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