Marc Levin, Psychologist and Jazz Musician 🇬🇧🇩🇰
The unique challenge is not so much living a life with various externally defined professional and personal roles, it’s sharing it, as I’m attempting to right now with you, who have momentarily given me a bit of time and trust.
Many of those who’ve known and know me have shared their challenges in life in my clinic, various performance and study venues and beyond. All of us negotiate and navigate our challenges in pursuit of destinations which, by their very nature, are adjusted and reinvented along the way, by the process and circumstances at hand, whether we choose or like it or not.
Holding a traumatised refugee from many of the worlds’ abusive wars, literally in my arms and later sitting with an organisational leader or manager balancing production, market position and perception, ethics and conscience (not always closely aligned), with values, visions and goals, looking for empathy and balance between added value, economic growth and personal and professional decency (also not always aligned), on changing continents and countries where I wasn’t born, can leave me at a wondrous loss that many intercultural books and seminars couldn’t always help me with.
That is, my less-conscious influences and thoroughly read and practiced theories fly away as I not only listen to the drummer and bass player in my head, but also see the courage and power that has brought the attentive client before me, in a connection that can quickly transcend ethnicity, skin-tone, club, clique or other shifting cultures.
Awe, innocence, vulnerability and adaptability have led to strength and resiliency, not just through the so-called business and organisational psychology worlds, but by being blessed and privileged by moments and hours on bandstands, practice rooms and recording studios.
“….You meet the patient, she/he presents her symptoms, you fall in love with them, embrace them, knowing that they have another side that heals….”.
And just as Stephen, a truly inspirational psychologist writes, teaches and listens, with the recognition of the glorious warrior-for-love in us all, his personal references to and experiences with The Grateful Dead and Taekwondo practice, have, among others, been allegories and experiences that have shaped his life in recognition and empowerment of those who reinvent their journeys.
As I upload more to this website one can see that I’ve had the honour of studying with and receiving supervision by Stephen, along with clients; I’ve had similar associations with some of the greatest psychotherapists in my field. Lessons learned are cherished treasures.
Mentors known are blessings and privileges given.
In the musical world I’ve also been blessed and privileged to have performed and studied with humble yet powerfully inspirational sisters and brothers who have taught me to find my inner voice, tempo, rhythm, tonality, movement.
Many Afro-Americans or as my friend calls the group, Africans-in-America, have taught me applied history in relation to critical thinking, core structures in creating beauty, while humble, resilient, compassionate and proud, not in the egotistical sense, but in the strength of being in service to the art and grateful to so many generous givers.
“….Jazz is an attitude…”
“….Even though you’re just 22 years old and much of this happened before your time, still your generation might have to be patient AND revolutionary…”
Bill Dixon to me, 1964
“If you are you, 24 hours a day, then you do not have to remember who you are supposed to be in different situations – something that I imagine could be troublesome.”
So having one or many roles that the surrounding world might call professional, gives depth and nuance to the art of communication, whether in the therapeutic clinic, studio, stage, practice room, facing the canvas or other blank sheet of space, the dance floor, the flower or kitten that asks you for a moment, let it by their, your and our shared and enriching journey.