Living a Free Spirit Life
Someone who knows how to Laugh Play Love out loud and with full authenticity is the lovely, creative Jamie Ridler. Many of you have probably seen her blog or listened to her podcast series, Creative Living with Jamie. If not, get on over there for a huge dose of creative inspiration. (I had the privilege of being interviewed by Jamie last year – you can listen to it here.)
Jamie was kind enough to stop by for a Free Spirit Spotlight interview and I’m so excited to share it with you today.
Jamie, tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative life.
As I write this, I look around my studio and see signs of my creative life everywhere: the vision cards I made to guide me through the year, my dreamboard right above my computer, a container filled with a rainbow of markers, an inspiration box full of ideas for writing, my bright green journal for a new project of creating a collaged page a day. It’s a creativity love bomb in here!
Plus a lot of my creative life is channeled through my business, Jamie Ridler Studios. Through one-on-one coaching, workshops, e-courses, online events and my podcast, I help women find the courage and confidence to awaken their creative spirits and become the star they are!
And to top that all off, whenever I can, wherever I can, I dance.
How did you get to a place where you have been able to embrace yourself as a creative being?
There really has been no other choice. When I deny my creative spirit, I am miserable. I remember a few weeks after I’d wrapped up my training in the Expressive Arts, I was feeling all grumpy and moody and wondering why. My little sister looked at me and said, “Maybe because you’re not doing something creative every week?” Bam! That was it.
I really believe our most important job while we’re here is to be who we are and being creative is part of that.
You host the wildly successful podcast series, Creative Living with Jamie. How did this come about? What have you learned about yourself throughout the last 2 years of doing these interviews?
Thank you so much for those kind words! I just love the podcast and it has been a dream come true for me to hear how much people are getting out of the show. I feel so blessed to connect with amazing guests and awesome listeners. It just fills my heart!
The seeds of the podcast were planted years ago when I led my book club, The Next Chapter, through Gail McMeekin’s 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. As a part of the series, I thought it would be really cool if each week I could interview a highly creative woman. I had no idea how to record, how to edit, how to have it play audios on the site or whether anyone would say yes to being interviewed! And from all those unknowns, came a wonderful series, my first product Your Creative Spark, great relationships with 12 creative stars and eventually the podcast!
One of the things I’ve learned is how strongly I value chatting with people at all different stages of their creative journey. We’re all on the same road and each of our stories matters.
What’s your favorite art medium for self-expression?
I love so many mediums! My first love is dance. It has brought me home when I’ve been lost. It always reminds me of who I am and why I am here. It connects me to my spirit, my body, the Universe and whoever else is on the dance floor. It’s just in me.
Theatre has been my great teacher. I say all the time that everything I’ve needed to know, I learned from the theatre. Writing has been my constant companion – so much so that I often haven’t realized that I’m in relationship with it at all! And I love to paint. Though I’m still healing my art wounds around it, there’s something about the sensuality of painting that I find compelling. And, of course, I never leave the house without a camera. Ever.
What is a free spirit to you?
I love the phrase “free spirit.” Just thinking about it makes me breathe a little deeper, stretch a little farther, smile a little broader.
A free spirit is someone who is simply, totally, completely themselves and who values this so deeply that s/he honors and supports others who are, or want to be, doing the same.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Curiosity is my personal inspiration detector! I get curious about everything, from what’s on the news to what’s happening up the street. My spirit gets caught by houses and design and fashion and cooking and symbols and stories and color and travel and events and trees and the seasons. I’m inspired by the search for meaning in all that’s around us. The arts stir my creative fire, and what’s in our hearts and on our minds is infinitely inspiring. The other day I watched a documentary on a man with a brood of wild turkeys that had imprinted on him; I’m still thinking about it! Inspiration is everywhere.
How do you manage to find time and make space for your creative projects?
Without doubt finding time for creativity is the number one challenge I hear from my clients, my guests and my listeners. That was the motivation behind creating the Sparkles e-course. For 31 days, you receive 31 prompts designed to bring your creativity to life in less than 5 minutes a day. It really can be that simple.
In our daily lives, the most crucial step is to decide (I mean, really decide) that it’s important (like, non-negotiable important). Just like every day I brush my teeth, every day I take a little time for my creative projects. It might just be crocheting a row or capturing some phrases in a journal or listening to a song. When I worked a day job, my projects were my lunch dates.
Once you’ve decided it is important, start making that clear to others as well. I’ll say “Okay, I’m going to go spend some journal time. See you in half an hour.” Once you start treating your creative projects simply as something you do, life will begin to adjust, like a bubbling stream running around the rocks.
What would you say to those who want to live a creative life and find their artist within, but don’t know where to begin?
Find the most un-intimidating way in. Play. I started painting when my 9-year-old niece came over. We hit the art store and bought some little kid paint and some little kid paper and dove in. Using children’s supplies helped me sneak past my fear and judgement and allowed me to just play and remember how much there is to enjoy – regardless of the results!
Create safety for yourself. You don’t have to share anything with anybody. Dance in the bathroom. Write poetry in a locked diary. Make some videos and have a movie night just for you. Let yourself feel your way in to your creative life, without the pressure of an audience. And making it safe means giving your own inner critic the night off too. When s/he shows up with her/his familiar stream of negativity, remember for tonight, you’re just playing. There’s no way to get it wrong.
I’ve also created a free guided meditation that will help. It’s a gentle yet powerful way to reunite you with your creative spirit. Come by Jamie Ridler Studios, sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be able to download it right away – as well as some journal pages to help you hold onto what you discover!
What new projects are you working on and where can we learn more about you?
I host a monthly dreamboard event online under each full moon. I’m really excited about offering a series of meditations that help connect to the power and energy of each moon.
I’ve also been having a wonderful time developing some core creative practices (writing morning pages, meditation and moving) and leading check-ins on both my Facebook page and Twitter. I hope you and your readers will join us!
You can always find me at:
Thank you, Jamie, for sharing a piece of your journey with us and for reminding us the value of making time and space for creativity. You are such a joy and your ability to laugh, play and love the life you are living is an inspiration.
Your Personal Reflection:
What creative play will you make time and space for today?