Marcella Chamorro’s creative journey hasn’t been a straight line. Her career path didn’t reveal itself to her until well after she graduated from college. In fact, she took multiple detours including working at a non-profit, getting her masters degree, and starting a web design business, all before finding her true calling.

She only recognized her true calling of writing, photography, and technology after running her web design business. Through these mediums she is able to help people tap into the serenity and enjoyment they crave.

In this episode, Marcella talks about letting go of your ego, getting into creative flow, and becoming more mindful.

Here are three things you can learn from Marcella:

Let go of your ego

One of the problems we face as creatives is letting our ego get in the way of creating something truly great. Often times we tie our self worth to our achievements or the amount of money we make.

Marcella believes those things fed directly into her ego. “The main thing that I had realized was that for a long time, I had been attached to my self worth, to my achievement, and to my ability to make money. And that was feeding my ego so much. Like I made this much this month or I landed X client, or whatever.”

When Marcella decided to close down her web design business, she was prepared for the blow it would make on her ego. She knew she wouldn’t be making any money, but she also believed it would help her peace of mind. “It was more of a blow to my ego and one that I was looking forward to. So I knew it was going to be an adjustment and I knew the area in my life where I needed the most growth… That’s kinda what I felt was holding me back from peace of mind… So I decided, you know what, you think that you’re cool cause you make money, how about you make no money and see how that feels.”

Our egos often get in the way of being at peace with ourselves. We let it control what we do. We let it drive our ambitions and our lives. But if we are willing to let go of our egos, we open ourselves up to greater possibilities.

Getting into creative flow

One of the problems we often face as creative people is tapping into our creative flow. We know that energy, or spark of ideas, lies within us, we just don’t know how to tap into it when we need it.

Marcella believes discipline is the key to tapping into that creativity. “For me it’s a lot about discipline. It’s a lot about repeating routines over and over, and just kind of triggering that in my brain, and say ‘Oh yeah, it’s time to write now,’ and not having to use a ton of willpower when it’s become kind of like a system… In my experience, if I plan things in advance, there’s not creative flow.”

Another important thing we need to get into flow is working on things that matter to us. We need to choose topics that really speak to us. We need to let it come to us and let go of our ego when creating. “I need to really be feeling a certain topic to… really get into that creative flow. So for me, it’s kind of spontaneous and… it definitely has a lot to do with letting go of the ego.”

Become more mindful

When you work in a creative field, your mind often wanders. Your head is filled with so many ideas that it becomes hard to concentrate. That’s why it is important that you build a mindfulness practice.

A Mindfulness practice allows you to clear your head. It allows you to live in the present moment instead of always living in your head. Marcella practices mindfulness by concentrating on her senses. “The main mindfulness practice for me are my five senses. I use my five senses to just reconnect with what is instead of what I’m thinking about. So either I’ll stretch and feel my body… one of my favorite ones, just because it’s so easy, is to just sit and hear everything. So really listen to all the sounds that I’m ignoring the majority of the time.”

Marcella believes taking breaks helps her get back into creative flow. She believes those breaks, even if they only last ten seconds, help her get through lulls in her productivity. “I try and really check back in to my surroundings via what I’m hearing, what I’m listening to, and then I get back to work. And it could be 10 seconds, but I realized when I did that that I got through that hour of writing or that email or whatever, however long it took, and I felt kind of energized and not depleted.”

Shownotes

  • about Marcella
    • worked at a non-profit after college
      • that was when she discovered blogs
      • had a journal for many years before but it very private
      • left non-profit for masters
      • started her on blog and things took off after
    • started writing about tech and social media
      • exploring what it felt like to blog
      • wasn’t interested in the topic so she moved on to personal development
      • after masters, she moved home to do her own thing
    • started her own business for web design
      • did it to pay the bills
      • was a struggle
      • didn’t like herself as an entrepreneur
      • wanted to change paths to focus on creativity
    • scaled down the business so her employees could find jobs
      • spend six months just exploring and writing
      • started her podcast after speaking at an event in Panama
      • launched podcast for fun
    • on journey to solve problems as an entrepreneur
      • how to overcome demons she faced
      • how to be the best version of herself while creating and serving
  • providing for herself while she was ramping down her web business
    • still had a big client
    • once she gave up that client, she didn’t have income for 6-7 months
    • saved enough financially

13:44 “The main thing that I had realized was that for a long time, I had been attached to my self worth, to my achievement, and to my ability to make money. And that was feeding my ego so much. Like I made this much this month or I landed X client, or whatever.”

14:26 “It was more of a blow to my ego and one that I was looking forward to. So I knew it was going to be an adjustment and I knew the area in my life where I needed the most growth… That’s kinda what I felt was holding me back from peace of mind… So I decided, you know what, you think that you’re cool cause you make money, how about you make no money and see how that feels.”

  • importance of planning
    • was pregnant when she decided to close shop
    • didn’t want to make a rash decision
    • doesn’t plan ahead that much
    • more serendipity than planning
    • not being connected to what you work on after some time
    • didn’t know she would end up podcasting and writing about mindfulness
    • a fan of exploring more than planning
  • the presentation she gave in Nicaragua
    • released her talk in English on her podcast
    • why worrying is ridiculous
    • talked about her journey as an entrepreneur and the pitfalls of being an entrepreneur
    • having peace of mind and creative flow
  • getting into creative flow
    • piece of mind and letting go of all the things the ego cares about
    • it’s about serving people
    • focusing on moving people vs. getting people to like something

19:16 “For me it’s a lot about discipline. It’s a lot about repeating routines over and over, and just kind of triggering that in my brain, and say ‘Oh yeah, it’s time to write now,’ and not having to use a ton of willpower when it’s become kind of like a system… In my experience, if I plan things in advance, there’s not creative flow.”

19:51 “I need to really be feeling a certain topic to… really get into that creative flow. So for me, it’s kind of spontaneous and… it definitely has a lot to do with letting go of the ego.”

  • things that move people
    • personal stories and things she’s afraid to publish
    • saves encouraging emails/messages to her Dropbox to look at when she’s down
  • using story
    • painters on Instagram share stories and behind the scenes of their paintings
    • building up anticipation for your work
    • relating what you offer

25:30 “Anything really, I think, is better than nothing because people can relate. People can’t relate to nothing.”

  •  falling in love with the work of Michelle Armas
    • followed the process of what it was like as a painter
    • fell in love with her life and painting aesthetic
    • had Michelle on her podcast
    • relationship was built because Marcella followed her work

1:23 “If she had never shared anything of her personal life or her personal story and her work,  I don’t know if I would have ended up being a customer, let alone now her friend.”

2:37 “If I just wrote, and I just podcasted, and I didn’t promote my work and stretch myself in that area where maybe it doesn’t come naturally to me, where would my work be. I mean, it would be there but there wouldn’t be anybody watching, or listening or reading. And that might be the case for an artist who’s never really shared personal stories to attach to their work. It might be the next frontier for them to reach more people. So it might feel strange at first. It might feel annoying because you just want to paint, but I think it’s worth exploring.”

  • coming up with stories
    • writes from a place of “What needs to be said?”
    • wrote about a story getting her baby to sleep and tied it into her work
    • takes a “This is me” approach
    • people are excited to see or hear about her kid
    • material from everyday life
    • Instagram #nothingisordinary

5:02 “It’s true. Nothing is ordinary. Everything is beautiful, you know?… Everything should be documented I think and shared. That’s where paintings come from. That’s where art comes from. It’s from either our day to day lives, like the actual things that happen or our imaginations. And that’s a beautiful thing.”

  • mindfulness
    • every moment having a lesson
    • the difficulty in explaining self-awareness
    • “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” ― Oliver Wendell Holmes (Also attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson)
    • planting seeds and see what works for you
    • experimenting and adapting other people’s ideas into your own life

6:00 “The more in tune I am with what’s going on around me, not what’s going on in my head, the more I am able to write, not just the truth, but from a place of creative flow.”

7:12 “I think that our work habits also are difficult to break and I think that self-awareness might be difficult to exercise when it comes to that. But I think the truth is that whatever works for you. Everybody’s different so… if they could exercise some self-awareness to figure out what works for them, that’s all that matters.”

  • her mindfulness practice
    • Mindfulness for Makers
      • email series that has been turned into an ebook
      • sets a timer for 10 minutes and writes, then takes a break
      • making mindfulness accessible and telling people what she knows and experiences

10:39 “The main mindfulness practice for me are my five senses. I use my five senses to just reconnect with what is instead of what I’m thinking about. So either I’ll stretch and feel my body… one of my favorite ones, just because it’s so easy, is to just sit and hear everything. So really listen to all the sounds that I’m ignoring the majority of the time.”

11:40 “I try and really check back in to my surroundings via what I’m hearing, what I’m listening to, and then I get back to work. And it could be 10 seconds, but I realized when I did that that I got through that hour of writing or that email or whatever, however long it took, and I felt kind of energized and not depleted.”

  • favorite quote
    • “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
      • is a very visual person – sticks with her in times when she needs it the most
  • morning routine
    • had one before having a kid
    • mornings are dedicated to her son
    • she does her work when time permits
    • has a “when the baby is asleep” routine
    • keeps her task list short
    • be like water and strive to be as adaptable as possible

16:47 “One of the things that I love most about mindfulness is how it focuses on accepting reality because rejecting reality is ridiculous. It’s reality, you know. It’s not going to help to reject it.”

17:50 “If I wasn’t trying to be as flexible and as accepting of reality as possible, there’s no way I could get done what I get done.”

23:12 “For me creativity is… definitely not about doing something with your hands or making something from scratch. For me creativity is simply fusing whatever you are doing or saying or whatever with your own personal spin or your personality.”

24:01 “I think that everything we do can be creative as long as we try to put our own spin on it and bring our true self to it.”

  • challenge
    • read something on and get to know mindfulness
    • accepting what’s happening around you and putting your attention on that
    • stop time traveling with your mind, open up your mental energy for creativity

Mindfulness For Makers | Marcela’s Main Site | Marcela’s Book

"DON'T MISS AN EPISODE"
Receive email updates for the latest podcast releases!