“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”—Nelson Mandela
If there’s one common theme in life, it’s that resilience is the necessary life force that helps us stay flexible, buoyant, and strong.
Wikipedia defines resilience as “the ability to cope with change,” and “being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties.”
Resilience rears its head when change happens. One stage of life ends, and another begins. It can happen gently and predictably through natural stage-of-life occurrences, like an empty nest, aging, or retirement. Or, change happens unexpectedly from incidents like a loss, divorce, financial struggle, or health.
Life events, planned or unplanned, drive the cycles of change and contribute to the evolution of you. We can struggle and resist for a while,...
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
- Maya Angelou
No one arrives at this very moment in time without a past.
In story development, we call it a backstory.
I took acting classes for years in Los Angeles with two notable teachers, Stella Adler, and Jeff Corey. Both were great actors, and both had a remarkable gift to teach other actors how to develop characters that come alive on stage and film.
Jeff Corey was the first to introduce me to the idea of the backstory. He said you couldn’t develop a full character until you know who they are. If the script doesn’t tell you what happened from birth to how they became the character on the page, then you make it up. He also added this tidbit… every character needs to have a secret.
The audience may never know the secret exists, but the actor does. It’s the key to giving...
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” ― Rumi
All was possible at the dawn of our lives. We popped into the world with a will to survive and the highest calling of the universe… to someday realize our fullest potential.
In the early weeks, we simply had needs. We learned how to convey those needs with a cry, a whimper, or a smile.
As our minds evolved, our creative capacity grew. Ask any child to improvise a story, and you’ll see imagination come alive.
We began projecting our fantasies into the future. We started saying, someday, I want to… As children, we had no doubts. We play-acted, we dreamed, and “someday” appeared as an achievable reality.
As real life sets in, we begin working at the job we trained for in school… or not. There are bills to pay, families started, and obligations that rob us of time to...
About a month ago my creativity fizzled. It went to the darkest place imaginable… the black hole of “I’m not good enough.”
My creative war began after an article I posted didn’t receive the views I’d come to expect. I hated myself for having those thoughts. Was it really the views? Was that the source of my motivation?
There was a time when I simply wrote because it soothed me. It was my way of healing from a long list of losses and disappointments. I missed the solitude of writing; not so much the intimacy of my writing “nest,” but the fact I wrote for my eyes only.
I decided not to write again for a while, days actually, and life changed. My mind had no place to go… lost, wandering, and wondering what I would do with my thoughts if I couldn’t write them down.
So much of my writing is tied to my well-being. It centers me, gives me a buzz, and a huge...
Wildly successful creative people fascinate me. I still waiver when it comes to defining my own personal success; I just know when my talents marry with the skills I’ve learned, it’s where the magic happens. I feel my heart beating, and I wake up excited for the day ahead to lead the way for my creative self to expand.
Sometimes creative success is fleeting. You see someone who does really well with a first published book, a first CD, or art in a gallery show, and then their career falls flat. It’s the thing all creative people fear… “am I a “one-hit wonder?”
How do you build sustainable success?
I wondered, where does sustainable success come from? It doesn’t appear to be limited to talent alone… it’s a complexity of ingredients that include a willingness to use strategies to keep the creative fire lit, a never-ending commitment to excellence, and a love for what...
Change is the only certain thing in life, and it’s the very thing I fight the most. But, just as sure as I fight it, I start to feel the rumblings of something new about to emerge.
I know it’s happening because it almost hurts to stay the same. Even though I can only see the point of reference I have today, it’s possible that change is the very thing I need to survive.
That must be exactly how the butterfly feels just before she breaks free of her cocoon… or the baby chick, before she cracks the shell to freedom. They have no idea what the new world is like-they just know it’s waiting and they must emerge no matter what.
Every new stage of life begins with ending the “old” and emergence of the “new”
That feeling happens every time I’m about to break out of an old pattern, an old life, and an old way of being. It feels like chaos and I have no control, and once the...
Are you terrified of embracing your full potential and going for it? If self-doubt has ever stopped you from achieving what you hoped for, you’re not alone.
It can manifest itself in those pursuing a career goal, a fitness goal, or those yearning for a satisfying relationship. It’s often felt deeply in people who yearn to be creative.
Self-doubt is one of the most common obstacles to performance in any area of life. It’s the red light that stops you from moving forward with your goals and prevents you from rising to your fullest potential.
Statistics say that approximately 70% of the population suffers from feeling like imposters at one time or another, and that is caused by the monster in our brains… self-doubt.
If you feel like a fraud, you’re not alone.
I was so happy to hear there actually is something called the “Imposter Syndrome.”
I’ve suffered from it for years.
Wikipedia defines the Imposter or...
It was destiny, no doubt… a force waiting in the wings to join together a creative union that would inspire a body of work that simply began with the desire, I want to be a writer.
On the night we first met, my future husband and I walked along the beach in Monterey. There was no denying the instant attraction, but it was so much more. We quizzed each other on who we wanted to become. We were just 22 and a whole lifetime ahead.
David said, “I want to be a writer.”
I asked, “What have you written?”
He replied, “A poem. It’s called ‘Old Bill’.”
And, I married him anyway.
Writing simply began with a desire.
Crazy optimism. I guess I saw potential in this one poem man who had dreams of becoming a writer. I also saw my own potential as a spark, a muse, and a way to set my own creative possibilities on fire.
Our courtship was not traditional at all. We...
I just got back from Gidget’s ranch with a bounty of fresh cauliflower, lettuce, mustard greens, baby carrots, and sweet tangerines.
Our friendship began decades ago when I had this crazy passion to ride a horse. I had two young boys finally in pre-school and had the mornings free for my heart’s desire. Every day I’d drop the kids off and head to the barn.
Gidget and I would saddle up and ride for hours through the trails of Hidden Hills in Calabasas, and then go for a big breakfast of ranch eggs, bacon, and sweet herbal tea at the Good Earth Cafe.
As the years went by, Hidden Hills became more crowded with huge homes of the rich and famous, crowding out the riding trails and replacing the comfortable little ranch homes. It was no longer a safe haven to ride.
Sometimes your commitment to follow your art means leaving behind what once felt safe.
One day, Gidget announced she’d bought 5 acres of land in the...
There was a time when I believed life had order. I thought I had it all, and that nothing bad could ever happen. I look back now and wonder… was there ever really such a time?
No one is immune. Life happens. At one time or another, we all go through a challenge that you never expect… one that is life changing, even devastating.
We often hide our private struggles and disappointments, feeling we’re the only ones. Those times either stifle us or make us stronger.
“Your reaction to life challenges is your choice.”
It might feel as though you only have one option or one way of reacting to a challenging life experience or opportunity. When you feel the fear and chaos, it’s the very moment you’re forced to take the next step.
If you’re still alive, you’re not done, yet. Today is your opportunity to cultivate what happens next.
“No one in the world can fill the space that...