Image 5 12 24 at 1.31 PM

Let’s Close the Void

Image 5 12 24 at 1.31 PM

In Steve!, a Steve Martin documentary, Martin’s friend and artist Eric Fischl says, “[Art] comes from that deep awareness of the void — and the nature of the drive of art is to close that void.”

Steve’s documentary is a beautiful love poem to his daughter (this is my interpretation after viewing it during several sessions on our treadmill).

Creating art — regardless of the medium — helps the artist and (hopefully) their patrons see and feel a new perspective.

Eleven years ago, during my nasty divorce, I demanded help from the Universe (I was done with polite subtleties, you see), and the very next day, I interviewed a WWII Veteran named Bob. This nonagenarian with macular degeneration would serve as the catalyst for transformational change in my life — when I needed it the most. In addition to the cover story that I wrote on Bob (getting a 90-year-old man on the cover of a magazine is NOT easy!), I knew I would share a broader story of Bob’s and my relationship and the journey he sent me on to find his long-lost love – a woman named Joy (thus my first memoir, FINDING JOY, to be released soon).

Safe space is necessary for my creative process — something that I did not have until I trudged through my divorce and created my own security. 

Healing does not happen in a vacuum. It does not occur in one therapy session, nor do you magically wake up one morning and feel completely healed from trauma. It’s slow and arduous and painful and frustrating and beautiful and messy. There are moments that bring you to your knees — repeatedly. What matters is getting back up and continuing the journey. Fortunately, there are innumerable methodologies and practices that help take the edge off. I have a list of suggested resources on my website and have interviewed the healers who have helped me (see my podcasts).

PTSD is generally affiliated with combat Veterans (I have written hundreds of articles on Veterans; I uppercase this word out of respect, as should everyone). The VA blesses two modalities that they have proven to be effective in helping Veterans with PTSD: Yoga Nidra and storytelling. That’s it (so far).

Elizabeth Gilbert’s practice of writing Letters From Love is so effective because of the vast healing implications. Liz does a beautiful job of explaining what LETTERS FROM LOVE is all about, so I will leave her to share her background and what drew her to this practice. What I will state is how grateful I am to Liz and her friend and editor, Margaret, for creating a safe community for healing. I am especially grateful that they asked me to be a guest contributor (you must subscribe to LETTERS FROM LOVE to see my video + letter; there is a free 7-day trial).

Writing has been a key component of my healing from trauma, but nothing of what I have shared to date was as intimately personal as the Letter From Love that I shared on her platform. — this is saying something since I am a memoirist!

When I coach my corporate clients – or when I am interviewing someone for an article or for my podcast – we discuss boundaries. There’s a difference between sharing something personal vs. private. The LETTERS FROM LOVE nudge into the private space. Perhaps this is why Liz’s community is growing so quickly: there’s a strong need to heal.

The mantra for my friend Dan Wakefield is “Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” – a quote from an ancient Greek philosopher. Liz has created a battlefield of sorts, only this one is filled with heroes who want to lay down their weapons and armor and heal their wounds. 

They want to close the void.

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