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Peace Is a Practice with Morgan Harper Nichols

Lesson 11 from: The Chase Jarvis LIVE Show

Chase Jarvis

Peace Is a Practice with Morgan Harper Nichols

Lesson 11 from: The Chase Jarvis LIVE Show

Chase Jarvis

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Lesson Info

11. Peace Is a Practice with Morgan Harper Nichols

Lessons

Class Trailer
1

Heal Your Past with Sheleana Aiyana

51:06
2

How An Unconventional Path Got Nabil Ayers To President Of One Of The Most Influential Music Labels

1:04:12
3

All the Hacks to Maximize Your Life with Chris Hutchins

1:08:02
4

Data-Driven Life Decisions with Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

1:01:26
5

Escape Purgatory of the Mundane With Radical Confidence with Lisa Bilyeu

1:09:58
6

Transform the Quality of Your Life with Tony Robbins

51:37
7

Strengthen Your Intuition & Unlock Your Inner Wisdom with Amber Rae

1:00:13
8

Make Your Message Heard with Victoria Wellman

1:13:34
9

Susan Cain: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole

1:09:31
10

Can Food Turn Us Into Geniuses with Max Lugavere

1:21:16
11

Peace Is a Practice with Morgan Harper Nichols

1:14:56
12

Creativity Hates Complacency with Maria Brito

1:10:34
13

A Love Letter to Human Potential with Kate Robinson

54:14
14

How to Build Confidence and Be More Social with Vanessa Van Edwards

1:01:21
15

Trauma Is Wreaking Havoc On Our Lives with Gabby Bernstein

51:59
16

Take The Leap, Start a Business with Payal Kadakia

58:37
17

What Every Creator Should Know About NFTs with Tom Bilyeu

1:05:47
18

40 Seconds To Fame Or Failure with Apolo Ohno

45:52
19

Unlock the Power of Nonverbal Communication with Joe Navarro

1:03:28
20

Living Shouldn't Hurt with Aaron Alexander

1:20:24
21

Ego, Disrupted. How Buddhist Wisdom Meets Western Therapy with Dr. Mark Epstein

1:11:55
22

Words Can Take You Anywhere with Arianna Davis

53:00
23

Master Your Inner Voice with Dr. Ethan Kross

1:06:21
24

Accelerating 10,000 Hours to Mastery with James Altucher

1:09:49
25

Transform Your Mind in 12 Minutes a Day with Dr. Amishi Jha

1:15:57
26

Powerful Habits to Ease Anxiety and Boost Productivity with Mel Robbins

1:15:17
27

The Art of Self-Reinvention with Malcolm Gladwell

1:00:45
28

Creative Acts of Curious People with Sarah Stein Greenberg

1:10:01
29

Self-Discovery, Activism, and Rock & Roll with Stevie Van Zandt

57:56
30

Why Design Matters with Debbie Millman

1:07:04
31

Discover Work that Makes You Come Alive with Jonathan Fields

1:15:34
32

Releasing Trauma and Mastering Your Emotions with Jason Wilson

1:05:35
33

Food Saved Me with Danielle Walker

47:16
34

Changing Our Relationship with Rest with Chelsea Jackson Roberts

49:11
35

Retracing Passion to Build Lasting Career Success with Chris Bosh

54:27
36

Old School Photography + Other Musings with Kai Wong

41:52
37

Escalate and Evolve: A Blueprint for Career and Life with Ben Uyeda

1:08:44
38

The Stories That Hold Us Back with Jon Acuff

1:07:22
39

Poetry, Vulnerability and Finding Your Voice with Jericho Brown

1:13:40
40

What Does it Take to be Backable with Suneel Gupta

1:05:38
41

Unlocking Creativity, Courage and Success with Rebecca Minkoff

53:00
42

How To Heal From Your Past with Dr. Nicole LePera

1:13:54
43

That Will Never Work with Marc Randolph

1:12:06
44

The Real Cost of Your Dream Life with Rachel Rodgers

1:02:44
45

Your Network is Your Insurance Policy with Jordan Harbinger

1:24:15
46

Dream First, Details Later with Ellen Bennett

1:14:45
47

We're Never Going Back with Harley Finkelstein

1:01:47
48

How to Shatter Limitations and Achieve Your Dreams with Steven Kotler

1:08:10
49

The Creative Art of Attention with Julia Cameron

1:05:23
50

The Path Back to True Self with Martha Beck

59:45
51

Upgrade Your Brain and Learn Anything Quickly with Jim Kwik

1:21:22
52

The Urgent Need for Stoicism with Ryan Holiday

1:11:30
53

Delicious Food Doesn't Have to be Complicated with Julia Turshen

1:14:35
54

Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention with Erin Meyer

56:27
55

Stop Living On Autopilot with Antonio Neves

1:07:38
56

How to Tackle Fear and Live Boldly with Luvvie Ajayi Jones

59:42
57

Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable with Jamie Kern Lima

1:05:03
58

Hard Work + The Evolution of Self with Priyanka Chopra Jonas

36:36
59

The Power of Idealism with Samantha Power

1:34:35
60

Pushing the Limits with Extreme Explorer Mike Horn

1:22:54
61

Fast This Way with Dave Asprey

1:15:34
62

Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho

45:59
63

Why Conversation Matters with Rich Roll

1:24:17
64

Elevating Humanity Through Business with John Mackey

1:15:14
65

When Preparation Meets Opportunity with Paul Ninson

1:04:14
66

The Art of Practice with Christoph Niemann

1:12:18
67

Matthew McConaughey: Embracing Resistance & Catching Greenlights

1:19:38
68

Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul with Justin Boreta

1:25:32
69

Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results with James Clear

1:20:55
70

Badass Habits and Making Them Stick with Jen Sincero

1:06:12
71

Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs with Dr. Benjamin Hardy

1:09:18
72

Imposter Syndrome, Getting Unstuck and The Practice with Seth Godin

1:13:19
73

The Art of Curiosity and Lifelong Wisdom with Chip Conley

58:47
74

The Lost Art of Breath with James Nestor

1:03:15
75

The Art of Reinvention with Sophia Amoruso

1:03:59
76

Harness Kindness as Your Hidden Super Power with Adrienne Bankert

1:08:26
77

Heal the Soul, Restore the Calm with Stephan Moccio

1:28:19
78

Finding Resilience & Possibility with Guy Raz

1:08:47
79

Truth, Fear, and How to do Better with Luvvie Ajayi Jones

1:18:22
80

The Future is Faster Than You Think with Peter Diamandis

57:56
81

Music, Writing, and Time For Change with Nabil Ayers

1:20:38
82

Freedom to Express Who We Are with Shantell Martin

1:10:34
83

So You Want to Talk about Race with Ijeoma Oluo

1:10:47
84

Photographing History with Pete Souza

1:16:35
85

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone with Lori Gottlieb

58:51
86

Never Settle with Mario Armstrong

1:38:11
87

The Science of Making Work Not Suck with Adam Grant

1:15:36
88

Street Photography + Capturing Truth with Steve John Irby

1:10:54
89

Life, Writing, and Real Talk with Roxane Gay

1:05:57
90

Steve Aoki: Creativity, Community and No Days Off

50:57
91

The Power of Passion and Perseverance with Angela Duckworth

1:08:25
92

Know What Drives You with Michael Gervais

1:05:20
93

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind with Vishen Lakhiani

59:07
94

Risk, Fear, and the Art of Chill with Jimmy Chin

1:13:51
95

Personal Growth and Understanding with Citizen Cope

1:16:21
96

Living Life on Purpose with Jay Shetty

1:20:06
97

Get Out of Your Own Way with Dave Hollis

1:08:10
98

Hope in A Sea of Endless Calamity with Mark Manson

1:15:12
99

How to Find Yourself with Glennon Doyle

1:10:16
100

Make It Til You Make It with Owen Smith

1:20:50
101

Surf, Survival, and Life on the Road with Ben Moon

1:08:01
102

Create the Change You Seek with Jonah Berger

1:00:22
103

Workplace Revolution with Amy Nelson

1:05:16
104

Rethink Impossible with Colin O'Brady

1:29:31
105

Good Enough is Never Good Enough with Corey Rich

1:25:24
106

Say Yes To What You Want with Chris Burkard

1:22:54
107

Finding Stillness In A Fast Paced World with Ryan Holiday

1:08:00
108

Everything is Figureoutable with Marie Forleo

43:50
109

The Art of Being Yourself with Elizabeth Gilbert

53:41
110

Creativity, Comedy, and Never Settling with Nate Bargatze

1:37:12
111

Personal + Career Reinvention with Jasmine Star

1:01:18
112

Stay Creative, Focused and True to Yourself with Austin Kleon

1:12:25
113

Ramit Sethi 'I Will Teach You To Be Rich' book launch with Chase Jarvis

1:07:17
114

You Don't Need to Be Rich to Live Rich with David Bach

1:09:51
115

Harnessing Your Human Nature for Success with Robert Greene

1:04:28
116

Addiction, Reinvention, and Finding Ultra with Endurance Athlete Rich Roll

1:07:41
117

Disruption, Reinvention, and Reimagining Silicon Valley with Arlan Hamilton

1:12:31
118

The Intersection of Art and Service with Rainn Wilson

1:03:25
119

Your Mind Can Transform Your Life with Tom Bilyeu

1:30:19
120

Do Something Different with Jason Mesnick

1:02:38
121

Less Phone, More Human with Dan Schawbel

1:07:40
122

Startup to $15 Billion: Finding Your Life's Work with Shopify's Harley Finkelstein

1:12:42
123

It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work with Jason Fried

1:49:02
124

Love, Service, and Living Your Truth with Danielle LaPorte

1:11:05
125

How to Do Work That Matters for People Who Care with Seth Godin

1:10:56
126

Happiness Through Gratitude with AJ Jacobs

1:12:54
127

You Are Your Habits with Julien Smith

1:03:40
128

Maximizing Creativity + Navigating the Messy Middle with Scott Belsky

1:09:10
129

The Most Important Conversation About Life… Death with Michael Hebb

1:13:38
130

Redemption and a Thirst for Change with Scott Harrison

54:58
131

Imagination and The Power of Change with Beth Comstock

1:12:29
132

Success, Community, and his cameo in Parks & Recreation with NBA All Star Detlef Schrempf

1:02:02
133

1,000 Paths to Success with Jack Conte

1:07:32
134

Unconventional Ways to Win with Rand Fishkin

1:37:49
135

How to Sell Without Selling Out with Ryan Carson

1:05:45
136

Be the Artist You Want to Work With with Nigel Barker

47:12
137

Your Story Is Your Power with Elle Luna

1:33:53
138

Celebrating Your Weirdness with Thomas Middleditch

1:14:04
139

Persevering Through Failure with Melissa Arnot Reid

1:33:23
140

Go Against the Grain with David Heinemeier Hansson

1:18:07
141

Stamina, Tenacity and Craft with Eugene Mirman

1:17:15
142

Create Work That Lasts with Todd Henry

1:06:50
143

Make Fear Your Friend

08:08
144

Tame Your Distracted Mind with Adam Gazzaley

1:12:08
145

Why Grit, Persistence, and Hard Work Matter with Daymond John

1:05:15
146

How to Launch Your Next Project with Product Hunts with Ryan Hoover

1:11:15
147

Lessons in Business and Life with Richard Branson

45:05
148

Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life with Glennon Doyle

1:27:29
149

How to Create Work That Lasts with Ryan Holiday

1:20:25
150

5 Seconds to Change Your Life with Mel Robbins

1:14:53
151

Break Through Anxiety and Stress Through Play with Charlie Hoehn

1:08:10
152

The Quest For True Belonging with Brene Brown

1:29:41
153

Real Artists Don't Starve with Jeff Goins

1:19:16
154

Habits for Ultra-Productivity with Jessica Hische

56:18
155

Using Constraints to Fuel Your Best Work Ever with Scott Belsky

1:21:07
156

The Intersection of Art and Business with AirBnB's Joe Gebbia

1:19:56
157

Build a World-Changing Business with Reid Hoffman

1:19:31
158

How Design Drives The World's Best Companies with Robert Brunner

1:05:33
159

Why Creativity Is The Key To Leadership with Sen. Cory Booker

53:06
160

How To Change The Lives Of Millions with Scott Harrison

1:16:14
161

How To Build A Media Juggernaut with Piera Gelardi

1:21:04
162

Transform Your Consciousness with Jason Silva

1:08:02
163

The Formula For Peak Performance with Steven Kotler

1:01:40
164

How What You Buy Can Change The World with Leila Janah

1:04:10
165

Overcoming Fear & Self-Doubt with W. Kamau Bell

47:44
166

The Unfiltered Truth About Entrepreneurship with Adam Braun

1:21:36
167

Build + Sustain A Career Doing What You Love with James Mercer of The Shins

51:58
168

How Design Can Supercharge Your Business with Yves Béhar

33:40
169

Conquer Fear & Self-Doubt with Amanda Crew

1:29:39
170

Become A Master Communicator with Vanessa Van Edwards

1:19:52
171

How iJustine Built Her Digital Empire with iJustine

1:08:05
172

How To Be A World-Class Creative Pro with Joe McNally

1:05:19
173

How To Stop Waiting And Start Doing with Roman Mars

43:43
174

Gut, Head + Heart Alignment with Scott Dadich

38:17
175

If Not Now, When? with Debbie Millman

55:31

Lesson Info

Peace Is a Practice with Morgan Harper Nichols

How can you find peace in your day-to-day living? How can you go through chaos and find the gems that are your creative process? What's up, everybody. It's Chase Jarvis. Wanna welcome you to another episode of the Chase Jarvis LIVE Show here on CreativeLive, where I sit down with incredible people. And today's episode, we sit down with Morgan Harper Nichols. She is an absolute genius, multifaceted artist, started out in writing and poetry, music and turned that into what I would consider a global movement, going almost overnight from 10,000 people following her work to now millions and millions. In this particular episode, we learn things like how to find peace in doing the work that you love most, how controlling your breath is vital to actually being able to get what's inside of you out, how being calm is a strength. Also all kinds of particulars around creative process, how to make money and orient yourself around that it's okay to make money doing what you love most. These topics a...

nd many more, my conversation right here right now with Morgan Harper Nichols, including her new book called "Peace Is a Practice." I'm gonna get outta the way and let you enjoy the show. (dramatic upbeat music) (crowd applauding) We love you. Morgan, thank you so much for joining us today. Very excited to have you here. Welcome. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so honored fan of this show, so yes. Awesome. Honored to be here (laughs). Awesome. Well, fan of your work as well, I shared with you already, but I might as well share with the listeners to get us started. That just moments before we started recording, I was scary around the house, looking for your book, your most recent book, "Piece is a Practice" only to find that my wife had hidden it and put it, not intentionally, but she picked it up and started reading it and was in her purse and I'm running around, "Kate where's my book?" (Morgan laughs) Oh, wow. Our household is a huge fan, or are huge fans, rather. And my wife is Zen Buddhist practitioner in many ways, a mindfulness coach and teacher, and is especially attracted to your stuff. Part of the way that I discovered your work was just a poem. And then I pulled on that thread and discovered your Instagram some time ago, where, of course, you have millions of fans and followers, but one of the ways I like to start the show, is, as you will know, is by asking the guest to describe themselves to the audience, who you are, what you care about, what your focus is and life and/or work. It's a great way for us to get to know you in your own words. So please, accept my invitation to share with the listeners who you are, what you do, how you think of yourself, what are your self descriptors and then we'll be off and running. Yes, yes. Well, thank you. Thank you for that warm welcome. Well, my name's Morgan, I'm an artist, visual artist and also a music artist, and I'm a writer, love to write poetry and prose. And I do a lot of different things, but honestly, pretty much all of it, I can sum it up to you, I do a lot of things that would make six-year-old Morgan really happy and excited. And six-year-old Morgan was just like, give me all the colors, give me all the ways to make something, all the materials I could find and what can we do? What can we make? What can we create? I've always been driven by that. And I feel like I kinda went through the past, a decade of my life of trying to really kind of find a focus within that. So nowadays it looks a lot like a mostly visual art and written words, and just finding different ways to connect with people in a meaningful way through art. So I do that through, I have an app. I also have like an online shop where we sell journals and planners with my products on it. I do a lot of art licensing. So a lot of my art on products with other retailers and entities, and I also write books. So yeah, a lot of it falls into those categories (laughs). I am fascinated by the way that you opened with the description of that the six-year-old you would be so proud, because when I, I think my own experience in talking to, not just people beyond the show, but just people in life, I think, would say just the opposite. Like the six-year-old me would be so disappointed that I am a fill in the blank. I spend my time doing X and I really want to do more of Y, but I'm scared or I'm stuck, and there's so many reasons, many of them very, very valid, why we suddenly wake up one day and find that we have wandered so far off the path that we had envisioned for ourself. So I was wondering, how did you either stay on that path of being true to the six-year-old you, or if you didn't stay on it, how did you reconnect with it as an adult? Yes. It was a constant struggle back and forth between trying to find ways to kind of stay creative in some capacity. 'Cause even though I may not have had the language for it, say like when I was in college or in my early '20s, but there was always something inside of me that knew, one, quite frankly, I was just terrible at math and science. So when I was in college and a lot of the, like I was seeing my friends take like business courses and things, and I was like, "Yeah, I can't do that." So that's out. And then even with like in college, like I'm taking like a psychology class, and I'll never forget, I think I got a C in the class, and I was so disappointed in myself, because I'm like, "Wow, it's really starting to narrow down here." Like a lot of the things that, and I struggled because like, I really enjoyed that class. I actually thought I did a good job. Like I thought I was retaining the information, but just the testing structures and all that, it just wasn't for me. I had the experience, again, when I got to sociology and history, got a C in history, and I'm like, "What is going on?" Like I thought I was receiving information. I was getting excited. I'm like, "Maybe there's something here." And then as I'm going through my transcript, looking at the classes that far, I had a A in English. And I was like, "That's interesting." I was like, "That class was so easy." I barely even thought of it. Like I got a 100 in that class, like perfect, perfect grade. And I remember thinking I'm like, "Okay, there's something to that." Like there's something to, I'm looking at this transcript, and my only As was English and it was sociology. And that was because that professor didn't do like traditional exams. So I was able to, (Chase laughs) I think like the final paper had like a lot to do with the class, because I didn't even do that well on the test leading up to that exam. So I was like, "Okay, there's something to that." So there was like these little threads of like, even when I felt like I was failing in other areas. So it was like, just a little bit of like, "Okay, I'm getting some positive feedback on the writing." And then as I got through school and as I graduated from college and I worked at the school that I graduated from as an admission counselor, and I struggled with a lot of different parts in that job, like just operationally, it just wasn't my strength. But I graduated from college at 20 years old. So I started college at 16, I graduated at 20. I was 20 years old in this position. Most of the people in that position were years older than me and had been in the field for years. But for some reason I got my boss to say yes to this. I said, "We need social media counselors as admission counselors." I was like, "We're talking to prospective students, they're on social media." I was like, "They're not checking their email anymore." And this is in 2010. And so social media people, the average person didn't even really have smartphones really back then, but it was just a thread. It was like, "My boss said yes to this," like of this all, the other things I struggle with in this job. Like she trusted me to do this. And she entrusted me to create a whole infrastructure for all of the employees to have Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts. And for many years, they still use those accounts. So I ended up being at that job for two years. And the position actually moved to a different part of the state. I couldn't afford to move with it. And from that point forward, it was just a lot of different variations of that. I ended up moving in Nashville to try to for pursue music career, and financially, it was just a real, real struggle. But at the same time, there was just enough. I was making just enough connections with people who were doing interesting things or who were affirming what I was doing in some way, that it was like, okay, there's something here. So I think I just always had it, but in the moment with it, it felt very chaotic and stressful, because it was like, "I need more than a thread. I need like a blanket, so I can sleep at night." Like these threads need to get woven with other threads. So it wasn't until late, late, late 2016 that I really, that I wrote my first poem, that I had written a poem just honestly, I like to say it was just a journal entry that ended up coming out in the format of a poem. And I shared that poem in that following January, it had been re-pinned on Pinterest over 100,000 times. And that was kind of like, okay, more than a few people saw that at this time. That was like the first time, like I saw like a magnitude of people, like a volume of like, "Hey, we like what you're doing. We connect with this." And from that point in early 2017 onward, I think that's where I kinda gained an awareness of like, "Maybe there is more than like one or two people, or just a handful of people. Maybe it's possible that I can connect with people in a meaningful way, that not everybody has to connect with it, but enough that I can actually get into a rhythm and a flow and be creative in a way that feels right for me." So, yeah, that was a big shift when that happened, because it was just like the sheer numbers of it was like, "Oh, wait a second. Okay, there's something here." So slowly but surely I started to take on freelancer projects. I started to experiment with having an online store and all those things. And I finally started to see it really, really coming together. And that took about two years of like, just slowly but surely figuring that out. And I'm married, and my husband, Patrick, was working in construction at the time. And then he, in 2019, his boss just called him one day and was like, "Hey, we don't have work for you for the next, I don't know when." And he was just like, "I'll see ya." Well, at the time I was eight months pregnant with our child and it was, I'm sorry, seven months pregnant. And then we were like, "Well, we need to figure something out." So he was the one that kinda took all these little things, I started doing with freelance, started doing a little, oh my, he's like, "We gotta do something more." Like we gotta figure this out. So he actually went and created a Shopify store and he was like, "We're gonna sell art prints of the stuff you shared on Instagram." And I was like, "I don't wanna do that." He was like, "I think we're running out options. Like you should really consider it." So I told him, I was like, "Well, you go find the stuff." He went on Instagram. He picked out like a whole like. And I didn't like any of the stuff he picked. And I was like, "Okay, fine, I'll do it. I'll do it, I'll do it." And we released those prints. We did 10 prints. I think we bought like, maybe, I think we bought like 100 in total. And it was like a site we found online. It was super inexpensive to start it. And we sold out of those prints almost immediately. Then we launched some stickers. They sold out almost immediately. And I was like, "Oh, I could have done this a long time ago." Thanks to Patrick. Yeah, exactly. So from that moment forward, that was honestly like, okay, I can finally see all those little threads coming together. Like they're weaving together now. I'm seeing how the creativity can merge with the commerce. I'm seeing how it can turn into something so that we can, if wanna afford to take care of our child, that's coming into the world, but we can take a deep breath and say, "Wow, okay, we're in rhythm here." So yeah, that's kind of the cliff notes version of what that journey has been like. Oh, well, I'm fascinated by it, specifically the idea that while you were in it, I think you used the word chaotic, right? It felt chaotic. And I think that so many people who are listening, or watching right now, feel that chaos that you spoke of as they're in this rather messy process, not to of exploring their art, but understanding who they are, either adopting or issuing labels that they have for themselves or that others made on them. And I'm wondering if you can go a little bit deeper on that chaos and how you, was it courage? Was it that you were bringing a child into the world? Like, what were the things that helped you push through that chaos when, I'm not gonna put words in your mouth, but I would, I have, from what I read, I understand just, it's a lot of uncertainty in this time when we're discovering, you think that maybe the word, I don't remember where I read that about you, that you were talking about that process of discovery, and this is so common. And yet I think at most of the creators that see someone like yourself who is polished and has this great online presence in millions of followers, and they think it was just linear and it all made sense, but the reality is it only makes sense looking backwards. And when you're in the middle of it, it's chaotic. Yes. So talk about the times where you were able to pursue that chaos, or you found some thread of hope in doubt. Talk to me a little bit more about that. Yes, yes. A lot of it is, I've had to really slow down and think about that over the past few years, and like what made it possible through all the chaos that I was able to just keep going and not give up. And I really do think a lot of it had to do with the finances. It had to do that I was struggling financially, and I couldn't find, and my story is not unique in this way. A lot of people in my generation have struggled to find consistent, reliable work. And that is just, I'm in that number. I'm in that number of, I'm a millennial, like a lot of millennials have that story. And I mean, a lot of people general, but it's kind of like a hallmark even of our generation, in some ways, is finding steady and stable work. And that was me. Like, I had many moments where I was like, "I would honestly just be okay just having a death job, knowing I had health insurance and knowing that I could do that. And then I'll just make my art on the side." But I didn't even have that. I couldn't even get that part figured out. So even today, I see a lot of people talking about like, "Oh, leave your job and go do some amazing thing." I'm like, "Hey, there's so a whole bunch of people who can't even get the job part figured out," like it's not all, like everyone goes to this pipeline, "Oh, we have this nice salary job." And then someday we'd decide to leave it into our own thing. So of us can't even get the salary job part figured out. And that was my story. And there's a lot of anxiety that comes with that. And I feel like we don't talk about that enough, of like, when you don't know, like what this year's gonna look like financially, when you can't say, "I know how I'm gonna pay my I rent next month. I don't know how I'm gonna pay my rent in the next three months," or you're freaked out about like, "Wow, one bad thing could happen and drain my little savings that I have." And that's a real problem that a lot of people face, and that's what I was dealing with in real-time. I was looking at, when I was living in Nashville, and I was trying to make my music career work. I was looking at how many little jobs I had to take just to be able to make a living to do it. And it was a real struggle for me, because I was like, "Okay, I could do it." I'm in my 20s, I got the energy. Like I didn't have a child at that time. Like I could do it. But I was like, even in my optimal state, there's a limit on how many jobs I can take. I remember taking this one background vocal gig, and I'm a singer and I'm pretty confident in my singing voice. I know how to sing, I know how to sing a lot of different styles and I could go into a vocal booth and just wear my voice out to help create a record. And then I'm like, "Okay." I get a paycheck at the end of the day. But then the next day, my voice is gone. Like, I can't go do that again the next day. I have to like take a break. So I'm like, wow, I just keep getting hit with all these limitations. And I'm no lie, I mean this so sincerely, I'm not just saying it because I'm on this show, but you were honestly, one of the voices that helped me, like see, I mean it, sincerely, like you are allowed to charge for your art. You are allowed to earn as an artist. Like I might be paraphrasing, but you said something what's very specifically about, like you don't have to like charge at like a lower rate because you feel like, "Oh, I'm trying to," it's like no, charge. Like what is your actually figure that out? Like figure out what that is. So I was starting to trying to figure that out, but for a long time, (laughs) for a long time, I wasn't there yet. I was like, there's something better. But I felt like I lacked maybe the business knowledge of really trying to figure that out. So yeah, a lot of the chaos, to answer your question, had to do with trying to figure that out. And it wasn't until I really had a long look at myself and really slowed down and said, "Yeah, you can't keep going this way. You've gotta figure out what you're worth. You've gotta figure out what your time is worth, what your energy is worth and start from there." So yeah, it took me a lot to work my way to that. I think this is so important for people to hear again, because the world that social media will have us believe is very different, that you had doubt and that you were exploring your own, you have managed to be successful in many different areas, singing, art, poetry, illustration, the licensing of your art into products. Like that is very, for someone right now, there's someone an architect who's saying, "Man, I draw plans and sketch visions, but how does someone like Morgan find success in all these areas?" So to hear that there was an exploration period, and I might even, again, having listened to you and read a number of things about your background, say sort, there's a self-discovery. Like what am I worth as an artist? What makes sense to me? I read a story about you being handed a guitar and hearing, I think you described it as a, what sounded like or felt like a whisper from God that "Me and this guitar, we're gonna get to know one another." or something like that. Yes, yes. So would you encourage or rather, what would you encourage? Would you encourage exploration of a number of things, going deep in a thing that, is financial considerations part of, it sounds like that was a big piece for you, the financial independence, but if you were gonna be prescriptive, I don't wanna ask you to do something you're uncomfortable with, but help people understand how to tap into and/or find the one thing, or we're told you have to do one thing well, but you've so many things. So help us navigate that for a minute, because I think this is a very confusing topic and space for, especially emerging artists, to understand themselves. Yes, absolutely. I think the biggest thing that I would've done differently, looking back in all the stress and the chaos and everything that I dealt with, I would have forced myself to nail down a number. And nail down like how much do you need, Morgan? 'Cause the possibilities are endless, but you don't need everything. Like how much do you need to be able to say, "I'm taking care of, I have food to eat. I have a place to live. I'm able to invest in the projects and organizations that I believe in," what is that number? And I didn't have it for a long time, because I, especially, I feel like this happening a lot for people who may be in like a lot of creative industries, sometimes it's hard because like the possibilities are endless. It's like you see people happier age, making way more money than you've ever seen in your life. So you're just like, "How do I get there?" It's like maybe you don't have to get there. It's like maybe what you need, it's like maybe you have a sibling who's disabled that you wanna help. And you're like, "What does that number look like for me so that I can help take care of me, but also my sibling that I care about." Or there's this organization, this nonprofit that for my hometown that I wanna give to, what does that number look like? So it doesn't always have to just be about like paying rent and paying your phone bill, but it's like what are your values? Like what do you care about? And I was not asking those questions. I was just like, "What do I need to do to just like be okay. And like be in the industry, you'd be in the flow and not have to worry about the thing." And it's like, you kinda do have to worry about the thing, Morgan, like you do have to slow down and say, "What do you actually need?" It's like there are times where I was comparing myself to people who had different values. They had different needs than me. And I was trying to get to where they were, but we didn't even have the values. It's like I realized this when I recognized, it was something I heard Dolly Parton say. I've heard Dolly Parton say it, and I think I've heard Nick Jagger say it, but they were talking about how much they love touring. They love being on the road. And I think I've heard Dolly Parton say like, "I'm gonna do this the day I die, like I love touring." And I remember hearing that saying, "Oh my gosh, I actually don't like touring that much." I'm like surrounded by people who love touring. I'm in a city where, I mean, literally, at midnight in Walmart parking lots, all around Nashville, you see tour buses getting ready to go and travel all across the US and go on weeks and months-long tours. And I was like, "That's actually not my favorite part of this." I was like, "My favorite part is sitting in the room and crafting these songs and bringing them to life." I was like, "That's why I'm here." So I'm literally sitting here comparing my workflow, my financial situation, to all these people who are in a very different place and who have different goals, who love touring. And I actually don't love touring like that. I actually prefer to be at home working on my craft. So that was the first part of it, is like kind of setting some parameters for myself, of exploration, even, like getting clear about I've gotta look at people in my industry and I've gotta see like, "Oh, I actually don't wanna do that. I wanna do this." And setting that parameter and say, "So, yeah. I'm not gonna set my goals around what it looks like to be a touring musician, because that's not what I wanna do." Even though I see that it's successful, even though I see people doing really well at it, I have to honor my time, my energy and my capacity. And if I don't do that, I wouldn't even be able to sustain that anyway. So I think that's the biggest thing. It's like there's a room for exploration and trying new things, but you do have to kinda be tough on yourself a little bit, and say like, "Yeah, but I'm gonna create some boundaries around like what I actually even pursue and get to know myself and get to know like what my actual energy is and what my capacity is." And if I could redo it, that would be my focus. Well, please don't redo it because you've got to some incredible place. I mean, you've been a vocalist on several Grammy nominated projects, in addition to your huge social long, your financial success selling, again, we're gonna get to your writing, which is you have got a new book out called "Peace Is a Practice" that I'm in a tug of war with my wife over right now. And you said something that I wanna visit for a second, which is this idea of getting to know yourself. That was a huge part of the last couple of minutes of your advice. I also read what I think is a fascinating piece in the Arizona Central of about you becoming aware that you may be neuro atypical and finding an autism diagnosis really late in life, that I think, as I read, helped you understand yourself a little bit more. And so in the same context of understanding that you maybe don't like to tour and you want to work on your craft, like how important are these things that are extraneous, that are beyond just the work, where, in the case of the story that you've been very public about, getting to know yourself in a different way, and starting to put some of these pieces together, looking backwards. I'm wondering if you can to talk to that. Yes, for sure. Yeah, that is all connected, because it is very, getting to know yourself, doesn't mean just you by yourself in a room. And what I am so grateful for with modern times is that we're talking a lot more about our health and about our mental health, and how we function neurologically. And those aren't things that we have to just sit in a room by ourself and figure out. It's possible that you can find professionals, people who studied this, who can help you figure out what your strengths are. And that has been my story. That has been my story these last couple of years, because I was on TikTok one day, about like end of 2020, I was on TikTok. And the TikTok algorithm started to show me videos of women who had been diagnosed with autism as adults. And it's very specific video. And I was seeing several of them, and I was like, "Wait a second. That actually makes a lot of sense for me." I was like, "It sounds to me like they're saying my whole life story." And a lot of what they were talking about was just about, I mean, many different aspects of being autistic. But some of the ones that really stood out to me, one was a lot of people were also talking about within their autism diagnosis, they also had a sensory processing disorder, and things like loud sounds or bright lights have a great effect on them for hours on end. And I was like, "Wait, that's me." And even the thing I mentioned about not liking touring, I actually realized that the loud music that has played at shows, I mean, I had the opportunity to tour with artists in arena shows, like the speakers that are like as tall as buildings. And I would get off stage sometimes, like ready to cry. And I didn't know why. Like I feel like I could literally crumble right here, and I didn't understand why. And I was like, "Oh my gosh!" I was like between the inner packs and the big speakers, I was like, "That's a lot of sound." My nervous system was fighting to hang on in those moments over something that was literally wearing me down. So it was things like that that I was like, "Oh my goodness," there may have been even more than just like a preference thing. I was like, "I think there's something deeper here as to why I was not able to thrive in certain settings." Especially when the world is telling you, "You're traveling musician, you're making it, you're on the arena stage." Yes. And those disconnecting signals, right, you're getting from the outside. I'm on stage living the dream. And then you are, as you said, ready to crumble at a moment you notice in the inside. Yes, yes. I will literally get off, I'm shaking. And I'm like fighting to like keep a smile on my face. And I actually remember, I'll never forget. We were in Lubbock, Texas, at the Texas tech arena. It might not even call that, sorry, if you were to Texas tech, and I just butcher that. The arena probably has a name, I'm so sorry. And I remember, there's like a bay where all the tour buses kinda are surrounded by this bay. And it was this huge uphill from the back end of the arena to get back up to the tour buses. And I remember walking up that hill, fighting tears, and just the wind is just like blowing, that west, Texas wind. And I get on the tour bus and no one's on there. And I just ball my eyes out. And I didn't know why. I was just like, just crushed. And now when I look back at that, I was like, "Oh, I was in a room with loud music, blaring, blaring, blaring for two hours straight." And I didn't know that my nervous system was not equipped for that. I didn't know. And I just remember just sitting there, like why am I crying? Like why do I feel absolutely fricking miserable right now and not knowing why? So as I'm watching these TikTok videos, I'm like, "Whoa, wait a second." Like all those stories in my life that I haven't been able to make sense of, I think there's something here. So thankfully, I was able to find a specialist here in my area in Phoenix. And one of the biggest distinctions, is because I had in the past, I had actually reached out to, I had talked to primary care physician a few years back, that I thought it could be possible that there could be something going on neurologically. And I was like even my parents growing up had considered that, "Oh, there could be something here." But when I meant it to him, he just shot me down. He was just like, "You're perfectly normal. You have nothing to worry about." So I had even had these experiences of like, okay, maybe I don't don't need to go deeper, and maybe there's nothing here. But yeah, in 2020, just finding those women who had had very similar stories to mine made all the difference. And I'm so grateful to say that it let me on a journey of discovery that I was never expecting I was gonna be able to have. And it has brought me so much peace, because even while I still have struggles, obviously, it's good to know what they are. It's good to have a name for those struggles. It's good to say, "Oh, okay. I actually know what my limitations are. I know what my capacity is. I know what I can and can't do." And that's made a huge difference in my life. This whole idea of what culture or says to us or the labels, either helpful labels, like you understanding your diagnosis, or unhelpful labels, how navigating that. And just if you're on stage, you're supposed to love being on stage because you made it. There's a million people. The same thing was true with me with professional soccer, had the opportunity to play. And I'm like, I think I'm good. And the people in my life are like, "How are you possibly not doing this?" Yeah. And I also, like you, remember coming to terms with myself, like this, no, this is actually, when I make this change, and there was just a, (sighs) like a sort of a settling in. And you used the word, a moment ago, piece, which I think is the perfect transition to talk about your new book, which is called "Peace Is a Practice." I'm holding it up here for the folks who are listening. You don't get to see the cover. But A, congratulations, it's absolutely stunning. And I'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about what made you write the book, and then we'll talk a little bit in more detail about these practices or first, the concept that piece is actually it's process. It's a practice, it's not an end. It's not an end state, for example, and some of the ways to get it. But the word piece, this tranquility, when you settle into who you are, as you just described, there is sort of a reassurance. And people have felt that when you have been holding onto a story and you then share it, or you been telling a lie, and then you tell the truth, and there's this sort of this like a comfort that washes over us. I'm wondering, talk to me about why you wrote the book and then we can transition into some of the benefits and some of the specific tactics that you would recommend for people who are looking to have a little more peace in their life. Yes, absolutely. Yeah, so I wrote this book right in the middle of my diagnosis process. And that wasn't the plan at first. I had the opportunity with my publisher to write a book, and I knew it was coming. But I didn't know that I was about to go on the several out the journey of being diagnosed with autism. And it ended up being just time at the same time that I'm literally having to, like through my diagnosis process of looking back at my whole life. And there's a lot of grief and a lot of sadness, to be honest, when I look back, when I look and see things that I struggle with for a long time, a lot of times alone, didn't ask for help, didn't know how to ask for help. And there's some grief and sadness there. And at the same time, I was able to see that those struggles also taught me that I could learn how to breathe through it. And I could learn how to practice finding ways to take deep breaths I these all the things that I couldn't understand. And it led me to this image of a river, that I'm just a very visual person. Sometimes I'll just have a random thought. And then like, I'll just have like a mountain appear. I'm like, "I'm just gonna go with it." Let's just see what the mountain's about. And that was a river. And I was like, wow. It was almost sort of like there's this river that's been flowing through my life, this constant flow of like, "Hey Morgan, you matter, like you have something to say, yes, you're struggling, but you're still here. You're still breathing. Even when you failed, you're still breathing, you're still here. Inhale after exhale. You keep, you keep existing. You're still here. You still keep making meaningful connections, finding amazing songs, encountering art, encountering sunsets, encountering relationships, all these things that make life worth it. And this everything that isn't figured out, how amazing is that." And then I started thinking about this old song that I grew up listening to, it's called "It Is Well With My Soul" And the first line of the song says, "When peace like a river attended my way." And it made me think about, "Wow, isn't that fascinating?" 'Cause the guy who wrote that song actually wrote that song going to go meet his wife after their four daughters had just drowned on the very ocean that he was traveling on. And I was like, if he was finding peace like a river, I wonder if that's what peace is. Peace is something, it's not like this little globe that we can kinda hold in our hands and say, "Okay, I have this perfect version of peace in my hand and I'm gonna hold it and keep it forever." It's something that you have to go through the wild to find like a river. And it's different than something that we just all see every day. It's something that we have to slow down and go and search for through the wilderness of our own lives, to find that freedom to breathe, even when the worst things happen. And I'm like, "Yeah, I've never known grief like what Horatio Spafford has known, the one who wrote that song. I was like, "But I have known struggles in my own life. And I have known that when I look back, I can see that there has been room and freedom to breathe." So peace is freedom to breathe. And it's something that we can practice finding in every day of our life. And I wrote this book because I was like, "Hey, look, I'm not an expert, but I do have a lot of experience with trying to find freedom to breathe in my life," because I just spent a whole several decades with undiagnosed autism. And yeah, I've got some things I've learned. I've got some things I've learned. So I was like I wanna help other people find those practices in their lives. So that's what this book is about. Well, thank you for writing it. And it's so timely, it seems like we're, because we're in an information age and we are bombarded with something like 100 times the messages that people received in a day just 10 years ago through our phones and media landscape and just new technologies, as an example. If anyone's wondering the power of breath, it should, we take blood pressure pills and there's all kinds of external medicine that can help us control those things. But almost 100% of the time, if a human being can find one minute to breathe deeply, one's blood pressure is reduced like that, very consistently. And the simple fact that breathing can directly correlate and directly affect your physiology. The simple act of breathing deeply. This is something I learned some time ago, and it was my wake up call. Like of all of the things we can do to change the trajectory of our neurology or our heart rate or our blood pressure, the simple act of breathing deeply is very powerful. So to that end, can you give us some practical resources, some ideas and some constraints about the practice? You call it the very opening chapter is "Peace Is a Practice." But since we were talking about breathing, what are some of the techniques that you recommend that you've experienced that you write about that would be, our listeners just could pick up in a moment and start to experiment with or experience themselves. Yes. What I have found in just my own research, and just looking for things that can help me is one, just engaging in intentional breathwork and engaging in practices that help us kind of mindfully restore. And I use the word restore because it's like we were born with this capability of breathing mindfully, but the busier life gets, the more complicated it gets, we forget. So I actually referenced in my book, another book, it's called "Breath" by James Nestor. And he gets into the science of breathing and what we can learn from other cultures, from ancient cultures on breathing. And I start with that, but I don't stop with that. Because one thing that I found is that depending on how you're kind of oriented in the world and what you may hear or research or read yourself, a lot of people are familiar with, "Oh, yeah, I should incorporate some kind of breath practice or breath work into my life." And what I found is that breathing helps us be in our body. And there are many other aspects of being in our body that get neglected. And breathing is a way that, it's an invitation to explore those other areas. So one thing that I explore in the book and I write about, and I get very great examples and different researchers and people who've studied this, are different ways that we can incorporate all of our available senses. And I say available senses because sometimes like, everyone doesn't have access to all the same senses, but how can we incorporate smell, hearing, touch, taste, to help us be in the present moment? Like it's not just an intellectual thing, it's a bodily thing. And our modern times oftentimes takes us out of our bodies very fast. Because, like you mentioned, we have to do so much intellectual work on a daily basis to just answer all those emails coming in, to just like try to function with all these bright artificial lights in our house. So one example that I give in the book, I share something that a journalist practice with some researchers, and that is just exploring the effects of artificial light in our lives and really reevaluating that, and really questioning like not just, it's like a lot of us probably grew up and they hear like, "Turn those lights off," so you don't run up the electric bill. But it's like even beyond that, it's like turn those lights off, because what is that doing to us? Our biological clocks are being kind of like recalibrated based on the fact that the day no longer ends when the sunsets, and these lights just stay on, and we're not even able to slow down and rest in the way that we need to, because we have lights everywhere all the time. So I'm not the kind of person who lives in the house with like a whole bunch of like 12 foot skylights or anything. So sometimes it's hard to kinda get that natural light. So one practice that I give, which is inspired by some of the research that I reference in the book, is I like to have a lot of candles around my house. And one thing that I'll do is when I sit down to work, especially in the evening, I'll light the candle. And not like a big five-wick candle, just like a one-wick candle. And what I notice when I like that candle, I say, when that candle is at a point where it needs to be blown out, that's when I'm gonna go out, and that's when I'm gonna leave, that's when I'm gonna take a break. And it's fascinating. I've been practicing this, it's been helping me actually slow down a little bit more because that candle can only burn for so long. Lights can burn for thousands and thousands and thousands of hours, but we are not fluorescent lights. We are not light bulbs. We're a lot more like that candle. We can burn bright for so long, then we need a break. We need a break. So, yeah, that's just one like small thing that I like to give people, because I'm like, it's so simple. It's like get a candle, light that candle, let that candle be a symbolic reminder of how you can intentionally slow down and take a break. Well, thank you for referencing James Nestor's work. He's been a guest in the show. We spoke about his book. So we'll highlight that in the show notes here for our guest. I did notice that you referenced that. I think it's full circle moment here, I love it. (Morgan laughs) Love it also. Yeah, when did you start using the word peace to describe the inner feeling that you were attempting to cultivate? Because, presumably, there's all kinds of words, and as someone who writes as well as you do, you have vocabulary at your fingertips. Could it have been lots of other words or was peace, was it very clear that what you were seeking was peace? And just curious how you landed there and was there some outside some tradition that you were referencing or why peace and why have you hung so much of your, in this most recent book, you hung your hat, so to speak, on the concept that peace is rejuvenating and connecting and powerful. Why peace and not something else? Absolutely, I love that question. So I'm gonna get a little nerdy and little specific here. Let's do it. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, just like a community slightly outside of Atlanta, Georgia. And I grew up in a African American Christian tradition where I observed this as a kid, my parents are actually pastors. And I observed this from a lot of people, them included, is that there is, within the tradition that I grew up in, there's a tradition to find meaning and definition for things from songs and from art. And it was not unusual to hear a sermon or someone preaching and referencing a song as a way of bringing the point home. So in modern times, like because I've gone to school and I have tons of respect for academia, if I'm gonna reference something, it needs to be something in a book, I need to cite it and put it in a particular format. And that's how I can define things. But what I've learned when I look back at my childhood, I was like, what I was actually learning was how to define things from embodied experiences, from singing songs and listening to songs. So that song I mentioned earlier, "It Is Well With My Soul," that first line, peace like a river, that was the start. 'Cause from a young age, I would hear that reference and messages. I would hear that brought into the fold of like trying to communicate an idea. And that, to me, it stood out to me as, "Oh, that is the definition." Peace is something in nature. And peace is something that I can, when I am a little kid who's feeling really overwhelmed and I can go outside. I don't see a river, but I imagine what could exist in this landscape. So a lot of, even for me with like bigger words, like God, as a young kid, I always associated God with creativity because I grew up singing songs about God creator. And I was like, "Oh, I like to create. Okay, that makes sense." And from a young age, it was very literal for me. It was peace is something I associate with nature, places that helped me calm down. And I believe that as I've grown older, I've just evolved that. And that's something that I'll always hold onto, because there is a pressure sometimes, like when you're a writer, to define things in the, quote-unquote, correct way. It's like, okay, well, what's this in the Latin, what is this in the Greek? And I appreciate that. And at the same time, I also wanna honor what I came from and my own tradition of how, maybe those songs that defined that feeling is actually how you define it. So for me, that's where that started. It started at a young age and I feel like I've just nurtured that more and more. And I wanna hold on to that, I'm like, yeah, peace is a river, peace is being in nature. I love it. And what made me want to ask that question was reasonably early on in the book, maybe the first third or something, I'm actually just flipping here, and it's on page 32, the way that I talk about it, and since you're familiar with my work, I talk about creativity is not moving to Paris and dawning a barret and smoking a cigarette and getting a new set of friends and having to stop your job as an accountant, it's not those things. It's not what you think it is. And I was touched in this particular part of the book, when you talked about what practicing peace is or is not, and you describe it, I'm just gonna read for a second here. Practicing peace is not "Everything's okay, I promise." Practicing peace is not, "I'll be fine, don't worry about me." Practicing peace is not, "Yeah, I just want everyone to be happy." Practicing peace is "I'll just die at politics." Practicing peace is not "I won't mention what bothered me." And practicing peace, you justify, is saying things like, "It's hard to say this, but I'm not okay." Practicing peace is, "This is not easy for me to ask, but I do need your help." Practicing peace is recognizing that you can no longer live to please everyone. And that's, again, it seems like there are many different words that we could have chosen, but this idea of peace, the pictures that you painted with the river and forest and nature, the combination of those ideas, plus the breath work too, actually, achieve peace. I'm wondering, is there a correlation between that and truth for ourself? Because when I hear someone speak truth, and maybe this is part of the tradition that you come from, or I know this is mine, when someone says something and you know it to be true, you're like, "Mm-um." Yeah (laughs). "What that person said, that's the sound of truth right there." And I'm wondering is peace correlated with truth in your world? And this is, obviously, I am grasping at something right now because when I was reading this, like, gosh, it just, when you feel peace, you feel a certain way, when I hear truth, I'm like that, what she said. Yeah. Yeah, I find, I think there is a correlation there, because I do think that peace, and this is why I like to define peace as a practice, something that is as experienced, like not as just like the object, the thing, the only, it's a whole experience. And it's an experience that leads you to a deeper place. It's like the more you're present in the moment, the more you're present to where you actually are in your life, in your mind, in your body, your heart and your soul. The more you're present, the more you start to uncover what's really true. And the more you start to see, yeah, this is where I'm actually at right now. But we can only get there from slowing down. And I think that that's why kids are always known for gonna tell it like it is. And just like they haven't learned how to sugarcoat things. They're just like, "Oh, this is what I think you asked me. This is what I think." And I think a lot of that comes from they're able to get to the truth so fast and say, "Hey, here's what it actually is," is because they haven't learned all those ways of like creating all these stories and narratives that think into the past, in the future. And what are the implications if I say this, or what are the implications if I say that. They're not thinking that they're present to the moment and saying, "This is what it is." Like just this morning I was driving my son to his grandparents' house, my parents' house. And he's two years old. And like just everything, he just like, "Oh, this is a red light." I'm like, "Yes, it is." And "This is another red light." I'm like, "Oh my gosh, yes, it is," I did it. I'm so glad that you press to the moment, but we've identified like three red lights now. I think we're good. We've established that we are hitting red lights. But he's so present that he's like, this is what's true in this moment. This is what's true. This is red, this is green. This is someone walking by. Now we're slowing down at the yellow. It's all very in the moment. And I think the older we get, the harder it is to get back to that place. So we have to be passionate and we have to like really kind of force ourselves to say, "Hey, we need to slow down so we can get back to what's true." And I love that you said that. And that's something that I honestly, I spend a lot of time thinking about whenever I'm communicating with people in my audience, especially in my community, because especially, I'm like I don't know this person. And especially when it gets to like typing things online, a lot of context and nuance can get lost. So a lot of times I even, I slow down and I say, "Okay, if I wanna respond to this person in a meaningful way, I have to get down to what I know to be true in this moment." And what I know to be true is that this is a human being in need of love, in need of support and in need of knowing that they matter. But I only get there if I slow down and I give myself permission to say, "Hey, we're just gonna breathe through this for a moment, or I gonna spend some time practicing getting to that place." So, yeah. Mm, spoken. (Chase and Morgan laughs) There is a fair bit of recognition in the book about regret. And I'm wondering if you could talk about it to me, this is a topic that I was totally, I would just say ignorant of or disconnected from, or I don't know what the right set of words are, but it doesn't make me wanna not ask the question. Because as in getting older and more familiar with deciding to walk through this door is making a choice not to walk through other doors, and I try and live regret-free, which this connects indirectly to this idea of when you're sort of living peacefully, when you're aware in the moment, when you're speaking truth, it seems there's an inverse correlation to regret, right? The more I do us, the less I regret. And when I have lived inauthentically or said something that I truly didn't believe in order to elicit a different set of experiences, to relieve myself of the burden of having to stand in that truth or be authentically me or whatever. I'm wondering how did you come to be able to write so beautifully about regret? And if you would be willing to share some of the thoughts, of course, again, you really need to get the book, "Peace Is a Practice" to get all of this, but give us the, you used the word cliff notes earlier, talk to us about regret, because the way you write it about it is very powerful. Mm, yeah. So early in the book I actually write about something that is very, it's heavy on my heart, because I'm actually, most days I'm kinda like you. I'm like, "No regrets. Okay, I wanna swim all that stuff, let's just keep going." Like I try to stay in that. I really, really do. But because I have really positioned my work, the work that I do and share with the world, I've positioned it in a way that I'm sharing a lot of vulnerable things. And I've encountered a lot of people who have messaged me in those moments where they too are not quite at that "No regrets, I'm moving forward." And they're like, "Oh, I think I really messed up. I think I really missed out on what was meant for me. I feel like I went the wrong direction." And a lot of times the stories that people are sharing with me are far more intense than what I've been through. So that for one, it keeps me in check. It keeps me in check to even think about on those days where I'm just like, "Yeah, no regrets. I've learned from all that stuff. I'm empowered, those mountains and valleys are behind me. Let's keep going." On any given day when I'm feeling that way, there's someone else out there in the world who experienced someone passing away in their life and they're opening their phone and they're seeing that text, that last text message that they didn't respond to. And I'm like, "Yeah, I haven't experienced that." So I'm very cautious even about how I write in a way that I want to make space for those people. Because if I am in the present moment, if I'm somebody who believes in being in the present moment, I have to consider that. For some people, the present moment right now, it is absolute chaos. It's hard to be in the present, 'cause it just really sucks right now. So even when I write, I write very early in the book about remembering certain moments in your life that are multifaceted and how you remember that night that you had with someone that you really loved. But you also remember that that was the last night that you had with them. And I really spell out these examples because this is what I've been hearing from other people. And how, when people respond to what I share, and even just in the comment sections, I'm like, "Wow, I didn't even think about that." And I've even had some people like, and I'm grateful for people that do it. Like there are even some poems that I don't even share publicly on social media anymore, because I receive messages from people that are like, "Hey, actually this particular message doesn't apply to someone who's trying to leave an abusive relationship." And I was like, "You're absolutely right." And I was like, "I don't even want that to be misconstrued." So it's not that I'm trying to like say something for everyone, but I am aware that all kinds of stories are interacting with what I share on a daily basis. So for me, it's like even though I personally, when I'm in the best state and I am not even thinking about regret, I always wanna hold space for those people that are. And that's why I try to dispel those different examples out throughout the book, of like, "Hey, I recognize you might be in a really tough spot right now." And even if it's something I've never been through and I don't have the specific answers for you, I want to acknowledge it, I wanna spell it out, and I wanna let you know that you're still free to breathe through it as you seek out the love and support that you need. So, yeah. Mm. I wanna talk about your process for a second. We've been talking about the actual, the definitions, the framework that you've created for your work and your writing and yet I was fascinated to learn more about your process of reading stories of others and then writing to them from that perspective for them. Can you talk us through that? And then I'm interested in both the conceptual creative process where you're taking stories. I think that's a fascinating thing for people out there to understand your process, and also your digital creative process, like how you write, what time of day. And I noticed you've talked about designing on an iPad pro rather than, and I see behind you, for those folks that are listening, I'm sorry, you can't see, there's some beautiful paintings in artwork behind Morgan. So clearly you do more than digital, but just walk us, orient us. I'm always fascinated by the stories behind the stories. So share with us, if you would. Yeah. So I don't know how other, all I know my old creative process. I'll just explain how it is for me. That's what I want. Yeah, for me, I have to have something that anchors the work, something that's like, okay, from all these different angles, like I've got all these different mediums, all these different materials I use, I have to have something that brings it together. It has to be, and I came to that from a place of, I was starting to share my poetry, and I was starting to kinda experiment with visual art, just as kind of like a hobby and just kind of passively sharing it. This is after I was sort of trying to transition outta music, but didn't really know what I was doing yet. And I was just starting to kinda share it passively, but there was a level of anxiety there. I felt like I was kinda all over the place. Like I was like, okay, I'm doing a little bit, like I was literally doing some spray painting in the backyard. And I also was like on my iPad. And I also was like trying to do a little bit of photography. And I was just like this is just like, it's like it's kind of fun in the moment. But at the end of the day, I'm just like, "What am I doing?" Like, this is just (laughs) the house is a mess. I've got all these material all over the place, like what is going on? So in 2017, at the end of the year, I was like you know what? It was October, 2017. I was like, you know what I do, what does keep me going back? And even though I'm trying all these different things, I was like it's when I receive messages from people about what I've shared, and they're like, "This spoke to me and here's my story and what I've gone through and why it spoke to me." I was like, "That helps me focus like no other," because suddenly it's about a real person. It's not about like just these random followers or people out there that just may or may not connect with what I'm sharing. I was like in that moment, it's about just connecting with a real person. And I was like that is when I feel like I have some of the most focused energy, is when I know I'm speaking to a real person. So I was noticing with myself, I was like, you know what, for whatever reason, just the way I am, I overthink like an Instagram caption or sharing my work, but I was like I don't overthink when someone is sharing their story with me and they're saying, "Thank you for sharing this. Here's what I've been through." I was like my response to them feels very natural. I was like my inner critic is a little bit quieter because I'm just talking to one person. It's just a conversation. I'm talking to one person. So I was like, "Oh, I think I need to flip this. I think I need to make my creative process about conversation and make my creative process about how I can just focus on communicating with people." And then social media and all that other stuff is just sharing what I already did. So I was like I need to find a way to just keep talking to people and connecting with people in a meaningful way, 'cause that's what's fueling this. That's what fuels me. So I posted all my Instagram stories. I said, "Hey, I wanna invite you, if you want, share your story with me in my DMs, and I will respond with poetry and art. I'm not gonna share your story publicly, but I'm gonna respond to you with poetry and art, and I'll send it to you before I share everywhere else. And this will just be something that you'll just forever know, was inspired by you and I having this interaction. At the time, I think I had, I don't remember exactly, but at the most, 10,000 followers, like somewhere in that range. And it wasn't even really that engaged, it was kind of like it was for music. I had kinda like built a little bit of following. So not a lot of people, actually I was getting a lot of unfollowers, like when I was first starting to share art. 'Cause we were like, "What is she even doing?" Like it was just all over the place. But I woke up the next day with 100s of messages from people who didn't even follow me, who had no idea. They're like, "Hey, I heard that you're just like listening to people's stories. And I don't even know if you're gonna open this message, but I just need a place to let this out." And I looked up one day and I was making way more art and sharing way more of it. And then it started to look like an art style. And it just came from person by person, one by one, letting that be the focus. And then having that focus gave me the permission to do a little spray paint here, do a little acrylic here, do a little digital art there, because it was all focused on the final format of that is 8 1/2 by 11 image that I sent to someone, here is a poem and a piece of art that I created with you in mind. So that gave me permission to just like try all these different things. And I'm still doing that. Like right now, I haven't really shared any other yet, but I'm working on 3D art right now. And I think of it in the same lens. I'm like when I render that final graphic, when I render that final image, that is created with one person in mind. So it's still it, and that gives me permission to explore with all these mediums. So I think it's kind of like this twofold thing of like, I always try, even when I wanna explore a medium or I wanna explore something different, I'm like what is the goal here? Like what is the main focus? And for me, it has remained one person at a time. I'm still doing that. I am still writing with one person at a time. And sometimes, I'm sending it to them directly, but sometimes I'm just, for instance, when I'm writing a book, I had a very clear image when I was writing "Peace Is a Practice," the entire time I was writing this book, I had an image of a freshman in college who had no friends. That's who I wrote the book for. It was a very specific person. And I've never met her. I don't know who this exact person is, but that's who I wrote that book for. When I would get stuck, when I was having writer's block, I was like, "Oh my gosh, who in the world? Let me write another book." Like (laughs) I- Who's actually paying me to do this? I know. I have that one image. And I use that as a guiding principle for all of my projects. It doesn't matter how big it is, even. I mean, I have like some collaborations rolling out where we have like 20 different skews of products that we've created. And even then, I'm like who is this for? I absolutely have to know who is it for. And even if other people I'm collaborating with, even if that's not how they think, I let them know, for me, I've gotta be there. Like I have to. It is practically a spiritual practice at this point. I'm like I have to slow down and think about who is this for? So that is the guiding principle for my creative process. And one more little thing I'll add, is that as I kinda evolve more and more of my art, sometimes that who is that for, and it's becoming more and more that sometimes it's myself. I recognize, "Oh, I am writing this for 16-year-old Morgan. That is who this project is for. It's to honor 16-year-old Morgan, it's to honor six-year-old Morgan, it's to honor present day Morgan." So yeah, who is this for? Well, this it's fascinating, because I think most people, especially artists earlier in their careers where they're looking to find their voice, so to speak, there's a compulsion that if you can avoid this compulsion, you're wise and great and brilliant. But most people that I know cannot, which is you have a longing for your work to connect with other people. And what that translates into, is writing sort of ambiguously, trying to capture everyone, trying to rope your arms around as many people as possible. And I think it's incredibly powerful to hear you that starting at 10,000 followers now having 2 million followers through this specific process of writing for one person, and is actually that was the thing that, potentially there's lots of things, but that was one potential major factor in seeing not just growth in numbers, but more so measured as connection, because people were connecting with the work. And if you write for one person, you're like, well, first of all, you got a lot of material, right? There's 7 1/2 billion people. (Morgan and Chase laughs) I know, it's so fascinating. And this is on the, I'm trying not to do that person like in my book. But I really did like fill this book with all the stuff that I just want to nerd out about. I was like this is what this phase is for. I'm just gonna nerd out about all these specific things. And there is famous, famous writer who wrote the book "Ulysses" which is just like this super, super thick book, with, full disclaimer, I have not read the whole thing, but James Joyce, the author of that book, he talks about the concept of like the universals and the particulars. And I just stand by that, like completely. And sometimes it gets really hard, 'cause the world is noisy and it's like, yeah, having two million people follow, is a lot of pressure. Like I feel that pressure. I feel a responsibility with that. And at the same time I have to remember they are all individual people with individual stories. And if I could just speak to one person, it's that specificity. It's that moment that ends up connecting with more people. Yeah, this is not the exact quote, but the concept that Morgan's referencing is concept of in the particular, lies the universal. So by writing about one particular person, it turns out that the human experience is wildly, like everyone's got their own version of it, but some of these core underlying principles are universal. And the more depth that you can cultivate through that experience, so many, not everyone's gonna have experienced homelessness or disconnecting with their parents or siblings or the loss of a loved one, but we all understand that that is very much a part of the human condition and there's this, yeah, that's a brilliant insight. And I was, when I learned about your process, I was like, of course, I mean, just feel it's so natural and you start to be able to see it in your work. I find myself thinking about the people whose DMs you were reading when you wrote that. not dissimilar to a dear friend of mine, Brandon Stanton, "Humans of New York," he has pictures of these actual people. You're like, "Wow, that person's going through that thing," and yet you've done it with color and words and all these different media spray paints, you mentioned acrylics, digital art. I'm so grateful for your time. And I do wanna congratulate you again on "Peace Is a Practice." This is full of wisdom and grace, and it's very powerful, very powerful concept. So this is a call, our readers know that when I'm recommending a book like this, that we will rally around you in your, it is your publication work here. We are here in February 2022, but these principles are universal. I wanna say thank you. Thanks for being on the show. Thanks for saying nice things about this community at the beginning, where that you've been tuned to the work for a long time. Where would you steer folks, aside from picking up "Peace Is a Practice," where would you steer our attention to get more connected to you and your work outside, of course, of your multimillion following on Instagram handle, which is morganharpernichols, where else would you steer us? Yeah, so kind of like a passion project that is ever growing that I'm working on is my app called Storyteller. And that is just a space where I have just been kind of nerding out on what would it look like on these devices that we use every day to just have this one contemplative, peaceful moment in the day where you could just reflect on something to help you grow on your journey and tell your story. So it's a app that sends out daily notifications and artwork that I've created as well as my poetry and prose, word of the day, journal prompts, all that fun stuff and affirmation. And I pour a lot of love into that project. I'm very, very proud of it, and it's available in Apple and Android app stores, called Storyteller. Awesome. Thank you so much for being a guest on the show. Grateful for the work that you put out in the world. You're so prolific. It's crazy to think of all the work that you got going on, and I'm inspired by action. Action is, I don't know, just it's how much work you put out in the world, I think you touch a lot of people. Thank you so much for being a guest. We will rally around you and your work. And until next time, on behalf of Morgan and myself, to everyone out there in internet land and in your ears, and you're watching us on video, I wanna say thank you very much. And until next time, we bid you adieu. Awesome, thank you. (upbeat music)

Ratings and Reviews

Dream Focus Studio
 

By far the best classes on Creative Live!! Thanks Chase Jarvis for bringing so much greatness to the table for discussion! Just LOVE it!

René Vidal
 

@ChaseJarvis - love chat with Gabby about hope and the "relentless optimism" you share at the end of Creative Calling. Many thanks. -- René Vidal McKendree Tennis

bob
 

Excellent interview with thoughtful questions. Thanks!!

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