I listen to people’s stories for a living.

Today, I’d like to share mine.

Growing up, I had several dreams. I have spent a lifetime following them.

  • I dreamed of becoming a singer who wrote her own songs

  • I dreamed of writing a book…or many

  • I dreamed of living in a small community where everybody knew everybody

Porch swings and general stores. Old geezers telling tales and kids playing in the street.

Close-knit community. I craved it.

 

Truth is, I grew up in the sprawling suburb of San Jose, CA in the 1970s and 80s. Big, wide streets. A high school graduating class of 500. Big and, for the most part, impersonal.

 

At school, I kept my head down, didn’t look people in the eye. There were just too many of them!

 

At home, I watched the neighbors lives through our big bay window at the front of the house, or I rode my bike through the streets.

 

I kept my stories and my songs in my head.

 

What I didn’t appreciate at the time was that my very ability to stay invisible, to lurk as it were, to listen to hovering conversations and observe tiny idiosyncrasies would turn me into a writer.

 

The Twenties

 

When I started college, I wasn’t ready to embrace my musical dream as a profession, so I jumped at the chance to major in writing.

 

I also hosted my own show on the college radio station, listened to lots of new music, and by osmosis, studied songwriting.

 

When I graduated, I was burned out from all the college essays.

 

I stopped writing.

 

I found myself in Sacramento waiting tables where I met my husband. We then moved to San Francisco where I worked for a holistic M.D. who introduced me to yoga.

 

What I didn’t realize at the time was that
my very life was becoming my story.

On my birthday in December 1994, I became pregnant with my son.

Soon after he was born my husband got a job in Sacramento. I was back in the suburbs again. And I was miserable (except for that adorable person above).

 

The Songwriting Years

 

It wasn’t long after the move that we lost my mother’s best friend, a joyful artist who lived without apology. Her memorial service made me reassess everything about my own life.

 

I decided I couldn’t let my young son grow up
with a mother who didn’t follow her dreams.

 

It was time, time for me to sing and write songs.

 

At age 30, I had picked up a guitar and started learning how to play. Six months later, I did my first Open Mic.

 

By 2004, I had become a part of the local music community and released my first and only solo CD no horses to local critical acclaim (this is a pretty cool article right here). I was “on my way” or so it seemed.

By this time, my son was 10. I was really starting to like the kid.

 

I had also gotten it in my head that it was selfish
to choose my dreams over my family.

 

So, I got a job in communications and enrollment at my son’s school. For the next 9 years, I gained invaluable experience working in community and writing and editing the newsletters, press releases, and website content.

 

I would sing now and then at the school festivals, but for the most part, the music and creative writing had gone into hibernation.

 

For a while there, I didn’t trust myself to embrace my life’s purpose – to be a creator, a writer, a singer. A teacher.

 

And then it all came together

 

I never knew that teaching  would be the key to finding peace and purpose in my life.

 

As my son was getting closer to graduating high school, I did two things that ended up establishing the creative community I had always craved.

 

I trained to become an Amherst Writers and Artists writing facilitator.

 

And I became a yoga teacher.

 

Teaching yoga had not been a childhood dream, but it had become a lifeline to my deepest self. I wanted to share it.

 

Yoga opened my heart so that I could begin writing again:

  • I started writing poetry, prose, and my blog!

  • I am currently writing my second novel

  • I have interviewed over 50 women for a nonfiction project (link)

 

Yoga healed me so that I could become a teacher.

 

My life experience, my training, and my intuitive nature uniquely qualify me to create a container for you to discover your own voice and your own story. And, perhaps, to rediscover your dreams.

 

How do I do this? By listening to your story. By prompting you to tell it.

 

How can we work together?

 

Talk to Me:  Be part of my 101 Core Conversations project. SIGN-UP for our 30-minute talk.

Several women have reported that speaking their story out loud has inspired them to go deeper into that story…and to value it.

 

Write with Me:  Sign-up to join Word Gathering, my weekly writing community. SIGN-UP to write Tuesday evenings in Fair Oaks and/or Wednesday mornings in Sacramento.

 

Commit:  My newest offering, The Writer’s Accomplice, gives you accountability for your story. If you believe that dedicating time to your writing is a crime, click here!

 

If you have questions about any of these offerings, send me an email. Let’s talk about your dreams!

Yours in truth,

Holly

My Story: How I Followed My Dreams (and you can, too)
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