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Using Our Time

It is all too easy to put undue pressure on ourselves and criticize how we use our time. We rush from this to that. We call ourselves “lazy” when we “waste time doing nothing.” We don’t have “enough” time or we have too much. We regret past uses of time— time spent worrying about things […]


Pain as Energy

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The truth is that turning our pain into energy for good can be one of the great assets of age. We can draw on stores of experience— and heal our wounds— as we work to create the life we want. Task: Pain as Energy Pain does use our energy, but we can consciously channel it […]


Healthy Risk

Many of us have lives that are, in some areas at least, risk-free. We may have even cultivated these risk-free lives because we think we want stress-free lives. But while stress from negative situations can be damaging, stress from confronting challenges or taking a healthy risk can be energizing and motivating. When our lives feel […]


Honoring Our Stories

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Many people retire only to feel overwhelmed by their own space, a space they may have been blind to while they were distracted by the busy-ness of their work life. Sam, a Broadway actor, began working with the Memoir tool when he turned seventy. “I was still auditioning,” he says, “and still getting myself out […]


Never Too Late

The joke runs like this: Question: Do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to play the piano? Answer: The same age you’ll be if you don’t. I posted on Facebook recently that it was never too late to be a beginner. A flood of “likes” came back to me. […]


“Enough” Time

The hot, dry westerly winds are blowing through New Mexico. Along the highways, hundred-foot-high dust devils spin the hazy air. The heat creates an illusion: Time itself seems to be cooking in the hot summer air. Time is a primary concern in dealing with creative blocks. Most of us think, “If only I had more […]


We Do Not Outgrow Our Dreams

Most blocked creatives have an active addiction to anxiety. They play the game of “What if…” What if I commit creativity and it is ill-received? Note that this thinking indulges only in negative fantasy. It does not fantasize, “What if I commit creativity and it is well-received?” “I’ll look like a fool,” the beginning artist […]


Humility

When I am asked what is the biggest block to creativity, I find myself answering, “a lack of humility.” Dreams remain dreams, nothing more, when we insist on their being fulfilled instantly and perfectly. We measure ourselves against masters and we tell ourselves that we will never achieve our dreams. But masters began as beginners, […]


The Drought of Self-Doubt

It is important to remember, when we are suffering, that we are not alone. Every person experiences self-doubt at one time or another. In the throes of it, the prospects look dismal. We are in what feels like a drought, crawling forward, hoping for water, seeing nothing promising the horizon. If we give in to […]


Follow Your Bliss

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The late, great mythologist and teacher Joseph Campbell advised his students to “follow their bliss.” He told them to expect synchronicity, which he defined as “helping hands.” “Follow your bliss,” he taught, “and the Universe will open doors for you.” An octogenarian when he became famed as a teacher, he had decades of teaching experience […]