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Ep. 25 - The Amazing Allure of a "Gentle Rebel"- An Interview with Andy Mort

by Hearts Rise Up
May 18th 2020
In this episode, Carol interviews Andy Mort, musician, writer, podcast host, coach, and introvert. Andy discusses how his path evolved and the impact of listening and feedback on guiding his next step... More
thank you for tuning your heart's in for another episode of the Hearts Rise up podcast. I'm carol chapman, your host along with my co host and Siri and Concetta antonelli, we share our own personal experiences, tips and strategies along with powerful stories and compelling insights from guest interviews. We're here to inspire and empower your conscious evolution, help you tap into your inner wisdom and rise to your heart centered higher self Together we can rise to a higher level of consciousness, an elevated state of being and experience more love, joy and freedom. Welcome again to the Hearts Rise up podcast. I'm carol chapman, your host for today, I am so delighted to have with me, my featured guest today Andy mort Andy is a UK based musician, writer and podcaster, Oh and he's also a part time undertaker, he's also the founder of the Haven dot Co, a membership community dedicated to support and encourage gentle rebels who he refers to as created introverts and sensitive types to help them find and share their voices with the world.

And he also produces the gentle rebel podcast, a monthly show dedicated to helping people unleash their creativity and find the courage to make their own quiet stand for what truly matters in life to them. He has also produced music under the name at Lem Schema and is currently creating as part of a three piece collective called Early Bird Andy, Welcome to the show, thank you so much for having me carol, so great to be with you, this is awesome, You have quite an eclectic background and I must say what a creative entrepreneur, you are not only you know, as a musician and a writer, but also producing a podcast and an online community. And I love this term gentle Rebels and I'm hoping we can dive into it a little bit more because you use it for both your podcasts and your online community and I am willing to bet it has something to do around your life story as well.

Am I right? Absolutely, yeah, yeah. It's it's it's one of those terms that kind of came to me over time after mixing around with all the different, all the different creative avenues that I've explored over the years and the work that I did through my blog and through the podcast kind of gave rise to this to this term. I can kind of shake it off kept coming to, I can't remember when it was, but just this idea of gentle rebels just kept coming back because so often I was seeing people who are kind of reacting and responding to the world with a kind of a different way of seeing things in a different way of wanting to act to the kind of normative ways that people, the way that society demands and expects us to. And I think the idea of a rebel can conjure all sorts of images in our heads and it can be the they're kind of quite abrasive character, the loner character who comes into town and causes trouble.

It was like, that's not what it is, it's something gentle about it, something really beautiful about it, and that's what I keep seeing in these people, that that that is showing up and responding to the stuff that I'm doing and and that really resonated with me, as you say, like, in my my own journey in life, which has always been a little bit gently rebellious, you know, going against against the kind of, the grain of the expectations that the world has, and yeah, and it's quite funny just listening to listening to you give that introduction. It was like, wow, there's a lot of stuff that's really nice to hear as well. Yeah, there is, and I'm also fascinated that you're an undertaker, and we're definitely going to talk about that, because that's just like a 1 80. I well I think maybe not, maybe there's a lot of parallels there, um but I'm certainly curious to know about your story behind that, but I think it would be helpful to find a jumping in point here and maybe kind of going back to this gentle rebel concept and how that surfaced in your life, or at what point did that surface in your life?

Or maybe it wasn't, you know, gentle rebel at the time, maybe it was something else, but perhaps you could share a little bit more about your story there. Yeah, sure, I mean, as I say, it was kind of in some ways, something that just evolved alongside my own, I guess creative creative journey. So I started I've always been a a musician and a songwriter Creating under at them schemers since I was about 18. and so earlier I was probably about 12 years ago started a blog, just kind of documenting life as a, as a like through through my songwriting and as a way to basically keep my website a bit more dynamic and and sharing what was up to like touring and recording and that kind of stuff. And then came across blog post about about being an introvert. This is carl kings 10 myths of introvert being being an intro.

I've never really heard the term before. And I was just reading this this article, I was thinking, man, this is me, like everything on here is describing all those things that I thought were I suppose problematic or issues that made me weird growing up. Is that a reality check for you? Yeah, it really was. Yeah. He was like, ah like I guess it was stuff that you kind of press down and hide and then suddenly someone was sharing. It was like, oh, that's that's interesting. There are kind of open about all this stuff and it means that I'm not the only one who's feeling it. I can't remember specifically what what the points were, but it was all of, you know, there was there was things about, you know shyness and being called quiet growing up and and needing time to uh to kind of think about things before you make a decision. And and these things that I suppose we're I kind of would maybe beat myself up over, because I see friends who are able to just make decisions instantly, and they'd be able to react to things without needing to think about them, and he was like, okay, there's there's others like that, that's interesting.

And so then I started sharing bits and bobs about that as I was discovering them on my blog, and then later on my podcast as well, and they were the things that were really resonating with with readers and listeners. And so I'd be hearing from people, like I posted a an article about performing. My observations were because I always had a love hate relationship with with gigging and performing life, and and I realized it was never to do with actually being on stage playing, and when I'm in that situation, I'm kind of in in my happy place and I'm doing something that I, you know, I've done 1000 times before, and I really enjoy it, but it was all this stuff around the periphery of a performance. So it was the, you know, getting to the venue, working at what time I was gonna need to be there, and meeting the people that I need to meet in the sound guy, the promoter, all that stuff and then energy around sort of, you know, talking to people and all of those suppose uncertainties that come with being in different places and, and so I shared that in a blog post as well, which again, just got a lot more, a lot more people responding to that stuff than, you know, just the average, like I went out and played a gig and so people were really resonating with what it meant for themselves in their own, in their own lives being introverts and later on highly sensitive people like when I came across that term really fed this the idea of gentle rebellion then as well.

What I see so often in the traits of, of readers and listeners, there's just this sort of almost a cheeky cheeky desire to go against the, the way that the world kind of wants us to to go and just to explore different, different avenues. Well, it really is, it's so true because the world is quite different in terms of how it operates or how we're expected to operate versus how introverts like to operate. And I can certainly relate to what you're saying even about it was all the energy that went into getting to the performance and all the logistics and it's the same thing for me, even with doing this podcast, you know, all the things I have to do, just, you know, the energy that's involved in finding people for, for the interview and putting all the logistics around it, coordinating everything versus just doing the podcast. If I can just do the podcast, that'd be great, you know? Yeah, definitely. You know, I'm, I'm curious. I mean, you have such an eclectic background.

Where do things really start for you? You said you started your first band or were in your first band at 18? But um, it's certainly music must have been a part of your life since you were younger. Absolutely, yeah, it was when I was 18, I went into kind of down the solo avenue. So it was the first time I played on my own. I've been playing in bands like growing up as a teenager before that. And yeah, that was kind of that cliche of a little three year old playing the pots and pans with wooden spoons on the kitchen floor, like drums is my primary instrument is my kind of first instrument. And then I was drumming in bands growing up and you know, I talk about it being kind of almost my primary language music. It's the thing I go to, to kind of process the world, process my way that I'm feeling about things and, and it's primordial way of, it's like the flannery O'Connor quote about what is it I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say and it's almost like that.

So I don't, certainly when I'm writing songs, I don't sit down and think I'm going to write a song about a certain topic or whatever it will be, letting whatever flows out, flow out and then kind of working out what that means afterwards, if I even need to work out what it means. But music is definitely been, that's the constant, that's the thing that's always there. And at what point did you start exploring writing and all the other things that you're doing right now, You know, podcasting and you have this online membership community. I mean, you know, that's a whole task in and of itself, just keeping up with the community and engaging them and you know, keeping them stimulated and it would be helpful to, I know how you managed to pull it all together. Yeah, absolutely. Yes, it's interesting you say that it's one of the things I struggle with most is that keeping a community engaged. I mean, naturally I'm someone who just sits on the sideline and observes and chips in every so often with things as an introvert, right?

An introvert can't expend too much energy. Yeah. So it is a real challenge to be thinking, okay, yeah, I'm now like sort of leading the community, but as I said, as I said before, everything kind of evolved to where it is now really. So it's, you know, went from even the podcast as well, the podcast started as a, as a way for me to share other kind of under the radar bands um and just get music that I was enjoying, that wasn't really kind of getting mainstream recognition just out into the into the world really. And then over time I kind of grew a bit of confidence to say a little bit more in between the songs that was playing and then these ideas around introversion and then later high sensitivity, which really I think kicked the whole thing on in a in a bigger way, started to kind of shift the tone and the audience of the podcast and and then of the blog and and really everything just evolved as a response to the things that people are responding to, which I think is probably the biggest lesson that I've that I've learned growing a business.

Is that the answers for what I kind of need to do next are always found in listening to people that I'm working with. Simple example would be a blog post or a podcast episode theme would be more or less er an answer to a question that had received an email from a listener. So it's like, okay, well that's I'll answer that in this format. And then the membership site was then just taking that to a to a deeper level. The site is called the Haven and I wanted to create a safe space for people to to explore, I suppose explore their temperaments, explore what it means to be an introvert or a highly sensitive person and then do something with that as well. Because there was so much I was noticing a lot of certainly public communities where there's a lot of kind of I don't know like back patting about what about, you know, let's be introverts, aren't we? Great were different and all this sort of stuff. And it's like a label is only as good as the response that you have to it.

And the thing that you do with it is what just kept coming and and and again, bringing the idea of being a gentle rebel. It's like an active thing. It's a okay, yes, you can be defined as as this thing you can put a label on on who you are at that level. But then it's like, well, what does that mean? And what does that make possible? And what do you know, what difference is that going to make to your life and the impact that you have in the world? So the haven was really conceived as a I suppose a tighter private community where we could grapple with that and really think about, Okay, well, what you know, what does this make possible for our lives? So yeah, I don't know if that answers your question. What's curious to me is does it solve or provide a solution for others who need to find their way in the world because they are a little bit different. And is it a byproduct of something that you perhaps experienced earlier in your life that you're able to bring to others because of something that you learned?

A really good question. The answer is probably yes, it's both of those things, I think giving input into something that I wish I'd or I could have really valued having earlier on in my life, which I think is is often the case, isn't it, with with this kind of business where you're sort of speaking to an older or to a younger version of yourself and providing that input and and also within that, listening to the needs and the questions of the people that are that have kind of gravitated towards towards you through that. So there may have been a time in your life where it would have been nice to have had maybe the haven as a community, is there a story of a time in your life where you were significantly challenged because of your introversion and creative sensitive nature, where you had to overcome a challenge or learning experience in your life? Yeah, I think coming back to the kind of ideas around performance really would would be where and yeah, where I kind of resonate with in terms of talking to people now and sharing my own experiences and the things that are the obstacles that aren't the obstacles that I thought were the obstacles, you know, I guess even just getting on stage and and having the kind of courage to perform on the surface, it feels like that's the, that's the obstacle and the thing that I can think of times in my life where I've almost run away from those sorts of opportunities, but not because of, I think it's quite difficult to kind of described really, but like a lot of people project their kind of sense of what they would be afraid of, which would be standing on stage and speaking in public or performing in public.

And for me, as I said earlier, it was that energy around it. It was all of the other stuff that really causes the anxiety and the stress and so when I'm kind of then talking to other people about those experiences are about helping others work out how they're going to perform or you know, whatever that looks like for them personally, it's kind of raising awareness of, okay, is the thing that you think you're afraid of actually the thing you're afraid of or is it, is it these other, these other periphery issues that actually, which with a bit of planning and preparation you can completely nail and just set your mind at ease because which is what I've learned to do for myself, like, you know, when I'm going and doing a gig, I will work out exactly where I'm going to, you know, it's silly things like where I'm going to park and you know, what time I'm going to get there, where how am I going to eat? What am I going to eat? All of that sort of stuff, which sounds really trivial when I have that plan, that my mind is kind of able to rest because it's like, okay, I know what, where we're going with this and then that gives me the energy then when I am on stage to give my full self to the performance.

So yes, I'd say that's probably one of the a specific challenge in itself. Would you venture to say then that the Haven enables because of your experience and what you're trying to do with the haven and provide that community support to others, that it's a way for them to understand their own triggers and because I mean really that was those were triggers for you and you need to plan ahead so that you could perform at your best and I have to worry about this extraneous stuff that just zaps your energy. So are those types of things that you help people address within the membership community. Yeah. And like one of my kind of core values with it all is to address things in a way in a way that raises awareness for people about their own desires and goals and their own Yeah, I think triggers is a good word with, with that and to not kind of project my my own experiences on to them and say this is what you'll definitely be feeling because it's different for everybody isn't it?

And in the context of personality and temperament, it's raising awareness, a general awareness of, okay, well, for this particular personality type, these might be things worth thinking about, and then just finding questions to ask that that give people, that's that ability to just look into themselves and think actually what, what is it that's going on there for me. And it's amazing how I think providing the space for people to explore their own responses to things, you actually shine a light on things in a much clearer way than when you're almost dictating. Yes, you'll be feeling this, you'll be doing this again, you see that follow quite a few communities that are dedicated to introverts and whatnot and highly sensitive people and a lot of it it feels quite deterministic in the sense of like you are in true it therefore you will feel this way in this situation, and I'd really like to look at it in a much less, a less kind of restricting way of.

So it's yeah, so you are just raising the awareness of this may happen for more introverted people, but it's like actually what is going on for you and I was going to say, man, we're all continuously learning and growing and even though we have, you know, certain personality preferences and tendencies that doesn't mean that we can't adapt and we can't stretch ourselves and evolve because nothing is really stagnant, because, you know, everything in the universe is energy and we're energy so that energy is is constantly in motion and so allowing that energy to move forward and evolve and, you know, give us the opportunity to explore those aspects of ourselves that maybe we wouldn't have explored because of our personal preferences or tendencies can can actually be quite, quite nourishing and liberating. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, so I'm curious that, I mean, you're also I know you're also a coach because you do some coaching, at least I recall somewhere saying that you do some coaching, and so I would imagine that's just more of a natural extension of the membership community for people who need one on one support.

Yeah, exactly, yeah, I mean, it's it's not something I've I've been doing for long, I'm still kind of, I'm finishing off a couple of qualifications in it at the moment, actually, it was about start of last year, I start exploring it just in response to, again, getting messages from people asking, you know, can I work with you one on one and, you know, bit of mentoring and coaching. I was like, yeah, absolutely, but I have no idea what I'm doing, I need to work out what I'm doing with this first and go and get some proper training because anyone can just slap the word coach on themselves and put themselves out there. But to me it was like, I don't I need to know what I'm doing, and I want that kind of credential, so, so yeah, I've been doing that for a year and really didn't think it would be something that would sparked me to life that much, working one on one with people, but I've been so surprised, like it's been absolutely amazing and just seeing people grow and have those moments of of awareness and all driven by the themselves, basically, and it's just such a powerful thing to sit back and witness and I just love it.

It is, and it's it's a powerful thing to be a part of helping others to bring the best out of themselves, and even at the same time, while you're learning and getting the proper training, you obviously have a natural tendency and people are gravitating towards the the energy that you have that you bring to the table, So don't sell yourself short, you're probably a very, very good coach, but I'm curious also that you you have these other things that you do in your life, which is you right, and you're also an undertaker, how do those fit into your life and into the, I guess the story of where you're taking your life? Yeah, writing is really similar to music in terms of, it's something I've always naturally connected to, unlike writing journals and just getting kind of brain dumping really through words and then and that's kind of yeah, as I say, evolved with my blog and with my mailing list and that kind of thing.

It's funny actually, earlier this week, I had an email from a from an editor asking if I was working on any any book proposal ideas at the moment, which I am not, but it made me really focus and it was one of those things that's like, hold on a second, actually you could be, and it just made me focus on, okay, if I was, what would it, what would I be interested in writing about? And so the past few days I've been like, just really getting excited about exploring what I could potentially write about and we're gonna have a meeting with her next week and um kind of discussed that a little bit further. But I just, like, I also just love those little, almost serendipitous moments of Absolutely, I don't think it's a coincidence at all. I think it was meant to happen and you are meant to write a book. Yeah, it's kind of cool. Yeah, it just made me think actually, I'd love to, I'd absolutely love to in terms of the undertaking that have some I don't really know where that fits into it.

But yes, I've been doing that five years. It started when I've seen a hearse driving around and my main thought was like, how on earth do you get into that? Like, you know, as a, you know, funeral director, as someone working in that industry, like what possesses you to do a job like that a little while later I was I was thinking I could I could do with just getting a part time job just to keep some consistent income coming in just to pay the bills so that I'm kind of free to to be building the business properly without, you know, being like how I need to make this make money straight away. And I saw a job advertised for an undertaking. I was I was thinking, well I'm going to I'm going to find out how you, how you get into that industry. Now, remember that question I was asking myself and so yeah, I applied for it and and got it and awesome. My intention was to do it for a year and then finish. But there's something about it that's just kept me in it. Even even that point where I'm like, I don't necessarily need this anymore, it's only do sort of what I'm supposed to do 15 hours a week, but often end up doing more than that.

But there's something about that role being alongside people at their I suppose most, I don't know what the right word is, but when they need guidance the most, when they need someone who knows who can, you know, just get alongside them and that kind of thing that I just found find really enriching, which might sound odd and also just the kind of leveling aspect of of death itself and how, you know, I can, I might be driving a limousine one day with, with certain people in my car and then the next day it might be like the opposite kind of demographics of life and every, and they're all sitting in the same position, they're all going and going to a funeral in the same chapel at the same crematorium and, and it's just that kind of realization that actually we're all in this together as human beings. We all as separated as we might be in certain aspects of life.

There are certain things and at the moment everything going on with the coronavirus and, and stuff like that. Just really to me, it's just a, it's a level of reminder that actually, you know, we're we're not enemies here, We're all just human beings like muddling along belonging together in community and, and we've got an opportunity to, to do that in a way that connects and connects us and keeps us loving one another or the opposite and I know what I want to choose, hmm hmm And I think you're exactly right that hopefully it's, it's bringing lots of communities together across the globe and working together, but I think it's also heightening people's sensitivity in many different ways, sensitivity and, you know, in terms of fear and so it's heightening people's fear levels, but there's also the opposite, you know, where there are, there are people out there that are managing it in a very calm and composed way and in showing that and demonstrating that sensitivity as well.

But I can see where just doing the undertaking, like you were saying, could certainly play to your type because of the sensitivity that you have, and it was something that, you know, once you got into it, you see the value in it and and what you're doing and how it helps others and forever long it lasts. It doesn't matter what matters, is the time that you're doing it now and it does play a role and who you are in the world today, what you're bringing to the world, which brings me to the next question, what's on the horizon for you? Where do you want to take things or do you know at this point, are you just going with the flow? Yeah, I mean there's there's there's a certain degree of going with the flow and that's been, I think the big focus for me this year has almost been scaling things back so that I can see, I'm supposed to see the wood for the trees a little bit better so that I can work all that stuff out. I mean, the coaching side of the business is that's probably the big priority for me this year, as I sort of finished these qualifications and kind of build that part of the business into things more seriously, ultimately, that will take the place of undertaking in terms of the time that I spend doing that.

But yeah, as I say that, I mean, my podcast, it was weekly and then couple of months ago after my conversation with Lawrence Apollo and Jazz Hotel on on the I. N. F. Summit. And we were talking about kind of ideas around minimalism and and and Lauren was was talking about Everett bogue, who one of one of her friends and was quite big in there, minimalist online space a number of years ago. And he talked about, I think it was it 57 items in his bag. He used to carry around and that was like all of his belongings might have got that wrong, but something like that. And then this idea of if he needs, if he wanted to put something else in the bag, he'd have to take something that was already in the bag out because there wasn't enough space to. Exactly. And that just really struck me as a metaphor for so many things. And I was then thinking about all my obligations, all the things that had committed to and with the podcast, it was like actually working out how much time I spend doing the podcast each week made me realize actually there's so many things I want to put in that bag That I can't fit in because this podcast, it takes me about 12 hours An episode.

And actually the added value of doing one every week was not didn't correlate to the amount of time that I was spending. So I figured, you know, if you can drop 36 hours of doing that a month, imagine what I could do with that time. So, so it's it's that kind of metaphor is really been my kind of almost focusing point ever since that interview, which which has been quite fun to be exploring. Well, I think it's interesting how there are things in our life that pop up even in a conversation that gets us thinking a certain way that we hadn't really thought of before. It kind of like just opens our mind to a new way of thinking. And I think by letting, allowing yourself to go with the flow and adjust the schedule for the podcast that gives you the opportunity to open the doors for other things that like you can put in your bag, you know, just continuing to fill the bag basically because the bag will only hold so much and things.

All things will be falling at the bottom of the bag and you won't be noticing. Yes, exactly. With all of this and where, where you are in your life, is there a particular philosophy or mantra that has resonated with you? That means a lot to you. The one that's really the idea that's really kind of underpinned a lot of my life over the past, sort of probably 56 years. Is that the victor frankel quote of between stimulus and response, there's a space and in that space is our power to choose our response and in our response lies our growth and our freedom. And that that idea of actually we get to interject in areas of our life that we think just happening to us or we just react to things and we have no no sense of kind of agency over over the way that things go after reading man's search for meaning Viktor frankl's book and hearing the stories that he shared, like where the context of those ideas, you know, from the concentration camps, spent some time in Auschwitz during the Second World War and actually, you know, from the absolute lowest of the low position and situation to realize that actually whatever we're going through, we we always get to choose our response to things and that's like the ultimate growth and the ultimate freedom because no one can take that away from us.

And and that's really kind of underpinned a lot of my my kind of thinking and approach to things. You know, I've been through some challenging times over the past couple of years. And and that's really struck me as as important and yeah, I think that's very liberating because I think people need to really need to recognize that there's there's always a choice. You know, you do get to choose and you don't have to settle for anything less than what you you know, you really, really want, even if it takes time to get to what you want. Introduction to kind of logger therapy was his his school of like a psychotherapy type thing and yeah, really, really fascinating stuff. Love it. Well, I'll be sure to include that in the show notes and just one more question for you before we wrap things up. What advice do you have for others around, you know, finding their own direction and or just advice for others in general based on what has worked for you. Maybe I'll just leave it as that. Yeah, I think I'd say sort of let go of the idea that there is anything in the realm of perfection or like a state of completion and wholeness and you know, a great secret that you can get to whatever, like actually know that this moment in all its chaos and mess is what matters, and this is all you get all you have and you get to create from within that and you can make the world a tiny bit better in tiny little ways.

If you commit to that over time, just understanding that actually this moment, I get to do something interject and do something that wouldn't happen without me if that makes sense. And you know, your presence within this moment is significant because of that Exactly, and how we, you know how we perceive that moment and if we are focused on that moment, then that is that moment is our reality and that moment is what we do in that moment creates our future reality. So, I love that. Well, Andy it's been such a pleasure. How did can people learn more about you and connect with you? Yeah, it's been so nice to chat with you, carol. Thank you. Best places. Just my website. So Andy mort dot com. There's links to all the different things we talked about today from there. So my social media, there's the Haven podcast and also has links to my music off there as well. So that's the real hub. Beautiful. Okay, well, we'll be sure to include that in the show notes and any social links that you can provide me afterwards.

I'll make sure those are in the show notes so that people can connect with you on the various social channels that you operate on. Are there any parting comments that you'd like sir? Leave our listeners? I think you know that last thing we're saying about, you know, just this moment, always remember that this moment is is everything. And be a gentle rebel. I love that. You can always find a way to be gently rebellious. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. This has just been a terrific and insightful conversation. I look forward to learning more, you know, over the course of time to see how things turn out for you with respect to the coaching because I know that you're putting a lot of time and effort into that, the work that you're doing and just all the, all the all the creative aspects of things that you're you're bringing to the world I think is such, of tremendous value to people. And so I just want to thank you so much for sharing time with me on the show.

Thank you so much for having me. It's been such a lovely conversation to have. So thanks. Thank you. We hope today's show helped to bring a bit more joy and happiness into your heart. We hope it inspired you to unleash your inner power and rise up to your best and loving, heart centered, highest self. We'd be grateful if you'd leave us a review on itunes. Those reviews are important to spreading this valuable message. We'd love for you to subscribe to our podcast and share the show with others. Visit hearts rise up dot com for heart centered courses, guided meditations and are popular notes from your higher self until next time. Keep rising up and may all that you love thrive

Ep. 25 - The Amazing Allure of a "Gentle Rebel"- An Interview with Andy Mort
Ep. 25 - The Amazing Allure of a "Gentle Rebel"- An Interview with Andy Mort
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