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The Spiritual Power of Routine

Recent retirees tend to speak of having mixed feelings about routine. On one hand, they enjoy being free from the externally-imposed schedule of their work lives— they may choose to sleep later, to travel during the week, to eat meals when they fancy them instead of hewing to a strict timetable of meetings and business […]


Clearing a Path: the magic of decluttering

With more time on our hands, we may find ourselves at home much more than we have ever been. Spending time in our homes, we notice the things we want to improve: the unfinished doorframe, the “junk drawer” in the kitchen that always seems to be jammed shut, the worn doormat that we’ve been meaning […]


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 […]


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. […]


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, […]


Perfectionism is the Ego’s Wicked Demand

Perfectionism is the enemy, not the friend of creativity. When we try to get something “right”— meaning perfect— we create a debilitating loop, as we focus only on fixing what we see as wrong and are blind to what is right. The perfectionist re-draws the chin line until there is a hole in the paper. […]


In the moment of creation, we are ageless

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In the moment of creation, we are ageless. We feel both young at heart and old and wise. “Artists work until the end,” my photographer friend Robert said to me yesterday. Yes, they do. This is why retirement from one career— even if it is our major career— is not, by any means, “the end.” […]