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How to focus on music and creativity - Teresa Ullman (Bright Way Podcasts)

bright way podcasts Apr 19, 2021

Neuropsychologist Teresa has been a passionate musician since her early years. However, work and child-rearing took center stage for decades. Newly retired, Teresa now has the time to focus intently on her music. She shares how the Bright Way System helps her stay firmly on her creative path with much to look forward to and no regrets.

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So welcome Teresa. Hello, Diana. Where are you? I am in that geographical never, never land of Silicon Valley. All right. And with our podcast, what we're really focused on is the idea that everyone is creative and that you can be creative at any time, any place, any age, having examples of this is so valuable because it's one thing to say all of this,

and it sounds good. Right. But what does it look like in real life? So I'm wondering if you could share a little bit about, about your life as a creative and you know, that we define it really broadly, you know, creativity is being directly engaged with whatever you're doing. If you could maybe take us back to some of your early days First.

Oh, that's really interesting because when you first said that about that, you know, well, am I really creative? And I think that's an ongoing question, you know, that what other people might define as creative? Do I feel it as being creative? I think that my earliest, my earliest earliest memory is my mother singing to me. And I was upset about something.

It's one of those screen memories that lasts for about 30 seconds and I'm going through the house and I'm crying. I don't know why. And I go to my mother and she picks me up and she sings to me. And so my earliest memories are music and feeling loved and comforted and connected. And I think when you and I have discussed creativity and music and Purpose,

and my resistance against Purpose as something it's like asking the fish, you know, well, you know, what's the, Water like, you know, it's, I cannot imagine the world without music. I cannot imagine my life without the, the warmth and the comfort that I associate with it. And so I guess, you know, if I'm gonna start to associate that with creativity,

cause it was, you know, it was just some old song. My mother's saying, I don't remember what the song was that it's that coming home to yourself. It's that coming home to the true self, the real self, the authentic self, whatever the word is that a person uses to describe those moments when we're totally at home with ourselves. And I think from that the exploration,

I mean, for me, the creativity is the exploration. It's not an end product. Mm. And you've had a very fascinating career. As, as a therapist, you have this intense passion for music and you've also had a career as a therapist. Could you say a little bit more about that? Sure. I don't know if any of my former patients or clients will be listening.

So please don't, if you are, please don't take this the wrong way. Therapy was my day job doing assessment psychology was my day job. And I think I had good training and I think I was good at what I did, but honestly, if I could have afforded to have made a living in music, I would have done that instead. And so now that I'm retired,

that's where my energy is going. I think that they're, they're both, I think they're very closely related because the process is really the journey. You know, what's a good therapy outcome. You know, the answer is different for everybody and life still goes on. I mean, even when we fix interim problems, there's still, you know, you're going to get up the next day and something else is going to happen and we have to respond to it.

And so the question is, you know, can we respond more adaptively versus maladaptively? And I think creativity is a lot like that too. I mean, we set ourselves goals and you know, I'm going to learn that scale or I'm going to learn that song, or I'm going to nail that particular note. And, you know, with enough work,

we can generally do that. And, and that's never enough. It's never going to be enough because life would be over. If it were, what are you going to do after you nail that note? What are you going to do after you've played that scale perfectly, the sun will set you'll sleep, you'll get up the next day and what are you going to do now?

And so without that impetus to explore, I, that's why I think the creativity is in the exploration. It's. I mean, you know, when I talked to my friends who are professional musicians, you know, and that CD comes out or that concert data's over, or that award has been won, they're still who they were at the day before.

And they still got to get up and, you know, get dressed and have a meal and relate to people. And so what are they going to do? You know? So it's, I don't want it To be that truism of, you know, you're only as good as your last gig or your, your, your last recording of your last whatever.

But there is that sense of moving forward, moving into the, not knowing and being comfortable with the fact that you're not going to know until you're in the middle of it.<inaudible> Oh, I've lost your audio. I can't hear you. Oops. How about that? You are, I feel like what you're saying has such huge implications for how we learn and how we perform,

whether these be in music or in other venues altogether, when we are all about the process, rather than the product, a huge amount of the anxiety, I think disappears because if we're only obsessed with the end goal of whatever it is that we happen to be doing, we tend to feel like it needs to look a certain way. And if it doesn't look a certain way,

by a certain time, we feel discouraged or upset or, or we just get anxious thinking about it coming at all. And when it's more about the process, it can actually be a lot more enjoyable and you can be so much more present for it because everything is not riding on that one outcome, that one concert that you give that one CD that you release.

So that's one thing that really strikes me because in a lot of my work, as you know, I've been dealing with people who have, like, I had terrible performance anxiety, and it can seem like something that's almost insurmountable, but when we focus instead on process, I feel this is a huge way out of all of that anxiety. So, and I think for me,

I think one of the blessings of not having become a professional musician is I did not have to deal with the competition. I did not have to deal with a certain kind of proving myself. I've almost always performed in groups from small groups of, you know, four to six people to groups of over a hundred. And so I've always had the joy of just going out there and having the time of my life,

because there's really, for me, there's not ever been a whole lot riding on it. It's just, it, it gives me joy to practice. It gives me joy to perform. And I did not have to look at my bank balance when I was thinking about what I, what group I was affiliating with or what pieces I was. So I think that,

you know, those are probably different trajectories for anxiety solo performing is, you know, if, if I, if I am going to have anxiety, it's going to be around a solo performance, but one other person in the, in on the stage with me and I'm fine, But I, but that brings me to, you know, your ideas and the things that I've gotten from,

from your book and from your circles is that, you know, the, the power of community and overcoming a lot of this. Right, right. I mean, you have been such an important part of our Circle. What would you say are some of the highlights for what community means to you as, as a creative, you're already mentioned that, you know,

it can be a tremendous comfort, you know, being on stage, being performing with others, there can be a lot of joy and comradery. What, what are some of the other things that Community gives you as a creative, You know, I'm, I'm from a family on both sides with lots of cousins, my immediate family, there were just myself and my brother,

but lots and lots and lots of cousins and a very lateral family structure where, you know, the, the aunties and uncles were, or just as likely to tell you that you had stepped over a line as your own parents were and cousins in my age range, who functioned as brothers and sisters. And, and so I, I have sort of,

sort of a blob mentality of a lot of lateral relationships, not so many hierarchical relationships. And, and so I think that, again, growing up with that and spending time in rural areas where going into town was not an option and television reception didn't really exist. Radio reception barely existed. That notion that, you know, we are, you know,

you got to dance with them that brought ya and that, that kind of community support and the recognition of all of the individual personalities and all the individual agendas. And somehow even if we don't always approve of the other person's personality or agenda, that we've all got to find a way to get along. And when we have a common musical Purpose, you know,

a concert or a piece or a project, or giving a lesson or taking a lesson that we have to find ways to adjust. And that's part of it again, how we discover who we are and where our boundaries are and where the other person's boundaries are. And sometimes that's a pleasant experience. And sometimes it's a challenging experience and that when there's this common Common agreement To take the high road and to find ways to make it work,

that leaves everybody's dignity, intact. A lot of amazing things happened that you couldn't otherwise imagine.<inaudible>, I think we've often had the idea of, you know, the solo artist, whether that's a painter or sculptor, musician, poet alone, and it's as if they are creating in some kind of vacuum and getting all their Inspiration directly downloaded from some mysterious source.

And I'm always interested in reading biographies of great past artists because, you know, I want to see how they did it. And invariably, they were in a community of some sort, I mean, it's like a myth that there's the isolated artists. In fact, they were in a community of people who were understanding, or at least supporting what they were doing.

Probably the most extreme example is Vanguard. And his community was extremely tiny. Apparently he was quite difficult to get along with, but without that community, we wouldn't have the paintings that exist today without that encouragement that, that he had from others and that reflecting back to him. And so that's what has the history, and then witnessing what's happened in our Circle has really convinced me that community is actually an essential part of creativity.

It's not just a nice to have a little extra thing it's actually crucial. And, and for some of us, we may have to cultivate that deliberately. We may be in a community that doesn't see the vision that we see, or they have a different mindset that will not help our creativity. Have you seen in your work, have you seen people who've been in communities that were not necessarily supportive and so they had to go and find cultivate additional community?

Oh, I think so. Yes. I think that, you know, and I think about historically, You know, yes. You know, there, I think that, you know, composers painters, authors, there's, there's always this element of solitude and having to have a capacity for solitude to put the hours in because it takes time. It takes energy to write something,

to compose something, to paint, something, to practice enough, to, you know, to play other people's music, as well as, you know, any improvisations and proposing that, that one might also want to do. So I think that that capacity for a solitude is really an aspect of a focused creative life. I think that I, I Don't know anybody,

I don't know of anybody who is able to, to do that and be, you know, totally isolated in a way that speaks to anybody else. And I think that, you know, there are some people who maybe do things that, you know, they're, they're great in their own minds, but also, you know, there's this, there's this community aspect where we do share what we do,

where we are. We are mostly social beings where we've partly find out who we are as people react to us. And I think finding that community, that spurs us to move forward, whatever forward means. And that can say, I don't, I don't see where you're going, but it feels important to you, you know, we're w what's the next step that kind of encouragement,

I think, is really important rather than saying, okay, well, you've met our standards, so I guess you can come into our club. I think even, even things that are perceived that way from the outside, I think there's still a lot of creativity going on inside that maybe more subtle than I think sometimes people reach a level of Artistry that,

that where the, the incremental differences may be difficult to perceive by people who aren't also functioning at that level. But I think that a supportive community that says, yeah, you go, you be you, Hey, yeah. If that's where you're going, maybe you might want to talk to so-and-so because they may have something to add to that, whether it's Technique or whether it's an idea,

but none of us get, I mean, you know, somebody taught us how to read and write. Somebody taught us how to play an instrument. There's Community none of this happens with how Community I love how you're pointing out that great dynamic tension between the individual and the community. We do want to be a strong individual and be aware of our Purpose centered in our Purpose living from that.

And that does not take away from being also in a community. I think sometimes people might get afraid though, if I'm in a community, I'll get kind of subsumed into that community and my individualism will disappear. And I think with experience that actually, when you're in a true community, your individualism comes out even more to be more you. Yes. Yes.

And I think that, I think I was the tail end of that last generation that was raised to be a wife and mommy, that that was, that was the end goal. And so I think that I had a lot of societal pressure to, to put my own ambition in the background that my personal ambitions from myself, you know, I should be a teacher.

I should be a secretary. Well, you know, you could be a musician, but how are you gonna, you know, you better marry somebody who can, who can support you through that. And so I think that I had a lot of pressure not to focus on myself. And, and at this point, you know, on, on the other end of the career with retirement,

it's like, it's very weird to have the freedom, to focus on myself and say, well, gosh, what would I do? And looking back at all of the, those incremental decisions that I've made to affiliate with this type of music or that type of music genre, or to take lessons in this Searchie uptake, is it for a while and,

you know, go ride or go paint. And so maybe if I had focused more, I, you know, some other goals would be closer within reach, but at the time, you know, we make the best decisions we can under the circumstances that we're in and, and now to have the luxury, to integrate all of that and, and see where it's heading next.

And it was a real luxury, especially in the current circumstances,<inaudible> where we're in, in the height of COVID right now, when you retired and you realized that you could focus on your music, what kind of emotions came up for you at that time? If you wouldn't mind sharing, you know, you spend A lot of time going, well,

you know, if it weren't for this, or if it weren't for that, fill in the blank, you know, then I could, and then fill in the different flags and to be, to have the privilege. And of course, we've got the world blocked town right now. So nobody's going anywhere are very few people are going anywhere unless they absolutely have to.

And we're grateful for the people who do that, but my job is to stay home now. And, and so I went through a flurry of practicing, very, very joyfully disciplined in doing that. And now I'm, I'm in sort of a step back and reassess moment of, okay, you know, I got a good read on where everything is because I play several instruments and,

and starting to understand that just as the rest of my life went through cycles, this is going to go through cycles too. Some days I'm going to be very, Harp focused. Some days I'm going to be very cello focused or fiddle focused. And that's okay. I do not have to buy into this notion of you gotta choose one thing and you've got to reach a certain level of excellence of that,

or it's meaningless. I think that that's the focus on the, the individual savant level. Genius is so much a part of how we currently define creativity. Just the same way that we define music now is more of a commodity. It's something you buy. It's something you download that somebody else has produced at an extremely high level. And we're grateful for those people.

They, they are encouraging. They're inspiring, but you know, if that's not going to be my level, that's okay too. And I don't have to make a value judgment on you. Again, really emphasizing the experience, the experience that you're having and the expression of that experience in the world, rather than It didn't, if the world never knows that I'm doing it,

that's okay too. I know I'm doing it. Yeah. And the joy that I get out of something that's happening with my Practice or the performance that goes on in my head while I'm practicing that, you know, that joy, isn't all that different from the joy of being on stage. And, you know, having people applaud, I'm still the same mean,

and I'm still doing the same music for the same reason and Reverberates throughout every aspect of your life. You know, I believe when you're fulfilled and you're describing some very beautiful fulfillments relationships become better, you know, how you move in the world and your house, you know, becomes more clear and comfortable. It feels like everything is more integrated. Yeah.

Yeah. I think you're right. Yeah. For most Of the Marriott tolerant household, All they're lucky to have you, They also have to listen to all the practicing that the rest of the world doesn't get to hear. Oh, that's true. But you know, even being privy to that, we learn a lot. We see what it takes to,

to master something and yeah, that these things don't just happen out of the blue, you know, they, it's a skill is, is something that we can all build at any time. So there's a couple of stock questions that I, I love to ask towards the end of these interviews, which I love doing. And the first question is what is one misperception that you feel people have around creativity that you would like to help dispel today?

I think that it would have to be the creativity if it's real creativity results in a product. And I think that this is a lesson that I'm continually learning is it's, it sounds so cliche as to say, well, you know, the journey is the destination, but when we're really present for the journey, the destination becomes secondary. And I think for a lot of us,

especially in the economy that we've lived on, there's a productivity requirement and people have to have roads over their heads and food on the table. I mean, you know, there, there is, we're living in the economic situation that we're living in, but that creativity, creativity is its own value, its own meaning. And if we are fortunate enough to work in a field that calls on our creativity,

that's great. I think my, my work in psychology was incredibly creative and it was challenging. And I enjoyed the work that I did, you know, I would never, ever, ever discount that or add or put it down on. I love the families that I worked with and it was its own kind of creativity, but it had a work product at the end and I got paid for it.

And so that was one kind of creativity, but I think creativity that we're talking about and that, and that your book and your, your circles and groups are about is, is the kind of creativity that exists that may or may not have a product. And if there's a product, it may or may not have any monetary return associated with it. And I don't think we have a lot of language for that in our culture where it's okay.

Just to be it's okay to want was out there being a material, something at the end of that wand, just as it's okay to go take a walk, take a hike and just be in nature. Maybe you're not gonna make it to the top of the mountain. Maybe you're not going to make it to that particular crossroads that day. Maybe you're not going to see that particular bird or that particular other animal.

It doesn't take away from the value of having been there and having done it. And I think that that's the thing for creativity for me is that we're so products and the monetization of that product that I think that, that can just suck all the joy out. Right. And when the joy has gone, so much of the Inspiration has gone as well.

Yeah. I'm really appreciating how you're calling creativity as a value in its own. Right. It is worthy because it exists and we don't have to justify it with a product at the end. Maybe a product happens as you say, maybe it doesn't, but it was really the experience and the quality of that experience that was paramount. And, you know,

thinking back to what you were saying earlier, as well about the similar idea of the journey, I think when we're truly present for that journey, we're really there. We're really experiencing, we're really expressing if a product does come out, it will be far better for it. Then if we were just obsessing about getting to that goal, without that much consciousness,

you know, it's kind of like get it right on the test, but you actually don't really know the material. Right. And I, something that you and I were talking about earlier is that when there is a manifestation or the creativity, even like in a conversation like this, you know, just the spontaneous formulation of a phrase is a creative act.

You know, I've put it together and he knew Way got a new one. So that's a creative conversations can be incredibly creative and inspiring. But, but you were talking about listening to a performance or a Practice session, or even a phrase within a practice session. And that moment where it, it, it hits you or reading a phrase in a book or a line of poetry and,

and something comes alive inside the re the recipient that says that's real. That's true. That wakes me up. And there's that shared focus, that shared vision, that shared realization that believability. And, and I know from, from my, from my day job that, you know, some of it was incredibly routine testing children with this thing, questions that don't change over the years.

And some of these, these little tiny people who would formulate answers or physical gestures as responses, and they just completely blew me away because they were so present that they were trying so hard to understand what was being asked of them and to give a genuine response, not for a grade, not throw a point, but to be there in that interaction, present that 20,

25 years later, I still remember them like they're happening now because of the genuine present being present in the moment, It's an incredible, incredibly visceral feeling. Isn't it? When that happens, whether it be in a conversation in a testing environment or performance, it affirms our existence. And it says, Oh, we're really here without a shadow of a doubt.

I know we are here right now. And it's, it's almost like, I mean, for me, it is quite a spiritual experience when that happens. It affirms that, Oh, yes, we are all connected. And we are really here. Yes. And I think that that's the positive aspect being social beings, even when our preferred style of connection may vary widely that there,

and even folks who have difficulty with social connection, that for almost all of them, desire for connection is now and working to find that place where we can have that shared moment being seen, being heard, being understood, and that music, especially instrumental music, without words, I think it reaches that more transpersonal level of maybe, I don't know what images you have in your head while you're performing this music,

but it's, it's bringing forth images or feelings, or sometimes with music for me, it's, it's not, I, I'm not one of those people who visualizes the whole piece in, in terms of visual images, but there is this, this recognition of beauty and presence that is shared, even if we don't have exactly the same perspective or exactly the same intention.

And for me, that's the creativity of it. Something new is happening. We're moving towards something or we're moving away from something towards something else. And that, that for me, is part of the great mystery of music that even in listening to sounds from cultures where I wouldn't understand the words for yes or no, or the gesture spring. Yes or no.

It may be completely the opposite from what we use that when given the gift of the sound or the music from that culture, something visceral, something deep comes up and we respond to it, that it goes beyond language. It goes beyond architecture or style. Where does that come from? You know, that, that people can do this. It's, it's a mystical thing.

It feels like a direct connection between, between all of us and yeah. Between source. It's a very, very mysterious thing. And, and yet, so real, I think we've all, we've all experienced. It, we've all experienced it many times. And I'm struck, you know, and hearing the spaciousness of what you're saying. And when I look back on my days where I was anxious performing,

and, you know, so worried about this note, that note, how that was really taking me off course from the big picture, which is what you're talking about. It is this generosity of sharing. This is where I am right now. And this is how I understand things right now. And when we're focused in, on worrying about this or that note or saying the right thing,

doing the right thing, everything perfectly, we actually take away the possibility of all the things that you're describing. Yeah. And, you know, it's, it's funny, you know, this thesis antithesis synthesis approach to it is, and yet there is still, you know, the love and the respect to the people who have put the time in to know how to make that note sound that way and that they know what's going to happen because the state put the time and the energy to know that that's dependable.

And I guess the question is how do we support that level of beauty and skill without trampolining the Spirit. Yeah. Yeah. And I, I absolutely think we can, you know, bringing together skill and magic, we can do it. And in fact, I think in order to bring out that magic inside us, a skill is required and there is going to be that,

that, that hard work involved. And it can be done without fear. Because earlier, when you were talking about the process, the one thing that stood out for me was focusing on process, takes a lot of performance anxiety. Way the second thing that it really brings out for me as well is we tend to learn better. We actually come to a higher level of Technique artistic insight.

We actually become better when we're not afraid. The fear does not help us as a long-term strategy for getting accomplished, to getting skilled. Okay. Well now you you're, you're going to challenge me to do a psychology geek out here for a moment. I think you're, I think you're, I think ultimately you're right. And I think that's what we need to stay focused on,

but I think that the research also shows that we tend to recall information more in the state that we've learned in. And so, you know, if you're too anxious, you can't really get new information then, but in those in-between States, you know, we don't usually take tasks than the situation in which we learned the information. And I think, again,

in, in your, your writing and speaking about your situation is that making the transition from the Learning state to the performing state, that mastery practice is different from performance practice. And I think that when we talk about learning information for tests or, or other kinds of performing situations, because testers testing is indeed a performance that when we cram cram, cram,

cram, cram stuff to take the sat or the act or whatever the high stakes test is, there's anxiety involved in it because we know there's going to be a judgment and a number at the end of that. And so, so maybe, you know, if for learning it in the same relative state of society that we're taking it in, maybe it will be optimal that way.

But I think you're, you know, you want to move beyond that, to the, just the kind of ease and, and, and joy, you know, instead of how many vocabulary words, if I memorize, how can I use language in a way that brings me joy, that is a creative expression of something I'm thinking, or in conversation with somebody new,

those are different for different processes.<inaudible><inaudible> yeah, yeah. You know, when we Practice anything, we normalize it, right. We make it just more regular in our lives. And I think with, even with performance, you can practice it as, as, as we've worked together, as you know, and I remember doing, I didn't do a CTS and all those,

is that what they called act Well there's act and sat are the two big ones in America. So I did all levels and a levels are very ancient stuff. And we would do what were called mock O levels and a levels. So we would, they would pretend that they were giving us the test. And we would go in as if we were doing the test and have to sit down and,

and do it. And I guess, you know, that was definitely a type of performance practice. And the more that you do that, the more skilled you get with it. And I feel like this could happen with almost anything, like when I think about how people under super high pressure situations deal, you know, I, I remember looking at one of the United States presidents and just wondering how,

how do they deal with all this stress? You know, this is like such a high stakes job. And I'm like, well, they have been practicing this, you know, they have been doing this so that they're not in a state of terror all the time. Like I would be, I mean, They also have a lot of paid staff,

even care of a lot of the details. They're not worrying what to make for lunch. Yeah. Who is going to fold the laundry. Right. Right. Well, I think, yeah, so it's a very, very interesting question. I mean, that's, that's the creative thing. Like as soon as you discover one thing, another thing opens up,

it's an endless endlessly wonderful journey. The other question I would love to ask you is what is one, if there were one thing that you could let people know about creativity today for them right now, what would that thing be? One thing Hmm.<inaudible>, It's worth all the work and time and energy you put into it. When you can, when you can say,

I don't necessarily know where this is going, but it's what I feel moved to do. I'm finding out is it's worth whatever you put into it Really trust the process. Yeah. And I, I think that, again, we don't live in a society where it's okay. Not to know. I, I think of so many situations where yeah, if I had had the power to make decisions,

you know, well, it's going to be this and not that, and it's going to be this. And not that, that I probably would have chosen things that would have closed more doors than had opened just for the certainty of knowing. And I didn't have that power in life happened as it happened. And, you know, the highs were high and the lows were low and I couldn't have predicted most of it.

And I think we want that certainty that it's going to be worth whatever we're putting into it. But I think any time spent Asking oneself, you know, it's just, this is someplace I want to explore. And, and even if the exploration after days, months, even years comes down to, you know, I'm done with that. That's good because now,

you know, but you know, because you went on the journey, maybe you don't need to go back to that place anymore. Maybe it is time to move in a different direction, but you will have had the satisfaction of it being your own decision, your own journey and not something imposed on you from the outside. And I think that, and that was one of the greatest gifts my family gave me.

We maybe didn't have a lot of financial resources to, you know, buy lessons and teachers and travel and all of that sort of thing. But nobody ever told me not to want what I wanted. You know, they, they would say practical things like, well, you know, I don't see how that's going to pay your bills. And that's just a real life thing,

but nobody ever told me not to want it. And so I could keep wanting it and I could keep enjoying it. Oh, thank you. Such a heartfelt approach to life. What you described is true courage, living a courageous life. And I don't think any of us would ever regret that Well, and you know, I don't think of it as being courageous at all.

I think very practical life, a lot of practical decisions, but I think it was, it was, you know, I had the gift of somebody not, not tamping down that spar that said, you know, yeah, you still gotta live in reality. You know, gravity still applies to you. You'd still better look both ways before you cross that street.

You know, whatever my impulse may have been to run, I did need to learn how to stop and look both ways, But that, that desire to run with it. And that was what wasn't taken away. And I really, I think that's what I would just wish for everyone is to, if it's been taken away to know that it's still there and can be rediscovered,

and if it is there, whatever the external constraints are, if you respect its presence, there will be a way it to now. And I think for anyone who doubts that I think of, you know, the music that came out as a concentration camps that we are still listening to and are still moved by today. Doesn't get a whole lot worse than that.

And yet that desire to express both demoralization and the hope that maybe it wasn't continue this way, that if creativity can express itself in those dire circumstances, I just see that as encouragement for each and every one of us to know that it's, it's there, it's there somewhere. And that it's worth, it's worth looking around to see where it's going to take us.

Wow. Thank you so much. Yeah. In your, you're speaking about expressing, I'm hearing that we express the full spectrum. We do express the joy and light, and we also express the dark and the constricted, and we want to express both those sides. That's what creativity is. It is not about just some sweet image. It's about true expression.

And when we have the courage to truly express where we are at, I feel like that is real creativity happening. So yeah, yeah, Yeah. And that's, You know, and I think that that can carry us through a lot. You know, we are in, we're in very strange times right now. And most of us aren't able to do what we consider to be our usual schedule or activities.

And yet as frustrating as it is, there is a way to define something to do with that. And if it's music, there are sounds, if it's words to be written, if it's color to be expressed, sharing Messages about creativity, Sharing messages about creativity and supporting that, that search. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Well, thank you so much,

Teresa. This is so beautiful to speak with you. I feel Well, thank you, Diana. I have, I just have always enjoyed our conversations and I just wish you the best with sharing your work with the world because you've clearly done so much deep thought and work on this and I know we're, we're done, but I'm going to say one more thing just because it's what really,

I think is important for people to know about your work. You're so good at focusing on others. And I think the joy for me, in working with you and your Circle is your deep support for people finding their own paths and their own expression that your book is not your typical self-help creativity book, do these three things and you will be creative. And that to me was what was so fascinating about,

about seeing the book go through its, its its stages and its manifestation was that it is, it is a great invitation. It, you know, if you don't have that, Community, if you don't have that, Circle already in your life. If you don't have that group that, you know, got together at the coffee shop and supported one another,

the writer's group that your book is that great invitation to explore. And if you don't and throughout the book, it's a great invitation because you don't say you gotta do this. Like try it, see how you feel about it. If it doesn't work, put it down, try something else. But that the support is again for the journey. The support is for asking the question and taking time to understand the answer and what the answer is today may feel different in a week or six months from now.

But it's exactly that process. And that I think, especially for people who feel isolated, you know, we talk about the Harp. I mean, it's just not the most, it's not a top of everybody's list of what they're going to play. And so the Harp community has a lot of stories about how, when did you first hear a Harp how did you come to the heart?

What moved you to, to take up this instrument? How did you find a teacher? Because Harp teachers are not on every corner and especially before the internet. And so your invitation, your support for that process, it's not about worrying about whether have performance, anxiety, or whether you're even ever going to perform it's you tell your story, not as I did it.

So if you do it my way, you'll be fine too. Yours is here's my story. This is how I worked through it. So that part is, is, you know, sort of the expected part. We get to know you through that story, but then comes the invitation. And that's where I see your hard work, your exploration, and you're moving beyond your own experience.

You're not trying to generalize your experience to everybody else. You're really providing a structure within which people can come to their own conclusions. And I think that shows such a deep respect for the variety of creative experience. And so that's going to be my commercial for you. And your work is every time that I read through your book or talked with people about it,

there's always something new there that says, you know, you've got these principles of Alchemy and you've got these other, you know, things that some people would say are a little low. And, and you're like, well, if, if it works for you assemble fine. If it doesn't work, you don't have to use it. But you know,

here's the truth underneath all of this. Then if you want to hang it on this system, you can hang it on the system, but you don't have to, you don't have to believe anything except that the commitment to yourself to see where it takes you. Thank you so much, Theresa. And I have to mention the Teresa who is in the book is you,

Oh, I didn't realize I was mentioned by name, but yeah. Yes, there are some long quotes from you because your insight around creativity is, is greatly inspirational to me. Well, I have enjoyed having this conversation with you. I've enjoyed all of our conversations. I look forward to more. Yes. And I really, I really to think that I think you've taken the creativity and self exploration work to another level.

And again, you know, I didn't know it could be taken to that level. And so I think it's just an, it's another monument to when we really commit to trying to understand ourselves and communicate it, the genuineness comes through and, and we ended up someplace. We didn't know. We could even go. It's a joyous thing. Well, thank you, Diana. It's been lovely afternoon. Yeah. Theresa talk to you soon. Okay. Bye. Bye.


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