Pam Grout – TED Talk Friday

Yes yes yes – I said today would showcase NANCY MURDOCH’s podcast, but it’s just SO unnecessary!  Her wondrous website links to it & to her blog & to many other terrific treats, including an online store featuring a  book for men on how to sexually please a woman** (did not see that coming!)

The only thing I’ll add about Nancy & her tremendous talents as a story-finding,confidence-boosting legacy builder is a link to a page with posts of personal tales posted by her devoted audio story e-course students – they make me laugh & smile & weep.

 

Onto today’s featured podcast, TED talk or blog – Which leads us to the amazing Pam Grout, who rocked my world almost 20 years about with her JUMPSTART YOUR METABOLISM.  If I had used the life-altering lessons learned in that book, I’d be far fitter & probably more mentally balanced.  But my gremlin sidetracked me & I am the sorrier for it.  But, HA!  Take THAT, you wretched gremlin!  I still have the book & have incorporated it into my miracle morning, positively productive day!

As I discovered yesterday/today around midnight, unwinding after our mad dash to & from DC to attend the Aging2.0 Pint-0, Pam is way more than someone who preaches & teaches the bonus points of breath work.  She is a force of energy – literally.

As described in her Amazon bio – – Pam Grout is a hopeless romantic who still believes the world is a beautiful place, that people are noble and that anything is possible.  ~  For a living (and she always wonders why people think that’s such an important question), she writes books and articles for such magazines as People, Cooking Light and Travel & Leisure. She also enjoys writing bedtime stories for her daughter, but that’s more about making a life than a living. She’s keenly aware there’s a huge difference.

Although I’ve known about Pam for close to twenty years, it was just in the wee-ist of this morning’s wee small hours that I first heard her talk about money, making the point that the best way for creatives to generate capital is through – TA DA!creative capital.  She sure did – just look at her Amazon bio.

Hearing Pam’s talk was spooky wonderful.  It would have had a far different impact if I’d listened yesterday morning, when I first found the 2015 presentation.  Funny – the reason I didn’t listen right off the bat was because I was only using it as bait to reel people into an intro to Pam.  And WHY did I take the 14+ minutes to listen, since I was one bushed baby after the long to & from drive to DC?  But that’s how it rolled out.

Which is awe-some.  I soaked it in while still fully vibed, my funding underwriting backing energies jumpcharged by a group of remarkable innovators & enterprise promoters, all seeking to positively affect the lives of elders & their loved ones.  Before THAT moment, was not ready to hear that the best person to financially back underwrite fund my creative efforts in evolutionizing elder care is…  Oh my gosh – ME!

Everyone on the face of the planet should listen to Pam’s TED talk.  Add it to your baby’s lullaby downloads.  It is all about the importance of creativity for ALL of us, being shaped in the image of the Divine, making us – by our divine nature – wildly & infinitely creative.

It is within us.  Within every one of us.

Pam is old enough to hark back 30+ years, back to when we were kids, young adults.  Back when the only people who seriously worked out were actual athletes or ones wanting super buff bodies.  Now, it seems that all my under 55 friends have a gym, 40+ year old gal pals of mine compete in extreme sport events, while Dads who at best got in a Saturday basketball game with buds go into training for running marathons with their kids.   All of my younger friends either include some fitness routine in their day or keep quiet that they are not.

Pam’s set out to spark a similar revolution with our IMAGINATION, exercising building toning our creative muscle.

Artists aren’t the only ones needing creativity – it’s an overlooked core need for ALL of us, right up there with food & shelter.

It’s easy to see hear feel the pinging energies buttress Pam’s beliefs.  Tempting as it is to say to mysef, “Of course SHE found ways to transform creativity into capital – look at everything she’s done. Pam is especially graced with creativity.”

Except I am graced with abundant creativity.  And so are you!  Pam helps us connect with those creative juices.  Pam is one of us, not set apart on a higher plane.  She doesn’t get all puffed up with her accomplishments or seek special status for herself.  Instead, she beckons us to come, too.  To help, she includes an easy-to-take creativity self-evaluation form (see below) & a series of creativity exercises to strengthen our creativity muscle.  NOTHING she suggests takes special equipment or education;  ALL stir bolster boost our creativity muscle.

For all the people who know me, who know that I’m already hopped up on the importance of creativity at every point along our life span, always remember this – I discovered something life-shifting important listening to Pam’s TED talk.  EVERYONE, even those already regarded as creative clever innovative, has something to gain from what Pam shares.

I believe that Pam’s TED talk shifted my world.  She opened the way.  How it plays out – we will see.  How does it touch you?  Let me know!

 

Pam Grout’s Test of Creativity

Instructions:

Answer the following question.

1. Are you breathing? (‘x’ the appropriate box)

Yes______ No______

 

**  Nancy’s description –  This is NOT a book of bedroom tricks.  It is a book of awareness, self-realization and love that leads to deep intimacy.

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Goosebumps – NCCA

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NCCA – the National Center for Creative Aging.  I have no memory of how the NCCA first came into my life, how I came up with the cockamamie idea that it made sense for me – at that time virtually penniless – to go to the first NCCA Conference & Leadership Exchange in D.C., but the monies were raised for the conference & transportation costs, lodgings (with friends, outside D.C., in what turned out to be challenging to access Herndon VA) was arranged, and down I went.

Will never forget sitting in the intimate, circle-in-the-round auditorium in  the Arena Stage performance space, of having it hit me for the first time that the NCCA was based 4-square on the work of Gene Cohen, a man whose book, The Creative Age, drop kicked me into seeing the WHY for the vibrant oldsters elders ancients all around me in our little hometown.

Had I researched the conference at all online, it would have been OBVIOUS,  but I apparently went down, flying blind.

So, why did I go, if I didn’t even take a moment to check out the conference schedule? I arrived with a vague idea of where the main event would take place, virtually no understanding of where the pre-conference workshop I’d signed up for was happening, basically no knowledge of what was happening.  Mind you, I got my first smart phone (yes, in 2014) immediately before it so I’d have Internet access;  alas, I hadn’t a clue how to use it, had to keep asking smartly dressed young people bustling along the sidewalks for their aid with Mapquest.

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Long walks – those I remember.  Not having a clue of the shortest route from one spot to the next.  Hadn’t thought to get familiar with the area, to actually map out where event locations, to look over the schedule.

Had never been to a conference before.  The first time I saw the program was looking at the registration materials, the day AFTER the wonderful pre-conference workshop.

My most vivid memory of the entire conference was hearing Wendy Miller introduced, realizing she was Gene’s widow, having it HIT me right between the eyes – – DUH!  ‘Creative Aging: Exploring Potential in the Second Half of Life’ screamed Gene Cohen & yet I’d missed it!!

What made me think about goosebumps I’ll forever remember?  Dipping back into the wondrous book given to all conference attendees – Creativity Matters: The Arts & Aging Toolkit.

Confession time –  Gene’s book, The Creative Age, no longer sits next to The Mature Mind on my bookshelf – lent it to someone who never returned it.  That fate will NEVER happen to Creativity Matters,  because it will NEVER leave my possession!

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Talk about goosebumps – that priceless book continues to astound me.  It is packed with priceless information & inspiration ~  looking at how creativity nurtures an abundant older age, at the value of incorporating the arts into our  life, of the profound advantage of senior centers & residences, adult-day care programs & long-term care facilities, of families & friends in seeking, offering participatory arts programs that go beyond the “arts & crafts” that so often seem the norm.  To REACH &, in reaching, to satisfy.

It was in 2014 – at the pre-conference workshop? – that I first heard “Like” (Elizabeth) Lokon, director & founder of Opening Minds Through Art, explain that with older people, especially ones facing the challenges of cognitive impairment, “simple is complex, complex is simple” – trying to to duplicate an actual image was a struggle, frustrating, but to create a beautiful abstract painting looked difficult but was simple.

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Which brings us to last month’s IAGG World Congress & the wondrous talk by Marilyn Raichle, who spoke about the enjoyment that her mother – who has Alzheimer’s – drew from painting.  Although the subjects were defined, the delightful images her mother created were deliciously abstract, showcasing the processing from the delineated start to what showed up on the page.

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Which takes me to feeling sad.  Sad that I never asked for one of of the beautiful paintings that Anne Davis Hyatt created over her closing eight years.  Like Marilyn’s mother, from one moment to the next Anne could not remember the day or the date, but she did paint evocative hillsides & rivers & skies capturing her wonder & love of the sense of it all.

That’s what I learned from the NCCA, why I continue to get goosebumps remembering that I haven’t the vaguest recollection of how we first connected – – it shouts from the rooftops the importance of helping people of all ages stay anchored in the glorious sense of living, that the arts, from painting to poetry & performance & beyond, open the way & present a path to doing what I aim to provide for all my own clients friends family – living as expansively, as fully themselves, as possible in any given moment, feeling the thrill of goosebumps at the joy of it all.