Have you ever felt just “off”? We don’t always know what it is, but we can sometimes have a feeling that something in our lives isn’t aligned with who we really are. That moment happened for Amber Rae and it sent her inward to listen, re-evaluate, and just be.
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If you’re not familiar with Amber Rae’s work, she is a global advocate for emotional well-being and self-discovery. She turns this highly insightful wisdom into art, best-selling books, and engages audiences world-wide. In there latest book, The Answers Are Within You, she explores how aligning with your true self is the best way to find peace and takes readers on a journey to the answers they seek.
What does it mean to be in alignment?
Being in tune with yourself means honoring what you know is true and what makes you happy. We betray ourselves when we fall out of alignment, causing all sorts of woes. Acting from a place of alignment feels fulfilling and energizing.
Being in alignment with our true self means that we don’t define ourselves by what other people say about us.
Why is it important to be in alignment?
When we’re aligned with our true self, we’re loving, open, and compassionate. We act from a place of authenticity, which makes us feel good and brings us joy.
A person who is true to themselves is more creative and able to express themselves, is less agitated, and has less stress. They have more self-discipline and self-control, and more peace and contentment.
When we’re in alignment, things feel effortless and we can accomplish much more and be more productive.
How can we tell when we’re not in alignment?
When we’re not aligned internally, we feel restless and anxious. We force things and lose connection to what makes us feel alive. We experience mental, emotional, or physical health issues. We tend to repress our true feelings and hide what’s going on in our lives. We can no longer dream of what’s possible for us. We feel miserable and know that something is off or not quite right. In simple words, we don’t feel like ourselves anymore.
How can we realign with our true self?
One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is to reconnect with who we really are because we came into this world to grow and experience joy in our unique way, rather than playing by someone else’s rules.
It’s not easy to stay real in today’s world where many people live their lives for others, but we can all start with small steps that can help us live more authentic and joyful lives.
Here are some practical ways you can try to connect with your true self and find inner peace.
1- Spend time alone to gain clarity.
Spending at least 30 minutes alone every day can do you a lot of good physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. It allows you to relax and reflect on how your true self is different from who you’re now. It gives you clarity.
Most of the time, the answers and clarity we seek are already within us. Ask for inner guidance and give yourself time to be quiet if you want to receive it. Just sit in silence, meditate, go for a walk, or watch a candle burn.
2 – Tap into your intuition.
A powerful way to connect with your true self is to connect with and trust your intuition. When something doesn’t feel right, it often isn’t.
Amber describes what intuition feels like in her new book:
Intuition feels like a clear knowing felt from deep within. Intuition isn’t focused on the past or future; it’s intent on the present. Intuition may come in the form of a quiet, gentle whisper or “hunch” felt in your body. Other times, it may shout “NO” to get your attention, signal danger, or help you avoid making misaligned decisions. To access the wisdom of your intuition, consider the question that’s in your heart. Then, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and tune in: Does this choice feel contracting or expansive? Does saying “yes” cause me to feel delight or dread? If money wasn’t a consideration, would I still say “yes”?
3- Review your boundaries and start respecting them.
Do you know your true needs and desires? Do you honor them? What things do you do just to please others? Do you find it difficult to say “no”? Do you feel guilty when you decide to put yourself first? Take the time and space to think about your boundaries and start respecting them. If you respect your own boundaries, others will respect them too.
4- Give yourself a physical and mental break.
It’s almost impossible to find your true self again if you’re hard on yourself and blame yourself for what went wrong. Let it go and give yourself a hug. Tell yourself you’re doing the best you can. If you need a break from social media, take it. If you need a vacation, take it.
Don’t let the fear of losing your followers or the opinions of others keep you from doing the right thing that works for you. If you practice self-love and self-care, it’ll surely pay off. Keep reminding yourself that you’re imperfect, yet worthy.
You are headed in the right direction
We get frustrated when we’re not at our best. But we should know that no one can stay in alignment forever. We all experience contrasts in our lives from time to time that can cause us to fall out of alignment. The key is to not lose hope and to engage in practices and activities that can help you get back to the “real you.”
Listen to the Podcast
Chase Jarvis: Hey everybody, what's up? It's Chase. Welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis live show here on Creative Live. This is a show I sit down with amazing humans and I do everything I can to unlock their brain with the goal of helping you live your dreams in career, hobby, and life. The guest today is the one and only Amber Rae. Her second time on the show. The first time we talked about her book called Choose Wonder Over Worry. Today, we are inviting her to share a completely new chapter in her life, reorientation around her work, her values, and specifically a new book called the answers are within you. It's an unreal conversation. And believe me, she has been in the New York Times, Today, Self, Fortune, Forbes, Entrepreneur. Her writing has been everywhere, and for good reason.
Chase Jarvis: We cover things in this episode like how to relate our internal world to how we show up for ourselves in the real world. Four steps, for example, that she went through in taking an entire break from social media. If you wondered if that's a good thing for you to do to put the pencil down for a little bit and take a breather. The concepts of discipline versus commitment, how creative processes are seasonal and how to understand those. The non-linear path, the nature, rather, of personal growth. It's not always forward, we sometimes have and take a step back. And most importantly, how to not die with the gifts that you have inside of you. It's an incredible episode. I will get out of the way and let you enjoy yours truly with Amber Rae.
Chase Jarvis: Amber Rae, so great to have you back. Welcome back to the show for your second time. We're thrilled that you're with us.
Amber Rae: Thank you. Thrilled to be here.
Chase Jarvis: It's been a minute. You were one of our first audio only recordings super early on in pandemic life 1.0, I don't know what life we're on now. Maybe three or 4.0. But it's nice to have you on and see your face. How are you doing? Tell me what's the latest?
Amber Rae: It's good to see your face as well, also.
Chase Jarvis: Thank you.
Amber Rae: It's funny, I was coming onto this thinking we were audio only. And about 45 minutes ago, I was like, wait, this is video? And I was like walking around in a robe drinking my tea. And I was like, okay, I got to get ready.
Chase Jarvis: Oh, I love it.
Amber Rae: And I just moved into a new place Topanga, in California. And so I've got boxes everywhere, but as you can see, I'm so sort of in this wooden cabin next to a creek.
Chase Jarvis: Oh, so cool.
Amber Rae: So, I'm in a place of feeling peaceful and present.
Chase Jarvis: Nice. Well...
Amber Rae: Despite the chaos of the world.
Chase Jarvis: Right, right. And so you are in LA now, and that means you've moved. I also saw on social media that a year ago, you made a post where you were going to take a break. And during all of this time, you've been writing an incredible book called The Answers Are Within You. And it seems like all of those things are related. Now, before we get into The Answers Are Within Us, Within You being the title of the book for the handful of people who either didn't see your first show here on, or the first time we had you on the show, or who may not be familiar with your work, why don't you start off by orienting us in the universe of how you describe yourself, your work and what your focus and interests are right now?
Amber Rae: Great. I'm an author, an artist, and a speaker. My first book was called Choose Wonder Over Worry. I've been a long time, how I got into this was I'm more of a memoirist and a writer. I started a blog 15 years ago sharing the vulnerabilities and truths about my life, not realizing that anyone would care. And suddenly people, I sort of accidentally built this community of people saying, "Wow, thank you for putting words to the things that I've been feeling and experiencing." And I realized that my gift was really being able to put language to the human experience.
Amber Rae: And so I do that through my writing, I do that through illustrations, I do that when I'm on stage. And yeah, so that's my work. What I'm so deeply passionate about, emotions and our internal experience and how we relate to our internal world and how we really come home to ourselves. And I think in this last year, I've been going through a whole process of kind of destroying what was no longer aligned and in full integrity, and in a process of rebuilding. And so I really realize that a lot of what I create, I'm creating for me too. And so I'm creating things that I hope bring clarity and hope and joy and a sense of presence and peace to our lives.
Chase Jarvis: That is, if not everybody's seeking that, I think that's a thing that everybody should seek. Alignment, peace, connection, vitality, some of the other words that you used. And that's one of the reasons I love your work going back to Choose Wonder Over Worry, an amazing book that I think the subhead really helps us understand it too, which was Move Beyond Fear and Doubt to Unlock Your Full Potential. So that is essentially a shorthand for what this particular show is about. So that you have been through a new process since your last book personally, and that you've written about, again, understanding the answers are inside of us. I would like to start off today's conversation around the new area of focus for you, is how did you discover that there was this lack of alignment?
Chase Jarvis: Because right now, someone who's listening to this as they're jogging down the trail or sitting in traffic or on the subway or wherever they're listening to shows or watch them, they're saying, "I don't feel perfectly aligned. I'm not sure what alignment feels like." Or, "I know I am totally out of whack." And then we've hooked those people. But how did you realize that there was sort of some sort of disconnect in either your value system? Or what were the signals that you needed to make some changes?
Amber Rae: Yeah. Something just felt off, to be honest, and I couldn't put my finger on what. And it was like something, it was like, I no longer fit in my clothes in a way. And so my process was I sort of evaluated every part of my life. I looked at the way that I create community, the way that I create content online. And that, I asked myself, does this bring me joy? Is this feeling aligned? Is this feeling an integrity? Is this feeling authentic? And I realized that with social media and content creation, here I was a writer and artist that suddenly was a media company and was trying to turn out so much content and every week so that I don't lose my following on Instagram. And if they changed the algorithm, there was like, I started to create from a place of fear and scarcity rather than from a place of power, abundance and truth.
Amber Rae: And so that's what actually led me to do a pause on social media because I thought, Hmm. I realized I stopped asking the question of what I have to say with the things I was creating? And I started asking the question, what does my audience want from me? Which I think can be healthy to, what does the audience want and need, and how can we meet that? But I'd almost lost touch with my origin as a memoirist and a truth teller. And so, I took the pause on social media and then I looked at where I was living, and I was living in New York City. And New York, I'd wanted to leave there for many years. And I just began to slowly reevaluate every part of my life to the point where I realized that most areas of my life were out of alignment and needed some changes. And so...
Chase Jarvis: How do you do that without like, shattering everything? Because you're talking about dismantling, like, okay, career, audience, how I spend my time, where I live. Is it possible to do that without blowing the whole building up?
Amber Rae: I wish I could, for me, there had been moments in my life where it was like, oh yeah, this part of my business does not feel... I'm trying to think of an example like, oh, I don't want to do on online courses anymore. It doesn't feel, so I'm going to stop that side of my business and try this. I think there's small ways to do it. And then sometimes life requires you to blow it up. Mine over the last year happened to be more of a blow up, not to say that finding alignment has to be this big thing. I think it can be in the small decisions we make every day. It can be what is the morning practice that is going to have me feel centered and present with myself? When I find myself in anger or defensive, how can I respond from a place of presence and non-reaction?
Amber Rae: Like, I think it's like the smallest little moments we can begin to align of how would my highest self respond to this? Or what does it look like to embody my values and embody my integrity moment by moment? So I think it comes in our daily small decisions. For me, it just kind of came in more of a life revamp.
Chase Jarvis: Good, a restart. So I have pulled up the post that you spoke of where you took a break, and I'd like to read a piece of it.
Amber Rae: Sure.
Chase Jarvis: And maybe we can dig one level deeper. It says, "Hi Lovelies, I'm signing off social media for some time to focus on my creativity, my next book, The First Cohort of Creative Alchemy. After 10 plus years of consistent writing and sharing on the internet. I've wiled, in parentheses, I've notice that the pressure I place on myself to keep up on Instagram and quote, come up with new content ideas, is taking me away from accessing the depth of writing and creativity that yearns to come through me. As magical as this platform can be and as grateful as I am to this community to keep seeing a visual tombstone in my mind that says, Amber Rae's Time Well Spent, thousands of hours and posts on Instagram. And that visual just doesn't sit well with me, so I'm taking a break to reevaluate the way I create, share and cultivate community."
Chase Jarvis: So first of all, incredibly self-aware and brave thing to put out there in the world, which as you articulated earlier, you see yourself as a truth teller. And obviously that sounds like the truth, right? When we hear the truth, it just sounds a little different.
Amber Rae: Yeah.
Chase Jarvis: So you said in the post, why you made that judgment and that call, how did it affect you?
Amber Rae: Well, I wrote the book and finished the book in two months. So that was helpful. I think, life and even the title of this book, The Answers Are Within You, there is so much noise in modern life. There is the news, the pandemic, the fear, everywhere we turn there is noise and there is angst and there is worry and there is just so much that is not ours. And so I was finding that social media was yet another layer of noise. And in that layer of noise, I was, I think, operating from here, trying to keep up with this hamster wheel of Instagram content. And my content comes from a much deeper place. And so what came through was I think, truths that I was pushing beneath the surface. And so in that place of quiet, not only was I able to complete this body of work and guide, I ended up guiding I think it was 85 creators to birth their own creative work alongside that.
Amber Rae: But some truths about my life. I was in a marriage that I completed last May. Some truths about my life that I was really afraid to admit to myself and terrified to name as truth, I think bubbled to the surface because I finally gave myself the space of quiet and listening.
Chase Jarvis: How fast after you off the... Or turned the volume way down on the noise, I don't know if we can ever turn it off. But how long after? What was that process like? How long after was there some light bulbs going off? Was there some fear in that when, because I know when I turn all that stuff off, there's an immediate sort of like, something's missing, what's missing?
Amber Rae: Yeah.
Chase Jarvis: And it's sort of like all the best stuff is on the other side of that uncomfortable feeling or on boredom or when you realize that I don't have all these things stimulating my neurology. How long for, can you describe the process? And then how long until you started recognizing that this is a thing, this is good for me, and I'm going to extract value and lean into these feelings that and the space that I've created?
Amber Rae: Yeah. I think if I were to put it in stages, which I'm going to attempt to do right now, thinking out loud.
Chase Jarvis: All right. Real time, I love it.
Amber Rae: I think the first stage was fear and fear was, oh my God, I'm going to lose my people. They're going to be mad at me. What if I create this thing and then they don't want it because I'm not creating content? There was all of that fear based thinking. Then I think there was the stage two was withdrawal. Which was, I had all of these dependencies. When I post something and something goes viral, I think a part of me is like, oh, I don't care about those things. But like, no, that does something to you. It makes you feel something, it makes you feel like your work is important and worthy. And so it was being really honest about where am I, as Brene Brown talks about, hustling for my self worth? And where am I depending on these different platforms to give me a sense of enoughness and a sense of my work being worthy?
Amber Rae: Side note, but I have a friend who is an artist and he creates bodies of work over years of time. And it's so funny to me because he is like, "Social media, what?" And he's like, "I'm working on this one idea and one project for years and no one is going to see it until like, I'm ready to show it to the world." He's not capturing his process. He's not bringing people into his world. He's not updating what it feels like to... He just like so in it, and I think there's something so admirable about that because he doesn't need that external validation. He doesn't need that external approval. And so it was in that withdrawal period, I think it went into a space of stage three would be like, self honesty. Of why am I doing this? And where is this coming from?
Amber Rae: Actually one of the concepts in the book was inspired by this, but am I doing this for love or from love? Am I doing this for power or from power? Am I doing this for joy or from joy? For validation or from self validation? And I think that's where the assessment process will began for me, that started at this relationship with social media in a community. But then I realized it was permeating in other areas of my life. And so I think once that self honesty stage came up, the next stage was deep listening. I've been an avid journaler for most of my life. And it's funny, I always know the periods when I'm not journaling are actually when I need it the most, and I'm hiding from and resisting something. And so I think for months I wasn't writing, and then on the other side of this ride, pen to paper, I started putting the paper. And once I tell myself the honest truth, it's hard to unsee and unknow it.
Amber Rae: And so I think, that was like January, February I think I started to see some things and know some things about my life that needed to shift.
Chase Jarvis: And does this come to you in the form, I'm trying to get a little specific here because I think this tactically speaking is something that is so valuable. This being honest with one's self, the trying to understand what you truly stand for. You mentioned earlier briefly your why, and this can be a very simultaneously obviously very powerful process, but also a very disjointing one. And so for the people who are listening and watching, we have to give, we have to give us some hope that the upside is worth the pain that it goes through to...
Amber Rae: Yeah, yeah.
Chase Jarvis: To be self-aware or become self-worth or take the time. So can you give a testimonial for the ROI of going to an uncomfortable place?
Amber Rae: I'm so glad you brought that up. Well, I'll say on the other side of the most intense, transformative, difficult, terrifying, yet beautiful year of my life, I have never felt more alive. I have never felt more present, more peaceful, more in my body, more in integrity with the truth of who I am than any other moment in my life. And so, I think for me that was big sweeping life changes over the last year, but I also know the relief that has come when I've said no to an opportunity that's not fully aligned. And then the door that opens to find and discover something else that's more true.
Amber Rae: I also know the relief that comes from having a difficult conversation with a loved one or a partner or a friend that maybe I'm avoiding because it's uncomfortable. But learning to shift my relationship to conflict and have that hard conversation actually ultimately leads to more intimacy and closeness. And so I think when we're talking about alignment and integrity here, integrity is, are you showing up? Are you doing what you say you're going to do? And are you showing up in alignment with what you value? And then I think alignment is like living integrity.
Amber Rae: And so, I think the ROI of it is living courageously, truthfully, authentically, and really I feel like I'm the word almost isn't proud, but I'm like, oh, I'm so proud of you. Like, before it was like, I felt like sometimes... Julia Cameron talks about this in her book, The Artist's Way, how they're like these spiritual checks, like, did it again, did it again. And your spiritual self is kind of like, ugh, I didn't have the hard conversation, or had a third glass of wine instead of doing my writing, or whatever it is for you. Those things that, the ways that we avoid. And for me, I've had a new checklist in that checklist is like, I did it, I did it, I did it. I did did the hard thing, I had the hard conversation, I spoke the truth and there's nothing more powerful than that.
Chase Jarvis: It's almost like there's a... In your book, which I want to get to your new one, The Answers Are Within You, which is incredible, by the way. Congratulations. And I'll just one comment on the format. It's basically a set of sort of small ideas and aphorisms that I found myself at first when I picked up the book reading front to back as one does a book. Got tons of value because of the way that you laid it out. But since then, and in revisiting the work in advance of our conversation today, just going from topic to topic and the way you've outlined them in the beginning, I can literally like jump to the section called Mining For Inner Treasure, as an example.
Amber Rae: Yeah.
Chase Jarvis: So I want to commend you on taking a chance with a format, I think it's really cool and invites both the longer journey and also sort of a maintenance, like little tuneups along the way, which is how I've used it. But in doing the piece that you talked about, this understanding what truth feels like or what it feels like to you when you say the truth, it seems like there's a bit of like a contract that you've made with yourself.
Chase Jarvis: And again, these are my words, not yours, to be fair. But I'm trying to understand what I felt like in reading it. And in most in hearing you say that last point about like every time I made a decision that was in line with who I've put on paper and the concept I have with myself, like some sort of momentum or inertia. Now I realize these are my words, but I'm hoping you can respond to those. Is there some way that this is like you made a deal with yourself and if this is accurate, how is this different than discipline? I had the discipline to do the 20 pushups today, or whatever. Because discipline and alignment, they can sometimes butt heads, or feel unsafe, or painful. So how would you respond to, is it a contract and if so, how is it different than discipline? What does it feel like in the body? Because I know that's a thing you write extensively about.
Amber Rae: Right. I actually like the word contract. I hadn't thought about it previously that way, but it is, it's almost like I've written this contract with myself that I will live the truth of who I am, I will choose courage over comfort and truth over harmony, I feel like is signed Amber Rae. And even when it's uncomfortable and terrifying and uncertain, I will still lean into courage and truth. Like that does, somewhere inside of me I made that contract with myself. Made that vow with myself, maybe is a word that feels more true for me. And I think on the difference between discipline and I'd say commitment, I think discipline sometimes at least my experience of it, this might not be everyone's experience of it.
Amber Rae: Discipline, I think is like doing for doing sake. I think discipline get caught up in unnecessary suffering. I think discipline can get caught up in the task based thinking rather than the why based thinking. Whereas like if I make a commitment to honor and take care of my body, that seasonally could change. But if my discipline is I have to do 50 pushups, I don't know, like for me that feels a little bit constraining. I'd rather be like, okay, I'm committed to honoring my body and taking care of it. What does that look like for me in this season? And how can I do it in a way that feels like I'm honoring myself and not over pushing myself?I've recently, I'm obsessed with something called the class by, I don't know if you've heard of the class, it's like this spiritual bootcamp type thing, but it combines mental, emotional, and of course physical, it's like incredibly physical.
Amber Rae: But you'll be like, doing your 17th burpee. And they'll be like, "What is the inner critic saying right now" Like, where is your mind? Come back to your breath. And so it's like this whole rant, but I think through our commitments, we can find the practices that move our soul. And I think ultimately I'm always wanting to be moved by the things that I do and create. And so I don't know, commitment in a vow feels more just from a language perspective, inviting than discipline. And, but that word might work for someone else.
Chase Jarvis: Yeah, no, I find it interesting and oftentimes semantics can align us or sort of get our wires crossed. And I like how you put the word commitment and being committed to something that's a higher idea rather than just the task. Because we often then can get overwhelmed with individual tasks versus the higher order thinking of what does my body need right now? You said something that I want to dive in on, aside from, I'll just spent 10 seconds talking about the class which you're talking about. It's an online streaming service that combines basically meditation and movement in some way, shape or form. Is that a reasonable assessment of it?
Amber Rae: Yeah, yeah.
Chase Jarvis: Yeah, you go to TheClass.com and check it out. So it's interesting to know that you care about that. Sidebar over.
Chase Jarvis: So you used a word that I want to keep pulling on this thread, and it's related to discipline and this sort of awareness, the higher, the why, to use your word. And that is the seasons, you talked about seasons. This has come up for so many guests on the show. And ironically, whether it comes from the seasons of the year, fall, winter, summer, spring, we feel differently. It's dark at whatever, four o'clock in the afternoon here in Seattle this time of year.
Amber Rae: Yeah.
Chase Jarvis: So you just can't do as much. And you can feel how winter feels different than summer. And we've had world class athletes on the show and there's the season where their sport is happening, and then there's the off season.
Amber Rae: Right.
Chase Jarvis: So whether you're thinking about seasons in either of those contexts, what do you mean by season? I think there's a lot in there that is valuable. So can you talk more about that?
Amber Rae: Yeah, seasons. When I'm creating and in a new body of work, that becomes that season, that becomes the thing that I'm devoted to. And it really, I think the biggest shift for me happened in my creative process when I stopped thinking that I'm making the thing, and I realize that the thing is making me. And so we are in this symbiotic relationship, we are in this creative dance. And as much as I'm like, I want to get a thousand words written today. I always, as I was writing The Answers Are Within You, I'll ask the work, like what wants to come through you? Or when I couldn't figure out how to structure this book and I had thousands of pieces of art on my floor, and I was banging my head against the door. Finally, I turned the book and I was like, how do you want to be structured? And this might sound crazy. Because you're like, do they talk back to you?
Amber Rae: But I think, whether it's my voice, I don't know, it's the book's voice, but I think when I'm so in my mind of this is the way it needs to go and this is how it needs to be done, that I don't take a step back and try to get a different perspective. And so when I take a step back and I'm like, how does the book want to be structured? Not how do I, Amber, think the book needs to be structured? How does the book want to be structured? It instantly came to me that the book actually wants to be more of an oracle book. And the book wants to be something that you can grab and open to any page and let that be the piece of wisdom that's meant for you. And so I'm ranting away from the idea of seasons.
Amber Rae: But I think seasonality to me is about the full immersion in whatever has my attention then. And sometimes I think seasons can match and mirror the seasons of nature. But I also think the season for me over the last nine months of my life, which okay, maybe I was birthing a new baby, maybe I was rebirthing myself, was a season of total reconstruction. And so that required me somehow in the midst of this total reconstruction, it was like divorce, launched a book, moved to a new place. I felt a little bit like a crazy person running around. It was like all of the most stressful life things happening at the same time. But I think because I realized that this isn't forever, this is a season, and this is going to be a very uncomfortable and perhaps stressful season, but it's going to be one of full reconstruction. And so I think for me, the simple act of labeling the season that I'm in allows me to feel less powerlessness and a greater sense of control. And distance, like there's healthy distance in it.
Chase Jarvis: So this is, to me, there's so much packed in here. But it's obviously, it's the reason that you said you wrote, once you actually made some of those changes you were able to write the book in two months. And that's sort of this idea of when you tap in and the spigot is on and you're just leaning into that thing. And that is, whether that's a flow state or whatever you call it, I find that having and lots of guests here on the show are 12 years in, mostly talking to people in our community that there's so much resistance in our lives. And what we ought to be looking for is the things that are blocking us, and trying to remove those blockers. Which is, I think you use the word alignment, right? It's sort of like you line up the puzzle pieces and then the ball can roll downhill really, really quickly. And it's that, so every time you click something into place and it feels right, we're getting further towards that season when things can just flow.
Chase Jarvis: To this, I ask, is this what you're talking about? Is it intuition? Are you listening to a voice that's already there? Or are you cultivating new words from inside you? Or some hybrid? Talk to me.
Amber Rae: I love that you're having me put language to things that I don't know if I have language for. Okay, I'm going to try.
Chase Jarvis: No, but this is your book makes me think of all these things.
Amber Rae: Yeah, yeah.
Chase Jarvis: It's like, how do we hone this?
Amber Rae: I do think it is intuition. And I think the example of me thinking what the structure of the book should be, is not me operating from intuition. That's me operating from a mental construct and me being much more in my head. Whereas when I'm asking the book, how do you want to be structured? It is I'm tapping into that deeper, wiser, intuitive voice that says, why don't you try this? And so I do think that a lot of like, even the seasonality, when does the season start? When does the season end? Like a lot of this we can't know. So, so much of my process is actually listening to my body. Is listening to, like there's a knowing that's deep within that if I create the space to pause and listen and ask, an answer will come.
Amber Rae: I've been doing these journaling workshops, and in these workshops, I ask people really hard questions like, what are you avoiding and why? Or what truth are you afraid to admit to yourself? Or things like that. And people again and again, keep saying like, I didn't know these answers were already within me. Like the biggest shock in this process is that I already know, I'm just not creating the space to listen. And so I think that speaks to the idea that like sometimes in five minutes I'll know, is this, whatever the question is, I'll ask. And then whatever comes up, learning to trust that. Which to your point, it's cultivating your relationship with your intuition.
Amber Rae: Because I think for a lot of people, I know that they're like, how do I trust it? And I think it's like little by little, is noticing the intuitive sense, acting on it. And when you act on it, then it's almost as if intuition's like, oh, okay, I'm safe here. We can begin to have this trusted relationship. And then what I've noticed is that intuition begins to speak more, try this, go there, reach out to this person, what if you did it this way? And that's me sort of dancing with intuition in the creative process.
Chase Jarvis: I love that. One of my favorite pieces in the book is discerning fear from intuition, which is 84, I think. 84, 85. I'm going to read a quote that feels exactly in line with what you just said. "Intuition feels like a clear knowing felt deep within. Intuition isn't focused on the past or the future. It's the intent of the present. It may come in the form of a quiet, gentle whisper, or a hunch felt in the body. Other times it may shout no to get your attention, signal danger, or help you avoid making misaligned decision. To access the wisdom of your intuition. Consider the question that's in your heart. Does this choice feel contracting or expansive? Does saying yes cause me to feel delight or dread? If money wasn't a consideration, would I still say yes?"
Chase Jarvis: So those are huge, like truth unlockers, right? It's very difficult to lie to yourself, and it's like, how does this feel? Expansive or contractive? So is this a prescription that you would write for someone who's trying to hone this thing that, I'm obsessed with intuition...
Amber Rae: Yeah.
Chase Jarvis: Is, do you like to get there through those questions? Or how else would you steer our listeners?
Amber Rae: Yeah, I think the examples of it coming up, I had a girlfriend who was going in for this big interview with someone, everything that looked great on paper. And I said to her before she went into the interview, watch your body language when you're in there. And notice like, is there anything that happens? Like, I just did as an example, like is there anything happening in your throat when you speak? Are you noticing yourself cave forward? Or are you like opening with delight and excitement? Are you feeling a genuine connection with the other people? Or like, just pay attention to not just do they want me, and are they going to choose me? But pay attention to your body in the conversation.
Amber Rae: And she came out of it and she was like, "That was crazy. Because one, I thought myself to be an intuitive person, but I actually was not as... Like, I was so in touch with my body and noticing things of like, whoa, I'm super caving forward right now when they talk about this piece. Or I'm like suddenly crossing my shoulders." And she's I think realizing that her body had instinctual responses, intuitive responses to things, helped her be more in touch with how she actually felt about... And it ended up it wasn't what she wanted, it was what she thought she wanted. Which is, I think, oftentimes a big choice point for us.
Chase Jarvis: Yeah.
Amber Rae: And so I think, one way to get in touch is to like practice listening to your body in a conversation. Are you contracting, or are you expanding? Are you listening to a song and it gives you goosebumps or does a give you goosebumps? Because I think those are all signs that our intuition is speaking. So, yeah. So I think those questions are good unlocks. And just like, I think begin a simple practice of noticing.
Chase Jarvis: This is part of the beauty of your book. And again, we're talking about your latest book called the answers are within you. Congratulations. It's beautifully illustrated as well.
Amber Rae: Thank you.
Chase Jarvis: And the beauty and I think power in the work is that it gives us actual frameworks. A lot of this type of material asks big questions, but doesn't give you vectors for how to access it. And it's very, that's actionable without being too prescriptive. And there's a bunch of different ways that I think different approaches for different people, there's this intuition piece, which I'm obsessed with, and listening. And if might not have access to that part of yourself yet, then there's this list of questions that you can ask. Which, oh, okay, I can go to the list of questions. How does this make you feel? Expanded or contracted? And even the scientist would be able to say, okay, I understand. Okay, now what is a feeling? Okay, I definitely feel less good now than before I started asking myself these questions. So I'm certainly uncomfortable.
Chase Jarvis: So I always wanted to might and say congratulations on finding again, this formula that I think is part of the power in the work. And that I'm referencing the book here makes me want to dig into another section here. I'd like to scroll to it and ask you a couple questions.
Amber Rae: Okay.
Chase Jarvis: And it's most of the stuff, again I love the organizational structure where you've got the contents is broken into a handful of smaller questions that allow you to explore these things. So we've talked about sections about having hard conversations. For example, we've talked about letting go, we've talked a little bit about energy, and the one I highlighted just a moment ago, discerning fear from intuition. Talk to us about triggers. There's a handful of times you talk about triggers. You talk about both the inner critic, being important and not being the enemy, but so showing up or listening when those triggers are happening and the difference between the inner critic and triggers. But just as a method for us understanding we're onto something. And that being a trigger, I'm wondering if you can just talk to us about triggers in our lives. And you talk about it in the book, but I thought you could share something about that here?
Amber Rae: Yeah. Great. So triggers are anything that creates a reaction in you. You're in a conversation, someone says something and all of a sudden you feel yourself activated or defensive, like you're triggered. Or someone sends you an email, and again, it's that arising reaction. Just in case anyone's like, wait, when am I triggered? And for me, my perspective on triggers is that they are some of our greatest teachers, because they show us the places within ourself that we are not yet healed. And a trigger could be my mind spinning an old story about not enough-ness because of an interaction with someone. That would be I'm in a triggered state and I'm in a triggered anxious state. And my mind is spinning with a false story that I'm telling myself, or an old wound that I'm thinking might be true.
Amber Rae: And so, in those moments, instead of I think how we respond to moments of being triggered is really important. Because we can either shame ourselves. We can make ourselves wrong. We can say, I shouldn't be feeling this way, I shouldn't be reacting this way, is one way we can respond. Another way we can respond is we can project. We can, I'm not being defensive, I'm not mad. Like, we can like react to the other person and point the finger at them rather than owning our own responsibility and saying, I'm feeling triggered right now, or I'm having a reaction about this, or something's coming up for me.
Amber Rae: Or the last thing, what we can do, which I was just describing is we can compassion for ourselves and we can own our stuff. And so I think like, what's key there is the idea of like, I think why we don't own our stuff is because we shame ourselves for having the reaction. And when we can have the moment of like, I'm human, I'm having a human moment, I'm triggered. I think it makes it much easier to say, I'm noticing and myself feel really defensive about this. We don't even always have to know why. I've had conversations with people who are like, well, I don't know how to express in the moment that I'm triggered. I'm like, just say I'm triggered and I don't know why.
Amber Rae: Because what that does is instead of it becoming, like, let's say I'm in interaction with my mom and she says something, I'm upset, then I become defensive and cold. And then we have a whole moment, like that's one way that could play out or she could say something and say, you know what? Something's coming up for me around this. I think I need a minute to sit with it. I'm not seeing myself to be like a little activated. She'd be like, okay. That's a place where I'm taking responsibility for what I'm experiencing in that moment, rather than reacting to her and this whole dynamic playing out.
Amber Rae: And I think then we get a moment of self reflection of like, what was that about? Like what old story was that touching? Or what was the story I was telling myself in that moment when that was coming up? But I think there's the in the moment response and then the post opportunity of reflection/ And then the last would be then having the full circle moment with the other party, let's say someone close to us of like, here's, what's coming up for me in that moment, here's what that touched. And being able to own our part in that rather than being in a cycle of blaming others.
Chase Jarvis: Excellent. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Perfect segue into something that... No, it's literally, it's perfect. It's almost like we planned this. Another favorite, be strong, not tough. It's a piece of the book. And I just thinking about you're having this sort of conversation, it's about having tough conversations, it's about recognizing your state in this moment.
Chase Jarvis: And just pause here. Hey everybody, if you want to get good at life, if you want to have good relationships, if you want to get good at deciding what you need in any moment and helping your body, yourself, your mind, your heart, get those things, this is the language of those things. And I don't know anyone who's been on the show who is a high achiever and also is simultaneously is fulfilled because there are people who are just high achievers that are not fulfilled, which is hell.
Amber Rae: Right.
Chase Jarvis: This is the language that these people use. So I'm instructing our listeners to pay very close attention to this shit, it matters deeply. So strong, not tough. Say more.
Amber Rae: This came from a lot of my conversations with men actually. And I've spoke at high schools and talked to teenage boys and also just did work with men of all ages, but there's basically this belief to be a tough guy. And there's, don't feel your feelings, don't show emotion, be tough. Smile and get through it was a lot of the patterning and conditioning that I was hearing. And even from when I spoke with women and men, even men were like, but when I actually am vulnerable, sometimes the woman doesn't like... Like there's so much story in our society about men actually opening up and being vulnerable and this need of toughness.
Amber Rae: And so I'm not a man, so I can't speak on that behalf, but the idea that came through and the idea that I found to be helpful in these conversations was the idea of strength versus toughness. And so toughness would be saying, I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm good. When actually on the inside, you're totally not fine and not good. Whereas like that would be toughness. Like I'm going to act tough and act like everything's okay. Whereas strength would be like, you know what? I'm actually feeling something right now, or something's coming up for me, whether you know what you're feeling or not. Just being able to verbalize and name that and own your experience allows you to A, be in touch with your human experience and have a moment of vulnerability and connection with another. So that would be one example.
Amber Rae: Or acting tough would be keeping all of your challenges and burdens to yourself because you don't want to bring anyone down. It's like, oh, if I share what's really going on in my life, it'll be too much for this person. I think that's a kind of toughness that can also not only be toxic to ourselves, but toxic to our relationships because we're not inviting people in to be able to support us. We're not allowing ourselves to receive help. Whereas strength would be realizing that by asking for help, that takes courage. And by asking for help, people often want to help. And so when we create the invitation, that again creates more opportunities for connection and meaning.
Chase Jarvis: Talk more on toxicity. Because that's a theme that is woven loosely through the book as well. Share with us some thoughts there?
Amber Rae: In terms of toxicity, I think that there are... Like, I'll think like the difference between perfectionism, which I'd say toxic perfectionism and healthy striving could be an example. Like I think with anything there is the healthy and unhealthy, or the healthy versus toxic way of approaching it. So everything I think has a spectrum and the toxic to me is the shutting down, the avoiding, the denying, the repressing, the pushing away and not allowing yourself to be in the experience of. So toxic perfectionism is the false belief that if I do X, I'll be worthy of love of. Whereas healthy striving is I'm lovable no matter what, and yet I want to create to my highest excellence. Or toxic perfectionism could be that mistakes mean I'm not enough. Whereas healthy striving might mean mistakes, mean that I'm learning and growing and like, yay, I made a stake. Now I know it doesn't work, so I'm one step closer to what does.
Amber Rae: So a lot of times it's just like the mindset and the perspective that we hold, which I understand is very, very deep. Like, I'm deep in therapy this year. Woo. I am doing like EMDR, I'm like going to places where I was like, I'd rather not know that was there. A lot of things. And so to recognize where these core beliefs come from, it's a journey. And so a lot of these sort of unconscious ways we move through the world are rooted in these stories that we learned at a very young age, like I'm not worthy unless I'm achieving or whatever it is. And so, but I think anytime we're hitting something that's toxic is when it is damaging to our being and our minds and souls.
Chase Jarvis: You talked about work and you just mentioned therapy in order to set expectations maybe that don't reach this toxic level, because if the kindness and kindness to one's self versus only striving, the thought that I have is I get frustrated when I'm on a journey to try and understand more about what is this story I've been telling myself? Or why is this behavior recurring even though it doesn't serve me? My expectation is that it gets better every day and that if I started this process, today I'm better than yesterday and tomorrow I'm going to be better than today. And there's a fantastic piece that you touch on in the book about trusting a non linear path. And I am not good at this. If I lift weights one day and lift the next day, I better be stronger because otherwise why did I lift weights yesterday? And obviously lifting weights is metaphorical here. But please help us understand, in Amber Rae's universe, what is this non-linear path of which you speak and how can we trust it? Because it feels, it violates my concept of progress.
Amber Rae: Right, right. Well where this idea stemmed from is a little bit different than lifting weights, but where this stemmed from as I kept having people come to me, particularly after I would give a talk and be like, I was in marketing and then I went into photography and now I'm making murals and now I'm like... Am I lost and confused and don't know what I'm doing with my life. And so a lot of people who are making these life course shifts, there was a sense of distrust and not a sense of ease around the transitions they made in their life. Even though often what I found interesting is people was like, I was so called to do this, but shouldn't I not do that because of X, Y, Z, and this is what I had done before? And so, it was the idea that life is not linear. Life is not here to here and I know exactly what's going to get done.
Amber Rae: I think a lot of us grow up with this false expectation. Our parents generation, people did have careers for 40 years. Now, we hop around, we try new things, like it's much more curiosity based. And so it's really encouraging people to trust in that non-linear path and to trust in curiosity more than fear, as Elizabeth Gilbert would say, or wonder more than worry. And like, if you feel called or curious to try something, like try it on, no matter your past or history is.
Amber Rae: When I worked with Seth Godin many years ago, he talked about the law of sunk costs a lot. And he would, it was amazing, every day he had a new lesson for us. And one of the lessons, he gave this example of someone who had gone to medical school for a really long time. And then three months before graduation was like, I want to start a nonprofit. And most people might say, well, you've gone this far and spent this much money, get your medical degree. And the law of sunk costs would say like, if you're very clear you do not want to be a doctor and have no desire to ever do that, go start the nonprofit.
Amber Rae: And so I think there's a little bit of that, which is like the energy, time, that we put into things that we create up until this moment, sometimes we over consider. We over consider our past when we are actually in a new present moment. And if we make decisions instead not from all the past, but from like what is most aligned and true today? I think we might sometimes make different decisions that are more aligned for us and our truth and what we're ultimately here to create.
Chase Jarvis: Amazing. This feels a little bit like therapy for me, I love it. I'm grateful for the time here. You're speaking to everybody, but that might just be speaking to me a little bit more than... I want to close our conversation with an idea that is terrifying to me personally, and in talking to so many other people that inspire me and in... Like, the science is actually clear with when you speak to people who are on their deathbeds and they pursued a life that was scripted by others rather than scripted by themselves, and this is the number one regret for the dying. And there's a section of the book where you talk about don't die with your gifts still inside. To me, which is seriously, probably my biggest fear.
Chase Jarvis: And that particular part of the book references a mutual friend of ours, Todd Henry, and he's also been a guest in the show. But just, I find, and Todd's book was called Die Empty. Yours is, this section, Don't With Your Gifts Still Inside. And I couldn't help but think this is a fitting way for us to wrap up our conversation because it's sort of an exclamation point. You've just, for us to go full circle in our conversation here, you opened up with saying, this is the most transformational and transitory year of your life. You changed a relationship, you moved across the country, you stopped doing the thing that was driving all of your work, which was just posting regularly on social media. So, to say that you've done hard work in a transition, presumably these things are so that you do not die with your gifts inside.
Amber Rae: Yeah.
Chase Jarvis: But talk to us a little bit about that concept because I think nobody... Everyone who's listening, rather instead of, I'll say it in the positive rather than the negative. Everyone who's listening, I believe understands that they have value, inherent value to themselves, to the world. Just you don't need permission to be alive, just existing is enough.
Amber Rae: Yeah.
Chase Jarvis: But this I idea of we have something inside of us to contribute, whether that's making one person happy or 10 million or... So sort of try and put a bow on our conversation here with this idea of not dying with our most valuable gifts inside and the courage that it takes to do that.
Amber Rae: Yeah. I'll start with a quick story, which is that where this idea even came to me and really even started haunting me was when I was 12 years old. Well, when I was three, my dad got into a car accident. He was driving under the influence unfortunately. He was young, in his early twenties, he went to Nashville to follow his dream of being a musician. And in the midst of following his dream, he got caught up in his own bullshit and really wasn't facing his own stuff. And as a result of that got behind the wheel of a car under the influence and died with his gift still inside. And so he ended up, being in a coma in a veg... It was like a whole thing from when I was three until when I was 12.
Amber Rae: But when he did finally pass when I was 12 years old, there was a deep sense of relief for me. But there was also a sense of kind of rage and disappointment of, he had so much to give but he got in his own way. And because my mom would describe him as like the most... I didn't get to really know him, the most brilliant man she had ever known. So creative and entrepreneurial and all of these things, but just could not get out of his own way. And so, I think that's when really the idea of like, I know there are gifts inside of me too, I do not want to die with my gifts still inside, where that came from. And so it's interesting because I end my talks with this and I've had people come to me crying after a talk, be like, "I'm dying with my gift still inside. Like, what do I do?"
Amber Rae: And I think I realize that while this message can be motivating, it can also create enormous pressure. And I think it's remembering that we are the gift and our presence and our being is enough. And the way we move through the world and interact with others and show up and express ourselves is the gift that we get to give each day. And so it's like, it doesn't mean you have to birth some world changing movement. It's like, is who you're being in the world and the gift that you are representative of how you want to live? And so I think that's the place to start. And that's the place from when you're moving from that place and operating from that place of embodiment in truth, what comes through you, I think will be extraordinary.
Chase Jarvis: No better way to put a bow on our conversation. Congrats again, for those listening, we've been talking at length here about your latest book called The Answers Are Within You, 108 Keys To Unlock Your Mind, Body and Soul. Congratulations, it's spectacular. I've commented on the structure. Also, it's just beautiful. The illustrations throughout, super... I found them like really calming and I'm a visual person, so it put a little visual language on the words. Excellent book, highly recommended and audience, as I've shared with you in the past is very good at supporting the authors and the people and picking up their books. So we will rally around you and your work.
Amber Rae: Thank you. Thank you.
Chase Jarvis: Congratulations on all of the life change and thank you for putting it in writing so that we can learn from your mistakes and your wisdom. So thank you so much for being on the show.
Amber Rae: Thank you, thank you.
Chase Jarvis: What's the place outside of going to the book and purchasing the book either from a local bookstore or Amazon or wherever, is there any other spot where you would point our listeners to in order to support you and your work or to learn more?
Amber Rae: I'm still making things on Instagram so that hasn't totally gone away, but it's just a little bit more sparse. That's HeyAmberRae. I also have a free journaling guide on my website. If you go to actually, I think it's the link in my Instagram bio, but also at AmberRae.com. I'll send you the link, but it's, if you want to begin your journaling practice, I share my three top methods. So you can get that and then that'll get you on my newsletter, which is more regular content. So I think those would be the way, and just thank you for having me, I love this show so much. I'm always so inspired by the interviews. And so it's an honor to be here.
Chase Jarvis: Oh, you are a superstar human. Grateful for your time, thank you for sharing everything with us today. And until next time to you, Amber, and to everyone else out there listening, I bid you all adieu.
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