Life Transitions & Creativity
Hosts — Ali Manning & Rachelle Eason
We are two artists that are feeling many changes in the air and
have a desire to unearth their many elements through discussion.
Our mission is to explore how we deal with changes to our mental wellness, our physical health, and society challenges through art and creativity.
For More Information on our Hosts and Panelists, please visit https://RachelleEason.com/OurCreativeWell
Our Creative Well EP. 1 Transcript
[00:00:00] Ali Manning: alright. Welcome everyone to the very first. Of, I don’t know how many are creative well podcast hosted by Rachelle Eason and myself, Ali Manning This series of conversations came about because whenever Rachelle and I got on a zoom for a 10 minute chat, it would turn into like hours long conversations, all about creativity and life.
And not just our own experiences, but experiences that we were seeing in our students and our creative communities. So we thought it might be fun to share some of these conversations with others and also invite some special guests. So that’s what we are doing. We have two very special guests joining us today.
You can find out a little bit more about them on the web, the podcasts webpage, which Rachelle will drop into the chat box right now. And if you want to know what the chat box says, and if you’re joining us live, it is in the menu. It’s the speech bubble. So feel free to ask questions in that chat box, if you would like.
Okay. So I would [00:01:00] like to introduce our guests. And then I would like to us to dive into our conversation because with lots of juicy things to talk about first up is Christina Pateros. She currently lives in Colorado, but she is a traveler and an adventure who’s been to many far-flung places. She paints.
She paints animals and abstract visions of living energy with her fingers, with feathers, with sticks shells, and just occasionally a brush. Equally importantly, she is a shamanic energy healer and in two weeks she graduates with her master’s in eco psychology. Yeah. Congratulations, Christina!
And other guest, Roben-Marie Smith. She lives in Florida.
She is a mixed media artist blogger and a teacher who helps others discover their artistic voice. She has a heart for mission work, so has also traveled widely to places like Panama, El Salvador, Romania, and. [00:02:00] Roben-Marie as well as being an artist is also known as the tech savvy artist. She is the founder of Makers Tech, U, and she helps artists, whether you are running a business or as a hobby just get, make the most out of your art and bring it to others through technology.
So she is a wonder, and my co-host is Rachelle Eason, who has been creating pottery since she was four years old. She spent the last 30 years as a professional artist and teacher. She was invited artist to Walt Disney World where she showed her amazing plant-stained paper art and pottery.
She’s been a college ceramics professor. She’s a writer, an art journaler, and she may just have a new line of pottery out, which we will be talking about today that kind of relates to our transitions.
I’m Ali Manning. I’m a lifelong lover of books and paper and stationary. I love to create many books and I like to fill them with lots of mixed media.
One of my greatest joys in life is to create community in particular creative [00:03:00] communities. And my latest sort of passion and endeavor is the Handmade Book Club. And I know some of you are here today, so welcome.
So we got together ahead of time, the four of us, just to have a conversation of a couple of weeks ago. And when I was writing my notes, a consistent theme kept coming up. We were just, I think we started out on one topic, but then we just kept returning to this idea of change and of transitions and how we deal with that. Whether it’s changes in our health or in our bodies, whether it’s within our families, our role within the family, for example, changes our creative and our professional lives.
And even if you’ve lived a charmed life, not one of us is immune from change. Obviously the last two years of the pandemic have brought you some kind of change. That is why I stopped with life transitions change and your creativity. And then we’ll see where the conversation goes. So I’m going to hand over to my cohost, Rachelle, to kick off this conversation. And I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say.
[00:03:58] Rachelle Eason: Thank you everybody for [00:04:00] coming! Welcome! We are so excited to have you here. And we really have this mission that we want to have a conversation that is going to facilitate growth and movement forward, regardless of whatever life changes and transitions you might be undergoing.
And this all came about when I personally was going through life transitions, that became obstacles to my art. So for 30 some years I’ve been a professional artist. I’m not even going to tell you how many decades it’s been since I was four and started in art. But of course I’ve always had art blocks, as artists, we always, we have blocks. This instead was an obstacle.
I had physical obstacles between me and creating so much that I thought I was going to even have to sell my kiln because I couldn’t be in my studio for very long time. My back was in so much pain and I have osteoporosis and some other things. And so I was really getting down and the conversation came out to how is it [00:05:00] that we go forward with personal challenges in life transitions if our usual coping mechanism is creativity and we can’t even get to that sometimes because of those obstacles.
But the other side of that is too, sometimes these obstacles present opportunity. And so we’re looking at both sides of this coin of how do these life transitions take us from where we are and guide us to where we are going.
And yes, my new blue sky porcelain collection is that kind of manifestation of my entire journey. And I’ll talk more about that later and how that came to be, but I want to get our guests involved here and I know that they have some great stories about what they personally experienced. Roben-Marie,
do you mind going ahead and jumping in and sharing with us a little bit, what you experienced?
[00:05:53] Roben-Marie Smith: Sure. Yeah, we had talked when we had met that my, my story goes back to probably about, [00:06:00] maybe about 2006, 2007, and my business was going great. I was traveling a lot. I was teaching. It was just, it was a great time for me.
And then all of a sudden, like overnight, it was like a light switch. I started dealing with. And I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t understand the feelings. I was having the lack of energy, the lack of desire to even be creative. It was a real struggle and I was confused. I didn’t understand, really why?
This is something I love to do. Why am I struggling with this? And it took about six months for me to fully understand that and what was happening. And of course, so many people that don’t understand it, their answer is you need to exercise more. You need to eat better. It’s if I’m doing all of that, you need to create more.
Okay I’m doing that, but I can’t really do it because it’s a struggle and I’m not enjoying it. And so there was like all of these things, and of course it ends up being that there’s nothing you can really do to change it or fix it. It’s part of who you are. It’s a process. My life change was going, I was [00:07:00] going through perimenopause at an early age.
So all of these things were happening to me. And I was really struggling because as I was going through it, and one friend said you can’t go around this. You’re going to have to go through it and figure out, how to manage it. It was a big change for me. And part of the change was not just dealing with that.
It was as I was moving through and going to the other side of this or moving through. It changed me. One of the biggest changes that I realized that was happening to me was my confidence was really at a low, and I didn’t know if I’d ever get that confidence back and I’m still, I still feel changed by it in terms of that was one of the biggest things was that I lost a lot of confidence in myself.
And part of that I think was what if I sign up to teach? And it gets to right before I have to go and I’m starting to have panic attacks or my anxiety is too high or what if I’m depressed and I can’t teach. And so all of that played a part in that mindset of, okay, [00:08:00] then I just don’t, I won’t do it because I don’t know what’s going to happen.
We talked about this in our call early on that one of the things that really struck me was I was having a conversation with a very wise good friend of mine. And I was telling her how upsetting this was to me and how I really wanted things to be the way they were. And she said to me, but what if they can be better?
And I was like, okay, that’s not what I want to hear. I don’t want to hear that. I want things to be the way they were, but it was, she was very wise in that because I got to, it changed my mindset to, okay, I’m not going to start dwelling on what’s happened or what, how things used to be, how can they be better?
And what does that look like for me? And so it, it just, it was a process of getting back into creating and saying, all right, even if this is terrible and I don’t like it, and it’s not working, just keep creating because that is going to help me in my mindset.
[00:08:57] Rachelle Eason: That was the big thing they ask you on that.
Cause I can [00:09:00] relate to that. Mine was a physical issue, but this idea of imposter syndrome kept coming in my mind is that, and usually we say imposter syndrome, because we’re elevated, we’re in a position that we’re elevated more than we should be, but this was something that was different.
I actually, I’m always a go-getter. I worked like 117 hours a week. And when I was down to 40, which is normal for most people, but that was really slow for me. And so I kept thinking that I was not me. I was an imposter in my body and I felt very not me.
But then by the end of my journey, I realized maybe that’s more me at this stage in my life. Then I was open to. Yes. Does that make sense?
Yes, it [00:09:44] Roben-Marie Smith: does. Absolutely. And this was in my forties now I’m in my, early to mid-fifties and that there was a big transition. Just what you’re saying, what I realized was that I needed to slow down. I was working too many hours, working too much, traveling too much in [00:10:00] teaching and it was affecting me physically, mentally.
And that we go through those changes in those life cycles where we’re in different seasons. And so the season I was in, in my thirties or twenties is not the same as the one I’m in now in my fifties. In fact, it’s more wow, I want to let things go. I want to slow down, but still be able to enjoy the things that I’m enjoying and my business, but realize that, oh, I don’t have to work that hard or I don’t have to be spending all of these hours.
And I think that contributed to really helping my mental health as well, because I think it was just, it was affecting me negatively in that. So I totally understand it. And I feel. That I’ve experienced that as well.
[00:10:44] Rachelle Eason: Yeah. I love Christine. Can you respond? Oh, I’m sorry. Ali go ahead.
[00:10:48] Ali Manning: No, it’s just going to ask Christina actually, cause I liked this idea of just letting go of what was to allow for something different. Maybe it’s better. And I think Christina, you had mentioned that, right?
[00:10:59] Christina Pateros: [00:11:00] Yeah. First I just want to say what an honor it is to be here and to be with the three of you and with all of you who are listening, transition is all that we know in life, right?
That I’m 58. I mean my Saturn return right now, which for anyone that follows astrology happens twice in your lifetime with the alignment of the planets and it’s all about transition and what is, and what you’re aligned with. And this letting go piece, transitions have three pieces, historically it’s severance, it’s the letting go of what was of what we’ve known.
Because what we really know is the unknown. We don’t know what’s coming.
Peruvian. The kero lineage the past is in front of them. Wow. Because they can see it in the future is in back. Okay. So we don’t know. And so that letting go with the severance being the first part, this is what I’ve just come through, actually with my ego psychology thesis.
And one of the classes [00:12:00] that we had this semester alongside the thesis was a ritual class, a transitions and rites of passage. And the center piece of transitions is that threshold. We are crossing thresholds one after another, every day and really every moment of our life, so of our lives. And then it’s reincorporation.
So I think as humans in my experience anyway, and I’ve had a death experience in 2011, I was in the Amazon in Peru, in a psychedelic plant ceremony with the indigenous people, with my school and my teachers. And I fought to let go. I fought to let go. And I saw. And I think that’s really been the greatest lesson in my life is that if there is resistance to change, which is going to come anyway, then I’m going to suffer.
So stepping in and [00:13:00] really the ritual of art is my thesis for my eco psychology work. And it’s the ritual of art grounds us. And that can be the creation of the viewing of the study of in all forms. And I’ve got some other stories to share just even from this past year where that has just reinforced its reality to me again and again.
[00:13:25] Ali Manning: Wow. I love that the art grounds us I’ve written that ritual of art grounds us. That’s amazing. How did Rochelle, how did
[00:13:33] Rachelle Eason: you find,
[00:13:36] Ali Manning: go ahead,
[00:13:37] Rachelle Eason: Christina. Finish.
[00:13:39] Christina Pateros: I was just going to, my thesis is so alive right now. I’m literally graduating into two weeks. My papers in, and I’m having an art exhibition on Tuesday evening and opening a ceremony opening here in Boulder at Naropa university where I’m graduating.
And yeah, I just wanted to share that the ritual of art grounds us through living and dying. Wow. Allowing the [00:14:00] spirit of creativity to flow through us within us and around us in livening, the life force in life. And even in death, the ritual of art can bring joy and peace and allow grief, embodied brief to flow.
And I caught that as you were speaking, Roben-Marie, that you were moving through and it’s about that flow and moving through. Yeah. Wow.
[00:14:27] Ali Manning: What does that look like? Practical level Christina?
[00:14:30] Christina Pateros: yeah, for me, it’s about ritual. It’s about ritual and ceremony. And art is part of that for me. Sometimes it’s writing sometimes it’s painting. I’ve just started sculpting. Sometimes it’s viewing art, it’s having the arts all around me. I just moved into a new space, so I don’t have much on my walls, but it, for me, it really involves, like you said, Roben-Marie and Rachelle slowing down and getting quiet.
And for me in ritual, it’s [00:15:00] listening to the guidance and it sounded like that’s what you both were experiencing on some level of consciousness or not. And it’ll always come through. It’s just a matter of how much we’re with it, open to it and, or resisting it, which is human. It’s the human condition.
[00:15:16] Rachelle Eason: I love how you said it’s about surrounding yourself with art as well. Cause I think so often as creatives, we are makers, right? We’re all about making and that’s our therapy, but I’ve gotten to a point in my life where, you know, no more little kids, dogs, but no more little kids and all that. And we’re in our home that hopefully we’re going to retire in. And so the pieces in here are curated.
And I always use that word because I’ve curated each area to be meaningful and important to not just me, obviously our family but our sanctuary. And I don’t want to get too much into sanctuary because that’s actually a topic in may that we’re going to do sanctuary and creativity, [00:16:00] Allie.
So I don’t want to jump the gun on that, but I love that you brought that in because I think so many people think we’re always we’re talking to people who are makers, but we’re talking to everybody. Because of being able to curate your art around you.
I know for me, and I know Allie, I think this is where we were, we’re going to head to is that my health issues were what guided me for the last several years.
I declined my last several Disney invites because I physically couldn’t do it anymore. I had to have brain surgery. I had an arachnoid cyst in my brain and then recovered from that beautifully and then went into osteoporosis and a fractured back. And so I guess I had osteoporosis actually before the brain issue and I ignored it, my husband reminds me and then I had a fracture and couldn’t ignore it anymore.
I physically was limited to what I could do, especially as a potter and even as a plant stained to artists, because the amount of hours standing and peeling the plants off of the pages were just killing me. And so I was talking to Allie because [00:17:00] these obstacles and these personal challenges put obstacles of creativity in front of me.
And I had to figure out how do I get through this? Because usually art is the way that I get through. And my solution was to look at my art and figure out what I could do that would help all the other parts of my life.
And that’s where casserole bakers came in. I’m not a cook. I have to be enticed to go into the kitchen, but with osteoporosis, I have to eat better.
I have to really, my, my peer, my, my food pyramid has sugar on like the first four levels. I don’t know. There’s only six levels and it sugar. Sugar and wine and chocolate. And so I had to figure out how can I be enticed to be into the kitchen and for me that was, I could make casserole bakers.
And then because I want to share my casserole bakers with my community and my audience, I’m going to figure out what can I make in these casserole bakers, and then, because [00:18:00] I’m vegan and I’m in that community and I’m in these Facebook groups and all that, how do I bring that all together? The, I I found, great chefs that were making these vegan, they’re called 10 ingredient “dump and bakes”.
And it was like these recipes that it was so easy. All I need to do is get all these ingredients, put in the casserole baker, bake it up and I’ve got a meal that was healthy and everybody liked. And so I ended up finding that my solution was to utilize my art as a tool to getting through the obstacles and my back was getting better.
I was getting stronger. I was able to do all of that. And then I and then I missed my flowers around. Cause when I do plant staining, I always had flowers around and I realized that I found joy in the day when I saw all these flowers around because I always have those out before I would use them before I’d plucked their heads off and use them for [00:19:00] plant staining.
And so I made vases, I made more vases, so it was like I was fueling my own transition of my own path with my art, which I wanted to create anyways. But now my art had a purpose for my personal well being beyond the creative, the gravitational pull of being a core of being creative.
We have, we all have pull that we have to create, and I’ve always had that. It’s never suffered, but now I had a purpose for the use of my art and hopefully, other people would too.
And of course I go into this other thing too, which was more emotional and I’ll get that later. But do you guys do see, do you relate to any of that, that you use one to tool the other and all that?
Yeah, [00:19:49] Roben-Marie Smith: I can, I was, as you were saying that I was thinking my approach was a little different and mine was that because of the struggle of being out in front of people and the [00:20:00] potential for things to happen or how I would feel, it was like, okay what can I do that doesn’t involve that at least at this point in my life.
And I was finding that. If I was struggling to create, what could I do that was still creative and helped that, but, fed that desire in me, but w but satisfied, maybe this, okay. I’m, how I’m feeling, helping other people. That seemed to be the answer to me and as I was helping. In the introduction we talked about that I’m very tech savvy and I was finding that I was helping art friends with their websites or learning Instagram or photography or video editing.
And I loved it. And it was something that I could still do that was creative because those things are still creative. At least they are to me. And then I was helping them to overcome the challenges they were experiencing. So they could then put their art out there and they could sell their art and they could just, all of the things.
And it was like, oh, okay. So for me it was a little bit different, but that was [00:21:00] that was helping me to figure out how I can still stay creative, help others and feed my soul. And in, in being able to, and of course, all of that leads back to on the back in the studio, I’m creating, I went back out and started teaching again and love.
But that was a turn for me in a different way to figure out how to get through that.
[00:21:23] Christina Pateros: Yeah, for me, it is really based in nature and being connected to the earth. So I sometimes create, but by going outside and seeing what’s around and creating an earth Mandala on the earth which is impermanent. I’ll either leave it there, or sometimes I’ll have it created and then wrap it up and offer it to the water or offer it to fire. So my creativity and moving through it and using the [00:22:00] tools to move through whatever life transition I’m in is really about grounding. And so when I came around to that thesis of mine in eco psych, it was just right there.
And amazingly I was on a walk when it came through me and a praying mantis appeared right on the path right in front of me. I was with a friend and we both stopped and it was like, I think that’s a, yes, I think this is it. The ritual of art grounds, me and that, that notion was shell of the creation and how it’s all connected, how we’re all interconnected, you’re cooking one to be more healthy and then creating these.
I want one of your dishes. Okay. I’m not crazy about cooking for myself either. I love to cook for others. I love to entertain. That’s what brings me joy when people are enjoying my food for myself and not so much, I’ll go to whole foods and they’re my, their cooks, my cooks but really that interconnection and in [00:23:00] our creativity, in our making and everyone is creative.
In some ways, there are people out there that are probably saying, oh, I don’t paint. Or I don’t know how I don’t have a creative, cell in my body. We’re all creators. So literally to just go outside and sit and just be with the tree. And then if there’s bark or leaves around, you make a little, see where they want to go on the earth.
So I love that interconnection piece that it’s flowing through us.
[00:23:27] Rachelle Eason: I have to share on that note. I been a college professor at two different colleges, college professor of ceramics. And when I was at Gardner-Webb university in North Carolina, I had a student who was also, she was a runner ceramist and a runner. And every time she would go out for her run for practice she would come back with nature, pieces of nature and it would be twigs and it would be, anything that was organic.
And when you’re doing clay, you can actually put these things in the kiln, they burn off, but you can use them for impressions and [00:24:00] for, apertures and different things like that. And that’s what she did. She was. She would bring in this kind of wealth of natural materials that just, she would say, it just popped out at me. She was just this great, beautiful blonde dreadlocks and just this great, her name’s Meg, my kids loved her, all that. It was just fantastic. She’s a fantastic gal still she’s in, she’s still creating.
But that idea of nature really being that connection to her art also was this way that she traveled to the art pieces that she was making. It was amazing. Amazing to be part of that.
[00:24:36] Christina Pateros: And clay is really earth. With your worker pottery, we use the earth.
So the hands in the earth, that is what, that’s what fuels me. And I have to say, just as an aside, Rachelle, I have two little ceramic pieces in my exhibit that I made for my thesis and I’m addicted. It’s unclear before, all through my life right now. I’m like, oh, I just want to get my hands in more clay.
[00:24:58] Rachelle Eason: Yeah. Clay is definitely addicting. [00:25:00] And the idea that, the thing that has always I found opportunity and obstacle actually is we’re talking about life transitions in clay is that you’ve got mud. You’re starting out with a lump of mud. And with that mud, that clay. You can turn that into absolutely anything you want.
And I’m a person, I’m a production Potter in a way that I have had to produce a volume of pieces, especially when I was showing it Disney. But everything I do is one of a kind, I can not throw two mugs or two bowls that look alike to save my life. I just can’t, it’s just not in my nature and it’s not in something that I really want to do.
And so what I had to do was figure out that I needed to take breaks in my day. I needed to rest. I needed to slow down and I needed to not produce as much. And it was crazy because I was thinking I’m still, I’m not at Disney anymore. I don’t need to have 3,300 pieces of original art in my shop at one point, at any one point.[00:26:00]
So what I started to do, I did the casserole bakers and I did the flower pots and I did like odds and ends and whatever. And what I started to do was realize that my art can slow down too. And my art can rest. It can breathe, think of making a loaf of bread and you have to cover it with towel and let it breathe and all that.
I can do that with my art and what happened through that whole process? I did the porcelain, the sky, the blue sky porcelain and porcelain is the white that I get. And so I actually had to use pigment and mix the porcelain into the sky blue that I wanted it. And then I would swirl the two together.
And so I had my hands in every bit of it from the coloring of the basic mud to the finished piece. And I really allowed myself to be part of that. I gave myself time [00:27:00] to enjoy the process, even though it was second nature to me, take the breaks rest and go sit on the heating pad for an hour or so if I needed to, and then go back to the studio and that whole process, that, that line.
And I know you can probably hear Scarlett crying here. That line itself is my life transition. It’s that manifestation of me realizing at this season in my life, I like slow. I like calm. I like pastel colors and I like the tranquility that comes along with it. I am going to hand that over. I’m going to mute myself and put my dog out.
I’m sorry. Scarlet doesn’t want on couch. She doesn’t want to be part of it.
[00:27:45] Ali Manning: That’s okay. Do you know what I’m making notes as? Just cause that’s how I listened to us making those. Each all three of you has said, slow down, rest, take breaks, get quiet. Like it’s a [00:28:00] constant theme, which I think is interesting in light of what the whole world has been through the last two years.
We’ve all been forced to slow down. And I feel like that just, I think maybe we’ve realized that in other parts of our lives, but like the whole world has realized that. And so how, like, how do you feel like the last two years has affected your creativity? When literally the whole world has had to slow down?
Do you feel like you’re well-prepared or like it was, it took you by surprise, like everyone.
Go ahead, Roben-Marie,
[00:28:31] Roben-Marie Smith: I could say know I’m an introvert. I, and I, I guess just working at home and that being, my every day pretty much, I it, I actually enjoyed it, but I live in Florida, so we didn’t have the impact here.
I don’t think of the of other places, a lot of things we didn’t really shut down and things were still open. And but for me, I think it was. Not so much that part of it, it was just the uncertainty of things.
The key, if I felt like in the [00:29:00] days when, and when you live in coastal Florida, or even Florida, about hurricanes, there’s a lot of it’s that uncertainty.
Okay. Is it coming? Is it going to hit us? Is it not going to hit us? And, oh my gosh, now there’s another one coming. So it’s that, it’s just that very unsettling feeling. And I think that’s what it was. I, the weird thing was I was very productive and I did a lot of art and a lot of stuff in 2020, 2021 was where I ran into this six month block of just, I can’t do anything and I, that was really weird.
So mine came like later, which was bizarre, but I wanted to touch on a point that, that came out with with what Rachelle said and that part about slowing down. And that part is about taking time. One of the things I had to deal with mentally as I was going through this and dealing with this.
What if I take too much time and then what if I can’t come back and create again? What if I lose something because I’m not go every day. And so that was like a mental [00:30:00] battle for me of what if I never create again, because I’ve taken too much time off. And so I wanted to throw that out there because that was a legitimate feeling that I had.
I still feel that way at times, but I understand now, no, this is essential to making sure that I can go back in there refresh and create. So I wanted to throw that out there. Cause I don’t know if nor shall you felt that way at all, but I know I did.
[00:30:21] Rachelle Eason: Yeah. And I think so. I think one of the things to touch on that too, is that I always felt that because I had produced and I had done so much for so many decades I hate to say it.
I owned a retail art studio in North Carolina, too. We sat 90. It was huge. We were having field trips and professional develop all the time. So I was always for about decades just on the go. And so what happened when I went, it was hard for me to have that realization myself, but I kept thinking that the people around me were looking at me like, you’re not really being [00:31:00] truthful or who you are.
You’re not the authentic mom or the authentic wife or the authentic artist or anything that we know from before. You’re like a shell of that person kind of thing. But that was me projecting that on to them. Not them doing it to me.
Now I had, so during COVID was when I had my brain surgery. And just to give a little background to that, arachnoid cyst was something I had since birth and I didn’t have a problem with it until I started doing Disney.
And I didn’t even know that I had it until the pressure and the stress and the physical calling on my body from that really brought that out.
And so I had my craniotomy smack in the middle of that first summer of COVID, but it was it was great. I hate to say that when you’re talking about something like that, but it was great because it gave me permission to slow down.
It gave me the purpose to [00:32:00] slow down. I had to, and for me, even though my family would have been fine, if I had sat on the sofa and ate bon bons all the time, they would have still loved me, but for me, because I had this surgery and this recovery I’d had, in my mind, permission to slow down and then slowing down was addictive.
Clay is addicting, but slowing down and being calm is an amazing addiction. I never realized it before going to sleep. Oh my God, for naps? I have a brand new granddaughter. If I could just nap with her sometimes, Oh my God, it’d be wonderful.
But yeah, I just I started feeling more like this is really who I am and all those other ideas where, because of what I thought others thought that’s who I was [00:33:00] supposed to be. That kind of, yeah. I don’t know if that makes sense.
[00:33:05] Christina Pateros: I love Rachelle that you’re describing that the slowing down got you to your essence. And Linda on the chat asked what I meant by reincorporation when I mentioned reincorporation before, and really with your inquiry, Allie, about the pandemic and slowing down, reincorporation is all about.
Integration and integration happens by slowing down and having the awareness of what we’ve come through whatever threshold it is, whatever between times, whatever that change is. And this is, I think this is the ultimate practice because getting quiet and slowing down allows us to return to our essence again and again, the industrial growth society from decades ago, the whole push was how much can we produce?
So culturally, [00:34:00] we were put into this, we were born into this. I think we’re probably all around around the same age. And so we were born into this idea that the more that we could produce the better off we were, and we know that this is not sustainable. It’s not healthy. I’m an RN as well. I have a private practice in healing.
I, I. Sit with people in psychedelic therapy who are depressed and anxious and have PTSD and have addictions that are not healthy. This is all about knowing that how much we produce is not where it’s at. It’s about coming back to the alignment and connection with the natural world. Indigenous people have known this forever and on the industrial growth society just knocked us off of our centers in go.
And so it’s really our responsibility. I think it’s our responsibility to come back to our essence and our essence will slow us down. Natural. You’re [00:35:00] in Florida, the two of you, oh my gosh. I’m yearning to go to the beach. I’m also a Greek and I’ll be there in September with my cousins and on the island where my grandfather is from.
And there’s just nothing like just hearing the water for me coming up, lapping up onto the shore and then going and soaking in it. So just really aligning with our natural waves. We follow the moon cycles. It’s you know, this is our essence. And I think where creativity comes from.
[00:35:26] Rachelle Eason: I think you hit, you were talking about how basically society has guided us in one way to, and, even 30 years ago, when I was a fourth grade teacher, I had these huge words, these huge letters of the word quality on my, in my classroom, so that I always preach quality over quantity.
I always felt like that was the essence. I always preach about essence and teach about essence and putting that into our art and all that. And I felt it. I honestly, I don’t want to say that I never felt that I honestly passionately felt it for all those decades, [00:36:00] but I think the realization now is I’m older, wiser, and I’m a Shelly, which is a grandma, I have gotten to the point that I think my, I can understand that my essence can grow and change and be different with the seasons of life.
And I know that you talk about seasons of lives, life, Christina and I don’t know. I just, I guess I just never experienced those changing seasons as much as I have now, since, mid I’ll put as Roben-Marie says early to mid fifties that I am in right now, close to the other side, but yes.
So I agree. Yeah.
[00:36:41] Christina Pateros: It’s so much weird.
[00:36:42] Roben-Marie Smith: I just saw Angela had asked a question about rest and purposeful, slowing down with procrastination, getting caught up in creative blocks. Yeah. I can answer that because part of that struggle in slowing down in my mind. It’s just [00:37:00] dealing with that. Okay.
What, again, as I said, what if I can’t come back and do it again?
What if I take too much time off? What if I rest too much? But I think too, it’s with more practice, I’m able to say, I understand this is procrastination. Why is it procrastination? What am I doing? Why, how am I feeling right now? What is it? And then being able to identify that it’s, I’m not saying it’s something I can just like instantly go, cause I procrastinate a lot about things and I have to get down and say, why am I doing that? And tell you, oftentimes, if it’s relating to being creative, it’s relating to what if I can’t, it’s the negative thoughts of what if I can’t do this? What if I go in there and I can’t paint anything and then, dwelling on that too much, then it becomes, okay, I’m just going to procrastinate.
I’m not going to do it at all. And and that can be, a struggle in itself. Creative blocks happen. I, that happens. I had six months of it last year and I thought I’d never come out of it. And lo and behold, it happens. You do [00:38:00]
[00:38:00] Rachelle Eason: no one of the things, oh, sorry. I was just going to add to that.
One of the things to add to that is, and I look at it a little differently and especially cause I’m doing clay. I look at my art, my clay as kind of living entities. And so it’s I have this exchange of communication with it. And one of my writing classes, I talk about introducing yourself to your journal and you name your journal and you give your journal kind of a personality, introduce herself.
And I’m going to show you just this. Now this piece cracked, this piece can not be sold or anything like that. Porcelain is a finicky little devil, let me tell you, but like just this one and I don’t know if you can see when it sits, it leans. And so when I was making this, I was all about leaning in.
That was literally the idea that was going in my head is I creating something that I can flow from. I did a lot of water and kids. I haven’t done watering cans and pottery, I don’t know, eight years, 10 years, something like that.
And I did [00:39:00] watering cans and pictures and all that. And it was about the flow, and again, this crack. So I was like, that’s perfect that this cracked and number one that means I have to keep it.
Number two, I can keep it without guilt because I can’t sell it. And number two is because we all have a bit of cracks, even when we are flowing and we’re leaning into this life transition, those cracks are still gonna come in and we’re still going to seep out energy into places where it does not belong.
I’m still, I’m watching too much TV. My God, 19 seasons of MCIs and whatever four months, that’s crazy. But that’s how I found out that I can sit and relax and whatever.
But to answer that question is I put personification onto my things that I’m making and I have conversations with them and communicate with them.
And without being sent to the looney bin, I [00:40:00] am I am really about feeling that energy between that art and me and isn’t it, my energy, right?
It’s the grounding of the clay. It’s the Earth’s energy, but it’s almost like my news having a conversation with myself. And that’s how I had to do that balance, that procrastination.
Yeah. Maybe I’m not going to work on you today and I’m going to leave you there and I’m going to leave you covered. I have six or seven pieces that need to be etched in and my studio right now, and it’s been sitting there for five days and I was supposed to do it the following day after I made them, but I’m not ready to.
And that’s okay. I go in and I check on them every day. “How are you? Are you still noise? Are you happy sitting there and your cover?” I know I’m crazy.
My husband thinks I’m nuts, but it helps me to realize that I’m taking a break. “You can take a break too. I’m not gonna touch you for awhile. You just chill over there and everything’s going to be okay.”
Allie’s [00:41:00] man.
[00:41:00] Christina Pateros: It’s the interconnection. It’s the trans-personal interconnection of all beings in your, you’ve got a flow going between you and I and the art that’s being created, the Elizabeth Gilbert says, the spirit of a story coming through, who’s going to write it. She’s had experiences that she’s talked about.
And so I love that. And that you’re, you have the awareness that the earth is talking to you through the clay as well. It’s beautiful.
You’re not crazy by the way. So that’s an important piece that I want to say.
You are not crazy. Nature speaks. Everything is alive.
[00:41:33] Rachelle Eason: And the beach does help. And I know Roben-Marie feels the same way.
And even though we’re an hour away, we do, I do try to go to the beach almost weekly and the grounding I try to anyways for the grounding.
And Christina and I met actually at a workshop, Tracy Verdugo workshop years ago on the beach in St. Pete. And we got to put our toes in the sand.
Yeah. Yeah. And that was,
[00:41:56] Christina Pateros: we met there and that, that beach [00:42:00] was the first time I might ever met the sea when I was a young girl wow. Road trip. And so it was a return for me. So talk about integration and reincorporation to return to a really special, specific.
[00:42:12] Rachelle Eason: Tracy’s been here a few times. Roben-Marie. Okay.
[00:42:16] Roben-Marie Smith: I was there at a retreat in St.
Pete with her as well. It was a few years. It was several years ago. I was like,
[00:42:23] Rachelle Eason: Yeah. I can’t remember what year it was Christina. It’s been a while, but it was an amazing thing. And I remember going to dinner Marco was there and I think CiCi was there and Tracy’s family and the rest of us.
And I remember something pivotal happening in my life. I can’t remember. I think I had just found out that I was invited to Disney or something like that. And you and I were talking and you were talking about the grounding. You continue making sure you know that throughout all the hecticness and the busy-ness and all of that, that I still took time for myself.
And I know we always say that take time for [00:43:00] yourself, but then I took time for myself to be grounded, to really feel, really take in the moment, the experience. You sit here and you think about, people do that. I truly do that.
I’m like sitting there saying, “okay, let me remember this.”
Let me make a mental, memory. Let me feel this, let me smell it. Let me touch it. Let me all of that kind of stuff. I have the essence of this energy is flowing through me and our member that came a lot from you in our discussion. I don’t know if you remember that we had a bit of wine too,
[00:43:34] Christina Pateros: but I’m glad you do.
[00:43:37] Rachelle Eason: Thank you.
[00:43:40] Ali Manning: We have a quick question. We have a couple of questions actually. Good one from Carrie, actually. So maybe you have a wants to chime in, but she said she’s transitioning right now to retirement, which. I know many people in our sort of creative communities are doing, and she has a wide open schedule.
And she’s wondering, how does she build in [00:44:00] structure to this freedom, to this to this kind of time she has do. And if you have, cause I love this idea of rest that we keep talking about, but again, there is that idea, but how do you structure that? Do you,
[00:44:14] Rachelle Eason: yeah, I can say one thing to that. And then I’m going to pass it on to our panelists.
So I homeschooled for 21 years, we have four children. I homeschooled for 21 years and we believed in unschooling, which just like taking topics and diving into them. And there would times that our kids would be in our studio at 11 o’clock on a Sunday night because they had an Eureka moment. They had something for their topic that they were studying.
And the only thing we scheduled in was nine o’clock in the morning. Every morning we did quiet time is what we called it. That was journal time and three o’clock, three o’clock ice-cream time. So I, so in three o’clock ice cream time was very important, but so when you, and I’m sure these other two have a little bit more about structure, I’m not a structured person.
And I do believe that people are structured and they need that. But I also believe [00:45:00] in the flow of flexibility and allowing yourself openness for that to enter.
[00:45:06] Ali Manning: Christina. Do you have anything? Yeah.
[00:45:09] Christina Pateros: Yeah. I am very much like you in that way, results that I’m flowing and things are moving all the time. I teach that way. I teach for psychedelic research and training Institute. We have a training next week for healthcare professionals and I have a teaching plan and then I connect in and it may flow in a different direction and that’s how my days go.
And I really return again and again, to, to ritual, not in any sense other than what does. Keep me grounded in what does provide the container, the Sutton setting for my life. And it’s above all sacred space. It’s that the space that I’m in is sacred. What does that mean? To me? It means that it’s, I’m respecting myself and everything around me.
[00:46:00] And that is my desire to connect with everything around me in with reverence and that’s people that’s nature. That’s my I talk to my plants are alive. Of course the plants are medicine. So for ritual it’s really, I don’t have the same ritual every morning. I’ve strived for that and thought that should thing kicks in and then I let that go.
And now there are no shifts. That’s not what works for me. My main ritual in the morning is gratitude. And it’s gratitude that I’m waking up alive. And then I get to have another day and that I’m grateful for my body. I walked the other day seven miles and a lot of those miles were barefoot on cement because just the sandals I had were not working and I wanted grounding and my feet are hurting.
I’ve got some blisters and I had some other things going on. And boy, I was brought back to my body quickly. So I really try to have that before I even step onto the ground from wherever I’m [00:47:00] sleeping, the gratitude that I have a body to be able to live this life and then move forward with the day.
So it seems really simple and it’s not a specific thing for Carrie about how to form it, but go back to ritual again and again, throughout the day, just. And just have some moments of gratitude for, I, I walk a meditation with my students through starting with being at a place that is calm and gentle, whatever that place might be a place that is known and imaginary place, a desired place for me, it’s the beach in water lavender fields.
Be there, breathe, and then go to the mountain of gratitude and think of everything that you can think of that you’re grateful for from the small to the big and then vision, and then leap off the mountain in your imagination and go for it. Just go for it. I’m going to publish a book that the publishers are telling me it’s happening.
Like I’ve been dreaming of this literally for more than 10 years, bust [00:48:00] it wide open, jump off the top of the mountain, float around in the clouds and then come back down, remember to come back to him. So in that space of your Your structure of your life and your day come back down and ground again.
That’s a big one.
[00:48:18] Rachelle Eason: Wow!
[00:48:18] Ali Manning: about you, Roben-Marie? Yeah,
[00:48:20] Roben-Marie Smith: I would say I’m like I’m like you guys as well. I’ve tried and tried to have that structured schedule where Mondays I do this and Tuesdays I do that and schedule creative time for here and it never works for me cause I just, I cannot do it.
I’m thankful that I have a job where I work at home working, make those decisions about what I’m going to do, where I’m structured in and much Christina I’m first thing in the morning, I have my prayer time small devotional and I’m very diligent and very structured about the physical things I need to do for myself, the working out the taking the vitamins.
The certain things I’m very [00:49:00] structured about those things, stretching things that relate to taking care of my body. If I don’t, those things will go to the wayside. I will put priority on other things and do them, and then those things will not happen.
So for me, I, and I know that it helps me because by doing those things, it prepares me and then I’m ready for the day and I’m ready to decide what do I feel like doing today? I know that sounds very lavish to be, what do I want to do today? I want to work on my website today. Great. Or I want to go paint for two hours or whatever that looks like.
And I leave room in my day. Around the things that have to be scheduled for those times, because if I don’t nurture that, then they get, they just don’t happen. And I feel like for me, that’s the, that works the best for me in a creative way. And yes, there’s times when the bookkeeping has to be done and I’d rather not do it, but I own a business.
I have to do these things, but I think it’s figuring out what works best for you because there isn’t one [00:50:00] answer for everybody and you’ve got to figure out, okay, is that working? Is it not working? What can I do to adjust that? But I think what helps me do all of that is that daily routine of these are the things that are not negotiable.
I have to do these things to stay on track and to help my mental well being and my physical well being. Because if I’m not taking my care of myself physically, then the mental part doesn’t do well. So that’s how, I don’t really have the magic answer for do this and it’ll be great because it’s different for everybody.
[00:50:29] Christina Pateros: I so love that Roben-Marie, this is my self-care candle. It’s probably backwards, but I just received this as a gift from graduation. So I love you brought self caring, so important.
[00:50:43] Roben-Marie Smith: Yeah. And it’s different for everyone, but I think that, and it’s funny because I didn’t want to touch on this too, because Rachelle said this a second ago.
Or maybe both of you did. I can’t remember. I was on vacation last week, so I’m feeling very relaxed, and rested. Cause we were at the beach. Yes. I live at the beach, but I go to a different beach for [00:51:00] vacation and we had a full moon and it [00:51:03] was, the weather was cool. There was a great breeze. And the last night my husband and I went for a walk and as I was going to go back into the condo, I just stood there and I just took in the sound and the moon and how it was sparkling on the water.
And I was just like, I want to remember this moment because I’m going to have to come back to it when I’m feeling a little stressed. And be like, yeah, this is great. So anyway, that just happened to me just several days ago was reflecting on that. So I love the question was about her retiring.
[00:51:36] Rachelle Eason: And I know, like I was an adjunct professor until this last spring a year ago, actually it’s been a year and up until then, I pretty much have worked somewhere, even if it was Disney or my own store, whatever I had a place to go. And even if I didn’t have to go there every day, it was still in the back of my mind that Tuesday and Thursday I have to go there.
And so this past year was really the first year since I [00:52:00] was very young stay-at-home mom that I didn’t have a place that I had to be. And I’m not a structured person, like I said, but the morning, like they were talking about this night and what we did for homeschooling and I still do is this nine o’clock journaling time and it is for me.
It was a time to regroup and both said, deciding what I’m going to do later on in the day and as creatives. And I think I was looking at one of the comments, they said, creatives need to be flexible and then make sure you turn up in your studio.
And I think that’s partly turning up in your studio each day. And those two things are, were, are very important. I think for anybody is just to have the door open for whatever’s going to come to allow it to come and be and how you respond to it. But then also make sure you’re nurturing yourself and nurturing your art.
If that is something you want to do, you don’t have to nurture your art every day. If it’s not something that is feeling good at the moment, but. If you keep [00:53:00] walking into the studio or walking here, basket of art supplies. And even if you’re just looking at it and I’m telling you, say, “Hi!” to it, talk to it.
You’re still going to keep that energy flowing between you and your art. So you may not feel like creating, or you may be bogged down with other stuff, but it’s still there and it’s still it’s just waiting for you. You have to do what makes, what feels good.
And years ago I sold a glass kiln because it was up on a cabinet. And I was like, it’s just staring at me and stared at me for two years without me making any glass. And I was tired of it staring at me. I should have put little eyeballs on it because that’s how I felt like it had.
And I ended up selling it and I felt like this whole kind of relief because I was like, now I can take that off my docket. I’m really not wanting to create with glass right now, but because it was sitting there, I felt like I had to.
So don’t put anything in your visual area that’s going to make you feel like you have to do something, put things it’s like [00:54:00] curating your space, which we’ll talk about in a few weeks here, rate your space to make it encouraging and inspiring and enticing in your sanctuary.
[00:54:11] Roben-Marie Smith: I love that. Plays back to something Christina had said really early on about, and I hadn’t really thought about it this way, but it’s also about seeing the art there’s times when I can’t get in there to create, I might not be feeling it, but I want that, can I say the dopamine hit, and I will just go in and start looking at things that I’ve created.
I’ll look at my journal, I’ll look at some things I’ve painted and then I just go, ah, and then I leave and that’s all I needed. And I know that sounds so kooky, but that’s, I’ll do that a lot. I just want to go in, or even before I go to bed at night and I’m just like, I want to see what I did today. And I just get that feeling of yay, I love this. And then that’s enough.
So I know that sounds it’s going to a museum and looking at other people’s art, but it’s the satisfaction of going in and saying, [00:55:00] oh, I did this, I love this. Oh, this was a great day or yesterday was great or whatever. So I just wanted, I, that came up again when you were saying that.
So I’ll do that sometimes.
[00:55:09] Rachelle Eason: Yeah. I think it’s important for transitions as we’re talking about life transitions. And I know Ali, go ahead and jump in. I think you wanted to do a summary.
[00:55:17] Ali Manning: I say we all call me up on the hour. And I really liked the fact that could have came full from.
In the beginning, even if, you’re not creating, you can surround yourself with that. I love that Roben-Marie can, brought that to the background. So I do that as well. Quite a lot too. If I’m stuck, I’ll just look through all journals or just look through old work. I’m like, oh, I’ve done it once I can do it again.
So let’s wrap up with some final thoughts, Christina, is there just one final thought you’d like to leave folks with?
[00:55:41] Christina Pateros: yeah. This circling around just returning to nature, making that time to connect to nature and always whether it’s the moon, like Roben-Marie is in the, or the water glistening feet, bare feet on the ground and being open to receive, being open, to receive the [00:56:00] guidance from the helping guidance from wherever that comes and allowing it to flow through.
Yeah. That’s what I’m feeling right now. And gratitude for Grateful your head too.
[00:56:09] Ali Manning: And you will be Roben-Marie,
[00:56:12] Roben-Marie Smith: thank you for the opportunity to just to share and really just so that I think, so that those that are watching and those that will watch in the future, that you’re not alone in these changes in your life.
You’re not the same person you are in your twenties, that you are in your forties or your fifties. And we go through those seasons and we can fight them. We can embrace them and we can, use those times to see how will my creativity change, how will evolve. And that friend said, things could be better, and don’t reflect on that and what’s to come rather than being, I wish it was like that, or wish you could stay like that or whatever.
But I think that that’s just really important is to just, keep moving forward and just keep being creative, even if [00:57:00] it’s a struggle. Even if it’s hard, just, continue and creativity comes in so many different forms, it’s just like we were Rachelle was talking about the baking and the cooking.
I love to bake and I think that can be creative. And so there’s other things, creativity is in many things in our lives, not just in, going in painting or in creating pottery. There’s so many different things that are creative. So yeah. Thank you for having.
[00:57:25] Ali Manning: You’re welcome. Rachelle, would you like to end and maybe let folks know when our next one is because I can’t remember the date.
[00:57:30] Rachelle Eason: Yes. So I just want to end on the fact that with the note or would that adage, I guess people say, just go through the motions until they feel comfortable. And I’m a big believer of being in the motions, being in the motion of living. So if you feel like you’re just going through the motions of something to get to the other side, Just take a breath and stop and engage in those moments because those moments are just as important as the ones where you had before you were going through this transition.
And the ones you’re going to have after these moments of transition are so [00:58:00] important. So instead of just going through the moments, just to get through them, go through the moments and embrace them and engage them. And I just feel like that helped me so much.
We just want to thank everybody for coming our fabulous panelists,my lovely friend, Allie, I’m just so glad that this came to fruition. This is something that’s been in the back of my mind for months and probably years and years.
And I think I sent an email that I said, when I imagined this happening, we were going to be sitting on a purple velvet sofa and an Italian Atelier and chatting with espressos.
And I’ll tell you, this was just fabulous to, to meet like this.
And Ali and I decided to do three to start out with this, and they’re all about creativity. Of course, this first one is life transitions with creativity.
Next time will be May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. We are going to be talking about nutrition and creativity, and we will also have a guest, Beth Ballinger, who is a nutrition expert.
And then we have a third one scheduled for May 19th, which is [00:59:00] going to be sanctuary and our creativity and our guests are to be announced for that one.
We just, we’re just really thankful for having an opportunity, a platform, a community that we can. Hash out these feelings with, I think it’s just really important that we all come together and realize that even though everybody’s lives look different, we have commonalities and we can share and support with each other.
And I just, and especially in the creative realm, creativity, and it’s not just making, but it’s people who want to serve up, surround themselves with a creative influence as well.
So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You can, I’m going to say. You can find out more about all four of us, our future guests, you can find the recording of this podcast, you can find all kinds of information on the webpage that we created, and it is actually on my website.
It’s https://rachelleeason.com/ourcreativewell, so it is a web page that is specifically designated for our podcast here. And we’re just so happy to, and appreciative and grateful for all of you.
Thank you so much.