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Cat Rose Astrology

Cat Rose is on a mission to explore the big questions in life, and encourage you to do the same. This is a podcast for those wishing to deepen their understanding of traditional western astrology, discover why they are here and what path they are being called to walk in this life. Cat Rose is a practicing astrologer who specialises in the personal daimon. She has authored two books, and you can find her work at https://www.catroseastrology.com/
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Now displaying: February, 2019
Feb 25, 2019

What a weird phrase. “I’m in my element.”

It just popped into my head the other day (coincidentally, I was weeding) and before long I was writing this podcast in my head.

What does it mean to be in your element? According to Cambridge dictionary, the expression means: “to be happy because you are doing what you like or can do best.”

Sounds good to me.

I couldn’t find much on the origin of the phrase, so I decided to come up with my own, somewhat educated, theory.

I guess the element it points to comes from the traditional, elements or substances that were thought to comprise all matter in the universe. They’re likely familiar to you: earth, air, fire and water. I know I know - us westerners miss out the fifth element, aether, and unlike the Taoists, we don’t consider wood and metal to be their own elements.

Oh and seeing as we’ll be talking firmly in metaphors today, I won’t be mentioning the ACTUAL elements, definied by the periodic table. Not today. Since I’m a westerner, and not a scientist, we’re going with Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

Now, what I like about talking in terms of these four elements is that it doesn’t take much for us to quickly agree on a pretty much universal language. I think we can all agree that fire is hot. Water is wet. Air is light. Earth is dense. And from these concepts we can really say a LOT about something - or, more interestingly, someONE.

To prove this, let’s do a quick quiz.

I’m a redhead, I blush easily, I’m quick to anger, quick off the mark and full of fiery passion.

Can you guess the element I what I identify with most?

If you guessed fire, you’d be correct! We’re speaking the same metaphorical language.

And then there’s my friend. She has deep blue eyes, cries at every romantic movie, goes with the flow and makes decisions with her heart, not her head.

Any guesses?

I reckon my friend is all about the WATER element.

OK, these symbols are not set in stone (ha - another metaphorical phrase based on our understanding of elements) they are fluid, like… water!

But for the most part, they’re a great shorthand for us to communicate with ourselves and others about a vast range of complex feelings, sensations, perspectives and approaches to life.

This is also the reason I love personality type tests and astrology, but let’s stick to the elements for today.

You might at this point still be wondering why I’m going on about these arguably archaic concepts, but all will become clear soon.

So going back to me digging in the dirt, weeding out pesky greens, and generally having a lovely time on a work-away type holiday, and it occurred to me that I had surrounded myself with something that was missing in my life. Earth.

And yes, I realise the literal meaning but that was just a signpost pointing to the underlying epiphany I was having. I was, until this trip, lacking the EARTH element in my life.

I have an abundance of fire. No one is telling me I could use a bit more drive or to be less patient. If anything, I could probably do with tempering my fire.

And I actually have tempered it, come to think of it, as I look back to my past few years in Brighton. That is one watery - possibly airy too - city. I was literally by the sea. And I was surrounded by incredibly artistic, easy going people who were certainly in touch with their emotional side. I realised my Feeling function, which I associate most with Water, was underdeveloped.

Interestingly, Fire isn’t the element that is least in touch with it’s emotions, it’s really Air that commands the mind and left-brained decision making. But the emotions that Fire commands, mostly rage, passion and obsession, are ones I have let historically get the better of me.

A healthy balance of Fire and Water means tempering those heated emotions, without extinguishing them. It’s looking at them, holding them, sticking with them until they sizzle out.

I did pay attention to this, and started to use more language that spoke to my feeling side. Instead of saying ‘I think this’ I would say ‘I feel this.’

In my journal, I’d write more about how I felt that day, rather than what was happening. If I felt pissed off, I’d sit with it. I would try not to stuff it down, only to let it surge back up later with a vengeance.

I’d say I’ve done pretty well, and my biggest relationship triggers for ragey Cat *cough*family* have improved dramatically.

OK so I’ve worked with Water to temper the Fire. The second element dominating me, I believe is Air. Like I mentioned, this is the one that speaks to my Thinking function.

Oh BOY do I love to overanalyse. If you do to, it could mean that Air has a grip on your mind.

I personally associate INTJs most of all with Air because of how logical they tend to be, as well as being big picture thinkers.

Interestingly, you could be just as likely to be a genius as an airhead when it comes to having a dominant air element. Lots of air can make you indecisive, inconsistent, full of ‘hot air’ and a wee bit selfish.

It’s like air-dominant folk need their balloon popped, they need to be brought down to earth.

Enter: the element of Earth. I was in the rainforest of Peru when I realised I needed to spend less time at my laptop, and more time doing things with my body and with a small community of real live, people. Er - call this a 30 year old crisis if you like, but even months after returning home I felt this urge to be more earthy, more real - it had stuck with me.

Here’s a fun fact: the element of Air is also associated with… technology! Hah. So naturally, an overabundance of Air became next on my list of  elements to balance. Earth is the counter to Air, just as Water is the counter to Fire. Just as I had naturally been drawn to Brighton and embraced my Watery side, I've more recently been led to the Algarve and had the opportunity to develop my Earthy side.

So I've been led to a villa in the Algarve where I’ve spent the past few weeks helping out in the garden in exchange for room and board. It’s a pretty awesome way to travel if you have a flexible job and don’t want to spend a lot of cash on lame, lonely Airbnbs. I get to meet people AND get my paws in the mud.

This was really my idea of an experiment, maybe an extension of last year’s YOF. But I didn’t realise what my subconscious had been doing until the other day, when this phrase popped into my head:

In your element.

I have the hardest time identifying with the element of Earth, if I’m honest. Sure, Earth is stable. Grounded. Hard-working. Persistent. Gritty. Nurturing. Loyal.

But where’s the fun, freedom and flexibility of Air? Where’s the intensity of Fire and the depth of Water? Earth is kind of… boring.

But you know what I haven’t been when I’m up to my wrists in soil, with bugs crawling around in my field of vision, and grass stained leggings? I have NEVER been bored.

I have been so very satisfied. That’s the only word really. Content, may be. Tired, sure, but it’s a physical tiredness. It always recovers by the next day and you know the coolest thing? It doesn’t deplete mental energy!

Yeah. If anything, using the physical energy seems to - seems to - increase my mental energy.

I don’t understand any of this myself, I’m just laying down the facts.

Or the feels, more like.

So how does this ramble about metaphorical elements help you?

Well… How about you identify your dominant element? If you’ve taken a personality type test like Myers Briggs, I’ll bet you’ll find this super easy. Or if you’re into astrology, you’re probably well versed in this.

It doesn’t matter: it’s all the same principle because ALL of this is SUBJECTIVE. Yeah. I’m not saying you literally have more fire in you or that being born under the Sun in Pisces literally makes you a watery dreamer. But… If you identify with these traits and associations , these archetypes, then you may find this process very useful.

Then you can identify what element you might want to enhance a bit more, and experiment with ways to do that. You can be super abstract, just focussing on the quality of an element you know you want to develop.

Let’s say you realise you’re lacking in Air and decide you want to be better at critical thinking, using your rational mind to see the world clearly, so you read a book about the subject.

Or you could be really literal, realising you want more Fire because you’re feeling a little cold and apathetic, so you paint a picture with lots of red and orange, and light some candles (er, but do be careful, you don’t want too much fire!)

 

The parts of me that I’m abbreviating to these symbols, these elements, ALL have their upside and their downside. And naturally, we can let our traits and preferences get out of balance, and our actions and behaviours ultimately reflect that. Then we end up snapping at a co-worker (Fire) or staying in a shitty relationship longer than we should have (Earth.)

It’s super helpful, in my experience to start communicating with yourself in these symbolic ways. Some of you will take to this more than others because yes, we’re all different. But we’re also really similar, and that’s why these systems work. It’s like having lots of different ways to organise your CDs. Back when CDs were a thing. I chose alphabetically. My sister chose colour, organising the spines like a rainbow.

So if you’ve stuck with me through this super esoteric ramble, I applaud you. And as a reward, I have a pretty snazzy online quiz you can take for free, that tells you your dominant element, explains all the four elements in depth, explains how they might relate to your Myers-Briggs type, and tell you what to play up as well as what to watch out for.

You can find that quiz and all the tips at thecreativeintrovert.com/elements

And as always, let me know if you’re enjoying the show! I love receiving sweet reviews on whatever podcast app you use and you can always email me, hello@thecreativeintrovert.com

Feb 18, 2019

Oh boy was this a treat for me. And I reckon it’ll be a treat for you too because today’s guest can only be described as a Superhero in the world of feel-good marketing. Yeah. That’s a thing. And when you hear Tad Hargrave from Marketing for Hippies talk about finding your niche, building a reputation and communicating what you do… I think he can really change the mind of even most marketing-allergic creative introvert out there.

What we discussed:

  • Slow Marketing
  • The importance of reputation
  • Having a lot of different interests and still build a solid brand
  • Experimenting to find your niche
  • Charging what your work is worth (and how to feel good about it)
  • Lack of confidence vs. lack of competence
  • What if one day I decide to call myself the uncreative extrovert?!

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting the Creative Introvert podcast also gets you lots of goodies, from a Monthly Ask Me Anything to a copy of my new BOOK, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

BECOME A SUPPORTER

Feb 11, 2019

I was recently asked the question: what would I do differently in my business if I could go back in time five years?

The answer is... I regret nothing!

Er... but another, more useful answer, is... I would know more. I would know certain things like what to invest my time, money and patience in. I would know what to say yes to, what to say no to...

I thought it might be helpful to share the seven things I came up with - the seven things that I would tell Cat of 2013-4 about how, as a creative introvert, to build a business solo.

 

Self-Knowledge

I like to start with Self-Knowledge, because without it… we’re awash at sea. With it - even with a smidge of it - we can start to orient ourselves, and maybe make our way to less stormy seas.

There are many paths to finding yourself, who you are, what you need, what you want - and you could spend a lifetime on those paths alone.

But for me, there is one pretty direct path - and that is the path of… personality type tests! OK, not the most scientific technique, but let’s face it: you, your ’self’ is entirely subjective, just like these quizzes. You get to decide who you are, what you’re about, and how you see yourself.

With tests like the Myers Briggs Type Inventory or the Big Five or OCEAN model, you have the chance to really reflect on what these tests kick up for you. You might learn something about yourself from the questions you answer alone - like ‘Do you try to respond to your e-mails as soon as possible and cannot stand a messy inbox?’ - that might bring up its own series of insights that you hadn’t even noticed about yourself and your behaviours until you were asked.

Take note of what you agree with, what you adamantly disagree with, and let it speak to you. Ask yourself: what does this tell me about me? What can I do with this knowledge?

 

Focus

Once we have some knowledge about what we personally need, what we value and what our strengths are, we can apply this to a single point of focus.

Gulp. Focus - meaning to focus your attention on ONE thing or one outcome… isn’t exactly a skill that comes naturally to most creatives. We tend to act more like magpies: jumping from one shiny object to another.

Whilst I encourage the ‘Renaissance Person’ style of dabbling in multiple creative pursuits, I also know very well the limits of this kind of behaviour, long term. When our attention is split, and remains split, it becomes nearly impossible to get anything done. Or anything we do get done isn’t of the standard that it could be, had we just focussed on that one thing at a time.

The point of focus isn’t to limit yourself to only one thing… forever and ever… but to focus on one thing at a time, allowing you to dedicate yourself to the task at hand, free from distraction, and then move your focus to your next one thing.

 

Routine

I admit that different creatives need different amounts of routine, or at least different types. Personally, I feel my best and do my best work when I have a solid morning routine - so my first 2-3 hours are set in stone. After that, I’m happy to let more of a spontaneous flow shape my day.

So how much routine do you need? What kind of routine? I’d definitely treat this like a personal experiment. Try out a morning routine. Try out an evening routine.

If you work in an office, see what tasks you can do at certain times of the day. If you work at home, you likely have even more flexibility, but of course parents know that your routine has a lot to do with your kids and what they need.

One thing I’ll say is that you likely have more control over your routine than you think. And if you are a stickler for routine, maybe you need to shake things up a bit. If you’re allergic to routine, maybe it’s worth seeing what happens when you add one routine into your day, like drawing a doodle at lunch time.

 

Courage

Oh courage. I still think of the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz when I think of courage, because he’s great proof - even if he is a talking lion - that you can DO courageous things ad still be scared.

Courage doesn’t mean sacrificing your fear - because fear means something. It means you care enough about something to fear losing it.

The real secret to doing something courageous isn’t having some certificate that the Wizard gives you to prove your bravery: it’s actually much easier to get. All you need is to care enough about the outcome that you can do something in spite of your fear. No flying monkeys required.

I’ll admit, you will sometimes encounter things that you simply can’t bring yourself to do. But it isn’t because you lack courage, it’s because you don’t want it enough. You don’t want the reward more than you fear the possible loss.

And that’s OK! Just be honest with yourself, and decide what you want courage for. If you want it enough, the courage will show up.

 

One Superfan

If you haven’t heard me talk about a Superfan before, I’ll summarise:

  • Your Superfan has the problem you’re solving - solving a pressing problem your Superfan has is a necessary requirement for anything you’re offering.
  • Your Superfan has the same worldview as you - When they see your product, your Superfan will experience the “That’s the one! It was made just for me!” feeling.
  • Your Superfan has time and money to use what you sell - A true Superfan won’t complain that what you’re offering is too expensive. Nor will they say they don’t have the time right now.

Once you know precisely who this Superfan is, and you are aligning your offering with them and their needs… then you won’t have a problem marketing or selling your creative work.

Simple… but not easy. It can take years for someone to truly know their Superfan; some never find them. But I’m a strong believer in taking this slow. Trying to figure this out overnight (been there) isn’t fun and usually just doesn’t get you anywhere.

Next month I’m going to be sharing my process for finding your Superfan in the League of Creative Introverts - we’ll do a livestream with an opportunity to ask questions and all that jazz. If. you’re a member or want to join the League, of course you can sign up over the next week. Just go to thecreativeintrovert.com/lci and you’ll see all the info there.

 

One platform

What I mean by platform is a place for you to consistently share your work.

Argh. Do I have to? I hear you cry. Yes you bloody well do!

Let me just say that there are almost infinite ways to share your work online - a recent Leaguer (that’s what I affectionately call folks in the LCI) has shared an amazing blog post sharing snaps of her studio, the view from her window, some of her work and my god it’s fascinating. And makes me really warm to her, as a virtual stranger, and makes me a helluva lot more likely to think of her when I’m in the market for handmade jewellery.

OK so what is the platform for you?

  • Like Penny, you could go for the blog - especially if writing comes easily to you and you’re confident with platforms like blogger or Wordpress or have a website already
  • Or you could go down the social media route. I also have some Leaguers doing amazing things on Instagram, like Elliot Kesse, @changedotyoga - she’s a yoga teacher and promotes yoga for all bodies, all abilities, and has a lot of body positive messages (as well as hilarious yoga memes) which perfectly resonate with her audience, which includes myself.

Whatever you pick, I have faith that you can find something that feels like a creative extension of your existing work. I feel this way about the podcast for sure. I love writing and thinking about these topics, and I just happen to be flowing that through the podcast right now.

I don’t think of it as my number one marketing tool, even though it is, I think of it as a way of getting my art out; communicating with my Superfans and challenging myself creatively.

 

Community

Hmmm… you probably weren't expecting this hardcore introvert to be spouting off about community as one of the vital tings a creative introvert needs to build a business solo. I mean, isn’t that an oxymoron? Am I being an oxymoron?

Before you unsubscribe from this podcast, let me tell you what I mean by community. Because up until 3 years ago, I had no clue myself. I certainly didn’t think I needed one.

So what in the heck IS community?

People I can go to for help.
People who I can share jokes with.
People who I can learn from.
People I can help.
People who get me.
People who I get.

That’s just my definition. You may have your own - you might add to my list, subtract from it, whatever.

The point is what community feels like. It feels like support. It feels like comfort, but not without interesting challenge. It feels like someone has your back. It feels like purpose, meaning and trust.

Oh boy is community important if you’re playing this creative career game.

I can still remember clearly those long nights I would stay up thinking of what exactly I was doing wrong in my illustration business. What was I missing that they had? Was it my talent? Was it my Instagram strategy? Did I need to read more books about marketing?

Fast forward a few years, and I’m in Brighton, at my own Meetup - Creative Cafe - and basking in the presence of just a small group of like-minds. I might not be best friends with these people, but they were my creative community.

I also found this same feeling of support and mutual encouragement in my online community, the League of Creative Introverts. There, I have the advantage of connecting with folk all over the world, helping each other out, sharing tips and skills, egging each other on - in a gentle way, because we all get it. We know the introvert struggle is real. And we know the joy of being in our own company, and still being able to dip in to our community - because we know the value of it.

 

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting the Creative Introvert podcast also gets you lots of goodies, from a Monthly Ask Me Anything to a copy of my new BOOK, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

BECOME A SUPPORTER

 

Feb 4, 2019

Today I'm chatting to Steve Folland, freelancer extraordinaire and all-round lovely bloke. 

We talk about:

  • How Steve began freelancing
  • Working from home vs. co-working
  • Making video work for creative introverts
  • The personal value of vlogging
  • Marketing your creative work
  • Using email to reach out to collaborators

Steve is also host of the Being Freelance podcast, which I highly recommend you check out.

Connect with Steve:

Twitter

Instagram

Podcast

Website

 

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting the Creative Introvert podcast also gets you lots of goodies, from a Monthly Ask Me Anything to a copy of my new, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

BECOME A SUPPORTER

 

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