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Cracking Creativity Episode 25: Jennifer Palmer on the Power of a Single Event, Being the Subject of a Documentary, and the Power of Technology

Jennifer Palmer is the subject of the upcoming documentary on synchronicity: Time is Art. She is also a writer and the co-founder of SyncChast, a platform that connects people with thought leaders, artists, and pioneers for change. In this episode, Jennifer talked about how her aunt’s death changed her life, what it was like being the subject of a documentary, and how technology is a powerful tool for connecting people.

Here are three lessons you can learn from Jennifer:

One event can change the course of our lives

After graduating with her Masters degree, Jennifer was trying to make it as a writer, but ended up with a job in IT. She found herself floating through life at her tech job instead of writing.

Her aunt’s early death was the catalyst that changed her life. This made Jennifer realize she didn’t want to continue her career in IT, so she decided to make a change. Now she is actively writing and helping connect people through SynchCast.

You should always keep an open mind

When we are children, we have an insatiable curiosity. We approach life with an open mind and playfulness that we lose in adulthood.

We falsely believe that as we grow up we should start having all the answers. We are scared that other people do know the answers, and we are afraid to show how much we don’t know.
This fear hampers our ability to accept the unexpected. When you open yourself up to new information, you increase your ability to be creativity. You can only achieve this by keeping an open mind and admitting you don’t have all the answers.

Technology is a powerful tool for connection

Many people have this false idea of technology. They think that is somehow stiff, stilted and weird compared to talking with people face to face. But technology is anything but that.

Sure you’ll encounter hiccups along the way, but technology can be a wonderful aid for connecting people. She has found that the conversations she has online can be very intimate and close. She also found that once, you get used to using technology, it flows very well. She has even found that you can feel the energy flowing at these events.

  •  interests growing up
    • always inquisitive and led by wanting to learn how to think
    • parents told her you can’t always trust what’s being told to you by the media

      “What does it really mean to know something? What does it really mean to know what truth is?”

    • breaking through normal reality and questioning things
  • education
    • undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College
    • found passion in philosophy
    • got Masters in continental philosophy in Belgium
      • older tradition of asking big questions – truth/evil/good/etc.
  • making it as a writer
    • waited tables while writing
    • got job by accident
      • learned to fix things herself and doing tech/IT
    • was doing tech job more than writing, found herself just floating through

“Sometimes you have to leave what you thought you were doing and  question it and then find a new way or better way that you can do it.”

  • quitting her job and forging a new path
    • knew that she didn’t want to do her current job anymore
    • came about because of the death of her aunt
      • she had an amazing life, but still died relatively young

“What kind of life are you going to have? Is it going to be one where you are waiting to do what you really want or one that you really make a go of it”

  • major life events forcing change upon our lives and question things

“I think it takes something that disrupts that daily life so it almost breaks down on you.”

  • the difference between people who grow vs. those who spiral downwards
    • you have no choice but to grow, even if it leads to spiraling downwards

“We go through sorrow and difficult emotions in life… If you can really let yourself feel it. That’s again something that is what an artist needs… to have that is better than just that dull, kind of non-questioning day-to-day life.”

“If you are able to keep that questioning active and to look at what you’re doing. I think it really makes a difference.”

  • why we stop being curious after childhood
    • we think we’re supposed to have answers
    • when you don’t know something, you’re scared everyone else knows it
    • we don’t want people to know we don’t know something
    • Be ready for the unexpected, and be open to it. Click To Tweet
    • when you’re open to new information, you increase your ability to be creative
    • be open, flexible, and go with the flow

“If you stop doing that questioning, your brain kind of atrophies.”

“You can never be ready for the unexpected, but you can be open to it.”

  • keys to creativity
    • creativity is a frame of mind/state/openness to unexpected
    • get into a creative frame of mind instead of trying too hard to do stuff
    • creativity is about consistency, not doing something when you feel like it
  • Time is Art documentary
    • capturing the uncapturable phenomena of synchronicity
    • when you make a film about synchronicity, you will find it
    • they found her writing online and wanted to use it to narrate/frame the film
    • initially didn’t know she was going to be the subject of the film
  • synchronicity conference
    • Gary Bobroff had course through her company SynchCast
      • mentioned he was putting on conference on synchronicity on west coast
      • heard him say that, but it didn’t sink in
      • asked if he needed help with filming the conference
      • brought idea to filmmakers, who were thinking about going to conference too
      • did a crowdfunding campaign to pay for crew to film at conference
  • other moments of synchronicity
    • whenever the crew all meets up, they find things that sync up
    • filming in Mission district of California where there are murals
      • alien faces and UFO imagery
      • she got woozy on escalator ride
      • homeless man kept saying  to her “Did you hear it? Can you hear it?”
      • the film crew noticed on the memory card there was a blip they didn’t remember filming
      • camera was accidentally filming at the same time she was having her moment elsewhere
      • the footage looks like a UFO flying overhead
      • you can hear in the footage Maya saying “Can you hear it?”
  • poem concepts that were included in film
    • took things that resonate with Katy and synchronicities she had in the past with eyes and numbers
    • created streams that incorporated those themes
    • used them to frame conversations an narration
  • synchronicities that happened after filming ended
    • noticed she has mirrored the story from the film again since it ended
    • following questions and seeing where they take you
    • realized the nature of her story
    • living intentionally and creating the results you want
  • other things she’s writing
    • fiction and short articles for Reality Sandwich & Evolve and Ascend
    • appeared in books on synchronicity and social media
    • creating a book with all the conversations from the movie
      • discussions in transcript form and some of the details behind them
  • screenplay based on blog she wrote for years 2002-2006
    • fiction blog about 3 different characters and adventures they had
    • protagonist who has been crushed by the world but has a voice
    • takes place from before 9/11 through 2009 in NY and Europe
    • plan to get screenplay to people in the industry, if not, give it to a graphic novelist
    • originally started as novel, but always thought of it as a movie
  • Synchcast
    • incorporates themes she’s interested in
    • involves people in the movie or could have been in the movie
    • in a time where the world seems like it’s changing
    • going through archives to revive content
    • create online courses
    • built a course with Penn State Professor Richard Doyle
    • works well with people who can’t physically move around as much
    • ongoing shows about astrology, meditation, and have free courses for people to learn from
    • allowing people who normally can’t meet to connect online
  • convincing people you can make strong connections with technology
    • assumption that tech will make things stiff and stilted and weird
    • tech is an aid to connecting people
    • people are unsure of how it works so they are afraid to use it
    • sometimes, not being face to face can even take the nerves off

“Having a conversation online, often is very intimate, very, close, and… it’s not stiff. It flows really well and  that even surprised me when I first started working with these mediums.”

“Once people get used to it and just learn how to use it, they find that it flows and is really intimate.”

  • reactions of creators and audience of online events
    • people have a connection at these events
    • you can feel the energy of these events, even though they are online
    • Napoleon Hill’s The Law of Success – ether and being connected with each other

“When we connect with one another it’s not just our physical selves, there’s something else connecting us as well.”

  • morning routine
    • gets up early to catch the sunrise
    • quiet time and has great view of the sunrise
    • holds off going online, takes a moment to plan out her day
  • creative people
  • books, resources, podcasts
  • definition of creativity
    • when you are too controlling of your art, you can stifle it

 “For me, creativity is kind of a dance, but it’s a dance where you learn and you strengthen yourself and strengthen your moves. You learn all the steps, but then , in that, you learn, you’re able to then explore and be open to what might just come up and be able to perform it and be fearless.”

“Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the creativity killer for sure. Fear of all sorts of things, is the worst. If you can get fearless, whatever that means, or however you can do that, then your creativity will get amplified.”

  • overcoming fear
    • comes down to self-work and self healing
    • you have to let yourself feel things you might not want to feel
    • there’s no shame is asking for help

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