So. Here’s what happened over the past 240 hours:
I turned 28. I sat naked on a stool in a dark room while a well-intentioned sprite scrubbed my back with sea salt. I dreamt about tsunamis. I realized that the farther away you move from resentment, the closer you move to your art. And: I led my final two Write Yourself Into Motion workshops of the year.
Each ‘shop was me & 20 women in a sanctuary by the sea, just outside of San Francisco. (Sublime.)
I opened each workshop by performing my 2012 manifesto — which happens to include a bundle of song lyrics. Picture me, belting Cat Stevens into the center of a (slightly-bewildered) room. Followed by a bit o’ Leonard Cohen, VNV Nation, and Richard Thompson. Oh, and — it was 9:30am in the morning.
Now. Allow me to explain: I’m a former choir nerd, and I can certainly carry a tune. But it’s been ten years since the last time I sang for an audience — other than my potted orchid plant, or a kindly bar of soap in the shower.
My voice is far from phenomenal. But I sang … as an act of permission. I wanted to give everyone in the room full-on & full-out permission to be sloppy. To be unpolished. To be ridiculous. To experience even just a moment of fierce, unfettered & free self-expression.
So. Here’s what broke free:
Jacq performed a sacred mantra, and brought me to tears. Sarah serenaded us with an entire Joni Mitchell song. Kris channeled the collective spirit of the Mermaid on a bongo drum. Jennifer juggled a trio of tangerines. Lisa declared that she’s an Artist — and that’s final. And Gail blessed the room with a prayer, that emerged as a dance.
(Oh, and did I mention … this was a copywriting workshop. Allegedly. Ha.)
The moral of the story …
Never underestimate the power of one random act of kindness — or one rough & tumble act of courage.
When you speak, sing, write, dance, muse & move to the beat of your invisible freak-drum — impeccably, messily, off-key or on-point — you grant heroic permission. You crack every ceiling. You strike awe & hit home. You move people to share their own incandescent awesomery.
The results are infectious. And simply astonishing.
P.S. To everyone who came to my last two workshops … sweet Christmas on a cracker. I’m dazzled, right down to my DNA. Thank you.
And now, a brief word from our sponSOAR…
Speaking of wild expression & artistry … our sponSOAR today is none other than Mr. Kent Youngstrom. You’ve probably seen his mixed-media magic at your local CB2, or in the glossy pages of People magazine.
What’s that? You haven’t? Well, today is your lucky day (especially if you’ve been procrastinating on your holiday gift procurement, like … um, me.)
Hop over to Kent’s online shop & marvel at his canvas prints & original works. I bet one of his pieces would look spectacular hanging above your bed, your desk, or your family cuddle-den. Selected works are on-sale, for the holidays.
‘Cause art makes everything merrier.