Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Uncovering My Own Secret Ability

A thirty-something man stands on empty stage, a stack of rehearsal boxes next to him. His hair is pulled back in a ponytail and he wears sandals oh his feet despite the frigid temperatures and piles of snow that surround us.

"Yay America!" He says with enthusiasm, as he begins his performance, and then he takes us through his journey from enthusiastic young soldier to sniper who has pulled the trigger one too many times.

"Yay, humanity," he says at the end, his voice coated in tears.

I cannot hide my own tears, nor can several of the other students.

It is beautiful, it is powerful, it is healing.

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You might have noticed that, since I started this series, I haven't really written about my own "power." I have a difficult time seeing it, admitting it, defining it. When I first started, my husband said he was going to write a post for me, celebrating me and my unique abilities. But he's not a writer, and is a very busy man, so that never happened. I shouldn't expect it too, either. After all, if I want to encourage others to celebrate their own powers, shouldn't I be able to do the same myself?

Still, I'm human, and sometimes finding what makes you special or unique seems selfish and narcissistic.

However,  a few things have happened recently that made me understand myself a little better.

Last week I asked my students to create/perform pieces of performance art. I often do this with my classes because it shows them how powerful the freedom to express oneself can be. Chris, the man I described above, blew me away with his--because of its honesty, rawness, emotion, and for the fact that Chris broke one of his own walls by taking a creative risk.

Yesterday, Lizzi Rogers provided an incredible post where she began to realize her own power as a People Gatherer, which in my opinion is one of the most important abilities out there. I am always writing about the importance of community and the ability to bring people together in safe and loving ways is one to cherish. What amazed me the most, however, is Lizzi's humility in all this. She did not truly understand the power she wields. Let me just mention that her post (along with the amazing power post by Beth Teliho)  brought more people to my blog than it has seen in a long time.

{*Lisa pushes aside the green-eyed monster, now is not the time}

All joking aside, both of these women didn't seem to realize how powerful they truly were, until they took my challenge to write and take this creative risk.

Are you seeing the pattern yet?

Several years ago I received a thank you letter from a student I could hardly remember. I taught him years before, at a college I was no longer at, in Freshman Composition classes. He had left that college, and went on to graduate from a different school. We weren't in touch, but he sought me out, and found me through heArtful Theatre Company, which isn't easy to do. He wanted me to know he had graduated. He wanted me to know that he would never have graduated if he had not found a way to enjoy writing and believe in himself as a writer. He gave me credit for doing that.

This morning, after my daughter was finished getting ready for school, she sat at the table giggling at her Kindle.  She was using an app to create silly images of herself. I jumped in to join the fun.

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At that moment, I realized that I have a daughter who is not afraid to be creative and silly. She may challenge me a lot lately. We may clash and hurt each other sometimes. But I've taught her the joy of finding things that make her happy and being creative.

My list of people who have passed through my life, who I have inspired in some way to reach beyond their own limitations is long. I don't give myself enough credit for that. I always judge myself because I don't seem to have achieved the heights of "success" as defined by others. But, I have helped people achieve their own successes, find their own voices, celebrate their own lives.

My power lies in the ability to help others find their own paths. I think that is one worth celebrating.

I can't wait to see where it brings me next.


If you would like to contribute to this series, read this post and join in the celebration!

When people come together, they can change the world as they do in P.O.W.ER.