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Tag: creativity

Giving Senior Citizens Space to Feel

We’re in a time when a woman will be partaking in a conversation and the next thing you know what will come spilling out in an almost even tone is that time when her doctor raped her. It happened to me this morning. “Nancy, it was five years before I realized what he did to me was wrong.” **** On the evenings when I prepare a topic, or prompt, for my senior citizens’ writing group the next morning, my greatest challenge is to try to gauge the mood or mindset of my students. By this I mean that there...

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An Actor, an NFL Player and September Dreams

I was going to write this two days ago, but I was too busy devoting time to one of my “money” jobs. As the house manager for an acting and dance studio in Manhattan, I’m in the process of booking people for fall and winter classes, workshops, performances, and shoots. Happily deluged, one might say, since getting back from vacation. But here’s the real point: Yes, I work “money” jobs. You know, the kind that people were shaming former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens for when he was “outed” recently at a local Trader Joe’s. Funny thing is, last...

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Understanding the Essence of the Artist

Back in 2000 when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were on their Reunion Tour, I caught a couple of those shows at Madison Square Garden. Included in the set list in all 10 sold-out New York concerts was American Skin (41 Shots) and it was met with some controlled hostility from the crowd. The song, written about the shooting of unarmed Amadou Diallo by four NYPD officers, expressed what so many of us wondered – even if a mistake is made and you think a wallet is a gun, how is it possible that so many shots are fired? Is it a gun? Is it a knife? Is it a wallet? This is your life I recall thinking how courageous it was for Springsteen to sing it, even in the face of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association calling for a boycott. It didn’t feel political so much as humane. All these years later — amidst the throes of my own artistic growth spurts as well as those of my life coaching clients who are mostly creatives — I see it more as necessary than brave. Artists must express. And not just about our broken hearts or sexual hunger or the cool car we had when we were coming of age. Real artists speak from a soul level to what is eating at us, terrorizing our thoughts, cycling through...

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Possibilities and Setbacks Clanging Around

I shared a meal with someone recently who is proud of her spiritual life. A nice person, a kind person, one who is smart and principled. However, throughout the meal I kept marveling at her bleak outlook. I don’t think she realizes she sees the world through a lens of victimhood. It’s not a fleeting way of being for her; it’s her norm. Her reaction to another person’s triumph over adversity is seen as “good for her” quickly followed by a disclaimer that luck really smiled on that person and she doesn’t know what real hardship is. You get...

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My Sliver of Uncertainty

I’m one of the lucky ones. About 95 percent of the time, I’m absolutely certain my life is on the right path. But then there’s that creeping five percent. What goes on there? Is that something I even want to share with other humans? Yes. Yes, it is. In fact, it’s vital that I do. I see danger in 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Susie Sunshine mode. Hi, I’m so upbeat. I can see the positive in everything. Oh, your husband lost his job? Don’t worry. Your child was born with a scary disability? It’ll all be just fine. Just. Fine. See?...

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