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How to Use Sound and Music to Regulate Your Nervous System with Anna Cantwell

3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

1. Sound and "frequencies" as a tool for regulating your nervous system and shifting your mood

2. The impact of music on your subconscious

3. Why singing, whether or not you're "good" it, is a tool to get out of your anxious, overthinking mind

Listen to Anna’s music here

You can learn more about Anna and her work on her website and instagram:

📌Episode Highlights

Music and sound as tools for regulating the nervous system:

  1. Affirmation Music

    1. Whether you realize it or not, you receive subliminal messages through music and media that you consume.

    2. Choosing to listen to music with positive messaging will create a greater impact on your wellbeing and mindset.

  2. Singing

    1. Any form of singing can be therapeutic - in the shower, in the car, at church, at a concert, karaoke - it doesn’t matter if you’re a “good” singer

  3. Beyond listening to music there are other tools to heal with sound:

    1. Freestyling - lean into it as a silly and fun practice. If you release expectation and pressure you’ll get into a flow state. It can also be a great way to speak your desires out into the universe.

    2. Vocal Toning - using your voice to create sounds. This is a great practice if you don’t know where to start with singing, try making any sound that feels natural and see how it feels.

    3. Oming - often done in yoga practices for nervous system regulation. It also reduces stress, anger, and cortisol levels.

How to lean into being a multi-passionate human:

  1. Don’t let lack of traditional training prevent you from putting your art, business, music, etc. out in the world

  2. If you get stuck, ask yourself how you’d feel if your favorite artist, author, podcaster, inventor, etc. didn’t put their creations out into the world - let it be your motivator that there are people out there who want what you’re creating

  3. It takes time to build anything. Be patient and keep doing what you‘re passionate about even if it isn’t getting the traction you want it to get yet

Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


0:00:00 - Anna: It's so cool to me to see how music is so connected to all these layers of wellness, like, yes, it's part of your throat chakra, totally yeah, there's part of it. That's just strengthening your diaphragm and getting you better at deep breathing, you know, it's so powerful to see the effects. And then to me, I'm like this is the most important thing is it's just fucking fun. You cannot tell me that it's not the most fun thing to just windows down, cruising around, blast one of your favorite songs and scream it at the top of your lungs.

0:00:41 - Caitie: Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast helping you feed yourself, feel yourself and be yourself. I'm Caitie Corradino. I'm a registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, a body image coach and the founder of Full Soul Nutrition, a method that combines nutrition counseling with a powerful toolkit of somatic healing modalities. I have guided hundreds of clients to freedom with food, their bodies and every aspect of their lives. I've also been through this healing myself, and on this podcast, I want to help you eat with confidence, embrace your body, form aligned relationships and create a life that you're in love with. I'll share actionable tools, no bullshit stories and interviews that will remind you why you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. Are you ready? Let's get into it.

Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full, & Alive. Thank you so much for tuning in today. Wherever you're tuning in from, I want to invite you to take a nice deep breath, maybe a little stretch, maybe wiggle your toes, wiggle your fingers. Just get present, get into your body. I hope you're feeling good and, if not, give yourself what you need a glass of water, another deep breath, a pause, a moment and then tune back in, because we've got a great episode today.

I am so excited to have Anna Cantwell here on the show. Anna, thank you so much for being here today.

0:03:07 - Anna: Oh, thank you, Caitie, for having me. I am really excited to chat.

0:11:31 - Caitie: So, I want to talk about how I have been starting most of my mornings with your affirmation music. I'm definitely going to be in my Spotify wrapped. It's going to be great because I love it so, so much, and I've been talking to clients a lot in the recent past about how much putting on music can shift your mood and how much really dropping into any one of your five senses in general is an important thing for regulating your nervous system and connecting to yourself and connecting to your body. And obviously, when you put on music, you connect to your sense of sound, which can bring you back into your body. But music in particular, I think, is one of the most powerful ways to shift your energy. It's one of the most powerful ways to really get into the present moment and to really kind of embody whatever desired feelings you have in that moment. And so it was so unexpected for me, after I did the Soul Blueprint session with you, to then find your music, because I have also really recently reconnected with singing and how important of a practice singing is for me not on a stage not well, except if I'm doing karaoke, but not professionally. Just in a way that kind of helps me clear out stuck energy that I pick up from talking to people all day long. So I would love to hear more about your journey with music, what you believe it does for our bodies, for our systems, physiologically and energetically, and what inspires you to create this kind of affirmation like music in general, and why would you recommend someone uses something like this. And I would love for you to speak specifically to the person who thinks that's cheesy as fuck, because I know they're listening to this podcast. The person who's never heard the word energy, quantum, whatever, before. The person who is just like OK, sounds nice, but like why Caitie? Can you give more to that?

0:13:54 - Anna: Yeah, I would love to. I love talking to those people because for so many years I was that person and so I totally get it. I totally get how it can sound really cheesy. But let's just think about this for a second. Most pop music is really repetitive, right? Pretty simple. I guarantee you that if you named like four pop songs for me right now, most of them would just be consisted of the same two chords. You know a super catchy hook or chorus, and what that repetition is doing is it's programming your subconscious mind. So to have this conversation, we do have to talk about the subconscious mind a little bit, which is some people will say it's 95 percent I have read closer to 99 percent of your consciousness is subconscious, and then we just have this teeny sliver that we think is in control. That is our conscious mind. So our subconscious mind is picking up a lot of information at any moment, a lot more than our conscious mind is, and at any moment, at any given time, we have about 2.4 million bits of information coming at us and we can only process about 134 bits of information. So in that, the subconscious goes a little bit deeper and it picks up on things like subliminal messages. So in advertising and movies and any kind of media, there are subliminal messages and if you've ever seen, there's some really cool YouTube videos about almost like Frank's plate on people where they send them subliminal messages through art on the walls or music playing in the background, something that your conscious mind doesn't really latch onto and then later it shows up very apparently. One example that I love is they took these three influencers to this place that had 20 sets. They had a bunch of different places to take pictures and they had 50 objects to choose from to sell and they had to take a bunch of pictures for 15 minutes and then they had to post one and because of the subliminal messaging that they were sending them in conversation, in music, throughout the session, they all posted from the same background, the same pose and the same object from the 50 objects, just because of subliminal messaging. So the point being, it's really fucking powerful and we're being programmed and conditioned depending on where you live, like if you live in a big city, you know there's signs on the benches and the buses and there's billboards and there's music and there's radio. So there's so much influence and most of pop music. What is it influencing us to do? A lot of it is, you know, have a night you don't remember, go home with someone you're going to forget, you know. Basically, yolo and fuck it and get fucked up is kind of the dominant messages and I don't know about you. But that's not really what I want to be programmed with. I don't really want to have that playing as a subconscious narrative underlying my entire life, steering my actions on a daily basis, and so it's. I just saw it as a huge opportunity. I thought, wow, what if there was really amazing, catchy music that actually programmed your subconscious mind with positive messages, with messages that were empowering, with things that could relieve your anxiety, with things that boost your confidence or boost your energy? And it just all came together really, really naturally. I'm super lucky because at the time in 2019, before I released anything I met this great guy. His name is Jake and he's now my husband and he offered to record me. So he had a studio in his apartment and I was like I don't know how this is going to look, but we're just going to try it out and see.

Anyway, like I said, I had never recorded music. This was definitely an edge for me. I knew I had always loved to sing. I had always grown up listening to music, going to concerts, being really really moved and connected moved by and connected to music, but I had never admitted to myself how badly I wanted to make music and sing. It was a big shift for me. And just to connect it a little bit to the soul blueprint, my chiron, which is the wounded healer, is in Leo and it's all about creativity and so and owning the spotlight and as I grew up, I you know, as we do, we have these experiences where you try out for the musical or the choir or whatever it is, and you don't make it, or you make the B team or whatever, and then you think you're bad at it and then you just say, you know what? I better just not do that I'm probably not that good at it, I should probably just, you know, sit down and shut up and those. I had that narrative really strongly for a long time. And what shifted it for me? I had this reiki session from a woman at my yoga studio in LA and she did a bunch of work with my throat and she was like I think you need to try chanting, like yogic chanting and you know chance in Sanskrit and things like that.

And so I started chanting at the end of my yoga classes and then I started singing at the end of my yoga classes for shavasana and then I started making up my own songs. And it's so cool, the throat chakra because once you start to open it up, it's like once you pop the fun don't stop. Once you release that space and once you start, whatever it is doing comedy, podcasting, singing, chanting, vocal toning, anything it's not about being a good singer, it's not about it's not about anything other than clearing that space that we so often stifle. And making this music for me was, I felt, really, really important for the world to have something that you can start your day with, that's fun, that's energizing and that is actually giving you a positive place to start out on, an empowering place to start out on.

0:21:14 - Caitie: Yeah, I can't even begin to explain to you. I was staying with one of my best friends in London and I played your song Everything is Working Out for Me every day and I ran around the apartment like dancing and singing to it and I just know this is one of the marks I've left on my friend. I love it so much, it's so uplifting and it's just. I feel like it's allowed for me to clear out space for me to express myself in a new way, and it's been by way of your voice, so I appreciate that so much and I have a few things coming through right now.

The first thing is that you're talking about the subconscious mind, right, and I talk about how the body keeps a score all the time on this podcast. So I think it's kind of it is the same thing. So I wanna point that out is that, when we talk about the subconscious mind, we're not talking about necessarily hypnosis and things like that. It's like what's living in your body.

All the experiences that we have in our life get stored in our bodies subconsciously. We pick up on other people's tension and energy in our bodies without having to consciously process it right. Like when it gets to be too much for us to hold, our body holds it for us and when it gets to be too much for us to hold, essentially what we mean is like our subconscious mind holds it for us. So it is important to think about how listening to positive music and putting these positive messages into your body, this positive energy into your body, really can cause a shift and it's not theoretical. We have science to show us that the body keeps a score and, like you mentioned, with that study, we have science to show us that subliminal messages really, really affect us.

0:23:11 - Anna: Totally and I love you know we haven't even gotten into frequencies and the fact that those have in the body vibrations, and I know that that I get that that can sound all woo-woo, but I'm happy to send anyone all of the research studies on even oming, even just saying om, and how it reduces stress, how it reduces anger, how it lowers cortisol levels. And one of my spiritual mentors, she's an older woman, and she would always say to me essentially sound healing is the most powerful and least tapped into. And by sound healing I don't just mean sound bowls or binaural beats, I mean any kind of music, musical therapy, making music, frequencies, all of it. And so it's just this, I think, fully untapped area that we're going to see. Wow, we can. We already know that music can shift our state pretty much instantly, right. Have you ever been in a store and, like, your favorite song comes on and all of a sudden, you know, your mood shifts? The cool thing is with these. You know, the most recent album I released is a Lo-Fi album, and if you listen to Lo-Fi while you're working, right, it's meant to be kind of in the background, right, and it's not kind of the main event in terms of music. But I noticed that there's all these, you know, chill Lo-Fi beats, lo-fi hip hop beats and all these playlists that people listen to while they're studying or working or cooking, right, but there was nothing really that was Lo-Fi that had positive messages in it. So once again I was like, oh my God, another opportunity to just slip in something positive. And it's so crazy because I had a friend who was having a bunch of stomach issues on a road trip and I sent him this music and he said, after listening, stomach issues went away. Right, like these physiological responses to something that just gets you in. This it's kind of hypnotic, right, cause it's repetitive. It's like rhythmic hypnotic soothing state can have a profound impact not just on your mood but on your body and on yourselves.

0:25:44 - Caitie: Yeah, yeah, I think I'm frequently talking to clients about the power of using your five senses as a way to calm yourself down after a really long day where you've been feeling anxious and stressed, to really get in touch with your hunger and fullness cues if you're having a hard time eating. And I kind of break down the senses one by one. I'm always like, okay, get in touch with your sense of touch by stretching, by self-massage, by different things like that, your sense of smell through essential oils, through candles, and with sound. I'm always just like and music, I'll send you some Spotify playlist, but like I keep it so quick. And I hear what you're saying about sound being like one of the most powerful and the least tapped into tools, because there are so many ways that sounds regulate us. And I think it's interesting you share the story about your friend with the stomach issues, right, because the gut brain connection is powerful as fuck. So it's like if your brain is receiving this calm message, your nervous system is receiving this calming message that can undoubtedly wipe away a stomach ache, like it's not fairy dust, it's science. It just helps. So I love your new lo-fi album too.

I think that, even though I'm not singing to it necessarily. I am still playing it while I'm cooking and I'm still receiving these positive affirmations that I know subliminally, subconsciously, are kind of popping back up in my day, and I think it's also interesting to look back at the wisdom of people that existed thousands of years ago, like with oming, in Eastern cultures and even in you and I. Both grew up in the church and abruptly broke away, but there's a reason. People sing at church, right, those are ancient practices as well, and that was like the only thing I used to like about going to church and college was the singing, and I thought it was because I loved God, but it really is, because I mean whatever, we can talk about God all day, but I also like I really it was a powerful energy-cleaning practice that regulated me on Sundays.

0:27:54 - Anna: Yeah, it's so funny. So many famous musicians started out in singing in church and I do think it's a special experience to also sing with other people right and have your voices harmonized. One of my favorite exercises to do is if you're with a client, so other coaches, or if you wanna do this with your coach and you have the ability to be in person. Vocal toning together is so powerful because you see how quickly the tone matches up right and then it's just mirror neurons and essentially what you're doing is you're co-regulating. You're co-regulating your nervous system by matching the literal tone that's coming from your vocal cords. It's so powerful.

0:28:49 - Caitie: That idea of co-regulating is important to it. I was listening to a podcast with Glennon Doyle and she was saying some quote about how the best thing about therapy is sitting with someone who has a regulated nervous system, and it's like it doesn't even matter what you're talking about, it's just that it's so good to sit with someone or to speak with someone, be in conversation with someone who has a regulated nervous system, and ideally what you do with your provider is you do co-regulate with them. You also become regulated by way of sitting with them and I think it's cool to think that, yes, singing is a way to literally like embody that sense of like their nervous system Regulation. As funny as it sounds, I mean like. Another thing that's coming up for me is that voice lessons helped me more in high school than therapy ever did, and I never really understood that experience at all. My voice teacher is a freaking lovely woman who I still talk to and it's a friend of mine, and so of course, she was like tangibly a mentor to me. But there was always something beyond that that I never really understood, even though I'm not really like a good singer, right, like I wouldn't say like objectively that like Caitie's ready to record an album. But I think that I, I just, I've just always felt so intuitively drawn towards singing ever since I was a kid, and I think so many people get the message of you're not good, stop singing. And I'm so grateful that, like whatever led me to do voice lessons in high school, it really was because I was a dancer and wanted to like make my way through auditions where I had to sing, and then I would never sing again after the audition, I just decided to take voice lessons for that reason. But I'm so grateful that I ended up there by that winding path, because it was something I'd always wanted as a kid but never allowed myself to have, like you were saying.

0:30:52 - Anna: Yeah, it's so pure. Think about how many kids are singing all the time, singing, whistling, you know. That's why they have all those repetitive songs for kids to sing along to or sing along. Making music, it's so, so amazing, obviously not just for kids brains but for ours, and I really feel like you know the whole. Am I a good singer? So should I sing or should I not sing? If I'm good or not is so irrelevant, because I bet you, 99% of people, I get how there's some people who are literally tone deaf and they're like, doesn't mean you can't sing, it just means I get how it might feel a little, yeah, awkward for you to sing, but 99% of people, I really believe if you worked on your breath, you would get so much better at singing, because that's most of what it is.

And so then you see, oh, it also ties into this other amazing tool that's rooted in, you know, vagal toning and nervous system work, which is deep breathing, and your diaphragm and strengthening your diaphragm. So it's so cool to me to see how music is so connected to all these layers of wellness. Like, yes, it's part of your throat chakra, totally, yeah, there's part of it. That's just strengthening your diaphragm and getting you better, better at deep breathing. It's so powerful to see the effects. And then this is to me I'm like this is the most important thing. It's just fucking fun. Yeah, you cannot tell me that it's not the most fun thing to just windows down, cruising around, blast one of your favorite songs and sing screaming at the top of your lungs, like that's the core memory right there.

0:32:47 - Caitie: 100%. I make my friends go to karaoke for my birthday every single year. And I have to give the same speech every year, the same speech as always. Guys, you can't pretend that this isn't fun. Like I don't care how especially the men are like so resistant, like I'm not gonna, I'm not going. I, the men are always at the end of the night. I like the ones singing the loudest and having the most fun and I can't get them off the microphone and it's, it's just so funny. I just have to give the same speech every year of like. You can't pretend that this isn't pure joy.

0:33:19 - Anna: Right! And even I love something so simple as like karaoke. It's like sing along your car, and that's why I think so many people do sing in their car, do sing in the shower, because it feels like this safe space. But, singing is a vulnerable thing, and I think you know, when you look at physiologically the space of the throat, it's such a vulnerable area to our body and to put yourself out there in that way it's vulnerable. You know, I remember when I used to teach a lot of yoga, getting people to om together at the end and like no one wants to go first because no one wants to like be on the different pitch or say it too loud, and I think it's this really important space of learning that it's okay to take up vocal space and to be heard. Right, and to have your unique frequency, because everyone has a unique frequency of their voice, just their speaking voice, their singing voice, their tone, to have that be heard. And the other connection would be the connection to your second chakra. So if you've ever seen diagrams of like the larynx and vocal cords compared to like the ovaries and the vagina, it's like mirror image, and so I think, especially for women, it's really, really crucial to link those two chakras and find playfulness and pleasure and, like you said, sensuality and connection to senses via your throat chakra.

0:35:21 - Caitie: Yeah, I love that you've acknowledged that It's a vulnerable thing, because that's the very reason why it can be so powerful is to allow yourself to be like hey, here I am, take it or leave it, I'm having fun. It's not easy for everyone to get there and as much as I was drawn to singing as a kid, like I said, I really backed away from it so severely until I was 15 years old, because I was afraid to put myself out there in that way. But I'm curious you know what are the other ways that you can use your voice and use sound, to tap into that vocal power and that vocal center, to heal and and allow yourself to step into that powerfully vulnerable place, if singing doesn't resonate with you.

0:36:11 - Anna: Totally, one of my favorite exercises to do that's super fun once you get out of your head is freestyling. So I used to drive around LA. Put on a beat and just put it on repeat and let it loop and just practice freestyling. And it doesn't have to rhyme, it doesn't have to make sense, maybe you even just at some point say gibberish, but it's so liberating to give yourself the chance to just improvise, right, and it gets you into this incredible flow state, like I said, once you can get out of your head and just have fun with it. And it's so funny because I just think of all of the spiritual, seriousness that happens. A huge Intention for me and my work is to bring in the playfulness and the simplicity and to not make it so serious and freestyling is an amazing way to do that. So definitely freestyling, try it with your friends, put on a beat and bonus points. If you can freestyle about, like things that you're manifesting or positive stuff, right. I feel like when you freestyle with a bunch of dudes, it can quickly, you know, go south and it just like dirty rap, which is fine, but it's also a powerful way to manifest by speaking it out into the universe, projecting it out and, of course, having fun all at the same time.

0:37:53 - Caitie: Would you say that, like just you were mentioning, like stand-up comedy and podcasting and stuff like that before, are those also ways to tap into a similar sense of singing?

0:38:07 - Anna: Yeah, and I think you know the cool thing about singing is hopefully you're thinking less about what you're gonna say, so it's easier to sing and just be like “la la la la la” and just make sounds, instead of when you're speaking you feel like I have to say something. But if you feel comfortable, just, gibberishing, or if you have light language, if you're connected to light language, that's another amazing space to go into where you really let your channel open and you're making sounds or singing or words that, like, are words in some star system but not words that you know here. I think when it comes to things like comedy, storytelling, podcasting, it's just easier to get stuck in your head than singing, right, but they're amazing. I mean. I think it’s for anyone who feels really connected to their voice. Podcasting is an amazing way to have, you know, a positive impact on people and there's all kinds of podcasts Like. I love to listen to silly podcast, I like to listen to a podcast called the Giggly Squad so much laughter and it's just like a conversation. Storytelling podcasts are incredible. Anything that's getting your voice out there is powerful, and I think that singing and vocal toning is a unique space because we talk all the time. But we don't always sing, you know and so if singing feels really weird for you, I would recommend starting with vocal toning. And all vocal toning is. I just go through the vowels, the vowel sounds so I'm gonna sound like I’m going to sing. [vocal toning] Right, and going through those tones just as an experiment. I mean, there's so many vocal exercises to do that are fun, I'm sure. Like you know, I'm just thinking of all those classic ones. It's like mommy-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me, and you're like an enunciating and doing all these silly things. So those are great too. But if you're really like I don't know where to start singing, like I only sing in the shower, and that's only if I know no like my husband's not home or whatever. Then I think vocal toning is a really good place to start and oming to you know, practicing oms it's going to a regulate your nervous system in a really powerful and beautiful way and you can just I mean only the sound of the literal sound frequency of the earth, right? So if you need grounding and settling and centered energy, that's a really amazing, super, super simple way to do it. And the biggest headline here is just don't overthink it. Like you can like karaoke counts, vocal toning counts, oming counts, like singing a fucking Christmas carol counts. Like it all counts and it can all get you to a, you know, unblock or open up your throat chakra more. I mean it can boost your confidence, it can support you in the healing of your body, so there's really no reason not to do it.

0:41:56 - Caitie: Yeah, yeah. The moments when I've been the most out of my head and the most regulated are the moments where I feel the most inclined to sing. To be honest, it's like the moments where I've just been like in the bathtub or just like really relaxed making dinner the other day. Those are the moments where singing just kind of happens naturally, and so it's always interesting to think about what if I brought singing into the moments where I'm feeling, you know, less regulated and it's not just like pouring through me.

But all right. So two more questions for you before you wrap up. The first is that you own multiple businesses, so you do these human design and astrological readings for people and you also do business coaching and you also do these wildflower remedies and you have your own tarot deck and you also make music and have your albums on Spotify, and so I've been talking a lot to people who are just afraid to create, like afraid to put their thing out there, thinking like why does the world need this? What makes me capable of owning my own business and putting my art, my creation, out into the world? And you're clearly someone who just does it and just does it, just puts it out there, and I'm curious what words of wisdom do you have for people who, yeah, have a calling similar to, like affirmation, music and things like that? I mean, what challenges have you bumped up against and how'd you overcome those?

0:43:33 - Anna: Yeah, I think you know I'm surrounded by a lot of my close friends, and my husband have been doing music, are professional musicians have a ton of technical knowledge, either about like recording and production or about like music theory, or, like one of my best friends went to college for music and I didn't have any of this training and I want people to see that actually as a leg up because you're not jaded from the industry, you're not. You don't have some of the blocks that they might have of like, oh, I've been doing this for so long and why hasn't this happened yet or that happened, and it's kind of that like fresh beginner's mind. That I feel like, is a huge asset to me in just going for it right? And because I don't have formal training. I mean I took voice lessons for like a year when I was 12 or something. Because I don't have significant formal training, I cannot lean on my mind, and that's actually a huge asset because I have to trust the flow. So that's one layer of it. If you're new to an area, if you're new to making some kind of art, you're new to podcasting, all of these things, just remember that that has its benefits as well. It's not just having experience because, like I said, experience can make you really jaded. Experience can leave you with a lot of limiting beliefs in certain areas.

And in terms of getting your creations out there. I just always say think about, think about the art that you love, think about the music that you love, think about that random song that showed up on your discover weekly from like a lesser known artist and but you’re just obsessed with it. And what if they hadn't made it? Or what if your favorite author hadn't written their book? Or I'm like this, this artist who had had done these back here. Her name's Callan Mackell and she does a lot of stuff on Instagram and started just like posting her art on Instagram and now has a really big following and gets to make art her living and these you know. Some people might say, oh, it's so simple or what's. She's not using technique or whatever, and I just think all of that is honestly like just a bunch of bullshit. I'm like, listen, if you studied art history or if you studied music theory or whatever, and you nerd on that, I am so stoked for you, but 99% of people don't know anything about any of that and don't care. Yeah, and so those things that we let stop us are, I would say, just a lot of times, really silly, you know. So just think about the person in your life who made something that you really care about. Even if they're not like making a bunch of money from it yet or super famous from it yet, it's still worthwhile.

And then also, the very process of creating will open you up so much. I mean, we are creative beings. Whether you're manifesting, whether you're sculpting, whether you're singing, whether your podcasting or coaching, or healing, or jogging or whatever, we are creative beings. It is what we came here to do. So just find, find the space that feels really good for you, and it might be a lot of spaces.

I love to write, and that's why I wrote the book for animal guides, the Oracle deck, and I also love clothes and feel really expressed and creative through clothes, and I never. I mean, we're so infinite. Why would we be limited to one niche or one thing or one art form, you know, and so I always just thought why not embrace all of it? I will say for me, if you're multi passionate and you have multiple businesses, there are times when you have to pick one to focus most of your energy on and some of them might take a backseat to get it off the ground. So when I was writing the book for animal guides, I wasn't launching new coaching programs because that was taking up more of my energy. So sometimes you may have to kind of shift where your energy goes, especially if you're starting something new and you're kind of getting off the ground.

But most people and this makes me sad, but most people won't record the song. Most people won't start the podcast. And you know, it's one of those things where everyone talks about oh, everyone has a podcast, right? Well, did you know that 85% of people quit their podcasts within one year? So that doesn't leave very much. I'm like that's a pretty small amount of people that keep going. So that's the other thing. If you have started something and you're like I'm not seeing the traction or why don't I have a million streams yet, or whatever it might be, just to keep going, no one who ever made anything great like stopped in a year or even in five years. You know. It's about creating as a lifestyle. It's about you embodying being a creative being and letting that take different forms and not letting the, the silly programming of the world, say that what you are making isn't worthy, because it definitely is.

0:49:38 - Caitie: So much goodness and what you just said and I resonate so much, in particular with the note about you know what if your favorite artists never made their art? Right before I recorded my first episode of this podcast, I was getting so in my head it's so hard to talk into a microphone by yourself for the first time and I just wrote on a piece of paper like what if Elizabeth Gilbert never wrote Eat Pray Love? I love Eat Pray Love. I'm such a Eat Pray Love stan. I was just like what if, what if? I just wrote all my favorite podcasters like, what if they never did their podcasts? Like blah, blah, blah. What if my favorite fitness instructor wasn't brave enough to be her fully expressed self in the classes that she teaches? Then I wouldn't like to have the same relationship that I have with movement, and that was such a grounding exercise for me. So I really, really love that, and I also love the idea of just keep going. No one who ever created anything great like stopped after five minutes.

So, yeah, I feel like that's beautiful, and so my last question for you, as it is for all of my guests, is if you were to create a survival bag, what would you put in that survival bag? This question is based on the quote from Brene Brown that says one day you will tell the story of what you went through and it will become someone else's survival guide. So I'm curious you know what's going to go in your bag to help you live your most fully expressed, healthy, aligned life? What would you put in there?

0:51:00 - Anna: I love it. I'm like, how big is the bag?

0:51:03 - Caitie: Someone put the ocean in their bag, so big.

0:51:06 - Anna: Oh my gosh, I love that. Yeah, I'm like any part of the earth, like yeah a creek, a stream, a tree, flowers, like nature. Nature's in the bag for sure. I'm such a nature person. I'm like my puppy. My puppy Rocky is definitely going in the bag. A good, a good, solid card deck for just reflections. You know, I'm like my chagachino, which is my thing, that I put in my decaf coffee that has only yummy antioxidants and things like that. Some good, fresh, organic fruit, probably some essential oils, for sure, and whatever musical device I'm like, maybe a piano, maybe a drum. Oh my gosh, my steel tongue drum. So so amazing, the best sound. Yeah, and then something to play, yeah, like your phone to play music, to play like endless music. And good friends, good friends too.

0:52:20 - Caitie: They're all going in the back. Thank you so much for being here today, for sharing your wisdom and creations and inspiration. Can you just tell everyone where they can find more of you?

0:52:34 - Anna: Yes, yeah, I hang out most on Instagram and my handle is @iamannacantwell. Spotify, it's just Anna Cantwell. You can jam out to some I promise they're not cheesy affirmation pop songs and lo-fi tracks. And then Animal Guides is my Oracle card deck, so I have some separate stuff for animal guides and my flower essences is called Wild Plenty Flower Remedies Another amazing healing tool that would have to go in the bag to a solid flower essence. And, yeah, that's that's where I hang out most and I'm so excited to connect with you all and thank you so much for having me. Today was a blast.

0:53:20 - Caitie: Thank you. Thank you. If you love this episode, please do consider leaving a rating five stars, Spotify or Apple or wherever you might be listening to this that you can leave ratings. I don't think you can do it anywhere else, but anyway, we'll be back here again in two weeks. All right, we're wrapping up here. Have a good rest of your week, thank you.


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