If you’ve ever felt stuck in the mud of a life that seems more grey than colourful…and you long for a deeper sense of purpose and fulfilment to get your flow going, this episode is for you. Today’s guest, James McCrae of the incredibly popular Instagram page Words Are Vibrations, explores the transformative power of creativity as a tool for personal healing and social change. Listen on to unlock your hidden potential and embrace the sacred essence of life itself.
Welcome to the We Are Already Free podcast, inspiring down-to-earth seekers to live their truth and be the change. I’m your host Nathan Maingard, and it’s an honour to be here with you.
We are joined today by James McCrae, the man behind Words Are Vibrations on Instagram. James is an artist, poet, and teacher who empowers creators to live with purpose and turn imagination into reality. He is the founder of Sunflower Club, a global community dedicated to creativity as a tool for personal healing and social transformation. As a creative strategist, he has worked with top brands and startups to define and actualize their message and mission. His books include Sh#t Your Ego Says and How to Laugh in Ironic Amusement During Your Existential Crisis.
Throughout this episode, we dive deep into various thought-provoking topics that are sure to resonate with you:
- Unveiling the Shadows: Why Memes, Writing, and Art Are Shadow Work
- Discover how engaging with memes, writing, and art can serve as a powerful means of exploring your own shadow, unearthing hidden truths, and catalyzing personal growth.
- Escaping the Matrix: The Journey Within
- Explore the fascinating concept that life on Earth is not about escaping the matrix, but about navigating it with awareness. James invites us to transcend fear, tap into intuition, and embrace the liberating path of self-discovery.
- Trusting Your Intuition: A Gateway to Freedom
- Stay tuned until the end to uncover the secrets of trusting your intuition. James reveals practical techniques and insights that will empower you to enhance your decision-making, find reassurance, and discover your life’s true purpose. By the end of this episode, you’ll understand why creativity is not just about solving problems but receiving divine inspiration, and how embracing your innate creativity can lead to personal growth, healing, and the positive transformation of society as a whole.
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[00:00:00] James McCrae: Something is made holy by the attention that we give it. So when you do things with full intention, you're almost sanctifying it in a way and you're making it holy. So when we can give our attention to those small things and treat everything like a ritual,
[00:00:14] Nathan Maingard: If you've ever felt stuck in the mud of a life that seems more grey than colourful and you long for a deeper sense of purpose and fulfilment to get your flow going, this episode is for you. Today's guest, James McCRae of the incredibly popular Instagram page Words Are Vibrations, explores the transformative power of creativity as a tool for personal healing and social change.
Listen on to unlock your hidden potential and embrace the sacred essence of life itself.
When you hear we are already free, what comes up for you? Pure change. It's a shift in awareness. It's the ultimate truth, isn't it? Getting outta the matrix. We have a choice. Joy, nature, I am more powerful than I realize [00:01:00] I am. Human beings are so powerful. It's all there,
the answers are in being a conscious, being. Spiritual being is living a human body experience. it's simple, it's here and it's now, you don't have to go out and find it. Eat real food. Just shining your light so bright. We are already free. You're free. you are a walking map. Have always been free.
You are always free. Already free. We are already free.
[00:01:23] Nathan Maingard: Welcome to the We Are Already Free podcast, inspiring down to earth seekers to live their truth and be the change. I'm your host, Nathan Maingard, and it is an honor to be here with you. We are joined today by James McCrae, the man behind Words Are Vibrations on Instagram.
James is an artist, poet, and teacher who empowers creators to live with pain. purpose and turn imagination into reality. He is the founder of Sunflower Club, a global community dedicated to creativity as a tool for personal healing and social transformation. [00:02:00] As a creative strategist, he has worked with top brands and startups to define and actualize their message and mission.
His books include Shit Your Ego Says and How to Laugh in Ironic Amusement During Your Existential Crisis. Throughout this episode, We dive deep into various thought provoking topics that are sure to resonate with you. Unveiling the Shadows. Why memes, writing, and art are shadow work.
Discover how engaging with memes, writing, and art can serve as a powerful means of exploring your own shadow, unearthing hidden truths, and catalyzing personal growth. Escaping the Matrix. The Journey Within. Explore the fascinating concept that life on earth is not about escaping the matrix, but about navigating it with awareness.
James invites us to transcend fear, tap into intuition, and embrace the liberating path of self discovery. Trusting your intuition, a gateway to freedom. Stay tuned until the end to [00:03:00] uncover the secrets of trusting your intuition. James reveals practical techniques and insights that will empower you to enhance your decision making, find reassurance, and discover your life's true purpose.
By the end of this episode, you'll understand why creativity is not just about solving problems, but receiving divine inspiration, and how embracing your innate creativity can lead to personal growth, healing, and the positive transformation of society as a whole. Find links to James, his Instagram, and more by checking the show notes in whichever app you're listening, or visit alreadyfree. me slash four one, to access bonus segments, chat with me directly and more. And now let's embark on this journey of self discovery, liberation, and tapping into your creative potential with today's guest, James McCrae of Words Are Vibrations.
The thing I just wanna start with is saying I am kind of fanboying right now. Yeah. I really, really deeply appreciate your work.
[00:04:03] Nathan Maingard: And so There's a sense I get from what you're sharing that you've, you've been through some stuff and I, I'm always curious to hear when someone's sharing from this place that seems like the spectrum is very broad of your sharing, where there's both the light and the shadow are acknowledged within it, if that makes sense.
I'm curious to know what is the shadow that you had to go to to be able to move between them like that?
[00:04:29] James McCrae: Hmm. Yeah. Interesting question. I've. You know, I don't know. You know, I feel like I can't say that I've had experiences in my life that were extraordinarily dark. Um, I mean in, in comparison to many others. We've all had dark moments, and life itself is a traumatic experience. Being born on this planet, I think is a trauma inducing [00:05:00] experience, especially the way we're born these days in, you know, sterile hospitals and, um, the umbilical cord gets cut and we immediately get cleaned off and taken away from our mothers and carried away by doctors.
You know, being born in, in itself is a traumatic experience and just being alive in this world that. Is not supportive of our highest selves and of our true, authentic natures and purpose. You know, every day is a, is a traumatic experience in the in, in the third dimension, right? Um, so that, that in and of itself, um, and also. I think that, you know, I, I identify as being an artist, an artist, and a poet. And I believe that when you talk about art and poetry and [00:06:00] memes for that matter, I really think there's something about these mediums which are in and of themselves, shadow work. You know, creativity and, and writing and poetry and art are very much. The process of excavating the inner world and to find some of that darkness and some of that shadow and to almost do the act of creation is almost an exorcism where we bring out that shadow and we express it, and in doing so, we cleanse it and we purge it. So I think that creativity and writing and art and PO poetry are healing modalities.
And specifically they are shadow work. So I grew up on art, you know, on poetry, on music where people would express the darkness, the shadow [00:07:00] through creative expression. So I've just always been comfortable with that. I've always just identified with that. Without having any crazy traumatic experiences, I, I've always embraced it, you know, I've always just embraced the shadow, embraced the darkness, because I believe in the yin and the yang, the darkness and the light, and I believe that the, it's all holy, it's all sacred, and there's no need to, you know, dwell too much in the love and light aspect of things because there's, you know, There's sacred in the mundane and in the profane, and I think it's all holy.
It's all sacred.
[00:07:37] Nathan Maingard: Yeah. I love what you said there about shadow work, art as, as a, as shadow work, because I had an experience just this morning, I didn't sleep very well last night. I made the mistake of staying on my phone. I'm usually off as early as I can be. I don't get it right all the time, but recently I've been pretty.
Good about, they're good in terms of how I feel about it. Just like getting off early enough, getting into bed with a book and just being like, oh, that feels nice. But [00:08:00] last night I was on and I was just on like the deep dive of like just bombarding my brain with light and input and did not sleep well.
And this morning, because of that kind of just also. I think I got on my phone again straight in the morning and then I didn't get into a morning practice. And what I then did is I just, I managed to take a breath. I saw the sun was about to rise, and I thought, okay, let me just go sit on my deck. And I got my ukulele out and I was like, I'm just gonna play one song.
On the ukulele, like that's my morning practice. And it was amazing cuz I sat and I played to the dawn, and as I played as I was playing, I started seeing the little drops of dew along the edges of the leaves that the sun was starting to shine through. And suddenly I just looked around me. I was like, holy shit, I'm in heaven.
And then I wrote a, a song, like a one verse song that was like the transmuted, the rea, the the acknowledgement and. Gratitude for polarity that that is the experience that I came here for. And so when I hear you speaking, that all just comes rushing back.
[00:08:59] James McCrae: [00:09:00] Yeah, absolutely. You know, people often want to escape. The matrix, right? Escape the, the darkness of the world and like, um, transcend into um, something that is, you know, just completely, uh, beautiful and loving and, and I feel like that's just not what. Life on Earth is for, I feel like we came from, like, I feel like we all come from a place of complete wholeness and love and beauty.
I believe that is kind of the nature of the soul, but that's not the nature of the earth. And, and, and of the third dimension, I think this is a place of polarity where we can experience both sides of that. So I think while we're here, you know, in this temporary body. That I, you know, embrace it. Embrace the, the, the totality of the human experience.
[00:09:59] Nathan Maingard: talking [00:10:00] about that polarity, I know you, you have your book, right? Shit, your Ego Says, and I, I'd be very curious to hear like if you were to have a conversation in this moment with your ego. What do you think is some of the shit that it might say, and, and how would you, like, how would you have that conversation?
[00:10:16] James McCrae: Yeah, you know, honestly, um, I don't know. You know, I think that I wrote that book when the Ego was more of an issue for me. I was living in New York City, which was and is a very egocentric city, and I was working in the advertising industry, which is a very ego-driven industry. So I was just surrounded by it just struggling with my own mental health.
In a lot of ways, cause I think that there's all, there are so many different voices in our own heads that compete for our attention, whether that's the ego or the intuition and the, the ego and the intuition say very different [00:11:00] things. So the ego speaks loudly from a place of fear and scarcity and competition, trying to direct our awareness into a state of.
Almost protection, even when protection is not necessary. So it creates enemies where there might not be any enemies or it creates threats when there might not be any threats. And therefore listening to the ego can get us into trouble. Cuz it brings into into that mindset of scarcity and competition, which is ultimately not a very fulfilling place to be, whereas the intuition.
Will help to guide you in a more liberating way, and it'll give you reassurance and purpose. So I've gradually gotten better and better at listening to my own intuition. Not to say that I don't [00:12:00] have an ego, and that's not to say that having an ego is bad. You know, I think that ego is an essential part of being human.
You know, having a strong ego, um, can be helpful. You know, you can have an, uh, you, you can have an overdeveloped ego where you're too full of yourself or you're, you're, you're too ego driven. But you can also have an underdeveloped ego where you don't. Think enough about yourself. You don't think highly of yourself enough,
and then you might be afraid to use your voice.
You might be afraid to assert yourself. You might be afraid to follow your purpose and your vision because your ego isn't strong enough to give you that permission to do so. So I think it's good to have an ego, but to keep it in check. So I, I like to think that I. I'm on more friendly terms with my ego, and I think I had to write that book in order to get there.
Right? I had to write that book to really get out all the shit that my ego is [00:13:00] saying and to give it a voice and to like, let it know that it, that, that, that it was, that it was heard, that it's been seen and heard. Um, so now, you know, I think that, you know, my ego is, is, is kind of more of an ally and a sidekick.
Um, but it's not necessarily like lead, like running this show then in, in the same way that it, that it, that it used to be.
[00:13:23] Nathan Maingard: Yeah, there's something powerful there. I've heard so much in, in sort of, I don't know which like new age or the way Western is often viewed. Spirituality. It's this idea that the ego is something to be got rid of that. If you can get rid of the ego, everything will be great. But uh, for myself as well, I find that the ego is this.
It's useful because it's where my identity lives. And I came here to have an identity. I came here to be. To pretend to be Nathan for a while, and the ego's whole objective is to protect that identity. So it's doing the best it can.
[00:13:53] James McCrae: I know exactly. I mean that, that, that, that's telling you who you are. It's like, if, if we're gonna play if we're gonna play a basketball [00:14:00] together or play a sport, it's like you, you need to know like what team you're on, like what position you play, like. I feel like the ego is similar to that.
Like it, it gi, it orients us in this world. It gives us a localized kind of perspective, which, no, it's not the ultimate truth. Like there, the localized human perspective is not the ultimate truth of our reality and our existence and our purpose, but it's kind of like the role that we're playing in this game.
Um, so we're here to play this game. We're not here to escape the game. You know, escaping the game is inevitable. We will all leave this earth. I'm not in a hurry to escape my ego and to escape the matrix, cuz it's, it's in it's inevitable. So, while I'm here, while I'm in this body, I'd rather play the game and see my experience through the human perspective, which includes the ego.[00:15:00]
[00:15:00] Nathan Maingard: Yeah, that's coming up for me a lot at the moment. I, you said something earlier that keeps coming up. It was right at the beginning you talked about being born into hospital and that you, you've described and painted quite a, an impersonal picture, you know, of that experience that that is the common experience for many people right now.
And it reminded me, my second guest on the podcast was Emily Siao of Free Birth Society. And when we talked about we are already free, she's like, yeah, your name's cool of your podcast at all. But most people are literally born into prison. In terms of how we birth people right now, and since you said that at the beginning, I'd just be curious to hear more from you around like how, you know, where's that perspective at for you and, and what does birth look like and how would you like it to look?
And I'd just love to hear a little more about that.
[00:15:43] James McCrae: Yeah, interesting question. You know, I, I don't have any children myself, so I. I haven't like, seen a lot of that up close, you know, really since my own birth, I haven't been around it, so I don't have fully formed, um, [00:16:00] theories on this, but I'm happy to riff on it. You know, I did have, um, it's an experience a couple months ago where I was doing ayahuasca in Costa Rica and. For much of the ceremonies on multiple occasions, I found it hard to breathe and it was, it was a struggle to breathe. And it was, it was strange cause I was just, just getting a, a good breath was a struggle. And I had to really just focus on my breathing and, and, and really do breath work during the ceremony.
And what I realized was, and, and, and, and, and, and the helpers and the shamans had. Had said at some point that during the ceremonies, one thing that tends to happen is that if you feel a certain way, you might get a flashback or a insight into the first time that you felt that way. [00:17:00] In other words, like the origin of your trauma or the origins of how we, you know, became who we are. So that. I was reminded of that when I was feel struggling to breathe, and then I realized, well, when was the first time this happened to me?
When is the origin of this sensation? And it was, oh, it was trying to take my first breath when I was first born. Because
[00:17:31] Nathan Maingard: Shit.
[00:17:32] James McCrae: when you're in the womb, Breath is taken care of for you. You know, everything's taken care of for you. So can you imagine being in this warm, watery womb and you're being fed sustenance and you know the umbilical cord is, is giving you life and giving you breath. And then suddenly to be shoved out into the [00:18:00] world, and you have to suddenly do all of this on your own. I think it's hard to overstate how dramatic that would be for a soul. You know, it's like oh, I I every sec. Like I need to take a my first breath and that's gonna be a struggle, but then I need to take another one.
Then I need to take another one. And guess what? It doesn't stop. We've been taking our own breaths ever since, and now it's like, you know, I don't even know how good most of us are. At this, at it now, you know, breath work. Whenever I do breath work, whenever I try to do breath work, I'm, I'm, I'm constantly reminded how bad I am at breathing and how, how, how unintentional my breathing is.
So I'm 40 years into breathing, right? And I still am not very good at But can you imagine a newborn baby? How much of a, really, of a struggle that is and how, how painful and traumatic it is. [00:19:00] So, um, I just think that we need to acknowledge, like from the baby's perspective, you know, what, what they're going through and to, and to honor that experience in a, in, in a, in a more of a, just in a more thoughtful way and not to just over.
Over sterilize and, and, and medicalize the experience. Um, you know, I think that there's, there's li being born and dying are, are, are really the two biggest ceremonies that we go through in our lives. The biggest rites of passage. So I think that one thing that's very much lacking in our society today is this idea of meaningful initiations.
You know, whether, whether that's like. Graduating from school or getting married or um, becoming, its an elder in your community. You know, I think that having certain ceremonies and rituals around these [00:20:00] initiations is very vital just to the human psyche and making the most of our experience on earth. So I think that making birth and death more.
Ceremonial, um, and intentional and, um, things like that would just really help, um, just orient us in a different way as, as, as a society.
[00:20:30] Nathan Maingard: there's a, a quote to, I really need to look up the person who said it, cuz I've said a lot and I don't remember the, the name. I know it's a woman anyway, but she is basically, she said that, uh, how we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. So, So that's the main, the first part of the how we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives.
And then she said, and structure, which I kind of, when I'm listening to you now, I'm hearing structure can be ritual. It can also not, it can be restrictive and imprisoning can be struck. It can be a box. But [00:21:00] from another perspective, like the morning ritual, the evening ritual, the rituals of life. And I would love to hear, I mean this, you've just touched on something that I definitely want to bring more into my life and I so enjoy when even before this, I actually was carrying too many things.
I had a hot cup of, uh, fresh ginger and lemon tea I just made and my water. And I wanted to bring sage with me to burn some sage before. Cuz that's generally what I'll do before I start a podcast recording. And I didn't, I couldn't carry it all. And so then it was like this little missing piece of ritual for me.
So I'd just love to hear from you, what are some rituals that you have found really powerful in your life? And I don't know, just anything more on ritual that's really resonating with me.
[00:21:40] James McCrae: Yeah, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Specifically how these, these moments that make up our lives and how most of the moments that make up our lives are. Sort of small and sort of mundane in a way, like getting up outta [00:22:00] bed and brushing your teeth. And, um, there's so many actions that we do every day that really are rituals, but we don't treat them as such.
We do them kind of mindlessly because they're so, they're like unimportant, so to speak. But I've been thinking a lot lately of how. The small moments in our days really are the majority of our lives and how we do the simple things right? Like how, how we, um, put away our clothes or how get the mail and how we greet our loved ones when we come home.
How. And how we do one thing is how we do everything. You know what I mean? Like I really believe that how we do one thing is how we do everything, especially those little things. So I've been doing my best and I don't always succeed, right? But I've been doing [00:23:00] my best to treat the entire day as a ritual.
Something is made holy by the attention that we give it. So when you do things with full intention, you're almost sanctifying it in a way and you're making it holy. So when we can give our attention to those small things and treat everything like a ritual, like when trying really hard to keep things really clean and organized right.
And make. Make cleaning up a ritual, make, make, doing the dishes a ritual because you're, you're purifying a space when you're, when you're cleaning it, when you're organizing it. So I've been getting really into like organizing drawers and closets, and then there's a certain purging element when you get rid of things that are, that are clutter or you're getting rid of dust or you're getting rid of junk, you're, you're kind of purging your space. and you're leaving what's really valuable and important and get getting rid of the rest. and there's a, there's always a, a kind of a [00:24:00] mirror of the internal and the external, right? Because, you know, sometimes we, we can, we can, you know, heal ourselves and, and things by, by focusing on the internal and like, we want to get rid of the, maybe the emotions or the trauma that are inside. And that's kind of one place to start. You can also start in your actual environment and, and, you know, cleaning your room has an effect on your inner world as well, because it's all related. So there's different, there's different ways to approach it. That's why I think creativity is a ritual as well, because when you, when you write down a poem or just, you know, journal in your notebook, You are finding something that's kind of buried and hidden within, and then you're purging it and you're, and you're, and there's a cleansing aspect that happens.
So creativity can be a ritual. Cleaning your room can be a ritual. It's really about the, the intention that you give it. [00:25:00] But most specifically, my favorite rituals are really in the morning, you know, making my tea and going into my creative zone and playing some beautiful music and maybe burning some Palo Santo, you know, opening my notebook and just seeing what's trying to come through me.
That's how I try to spend the majority of my mornings.
[00:25:21] Nathan Maingard: I was just in a, that was like an altered state experience for me. You just, when you, from the moment when you said, what, where we give attention or intention, attention, we make it holy. Something in me just went, oh my God, I'm here. And I just really, it's exactly what I was experiencing this morning.
I just hadn't the way you just. Spoke that hard. I was just like, I didn't wanna move because it was just such a precious little gem of truth speaking. I just was like, oh, this is great. It's like that feeling if I could just stay here forever. Um, but yeah, thank you for that little, um, that it was exactly that this morning.
Watching those dew drops on that leaf and just being like giving it full attention. [00:26:00] And there the whole thing was all there in that moment. Yeah. Thank you for that. So you are in, you said you're in Austin, Texas, right?
[00:26:08] James McCrae: Yes, sir.
[00:26:09] Nathan Maingard: Is that so, and then you were in New York. Were you ever in California?
Cuz I feel like I'm just seeing this huge like exodus from California to Austin, Texas or to Texas.
[00:26:18] James McCrae: Yes, indeed. I was, well, I grew up in Minnesota. I'm originally from a small town in Minnesota. Um, moved to New York and spent eight years in New York. And then, um, me and my partner moved to LA for a year before relocating to Austin.
[00:26:37] Nathan Maingard: And what was the prompt? Cuz cuz I, so I've spent a bit of time in California. It's the only place in America that I've spent any decent amount of time, and that was quite some years ago. So I'm just from a personal perspective, I'm curious to know what's prompting that move for so many? Um, yeah, from from California to to Texas.
[00:26:55] James McCrae: Well, I love California. I really loved living in la. We specifically, [00:27:00] we were. Living in Topanga, which is like a neighborhood on the outskirts of la, which is, uh, a scenic wonderland. It's, um, so beautiful. It's kind of in the mountains and the forest, and there's.
Beautiful, um, kind of, you know, rocks, formations, and I mean, I've never, I've never lived in a place more beautiful than that. And I was 10 minutes from the ocean and I could go swimming all the time and I did. Um, so I feel like after living in New York for eight years and my partner was in New York for like 16 years, we thought we were gonna.
Stay in, in, in California for a while. And it turned out what it, what it did, what it offered us was, uh, basically a year long spa day where we were getting cl cleansing New York City from our systems where we were getting the healing benefits of the salt water and the ocean and the [00:28:00] la sun. And there's, there's really a.
Are a lot of healing benefits to to California, and I really enjoyed living there. Now, what's sparking the exodus to Austin? Well, for us it was completely accidental and there was nothing. there was nothing intentional about it, to be honest with you, because, well, first, first of all, this was kind of during the, the, the height of the pandemic.
So this was like late summer 2020 when we decided to move and we were, and that particular weekend that we chose to move, we were driving down. The Pacific Coast Highway, and it was a week where the, there had been forest fires all along the west coast, like from southern California up into Canada. [00:29:00] There had been huge forest fires and the whole sky was tinted orange all along the west coast. So this is one of the reasons to, and Topanga was specifically, uh, a fire zone because there's just trees everywhere. And we had had to evacuate once or twice. So that was kind of an immediate unease that we felt. And then plus, like during the pandemic, The, the politics and the policies in California and LA specifically were very suspect.
You know, I, I had no faith. I had no faith and still have no faith in the government of California and LA specifically.
So despite how much we loved being there, it didn't feel safe. If there were another crisis of some sort, I don't trust that city to handle it in any, in any way resembling common sense.
[00:30:00] So, so we felt a sense of unease, but we still liked living there. And then I said to my partner, really randomly, I said, or we could move to Austin. Now what prompted me to say that it was completely random and spontaneous. I had never been to Austin. I didn't know a single person in Austin. I had no reason to be in Austin.
I didn't know that it was kind of this like, um, becoming this more sought after city. I literally just said it. It was just like, it just came out. And I wasn't even serious, but then my partner was like, oh, maybe we should, and I'm like, oh really? And we talked about it and we just decided to do it. We had never, neither one of us had ever been here.
We didn't visit first. We just found a place and just decided to move here and,
[00:30:55] Nathan Maingard: amazing.
[00:30:56] James McCrae: it, it couldn't have like worked out better. And you know, [00:31:00] now I see that there is such a thriving community here of change makers in so many different areas, whether that's. The spiritual community, the, the tech scene, um, there's quite a thriving comedy scene and podcast scene.
You know, there are a lot of people here who work as coaches and healers. So there's just a really, a vibrant community in a lot of ways, and I think now that's what's driving people here more, like if they're, whether they work in tech or they want to be a comedian, or they want to be part of the kind of coaching and podcasting world. It's all happening here. Like it there, there's almost a sense for some people that live here that this is the next scene or like, you know, New York was like the cultural epicenter for so long and or maybe LA was, and although Austin is much smallers scale in terms of [00:32:00] population and size, um, there is some kind of vibrancy to it where it's like this is the place to be right now.
At least that's what it feels like to me. At least that's what it's, you know, my path is, um, kinda goes through Austin at this point in time.
[00:32:17] Nathan Maingard: So this is something you've mentioned a few times during the conversation. At least I picked it up and I, and I read about it somewhere as well, where you were talking about, I think you said the. Intuition. I can't remember the wording. So tell me. You can correct me, but like intuition doesn't make mistakes or intuition knows where we need to head.
And based on what you've been saying so far, it sounds like you have quite an act of a very active connection to your intuition and that that's what's guiding you. Could you speak to that?
[00:32:44] James McCrae: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's just really a matter of trust and I just, you know, and, and, and I've, I've developed this trust in one way through my creative practice, because when you're writing. What I've come to realize is the [00:33:00] best ideas, whether that's for a meme or a poem, or a new class to teach, whatever it is, these ideas don't come through as a result of overthinking or over analysis.
In my experience, the best ideas just pop into your head. And you're just there to kind of receive the idea and to act on it. And when I do that, when I just trust the ideas as they come through and then I look back on them, they're always so much better than if I'm trying to like solve something with the my conscious mind.
So I realize that creativity specifically is not about solving something, it's about receiving something. There, there, there's a bit of a passive role to it. I mean, there's, there's an active role in getting in, opening up your intuition to, to, to be in that place of receptivity. But the idea comes from.
[00:34:00] Outside of us and, and we, and we receive it. So I've just learned to trust those hits of insight and those hits of intuition. And even if it doesn't make sense, even if there are quote unquote reasons not to listen to your intuition, uh, there's always reasons. Know the mind has a million objections and a million different reasons to, to not go along with something, but I know that. Listening to my conscious ego mind is giving me a limited amount of information where I think that there is a, we, we are swimming in a sea of information, like the intuition and the imagination are portals that connect us to other dimensions. Where we were, were, were, were literally God and the angels can speak.
To us or the muse, like you can call it whatever you want. You know, [00:35:00] you, where do ideas come from? You could say they come from God. You could say they come from the muse. You could say they come from spirit guides. You could say they come from the higher self. And in my opinion, these are all just metaphors for the same thing, which is our own intuition. So just like trusting that intuition as it comes through has. Change the game for me as an artist, and I just try to do my best to listen to that in my own life as well.
[00:35:31] Nathan Maingard: Yeah. Thank you for that. I, so I wanna actually segue this into your Sunflower Club. So you are the founder of Sunflower Club and you're using creativity as a tool for healing and TR and social transformation and yeah. I know you've been speaking now to creativity and intuition and that deep connection, and I'd love to hear a story of how you've actually seen transformation in that way.
Take place of that, that healing, that social transformation through creativity.
[00:35:59] James McCrae: let's unpack [00:36:00] that. I think, yeah, there's, there's creativity as, as, uh, a healing modality and also creativity as a, a tool for social change. So first of all, Sunflower Club is a creative ceremony. you could also call it an open mic, but what I realized is that I truly believe that everyone is creative.
Everyone is an artist in their own way. Often we have a hard time claiming to be an artist, you know, ourselves because, Society has set up a, a structure where similar to there's a great wealth imbalance in the world, right? There are a few people that have a ton of wealth and most people don't have. Any, and I feel like these, these kind of systems of hierarchy apply to creativity in the sense that there are a select few of [00:37:00] people who are the artists of society, and these are the published authors and these are the professional artists, and they have a permission slip to be creative and everyone else is expected to just go to work and do their job and maybe have children and like, They're not given a permission slip to express their creativity. And I think that's a mistake. So what what happens is people at best people like have a notebook where they might journal or they might write a poem once in a while, and then most often no one else will ever even see it. So we're like, we're repressing our creativity, we're expressing we're, we're repressing certain emotions and it's.
It's similar to like if you have trauma or you have a negative emotion and you suppress it, and you bury it and you don't let it out, that's really bad for you. Like [00:38:00] emotionally, physically, spiritually. And those, those, those suppressed emotions and that suppressed trauma over time will atrophy into sickness. it's important to get it out and, and there's so many different ways to get it out. You know, therapy can be one way to get it out. You know, if a thera, if a good therapist is asking you questions and you're forced to kind of like explore your own inner world and come to certain realizations and then express them, that's healing.
You can also do things that are more somatic or physical, like you can go to a sweat lodge and you can sweat out your toxins. Um, you can do plant medicine and then you can purge that sickness through vomiting, right? There are all, there are all these different ways that we can purge and cleanse, um, the system. And my personal favorite way is, is through creativity. Because I think it's very similar cuz it's almost like a, like a self therapy in a way where you ha where you, you have, you're, you're, you're, you're seeking [00:39:00] within your, you're cuz for me, create creativity begins with the emotion and begins in the body.
It's not the mind. It's not like I'm trying to like, think of something cool to say. I'm feeling my body and feeling my emotions to see what's trying to come out. And then I honor that by, by, by letting it out onto the page. And then even more so when you get up and express it in public, there's a huge release that happens and we can all feel it.
Um, especially when people are going up and sharing one after the other. We can all feel this release people, it's like a weight has been lifted because people don't have a forum. To share in these ways, to express in these ways and to let this out. So to, to share, especially in public and to be received in a safe container. it has, it's just, it, it's transformational On a, on a, on an inner, inner level. Um, so we see it every time we do it, and, and we all just feel so much love in the [00:40:00] room and, and just the, the, the overflowing of emotions that come from this, um, truly beautiful. So that's really creativity as a, as a healing modality.
And then I also believe that creativity is critical for social change. Because if you want to change a society, you need to build new systems, essentially, right? So we need builders, but before you can build something, you need to have a plan. So we need planners. But before you can have a plan, you need to have a dream.
You need to have a vision. So we need dreamers and visionaries. So I feel like artists are those initial dreamers and visionaries that plant a seed in the collective consciousness that can then take root and grow and be built in reality. But I believe it starts with the, the vision and the imagination of the artist.
[00:40:59] Nathan Maingard: [00:41:00] Spitting straight truths today I'm feeling it. Um, oh God, that just reminds me of an image by, ah. Geez, I forget his name now. It's been a long time since I looked. Mark Henson. Uh, and he, he's a, a visionary, one of the, kinda an elder of visionary, uh, visual art. And I met him in London years ago and, and I actually bought a, a print from him, but, um, it wasn't that one that I bought.
He didn't have that one there. I think I would've bought it. But there's another one that he does where there's an artist with a paintbrush and he's like, Sort of pushing the paintbrush across the sky, sideways across the image, and behind him is just flowers and, and, and waterfalls and butterflies and beauty.
And in front of him there is bombs and war and armies. And, and the paintbrush is where, you know, it's exactly what you've just described, that he is visioning an alternative reality that does, you know, that that becomes a new template. And, and I've just, you know, hearing you say that just really reconnects me to that message.
[00:41:59] James McCrae: Yeah. [00:42:00] And you know, you can do it in so many ways, like that's an example of a painter. And, and painting is certainly a great form of art, as is poetry. But you can do this in so many different ways. Like, I have a friend who hosts dinner parties, um, for her friends and, and, and she does it in a way that turns her dinner parties into art. It's like you can, you can, you can ha you can bring art to your relationship. You can bring art to your dinner parties. You can bring art to your, to your job. You know, you don't have, if you're not a, you know, so many people think that it's, um, it's about having a lot of talent. Like if you're not a talented painter or you never really took time to develop your skills as a poet, like you're not part of the.
Club of artists, but for me, it really doesn't have a lot to do with talent. It has to do with being an independent thinker and honoring [00:43:00] your own intuition and bringing that out into the world. So what I always say at Sunflower Club is it's not about being good at creativity, it's about creativity being good for you, and you can express that creativity through literally any medium that you choose.
[00:43:18] Nathan Maingard: I feel so satisfied and grateful. I feel replete, I feel satiated by the meal that you have brought to the table of, of this, uh, moment. So thank you so much for, for this opportunity. I, I would love to ask you the question. I. Well, for, before I say that, just to know that anyone listening, I will be having all your links, uh, to your Instagram, to your website, to all the places, in the show notes.
So, so I, I, you don't have to worry about rattling those off unless there's something specific, a new project or a new thing you'd like people to hear about, which if there is, please go ahead.
[00:43:49] James McCrae: No, I would just say primarily, um, my Instagram at Words are vibrations and my podcast is called Sunflower Club.
[00:44:03] James McCrae: Well it's a great name. I love what you've done there. It reminds me of, I've heard it, I've heard si similar things said about enlightenment. Where it's like the real key to enlightenment is realizing you're already enlightened. it reminds me that so often we feel the need to pursue Truth outside of ourselves or to pursue validation outside of ourselves or to pursue freedom outside of ourselves. And I think it's a great reminder that it's already there within us. In some ways we're never free, right? Because just the nature of the nature of reality, right?
Like we, we depend on the oxygen. We depend on on each other. We depend on a community. We didn't choose to come here. We don't always choose, and we leave. And, and these can create kind of a, an nihilistic perspective in some people. Or they feel stuck. They feel like they're not free because. Capitalism is [00:45:00] here, right?
And, and there's all these other things that we're kind of dependent on that we have to hustle then we have to strive outside of ourselves for validation. But I think the real game changer is realizing that it's, it's kind of with's already within you, and we can, we can find freedom and salvation and fulfillment and enlightenment within
this 3D space that we're in, um, and we can kind of come into harmony with it when we stop looking outside of ourselves and just look for that peace and inner fulfillment rather than always seeking and chasing and comparing ourselves to others because it's only about you and your own purpose and aligning with that and bringing your attention back to that.
[00:45:52] Nathan Maingard: James, it's been an absolute honor. I'm excited to hop into the patron only section here, and just from the depths of my heart, your work [00:46:00] touches me and moves me, and I'm just so grateful for you. So thank you so, so much, brother.
[00:46:05] James McCrae: Absolutely. Once again, Nathan, I'm so happy to be here.
[00:46:08] Nathan Maingard: Thank you again to James McRae for your presence on the We Are Already Free podcast and for creating memes for my soul at Words Are Vibrations. You can find links to James plus many of the things we talk about in the show notes. And now a very important invitation. I invite you to pause after this episode.
Take a moment to be a conscious consumer by taking an action based on what you've learned here. Most people will just press play on the next thing, consume something else, and move right on. But you are not most people. I know you want to live a life of meaning, depth, presence, purpose, joy, and wonder.
I invite you to pause. Then take an action aligned with what you received in this episode. Personally, I'd love it if you send me a personal message. My direct link is in the notes, on your app, or at alreadyfree. me slash 4 [00:47:00] 1. That's also where you'll find a link to the exclusive supporter only video, where James shares how he balances creativity with the desire for external validation, plus some epic advice on how to make amazing memes which can go viral like his regularly do.
So, if you ever find yourself struggling to create or share your creations because you're worried about what others think, or you are just ready to create amazing memes, then find the link to the bonus video at alreadyfree. me slash four one.