An Interview with Leslie…
What events in your childhood impacted you as an artist?
When I was seven years old, I was drawing a picture in my classroom—little kids at a beach—and I put a belly button on the boy. The teacher saw that and brought me up in front of the class and said, ‘“Don’t ever do that again.”’ I thought it was funny, but my teacher clearly did not. I was traumatized by that.
For years after that experience, I literally did not draw or believe I had any real talent until later in life when I was encouraged as a young adult by two mentors to unleash my creativity. In thinking back on this incident in the classroom, though, I think the teacher’s reaction typifies how many people view creativity or anything that cannot be put into a nice and neat square box.
I dared to be creative only to be led to believe I was in fact stupid. That event—and I remember several others— left their mark and served as the groundwork for many of the stories I relay in my workshops in which I share my childhood pains and how I overcame them. When people say to me now that something is impossible, I look for ways to make that not true.
What might surprise people in how you define creativity?
Being creative means not being afraid to be wrong. It’s okay to be wrong and ask questions and to get to a point where you are not really sure of anything. It is at precisely that moment when you believe anything is possible that real transformation and inspiration can take place. It is important to feel inspired in order to create.
Can creativity be leveraged in the workplace?
Absolutely. If you have an organization that is able to cultivate and foster a culture in which anything is possible, it will provide individual employees with the freedom to think imaginatively. With a focused imagination, people can better address personal and business problems.
Ultimately, we are all story tellers—and if an organization cannot hear the stories that are being told by their own employees, it will eventually falter. You can see this happening today. As a society, we are losing the ability to use our imagination and think creatively.
What I am proposing is not a wild abandonment of all rational thought, but rather a balance between the analytical mind and spontaneous intuitive thought—that is where our collective genius lies.
How did you get into astrology?
When I was 19 years old, I had a reading from an astrologer, and she essentially saved my life. She encouraged me to be an artist and a writer. She got me on the right path.
Can you predict the future as an astrologer?
Astrology is not really what most people think—it is not just a daily horoscope and I am not foretelling the future. What I do is look at the wiring of a particular person and help people get on their proper path, the path for which they are best designed.
When people accept their wiring and stop fighting it, they will discover things about themselves that will surprise them. I’d like to consider myself a conductor—I see things on the micro and cosmic level and can help connect them. There is definitely more science behind astrology that the general public realizes.
Is there one thing you want people to remember or understand about you?
I hope people appreciate my belief in the importance that we not forget the wisdom of our childhood. It is so important we keep our inner child inside us, because the older we get the easier it is to lose that.
Frankly, I was well on my way to losing my own inner child in my 20’s. I had recently accepted a job in advertising and I was very focused on making money. Well, I was taking a walk one day in the woods before I started the job with a friend, and as we were walking he pointed to a hole in a leaf on a tree that a caterpillar had made. In that moment, I realized I was already losing my ability to see the world with fresh eyes.
I made a decision that day. I decided to not take the job. Like my friend said, “That hole is real,” I believe it is very important to accept the fact that life is not perfect or so easily definable. Perfection in anything is not real, and so if I lose the ability to see the hole the caterpillar made in the leaf, then I lose the ability to see the unseen.
I think the ability to think creatively is just as appropriate in the corporate world as it is for a child. I would like to consider myself a guide through the realms of our imagination. I’m all about finding the resonance between all things—our environment and the cosmos—and applying what I have learned into helping others reconnect with what it means to be human.