Nick Onken is a fashion and lifestyle photographer for today’s top brands, performers, and game changers. On ONKEN radio (Formerly NION radio) Nick explores the body, mind and soul of the creative entrepreneur, bringing you inspiring and influential guests to help take your creativity, business, and life to the next level.
208: Blu – Turning Your Traumas Into Your Greatest Gift
“Whose story was I living?” - Blu
Today's guest on Onken Radio is Blu, a friend I met at Arkana who is defying expectations at every turn. Blu also goes by Blu Cosmic Eagle and she served in the Royal Air Force before trying magic mushrooms for the first time and starting her journey as a curious mystic. When she learned that she would gradually lose her hearing due to an incurable hereditary disorder, she bought a guitar and went traveling with it. Now an accomplished musician, Blu had to work through her own shifting identity alchemy to reach the point she's at today where she sees her hearing loss as an invitation to listen deeper. She encourages others to turn their traumas own into their greatest gifts in her recent TEDx Talk where she shares the amazing story of how she moves through the world.
In this episode, Blu explains what it looks like to live to blow your own mind. We also discuss what it was like for Blu to lose her hearing, the difference between prayer and performance, and why she wants everything in her life to be beautiful.
You can Subscribe and Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts. And please leave me a Rating and Review!
“People will spend their whole lives at Expectation Station.” - Blu
Some things we learn in this podcast:
What is boarding school like [5:00]
What is Expectation Station [17:00]
How to create a beautiful life [25:00]
What is entropy [25:45]
How to recharge [26:30]
What is the difference between followers and leaders [33:45]
What is the value of nudity in art [42:00]
How to deal with losing your hearing [44:00]
Why is a morning routine important [55:00]
How to deconstruct your identity [58:10]
What is the original definition of weird [1:02:25]
Watch Blu's TEDx Talk: From Limitation to Liberation
Listen to Deja Blu Podcast Episode 58: Becoming a Creative Alchemist - with Nick Onken
Listen to Onken Radio Episode 197: Healing & Traversing the Fabric of the Matrix with Ayahuasca
Get your copy of The Gene Keys: Embracing Your Higher Purpose by Richard Rudd
Listen to The Model Health Show Podcast with Shawn Stevenson
Learn more about the Anima Mundi Apothecary
Learn more about Cacao Laboratory
Learn more about Tenzo's Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
Connect with Blu Cosmic Eagle on Instagram | YouTube | Deja Blu Podcast | Blu Cosmic Eagle
207: Detaching Your Self Worth From Your Identity
“Our ego is our teammate.” - Nick Onken
A few weeks ago, I explained that I am developing a new process to help entrepreneurs build their personal brands. Today we’re diving deeper into this concept of identity alchemy. I want to share with you how I lost myself in my work and eventually found my self-worth in my identity. How do we become who we want to be in this world? What’s our message and our legacy? These are important questions to ask when we begin the process of detaching ourselves from our work. Our self-worth cannot stem from our jobs, so how do we redirect it?
Early on in my business as a photographer, I had to contend with professional ebbs and flows and learn how to navigate social media. I booked huge campaigns before losing out on other gigs for months at a time. I battled depression. I second-guessed myself. And then I found my self-worth in an arena that was completely separate from my work and I used the process of identity alchemy to do it.
Listen in to this episode as I discuss the process of detaching yourself self-worth from your identity, how to rebuild your self-worth, and what action steps I took right before my career took off.
You can Subscribe and Listen to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts. And please leave me a Rating and Review!
“As my business declined, I declined.” - Nick Onken
Some things we learn in this podcast:
How does social media affect photographers [3:00]
How do artists build their business [6:15]
How to get out of a depression [10:45]
How to find your self-worth [11:15]
How to define your identity [12:00]
How to detach yourself from your self-worth [14:45]
Listen to Nick Onken on Soundcloud
Listen to Onken Radio Episode 203: What is Identity Alchemy?
Learn more about Ascension Leadership Academy
206: Maejor – Healing the World Through Music Frequency
“I have made a conscious decision to evolve without pain.”
Hello, my friends! Welcome to another episode of the Onken Radio podcast (previously NION Radio), the podcast where we explore the body, mind, and soul of the creative entrepreneur. It’s my goal to help you take your creativity, business, and life to the next level. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey!
Today, I’m excited about my special guest and music master, Maejor. I really wanted to have him on because he is all about frequency and healing the world through frequency in his music. He’s produced albums and songs for Justin Bieber and is also a leukemia survivor.
All these things have given him a unique perspective on life, making him a great guest to talk to about the alchemy of life. We will also share with you his mission to heal the world through frequency by creating all of his music in 432 Hertz and other healing frequencies.
Here’s a quick taste of what’s to come from my interview with Maejor:
“I believe this year has been a rebirth in many ways for myself [and] for a lot of people. How can I use this moment in this time in the best way to give love? I’ve made a conscious decision now to evolve without pain.”
Maejor is a quality guy who feels deeply connected and has the greatest heart. In my opinion, I think most people that reach his level of success live in a different world — one that’s not tapped into what most people experience. What I really appreciate about Maejor is he’s still tapped in and because of that is challenging his own creativity to be a light in the world for healing.
Who Is Maejor?
Brandon Michael Green, known by his stage name Maejor, is an American record producer, singer, and songwriter from Detroit, Michigan. Maejor has written and produced songs for several prominent artists in the music industry — most extensively Justin Bieber — and is half of the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) duo Area21 alongside Dutch DJ Martin Garrix.
In honor of Maejor’s grandmother, Edna Mae, who passed away, he used her name in the spelling of Maejor because of the closeness of their relationship and her impact on his life.
Maejor has been producing music from the age of 17, and it’s been his focus ever since.
“I always had a vision that I was going to do something very positive and impactful for the world — I don’t know where that came from. I just had that thought when I was a kid.”
As Maejor’s career progressed, big names started noticing him in the industry. Part of his vision for making an impact in the world was to create centers that teach underprivileged kids music. However, this plan always felt like something “down the line” that he was going to do. The success in his twenties led him to rapidly build on the momentum he was creating until he was dealt a devastating blow.
“I got leukemia when I was in my twenties. [I thought] ‘Whoa, this is pretty crazy — what does that mean?’ I never [even] knew that word, I never [even] knew what that was. My timeline switched [from] ‘something I’m going to do [in] 20 years’ to ‘who knows [if] I’m going to be around [in] 20 years?’ What could I do now?”
Maejor’s second chance has given him a different perspective on life and how to create an impact in the world using his music. It’s a great honor to bring you his story and dive into the creative process that he’s developed. Maejor’s connectedness to the world we live in and journey through spirituality made this a magical interaction.
Let’s jump straight in!
How to Remain Present
The past year has created chaos in most people’s lives, and while it’s easy to say things like “Be more present,” putting that into practice when the world feels like it’s collapsing around us is another story.
205: Onken & Eleven – Blurring the Lines Between Artist and Muse
“Nick was such a huge part of capturing the beauty of our relationship.”
Hello friends! Welcome back to ONKEN RADIO (previously NION Radio), the podcast where we explore the body, mind, and soul of the creative entrepreneur. It’s my goal to help you take your creativity, business, and life to the next level. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey.
Today, I’m excited to bring to you another episode with my dear friend, Eleven. We chatted in Episode 204 about their transition to non-binary. As a follow-up, we both decided to create another podcast that dives deep into how our relationship has progressed since we first met in 2013.
We’ve been able to explore different spaces in our lives as friends, creative collaborators, and Eleven’s even been a muse for me, my photography, and ONKEN hats. Today’s episode is all about blurring the lines between the muse and the artist as we explore beyond friendship. Let me just give you a little preview here:
“We’re dealing with sexual identity and identity alchemy and it makes a lot of different processes. [Throw in] a kindred relationship with best friends [and we are] blurring the lines between the artists and the music in a really potent and powerful way.” - Eleven
Through all of our experiences, we’ve remained friends. As our friendship deepens, we wanted to share that journey with you while challenging ourselves and our friendship in a space of vulnerability. It’s a powerful episode I hope you find value in as well, so let’s go!
Who is Eleven?
Growing up as Lynette Cenee, Eleven was raised in a world blended between religion and stage magic, with parents that were both involved in the church, as well as practicing magicians. This provided a pathway to growing up as a performer and developing a keen understanding of hair and makeup to create all the glitz and glamor needed on stage.
“I found myself living in LA and getting cast to be the hair and makeup [person] for some really incredible projects. I felt very conflicted, because I grew up on stage as the talent, and then found myself behind the scenes thinking, ‘Okay, this is great [but] I really want to be the one that people are preparing to be on screen.’ I just needed to believe I’m worthy of it, and decided to start seeking outside of being the hair and makeup [person], and seeking casting calls to be the talent.” - Eleven
Choosing to focus on being in front of the camera again led to an opportunity to be cast on a new TV show that required hair and makeup professionals on camera as experts. Participants would be given help to launch a new YouTube channel with a whole production company behind them, as well as a team of 13 people to manage all the social media components. That’s what launched the career of Lynette Cenee — the name Eleven was given at birth — for the next 10 years.
The show focused on creating different beauty videos while also telling Eleven’s story transparently online, which included their marriage in 2015. It was a challenging relationship requiring a lot of alchemy to work through. It was after deciding to leave the marriage though that Eleven was invited to visit Peru.
“I had been feeling the call towards doing deeper plant medicine work with ayahuasca. This whole evolution began in 2018, and it’s been this wild journey into this space of psychedelic Renaissance and deeper work and a whole new transition. A new avatar kind of made its way through the process and now I am identifying as Eleven — a non-binary cosmic being, and it feels more myself. I’ve never felt this authentic and true, and it feels great.” - Eleven
Each step along Eleven’s journey to becoming the person they are now has built upon the lessons they’ve learned at each growth stage.
Nick and Eleven’s Backstory
Eleven and I were first introduced on set in 2013 when our mutual friend Sc...
204: Eleven – Transitioning to Non-Binary
“It’s been quite the hero’s journey, y’all.” - Eleven
Welcome back to ONKEN RADIO (previously NION Radio) the podcast where we explore the body, mind, and soul of the creative entrepreneur. It’s my goal to help you take your creativity, business, and life to the next level. I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey!
Today, I’m excited to bring to you a dear friend of mine, Eleven. We met about eight years ago on set shooting for Tori Kelly, who’s actually a previous podcast guest from 2014. Eleven was doing makeup for the shoot and after meeting we became friends — we even went out on a couple of dates way back in the day!
I’m excited to have Eleven here today to teach us about what it means to transition into non-binary. Let me just give you a little preview here:
“Vulnerability is your superpower. Sharing with people the process and what’s coming up in real time goes back to that same thing — authenticity. I think when we can be vulnerable and show up and be like, ‘Hey guys, I don’t have all the answers. I’m just showing up and that resonates with people.’” - Eleven
It’s so true. Too many of us wait to reveal ourselves when we feel we have it all figured out, when the truth is nobody ever does and it’s how we show up with love and compassion for ourselves and each other that creates the space for our true expression to flow through us.
And you guys, that’s just a little taste of the wisdom Eleven has to offer. We talk a lot about Identity Alchemy, a topic of interest for me as of late. It’s a signature process that I’ve been developing for my personal brand. It’s about creating congruence between who you are as a person, your vision, your message, your service to the world, and how that translates into visual imagery and the visual brand that you’re putting out into the internet and into the world.
Identity Alchemy is a process that can be used for life in general — it’s personal development, and it’s constantly creating our new identity in every moment.
I wanted to interview Eleven here and talk about their transition into non-binary, whichrequired deep inner alchemy, and it’s something that’s really at the forefront of our culture and society today. I know you’re not going to want to miss that, so let’s get started.
Who Is Eleven?
Growing up as Lynette Cenee, they grew up in a world blended between religion and magic with parents who were both involved in the church and practicing magicians. This provided a pathway to growing up as a performer and developing a keen understanding of hair and makeup to create all the glitz and glamor needed on stage.
“I found myself living in LA and getting cast to be the hair and makeup [person] for some really incredible projects. I felt very conflicted because I grew up on stage as the talent and then found myself behind the scenes thinking, ‘Okay, this is great, [but] I really want to be the one that people are preparing to be on screen.’ I just needed to believe I’m worthy of it and decided to start seeking outside of being the hair and makeup [person] and seeking casting calls to be the talent.” - Eleven
Choosing to focus on being in front of the camera again led to an opportunity to cast for a new TV show that required hair and makeup professionals on camera as experts. In fact, this was to launch a YouTube channel with a whole production company behind them and a team of 13 people to launch and manage all the social media components. That’s what launched Lynette Cenee, the name given at birth, for the next 10 years.
The show focused on creating different beauty videos while also telling their story transparently online, which included a marriage in 2015. It was a challenging relationship, requiring a lot of Identity Alchemy to work through. It was after deciding to leave the marriage though that they were invited to visit Peru...
203: What is Identity Alchemy?
“The idea is to align your identity with your optical brand.” - Nick Onken
Today, I will be talking about something that I have spoken a lot about lately. It’s a new process I am developing to help entrepreneurs build their personal brands. This process is really applicable to life, and it directly correlates with everything that I have been going through personally over the last few years.
Hello, my fellow earthlings, and welcome back for another episode of the ONKEN RADIO (previously NION Radio) podcast, where we explore the worlds of creativity, consciousness, and everything else in between. Identity Alchemy is the topic of the day, and I am breaking it down so that we all can learn and use this process to change our lives.
I am a photographer who has been building brands for almost 15-20 years now. What I have learned through that creative process is that there is something that I am applying to help people tell their visual stories and build their brands. People want real authenticity, and the story you are telling the world is what needs to resonate. The identity alchemy piece comes in to tell a personal story that is authentic to who you are.
I know that your mind is brimming with questions, but rest assured — through this solo episode, my mission is to help you live a life of creativity. This is the kind of creative alchemy that my entire work and life are focussed around, and I want you to make the most of my learning and observation. I am glad to be a part of your creative journey, and I hope you find your full potential.
Understanding the Alchemy of Identity
Deconstruct-Curate-Become: Identity alchemy can be summed up by this three-step process: the deconstruction of the self, the curation of the new version of yourself, and then becoming who that is, becoming your authentic self. Because people, they love authenticity and that’s what keeps them coming back to you.
Have you ever had an encounter with someone in real life, someone you followed and admired, and when you finally met them in person, you realized that they are nothing at all like their online persona? I personally find this a weird thing. I want to meet people who are putting out content online that directly aligns with who they are, and that demands the process of identity alchemy.
The truth is that most entrepreneurs struggle with sharing themselves online, and they experience imposter syndrome. I, too, feel imposter syndrome often; it’s really hard to align your identity with your brand. But if done right, the exposure naturally attracts opportunities and audiences while creating alignment and authenticity.
Cleaning up the process, creating congruence between who you are, your message, and the content that you are putting out there into the world — this is the process of identity alchemy.
Constantly throughout our lives, we are shape-shifting into new identities. You go through something in life, and then that incident reshapes you a little however you allow it to. The idea is to start a deconstructing process to perform the alchemy of transmuting that energy, that ill-feeling inside you, into something beautiful, but that takes deep work and different modalities. We all have the choice to do that, and I promise you will be in a much better place on the other side.
Curate Your Story and Imbibe It in Your Personal Brand
There are some hard questions that we all must ask ourselves — Who do we want to be? What type of narratives and values do we want to live with? What kinds of beliefs do we want to have? Then, we use our answers to curate the future. Use the narrative to become the identity that you envision for yourself. You can play any character you want in the world, as long as you resonate with it naturally.
All of us create the world around us.
Amazing and inspiring content.
This podcast is awesome because it offers a plethora of insightful advice. The environment created by Nick is so positive and the information shared is extremely motivational. If you are looking to be inspired in your life and career this podcast is a must!
Not my cuppa
Mr. Onken tries, but falls far short of true spirituality.
Quite a bit of aimless and misguided rambling about things that he seems to not have fully grasped.
If you're looking for God, He's not here.
Of course, everything I say may be wrong, but you'll have to decide for yourself.
Follow him on social, and he lights up apart of me in a way that opens up a whole new “magical” portal!!! Thank you for everything you provide to the Universe!!!!