Blossom Your Awesome

Blossom Your Awesome Unleashing Creativity With Sam Garland

December 21, 2023 Sue Dhillon Season 1 Episode 227
Blossom Your Awesome Unleashing Creativity With Sam Garland
Blossom Your Awesome
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Blossom Your Awesome
Blossom Your Awesome Unleashing Creativity With Sam Garland
Dec 21, 2023 Season 1 Episode 227
Sue Dhillon

Blossom Your Awesome Unleashing Creativity With Sam Garland

Sam Garland joins us for Episode #227 of the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast.

Sam is a Brooklyn based actor, writer, and producer. Her desire for creativity unleashes her greatest anxieties. Sam has become an expert in anxiety, depression, and examining how her thoughts about herself, her life, and the world can lead to success and happiness. Sam works as a creative coach  helping inspire others to unleash their inner artist and overcome anxiety around creativity.

To learn more about Sam check out her website here.

To follow me, get bonus content from the show, my own takeaways and favorite quotes, along with access to my Check me out here at my Substack.

This is the best place to support my work.

Or sign up for my Weekly Newsletter here.

To see more of my work check me out at my website where I write and cover mindfulness and other things to help you Blossom Your Awesome.

Or checkout my other site where I right about arts and culture, wellness, essays and op-eds.

Or follow me on instagram where I post fairly regularly and ask an inquisitive question or two weekly in hopes of getting you thinking about your life and going deeper with it.

My Instagram - i_go_by_skd

To see more of who I'm talking to on the Podcast, to advertise your brand on the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast or just get in touch click here.  

Show Notes Transcript

Blossom Your Awesome Unleashing Creativity With Sam Garland

Sam Garland joins us for Episode #227 of the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast.

Sam is a Brooklyn based actor, writer, and producer. Her desire for creativity unleashes her greatest anxieties. Sam has become an expert in anxiety, depression, and examining how her thoughts about herself, her life, and the world can lead to success and happiness. Sam works as a creative coach  helping inspire others to unleash their inner artist and overcome anxiety around creativity.

To learn more about Sam check out her website here.

To follow me, get bonus content from the show, my own takeaways and favorite quotes, along with access to my Check me out here at my Substack.

This is the best place to support my work.

Or sign up for my Weekly Newsletter here.

To see more of my work check me out at my website where I write and cover mindfulness and other things to help you Blossom Your Awesome.

Or checkout my other site where I right about arts and culture, wellness, essays and op-eds.

Or follow me on instagram where I post fairly regularly and ask an inquisitive question or two weekly in hopes of getting you thinking about your life and going deeper with it.

My Instagram - i_go_by_skd

To see more of who I'm talking to on the Podcast, to advertise your brand on the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast or just get in touch click here.  

Sue (00:01.664)
Hi there today on the show we have got Sam Garland here with us I am so honored and delighted to have you here. Welcome to the show

Sam Garland (00:10.466)
Thank you. Thank you. I love everything. I saw the title of your podcast and I was like, yes, that is so me. Let's chat.

Sue (00:18.197)
It is so you. I love what you are up to. You are an actor, writer, producer. You've got your own podcast and you talk about conquering anxiety to unleash your creativity. I just love that. Give me the backstory here. Like how, why, and all of that.

Sam Garland (00:40.118)
I mean, neurotic New Yorker pretty much says it all. But, you know, it was pandemic times. It was, I think, the second year of the pandemic. And in New York City, at least, I was living in Brooklyn at the time, we had a real lockdown. We were just indoors. It was one of the places where the cases were really spiking high, and we had pretty serious lockdowns. And, fascinatingly, I was actually auditioning more than I had before.

because they were doing so many self-submits. You could set up your little camera like this and put a, you know, a light kit up and you could do your lines and send them in, which was really exciting and kept me entertained and connected. But what I found was there was this lack of getting to know you.

this, you know, it's so interesting because usually when you go into an audition room, you have a couple of minutes to say hi, to get a feel for someone, to find out what they're like and then go into your scene. And this, you were just doing a scene and sending it in. And I felt this disconnect, and maybe it's because I come from the theater, of really collaborating and getting to know who people are genuinely behind the script and why this project matters to them. And I have an overactive brain, so I was really stressing kind of...

being hired for a project and then not being right for it. Like people not knowing the depth and breadth of things that I think about and worry about and who I am. And I also feel like it was the most Brooklyn thing ever to just start podcasting. I think everyone in Brooklyn pretty much, a hipster started a podcast that year, but it really was me turning on and sharing kind of my thought process in a way to connect with creatives and also talk about self-doubt.

why creativity is so hard, why what I think is really an innate inherent, I think creativity is on all of us. I think it expresses itself in different ways. For some it could be athleticism, maybe it's like the perfect touchdown. For some it's how you homeschool. My mom was so good at coming up with all kinds of activities for us when we were younger. For others, it could be knitting or cross stitching. And for others it's singing. There's just a million ways. And I think...

Sam Garland (02:54.846)
In a world where we have commodified everything and everything's value is really, especially in the Western and the US, everything's value is judged by a dollar amount. We forget the pure joy of creation for creation's sake. And because then value also means judgment, we don't know how to value the things that we do for the love of them. Because if they're not...

sellable, if they're not making you money, then they're considered less important and lesser art, and then we also give it up because what's the point of doing it? And I was like, there's this whole need in people to dance, to move, to sing, to draw, to whatever that we have as kids, right? That we just like go to art class and get to do all these things. And as grown-ups, I was feeling for myself, especially coming out of an independent film background, independent theater,

where you're not always getting paid. You're kind of like grabbing your friends and making a show and telling a story. And I felt so much like my value depended on selling myself to a TV show, to a network that could approve of me. And it really messed with my head. And I felt very much like I had to be prettier, skinnier, younger, blonder. I don't even know what, but some other version of myself that certainly had way less opinions.

and way less anxiety and way less curiosity about the world. And I kind of tied myself up in knots worrying about that. And so the podcast was a way of saying, I'm like a super complicated person with a lot of Scorpio shadow side, and I'm working my way through that stuff. And I question myself all the time, and I think deeply about the world and about humans, and all those things interest me.

And who else is out there who is like stumbling over the creativity or not letting themselves write the book that they want to write because they're like, I don't know if I can sell it. Or I don't know if it'll matter to someone or I don't know, you know, we just, I don't know, stopping ourselves because of that need to prove it in some way. And also the Instagram age has done that to us too, right? The sense of everyone's life being only lived if it's on Instagram.

Sam Garland (05:09.618)
So if your book isn't shared with the entire world and read with the entire world, did you write a book?

Sue (05:17.764)
Mm-hmm. Wow. And you know, this is such an interesting thing because I have conversations around creativity all the time, but not so much in how we're all creative, how we can all be creating and should be creating and how it feeds us. But never this idea of our fear around it and how we keep ourselves from creating because we need this like validation or something. Or we don't.

just tap into the art of it, the beauty of it, the magic of it that's fulfilling, right? There's this other thing that kind of we correlate to creativity.

Sam Garland (05:54.21)

Sam Garland (05:58.934)
Yeah, yeah. And a lot of it, you know, I think about when your kid brings home something from school and you don't even know what they drew, but you're still gonna be like, that's a gorgeous color you chose, right? We spend a lot of time thinking about our kids and their fragile sense of creativity and ego and just applauding effort and expression.

And then as adults, we get more critical and judgmental. And those aren't necessarily bad things. I walk out of every theater, every movie having a gajillion opinions. I like the critique of art. I like thinking deeply about what moved me and maybe what missed the mark. But it becomes also this thing where...

And I do think of it as a capitalism issue because there's like not the middle space between the stuff that gets made and sold that you might see by a big studio in the movie theater like Barbie, which was brilliant, right? And then the thing of like getting together with friends and making a choir or a band or something that feeds your soul to be out there or painting something that maybe is never in a gallery, but maybe you give to two friends. That sense of expression, I think is so.

It to me is like the divine spark. It's so inherent in every human to need to express themselves in some way. And because we don't practice that same thing of joyful receiving, of finding what was beautiful in something that someone else created without needing to explain it or judge it or put it in a box of, is this a gallery thing? Is this a book you're going to publish? Is this going to live here? I think we like, um, starve ourselves from that experience as adults.

Sue (07:39.912)
Wow, I just love all of what you're sharing here, Sam. And again, a conversation that's so needed that's not being had. So I love that you're having this conversation on your podcast. Now, we kind of touched on something before we got started, this idea of people wanting to be creative, but when opportunities like for you as an actor or other actors, you get that casting call, it's what you've always dreamed of, but then you're like frozen with fear. You know, like what is that?

Talk to us about that.

Sam Garland (08:10.83)
obsessed with that. I'm obsessed with this incredibly human universal experience of wanting something and not wanting it at the same time or not taking the action to do the thing that you're craving. Almost everyone I know talks about writing a book someday. Almost everyone we're about to hit New Year's talks about losing 10 pounds. Everyone talks about a thing that they want to do and then they stop themselves.

And I've done so much work on self-development, on trying to understand the brain, how the brain functions, why it always feels like, I want this thing and then why am I making it so hard? Why am I so afraid of the thing that I say that I want? And so as we were saying, I'd heard, you know, which baffled me that actors were getting auditions, which is like the gold dust of acting and then not showing up for their audition. And that to me speaks so much to fear, fear of judgment.

fear of not being enough, fear of not knowing what they want and wanting so much to please. And so you just get yourself all knotted. And I'm someone who's dealt a lot with anxiety and depression. And I knew that state of mind. I knew that I don't know if it's good enough. And I don't know who's supposed to tell me if it's good enough. So I don't know. I'm kind of frozen in my own little like panic room almost, or like my own self.

repeating or self-fulfilling kind of, um, because I'm trying to think of a bubble, but like you're telling yourself you're not good enough and there's no one else that you're showing it to who can tell you're good. And I think acting is actually one of the hardest because it's like being ghosted a thousand times. You often don't get any feedback. They don't even say no, which would actually be somewhat easier. They just don't answer anything.

And so what I find is most often, and anyone who is dated knows this, in the absence of an actual, this is why we didn't choose you or this is why we went a different way, or like, it was really great, you're just not what we're looking for, everyone creates a story, and most of us create negative stories. And that's the brain trying to protect you. Your lizard brain is your oldest brain, it is always gonna look for danger, and it is always gonna create what it thinks is the worst possible scenario so you can be protected from it.

Sam Garland (10:27.85)
which is great in the days of running from lions and hunting, but we don't live in that now. So now what the dangers come from are more social ostracism or this sense of judgment. Judgment, it's so fascinating. Being rejected and humiliated feels actually painful to the brain. They've done research that if you take Advil after being like bullied in school or rejected, you actually feel better. So...

I don't think we've quite come to the place where we understand that the ways in which being accepted into a group or being denied acceptance into a group is so painful and is so the core of who we are as humans, that if we're risking that by doing something different, by doing something that maybe expresses us but no one else has said yet, that fear of what if it's not enough or not good and then I can't be part of the group, that actually feels like life and death to your lizard brain.

that actually feels like if I can't be part of the group, and going back in time when we lived in tribes, or in packs, if you weren't part of the group, you did die because you needed a group of people to help you hunt and gather and cook and whatever you were doing. So we go back to this time where it feels, I think it really triggers that level of fear in people that they can't handle it, but I think we also don't know that it's happening. So we're suddenly like,

But this is the thing that I wanted, and now I'm completely shutting down and not able to show up. What the hell happened?

Sue (12:04.696)
That is so, it's such a juxtaposition, right? Because it's like what you want, but you're almost not even cognizant of the fact that you're almost like self, like, or jeopardizing it yourself with fears that you're not openly acknowledging but they're there on some kind of underlying subconscious part.

Sam Garland (12:17.71)
Yeah, yeah.

Sam Garland (12:26.842)
Yeah, and I love that you said that because I think that is the hardest part. I think most people don't have a sense of what they're actually telling themselves. They can't hear, like it's so subconscious that they can't hear the panic that's running around in their brain, which makes you feel powerless, which makes you feel at the effect of your own thoughts. And so one of the reasons I started the podcast is I seem to have a very...

I always say, you ask me at any moment how I'm feeling and I can write you a 14 page dissertation. I'm so aware of my thoughts. I'm so, I just am. I'm so aware of my environment. I'm so aware. I once went to a restaurant with a group of friends and it was this beautiful like Korean bowl meal. And at the end of it, I like gave a review of it.

And they looked at me and I was like, oh, you weren't thinking about every single spice and every single texture as you were eating and every single color? I was like, that's just naturally how I live in the world. I'm always thinking about how things come together and what they mean. And so for me, it was also this kind of gift during the podcast of saying, this is incredibly vulnerable, this is incredibly scary. I'm gonna share the inside of my brain, which most often is not.

the best place to like, it's not on my side. Like it's just freaking out all the time. But I at least have the gift of hearing what it's telling me that it's freaking out. And I'm doing a lot of work in learning what, why does my brain need that? Why does that my default mode and how can I handle it or function with it or have compassion for it? And I really want to bring that conversation more to people.

Sue (14:06.204)
I love that, Sam. And you know what I think that is so cool about you sharing this is you may not realize, or maybe you do, that you're speaking for so many people who are going through the same thing or maybe thinking the same thoughts or processing in the same way or certain things are going through their minds and they're trying to figure things out, but they're not vocalizing that, right? So you're almost like speaking on behalf of all of these other people

don't have the guts to do that or can be out there in that way. So I commend you for that. I think that is so cool that you're doing that. That's so awesome. So let me ask you now, you know, this idea of creativity and anxiety, but there's a part of like when you get into the creative, almost like a flow state thing, or once you start creating,

Sam Garland (15:03.15)

Sue (15:06.104)
it actually helps relieve anxiety. Like it can be so powerful for anxiety, right?

Sam Garland (15:13.229)
Yeah, yeah, there's all this incredible research of how healing flow state is.

but we haven't figured out how to get ourselves there. And I think that is the biggest struggle. I think you're absolutely right. And it's funny, because I remember reading about Shonda Rhimes, you know, who did Grey's Anatomy and a whole bunch of like groundbreaking TV shows. And she talked about the first 45 minutes of sitting down was her Googling Idris Alba and just looking at photos of him before she could get to the writing process, right? Which I just thought was so human and so adorable and lovely.

And so some people I think are better at hearing those voices or that discomfort or that panic and sitting with it until they can get to the other side into flow state. And I think others have more trouble. And I actually think it depends on, there are a lot of activities where I find it easy to be uncomfortable and to get into the flow state of doing things. And I have enough...

I guess less fear of judgment, less fear of vulnerability, that I can kind of skip those things. Like a hard math assignment or something like that, I do finance also as a day job, and I love an Excel spreadsheet, because I'm a massive nerd. And even when it's hard, it's like I can get into that place where I just love solving things, because it has an answer, but also no one's watching me solve it. Which is different from creativity, because creativity is meant to be shared, which means at some point, either they're watching you perform,

or they're going to see the film you made, or they're going to hear the song you wrote, or they're going to whatever, and that future panic is the thing that I think stops us.

Sue (16:54.364)
Wow, that's so interesting. And you know, another thing I'm thinking, so for you, when you have an audition or something, do you still get that sort of like fair response? Does that come up? Do you get nervous? And if so, I wonder if part of that is what's driving you.

Sam Garland (17:16.062)
Yeah, yeah, we were talking earlier about I love what's the hardest thing. And I feel like I'm very good at a lot of things in life and acting is one of the hardest because if I write something I can read it and get a sense of like, oh, that was good, or this didn't work and I can edit my own stuff. There's something about acting being so in the moment and so much you.

that it's harder to separate the product or the act of acting from yourself. And it's harder, and you can't really watch yourself, right? So there's all these things that are in my brain about letting go, about surrender, about showing up, that are hard for me because I like to know where everything's gonna work out and how we're gonna get there. And so I've been working a lot on...

somatic practices, which is something that has kind of just started to come into the culture, which I'm really loving. And a lot of that is, I don't think we, I actually know we don't get taught how to feel emotions as an activity, like as an actual human experience. And so I'm practicing learning what is the color of that panic? What is the weight of that fear?

How is it tingling in my hands? Is it buzzing in my head? Is it my feet feeling like they're underground? And what we're learning is that if you can get into your body and narrate the sensations of that emotion, the emotion actually is able to move through your system. And when it moves, you're also able to hear more the thought that's causing it, the panic thought of, what if I don't get this? What if I do get this? What if, you know, what if, what if, what if?

And it's because you're able to get out of your head where you're trying to solve something that actually doesn't need to be solved because it's not a problem yet. And into your body where your body knows how to resolve things. And so it's this fascinating thing because I'm a very fast thinker, I'm a very fast talker. I like spending time in my brain. I like solving problems in my brain. And what we are learning is that, especially for people like me,

Sam Garland (19:24.83)
it can be really, really important to learn how to come back into the body because there are a lot of things that can't be solved in the brain. They're not actually problems yet. They're just fears and panic. And if you come back into your body, even if it feels deeply uncomfortable to feel blue blades coming into your heart as you're doing it, but if you can, I think a lot about I'm expanding my capacity to feel this. How can I practice holding this sensation as deeply uncomfortable better and more easily?

And the more I come back into my body, the more my brain is like, or like, I'm just in a room. We're OK. Like whatever happens next, I get the audition. I don't. I'm here. I'm OK.

Sue (20:07.292)
Right. But this is something you've learned to do from like time and time again, right? But so initially, I'm sure this is this idea of coming back has developed within you where there were probably early on times you couldn't.

Sam Garland (20:20.958)
Yeah. I had to be...

Sam Garland (20:27.39)
Yeah, yeah, and I think that's so fascinating because I spend a lot of my 20s and 30s journaling a lot. I learned, I'm deeply curious about therapy and what works. And I did a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy and looking at my thoughts and challenging my thoughts and all this stuff, which I think are incredible tools. And I kind of reached the limit of what I knew how to do that everyone had talked was, and what I found infuriating is people kept saying, if I had an anxiety, thought or panic,

But you know that's not true. And I was like, logically, yes. I know the right answer is that isn't a true thought, but it feels so true, my body is in such a state of panic that I can't argue, I can't talk it down off the cliff. Like it is just losing its mind about a thought that it believes is true. And what I've learned since then is that if you can come back into your body, then that sense of panic can have a place to land and then you can be with your thoughts in a very different way.

And so it really helped me move out of a place of, I love journaling, I think it's an incredible thing, but I found that if I journal without a prompt, I actually make myself more anxious. I'm like, there's like a 1% population that does that. And I was like, I actually can't do that. If I journal with a prompt, like, you know, there's a lot that are, you know, like what am I grateful for today? Or what am I choosing to focus on? Really giving your attention to something then you're training your brain where you want it to go.

But if you're just writing like morning pages, I could spiral more and more and more, because my brain will just get itself going and get itself going and not be able to come back. And so I had to really learn these techniques.

Sue (22:12.836)
I love that. That is such a powerful insight there. Now give us some insights into creative inspiration. Like what do you do? What do you recommend? What are your thoughts on that?

Sam Garland (22:26.01)
Oh man, I think creativity is everywhere. I think creativity is the game you used to play with your invisible best friend when you were young that we all forgot. I think creativity is looking around and seeing color and remembering what it is to invent like GI Joes or Barbies and they were like having little dramas, you know? And all of that stuff lives in us.

we just shrink it as we get older because it's not grown up and it's not going to make you money to pay the bills and it's not so I think a lot of it is um boredom embrace boredom like try just lying on your bed and looking around your room without the smartphone without the netflix without all the things that we're used to consuming and let your brain like return to its own self-entertainment

Because that's what I mean. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and like we didn't have, we didn't have the amount of technology coming at us all the time that we have now. So I got to read through my entire childhood and I got to be bored waiting for things, which sounds terrible, but is actually an incredibly important part of being a human is how do you self soothe and how do you hang out in your own head and tell yourself stories about like,

what that guy's maybe thinking while he's waiting for his bank whatever and you know interaction or why this person I just to me everything can be story and it really just comes back to permission to hear yourself to hear how you construct the world based on what you see around you because art is just like recreating the things that are right in front of you so like how do you move your GI Joes and your Barbie dolls to make a play or a story or a painting or a novel?

Sue (24:19.504)
I love that, Sam, you just said so much there. That was so profound on so many levels because you are a true artist. Only an artist would say that, like creativity, it's everywhere, because that's how you see the world. And that's such a great response. I absolutely love that. And this idea, I think it's so sad for people. I grew up in the same era as you, or eras, and...

I think it's sad. I think people, younger people, there's all this great talent out there, but I think they're so overwhelmed. There's so much technology that you can't, so hard finding yourself, finding your way back to just being and thinking, right? Creatively, freely.

Sam Garland (25:04.123)
Yeah, yeah, it's global epidemic. I mean, honestly, just we're all again, you know, capitalism is just kind of how we function. So like they figured out how to they've literally figured out how to gamify everything which keeps you hooked.

So there's all this algorithm of, you know, if you've looked at it three times and it's gonna pop up something else, you don't leave. Or it's gonna serve you more of the things you already like so you don't leave, right? It's like being at a casino. They're just gonna find ways to figure out how to keep you on the game or the app or the whatever. And that's their job, so fine, you know? But you have to be, I think, really diligent about when do you turn those off.

When do you silence all of your beeps and gadgets, right? When do you really give yourself time? And it's uncomfortable at first. I think that's fascinating that when you first turn stuff off, you just feel this sense of like, what am I missing? And I should check my emails and I should, you know, like no human can reach me what's going on. And to remember that like, we're okay. It's again, the body thing. Like we're living in our heads. We're living in this like fantasy, exciting, connected world that's also.

lonely because we're not spending human body time together. And I think so much about the animal of the body, the need for bodies to be in space together, what religious services do for us, what for me yoga class does. There's just something about our offices, now I remote work and it's such a... I love it, there's so many advantages, but I have to go to a coffee shop every once in a while and just be around other human bodies because we need that. And I think...

where I'm hoping they'll be, but that's probably wishful thinking that there'll be some kind of a curve against this constant onslaught. It's also just developing so much faster than any human can take in all of that information. And I think we're, I think the next generations are figuring out how to be brilliant. What I have heard, which I do love, is because all of information pretty much and knowledge from centuries past is available so quickly, the next generations are able to create

Sam Garland (27:09.886)
solutions faster and faster and faster because they have access to stuff so they don't have to go back and relearn everything, which is an incredible gift. But I think in terms of creativity, it is about stepping away because creativity is so uniquely you, which is the most terrifying thing about it and the most beautiful thing about it. But you can't hear yourself if you're constantly watching other people live their lives.

Sue (27:38.336)
Oh, that is so true and so sad at the same time, right? It's just, we're all caught up. We all need like a mindfulness break. So let me ask you, Sam, what is going on with you in terms of your acting? What's next for you? Like give us that info.

Sam Garland (28:00.978)
Yeah, we, my dear, dear friend, Albert Benieta and I just shot a short film called How to Pack Up Your Life in one day, which was amazing because I was actually leaving Brooklyn. I'd been there for 15 years and I bought a secondhand car and gave away all my furniture and let go my lease and just drove away not knowing where I was going to go next. Just feeling like I had done the pandemic in Brooklyn. I loved Brooklyn.

wholeheartedly never wanted to live anywhere other than Brooklyn, but was also just kind of done because of that sense of community being so hard to maintain because everyone is so busy and pulled in so many directions. And my friend who's a filmmaker had said, he had a friend, Jessica Machado, who had written a poem called How to Pack Up Your Life in One Day during a time of transition that she went through. And so we grabbed the poem and we filmed in my half empty apartment.

and this beautiful one day long shoot about like leaving and the joy and the fear and the excitement of that and that film has been going to the Film Festival Circuit and we've been able to share it with audiences and that's been just such a joy.

Sue (29:14.077)
Oh my God, I love it. So what was the lesson for you in that experience?

Sam Garland (29:21.994)
that art is everywhere. I mean, that's what's so funny. I was just telling my friend that I was leaving as a friend because I had to like break the news and we were talking about the logistics of it. And a month later, he said, wait, I wanna make a movie and you have a half empty apartment and I've got a poem and let's grab some friends and a camera and a light kit and let's make a movie. And that was the idea was how do you make art on less resources, right? Not throw a big budget at it, but just.

make art because every story is art, every moment of change is art, and that's what we did.

Sue (30:00.52)
That is so great. And for you, so where are you now? How did that, like you didn't know what was next, but what came out of that for you? Are you happy you did it? How did that play out for you?

Sam Garland (30:11.778)
Ooh, so happy I did it. Yeah, and it's so funny, because I think a lot about, you know, the podcast I started is Be Your Own Damn Muse. And it was so much about like the, being the center of your story, right? Being the center of your creative art. But then it also applies to how you create your life and how you design your life. And so I headed off not knowing, but had this incredible, it was like a year and a half of, I was renting Airbnbs in different cities.

And so I drove all the way down south. I ended up in Savannah, Georgia. I spent time in North Carolina. I spent time in South Carolina. I just, and it, cause someone would mention a thing like Asheville and they're like, oh, you'll love Asheville. I'm like, cool, let's go, you know, and could take my job with me cause I was working remote and just was like, I'll know when I know. And until then I'm going to meet cool people. I'm going to find different places. I'm going to figure out what it takes to create community wherever you are.

going to local libraries, finding out the local music shows, finding out where the art galleries are, like really learning where the yoga studios are, what you need, and it's different for everyone when you come to a new place to build a community. And I traveled and traveled and then ended up just outside of Ithaca, New York, which is where Cornell is, about five hours north of New York City. And I'd heard a lot about it. I have a dear friend who's partners from here, and she was always like, it's so cool. And it's so many like...

artists and pottery makers and all this stuff and so many collectives of artists together and there's farmers and there's universities a lot of PhDs. So like smart, you know, people who like to live in their heads and think big thoughts, which is fun for me. And, and then what I feel is like this burner culture of Burning Man and people who just make stuff in order to release it into the world. And so I got here a few months ago and was like, there's something about here that's really special.

I don't know what's next, but I kind of want to hang out and see what's next.

Sue (32:13.392)
Wow, I think that is so awesome. That is so cool. You seem like you're, and of course you are, exactly where you're supposed to be right now, right? Onto whatever is up next for you. So that is so amazing. Now give us some tips for people, aspiring artists, who, I mean, is there a dream that's too big? What are your thoughts on that?

Sam Garland (32:23.167)

Sam Garland (32:38.17)
No, my thoughts are mostly that, and this sounds so cliche, but it's the journey rather than the destination, that the thing that's going to make you into who you want to be and bring you the most joy is going to be the writing of the book or the making of the art or the auditioning for the big movie. I don't think any dream is too big. I think it's all possible. I think...

where we get ourselves in trouble is that we think, well, if I can't do it at that level, if Hollywood doesn't embrace me, then I can never be an actor. And that's not true. There's tons of people all around you who want to put on community plays or who want to shoot a film on a weekend or who want to have something that they want to tell and share. You know, Truemansburg is full of there's a conservatory of art down this road that has incredible music and incredible grassroots

There are so many places, not only is art a divine expression of everybody, but people also need to receive art. It's why we go listen to bands. It's why we go to movies. It's why we go to theater or read books, right? We are storytellers by nature, both giving and receiving. And so I think it's about not denying yourself the big dream, but also the right now dream. If you don't know anyone in Hollywood and you can't drive out to LA right now,

what can you do, what will feed your soul, and where will your creativity land rather than just like snuffing out that candle.

Sue (34:12.904)
What great guidance. Sam, couple of things. So first and foremost, I love everything you have shared here. It's just, and I love what you're up to. It's so cool. I'm gonna have links to your stuff. And I just thank you so much for your time today and all of your amazing insights and inspiration.

Sam Garland (34:26.37)
Thank you.

Sam Garland (34:32.874)
You're so sweet. It was so fun to come here and talk. I really love meeting you and I just love the blossom. You're awesome is the most brilliant, like the words to live by. I feel like that should be everyone's mantra.

Sue (34:45.832)
Oh, I love that. Okay, so now you've already said so many amazing things, Sam, but in closing, if there were just one message, your hope for everybody, what is that closing message?

Sam Garland (35:01.102)
to not be afraid to get quiet and still, and hear what is at the core of you, to see where it wants you to go next, who it wants you to meet next, what it wants you to create next. I think we've gotten afraid of those things, but they're like the most deeply spiritual, divine, exciting, terrifying things that live in all of us.

Sue (35:30.095)
That is such a beautiful closing message. You've been so amazing. Thank you so much, Sam.

Sam Garland (35:35.758)
Thank you for having me.

Sue (35:37.508)
Thank you. Wow.