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Susan Ruth – Creativity, Improv & Human Nature (#81)

Unlearning social conditioning to become more happy, creative and fun

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Susan Ruth - Creativity, Improv & Human Nature (#81)| My Home Vitality

Introduction to guest:

Susan Ruth likes people and art.

She began her career as a performing artist and songwriter, where she garnered multiple performance and writing awards for her albums How to Say Goodbye and Surfacing to Breathe.

In 2014, she released her album All I Ever Wanted Was Everything.

Susan’s songs have been featured in motion pictures and on TV.

She is the founder of the Hey Human podcast which has gained world-wide attention for its open-minded conversations ranging in topics from science, technology, religion, art, economics and politics to humanism, philosophy, gender and race.

During today’s show we talk about what she’s learned from her podcast and also the time she met a KKK Grand Dragon and a man who had 3 hearts.

Susan is an accomplished abstract painter. Her work is sought-after by collectors and the majority of her paintings are commissions acquired in advance.

Susan is currently writing sketch comedy, as well as a feature film (in comedy and thriller genres), and recently sold two short films.

She has paneled on topics of creativity, crowd-funding, empowerment, communication, independent music, story, humanism, adversity, and finding one’s voice.

We talk about all sorts of topics in today’s show, from how to be more creative, to improvised performing, tribalism and compassion.

So sit back, enjoy the show and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to join the live discussions!

More from Susan:


Podcast: Hey Human Podcast

Music: Albums

Instagram: @heyhumanpodcast or @susanruthism

Key quotes and takeaways from the show:

“The process to get there is always different.” There is no one way to be creative.

Synesthesia is “crossing of the senses” where stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway; for example, people with synesthesia can often “see” music as colors when they hear it, or “taste” textures like “round” or “pointy” when they eat foods.

“It’s never too late to do a thing.” “Dare to fail.” “Get out there and do the thing.”

“Fear is the mind-killer” – Frank Herbert.

“It takes practice to get out of your own way.”

”If you treat ‘flow state’ as a prescription, it becomes unattainable.” – Gaz.

Teach your brain to make connections. “It’s cool to teach your brain how connected things are” – The “tree” game and the “connectivity” game.

“Yes, and…”

“Life is improv.”

Have empathy. See yourself in others! We are all the same person, we just have a different experience as we negotiate the world. You’re only a couple of decisions away from being the person who does terrible, or incredible, things. See humanity in yourself and see yourself in humanity.

“Tribalism is a powerful force.” Our tribes are fluid… They can be as big or as small as we want them to be. Try to see your tribe as the “human” tribe.

We are becoming addicted to hate (just look at tabloid headlines). Your brain is being trained to release dopamine every time you hate, blame or disprove.  “Some part of us loves feeling 1) right and 2) wronged.” – Tim Kreider.

It takes time to overcome performance anxiety.

Chewing gum can help with performance anxiety because your brain thinks the environment is safe when you’re eating.

Notice things. See magic. Be childlike. Be curious.

Stop reading “rag mags” and watch your self esteem go up.

Kill your darlings.

Let your subconscious work on ideas if you need to.

Question of the day:

“When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?”

Links to podcast sites:

Listen on Audible
Listen on iTunes
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Stitcher
Listen on Overcast

The full podcast:

Related episode:

Here are some more episodes to help with getting your creative juices flowing

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Show notes:

  • 00:00:00 – Coming up.
  • 00:00:55 – Where to find more and
  • 00:01:33 – An introduction to Susan Ruth.
  • 00:03:28 – Susan the drug mule.
  • 00:04:36 – Coffee addiction.
  • 00:08:41 – The creative process.
  • 00:17:47 – Getting out of your own way.
  • 00:19:01 – The brilliance of books.
  • 00:21:53 – Flow state and meditation.
  • 00:24:26 – Improvisation.
  • 00:34:10 – The “woke” society.
  • 00:36:29 – Lessons learned from the Hey Human podcast.
  • 00:57:54 – Dealing with performance anxiety.
  • 01:01:25 – Fun fact about Shaun.
  • 01:02:22 – Principles Susan lives by.
  • 01:07:33 – Recommended resources.
  • 01:12:07 – Dealing with overwhelm and loss of focus.
  • 01:13:44 – Addiction.
  • 01:16:20 – Our perspective on Americans.
  • 01:21:37 – Susan’s music.
  • 01:21:57 – Susan’s future plans.
  • 01:22:59 – Organising.
  • 01:24:51 – Susan’s weird sex story.
  • 01:26:52 – The Grand Ole Opry.
  • 01:28:09 – Where to find Susan.
  • 01:28:42 – Where to find more and
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