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Be Yourself W/ Andre Boulard #30

Are you willing to risk being considered crazy to become who you actually are?

Andre Boulard has visited some dark places and has emerged on the other side with some amazing lessons. He’s learned to let go of what others expect him to be and is more authentically himself than ever. With everything he does, it is clear he does it from the heart and wants to share his unique gifts with the world. Being of service is what keeps him going!

A few key topics we discuss include:

  • Tapping into creative expression as a means of overcoming depression and suicidal thoughts

  • Finding a balance between belonging and authentic self-expression

  • The value of healthy relationships and supportive community

  • Being of service as a means of healing

I hope you enjoy!


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Stu Murray: Dude, we tried getting this [00:01:00] going yesterday and, uh, power outage happened, so let's hope for a smoother flow.

Andre Boulard: it's probably because of my brain.

Stu Murray: I took too much. Yeah. You might have fried my system on my end. My house overloaded , very

Andre Boulard: impossible.

Stu Murray: So I've been looking forward to talking with you for a while, man. It's, it was an interesting way that we met. I was out walking our family dog out on the trails of Mill Creek and going about exploring all those new pathways on the other side, and all of a sudden I crossed this man with a big old camera and a giant, my dog, of course, my golden retriever runs over and wants all the attention.

And you say, oh yeah, do you mind if I take your picture and say, sure. And then sure enough, he's

Andre Boulard: like, what is this guy doing?

Stu Murray: I'll, yeah, absolutely. I'll take it. And then sure enough, we ended up connecting and I started following the things you were doing online. And I just love what [00:02:00] you stand for, man.

It's very clear and transparent that what you do and everything you create is from your heart and what you do is of service. So after leaning into that, I said, we gotta have a connection. Gotta have a call here.

Andre Boulard: No, it's cool man. It's just, I totally like that. Gen down to January, I was kind of like looking for a camera, but it's been like almost a year.

I was looking for that sort of camera thing, and it's like, just do like my live streaming with, good quality and stuff. Right. And basically for a year and a year and a year and a half, I was looking online to see if, what was the best for the price and budget wise, but I didn't expect that I would've gone, like full-fledged buying all this equipment for a camera.

And the reason why is just, I went to McKinsey College back in 2011 and I made. They gave me a free scholarship. So basically I went there for free and I connected with people [00:03:00] there. And what was cool is that everybody was super chill and it reflected who I was and was like, this is super cool.

And then I made some connections there and I had like friends and over the years and basically like Emily that does photography, she started doing photography. She went back to do the photography in McKinsey College in December and she sent me a message because she knew that I was that person that was like giving good advice.

She brought this Nikon Z five, and I was like, whoa, this is cool. I gotta have one camera. And in that time I felt my intuition wanted to have a camera. And it's like back in January, I connected with Ben Shampoo, does photography, and he connected with Dale Preston. And I was looking for a camera, and I went to Dale Preston and he switched from Sony to Cannon back then.

And at the same time, he didn't want to sell his camera because he was not ready . [00:04:00] So basically what he did is like, I went there and I was ready to buy everything from him, . And that's why I ended up with all this equipment at the very low price. And it was like, it's all secondhand, but it's super good equipment and it's the chances for me to be able to find somebody that has have all of this stuff.

and I can trust this person. It's almost impossible. And I spent quite enough for getting all this stuff. And then I ended up learning how to use a camera because Emily was going to school for that photography. And I felt I had to buy something. And it's like, not, I possibly, but I'm really patient by buying stuff.

I gotta make sure everything is right. Right. Because that's how I am as a person. Like I wanna, I don't wanna get screwed over . So basically I went there and I bought the stuff to him and I just started taking pictures. And I've [00:05:00] learned so much stuff because I knew Emily and Ben Shampoo.

We went outside and took pictures and teach me how to actually use a camera in the right way. There's a shutter speed, there's iso, and then they have the aperture. And then trying to figure out all this stuff on your own is like, it's crazy language . So for me, like having all this set up at the same time with all the right people and the right time at the right situation, it's like, how is this possible?

So I decided to take pictures and do this stuff, and I went outside and take pictures of everybody, and I didn't expect what a camera would've done is when I went outside. I started socializing and being myself more, not being afraid. It felt like I was able to talk to people because I had this giant bazooka

It's funny, it totally random. And I was not if like I was afraid doing this stuff, but because of my past, forcing myself to go outside my comfort zone, this [00:06:00] even helped me to become who I am as a person, even more. And that I didn't expect from this. But then I started taking pictures of people and asking random people, can you, can I take a picture of your dog?

And so the little things like, that's so weird. People like, uh oh yeah, sure. Since I have this giant bazooka , I can trust this guy, but I'm already like trustable right off the bat in that way. And I find that this kind of helped me to get more outside my comfort zone. I dunno. But then anyway, I went hiking with my friend and take pictures of dogs and taking pictures of landscape and stuff.

But mostly it's like reconnecting with people. It's so weird. And the chances that I go to Mill Creek, the first day I got the camera and I go see Mr. Stu Murray at the Mill Creek. You know, walking the dog is like, eh, what's this guy doing? . But I was afraid at the same time, but I actually went out and just being myself.

And then, you know, I found these people that's meant to [00:07:00] be in my life. It's so weird. So the more you get outside your comfort zone and you talk with people, all it's going to do is going to filter out the people that's meant to be and the people that's not meant to be. Right? Mm-hmm.

I went to Saex a year, like in January, February, you know, I was doing some snowshoe with my friend. We met this guy with a nice dog, and then it's like, I didn't know who it was, this guy.

It's totally random like you. And then I did a portrait recently for him. He picked it up and then you start talking about his life, like in 2019. Before 2019, he had a really rough life, like going to jail, like bunch of other crazy, Lifestyle, like drugs involved and every, he used to be a homeless in some ways.

He had a really hard time in his life, and at some point he went to jail and he prayed and that, that's that sense. He did that. [00:08:00] He became totally different person and he stopped doing all this stuff and he moved forward to a life he wants to be. But at the same time, I came to his journey of life at the right time, and we actually talked down there for like, I don't know, at least 30 minutes about discovering yourself and helping.

What I was saying is like his suffering and all our pain is the link to the why of what you want to do things in life because it's part of you can heal somebody in return. You know what I mean? So your struggles is the place where you can be authentic to yourself to help others grow and try to heal others in that way and prevent the things that you've experienced that was bad, but you can't tell somebody what to do.

But at least you have the power to explain what it feels like in some ways. [00:09:00] Mm-hmm. . Right? So for me, like it's cool that I'm met all these people that had these situation and able to overcome it and learn from it. It's a challenging

Stu Murray: thing, right? No doubt. Every and everybody's got their own unique story, right?

It's everybody's on their own unique journey. As you're talking about transforming, suffering into positive action and suffering into service. It's interesting because there's something, there's a force inside of us that, at least culturally has taught us that suffering is weakness and all the pain we feel is weakness.

And it's amazing to surround ourselves with people who change that narrative for us and start to show up how we can turn our suffering into a strength and do a superpower and it can deepen our into [00:10:00] superpower

Andre Boulard: on its own. Yeah. Yeah. Because without the pain, I would not be the person I am today. You know, all the

Stu Murray: struggles we had.

Why do you think socially we're conditioned more to want to suppress our pain than be able to transform that into something positive?

Andre Boulard: The fear, the fear of becoming who you are and is in a lot of people, and it's not easy to come out from that sort of mentality of it's okay to talk about your past because your past is who you are today. So I used to be very close as a person, but somehow over my journey, I had to force myself to come out of that because I wanted to learn more about myself.

I don't, it's weird. Yeah. But I honestly don't know. It's a fear. I would.

Stu Murray: Totally. Yeah. And what comes up for me there is there's a comfort in our pain. There's a comfort in our old story and [00:11:00] there's a particular narrative that we might hold about ourselves that you, it might not be the highest ideal of who we are, but there's something that's familiar there.

And so staying in what's familiar, what's comfortable, what's safe territory, even though it's not the grounds that we need to be our most authentic and full self. And what has to happen to get to the other side of that to is a, there's a death that has to happen. There's a death of who we thought we were so that we can step into who we are made to be.

Andre Boulard: Wow.

Stu Murray: That's a good word. And that's scary as hell. .

Andre Boulard: Well, yeah. It's like resurrection of your life. . Pretty much. Yeah. You have to have that pain and choose that. You don't wanna suffer that much anymore. and then you wanna have an ability to help others with that. Everybody has a different story, obviously.

Look, but that's the thing. Yeah, right.

Stu Murray: And it sounds like you've experienced quite a lot of [00:12:00] pain on your journey and have moved through a lot of different things. And I'm curious in the journey of you stepping into personal transformation and tapping into art and being a being of service as yourself, what are some of the biggest tools that have helped you transform your pain into growth?

A good thing? Yeah.

Andre Boulard: Back in, in 2008, I left a job in Montreal that really felt like it was meant to be and everything I was, it was a place that's pretty easy. I was working about 15 hours a week and then I was doing art stuff on the side and I was doing music on the side.

It's always been the way that I've done my routine and stuff. And. When I came down here, I quit everything because I wanted to move. I had a friend that was doing a lot of bad habits things and I was a person that was going to the gym regularly. My job was allowing me to do this financially and stuff like that.

And it's just like I decided to come here to, I chose myself [00:13:00] over a job. That's what I felt I did. And it was a massive challenge because I lost everything that I used to do in my routine and everything financially went to minimum wage. That was my first job on top of it. So I felt like this was personal to me.

I was working my cousin and stuff, but I came here 2008 and I started working at the grocery store and I was shocked how retail was their mentality are. I didn't want to be there. And I was to the point where I decided that I wanna, I didn't really decide it but I was trying to plan to kill myself because I lost everything in my life.

And that was a huge loss in my life in that way. And I decided to work at Superstore and it was 30 hours a week, and at the same time, like I was depressive. But what's really saved me in this [00:14:00] situation is I was making music on my computer channel, all my energy into something creative, right? I never really wanted to channel myself into doing drugs because I knew something was not building me up, right?

So I spent a lot of time, music noise calmed me down. I guess that's how I see it. And then eventually like. In 2011, McKenzie College happened and I went back to art and they gave me a free scholarship. I did a bankruptcy before that and I explained that to McKenzie College, and then it's like they offered me this open door. And it's funny because people at Superstore were saying like, they saw my art stuff, right? I was starting to do hyper realistic stuff before I went to McKenzie College and they saw my work and I was like, yeah, you should try to get a free scholarship somewhere. And I was like, nah, no, what's the chance gonna happen?

And then like in July, August, I came in and then it's like, what if, so I just went there and [00:15:00] showed my portfolio and then that's what they offered me. It's like free scholarship. And then I started going to school for nine months. Yeah. And it was one of the best years ever because I was surrounded by people that was creative. This is the coolest thing ever because there are, the creative people, in my opinion, are okay to be crazy like me, . Yeah. So without being crazy, you can't find yourself. That's how my motto is in some ways though. And I met those cool people like Emily and some other people in there. I met my ex there and I started doing art stuff more seriously. And then because of the bankruptcy, I thought that I had to pay the taxes back to them for three years. So the thing is I didn't pay them for three years, and in reality, I only had one year to pay the taxes back. So I accumulated enough taxes to buy myself, a screen to draw on.

[00:16:00] So I decided to buy a whacko. I had I don't know, like two thou, 2,500, something like that. And I decided to buy this thing and I started doing art stuff on Photoshop. And then from that point on, I started doing conventions. In 2013, I did some fan art stuff. I sold some prints and a bunch of other things and I was spending a lot of time training.

So when I got this take, I decided to get more serious of my, of about my art stuff. And then I decided to just do like 60 hours a week trying to practice my work and my art stuff because I had a chance to do it.

I met Nick Bradshaw and other artists along the way by doing the convention and stuff, and they gave me advice and I was outside my comfort zone. I had to become a salesman, , and I'm really closed up a person. So I started doing stuff that was outta my comfort and it was not really the [00:17:00] stuff I standed for, but I trusted because I had to go through it, you know.

So anyways, conventions, I sold my stuff. I learned a lot of stuff and I met some really amazing people with the art industry and stuff, and they all, most of them told me to do some life drawing and practice, a lot drawing human, drawing stuff from life things you see, and trying to add some basic shape to it and trying to figure out to train your eye to draw stuff, right?

It's a muscle memory, so it takes a long time. So I decided at some point to do 60 hours a week while working at Superstore about 20 hours a week. And over the years I just got better at it. Everything you practice, despite how you struggle, gets better. And it helped me through a lot of emotional stuff.

I had some pretty severe background with my ex as well, but I mean this just like, this basically saved my life [00:18:00] emotionally in some ways, right? Yeah. So over the years, man, it's just, I discovered I was able to do like caricatures and do some art stuff, and then outta nowhere pet portrait came in in 2020. But all of this art stuff, any art still, it's not about the art stuff. It's not about how good I am or how cool it is. It's about how you discover yourself through this. Because I just find that without that, I will not be the person that I am today. So there struggles through this. I punched boards, broke some pants because I always see the negative of my art stuff. That's another thing too. Like I compared myself many. I compare myself to a lot of people out there that was better than me and I was judging myself. [00:19:00] And it was kind of a toxic feeling to me that I always judge myself that I'm not good enough. So I don't think it was a good way to compare myself that way, because I didn't know my values that much. But because of all this pain and the struggles of life, I discovered who I was as a person and being firm to myself. I've learned a lot about life because of the art stuff. What I stand for now. All my art stuff that I did in the past, it's not valuable that much because it's all about look how cool I looked. Is it really authentic to who I am as a person? You ask that question and it's just like, you shouldn't compare yourself to nobody.

You should compare to yourself. To yourself. Right. And get better with things. But I find that that's what really changed me is the pain that I got through it. Yeah. And then pet portrait came in and teach me who I was as a person in some ways.

Stu Murray: [00:20:00] I'm curious to explore that, but I wanna ask you a little bit more first about art as a creative outlet and having save you and art being a means of processing.

Because last time we were talking, you were sharing about how you can use art and in bringing art to life. Mm-hmm. , it can help evoke emotions and you. Art makes you think about emotions. It makes you reflect on who you are and can really help dive deeper into these processing. And I'm curious, what's your take on that?

Like why is art such a personal transformation and reflective tool?

Andre Boulard: It's all about healing others in that way. Let's say compare it to the pet portrait, right? I'm actually able to heal others with it in some ways. In a hard time.

They lost their pets and I'm drawing those and I'm able to bring life. This is the weirdest thing ever. I'm able to bring life to those pet portrait without even me knowing it. I can draw, like I can draw human faces, but it's [00:21:00] missing that, that life for some reason. It's so weird and I don't know how I do it.

I change certain things in the eyes of the pet. That just naturally works and it brings life to it. And it's about like, I would say, 90% chance that this happens. But when I do like human faces, it's missing that, that, that thing and the risk of me to not having life to those faces of human beings, it's probably almost 70, 70% not having this life into it. So I don't know how I do that. And back in 2020, I saw that the, I saw the opportunity to be able to help others through that. And over time, like I've received some videos, people coming back to me on Christmas Eve, and it's like they've been given that gift to this person.

They just opened the gift and it's like while they opened the gift, they triggered emotionally and it's such a beautiful thing to seek. [00:22:00] As an artist, that's what you really wanna stand for. You don't wanna stand for like look how cool I look. You wanna stand for how can I impact life in a positive way or a healing way?

Because that's the meaning of life. Because there's already so much pain in life that you don't want to add to this craziness. You know what I mean? And it's like inflation is coming back no matter what. Inflation of life is actually a pain of life because people are struggling with that inflation of we can't survive anymore because cost of living and all this stuff.

And for me, doing that sort of healing back to life, and I've done over 600 portrait, I'm healing back myself as well. And I'm not saying I'm ready to die, but the motto of this, for me, I'm ready to die today because I've impact that much people emotionally. And I heal them back. And that's a reflection of who I am as a person because I'm an authentic person [00:23:00] as much as I can, vila.

But there's always that ability to help others that way, despite what you do, you could be talking to other people like advice, you know, you go to the superstore and then people start talking about their life experience and their struggles of life. And then I'm like, they're giving them advice, but it's not real advice.

It's just talking through them and motivating them to feel better. And I ease this pressure of life for them in return, by the way I talk to those people. But I guess I have this sort of ability to motivate people to do better things or think better in some ways. It's weird.

Stu Murray: What comes up for me, there is this theme of being of service and it's clear that your intentions are genuinely of being, of service.

And I'm curious then going beyond art and looking at this more broadly because I think in everybody's heart, everybody truly wants to be of service. And often there's just these big barriers of [00:24:00] our own wounds and our own traumas that get in our way of actually being able to show up for others.

So I'm curious, what does being of service mean to you and why is that so important?

Andre Boulard: It's helping others through life. That's the main part of it. Despite what you do and trying to motivate people to do better and do the same in return, I think this is super important because without this, there would be more suffering in life. basically, that's what it would be. And you wanna motivate others despite what you do.

I don't know. It feels like you're here to uplift life in general because it uplifts you and it uplifts other, and without the community, like our Moncton community is so powerful because I didn't see this as much as I see it today because of all this pet portrait and the support I've got. But [00:25:00] Moncton has this amazing community to support each other in that way.

If you're willing to open to that. I think I would not be where I am at if I didn't have this community. I go to Montreal on vacation, whatever I lived in Montreal and it doesn't have this strong community supporting fact that we have here. Strangely enough.

Even though it's a bigger city. Yeah. Well, there's

Stu Murray: something cool about the small cities where there's more pockets and more concentrations and different connection and going back even to that service mentality. I think there is something within us that, that knows, it's not even a theoretical thing, but there's a knowing and not a woo woo spiritual crap, but there's a knowing that we're all connected. Your life being enriched and your life being better means that my life is better. And I think there's just something coming back in the seed of that, that we know all of that in our hearts that if I were to hurt somebody else, it'd be like poking my own self in the eye. That's what it is, right?

Andre Boulard: Life is too [00:26:00] short to this sort of thing, right?

Stu Murray: it is. But then on the other side of that scale, we've got a balance where our cultural norms and the scarcity that we have around money or around different things will teach us that more for you means less for me.

And it comes into conflict with what our heart knows to be true. And so we need to heal the wounds around that scarcity. We need to heal the wounds around the trauma we have about not feeling enough, not having enough, not being enough. Has to come at that healing level so that we can overcome those stories and truly be of service where we know that more for you does mean more for me.

And that's just the bottom line. How we emotionally,

Andre Boulard: because without connection we would rust. Think about the world as your brain and the people are neurons, right? We need those neurons to get excited in life.

And I guess human beings are like neurons. And without those connection,[00:27:00] we would die off as sales . And without that I would not be where I am, you know, like those connections changed my entire life. But if I would stay like the same as before, back then, I would probably have more depression for sure, because I need to have the sense of value or a sense of giving back.

Right. And that's the community here in Mon Montana, a sense of giving back in some ways.

Stu Murray: Totally. I couldn't agree with you more. I think having connection is a fundamental part of what makes us human, right? Yeah. And I would think that there's actually, what I would think, or there's like two main drives that we have within us is this desire, this deep desire for connection on one side.

And then on the other hand is this deep desire to express ourselves with authentic. And sometimes these things can be hard to bring into balance because on one [00:28:00] end being authentic means just being ourselves regardless of that outside. And on the other end, having those deep connections we might want to put on a mask so that we can fit in and belong so that we can think that's going to lead us to deeper connection.

And I'm curious from your take and your perspective, obviously you've been playing around with this as you explore your own expression, how can people find that right balance between wanting to fit in and wanting to belong and still also being able to be uniquely themselves and express themselves fully?

Andre Boulard: You have to be crazy enough to become yourself. Let's say come an example of like doing characters last year. And a half in May, there was elections. And I wanted to force myself to go outside my comfort. And I saw these signs out there with all these pictures, and I saw some people that I've seen before that I did caricature of.

I was [00:29:00] like, Hey, I know this guy. A year and two years ago, I think about I should do caricatures of these signs and just do something with it. And then this election comes up, there's about 60 people that wants to run for the elections. And I decided to go outside and take selfies with the signs and then make caricatures on my Photoshop and then photo bashed them up to make those signs look legit.

But it's not. And I made people laugh and I wanted to at the same time because during Covid was so hard for so many people. And the fact that people are actually going outside their comfort zone, to put their face on the sign. Can you imagine putting my face or anybody on one sign and to run election?

There will be some negative and there'll be positive you just have to kind of accept the outcome whatsoever. And despite the negative people in general [00:30:00] wants to add to a positive thing in life, right? Deep down, that's what we want to probably do, right? I don't wanna add some suffering in life.

That's not my thing. And it's like when I did the caricatures, I saw this opportunity to uplift others that way and they were having a lot of stress because it's a lot of stuff. And then people wanted to make a positive difference in the covid time. You know what I mean? This is a lot of stuff. It was one of the bigger years that a lot of people wanted to run for the election.

It's never been seen. It's like 60 people over. Basically I decided to do characters take selfies everywhere. I saw some cars and they were actually like, saying hi. Its like, what was this guy? Taking pictures and selfies with these sides, like, what is up with that ? I've never done this in my life. It's so weird.

But I had to do it outside my comfort zone. And I ended up discovering myself through that as well because I'm a person that's super goy. Being at ease with yourself will also make [00:31:00] people at ease with themselves as well. and it's a hard thing to do. Right. But that caricature life thing that I'd done experience wise really connected me with the people that was meant to be, and the people that was not meant to be. The more you want to discover yourself, the more you will discover yourself with the right people. It's like me and you, like I went outside Mill Creek and I take pictures of you randomly.

Right off the bat, you always stayed in my mind. It's so weird. You stayed in my mind and then this was, this happens. It's like, what is going on here? . But you know what? I think it's because you are an authentic person. That wants to learn about life and the experience to grow, to become who you are as a person.

Because what you've done now podcasts, it's about a podcast about discovering who you are as a person, developing [00:32:00] yourself to go outside your comfort zone. And despite the negative you have into your life, you accepted yourself to be crazy enough to become yourself . You know what I mean? It's a scary place. It's a place where you're vulnerable. But the most beautiful things in the memories we have in life is because we're vulnerable. And the real connection comes from there. So the deeper you go with yourself, the deeper you connect with people. That's the truth.

Stu Murray: Incredible.

And that's the paradox because it's like, oh, I want to have this deeper connection, but I'm scared to open up because I'm worried that they might not receive me in a certain way. And yet if I'm not able to, willing to lean in and open up, then I'm not even going to get there in the first place.

And so, out of our own fear and getting in our own way, we're almost creating this perpetual block. So it's keeping ourselves safe in [00:33:00] a way, but it's like, well, what's your bigger fear? Are you scared of being disregarded or let down or ashamed for whatever you're showing up as? Or do you wanna live your life without even trying in the first place?

Because so many of us are gonna get into that place.

Andre Boulard: Yeah, I think your individual self has such a unique power that you can heal somebody back. You really wanna. Do you wanna be part of healing yourself back in a way that can help you to towards a better self?

Or you wanna stay to where you want to be? And rust, it's a choice, right? Between that, in my opinion. Yeah. Choose your discomfort, but get pushed. Yeah. That's it. And then you have to be pushed by pain to do that. Without that pain, you cannot push yourself that far. That's what triggered me with my relation and stuff back then. it pushed me to do things I've never done in my life because , it developed me as a person. Mm-hmm. . And to be okay with whatever happens, [00:34:00] whatever people think. That's how it goes. let the noise do its thing and let yeah, me be myself, because the noise is just stuff going on.

Do what you can for yourself. That's it. Yeah. You will reflect yourself towards a better self-esteem. It is a choice. It's how far can you get pain to push? You get to where you want to be. You need that pain. You gotta drain your cup with pain and riff, refilling with the right things to it. You know what I mean? But you have to discover yourself with it to know what those things you wanna stand for. We're not here to judge people. We're here to motivate people to become who they are as a person. And judging is a lot of weight on your shoulder. If you think about it.

We're human beings. We're gonna judge. There's no doubt about it. Our brain just judge stuff. But it's very exhausting because we're always judging. And judging usually is a negative thing. [00:35:00] It's a negative. Energy comes in. It's so weird,

Stu Murray: It is, and I think judgment comes from judgment is an indicator of where we're, we don't love ourselves enough. It's a place where we're still struggling with our own self worth. And there's a difference between judgment and discern. Well, let's, we see it actually. Because discernment is important. Discernment is the ability to be able to choose and filter out what is good and constructive in our lives, right?

And what is holding us back from being our authentic and what is taking up our time and not serving. But if it's coming through as judgment, then it's gonna be filtered through our own lens of self-worth, of our own, not enoughness, of our own insecurities. And so where we find ourselves judging others is a place where we're not feeling like we're worthy enough.

And so we need to tear other people down to be on our level. If I'm self confident enough, and if I love myself enough, I don't need to tear anybody down. I'm not going to experience [00:36:00] negative judgment. I still might have discernment and be like, well, this isn't a relationship that I want to be involved in, or This isn't a thing I want to do, but I can do that with clarity and without needing to tear anybody else down.

And that's a very big difference.

Andre Boulard: Yeah. The way you see it that way. Discernment is more of a likelihood to, to see it that way instead of judging. Because I always, I'm really kind of blunt with things like I come from a background of religious in some ways though, I follow God because God is part of who I am as a person.

So I can't deny that everything I do is because of God. What God would do, what Jesus would do for other people, heal. That's the message. He would heal people through life. That's what we are here for. Our mission is to actually help others, not to destroy them up. You know what I mean?

So for me it's like discern, I guess it's a way better way to see it instead of judging it in that way. [00:37:00] Mm. Yeah. It's a really important fact that we should not judge because it's already exhausting to us anyways.

Stu Murray: We can't, should all over ourselves. We can't necessarily, when judgment comes up, it can cause a, a negative feedback loop because if, if you or I, somebody and anybody who's really conscious and, and cares if judgment does come up, which it does because we're human.

It'd be easy then for me to shut all over myself and be like, well, I'm here. I am being a jerk, or doing all these negative things, and then I'd create a negative feedback loop. Yeah. You're just judging yourself . Yeah, so the thing is, I need to actually stop that in its tracks eventually and bring awareness.

And when I can be grounded, when I have a moment to take a breath, or when I have a time to go walk on the beach or walk in the woods and build up my emotional intelligence again, then I might be in the place to be able to recognize, okay, I'm judging here. And rather than focusing on what's wrong [00:38:00] with the other person or blaming them, or labeling them or shaming them, I can actually take that mirror of the experience and look back on myself and say, what is it here that I'm having an uncomfortable time sitting within myself?

Andre Boulard: Yeah. It is not their problem. It is your problem. every time we trigger it emotionally, it's a problem that we don't understand ourselves enough. We should not get pain. Like we should not be frustrated whatsoever, in my opinion. Like anybody, if you can insult me. You can say anything Really.

I won't get triggered.. if somebody get triggered, it shouldn't be your problem. It's, it's their problem to be able to the energy and deal with it correctly in, in that way.

Because the same thing with drawing. I got frustrations, well, I filtered a lot of emotions. It's discovering who I can be and how. Handle the energy that comes into me. And without this, I would not have the patient I have today emotionally, cuz I force myself, it's like [00:39:00] going to the gym. I don't wanna do my legs.

Well, I mean, you're gonna have to do the legs, you're gonna have a really broken back there, muscle and balance because your maximus is not balanced with your top of the body. You know what I mean? So you have to balance this up despite the emotion that's coming in. So you have to do things that you may not like, but you will filter, you will choose to filter that emotions through you despite how you feel.

And it's like you're gonna go over it. Then you realize you can be more patient with all the energy that comes into you because

Stu Murray: you gotta be

Andre Boulard: aware of things that comes in and out no matter what, because especially when you're emotional, you can do irrational decisions that can hurt you.

And not only that, but also hurt somebody else. Yeah.

Stu Murray: Right. Yeah. And that's where we need to be careful about this whole new agey stuff and spiritual bypassing , you know, it's the idea that, oh, well if you're experiencing anything, it's 100% you, [00:40:00] or if some, if you might help trigger something in somebody else, well, that's only their problem. Maybe at some level there's truth in that. But there's also, we relate, we're in relation with people all of the time, and so there's a collective responsibility that's also involved in these things. And I can't just go freely around and do all these things carefree entirely, and I might trample over other people's needs.

And I'm like, well, that's just your shit to deal with. That's, it's not the case. Right? I need to be sensitive. I need to be attentive. So there's a degree of listening and communication that's required as well, that's

Andre Boulard: being in path and yeah. And able to listen to others. Yeah. In certain ways.

Right. It's

Stu Murray: an important skill these days. Very important skills. .

Humility is one of the greatest gifts we can give to people.

No. And if we can show up, right? If we can show up and. And actually recognize that everybody can be our greatest teacher and it's just how we're approaching these things.

Andre Boulard: Yeah. [00:41:00] And it's great that if you can be humiliated, that's where you learn the fastest way. Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah. I find that that's where you learn that because without the emotion or being like open, you can't receive.

Humility is making you receive. Yeah. Yeah. I see that that way. It's pretty cool. , I should have Right. The somewhere

Stu Murray: it'll be recorded.

One thing you were talking about in the last call, man, is the only way to find yourself is to do things that were uncomfortable doing. Yeah. Could you share more on, on why that's so important to lean into our own discomforts?

Andre Boulard: Because it's humility . Yeah.

Stu Murray: You humiliate

Andre Boulard: yourself on purpose, going outside your comfort zone.

That's what it is. And then somewhere you learn how to accept who you are as a person. Mm. Humility, [00:42:00] vulnerability. That's pretty much close to it. I find. Weirdest thing ever. . I go hug trees. I don't know if you do that too, , but I went at some point like in my life, like what?

Actually I went to Ette Park Rotary, and then I go hug trees. And you see these cars going through and there's some people that going slow, like, what's going on here? . But you know what, if hugging the tree and acting like that is putting you in in a position where, People are actually judging you right off.

And at the same time it's very scary. It's like, what is up with that? So strange , when you're staying in the same position where people are judging you on a purpose, you stay there, you start accepting what you're doing, which is accepting who you are despite the judge. So you're removing that sort of feeling [00:43:00] in life of being judged and you accept who you are.

So it's pushing you the limits of being who you are in some ways, even if it's a hugging treat. .

Stu Murray: Wow. What comes up for me there is the idea of replacing judgment with curiosity is really like that what humility is.

Andre Boulard: It's like a stage fight. I went this weirdest stuff when I was going through a lot of pain in 2019, 2018.

I was going down. When I was finished my job at Superstore, 11 o'clock, I started singing opera. I had so much pain because something happened very dramatically and basically like I went downtown and sing opera. I was such a stage fright, but I didn't care anymore what was the judge anymore.

I just went outside and sing solo. It was super resonating down to Main Street because all the buildings are like compact, like a tunnel. I went there with a stagefright, but I didn't care. And I find like I really got some other connections I didn't [00:44:00] expect, and also like the support that people gave me without the judgment.

And I was always afraid. My voice is super loud and you're actually, when you're singing, you're putting yourself a hundred percent who you are out there. Nobody did this random thing. So I did that and that helped me go through like accepting who I am as a person. I needed healing through life.

And that's what happened in that way too, because I humiliated myself by walking and singing. It's a very scary place, but those scary place, that's where you need to be to discover

Stu Murray: who you're, yeah. And also where we'll really find our own tribe. Because again going back to that desire to belong and connect.

One of the main tools we do that is to try and fit in. And so that's where we keep ourselves small and we put on a mask and do these things. But if we really wanna find our tribe, the true connections and the connections that fill our cup, and the connections that help us see [00:45:00] ourselves more clearly, well we're gonna be doing that by being vulnerable, by putting ourselves out there, by singing opera, walking down Main Street.

These are the places that we're gonna be finding the people that love us for who we are. Yeah.

Andre Boulard: Yeah. And you find those, I mean, it's like me and you, I went to take pictures and it's like, cl and then now you're on here, it's cool to see that happening. You know, these small connections you don't know.

And it's funny because life placed these people in the right time at the right place. Just like when I bought this camera, just like I did some stuff randomly and had these certain people at the right time. Those little connections that keeps me going. And it's like you have this people out there that you don't know yet, but you have to go find, we got millions of people out there, man.

We must have some people Pretty similar though. , right? And that supports the same mentality. There's many people that wants to help others. [00:46:00] They just maybe don't know how to find that way to do it. Right. But I find my way, I guess, and it's art stuff, and it's not just art stuff, it's just, I feel like I'm a against counselor because yesterday, like I was like, last week I know it was a couple of weeks, I, I was teaching Brenda and she's talk, talking about her life experience and I'm, I'm able to make her be at ease with me.

What does that say? What does that say about me? I'm actually. Okay. To be myself. I don't have to put a mask. Right. I don't have to be like fake. I don't wanna be fake, because that's all you're gonna attract is fakeness. Mm-hmm. . So what you give to yourself, what you give to yourself, that's what you get. .

Stu Murray: So that's the truth.

Andre Boulard: what you give to yourself, that's what you get.

Stu Murray: Yeah. Yeah. I mean that. Well, that's all we could ever have, like, all we could ever get is what we give. And that's the [00:47:00] truth. Monetarily. That's the truth. Energetically, that's the truth. Relationally, we're only able to keep what we give away. And it's part of the nature of life.

Yeah. Just make sure there's a meaning into what you give. Yeah. Yeah. And that's not transactional. We're not doing this to get something in return. And that's the true meaning of service is to. Offer the fruits of your labor without expectation of anything in return. Yeah. And to find the places in our lives that we can find this energetic wellspring that we can tap into, that we're inspired, we're motivated, and we have the courage to be able to lean into that so that we can dig down and offer these gifts to the world without expectation of anything.

There's no transaction here. I'll give you this and give me that back. But it's coming from the, of our hearts. It's gotta be genuine,

Andre Boulard: genuine giving and it takes time to learn. That sort of thing I find, I don't know, [00:48:00] but it takes a lot of out comfort zone to find that

Stu Murray: authentic. No doubt. And that, I think that's part of the change of the story, right?

And whether we're conscious or not of a reprogramming of a story, but underlying the things that we do is a story that there's not enough. It's a world that we're not enough. And look at our marketing it, everything that we're marketed to is like, there's not enough of this. You're gonna need this or there's not enough food everywhere.

Yeah. We have homelessness. Everything all the time surrounding us tells us we're not enough. And so the quickest way to come back to God, to come closer to unity is to do these things for people, be of service for humanity. Yeah. Where. Us getting something in return is not the goal, because every time we take even a little action that contributes to making the world a more beautiful place that isn't about us, we're starting to let go of this self-serving identity and this idea that it's like, [00:49:00] I wanna hold water in my hand, no matter how hard I try, it's gonna run through.

If I'm trying to do everything for others based on, well, that's gonna lead me to having more. It's just me going back and trying to pick up water and trying to pick up water. But if I can create the container and create the cup and create that space that can hold all of that for people and give it away, just give it away.

Because I know that's the thing to do, man. That doesn't just create more for the world. It creates more for me too. Yeah.

Andre Boulard: Yeah. It's like changing a cup to each other in that way. Yes.

Stu Murray: Yeah. Filling each

Andre Boulard: other's cup. It's less pressure emotionally. When you are able to authentically give without expectation, like right now we're talking about life experience and stuff like that.

This is very refilling, right? When we're done with this podcast, you'd feel better. I already know that your intuitive feeling will feel better. Mine will feel [00:50:00] better because we're giving each other the authentic self. It's the authentic self that can heal others in that way, right? So you wanna do this in general, but sometimes you have to put a face, you know, you got no choice in some ways, but most of the time, like when I see an opportunity, I would be more of who I am as a person without.

Because certain people might have that sort of thing. It's human. We're all have gonna have some sort of wall before we're gonna go forward. You can read people right away in some ways. Right? That comes from a customer service superstore, . Yeah. You can kind of filter out what can be said and what cannot be said, but I was going to try to be more authentic to myself most of the time.

You would not have come back to me if you didn't see that potential. [00:51:00] That was, oh, this guy is true to himself. Right? That's what you want, and you're true to yourself, and that's why we connect this way. You're giving back authentically to life. That's what you want, because it's helping you out through life as well.

It's such a beautiful thing, you know what I mean? It's the same thing with drawing portraits of dogs. I can push it to be a millionaire . That's not the point. You know what I mean? I don't wanna burn myself out either, but I mean, I'm able to put that value in my life. Heck yeah. I want to heal people in that way, and then I connect with people that are authentically and vulnerable when I meet them.

That's where I can talk about things that's very serious to the heart, not to the material things. Mm. And that's what Pet Portrait stands for. It's quite incredible. It's not fakeness of, look at my art, how cool it looks. I go back to the [00:52:00] place where I felt the most who I am as a person.

I don't go back to the stuff that does not reflect my personality. Let's say Jordan Peterson, I'm sure you probably heard about him, he's very authentic to who he is, and he's firm to it. Wow. And then he's able to explain by vocabulary to a point where I don't understand how he does it . And he's, that's what I'm saying. He's very well aware. Of what is going in is going out and he's able to give back authentically with his cup to help others that way. That's just speaking. Can you imagine? Just words can change your life. That's how far they can be. Right? That's what it says in the Bible. Your tongue can hurt and your tongue can [00:53:00] heal.

That's what Jordan Peterson is doing. He's healing with his tongue.

Stu Murray: Yeah. But you picked an interesting character because Jordan Peterson, I agree with you. I think he's has been doing a lot to serve people, but in using his tongue, part of what put him on the map, after being a professor and speaking out was.

A lot of people don't like his authenticity too. And so perhaps there's part of that that is his tacked and he speaks in a certain way and he's got that challenger mentality. And some people don't like that. And that's fair, but it does also come back to recognizing authentic expression.

And that if you're trying to live in a life where you please everybody all the time, you will burn out and you'll please nobody.

Andre Boulard: No, actually, you're not gonna please you. Okay. Yeah. You're not gonna please you. And that's what you get. You'll get people that does not please you. So your life become unpleasant.

Yes. It's so deep. But that's exactly what you're [00:54:00] giving yourself. Remember what you're giving to yourself is also something that's going to come out. Yeah. Well,

Stu Murray: that's it. That's the truth, right?

Andre Boulard: Make sure you're able to give back authentically that helpless you, and then. No worries about the noise because that's Jordan Peterson that does the same thing.

He does not worry about the noise. He's just doing his thing and he helps so many people and he is one of the best selling therapists out there. I don't go see a guidance counselor unless I have problems, but I mean, this guy, come on, he has put a why into my life, to a super fine detail because he's able to, vocabulary very well that thing.

Mm-hmm. about life and his experience of what he does in life. Mm-hmm. . We're lucky to have people that way that's actually firm, despite the negative that comes out of it. Yeah. And that's, I appreciate it. [00:55:00] Very appreciate because he's putting himself vulnerable to become who he is firmly, despite the humility that he's going to get. I find that's what you should be as a person. Right.

Stu Murray: Yeah. And there's something powerful in aligning our actions with what we say, because so many of us now, we're in the time of false profits and empty words where so many, especially in the spiritual culture that I teach yoga and I practice a lot of these things, and so much of it is, just align whatever you want and align your dreams and you'll manifest. There's so much woo woo woo out there. And there's so much truth in that, but a lot of it can be very empty. The actions are not aligned with the words. And so the energy behind what is being said can be actually very draining. And I can, you can feel that at a visceral level and right opposing, you can actually feel when somebody's words are highly aligned with their actions.

And that is also something that can be felt within one's [00:56:00] body. And I think that's what makes a true leader.

Andre Boulard: Yep. Yeah. Despite the whatever is going on in your life. You choose to be authentic to yourself. People will like that and you will filter exactly what you want. So like I said, you filter people and we got millions of people in this world.

I'm sure there is some people that's gonna support you and people that won't support you, but you have to be okay to be humiliated by the things you're saying and accept the way that people would react. It's a very hard thing to be, because you gotta accept the anxiety of maybe like social attack, like social media attacks, you know what I mean?

And people don't want to grow. They want to stay to the same place and rust. That's why I've been before and that's what I see happening these days. They want to stay in one spot and just be there. Comfort. But comfort can be very rusty.

Stu Murray: Yeah, it [00:57:00] certainly can be very rusty.

Andre Boulard: Yeah. You stay at the same time. Your car, what, when you put your car outside during winter, you stay there. What does it do for years? Put it for like 10 years straight. Your car's gonna get rusty there, and then you're going back to your car and put some gas and start to drive it.

Oh, now your engine is rust and glued up, so you can't even start it. You don't want to get. So you gotta move forward by driving your car, which is yourself. There's rust happening if you don't move. And that's where you don't want to be, right?

Let's say you're anxious and you have a lot of anxiety. You get, you have to go back to a place where it's calm and then heal back. That's not rusty. That's more like, I need some time to heal back. And that's okay. Yeah. Right.

Stu Murray: But that's, it's dressing the rust. Right. You know, can also take care of it. Yeah.

Andre Boulard: And it's cool that you have that same mentality. What is up with that[00:58:00] ? You have that sort of authentic city of yourself, but that comes from your changes of life as well.

I'm sure you went some massive change to get where you are, to know how, be authentic to yourself. And that's very admiring to me, that's very very cool. We need those type of people no matter what. Cuz that's what motivates us to grow faster as will.

Stu Murray: Amen brother. Amen. And so, somebody listening to this and they're like, Hey, I gotta connect with Andre.

I need to learn more. I want to talk to him, want to hear more about his journey. I wanna work with him to get some art. You know, whatever. What's the best way for somebody to connect with you. And we'll link all this information in the show notes. Yeah, sure.

Andre Boulard: Most of 'em, all my portraits. I do. And if you wanna connect to me in general, you wanna have some advice, you can go to my Facebook page. Or you can go to my Facebook. I usually use my personal [00:59:00] page, Facebook, the business page and stuff like that is very sketchy to me because they change a lot of things, like the updates and stuff and they change how it functions.

So my personal Facebook is the most safest place to be. I don't rush, I just put stuff on there. But, mostly I tried to put motivational things on that Facebook because that's what I stand for. And you can see all my caricatures, my portraits, just being myself on there is very personal. I find it's more authentic that way.

So I use my personal Facebook. You can contact my email as well. Andre bullard Cool. We'll link

Stu Murray: that. Yeah. And I'll put your website as well. Yeah,

Andre Boulard: website is as well in a thing. I don't use too much on my website cause most of the stuff I do is Facebook. Okay, cool.

Stu Murray: Yeah. Awesome. And as we wrap up man, is there any last messages that you'd like to share with listeners to, to leave as a send off?[01:00:00]

I always

Andre Boulard: say be crazy enough to become yourself because that's where you need to be. It's very authentic that way. Even though it's crazy. That's how it goes, man. Cause if all the stuff I didn't do that was way outside the norm of what people would do, have good ideas and do things that you actually are afraid to do, but has nothing bad attention to it, do it.

Stick to it. You'll see the result that you'll have less stress of being fear about who you are as a person, because that's what I've learned over time. You gotta be crazy enough to become yourself. If you need to start with hugging trees and people going through those roads are streets and looking at you and you're still hugging that tree, hands down, professional , you're practicing the acceptance of life.[01:01:00]

That's what it is. Now you start seeing everybody I can them

Stu Murray: what's going on? Oh, it's hunter's problem. , you'll blame me for it. You know?

It's great advice, man. it's huge because I still always envision a world where people, everybody is living in their authentic expression and just how beautiful of a world that could and will be.

Andre Boulard: Yeah. You can do this for yourself. as will are others, and if you do this to yourself, that's what you reflect in life. You're helping others without even knowing it. Mm-hmm. how many stuff that I've done that, you know, I've done that. I don't even know if I helped somebody, but I actually did. You know what I mean?

Mm-hmm. , it's weird. I was on my live Facebook doing a pet portrait and I was talking about life experience and discovering who you are and not to be afraid and just be crazy enough to discover yourself. I was talking about stuff, people [01:02:00] were chatting, but deep down to myself, every time I feel this vibe that we have between right now, me and you, because we already know that we help each other.

The resonance of the energy that I feel authentic, that. Helping each other in some ways. I don't know what I help you in, and I, you don't know what you help me in, but certain things you said is actually helping me up consciously. And that energy, despite if you don't talk to me on my Facebook, but I was talking, outsourcing your speech can help somebody and you'll feel it.

I find that this what's happening, you're starting to feel this without even despite a chat. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Your words can heal somebody without even having a, something in return, but you're giving away. It's pretty cool.

Stu Murray: I love that. Yeah, man. It's apparent to me that what you do, you do from your heart and you truly love what you do and you love your life and you're in a [01:03:00] place where you're sharing that with the world.

And that's what's drawn me to you and that's what I love. And I see, and I appreciate in you. So it's been truly a pleasure, man. Connecting Hi. Super. Together. Yeah.

Andre Boulard: He's going to Mill Creek and take pictures of Stu Murray, man way. Let's go. . . Yeah. It's super cool, man. You're putting the right pieces in the puzzle without even knowing it. Yeah. If you put yourself outside your comfort zone. I still rust. I mean, I, I still rush. I feel I could push myself always further and sometimes I don't push myself outside my comfort zone. And then I see I'm starting to rush, so I have to force myself to go out my comfort zone to unrest my problems. That's the pain that I had before that chose, that made me feel like, do I really want to go back to the rusting that way?

Or do I want to actually choose to go further in this new life that I want to be? Because that's what it is exciting because when you stay comfort, [01:04:00] it's not so exciting.

Stu Murray: No. I get stagnant for sure.

Andre Boulard: Yeah. It's a hard thing to deal with what people need sometimes, that sort of thing to grow.


Stu Murray: Yeah. Thanks for the conversation, man. I've really enjoyed this

Andre Boulard: man. , the podcast idea man is straight up perfect . Yeah. You know what? This conversation, I'm sure it's going to help others that you don't even know. You know what I mean? And this is what matters in life. This is going, I'm ready to die because you chose to do this authentic conversation because this authentic conversation lives

Stu Murray: forever.

It does, man. And even if it serves one person and they can hear that and it, it offers some little spark, man.

Andre Boulard: That's it. Yeah. And the funny thing is, the more authentic, the more people come to this thing. Yeah. Yeah. Totally.

Stu Murray: Well, thank you brother. And super cool


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