The Gift of Creativity

wired to create cover

The book above is the most empowering nonfiction book I’ve ever read so far.

Quite simply if you are an artist you must create your chosen art.

To encourage you to go out and buy it I’ll quote from the Apple computer 1997 advertisement featured in the book:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (2015) by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire is the most uplifting and inspiring ode to doing your own thing.

10 things highly creative people do differently involve:

Imaginative Play

Passion

Daydreaming

Solitude

Intuition

Openness to Experience

Mindfulness

Sensitivity

Turning Adversity into Advantage

Thinking Differently

Wired to Create is on par with Dark Horse: Achieving Success through the Pursuit of Fulfillment.

For any reader engaged in battle between self-doubt and confidence about their Art or your Self as the individual qualified to make this Art I say: Read this Book.

Being wired to create is a gift. What makes you different gives you an advantage.

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A Merry and Bright Season to You

gmorning gnight

It can be hard when our loved ones are gone to be in the mood to celebrate.

You can read GMorning GNight to give yourself a pep talk for the year ahead.

Mark my words 2019 will be better.

The graphic above is a photo of the cover of a new poetry book.

It’s well worth buying this book to read over and over.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright of Hamilton fame.

GMorning GNight: Little Pep Talks for Me & You is a collection of his tweets he’s fired off over the years.

One GMorning and GNight serenade empowered me like nothing else I’ve ever read.

Owing to copyright I can’t rewrite what he published. Only I can tell you this: the idea that each of us is one single self is a myth. Modern psychologists have shifted their thinking. It’s thought that your personality can change over the years.

I’m so envious of Lin-Manuel Miranda that I can’t bring myself to browse his website. After reading the GMorning GNight duet I was afraid to be treated to more of this author’s greatness. Would that I could write something as insightful and empowering as Miranda’s ode to a person’s multiple selves.

Who’s hanging out inside me today? What thoughts are spinning around in there? Where have I been and where am I going?

These are the questions I ask after having read this empowering book.

My goal is to have my own version of a literary career. What Miranda does on the stage I want to do on the page.

I hope in the spring to have good news about the second nonfiction book I’ve written.

Right now I’m going to promote the work of other authors I admire.

Even though Lin-Manuel Miranda is famous he seems like a nice guy.

Do yourself a favor and read GMorning GNight.

It brought me such cheer to read it that I want to pass this on.

Becoming Michelle Obama

m obama

I read this book in three days. I had always thought Michelle Obama was a class act. You don’t have to take my word for this though. In her memoir she proves for a fact that she is brilliant.

I’ll quote from the book to encourage readers to go out and buy it.

Obama quotes her husband:

“You may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as it should be.”

No kidding. That’s what I’ve been trying to do as an Advocate: first when I challenged the mental health staff’s expectations of what they thought I could do – by daring to think I could achieve my goals. Then when I started to advocate for others to dare dream that a better life was possible for them.

Obama then reveals:

“So many of us go through life with our stories hidden, feeling ashamed or afraid when our whole truth doesn’t live up to some established ideal.”

Hence why I’ve always hailed Rite Aid cashiers.

I’ll end here with Obama’s wisdom:

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

We can’t stop believing that progress is possible for ourselves and our nation.

United we stand; divided we fall.

 

 

 

The Makeup of a Confident Woman

green photo

The photo shown above proves the premise of beauty pioneer Trish McEvoy’s new book The Makeup of a Confident Woman.

Not wanting to start taking an antidepressant, I was willing to try any healthy non-chemical option for sparking joy.

I’ll quote from this guide because I think you should go out and buy it:

“There is no vanity in taking advantage of makeup in order to get more of what you want in this world…Makeup is a tool–just like exercise classes are for staying in shape..It facilitates the release of endorphins and can be your champion to the next level.”

You don’t say? Trish McEvoy does.

I put her theory to the test by applying a full face of makeup. The author gets it right: wearing makeup instills confidence.

It’s trite yet true: you feel better when you look better.

Ladies: even though I have a photogenic face I don’t look so hot not wearing makeup.

I’ll be 54 in the spring. I could use a little help.

There are genetic wonders among us who have creamy flawless skin without wearing foundation. More power to them for being able to rock a bare face.

It took me just about 10 minutes to apply this makeup. That’s not a lot of time to give yourself.

The products used:

Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole 260 Bisque N

Blush: Bobbi Brown desert rose

Lipstick: Bobbi Brown hibiscus

Eye shadow: From Naked2 Basics – the 2 lightest shadows on the left of the palette (darker on eyelid lighter on brow bone area)

Eyeliner: Lancome Chocolat

Mascara: Diorshow black

The photo of the book cover is below.

In coming blog entries here I want to talk about other things you can do at mid-life to feel better and have fun.

All of this can be adjunct treatment in addition to taking any medication you might have to take.

confindent woman book.JPG

 

 

Write Your Story to Heal Your Self

Today I presented a memoir writing workshop at the 12th Annual Peer Conference at the NYU Kimmel Center. The title of the session was Write Your Story to Heal Your Self.

I firmly believe everyone can be creative. The premise of my workshop was that you can heal the self-stigma by writing your story.

Michael Jackson sang in “Man in the Mirror” that if you want to change the world you first have to change yourself.

Healing yourself is the start of healing the planet.

I told attendees that I healed via self-expression using art forms. My love of music, writing, books, and fashion helped me heal.

Here I’d like to reprint the questions listed on page 2 of the handout I gave attendees.

Feel free to Write Your Story to Heal Yourself using these Qs as a guide:

You’re a true original.

How do you define yourself?

Language is power. Written and verbal communication are a playing field.

Whoever controls their self-definition has the power to create their future.

A fortune cookie message tells us:

The sure way to predict the future is to invent it.

Here are some questions to get you thinking.

Jot down whatever comes to mind after reading them.

What is your diagnosis? How old were you when you received it?

How did your life change after the diagnosis?

What is it you don’t like about having a mental health issue?

In what way has good come of living in recovery?

What’s better about your life now?

Write about something you have that the illness didn’t take away.

Write about an event that was one of the happiest times in your life.

If you could have a super power what would it be and why?

What do you like about yourself?

What makes you a true original?

What’s your favorite color and why?

What are you the proudest of in your life?

To sum up write a six-word memoir. Use only six words to talk about yourself and your life.

Marching On

The founder of MomsRising wrote a book Marching On about how to be effective in lobbying for change. Everything she talks about is right.

This will be the last political communique for now. I want to move on.

For today I want to add my own thoughts to the author’s.

In July 1999 I fled Staten Island for Brooklyn.

The Verrazano Bridge was known as the Guinea Gangplank because Italians moved to Staten Island from Brooklyn.

I drove over the bridge in the opposite direction long before it was popular to live in Brooklyn.

For years I had a taste of Conservatism in my own family. I couldn’t abide the Republican mentality on Staten Island.

I had a preview of what was to come: about five years ago a cop killed with his bare hands Eric Garner in a choke hold on Bay Street.

The guy’s only crime was selling loose cigarettes.

Five white guys assaulted a guy I know in a bar down on Bay Street. And none of them were arrested even though one was identified in a police lineup.

They lived; Eric Garner died.

I simply can’t–okay–understand the defenses other people give to justify that cops kill mostly unarmed People of Color.

I try to understand these arguments and can’t.

Here’s the real deal: if you’re a cop who is strong enough to kill a guy with your bare hands then you don’t need to shoot a person to remain safe.

If you’re not strong enough to subdue a person without a gun should you really be a cop?

This is what I think. Years later I’m still thinking of Eric Garner.

I won’t join a protest in the streets. This is because I take medication. If I were arrested and sent to jail I’d deteriorate without treatment.

Since I can’t protest in the streets I will use this blog to speak out when I’m able to.

The cost of silence is too high for any of us.

I used to live on Staten Island. I used to walk on Bay Street. I fled that outer borough as soon as I could.

I can’t breathe thinking of what happened to Eric Garner.

This is all I wanted to write about before returning to my “regularly scheduled programming.”

Yet be aware I will most likely return to political commentating in the future.

I urge American readers to buy and read the book Marching On.

Change is possible. It starts when each of us has the courage to speak out.

The View from Flyover Country

Today I find myself veering into writing about topics I hadn’t wanted to cover.

The stakes are higher for one thing. To remain silent on things that matter is something I cannot do for another.

I installed on my iPad The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from a Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior.

I recommend that everyone reads this book whether in print or electronic form. You can check it out of the library should you not be able to buy it.

It’s sad that I’ve given up on our government officials as being agents of change.

Now I only hope that others will join me in reading books like Flyover Country.

I hope that readers will write to your elected representatives on issues that matter to you.

In my own life I won’t take part in a protest in the streets. This is because I have a medical condition. Sent to jail I wouldn’t have access to medication that would keep me healthy.

Instead throughout the years I have used this blog on and off to talk about what goes on. A couple of years ago I stole from a newspaper and listed here the names of over 30 people cops have killed.

Here too I also wrote that when one of our rights is taken away (like access to birth control) the dominoes of other rights will fall down one after the other.

How I wish I didn’t have psychic ability.

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled against unions, thus weakening their power to advocate for the rights of their workers. Now employees will not have to pay union dues even though they’re members of a union.

Recently Mr. Toupee has also said that migrants shouldn’t be given due process under the law. In case you don’t remember the U.S. constitution guarantees due process to all people within the U.S.

For the life of me I don’t understand how the rights of so-called “unborn babies” are deemed greater than the rights of those already living. Thus causing people to vote into power a person who is taking away the rights of you and me every day.

The View from Flyover Country tells the unvarnished truth.

I’ve decided to write in here about these topics because I’m interested in getting the word out to people who might not ordinarily think about these things.

I had predicted that Mr. Toupee would win the election and nobody believed me. How could they not see what I saw?

Sarah Kendzior in Flyover Country predicted his rise long before I did in the book essays that were originally written from 2012-2014.

As ordinary citizens, we cannot blame each other for our misfortunes. The root cause is the decades-long deprivation of rights by our elected officials.

At a time when adjunct professors as well as service workers are sinking into poverty–as documented in Flyover no one is immune from earning cheap wages–it’s time to get real and take action.

I’ll end here with this: you know something’s not right when Kendzior writes in her book that U.S. veterans aren’t paid living salaries when they return from war.

They wind up on food stamps.