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Television producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder) presented a TED talk about a week ago that showed up in my morning email yesterday. Like most TED Talks it’s very much worth the 18 minutes it will take to view. And it just might give you something to think about.

Stop reading for the moment, and take a look… Go ahead… Do it right now.

If you’re like me you were expecting a different story than the one she focuses on telling here. The Big Hollywood “Titan” playing with her kids is not the story you imagine coming from the woman who created Olivia Pope, yet it is a story that we all need to hear. Her conclusions not only explain her own process, and the rejuvenation of her passion for her art and work, but it draws a path for all of us who struggle daily with the creative drive, seeking ways to stay fresh in our work, while at the same time struggling with the daily realities of “putting it together” as Stephen Sondheim so aptly described it.

Rhimes’ discovery of “The Hum” she had lost in her connection to her children and to love is the path that sooner or later we all must find if we are to truly grow as artists and as human beings.

What about those of us who aren’t “Titans?” What about those of us who are still struggling to find our inner strength and creative drive and perhaps have yet to experience The Hum that Rhimes describes as her life force. What about those of us whose day is so filled with just getting by that the idea of 15 minutes to play with our child, or read a book, or watch an episode of Scandal, is as far removed from our reality as the idea that we could be a writer like Emerson, or Beckett, or Harper… or Rhimes?

What about those of us for whom The Hum is simply drowned out by the ROAR of struggle, demands, hardship and loss? Hearing The Hum in the middle of The Storm becomes not simply a challenge, but an absolute impossibility. What then?

Don’t misunderstand me here. I am not challenging the efficacy of Shonda’s ultimate YES. My reaction to the talk was one of absolute delight and I sat watching, silently saying Amen, and setting off on a trail of imagined people and places to say Yes to on the way to discovering a greater depth of The Hum from inside The Love.

Yet I am still left with a loss on the question about the times when I can’t even grab at the straws of love, and the people for whom those straws simply set sail on the wind.

In the midst of all the noise, when resources are depleted (or where resources can’t even be found), is there a way to find the quiet center that might lead to the place of calm that lets you find The Hum again? How and where do you find it in your child, or your friends, or your work… or yourself?

Where do you go to find The Hum?

When can you find the time?

When life seems to only be saying No… How can we help you find the YES?

Originally posted at Vocabulary of Expression

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