How Hustle Culture Ruined my creativity Part 1….

by Nikiah Seeds

Lately I have been reflecting on my journey with being an entrepreneur, and how deeply embedded my creative life has been within it. As I began to look deeper and deeper at what was happening within my creative world, or rather, what was not happening, I began to see how my use of social media was tied to it, and how the hustle culture of posting constantly in order to gain exposure was killing my creative voice.

For folks that are creatives and entrepreneurs you will know the drill, you create something, write something, have an idea or course you have created and are excited about. With great excitement you create said project…

However that is not the end of it, you must photograph the item you made, or if it is a piece of writing or a course etc… you must now create images to go with it, or make a reel about it or in some way create a post so that folks know it exists. Then you must share and post on all of your chosen social media platforms, insta, tik-tok, facebook, twitter, your newsletter etc… and find different ways of selling your item and do it in such a way that it comes across as authentic, not pushy, but also mysterious and intriguing enough for folks to click through to your web-site and see what it was that you created.

But its not over yet, did you price it well? Is there enough added “Value” to the beautiful thing you have created and want to share with the world? Have you hustled enough so that folks understand that this is a one time offer, or there is only one of this special, amazing thing that you created?

Did you create enough urgency in the folks that may want it? Limited time offers? coupon codes for special folks to buy your course early, or add on a “bonus” to the special thing that you hand crafted? Make sure that price is not too high though because, remember–most people think they could probably make it themselves and on and on and on…

Annnd here is where the ruin of the creative life resides–right here in the hustle to have your product or course seen, understood and loved, bought and paid for…

This is something I have been reflecting on and looking back into my own personal history and trajectory as an entrepreneur over the past 20 years for, because there was a time when it was fun and I loved it, when the creative juices were flowing, and the truth of it is, social media has been instrumental in the building of my online business.

Conversely, it has also been slowly becoming something detrimental to my mental health, my ability to focus and to find my own authentic voice and more recently my creative fire…

Image taken for social media of my candles at Yule.

It’s hard to believe that it was over 21 years ago that I was pregnant with my second child, working as a herbalist and dreaming of owning my own business.

Over the course of that time my journey took me through many twists and turns, through the building and selling of two small businesses, collapsing one and creating another one, parenting two amazing kids to adulthood and finally landing where I am now, which I had thought would be my easy years after paying my dues and hard won wisdom.

Going back all those years ago now though, social media was pretty new, and facebook was the only game in town as instagram did not exist yet nor did TikTok or Twitter.. 

I had a personal facebook account and really enjoyed posting photos of the creative activities that I and the kids would get up to, mostly for family who were far away.

Over the years it slowly turned into a place where I could really get creative, and I found myself enjoying posting photos I had taken with a creative eye, sharing about the seasonal activities that I would do with the kids and as they grew older and I had more time for myself I would share about my spiritual work , especially because was unfolding in such a way that my creative life was intrinsically connected to it which made it easy to share.

I was also starting to post on my personal facebook page about my business and eventually opened up a separate business page.

During this time I started a blog and also posted there about my creative and spiritual understandings, and it became a place for me to go to as I was learning and growing spiritually. All the while, and unbeknownst to me I was developing many new and various skills, as being a business owner is not just about the things you make and sell, it’s also being an accountant, a marketing specialist, a photographer, web-site developer and so on.

Little did I know that what I was doing was creating my own story, a place where my friends and people coming to my web-site would witness my growth, and my creativity and it would build trust in who I was becoming, and essentially I was creating a “brand” without realizing it.

The process was slow and beautiful and I enjoyed every moment of it, as it felt {at the time} easy and flowing, and social media felt like a safe place for me to express myself.

My daughters sweet little hands as we buried red eggs at our Ostara ceremony {shared on facebook }

Looking back to understand the present:

Fast forward and the year is 2012,  I have been involved in both a deep dive animist apprenticeship, as well as working closely with my priestess teacher for several years and I was starting to share some of the wisdom I learned from my initiatory process.

I was extremely involved in my spiritual community and my creativity was at an all time high as a drum maker, as well as teaching and holding ceremonial space for folks as an ordained minister and mentoring folks interested in the priestess path.

Two years later in 2014 I opened up the doors to the Red Moon Mystery school, my daughter was 12 my son 16 and instagram was about two years old, and not at all on my radar. Facebook was the only social media I used still and it was the only place I posted about my work.

Classes filled easily, and I was thrilled when I had 13 join my first intake, then doubling again the next one and so forth each time I opened up the doors…

There was no hustle, just pure creativity, honest and authentic sharing of what was happening in my world via social media, and I was blissfully unaware about things such as “building my brand” or hustle culture, because for me it did not exist-yet.

But things change, and slowly over the years I began hanging out with other spiritual entrepreneurs, buying books on business and learning how to grow mine using social media and other platforms.

I had already taken a deep dive into business when I was selling online with my other small businesses that I sold, but once I got out of that world I figured that the spiritual path would be different when it came to business, which it turned out it was not, not even a little! 

The spiritual new age world is a big business and I was joining it, like it or not.

However running alongside this was a deep discomfort it the commodification of spirituality and appropriation that I was seeing being widely accepted as the norm. It seemed that the new age movement was having a “moment” and everyone was jumping on for the ride. Selling everything from “shamanic tea” to writing books which spun off into courses written by white folks who spent a year in Peru or the amazon jungle and how it changed their lives and they were now somehow deep wisdom holders and on and on…

This was deeply confusing for me as I observed the feeding frenzy of what was being socially and totally acceptable at the time {which these days is absolutely not!} and being held accountable to my own elders at the time, who consistently held my feet to the fire and had be check my ego as I sought to humbly find my own spiritual voice in a world that said go bigger, faster and make money while doing it!

There were times through all of these twists and turns, of spiritually growing up, and growing my kids up, that I really enjoyed the process of finding my own creative voice, and I felt at moments on top of the world as I loved teaching, both in person and online. However social media however was becoming a chore, especially after well over a decade of posting on facebook and blogging, and finally I was now using instagram, it was a struggle as I battled my own internal value system that said, go slower, dig deep, do not buy into the ego’ic sales pitch of the new age spiritual movement..

Slowly I found a way that worked for me but each time it was also getting harder and harder to rally myself and find a new creative center within. However over the years the pressure to share on social media became intense, as I literally was relying on it to fill my classes and advertise that I even existed.

So if I was not posting to facebook, my business was slow, added to that ,instagram had finally come into my business which added to the pressure to hustle and post daily! 

To be creative, wise, witty….

Essentially over the years I built a business that required social media to function, and I was addicted to the dopamine hit that I was getting from posting and growing. However things were also changing, I was changing…

And in keeping up as a business woman I was also learning the new skills required, things such as the latest version of photoshop, web-site development/ html, Pinterest, keeping my linkedin profile up to date, if I should use Twitter or not, switching to Pickmonkey, the newest version of facebook, navigating new iphones and apps, and and on and on and on.. for years and years on end….

Well you can see where this is going…

Add into this mix that I had been feeling deeply for many years the depth of my privilege as a white person and as a white woman in a spiritual field that was being more and more commercialized and it was not something I wanted to participate in, but here I was…

The changes I was making were good, but I wanted to do more, and I knew that the process I was in was for life and that process of understanding my colonization, white privilege and way of being in the world as a spiritual white woman needed ongoing attention…

Click here to read Part 2

Leave a Comment





IMBOLC
-
has been a quiet day here today as I learn how to spin on my new country spinner for making chunky art yarns, and I am so excited to master this new form as it is my goal to weave more with my own hand spun and hand dyed yarns. (If you are a spinner and have any suggestions I am all ears!)
It arrived this week and I assembled it on Imbolc eve which somehow felt auspicious as we inch ever closer to the end of winter.
Of course today we woke to a light dusting of snow which also somehow felt fitting as the mantle of winter slowly lets go of its hold..
-
Imbolc-meaning in the belly or the belly of the mother in reference to pregnant and lactating ewes this time of year in Northern Europe.
However here in the west in many places we are still very much in the grip@of winter.
-
Over the years I have marked Imbolc in many different ways from a weekend of ceremony and creation to small family gstherings@and everything in between. This year is very quiet and somehow perfect for my slow returning creative fire that although at times has burned bright within me has been waning a bit as I mentioned in my previous post about how hustle culture has slowly been draining me over the years.
-
Having said that I am ever so slowly and quietly re-kindling my creative fire and allowing the slow turn of the seasons to guide me as I go.
-
What has your winter been like this year?
I would love to know of you have any great Imbolc traditions that you do?
I am a big fan of shortbread so there will be a nice pan of that happening shortly with offerings made to Brigid, and the beautiful spirits of the land I live on.
-
Blessings of the season
Nikiah
-
#imbolc #imbolcblessings #shortbread #spinning #countryspinner2

-
...

Greetings everyone,
I have been away from this space for awhile on a bit of a social media detox as well as sitting with what was coming up for me with regards to my creative life, social media…
-
I have been reflecting on my journey with being an entrepreneur, and how deeply embedded my creative life has been within it, however as I began to look deeper and deeper at what was happening within my creative world, or rather, what was not happening, I began to see how my use of social media was tied to it, and how the hustle culture of posting constantly in order to gain exposure was killing my creative voice.
-
Its a complex mix of being both a spiritual person, a creative and a business woman, which is a strange mix if you think about it!
-
As I sat with what was coming forward I realized that writing might be helpful as I processed what was coming up and so I decided to write a blog post, which ended up requiring two parts to fully track it all.{Link in Bio}
-
Anyways if you are interested in some of these musings pop over to my blog as I will be writing more over there in the coming months as I give myself more distance from social media and allow my creative voice more room to play and flow…

I will also be sharing these posts with folks who subscribe to my newsletter
-
#hustleculture #hustlecultureistoxic #creativity #spirituality
...

Softness, Slowness, Stillness,
I am beginning 2023 on this note, and I am also...
Ditching the Gregorian calendar for the lunar one and easing into what 2023 will bring me..
-
In part this means that I am taking it slow, sleeping and swimming and continuing to spend some time away from social media, for another week at least. I am also wanting to start this year out slowly because I am amping up for some big changes in 2023 which will take a lot of work and movement, as well as some exciting travel and other plans that are filling up the year fast!
-
One of my favourite things to do each year has been to work with a word. Last year my word was mastery, which I believe was also my word for the year before, and which will probably be with me my whole life.
However this year there is no burning sense of a word that is pushing through like in past years, and I am guessing that is because I am still in transition in many ways.
Perhaps transition is my word!
-
2023 will bring some big exciting moves, such as selling our home in Vancouver and some other exciting big things that I will share as they come into form.
Knowing this now though has me feeling a mix of excitement and also a bit of unsteadiness as I go into a new year knowing now that more change is coming, even if it is good, exciting stuff!
-
Do you choose a word for your year? If not, is there something that you like to do that supports your soul as you move into another calendar year going forward?
I would love to hear.
-
Today I am dreaming up a new line of weaving work that I am excited to begin and taking it slow...
-
Blessings for 2023 everyone!
-
Image taken by @_infinitebody_
-
#newyear #wordoftheyear #stillness #quiet #transition
...

Today I make offerings to my ancestors thanking them for this life I have.
-
I recently found out on the cusp of my trip to Ireland that my great grandmother was originally booked on the Titanic!
Sadly/happily her mom got really sick and she missed her boat, deciding to take the next one instead in order to be at her moms side.
It was because of this that I am here, and because of this she came to Canada.
-
It is for this reason and a million other things that went into my existence, that I am so grateful for all of my ancestors for.
-
I am also thankful today because both of our kids are officially here, making it in time between the winter storms taking over Vancouver and Toronto!
-
Yuletide blessings
Nikiah
...

I have been in love with this beautiful book by my friend @carmenspagnola.
-
It’s been wonderful to use it for inspiration and recipes during this Yuletide time.
-
Today I am planning to make some cookies to share with my ancestors and family as we slide into this beautiful liminal space.
-
What you you all doing? Send me some inspiration! 🌀
-
Lots of love
Nikiah
...

The longest night of the year, brings the return of the sun, also marking the beginning of the tile referred to as Yule.
-
From Dec21st -Jan1st we mark the 12 days of yuletide which I love.
For me it’s all about setting intentions, making offerings and visioning for the year ahead.
-
Each day for 12 days I might do any one of those things, as I like to keep things simple and in the realm of practical magic.
-
Today, the winter solstice I begin with intention setting and spending time with family as is the tradition in our bodies.
-
We share a big meal together, then light a fire and write either an intention for the year ahead or something we are ready to let go of and give it to the fire along with offerings and a lovely Yule log.
-
Lastly we exchange small handmade gifts and I always get everyone a new set of comfy pj’s ❄️
-
Over the years as our kids have grown I to adults they too have taken over the tradition and made it their own, so while our daughter is not here this year as she is knee deep in exams I know she and her roomies will mark the day in their own way.
-
I would love to know what some of your traditions are or perhaps if you are new to creating your own tradition here what are your plans?
-
#yuletide #wintersolstice #traditions #ritual #babayaga #winter
...

Winter Solstice shawl.
This is my last shawl of 2022 and I am thrilled with how it came out, so much so I have been deeply tempted to keep it!
-
This one invokes images of quiet snowfall, winter nights cozied in and the softness that snow can bring to the landscape.
-
I was also inspired by winter foxes that change their colour for winter, and snowy owls in quiet flight over the landscape...
-
This piece is now listed and available in my online store--link in my bip if you are interested.
Much love
Nikiah
-
#solstice #wintersolstice #sacredshawl #weaving #snowyowl #foxmedicine
...

Loom as altar.
-
Since the fall I have been going daily to my loom as a form of spiritual practise.
However it was not until recently that I have been able to find the words for it.
-
In many ways weaving has become a form of spiritual practise for me, and although I am still deepening into my own understanding of what it is to me, for now, this is what it has become in it purest most simple form.
-
Today a new storytellers shawl came off the loom and with another already in my mind to start taking form..
-
This piece holds a similar energy to one I made a few months ago, holding the essence of dragonflies and hummingbirds…
But mostly it was made for the king winter months as we cozy up by fires and in warm homes and read books or if we are lucky we tell or listen to great stories!
-
I will list this piece in my online store sometime tomorrrow..
-
In the meantime a new one shall take its place in full winter whites..
I am feeling the call of the white fox, and the white winter owl..
These two hold a kind of magic as they shape-shift from one colour into winter white so they are camouflaged against the snow…
More on that to come as the piece takes form.
-
Also I would love@to know-do you have a hobby or creative outlet that borders on spiritual?
-
Lots of love
Nikiah
-
#storytellers #hummingbirdmagic #dragonfly #sacredshawl #weaving
...

GIVEAWAY EXTENDED TILL MONDAY!
WINNER IS @copperwildpottery
This is just a little reminder of our awesome giveaway that is happening right now and ends on Monday Dec 12th!
-
@carmenspagnola and I have paired up to give away a copy of her fabulous new book @thespiritedkitchen and I am giving away another of my 10” Red Drums.
-
Here is how you enter:

1. LIKE this post and leave a comment tagging a friend-or two for extra entries!
2. FOLLOW @redmoonmysteryschool + @carmenspagnola
-
And for even more entries:
SHARE the Podcast episode 'Embracing Sovereignty at Midlife with Carmen Spagnola and I /Nikiah that was released on June 10th 2022. {Link in bio}
Be sure to tag us so we can see! (You can do this by taking a screenshot of the episode in your podcast player or sharing directly from Spotify to your stories)

TERMS & CONDITIONS:
- Only one winner will be selected
- Giveaway will run until 11:59 EST December 12th 2022
- Winner will be randomly selected and announced on our stories by Dec 12th 2022
- Giveaway limited to US and Canada
-
#giveaway #ancedtralhealing #kitchenwitchery #reddrum
...

I had a little “reel” fun with this one, especially using this song :]
Anyways this is a little update on my Earth Ochre shoulder stole/Altar cloths as I have made two more which are now listed on my site.
-
These pieces are inspired by my time in Ireland and the stunning red ochre I saw there while on the coast of Northern Ireland in an area called the Giants Causeway.
-
These two pieces were created to be worn either as a shoulder stole for ceremony or beauty, you get to decide, and are easily transferable to your altar, for ceremony or beauty-haha you decide!
-
Each comes with a small vial of hand ground red earth ochre in a vial, which can be used for making paint, or using in ceremony. Your package will come with a recipe for making earth ochre paint.
-
Hope you love these pieces as much as I do!
Nikiah
-
#ochre #redearth #ceremony #altar #priestesspath #weaving #ancestors
...

Weaving another red ochre earth alter cloth/shoulder stole on my Saori loom.
-
These looms are from Japan and their name Saori, in Zen means beautiful imperfection. “Sai” means everything has its own unique dignity and “ori” means weaving.
These looms were designed to support more humans weaving in a counter to all of the machine made cloth. They were designed so that they were accessible to every body, meaning that folks with disabilities can use them with as much success as able bodied folks which I love.
The whole point is Saori weaving is to be the antithesis of machine made cloth, and to embrace the perfect imperfection of human made beauty.
This to me is my kind of loom, and philosophy.
-
My teacher Yukako has been slowly teaching me the ways of this loom for the past couple of years and I am loving how different it is from my rigid heddle loom.
-

SAORI's 4 Principles

1. Consider the differences between people and machines.

2. Be bold and adventurous

3. Look out through eyes that shine

4. Inspire one another, and everyone in the group
-
I have a few beautiful wall hangings listed in my online store in celebration of earth ochres if you fancy a peek and this one will be listed next week at some point as well.
-
Have a beautiful weeekend everyone!
-
Nikiah
-
#redochre #earthochre #saori #weaving #ancestralwisdom
...

Ochre has fascinated me for years now, from the vast amount of colours and shades that occur naturally depending on the mineral make up of the soil to how we as humans have used it over the centuries, from body point, to fine art, from sunblock for the skin, to cave wall paintings...
-
However it was not until I travelled to Africa and saw the deep red earth there that I actually understood and began using it in its many applications.
It was from that trip where while staying with family I scooped up a large handful of red soil from outside my cousin-in-loves house that had been exposed due to construction and really had a deep look at it, and in turn she helped me to make offerings and then pack it away in a small zip lock bag so I could bring some small piece of this sacred earth home.
-
From that soil there were many ceremonies and of course paint was made and used in turn was given away to my students as we worked through a year of ancestral healing for which red ochre was used in a powerful ceremony of forgiveness...
-
So you can imagine my delight when I was recently away in Ireland on an ancestral journey when I came across the stunning swath of open red and black earth along the coast of Northern Ireland in an area called the Giants Causeway.
-
Once back home I found myself in a liminal time of flow and creativity in particular with my weavings...
-
Interestingly enough I had already started a weaving before I left using black and red yarns that reminded me of earth ochre, so upon returning home this piece {which is now listed as an altar cloth in my online store} was what started it all...
-
For this piece though, I wanted to weave layers that represented the layers of earth, and how when the earth opens up we are able to see all of the many things that go into making soil such as plants, insects, sea creatures, mammals, and abiotic materials factors, like minerals, water, and air and how each one will create a different colour of soil.
-
I now have a small and growing number of altar cloths, and wall hangings available in my store all affordably priced so folks can enjoy them, or perhaps gift them as we slowly make our way into the giving season.
...

We are home again from our epic time away in Ireland and in all my years of travel I have never once been sad to come home until now!
-
Ireland, the home of my ancestors has completely captured my heart and I felt at home the moment I arrived.
-
Now that I am back and integrating all that happened while I was away I am feeling a little blue, it was healing to sit with some of the images from our time and put together a little reel.
-
Some of the places you will see here {In order} are:
Sliabh na Caillighe otherwise known as the Hill of the Witch or Loughcrew cairns, where we were totally alone and able to connect in a way that would have otherwise been impossible.
Bru na Boinne/ Newgrange which even at this time of year had tons of people visiting the site and again we found ourselves with a smaller group which was wonderful. The Hill of Tara which in one of the photos has the stone of Destiny in, and Uisneach, otherwise known as the centre of ireland.
-
We then went up to Northern Ireland to the Giant’s causeway on the wild coastal shores and the Dark Hedges which are amazing shots of the trees.
-
Northern Ireland is where some of my more recent ancestors are from and it’s been powerful to spend time here on the land and to take it all in.
The ruins are from an old Castle called Dunluce.
-
It was a joy to plan this trip, rent a car and then drive from Dublin to Northern Ireland stopping along the way to see things as we were called, I am blessed to have been able to do that.
-
I was able to lay offerings for my ancestors and in a small way come back home to where some of them are from. I also learned a lot about my family, such as learning that my great grandmother had a 3rd class ticket for the Titanic leaving from Belfast, but because her mother fell ill she stayed close to home and as a result, I am here today and she came to Canada!
-
My heart is now a little bit here and a little bit in Ireland and I am already planning my next trip back!
-
Have you ever been altered by a place you travelled to?
-
#ireland #travel #sacredsites #ancestors #ancestralhealing
...

The Willow Tree (Salix) is one of the sacred trees in The. Magic and Folklore of Trees course and yesterday I found this ancient willow tree on the land we are staying on here in Ireland, which I just had to share!
-
Willow trees are associated with water and emotion, the moon and inspiration, which I must say seeing and being near this ancient Willow was beyond inspiring for me.
-
In the course I share some of the folklore of this magic tree, as well as practical applications such as did you know that Willow bark has been used for millennia for fevers, inflammation and pain? Chewing the bark of the white Willow tree which contains Salicin which is a chemical similar to aspirin and in the 1800’s the bark of the Willow tree was used by scientists to help them develop aspirin.
-
Willow is also associated with dreaming and it is said that if you have lost touch with your dreams making a small Willow wand and placing it under your pillow will help, or you can make a dream pillow with things like Mullen and small pieces of Willow bark to use.
-
While I have been away here in Ireland the trees have captured my heart and soul especially the willow, and hawthorn which are planted as hedges here and as such are everywhere and full of brihh go t red berries..
I will write a post on hawthorn next though as I have so much to say about what some say is the most sacred tree in Ireland.
-
If you are curious about the Magic and Folklore of trees course pop over to my site and download a free sample chapter. ♥️🌳🌲🌳
-
What is your favourite tree? Mine changes but for many years now it has been the Hawthorn.
#sacredtrees #willow #folklore #witches #ogham
...