmackDown in the gentlest way possible whenever it comes to not having enough time. So can you talk about that a little bit? Yeah, I
Amber Rae 36:10
mean, every time I hear someone say, I don't have enough time, which includes myself, what I'm actually hearing is I don't know what matters. And I don't know what my priorities are. Because, you know, time is, in some ways, you know, a bit of an illusion. And we get to choose where we spend our energy and where we invest, rather not just spend our energy where we invest our energy and time. And so I'd be curious for you, yes, of course, the day job, you know, you have responsibilities, all of that. And what actually matters to you in the long term? And how can you design your day accordingly? Maybe if you're drained at the end of the day, great. How can you start with the project that you want to really be working on? How can you take your lunch break to work on that thing, there's always ways to weave in the things that matter if we say this is a priority, and I am committed, even if I'm tired, you know, like half of my writing process when I wrote the book, which was in two and a half months, by the way, which was insane. I was not wanting to write I was drained, I was exhausted. But I showed up. And I didn't make that decide whether or not I could write that day. I just showed up and was committed to the work. And so you know, my question to you is what actually matters? What are your true true, true priorities? And then how do you design your day accordingly, because truly, everything is negotiable. Even like job I've, you
Kathleen Shannon 37:27
know, I've worked with so many clients who were able to negotiate working from home one or two days a week, or taking half days here. And so I think when you can get clear on what those priorities are, you can figure out how to weave that in to your life. Emily, Emily was over there, like doing a fist pump, because I knew like, whenever it comes to me is choosing your priorities, and really getting that in order like that is Emily's jam. And I read that part of the book and was just like, Yes, okay, and it's got me thinking about whenever I feel like I don't have enough time, or I'm feeling even overwhelmed, like beyond just the time factor overwhelmed. One of the things that I've been doing or that we've been doing together, Emily, even in our business is stripping away anything that is not necessary. So even things like Do we need to send out an email every time we launch a podcast episode, you know what, maybe not people can hit subscribe on iTunes? Do we need to create a Pinterest graphic for every episode? You know what, we're not even really using Pinterest and not really leveraging it. So let's not, do I really need to have Instagram on my phone all the time? Maybe not. Let's clear that off. And just even as an experiment, see what kind of bandwidth that frees up. So that got me even thinking about my house? Like, what can I get rid of? And how is that? Like, even just physical objects? Like, how does that detracting my energy, for example? And how would getting rid of these things, then clear up space that I can work with what I've got, because I think that's a lot of the things that are creatives listening to this episode, or to this podcast, in general might struggle with is feeling like they don't have enough resources to work with what they've got. And I found that it's not by adding more education or more things, sometimes it's just about stripping some things away. Toxic friendships, bad food, alcohol, Instagram, clutter, whatever it could be.
Amber Rae 39:24
Totally, that creates so much space, so much space. And that reminded me one thing that I do do if I'm feeling overwhelmed, or particularly if I'm feeling strapped for time, as I begin to, and I have my Actually I have my planner next to me, I am I have my schedule for my day and I write out all the things that I'm committed to. And I note throughout the day for each thing that I do, II D or en energize me, drained me or was neutral. And that's just a way for me to assess every activity like and if it drained me Why was it because you know, I was you know, sometimes it can be many Toland mindset related for why I was drained. Sometimes it's like that is just so outside my zone of genius that that is not where I want to be allocating my time. And I can strip that away, it's actually not necessary, like obsessing over design details at one point and like where to place a piece of text. While I was launching the book, I was like, This is so not important. This does not matter in the long term. And then also, just, once I had that, and like noted what I committed to, I would reflect at the end of the day, where else did I spend my time? How much time did I spend on social media, like doing this, because that is such important time that could be spent on like writing an essay, or doing something that really matters more in the long term.
Emily Thompson 40:41
Right, I think there's something to say even about our ability to fill space. And whether that's a physical space or time space, or whatever it may be, you know, we are the kind of people all of us who see space and immediately need to fill it. And that leads us to a place where we don't have enough space to do the things that we want to do. One of the things that I've been trying to focus on lately, what you guys know how it goes soon, is on like, creating more space for myself or for the things that I want. So you know, we all have priorities. But defining the space to put them as important I think even pairing that with what you're doing Kathleen with decluttering. And getting rid of all of the things is it's it's all part of this process. And it's it's a process that leads you to really only focusing on the things that matters most. So it's like it is I mean, sort of deprogramming were like, you know, we need to have things, we need to have filled calendars, we need to need to fill up our space. But I think we all should challenge ourselves to give ourselves a bit more.
Kathleen Shannon 41:53
I want to come back to this energizing, draining and neutral. I think that this exercise is so brilliant. And it's one of those things, you know, as we're stripping things away from our business that we don't need, for example, one of them could be the podcast itself, we spend a lot of time recording these episodes, Emily is getting excited about that. But if I had to put a big e next to anything, it is getting to have Creative Conversations with Emily, with people like you. I mean, it just makes my day and even going on other podcasts to do interviews, I say yes to almost every single podcast request, I don't care how many downloads you get. I just want to talk creativity. And so I always say yes to those things. I'm intentional about then leaving space in my calendar, like my physical literal calendar so that I can say yes to the things that are energizing. So I want to get back a little bit to this practice, though, because I want to know literally how you do it. Do you have a Google Calendar? And then like, you're also referencing your to do list and then writing everything down in your planner? Do you do this at the beginning of the week? Do you do it every morning, like give me the logistics
Amber Rae 43:01
logistics are so I have an assistant who does all my Google Calendar and everything sits there because that's how I know what's happening in my life. And then it depends on the day in the week. But every day I for sure write out my schedule from I take what's ever in the Google Calendar and I put it into the schedule which starts like 8am goes till 9pm and then I have my three most important things of the day as well as like what other to dues I have. And there are times when I know something's due or I want to commit to something and I will do a few days in advance. But oftentimes it is like a daily check in and then literally like as I go through this, like I'm gonna put a big fat e after this episode next to us. And like and I'll be like he like love them love Creative Conversations.
Kathleen Shannon 43:49
Oh my god more you know, something like that. You do it as you go. You do the ED or in as you go, or do you like go through at the end of the day? And do you ever change your mind? You're like that was dreaming actually. Was energizing? I don't know. Really? I mean, Kathleen, if you change your mind, you can go back and change it. Yeah, you all are seeing my neuros
Amber Rae 44:14
Yeah, mine's pretty real time. But sometimes I will reflect at once again, it depends on the day, but generally, it's like yeah, wake up, write out the schedule. And then note as I go real time because I feel like I always have this, this planner with me. And then what planner are you using? I love the Daniela poor desire map planner.
Kathleen Shannon 44:32
Okay, and it's got that all mapped out.
Amber Rae 44:34
It's got that Yeah, because it's like I can write my core desires, how I want to feel today, there's a soul prompt, which is a quick reflection, map the schedule, map the priorities, and then she has great questions like stop doing, and then want to change. And so like I look at my day of what energize was neutral was draining, and that immediately informs what I want to stop doing and strip away as well as like what I want to change. So like maybe there's something I'm doing operational or logistic A goal that is so not what my role is and that I need to delegate.
Kathleen Shannon 45:05
It reminds me of Emily has an exercise called what's working, what's kind of working, what's not working. And it's something that we do anytime we're feeling overwhelmed together in our business, and I do it separately now. Like, it's just a great way to check in on if something's kind of working. It might be that thing where you need to delegate it to someone else? or How can you move it over into the what's working column? Or can you get rid of it altogether? It's I think, sometimes those middle columns are those neutral things that you're doing where you're like, Okay, this is taking up time and space? How do I either make it better? Like how do I make that an E, or something that I can get rid of or delegate altogether? So what are some things that you have, you know, double down on because it's energizing? And what are some things that you've taken out of your life, because you've noticed, like a pattern of a D next to it every single time,
Amber Rae 45:53
the biggest thing that it was an unexpected is that these interviews like every media podcast, that is where I come the most alive, which was surprising to me, because I'm a writer. And so I was like, Oh, I'm going to be energized by my weekly newsletters, which I want to like, tear apart sometimes.
Kathleen Shannon 46:12
I'm like, I don't want to write a newsletter.
Unknown Speaker 46:16
Unknown Speaker 46:16
Amber Rae 46:19
what am I gonna say, I feel like I have to. And so this is like, you know, it's showing up. And I feel like I'm most alive when I get to be a vessel for expression. So I don't prepare for these, I feel like I just show up and allow whatever wants to emerge. It's this amazing creative energy with other people that I admire, respect, love. And it's just like, so much fun. And now that's led to an informed every event I'm having on a book tour as someone interviewing me live. And then I bring a little bit of music and like some art. And so I don't, I wouldn't have figured out that format had I not have done so many interviews leading up to launch. And so like that I'm like, I'm filling most of my time now with conversational things to get the ideas in this message out. And that is like the evangelism and the media part is what I'm just loving. What I'm definitely delegating is when to the point where my assistant had to, she emailed me and she was like, Amber, here are the five things that you do. And stop, get off my yoga mat. And realizing that I was like responding to scheduling things, or like jumping in and like doing what her job is. And realizing that it's just like, sometimes I like control and want things to be a certain way and realizing to relinquish the control. But for me, it's a lot of the like, delegate or stop doing the draining, or the things that I'm not even supposed to be doing. But you know, get involved in.
Kathleen Shannon 47:45
Okay, I've just a couple more questions before we wrap up. One is about self sabotage. Because I think a lot of the times when we choose worry over wonder it is a form of self sabotage. So I would love to ask you, in what ways do you see creatives self sabotaging? And what can they do to overcome that and, and to move projects forward?
Amber Rae 48:06
Yeah, so a lot of the ways I actually want to give a bit of context first and then go into more specific examples, where the really the notion of self sabotage it came from gay Hendricks, who wrote the big leap, and he's a psychologist. And he has this notion of upper limiting, which I just think is such a powerful tool. And basically, he you know, who's worked with so many people over his, like, 70, some years of existence, he identified that every single person he had ever worked with had an upper limit problem, which means that we have a thermometer, you can think of it as for the amount of success, joy and abundance, we feel like we deserve to experience in our lives. And so maybe, you know, my thermometer is at like 91 degrees. And if my life starts to become a little too good, a little feel a little too abundant. 92 degrees, 93 degrees, I might self sabotage by like, binge eating things that don't make me feel good, or like spending too much money on things that don't matter, because I actually made too much money, you know, or picking a fight with my fiance or getting sick. And so those are the some of the ways that we can self sabotage, because we don't think that we deserve joy, sex, success and abundance. And I just found like, I found that so interesting. When I came across that work, because I was able to realize all the moments I was upper limiting. And even the way he describes it, as he says, often it starts with the worry thought, so we life is so good. So let's worry. And so I'd say you know, the first thing for creatives is to notice when you do that, notice when you like, feel good, and then you want to feel bad because feeling good, feels too good. And then what are those worry thoughts for you? Because for every creative, it's a little different. What I do find is like oh, I'm not ready yet to do this is a huge one. And you know, it's more comfortable to play small and to be in the comfort zone. And as soon as they begin to nudge a little bit toward what they really want to be doing. It feels uncomfortable, and sometimes they did they interpret that discomfort as such. thing being wrong, when really what that discomfort is showing them as Yes,
Kathleen Shannon 50:03
Amber Rae 50:03
the right direction, you're moving toward what really matters. And so, you know, I like to remember that anytime I'm saying to myself, I'm not ready yet, that's actually precisely the moment that I am ready, because that's precisely the moment and time and space where I'm going to grow. Okay, but
Kathleen Shannon 50:19
sometimes, like, you're talking about disappointing someone earlier, and sometimes like, as you do grow, and you start to extend or expand your capacity for joy and success and abundance, you do disappoint people, or you do say the wrong thing, or you do mess up or totally fail or hurt someone's feelings. So how do you reconcile that like, because I think that there's this aspect of like, okay, you know, expand past your upper limit, it's not going to be comfortable and creating the thing, almost more of like the War of Art, resistance kind of feeling, but like, what about whenever you're actually disappointing someone or actually, like, hurting somebody's feelings or saying the wrong dumb thing, and now you have 50,000 followers instead of 50? You know, like, it matters more.
Amber Rae 51:07
Yeah, totally. I mean, what helps me in those situations is to know that I will disappoint people, I will upset people, I will say the wrong thing, because I'm human, and expecting myself to never, you know, never offend anyone is just so unrealistic and paralyzing, that it would prevent me from expressing myself. And this is something I really did learn with Seth, because Seth, you know, he really encouraged us when we worked with him to make more mistakes, and to fail. Like, every time we would say like, well, what if this fails, he's like, you will fail, failure is useful. Failure helps you figure out what works and doesn't work. So you can do more of what does work. And so I think it's more just reorienting the relationship with disappointing people and knowing that that is part of the process. And so the bigger question is, when you disappoint someone, what do you do about it? When you say the wrong thing? How do you respond? And I think that response is so key. And the repair is so key, I actually I got a message from an artist yesterday, who did this shoot of me, and I've been using the photos, and there was a misunderstanding where her she creates a whole story and like, tells a story with the photos. And I use the photos before she told the story and felt like I was disrespecting her and her process. I had no idea I thought I was serving her work by putting it out there and spreading the message of her work. And so it was such a moment of like, Whoa, misunderstanding. And she told me like, I'm feeling sad every day that you're posting this and you haven't answered these questions I sent you. And I was just like, Whoa, thank you so much for illuminating that I totally disappointed you I understand you're upset. And you know, here's what we'll do moving forward. And so that repair piece I think is really the critical thing to lean into when the conflict or when upsetting someone does emerge and to really face it rather than flee from it.
Kathleen Shannon 53:00
And I think that you do a such a good job of illuminating the line of when that repair is necessary in your book and when it's not like whenever people are emailing you trying to get something out of you that you don't know like strangers who are just all about themselves and progressing themselves is very one sided doesn't doesn't deserve a response right? And that person can get really mad at you and confront you about it and you don't have to repair that because it doesn't matter.
Amber Rae 53:27
Yeah. Unless it does and I think it's Yeah, that's a fine line where we can only know like is this person only trying to serve themselves and now they're angry because I have not responded well that's not me you know that's their stuff but if it's someone I care about respected collaborated with and I do something that offended them then yes, I will absolutely repair that if it's my very dear girlfriend and I you know missed her a big day of hers and she sat I'm not there. That's you know, that's something to repair.
Emily Thompson 53:54
When there's something to it they are to repair. Yeah, sounds like when you repair.
Kathleen Shannon 54:01
Okay, let's end on a high note. I would love to hear about a recent moment or experience that made you feel most boss. Like in your power. I am a badass, maybe even a little scary. Like you've gone past your upper limit a little bit.
Amber Rae 54:17
Oh, yeah. So definitely the launch day of the book. And the event that we threw, which was this immersive wondrous experience. We had all kinds of performers. I got up and spoke was interviewed and follow in front of all of my friends and media, the publisher, wearing like the most sexy goddess dress I could find and I was just like, Hello, I am here. And it really felt like a declaration of who I am and what I'm stepping into. And I feel shifted from that day and the way that I am really just like owning the message owning my power. And so you know, bringing forth this book and celebrate it in the way that feels true to me and Really owning the message has been so so pivotal
Kathleen Shannon 55:05
I love it well thank you so much for joining us amber or amber Ray where can our listeners find you and the book
Amber Rae 55:15
the book is at choose wonder calm and also wherever books are sold I love supporting the local indies so they should have copies too. And you can find me Instagram is my favorite because it combines my love of art with an imagery with words so I'm Hey amber Ray are a e on Insta and on other socials and my website blog is nba.com
Kathleen Shannon 55:39
thank you so much Amber, you are just a light and you shine bright. Thanks for coming on the podcast. Thanks for having me. This is fun. Hey, bosses, I want to tell you about the CEO day kit. The CEO day kit is 12 months of focus planning for your business in just one day. So Emily and I have packaged up the exact tools that we've been consistently using for years that have helped us grow from baby bosses to the CEOs of our own businesses. gain clarity, find focus, get momentum, prioritize your time, make better decisions and become more self reliant with the CEO day kit. Go to courses that being boss club to learn more and see if it's a fit for you and your business.
Emily Thompson 56:25
Thank you for listening to being boss. If you're looking for more help and being boss of your work in life accom check out our website where you can find Episode shownotes. browse our archives and access free resources like worksheets, trainings, quizzes and more. It's all at WWW dot being boss dot club. Do the work be boss