I was saddened by the recent death of the great actor Seymour Philip Hoffman. Is it possible that a long list of drug-related celebrity deaths, which spans the decades—Billie Holiday, Dorothy Dandridge, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Cory Monteith, and on and on—is partly the result of our unconsciousness as a species? As sensitive and talented people, those artists perhaps were less able to withstand the ordinary and extraordinary cruelties that accompany childhood. And fame, too, brings inhumanity from a public that assumes the famous, due to their privileged status, can well absorb any insult or privacy invasion. Aren’t the mental-health fatalities among celebrities ultimately a reflection of the misery being played out in private by the rest of us? Would such deaths—be they of the tremendously gifted or the quietly unknown—decrease if we, as human beings, were not as inhumane?

–Frustrated and Appalled (Canada)


This is an excellent question, dear reader. Yes, the same sensitivity that makes these people wonderful artists can also make these talented individuals more vulnerable to outside stresses and insensitivity.

And yes, troubled celebrities are a reflection of us as a society as well as individuals. They are just the same as the everyman/everywoman except they have to live their lives under the microscope, with the same pain anyone else would experience during life’s challenges. And surely it is even more painful when one’s divorce or public betrayal by a spouse or death in the family or other heartbreak is broadcast for entertainment consumption.

One way sensitive souls—celebrity or otherwise—can survive the public eye would be to learn energy tools on how to protect their energy so they can better cope with the energy of both the media and the masses. When you see someone who is pretty healthy and successful start to get erratic or self-destructive, it is often because they have so many of other people’s energy in their space, they begin to not be able to function until they tank out.  (I know we can all think of some examples of this happening.) When I have done sessions for famous people, the thing they usually need help with is reclaiming their own energy and space and cleaning out everyone else’s.

Also, it is important for each celebrity (and all of us, really) to be really grounded and clear about their own identity and to do their own inner work so they can handle being bombarded by other’s opinions of their work, their lives, and of their worth. Only when they are grounded in their truth will they be able to survive and thrive, continuing their work no matter what anybody thinks or doesn’t think of them.

As for the public, most people are very well-meaning but don’t realize what they’re doing with their energy (i.e., getting into other people’s energetic space) or how it affects others. Perhaps a good first step for people is to read and subscribe to media that cover celebrity talent in an ethical and respectful way. As long as readers want to read garbage that tears down and nitpicks celebrities and support media that don’t respect healthy boundaries, the bottom line—the almighty dollar—will continue to grow large off the suffering and private details of the lives of the famous, be they creative types, politicians, or anything else.

Here are a few examples of ways to keep up on pop culture and artists that are classy and non-obstrusive:

And here’s an example of a short piece on Dustin Hoffman from Lainey Gossip (http://www.laineygossip.com/Intro-for-July-9–2013/27405) that is a beautiful and edifying example of celebrity reporting. Doesn’t hurt that it features Dustin Hoffman, whom I now think is an even more beautiful person than I did before watching the interview clip.

Thanks for bringing up this important topic!

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