Sep 27th, 2021
In this week's episode, I welcome Rachel Moore! Rachel is a licensed marriage and family therapist, specializing in psycotherapy for the creative community of writers, artists, and musicians. As a prolific artist herself--having trained in piano, voice, improv, writing, acting, photography, and more--Rachel brings a unique perspective to her therapy practice in a way that authentically connects with artists. Her episode is full of great stories and sage advice. (Fun fact: the cover image for this episode is one of Rachel's photos!)
Get in touch with Rachel Moore: https://www.rachelmoorecounseling.com/
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Episode 70 - Rachel Moore
[00:00:00] Lindsey Dinneen: Hello, and welcome to Artfully Told, where we share true stories about meaningful encounters with art.
[00:00:06] Krista: I think artists help people have different perspectives on every aspect of life.
[00:00:12] Roman: All I can do is put my part in to the world.
[00:00:15] Elizabeth: It doesn't have to be perfect the first time. It doesn't have to be perfect ever really. I mean, as long as you, and you're enjoying doing it and you're trying your best, that can be good enough.
[00:00:23] Elna: Art is something that you can experience with your senses and that you just experiences as so beautiful.
[00:00:31] Lindsey Dinneen: Hi friends, whether you are just getting started or you're a seasoned professional looking to up your game, I have an exciting opportunity for you. Did you know that I am actually the creator of 10 different courses online that range from ballet, jazz, tap. They also include a mindset detox course and two Stretch and Tone courses. So if you're looking to start a new hobby or get a little bit fitter, or you're looking to do a deep dive into your mindset, really perform a true detox, I have the course for you, and I would love to help you out with that. So if you go to elevateart.thinkific.com, you will see all of the different courses I've created.
[00:01:26] You don't have to step in a classroom to take your first dance class. I teach a signature 20 Moves in 20 Days course that allows you to learn 20 steps in just 20 days. It's a lot of fun. We have a great time together. And I think you're going to absolutely love the different courses. And Artfully Told listeners get a little something from me. So if you go, you'll sign up and use the promo code "artfullytold," all one word, and when you do so you'll get 15% off the purchase of any and all your favorite courses. All right, listeners, enjoy that. Again, it's elevateart.thinkific.com. See you there.
[00:02:11] Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Artfully Told. I'm your host Lindsey and I am so excited to have as my guest today, Rachel Moore. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist based in San Diego and she works primarily with creative people and artists, which is most of us. So I'm so, so excited that you're here, Rachel, and so excited to chat with you. Thank you for being here too.
[00:02:38] Rachel Moore: Thanks so much, Lindsey, I'm really excited about it too. I can't wait to just chat with you about fun, artsy things.
[00:02:45] Lindsey Dinneen: Right? It's my favorite. All right. Yeah. Well, I would love if you wouldn't mind sharing just a little bit, maybe about your background, kind of what got you interested in art and then of course, a little bit about what you're up to these days.
[00:03:00] Rachel Moore: You bet. Gosh. Yeah. So actually my first intro into the creative world was through music. And so when I was seven, I started taking piano lessons, really liked it, did not like practicing, but that's another thing. And did piano from seven to 14, started playing a saxophone and in, in middle school and then went into high school and continued with that and jazz band and stuff. And then also started playing auxiliary percussion in marching band and met some really great friends there. So lots and lots and lots of music, instrumental music. And meanwhile, I forgot this other track this whole time. I was always a writer. Pretty much been writing since I was like five and I made my first little book or whatever. So writing and music, sort of the more performative arts, have always been something I've been interested in and good at.
[00:03:53] I not a great drawer. I tried my best, but this art isn't quite what I do with it. So, you know slap something together. But yeah, for me, music and writing and I actually, my first career was as a newspaper copy editor. So when I was in college, I got a degree in creative writing focused mainly on poetry. And I think it's kind of cool actually that I then went on to a 14 year career in newspapers where I would do editing. I would do design of the news pages. And I also importantly, would write headlines, which required the skills of finding the best words and also looking at line breaks, right? And if you're writing a headline. So that was going on. And then in the meantime, I, I finally went into singing when I was like 30. I lived in LA, I went to this great community college program. They had an applied music program. I was still working and also doing this program where I got private lessons, singing lessons for the first time. And really it was able to kind of develop my voice and learn a lot of technique that was just super helpful. And so that's been really fun.
[00:04:57] And so that's kind of all of the basis of the, the fun, creative stuff I like to do. Then when I was about 35, 36, I decided to become a therapist, went back to school, got my master's degree. All that had to do 3000 hours of supervised internship before I could get licensed. And meanwhile, thinking to myself like, well, who am I going? Who are my clients going to be? You know, what, what am I going to focus on? Who am I going to serve? When actually it was kind of right in front of me the whole time, which is people like me, people who were into art. And I can talk more about kind of what that's like from my perspective as a therapist and why I think that's important, but that's, that's kind of the, the quick and dirty version of my life. There you go.
[00:05:41] Lindsey Dinneen: Perfect. Oh my goodness. I love it. So many questions based off of that. I love it, but, but let's, yeah, I would love to hear more about what you just talked about with your practice and working with creatives and things like that. I would love to hear more about that whole thing and how that became your focus as opposed to, I mean, therapists are needed all the time. So I'm just curious how that kind of became your, your niche.
[00:06:07] Rachel Moore: Sure. Yeah. I actually had a particular therapy experience with my own therapist when I was trying to explain to her that I went to a friend's house and I sat down at her digital piano. And, you know, I live in San Diego. It's kind of hard to like haul pianos around. I don't really have a lot of access to pianos. With that piano, the piano was my first instrument and it really means a lot to me. And so explaining to my therapist, how I sat down with this digital piano. And I had no idea that they, they've improved them so much now that they really do feel a lot like a piano when you sit at it. And I felt like I was playing a piano and, and what that meant to me, you know, how it felt in my body and how it felt emotionally and, and all this stuff. And my therapist, like, it's, you know, she didn't do anything wrong. There's nothing wrong with her, but she was just kinda like, oh, okay. Like she just didn't get it. You know?
[00:06:59] I thought, wow, wouldn't it be cool to just off the bat, be able to have that connection with my clients where I understand, generally speaking-- you know, it's different for everybody, but I understand that for them, art may be like a life or death type thing. Art may be the reason that they are alive and, and the most important thing in their life. I just thought it would be cool to be that type of therapist who could serve people like that. And, you know, the most practical thought there is that it just saves a lot of time. You know, I'm like, okay. Yeah, I get it. Great. You know, I don't have to, they don't have to explain it to me on a deeper level. I think it's just cool to be able to be a person who gets it on some level and when it comes to being a creative.
[00:07:45] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. Yeah. I absolutely agree. And I can even just hearing you tell that story, I can definitely relate to, you know, it, it's totally fine when you, when you're talking to people who don't have the same experiences and, you know, and being able to share like, well, this art means this to me because, and you can sort of explain it, but until you have experienced it yourself, it's just not the same. So I can totally see that. So, and I'm curious too, do you find, or have you found that-- I'm trying to figure out how to word this exactly-- that I guess, like I've said, I, I'm a firm believer in therapy, but I think that I'm just curious, how has it been to attract creatives to your practice? Is it, is it helpful because you're also an artist and that's sort of, again, how they've connected with you? Because I still feel like there's a little bit of stigma, even in the art world of like, "oh, you know, I can't, I can't do that because you know that that's not for me," I guess.
[00:08:46] Rachel Moore: Yeah, that's a really good question. I mean, I think that, you know, when it comes to, you know, by the time people are finding me, they know they want to go to therapy, I guess, really, you know? And so it's like, well, who, who do I want to see? I mean, I've had, you know, prospective clients say to me, oh, I saw immediately, for example, that you work with writers and I'm a writer. So I want to work with you. Like, because you just-- I'm shocked actually that I don't see more people working with people in the arts. I mean, maybe they are, and I just don't know where to find them or I'm not looking in the right places. I don't know. But like, I think it's really, and it's, you know, you talk about the stigma, even as I say that out loud, I'm like, am I saying like, artists need more help? It's, it's not so much even that it's just that I think that again, like, and I wish I had better ways to explain it too, but there's something about, you know, somebody who again has that, has that experience with art really gets on a deep level.
[00:09:46] I mean, even, I was just thinking also in a practical ways, like, I know what it's like to have stage fright. Like literally I have it all the time because I'm performing a lot or I used to, you know, before the pandemic and, and yeah, there, there's, there's a connection there that I think is, can be really important and really vital in the relationship with my clients. And I will say that it's been, you know, there've been studies showing that the relationship between the therapist and the client is actually the healing part of therapy, which I think is pretty cool, like, or the most healing part. There's other things that are important too, but the relationship and the rapport is the most important part.
[00:10:24] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. I can personally relate to that. I absolutely agree. And I think, you having that experience like you, like you were saying, even just the stage fright element. It's huge. So being able to also affirm the way that somebody is feeling, you know, and, and acknowledge the fact just also, you know, how much hard work goes into it. And I feel like there's a lot of misunderstanding about the art, about artists. And I joke about it a lot because people will say to me, "oh, you know, you have such a glamorous job." I'm a professional dancer and I'm like, "well, ninety of the time, not glamorous at all, you know?"
[00:10:59] Rachel Moore: Yup. Most of the time, like I was just thinking about it today. I don't, I don't know if I mentioned to you before, but I'm actually been doing an "improv for therapists" class online. I've been participating in that as it as a an improv and it's been so fun, but today we did our dress rehearsal for our show and it reminded me how, you know, oh, I'm like, oh yeah --most of the time in a production, you're just sitting around like waiting. Right. So true. Preparing something. I know I'm just like, okay, all right. This week, not really glamorous. No.
[00:11:32] Lindsey Dinneen: Right. It's all those long days in the theater where you're just like, oh my gosh, how is it midnight? And we're not done. But I think it's just nice to have somebody to be able to talk to, somebody who, who totally gets it, like on a fundamental level. You've been there. You've done that. I love that. I think that's super cool.
[00:11:49] Rachel Moore: Well, that's great. Cause that's what I'm going for. Yeah.
[00:11:51] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, I just love that. So, you know, you had mentioned starting to sing, you know, a little bit late, well having voice lessons, I'm sure you were singing here your whole life, but having voice lessons and really pursuing it as an adult. And I'm super interested in that. Was that kind of a leap of faith? And I asked partly because like is always been this like thing in the back of my mind, "oh, someday I'll go take voice lessons," but I haven't because I'm like, "oh my gosh. That's so nerve wracking." Tell me about your experience.
[00:12:22] Rachel Moore: Okay. Yeah. Well, a friend of mine at the newspaper I was working at told me that he was in this program and how fun it was and, and he's also the person who introduced me to yoga. So I knew that he's like, he's got some good stuff going on. So I was like, "okay, I'll check it out." And the first time I ever performed in my group class, my hands were shaking so hard. I was up on the little stage in the classroom and I could not stop them, just shaking, shaking, shaking. And I'm like, okay, I guess that's what we're doing here. I'm happy to say that it got better, but yeah, it is, it can be scary. I think that the coolest part of that experience was that I learned a lot of technique that I had no idea about and actually made singing easier and made it easier for me to perform in a way where I felt confident. And, and, and even made it easier like on my body. Cause you know, when you're singing, just like when you're dancing, your body is the instrument. So to find a technique that, you know, I know how to sing really loud without hurting my voice, stuff like that, you know, was really cool.
[00:13:22] And I will say I had a really interesting experience when I was kind of wrapping up my, my time with that. And I will admit to you-- to admit, I know there's an interesting word. My therapist brain just caught that. I stopped pursuing it because I didn't want to do it as a career. And my, my teacher at the time was encouraging me to continue and I didn't want to have the life of a singer, whatever I imagined that would be. And I have never gotten paid for singing, and I don't want to get paid for singing. It's too close to me as a human. I don't know how to explain it, but I had this experience where I was working on an aria from "Samson and Delilah" and the mezzo soprano. And I was, I was working on this aria for, for like a few months you know, really, really working really hard, like you said, because that's what we do as artists. We work really hard and finally sang it for my teacher and I, she was on the piano accompanying me. And I'm just getting chills thinking about it right now. Cause we got to the end of the aria. I got to the end and she looked at me and she said, "you could sing that on any stage in the world." And I looked at her and said and said, "I know."
[00:14:40] And you know, what's so funny about that. I was, I was done. I was good. I didn't have to-- I was like, "okay, I've, I've done it. I've reached my potential and now go try something else." It was really cool.
[00:14:53] Lindsey Dinneen: Surreal! What a moment! And I just, you know, and I actually think that is so important too, because I think there are a lot of people who wouldn't, who would discount being an artist on some level, because they don't make money off of it, or they-- that's not for other people, it's for themselves. And that doesn't discount anything. I mean, it's, it's okay. Like if that's not what you want to pursue, then that's fine. You know, so even having that perspective too. Yeah, I think there's a lot of discreditation that happens with...
[00:15:27] Rachel Moore: I think you're right. Like, there's that word? And I, I don't know that I pronounce it right. But dilettante, I think is the word, like, you know, it's sort of a derogatory word saying like, oh, you're just a person who dabbles in things. And you know, I've tried to really embrace that. And I'm like, yeah, I do, because I, I have one life and I want to do a lot of stuff. I want to do a lot of different stuff. I want to do a lot of different art now. And I mean, I've had two different careers, you know, so I don't know. I mean, I, that's not to say on the other hand too, I really do admire people who dedicate their lives to one form of art and, and perfect it in, you know, in the ways that they do. And that's what they want to do. That's great too. I, you know, I think you're right. That it's like, it's different for everybody. And it doesn't, we don't have to discredit people just because they're not like an expert. That's a very, Hmm. It makes me wonder, you know, it's just kind of a very Western, so to speak, way of looking at things, you know, just like it's a little patriarchal, to be honest with you, just like, well, if you're going to do this, you better get paid for it. That type of thing.
[00:16:23] Lindsey Dinneen: Right. No, I agree. Yeah. And, and I do love that perspective and yeah. Well, thank you for sharing about that experience. It was actually really encouraging.
[00:16:33] Rachel Moore: Oh good.
[00:16:33] Lindsey Dinneen: I was like, maybe I could do it, and my hands could be shaking the whole time, but I still tried.
[00:16:39] Rachel Moore: Yes. Well, that's the thing. The more you do it, just like it's true, you know, the more you do it, the more confident you get, the less your body rebels and thinks you're going to die. So it'll be, it'll be fine. Yes.
[00:16:49] Lindsey Dinneen: It's so funny too, because it depends on the performance that for myself, even when I go out into stage and I've been doing this for years, I'm a very confident performer. I love it, but I'll go out on stage for that first like opening thing. And I'm like, what? My legs are jelly now. Like...
[00:17:07] Rachel Moore: Yeah. That adrenaline always gets you, right? Yeah. The adrenaline rush right at the beginning. Right. Like, okay. Then we settle in. Yeah.
[00:17:16] Lindsey Dinneen: Yup. Oh man. Oh, that's fantastic. Okay. And you kind of briefly mentioned this improv project that you're a part of. So first of all, I love the concept --improv for therapists or therapists improving or whatever. That's super fun, but yeah, tell me a little bit about, oh my gosh. How did you get into improv?
[00:17:35] Rachel Moore: Well, I actually got into improv in the real world. I don't know how to, we're talking about it these days, but before the pandemic-- oh, I actually got into it through music because I had always been wanting to try improv. I thought it'd probably be okay at it and have fun with it. But it always kind of felt really intimate. And so the first improv class I took in person was musical improv. And it's great. You just go on stage and you make up songs and you sing and it's awesome. I don't know how awesome it might feel for you at this point. But for me it was like, right, if you told me to get up and dance, I don't know how I do-- but the singing, I was like, yeah, I can do this. And it was so fascinating to me because I can tell when I'm doing musical improv or like regular talking improv, I can honestly like literally feel the different parts of my brain being activated.
[00:18:22] And for some reason, for me, it's a lot easier to make up stuff as I'm singing than to make up stuff as I'm talking. It must be just literally different parts of the brain. So anyway, that's how I got into it was through musical improv. And then I decided to take like the whole series of improv classes locally here. We had a a show a December 2019. And that was just like the most fun thing ever. And yeah, and then later I think on a Facebook ad or something, I, I found this improv for therapists group. It's actually run by some folks out of Second City in Chicago. One of the cool things about the pandemic is now we can do things on Zoom and have a lot more access that way. And so it's a zoom class and it's been really fun.
[00:19:04] Lindsey Dinneen: That sounds like so much fun. I love that you're doing that. Yeah. Well, and you know, your background has been so diverse and I just love the fact that you are not stopping. Like you said, you have one life, but you're, you're choosing to dabble in a lot of different things, I think. Yeah. So much value to that. You're, you're constantly learning and growing and, and just, I know it's funny to say this as an outsider, but I just keep thinking like, "oh man, kudos to you for just continuing to like push yourself." Cause it's easy to get comfortable, you know?
[00:19:35] Rachel Moore: No, I don't know what that feels like. I don't know. Yeah. Thank you for saying that. Like, yeah. I, I can't imagine what it would be like to stop creating and performing. And I mean, I don't know about you. Like, it's just where, Hmm. How do I put this? Like, this is where I feel like life is. That's where I find that, you know, life, spirit or whatever you want to call it. There's probably so many words for it, but you know, to me, that's what life is about. I remember watching this documentary on a plane randomly, but I'm watching this documentary about-- oh my gosh. Her name is escaping me. " Take a Little Piece of My Heart." That singer. What's her name?
[00:20:14] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh no. Oh man. You're asking the wrong person. Everyone knows that song. And I'm like, probably! I have no idea.
[00:20:22] Rachel Moore: I'm refraining, I'm refraining from breaking out. It's a song, but I will not do that right now. There was this documentary about her and she was a very troubled person. And one of those people who died at 27, like in the sixties, you know, there's like a lot of people who died of overdoses and things like that. I can't remember exactly how she died and I can't remember her name. Anyway, I'm watching it. The important part is I'm watching this documentary and they said, yeah, the, the trouble, the trouble she had in her life was that when she was on stage, she thought that was, you know, the real life in the real world. And I remember sitting there, oh, it's not. I was like, oh no. I didn't realize that stage was not like the actual real world and everything else was something else in between times you're onstage. But anyway, that's kind of how I see life sometimes.
[00:21:07] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, no, I love it. When you, when you said that line, something about, yeah, life, life is not unsafe, but I'm like, but it is.
[00:21:14] Rachel Moore: I felt so strange. Cause they were like, you know, for her, for this person, this analysis was saying like, "oh, well she got so many accolades and people loving her" and I could see how, you know, it might be a problem in life if you're not understanding the difference between like people liking your art, as opposed to people responding to you as a human. I mean, you know, that's something that can get a little weird. I think sometimes for us creative folks too, having that healthy separation. But, but yeah, but just that general idea of life, real life is onstage. I'm like, "ah, I don't think I, I don't think that's true for me." Nope.
[00:21:50] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. Nope. I would agree with you. And I definitely resonate too with, with what you were talking about of like, yeah. I don't, I, I can't relate to the idea of not continuing to learn and grow and try new things. Yeah. Literally somebody the other day in social media was talking about being bored. And I was like, man, I have no concept of bored. Like I don't remember being bored since I was maybe five. You know, I just there's so much to explore. There's so much to learn. How can you be bored?
[00:22:19] Rachel Moore: I know. Sometimes I think it's so funny, and it's funny to me because I don't think it's true and I don't think it'll happen, but my husband will say like, "what if we run out of things to talk about?" and I'm like, "what are you talking about? Like, do you know how many things there are in the world that we could talk about?"
[00:22:36] Lindsey Dinneen: Right. I love that. Yeah. Well, I know a few specific stories had kind of come to mind when you were contemplating how art has impacted you and I'd love if you wouldn't mind sharing some of those?
[00:22:50] Rachel Moore: You bet. Yeah. I mean, I did have on my list singing my art, that aria, for my teachers and other performance things, which maybe we'll have time for, maybe not. But I think there were a couple of things that like, yeah, I really wanted to, to talk about, and I guess talking about visual art, like I remember the first time I got to go to a real art museum. So I grew up in Idaho and when I was growing up, like especially then, you know, now there's more stuff there to do, but when I was growing up, one of the bummer things was, you know, nobody would come to our town to perform. Like no big names or anything like that. That wasn't even a thing. And like the closest city to us was Salt Lake City, which is five hours away.
[00:23:30] So it's like, I didn't have access to a lot of, you know, First-class high quality art or whatever. That was the bummer part. The good part was that, that meant that kind of like we're talking about like, my friends, my siblings, like we would make stuff ourselves. You know, we were, I would, they just encouraged me to like, make my own little videos and shows and stuff. So that was cool. The first time that I went to a real art museum, I had a layover in Chicago and I had time to hang out with a friend. That was in 1995. And we went to the Art Institute and I saw paintings who I love and I, and I saw like, like all these people and that's actually reminded me of another memory that I hadn't written down, but I thought about. So I told you I studied poetry in school and creative writing and stuff. A few years after this, I went to London and I went to Westminster Abbey and, you know, saw the people buried there.
[00:24:22] And then, you know, Geoffrey Chaucer, I think is buried there, but then they also have memorials to like Shakespeare and Keats and Shelley. And I was just in tears, like realizing that these people actually existed. You know, I was like, oh, wow. Yeah, it's real. You know, the, they did live, you know, these, these things that they created, like are from actual people. And here's the proof, I don't know. It just hit me. Yeah. Like I said, it was just crying and happy. And so anyway, that's just a couple of little stories yet.
[00:24:55] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah, I love that. I've also been to Westminster Abbey and it is a very surreal experience when you're, you're reading these names and you go, oh, my word, like it is, it's like a transformative experience. You're like, there's hundreds of, thousands of years of history, like here, right here. It's the most crazy experience. I relate to that. Yeah. Those stories are powerful. And you know, I'm also curious and obviously you don't have to be specific at all, but I'm wondering if you've experienced-- I'm sure you have some really like interesting breakthrough moments from some of your clients that you've worked with, where it was sort of like, "oh wow. I needed that today." You know?
[00:25:41] Rachel Moore: Yeah. You know, I think I actually, this kind of ties into what we were talking about earlier about, you know, maybe being a dabbler in different things or, you know, or do you have to be an expert or blah, blah, blah. I have had with a couple of clients who have, have come in and they've told me, like, I need to do this particular, you know, I need to reach this particular artistic pinnacle. And if I don't, it means I'm not an artist. And I remember, you know, early on when I say things to them, like, you know, if self-expression is something that's important to you. If, if that's, you know, what you are really going for here? Which, which it sounds like it is as opposed to sort of the ego idea, right, of being a, a whatever artist. I said, you know what, there's lots and lots of different ways that you can do that. That means that look nothing like that. You know, maybe, I don't know. I'm just going to throw this out there. Like, you know, being a symphony musician for, you know, for example, some that you may even like better. And when I, when I say that early on to some of my clients, they just look at me like, so pitifully, like I have no idea.
[00:26:43] And then eventually, sometimes there'll be like, "Oh, yeah. Okay. Maybe I can do my own thing and create my own artistic life and do the things that I want to do that really speak to me that maybe other people may look at and say like, oh, that's not real art or, oh, that's, you know, I don't see that as legitimate." It's like, you know, "Hey, in my opinion, I'm like, who cares about them? This is not about them. This is about you and your life and what again, what you want to do with your one life." Right? So yeah, that's always an interesting experience. I just love it. You know, with, I know what they're thinking. They're like, "oh, poor Rachel. She just has no idea what it's really like," which that may be also be true. I wouldn't say that's not true, but yeah, it's, it's always a good discussion at least.
[00:27:34] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh, I love that. I'm so glad that you bring that into your practice because I think there's-- that something that I've talked about a lot with my students, because I also teach is, you know, sometimes they'll come to me and yeah, "I have this starry-eyed vision of like, oh, I just want to dance with X company or whatever." And you know, a lot of times I talk about how there are a lot of avenues to your dreams, to reaching your dreams.
[00:27:57] Rachel Moore: Oh, I like how you say that. Like I'm gonna borrow that.
[00:28:01] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. Cause there's not one straight path. And even if you would like there to be, it just doesn't exist. So I think that having the idea in your mind of, there are lots of ways to accomplish your dreams if you're open to different opportunities, because, you know, if you're so stuck on one avenue, you're going to miss all the different spikes out that that are all of these other options too. So I love that you do that because I think that's just so important. I mean, I'm maybe not exactly exhibit A, but I have to say that, like, you know, I had the privilege of getting to dance for other companies, but it wasn't really until I branched out and started my own, that I finally was fulfilled. And that's a very risky thing to do in the dance world, just because it's like starting something from scratch, and nobody knows who I am and why should they come to see my shows and all that? And it's a lot of hard work, but oh my gosh, I've never felt more fulfilled, you know? And, and so sometimes just being open to like a different avenue, you know.
[00:29:08] Rachel Moore: That's being creative, right? You know what I mean? Yeah. That's the spirit of the soul of creativity right there. Right. It's like, oh, maybe I don't have to do it like everybody else does. Or like people say I have to.
[00:29:20] Lindsey Dinneen: Right. Exactly. And I just love that. Yeah. So I'm curious, I'm sure you have a lot of, well, I'm totally extrapolating so let me start over. I imagine that you have people that come to you who are maybe more in the beginning stages of their careers. And, and what advice would you have for somebody who's either kind of trying to make this happen? And it's like super nervous or whatever, or maybe they're at a point, maybe they're at a turning point in their career or they're ready to do something else. I mean, what kind of advice do you have for people who are kind of on that path.
[00:30:03] Rachel Moore: Hm. Wow. You know, I'm not sure. And this, this actually might kind of open up another can of worms, which is to talk about kind of the type of therapy that I do. Because it's true that I work with therapists. A lot of people think I'm an art therapist by the way, which I'm not that's a whole nother thing, but I actually do a type of therapy called EMDR, which is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which is such a mouthful. But honestly what I, what I would actually do is we would start a treatment plan on that issue. So I would ask like, "okay, what's the issue you want to work with, work on? Tell me more about it." They would explain to me like, like you're saying, you know, like maybe like, "I'm not sure what I want to do. Do I want to keep pursuing this? I've got this and this issue, you know, about it." And then we would look at maybe some memories, some past history that might be affecting how they feel right now. We would talk about some present triggers that are affecting them. And then we would talk about how they want to deal with it in the future.
[00:31:00] So I've just kind of given you like a little brief summary of what EMDR is like, but the idea of EMDR-- we may have traumas in the past that are affecting us now. And what happens with trauma is that it just doesn't get processed in our brain. So, I mean, I have some early artistic traumas. One of them, you know, caused me to not write a song for like 30 years after it happened. You know, I wrote a song when I was eight, got this great response from my family and then wrote another song and they kind of ignored it and said they didn't like it as much. And that caused me to not write again for like 25, 30 years. That for example, would be a good memory for me to try to reprocess. And I can tell you about what that reprocessing is like, if you want to know, but that's a whole nother thing.
[00:31:45] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah!
[00:31:45] Rachel Moore: But. Well, yeah, well, okay. So here's the idea is that they think that they're not sure why EMDR works, but they think that perhaps when we're sleeping and our eyes are moving back and forth in REM sleep, that that is actually the brain processing memories, you know? So like, oh, let's see. I had a sandwich for lunch today. I think I can put that long-term storage. We won't need to grab that anytime soon, you know, that type. But when there's trauma, like, oh, I had a sandwich for lunch today and like it had a cockroach in it or something, if there was a lot of trauma around that, what can happen is that that memory will just kind of be floating around and not really have a place to land and not be processed. And then later you might find you get triggered and it's almost like you're back in that old memory and you can see, hear, feel, see the things as if it's happening right now. That's kind of the way that trauma works in our minds and our bodies.
[00:32:35] And so we literally will, you know, sort of bring it, the memory and then literally do eye movements. And so I've been doing this online, but you could do it in the office too, you know, kind of with different ways to have people move their eyes back and forth to reprocess that memory. And then I'll ask them, "okay, what do you notice?" They'll tell me. I say, "okay, go with that." So we reprocess, we bring down-- that's the desensitization or part, we bring down the distress of that memory so that they can just think of it like any other memory. You don't forget it, but you're not totally freaked out about it anymore. And then the next part is like, they may have some negative connotations that come with that memory.
[00:33:12] So like, you know, "I'm not good enough or I'm unsafe," things like that. We work with that, reprocess that, do the eye movements with like a more true statement, like "I'm safe now," or, you know, "I'm, I am a good person." And then the last part, which you may like this part too, being a dancer, the last part is that we pay attention to the body. So I'll ask, "okay. When you think of this memory and maybe the words, I'm a good person, where do you feel in your body?" They'll tell me, "well, I feel some tightness in my throat or my chest," something like that. And then we'll do eye movements on that. Reprocess that until the body is clear. And then we move on to the next memory.
[00:33:49] So once we're done with the memories, again, you know, we talk about present situations and then we talk about how you want to deal with it in the future. So in this case, dealing with it in the future, it might be like, "okay, how do you want to approach your next your next audition," for example, and "let's talk about the positive belief you want to have about yourself in that moment." And then we work through that. So that's kind of what it's like, that's what I do.
[00:34:13] Lindsey Dinneen: Oh, I love that. Well, and that's the perfect segue because I know that you are fully booked. You are obviously a very effective therapist, which is fantastic. But I know that you are now kind of in the process of creating sort of an online opportunity. So I would love if you would tell us more about that.
[00:34:33] Rachel Moore: Sure. Sure. Thanks for asking. Yeah. I have done for like 10 or 12 years groups based on the book, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. We just go through like each chapter. There's 12 chapters, so it would take 12 weeks and go through each chapter. Up to this point, all the groups have been in person. Now, you know, after the pandemic or during, or wherever we are when we're recording this, I feel ready to do a program or workshop, 12 week workshop based on "The Artist's Way" online, feel comfortable enough in that venue now to do that. So I'm super excited about it and it's always, it's honestly, like one of my very favorite things to do in life is to run these.
[00:35:09] Lindsey Dinneen: Awesome. And where could we maybe find out about that or, or connect with you so that when it is live, we could jump on board with that?
[00:35:19] Rachel Moore: Sure. You can go to my website at rachelmoorecounseling.com. And there is the, you'll find a link to "The Artist's Way" group. You'll also find a button where you could set up a time to chat with me and I'll talk with anybody, you know, about it. We'll do a free 15 minute chat about whatever I can help you with. So if you've got questions about "The Artist's Way" group, if you need to find a therapist in California to work with, I love helping people with referrals because it can be really hard to find a therapist for various reasons. So I'm super happy to help out.
[00:35:49] Lindsey Dinneen: That's awesome. Thank you. And then I do have three questions that I always like to ask my guests if you're okay with that.
[00:35:56] Rachel Moore: Ah, yeah. Sounds great.
[00:35:58] Lindsey Dinneen: Awesome. So first of all, how do you personally define art or what is art to you?
[00:36:04] Rachel Moore: Oh, that's a great question. Wow. The first thing that comes into my mind for what it's worth is, is, is actually my friend's definition of music. And she says that in order for something to be music, it has to have a rhythm. And I, yeah, I kind of feel like I could apply that to almost all art forms, right? Like I like to do a lot of photography too, you know, just, just like in, you know, amateur photography, whatever. But I like to find like, okay, what's in the front of this photo, what's in the back? What are the patterns of this flower that I'm taking a picture of? Right? Like what's the rhythm of this. There's something in there and I could probably write or talk more about this at some point, but there's something in there about the rhythm of music or visual art or dance or writing, especially I definitely, I, when I was a newspaper copy editor, I always have to check myself because I tended to like the headlines that sounded the best rather than maybe were the best written. So I'm like, okay, wait, it has to be accurate too, not just sound great. So yeah, something about that, that the rhythm and the sound. Yeah. That's the best I can do for an answer to that question.
[00:37:14] Lindsey Dinneen: I love that. I love that. Okay. And then what do you think is the most important role of an artist?
[00:37:21] Rachel Moore: I know it's kind of a, that's been kind of a weird idea lately --the truth, but I think to shine a light on things that maybe for various reasons, society or people have said, you know, we can't look at this to shine a light in a way that is accessible. I think that if we just like, you know, shove things in people's faces like, eh, that's not really doing the job of art in my opinion. To invite people to see things differently, that's what I think the role of an artist.
[00:37:50] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And then my final question, and I'll define my terms a little bit, but do you think that art should be inclusive or exclusive? And what I mean by that is inclusive referring to an artist who puts their work out into the world and provide some context behind it, whether it's a title or program notes or the inspiration versus exclusive referring to an artist who puts their work out into the world, but doesn't provide the context, so it's left solely up to the viewer to determine what they will.
[00:38:22] Rachel Moore: Right. So I used to be a journalist. You might be able to guess where I would fall on this. I love learning about things. So for me personally, yeah, I think I'd have to go with inclusive because then I thought about this, of course just like every, I guess creative person does, you know, do we need to know the story, but like, I always want to know the story. I always want to know more about where it came from, what the context was, what it means. And I love how that can always change too. When we find out different things or we have different perspectives as a culture, like, yeah, I don't, I don't think that art ever exists in a vacuum nor do I think it should. So I'd have to land on inclusive for that, that answer.
[00:39:03] Lindsey Dinneen: Yeah. Yeah. Very good. That makes sense. Yes. I guess I would have probably been surprised having talked to you if you went the other way, but yeah. Oh, I love that. Well, oh my goodness. Rachel, you are just so amazing and inspiring and I just really just want to commend the work that you do and not just for yourself. And you know, like I know even a lot of your art has been a little bit, maybe more for yourself, but you're just constantly-- I just love that you're kind of still learning and growing and you're still performing and you're doing all these cool things, but then you also have this practice and that is seriously helps other people. And obviously, you know, as an artist, I'm, I'm partial. So thank you for focusing on artists. I think that's just a gap in the market and I appreciate that. So thank you so much for what you bring to the world. I, I just want to say that I know you're making a difference and it's so obvious just even talking to you. So thank you. Thank you. Thanks for being here.
[00:40:07] Rachel Moore: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Lindsey, for saying that. I really, really appreciate it. And it means a lot to me that, that you can see the value of having a therapist for artists, because I really think there is a lot of value in that. And thank you for doing this podcast, it's so much fun and I'm so glad that you're doing it and, and bringing artsy things into the world. It's great. Love it.
[00:40:25] Lindsey Dinneen: Thank you. Yes. Oh yeah. It's, it's my happy place. And thank you so much to everyone who has listened to this episode. Please definitely check out Rachel's website and if you're so inclined, like she said, she offers these awesome 15 minute calls that you can take advantage of and really, you know, get some advice or learn more about this upcoming group that she's going to be hosting and jump on board with that too. Obviously, like I said, Rachel brings a lot of value and inspiration to the world. So definitely want to hop on with that. And if you're feeling as inspired as I am right now, I would love if you would share this with a friend or two and we will catch you next time.
[00:41:07] If you have a story to share with us, we would love that so much. And I hope your day has been Artfully Told.
[00:41:16] Hi friends. I wanted to share with you another podcast that I think you're going to fall in love with just as I have. It's called Harlem with a View, and it is hosted by Harlem Lennox, who was a previous guest of mine on Artfully Told and a dear friend. Just because it looks easy doesn't mean it is. There is so much that goes into the work of your creative. She wants to know how the artists got into their line of work, what inspires them, but most importantly, what keeps them going? She'd asked them about how they make it through the blood, sweat, and tears. She wants to know what it's like to live this creative life: the good, the bad, the ugly, and even the magical. So she goes behind the scenes with creatives, from different genres and she explores their history, their take on life and talks about the business of art and the dedication of making art. She has a brilliant, brilliant platform. I think you will fall in love. I highly recommend that you search for Harlem with a View. Thanks!