A few weeks ago, I interviewed Marcia Lorente, a high-level New York City professional in advertising.

Tell a me little bit about yourself.

I was raised in Madrid Spain; my mom is from Escondido, California and my dad is from Barcelona. I’m a creative strategist and I have worked at advertising agencies in Madrid, Chicago, San Francisco and NYC. I went to business school in London and have done marketing and brand campaigns for a range of clients, from Disney, to Clorox, to Magnum ice cream.

What brought you to NYC?

I came for a job and because I fell in love with the city, I had to live here.

I felt the same way about the city after my first visit in 2002. How long have you been in advertising? What’s your experience being a woman in this industry?

I’ve been in advertising 21 years, I’m currently the head of strategic planning at Campbell Ewald in New York. It’s a tough industry but I love it. It is tougher if you are a woman — there are not a lot of women in the upper ranks, 3% according to some industry studies. However, at Campbell Ewald, we do have many women at the top which makes it so much more rewarding. I love my job.

What led you to learn Transcendental Meditation?

I went deaf in one ear my first year living in NYC and I was looking for ways to cope. People don’t understand that when you go deaf you don’t just stop hearing–it’s like walking around with a broken speaker inside your head and you hear it all the time, even in your dreams. The first time I meditated the noise in my deaf ear literally went down and I fell asleep. My TM teacher said that was okay and I needed the sleep.

How has TM affected your life, work and healing?

I think it’s different for different people but TM basically brings out a better version of who you are. Of course, I’m so much more productive at work. Also, I’m an introvert and the world can sometimes feel like a hostile, overwhelming place. In my case, it took away a lot of fear that I didn’t even know was there. It made me happier, a better colleague and friend. I’m also Catholic, and for me, it’s another way to pray. A prayer without words.

That’s a beautiful way of describing it. TM is like a key that connects you with the deepest and most authentic part of yourself. You’re also a painter. How has TM influenced or enhanced your creative process?

Both my grandmothers were painters and I love to paint but I had not painted in ten years. Last month for some reason it was like a door opened up in my brain and I started painting again. The way I paint is fast and with big brushstrokes, it requires simultaneous control and lack of control, the accident, as Pollock would call it. I now realize it comes from the same place that I go to when I meditate, so I can go there more easily and I’m painting a lot more. I just started an art project on Instagram called @apaintingaweeknyc where I’m creating a painting a week. I’ve turned my West Village apartment into a studio and plan to do a gallery show at the end of the year. If you’re reading this and have a space, I’ll need a space to show! And I’ll probably need to move in a year… it’ll be the canvases or me!

What are three words you would use to describe your experience of TM.

Awesome, happy, necessary.

It does make everything better and brighter! And it’s an essential tool when you live in such a fast paced and demanding city. Why do you love TM?

Besides the positive impact in my life, I love that TM is so easy it’s practically impossible to get it wrong, the results are immediate and increase with time. I think everyone should do it and it should be taught in schools—kids love it.

Lil Malinich is an actress, producer and adventurer. She lives in NYC.

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