One of the biggest challenges I see with artists, myself included, is quieting the monkey mind and the inner critic in my head. So in order to not listen to those demonic voices, I like to listen to podcasts while I create. While my conscious mind listens to the entertaining podcasts, my subconscious mind is set free to create without the pesky inner critic constantly evaluating my process.
However, I love podcasts so much I also listen to them when I am not creating. I listen in the car when I am driving my non-driving teenage kids to sports practice and music lessons and that transforms a “must do” into a “get to do.” I also listen while I cook dinner or do other mindless chores and as a special treat I have even curled up in bed with a cup of hot tea at the end of the night to finish off an episode.
|I love to read…but when I paint, I listen.|
There has been an enormous benefit to my happiness as well as my art as a result of active listening. To create your most original work, you have got to refuel the creative well – and although visiting museums is another way I do that- reading and listening is another.
When you’re an artist, you have to refuel your mind with fresh thoughts and ideas, so that you are inspired to paint.
So, while the latest episodes of the Real Housewives of New York City or even watching Project Runway may be a great way for me to unplug and decompress, they’re maybe not directly feeding my artistic soul.
That is why, in addition to going to museums regularly, I make sure to listen to podcasts.
My Personal Podcast Process
Podcasts are a fantastic way to fit education and inspiration into the “in-between” times in your day. Most of the podcasts I like are about 30 minutes But just like your handy DVR, you can pause and come back to them in the middle.
Become friends with the 15 sec fast forward and rewind buttons. I use both regularly. Some podcasters put commercials in the middle and 4 taps on the fast forward will have you skipping past those. The rewind button is also great when you found that you have stopped paying attention to the podcast and became lost in your own thoughts but want to repeat a juicy part.
If you have an iPhone, you already have a podcast app and can search iTunes and subscribe to your favorites but you can get podcast apps for other kinds of devices or listen to podcasts from your desktop through iTunes.
Like I said, I like to listen to podcasts while I’m in my studio but I also love them for those in between times or while running annoying errands in the car. They’re perfect to fit into your day at any point when you are doing a task that doesn’t require your full attention, such as cooking, supervising homework (my favorite- because my eyes are on my son while I listen), or just walking.
If I have an aha moment I will use the microphone app on my phone to dictate a note for myself.
What I Look For In a Good Podcast
For me, a great podcast has to do at least one of the following.
- Makes me laugh
- Inspires action
- Gives me something to talk about
I’ve chosen my top podcasts based on how loyal I have been to them plus i included a few more that I thought deserved a shout out. If I missed your favorite podcast, please leave a comment below or tag @SchulmanArt on social media with a link to your favorite.
My 5 Favorite Podcasts
This weekly podcast features New York author Gretchen Rubin chatting with her sister, a tv writer and producer living in LA. Both women straddle my age and discuss seemingly minor issues as life problems. If you liked Seinfeld, then you will love this. What sets this podcast apart from all the others I have listened to is that they have a structure for each podcast with segments that helps you enjoy each one since you know what to expect.
Although the podcast is entertaining, Rubin brings research to the table while her sister deadpans one liners throughout the show so that Rubin’s quest for perfectionism is presented with a wink and a smile.
They also have a beautiful way of including their audience in the conversation through thoughtful questions and request for feedback which they often share through voicemail messages. Her podcast was named in iTunes’s lists of “Best Podcasts of 2015” and was named in the Academy of Podcasters “Best Podcasts of 2016.” The podcast consistently ranks in the iTunes Top Charts which is how I stumbled across it.
The best part is that my nineteen year old daughter also loves listening so we get to discuss the issues in the podcast.
|I took Gretchen’s quiz and I am a “questioner”…
which I questioned… so I took the quiz again
but changed a few answers.. and still got questioner
Favorite episode: Oh my goodness I love these. How to pick one? I think this series is best enjoyed listening to it in sequence beginning with number one since they will often reference past episodes. In the first episode, they introduce the idea of the “One Minute Rule” which I still use. The topics and discussions are very relatable for women and although on the surface may seem just humorous (like the episode on “the problem of switching bags”) I always walk away with a deeper understanding of human nature.
Topics include how to market using Facebook, blogging, keeping your email organized and more business related stuff.
If you are trying to sell your art (or anything else online), then this is a A-list podcast to listen to however, her later episodes do slant more to those selling digital programs which may not be your thing. However, I never miss an episode and eagerly await each new one. Her voice is very easy going and strong. Her energy is wholesome and you feel like she is your best friend who is sharing her marketing secrets just with you.
Great episode to try out: Media, Meditation and a little Motivation with Gabby Bernstein
This is the podcast I listen to because it makes me feel smarter and I have something to discuss with folks who do not market online nor watch real housewives of NYC. Malcolm Gladwell tackles social justice issues in this podcast. He is passionately opinionated with a beautiful voice and a master story teller.
Food for thought: Food Fight Which isn’t about food at all but social justice in the education system.
Topics include money mindset, meditation and manifesting.
Favorite episode: Improving Systems in your Business which features my question in their question of the week segment
When Tim Ferriss got into podcasting, he decided he would skip the pain of editing each one. Therefore there are many episodes that are up to 3 hours long. That can be good news or bad news. If Happier is the podcast I share with my daughter, Tim’s podcast is the one I share with my teenage son. Ferriss is every man’s fantasy about what it is like to be a millionaire bachelor and he proudly promotes this lifestyle of work little yet efficiently. Overall, he has a good message as he is constantly interviewing top performers from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell to navy seals and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It was through this podcast that I have uncovered some of my other favorites such as Revisionist History and Tara Brach’s. The podcast is on the end of my five since I do not listen to every episode but the ones I find boring, like a deep dive into nutritional supplements, my son is crazy for.
Personal Favorite: Well since I love to laugh, I have to shout out my favorite was the episode he did with Comedy’s Dynamic Duo, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
These are podcasts that I have listened to a few episodes but haven’t fully committed to listening to every week.
- On Being
- Tara Brach
Love a podcast I missed? Share it! Tag me @schulmanArt on social and let me know your favorites! (or leave a comment here… Either way, I’d love to hear from you!)
About Me (Miriam Schulman)
|Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place|