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Feb. 13, 2023

A Conscious Mind is a Creative Mind with Sabrina Moyle

A Conscious Mind is a Creative Mind with Sabrina Moyle

In this episode, I bring you into my conversation with Sabrina Moyle as we talk about how a conscious mind is a creative mind. Sabrina shares her personal journey as a creative being and how creativity weaved in and out of her life. We talk about ways creativity often gets stamped out and how to stay in touch with your creativity and overcome creative blocks.

I'm so excited to introduce you to Sabrina Moyle. I'm sharing in this episode a conversation that she and I had about having a conscious mind, which allows you to have a creative mind. She's everything I think of when I think of creativity. She's an author and a songwriter. She sings in a band. And she owns a business with her sister, where they create witty, brilliant children's books with beautiful messages. And she's a mom who makes incredible Halloween costumes for her kids. She was a delight to talk with, and I'm so excited to share this with you.

And what else can I tell you about her? She's so relatable. She weaves humor and wit into her life and is a kindred spirit. She seeks a deeper meaning to life and in her work and desires to live more consciously and intentionally. I'm excited to share her with you.

Join us as we talk about a creative mind, being a conscious mind, and a conscious mind being a creative mind.

Much gratitude to

Janae MacMaster and the QBR Team (quickbusinessresolutions.com) for providing endless support (and tireless edits) to bring you this podcast.

Clementine Moss designed and recorded the music for Soulful Soundbites. Follow her and experience her magic at @clemthegreat.

Erica Smigielski, creator, producer, and writer, continues to place energetic ‘milk bottles’ through each episode to help those who seek or need a ray of light.

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 I'm so excited that we are hitting record for this conversation. I'm glad you've agreed to open up, and I thought we could focus this conversation entirely on you as we talk about how a conscious mind is a creative mind. And I think it's divine timing that you just came out of a creative flow to have this conversation. So thank you.


Yeah. I'm excited to talk about it. I feel like our conversations are actually one example of a practice for staying in the creative flow. It’s having a thought partner who can hold space for you to share where you are in your creative process and on your life journey, which is ultimately a creative process.

So thank you. I feel like our biweekly conversations are a piece of what I would love to talk about regarding how a conscious mind is a creative mind. 


I do really value the conversations. And I have to say I’m always in awe of how your creativity spills forward as a writer, musician, and parent and seems to move through you in your life. It just comes through in so many ways. 

So I have to ask, were you always someone that identified as being creative? Or when did you first see yourself as being creative? 


I think I always identified myself as being creative. I think all children are creative, so my sister and I collaborate on books. I write the words, and she illustrates. But I often will sketch out concepts for illustrations and that sort of thing. But she is actually a very, very skilled illustrator. So I think from a young age, we just played creatively together a lot. We made clothes for dolls and that sort of thing. So I feel like I always thought of myself as being creative, and I was fortunate to grow up in a family where my mother was very creative and did a lot of sewing, quilting, and crafting, and was extremely resourceful. And my dad was a musician and dabbled in things like stained glass or linoleum, block printing, and stuff.

So creativity was always around as I was growing up. So I always thought of myself as a creative person, and that parlayed that into a career in my twenties. That’s when I started to embrace being a creative business owner. I own Hello Lucky, which is a brand that started out doing letterpress screening cards, and now we are a design studio, and we design all kinds of things, particularly children's books and now puzzles and games and stuff.

I'm now in my late forties; I honed in on the creative process and really tune into my own creative voice. And as you mentioned now, that's blossoming in other areas, like being a parent, a spouse, and a band member, where I sing and write music. So it's been a fun process. But yeah, I did always think of myself as creative but didn’t apply creativity so broadly and so productively until later in my life. 


I find this so fascinating! Being a Virgo and rule obliger, I grew up working within and conforming to the confines I was given and always marveled over creative people. 

So I'm wondering how you protect that creativity within a kid that has to navigate the confines and structure of a school setting? How do you nurture and protect that creativity? 


Well, I consider myself to be an artist. So to be an artist, you have to be able to tap into a creative flow and you have the structure and discipline to actually produce something. So for me, the state of creating is a state of being in connection with Source and allowing inspiration to come through. A creative flow is almost automatic. It's effortless because you're just allowing things to flow. But then you have to take that creative idea and produce something.

Let's say it's a first draft of a song, a first draft of a manuscript, or whatever. And then you take that into something that can be packaged, polished, refined, and brought to market and possibly sold. 

Or if it's a song for my band, something that I can communicate to everybody else and then have the discipline to rehearse and actually make it something worth listening to. So I think that creativity and structure go hand-in-hand - just like having creativity as a child that navigates the structures of a school setting. They go hand-in-hand. You need pragmatism as well as creative inspiration and the creative process. 

Another way I think about it is when I was growing up. I did a lot of art. I did music. I did drama. I did visual arts. I did anything that was more open-ended, and I loved all of that stuff.

And when I think about raising my own kids and wanting them to stay in touch with their creativity, I definitely encourage them to do the arts. Get involved with the arts. They’re fortunate to be at a project-based school. So there are a lot of opportunities for creating presentations and projects that I think help them stay in tune with their creative voice.

Oftentimes, that creative impulse and that freedom that we have as children, depending on our personality, can get stamped out. And then we find ourselves as adults being like, “Well, am I creative? And how can I be creative and not know where to begin? A lot of insecurity and baggage can come along with that. 

So, I like the ideal if you're a parent with children - try to keep them connected to that creative impulse as much as possible, so they don't lose it and then have to rediscover it later in life.


I completely relate. First, I related to bridging the act of creativity by using systems and structures to bring that creativity forward in different ways. And I also relate to kids being natural creatives. 

And as I sit here and listen to the things you did throughout your life, I see that perhaps I was creative - even though I didn't associate with being creative. This gets me thinking that I was creative and didn’t even know what being creative was or meant. I just did it as a child. But at a certain point, I disassociated with that knowing. I am sure this happened unconsciously, but I wonder if there's a point in growing up or raising your kids where you start to drift from this knowing and stop considering yourself creative. 

In retrospect, I see that I was creative even though I did not think of myself as creative, nor was I told that I was an artist or creative being. So I wonder how we anchor this knowing in kids today.


So my sister, when she was two, was drawing on milk boxes. I mean, she clearly had this very natural gift for visual art. And so I actually grew up being told that I was not an artist. And even though I did drama and music and stuff like that. I never thought of myself as someone who could make a career out of being creative. So I went down this path of liberal arts school and then business school and arts administration, and worked as a nonprofit consultant, et cetera before I circled back to join my sister, who had started this greeting card company. It was then that we saw she needed support as an artist who didn't have the business skills to get a creative business off the ground.

So I came full circle. And that probably happens to a lot of people. I think the key moment as a child when you stop thinking of yourself as creative is when you start comparing yourself to people who are obviously creative in some way. Like my sister. She had such an obvious gift with visual art and that made me say, “Oh, well, I can't do that,” or “That's not me.” And so I better take another, less creative, more traditional path for myself. 

But I didn’t realize that creativity spans many different mediums. There's creativity in business. There's creativity in science. So that's a fallacy to look at someone who is an artist, say in the visual arts, and respond with, “Oh, well, they're obviously really good, and I'm not; therefore, I'm not creative at all.” That's just complete bunk, right? 

But a lot of us make that leap. And then, often, we're told we’re not creative because there's a lot of anxiety in our culture. Creativity, particularly around the arts, is what gets cut from school funding. It’s what parents have anxiety about when wanting their kids to be successful and able to survive; therefore, they often discourage their kids from doing things that seem frivolous, such as the arts. So I think we get that programming from society as well, which causes us to disassociate with our true voice, intuition, creativity, ability to think outside the box, and ability to imagine and innovate.

I certainly experienced it, and I think many others experience it too. And for me, the way I got out of it was I glommed onto my sister, who was still struggling as an artist, but clearly had this artistic gift. And I was ancillary to her by creating concepts for greeting cards and gently directing her a bit. And slowly, over about 20 years, I gained confidence in my creative voice. And now, I'm very confident in it, and I totally have a great creative practice. But it took a long time.

So, I think that's a long-winded answer to your question. And I think it's very common for kids to self-judge or self-compare or hear from authority figures that they should not pursue their creative passion. And the reality is - which I coach my kids on - do not compare yourself to other people. There’s always gonna be somebody better than you. Instead, always compare yourself to yourself. So if you have a gift and an inclination for, say, playing the guitar, it does help if you have a little bit of natural talent and desire to dabble with it. And if you don't, you can switch to a different instrument. But if you have an inclination for something creative, you just need to stick with it until it's it feels more natural and you gain confidence.

And then just keep comparing yourself to yourself to notice the progress forward. Because, again, there's always going to be somebody better than you, and it's not a zero-sum game. Everybody's creative voice is unique and different. How I play the guitar is different from the way you play the guitar. So it's just pointless to compare yourself on some level.

That said, at some point, if you wanna make a career out of being creative, you have to be good enough to be able to warrant you to stand out and be remarkable in some way that you can actually charge for your services. So there is an inflection point later on. But early on for kids, when they're developing their creativity, it's really about not comparing yourself to other people.

If you're enjoying it and you're making progress, stick with it. If you're not, switch to something else, but always be doing something creative. 


I feel like a child again sitting here listening to you. You’re right. I don't need to compare myself to others; the way I create is unique to me, and that is a gift that I'm bringing forward.

And you mentioned that there's a point where you need to bring it forward in a way for it to materialize. And while it helps to not compare yourself to others, I can see it manifesting in being your own competitor. And now the older you needs to be better than the younger you. So how do you weave in a conscious mind to access your cleanest, purest creativity?


In general, you don't want to compare your own past work because, for creative people - it can become paralyzing. Like, “I had this one success, and how will I replicate that?” Those types of fears can come in. So, it’s really about staying present and following your current passion or the current thread, finding the joy in that, and doing it for yourself.

When you're creating for yourself to explore an idea for yourself, and you love it, other people will love it. Obviously, you have to check and see what the market says, but when you're in the throes of the creative process, it's really just about exploring an idea you are really interested in. And if you're passionate about it, it'll show through in the final product. 


So every artist I know, or every creative I know, eventually encounters a creative block. What are ways you overcome that block - whether that's sharing a personal story or your go-to habits that help you slip into a flow state?


The best thing is to just walk away and return to it. I will go for a walk, run, swim, or something with movement, and then just return to it fresh. That tends to be my go-to method.

And one is meditation. This go-to practice is what I need in those situations I need to clear my mind. From my experience, you need to become totally clear and connected to Source again to get creative. 

And when I have anxiety or fear about my performance, typically, I need to unpack this and ask myself what's underneath that anxiety. What am I afraid of? What is blocking me, and how can I look into that and see where or what the origins are?

Because often those origins come from childhood - like a need for validation or need for affirmation. I've recently experienced that with projects that are not just for myself but for big brands and corporate brands. And on these projects, it's not purely up to me. So this is where I writer's block comes up for me. Or a creative block is more likely to come when it's a collaborative process, and there are other creatives in the room and other constraints. And there's possibly pressure around, say, a big corporation with status and power which brings some excitement with the prestige of being associated with that. Yet, the ego gets a little bit attached to the outcome. And so all these things get in the way of truly being in the creative flow and bringing forth my best work. 

When that happens, I have to step away and look under those things and realize that if I'm going to put creative work out there - it’s going to be worthy and remarkable and really good that I feel proud of it. I can't sell out and do it simply for the paycheck or status that might come with being affiliated with the major brand.

So often for me, with creative block, I have to get my priority straight again, clear any ego attachments, and realize if this is not flowing creatively and it's not aligned with my vision - I'm willing to walk. And that's always gotta be an option with a project because the block could be because it's not the right project for you to be doing. 

So it's really about exploring all the underlying, subconscious factors that might be causing a blockage between you and Source before getting back into a flow state.


There's so much there. I'm just sitting with that, as I find that it relates to so many areas of our life. There’s so much wisdom to access when you clear out whatever's in the way of you accessing Source, and creativity appears in all different shapes and forms in our lives.

And so when you bring those together, with parenting in a way that feels in alignment with the way you want to raise your kids so they can pursue their dreams and aspirations - you want it to be clean, you want to be clear about it. And sometimes you have to walk away and get a change of scenery or some fresh air to come back and parent creatively. 

Or this appears in a business setting where you're expected to creatively solve a problem to address a certain need. And there could be that resistance that comes up for you, and when you let it rest a bit and return - you come back in a more intentional way. And while it’s trickier and more layered - walking away from a project may not be an option - sometimes time and space allow creativity to return and settle in.


And there's a big difference between creative work and client work. If you're an employee in a business or you're working for a business client, that's client work, and there's only so much of your own creativity that can bring to that because, ultimately, the needs of the client come first.

Whereas for true creative work, you create largely on your own terms. There will always be parameters, but your vision and voice come first, as opposed to the client. So if you find yourself in a client work situation, you have to compromise and give yourself grace because you can be creative and deal with other priorities while accepting the amount to which you can exercise your creativity might be limited. 


Yes! So true. So, if you were to offer the younger you one piece of wisdom or advice, what would you whisper to her?


I would say you are creative, first and foremost. And that it's important to identify yourself as a creative person. And don't let anybody tell you that you're not. So that would be the first thing. 

I would also say to my former self, what I say to my kids in the present time, is to be a creator, not a consumer. And if you're consuming, consume to create.  When I was growing up, there were no video games and distractions like YouTube. So, on the one hand, that was freeing creatively because there weren't all these distractions. But on the other hand, it was limiting creatively because things like Pinterest or Instagram can offer stimulus you can learn from and use to develop your creative voice. 

But it's also double-edged in that consumption can take you away from your creative voice because you're passively consuming. And maybe you're getting addicted and not using it in service of your creativity. So, consumption's important as long as it's in service of learning, developing your own creative voice, looking at different styles, and gaining inspiration in terms of how other people do things without getting yourself down with FOMO or comparison.

We have an incredible amount of resources now to be able to foster our own creativity as long as we keep it in perspective that the end goal is to create, not to consume. 


I love that. And I love you, Sabrina. This is just so good. Thank you for bringing this conversation forward and a way where we can share the wisdoms usually shared between the two of us with many. So thank you. 


Yes. Thank you. I love the conversation, and it’s always, always, a pleasure talking with you. 

Full Circle

Okay. I love that conversation. And to come full circle and wrap this up, the four key takeaways that I got from this conversation are:

  1. Creating is a state of consciousness. And when you have that connection to creativity, you’re truly a channel to Source.
  2. When you start comparing yourself, it's with absolute certainty that it’ll squash your creativity.
  3. There are infinite ways to connect with your consciousness when you're hitting a creative block, and we touched on some practical ways and ways to get beneath the block and create a clearing.
  4. Be a creator, not a consumer. And when you are to consume, then consume to create.

I hope you loved all of that conversation, including the four essential takeaways I noted. I welcome you to our next episode. 

Bye for now.

Sabrina MoyleProfile Photo

Sabrina Moyle

Creative Writer / Entrepreneur / Singer / Wife / Mom

Sabrina Moyle is a writer and entrepreneur and one-half of the sister team behind Hello!Lucky, a woman-owned creative studio based in San Francisco, CA. Hello!Lucky makes fun, pun-loving products for the young and young-at-heart, including letterpress greeting cards, best-selling children's books, kids' puzzles and games, and gift products. You can find Hello!Lucky products on www.hellolucky.com, and in Target, Urban Outfitters, Whole Foods, Buy Buy Baby, and hundreds of independent boutiques and booksellers worldwide. Sabrina lives in the Bay Area with her husband, three sons, and a dog.