PODCAST & BLOG

PODCAST & BLOG

This week we are exploring deconstruction, creative expression, and spirituality with guest David Hayward. This is the first time we are covering topics like deconstruction and dogma on the show and I hope you find this episode informative and perhaps even a bit healing. After 30 years as a pastor, David left his ministry to focus on his work as the Naked Pastor (he’s not literally naked, well, you’ll see). He believes that questions are the answer to authentic growth. It’s why he uses words and images to challenge the status quo, deconstruct dogma, and offer hope for those who suffer under it.

We cover:

    • Deconstruction: what it means, how it feels, and how you can have deconstruction in many areas of your life (5:54)
    • What spiritual abuse looks like (11:38)
    • The importance of accepting the fact that we are free and autonomous (18:46)
    • Advice for those who are questioning their spiritual beliefs and/or living with dogmatic fear (31:30)
    • David talks about using creative expression as a form of healing (36:00)

Resources:
The Daring Way™ Retreat!
David’s website
David on TikTok
David’s latest book

Book recommendations:
You know how I love a good personal development book, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!

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In 2010, after 30 years as a pastor, David left his ministry to focus on NakedPastor and the community that was emerging around it and it is now his full-time gig! David believes that questions are the answer to authentic growth. It’s why he uses words and images to challenge the status quo, deconstruct dogma, and offer hope for those who suffer under it.

With a Masters in Theological Studies, as well as Diplomas in Religious Studies and Ministry, and University Teaching, David’s no stranger to belief systems. His art expresses the stories and struggles of spiritual refugees and those who question, doubt or reject the confines of religion. Each piece encourages important conversations and acts as a catalyst for critical thinking.

Right-click to download the .mp3

 


SHOW TRANSCRIPT  

Andrea  00:00
I've been wanting to redecorate my living room since, like years. It has been years. But interior design is not my strongest suit and I looked into hiring someone local and it was out of my budget with getting a new couch and a new rug and new curtains. It was it was too much. But Aisling interiors is an online interior design service available to everyone. So let me tell you how easy it is. You complete their online quiz and they get a feeling for your style and your budget, you provide them some measurements of the space that you're working with, you can upload photos of the room itself, and then you can upload photos of what you're looking at, like what the style you want it to be like is, and then your designer will create a 3D model of your space to scale using the colors that you want, the furniture to match your style, and any other details that you need. You can give them feedback to ensure things are exactly as you need them because it's all about you and not what they want. And then afterwards, you receive a printable form with the information that you talked about. I've gone through that process and I was floored. I'm not the kind of person who can just like imagine what it looks like. I need to see it and I am so excited for this moody slash edgy slash bohemian living room that we are going to have. I will put it in my Instagram stories go to AislingInteriors.com and complete the quiz on the space you want to redesign then use code Noise at checkout to receive 10% off any booking. That's A-I-S-L-I-N-GInteriors.com. The code is Noise and N-O-I-S-E at checkout to receive 10% off any booking.

David  01:32
When you start questioning in one area, it leaks over into other area. You can't help it because basically at the root of that is your suspicion of orthodoxy or tradition, or the status quo or you start questioning everything. So it can be very traumatic.

Andrea  01:52
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 466 with guest David Hayward.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insights to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and Make Some Noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I'm so glad that you're here. We are still on the creativity and spirituality theme this year and we have David Hayward on today. I of course want him on TikTok, I feel like most of the guests I'm having this year if I'm on TikTok. He popped up on my for you page a couple of times. I really like what he had to say. And I love this conversation. I can't wait for you to hear it

I wanted to remind you that we have a couple of spots left for our fall retreat here in North Carolina. It's in the beautiful city of Asheville. I've rented this gorgeous house. We all get to stay together. So all of your lodging is included in the retreat. All of your meals, all of your materials, all of the instruction that I will be doing for a few days. And if you want to read more about it, the methodology that we're going over what I'm actually teaching and facilitating, it's at AndreaOwen.com/retreat and all the prices are there for the couple of different rooms that are available. All the information is there, the dates everything. And I would the woman that's coming to help me who's going to be my assistant, her name's Jessica, she was my client in 2015 doing this same work and she still uses the work. She's still raves about it and talks about how she leans on it when she needs to walk through something difficult. And that's really what it is. The whole outline is there on the site. And if you aren't sure if you're kind of on the fence, you can book a call with me. If you want to chat and just do a gut check and just make sure it's the right thing for you. And I'll be really honest with you. You can tell me what's going on with your in your life, tell me where your obstacles are your struggles, and I will tell you if this if the strategies and tools that you're going to receive at the retreat will help you. And I'm just really excited. I'm excited to see people in person and just get to hug people with consent, of course. So again, AndreaOwen.com/retreat.

Alright. Let me tell you a little bit about our guest today. In 2010. After 30 years as a Pastor, David left his ministry to focus on Naked Pastor and the community that was emerging around it, and now it's his full time gig. David believes that questions are the answer to authentic growth. It's why he uses words and images to challenge the status quo, deconstruct dogma, and offer hope for those who suffer under it. With a master's in theological studies. as well as diplomas in religious studies and ministry, and university teaching, David's no stranger to belief systems. His art expresses the stories and struggles of spiritual refugees, and those who question, doubt, or reject the confines of religion. Each piece encourages important conversations and acts as a catalyst for critical thinking. So without further ado, here is David.

David, welcome to the show.

David  05:29
Thank you. Glad to be here.

Andrea  05:31
I'm excited to have you. I mentioned before we started recording that you're the first guest to come on with this topic. We've had so many different personal development topics. I've been doing this for almost, oh, my gosh, 2013, so almost 10 years. And like no pressure, but you're the first person to come and talk about this.

David  05:51
Oh, hey, I'm cool with that.

Andrea  05:54
Well, you're kicking us off. I know you won't be the last but we're doing themes this year on the show and now we're talking about spirituality and creativity. And I, as I've found many guests this year on TikTok, and you embody both of those things. And I want to start by, because this is a topic that is brand new to this show, can we start by talking about…can you give us what your definition of the term deconstruction means? Let's start there.

David  06:23
Sure. So I was reading about deconstruction, this philosophical school that was launched by Derrida in France years ago. So basically, his claim is that there is no such thing as objective truth and attacks that we all come with our own interpretation, and so on, and so forth. And I was heading to a seminar or a workshop weekend with other pastors and we were encouraged to read books on deconstruction, because they were going to show us how it was wrong. But instead, it had the opposite effect on me and converted me, basically, to agree. I agree that we all approach everything with our own interpretation. So that when somebody says, the Bible says, really what they mean is, I think the Bible says, according to my interpretation. And that goes for every text, anything at all. Like your typical event, like an accident, everybody has their own perspectives, their own, you know, interpretation of what happened.

So I was a pastor at the time a minister and I was pastoring a church at the time, and this sort of started the ball rolling where this will happen back in 2008, I started to talk about deconstruction as a word that I found applicable to my own spiritual journey where I was questioning everything. Nothing seemed objectively true anymore. And I was really analyzing and taking apart and questioning everything that I believe right down to the roots. And so deconstruction is basically that, it's like instead of constructing you're deconstructing, it's like, instead of building a house, you're actually carrying it down, all the way to the foundations and maybe even digging up the foundations. So that's what I mean by deconstruction. And it can happen in any sphere of your life. Like people deconstruct their political views, people deconstruct their ideas of relationships, people deconstruct their ideas of sexuality, people deconstruct our ideas of spirituality and religion. And so that's kind of what I specialize in.

Andrea  08:34
Okay, I love that explanation. And so, I also interpreted it as deconstruction typically happens when we've been indoctrinated in a certain way. Is that fair?

David  08:45
Yeah. conditioned.

Andrea  08:47
Okay. And now that you explained that, I was like, wow, I've gone through deconstruction in many areas of my life.

David  08:55
Exactly, yeah. When you start questioning in one area, it leaks over into other areas,. You can't help it because basically, at the root of that is your suspicion of orthodoxy basically, or tradition, or the status quo, you know, or the or the herd. And so you start questioning everything. So it can be very traumatic.

Andrea  09:22
Yeah. Well, I'm glad you said that because and it's funny, I'm just putting it together now. So when this was back in, I think I had just had my kids were babies. My parents weren't, you know, they weren't very politically conscious. I don't even know if they even voted. They probably did but they just never talked about it. And then I entered a relationship when I was 17 and his family they were very conservative and so I just belonged to their family and they were very close family. They protected me they loved me, they cared about me, I trusted them. And so I adopted their political views without even saying like, well, what is the other side saying? Just curious. Like, what is the argument? You know, I was just told it was stupid, it was dumb, etc. It was, you know, the falling apart of the nation. And so when I when that relationship fell apart, and I started to kind of pick my head up and like, oh, there's other people that I really care about and that I know, are smart, who have different views, what do they have to say about this? And this started the whole deconstruction of my political views.

And I felt embarrassed to say that it was traumatic because I was I was sort of pulling back so far, but the way I describe it, is it kind of unraveled my entire identity at the time. It was a feeling of being lost, which I you know, heavily involved in the work of Brené Brown and she says, there's grief in that. There's grief in that feeling of being a feeling lost.

David  10:53
Yeah. Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle, these people…

Andrea  10:58
Rob Bell is another one.

David  11:00
Rob Bell. Yeah. Ann Lamott, others like that are all speaking along the same lines, were they… The reason why some people criticize them so harshly is because they're outside of the status quo or outside of what's normal, normally accepted. Sure, they have their followings and everything, but what they're saying is pretty radical, where you question authority in any form, whether it's in a person or in an institution, or in a text, or in norms, you know? Anything that's authoritative is questioned.

Andrea  11:38
Yeah. Okay. I like to jump in the deep end. Let's not waste time. Big talk. No small talk. Well, and I was watching like most of your tech talks, and you have a series, I think maybe it was a handful of months back where you talked about spiritual abuse. And I don't feel like I have had that, although, you know, there, there are some things that were conditioned on to me where now I'm like, whew, that was heavy and really made an impact. But can you describe, you know, for someone listening who might be in their own deconstruction process, and might not have a place to talk about it a lot, so they're not sure,  can you sort of describe what spiritual abuse might look like and give us some examples.

David  12:21
Yeah. So it can range in my opinion, anything from sexual assault, and anybody's reading the news these days, the Southern Baptist Convention, is going through a very difficult time justly so because hundreds and hundreds of reports of sexual assault by pastors on their congregants, their members, was buried and hidden and concealed by the Southern Baptist Convention. And so it can be something as severe as that. But it can also go to the other end of the spectrum where it's just emotional kind of abuse or psychological abuse where you're controlled, manipulated, coerced into hiding a part of yourself or feeling forced to do something you're uncomfortable with or, or gaslighting, you know, all these things. So it can be, I don't want to say mild because, you know, it's not mild but…

Andrea  13:22
I would say it's a spectrum.

David  13:24
It is certainly from, you know, emotional abuse, where you're shamed and guilted and made afraid, every day to sexual assault and worse. So that's and spiritual abuse. It used to be people like what spiritual abuse, like it's like, it's a some kind of a strange thing. But now it's actually a recognized form of therapy where people experience PTSD, but they might be now post religious stress where people need to recover from a very intense religious upbringing, right?

Andrea  14:06
Yeah, I have a I have a dear, dear friend who is experiencing that right now. And yeah, I mean, I'm thinking about the entire spectrum and thinking about some of the things that I was told and I remember being very young and asking… So I grew up in the 80s… Do you remember those commercials with, you know Sally Struthers when they were they were getting donations for children in Africa and there were awful like these just you know, watching these children starve to death and I was probably I don't know, it was elementary school, and a sensitive child and crying and seeing those commercials and asking my mom like if God loves us so much, why do bad things like that happen? Why doesn't he feed these children? Why are there you know, murders and why do people hurt animals? And she said, there's so much tragedy on this earth because of sinners. And I was like, so it's my fault. Like, I took that on, as I am such a bad person for lying to my mom about, you know, eating the candy that she told me not to eat that that is why there are children starving in Africa. Like I interpreted it that way and that's like one of the worst things I can remember, which is far less egregious than some things that people other people experienced but I have several examples like that. And this is no blame and shame to my mom, like she grew up Catholic, like, that's what they believed. So I'm assuming that my story is not uncommon.

David  15:42
No, that's the standard. It's not superficial. It's a very, very deep issue and it goes back…in theology, it's called the Odyssey, the study of the Odyssey, where how can there be a god and when there's the presence of evil, or they're suffering, or God is silent, or whatever, these are very, very serious issues that people struggle with. And so often people make a choice, okay, there must not be a god, or the other choices, there is a God and other explanations are we deserve it? Or, you know, we're causing it or all kinds of explanations, but they're all guesses, in my opinion.

Andrea  16:26
Let’s all just make it up. It's all just made up.

David  16:29
Because we don't know, right? No we don’t.

Andrea  16:33
That’s type of stuff that I used to think when I was probably like, middle school age, like, how do you know, you know, like, oh, like, was there a literal burning bush that spoke? It was it Moses spoke to Moses, right? Like, well, no, that's just it's a metaphor, you know I'm hearing about them and I'm like, I don't, I am so confused. I just remember being utterly confused and then when I would ask questions, I would be even more confused than I was, or the questions were typically not warm and fuzzy.

David  17:01
Right. So like, your show has a lot to do with creativity and this is one of the things I'm an artist, I draw cartoons every day.

Andrea  17:09
I love your cartoons, by the way, they're so great.

David  17:13
And creativity, for me, is what freedom looks like. And religion often dampens creativity, because religion also isn't all that great about promoting freedom. So it's all connected. And so with my cartoons, and so on, I'm trying to break that barrier and trying to break those handcuffs that people feel where you know, because of their religion, they can't express themselves as they truly are, they can't be truly authentic, and therefore they can't be truly creative. And what we're seeing now, more and more out there, that a lot of creativity is happening by people who are ex-religious, or ex-Evangelical, or ex-Lutheran or ex-Mormon, or, you know, deconstructing, or whatever, they're exploding with creativity, because it's been bottled up for so long.

Andrea  18:14
Yeah. I believe that. Well, kind of switching gears, you had a you had a video where you were talking about and I forget, and I'm going to totally misquote you so I won't even try, but I think someone had asked you specifically like, what do you believe? Like, what, what are your specific beliefs? And you said something like that. You don't like to answer that. So can you talk about that a little bit because I find myself curious, and I remember when I first started following Rob Bell, I was like, actively searching for what is it exactly that you believe, Mr. Bell? And he doesn't really either talk about it. So can you tell us about that?

David  18:46
Well, I do… It's very intentional, because I'm not trying to a lot of people saying, oh, you're, you know, you're, I forget the word but, you know, hiding or, you know, you're weaseling your way around, or whatever. But actually, it's because I believe it's up to each one of us to find out what is true and for me, your personal freedom is what's most important to me. I think freedom is the driving engine of my life. Me to be personally free and authentic, and to find out for myself and so I remember, some years ago, I was I wasn't young, I wasn't old either, but a friend of mine said to me, why are you always looking for a father figure? And it was at that came to me at a time in my life where I was really, really intensely searching for what was true and looking all around for the answers and reading books and talking to people and mentors and gurus. Not just Christian but also Buddhist, atheist, Phyllis philosophers, quantum physicists, everything is just trying to find the answer. And that when he said why are you always looking for a father figure I realized right then and there, I need to with courage, embrace who I am, where I am. Pick the steering wheel of my own life, become the captain of my own ship, the master of my own destiny and stop looking for permission from other people to be who I am, to believe what I believe, and do what I want.

And that was a huge transition for me. And a lot of people who grow up in religion, and so on, were so scared about believing something wrong, or saying something wrong, or you know, or being punished or judged, or corrected, or rebuked for it. That's just the genre, the environment, that culture in which we grow up in. But for me, I broke away from that. I just like, that's right, I don't need permission I can be, and I can believe what I want to believe, I can do my own searching and find my own answers, and not keep looking to some authority figure or guru to provide it for me.

Andrea  20:53
I love that, that you do that. And I also think it's helpful because I imagine that people who find your work and follow it and other people who are talking about deconstruction are feeling lost and they're kind of, and maybe they're desperate, maybe they're just searching for what to believe. And really, it's not up to you. And because we tend to put experts on pedestals, and it's like, oh, well, if David says, you know that we don't believe in the hard rules of, you know, organized religion or Christianity or what have you. But instead, it's this this and this than I should believe in this, this and this, but instead, you're giving people an invitation, really, to figure out what works for them.

David  21:39
Yeah, it's to assume autonomy, self-determining independence. That's a huge thing that at some point in our lives, we have to embrace and manifest in us. And we have to accept the fact that we are free and autonomous. And so I'm not your guru, and I'm constantly resisting that I get questioned that everyday. Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe you know, in God? Do you, you know, please tell me how to do this or this or that? And, you know, if it's, I sometimes answer those questions, but most often, I'm like, well, what do you think? What would you do? Or what would you believe in this situation? And then own it. Own it.

Andrea  22:23
I think it really changes from day to day too, I don't know about you, but…

David  22:27
See, that's okay, like a river. And so a huge river, it's called the Kennebecasis River, it's a Meek Ma name, the tribes land we live on. It's made up of many, many streams. So if I go down to the Kennebecasis River and put a cup in, I could point to the cup and say there's the cup of the Kennebecasis River, but it's not really. It's a part of the Kennebecasis River, and it changes every day, every hour every day, it changes. Sometimes there's waves sometimes it's like glass, sometimes it's flowing this way, sometimes it looks like it's flowing the other way, because it's close to the ocean and it's a little bit tidal. But there's many, many streams and we're like that. We're made up of many streams and we don't have to be one thing like Lutheran for example, and everything that Lutherans believe. Like we can, we can be who we are, and all kinds of streams are flowing through us and we just notice them as they flow by, but we are always who we are. And that never, you know that's something we can count on.

Andrea  23:33
That's just such a beautiful metaphor. I love that.

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In your opinion, does organized religion ever work? Like is it ever a good thing?. Have you seen it work?

David  26:29
Well, yeah, like, I'm not an enemy of religion. I just like to see it function in a healthy manner. That's all. That's all I asked. One of the one of the greatest assets and values of organized religion is community. I think that's its number one advantage over everything else. Like so when I left the ministry and the church in 2010, that was the biggest pain point for me was the sudden loss of community. Because when you walk into a church, most churches, when you walk into a church, for example, it could be the same with a mosque or a temple or synagogue or wherever, your handed community on a platter, right, and all kinds of activities and potlucks and all kinds of support and, you know, friends and everything. And when you leave that that's all gone. And I have yet to find anything that even comes remotely close to fulfilling that.

Andrea  27:33
Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m in recovery but that has its own spiritual roots.

David  27:36
That's it does and it has its own issues as well. I'm not saying the church is a form of community that gives us as necessarily healthy, there's a lot of problems with it. So religion, I grew up in religion, I lived in religion, I was in the deep end, I was like, all in for most of my life, almost all of my life and then I left organized religion in 2010. But I wouldn't be who I am now, unless it was who I was then. It all folds in what all contributes, I compare it to compost, which is half Earth and half shit. Half good, half bad. Together and that's what I grow out of. So religion served a purpose for me. In a way I call her my spiritual mother to church. But in many ways, she was very controlling and bitchy sometimes and really hard and demanding and strict, and, and all those things. But I have a lot to be grateful for even though I also have a lot that I didn't appreciate about it.

Andrea  28:44
Yes, I completely understand that. I'm sure a lot of people listening do too. So that that community aspect is really when I had an eye-opening moment, when I had, I mentioned before we started talking I left the church when I was a teenager and had moments where I where I came back. My first marriage, we got married in the Catholic Church, that was his choice and it worked out because I had been baptized Catholic. So I guess I was like, I was approved. I got their stamp of approval. Then we got divorced, and I had children and when I had babies, was when I started to feel the dogma of okay, I haven't baptized them yet and, I you know, I was nervous of what might happen to them if they passed away without being baptized. And so I brought them, we were living in Oceanside at the time, we were still in San Diego, and I brought them to I don't know if it was a mega church, but it was definitely like a mini mega church and I really liked it. I mean, they had like a coffee shop and a bookstore like great stuff for my kids and my kids had fun at the at the Sunday school and they drew pictures of Jesus and I was like, okay, I could… My husband's an atheist so it was just, my second husband. So it’s just me and my kids and I remember sitting in the congregation and listening to the sermon, and feeling that cognitive dissonance of like, I love this, but I, something is wrong. It's like being on a first date with someone and you're like, oh, something is often I don't know what it is. And it took me, I think we attended for a couple of months for me to realize, it wasn't the religion I was missing, it was the community. I wanted because my, my first marriage had fallen apart and I was such a part of that community and then although I loved my new husband, I didn't have the same friends anymore. And I was basically starting my life over and I had these two babies, and I was lonely and just questioning, I was having a bit of a 34-year-old crisis. I wasn't quite midlife but that's it was such a huge epiphany.

And which brings me to my next question for you, around dogma is, I went through a period of years, gosh, David, probably five to seven years. And it wasn't intense but it was definitely like the whisper of Andrea, what if you're wrong? What if, what… And I know that this is from years of indoctrination growing up. What if you… And I would have these, you know, images of, of dying and go into the pearly gates and they're like, well, sorry, you can't come in, because you, you know, and worrying about my children's salvation, and it just… So do you have any advice… And I'm past that now and I have so much more freedom now and it's like, it's all just made up. Like, I really truly believe that. Do you have any advice for someone listening who might be in that similar situation of, it's kind of like this limbo of, you know, not quite to the other side yet, not where they used to be, but sort of in this a little bit of a dogmatic fear.

David  32:02
Yeah, I do a lot of cartoons about that because it's very real. I remember…

Andrea  32:07
I was gonna ask you, like, if you experienced that.

David  32:11
Oh, yeah. Yeah, I remember the day I quit. The Ministry and the church, and I was lying on my bed, Lisa was working, she's a nurse, my wife, and I was lying there and I just felt this cold sweat. Like, what have I done? Like, what if I'm wrong, like, and you're right, that was a layover, from my religious upbringing. It's kind of like, we had a children's book that we read to our kids, it's Inuit, the authors anyway, Inuit, northern indigenous people, and they have, it's all about these monsters. I can't remember the Inuit names. But monsters that lived under the ice and they would tell the children these stories. And the whole point was to scare the children from going on to thin ice in the spring, during the melt, or too early.

That's basically the function of fear in religion is to scare us into let's from positive viewpoint, to be safe, from a negative viewpoint to just stay here, like, within these limitations. And so what I encourage people to do is take the steps to eventually get to the place someone if you're wrong, if you believe in God or not, I'm not saying whether I do or not. I'm not saying whether you do or not. What I'm saying is, let's say you still might believe in God and you have that fear, you need to get to that place where you would believe that no God, in their right mind, is going to punish somebody because of a thought forever, in fire forever, separated from them. What kind of a God creates hells, right? So most people I know, deconstructed, got to get to that point where they were they believe, God, if God is love, then he wouldn't create or they let's say they wouldn't create a hell, or cause somebody to suffer forever, in a burning lake of fire. Like, this just doesn't make sense to me. You get to that point and eventually, if you do go even further, and become an atheist, those echoes of the threat of punishment eventually become like just a whisper. And then yeah, just they eventually fade just like your experience and just like they eventually fade away so that they, you know, no longer have an impact or effect the same way you can remember without reliving, you know? But you know, I'm, I'm a mature man, still, sometimes the dark freaks me out like honestly weird place and I'm walking upstairs in the dark and I'm feeling my way in the cellar. It's kind of kind of scary, but it's all you know, the whole thing about monsters and everything under the stairs, it just has a way of sticking to sometimes. It’s the same with the threat of punishment and all that it eventually goes.

Andrea  35:22
I would agree with, attest to that. From my own experience that it just it took time and what also helped me is talking to people who had been through it before just like anything else. You know, and I have friends who their experiences is more traumatic and impactful than mine, and they've sought out therapists who specialize in religious trauma and deconstruction which they found really helpful, which I'm so glad that that that that niche exists now it's so absolutely necessary.

Well tell us a little bit more about your art. Were you going to be an artist? Was that the original plan?

David  36:00
No. I mean, I've drawn my whole life. I've always been an artist, like ever since I can remember I watched my dad painting in our home and I was always drawing, and sometimes cartoons I learned how to paint. I do watercolor paintings, and all kinds of other drawings. And I did that. I went but I went to I went to a Bible college in the States. I'm from Canada, but I went to Bible college in the states. That's where I met my wife, Lisa, who's from Alabama. Then we went to Boston to seminary, went to another seminary at McGill University in Montreal. I got ordained. You know, I went the whole ministry route. And I painted on the side. But in 2005, I started a blog, Naked Pastor, which basically means a pastor whose real, that's all. I once in a while would show my paintings. And anyway, I love a really good cartoon. There was a cartoonist I really admired who he challenged himself to draw cartoon every day. And I thought, well, why don't I try that. And I tried my first cartoon, and I thought, I'm going to try to draw one every day, I thought I might last 30 days. Here I am doing it. 17 years later, still drawing cartoon everyday, pretty much. It just stuck. So that in 2010, when I left the ministry, I went and taught University for a little bit. But then in 2012, I decided, you know, I'm going to try and make Naked Pastor a full time job and I put all my effort into that. And that's what I've been doing since 2012. So 10 years, I've been doing naked pasture full time. And basically, if anybody asks, if you ask, have you heard of David Hayward most people will say no, but Naked Pastor? More people have heard of Naked Pastor. And my cartoons are pretty popular, they get shared a lot and some of them go viral. So I'm really happy about that. I'm really excited about it. And even to the point where I have a best of cartoon book coming out this summer. So yeah, I'm really excited about it. It's my 10th book, too. So…

Andrea  38:03
Are they all about religion or are they all kinds of different topics?

David  38:08
All kinds, mostly to do with deconstruction, some has to do with money, though. I say money is spiritual, because I had to wrestle with my religious views about money. So I wrote that into a book. Money is Spiritual. I do one about marriage, Till Doubt Do Us Part: Engaging Beliefs Change Your Marriage, and other ones are about deconstruction and stuff like that. But this one is my best stops, I have 1000s of cartoons, and I had to choose 125 to fit into this book. So it was quite a challenge. But yeah, it's coming out in July.

Andrea  38:46
That's awesome. That's great. We will… So this theme will come out around there so we'll make sure and put that put that in the show notes. Before we close up Is there anything based on our conversation or even otherwise that you want to make sure that gets said that I didn't ask.

David  39:01
Yeah, I would, I would say to your people who are listening, what I found really really helpful for me, you know, in my deconstruction, even though my theological deconstruction started way way back years, decades ago, on my deconstruction from churches, more recent, but and religion, it's been quite a journey. But what I would encourage your guests if any of this, you know is hitting home for them, is to do it creatively. Like that's the whole part of this deconstruction thing is you becoming more authentically you. And so like, write your honest feelings and thoughts in your journal or write poetry or draw pictures or paint paintings or, you know, do stuff that are, you know, creative dance/

Andrea  39:58
Interpretive dance. That's what I was thinking of.

David  40:01
Yeah, do things that are an expression of your creativity. And I found it was very cathartic for me, I'm not only helping other people who identify with my art and relate to it, but it really is a cathartic process of creating through your journey. It has a way of exercising your own personal demons. So I would just encourage your listeners to try that as a way.

Andrea  40:29
I love that. Thank you for mentioning that I think art and creativity is so linked to a healing and growth in our evolution.

David  40:41
Can I give an example?

Andrea  40:58
Yeah, please do.

David  40:01
Well, in 2012, it was 2010 when I left the ministry, in 2012, though, I sat down one Sunday afternoon with pen and pencil and paper and I just started drawing, I had no idea what I was drawing, I just started sort of sketching. And I ended up with a drawing of a little girl holding up a teddy bear to a big, huge grizzly bear towering over her. And my wife's like, what's that? Because it was so out of character for my style. And I'm like, I don't know, I just felt it just kind of came to me. And for the next two years, I drew this girl or young woman out in the wilds, facing danger, but free. I drew a total of 59 of them. And I wrote a reflection for each one, Like a meditation. And I call it The Liberation of Sophia, that's another one of my books. But halfway through the process, I got really emotional. This one, when I was drawing this one called The Cave, where she's standing in front of the mouth of the cave, and it's dark, and there's spider webs and there's vines and it looks very scary and she's trying to decide whether or not to go in and we all know the cave represents going into our deeper selves. I realized that was drawing the journey away from religion and that oppressive lifestyle and, and me trying to figure out how to live free, and it was profound. And so the whole Sophia series was actually me, drawing it out. Like it was kind of like lancing a wound, like a bite and lancing the poison. And so Sophia came out as an entire book and that was a whole creative process. So being creative in the middle of your journey, no matter how difficult it is, can be very, very healing.

Andrea  42:44
Yeah, I agree with that. Mine is writing either poetry or just like free writing. And I was mentioning to someone else on this theme, that there are times I don't even remember writing so I do think that it can become like this sort of, I don't know if I'd call it an out of body experience but definitely, we're using parts of ourselves and our brain and our soul and our spirit that is largely untapped.

David  43:10
Yeah. Some people said, were you channeling you know? And I'm like, I'm not there. Maybe I was, my deeper self, though. Yeah. And to me, it was like an alien, because I didn't know that part of myself. She came out as a woman in the wilderness, named Sophia. So it was very, very interesting.

Andrea  43:34
I love that. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. That's so interesting. We’ll definitely have all of your social links in the show notes and your NakedPastor.com. Thank you so much for being here.

David  43:44
Thank you. Yeah. And listeners, thank you so much for your time, you know how much I appreciate that. You spend it with my guests and me. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.

Hi, there, swinging back by to say one more thing. You know, I'm always giving advice over here on the show and on social media and a couple of those things is that I'm always telling you to ask for what you want, be clear about it, and also ask for help. So I am taking a dose of my own medicine and I'm going to do that right now. It would be the absolute best and mean the world to me. If you reviewed and subscribed to this show, Make some Noise Podcast on whatever podcast platform of your choice. And even more importantly, it would matter so much if you shared this show. Sharing the show is one of the few ways the podcast can grow and that also gives more women an opportunity to make some noise in their lives. You can do that by taking a screenshot when you're listening on your phone and sharing it in your Instagram or Facebook stories. If you're on Instagram, you can tag me @HeyAndreaOwen and I try my best to always reshare those and give you a quick thank you DM and also you can tell your friends and family about it. Tell them what you learned, tell them a really awesome guest that you found on the show that you started following. Whatever it is, I appreciate so much for sharing about this show.

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