In this episode of the Becoming Mindful Podcast, Jackie and Maria interview Lennon Bone about the important influence of mindfulness on your art business and creatives trying to develop the art business, and form a stronger connection with their audience.
After watching, please let us know if this spoke to you. Reach out to us with any follow-up questions this talk has brought up. We hope you will join us again next episode.
Until then, Be well friends!
Links & Show Notes
Find and contact Lennon, and get your free social media audit on his website: https://www.stopthestarvingartist.com/
- Book Review: “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach
- Leaning into Fear – Interview with Sebastian Koellner
- How Mindfulness really feels & how to do Shadow Work
E24 Interview Lennon Bone
Maria: Hello and welcome to the Becoming Mindful Podcast. Today we have a guest Lennon Bone, and we want to talk about the important influence of mindfulness on, the art business and, creatives trying to develop the art business and form a stronger connection with their audience. I am Maria.
Jackie: I am Jackie, and we are Becoming Mindful.
Maria: All right. Welcome Lennon
Lennon: hi. I am so glad to be hanging out with you gal. Thanks for having me.
Maria: You are welcome.
Jackie: Welcome to the podcast.
Maria: Okay. I think to start off, Lennon, if you could just introduce yourself to our listeners and to Jackie, who hasn’t met you yet either, that would be great.
Lennon: Yeah, hi Jackie. It’s nice to officially meet you. I’ve heard a lot of good things and my name is Lennon. I run a company called Stop the Starving Artist of which Maria is a member. And, somebody that we’re just so grateful to have, be a part of our community. But what we do is we help artists and creatives, who have sold their work or their creative service in real life to learn how to do that online as well.
And our goal is to do that through building communities that support artists, both emotionally and monetarily.
Jackie: Oh, that is great.
Lennon: Thanks. Yes, it’s super fun. We are about to end our second year of going at it full time and it has been, amazing and also terrifying and all the emotions simultaneously.
Jackie: That’s awesome. What led you to this work?
Lennon: So, for me, First, well, not my first job, but my first love was music and so I ended up being a professional musician for, close to 15 years, something like that. So, I toured all over the world, did a bunch of, things that a lot of people would be like, oh, you made it, and then some people would be like, oh, you didn’t make it all at all. Because it was like that sort of mid-level thing where you’re making a living from it. We had an audience you know, we could tour in bigger cities and draw anywhere from a couple hundred to six, 700 people. And, it just depended on where we were.
And then, I at some point decided that I was becoming a person that I didn’t really care for. I was a social alcoholic. living two separate lives, and we had our first kiddo and I decided, I don’t want to do this anymore. I want to be somebody that I can look back on and be proud that I made the decisions that I did and that I put first my family. And so, I started making YouTube videos to help musicians be better business people. I had visual artist friends of mine say, this actually is really applicable to me as well. My wife’s an illustrator. I was like, I don’t know. You know, they’re saying I should try to do this for visual artists too, and I don’t know if it actually works. And she’s like, I think it does.
I agree. I had a lot of imposter syndrome around that. So, I used her as our Guinea pig. We grew her account together, obviously she did the biggest legwork, but I helped her with the branding side and the messaging and things like that. And then, saw, okay, this is doable.
At the same time, I had gotten a job working for a company called Video Creators where we helped, through the three years I was there, we helped grow our client’s audiences by millions and their views by billions, all organic, no ads or, anything like that. And, I thought, I really want to use this information to help artists.
That was the beginning of me really starting to push this idea into the realm of artists, no matter their medium, but just ones that really wanted to do it from a place of using their art to serve somebody. really hoping to bring change to someone. And so that was the seed of it all and it’s gone through a bunch of iterations over the last handful of years and continues to constantly evolve.
But yeah, that’s kind of the basics of it.
Jackie: Wow. What a beautiful pivot.
Jackie: Are you finding that, that’s true, that it translates through all different kinds of artistic mediums and it’s working well with visual media as well?
Lennon: We are, I actually find interestingly that musicians probably now have a harder time with it than visual artists because all artists tend to want the art to speak for itself, I think musicians are even more concerned with I just want to do music. I don’t want to like, bring myself into it.
they like the person to have the interpretation, based on their experience, which we totally agree with. I totally agree with that too. I just believe that, you know what we’re really helping people do is uncover their own story, just like I’m telling mine right now, and learn to say it in a way that gets the attention of their ideal people as opposed to just arbitrarily putting it into the world.
Maria: I really love that. And obviously, I’ve heard this before and, I really love your journey I mean it worked on me.
Lennon: I hope so. Yeah. The main thing that we want is for artists to feel like throughout it is about business, it is about marketing, it’s about these things, but ultimately, it’s about, through that process, you should also feel more confident in who you are. You should also be discovering things about your why and like what you do, why it matters to someone, and really start to see your own worth in a new way. That’s the crux of it all. If I boiled it down and we said, what would be a success for a client? It would be, that they feel more valuable as human beings.
Maria: Yeah. I like how you, mentioned the inner work too, because
a big part of the start of what you are offering.
So let me circle that back now to mindfulness because as you know, our podcast is all about mindfulness and we’ve in detail went through, what is mindfulness, the history of mindfulness, some of the adjacent topics, and how it intersects with mindfulness.
we’ve been doing this now for two years, right? So yeah, I think first up I would like to ask you, what is your definition of mindfulness and what meaning does it hold for you?
Lennon: So, I just think of awareness, which I think is actually a pretty on-the-nose definition of it. but I used to think of mindfulness as this thing that you only did. As a practice when I was like meditating that was my first sort of thing. It’s like, well, if I’m not doing meditation, then I’m not practicing mindfulness. But that was my introduction to it. And then I realized like, oh no, the meditation practice exists to give me more awareness. And so the way that I am always trying to utilize that in my every day is to primarily be aware of my emotional state and be able to reel in those nasty voices that come up and tell me I’m doing something wrong, or that I’m not worthy, or that I’m going to make my whole family go bankrupt.
Like any of those little voices like. I’ve found that’s really where my awareness or my mindfulness is most utilized, is to thwart those little turds back into submission.
Jackie: Yeah, I love that. Underneath all of that, self-critical and all the stories that we tell ourselves, there’s, a big well of confidence to draw on underneath that, that we find when we can quiet that down a little bit. Right.
Maria: Yeah. Or even uses, use it as a Tool because like we talked about in an earlier episode with Sebastian, a lot of what’s behind those voices is actually something that is there to help you, right? they don’t come out of nowhere.
There. is a foundation there that at some point in your life helped you to survive.
Right? And now, with mindfulness, helping you be able to discern whether or not they’re still helpful and whether or not you still need them or if you can say, hey, maybe today you’re not joining this meeting,
Lennon: Yeah, I don’t need them on this Zoom call. like that’s not an appropriate time for them to show up. I also found it to be interesting just the other day, for instance, I went on a trip, and We were, we had just finished a long weekend, so it was with a high school ensemble. I do some teaching with this high school ensemble. We had just spent eight hours on a bus after spending like three days, you know, doing just nonstop.
And we’re back in the office and we’re kind of chatting and, you know, we end up in this little bickering thing and it’s like one in the morning. That just that practice of oh, okay, let’s be aware of what’s happening. You know, I kind of was able to remind everybody, okay, let’s not let emotions get high. Like it’s 2:00 AM we’ve just spent like three days, all in a very close confined area. We can revisit this conversation. And those little, that, that wouldn’t have been me. I would’ve just argued incessantly, before that became a bigger part of my practice is just really trying to be realistic about oh, what’s happening right now? and I’m not great at it, but I have found it to be fun to see where I’ve gotten better.
Jackie: Yeah. We’ve talked a lot about, how mindfulness can. be a part of that artistic process too, and help to, clear away some of the blocks, that we build up. And I think I’m curious as I look through your work, I saw that mindfulness is a big part of how you’re coaching artists and, talking about how to create an almost.
like a mindfulness container, a pause for their, clients or potential clients to, view their artwork, find the story, and connect with the work.
And so, I’d love to hear more about how you see mindfulness playing into the process and how it’s a part of your work.
Lennon: It’s funny that you see that because I probably haven’t put that together in that way until you said it like this, where it’s I don’t, all I think of a lot of times when I’m coming up with like curriculum or ideas is like, what has helped me and what has, what have I seen help others that I’ve coached the most.
I’m looking just looking for patterns of what seems to be the most beneficial in the moment. And so, when I think about mindfulness in terms of like my coaching and like what I’m trying to do. I think it’s usually my job as a coach to, in the moment, help them to zoom out and almost be a facilitator of their own mindfulness. Like to allow them the space to be like, all right, let’s like, ask some questions that, that we would, in an ideal situation get to the bottom of what’s really happening as opposed to just the feeling. and so, in our, coaching practice, like that’s always my goal, is like I want to lead them to their own awareness as opposed to just, um, them what I think is happening. You know what I mean? I might have an idea.
And sometimes I’m like, I’ll be a little more on the nose, but I try in my best days to be like, okay, let’s ask the right questions that lead someone toward an awareness. so that, and, and only because my favorite coaches, like the people who really helped me didn’t give me the answer. They just asked me the right questions and realized that like the answer’s likely in there already, and that was like always those biggest aha moments for me where someone was like, just allowed me to find my way there. It’s like feeling around in the dark until you’re able to grab onto something.
And that’s much more powerful than when they would just give me a framework. Now, mind you, the framework and all those other things are extremely helpful, but usually not without the aha moment. Like, I need the aha moment to make me go, oh, this is why this framework is valuable. So that’s why I put the coaching in the way that I do. And I also just am a big believer in how we, that we connect to things through, um, con it’s just, it’s just true, right? We connect to things through context. And so, when I think about creating an awareness for someone’s audience, I’m thinking about how do we give them the most context, but also not too much.
How can we give them just the right amount of context based on what connection you’re trying to make to them? So, for instance, if I want to help a client, get someone to connect with their audience, then telling their audience their story might be a great way to do that, or just a bit of their story or like a problem that they’ve overcome. And so that gives the audience an awareness, but simultaneously, it ironically allows the artists to become more aware of their own story.
And so, it’s neat when you start to see all these lines connect where somebody goes, oh yeah, I hadn’t thought about that thing in a long time, and I didn’t even realize that might be valuable to somebody. So, you just have these neat, like dotted lines that start to connect, I think, in really fun ways. I don’t know if that answers your question. I hope that touches on what you’re asking.
Jackie: I think it does, definitely. I love that idea of, creating that white space and allowing what’s going to bubble up to happen to be authentic and it’s really beautiful what can happen when you just create some space like that.
Lennon: Absolutely. Yeah. And I, because I can remember moments where, and I’m sure we all have this, where we had somebody do work with us really poorly and it ended really frustrating. where you’re just like, what the F is going on? Like, why is this happening? I have over time learned to use those moments as fuel to also say what did I need there that I didn’t realize I needed? And how do I make sure that I’m giving that to someone in my own practice of working with people? So again, it’s like I’m just constantly looking for patterns in, in the way other people have worked with me either really well or really awfully and then made that. I tried to create awareness for myself around okay, this is how I want my business to be run.
This is how I want to treat people. This is how I want to be in integrity in our work. So yeah, it’s really, it still can get me in trouble. because sometimes I can, it’s just with anything, working with people is hard especially when you’re trying to like, be very friendly with people and not just draw all the boundaries all the time.
And I don’t want to operate that way where it’s in a sterile environment. I very much like to have a connection.
Maria: Yeah. And I really liked how talked about this connection of, the awareness for the needs, the inner world, and the, what’s important for the artist, what’s important for you, but then also this connection out to what’s important for the listener and like bringing this together not that you give the space through the questions versus giving, here this, do this checklist, which, you know, to a point you do as well.
But I, I do have to agree that the biggest benefit I’ve seen is you know, those moments where it’s more about questions, so you like a self-reflection. So, you find out more about yourself and your values and with that, also develop the awareness of the customer’s needs, and their inner world, right?
So, it’s not, just this disconnected, sterile environment of how we sell things, but also seeing the customer as a person
Lennon: a hundred percent. Yeah.
Maria: as part of your community. So, it’s more of a community approach versus say, um, individualistic approach.
And we’ve talked, we’ve touched on this earlier with the little voices in your head, but I think that’s one of the biggest ones, that I always feel any of the artists have. And it’s not limited to artists, right? anyone has these issues where, when we, try to do something, especially if it’s important to us, that we, um, bring in those, those fears.
You know, am I good enough? Can I really do this? And with artists, I think there’s a big role in how society sees art as a profession that, weighs on people as well. And, yeah, I would like to hear your thoughts about, you know, um, what have you seen, helps this most and, how does this relate to mindfulness?
Lennon: when you say it helps this most, you mean like the,
Maria: overcoming or kind of like getting to the root of, you know, what’s behind it for what, how you can work your way through it. especially relating to the questions, you often ask people in the meetings, which are sometimes a little tough, but
Yeah. I think the thing that always helps the most is believing that the worst is not as bad as we think it is. Um, but we have to really believe that, that’s a hard thing, you know, because nine times out of 10, little voices are developed and rooted in fear of some kind, you were afraid of something. And so, we have to believe on the other side of that, what that voice or those voices are telling us is not actually true. and you’re right. Like it is rooted in truth and that it’s that gray line that becomes so challenging to navigate. Because I say to myself like, Lennon, you need to be careful. Like, you don’t want your family to go broke.
Right. there’s an experience that I’ve had that created that story, which is like at some point we were really struggling, and there was a lot of stress in our household. There was a lot of stress in, Jamie, my wife, and my marriage. There were just a lot of things that were there.
Right now, the context of the current state of affairs is very different. if I said, well, Lennon, you don’t want to be broke. Like, that’s true. But also in many ways, I. Jamie and i’s marriage is way healthier than it was at that time. We communicate at a much higher level. we are much more patient with one another. And so, I can’t use past experience in a modern context, so keeping that in the forefront of my mind is really important for me personally to get past it.
And so, it ultimately comes down to, yes, the fear is relevant, but it’s not necessarily justifiable. It’s not necessarily true and if it were true, and I’m sure you guys have talked about these kinds of things, if it were true, how would I handle it? and is it, is my desire to reach this next level strong enough? Overcoming that the worst possible scenario is still worth that risk. And so that’s the thing I often ask myself personally: okay, I am terrified that I’m going to be broke, so we’ll just keep using this example. So, if I am broke, what’s the worst that can happen? Well, we get behind on our credit card bills. We get behind on our mortgage. There’s all these things that we have to do. I have to go out and get a new job, and I have to hustle my little tushka off for the next however long. Is that worth risking for this potential reward? And the answer is yes, right now it’s worth that risk.
So, when I come to that level, it’s like, okay, I can at least move forward. and so that becomes, I think my own, that’s my own personal journey. I try, I can’t always get someone else to like. Have that place. But I do think ultimately that’s what we all come down to is that the desire has to be stronger than the fear, for us to move into the next place. And so, I think our mindfulness or our awareness, you know, so really calibrating, these stories that we’re telling ourselves is the secret weapon. and so two questions if you’re, that anybody could use right now, and these are great questions that my coach taught to me is, you know, if you’re trying to get past something and there’s a fear, then say, what is, um, what do you get from being in this place of fear? What are you actually gaining from that?
Because there’s always a gain for us to stay in this place. So, for me, it may be like, well, I know that I’m not going to go broke because I can stay right here and I’m going to be okay. Um, or I know that I can continue to grow at this rate. Okay, great.
that’s great. So that’s the gain. What’s, now the second question is what is it costing you to stay here? Well, there’s a lot of stress. There’s a lot of frustration. There’s a knowing that like, I could be doing more if I could just like step past this thing, so those two questions have been really beneficial to me to increase my awareness of a situation and try to move forward. and so, I would suggest anybody ask those two questions. because we’re almost always motivated by the benefit or the opposite of that, the punishment,
which isn’t the word I would want to use, but you know, that’s the idea.
Maria: Yeah. Yeah. I think it, it becomes kind of like a level of. Um, awareness or mindfulness, right? I mean, obviously, you have to start out with the awareness that you are feeling fear that you are blocking yourself, right? that’s not necessarily a given either.
Lennon: that’s a great point. That’s exactly right. Yeah.
Maria: and, being able to see that you are and getting to the root of why. and I think what we’ve also talked about in the past with radical acceptance is also accepting that it’s okay to feel this way. It is okay for you to be afraid of going broke, right? you’re not like, oh no, I am, a terrible person because I’m not pushing forward strong enough, right?
For example. So, this acceptance of your current state, that we usually talk about with mindfulness and then, yeah, and then going into the, Into the future state or, accepting of any outcome of, you know, you seeing your worst, case scenario. Like really playing that through and, being okay with that if that comes right.
So, can I follow that up with a question for you two? Because I’d be curious when, when you say you first have to recognize that you’re in a state of fear, you know? Um, I would say that that was kind of my first level of like, mindfulness is oh, this is what I’m feeling. I didn’t know that was what I was feeling. how do you get someone to start to get into that base level? The recognition and identification of a feeling or like where their state of mind is.
Yeah. Yeah, I think there’s, it’s. Difficult because obviously everyone has to get there themselves, right? It’s like hard to get someone there. the kind of the paradox of the whole thing. But I think, you know, if you start out with okay, you have a general feeling of something not right, right.
this is not how I want it to be. Like something is off or something, you know, you like just to feel like there’s something not right and then you can, you know, start questioning it, and then there’s different methods, you know, like with, a lot of the traditional routes,
with meditation and, feeling into your body. Like where are you feeling things And, I think that’s a good starting point. and journaling, shadow work. We’ve talked about shadow work before, asking yourself the hard questions and some of the roots of some of your fears, for example, you know, so you can be aware of, okay, so, you know, what do I want if I’m not, if I’m feeling off, if something is not right, like where is that, where does that feeling or originate from?
So that exploration, right? I think then you can go from there.
Lennon: Mm-Hmm. That’s so good.
Maria: I think you inevitably get to the point to see that, hey, this is not, uh, here is where we, where this lies or where this comes from. And I think you did this pretty great in your modules like the first module where you’re exploring yourself and your own, future that you can see yourself or what is it, what you really, why are you doing things?
Maria: I think that that’s a good step.
Jackie: And you know, mindfulness. All mindfulness practices really sit and begin with becoming the observer. And so, when we do these kinds of practices and we start to, you know, as Maria said, pay attention to how we’re feeling, the feelings that are coming up, the things that are starting to distract us from our practice.
As we sit there and try to separate ourselves from that story and, by watching the story, by listening to what comes up and not judging and just hearing what comes through us as we pause, as we get quiet, we can start to learn what those fears are and what is really at the crux of our discomfort or of our distraction.
but it’s really difficult because, we have to sit with it and we’ve got to feel it and you know, it’s like, okay, I feel in the pit of my stomach or I want to think about this or, I’m really attached to this idea. And our mindfulness practices can illuminate those.
And then as we walk away from our practice, we go into our lives it can kind of distill into all of our behaviors and we can see, oh, hey, that’s that same feeling I had when I was uncomfortable meditating or, we can start to make those connections. Let’s listen to it and then you know we can let it go because It’s safe now and through a lot of the work. I saw that you’ve done Lennon it’s a lot about Giving people permission like it’s okay Like you can You know, work with this, go forward and move forward with it and so that’s, it’s really empowering.
Lennon: Yeah, I love that. I love the idea of curiosity. because I heard someone say it on a bad, I was having a bad week and someone was like, I literally heard it across the coffee shop. Or someone said, I’m just, I’m not trying to judge it. I’m just trying to stay curious. And I thought, there’s a word that I needed at that moment, that was like placed at the right time. And I just love that as a whole, um, thesis idea.
Maria: for me, yes. Yeah. I think that’s really important. Curiosity and being able to look at these things. there’s discomfort, in dismantling these walls or these crutches that we built for ourselves, right? They were at some point a tool and now they’re not useful anymore.
Or they’re broken tools. Right? And we need to fix them or get new tools that are good for the job at hand. But it is hard to. give stuff up. just if you think of, decluttering, right? getting, like letting go of things that were valuable at some point to you is very hard because it’s very hard to detach the value.
but it’s not only that, I think it’s also when you do this, this exploration, it’s also not always a pretty sight. If you see yourself not being judgmental is so hard. Like it’s very hard not to see all the ugliness and all the beauty of it and be like, I’m seeing it all and not just the beautiful stuff.
Right. And the other stuff I want to not see.
Lennon: So good.
Maria: And I think that’s one of the
things that, you know, artists and anyone feels, especially in your with. You know what you’re trying to get people to be able to go out there online and be perceived. a lot of people, a lot of artists have an issue with that.
They want their art to be perceived, but they don’t want themselves to be perceived. a lot of them are introverts and neurodivergent and there is this level that’s, from their whole life experience where they like to hide behind their art. Right., like you said, with the musicians or with the visual artists, it’s the same thing.
and being genuine online and not putting on a mask your whole life you learn that’s what’s safe. Right. If you mask. so, I think, maybe that’s something you can, speak to a little bit as well. That, is being authentic because I think you put a lot of effort into the, a lot of emphasis on authenticity with
what you teach. And,
I think that’s one of the big hurdles as well for artists.
I will speak to this as best as I know how, because authenticity is a word that I’ve wrestled with a lot, um, over the, especially in the last six months, I’ve, I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about it that as something happened, I can’t pinpoint it, whereas, something shook kind of the definition of that for me. And I started to think okay, is authenticity. because I think it was someone who said, you can’t be authentic online because you’re curating the experience.
And I thought about that. so anytime something like hits me in the gut, I’m like, okay, do I agree with that or not? because I usually it starts with anger.
I’m like, all right, that kind of pissed me off. Like, why? Why does that make me mad? And then I have to realize oh, it’s because they’re challenging a belief of mine. Okay, then is my belief, does it stand or not? Or what is my belief?
So, then I have to like, question it, So I’m like, okay. I started going down this rabbit hole, and I concluded that it’s really about intentionality. Intentionality and I’m doing my best to articulate this because I’ve never tried, I’ve never tried this in like this way, but intentionality is the beginning of it. It says, I intentionally say I want to do this for myself or someone else. That’s my intention. And so, when we show up anywhere, it’s like my intention is to order a coffee. That can be one intention, or my intention is to order a coffee and make the barista feel seen and heard. Okay?
So then am I being inauthentic if I curate an experience by prepping a question that might make them feel comfortable? I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s inauthentic. I actually think it’s more because I’ve been intentional about it. But I think the gray area is when you are, to your point, Maria, you’re masking, you’re hiding something. to, maybe it’s out of fear. I don’t know. This is the part that I haven’t quite fully fleshed out in how I perceive it. But to me, it starts with intentionality. And then authenticity is something that we learn. it’s a skill because I have said this for a long time, which is that sometimes, sorry, everybody will say that. It’s hard work too. It’s hard to go and build your thing. And when I think about what’s been really hard for me. the hard part is often the fact that I am overcoming a fear.
It’s not the action. If I wasn’t afraid of this thing, the action would be
simple. It’s going to be posted on social media. why won’t I do that? because I’m afraid I’m going to do it wrong. So, there’s a fear there that makes me go, how do I do this their way? I’m like stripping away my own thing to do it right. And so, authenticity to me becomes like just how do I be a little more myself every day? How do I uncover what that looks like to just be comfortable in how I show up and not be afraid? I can be intentional without fear? And I think that is maybe somewhat my definition of what authenticity looks like.
I does that make any sense? because I’ve never tried to explain where that’s been in my brain.
Maria: it very much does. Yeah. Yeah, it does. I’ve always looked at authenticity online in a way of, showing up more as yourself. but I get where you’re getting to with this curated because in a way you are curating it. and, looking at online videos or, posts or something like that.
The creation of that is, is. It’s like an art-making art, right? You’re painting something, you’re painting something, and your intention is to make your viewer or listener or whatever feel something about it. and if you can be authentic doing that, but you can also be unauthentic doing that.
So I think the authenticity comes in when you enhance, maybe just enhance what’s already there, like what you actually are and who you are and what you feel and what your values are versus, um, yeah, versus putting on a pretty dress that, is not you or painting in a way that is not you, just because it’s something that you believe. People will like
Lennon: Yes. Yeah. And I love that you included the idea of what your values are along with that intention. because I do think that’s a big part of it too. It’s to me when I think about my kids, I don’t want them to adjust, alter, or sacrifice their values based on how someone else might feel.
Because I think you can have your own values and still make someone else feel seen and heard.
Because I don’t think you have to have your own values, in opposition or conflict. I think you can do it alongside someone. And to me, that’s where like our authenticity bubbles, get burst is that we’re always trying to please someone in something as opposed to being like, I can sit here, and you can sit there and that’s okay.
And maybe that’s part of our cultural issues right now in some way.
Maria: Yeah. And I think, yeah, and you, I think you nailed it there because it made me think of, if you have a conversation with someone that is opposing your views or your values, let’s say it this way, they have opposite or different values, right? so it’s like the, you can still have a conversation with someone that has different values than you, and still make them, you know, feel, you know, kind of a non-judgmental way.
You can preserve your own values without, you know, you don’t, you don’t have to say yes and amen to this person and their values, but you can treat them in a way that aligns with your values.
Lennon: That’s right. Yeah. You can still have respect for another human being despite them having a differing opinion. Yeah.
Yeah. I love that.
Jackie: That also ties back to what we were talking about with authenticity too, because, I know I saw on your Instagram, Lennon talking about not, following external trends or, you said letting the world standard create our own journey. which I think a lot of people get on those bandwagons, but, it’s important for us to, look inward and find our authentic expression.
And I think that’s, really the only way maybe to create that connection that you’re talking about and showing someone that they are seen by. Showing yourself, by reciprocating that, by opening yourself to them and, creating the space for authenticity, to come through on both sides, I think, and there’s probably room for both of that.
I don’t know. what are your thoughts on, when it comes to marketing work and bandwagons, we can get likes that way. but. as you stress, we need to go inward.
Lennon: Yeah. So, I don’t position myself in opposition to trends. but I’m not anti-trends. I am, I’m anti-tactics. Like I don’t, I don’t, yeah, I don’t like when people just say, here’s the fastest way. As you said, to get like anything that’s surface level, I am anti, it’s like you are not helping someone by allowing them to get likes when it’s not helping them reach their actual goal.
What frustrates me to all get out is that people will justify and feed into our innate desire to be loved and use vanity metrics as the thing that they’re shooting for. When that is the problem like this like really fires me up because the reason that I’m anti-like tactic is because I do not want someone to look to a vanity metric as the win a vanity metric can. Helps you judge whether or not you are hitting a mark, and whether you’re communicating well. but it is not the end result. It’s if you want likes on social media, why do you want those, what should they be doing for you? Because a comment on social media is never the end result.
And if it is, then you are playing an ego game, like you’re not actually doing something worthwhile. So that’s really where my stance comes from when I talk about just trends or empty stuff. And so, what I am always trying to think of is what’s the end game for you? because burnout doesn’t happen when we, and, and a disliking of social media or feel, resentment towards something like those things don’t happen when we do. We know what we’re aiming for. They happen when we’re when our aim is clouded and we start to get impatient and frustrated, it’s I don’t know what the end looks like. That’s when we start to get frustrated. I’m not sure what I’m really trying to do here. And so, when I’m not getting this vanity metric like I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, but they just, you just don’t see that’s actually not the point.
Right. Those can lead to something else. yeah, I got a little heated on that. I don’t know if I answered the question, but that’s the biggest thing for me is to know your end game and start there. And then if you want to use trends to get people back to your message and that actually aids in your goal, do it a thousand percent do it right. But if that’s all you’re doing, then you know, likely you’re not going to have any real connection with somebody.
Jackie: Yeah, I know. I love that. And it’s a very mindful approach to marketing.
Lennon: Thank you, I’m really glad to hear that. Yeah
So, we’ll just sit in silence for a second.
Maria: Yeah. I’m just trying to think if there’s something else, we would like to ask. We’ve covered quite a bit
Lennon: yeah. These are good. This is a fun set of topics and I do like the approach that you add, like where does mindfulness sit in this? because I don’t ask that kind of questions. it was fun for me to ponder that. So, thank you for being thoughtful in that, approach.
Maria: No, that’s great. I’m glad that we could, bring something for you to take away as well.
Lennon: Yeah, you, I always love talking about these things, especially when, I think about it all the time and, seeing how it fits in other areas is I think, really important. because I don’t often get the opportunity to express like more than this, yeah, I want what people do to be thoughtful.
And I want people to be aware, and I want people to feel that they are in control. and that’s a journey. That is not often a destination that we hit but understanding that has been really helpful for me. even in a season right now where Quite honestly, I feel really, for lack of better words, apathetic. there’s just a lot happening. I’m just in the grind of everything. And, my awareness tells me like, oh, this is part of a process. and then I say, okay, well I don’t want to feel apathetic. I want to feel engaged. I can then go and say, okay, well why am I doing this?
but I wouldn’t be able to ask myself those questions to try to get me out of this apathetic state if I didn’t approach it by just trying to be aware and mindful of what I’m doing. And again, I’m not great at it. Like my emotions get the best of me every day. But I have seen results change because of my ability to be more aware a little bit, the tiniest bit every day. and so yeah, it is totally a journey that is worth each of us, fighting through. because some days it’s a fight.
Maria: Yeah, absolutely. and that’s really what mindfulness practice is all about. And it’s a never-ending cycle where we hone in on exactly those. Feelings and being able to feel them. and I know exactly what you mean by this apathetic state. I’ve definitely felt that recently too. there’s just a lot going on and sometimes it’s just hard to, it kind of overwhelms us, then we shut it out or we shut down, right?
and I think mindfulness exercises really can help there because they let us, first of all, be the observer of it, and sit with it without being swept away by it. Right?
So, we can actually manage it, and it also expands our capacity to take these things in and watch these things and be able to feel those things without having to shut down as a coping mechanism, right.
Lennon: Yeah. Yeah. That’s so good. a little practice that I started doing that I actually found to be really helpful that maybe somebody listening would also find to be helpful is I just made a promise to myself that when someone asks me how I’m doing I’m very transparent about it. That I’m not afraid to express, like, just feeling a little apathetic about everything right now, like I’m working through it like everything’s good.
But this is kind of where I’m at because I, it’s that same thing of like authenticity and intention and making sure that I’m not like trying to disguise something because if I can’t, especially a good friend, if they’re asking me and I can’t express my true feeling at the moment, like, how am I acting in integrity to my own feelings and what they may need? Because just saying it aloud is sometimes enough to be like, oh, I feel better. And so that’s been a really simple but hugely transformative, exercise that I started doing.
Maria: Yeah. I love that. Yeah, definitely. It’s something we also talked about, recently because we had an episode called, awkward Pauses or Mindfulness in Conversation and how that’s socially kind of awkward at times because, you know, we are used to the, well, how are you? Oh, fine. Good.
Right. but I really like that. But I would like to add something to that,
Maria: exercise that you’ve been
going to. I think we can also put a mindfulness practice around the response to that. Because I know if someone comes to me, especially a friend, and says, oh yeah, I’ve been having a hard time or whatever, my brain goes into the logical problem-solving mode.
okay, what can I do? What needs to be done? How can I fix this for them? Right? what’s there to be done how can they fix it and how can I give them advice, right? So, it is kind of like a nice way to also say okay, maybe I can be mindful there too, and just be open to listening and receiving and just being there for them at that moment and, without judgment.
So, give them the space to express this because do you want this problem to be solved? I think oftentimes really, when we have these feelings and we allow ourselves to express them, just saying them out loud really already helps, and allowing others to do that.
I think that’s something that can be a nice mindfulness practice there.
Lennon: I love that. yeah, just listening. It’s hard to just
listen. it’s a challenge. Yeah. I love that.
Maria: Jackie, do you have anything to add?
Jackie: I think we covered quite a bit. Is there anything else, Lennon, that you’d like to share with our audience? Or let them know where people can connect with you?
Lennon: Sure. Yeah, so you can find pretty much anything that I’m doing under Stop the Starving Artist. So stopthestarvingartist.com. There’s a very poorly kept podcast that I’m trying to revitalize. Uh, there’s a YouTube channel, probably the most active on TikTok and on Instagram as well. So, find me in all those places. the main thing is if you’re creative and you’re looking for Jackie’s words, like a mindful approach to marketing, and you’re just not sure why your stuff isn’t working. we do offer a free, social media audit.
And so, you just go to stop the starving artist.com. You can fill out an application there and if we feel like we can serve you, to our highest potential based on where you’re at, then we’ll give you a free audit and see what that might look like. we really just want everyone to feel like we’re doing things a little bit differently from other people in this space.
and that’s hard to scale. I’m learning very quickly, but we’re going to do the best we can and keep going after that.
Maria: Thank you.
Lennon: Yeah. Thank you.
Maria: I want to Thank you. for being on the podcast. It was a wonderful discussion. and I hope all of our listeners, took something away. And, as always, anyone watching or listening, if you have any comments or questions, please let us know any feedback because we love to hear from you.
Lennon: And if I can, I just want to say I acknowledge both of you for doing very important work of reminding us to be aware and to be mindful. And this is not easy work. The change that you are bringing into people’s lives is really, really important. I just want to say how grateful I am that you’re doing that, and how grateful I am to just be a tiny part of today.
So, thank you for allowing me to be here. Is really fun.
Jackie: Thank you. That’s very kind of you.
Great. Wonderful. I know our listeners are going to get a lot from this episode and I hope, some of them reach out and find, some help from you. So, stop the starving artist, check it out also, make sure you reach out to us, and give us a follow if you haven’t yet.
we’re @becomingmindfulpodcast on socials or becomingmindfulpodcast.com. Thank you so much for tuning in and listening, and until next time, be well.