Monday, April 7, 2008


There are those defining moments in our lives that, though short in duration, effect us at such a depth that we are changed forever. Through twenty years of psychotherapy practice, I’m convinced that most of these moments occur in childhood; we spend the rest of our lives either proving them true or false, whether or not we remember the situations or have defined the messages we took from them. But these moments aren’t limited to childhood---they can occur at any time in our lives, turn us onto a detour, change our world-view, values, politics, religion, creativity, goals.

Recently, I remembered one of these moments from my childhood. At about eight or nine, I absorbed a message about the monetary worth of my creativity, actually, of my work in general. When the memory rose to the surface it wrenched me open; tears spewed from my gut; my self-definition lurched from its usual place within me a few degrees east (or maybe it was west). The tears didn’t last long, but the depth of the catharsis produced immediate, positive effect.

What have those moments been in your life? What situations have you been in that defined you as a creative being in the world? What moments valued or de-valued your creative esteem? How important have these moments been to your growth and success (or how much of an obstacle to your success have they been)? Did it make a difference when you realized or remembered or otherwise brought the memory to surface awareness? How have these moments affected your creative productivity?