The Art of Convivial Living

Hello kindred spirits. It’s been a while since my last “inscription.” WARNING: This blog is the mother of all blogs I’ve written. I’m playing catch up to cap off the year so hold tight and hang with me for a moment. I have much to say.

Since announcing my move to Austin, I’ve been quite the gypsy mama, traveling back and forth from Dallas to Austin. My husband and I have been on the house hunt since renting out our home in November and haven’t hit gold yet, but I’m patient and holding out for the most convivial home of them all. It’s out there and I’m ready to plant my feet on the grounds of the State Capitol of Texas, or somewhere close enough.

Changes are brewing on the convivial home front…

This being in limbo, not knowing where my family will hang their hat and call home screws with a lot. With any kind of move you make, there is no way it cannot change you, and it definitely plays tricks on your mind.

I like to know where I’m going, what the plan is, a woman who, as one friend put it, “requires a lot of answers,” and when there are so many unknowns, well, I’m gonna get antsy, uncomfortable, and I’ll do my best to keep my irritability in check, but I can’t guarantee it.

Not knowing where I’m settling causes unsettling feelings about what to plan for, what to talk about, and it’s created some resistance about writing- really just blogging. You see, I’m a perfectionist (I know…I’m working on letting up) and I put these expectations on myself to crank out a “masterpiece” and share something worthwhile, something profound, and eye-opening, with you, every time. And yet it’s a blog. But it’s much more for me. (more…)


5 Natural Remedies for a Convivial Woman’s Depression

Hey Convivial world of mine!

It’s been 3 months and I’m back. At least, I think it’s been that long since I last felt my true self.

Confession: I think I experienced depression for the first time.

I actually googled the symptoms and had many of them. Fatigued. Check. Hard time getting out of bed to face the day. Check. Preferred extreme isolation to socialization. Yup. Lack of focus and clarity. Writers block. A sense of hopelessness. All there in the imaginary dark room with me.

Having the sudden blues from one moment to the next. Oh yeah. Not being able to tear myself away from episode after episode of Mob Wives and Basketball Wives. Yikes! One could argue and say I was doing “research” to better understand the dynamics of female relationships, but I’m not one to shit ya…THAT’S when I knew something was seriously wrong!

I’m a full-time mama who is committed to nurturing her individuality, the writer in her, and building a convivial brand of her own

BUT I do the writing and empire building once my little bambinos hit the hay. It’s not always an easy feat, it can get overwhelming, and all three adventures (mama, writer, entrepreneur) take a ton of practice and patience.

Word to ya muthas: There’s no place like the home we make and no such thing as “life balance.” Don’t quote me on that, I’m just living it. I continue to juggle and drop occasional balls, but the key is learning to pick up your delicate heart along with all the balls and keep juggling. My own lessons continue and I just want to be brave enough to write about them here.

The Scoop on how things went down…low. (more…)


Behold: The Official Anthem of The Convivial Woman

It’s a great day when you hear a song that touches you, speaks to your heart, expresses how you feel or want to feel.

I’m writing at 6:45am, because 1) I haven’t been able to sleep all night, and 2) I’ve finally stolen time away for myself to share this news:

I’m officially adopting a song for The Convivial Woman!

First, let me tell you which songs it will NOT be: (more…)


Honoring soldiers in Historic Stockyards

This past Memorial weekend, I had no big plans for cookouts or chowing down on turkey legs or anything like that, but I was able to escape to funky cow town, Ft. Worth, TX to stroll their Historic Stockyards. It never fails to be a convivial way to spend the day…

He ain’t no Tonto.

Site of the next Convivial Supper Club?

Cowgirl body art

Saddles for bar stools…oh yeah, giddy up.

Handsome urban cowboys can call me Sissy anytime.

My utmost gratitude goes out to our military for the freedom I experience on a day to day basis.


Late Night Visions: The Convivial Woman in Me

When I take the time to get out of my head and go deep into my heart’s memory of who the Convivial Woman is in me, these are the visuals for memories that come to the surface:

The caring granddaughter having a laugh on the phone with her 76-year-old badass, take-no-shit- grandfather who stands at 4’11”.

The girl dancing barefoot on the dancefloor to salsa and merengue with hands intertwined with fellow booty-shaking girlfriend or husband who knows how to make it “look like” he knows how to dance salsa and merengue

The cousin who tells the best scary campfire stories, cracks jokes and exudes pure love for her family and feels like a superstar when she’s around them

The wife who will stand her ground and tell her husband like it is when she needs to, then smack his ass ’cause she likes it and knows he does too (TMI? wink wink)

The same woman who will respect the hell out of her man when he stands his ground, puts her in her place, and later returns to reassure her of his love (Ahh…the love quarrel)

The girl who is uncertain about what to do or say to comfort dear friend crying before her; dear friend asks for a tissue and the girl accidentally lightens the mood by bringing the whole roll of toilet paper

The daughter who has the best laughs (shoulders shaking and e’erthang) while people watching with her Dad

The same daughter who can envision tag-teaming with her mother in a wrestling match any day because of their combined ball-busting spirit (NOTE: my feisty mama takes after her father and stands a 4’11” too)

The mother who stands with arms crossed and big smile as she watches over her young sons while they play wrestle or “fence” with the kitchen utensils that go along with the mechanical mixer

The sister who sticks peanuts up her nose on family road trips and freaks out when one gets lodged too far up

The SAME sister who freaks out when her hand gets stuck in pool tables in motels while on family vacation

The young woman who wore fitted black bodysuits and bright red pencil skirts with platform shoes on the sabbath…yeah, I was keeping it holy alright

The woman who brought both her sons into the world with determination and absolute courage and personal strength

The girl who’s a blossoming Spanish (as a second language) speaker and causes a small crowd at the dinner table to laugh when she’s asked her age and she replies, “Diez y Eight”

The woman who plans her exit from a corporate job to write, loses herself, then finds and recreates herself again and again with the help and vision of one word…convivial.

Ahhh…my heart’s memory is a turquoise jewel which has made “breaking night” so worth the lack of sleep. So much more to tap into, but I’ll save it for another day.

Stay tuned this week for the last part to my 3-part blog series titled “Up” Your Convivial Game!

Ciao Ciao Convivial World,


Taking The Stage, Fear and All

In a Ted Talk given by Sarah Kay of Project V.O.I.C.E., she recites two poems and speaks candidly about the power of the written word spoken aloud. There was a moment during her talk when her nervousness was evident; she was even bold enough to call herself out on it while on stage. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to connect with her in that moment when she showed us her humanity.

Her sense of playfulness, energy and spirit resonated on a deep level with me, and although she’s a seasoned spoken word artist, she still experiences nerves on stage, but no matter the fear, she does it anyway.

Performing ones words on a stage is risky business.

I do it here and occasionally exit this virtual stage for a real one at say a workshop, networker or a convivial gathering. Every time I think of getting up in front of people, I imagine all chairs screeching so audience members can get a better look at me, and the nerves come out to play, but…I do it anyway. I recognize that one aspect of my discomfort in having all eyes on me is the introvert in me, but thankfully, I’m affable and can balance it out. The bigger part is simply a matter of more practice. Just as babies don’t walk out of the womb, neither should we think our fear of the unknown or stepping out in front of people to do what it is we do (or want to do) can be overcome in an instant or banished altogether.

We never stop fearing. We only get better and bolder at facing it. (more…)


Convivial Cameo: Karie Hill, Financial Freedom Coach

“There are three crucial types of education: Academic education- reading, writing and basic math; Professional education- the skills to work for money; and Financial education- the skills to have money work for you. Which of the three were you taught?” -Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Today, my Convivial Interview series begins! I’m going to be featuring some amazing women who personally influence and inspire me. You can look forward to these women’s stories of how they’re making tough choices, taking risks, and pushing through the glass ceilings of self-limitation in their minds to create meaningful lives for themselves and others. Stop by each Monday for the next month for all new, inspiring interviews. Let’s get started!

In November 2010, I attended Rich Happy & Hot LIVE with Marie Forleo in New York City and met a beautiful woman from the Chicago area named, Karie Hill. On a break, we got to talk and I asked her about the work she was doing in the world and she said, “I practice Financial Well-being and teach others how to do the same.” As the Chavarria family CFO, an ex-banker-turned-entrepreneur, and Convivial Life Strategist, my eyes lit up as I envisioned the worlds Karie could rock for the better.

Meet the woman behind KDH Financial, Karie Hill

and see why I believe her work can change so many people’s lives, including yours… (more…)


You’ve Got What It Takes To Set Me Free

A beautiful, blue-eyed Canadian once sang…”I’m like a bird…I want to fly away…I don’t know where my soul is…I don’t know where my home is…”

Well, my soul has found her home, but instead of a bird, she’s more like an indigo-colored caterpillar, chillin’ in a turquoise cocoon, waiting for the right moment to break free and showcase her new design and purpose. Of course, I’m talking about Convivial Society’s metamorphosis into what will soon be known ’round the world as The Convivial Woman website.

Are you ready for her relaunch on Wednesday 9 March 2011?
(That’s only two weeks away!)

Have you signed up for the official Launch Newsletter?
BAM! Signup list

So, the name of the site is changing, the site’s design will get a facelift, and I am thrilled to share it all with you! There’s tons in store to kick off this grand transition and you don’t want to miss out!

As I finalize the message in this holy holy space of mine, I leave you with a song that seems well-suited for this convivial moment in time:

Nelly Furtado’s Say it Right. Because Lord knows I want to!


The PowerHouse Series: Megan Monique Interviews Me

Can you imagine standing in the middle of a football field with friday night lights flashing on you? No one in the stands, no one on the field, just you and everything significant about your life being cast in the spotlight for the world to see.

Could you imagine if there was someone or something out there that could give your life such an illuminating effect? How amazing, enlightening and oh so much fun that would be! Well, guess what? I know someone who is a Life Illuminator and she’s my friend, Megan Monique Harner.

She’s been featured on here once before as a very special model for The Convivial Woman Photography Project: Episode 2 and she offers Life Illumination Courses to anyone who wants to take a magnifying glass to see how wondrous their life already is. I’ve had the chance to peek at some of her course activities and they are really cool. What’s cooler is her course lasts a whole month!

Megan offered me the sweetest gig one Friday afternoon. She asked me to participate in her PowerHouse Series of interviews. Moi? A PowerHouse? But of course! Lights, camera, action! I must say we shared quite the convivial moment together and I’m pleased to share the video here:

The PowerHouse Series with Cheryl Chavarria from MeganMonique on Vimeo.

Get to know Megan Monique Harner by following her on twitter @meganmonique and make sure to check out her Life Illumination Courses if you’re up for some fun self-discovery.


My Offline Escapades: Vol I

For the month of January, I went on digital sabbatical with the intentions to reconnect, rediscover and redefine my purposes here at Convivial Society (soon to be renamed and relaunched as The Convivial Woman end of February).

So, January has come and gone and I’ve returned on this fine, icy, cold day in February. Yes, me, Cheryl Chavarria A.K.A. The Convivial Woman is saying Bye Bye sabbatical, Hello writing again.

Wow! January was intense and unforgettable for me. Please tell me you’re all goo goo gaga about my return, because this is a big deal for me! I was beginning to feel pent up like a genie in a bottle. Being offline and in a sense out of touch was starting to wear on me…shall I dare talk about how moody and out of my comfort zone I felt toward the end?

Where to begin, ya’ll?

There are various experiences to share about my offline escapades, so get ready for (more…)



For the month of January and to kick off the new year, I’m going into full immersion mode and taking a sabbatical.

As I’ve written throughout 2010 and pondered the idea of a Convivial Society, I have decided that to create and experience such a place, you have to start with the very element that sets its foundation, that gives root to the possibility of its creation and existence, and that is the woman…a convivial woman. For this reason…

I’ve decided to rebrand by changing the name of the site from Convivial Society to… (more…)


A Convivial Love Affair

Today marks the 8th Wedding Anniversary for my husband, Martin and I. To commemorate this sacred day, here’s our story…

We met on Halloween Day 1998. I vaguely recall his face, but clearly remember his spirit. It was convivial. Our first dance was to a song called, Oye Mi Amor (Hey My Love) by the Spanish Rock group, Mana. We jumped wildly and danced together while belting out these lyrics: Hey my love…don’t tell me no…let’s get together…and join our souls…join our bodies…

To listen to the full song, CLICK HERE.

I didn’t want to give him my number, because I had strictly gone out that night with the intention to dance my ass off and walk away with the memory of it all. Fortunately, I broke my own rule. Something in him called something in me. It was never about appearances with us, but instead this sense of being high on life and experiencing an energy so contagious that we couldn’t ignore the potential for more opportunities together. I felt light on my feet as I thought

Hmm…he’s interesting…I’m interesting…we could be interesting together.

The chemistry was there from the get-go. I felt extremely vulnerable around him. I’m not someone to open up so quickly, but Martin broke me of that. He could see me in ways I wasn’t ready for him to see. (more…)

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