Monday, November 10, 2014

People From The Past Think What You're Doing Today is Amazing


Sometimes I think about time travel, and what people who lived a hundred years ago would find most amazing and stunning about our current society.  

(I’m not sure if they would time travel here, to our time, or if we would travel there, and if I think about this too hard my brain starts to unravel—as my former husband could tell you about my efforts to follow Star Trek Next Generation episodes that involve time travel, “Ellen has a hard time with that.”)

But when I think about those people from the past coming here (or “coming now”?) I think that yes, they would be amazed by our technology, by our ability to do things like download an app to get an Uber driver to come to our house to take us to bikram yoga (just imagine explaining any part of that to a person from 1914!)

But I think that they would be even more stunned, in the long run, by how social ideals and requirements have changed for men and for women.

Just picture yourself explaining to the man from 1914 that yes, men today still have to be “good providers” if they want the top pick of today’s most desirable women, but that they also must be sensitive, intuitive, responsive to those women, and to their children, and that one of the ways they demonstrate this is NOT ONLY TO BE PRESENT DURING THE BIRTH OF THEIR CHILDREN (men from 1954 would be freaked out by this), but be present for the formation of “the birth plan.”

Just explaining that last phrase would be interesting, no? I can picture the educated man from 1914 saying, “Ummm, ‘birth plan’? Don’t they just come when they’re ready? What else can we do except make sure the ladies are heavily doped with that new invention of anesthesia?” 

(Did they have anesthesia in 1914?  The shitty thing is that now that we have Google I can just look that up, and I don’t really have any excuse for letting that detail go just for the sake of humor.  Damn you, Google! Why must your ubiquitous accuracy intrude upon my creativity?)

Let us also consider the woman from 1914, here to discover that in our time, it’s actually not quite enough for the educated woman of 2014 to raise her adorable, well-behaved children in a neat, well-decorated home.  

Even if our 2014 woman doesn’t have her own “job” or “career” (Gasp!) she is expected to make sure her adorable neat children are protected, enriched, and suitably guided to their creative passion in a way that might make our female guest from 1914 have to loosen her stays and take refuge in her smelling salts from sheer astonishment. 

(I did look those up references, and they are historically accurate.  The widespread use of corsets declined during the First World War, giving way to a new popular fashion for “controlling” women’s figures, the girdle.  I can honestly say that I haven’t “controlled" my figure in years.  I tried a pair of Spanx once, but was quickly bored and annoyed and threw them in the trash. Sorry, Sarah Blakely.  I do, however, love how you turned $5,000 from your credit card into a billion dollar business!  I think the women of 1914 and 2014 could both agree that this is pretty amazing.)

In any event, when I think of this, when I let myself really, really think about this, I find the fact that so many people, men and women, hold these high standards and much, much more, I get kinda choked up at how very, very magnificent most people are.

Really, y’all.  You blow my mind with your ardor, your complexity, your sense of duty, your willingness to take on so many different challenges.

I’m not saying we should go backward.  The fact that we have time and space to worry about things like men’s sensitivity and women’s branding platforms is, I think, on the whole, a pretty good sign.  Only, let’s be honest.  It’s a lotta balls to keep in the air sometimes.  No pun intended.

People have been predicting the end of the world pretty much since the world began, and the destruction of “civilization” (a later invention) pretty much since we got one of those going. 

And yes, many civilizations have come and gone, but “civilization” as a whole, keeps on truckin’, producing new luxury problems like: “How do I choose the appropriate social media vehicles for optimum saturation of my network marketing company while at the same time picking the right school for my special needs toddler?”  And, weirdly enough, that’s a problem that could belong to either a man or a woman of 2014.

Here’s what I hope will happen when you read these words:  I hope you’ll take a minute to acknowledge yourself for every small moment of success you had today.  

I hope you’ll find some compassion, or some humor, or some sense of your own magnificence at even daring to go out the door, into a world where Siri tells you where to go but can’t tell you how to balance your clients’ cries for attention with those of your mutinous nine-year-old who’s still really f-ing p.o.’d that she’s the only third grader that didn’t get to go to the One Direction concert last month because you were too busy.

Let us give ourselves some credit, some compassion, for being brave enough to be adults, or “adults,” during this extremely interesting time.  Is it easier than being an adult in 1914?  Sure, in some ways, absolutely.  Is it more complex, more confusing, more overwhelming than it used to be? Oh yes.  You bet your sweet yogacized ass it is. 

Some experts say that we are exposed to more new bits of information in a month than our grandparents met with in 30 years.  So you gotta figure that this additional demand on our brains shows up somewhere in our lives.

I’m sure that your life, like mine, is full of stuff you needed to get done yesterday, last year, or back in the 20th Century.  But all the same, the most powerful way to focus is to notice what you are accomplishing, whom you are loving, how you are making a difference. 

Also, if you are genuinely interested in living a less busy, more delicious, invigorating, and satisfying life, I know of no better way to make that shift than to spend time with Rachel Davis at You@The Center of Your Life.  

Even if you can't do a course right now, sign up for the newsletter, The Weekly Space, and you will notice a difference pretty quickly. You can sign up by scrolling to the bottom of the home page.

Men and Women of 2014: I bow in the general direction of your Divine Multifaceted Humanity.  Just think, no matter what your day looks like today, you are freaking the sh*t out of any people who might be visiting you secretly from the last century.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Most Private Thing I Am Willing to Admit About Myself Is. . .


The Most Private Thing I Am Willing to Admit About Myself Is. . .




If you have recently attempted to complete the sentence above, then you and I both know you’re on the online dating service OK Cupid.  These things happen. 

I do have some excellent OK Cupid stories to tell, but right now I want to focus on what I would have liked to say in response to this particular prompt.  What I actually said was stuff like, “I’m blind in one eye and I keep my negative emotions hidden, which has caused me a lot of problems.  The hidden emotions part, more so than the eye.”

Blah blah blah.  But.

That was the “most private” thing I was willing to admit to the men of OK Cupid, but for you, my blog followers, like Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption, I am willing to go just a little bit farther.

Do you want to know what I wanted to tell the men of Colorado, but didn’t?

The Most Private Thing I am Willing to Admit About Myself is I love, love, love to watch other people work. Preferably while I am reclining. Preferably in a hammock, not working myself.


Listen, I know how it sounds. This isn't something I’m proud of.  

Indeed, in our Puritan Bootstraps Rags-to-Riches, Anyone-Can-Make-It-If –She-Just-Works-Hard-Enough culture, such an admission  comes close to social blasphemy ("Voyeurism + Laziness=Entitlement!!! Stone Her!!!)

Before you bend to pick up that first rock, let me try to explain myself.  

Right now, I don’t even own a hammock.  What I do possess is a really great front porch.  It doesn’t look that weird when I am sitting on my front porch in a plastic chair, watching the guys across the street unload a truck full of wine for the liquor store.  But it might look weirder if I were lying in a hammock on the front lawn, watching them do it.

No, in order to make Lying-in-a-Hammock-Watching-Labor really feasible, I would need to get a hacienda-villa type of house, and I would need to get my own workers, who would be paid enough that they would not give a crap whether I watched them or not. 

Another thing you’ve got to know about this:  I do NOT like watching people work who are miserable, unhappy, or uncomfortable in any way.  This is not a Pharaoh-Watching-Jews-Build-Pyramids kind of thing.

No, the kind of work I like to watch involves people happily occupied at some productive task, where they are basically enjoying themselves, preferably where there is a “figuring-out” element to what they are doing—the sort of thing that requires brief hearty conferences about tactics and strategies. 

(In an earlier post, I mentioned how I like to go to the beach and watch other people figure out how to parasail or scuba-dive.  The most work I like to put in at the beach is figuring out how many minutes before I need to flip to keep my tan even.  But I like watching my more enthusiastic beach brethren because their activity serves as a nice counterpoint to my slothdom.)

The thing is, when you’re a middle-class, middle-aged white girl without a ton of resources, it’s actually hard to get a good “watching-people-work” groove going sometimes.  So I take it where I can.  I snatch little pieces here and there.

For example, as I alluded to earlier, I live across the street from a restaurant and a liquor store/pharmacy.  (The liquor store-pharmacy is a delightful phenomenon that would have greatly pleased my younger self.  But I digress).

Fortunately, a lot of the packing and unpacking of supplies happens in the front parking lot of these two establishments, where I can see it from my front porch.

Equally unfortunately, a lot of it also happens in the alley out back of the store, but I haven’t yet found the courage to drag a really comfy lawn chair out there and watch them deliver and unload the shit out of stuff.  I feel that the employees might not understand.

Right now, I do have a fairly good chair for my front porch, but that just doesn’t compare to a hammock.  However, my roommate is all fired up to get a porch swing, which also has some sweet potential.  If I learned how to make homemade lemonade, I could see this really working out well for me.

Oh, but you know what would be even better?  If my roommate Charlene would make the lemonade FOR me.  I could watch her make it.

The only thing is, the backyard is really the most comfortable spot.  Very green.  Large, full of flowers (Charlene’s work), an old wooden fence around all sides. 

The other day I made an incredible discovery that the phenomenon of me and other people working is also auditory.  While I cannot see my neighbor working in her yard (she also has a wooden fence), I can hear the sound of her shoveling, raking, clipping things, digging with her trowel (is that what those things are called?)

Even more surprising, today I noticed that the pleasure is not limited to my watching humans at work.  You know who is totally fun to watch work?  Bees! Bees are indeed, as rumored, busy, yet they also seem to enjoy High Job Satisfaction.

And now, the obvious question.  Where the hell does all this come from?

My father was a sociology professor who studied world peace.  My mother was a nurse who specialized first in pediatrics, then geriatrics.  They believed in honesty, hard work, and fair play.

I grew up in suburbia in one of the states Most Dedicated to the Puritan Ethic (Massachusetts) and another Most Dedicated to Shoulder-To-the-Plow (Ohio), and am now living in the American West, where there is certainly No Crying In Baseball.  Or during the middle of a stampede, or whatever.

(Actually, I have cried in the middle of The Stampede, which is a country-western bar here in Denver, but only cause I grew up on Prince and Depeche Mode).

Since I can’t find much to explain this phenomenon in my current life, I have to look back to an earlier iteration.  According to three separate Psychics (I have a lot of Woo in my life), I have spent at least one important lifetime as an Egyptian nobleman, where I probably did watch people unwillingly build pyramids. 

According to another past-life expert, I have spent many lives as a spoiled person-of-privilege of some kind, creating a deep rivet of pleasant association with my lounging on various comfortable surfaces with people bustling around me.

I have no idea whether any of that is true, but it's a theory that other people came up with.  I watched them do it, with no personal effort whatsoever to tap into my own past-life experiences.

Novelist Kate Atkinson says:

“Why do cats sleep so much?  Perhaps they’ve been trusted with some major cosmic task, an essential law of physics—such as:  if there are less than five million cats sleeping at any one time the world will stop spinning.  So that when you look at them and think, what a lazy, good-for-nothing animal, they are, in fact, working very very hard.”

I can just see me explaining to my hardworking, no-nonsense friends and clients that I, like the cats, need to lie on hammocks and chaise lounges and watch others work in order to help keep the world spinning.  That should go over real well.







Sunday, August 10, 2014

5 REASONS I AM SO GODDAMN TIRED OF ARTICLES/POSTS WITH NUMBERED LISTS


I grow so weary  of “6 Things You Need to Know about Blabbity Blah.”

1.     When, exactly, did this happen? When did the zeitgeist moment occur that every article and every blog post was required to have a number in the title and a list in the contents?  “7 Ways to Tell She’s Cheating On You, “6 Reasons to Get Professional Help,” “5 Tips to Avoid Killing that Slimy Ass-Ho,”  “8 Celebrities Who Can’t Stop Cheating,” etc. etc. etc.

Help me out with this, people, cause if I try real hard, I can remember (vaguely) a time before numbers and lists were the thing.  I feel like I remember reading stuff in what we called back then, “magazines and newspapers,” that was, you know, just “investigative journalism” plus some expert opinion tied in for a few laughs.  Hardly anyone counted anything, so it seems to me, but now that I think back about that, it seems AMAZING.  How on earth could we title something now unless we had a list of tips, tricks, or reasons?  What the f*ck were we talking about back then? Were we even aware that the earth was round? 

2.     Like the Dog in “Up,” I, Too, Wear the Cone of Shame.  I want to blame y’all for this, but unfortunately, I can’t, because I am totally a co-conspirator.  Not only have I written blogs, articles, and titles like this myself, not only have I edited articles/blogs/ for other professionals with titles like, “4 Techniques to Face Your Dating Fears,” but I have also encouraged perfectly na├»ve and innocent clients, beginning solo entrepreneurs who never would have thought of such trickery and manipulation on their own, to pick up the Numbered List Technique.  I know.  It’s supergross.  I realize this.  Mea Culpa. But, you know, the people seem to like it!

That’s the number one reason why I did it.  Reason number two: I like my clients to get more attention and make more money, and number three: I am a huge cheesy sell out and I tend to like things other people like. 


3.     Is it Just Cause We Can’t Remember Stuff Unless it’s In an Acronym or Fewer Than Seven Units? Or Is There a More Sinister Reason?  So, I can tell you what the guy who wrote Hardwiring Happiness calls the four essential neurological step to having a more happy life (It’s in an acronym called “HEAL”) and I can tell you what my phone number is (but I’m not going to right now), because it’s 7 “units” of information long, which is apparently as much as we can handle at any one time, according to brain and memory experts. 

So that makes me think, Okay, it’s probably no big thing that now every goddamned article/post in the world has a list of tips, most of which are 7 or fewer items long, some of which have acronyms.  It’s just because the authors want to help us remember stuff.  Unless there’s actually somebody who owns a copyright to all combinations of the phrase “X (number) Y (reasons/tips/signs/ways) to Z (amputate your foot/write a book proposal, etc)? Cause it that person DOES exist, and he or she is a puppet master pulling all the strings, and maybe secretly works for Google who is WATCHING US ALL RIGHT NOW, we might be totally screwed.

4.     Is This Going to Spill Over Into the Rest of Life?  Shit, son, that moment has also already done come!  Last month I received a coy invitation entitled, “6 Reasons to Attend Shelly’s Baby Shower.”  I really wanted to send my RSVP with the note:  “2 Reasons I Am Attending Shelly’s Baby Shower:  1) I really like Shelly and consider her a friend, and 2) I don’t have anything, like, way better to do that day.”

But I didn’t, because I know it isn’t Shelly’s friend’s fault.  She’s just caught up in a storm, man, a storm in which each and every one of us is caught and lost, and I’m pretty sure we’re stuck in here until someone starts creating “5 Ways to Publish Content Without Lists” and leads the revolution.  

5.     But It Ain’t Going to Be Me, Because:

A)   I’m re-watching True Blood, and it’s the second season right now, which is my favorite.
B)   I still have to lay out to tan, at least once a week.  Tanorexia doesn’t maintain itself, you know.  Even when you’re old, like me. 
C)   I have to decide where I stand on the whole issue of last year’s impulse buy peplum skirt.  Is it so 2013? Or can I still get away with it?



Friday, June 13, 2014

The Totally Unexpected Truth of Urban Campfire






Last week, I had the utterly surreal experience of going to a “networking” event that far, far exceeded its marketing promise.

If you have any experience in the world of entrepreneurial gatherings, you will have some idea of just how very rare this is.

I put “networking” in quotation marks, since that term really doesn’t do justice to what happened last Tuesday night, June 3rd, at Urban Campfire’s first Denver event.  

I have been in the academic, business startup, and personal growth worlds for 20 years now, and as you may already know, these are three communities in which personal expression and connection are highly valued, at least in theory.  And I can honestly say that this was the most magical night of expression and human connection I have experienced since. . . since. . .

Oh yeah.  Since summer camp as a kid.   Since camping on the beach in Hawaii with my big sister. Since camping with my best college buddies in our late twenties (remember the night the bear attacked our log cabin, and we were so scared and wasted we all had to pee in my ex-husband’s expensive Nalgene bottles?)

That’s the type of atmosphere that CRAVE founder Melody Biringer has been able to generate with her latest invention, the Urban Campfire. 

No, nobody peed in my Nalgene bottle, but my point is that every detail of this particular gathering conspired to bring us in immediate intimate connection with our table-mates—rather like some of us once bonded with our tent-mates at summer camp long ago.

First, some background. 

Urban Campfire is the brainchild of Seattle native Melody Biringer, a self-described serial entrepreneur and founder of CRAVE, a city-by-city book and event company that features the stores and services of women entrepreneurs.

As Melody herself explained to us last Tuesday, a few years ago, she hit a serious wall.  After 30+ years of entrepreneurial gusto (many companies, many failures, some successes, some big successes), she was dealing with some of the nastier aspects of depression, frustration, burnout, and, oh yeah, turning 50—the age that women in our culture are unofficially decreed Past All Hope of Anything Juicy or Interesting.

So she did a weird thing—she started talking about these feelings and experiences in places where such things are not usually discussed—like as a featured speaker at a big corporate event for a big successful company (you may have heard of this company.  They sell coffee and have a green logo).

And after speaking, she was swamped with audience members who wanted to thank her.  For those totally unexpected things she brought to the room: honesty and vulnerability.

(It’s interesting, when you think about it.  Here we are living in this post-Brene Brown world of Vulnerability, this world where every self-styled social media expert tells us to “be transparent,” and “be authentic.” Yet this evidence suggests that such authenticity is still very much the exception rather than the rule.)

At about the same time she was causing this bizzaro disruption to the field of business as usual, Melody was also talking with her best friends in private.  They asked her, “Okay, CRAVE founder.  What do you crave?  What do you love? What makes you happy?”

Melody’s answer (“the movie Flashdance and roasted marshmallows”) turned out to be the spark that ignited the Urban Campfire flame.  As she told The Huffington Post, ‘There is something about the conversations we have around a campfire . . . we are more vulnerable and open to sharing.” 

So, bringing us back to the evening of Denver’s first Urban Campfire. 

We walk in, and the tables are arranged in a big circle around a central focal point, the “campfire” where the speakers will share.  Each round table is also its own campfire, where a facilitator and eight women will do their own private sharing.




As a facilitator, I got an early look at the discussion topics, and I suspected that this was not going to be your typical networking event when I saw the first question:  “Share a story of personal failure—business, personal, or life.”

Wait.  We’re going where?

As a teacher, writer, and branding/blog/book consultant, I have some experience generating the kind of Listening that gets people to spill.  I have a black leather couch in my home office that has collected the tears of many a therapist writing her first book, so I know my way around a heartfelt conversation about the strangely disappointing tendencies of reality.

But now I was going to be partially responsible for generating that kind of authenticity for eight strangers around a dinner table in a noisy room full of rotating catered food?

Oh my.  I sense the opportunity for another wonderful moment of personal failure to occur right here, right now, over this tastefully prepared dish of locally-sourced root vegetables.

But then.  The first speaker, Jessica Bachus, crutched to the center of the room (she had recently broken a foot).  She began to tell the story of her daughter’s untimely death, and how that tragedy had led, slowly, painfully, drenched with alcohol, to her decision to live anyway, and later to found a nonprofit, Dolls for Daughters.

Love, sorrow, anguish, and compassion began to fill the room as her listeners audibly gulped and wiped away their tears.  A huge, magnificent, electrifying sense of mutual trust began to engulf us, as all our usual ways of “being with strangers in public” fell forgotten on the floor, like old gum wrappers.

The next speaker, Ashley Kingsley, founder of Daily Deals for Moms, stepped into that space and blew what was left of our composure with her forthright description of addiction, depression, anxiety disorder, and being told repeatedly that she would never amount to anything.  And what she decided to do anyway.

Former Marine-Turned-Meditator Sarah Plummer followed Ashley, describing her time in Afghanistan, and what it’s like to have 24-hour access to an automatic weapon that you long to turn on yourself.  And her discovery that the smallest thing can save you—the intent awareness of your own breath.

At this point, we turned inward to our own tables for sharing.  Some of us had more epic failure readily available for public consumption than others, but all of us—even the more reserved—were able to meet in that place of uncanny honesty that campfires, as Melody points out, seem to encourage.

One woman told a story about her formerly transgender son.  As a young child, he was contemplating suicide, so wrong did he feel about being a boy.  As this woman said, when it’s a choice between letting your kindergartener “pass” as a girl, or kill himself, well.  Really a pretty easy choice, when you think about it.

Our table became an eerie silent oasis in the middle of a room of buzz and chatter.  Our eyes riveted to her face, our hearts riveted to her story, we heard how most of this woman’s family stopped speaking to her.  And now, years later, the son is a teenager who wants to be a boy, and can’t forgive his mom for the embarrassment of female peers who remember him attending their Barbie birthday party back in the day.

As my beloved friend, noted speaker and author coach Kristen Moeller wound up saying in her own Campfire speech later in the evening, sometimes the Hero’s Journey doesn’t turn out according to pattern.  Sometimes you just get to sit in the flames for a while and burn.



And Kristen would know.  Her dream house, the one she and her husband raised from a pup, was one of the ones that burnt to the ground in the Colorado wildfires of a couple years back.  But being Kristen, she is going to do three things with this:

1)   REALLY feel this loss, like for real.  Because Kristen is one of those lucky individuals who gets to feel ALL her feelings.  Yayyyyyy.
2)   Write an amazing book about what happens when you lose everything and your well-meaning friends say, “Well, at least you had insurance!”
3)   And, of course, what any of us would do in this situation, which is buy a tiny house to put up on our burnt land and then be featured on an A&E reality  show about tiny houses.  Probably called “Tiny Houses/Big Lives.”  Yup, that’s my girl.

The final two speakers of the evening gave us some perspective of how things look when you’re coming back up the ladder, or getting on the ladder for the first time despite protests from your friends and family who are baffled by your career choice. 

Gloria Scruggs, a phoenix who rose from the ashes via the Women’s Bean Project, now a CCD graduate who shines at Kentwood Homes, was so utterly warm and magnificent a presence that her 10-minute talk passed in about thirty seconds.   I don’t think I was alone in my longing to go live on her floor and absorb her divinity on a daily basis.

Jessica Acosta, an up-and-coming environmental construction guru, (www.ECScompliance.com) told us about how a former boss had pointed out that she had three strikes against her: she’s a woman, a Latina, and an outsider in the construction industry—no family connections to help grease any wheels.

Jessica decided to see what she could do to turn those obstacles into assets, despite the additional obstacle of looking like—how do I say this with the respect that is intended?—a well-dressed version of a Maxim cover model.  The Denver Business Journal recently named her one of their “Top 40 Under 40,” but many of her friends and family members still think she ought to get a “regular job.”

Having now washed our dirty failure linen in public and lived to tell the tale, Melody’s next direction was that we come up with a list of ten things we crave to share with our table.  And to tell the story of “Why” for one of our cravings.

This, in my opinion, is another piece of sheer timing genius.  Had we started with this exercise, I think our “Crave” lists might have been more tame or conventional, but having already shared the less appealing versions of our Shadow Selves, we were bolder, edgier, more greedy.

I don’t want to betray the sacred circle of campfire craving confessions, but I will say that one craving expressed by many was a desire for more close friendships, and more time with close friends.  You know, like we used to have, back when we went to sleepovers and summer camp, before we had to go to office parties or networking events.

For the next couple of days following the campfire, I pondered what I had witnessed.  How, exactly, did all that happen?  Is it just a matter of creating a space—a physical environment, an emotional atmosphere—that simply allows this level of intimacy and honesty? Or is there some other mysterious ingredient?

On the one hand, every bit of this conversational richness was carefully tended by Melody and by our own lovely co-city leader for CRAVE Denver, Brit Stueven—an event planner and emcee whose graceful, natural Audrey Hepburn-like charm tends to mask all the hard thinking and hard work she does to makes these events successful.  By the way, if Brit sounds like someone you need, you can find her at Pollinize Media   

Special credit also goes to longtime Denver CRAVE city leader Mia Voss, who so carefully tended the collective ground for Mile High CRAVE members on their way up to Awesomeness, a place that Mia occupies effortlessly.  Have you seen her photo on The Mia Connect  Damn! Now that’s a power pose.  Such careful care of a city like Denver is what keeps a camping ground ready for a good Campfire.

(Also, Mia and I were both wearing white pants, and were thus mutually oppressed by all the concerns that white pants can engender.  Which is a subject for another blog.)

I was still contemplating the whyfors and whatnots of this “authentic connection” phenomenon in the back of my mind as I watched an old episode of Mad Men.  Advertising powerhouse Don Draper is talking to Sterling Cooper’s consulting psychologist Fay Miller about why he doesn’t approve of some of her methods. 

Miller tells him, “Look, we’re both in the same business.  And I’m not ashamed to say it’s about helping people somehow sort out their deepest conflict.”

“And what is that?” Don asks. 

“In a nutshell?” Faye replies, “It all comes down to What I Want vs. What Others Expect of Me.”

Ah, I thought.  Yes.  We came into the doors of Urban Campfire that night, each of us to some degree in our professional or semi-professional guise of “What Others Expect of Me.”  And we left with our cravings spoken out loud, our “What I Want” cards laid on the table.

And being women, many of us moved quickly to offer help, guidance, or simple, heartfelt belief and support for each other’s dreams.  Because what women do naturally (unless we’re all discombobulated by our efforts to “compete” in the model encouraged by much traditional business, and even much newfangled entrepreneurial business—have you noticed a certain bias on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine?) is collaborate.

And this turns our “What I Want” into a “What We Want” that can be shared, savored, and yes, actually realized in the real fucking world.

I close with a profound “Thank You” to Melody, Brit, Mia Voss, and all the speakers who made this divine evening possible.  And I can’t wait to come back to the Campfire, back where we belong.






You can attend the main Urban Campfire even in Seattle in August: Urban Campfire Seattle.
Or come join the campout at: The Urban Campout.