Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Well, yesterday was a marvelous trifecta for me. First off, after being released from Folsom on August 22, 2008, I officially was released from parole status after three years. Serendipitously and symbolically, I received my new passport ahead of schedule, and I debuted the short works-in-progress version of my one man show about my prison experience, to a rousing reception at The Marsh theatre, the nation's premier showcase for one man and one woman shows. It was the culmination of a longtime aspiration and a wonderful class by superstar solo performer and artist-in-residence Charlie Varon.
A description of my segment of the five solo performances:

The Great Escape. The most outrageous, moving, inspiriting, and hilarious description of a bestselling self-help author’s 7 years at Folsom State Prison.

One piece of my work-in-progress involved the audience, as I told them that one of the greatest blows to my emotional equilibrium in prison was the periodic arrival of a new cellmate. A stranger entering your cell to spend hour after hour, sometimes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, locked in this tiny space with you. You have no idea how long you will be cellmates, or even what his crime was, and prison protocol dictates you don't ask, unless they volunteer the information. I suggested audience members look around and find their own stranger nearby and imagine that this person just arrived as their cellmate and had some of the characteristics of a few of my real life cellies, like:

"Charlie, who has an obsession...his fancy breed pet chicken back home. Something i still remember was called a feather-footed, bearded and muffed black-breasted red Cubalaya chicken..and he even brought a stack of photographs of the chicken...and he constantly talks about the chicken and how much he loves it....and now considers you his best friend because you foolishly reveal that you don’t like eating chicken in any form."

I have considered myself free since long before I left Folsom, thanks to the rich internal world I created for myself, but it is nice to now have the physical reality of freedom from all parole restrictions, like not being able to travel more than 50 miles from San Bruno, California. But since I was released, I've enjoyed an even greater freedom, to choose the company I keep. Back in 1976, I had a book published, FRIENDS: The Power And Potential of The Company You Keep. At that time, I couldn't have imagined not being in charge of the company I kept. And now I count that blessing every day. The ultimate freedom is to be doing what you love to do and want to do, when and where you want to do it, and with whom you want to do it. Without that, anyone is a prisoner.


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Monday, August 8, 2011


So there is more and more evidence that the old saw, "I'm not getting older, but better." is based on fact. Several recent reports have come out that talk about how creativity increases with advancing years. One in Psychology Today was especially insightful on the subject in an article by Shelley H. Carson, Ph.D., which said:
The aging brain resembles the creative brain in several ways. For instance, the aging brain is more distractible and somewhat more disinhibited than the younger brain (so is the creative brain). Aging brains score better on tests of crystallized IQ (and creative brains use crystallized knowledge to make novel and original associations). These changes in the aging brain may make it ideally suited to accomplish work in a number of creative domains. So instead of promoting retirement at age 65, perhaps we as a society should be promoting transition at age 65: transition into a creative field where our growing resource of individuals with aging brains can preserve their wisdom in culturally-valued works of art, music, or writing.

Since I've long suggested that retirement is a bad concept, I was pleased at the idea that since we get more creative in certain ways, (being less inhibited in our thinking as well as more easily distracted), we transition instead of retire. Move into some more creative field of endeavor at age 65. A lot of seniors have been doing that in recent decades, but since it is not considered the societal norm, they often get criticized, "What was he thinking at his age?"

I am very grateful that I came out of 12 years in prison with a more open and disciplined and uninhibited and creatively productive mind. I have so many creative projects lined up on my back burner, that I will have to live to at least the 150 year mark I predicted in my book, Psychological Immortality. Right now, I am writing this blog and my prosperity blog as well, plus twenty or thirty cartoon gags for several successful magazine cartoonists, and material for a one man show about prison life that I hope to take to off-Broadway in 2012, and bits and pieces for a stand-up comedy act, and notes for a prison memoir that will probably be published next year, and coming up with innovative, new ideas and strategies for my Moneylove Club monthly audio series on prosperity consciousness.

And I am definitely not doing this in any frenzied way, but living a rather leisurely lifestyle, and doing a lot of catching up on the twelve years' worth of good films I missed while in prison via Netflix, plus getting somewhat addicted to some great British series like Monarch of the Glen, Coupling, and New Street Law, plus great cable series like Saving Grace and several shows on TNT, as well as some of the best Hulu.com has to offer.

And I don't even have a TV! I watch it all online on my 24 inch high definition LED monitor, so that I can easily switch back and forth between engrossing entertainment and exciting creative efforts, which my mind does seem able to do with increasing ease and alacrity. And as just an example of my always exploring new things, the preceding sentence is the first time in my life I've ever used the word "alacrity," which I just looked up after writing it to find it means, "cheerful readiness." Don't you love that phrase? Imagine everyone you meet for business or pleasure greets you with cheerful readiness.
I'm walking a lovely woman to her door after a delightful date and ask if I may come in, and she says, "I welcome you with alacrity." Oh well, maybe that's a bit much. Then again, as I am now older and more "disinhibited," why not expand my expectations?

Speaking of gratitude, and my cartoon gags, I'm going to close by sharing a favorite from the newest batch I sent out just this weekend.
CAPTION: "I'd invite you in for my nightly Gratitude Ritual, but tonight it's about being grateful I don't have to ever see you again."

Check out my prosperity blog at: http://www.MoneyloveBlog.com