Convivial Women

Invitation to The Convivial Supper Club Of Austin

In case you didn’t know, I like to eat. In fancy terms, dine…and I like to do it with women who are big advocates of listening to their own voices, especially those little inklings and yearnings that tend to lead us down paths all their own.

When inspiration comes knocking, I gather such women at a table and we throw down…not the table (although I could), but the food, along with our thoughts and sentiments on…life, love, business, family, dream-chasing and glass-ceiling smashing.

This experience is The Convivial Supper Club, hosted by yours truly.

Let me assure you, it’s not your average meeting over dinner and drinks. Oh no…it’s much more than that. The food and drinks are really a side note, but we surely don’t scrimp on that area!

The Convivial Supper Club is a highly anticipated, private dining group that sits at the intersection of creative living, personal development and social impact for women.

CONVIVIAL [kuhn-viv-ee-uhl]: 1. fond of feasting, drinking, and good company; festive; folksy, forthcoming, genial, kindly, lively, communicative, expansive, high-spirited. 2. The feeling you get when you make the every day choice, whether subtle or profound, to live your life on purpose and with passion.* 3. The essence of who you are.*

The Convivial Supper Club is distinct and stands apart from every other women’s group because (more…)


The Cutest Cafe In Portland, Possibly The World

On my second day in the City of Roses, my travel companion, Monica and I were strolling downtown, looking for the meeting point for our next group activity, a photo walking tour of Portland.

Upon turning a corner, I noticed a black sign in the distance for what appeared to be a restaurant. I made out the name on the sign and nearly fell over, saying “Monica…LOOK AT THAT SIGN OVER THERE.” I became enraptured.

A cafe with my name on it, spelled the way I spell it! I’d just discovered Cheryl’s on 12th.

This was the moment when I stood in place and waved Miss America style as if I’d arrived…at least in my imagination.

Now I understood why I’d been trained in business to say (more…)


My Convivial Discovery of an Ancient Mayan Massage…The Ultimate Form of Self-Care For Women

Self-care is a form of trusting, listening, seeking, yearning, surrendering…it’s purpose is convivial at the core.

This is the story of my convivial discovery of an Ancient Mayan massage therapy and how I came to the understanding that you are your body’s advocate and its up to you to find the many ways that nurture, restore, and heal you…

Once upon a time, I headed to Mexico for a much needed sabbatical after quitting my job in Banking. I left behind my husband, my home, my parents; my country, language, currency, and all certainty to walk the cobble-stoned streets of San Miguel de Allende with the intention to restore myself to who I once knew myself to be…a writer.

My first week in town, I went to the mercado and purchased what I thought was a fresh bowl of albondigas (meatball soup). After taking a long walk and climbing the steps of El Chorro to reach the peak streets of this colorful central Mexican town, I knew Moctezuma had spiked my soup with drano, because I fell ill that night with chills and fever.

My mother-in-law, concerned for me, recommended I visit La Dona Chole, “‘pa que te de una sobada…” My Spanish was getting better by the day, but I still had to put two and two together to understand that she was suggesting (more…)


Another dose of Lula Cafe

Before you head out the door this weekend, I have one more Chicago eatery to share with you.

My childhood chum, Carrie and I went here two years ago when I last played Chicago tourist with my husband Martin, so we decided to venture over to Logan Square, one of the hottest neighborhoods to lead the pack in real estate this year for

Another heaping dose of Lula Cafe.

I remember their amazing pancakes, laughter with friends and a friendly hipster staff with great-looking arm tattoos honoring (more…)


The Convivial Woman Meets A Little Goat

Recently, I was in Chicago to support my friend, Carrie during a special time in her life and our first day together proved to be memorable.

We’ve known each other since 5th grade, when Carrie transferred into school as the new girl sporting a Judy Blume adult novel under her arm. When she used the word generic to describe something she didn’t like, it was then that I knew we were meant to be friends.

She’s an intellectual woman with inner-city Chicago roots and has an adventurous palate like I do, so on a first culinary jaunt around our city, she suggested we head west of downtown Chicago to have lunch at Little Goat Diner

Little Goat Diner is owned by Stephanie Izard, an American chef and the first woman to win (more…)


Risk Gossip and Choose To Be An Example

Do you ever find yourself holding back because you feel conscious about what others may think or say about you and your lifestyle?

If you play good girl to the world, then holding back is a common sentiment.

Source: via Meagan on Pinterest

Recently, I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and we started talking about her passion for a certain sacred spot in Rome, Italy. I could see how her face lit up when I touched on that subject and being the kind of woman who wants to encourage the work of art in every person, I asked, “So, when are you going?!”

She melted at the thought of traveling to Rome and said, “Oh my gosh, I would LOVE to go, but my husband would never want to go with me. He just wouldn’t want to do all that walking and go that far.”

My brain nearly short-circuited at her response and convivial instincts kicked in when I said, “So you mean to tell me, you would sacrifice a dream of yours because your man is unwilling to step out of his comfort zone, if only momentarily?” I continued…”All I’m saying is…if you have the opportunity to make that dream a reality, why not take a chance and rock that boat because you only have one life to live. Just one.”

Many times, we make choices that sacrifice our own happiness, in small or large ways, because we have been conditioned to avoid conflict.

In the words of Bob Newhart, stop it! Conflict is a stepping stone to growth. In fact, Margaret Heffernan dares you to create conflict. Imagine that! She points out how most people instinctively avoid conflict, but good disagreement is central to progress.

The hardest thing to do, which should be the easiest thing, is to live your life- not one that others deem to be appropriate to their eyes, ears, and personal beliefs. Many opportunities to live are passed up because so many people are afraid. What are your deep desires and what fears surface when you even think of the possibility of pursuing them?

How about you go against the grain of convention, culture, (fill in your blank) and think/repeat when necessary…

“While they’re busy talking, I’m too busy LIVING.”

Choose to be an example of someone who is living according to their own beliefs and values- ones gathered from your own life’s experience.


A sign you’re living true to you

I just read this article by Jessica Valenti titled She Who Dies With the Most “Likes” Wins?

After finishing that read, I wanted to jump out of my seat and high five someone close by but unfortunately it was only me and my laptop in the room.

Why the enthusiasm?

It felt so damn good to hear Jessica paint the picture of my experience as an opinionated, outspoken woman…

someone who has often been disliked rather than liked when standing firm in who I am and for what I believe.

I feel vulnerable sharing this, but I have to open up.  (more…)


Behold The Unveiling: “CONVIVIAL” | The Book is Here!

The doors of The Convivial Woman’s virtual bookstore are now open! What will you find inside this ever-evolving turquoise and indigo colored storefront today?

It’s The Convivial Woman’s first digital offering to the world–a book, baby!

She’s brimming with passion and pure heart. A creative gem that has been long in the making. So, come on in! Take a look around and get a feel for what’s in store for you right HERE.


Just in case you missed the elevator above, pop on through this secret doorway that leads you to the private VIP room and get your copy of ‘Convivial” right HERE!


Ever grateful,




On the Eve of Another Victory

Hello convivial world of mine, how does this afternoon find you? I hope it finds you hopeful and thankful.

Now that America has the opportunity of a beautifully white (no pun intended) blank canvas before them, no matter who you voted for yesterday, no matter how you feel about the president, the reality that remains is that your life is your life, so what are you doing with it? How are you going to make a difference, an impact, give hope, create change in it?

Here’s how I plan to start. With the release of my new book…

CONVIVIAL | A Quest for the Masterpiece Within

which will be released on Thursday 8 November across the world-wise web and can be purchased exclusively HERE on my website.

This nearly 200-page book will be thought-provoking, a compelling read for every creative heart and mind, and without a doubt, visually appealing (just as we love all of our digital reading experiences to be). This is the first volume in a series of Convivial Lifestyle Guides that will be published worldwide – hardly a surprise, given the fact that this is the 21st century and the internet now gives us the power to reach and touch the lives of so many people unlike any other time in history.

Expect to be pleasantly surprised by intimate stories on what it means to practice the art of convivial living, down to earth guidance, and get ready for true engagement with exercises geared toward getting you out of your head and into your life.


Be part of this Convivial revolution by sharing this blog post link:

with friends and family on Twitter and Facebook! This isn’t just about my accomplishment of writing a book, but about the achievement of the many dreams I want you and so many others to have as a result of reading my book.


  • Are fond of feasting, drinking, and good company (the very definition of the word Convivial)
  • Crave to live a life according to your own design
  • Want to approach your life in a more proactive and creative way
  • Want to begin recognizing and expressing the work of art within
  • Wish to begin nurturing your creative spirit and the dreams you have put on the back burner
  • Are tired of feeling guilty about making time for yourself, for those moments of bliss and joy you truly deserve
  • Are itching for a chance or find yourself at a crossroads in life
  • Want to stop sacrificing so much of yourself, your time, and your well-being to please others and discover what it means to live a more fulfilling life. (Notice I said “please,” not serve others. We are here to serve for sure.)



SNEAK PEEK of what’s in store for you…

“You took the conventional route and got the results you were after.

But now you’re itching for a change … wondering if there’s more to life than this.

You feel like you might not be living up to your true potential.

You’re creative and maybe even entrepreneurial, but you put your “unrealistic” dreams and talents on the shelf a while back. Get ready to dust them off.

“Convivial” is the road map to your creative life.

In this guide, I share stories of my experiences and how they led to my understanding of convivial living. From these accounts – along with engaging exercises – you’ll unearth your own truths. You’ll discover a sense of what it is to live convivially.”



Be here on Thursday 8 November for the unveiling.


Much love,

Cheryl Chavarria


P.S.  ‘CONVIVIAL | A Quest for the Masterpiece Within’ will be released on 8 November in e-book format and traditional print July 2013.

NOTE: I’m in process of scheduling SPEAKING engagements and collaborating on guest posts/interviews,  so if you have an opportunity/collaboration/partnership you’d like to discuss with me, I’d love to hear from you. Please send email to:


Building a Strong Sense Of Self-Worth and Self-Awareness

Whether it dealt with relationships, places I’ve lived, or what I believed about life, there have been many times I’ve found myself having to start from scratch.

Starting over, in a new place, after a breakup, in a new job or embarking on a new business endeavor can be a liberating, yet uncomfortable feeling. It’s a feeling you should never shy away from because although daunting and intimidating at first, these moments are the building blocks toward new confidence, a new perspective, a new you. They are the experiences that contribute to your building a stronger sense of self-worth and self-awareness.

Here are some moments when I had to deal with the reality that it was me, myself, and I, starting over, again.

I was the new girl at the three elementary and high schools I attended.

I stopped talking to my best friend in the 8th grade and found myself a loner at school.

My neighbors announced they were moving back to Mexico–this was a family of five siblings I spent every day with outside of school. My summer was officially over.

My family moved back to Texas and every friend I’d grown up with was left behind in Chicago. That included my boyfriend.

I became a mother and while transitioning into that lifestyle, I found a new circle of friends, only to find myself turned off by their competitive mommy behavior and walked away.

Moving to a new city with my family and feeling extremely happy, yet knowing I had to build new relationships for my children and myself again.

Considering all of the changes I’ve experienced and the many times my social life has seemingly gone into upheaval, I never worried about starting over. I felt a strong sense that I would rebuild what I once had and I would grow because of it.

Change was my friend. I looked forward to it, embraced it, made the best of it.

I have one brother and he never had trouble getting in where he fit in. He made friends very quickly. But me, I was picky with my company, very selective and took my time getting to know people. My brother many times thought I was a snob because of that,  and probably many other people thought so too, but I wanted deep connections, true friendships.

When I first moved to Dallas, I attended a football game with my parents, because my brother had been invited by his new friends. I was sitting in the stands next to my mother and my brother brought his new friends to meet us.

When they left, my mother looked over at me and asked, “Do you have any friends?”

Nonchalantly, I said, “No. Not yet.”

She asked, “Why not?”

I said, “I’ve not found any I like yet.”

End of that conversation.

Since changes are inevitable in life, it’s important to “diversify your identity”, as my entrepreneurial crush, Tim Ferriss once said. In order to roll with the punches that life will bring, you can’t allow who you are to get wrapped up into one area of your life. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs…you know the rest.

Your ideas, interests, career, relationships, mind and body will change throughout the years, but the one thing that is constant is…CHANGE! Yes, you get the prize. Be willing to embrace it, seek it out, and accept it when it is out of your control. There are lessons to be learned and insights and wisdom to be gained from every transition you go through.

It’s all for the purpose to build a stronger sense of who you are and your place in the world.

What have been some of your biggest takeaways in moments when it was time to start all over–whether it was moving to a new city, ending a relationship, switching career paths, etc?


Art is wonderfully dangerous. Are you playing like Julie Taymor?

When the DVD for the movie Frida came out, I bought my copy and watched the bonus features which introduced the film’s director, Julie Taymor.

My husband pointed out her assertiveness, the conviction in her voice, the passion in her eyes. The more I listened to her speak, the more I felt drawn to her as a creative and a woman.

If you’re not already familiar, here’s your chance to meet and appreciate the mind of Julie Taymor as she speaks on the value the Arts play in our health, family, and culture. Click the following video link to view.


Here are some of my takeaways, quotes that resonated, memories recollected, and feelings validated…

“The Arts…they’re wonderfully dangerous…I LOVE playing with fire.”

Could I have been aware of this at six years old? This reminds me of the time that I grabbed a box of matches from my grandmother’s house and snuck outside to light them up one by one. I thought I was being sneaky, but it was dark outside and I didn’t think about how the occasional flickering of each matchstick would give me away. The sparks of light lured my mother and grandmother out from where they were conversing and I was caught. That was the moment I got schooled on the dangers of fire, but it would not be the last time I played with it.

“Let’s turn off the lights and tell stories…”

This line from Julie gave me peace about a night time ritual I have with my kids. Every night when I put my boys to bed, I’ll read them five poems and stories from Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends, or other random books from their collection, and if they’re still unwilling to get some shut eye, I put the books away, turn the lights off and tell them, “Okay, it’s time to use your imagination. Tell your own stories.”

“A whole heart is a broken heart…because through the cracks, the light comes in.”

I think of the many heartbreaks I’ve experienced: friendships gone awry; the times I’ve not felt heard, seen, or understood; the moments when I feel taken for granted; the times I give so much and get no acknowledgment for my efforts; the times I need validation and find out no one can truly offer what I must find within myself…these are the moments when the cracks form and create pain inside, but they are also the moments when enLIGHTenment occurs.

There’s so many other interviews to check out and I hope you feel intrigued to do so. But for now, tell me, what are your impressions after seeing this video? Any insights of your own you’d like to share? You knowwww I want to know. Go on and express yourself in the comments below.

Much love,


Fulfill Your Dreams One Idea at a Time

This evening, I had it planned to write and gather content for the Convivial book I’m working on, but instead something else happened.

I called a dear friend and chatted the night away.

Sounds counterproductive, but it turned out to be an inspiring call that gave me the push I needed to act on some other ideas that have been sitting stagnant in my iPhone notes, waiting for me to give them my attention.

I got off the call ready to push forward, to get moving, to do something BIG.

If that’s the end result, I have to say that was (a procrastinating writer’s) time well spent!

The ideas discussed relate to creating Convivial merchandise that I want to sell on the site. Yes, here! Right on that side bar to your right—–>

Without divulging all the details of what’s in the works, all I’ll say for now is this…

You can look forward to some wearable and hangable affirmations straight from this convivial imagination of mine.

I haven’t given this idea the attention it needs, because it’s a whole business unto itself and I have somehow convinced myself that the timing or the order is not right yet. Plus let’s remember, I’m the HMIC (ahem, Head Mama In Charge) of two growing warriors aged 2 and 4. You know my little dictators take first place in anything I do.

My delay in taking certain ideas from digital notepad to actual, tangible product is proof that I am guilty of playing small and thinking that I have to “wait” for the “right time” when the time is right now.

When have you held back from following through on a doable, actionable idea because your fear of the unknown or lack of the know how set in?

Come on now, don’t let me be the only culpable culprit in this matter.

There’s another factor that can plague and delay your efforts: Over thinking the situation.

Helloooo, I’m hanging my head and raising my hand over here.

Yes, I am known to over think situations, but according to Tom Rath’s StrengthFinder 2.0 (an assessment I recently took and found to be mahvelous insight, dahling), this is part of who I am, my nature, so I can’t really help it. I am deliberative in my approaches. Call it a strength, and depending on the situation, consider it a flaw.

How many times have you avoided getting started or following through on something, because in your mind, things needed to be jussst right, perfected, positioned better, yet…you still had nothing to show for? Ugh. That sucks and I know your pain. Can someone get me a drink over here?

Here are 4 Tips to push through any sensation of holding back:

1. Talk it out like SO (<–Clickety Click for a DEMO)

2. Write it out like I do or… as Jo March once did.

3. Walk it out.
Forgot how? Noooo problem, HERE’S A VIDEO TUTORIAL.

4. Partner up with someone to discuss your ideas and plan it out.
Without another brain to bounce ideas off of, you may be causing yourself a creative blindspot.

Luckily tonight, I caught an unexpected curve ball with the loving insight shared by a friend.

I should’ve opened up a long time ago, but I’ve been protecting my ideas, cradling them, hoping for THAT ONE PERFECT DAY (and mood) to get started, but I realize I’ve been holding out on myself. And you. Not cool. Not cool.

Ahh…the woes of every creative out there. Fist bump me here if you feel me.

Know what happens when you’ve got a great idea in the palm of your hand and you want to protect it, keep it all to yourself?

You close up, perhaps make a fist and potentially crush it …in the non-Gary Vaynerchuk kinda way.

And how do you think the world is going to respond?
Two ways: they’ll avoid it or put their fist right up against it.

You’ve got to open up your hands and reach out and ask for what you need.

What ideas do you have sitting on the back burner of your imagination?

Share them with the world.

If you keep your dreams to yourself, if you hoard your ideas, the world can’t know what only you are capable of creating. Yes, your ideas can become worlds upon worlds of their own.

That is the only purpose for anything in this life- to share it and offer up an experience with your personal stamp on it.

Put your hand out and release your dreams one idea at a time.

A hand extended cannot be left hanging for too long, because someone else with the same need to express, to give, to be generous with their gifts and experience is bound to reach out and grab on for dear life.

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