What is Creativity? An Interview With Karen Drucker

Karen Drucker is a goddess and a highly sought-after singer, speaker and workshop/retreat facilitator.

Her experience in music is diverse and long. She has been a singing mermaid, a singing casket, and was literally “elevator music” when she was hired to sing and play piano in a moving elevator.

Karen was the music director for 3 different New Thought churches and was honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Music for her work within The Centers for Spiritual Living Community, and a “Grace Note” award for her work within the Unity Movement.

WOW.

I experienced first hand Karen’s magical music and powerful messages at the Center for Spiritual Living in Columbus.

I’ve been touched by so many of her songs, it’s hard to single one out. I think “The Face of God” was the first one I heard and it made me cry. I often find myself singing it when I wake up, or just walking around during the day.

Other song titles that reflect Karen’s message are: “I Start My Day With Love“, “If Love Is Why I’m Here”, “I Am A Gift”, “I Am Loved”, “There Is Only Love”. Click here for the CD that includes these songs.  

Karen’s work and music continually help me realize that I am loved, I am worthy, and that while life can be difficult, it’s also a fun, joyous and sometimes a hilarious spiritual journey.

With that, I give you Karen Drucker!

What IS creativity to you?

Creativity is getting out of the way and letting Spirit speak, sing, and move through me. Whenever I get in the way (meaning my inner critic comes up and says I am not good enough, who do I think I am etc.) it’s like I put a log in the flowing stream of life and block the natural path of where my Spirit and creativity want to take me.

You are a very gifted musician and songwriter; tell me how it manifested in your life. Did you study music? If so, with who and where?

I never studied music as a kid – I was a competitive swimmer until I was 18 so all my time and focus went into that. 4 hours a day!

But I do believe in divine destiny and when I was 16 years old Carole King moved on my street and I became the babysitter for her 2 small children.

When she was remodeling her house she needed to store her piano somewhere and I came home one day from school to find it in my bedroom! Carole knew I was interested in music and I “borrowed” her piano for about a year and that is what set me on the path that I am on now.

I started writing little teenage angst songs and taught myself how to play by chords and discovered the joy of being a songwriter.

I still can’t read music but I tell anyone who feels stuck that when you really want something you will find a way to make it work!   

When you sing and perform, your humor and spirituality are so obvious and inspiring. Tell me how you feel when you’re performing live.

I LOVE performing live, much more than being in a recording studio – I need the energy of the audience and I live for spontaneity.

I started out in San Francisco as a musical comedienne.

Many years later I wound up subbing for a friend who was the music director for a new thought church. When she moved on I became the music director and the world of writing songs with positive messages was born.

For me combining my years of comedy with a spiritual message is one of my favorite things to do.

If I can make an audience laugh then I can move down slowly into their heart and hopefully open them up a little more.

Why do you think most people think they are not creative?

Because they “bought” the ideas, limitations, projected “failures” of someone else.

We are all born creative – that is what our spiritual nature is – but as we grow we start to embody the words of our parents, teachers, society telling us about perfection, “failure” etc. and we think if we allow ourselves to go back to that natural creativity that we have we will be shut down somehow.

We need to surround ourselves with people who see our highest and best and allow us to fully express without judgment and we need to be so gentle with ourselves around this process.

It starts with baby steps to reclaim that part of us that is creative. 

What have you learned about success and failure along the way?

That “failure” is just part of the learning process of how we find out what path is ours to take.

I wish we could re-learn a new way of seeing that word, “failure”. I think so many people (including myself) have been so afraid to try something new because of the dreaded idea of failure.

How do you know what is going to work or not work if you don’t just try it?

I have written so many “bad” songs but they led me to write ones that did work and touched people. I think success and failure are walking hand in hand and we need to embrace both.

Liza Minnelli sings a beautiful song called “ It’s a Quiet Thing”  about how when you have success you think you will hear choirs sing and marching bands playing, but that’s not how it actually is – it’s quiet.

I have found that in moments of success I have had felt just like her song: just a quiet warm feeling in my soul of “yes I did it and this feels nice!

Has your music healed you in any way? (Cause it’s sure has helped heal me!)

Oh, thanks for the compliment. Yes, my music is totally for my own growth.

I always say at every concert “ If you listen to any of my songs you get to see what all my issues are!

That is what all my songs are about: whatever I am going through I ask Spirit to show me what I need to “hold” or say about it and that’s where an affirmation will come from and eventually I will start singing it.

I became more aware of the healing power of the music when I wrote a chant for my mother who was going through chemo (‘Healed Whole and Healthy’). She would go to her infusions and listen to the song over and over, which helped her visualize that this medicine was making her whole again.

I am the most passionate about this part of my songwriting. If I can help anyone who is going through a health challenge or self-worth issues or whatever is happening in their lives and my song helps them along the path – that is my ultimate goal.

Has it been difficult to make your life and living with your creativity?

I have all the stories of struggling starving musician but I just kept going. I had a million odd jobs to pay the rent while I would still keep at my music.

I think being a swimmer was the greatest foundation I could have had growing up. It taught me that no one was going to do the work for me – that I had to do it myself. So that carried out when I was just starting out in San Francisco, I would be so creative about how I could earn money during the day and find places to sing at night.

I would have to say that I do look at myself like a turtle that just slowly keeps going.

I have been at this for many years and am happy to be able to make my living doing what I want to do.

I am aspiring to make more of my living working smarter and not harder, and not traveling quite as much – but it’s all part of the process of constantly seeing what is working in my life and what needs to be tweaked!

Any parting words or insights you’d like to add.

I have a song that says, “I don’t have to be perfect, I’m doing the best I can. I give myself permission, to be just who I am.”  I think this is for anyone doing anything creative (or just living their lives!) 

This is my favorite affirmation to share.

It really is saying just give yourself permission to be who you are – all of it – and don’t worry what people think, (cause you know they are thinking of themselves much more than thinking about you!)

Just shine your light out into the world and let Spirit express through you in whatever form you want!

We need your light and creativity – so just do it!

More about Karen Drucker

Karen’s book, “Let Go of the Shore” is funny, inspirational and well, surprising! Her relationship with Carole King, told below, was instrumental in her musical career.

Karen has 20 CDs available.

She’s really excited about her women’s retreats that are growing and expanding! She has a few coming up soon:

You can see more about Karen and her CD’s book, workshops, and retreats at her website.

With deep appreciation for my creative friends,

Kathy Rausch

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