Needless to say, it’s been yet another confusing year as this historic Seismic shift, across our planet, continues to evolve. For those who have always been against the concept of hate (of any kind) record numbers show that these are also such revealing days too.
While politics may have been the initial trigger, it is clear to those who have always embraced truth, inclusiveness and human empathy, that something far bigger, if not perhaps even ultimately transcendent, is at play. Thousands of you have risen up an taken to the streets. I stand with you in solidarity. Well, metaphorically at least. But there’s the rub and at the center of my little story, here.
For those of us who are in the (a-hem) last chapters of our lives…who think we can only watch? Well, read on!
As a long-time activist, beginning in the 60’s. I’ve been increasingly grappling with my own personal involvement, and the fact that demonstration may very will be, a young(er) person’s fight. After all, when the chips finally land where they may, this is the world they will inherit, not me-- At least that's what I told myself.
I tried to sooth myself with knowing that after years of trying my best to spread the news about the enormous power of personal creativity, I'd done my part already. (?).
Yet the emails flooded in. Christopher where are you? Gulp. I saw several instagram posts from other designers barring my same guilt and I responded to them, "just continue to inspire. Only you may know how powerful home transformation can be and right now, more than ever people need a message of hope." Wait? Was that message for them, or for ME?
Funny, 'cuz I’ve recently been asking God, if I myself had done enough?
See, when I left the airwaves after an almost legendary decade-long run, I was exhausted, and emotionally spent. Mind you, NOT because of doing the actual work. That was a blessing, a privilege and an honor. No, I'd simply gotten road weary with all the politics of it all. Back then, even with Emmys and huge ratings, the entertainment industry never quite got what we were trying to do. On the heals of "reality" shows brewing, my show seemed way to...ummm "nice" for their tastes and I wasn't about to change the format to fill the new fad. So I said bah-bye now. After all, I'd already had a magnificent run.
Anyway…point is, since then, I've Increasingly been wrestling with God, asking him point blank, “Are you done with me? Is this still MY war to fight or have I accrued enough points to sit this one out?”
The answer came quick, of course, in the gut of my stomach. ---that foreboding, perfect storm kind of feeling ---somewhere between fear, denial and guilt…I hate when that happens! Dang!
Like it or not we are responsible for the light we ask for.
So, very long story short, I began to blindly build yet another ark (don’t ask…it’s a longstanding habit I have of flinging myself off preverbal cliffs).
I blindly took a retail space (which I shared with you all). It was something which I could ill afford, but it mimicked what I’d once done 30 years ago in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
The old “build it and see what happens” is great in your late 30s. But now in my mid 60s? OMG! Just the sheer physicality of it was a challenge and I’m in relatively good shape…FOR MY AGE.
So, I built another "ark" and named it Lifestyle Lab.
I knew it was about personal creativity and I’d even booked classes thinking that, like in Chagrin Falls, where it all began, that’s what I was SUPPOSED to do. Sold out. Yay!
Then…Bam! COVID hit. Boo!
Classes canceled. Rent’s due. The abyss looms. Son of a b…%$#@
The good news was, I thought maybe God had, in fact, given me my free-pass answer, saying, “LOL, just testing kiddo, good work in the faith department. Nah, you may go.”
I therefore, turned out the lights in the now completed studio. I went home, replied to all my potential students and simply pretended that it didn’t exist at all… lalalalalal!
Out came the kitchen Aid, and on went the oven! I’m Italian. So when in doubt, cook!
It would be another few weeks of overeating and binge watching until it came to me that all efforts and hard labor in this new studio may, in fact, not be in vain? They weren’t being crushed BECAUSE of COVID, but in fact, maybe it was being made ready FOR COVID? Wait! What?
As I was visiting with my friends, Netflix, Hulu and Prime, it was suddenly made clear to me that if ever there was a time for me to lend my quirky little ‘you-can-do-it' voice, maybe it was now?
But how? It would be ridiculous to preach to an empty studio—I’m crazy but I’m NOT insane. "I'm ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille?"
“OK,” I said to myself, "I’ll do video blogs.” Um, yeah, that’s a swell idea, when suddenly anyone with a smart phone is shooting impassioned segments in front of (very ugly) bookcases. OMG! ….merchandize people!
PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG. I love that we're embracing social media as a communal connection device now. But how about a few positive "HOPE" stories too?
Fast Forward: The minute I put it out into the universe, I ended up in a meeting with a friend, who was in sales at a local Network TV station.
I asked, “Are we missing the ball here? Shouldn’t we be doing more positive stuff than just covering the conflict? Maybe we need to think more counter intuitive?”
Well evidently, God had trodden into that board room right behind me.
I said, “Look, for what it's worth, I’ll partner with the media and lend the CL voice if you think we can get a few spots on air as part of the daily news broadcast. I’ll even executive produce the whole thing too. As long as they’re not political and simply offer a few productive tips to actually improve quality of life at a time when it seems most threatened. If they can inspire, keep folks a little safer, prompt a little giggle or two and (more importantly) remind folks of the enormous power of their inherent personal creativity…then I’m in!” I heard my breath, that's a big "ask" for a network.
They said YES! And they said YES without skipping a beat.
I got in my car, looked up through my sunroof and said “Oh, I get what you’re doing here!” Give you the tools!
We quickly put together a local crew. Great people who were totally into the “cause.”
On Thursday June 4th, on-camera...for the first time in almost 18 years, I uttered the words, “Hi everybody, I’m Christopher Lowell.” For another historic moment in time. Yup, there I was, much as I’d done for years and then for Discovery Channel, during 9/11. Major goosebumps!
(Just another example that Where There's Fear, There Is No Creativity!)
No! This does not mean I’m making a "comeback" nor doing another ‘conventional’ TV series again. Been there--done that.
These new spots are due to air soon and if you're already part of our christopherlowellhome.com family you’ll get the news first, the links, plus a few extras.
So “The upshot” here? (other than, ‘please be kind, I’m not a spring chicken anymore’?) is simply this:
God is NEVER through with us! EVER!
So there ya have it.
Have a good 4th of July best you can. Dial down the fear noise. (By now, you should know how to stay safer).
Instead, dial up the kindness and try to be the light in the room even if you're the only one. Remember it's not about "sides" it's about LOVE.
It's not about politics, it's about health.
Stay busy and productive my fellow warriors of creativity!
We can do it!