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PictureArtist Nancy Calef @ her North Beach Studio, 2016
#9 Stepping Stones
From Self-Destruction to Self-Expression


I suppose in its way, this podcast, and blog is like an unplanned road trip as the path reveals itself with each new interview subject.

Nancy Calef was introduced to me by Fanny Renoir, who I interviewed for Episode 6 - The Road to Enlightenment.

Nancy is also a longtime resident of North Beach and lives just around the corner from me, so it was another fortuitous meeting and fun way to get to know another creative neighbor with a unique life story.

I'm feeling incredibly fortunate to be able to have these personal narratives shared with me. To be honest, I saw the Passport Podcast being much more about various aspects of travel from finding cheap airfares to rating backpacks in addition to recording people's travel adventures. But much like an unplanned travel adventure, I am now just going with the flow and happy to see where the path takes me.

In Episode 9, Nancy tells us that she's been looking for the "stepping stones" along the way, and it's provided her with a rich life of creating art, globe-trotting adventures along with a healthy perspective about people and our shared planet.

As you'll hear, it hasn't always been easy, but following her intuition has guided Nancy from a controlling stage mother in Manhattan to a Northern California Ashram to an exhilarating Mexico sailing adventure to a European painting retreat that turned her life in a new direction. But we also learn that much of these adventures were rooted in the fact that fears needed to be faced, and personal struggles confronted. 

A domineering mother led to the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia for much of her teens and early twenties. But facing that void, and emptiness forced Nancy to handle her issues and turn from self-destruction to self-expression, and she learned to take the negative energy and convert it into a positive transformation in the form of her artwork.

Nancy's narrative provides valuable insight and inspiration for anyone contemplating life's questions both big and small. Our interview covers steps along Nancy's path to becoming a full-time artist; the global issues embedded on her canvases, world travel and life in North Beach.

I hope you enjoy Stepping Stones - from self-destruction to self-expression. Please listen, like, share and feel free to leave a comment.

Cheers - Keith B.

Sample Gallery of Nancy's Artwork

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07/12/2016 12:13pm

Self destruction and self expression is the most important and necessary things for all of us because in this way we can make our life extra ordinary. I am very happy from all the people because in this way the people can make our life great.

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07/16/2016 3:29am

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08/11/2016 7:22am

I like your podcast so much! Thank you for sharing this episode with us.

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08/22/2016 5:12pm

They say in order to reinvent yourself, it's better to start on a clean slate. Such an excuse to destroy or "kill" your old self. I say while it cannot really be avoided, it is still better to leave the old self intact and ready to be pulled out when needed. Life is beautiful and it does not exclude terrible beginnings because it is part of your story. So my take is express without totally getting rid of unwanted aspects cause you will never know when you might need them.

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02/05/2017 10:55pm

What an inspiring story to hear Ms. Nancy. Her life is full of adventures from Self-Destruction to Self-Expression. She narrates her story well enough to inspire other people. From being a model/local artist who followed her intuition to take her stepping stones, into becoming a motivational speaker. I'm excited to avail and read her autobiography book.

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People must all learn to comprehend right. Sometimes our own words will destroy us. Our own actions will hit on us. We really don't intend to destruct ourselves but it just comes naturally whenever adrenaline rushes. But we must all be careful. We should express ourselves in both reasons to benefit ourselves and others as well. Express in a way that you will be a blessing to others and in a way that you would learn from your own. Just be responsible and be careful. We cannot turn back time. Words are meant to either make or destroy.

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