181: Never Stop Creating Yourself


“One of the trifecta of the things that I’m interested in exploring is creativity, consciousness, and culture.”

Hey, guys, welcome back to ONKEN RADIO, the podcast where we explore the body, mind, and soul of the creative entrepreneur. It’s my goal to help you take your creativity, business, and life to the next level. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey!

Some of you will remember that on Episode 178, I talked about the top 21 things I learned in 2019. But I truly believe that learning is an ongoing process. It’s important to continually take time to reflect and see what lessons we can learn from our past experiences. That’s why I’m going to be bringing you individual solo episodes where I really dive deep and unpack each one of those 21 things I learned.

That’s why today, I’ve got a sweet little solo episode on the number one lesson I learned last year: never stop creating yourself.

As a creative person, I believe it’s essential to integrate creativity into every part of your life — mind, body, spirituality, business, and anything else you can think of! That kind of Creative Alchemy is what I live and work for, and I want to inspire you to do the same.

So let’s take a look at what it means to create yourself. I want to look at the integration of creativity with our individual selves and the broader culture we’re a part of. I want to explore what it means to make meaning and create the biggest life you can! And I want to give you a few tips and recommendations to help you on your own creative journey along the way.

Creativity, Consciousness, and Culture

One thing I’m really fascinated by — and that I think is related to this topic — is the intersection of creativity, consciousness, and culture. I think that for a long time, there’s been this strong divide between those three things. But the truth is, we can bring our creativity to our consciousness and our culture and vice versa. There is actually a lot of overlap!

And the cool thing is that science is beginning to prove that. You guys may have heard of people like Joe Dispenza and Bruce Lipton — these are people who have dedicated their lives to understanding how these things intersect. And what they’ve found is that there is plenty of evidence that our minds are the source of our creativity and the things we can manifest in our lives. And, of course, those things have a dramatic impact on our culture.

I’ve seen the gaps between those things closing in my personal life, too. I work with an amazing meditation teacher, Emily Fletcher, and she’s taught so much about the neuroscience of meditation. It turns out that meditation actually has physical effects on your nervous system that destress you and help you get in touch with your creativity.

We all get older, and we all go through things in life. For example, a couple of years ago, I went through a bad breakup. It was a very dark time for me, and I needed help getting back to a space where I could feel excited to be creative again. But thankfully, I’ve learned how to elevate my consciousness and get back in touch with my creativity. I’m able to work again, and I’m truly enjoying the creative stuff I get to do.

That’s why my anthem is “Never stop creating yourself.” You are a consciousness walking around in a meat-suit vessel if you will, and that means you have the opportunity to grow, evolve, and change. Every experience in your life is an opportunity for a lesson. I hope you and I will both choose to continue growing and experiencing that intersection between our own creativity and consciousnesses with our culture.

We Are Meaning-Makers

I fundamentally believe that we create the meaning of everything in life. Everything that happens to us — whether good or bad — is an opportunity for us to create profound meaning. In fact, I don’t even think we can label anything “bad,” because we can choose to find something good in any situation.

I mentioned earlier that I went through a particularly painful breakup recently. I was in a lot of pain, and it was hard to see that experience as a good thing when I was in the middle of that struggle. But the truth is, just like with any other “bad” experience, I had the option to choose to learn from it and see it as a good thing.

It wasn’t always easy, but I chose to get through that experience. I chose to move through it even though it was hard. I told myself that “this too shall pass,” and I found a way to alchemize that experience and create myself into something a little different and a little better than I was before.

We all have that choice all the time. No matter what we’re going through, every minute of every day, we have the choice to let our experiences either overwhelm us or teach us. And every time you make that choice, you create yourself. You create meaning in your life.

I want to share with you a few great tools I’ve discovered that have really helped me consciously and intentionally choose to let every moment be an opportunity to learn. 

The first one is Vedic meditation. That’s what Emily Fletcher — my meditation teacher who I mentioned earlier — has taught me. Vedic meditation actually helps you physically destress your body. When you destress your body, you get rid of the monkey chatter — all the noise in your head telling you negative stories. And when you get rid of the monkey chatter, you’re not living in fear. Instead, you’re living in love, and you can get back to a space where you can create yourself the way you want to.

The other valuable technique that has been hugely helpful for me is breathwork. Deep, intentional breathing helps you detach from your brain’s default mode. All-day long, your brain naturally tells you stories. It strings your experiences together into a narrative without really making you conscious of it.

But sometimes, you can get caught in a loop. You might get stuck in a negative thought spiral — that’s what happened to me during my breakup experience — and when you’re in that bubble of negativity, it can be really hard to step outside of it and choose to keep creating yourself. But breathwork can help you detach from that negative spiral and start thinking clearly and creatively again.

Create the Biggest Life Possible

Techniques like Vedic meditation and breathwork allow you to rewire your brain. You create new thought patterns and unlock potential you never dreamed you had. And with that potential, you get to create the biggest life possible.

I believe in creating the biggest life possible across all categories — creativity, relationships, community, finances, personal development, spirituality, health, and wellness. We all have strengths and weaknesses. The only difference is that we need to put more time into cultivating the skills we need to turn weaknesses into strengths.

And that does take work. Sometimes it takes deep, spiritual work. But it’s so worth it. We have to set intentions and goals and dreams for ourselves so that we keep creating ourselves and making our lives bigger and bigger.

At the beginning of this year, I took a whole day to sit down by myself and write down everything I wanted to move toward this year. Every goal, project, aspiration, and dream I wanted to achieve. That list is sort of like a roadmap — it reminds me of where I’m going and inspires me to keep moving and keep working. And that’s essential because I want to make my life as big and fulfilling as possible while I’m here.

After all, we only have one life on this little Earth. I know that I want to spend mine making things. I want to make photographs. I also love making custom hats. And now, I love making this podcast and talking to interesting people!

How do you want to spend your one short life? Are you going to sit still and be content merely to get through your days? Or are you going to move through your experiences and create your life exactly as you want it to be?

Never Stop Creating Yourself

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 of 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.

I really hope this episode inspired you guys to get out there and create the biggest lives you can imagine! You have so much creative potential, and your creativity has the power to unlock potential in your consciousness and the culture around you more than you may be aware of.

And you can start being a Creative Alchemist today. You can take steps to engage with your consciousness and creativity right now! You can practice that Vedic meditation or breathwork I talked about earlier.

You can also start reading. Let me tell you — recently I’ve realized that audiobooks are my JAM! But whether you like reading or listening to them, books are a great way to expand your mind and engage with the learning process. I have plenty of great recommendations on my Amazon booklist here! Some of my favorites are Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. But you should totally check out my Amazon list and see what you might be interested in!

And by the way, don’t forget to check out my website! There, you can find a quick ten-question quiz designed and get some of my best free content to help you out on your creative journey.

Thank you so much for joining me today, guys! I hope you enjoyed this episode — if you did, please screenshot it and post it to Instagram and tag me, @nickonken. And if you’ve got time, leave me a review on Apple podcasts! I’d love to hear your feedback.

Now go live the biggest life you can imagine. And remember — never stop creating yourself.

Thanks, everyone! I’ll catch you next time!

Nick Onken

“We should always be expanding ourselves and evolving and growing.”

You can Subscribe and Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts. And please leave me a Rating and Review!


Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • Which people does Nick look to for advice [2:00]
  • What is the neuroscience behind meditation [2:20]
  • What tools do you need to maintain a positive outlook [5:30]
  • How breathwork has helped Nick [6:10]
  • What is Nick’s life goal [7:55]
  • How to get yourself to read more [9:30]

Links Mentioned:

A FREE email series to create a personal visual brand authentic to who you are.

  • Accelerate your personal brand growth through the Identity Alchemy Method
  • Discover the authentic stories you want to share with your audience
  • Build your personal brand vision and crystallize it with a photoshoot
  • Learn how to ideate and create storytelling visual assets to enhance and up-level your personal brand
  • .. PLUS! You’ll get access my brand building book recs and favorite resources

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