193: Curate Your Container
“The magic happens when we’ve created a container around it.”
– Nick Onken
Hello, fellow earthlings — welcome back to another episode of ONKEN RADIO (formerly NION Radio), the podcast where we explore the world of creativity, consciousness, and everything in between to help you alchemize your life to its fullest expression!
A Creative Alchemist is someone who alchemizes their inner world to create a more creative expression of their outer world — and to do that, they have to be dedicated to living a life in full-color. In this podcast, I want to share some concepts on how to activate that Creative Alchemist that’s inside all of you. Together, we will distill complex spiritual practices so that you can deepen your creative flow and create beautiful things.
What I’m going to share with you today is something that I’ve been practicing for many years, and I’m just now becoming aware of what it actually means for the creative process. It’s a method I call “curating your containers.”
We have so many containers in our lives — health containers, relationship containers, money containers, etc. When we’re intentional about curating those containers, they yield the best results for creative output, allowing us to live our lives in full-color and with intention.
But first, let’s start by discussing what living life in color truly means —
Create Your Moments by Tapping into Masculine and Feminine Energies
Living with vibrance and radiance is such a huge piece of living fully and getting the most out of the human experience. I started a hashtag a few years back called #createyourmoments, and since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about what that phrase truly means.
Life is filled with moments, but how many of those moments are creatively and intentionally crafted? When we create moments with intention, we create more moments that are meaningful, deep, and life-changing — these moments are what truly define the human experience.
But how do we experience more of these moments? How do we transcend the mundane and start creating life in a higher reality? You all know that I love to talk about masculine and feminine energy, and I think it applies to the creative process as well. We all have masculine and feminine energy within us — it’s just a matter of how it’s balanced. When we learn how to balance the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves, we become more creative and productive individuals, living life with intention.
A lot of men embody the masculine energy of “hustle, hustle, hustle.” It’s about creating with intention and making everything work together in order to achieve results. If I’m doing a photoshop for Nike, I’m going to intentionally bring in the elements that I want to bring — location, hair, makeup, etc. That’s an example of operating from a place of masculine energy.
Feminine energy has a different flow — instead of “hustle, hustle, hustle,” it’s more about going with the magic of the moment. So after intentionally organizing the elements of the photoshoot into a container, I allow myself to feel the magic of the container that I’ve created. I tap into my feminine energy and focus my attention on what I’m creating.
This can be applied to every aspect of life — not just photoshoots. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, illustrator, or physician, you can curate your containers by flowing between your masculine and feminine energy. It’s a balance between hustling with intention and enjoying the creative process.
But how do we do this effectively? How do we actually apply this information to our lives?
Three Ways to Curate Your Containers and Creative Experience
#1: Think of the Results
Before you begin the physical creative process, take some time to intentionally visualize the emotions, philosophy, and message of what you want to create. Curate the space around you to stimulate your subconscious brain to create that art in your physical work.
For example, I take time to intentionally create the space in my apartment so that I can be inspired just by living in this space. I want to keep my emotions elevated and create art that echoes joy, gratitude, and intention. So when I walk into my space, my subconscious mind is already soaking in those art pieces. I have a couch where I can meditate, soft lighting in the room, and incense burning — every element comes together to form a creative ritual. I also have my phone in the other room when I’m working on visualization so that I won’t get distracted from the process.
The bottom line is — intentionally curate your containers to amplify the message you’re trying to create. And before you curate your containers, you have to get clear on the results you want. What’s the end goal? Creativity? Fitness? Productivity? Friendships? Once you get clear on the results you want to achieve, you’re ready to start intentionally building your environment.
#2: Procure the Items That You Need in Your Space
This second step is simple — once you know what your container needs to look like, you have to go out there and find the materials you need. For example, maybe you want to start getting into meditation. I recently downloaded this app called Insight Timer that keeps track of your meditation progress throughout the year. It’s a great way to keep yourself on track to your meditation goals.
Another example would be buying a yoga mat, purchasing an oil diffuser, or any other tool that will heighten your creative experience. And this goes for other containers of your life as well! If you want to become more fit, then you could purchase some weights, an exercise bike, or invest in a program with a personal trainer. You curate your creative container by adding these items into your space, so don’t be afraid to invest some money into making it perfect for you.
#3: Design Your Space in an Artful Way
After you have all the materials you need, it’s time to design your space in an artful way that activates convenience. When you walk into your creative space, you want to start thinking instantly. You want your subconscious mind to immediately recognize that it’s time to create something beautiful — whether that’s a piece of artwork, a healthy relationship, or a productive day.
For instance, I have my supplements sitting in a prominent place in the kitchen so that I don’t forget to take them every day. For you, artful placement might mean putting quotes up behind your office desk so that you’re inspired to work productively. Perhaps it means listening to a self-development podcast as you work out so that you’re motivated to push beyond the limit of what you thought possible.
It’s all about intention — we’re creatures of habit, so we need to intentionally place things around our space that trigger our subconscious mind. Basically, you want to make it super easy for yourself to create the results you want.
Once we’ve done all these three steps, we can begin creating every moment of our lives with intention. And as we’re creating, don’t forget to embrace the magic and flow of that moment — tap into your feminine energy and alchemize your life into something truly magnificent.
Create Your Containers to Live a Life of Color
Alchemy is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained.
With that being said, I define Creative Alchemy as using the process of creativity to create a lens through which to perform alchemy. These principles not only apply to artists and creatives in their own creative processes, but to anyone who wants to create an extraordinary life in color for themselves. I’ve found that 80% of creating is alchemizing the thoughts, emotions, and other inner blocks that keep you from putting the pen to the paper. Navigating to the act of creation takes alchemical processes.
This week, I want to encourage you to choose a container in your life that you can begin curating. Whether that’s fitness, relationships, or art, take time to visualize the results, procure the objects you need, and place them throughout your space in an intentional fashion.
Keep in mind that all of those steps curate your plant medicine journey as well! When I’m doing a mushroom journey, I’m very intentionally setting that container. I have a specific playlist, I have a specific space where I take my journey, and I have a specific dosage. When I curate the container, the creative expression of that journey is so much more productive and healing for me. To learn more about the power of psychedelics and how I curate my experience, check out this episode.
And if you enjoyed reading this post, let me know on Instagram, @nickonken, and let me know what your biggest takeaways were. And if you’ve got time, leave me a review on Apple Podcasts! I’d love to hear your feedback.
Until next time, go out there and start creating every moment — with intention.
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“Living with vibrance and radiance is such a huge piece of living fully.”
– Nick Onken
Some things we learn in this podcast:
- What a creative alchemist is [0:30]
- Why it’s important to create with intention [3:00]
- How to balance masculine and feminine energy [4:00]
- What defines masculine energy [4:15]
- What characterizes feminine energy [5:35]
- How an insight timer helps Nick [6:20]
- How to trigger your subconscious [9:00]
- How to curate your life [11:30]
- How to curate your containers [11:30]
3 Tips on How to Curate Your Containers:
- Think of the results
- Procure the things that will get you there
- Design those things in an artful way that activates convenience