Does it feed your creative soul or suck it dry? – Episode 149

Are you doing something because it’s truly fulfilling, or because you think it’s bringing you joy (while it’s secretly sucking your soul)? Here’s a simple test to figure it out.

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Creativity, art. Close up of paint brushes and pencils in a holder on a desk with flowers around.
Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash

Hello! You’re listening to The Feel Good Factor. If you’re a regular listener, welcome back! And if you’re new here, I am Susmitha Veganosaurus. Nice to meet you. Become a Tribester! Go here and join The Feel Good Tribe, my newsletter.

Alright, onto today’s episode.

Here’s a secret to living a high quality, deeply fulfilling life.

We simply have to do more things that feed our creativity, feed our souls, and less things or probably, ideally no things which suck the energy, suck the life out of us, suck our soul out.

Sometimes it’s very easy, very simple to distinguish between the two. For example, somebody might love creating art, doing something on paper, drawing, painting, they lose themselves in it, they go into deep flow state while they’re working on it.

Flow state is something I’ve spoken about a lot on the podcast. But I’ve specifically gone deeper into it on episode 95 where I’ve shared tips on How to Tap into Deep Flow State. So you can listen to 95 after you’re done with this.

The important thing is to be able to do more activities, more work that gets you in to flow state.

Now the artist I’m talking about who likes to paint or draw and loses themselves in it, the same person might feel like, “oh, I need to get onto WhatsApp and chat on a specific group”, because they feel obligated to do it. Not because they enjoy it but because they feel like, “you know, my family expects this” or “the people expect it, my presence is required”.

Whatever the reason, they’re not happy about it. But they spend time doing it. And by the time they’re done discussing, reading those messages, and then getting out, they feel very depleted. They feel drained of energy, they don’t feel very nice. They feel heavy, not light.

So in this case it’s very clear, right? What feeds our creativity and what doesn’t. It’s very easy for us to identify.

I’m sure you can think of several things which make you feel lighter and more uplifted because you did them. And then, with a few things (or even a few people, talking to them, any kind of interaction) where you think, “doing any work here in this space drains me, and doesn’t make me feel good.” When things are clear, it’s at least easy.

I’m not saying we can avoid the soul-sucking stuff all the time, but we can definitely drastically reduce it.

You start by reducing the soul sucking stuff, and over time you’ll see that you’ve been feeling like you need to do certain things which you don’t need to do at all! So you can eliminate those, and increase the the uplifting activities.

But what happens is, in the world we live in today, the social media centric world, sometimes we aren’t able to differentiate between the two. You’re not able to realise whether something is actually feeding your creative soul, fulfilling you, or whether you believe it is, you think it is because it gives you a temporary spike in dopamine, it makes you happy (in a very transient way) so you’re not able to differentiate between the two.

How do we differentiate it?

How do we know if something’s actually fulfilling our soul, feeding our creativity, uplifting us? Or if it’s pretending to do that, but actually sucking our energy out?

This is a tricky little balance. We all like validation. It’s human nature. We like to be told, “Hey, this is great.” There’s a little bit of narcissism in all of us. There’s ego which likes to be praised. It exists in all of us. At different levels in different people, but it’s there.

We often create things for social media because the reward we expect out of it is validation.

I used to post a lot more often on Instagram earlier. Now I’ve stepped away for various reasons and that helps me. But when I was very regularly posting on Instagram, I’d actually love creating carousel posts. I’d spend hours artistically designing it, writing the words, and also writing the long caption text. Posting it felt amazing!

But then, I had the habit of going and checking. How many likes do I have? How many comments do I have? And if I didn’t have enough interaction on that particular post, I’d feel bad. I’d feel like, oh, why did I do it, was there a point of posting this, all this work, all this effort, and nobody’s really liking it or sharing it or whatever. All those vanity metrics.

I’d look at those vanity metrics a few years ago. Now I’ve learnt to stop doing that.

Are those vanity metrics bothering me? This question’s became a way for me to measure if I’m doing something because it’s feeding my creativity, or because I’m expecting validation out of it.

So even for you, this is the way you figure it out. When making a reel, or posting a series of stories, whatever on Insta (or other social media), do you feel like, “doing that, making that, creating that, makes me feel really good and I’m good at it, I find it fulfilling, and it’s beautiful”? And after you post, you step away and it does not matter to you if people are liking it, commenting on it, sharing it. Doesn’t matter what the algorithm does to it. Like, you’re not even bothered. You don’t even look at the insights. It doesn’t even matter to you because the reward from that whole process is from the creation.

The creation of it is the reward.

So just doing that, putting it out there, surrendering and letting it go, and thinking, “okay, wherever this message has to reach, it’ll reach.” Of course this is all under the assumption you’re doing something useful, or something meaningful for the world. Not just some random stuff. Well, less random and more of the useful, meaningful stuff, that’s what you’re creating. And then you do it and you leave it and you walk away. And then it doesn’t even matter to you.

You probably don’t even know, did two people like this, did five people share this? None of it. None of it matters to you. Just having put it out there in the world that itself brings you deep fulfilment. Then you know, “yeah this is what I like to do. This is what feeds my creativity. And this is a platform I put it on simply because I just tend to use that platform.”

In fact, if you created it and never posted it, not another soul in the world saw it, you would still be happy because you had the opportunity, the feeling of flow, to the inspiration or whatever it is to be able to create that particular thing. It’s purely creative for you, and just that.

If that’s enough, then the posting, sharing, wherever you put it, that’s secondary.

Because it’s only a tool. You put it out there. Okay, fine if it’s going to lead to something wonderful, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter.

That way you can truly test it. Every time you share something, post something…actually, not even share and post. Before that. Every time you put your effort into creating something. To put it out into the world, and yes, I gave social media as a example but I’m talking about anywhere, whether you’re sending an email to your mailing list, or if like me right now…how I’m recording this, if you’re recording a podcast or YouTube video, you’re putting out into the world, and that’s it. That itself has been the reward.

Do that and surrender to a higher energy ‘Idam Na Nama’ (listen to episode 100 if you want to know what ‘Idam Na Nama’ is about), and then just let it go like, “here, take this, and let it do whatever it’s supposed to do in the world.” And forget about it.

If you’re able to do that, then yes, you know, as a tool, if you’re doing it as a part of building a brand or a business, you can go and look at the analytics. Not the vanity metrics like who likes this and who commented something meaningless like “oh cute!” or whatever.

Not that, but the actual analytics that matter. Who went and clicked your website link, or who listened to this podcast episode, signed up for your mailing list perhaps, or who on your mailing list when they saw your latest newsletter, they responded, clicked on certain links, etc.

Those are all analytical things which are used as tools.

And even if the answer to all of them is zero, you’re still happy. But you’re analysing these things, looking at these things from the perspective of not anything personal, not any validation, but to see what’s working and what’s not. So that you can do more of it if needed. That’s the only reason to go look at the feedback or the analytics, not for just simple validation.

If you’re able to do that, then you have a formula here to figure out what you’re doing because it’s feeding your soul vs what you’re doing because you think it feeds your soul, and then when you don’t get the result or the validation that you expected, drains you. And it makes you feel worse than if you never did it at all.

Alright! That’s about it for today. If you’d like to be highly entertained, sometimes inspired, then come to the place that feeds my creative soul, my free newsletter The Feel Good Tribe. Sign up and I’ll see you inside the tribe!

Take care. Talk to you again next week.

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Susmitha Veganosaurus

Shorth haired Indian lady, beaming a wide smile. Flowers in the background. Vegan business coach and chef Susmitha Veganosaurus

“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.

If my content resonates with you, join my free newsletter where I share Life and Business Tips, Vegan Hacks, Holistic Guidance, and more.

Vegan cuisine and holistic business building are my two biggest passions. If you’re looking for guidance with vegan cooking, or want to grow your conscious business with joy and fulfilment explore ways we can work togetherhere.”