Create. Embrace. Enjoy. Space.

On September 14th, Bindu Wiles launched The Shed Project, 8 Weeks of Losing It / An Adventure in Letting Go. Here is a woman who has created a space for anyone to join her in shedding anything from material possessions to love handles to burdening thought patterns. What an adventure to embark on!

I am someone who has usually found some ease in letting go- I repeat, some ease, because somehow I knew and felt there was something or someone on the other side, reaching for my hand, patiently waiting for me to grab onto it.

Space…it’s something I’ve always been very comfortable with and enjoyed. The first time I recall my ability to let go of what was to embrace what would be was the summer of ’93 when my friends and neighbors in Chicago, The Delira family, announced they would move back to their hometown of Aguascalientes in Mexico. I was about to lose five friends all at the same time.

They were my everyday go-to crowd. Our time together consisted of making cotton candy while dancing to Madonna’s Like A Virgin song, creating fake money out of grocery store ads when our monopoly money ran out from long intervals of playing, reenacting entire movie scenes from Mermaids (I played Winona Ryder), rollerblading through Lincoln Park to Chicago’s Boardwalk and back, and cruising the streets of Chicago singing Cathy Dennis’ song, Too Many Walls. We thought the world was all ours and it truly was in every one of those moments.

When they said they were moving away, I don’t remember taking the news hard. I simply accepted the direction life was taking us. When they left, I remember being alone. Still…I managed my way through it all. I knew I would see them again…someday and trusted the time and new space that surrounded me would bring me comfort and new people and experiences would enter my life. Eventually, they did and a new phase of life began.

In 1995, it was my family’s turn to pack up. I’d been away for nearly 6 weeks during my summer break working at a camp in Orr, Minnesota when I got a call from my mother letting me know as soon as I returned, our family would plan to move back to Texas. I had grown up in Chicago’s inner city, spent the most crucial years of my upbringing there, years that shaped me as a person, was almost finished with high school, and had all of my friends there, but the first thing that came out of my mouth was, “Can we PLEASE go to Austin?” I was ready to go. It was just my nature to accept and embrace the new.

I’ll always remember one of my last nights before moving. I was with two close friends and we were huddled together, arm in arm, swaying back and forth listening to Boyz II Men’s song It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye. We were being overly dramatic and trying to make ourselves cry but we laughed more than anything. I thought I would really start crying or feel depressed when it was time to go, but it didn’t happen. I was ready to move forward and it didn’t mean that I didn’t care enough for my friends. I trusted the friendships would survive the change and that I would do my part to nurture them. Fifteen years later, they are still in my life and we’re as close as can be. One of them even served as my labor coach when I had my first son. She saw my vagina and e’erthing. Yup, she’s still my friend.

Shedding a new skin is hard to do, but I’m always reassured that taking this action is necessary and good for me. It’s another way of expressing my personal evolution and there’s no need to fear what results from it. So, I continue the ritual today with The Shed Project.

It’s a regular habit of mine to get rid of stuff around my house, thus making way for new things to enter, but after reading The Law of The Ugly Chair by Danielle LaPorte, I am reminded to be even more conscious of what I consider sacred to me and give it the space it deserves.

I’m thrilled that Bindu has asked me to guest write a post for The Shed Project and can’t wait to share it with you all so when the post is up, I’ll definitely let you know! My hope is to inspire you to embark on your own journey of shedding your skin for one that better suits your spirit. If you’re intrigued to learn more or ready to join the shedventure, check out Bindu’s launch video and sign up!


Giving Into Reverie

Staring out the window that overlooks my garden, I see the trees rustling in the wind and soon find myself in a state of instant reverie. A stream of thought flows through, causing me to recollect on various experiences in my life when I’ve felt disappointed in myself and in others.

For the most part, when I wasn’t happy, I walked away, but there have been many instances when I stuck around, tried to pull me and the other person through a tough or awkward time with the hopes that something could change, that I could help in some way, that I could understand my experience better.

Just when I thought my stream of consciousness was coming to an end, this message came through to me:

When you finally learn to listen to your heart and follow its lead, everything changes within you and around you.

I was so compelled by the sound of these words that I had to share them. I thought about the many ways to apply this truth: receiving new people into my life, overcoming negative thought patterns, facing my fears, taking on new challenges, leaving behind less than favorable circumstances and sometimes people contributing to those circumstances, forgiving myself and others for lack of wisdom in trying times, and oh so many more.

Letting my heart lead me in action means I am no longer a slave to my thoughts about a particular situation, person, experience and when I am no longer enslaved by thought, then my ego is dead and no harm or hurt can come or be done.

I’m not the first or the last person to experience toxicity of the mind, body and spirit, but I know I can minimize it by taking the time and action needed to release it…to be released.

Learning to distinguish between experiences that matter and ones that don’t can be a constant and conscious life practice.
Being a follower of the heart can cure so much, perhaps almost anything.
The definitive results are love and that’s all anyone or anything needs, right?

If your heart moves you to do something, do it.

If your heart tells you to let go, let go.

If your heart wants you to walk away, walk away.

Opportunity abounds when it comes to finding peace in your heart and letting yourself live out loud. When you find a message speaking to you, give it the attention it deserves because you deserve it. When you do that, ohh the places you’ll go…the people you’ll know.

Surrender is not only a beautiful word, but just as beautiful an experience.


Permission to be a Woman

Over the weekend, I went to a family gathering and met a couple and their daughter for the first time. While sitting at the table conversing, their 8-year-old little girl came from upstairs to tell her parents the other girls she was playing with were not being nice to her, saying things like they didn’t want to be her friend anymore and then she began crying when she said one of the girls had slapped her. Errr! Put the needle back on the record!

I was sitting next to the mother hearing bits and pieces of the discussion and what really threw me overboard was when the girl’s father, who seemed uncomfortable with her crying, asked her, “Well, did it hurt?” I thought, “What?!” Was he insinuating, “If it didn’t hurt enough or leave a mark on you, then hush up and take it like a man.” Was this his idea of tough love? I didn’t hear if the mother said anything about the slap, but that comment didn’t sound good to me. I don’t believe they didn’t care about their daughter, but it didn’t appear that they took her negative experience seriously.

I’m reminded of a friend who shared with me and a few others how she cries too easily and feels weak when it happens in front of her kids and husband, but she says she can’t help it, it’s just how she is. Another friend sitting next to her said, “Oh, that makes me feel so much better, because I am the SAME way! I cry so easily too and hate it.” That same friend brought up crying on another occasion and asked me, “When was the last time you cried?” I went blank. You see, I have trouble crying. I feel the emotions building up within me and wanting to burst out like a volcano, but throughout my life, I had experiences like the 8-year-old little girl and learned to tame my emotions to a flaw. It’s even affected me when it comes to showing excitement at times. I feel this blockage. I base my reaction on logic versus emotion in most instances.

When I heard Eve Ensler of The Vagina Monologues once say, “We are emotional creatures,” I was relieved beyond belief. It was the first time someone had validated my nature. Somewhere along the way, I became a victim to the myriad messages I heard in times of extreme vulnerability telling me to be strong, tough it out, to save it for later, hold it in, don’t start, not now, I don’t want to hear it, suck it up, and the times my tears were questioned. I was being questioned for just being…a girl.

Here’s what Eve Ensler thinks about being a girl:

I think the whole world essentially has been brought up NOT to be a girl. To be a boy really means NOT to be a girl. To be a man means NOT to be a girl. To be a woman means NOT to be a girl. To be strong means NOT to be a girl. To be a leader means NOT to be a girl. I actually think that being a girl is so powerful that we’ve had to train everyone NOT to be that.

We come into this world crying; it’s how the doctor stimulates us to confirm that we are alive. But once we leave, we are encouraged for the rest of our lives to repress our tears, our emotions, hence our very nature. Being an emotional creature is the very essence of being a woman. I would be a man otherwise! I’ll admit that I have been much more in touch with my masculine side than my feminine side for a long time. It’s a form of self-preservation and protection and has served me well, but I am trying to find balance and embrace the more vulnerable aspects of myself.

Thankfully, becoming a mother to two boys has helped me release my tears easier. It happens at unexpected moments, like when my oldest took a ride on his first bike and called out to everyone standing watch to see what he was doing. I was filled with such joy that the tears just flowed and felt good. My husband is a wonderful example of an emotional creature who happens to be a man.:) Tears flowed from his eyes before he could get the words out of his mouth the day he said he was in love with me. I remember wiping all the tears from his cheeks. I can’t help to think life paired us together for a good reason. I wouldn’t doubt it. There are so many opportunities to learn a new way to be, to reverse the blocked pathways in my memory so pure emotions can flow once again. And I’m open…open to them all. I admire tears and vulnerability and humility. I want to experience it all with abandon myself. I want to make it a life long practice.

Quote taken from Eve Ensler’s Embrace Your Inner Girl talk on


The Definitive Regal Chic Brunch

Recently, I was inspired to put on the ritz in the form of a Regal Chic brunch for my girlfriends. There was no exceptional reason for the occasion other than my desire to spoil the women in my life and give them an experience they wouldn’t forget. How many women want to be spoiled? Raising my hand! But, how often do women spoil each other? It’s all about letting love get the best of us and spreading the joy. I gave my friends one month’s notice to mark their calendars for the event; told them to save the date and gave no inkling of what to expect. Little by little, a vision for the event began to reveal itself to me and with each new inspiring thought, I took to the stores and prepared for the big day. Initially, it was suppose to be a convivial day spent with just my friends, but then the whole life coaching with Lisa Carmen came about, and I began to think about challenging myself in ways I hadn’t before, so I chose to treat the brunch as a mini-workshop. It was an opportunity to take my efforts to empower and inspire women offline and stand before them in person. I was nervous about what I would do, what I would say, how the whole presentation aspect of the event would flow, but I decided to take the risk, to face any fears that might surface and put myself out there in a new way. It was time to take the stage.

When the day came and all was set to go, I felt my power coming through for me like a dear friend. I was no longer worried about what could go wrong or what I could miss saying to get my desired message across, and I especially wasn’t listening to the voice within saying, Who do you think you are doing this…What gives you the right to stand before a group of women and want to empower them…You don’t have anything valid to say…blah blah blah. I decided to let my heart lead the way and surrendered my desire for complete control. What a relief it was to be a follower! I felt such confidence as everything slowly came together. My guests began to show up and wanted to offer a helping hand, but I smiled and said, “I’ve got it covered. Just enjoy yourself today.” It felt wonderful to serve others, to offer all the love in me without any conditions, any expectations of getting payback.

When all was said and done, the event was a hit! I allowed the weight of the world to fall off my shoulders, thus creating a similar atmosphere for the women in my company. We had entered into a Convivial Society and anything was possible. I saw joy, expressions of pure elation, witnessed the little girl in every woman playing and giggling as they participated in the meal and activities. I felt light on my feet, formless, as if only my spirit walked around overseeing the event. I believe that’s what truly happened. My mother was my right-hand woman in bringing it all to fruition and I couldn’t have thought of anyone better to choose as my partner. By taking on the challenge to stand before friends as The Convivial Woman, I had stepped into a new realm. I had taken the idea of a Convivial Society and turned it into a real place, a real moment, for real women. I can only move forward from this point on and the ideas for more events are making their way to the forefront of my mind’s eye. Creation…it’s quite the beauty to experience. Fear or no fear, I’m wide awake and behind this wheel now…there’s no turning back.

Feast your eyes on the brunch pictures by clicking directly on the album below.

The Definitive Regal Chic Brunch

In Silence: All You Want, All You’ve Ever Wanted

I began the weekend by focusing on my home to clean and clear space for all that I want the next week, month and year to bring. After shaking my tail to Lady Gaga while wiping down the kitchen counter, I switched to my Bebe Pandora station and heard the song Pa Mi Casa (To My House) for the first time. After just a few lyrics,
I stopped everything I was doing and raced to write down a few lines from the song, but then more lyrics kept coming and I couldn’t help how they were making me feel, so I decided the song needed to go down in convivial history as yet another must-share moment. Hence today’s post. The more I listened to the musical message, the more I found my discovery of the song and Bindu Wiles’ newly announced community project, The Shed Project, to be perfectly timed. It was a superior example of synchronicity in action.

If you’re in process of embarking on a new journey and letting go of all you know, whether in the grandest or smallest of ways, I invite you to listen to Bebe’s song and ponder her words, THEN read all about Bindu’s plan to let herself go for ten straight months!

Note: Is Spanish not your native tongue? Mine neither (it’s my second), so I’ve offered up my best translation of the song lyrics below.


Pa Mi Casa / To My Home

Now I return to my house
I say goodbye to you for the time being
‘cause I feel like being the girl
who at many times no one believed.

You have to look within
for if the river is running dry

know that below the earth
an ocean travels.

The prairies of my land
Meet with the sky

And that is where I rest
And look for my memories.

There are those who prefer bigger things
for me, I prefer the small

The distance helps you to look
with much less fear

I want to return to closing my eyes
to see what I want

I have no fear of the time passing
but that it passes and memories will be lost

In silence
In silence
There is all that I want, all that I’ve ever wanted

We accumulate so much
And breathe much less

Each day the air is less pure
And every day that passes I continue missing you.

Go wherever you may go
I’d even die for you

For the prairies of my land
Meet with the sky

And that is where I rest
And look for my memories.

In silence
In silence
There is all I want, all I’ve ever wanted
There is all I want, all I’ve ever wanted.

Spanish Lyrics here.
photo courtesy of


Convivial Cameo: White Hot Interview with Danielle LaPorte

Coming to the stage is my one and only white hot love Danielle LaPorte, creator of the site White Hot Truth. Danielle hails from Vancouver, BC (ehhh) and is one bad mama rocking her business and inspiring legions of other women and men to do the same. Danielle is no one-trick pony. She’s a strategic and intuitive business advisor, fiery and inspirational speaker, creator of one of the coolest note card lines on the web, and mama writer and design mastermind behind the recently launched and amazingly successful Fire Starter Sessions: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs.


I’d say her Fire Starter Sessions book is one of the most innovative and brilliant contributions to the online business world yet and its no wonder she’s experienced such acclaim and success thus far. I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle at her Fire Starter Session in Austin, Texas last September and experienced the presence of a woman standing in her current power, setting the stage for truth and authenticity. As an entrepreneurial writer mama who wants to rock her creative bottom line as well, I’m all over anyone who can dish some damn good wisdom and be straight up real with me when I need it most. Danielle is of that divine feminine tribe and I’m dancing and chanting words of wisdom alongside her, always wanting more to fuel the convivial flame that burns within me. As part of my intention and desire to keep the circle of influence and power burning bright from one convivial woman to another, I’m here to let you know Danielle speaks to me…deeply, and now, literally. I hope she strikes a cord within you too. It’s all about passing the torch, baby. Enjoy the interview!

The idea behind Convivial Society is “Know Your Power. Live Your Life.”
When did you become fully aware of your power? What has it taken for you to reach that breakthrough point?

I’ve always been aware of my energy, a fire in my heart…my love and intellect. But it’s been the stretches of life that have shown me its full flavour. I forget who said this: “People are like tea bags, you don’t know how strong they are until they’re in hot water.” It’s been the hot water of business divorce, juggling a wonderful kid with a fabulous career, romantic heart break…you know, the big passages that have shown me my power. And I know it when I see it because it’s gentle and generous.

In what ways do you see women giving up their power and how do you keep yours burning white hot?

We keep our mouths shut. We let logic eclipse emotion. We apologize for wanting what we want the most. Of course, none of this is women-specific, but we do have a knack for getting in the back seat.

How do I keep my fire burning? I treat my home like it’s a temple. I eat a lot of spinach. I hang out with really solid, happy people who are interested in really living. I have a great Buddhist shrink whose main tool is compassion. I don’t apologize for what I want. I get off on being generous. I make time for pedicures.

As you’ve said, “Everything is progress,” and “I wish I would’ve had someone to tell me what the fuck to do,” so how does a woman who knows her power steer the wheel when she doesn’t always know the way?

Just keep driving. You can’t really know where you’re going, but you can be wide awake at the wheel and fuel up when you need to.

As hot as you are, how do you tame those wild things called “Vices” and “Distractions” to stay a glow over the beds of hot coal you consistently walk?

What are vices?

The evolution of a woman’s body is a tricky and sensitive thing. When time between bike rides lapses, how does the voice whispering to your heavenly body sound? What does she say when things don’t all feel so put together anymore? Or when you’ve had one too many (fill in the blank)?

Too many…squares of milk chocolate…or late nights…or days without moving.
This is a big one for me. I spent most of my life in my head, and thanks to a good metabolism, that worked out okay.
My bod’ is my new frontier, the next power source for me to FINALLY plug into. And I’m doing it and loving it.
Yoga, dancing, breathwork. New world of gratitude. I’m going to be one of those conversion stories.

You give much praise to the book The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. What’s your everyday creative habit/ritual that keeps the flow coming so often? What other books concerning women and creative, convivial living have a permanent place on your bookshelves?

My creative habits: write freehand (not on the computer); pay attention to the first thoughts I have in the morning; rock out – music is my elixir.

Books: Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a MASTERPIECE and every woman should read it three times. I think The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a classic for good reason. And most everything Pema Chodron has put out has an amazing clarity to it.

So many women play small at times for the sake of others. Would you say you’ve mastered your height and when you feel yourself shrinking within, how do you combat that?

I still shrink. First thing I do is NOT condemn myself for shrinking. I try to be incredibly friendly with the part of me that shrank. And then I can hear what that part needs to say. And what a gift that is.

I’ve also learned to sleep on it when I feel some shrink action about to happen. Be still. Stand tall(er) tomorrow.

What are you willing to go to the ends of the earth to tell your fellow woman about money, the company she keeps, and rocking her talents?

I’m not really willing to go to the ends of the earth to tell people anything. I used to want to be a Messiah, now I’m more interested in being a reporter/Priestess. But I get the spirit of the question… What I want to say is this: You know. You know what you want and who you are. You. Know.


If you liked it and want some more of it, check out

and order your copy here.

Ever yours,

Cheryl Chavarria


‎Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. -MLK Jr


Freewriting Episode 1: Life Coaching Escapades

As of July 8th, I began work with life coach, Lisa Carmen of the site I don’t believe Lisa has crossed my path by accident. The day her and I met, she asked me some unexpected questions that tapped into my psyche and caused a commotion of emotions within me. It was then that I knew she had a gift and I needed it. People always talk talk talk about what they need to change, but don’t take any action to do so. Well, I’m people and I want to change, so I let Lisa know I was interested in her work. That can go either way, depending on how full of shit I am. She wrote me back an email that was full of excitement and anticipation and said, “I would LOVE to work with you! When?”

Ooh…specifics…getting to the nitty gritty…a concrete commitment. I could have chickened out and made up tons of excuses, but something in me reached out to her and something else in me said the time to woman up and take action was upon me, as in NOW. I want to get down to the bottom of why I do certain things I do and I want to improve on what I think is hindering me from being 100% convivial. So just as the day I lost my virginity went, I said, “Let’s do this!” Proof, that even today, I’m still trying to experience my nature. Life coaching with a burlesque dancer is the latest way for me to go about it. I want to share this whole experience, be as open about it as I can (and let me say, that is not an easy for me) but the time has come. This is where I’m at right now in the journey, so bear with me if it’s not all complete or the thoughts don’t seem organized.

Lisa’s asking me some challenging questions (this is a great thing!) and I’m feeling lots of emotions swirl around within me and it can feel frustrating when I don’t know why I am feeling a certain way – like all this impatience I have been experiencing this week, but I know it’s all a work in process like me. I’m going to get to the point of change I seek. I know it. The coaching will last for 3 months which breaks down to two personal sessions a month, and in between we’ll spend time online or on the phone talking about what’s happening with me as I work through some unfavorable idiosyncrasies I’m known for, don’t really understand myself, and want to overcome.

Here’s one peculiarity I’m calling out from the shadows: My discomfort with being celebrated. This is not ironic timing since my birthday is in one month. Can you believe it? Me, The Convivial Woman, feels funny about being celebrated. Haha funny joke there. No, really. I feel strange being the center of attention.

I recently saw New Moon and in the beginning, Bella receives an unwrapped gift from her father and is getting occasional birthday wishes from her friends at school and she’s trying to quiet them and go incognito as the birthday girl. Edward finally asks her, “Why don’t you want people to know it’s your birthday?” She says, “I don’t like to be celebrated.” Bam! That resonated deep within me. But is it true? No, not at all. But what I’m trying to figure out is if it’s an insecurity or a personality trait of mine or perhaps thoughts related to a negative experience from my childhood that I just need to overcome. If my ego wants to have a say in the matter, it’ll deny any insecurity and continue playing the tough girl role, but I’m trying to really get down to the bottom of this sentiment.

You see, birthday’s deal with me being the center of attention, in the spotlight, all eyes on me. That day is all about me, me, me, me. It’s my day and as a woman, well, I’ve heard the message plenty of times that it’s not suppose to be all about me; I’m suppose to be concerned with others, what they think of me, how they see me, feel around me, be nice when others aren’t so nice. I’m definitely thinking that growing up in a religion my parents chose for me which didn’t allow us to celebrate birthdays plays a role. I couldn’t even tell you what the reasoning was behind that form of deprivation, because even at 7 years old when we first converted, my little girl mind couldn’t understand how God would be pleased with me if I ignored the day I was born, the day I came into this world to share my gifts. News flash! I’m not in that religion anymore nor religious for that matter. Can you blame me?! I’m not into playing that game of my god against your god, my god is better than your god. What I learned is true is this: Religion divides / Spirituality unites. I’d rather be united.

Let me tell you about this one time when I was 8 years old and my family was the newbie family to Chicago. I had a friend, Diana down the street who was going to have an afterschool birthday cake in her honor. Nothing major, real nonchalant and low key the celebration. I wanted to go! Why? Because she was my friend and I was invited! So I braved the potential rejection and asked my mother if I could attend and sure as night and day, she said, “You know we don’t celebrate birthdays because it’s against our religion.” I was persistent and thought of a compromise to see if I could get what I wanted and said, “Oh mom, please please can I go? I promise I won’t sing Happy Birthday to her!” Cleverly, I thought, if I could convince my mom that I was being obedient to God by not truly participating, but still being there, I wasn’t sinning.

Tell me you’re mouth is gaping wide open from the shock of such a crazy story! It still boggles my mind how people can think they’re doing right by their kids and what they’re really doing is teaching them to withdraw from life, because there’s another world post-death that we should prepare for. Forget living in this world right now! That IS what happened to me a lot- I withdraw from life, because I wasn’t enough of a fighter, because girls aren’t encouraged to fight. Or they’re not suppose to, right? For the record, my mother and father aren’t in that religion any longer and those experiences are the butt of all my family jokes. Vengeance is mine! My mother regrets what she calls her naivete combined with her desire to save her children from the perils of hell (my translation: from the joys of truly living).

Anyway, I’m all over the place mentally these days and can’t process all of what’s floating around in my head, but I can say that this life coaching experience is the beginning to so much more for me. It’s going to really get me past some weird stuff that’s been causing me to hold back all these years, I’ve already taken on three new challenges and the whole purpose is to really know and therefore act on the power that lives within me. FYI: This was suppose to be a little snippet of my experience thus far, but it looks like there’s a storm of change brewing and I couldn’t stop typing! It’s all good.

CHALLENGE and CHANGE go hand in hand. What are some of the challenges you’re facing? What actions are you taking to overcome them?


Forget Judgment. Go for Criticism.

This morning, I woke up to a message from Paulo Coehlo in my newsfeed and this is what he had to say:

Try to be “good”, you’ll be judged. Try to be yourself, you’ll be criticized. Better to choose the second option and move ahead; God will never let you down.

Oomph! Talk about an arrow shot straight to my heart. I have experienced enough judgment to validate this quote. In the not so distant past, trying to be “good” has caused me to hold back, miss out, not dare as much, play small, and worst of all, repress my true strengths at key moments. I’m remembering the guy who came to my friend’s home to install her house alarm and shared some unexpected wisdom when he said, It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. I thought, Damnit! Why didn’t I learn that sooner! I recalled all the times I’d bowed my head, surrendered my position, didn’t stand up to injustice, and compromised my heart’s desire for what was seemingly best for me, what others thought I wasn’t ready for, or what they didn’t want for me altogether. I was too good for my own damn good. Good was on my parent’s agenda, greatness was on mine, however I didn’t want to disappoint them and chose to be the one disappointed because that’s what good girls do. Sure it was my life, but I wasn’t suppose to fully live it, because I would be judged if what I chose to do didn’t “look right” in someone else’s eyes. What matters is what looks and feels right in my eyes and in my heart. That is the message to share!

I fell prey to the idea that I should concern myself with others judging my actions and choice of lifestyle. Gasp! What are they going to say about you? Realization! Who the hell are these others and what are they doing to ensure my happiness? Honestly, I wasn’t worried about what people thought or what they would say, but I wasn’t courageous enough to go against the grain…THEN. Where there’s a will, there’s usually a relative, or a thought imposed on you by some relative, but with enough courage and conviction, your will can prevail. Many women choose good over great, but there’s always opportunity to go from good to GREAT and wake up to new, inspiring messages, new influences within our social networks, whether online or in person, and the knowledge we get is there to help recondition thoughts that serve to hinder our spirit from truly flourishing. Flourishing is our nature and as another influential male in my past once said, Don’t hold back your nature. Clever boy. Be open and ready to change, to respond, and soon you’ll forget judgment and be more willing to go for criticism. It’s in you to fully express who you are and what you really want.


You’re already in your proper place

I had a meeting of the minds that caused a stir in my soul. The thoughts and realizations I took home that evening have me brewing with possibility and wonder.

I met with Lisa Carmen, a Burlesque dancer and choreographer in Dallas and the creator of the site SacredSexyU. Lisa and I have been soul friend’s long before we met, so when it came time to mix the physical with our mental as was done over mojitos and micheladas, it got emotional. Alcohol was not a factor! There was a lot of smiling, giggling, and convivial mingling just as women do best, but what really went down was the experience of a full circle effect for me, the beauty of synchronicity, two apparent strangers going beyond the surface, and Lisa and I bowing to the universe for conspiring in favor of our new friendship.

Meeting Lisa was like reuniting with a long lost love. I was thrilled to be in her presence and humbled to know she was just as excited to be in mine. I felt honored to receive her love and challenged by her adoration, because it holds me accountable to my heart’s desire and calls me out and onto the stage I’ve created for myself.

Being the star of the show is not a role for which I ever auditioned…until now.

When there is potential for me to play the leading lady, (read: woman in charge, as we all want to be!) I swear the butterflies are on me like bees to honey, fluttering about my stomach. Just the idea of debuting Convivial Society (today known as The Convivial Woman) rocked my nervous system! I mean, how do you take something so private, like my writing, my art, something so intimate, spiritual and close to me, and make it public? You just do, because you know that it has to be shared for the world to benefit.

As an introvert, I have good reason to shy away from the limelight, to avoid the big crowds, but in meeting with Lisa, I realized that the light’s gotta shine on me at some point. The stage awaits. It’s simply a matter of when I’m willing (or pushed) to step forward and shine. Being the observer, the behind the scenes gal and feeling most fulfilled with one-on-one interactions has been the norm for me, yet my vision for Convivial Society is going to require me to come out from behind the turquoise curtain to take an occasional bow, cause some laughter, shed some tears, receive applause, glimpse a few yawns, hear potential boos and face numerous critics. It’s going to force me to stand firm in who I am and cause me to move forward anyway, because if I want to make any desire a reality, I have to accept the natural fear that comes with new endeavors and say, Fuck it. I lose nothing and gain everything. My life and the lives of those affected are richer for it.

Having great power is the reality of our existence, yet reality can be intimidating and scary.

There’s always going to be doubt lurking in the background, trying to convince me that I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know who I am or what I truly want, perhaps even that I don’t fully believe in myself. This is where my tribe enters the scene to help me combat the mind and push forward with the heart.

Instead of trying to become, I am trying to be…just be and by trusting, I learn more about my own power- what it feels like, looks like, sounds like, and oh what a beauty she is! The company I keep will test my commitment to further grow in my power and exercise it. The people we attract into our personal hemisphere are there to offer us what we need, especially when we aren’t aware of how much we need it. They should be someone we can open up to so that our vulnerable skin can be fully revealed and no room is left for judgment or disappointment.

As a High Priestess once said, people operating from their true strengths are generous as hell with their gifts and encourage you to operate just the same. You’ll have no other option but to be real, honest, and on your game, shining through as you do you. Take me by the hand…yes, we all want to be led, but there comes a point when it is time to lead.

Not sure how to go about it? Seek out your mentors, count on those friends who share the same vibe and worldview, and be willing to explore the questions that will cause you to sweat out your insecurities, render you completely vulnerable. I am better for the time I had with Lisa for now I know such people cross my path to reassure me that I am exactly where I need to be, doing what I am meant to do, already in my proper place.

Have you recently made any new friends who have caused a stirring in your soul or challenged you to be better than you were yesterday? Tell me your story in the comments below. I know I’m not the only one getting her blueberry mojito and bonding on!


Make the Given Effort

Ever feel like you’re in between two worlds with one foot ready to kick the next door down? It’s kinda like your own version of a Groundhog Day. Been there, felt that! But I haven’t bought the t-shirt yet. With all the angst and uncertainty surrounding this hot spot, it’s not exactly the best feeling nor ideal place to be, and as the stumbling-every-which-way humans that we are, we’re bound to book a few return trips. If you have yet to arrive, wherever your chosen destination, whatever your chosen vocation may be, what are you doing right now to get there? If you’re short on answers, forget worrying as much about the how or the when and get to work finding the who and the what that will get you to the where. When headed for an unknown place, somewhere you’ve never been, didn’t expect to travel to, or never imagined going, its certain your emotional compass will go haywire, directions will seem contradicting just as the route may appear a tortuous one, but don’t worry, you’re not alone and you’ll make it through. We all share the same road, see the same signs, however if we pay close enough attention, we’ll interpret distinct messages that can lead us down our individual paths. Finding is about refining…you. So, give yourself that chance, that time and effort to get back to or better get to know you. Peel back those layers. Pull up that hair. Take a good look. Be impressed. Cry it out. Breathe her back to life. Then be amazed. Your experience is what you make it, so go ahead and wipe away the excess everything that means and brings nothing to the core of you. Purging brings forth the new, but in this case, shedding the current skin allows for the rebirth of your original self. With a spirit as fierce and limitless as yours, its never too late to put your will behind the wheel and steer it. Experience the place that is meant for you. Happiness isn’t an effort, it’s a given.


The Convivial Asshole

Over the weekend, I took my son to get his hair cut and got to talking with a man who was waiting to do the same with his two kids. He was a fit man with salt and pepper hair, stylishly dressed in khaki shorts and sandals, possibly in his late thirties.

Our young ones began coloring together, so Fit Dad and I chatted about raising boys and girls. He mentioned how he’d noticed an immediate difference when his daughter was born, how she set the tone for that gender distinction. Referring to their nature, he put it simply,

“Boys have physical needs and girls emotional ones.”

DING! I heard a light bulb go off in my head. Ain’t that the truth? Boys have the need for rough play, sports, action movies, sound effects and (shhh) S-E-X while girls need to talk, relate, connect, be made to feel special, protected, and especially need to be heard. Hello! Raising my hand here. It’s a must.

At one point in the conversation, one of the hairdressers was finishing up with a client, so Fit Dad stopped in mid-sentence and called out to her, saying, “Do you think we’ll be outta here in the next ten minutes?” She looked confused and slightly offended that he appeared to be rushing her. “You told me it’d be 20 minutes and it’s now been 35 minutes. We have somewhere to be,” he continued. The stylists glanced at each other, then returned to their scissors, customers hid behind their magazines, and I kicked back to enjoy the show.

We continued talking and it turned out Fit Dad was from Austin, Texas and it’s no surprise to me that his face lit up when I asked him, “So, how was it growing up there?” He had nothing but great things to say and I was intrigued to continue the conversation, but we were interrupted when the stylist called his number. He shuffled his son over and began telling her how he wanted his son’s hair cut, pointing to particular areas around his head to communicate his request.

When I heard and saw this man taking charge of the situation, you better believe he had my attention. My eyes remained fixed on him as I thought, Those ladies probably think he’s being an asshole. The others waiting probably think so too, but he doesn’t give a shit. As a straight shooter myself, I appreciated him for his ways. I was convinced that this man was “The Man” at home and at work, because he didn’t mince words.

He spoke with authority, was straight to the point and non-apologetic about it. I liked that, liked it a lot; in fact, it made me all tingly inside. Now now, before you get ahead of yourself, here’s why. I’m a gal who respects people who give it to me straight, who are real, to the point.

Such conversations call me, lure me, tickle my fanny.

Being frank is my best form of communication and many times, I’ve been made to feel bad about this strength (YES, it’s a strength because its me at my strongest) and I’ll admit to playing small at times and holding back my true kaboom for the sake of someone else’s weakness.

In a non-convivial world, it’s being bitchy, bossy, unappealing, worth ignoring. It’s where women aren’t encouraged to be loose with their tongue and therefore inadvertently try to avoid it to appease and please. Fuck that. We’ve got a lot to say.

In my world, speaking out means freedom.

There’s a great sense of confidence that accompanies one’s ability to be assertive. It takes time and guts to come as you are and not care what people think.

When all is said and done, that’s exactly how you get what you want in life. That’s how you get the life you want. It takes practice, faith in yourself, and permission. Who’s doing the permitting? You are! So go ahead and permit it, want it, speak it, live it.

Cheers to a great day of telling it like it is,

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