In today’s conversation, We discussed why introversion does not equal shyness, the importance of fun in building a career and life. We will hear Cat Rose’s advice to a sensitive and creative person who wants to make it as a successful entrepreneur. She told us how she managed to do things that terrifies her, the importance of personal connection and why ’Introvert needs people too’.
Jess Lively: jesslively.com/
Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com/
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
About Cat Rose:
Cat Rose helps creative introverts show their work and get the exposure they deserve. She does this through the League of Creative Introverts online community, as well as one-to-one coaching and her podcast, the Creative Introvert.
Her aim in life is to help all her clients do what they love and realise their dreams, whilst honouring their personality type and preferences.
Imi: Welcome to Eggshells Transformations, Cat. Thank you so much for being here. Yeah, it’s a real pleasure to meet you and to know you.
Cat Rose: Thank you! No, it’s a pleasure to be interviewed by you, Imi.
Imi: So, we have some email exchanges before and we realized we actually have quite a lot in common, including our love for Japan, both being an introvert. What’s the tagline of your site? It’s called Cat Rose, the Creative Introvert.
Cat Rose: Yeah, I was like, oh no, do I have another one? But yes, basically the Creative Introvert. I’m basically helping introverts, particularly introverts who work in the creative industries, to get their work out into the world. Especially for those of us, which tends to be many introverts, who don’t really like the marketing side of things, and trying to find ways that actually work for us.
Imi: Yeah. Well, I think you’ve built a really creative, beautiful, and inspiring career, which we will come back to. But I always like to start from the beginning.
Imi: What was childhood like for you? I’m assuming you were an introvert, and you didn’t just suddenly become and introvert.
Cat Rose: Right. Well yeah, it’s funny. As a child, I was definitely called shy and quiet quite a lot, terms which I knew were used not in a nice way. It wasn’t like, “Cat, you’re so quiet. How lovely.” It was like, “Oh, that kid’s a bit quiet. That’s not a good thing.” I’ve come to see since then that introversion isn’t necessarily the same as being shy or quiet, though that definitely was a big part of my childhood.
Cat Rose: Actually since then, I’ve kind of worked on that shyness element a bit, which I think is something that can be worked on. Whereas introversion itself, this getting your energy from spending time alone, preferring the company of just maybe individual, and preferring to get into deep conversations; that has always existed and continues to be the case. And yeah, I didn’t realize what an introvert even was until my early 20s.
Imi: That was a really meaningful distinction between shyness and introversion, where there’s nothing wrong with introversion whilst shyness is something that’s optional.
Cat Rose: Right.
Imi: How did you discover about your own trait, when you were 20?
Cat Rose: Yes. It was actually just after I had left my job at a digital design agency in London, which on paper was the perfect job, especially for somebody just fresh out of university. Job market wasn’t great; I guess it still isn’t now. I really had a hard time just trying to do that life. Doing the busy London commute, spending all day in an open-plan office space. I didn’t really realize that was the case at the time. It wasn’t until I’d left and I’d gone freelance, and I was talking to my friend. He pointed out, “Cat, I think it’s because you’re an introvert. That’s why. You’re perfectly sociable, but you have a limit. You loved the work you were doing at that job, but you didn’t love the environment.” He had read the Susan Cain book Quiet, which I’m sure everyone’s familiar with, and recommended I check it out.
Cat Rose: Yeah, because at first I thought, “Introvert … I’m not shy anymore.” I was really kind of … Again, I thought the term was derogatory. I didn’t think it was a good thing. It wasn’t until I read Susan Cain’s book that I realized this is actually something to celebrate.
Imi: And now you’ve built a career around it.
Cat Rose: Yeah, didn’t expect that to happen, I can tell you.
Imi: I mean, since the work of Elaine Aron on the highly sensitive people, as well as Susan Cain in championing introverts, there has been a lot more awareness and attention, even in the mainstream media. Were you worried that sort of the market was too saturated; the space is too full for you to enter it?
Cat Rose: Yeah, that’s such a great question because it definitely came up. Maybe not when I first started the Creative Introvert. I started blogging, and it wasn’t really a concern. Maybe about a year in, and I started to really see more of it. But quite quickly, I realized actually this is not something to worry about. This is something to celebrate, and to help others who are doing something similar. Because really, what we want happening is for everyone to realize that introversion is a trait, a quality to be celebrated. We want things to change. We want workplaces to change. We want events, large-scale events, to sort of be more introvert friendly. And this kind of change isn’t going to happen unless it is almost like a saturated market.
Cat Rose: So actually reflecting now, I’m like, it’s not even saturated enough. I think there is so much more for people to be talking about this, and talking about how it differs from person to person. I think introversion isn’t as simple as you get your energy from spending time alone. I have this kind of rogue response to that. I think it’s different for many of us. I think there’s much more that we could be learning about introversion and the personality in general, so I’m really excited about where that’s all going.
Imi: Yeah, I agree. For the public consciousness to change, there needs to be a lot of Susan Cains, a lot of Elaine Arons. There’s definitely enough space for all of us to thrive. Also, with all our different thing, within the umbrella of introverts, there are many gradients and many different shapes and forms of introverts.
Cat Rose: Completely. Yeah.
Imi: Yes. And I’m looking at your website; I find it to be really authentic and unique, because you definitely have your own voice, you own artwork in there. Do you make all the art on your website?
Cat Rose: Yeah, yeah. Because that’s part of my background. I wanted to be an illustrator from when I was very, very little. I went down the route of design. So design, illustration, all the kind of visual elements to my work; it was really important for me to bring that through. Hence why it’s the Creative Introvert. I’m not speaking to all introverts; I’m specifically speaking to people who are trying to work in the creative industries. That said, it does tend to cross those borders a little bit more. But yeah, for me, being able to express myself through visual things like the comics and just the color scheme, stuff like that; I really enjoy that element. It’s good fun, basically.
Imi: Yeah, exactly. I was going to say, what really across is that you have a lot of fun doing it.
Cat Rose: For sure.
Imi: I actually saw a project that’s called A Year of Fun.
Cat Rose: Yeah, yeah.
Imi: Can you say a bit more about that?
Cat Rose: Sure. Yeah, that came about from … I think a lot of people now, at the start of the year, we don’t necessarily set goals. We set maybe intentions or words or values-driven statements. I’d kind of been going through some words, and I was reflecting at the end of … I guess that was at the end of 2017, about what my word should be for the next year. I realized that fun was something that I hadn’t really been cultivating, even though it was one of my top values. Something that I aspire to create in my life. I have a tendency in myself to get a bit serious from time to time. That doesn’t feel like who I really am. I really do think that I have a fun side, and that I get a lot of joy in life from being jovial, I guess.
Cat Rose: How could I, I guess, make a project out of that? That’s also my more analytical side. It’s like, well, if I have this term, how do I actually make it real? So my theory was I’m going to do one fun thing every week and kind of see how it goes. You’ll see my analytical side, because I actually rated everything I did out of 10. But that whole year taught me a lot about what I really think fun is. It surprised me a lot about the fact that fun ended up being doing stuff mostly with people, particularly like one or two other people, close friends. That really added to my fun. So just having solo fun wasn’t as fun.
Cat Rose: Yeah, and my need to spend less time looking at a screen, which had been my career up until that point. Or even as a kid, I spent a lot of time just watching TV and playing video games, which I’m not necessarily proud of now. But that was it; my life has very much been behind a screen, and I kind of got the fear of that in me during that year. I’ve tried to change things since then.
Imi: What have you found to be the most fun out of all the experiments that you have done?
Cat Rose: One thing that just pops to mind now, because there were a bunch, truly; doing improv comedy, which I thought would’ve been terrifying. And in a way, it was. But one thing that helped was I did go with a friend. So this is something that, like I said, I learned. I learned that I could do things that terrified me as long as I brought a friend that I trusted and knew would be a good crack to bring along.
Cat Rose: I also learned about the importance of good group facilitation, which I’m really passionate about now. Because the person who led the comedy group was really great and really sensitive to what we all needed. The whole group; they were probably all introverts. That’s kind of what I sensed from people. So it was really interesting that we just happened to be a group of slightly more quiet and reserved individuals who were pushing their comfort zones. And everyone was so supportive of each other because of that.
Imi: One thing you keep coming back to is the importance of people in your life; be it one or two friends or a good group. Which is, I’m imagining, sits in contrast with most people have in mind when they think of an introvert; is a bit like a hermit or [inaudible 00:10:29] in solitude. But what you’re referring to is quite a different picture.
Cat Rose: Yeah, I mean, this definitely came as a surprise for me. Especially in terms of business as well. I kind of thought that an online business, going freelance was all going to be great for me as an introvert, because I could just do everything myself. You’ve probably found this out as well. You can’t do it all alone. Really sort of embracing that, and doing it slowly, because I really think it’s kind of like one connection at a time, which is very introvert friendly.
Cat Rose: Yeah, so I’ve kind of been surprised by that myself, and I’ve just been figuring it out as I’ve gone along. I keep coming back to this phrase, which is, “Introverts need people too.”
Imi: Yeah. Introverts need people too.
Imi: How are you finding the online business scene?
Cat Rose: It’s interesting. I feel like it’s not that I think it’s changed a lot over the years, because I guess my first dabbling in it was blogging, and even just blogging for fun. I didn’t expect to turn anything into a business really, other than doing my web design, which is kind of where I started.
Cat Rose: What’s been interesting to me is to see how the social media and stuff like that; that can all change and update. But again, the most important thing is still coming back to having a personal connection with people. You can even see it in the media we’re consuming. We’re leaning more towards long form video format, and maybe audio format equally alongside that, with these long podcasts and stuff like that. That’s kind of been interesting to me as an introvert who thought, at least at the beginning, I could distance myself from my work. I could have me, and I could have my work. And maybe a push, I’ll put a photograph, like a little small photograph of myself, on my website.
Imi: Like you have now, isn’t it? You’re really putting yourself out there, and you are the business.
Cat Rose: Right. That’s taken a lot. I think it’s actually been my own form of therapy in a way. You know? It helps me grow. As much as I’m growing the business, it’s helping me grow as well. And I’m seeing a lot of that happening as well; at least in the space that I’m in, which is good I think.
Imi: Yeah. Your work has really caught my attention. I like that your image is really strong, but you stay very feminine in a good way, in a sense that you’re very versatile. But your direction is also very clear and very focused. So I think you have built a really business and a good brand around your name.
Cat Rose: Thank you. That’s really interesting. I haven’t really spoken to anyone about those kind of characteristics and what does that look like in business; what does embracing the feminine look like? And equally, the masculine. I think that’s a really interesting thing.
Imi: I think the most successful people are able to balance the two, whilst walking their own authentic path. You know, I look at you; you have a lot of strong messages. And then I look at the navigation title, and there’s a really cute image of a cat. It all balances out. Yeah, it’s pretty wonderful.
Imi: What advice would you give to a sensitive, introverted person who also wants to be a creative and successful entrepreneur?
Cat Rose: I think take it slow, because something … I rush things. I don’t have very much patience traditionally. This is something that I had to work on. But it’s something that actually … As soon as I kind of surrendered to the idea of, “You know what? This is a process” … It doesn’t have to happen overnight. You don’t have to be in a rush, basically. Then it became a lot more fun and light, and actually I could see things progressing as soon as I kind of took that slowed-down approach. Which, I mean, what does that look like? Well, it looks like knowing that if you start a podcast, you should be in it for the long game if you can. Same with blogging. Somebody isn’t going to … I can’t tell you how many times, especially as a web designer, my clients will say to me, “Why am I not ranking on the first page of Google yet?” I’m like, “It doesn’t work like that anymore.” You have to build that stuff up. As soon as you accept that, things will become easier. So that’s one thing.
Cat Rose: The other is … I’ve kind of already been beating that point home, but having some good people around you. Even if it’s two, three people, maybe that are friends from home or school or personal friends. Or maybe they’re business friends. I’m really a big proponent of mastermind groups, so having like-
Imi: Oh, lovely.
Cat Rose: Yeah. I’ve had a couple in the past, and I’m just about to start a new group with my audience. I just feel like that’s something that until you experience it working, you don’t realize the power of that. The powerful of having different perspectives all focused on one point. Which is, let’s say you come to the group with a particular question or a problem. It’s really amazing to have that, and just to have the support.
Imi: Yeah, to be really nitty gritty about it, do you suggest people seek out paid versions? Because I know there are lots of paid versions and options, but there may also be free ones that you can start with your friends.
Cat Rose: Exactly.
Imi: Do you [inaudible 00:16:18] people to invest in it, or?
Cat Rose: I think if you can and the right group comes up for you, investing is fine. Especially if the person who’s running it or facilitating it … That they are almost going to be coaching you. They are going to take the lead. Because it takes something to actually organize the group. So, paid is fine, but only if you’re like, “I must work with that person who’s leading it. I must work with that facilitator.” If it’s just a random one that you’re googling, probably not.
Cat Rose: Other than that, I think trying to set up your own, as long as you know that it will take some organizing on your side. That’s also worth doing, especially in the early days.
Imi: Yeah, I agree. I think group facilitation is an art, and it makes a whole lot of difference.
Cat Rose: Right.
Imi: Hmm. Are there particular people or influencers that has inspired you the most?
Cat Rose: Oh, good question. I mean, it’s changed so much. It’s been interesting to see. It’s often quite surprising. For example, do you know Jess Lively?
Imi: No I don’t. I might … Spell it out, so I have to look it up properly.
Cat Rose: It’s Jess, as in J-E-S-S. Lively, as in to be lively. She had a blog, and I think she was very much for creatives … She made jewelry, so she had that kind of background. Then moved on to having a podcast, very much about business. It was quite like a left brain kind of stuff. And then she kind of switched the direction of the podcast, and made it way more spiritual, woowoo, all of those things.
Imi: Nice, out of the closet.
Cat Rose: Yeah, completely. It was really lovely to see the transition, and to see her just do it from a really genuine place. Just be like, “Guys, this is just where my passion is going right now. You can either come with me, or we’re going to have to say goodbye.” I just really loved the integrity; not to just keep doing the business thing because it was working. So she’s really somebody who I’ve really admired over the years.
Imi: Yeah. It’s a really good point, and thank you for saying that. Funny enough, I have recently rebranded my work, and it’s really very scary.
Cat Rose: It’s so scary.
Imi: On the surface, it’s like a change of name. Nothing much has to change. But actually when you consider all the complications of running a business; I’ve lost my SEO, people could no longer find me, et cetera and et cetera. You know, it’s quite scary.
Cat Rose: Yeah, it’s like a sacrifice we make to be more real [inaudible 00:18:58]. And also, I’ve been thinking about this recently as well; how our identity is kind of challenged when we do something like that. Because I’ve just kind of started going down this more … I don’t know. Spiritual is a word that’s banded around too much, so I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s that. But for example, I’ve been really getting into astrology. Trying to kind of admit that and be like, “I’m getting into astrology” … You know? It’s been quite hard for my identity to cope with that. But I also think it’s a good challenge. It’s a good test of will to be able to do that.
Imi: In a different but similar way, I’ve been trying to walk away from the academic psychology world, and go down my own woowoo path and sort of create something that is unique for people. Yeah, and I really understand that need to come out of your spiritual … Well, spiritual … Let’s use that word for now … Astrology closet, and own who you are. That’s really brave. But I’m also already hearing some little noise and voices in myself complaining. Saying, “Yeah, it’s easy for Cat to say that. She’s got this business, she’s pretty, she’s done all these things.” I can imagine some of my audience also wondering how can they, if they are, say, trapped in a nine to five job, if they have taken the conventional path that they are not even comfortable about and they might be experiencing existential crisis that they know they want to wiggle their way out, but it’s not as easy. They need to feed themselves. It’s like going back to what you said earlier about taking it slow. I can imagine someone saying, “Well, I can’t afford to take it slow. I’ve got bills to pay.”
Cat Rose: No. It’s something that’s popped up; which, again, it’s not easy. It’s not an easy answer, but it’s definitely helped me at times when I felt that kind of resistance. You know, you’re kind of like between a rock and a hard place. You don’t like the situation you’re in, but it’s very scary to take on that next step.
Cat Rose: So my first thing would be, have her think about what’s this costing you if you stay in this situation. For example, when I was at my nine to five, had I stayed in that … I mean, I knew I had about a year or two before I’d have a complete mental breakdown. Really. I kind of knew it was coming, but I really had to kind of go into that space, which is a dark space, to actually look at that and imagine your life even worse than it is now. Because if you continue this thing, assuming that you do, it is going to be worse. So actually looking at that and seeing how bad can it. Then, what’s the alternative? How good can things get if you take this leap of faith?
Cat Rose: You know, honestly I’ve heard so many people who don’t have to do it overnight. They can take it slowly, building it up. Building up a business on the side. Yeah, and that does tend to be my approach, at least when I try something new. I’m always like dabbling in the background, for example with the astrology thing. I didn’t just like overnight decide I’m going to dive into this thing. It was just like a little bit here and there and building stuff up.
Cat Rose: But yeah. It’s that. It’s kind of thinking, how bad can things get? How good can things get? And do you want it enough? Because in many cases, people don’t actually want it enough. Maybe they don’t need to make a radical change; they just need to change something very small in their life and even their day to day life. But yeah, I love that stuff. I love helping people crack that code of what’s wrong right now, and how can we make it better?
Imi: Yeah, that’s a really useful mental strategy. And another thing I always ask people to think about is that yes, there is a risk to changing, but there’s the risk to not changing. Think about the slow death that slowly kills you in the background, and making you feel bad and numb and stuck.
Cat Rose: Yeah, that’s often enough to scare people. I mean, if in doubt, move towards that fear. That’s when fear is useful.
Imi: Yeah, yeah. And I do think taking risk and living “dangerously” does give you a big sense of aliveness that is essential-
Cat Rose: Completely.
Imi: … to feel things. Yeah.
Imi: Do you think in the beginning of your journey or at any point of your journey, do you suffer from low self esteem? Lack of confidence? Imposter syndrome? Feeling like you’re a fraud? Any of that sort?
Cat Rose: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I know those feelings very, very well. It’s every time … I’ve noticed it now that it’s any time I do move into a new area. So, back when I was only doing web design and digital marketing and stuff like that, to actually start talking about the mindset things and actually move into the kind of psychology realms; that was really hard. I remember feeling that imposter syndrome then. I remember just being on Twitter and being like, okay so I guess I need to start following all these people in this new industry. That feeling of being on Twitter and being the lurker of this industry, and I had a list of all of these people who I was aspiring to then; and just feeling very timid about that.
Cat Rose: Over time and through talking to those people, sending tweets and DMs to them and actually the courage to one by one form connections and realize that they were actually real people; that helped me feel more like I was part of the club. I’m doing it right now. I’m starting from scratch again, again with the astrology thing. I went to a conference recently and I was like, “Oh my god. I’m out of my depth.” I can’t remember a time when I felt as [crosstalk 00:25:07]-
Imi: … the new kid.
Cat Rose: Yeah, completely. It’s that feeling. One thing that I like to remember is Tom Hanks, who’s one of my favorite actors; he talks about having imposter syndrome. All of these amazing people still suffer from that. So that’s always reassuring to know that it doesn’t reflect on you or your talent or ability. It’s just-
Imi: If anything, I think you have a lot to be proud of. Anyone who is making a direction change has a lot to be proud of, because you are taking a risk, you’re experimenting with life. Which does come with risk, but as I said, that’s what life is for. Constant experiment and movement. You always [inaudible 00:25:48] something.
Cat Rose: Yeah, yeah.
Imi: Gosh, what a live. Yeah, I know you also are a frequent traveler. You said you just lived in the States for three months, and then you used to live in Japan, which would be my dream.
Cat Rose: Yeah, this all came about partly because of The Year of Fun. Like I said, I was kind of moving away from spending as much time on the screen. I mean, it’s a mixture of things. Obviously I don’t have the kind of responsibilities that a lot of people have that ties them down to one location. It was one of those, “If not now, when?” things. So I’ve taken this year to do just that; to live in different places, to figure out maybe there’s somewhere other than the UK that I could live happily. Depending on how difficult it is to move to whatever country. And how can I, while I’m traveling, not be wedded to my laptop? So I’ve been doing of work exchanges, which I recommend to anyone, especially introverts. If you’re a solo traveler, as an introvert, I personally find it very difficult to reach out and actually try to make friends when I’m traveling.
Imi: Well, could you say a bit more what that means?
Cat Rose: Oh sorry, yes. So work exchange is … Some people might have heard of wwoofing. It’s basically you trade some of your time and labor, so you might be helping out on a farm or just in somebody’s garden, maybe even like babysitting. Just doing kind of basic jobs in exchange for room and board.
Imi: Oh, I see.
Cat Rose: It’s just like four hours a day usually, five days a week. Which gives me, personally, plenty of time to be doing everything else. As a city girl all my life, to be actually out in a proper farm like planting trees; I really needed that. I don’t know-
Imi: Did you do that in Japan?
Cat Rose: No. I’m going to be doing that in Japan later this year, but so far it’s only been Portugal and the States. But it’s just been amazing. The people you meet through that … Yeah, I highly recommend it if you can do something like that. I think a lot of digital nomads, that kind of thing … That’s all good and well to go to another country, work from your laptop. I was dabbling in that, but there was something a little bit unfulfilling. I’ve just realized that the answer was I wasn’t … This kind of idea of service, which exists in many faiths, is like selfless service. That kind of has come into it, and I think that’s kind of given this particular type of travel a real deep meaning for me. It just feels good.
Imi: That is a really unique perspective. Because I know the digital nomad thing has become so popular. It has almost been everyone’s dream nowadays. And hearing that you find that slightly unfulfilling is quite a refreshing perspective.
Cat Rose: Yeah. I haven’t looked too much into it. I just know that for me, travel in my 20s was my favorite thing. I lived to travel. But towards the end of my 20s, I was like, this is missing something. Just this year I’ve realized what it is. I’m going to say, again, but it really is people.
Imi: And life has rewarded you with happiness and fulfillment, because you have tried different things and you know what’s worked and what doesn’t.
Cat Rose: Yeah, there’s a lot to be said for making … You’ve mentioned it a couple times, like risks, basically. You know, and they’re not uneducated risks. We weigh things off. And actually, most introverts including myself, are pretty risk averse.
Cat Rose: And also you mentioned experimenting, and that’s something I’m a big proponent of. You don’t have to like sell the farm; you can test something else. This year, this is a test. I’m currently home right now, so I’ve taken this month as a kind of break; a time for me reassess the last six months. Because at any point I could just say, “You know what? I’m done with the travel thing.” And that’s okay; I haven’t failed or anything like that. It’s like, I’ve run the experiment and here we are. So I think treating these things, even if they scare you, as an experiment, that seems to be the slightly less scary, less risky approach.
Imi: Well, what’s the role of money in all this?
Cat Rose: Did you say the role of money?
Imi: Yeah, the role of money. Or do you think money buy happiness? Do you think it’s essential?
Cat Rose: Yeah, so I’ve definitely taken a pay cut by sort of doing this work exchange thing. I mean, yes, what’s great is I don’t have any rent to pay right now. The real expense is traveling. So particularly with this work exchange thing, people can really do this on a shoestring. That means that everything else; all of your bills, food, rent are taken care of doing a few hours of work a day; great. That suits a lot of people who’d normally use money as an excuse not to travel.
Cat Rose: I guess with a laptop, I can do most things. So for me, it’s always been like, how can I diversify my income streams? Because I know, especially when I was only freelancing, that I can’t rely on that client to always be hiring me. Every freelancer knows how … Well, most know that that fear that is kind of always just below the surface of, “Even if things are going well for me now, what are they going to be like six months from now? Next month?”
Cat Rose: So for me, it’s like … I don’t really have anything big to save for, like I have some big dreams. But money stopped being as important as it was for me in my early 20s, where I was just like, “Give me the next biggest client. I will take any crappy design job if it pays enough.” Whereas now I’ve found myself turning down gigs and basically just prioritizing the long term goal, which is building up the Creative Introvert, which is relatively small chunk of my income now.
Imi: Yeah. So you have traded money for authenticity and for freedom?
Cat Rose: Fulfillment, for sure. Yeah. Definitely all those things.
Imi: Okay. Nowadays, what emotion, if you were to pick one, do you experience the most?
Cat Rose: Out of the good ones, joy.
Imi: How about one good one and one bad one? Well no, [crosstalk 00:32:57] is bad, but-
Cat Rose: Challenging one, right?
Imi: Yeah, challenging [inaudible 00:33:01] you’re better with.
Cat Rose: I think general guilt mixed with shame on a bad day; that’s the bad one. I blame Catholic guilt as just something that’s like in my blood. But just generally, that seems to be the biggest problem.
Cat Rose: Most of my life though, anger was clearly, for me looking back, was the thing I struggled with most.
Imi: Really? [crosstalk 00:33:28] do you express it or do you just feel it?
Cat Rose: Yeah, both. Or I would feel it and then deny it. You know, you would kind of repress it and then it would come out at a later stage. Definitely as a teenager, early 20s; big problems with that. And just since kind of radically changing my life and realizing I do have control over my situation and really taking responsibility for those less helpful emotions … Not necessarily stopping repressing them and actually giving them some kind of space. Mostly through journaling; that’s been really helpful for me.
Cat Rose: And also, just like with the practices that you’ll hear everyone recommend, like meditation. That has changed especially anger in a big, big way for me. It’s really transformed that reactionary feeling. I always say that I’m a terrible meditator; I’m always thinking about breakfast or whatever it is.
Imi: I was going to ask, what form do you do? Do you use any kind of app? How much do you do a day?
Cat Rose: Yeah. I’ve changed a lot over the years. Current practice would be something like I’ll do a few yoga asana poses, and then I’ll sit- [crosstalk 00:34:52]
Cat Rose: What’s that?
Imi: What’s your favorite yoga pose?
Cat Rose: Puppy. Did you know puppy pose?
Imi: I should do.
Cat Rose: You’ve got your … It would be like being in tabletop pose and then coming down onto your forearms, and then putting your chest or your forehead to the floor.
Imi: Yeah, so it’s just advanced child pose?
Cat Rose: It’s like … Yeah. It’s like child’s pose but with your bum up. That’s basically it. It’s lovely.
Cat Rose: Anyway, I’ll do that, sit for about 15 minutes. I really struggled when I was traveling but since being back home, I find it easier again. I’ll do it in silence, mostly counting breaths for a while. Then I’ll move into a mantra that I have. Then I’ll finish up with just like active listening. So it’s like, I have to have … Apparently I’m at a place where I have to have things to do every five minutes, because just sitting for 15 minutes is still very hard for me.
Cat Rose: Some apps that I would recommend though; Insight Timer, that’s what I use to … Often if I’m just doing a silent meditation, I’ll just time it using that. But it also has some great guided meditations. There’s another app called Meditation.Live, which also has some amazing live classes, so you can actually watch a teacher in real time.
Imi: That’s really useful. Most people recommend Headspace and Calm. It’s the first time I hear about these two. I’ll put it in the notes.
Cat Rose: Cool.
Imi: Okay. Final few questions. Please share one book that has changed your life.
Cat Rose: Yes. There are a handful that I often share, but one of them that always comes up is Steven Pressfield’s The War of Arts.
Imi: Oh, yes.
Cat Rose: Have you read this?
Imi: Oh, yeah.
Cat Rose: It’s so great. Yeah, as you know it’s great for the artist; the reluctant … Maybe not even reluctant. It’s the artist who just struggles from time to time, and I think we all do. Getting over the Resistance, he calls it. Resistance with a capital R. There’s a section in it where he talks about the muse. I remember just bawling with tears when I first read it. This is before I was into more spiritual ideas, and I wasn’t even contemplating them. But when I read that, it really hit me hard. So I recommend that to people. Yeah.
Imi: Nice. Okay. Can you share one quote or a song or a poem with our listeners who are emotionally intense, sensitive, gifted, and probably felt misunderstood and lonely all their life?
Cat Rose: This is such a lovely question, and I love that you put a song as a suggestion as well. I couldn’t think of one song, but I remember thinking … The first one that came into my head was Jimmy Eat World, because I spent a lot of my teenage years feeling all the feelings to their songs, so that’s one.
Cat Rose: My quote is … Crap, I need to find it.
Imi: Yeah, you can jam out.
Cat Rose: “Who looks outside dreams, and who looks inside awakes.” That’s a Carl Jung quote which I really love. “Who looks outside dreams, and who looks inside awakes.” I think it’s great for introverts and highly sensitive people who … We spend a lot of our life introspecting and looking inside. This is kind of like the go ahead from Jung.
Imi: Yes. I think Jung is an … Well, there are lots of theories about what kind of MBTI type he was.
Cat Rose: I want to say he’s definitely an IN; an introverted intuitive. Some people say feeling. I’ve even heard people say thinking.
Imi: Yeah. I know Freud is an INFJ, and there are lots of arguments about what Jung is.
Cat Rose: Oh, I thought Freud would be the extrovert. That’s interesting.
Imi: I don’t know, there are so many different opinions-
Cat Rose: Yeah, yeah, because we don’t know.
Imi: Yeah, we don’t even know them.
Cat Rose: We need to go back in time and talk to them.
Imi: Yeah, yeah. What would be you MBTI type, if you don’t mind sharing?
Cat Rose: Yeah. I’m an INTJ.
Cat Rose: Yeah, I’ve got that … One of the functions that I’ve sort of developed most is going towards more of the feeling side. So I’m more feeling than I used to be, but I still like to think I’m quite thinking dominant.
Imi: Right. I am born an INFJ, and very, very INFJ. But I also feel in the last 10 years … Not that I consciously do it; I think the world has shaped me to be less feeling oriented and more thinking oriented.
Cat Rose: Oh, interesting. So we’ve kind of like starting to both balance out. Maybe that’s [inaudible 00:39:30] that happens in time. It’s like a balance.
Imi: Which is a healthy thing. I mean, I used to have a lot of emotion spillover. I feel I couldn’t live my life because I was just so drowned by the feelings. But now I feel like I can have a life and have feelings.
Cat Rose: Yeah. Well, this is it, something that I’ve kind of started to come to terms with; that we can live in the dichotomy. We don’t have to just pick one thing at any time. It’s like, I can have sadness and actually enjoy my day, which is a strange thing but it’s real.
Imi: Yeah, yeah.
Imi: Well Cat, thank you so much for all your wisdom. I found you to be very insightful, and I love all the resources and things that you have suggested, and I resonate with a lot of them personally.
Cat Rose: Thank you, Imi. It’s been a pleasure to chat with you.
Imi: Can you tell us where to find you?
Cat Rose: Sure. If you head to thecreativeintrovert.com, that’s where you’ll find my podcast, my freebies, blog; all the things. Connect with my @creativeintro on Twitter or Instagram. I’d love to say hello. I like when people talk to me.
Imi: I think you will; you might get really busy. Thank you so much, Cat.
Cat Rose: Thanks again.
Imi: Have a lovely rest of the day.