StartingBloc Leadership Institute - Where I discovered my Superpower
Unreasonable Group - Where I was surrounded by greatness
Vipassana Meditation Retreat - Where I got quiet enough to hear my 'still, small voice'
The Dig with Erin Weed - Where I was given permission and encouragement to trust myself
New York Fashion Week - Where I witnessed artists making their dreams come true
Boulder Startup Week - Where I shared my Story for the first time
Every single person has a Story and a Superpower.
Everyone is creative in their own way.
Creativity is the reason that we continue to evolve, transform, and innovate.
Curiosity is your soul’s way of saying, “pssst…go this way”.
Creation is chaos.
Storytelling is a container for that creative chaos. A way to organize it so that the world can understand.
Resistance shows up when you’re onto something.
Half the battle of creating is understanding what the hell you’re making and why you’re making it.
You must make time for your creativity every. damn. day.
You don’t have to do it alone (which is why I’m here).
I’m sick and tired of the way ‘About’ pages are written these days - which probably says a lot about me in and of itself :)
‘About’ pages typically house a long list of accolades, accomplishments, and job titles meant to instill ‘trust’ or ‘respect’ in the reader. Whenever I read another glowing laundry list of personal triumphs I always find myself wondering - ok, that’s great, but what really happened?
Maybe it’s because I’m in the business of storytelling, but I’d much rather hear about the craptastic shit sandwich that someone was served up and how failing, falling, losing, leaving formed them into the person that they are.
I want to know about how they found the magic in the mess. In an effort to test out a new way of ‘Abouting’ I’m going to take you on a little behind-the-scenes journey of triumphs and tribulations that led me to where I am today.
Rewind to 9th grade. New school, weird new body, seemingly permanent mortification. The school arranged a 'fun' get-to-know-each-other camping trip at an adventure camp in the mountains of New Mexico.
There is a pool, thus adding magnitudes of stress about said weird body. Eventually, I manage to peel my comfort towel off and walk towards the pool.
'Mr. Popular' sneaks up behind me and unties the string to my bathing suit top. Completely topless, I swing my arm around and hit him in the face, dislocating his nose and sending blood flying into the water. Entire class looks on in horror and amusement.
The Mess: I should make myself small to ensure I'm never noticed again. (Also, string bikinis are the devil)
The Magic: When someone intentionally hurts you, it has more to do with them than you.
I have a good singing voice and music has always been a huge part of my life. I was in every choir growing up (despite my crippling stage fright). Singing always had a way of calming me down and clearing my mind.
Somewhere along the way, people started assuming that I would become a professional singer. Without asking myself if that's what I wanted, I began to take on that assumption as my own.
I was accepted into the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. The moment I stepped into my first music theory class, I felt something inside of me shut down. I was surrounded by incredible talent and everyone wanted it so badly. I felt like a fraud. For the first time in my life, music lost its healing power and began to feel like a heavy, shameful weight. I fell into a depression and dropped out after 2 semesters.
The Mess: That's it. I blew it. I'm a giant failure.
The years after I left school were some of the most painful of my entire life. I was doing everything I could do to make myself as small as possible. I wanted to hide, to disappear. I hid in bottles of alcohol, abusive relationships, debt, soulless friendships, and toxic work environments. I was a spinning top, lost and flailing.
I'll never forget the time I went home for a long weekend. I was slowly killing myself and had to be somewhere familiar. I took a long shower and when I got out, my mom was sitting on my bed. She looked at me with the sadness of someone watching a train wreck in slow motion, powerless to stop it.
"You don't sing in the shower anymore."
We cried for a long time.
The Mess: I am irretrievably lost.
The Magic: Sometimes you need a trusted source to hold up a mirror and show you what you're running from.
My partner and I moved to San Francisco for his work. We spent 3 years there and I look at that time as one long line of 'nos' with a sprinkling of transformative 'yeses'. I held a smattering of roles over those years and slowly, carefully began to reignite my confidence.
One day, during a bout of unemployment. I was sitting at a Starbucks in a Target and received a notification that a non-profit in Boulder, CO was hiring a Director of Communications. I wasn't qualified and wasn't sure how exactly I would be able to move to Boulder if I got it.
I wrote the best cover letter of my life and sent my application off into the ether. One month later, I arrived in Boulder for my first day of work.
The Mess: I can't believe I'm leaving my partner back in San Francisco... this might be a huge mistake.
The Magic: In getting this job, I caught a glimpse of a path... my path. It was a brief sighting but it was real.
My work with the Boulder non-profit took me all over the country to meet incredible, change-the-world type humans. We led leadership institutes in 4 different states and managed, what I still consider to be, one of the most powerful and engaged communities in existence.
A few weeks before our institute in Washington DC, my boss asked me if I would like to MC the 2nd day of the Institute. My experience at music school had carved a deep fear inside of me around performing, being heard, and the dreaded stage. However, underneath this fear ocean was a subtle stirring, an excitement and aliveness I hadn't felt before. I said 'yes' before 'no' could eat my mouth.
I stepped onto the stage and started telling a story. I looked out at the faces in the audience, listening and smiling. My body exhaled and I realized I had arrived. I had found a home for my soul. Storytelling was my superpower. This whole time I had been 'lost' I was immersing myself in the good, bad, and ugly of story: The golden narrative that makes up a life and a lifework.
If I wasn’t a writer and teacher, I’d be a fashion designer. I LOVE fashion. A few favorite fashion houses are: Oscar de la Renta, Elie Saab, Chloe, Chanel, Christian Dior, and Valentino.
I have a 10 lb. Maltipoo named Bear. He has better health insurance than I do…
I’m allergic to gluten and I still haven’t gotten over it
I’ve lived in New Mexico, California, Colorado, and Bali
My favorite authors are: Julia Cameron, Martha Beck, Sheryl Strayed, Cleo Wade, Mary Oliver, Steven Pressfeild, Natalie Goldberg, J.K.Rowling, Judy Bloom, Michael Singer, Thomas Moore, and Paulo Coelho
The movies I never get tired of watching are: Love Actually. Up, and New Girl (show!)
I’ve had a lot of odd jobs over the years including: floral designer, greeting card writer, humor blogger, camp counselor, secret shopper, and event planner
There is no one like you.
You are meant to use your uniqueness to push the world forward. You're not doing yourself or anyone else any good sitting on the sidelines playing it safe or fighting to swim upstream. You deserve to have a peaceful, pleasurable, and prosperous relationship with your purpose.
Don't wait until tomorrow, start today.
We need you to tell your damn story.