November has never held as much excitement for me as it does this year. I feel that I’m entering into a new season of my life. Although typically this time of year I should be going within and pondering my options, but I’m not content with sitting back and waiting. I feel my time is now and I’m ready to move, explore, inquire, accept, achieve, BE and DO what I’m meant to do. Last weekend I was part of a dynamic team of women who hosted an Author Showcase and Silent Auction on behalf of the San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Assn. It was an awesome event and we did ourselves proud. I’m getting comfortable using a microphone and speaking extemporaneously in front of groups. Next, I’m going to work on getting comfortable delivering talks and organizing workshops focused on using Creativity as a Healing Tool. This weekend I’m going to LA to take part in the first ever Simple Abundance Certified Trainer Program. I feel I’ve already been working with Simple Abundance author Sarah Ban Breathnach as the book has been a treasured part of my morning writing routine of Moring Pages and Inspirational reading ever since I picked it up ten years ago. My copy of the “Pink Book” (as it is referred to) has underlining, highlighting, notes in the margins, and bits of sticky notes everywhere. This is a first for me. My first at marking up a book, even college texts were pristine for resale value. My first experience of having an interactive and on-going relationship with a book. I love all the quotes that introduce the 366 essays. I love the fact that my first writing teacher is quoted in the book. I love that although I’ve read the day’s essay before and it has touched me, something fresh catches my attention and I love it anew. Although she didn’t know it, Sarah has been my Creativity Mentor for quite a while; encouraging me to write, collage, play, seek out fun excursions and to take pleasure in my circumstances right now. I can’t wait to meet her and see what happens next—
Last week I had the pleasure of staying at the Diva Hotel in San Francisco, but it took some persistence to find a room available. Little did I know when I started looking for a hotel for that Sunday night stay how full up the City would be. Why weren’t these people checking out and going home I wondered? As it turned out there was a huge Nike Women’s Marathon on Sunday and all those women were too exhausted to check out of their hotel rooms, they had just run through the streets of San Francisco. I looked around the streets and even our lobby at all the smiling faces glowing with accomplishment; all wearing pink t-shirts like badges of honor. And I smiled at the thought of my girlfriend and me staying at the Diva Hotel when we are so not Divas. I want to reframe the term Diva and claim it for all of us who are smart, talented, and in-charge women. We are bright, creative and resourceful women who have taken on challenges and while we may not have found a way to eliminate those challenges (YET!), we’re coping while we search and living life to our fullest capacity. We are phenomenal women who wish to be indulged once in a while – it would be nice if it was by our family, but it is also OK if it is by the choices that we make for ourselves. Webster defines a Diva as a goddess. I’ll accept that–
I had the good fortune to spend the last few days with a dear friend in a very challenging workshop environment. Cindy and I met at a writing retreat held in the New Mexico desert which gave us physical as well as intellectual challenges. Our classes were held in a Yurt, our cabin had electricity but no running water, and the dining hall was only open during posted meal times. Our location didn’t allow us to run out for a quick bite, or call for a pizza delivery – so we craved things we all took for granted: unlimited pots of tea, ice cold cokes, chocolate chip cookies, or corn flakes with sliced bananas and milk. We thought if we could laugh about that experience this was not just a friendship, but kindred spirits finding each other. And since our birthdays are within days of each other, we decided to meet once a year to share new adventures. Our latest comprised of long days overflowing with valuable information, but not giving us the PLAY time we so look forward to when we get together. You see, we live on opposite coasts and don’t have the opportunity to have real face time with each other. Cindy and I tacked an overnight stay in San Francisco to the end of the workshop which gave us wonderful breathing space after all our sessions giving us step-by-step instructions from the Masters about how to be an inspirational speaker. It’s all about being authentic, knowing your message, knowing your audience and remembering to breathe. Writing, presenting talks, facilitating collage and writing workshops – I wonder what will be the next Creative opportunity for me –
For the next five days I’ll be tapping into all my Creative juices and stepping out of my comfort zone while attending an Inspirational Speaker Workshop with the Dream Coach herself Marcia Weider. She has brought together an enormous wealth of talent to help us learn how to assemble all the elements we’ll need on our journey to become Inspirational Speakers. I’m excited, apprehensive and a little scared that I’m actually doing this. I signed up for it months ago when I attended Marcia’s Create Your Future Now Workshop in February. It seemed like a logical next step as I found myself not only writing about the workshops and talks I wanted to be doing encouraging Creativity as a Healing Tool, I was also talking about them to other participants in the workshop. They were no longer vague interests; they had life and energy surrounding them and the momentum carried me along to take ACTION. I’ll let you know next week all about the training. Until then…Be well.
The title of this post has had significant impact in my relationship to Creativity because both subjects are responsible for my stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing new challenges. By chance, I refer to the fact that for whatever reason cancer has become an unwelcome demanding interloper in my life. As a member of the huge percentage of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, I am keenly aware of the designation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I cannot stress enough to any one (man or woman) how important annual mammograms are to your health. Having breast cancer put everything into perspective so that I do not take this precious life for granted. Live, love & laugh every day!Stepping out of my comfort zone I made a positive and powerful choice; I took on the role of president for the Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter. It’s a wonderful non-profit organization that has been around since 1917, before women could vote, which supports women & men in the book industry. As a writer, it’s an incredible resource to be able to have access to other authors, editors, agents, coaches and more across the country. This month WNBA launches National Reading Group Month (NRGM) to mark the 90th anniversary of the organization and to promote reading and as well as the value of books. Reading groups inspire, transform and educate. They foster community and instill an appreciation for the written word. Tonight we will be hosting Beth Lisick at BookShop West Portal in San Francisco. I’m looking forward to a very exciting evening learning about Beth’s path to publication, her involvement as a Mother/Daughter reading group facilitator, and anything else that our WNBA-SF audience brings to the event. To find out more about us, visit us on the web at www.wnba-sfchapter.org.