It anchors me, sustains me, elevates me
Welcome to my Podcast ‘ Jing Lens”, today I will share the power of creativity aka my podcast journey ( play a big part in it ). You may know I am also running a podcast named ‘ life designer’, gradually progressing into making a website, and very recently, seems to evolving to writing& podcasting. I just heard this from a podcast episode that it often takes 5 years to complete a significant project ( personal or professional). My podcast journey to this day heads into more than halfway through this 5 years milestone, but definitely do not feel the end of it, so I am still on the journey that I feel to be a brief moment of making a pause for some introspection and reflection.
I used to hold the myth about creativity: you have to be a designer, artist, or working in creative industries to be creative. But then I realize it’s a physical and emotional need to create something that aligns with your value, vision, and aesthetics. If a person got creative needs to be fulfilled, it goes beyond a luxury substance but a necessity to attain a living with purpose and meaning. ( and we are all searching for that meaning which is individually different. ) If you override or overlook your creative needs, you often end up feeling that void in your deep soul. I had been living in that void for many years before embarking on my creative journey.
So far, I have gone through three major phases of my creative trajectory. I started my podcast ‘ life designer’ at the early stage of the pandemic. Now to look back, I may see it as a cry for help to survive in extreme isolation and alienation. At this stage, my strong desire for human connection finally put me through to my lifetime creative outlet: Podcast. Over the last two and half years, My relentless approach on a global scale led to 26 episodes with 22 talents across the world. I often heard from my guests that storytelling is at the core of their craft. A legendary designer once said about the future of design: it should be a design that tells stories. Now I can say I resonate with that ‘story-telling’ piece from a spectrum of my craft. Listening to each episode today will instantly transport me back to that creative process with flashbacks of true human connection moments, architectural time and space, and endless editing nights. I often say seriously, why would any of them open up to a stranger coming from nowhere, got nothing to offer but the highest level of sincerity and passion? I am, from the bottom of my heart, forever grateful for each guest featuring the podcast. I made a podcast that is in alignment with my intention and value, from this point of view, it was a big successful podcast.
In terms of personal fulfillment, I had this fleeting but real sensation of joy and thrill every time I completed an episode and pressed that 'publish’ button, ( which I consider a very wholesome source of dopamine lol) serves as a strong moment to keep up my creativity with a focus on content creation.
A year later of running my podcast, I began to contemplate making a website for my podcast. I was first inspired by my guest (who’s also my now dear friend ) Miki’s photography website. She was an architect before making a pivot to become a full-time photographer. A big part of her upbringing in London certainly adds that British nostalgia allure to her website style just hit my aesthetic core. Yeah, I am like 20 years late behind to catch the wave of ‘blogging’, but instantly I know the choice of making a website not only unlocks my potential web-design skill but also fulfills my growing creative needs in pursuing aesthetics and style. During this period, I experienced the transition from creating content to making my content look pretty ( of course content is always key, but looking pretty becomes my mantra lol). Making a website can be overwhelming : the layout, photo picking, playing collage., often it took hours and hours of obsessed editing before the array of photos and texts finally becomes visually appealing to me. But when that moment of feeling right kicks in, all of those going down to rabbit hole struggling just turns out to be so worthwhile. As my website keep evolving, I see my aesthetic and style are also evolving and elevating (hopefully ) over time.
Just want to add an extra note here. Beauty or fashion is not my passion, but I have always been a big visual person and quite fond of this editorial magazine style. Aesthetically captivating visual, in general, evokes sheer joy. If it’s a brand, particularly like a legacy brand, that joy further prompts me to dive into what‘s behind the brand : its story-telling, craftsmanship, brand mission, and DNA. It becomes a full circle of nurturing my aesthetic and learning about brand fabric. Aesthetic may be genetic sense but I feel it’s also a sensibility individual can intentionally shape and strengthen. When the radar of sensing beauty is activated, almost naturally it will drive you to explore its DNA. I quite appreciate this sensibility which deepens my relationship with material objects in a deep meaningful way. I am not attached to the ownership of any objects when it goes beyond my affordability which is quite limited, but I have unlimited access to its narrative, texts, and graphic which all sparks joy for me. It also navigates me to make more conscious purchases. Put it in plain language, although I can’t afford it, I could still appreciate it.
My creativity reached a small peak last year when doing my home project. I made a podcast episode about this project that extends to renovation, interior design, and decluttering. Just want to share one more thing. I have had this vague but intimate dream-like vision in my head for a long ( not sure since when ). It’s in a beachside maybe a pavilion stone house with ambient lighting along the hallway. A couple of friends gathered together around an outdoor dining table. We are shrouded with this sublime yet secure vibe. I never dare to share this because I grip that ideal and safe 'being' so tightly which seems to be ultimate yet far away reality ( now I know it’s the emotion of awe). But when you grow personally, you are more likely to capture some dots lead to the thread. This home project brought me back to interior design. I have been very carefully and thoughtfully naturing it as a hobby since then. I am currently taking an interior decoration course. We all strive to achieve a better state of mind in this physical world. I had a sense that interior design and architecture will offer me a new perspective and lens to deconstruct the past and structure the future.
To this point, creativity power already works as a ripple effect in all areas of my life. It directs me to explore more profound cultural experiences associated with experiential hotels, museums, and galleries. It grounds me to execute even small ideas across my mind with more conviction. It disciplines my practice by translating into physical strength to keep me on top of every hustling day. It reframes my mindset by translating into inner strength to enable me to reimage my highest level of truth day by day.
Entering 2023, I am going through another transition that seems to manifest in the form of a creativity block at the beginning. I am coming to a bit dilemma where I don’t know how to continue my podcast journey but I have no intention of putting a stop to it. First I began to confront and acknowledge my limit in my language skill which revels some unresolved or missing foundation education through my informative years. Also personality-wise, for a long time, I tend to shun away from anything at a basic level. Part of it probably comes from I am interest-driven person, and I got bored at its ground-building stage. Part of it may be, deep down inside, a certain scarcity mentality caused me to operate under some unconscious rush. luckily What comes along with my pursuit journey is also my personal growth, particularly the missing piece in groundedness. Put it in the context of my podcast, My rooted perseverance and persistence took me this far but to achieve an in-depth conversation requires me to re-order my learning sequence: identify and address that foundation piece before tapping into any deeper level of upskilling. My language articulation, sophistication, and pronunciation indeed make direct impacts on the quality and flow of a conversation. At the beginning of 2023, my friend ( I forever holds thanks to her ) and I did a trendy thing: a skill exchange. She corrected my pronunciation and I taught her Japanese. I know I got that inherited empathy for a heart-to-heart conversation. But I haven’t put my greatest length to equip myself for this hosting role as a profession. Spending hours and hours working on a word’s pronunciation embodies quite significant meaning for me, skill-wise and personality-wise. It’s like ov30 years of late to this groundwork but I did eventually. I hence built new respect and trust for myself. This groundedness-building also got me to rise above my creativity block. I no longer feel the compulsive urge of finding the next guest for a new episode. I feel at ease to slip into this downtime to do all the preparation work. I become the center. I consider it a milestone I achieved for my creativity dimension as well as my personal growth.
during this transition, I also sense a subtle shift where I am not just seeking human connection but also consciously re-examining my relationship with material objects and the physical world around me. Now I can well articulate that what I experience is a sense of awe and its power. Awe emotion brought me into this ideal status of ‘being’, an elevated state both physically and emotionally through the meaningful and intricate connection of Architecture, Interior Design, Music, Fashion, Artwork, Nature, etc., When I was in the pola museum which was designed to blend in the forest, I heard the reverberation resounds through a forest of art, time and space became dignified. Sublime and blessing feelings for a brief moment soothed my body and soul. That was the power of awe that I feel worthy of chasing in my life-time.
When creativity becomes second nature, it will blossom and flourish in a variety of forms. Eventually, I completed this transformation, which not only connected me to another creative outlet of writing but also got me to fall into that creativity flow again: I launched my solo podcast Jing Lens this May, and you are hearing it now.
A few years ago, I was at this low point of rebuilding my life from scratch. I was craving mentoring, truth, and strength. I gained so much life wisdom and positive energy from my guests and the outside world. At this moment I feel it’s like a full circle for me where my body and mind function at record good. I also got an extra capacity of exchanging and forwarding my energy back to the world. This creative journey is a significant part of my life journey. It sustains me on the right track, and I believe it will eventually take me to a thriving place. I am a humbling learner and observer. I want to share my experience as a reminder of the importance of creativity in my life and growth. Also if anyone feels uplifted and inspired by this episode, I feel my mission is completed. Oh, wait, not finished yet, let’s do some wrapup here
Referring back to my definition of creativity: I said it’s a physical and emotional need to create something that aligns with your value, vision, and aesthetics. I am not gonna say everyone got creative needs simply because everyone is driven to live a life differently,and I respect that. I am truly not creatively gifted or anything and this calling didn’t come to me spontaneously and strongly. It went from hidden and unaware needs to become subtle yet eventually profound pursuit. If it is not coming to you yet, be patient, and truly listen to your inner voice for it to register.
2: The power of creativity: It is ripple effect. its power also manifests in both my personal and professional development. I said a lot about how it grounds me down to a fundamental level, reframes my perspective and lens to view the physical world, and yields better meaningful human connection. My career also directly benefits from My creativity. As my manager said, my reaching out to the local museum and galley was an example of thinking out of the box. I took the initiative and approached an art institution in Sydney. It led to the first collaboration between my organization and the Powerhouse Museum: one of the most iconic cultural and art institutions in Sydney, the Powerhouse Museum.
3: Creative pursuit is a journey that keeps evolving. Along the way, you will experience transition and transformation at different stages. I went from content creation to blogging ( my aesthetic content container) to my current intimate gaze in writing. The more you go deeper to unlock your new emerging potential, the richer possibilities you will have in your creativity .Then you will connect all dots. Creativity infuses me with the power to achieve my highest truth, and that’s my ultimate pursuit.
Thank you so much for listening to my podcast. See you next time.