We are perfect when we are present.
MIND THE GAP
“You have a feverish need to ask questions,” the seminar leader said – and my cheeks burned. I had raised my hand from an audience of 500, heart pounding, longing to connect and impress. I was prepared to be called on – but not called out. I was twelve.
I was just trying to get it right.
I was ALWAYS trying to get it right. I didn’t know how to quit.
Insatiably curious from the beginning, I was driven by a fervent desire to win my mother’s approval and my father’s attention. By seven I’d learned how to “think like a man,” embracing masculine rules of achievement and dominance, while the Muse took hold of my intuitive soul through a piano my parents found at a garage sale for $30.
The following year, I performed a Bach minuet for 3,000 people.
I fell in love with the rhythm of language, using words and music to build bridges between my disparate worlds – between what I desired and what I was told I should want; between English manners and American grit; between left-brain logic and right-brain pleasure.
But I couldn’t bridge the gap between doing right and feeling good. It was never enough.
I checked off box after box: I was valedictorian of my high school class of 800. I graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and immediately moved to New York City to network my 21-year old butt off. By 24, I had composed and conducted a national commercial with a 60-piece orchestra, scored an award-winning special on Lifetime Television, and played my first Broadway show.
It still wasn’t enough.
I kept building the resume and the reel – conducting Miss Saigon and Jersey Boys, touring with Cyndi Lauper and Mamma Mia!, writing and recording two albums plus a Billboard-charting single as solo artist Deborah Marlowe – still hungry for the win that would tell me I’d made it.
HUSTLE AND GRIND
Serving other people’s visions, I racked up plenty of credits and earned my place in an elite tier of show business professionals. I fantasized about building something of my own through a dozen false starts. But I was still jockeying for position with a relentless inner critic, too busy holding up the heavens with my perfectionism to take any real risks.
When I found out that Cirque du Soleil was hiring a Music Director for their brand new show in Hollywood, I felt something deep inside me, a primal growl, work its way up my spine and say, “MINE.” I went after that gig with a vengeance and I got it.
For the first time in decades, it was enough. I was enough.
But less than a year after opening a show that was supposed to be my ticket to freedom and fulfillment, I found myself starting over in Los Angeles – exhausted, burned out, and utterly depressed. I had no idea what to do next, but I knew I needed real help. I needed another way.
I was even ready to let go of getting it right.
I sought out mentors, teachers, and coaches who I could trust to lead me through and out of the dark. Slowly, carefully, I repaired my body and strengthened my heart, brokering deals between my masculine drive and my feminine desires, learning to hear the still, quiet voice of my soul.
That’s when I realized that I needed to flip the whole model on its head. I had to stop worrying about what I was “supposed” to do or how I could cobble together a living. I had to loosen my desperate grip on control and break the vicious cycle of fear, contraction, and scarcity that was holding me hostage. I needed to pay attention to what actually enlivened me.
I needed to trust myself, at last.
Step by step, piece by piece, I took apart the structures that had defined my career and my creativity. I let loose. I rested. I learned new modalities of personal and professional development. I created new structures of accountability and support, and as a result, experienced unprecedented breakthroughs in my own creative output, productivity, and well-being.
Productivity for Perfectionists™ was born in April 2017 and outpaced my wildest expectations, yielding the business of my dreams in a matter of months. Today, I own my work, my time and my success; I have never felt more capable, inspired or delighted by my days. And I have built an extraordinary tribe of kindred spirits who I serve with gratitude and joy.
I’m so glad you’re here.