Freak of the Week ~ Lorne Holden

Each week I feature a friend or acquaintance whose work/life either sets, or works well with, my blog theme of the week.  A month or so ago my friend Laurie and her awesome seven year old son came over for Sunday breakfast, a weekly time of sharing with friends in our house.  She told me about the success she had found developing a system to accomplish things in 10 minutes a day and then authoring a book teaching her system.  I had no idea!  For me, Time Management is a challenge much bigger than this week's blog theme so I am especially excited to introduce you to Lorne Holden.  Lorne, is my friend Laurie's, pen name used to author her best selling time management book Make It Happen in 10 Minutes a Day.   She is embarking on an online coaching class beginning June 16, in which I am very excited to participate. Once you read this post you might just be interested too!  So here goes, Readers, this is Lorne.

Tell our readers about you...

06.05.14 Laurie McLeod portraitI am a Dancemaker, Painter, Moviemaker, Writer and Single Mom. Berkshire County friends will know me by my real name, Laurie McLeod, though professionally now I go by my pen name, Lorne Holden. And I should say that something special about my life is that I've lived a good chunk of it around the corner from The Dolphin Studio, home of the famed ffrench clan!

I have a great love of the ridiculous and think the world would be a better place if we all did something ridiculous every day. I spent many years working devotedly in modern dance and choreography (which I finally realized is pretty ridiculous.) Six years of those years I spent living abroad in England and France. Then I returned to the States and worked in New England and New York City.

06.05.14 Laurie McCloud D. Dance on CameraIn 2000, I had an intense spiritual/life crisis, wondering if I could continue working in dance. I thought I was cracking up but I was really cracking open, and when I emerged I realized I needed a broader canvas of expression. I stopped thinking of myself as a Dancer and moved into considering myself as an Artist. It was an important, liberating moment.

Then, I had a bolt of inspiration: I saw an image of a bride trying to escape her wedding by diving into a swimming pool. Five months later I was in a wedding dress in a pool with a small crew. We had no idea what we were doing but the result, as short film called “Yes, She Said” ended up being one of the great hits of my career.

06.05.14 Laurie McCloud WatertowerI created a series of works under the name “The Waterhaven Project” wherein my underwater films were projected onto, into, around or through water or in places where water was a subject of the environment. My last big art project was the highest beauty I have ever created: my underwater film “Luo Yong's Dream” was projected onto a water tower in Lower Manhattan as part of the High Line Festival. It was the best experience of my creative career.

When I became a Mother in 2007, my big art projects went out the window. No time! But something else emerged – a new understanding of incremental change which eventually grew into my book “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done.”

06.05.14 Laurie McCloud Book CoverWhat are you passionate about? .

Well, for starters I'm wild about that question. Thanks for asking it! My son is the great passion of my life. My love for him is the axis around which my whole world turns. The great spiritual relationship in my life is the one I have with my imagination - making art is the way I go to church. I find that everything I need to know about the universe is right there in the creative process.

My current passion is creating LifeBloom- an online coaching course based on the success of “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day.” I have an overactive imagination and live in a kind of parallel world when working on a project. I'm in that world now about creating LifeBloom.

So you went from the performing arts to the visual arts to writing to....coaching?

It's all been a natural unfolding. I go wherever my imagination directs me. I've always been grateful for my imagination – it's so wild I don't even take credit for the ideas that appear. I just feel lucky to have what seems to be an excellent satellite dish on the top of my head which catches the ideas that are flying around the universe. And I feel a sense of moral responsibility to those ideas. I figure, if I'm lucky enough to catch them, I should act on them.

Imagine a story. It is 2030 and we have brought the environment into balance. How did we do it?

We began by finding our own balance within. Every person on planet earth – balanced. There is no longer any need for people to hurt others or the earth. From that, everything else emerged naturally without a struggle.

If you had the power to make one change in the world what would it be?

That kindness and humor would permeate all human interaction. And no animal would ever get hit by a car.

Who/What has been most influential in your work?

In my dancemaking career, the great makers that moved me were Tricia Brown and Pina Bausch. I feel lucky to have come up in the field when these people were working – they were both heroic inventors. In my visual arts career, I am actually most influenced by things that are not in the art world.

06.05.14 Laurie McLeod B. Dance on CameraWhere do you find your inspiration/motivation?

I find inspiration nearly everywhere. As the great children's book author, Lois Ehlert says “I keep my eyes open. An idea might be near by.” Also, I often think of that famous Benjamin Franklin quote; “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” It reminds me that there is always something you can do. Even if you scribble a flower on the back of a napkin, you've made that essential connection between you and your creative self. It is so important. And the moment of self-to-creative self connection is actually more important than whatever product comes of it. We need to experience this connection daily.

Aside from working, how do you spend your time?

I swim, teach water fitness and feel like I'm working on a PHD in Grilled Cheese Sandwiches because I make so many for my son. And I love to laze around. I am by nature both incredibly lazy and very ambitious. A curious mix.

06.05.14 Laurie McCloud Prized PossessionDo you have a prized possession? What is it?

My Grandfather was a painter and illustrator and he made a painting of my Dad when he was 23 as a Pirate. I love this painting. My Dad had to pull it out of the trash because apparently my Grandfather didn't think it was any good. Artists. Sheesh!

Tell about a magical moment that comes to mind when you look back on your life experience.

When I was about nine, I was swimming at the local public pool in Cleveland, Ohio. I went way down underwater and for a moment, it was just me and the sunlight and the water. And I felt for the first time perfect peace. Absolute perfect peace. I've been a water lover ever since. I swim to soothe myself, I swim when I need to sulk, I swim to wash off experiences, and I swim to get lost in thought. It works every time.

If you were able to spend an afternoon with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be? What plans would you make for your outing?

I would want to be with Amelia Earhart. I've always had a thing for her, perhaps because I love being free and she was also very freedom loving. I would make her a great picnic lunch and then ask her to fly me around. Oddly, my Grandfather went to Kindergarden with her. (Yes, the same Grandfather who threw away the painting.)

What is your favorite place and/or way to spend time?

I love being in water. No matter what's going on in my life, I always feel better when I'm in water.06.05.14 Laurie McCloud - Dance on Camera

What is your goal or main focus for your next 12 months?

My main focus for the next 12 months is growing my Book/Coaching project so that the ideas reach and help as many people as possible.

Do you have an upcoming event or significant happening that you would like to promote with your blog posting? When? Where? Details and contact information please.

The first LifeBloom Online Coaching Course begins June 16th and runs for three weeks until July 9th. I've created the course to fit in peoples’ lives, no matter how busy they are. Here's what will happen: each participant will make a commitment to go after something in their lives, for ten minutes a day, every day, for three weeks. Each day, I will be sending what I call a “Dose of Oomph” that will be a short, supportive video file, for people to access whenever the time is right for them. People can then keep these files forever, and reach for them when they need a lift. There will also be three optional live call-in sessions, a private Facebook page and more!

I think of it as a happy holding tank for people to experience this simple, powerful process. Details can be found at www.makeithappenintenminutesaday.com/lifebloom. Attendance is limited, so I recommend people register right away to be assured of a place.

If you are as jazzed as I am about the idea of learning how to move on to the next level of accoplishment this might be a good way to start.