Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Creativity Facilitator
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Recreating the Economy

Recreating the Economy
by Lisa A Kramer
I have been thinking a lot about money lately. 

I have also been thinking a lot about dreams and goals.

The problem is, that it sometimes feels like you can't have one without the other, and unfortunately we live in a world where the money often comes first. I want to change that so much. Dreams and goals should not only be available to those who can afford them. 

I took a scary (for me) leap yesterday , and launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to publish my book RE-CREATING THE WORLD: THE POWER OF COLLABORATIVE CREATIVITY. 

Why was it scary? Because its hard for me to ask for help, especially in the form of money.  I struggle with feelings of failure when I realize that I am not financially secure. I sometimes fall into that gremlin-filled wormhole that tells me I haven't been
doing enough . . . working hard enough . . . creating a platform big enough. . . . being enough enough. 

Celebrating a Commitment to Creativity

Celebrating a Commitment to Creativity
by Lisa A Kramer
I wrote a book.

That's probably not a surprise, but the thing is that I finished the first draft in 2020. Then, I gave up on myself. I thought the book was good and had potential. It is a book that truly represents me and my goals for the future. But I let my gremlins talk me out of it, so the book simply sat there being sad. 
A hand drawn gremlin saying mean things to a person crouched in front of it.
Gremlin of Doubt

 I couldn't face the fear of rejection, of not doing it right, of not finding an agent, of being completely wrong about my own work. I was mired in the world which believed that the only legitimate books were traditionally published, and that I would never find that perfect agent who could get me the perfect publishing deal. 

Of course, I realize, you can never find them if you don't try. Still a part of me didn't want to try.

 

When You Open to Possibility

When You Open to Possibility
by Lisa A Kramer

Being Open to Possibilility Means that Possibilities Open Up

It always amazes me how a shift in mindset opens up new possibilities. 

I know that there a many coaches and thought leaders out there talking about manifesting your desires, dreams, money. While I do believe that the energy of the universe works with us, I also struggle with this concept.

Why? Because if things don't happen quickly, or to the extent that these coaches often promise, then it becomes "you didn't believe enough," or "you used the wrong words," or anything that shifts the blame to you rather than to their methods and practices.

For this reason, when I help people access their creativity I don't promise that they will become rich and famous. I know that, by allowing themselves to be more open and playful with their lives and their dreams, the possibility of more things open up.

How do I know this? Because it's happening to me right now!!!

International Women's Day: Why All Women Should Be Celebrated

International Women's Day: Why All Women Should Be Celebrated
by Lisa A Kramer
On International Women's Day, we celebrate women.

"It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political." (United Nations)

I think it's wonderful to celebrate women on this day. I love seeing all the posts about women who have done amazing things. Women who have broken the glass ceiling. Women who are fighting for social and environmental justice every single day. The stories are inspirational and filled with hope.

But there is also something missing. We need to celebrate the women whose voices have been silenced.

Reintroduction, Letting Go, and Creating Anew

Reintroduction, Letting Go, and Creating Anew
by Lisa A Kramer


Reintroduction

Welcome to my newly redesigned website! Whether you are new here or have been following me for a while, please consider signing up for my mailing list (located on the side bar) as transitioning from one platform to another made me lose a few things. It's totally my fault because sometimes technology makes me want to pound my head into my desk or send my computer flying. But that's not important now. 

Letting Go

Welcome to a new beginning, where I let go of 13 years of old blogs, to focus on what I am becoming, rather than what I was. Of course, I've saved some of them. I've kept my favorite or most popular posts. I've kept all of the posts by other authors in serious like #Celebrating our Unique Powers, and posts that focus on #Creativity, #Writing, #ArtsAndSocialJustice. I am letting go of the rants, many political posts, and some other random pieces. I am proud of all I have written, but I realize that looking forward, writing forward, and creating forward is what I choose to focus on.

Letting go is freeing somehow. As I sort through old posts, I discover things that have shifted, and questions that have changed. I recognized  areas of passion that grew stronger over the years. I said farewell to those that no longer serve me. I feel ready, now to conquer new projects, build new connections, discover new collaborations, and write new books.

No F*cks Left to Give: A Midlife Manifesto Part II

by Lisa A Kramer
For many years now, one character keeps asking me to tell her story. I've begun many times, but something has always gotten in the way. Yet this character lives within me. She is the Storyteller. In my mind, she is a wise woman, a crone, a goddess, a witch. A woman who shares stories by the fireside to help her community understand the broken parts, the parts they have damaged, the parts they can change. As she weaves her tales, the sparks of the fire dance to form the images of people, places, things . . . her stories come to life.

She has appeared in my blog before as well. Starting with an image where I attempted to show...

Sparking Creative Rebellion: An Invitation

Sparking Creative Rebellion: An Invitation
by Lisa A Kramer
When I was really young, I loved recording radio shows using a cassette recorder and a friend/sibling or two.. (Yes, I'm mature, deal with it). The topics varied. Sometimes I would do fake news interviews, or tell spooky stories complete with sound effects. Sometime songs made appearances, sung with the enthusiasm of any young girl who already loved the idea of Broadway musicals. (The first album I ever begged to own was the original cast recording of Annie).

I bet, if I search my mother's house, I will find some of those tapes lying around. They are probably mixed in with old stories I wrote, pictures I made with paints or crayons. Maybe event a few broken down crafts.

Dusty remnants of...

Claiming My Voice: A Manifesto for Midlife

by Lisa A Kramer
When I decided to leave academia in 2020 (only partially because of the pandemic) I didn't realize that I was entering an unknown world with (unwritten) rules designed to make life difficult. Some of these rules include:

If you are a woman over 50 (as I am) you are turning invisible.If you have higher degrees (I have both MFA and PhD) then employers will decide for you that you will be bored, and therefore not hire you.Capitalism will always undervalue thinkers, creative workers, and people who recognize that there is more to life than the daily grind and the bottom line.

In the midst of all this, of course, my country--actually the entire world--has completely lost the plot. Honestly, I don't...

In Search of Community

by Lisa A Kramer
Lately I have been hiding in the world of books.

Not just any books. I seek escape in the world of paranormal women's midlife fiction. Books where women my age often stumble into as yet unknown powers as they build new lives in magical towns where they are welcomed by an eclectic mix of diverse and quirky characters.



The woman always faces some challenge or danger, which allows her to discover her own inner strength.

Sometimes she falls in love (often with a shifter) but that's not the aspect that draws me to these books.

No, what draws me is the idea of this person discovering and building a family--a chosen family--made up of people who accept her for who she is. The...

Women and Creative Power

by Lisa A Kramer
Let's talk about women and creative power.

Anyone who follows me knows that I advocate for the importance of reconnecting with our creative selves in order to make a more just society. I believe in the power of both individual and collaborative creative acts to change the world.

Why? Because creativity is innate--we all have the capacity to access it. It is a muscle, a tool, a skill, and most importantly:

Creativity is something that authoritarian governments fear!

You might be thinking that creativity seems unimportant given the GOPs attack on bodily autonomy, women's rights, LBGTQ rights, and even our right to worship as we please.

I believe that they are deeply intertwined.

Allow me to explain. But first, a warning.



Defining My Terms

Given...

5 Reasons to Join the Spark Collaborative Community

by Lisa A Kramer
Once upon a time there was a woman who wanted to help build a better world. How could she do that in a world struggling through a global pandemic, climate change, and toxic environments caused by greed, racism, a rise in far right ideologies, and war? What did she have to offer that could change things?

Unsure but ready for a change, she took advantage of the opportunities that opened up under lockdown and went exploring. No she didn't leave her house, but she took classes, connected with others around the world, had conversations, and discovered a world full of people like her--people who wanted to change themselves and the world but were unsure where to begin.

She realized that what she...

The Fear of Creative Power

by Lisa A Kramer
"What would life be if we had not courage to attempt anything."Vincent Van Gogh

It all started with an advertisement.

Yes, my partner in Spark Collaborative and I decided to feed the beast that is Facebook, and post an ad about an upcoming one day workshop we are offering. Word of mouth only goes so far.

So we created an ad. As far as ads go, I didn't think this was aggressive or offensive. In some ways its kind of eye-catching and somewhat calming. Below is the image, with the text we included on Facebook.

Join us for a few hours of meaningful exploration around our creativity. We'll have fun, laugh, and leave with tools we can use to spark creativity in our...

The Art of Failing

by Lisa A Kramer
When you know what it feels like to failferociouslyand have gained thecapacityto rise and rise and rise again. Jeannette Encinias "Beneath the Sweater And the Skin"

What is failure, if not opportunity? I believe that the art of failing frees you to succeed in new ways. Perhaps ways that feed your spirit so that you truly live a life worth living.

We learn from an early age that failure is something bad, somehow. But I don’t believe that. At least not anymore.

How does one define failure anyway? In a world ruled by money, or views success as a limited resource, then failure means that one is not able to grab your piece of the success pie.

Is that how you think...

How to Start a Creative Rebellion

by Lisa A Kramer
I hear it daily from friends, loved ones, connections on social media--people struggling as they are being pushed back into a "norm" that is far from normal. After over a year of self-reflection, people are leaving their work in droves, partially because of natural trends, but I believe its also because people are starting to realize that there is a brokenness to the society we have built.

It's time for a big change, and it will take a creative rebellion to make that happen.

Defining Creative Rebellion

What do I mean by creative rebellion? It's simple really. Throughout history creative people of all types have played roles in social movements. From painting Black Lives Matter large enough to be seen from space,...

Changing the World through Performance and Play

by Lisa A Kramer
Did you know that there are people around the world who understand the power of creativity, the arts, and collaboration to make real difference in the world?

Yes, I've been talking about this important power for a while now, but this isn't about me. My desire to change the world one creative act at a time sits on the foundation of amazing people who have been doing this, in their own way, for years. Their is a community of artists, performers, social activists, educators, writers, therapists, scientists, politicians etc., etc. who strive each day to create and collaborate in ways that encourage communities to develop and create a truly just world.

Call them Performance Activists. Call them "multipotentialites." Call them clowns....

The Potential of Multiple Passions

by Lisa A Kramer
We should all be designing lives and careers that are aligned with how we're wired.Emilie Wapnick, "Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling" TedxBend, April 2015

I learned a new word today. One that truly resonated with me

Multipotentialite

What is a a multipotentialite? In the words of Emile Wapnick, who coined the term:

A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits. 

Why am I fascinated with this word?

Because of the woman who "couldn't" hire me for a project because she felt my energy and interests were too scattered (and then went on to hire someone close to me, telling that person I had turned her down--but that's a whole other story).

Because of the conversation I had recently with a woman...

Embracing a Non-Traditional Career

by Lisa A Kramer
I am the first to admit it, anyone looking at my LinkedIn Profile or resume will probably scratch their head and say--who is this person? How does she fit in? I have a feeling that many of you can relate to this problem.

When I decided it was time to leave academia and move onto something new, I applied for all kinds of traditional roles. Roles that I know that I can do. Roles that would have asked me to learn and to grow, but represented skills I already carry with me. Roles in new fields that sounded interesting. Roles that I could probably do in my sleep.

With rejection after rejection, I've had to face a hard truth. My eclectic career...

Gateless: The Power of Positive Feedback

by Lisa A Kramer
We have been raised to believe that criticism is the only way to learn and grow.

It occurs everywhere. Red marks on school papers. Annual reviews. Critical analysis of books, plays, artwork--anything we produce that can be judged by others. Criticism comes from outside sources, but also from that voice in your own head telling you that your work will never live up to some supreme ideal.

Some people thrive on criticism, becoming more and more determined to prove everyone wrong. Many shrivel up and freeze--thinking "if I can't do it right, if I can't be perfect, than I'm not good enough. I should just stop."

What would happen if we approached feedback with a different mentality? What would happen...

Play is Serious Work

by Lisa A Kramer
"I always think that focusing on fun is being lazy."

The woman who typed these words had just asked a question about how to get motivated in the face of debilitating physical challenges that are affecting her work and her ability to produce. The expert leading this workshop responded that sometimes we simply need to focus on joy and having fun--especially when faced with so many obstacles.

Yet, this woman--dealing with more challenges than many of us--struggles with an issue that has been ingrained into the American psyche, to the detriment of us all. The idea that play or fun has nothing to do with work.

We've been taught that somehow playing is childish and a waste of time. Imaginative play...

Creativity and Leadership

by Lisa A Kramer
What makes a leader? What is leadership?

I've been pondering these questions a lot lately.

For you see, for some reason I don't seem to fit other people's definition of leadership. Sure, I have:

taken the lead throughout my lifemanaged box offices and volunteers for large eventsstarted companieslead classrooms and programsdirected artistic teams to full-scaled productions trained new teacherstaken leadership positions on boards and committees

Yet still, with all that, the word "leader" seems to somehow slide around me rather than attaching to me. It's a label that does not stick.

An article by Jacob Morgan on The Chief Learning Officer asks the same questions:

As part of the research for my new book, “The Future Leader,” I interviewed more than 140 CEOs around the...