Episode 4: Being with Nudges (and there is no map of your life)

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Cassandra is back by the creek for a chat about nudges and invitations from the universe, if nudges ever go away, how there isn't a map of your life, and more. Gratitude for Ernest the dog and fellow explorer and the forest and all its beings for sharing this experience with Cassandra.

Aired on Friday September 23 2022 - the day after the Autumnal Equinox

Read behind-the-scene notes and the full transcript.


Cassandra sat above the creek while Ernest sat next to her ready to receive some treats. She recorded the creek note on September 14, 2022 and published the episode on September 23, 2022.

Cassandra mentioned her newsletter, which is a weekly-ish emailed note about being with creativity, change, belonging, and nature. You can subscribe here.

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Full Transcript

[00:00:00] (creek sounds serve as intro)

[00:00:00] Hello. Welcome to Be With Cassandra. I am your host, Cassandra Ellis. And this is another episode for you. I recorded the main conversation by the creek in the forest that I love to be by.

[00:00:33] And I talk about nudges from the universe and nudges that come from within us, as well as beyond us, and these nudges are invitations.

[00:00:51] And I have a good time wondering aloud about nudges and invitations and [00:01:00] the questions of, of how do we want to respond to these nudges and how do we want to be available to the nudges? How do you want to play with your availability? Those are some of the words, phrasing, I used. So. Without further ado, let's get into it. To the creek. In the forest. With me and Ernest.

[00:01:29] I hope you enjoy.

[00:01:30] Cassandra: Hi, Ernest and I are here, both sitting. He is sitting on the ground. I am sitting on a log. We are sitting above the creek in one of our sweet spots in the forest.

[00:01:58] [Sighs audibly] [00:02:00] and

[00:02:08] what I'd like to share with you today and reflect upon for myself today is newness.

[00:02:21] And, you know, last time I was talking about fresh starts. Having kind of a, a blank slate, but not fully a blank slate. Right? A, a, a new beginning, I guess, to an existing relationship, whether that relationship is with a dog like [said with a smile] Ernest or a human being or a job, or some type of [00:03:00] situation- we are in relationship with so many beings and things, right?

[00:03:07] So, yeah, that's, that's, you know, go back and listen to that one if you, if you haven't already. Um, for now, though, what I am thinking about is, is kind of another layer of newness. And so the first thing that came to mind since he is right here with me right now, sitting down, is something new that Ernest and I have been trying- is working for your meals, I guess, is kind of the, the way of saying it. And switching from him receiving his meals in, you know, a, a dish [00:04:00] to that same food being given to him throughout the day, supporting him and our relationship of communicating and responding to what I'm asking him to do.

[00:04:27] So what I decided to do, like, if you wanna hear more details, happy to get into it with you. uh, but what I decided to do based on what I've learned about through trainers, as well as through different reading- what I decided to do was switch his lunch meal to the "working [00:05:00] for the meal" and then dinner, keeping dinner the same.

[00:05:08] And we've been doing it for about a week plus. And, you know, shifting away from the, kind of the, the tangible logistics of, of this newness,

[00:05:27] - just moving through something that's new together. And what I've, what I'm reflecting on is

[00:05:39] [sighs audibly] kind of what happens before the decision to try something new is for me, at least, maybe it's similar for you. Maybe it's different. Is that for some things, I have this like inkling, I have this, this [00:06:00] nudge, this internal nudge, and maybe even external, like coming from external experiences, this, these nudges that keep reminding me of trying something new of trying this new thing.

[00:06:14] And so, you know, that's happened with this working for meals example, and there's, there's been over- I mean, the whole time Ernest has been with us, like, there's been these kind of nudges. And so it's got me thinking about what other nudges are out there and in, within me inviting me to try on something new?

[00:06:54] And you know, I can respond or [said with a small laugh] I can [00:07:00] react to those nudges in a multitude of ways. And I think that what's been exciting about trying this experience on with Ernest as well as several other new things that I'm, that I'm trying on for size in my work life, in my personal kind of- health life, I guess. [said with a laugh] The example that comes to mind is, is I've been experimenting with going to sleep earlier, waking up earlier.

[00:07:42] [sighs audibly] And so

[00:07:50] I'm, I'm curious about for myself and for you- yes. These nudges, these, these invitations [00:08:00] can come from beyond, from the out- outer world, as well as from your inner world.

[00:08:09] And they do come. However you want- however, they, they enter into your being- messages from the universe, right? Whatever they are.

[00:08:25] We, we have such an opportunity to respond in a creative way to those invitations and nudges. So I could be like, okay, I've received these nudges, these messages about working for meals or about adjusting my sleep timing. And I could [00:09:00] go full in and totally change everything. I could say "hey, no more, you know, dinner's also working for meals, everything is that."

[00:09:12] "And I'm gonna set an alarm to go to sleep. I'm gonna set alarm to wake up" and be kind of at that more structured, potentially rigid end of the spectrum.

[00:09:30] Or I could find [said with a laugh] somewhere in between rigid and very loose and find what is that happy medium for this new experience, for whatever the relationship is, for whatever I'm moving through in my own life, [00:10:00] beyond this one new thing.

[00:10:06] So, and funny, the examples I've chosen are [said with a laugh] nowhere near- like they're not, this is the first time I'm playing with this. This is the first time I'm responding to this nudge. Both of them- I've, I've been through the, going to the rigid extreme. The going to the loose extreme.

[00:10:32] So, so the, the truth within this [said with a soft laugh] also seems to be that this iteration of experimentation is very likely not the end. It's very likely [00:11:00] not- this isn't how things will continue to be forever and ever.

[00:11:12] So, so I'm wondering about these nudges and, and if-

[00:11:25] [said with a laugh] I guess one thing I'm wondering about is if- do they ever go away? Like will, will- are there gonna be things that are just gonna be solved? And done and close the book, close the chapter on that, move on to the next thing.

[00:11:55] I don't think that's how life is [laughs] [00:12:00] and simultaneously it does seem like there are points in my life that there is a transition that is more transformative than the ones prior. And it does feel like kind of a next chapter or shifting into like a bigger or deeper spiral in the spiral of one's life.

[00:12:46] So if [laughs] many of the experiences, many of the nudges and invitations will keep repeating and keep re- [00:13:00] surfacing,

[00:13:04] how can I, how can you, how can we be more prepared for that? More accepting of that?

[00:13:24] And not resign to the fact that they will keep arising and keep resurfacing and then just not do anything about it.

[00:13:52] There's so many like metaphors that are coming to mind right now of, of what this process [laughs] [00:14:00] could, could feel like. You know, climbing a mountain, but the thing about climbing a mountain is that at a certain point- like there is a peak and it, and it, you can see it. You potentially know, you like know how far it is because there's a map, because somebody else has likely done that before.

[00:14:31] But nobody has lived your life before. So nobody's able to say, here's the map of your life. This is where you'll reach the peak. This is how far you have to go to the next peak. These are the, you know, the, the challenges you'll face along the way. Nobody has lived your life. Nobody has lived my [00:15:00] life. Nobody has lived Ernest's life before.

[00:15:05] So you don't know, I don't know when those peaks are. I don't know how far away they are.

[00:15:21] Simultaneously, there are mythic archetypes. There are developmental milestones in one's life, and, that are much more comparable, right. That, that move beyond the individual, to the collective, whether- in the collective species. And there are those developmental milestones with other species like dogs, [half whispers] [00:16:00] he's looking somewhere across the creek.

[00:16:05] So my thoughts for you [laughs] today. I-

[00:16:19] Returning [laughs] to the thought that I was beginning with about, about new experiences that are prompted by these nudges and by these invitations.

[00:16:40] these messages from the universe.

[00:16:44] I wonder how you want to be available to those? And open and yeah, "available" seems like the, like the word that [00:17:00] fits right now. How do you wanna be available to those nudges and invitations and message?

[00:17:08] You choose what you wanna do with them and when you wanna do with them and how you wanna do with them [said with a laugh]. Uh, but yeah. What is your, how do you wanna play with your availability to them?

[00:17:31] That's all for now. We're gonna keep walking going down the creek, down to the creek, then up from the creek on the other side, I think, and then walk through an area that probably has a lot of spiderwebs because it has not rained in a very long time. So that is why I wear my hat. And then I hold Ernest's leash in front of me as a guide [00:18:00] post to be able to see [said with a laugh] spider webs in front of me. And hopefully duck under them before I get caught in them.

[00:18:14] So till next time, I'll leave you with some sounds.

[00:18:27] Hello again.

[00:18:30] That was fun.

[00:18:33] I would love to hear, receive, or read any responses that have come to you about the questions that I posed. They are rhetorical, I guess, and also very direct [laughs]. Uh, you can choose to play with them as, however it fits for you. [00:19:00]

[00:19:02] I look forward to be with- being with you again soon in another episode. And until then you can connect with me through my weekly email newsletter, which you can find in the show notes and you can subscribe really easily to that.

[00:19:24] I share somewhat of an essay, a letter, each week about topics that are very similar to what I talk about here: change, belonging, nature, the body, experimentation and creativity.

[00:19:50] So I hope you join me there, if you feel called to.

[00:19:56] And till next time. Bye for now. [00:20:00]

[00:19:59] (creek sounds serve as outro)