Amber Rae

Artist & Storyteller creating a global dialogue around wonder, creativity and the human experience

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 10, 2016

Discussion

Amber Rae@amber_rae
Ever ponder: Who am I? Why am I here? What's the purpose of this all? Me too. My name is Amber Rae, and I'm a writer and artist devoted to exploring life's biggest questions. I've always been curious about our internal landscape, why we do the things we do, the role of fear in the creative process, and how to align our gifts with the work that brings us alive. I'm excited to see what questions you have in store. Fire away! xo, Amber
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
Hi Amber! Thanks for doing a PH Live! Here's my question: What's the coolest thing, in your opinion, about how story telling has changed over the years? It used to be a lot of long-form content, and now micro-content is pushed heavier. How has that changed the way you do your storytelling? Thanks!
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@mrsharma Hey Nik! My pleasure. I LOVE this question. The thing I love most about how storytelling has changed is that it feels like we’re now immersed in the journey — the ebbs, the flows, the highs, the lows — versus just the final product. Long-form pieces (or any piece of creative output) can take days or weeks or months, and micro-content has the opportunity to show the real and raw behind-the-scenes process that leads up to the final product. For me, that’s wildly exciting because it allows me a moment of introspection each day to cherish the here and now, while also keeping it real about what it takes to get from start to finish.
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
@heyamberrae Thank you!! You the real MVP! Even tweeted it to make it official ;)
Liz Flores@liz_flores · Artist
Hey Amber! When projects have fallen through and things have not gone well, what strategies or questions or rituals do you use to pick yourself up and not fall down the rabbit hole of "I'm not good enough"? xo!
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@liz_flores I see the worry of "I'm not good enough" and I wonder about it. "Can that be true?" ... "Am I sure that's true?" ... "Where is that worry coming from?" ... "What one thing can I do RIGHT NOW to get closer to what's most important to me?" I also really allow myself to feel the sadness and the pain. I've gone down the path of being a "silver lining-aholic" or avoiding how something really made me feel. That only creates a void or propels action out of fear. I'll make myself some tea, grab my journal, and let myself have space to feel into and express the pain I'm feeling. (Some of my most raw creativity actually comes from that place.) I also, as difficult as it is, aim to not attach myself to the outcome and how others receive my creativity. It's a marathon, and the more hung up I get about what doesn't work out, or what other people don't like, the less space I have to step into what I can't yet predict or imagine.
Liz Flores@liz_flores · Artist
@heyamberrae so great. Thank you lady love
Jonny Miller@jonnym1ller · Cofounder @Maptia
@heyamberrae I love your seemingly endless stoke and optimism for life, thanks for doing this! I have a couple of questions... 1) You once wrote that you have come to realise that ‘the pursuit of happiness isn’t good enough’ but that the pursuit of truth is lasting and that it is this that ‘urges you to adjust your life accordingly.’ That's one hell of an insight! I'm curious to hear how this realisation helped you decide and prioritise how you spend your time? 2) I'm a huge fan of #TheWorldWeWant movement (and would love to help start one here in Brighton UK)... you said that since starting the project and asking strangers some of these big questions, that their answers really surprised you. How so? (stories please!)
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@jonnym1ller Hey Jonny! Good to see you here. 1) That's one hell of a question! Happiness is fleeting and shifting. For me, aligning with the truth within me goes deeper. It's having a core truth and set of values to drive me, and then making decisions from that place. It's digging deeper and deeper to unearth a rawness within that terrifies me. It's peeling back the layers that I've unconsciously taken on from society, and continually inquiring into whether or not those feel true for me. It's a constant and ongoing inner/inquiry process complemented with an outer/experimental process. My truth may change over time, but my devotion to that which is true for me is unwavering. 2) YES, PLEASE! (To starting one.) Going to keep going with questions below and come back to stories, if there's time!
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@jacqvon Hmmmm. The first place that came to mind is Iran because my fiancé was born there, and moved to the states when he was 3. And it's only VERY recently that the entrance policies are shifting...
farhad attaie@farhadini
@heyamberrae @jacqvon I can't wait to go there with @amber and bring the world we want to IRAN!
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Amber! Thank you so much for joining <3. What are some of the biggest questions you're asking now in life?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@eriktorenberg Why do we worry? Where does worry come from? How is worry impacting our lives, our health and our relationships? How does the brain relate to worry? What are some tangible examples of how worry holds us back? How can we navigate self-sabotage? (A LOT ON WORRY HAHA.) Also: Is our current relationship with time holding us back? What does it look like to “embrace slow” and what benefits does it hold for our speedy society? How does what we consume -- be in thoughts, food, information, technology, or noise -- influence our health and well-being? Also a lot on synchronicity... Do events happen by chance, or is everything happening as part of some divine order? // I actually have a WHOLE DOCUMENT OF QUESTIONS. Podcast in the works to explore these more deeply...
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@eriktorenberg Also! Hi! Big hug! xoxo
Alaya Morning@alayamorning · Life Coach
@heyamberrae @eriktorenberg That is a podcast I want to listen to!
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@heyamberrae so down! xo.
Liz Flores@liz_flores · Artist
@heyamberrae @eriktorenberg this podcast would be epic
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What's something you used to strongly believe about romantic love that you now see as fundamentally misguided?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@eriktorenberg Oooo. I like this question. 1) Love comes from outside of myself. Thinking that a relationship would fill a void I felt inside of myself. I first had to tune inward to that void, understand where it came from, and create practices for loving myself. There's this notion of self-care or loving yourself that can be seen as "selfish" but I see it as the most selfless and loving thing we can do for the world. When we are kind and compassionate to ourselves, we can fully show up as that for the world around us. 2) I need to fix or solve the other person's problems, and if I don't, I'm not useful or valuable in the relationship. THIS HAS BEEN SO HARD FOR ME!!! When @Farhadini struggles, it pains me, and my own personal discomfort with that pain can propel me to come up with powerpoint plans for how we can navigate the situation. He doesn't need me to problem solve (he's plenty good at that), and it's only caused us suffering. What he wants is for me to hold space, be there, and listen. It took me a long ass time to realize that just doing that was enough.
Alaya Morning@alayamorning · Life Coach
How do we build our trust muscles?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@alayamorning Hi Alaya! Good to see your face here. I LOVE THIS QUESTION. 1) We create the space to hear ourselves, and what feels true for us. 2) We test it through action. 3) We reflect. 4) We repeat.
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@alayamorning My speaking coach KC Baker has a great practice around this, which I've been testing, and I'm going to go ahead and copy/paste here: "Eventually, I developed a reliable method for making decisions. I use it nearly every day. I imagine a spot on the floor that represents one choice I could make (perhaps a big goblet of red wine) and another choice (perhaps this one is the option of NOT making that choice, or an alternate choice, like a sparkling water with lime). I then stand on each choice and see what happens in my body. If I have any contraction, I’m a no. If I feel that flow of life and beauty through my body, then it’s a yes. I do not get into processing about it or thinking about it. I just go with it. This can be done with every day decisions around food or requests for your time and energy (like whether to go on that lunch date or speak on that telesummit), or major life decisions about whether to write that book or have that baby or stay in that relationship or whatever. That does not mean that you’re always going to feel hunky-dory about every piece of YES guidance you receive. While the truth always feels good, it can absolutely lead you into feeling grief about whatever you are leaving behind, or terror about what you are stepping into. But… I find I rest more easily in knowing some benevolent force is supporting me and guiding me. The more I trust my information and then follow it up by making a choice aligned with that flow of openness and wellbeing… well, all kinds of amazing things happen. I trust myself more. My intuition gets stronger. Doors open. My life becomes more aligned with the truth of who I am." http://kcbaker.com/blog/2016/02/...
Alaya Morning@alayamorning · Life Coach
@heyamberrae Love this! I often try to skip the test/action phase. ;-) Thanks!
Susan Ng@shalalasusan
Hi Amber! Thank you for your time. :) Even after experiencing success, how do you quiet/silence the voice of self-doubt?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@shalalasusan The voice of self-doubt shows up EVERY SINGLE DAY, and I see it as an ally. Self-doubt reflects love and curiosity, and what I truly and deeply care about. If I'm asking "Am I really an artist?" or "Can I really do that?" or "Am I ready to get on stage?" chances are, it's exactly what I must do. When I look at anything meaningful I've ever done, there's always an ocean of self-doubt that required me to dip in my toe, feel it out, and eventually dive in. Not having self-doubt feels way more scary to me, as that'd indicate I don't care enough or I'm not diving deep enough to pull up the best treasure possible. Also. I talk to it! I think of the two voices in my head as "Worry" and "Wonder" and when Worry is taking over and Wonder is hiding in the corner, I'll talk to Worry and let her know that I see and hear her fears and concerns, and that Wonder has our back. Worry is usually terrified of being seen, and so I have to hold her hand a little bit, and remind her that Wonder is the muse and driver of our ship.
Rajiv Borar@rajivborar
It's difficult to figure who we really are, why we are here and what is the purpose of our life. Because life never stops, it's just like time, which keeps changing every moment. A story has some interesting facts and a good ending but in life the patience to wait for a good end lacks. How is one suppose to overcome all the thoughts which one gets that oneself doesn't understand what is this all about?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@rajivborar The quality of our life is connected to the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. This has me curious what questions you're asking...
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Who would you invite to dinner, dead or alive, and why?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@jacqvon My dad. Because I never had a chance to know his soul.
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What would the Amber of 5 yrs ago say to the Amber of today? and vice versa?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@eriktorenberg Amber 5 years ago: More play, less perfect. Amber today: It will be more beautiful than you could ever imagine. The darkness, the light, the pain, the joy. Soak up every second, feel it allll, trust where the path is leading you, and bring your full being to every interaction and encounter. You have nothing to prove or no one to prove yourself to. You are loved and you are enough.
Cherie Hu@cherie_hu
Should we do what we're good at, or what we love? Or both, or neither?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@cherie_hu There's an area I like to focus on called the "zone of genius" which comes from Gay Hendricks in his book "The Big Leap." It's the space and time when you're at what he calls "the intersection of success and abundance." Meaning, the output is fantastic and you lose track of time, and are driven from a source within you. Also known as: FLOW. For me, love is what drives and motivates me, and I aim to play in my area of strength, always edging up against my comfort zone to keep things interesting.
Shirlee Lowe@shirleelowe
Hi Amber Rae ! Been a big fan of yours for years. Your sayings are something that I go to when I need a context shift and today is one of those days. I am creative and entrepreneurial and have done a lot of work internally to get beyond my barriers so that I show up in the world (the "outside") the way that I know I am on the inside. It is an interesting process because in suspending judgment/solutions, I am getting to know and love myself on a very deep level. My question to you is: What are the tools you use to help in this process? I am committed to this process, am not turning back but oftentimes find this part of the journey gut wrenching. Thanks so much. ~ Shirlee
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@shirleelowe Hey Shirlee! Beautiful question and I'm so glad you showed up today, on a day when you're feeling like you need a context shift! A few tools come to mind: 1. Morning Pages. From Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" (must-read, if you haven't), this is three stream of consciousness pages a day. I think of this time as "getting the ego out of the way," bringing forth anything that's in my space, and working through anything that's hard on my heart. This helps me come to the day with focus and clarity. 2. Remembering that everything is ebbing and flowing. I always remind myself "Oh, this is the part when I'm wildly excited," and then "Oh, here's when I freak the eff out." And, "here's when I'm confused and nothing makes sense" and "Here's when I have a major breakthrough." This can be a matter of hours (haha) or a matter of days or weeks. Life is always shifting and ebbing and flowing, and remembering that I am not the voice in my head, and that so long as I can tune back into my breath and this moment, all will pass and be well. 3. And then! Moment by moment: Choosing Wonder over Worry. Becoming aware of when I'm in worry, and falling down a rabbit hole of doubt does wonders. It's in those moments that I can pause and choose Wonder instead. Instead of AHHH I'M RUNNING OUT OF TIME, I can breathe and wonder "What's the most important one thing right now?" Hope this helps! xo
Shirlee Lowe@shirleelowe
@heyamberrae Thank you soooo much Amber !!! The Universe heard me very loud today and connected me with you. : )
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@shirleelowe Aweee - I'm so glad! <3
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What's an experience that has helped shape the way you see the world? What can others can take from that experience?
Dan Cumberland@dancumberland1
Amber! I love the things you create. Thanks for doing this today! You work hard to follow your creativity and inspire others to do the same. I'm curious: what your thoughts are on balancing chasing your creativity and the practicals of everyday life (paying the bills, etc.)? How can someone who is bogged down just making ends meet find success in creative pursuits?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@dancumberland Carve out time each day for creativity -- even if it's just 5 minutes. That will add up over time, and it will bring you insurmountable joy in the process.
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@heyamberrae thanks so much for joining us today. I would love to hear how much of a role social media plays in spreading your word and content? Which platform is most effective and how have you tried to harness this to leverage your brand?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@harrystebbings It definitely plays a HUGE ROLE. For The World We Want, for example, it's been a combo of offline and online integration. Having a wall in public spaces that grabs your attention and gives you something to think about, combined with the digital tools which help spread the word and tell deeper stories. Instagram and Facebook have been the most consistent for me and my strategy has always been to keep the content raw and real.
Oliviax@oliviameng
Hi Rae, thanks for being here, I'd like to ask a question regarding the creative classes in the higher educational institution. Now some colleges offer Master degree in the Social Media, or online content writings. Do you believe that this kind of creativity can be trained, or is it supposed to be more intuitive? Thanks
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@oliviameng Interesting! A masters degree in Social Media?! I had no idea. Stories are what drive change so I think elements of storytelling can absolutely be taught to create stronger storytellers. While I've never been particularly curious about the data and analytics side of things (though it's important, no doubt), there's a ton out there around which platforms are best for which audiences, etc. which can support in making wiser decisions. So yes: much can be taught. AND! An element of intuition and experimentation I think is key for your unique message.
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What are you religious/spiritual beliefs? What does God mean to you (if anything?)
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@eriktorenberg I believe in Love. God/Universe/Creator, to me, represents a force and energy inside, and it's very linked to creativity for me.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hi, Amber! You mentioned that you were raised in an entrepreneurial environment. What's the first side hustle or business you started?
Amber Rae@amber_rae
@rrhoover Candy business when I was 5! :) I vividly remember going to Sam's Club (like CostCo) to buy candy in bulk, pricing it out, and then selling it to the neighborhood. Things got tricky when I decided to start a lottery process -- $2 ticket to win THIS MUCH CANDY (that only cost like $1) -- and making like $50-60 off that. That was good and well until the parents found out, and were not so thrilled...