Hollis Citron is the Creativity Doula. She on a mission to make creativity accessible to everyone by exposing them to new possibilities. Hollis is passionate about helping people build the confidence to recognize, encourage, and express the innate creativity that they are born with. Creativity goes beyond the pencil and the brush. Creativity is your unique and original exploration, expansion, expression of your imagination. Even if you are not “an artist”, yes, you are a creative being. You are creative because you are the only person that can add your gifts to the things that you create. You are creative because only you can express your ideas and greatness with the world.
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00:03 Welcome to the Resonate Podcast. I’m here today with my guest, Hollis Citron. Welcome, Hollis. Hi, thank you so much for having me. So excited. This is going to be a fun conversation, but let me tell our listeners a little bit about you. I’m just going to read a little snippet from your bio just to give them a little bit of background. So Hollis calls herself the creativity doula. She’s on a mission to make creativity accessible to everyone by exposing them to new possibilities.
00:30 She’s passionate about helping people build the confidence to recognize, encourage, and express their innate creativity that they were born with. Hollis, you’re so welcome and so excited to have you here. And tell us how you found your resonance with your work and your creativity. Hmm. Good question. And it’s simple, but not, it’s been a journey.
01:03The resonance, I see it as, you know, it’s internal and it’s external. So it’s connection. It’s when something is resonating, when something is, it’s an alignment. So, um, it’s been a journey for me to find that alignment in a sense, and really to trust the process of, to trust myself in that space.
01:30 So I was never a kid that was like, I knew how everything was going to be. I had these dreams of I’m going to go to art school, I’m going to get married, I’m going to have kids, I wasn’t that kid. But what I did find that I was out of the box and I just thought in a different way. And when I did go to art school, studying ceramics, what are you going to do with that everybody? But it really taught me to.
01:57 work with a medium that I could express myself in. Three-dimensional sculpting, shaping, pinching, pressing, carving really feels good to me. It feels natural. There are other ways that I do express myself now, be it in my business, be it in speaking, be it in coaching, be it in other mediums. But when you find that thing that resonates that you tune in with, then there’s so much freedom.
02:28 And then one thing that I ended up teaching, which I never knew I was going to teach. And it just kind of, everything kind of unfolds, but I think it’s, it’s really being in tune and being in, being open to being open. I love that because I know when, when I figured out that music meant so much to me and I decided that this mission I have to help people, you know, recognize the value of their own voice.
02:56 That really freed me up. It made me feel more confident to express myself. It was like, okay, I understand what I’m here to do now in a way that when I was trying to express myself in other things, it was simply effortful. So did you find that you had ease? Yes, I love that. I love what you just said because yes, you hear it in all these places and it can sound really woo like, oh yeah, yeah.
03:25 But truly, if you’re pushing upstream, the whole Abraham Hicks thing, and if you’re pushing up, if you’re pushing against the flow, it’s hard. Everything is really hard. But when you’re, and it’s not saying that you don’t do uncomfortable things. It’s kind of a different feel to it. I feel like if you’re constantly pushing, pushing, pushing against something that doesn’t feel good, and then you don’t really go very far.
03:51 But if there’s more ease, if it feels more in alignment, if it resonates more, there are two ways. You’re flowing more downstream and you’re willing to go with it. And even when things are more challenging, you’re still kind of going, you’re not pushing so hard against it. So it’s open to more allowing. Yeah. And I loved what you said about resonance is an external and an internal thing because I think…
04:21 We sometimes, it depends on the people around us, I think, when we’re kids, if they acknowledge the things that you enjoy and the things that you love and they encourage that, then you feel seen, right? I know that when I discovered singing and music, it wasn’t always encouraged. It was like, well, don’t let your studies be affected and you can’t do this and this wouldn’t be a good career path or whatever it was. And that made me doubt my interest in it.
04:51 feel that that was something I should focus on, even though internally that resonance was there. So how important has it been for you to, who’s been your supporters? How did you trust that resonance within yourself that you knew, I’m going to go to art school and study ceramics or whatever it was, even though that probably wasn’t a typical thing that your friends were doing? Yeah. Yeah.
05:16 Yeah, I have to say I’m very grateful for my parents. My parents were really my cheerleaders. They were very open and allowing for me. So interesting, sometimes there would be a little bit of a mixed message about money, like the whole money thing and how people who have a lot of money are a certain way, but they completely allowed me to be me.
05:43 And I think the biggest block at times has always been my feeling of worthiness. I’ve gotten in my own way a lot. So that’s been the journey in trusting myself, in resonating with myself, in finding the freedom in there, and then graduating from my parents into the next relationship. My husband is incredibly supportive. He totally gets me. He…
06:11 Um, not to say we don’t argue about things, but he understands me. Um, we’re both creative minds. And so there’s an understanding in that, uh, sometimes there’s a frustration in that, like, really do we both have to be this way, but, uh, but at the same time, he really gets me, um, and then really. Graduating to the next step with my kids. It’s it’s well surrounding myself with people who understand me.
06:41 and understanding that more to put myself in that situation and taking myself out of toxic situations that aren’t serving. And our kids are, they’re young adults now, 19 and 22. And they, it’s just so beautiful to watch them grow and trust in our process and support because it’s been so interesting to see where their lives are going, their confidence at a younger age. I’m just in awe.
07:10 I love that I have a nephew and there’s a great joy in watching the younger generation and supporting that, but also on the point of relationships because yeah, it is important that we are interested in a kind of who we feel on the inside is reflected back to us by those who love us in some way. And I remember being with an ex and this conversation was one of the reasons why
07:40 should become an ex, but it was almost like he said, so what is it you like about music? And in its words, afterwards I’m kind of thinking, no, that’s a fair question. I could have explained what music was to me and da-da-da. I could have helped him understand, but the fact that he asked that question made me feel like, what kind of a question is that? He was really interested in soccer and I would be like…
08:09 What if I asked you, what do you like about soccer? You know, in that kind of way. It was really well meant. But I think with my husband, because there’s less of, there’s an unspoken understanding, I guess, that we, we get each other. And I think that that can be a key to, to wanting to stay together and to feeling supported within the relationship. I know some of the dating sites are all based on.
08:39 enough compatibility, you know, you have to have enough things in common. Um, cause there’s plenty of things to argue about regardless. So true. Yeah. I’m so happy that you have that in your life. Um, and I believe that it’s out there for, for people, you know, I think sometimes I might got married in my, my mid-forties and, uh, it can feel very lonely at a certain point if you haven’t figured out, you know,
09:08 If you haven’t figured out that part, but I believe that’s never too late. And, uh, so it’s, yeah, it’s important though. It’s like, it doesn’t have to be your part, your partner. Like it can be just, you know, joining an art class or joining a singing group somewhere where you will be surrounded by people that will reflect that back to you, um, that thing that you feel you are on the inside. I love how you’re saying that, how you’re phrasing that reflect back to you.
09:35 Because I think again, it starts with us. We can’t love others until we love ourselves. We can’t love others until we like ourselves. So it can start with like, and then move to love, because love can be a really big word, and it can be overwhelming at times. So it’s when we take those moments to connect with ourselves, and then just like you said, do those little things. Surround yourself by taking a class or…
10:05 you know, maybe you have a friend that has a friend that has a similar interest and it’s you stepping up and being like, oh, maybe we can hang out or something. It’s finding this like-minded people who, when you said that about your ex, there’s a certain tone in the voice that if you don’t even initially catch on to it, your higher self does. And when you feel like you have to explain yourself on that deeper level, then you’re like, I don’t mind you asking me why, but…
10:34 There’s a tone that is in the vibration and the resonance where you understand if it works or if it doesn’t. Yeah. And it’s good. It’s important to acknowledge those things, not to necessarily base all of your decision making on something like that. Because I know there’s lots of very artistic people have a very supportive husband as an accountant or a very supportive wife who’s, you know, runs a very different kind of business. It doesn’t mean that you have to be both doing creative things.
11:04 Um, but they’re, it’s definitely nice to be understood and for that person to take out an interest, like an active interest, like to encourage you to do those things. Because they’re essential to be. Yes. Yeah. Sorry to interrupt. Yeah. You’re, you’re making me think of, so at one point, um, prior to the businesses I have now, I had another business for 10 years where, um, I had a business partner.
11:33 And I was passionate about the business. We build it from the ground up and came up with the idea together. And it was clay using clay as an alternative therapeutic approach. And I was just so passionate about it. But the relationship that I had with my partner wasn’t the healthiest. So I ended up kind of losing myself in there. I was very stressed. I kind of gained these thoughts of things that I wasn’t good at.
12:03 when that wasn’t necessarily true. They were skills that I wanted, it would benefit me to hone in on, but I created this idea that they weren’t my strengths. And from the outside, my family members who cared about me were like, what are you doing in this for so long? You’re not doing well as a person. I wasn’t feeling good. I was angrier. I was more stressed and all this, but I was stuck to the passion. I was resonating with what our mission was.
12:33 But the whole thing wasn’t in alignment until finally I woke up. And once I made that decision, I made that choice where I’d wobbled so many times. I’m going to leave. I’m not going to leave. It’s kind of like an abusive relationship in a sense that I was allowing for me to stay in. Um, but once I made the decision to leave it, everything else opened up. Like it’s true. The universe works in that way.
13:00 Or however, whatever words you want to use for that. Other things opened up as soon as I was set on my choice. It’s so important that the journey isn’t, it’s like, you know, the, not the end justifies the means. I dislike that so much. I believe in sweetness in the journey, sweetness in the relationships along the way, and fulfillment in each action, not just fulfillment in the
13:30 bigger gold happening. Yeah. Agreed. So tell me, do you feel that your business truly reflects this deeper inner resonance of yours right now? I think that I am learning in the journey how to express that because there’s such passion. There’s such passion. But it’s…
13:59 I know my why, but it’s creating the, we were talking about it before, before we got on here live. It’s, it’s revealing myself in certain ways to show people that before they get into my space. So it’s kind of a vulnerability in a sense, or sometimes it’s, I guess you could say vulnerability, but sometimes I don’t even think about it. I’m like, well, aren’t I showing that? Aren’t I showing that aspect, that intuitive?
14:27 aspect of myself that pulls cards that uses them as benchmarks to structure conversations um that can feel in and kind of know what’s going on with someone without them having to say like don’t I say that because I’m so heart-centred but then when I was talking to a friend recently she’s like it comes through that your heart’s centred but not those other aspects instead of me saving it for once they’re in my space it’s
14:56 showing it before to be like, this is who I am and these are who my people are. And, um, so that’s been a journey in discovering that. Yeah. And there’s, there is that vulnerability. I think we, unless we are around people who recognize that trait in us or that side of us and fully accept it, it’s like they, their acceptance gives us full permission to accept it as well. Um.
15:24 we, when we deny bits of ourselves, like the woo woo bit or the, the adventurer bit, you know, there’s, we are also multifaceted. I love the fact that working for myself, I get to show off all of those little bits. And when I, when I received your bio with all of those links underneath the hall, I was like, whoa, what is she doing? How many projects does this lady have?
15:52 going on, it showed me that you’ve been exploring all of those aspects, all of those facets of what you have and what you can offer. It’s exciting to hear that there’s more that you haven’t even fully put in there. What’s next with that? Well, thank you. I think it’s really a common thread. It looks like a lot of different things, but it’s the same thing.
16:19 And it’s the same thing in that what I do is create safe spaces for people to feel expressive. Working with men and women, working with adults who are stuck in adulting. Adulting meaning, well Hollis, you know, I have a mortgage or rent to pay. You know, I have a family. Why would I sit there and doodle? Why would I take time to, I don’t have time to write a chapter in a multi-author book because I don’t have the time. And
16:47 getting stuck in all this responsibility, when it’s such an underestimation of thinking that these are things that are extras in life, because it’s really everything. Because when we take time to do these things, we feel more connected, we give ourselves permission to actually know ourselves, to be vulnerable, to connect to others, to inspire others, to show up for others.
17:17 We feel more harmony in our life. We’re less cranky. We’re less angsty of feeling like we’re blaming other people because we don’t have the time. I’m sorry, everybody, but you have five minutes. You have an hour, or so daring should I say, you have two hours in your day to set aside time to do for yourself. Maybe it’s not consecutive, but you create it. We’re not that busy. Yeah, we just create a lot of busyness.
17:45 I agree. And I think creativity is somehow seen as childish to some of those adulting adults, you could say. But there’s more value to it than they realize. It’s everything. In my space where we talk about creativity in the sense where we’re directly having the conversation on my podcast, on my TV show.
18:12 Not one person has ever said that creativity is craftsy or about drawing or painting. People define what creativity is as that magic spark, how you show up in the world, imagination. I mean its life, it’s who we are. And we don’t give ourselves when in all the conversations that I have with people, when…
18:39 this kind of definition is presented to them or when they hear themselves say it, they’re like, you know, I’ve never thought about it that way. And it’s empowering. And people’s physical, how they stand up changes. People stand up taller, their shoulders are back because there’s a sense of confidence that people have something to offer.
19:02 Because being a creative being, when you recognize that you’re a creative being, that we’re all creators, whether it’s in business and science and in your spiritual practice and being a parent, because you’re problem solving, I mean, I could go on and on. You’re using your imagination, you’re creating something that hasn’t existed per se in your space before and using your conversational skills.
19:28 Everything is a creative moment. So when people see this and acknowledge it, they’re like, oh, it’s empowering. That’s cool. That’s my rant. When you say that, I know I love it. And from the spirituality aspect of creativity, where does that connection to something bigger than you come in for creativity, do you think?
19:54 It’s all bigger than I feel like it’s being open to allow that bigger whatever you call it. You call it energy, vibration, God, Spirit, angels, gods, whatever you call it. When you’re open to allowing it in, then it’s this co-creative process. So we’re not controlling things.
20:23 We’re not sitting here micromanaging everything. We’re being open and allowing for this bigger thing to come in. And that can come in through all of a sudden an idea spark and imagination for me thinking about, you know, beyond my business, but as an actual, my modality, one of my modalities is as a visual artist. So all of a sudden when I’m in less resistance is when the ideas pop through.
20:47 And then when they pop through, then I take action and I take action. I’ve learned to do it in little steps. Often I’ll get excited and jump to this final thing. But in my, that’s when it can be a little overwhelming, but I can see a vision in my head. I kind of am like, okay, this is kind of what I’m working towards, but then I’ll start the process in the baby steps. And it’s also allowing for it to change. That even though I saw that finish.
21:17 piece this way. That’s the generality of it. It might end up being just like this and that’s cool, but I might find other materials. I might bump into, I might come along different discoveries along the way and it’ll change into something else. But can you give us an example of something recently that you’ve done like that?
21:41 So in college, I found an old sketchbook. I have always resonated with signs, signs being stop signs, one-way signs, and street crossing signs. And when I got to travel when I was younger, and even as an adult, and being even from state to state, signs vary. And I think it’s so cool to look at the shape of signs and how we communicate with maybe one word or images. And
22:10 I just think that’s all very interesting to me. So I’d never done anything with it before, but recently, I’d say about five months ago when I was looking at it, I was like, oh, one way signs. That’s really, I love that word kind of like that concept of one way. And then I’m like, is there really just one way? Like obviously when you’re driving, there is one way and you’re kind of screwed if you go down that way. That is. But then I started taking it kind of out of the context of the meaning.
22:40 having it look like a one-way sign, but using all different mediums to represent the concept of one way. And I went to this store, which is nearby, that has a whole bunch of materials that are just kind of dropped off, not an art store. And I just kind of, I didn’t know what materials I was gonna use. I went with my husband and we were wandering around and I found shingles and…
23:05 for the roof and I was like, oh, this feels right. This feels like I could use these shingles as a base for the concept. And I purchased 20 of them. And then I just started thinking like, what does it look like? And I used feathers and paint and sequins and needlepoint and all of these different things just started coming to mind of how to represent this one concept. Wow. Yeah.
23:34 Where do you develop that kind of ability to trust in each step and not overthink it and not kind of go, oh, not to be dismissive? Because I know there’s people probably listening who maybe get an urge to do something like that, but maybe they never take that next step. What’s helped you to trust yourself in taking those steps?
23:59 Stop being so serious about it. Like it’s not, nobody’s going to die over this. There’s no gun to anybody’s head. Like you’re not, it’s just a process. So that’s kind of like the fun in it. It’s kind of like this detective. It’s, you know, a scavenger hunt in a sense where, okay, maybe we’re working towards the treasure, but in order to get to the treasure, there’s these little things that are
24:29 you know, being dropped in. So as I was creating these and just allowing it to happen, because I’m not, I wasn’t planning on having a show any place for it. I was just doing this for my, for myself. Not necessarily for anybody else to see. But as I started creating them, I’m like, oh, this would be really cool as an installation. And then on the back part to be able to make them spin, because I love interaction. I was like, that’d be so fun to have them all on a wall.
24:56 And the concept of one way isn’t necessarily in one direction. So what if it has this spinny thing on it and you attach it to the wall and then you go up and you spin and you see which way is the one way. Um, but the one way keeps changing. The one way keeps changing. So to answer your question, it’s kind of like, just have fun with it. Take pressure off of yourself. And this is for you. And if it turns into something bigger, then great, but it doesn’t have to be this thing for everybody else to see.
25:26 Yeah, there’s a bit of, I know for myself as a creative person that I always felt a little under pressure for it to matter in some way or to make it, you know, to be a success in some way or to have people come to the event and, you know, a certain number of people needed to be there for it to be a success. And when I started teaching, I experienced so much fulfillment helping others sing that it took a huge amount of pressure off me as a creative person.
25:56 And now my steps into creativity are have less of a less pressure behind it. You know, I’m recording right now, actually, a song that my that really inspires me because it is a song that reminds me of my granny. So my granny passed away on the night that Ireland won one of the Eurovision song contests that it won. And that song, Johnny Logan’s Hold Me Now.
26:25 It just had so much meaning to me my whole life. Every time I would hear certain verses, I would like weep because my granny, I was only 13 when she died as well. So it was almost like this connection to this song. And I convinced Mike to help me record it. So it’s actually going to be coming out before too long. But when I was recording the vocals, I kept, you know, breaking down into tears. And I’m not, I mean.
26:52 I’m not really doing it for it to be a hit or anything. I’m hoping that people who enjoy who enjoyed Johnny Logan’s version might also enjoy mine. But mostly I’m doing it for my granny and for my immediate family who we all lost someone we cared about deeply when she passed. And I don’t know. It’s funny. It’s there’s so much to that like that. That is important no matter who hears it almost.
27:22 And that’s the beauty of that. Yeah. Let’s go ahead and finish that. That’s the beauty of. That’s the beauty of what creativity can also be like that healing process for me or that honouring of my, my, my grandmother and that feeling a connection to her. Like when I was recording, I was like, if you’re out there, help me with this. And I heard it change in my tone of voice for that third verse. That was partly her energy. And I needed that.
27:52 that to be able to complete the song without, you know, crying, you know. So there was something so beautiful in that. And whether it’s visual art or whether it’s, you know, songwriting or recording or writing a story, our reasons are all different. You know, sometimes it’s got a lot of significance. Sometimes it might be more for fun, but it’s always valuable to go on that journey, in my opinion. Yes.
28:22 Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for sharing that because that is so powerful and exactly what you said, so many things. This is something that you felt called to do, you felt connected to do because of all of what it symbolically represents to you. And it’s taking the pressure off, like you said, of having to be this perfect thing. It’s just something that you want to put into the world and it will resonate with who it resonates with.
28:52 And when you opened yourself up to the universe, your grandmom like came through and probably, I mean, whatever anybody wants to believe, people might be like, oh, whatever you want to believe in this, like you were guided through the process and you were trusting. And that’s really what it is, is opening yourself up to be vulnerable and to allow. And…
29:18 that’s where stuff comes through. That’s where the gems are. That’s where the beauty is. Because if we try and control everything and say, well, this is going to be step A and B and C, you have to go from A to M back to B to Y to C. There’s a lot of zigzagging and everything around and that’s good. Yeah. I think what people forget is with stepping stones,
29:48 Sometimes you take a step onto the next stone, but you test the one that you think you’re going to step on next and it’s wobbly, so you’ve got to change to the next one, so we’ve got to be very as flexible and adaptable. I think that’s what humans are, why, why humans have been so successful in the world is our adaptability. But if we forget that is the most important thing and we think it has to be linear.
30:13 That’s where issues can happen and we can feel so frustrated, angry actually, because things aren’t falling into place the way we think they should. I definitely had a big life lesson to do with that because I was so unhappy with stuff until I let go and I decided I would respond to what was around me and be more receptive instead of directive in the way that I was handling life.
30:43 Ooh, I love that. Receptive, not directive. Yeah. I mean, I know some people’s energy is more naturally, can be very naturally directive, but mine, I need to see something that draws me in. I’ve learned what works for me. Um, taking opportunities that are presented to me rather than searching for the opportunities. That was a key thing for me. That’s helped me, you know, be more successful over the last few years.
31:14 being open more to the yes. Yeah. I had no idea I would teach. I was, like I said, I was so shy. And I’m thinking, really? I am going to be standing in front of a classroom presenting and doing, and that’s when it started. And it’s like, yeah, you are. I’m like, okay. So we started this and then all of a sudden you’re going to be doing professional developments. I was like, are you serious?
31:43 And then, yes, you are. And it became a joke because I would turn all shades of purple and it wasn’t a pretty shade of purple. It was blotchy and it was on my face and my chest and I kind of wanted to hide. So what I learned and how I learned to adapt in these situations was just like with my business now and having a TV show, which I never thought I’d be on camera. I never liked being on camera. But…
32:12 It’s bigger than me. My mission is bigger. It’s not about me, Hollis. It’s about sharing the information. So in the professional developments, I would actually, I learned to say, look, if I start turning lots of different colours, I’m not having a heart attack. I’m not dying. Like all’s okay. It’s just something that happens. People laugh, we’re done. That’s it. I’ve cleared the air. So nobody has to be concerned about me and I don’t have to be self-conscious.
32:42 So it’s just kind of understanding yourself and being open to those places that you don’t necessarily think that ever expected that you would go. Yeah. Expect the unexpected. Yes. Destiny. So before we wrap things up, is there anything else that you would like to say to any of the listeners today?
33:08 I think that’s really just be kind to yourself and don’t take everything so seriously. Like try not to take life so seriously. It is really and appreciate those that you have around you that you really truly care about. And even if it’s one person, it’s a gift. It’s really is a gift and life is a gift. So I think it’s really a matter of appreciating it.
33:37 And, um, just being open and allowing, not having to control everything. Yeah. And I would add, you know, appreciate yourself because you’re the gift as well. And, um, we all have something within us that wants to be expressed, whether that’s be kind to each other or whether that’s, Hey, let’s have fun or whether that’s, let’s, you know, you know, create something together.
34:07 So each person listening, remember that you are a gift, your life is a gift. The people around you are a gift. Let’s have the time of our lives as much and as often as we can. Yes. Yes to all of that. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the podcast today, Hollis. I’d encourage all of our listeners to check out some of your resources, your links, and there’s a beautiful gift there, a free e-book. Would you like to tell us about that before we finish?
34:37 Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me in the space. It’s just been such a beautiful space and you just make it feel very safe and allow for everything to flow. So thank you. So the e-book is called My Wish for You Is and it’s just, it has movement to it. It’s like one of those little wishes that you blow and it moves and each is just kind of, you know, it’s about wishes and just being.
35:05 grateful for the moments and believing in self and connection with others and permission to make mistakes and all of that. So that is what I hope people take from it. Beautiful. Well, thank you so much. That’s another episode of the Resonate podcast. We look forward to having you tune in again very soon. I’m Aideen. My guest today was Hollis Citron. Goodbye, everyone.