Failing? Fabulously!

Selling Your Soul – that entrepreneurial shindig in NY this month whose scholarship I was anglin‘ for? I didn’t get it, but I’m not letting it stop me from building on my dream!  In fact, the 10 winners (The Hula Hooper is my fav!) were so inspiring that it’s sending me right back to my fire-starting desk to get even clearer on what I want and why I want it.  I must give thanks to Danielle Laporte and Marie Forleo for igniting my drive to create when I was merely smoldering – sometimes it’s not the ‘thing’ we’re pursuing that we really want, it’s the lessons we gather along the way.  I haven’t failed; I’m refining my focus and discovering my resilience.

Speaking of giving thanks, that oh-so-powerful fireball of gratitude is shooting through my hemisphere and I want to share some of my recent good fortune.  The more I dare, the more I am rewarded – it’s as simple as that.  Throw in some appreciation, and I’m unstoppable.  These past few weeks have seen my cuppeth overflow.

La Prairie Spa At The Ritz

Right before I left for NYC a few weeks ago, I found a gift certificate for La Prairie spa in the Ritz-Carlton given to me by a woman I helped a few years ago when I was working in the restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art.  Yay for me!  I look at the date: expired.  Boo for me.  I decide to call anyway, and ask if they’d accept it. (I still have a gift certificate for the Russian & Turkish Baths on 10th Street from ’96.  Note to friends – I promise to start using these more timely – hint, hint.)  Long story short, after explaining my situation to Linzee at La Prairie, she said they’d be happy to honor it – for ANY spa service I wished!  So I scheduled an hour and a half massage for the following week and tried not to feel like I was cheating on my regular massage therapist (who’s on break, pregnant with twins). I walk into the Ritz-Carlton, never touching a door (love those white gloved doormen!), and the next three hours are indulgent bliss:  Would you like a glass of Champagne?  Here’s your plush robe and slippers.  Strong hands, aromatic oils, custom music chosen from a 2-page menu, then a steam with cucumber slices for my eyes and a plethora of pampering to doll me up for the rest of the afternoon.  Ahhhhhh.  As I head back to reception to settle the gratuity, Linzee informs me that I’m “all taken care of,” that even the tip for my masseuse is included.  Nothing is more gratifying than being on the receiving end of such gracious and generous hospitality.  After years of working for Danny Meyer, I appreciate anew what he meant when he taught us – If you’re going to give, give graciously.  Everyone should have such good fortune to give this way, and to receive so, as well.

Another wonderful day I spent was with a dear friend who lives on the most glorious block in the city, 10th street between 5th & 6th, in a light-drenched apartment that’s beautifully and lovingly appointed.  She prepared a delicious vegetarian lunch for us that tasted of Italy and as we feasted, we caught each other up on our futures that are moving ever-so-gratefully towards us.  It fills me with happiness to see people I love turn towards their power, their voice, their truth.  As we emerge into our own best visions of ourselves, and leave behind the agendas of others, our unique beauty is unleashed.  To be witness to another’s hatching is wondrous and humbling.  (And I got some good puppy-lovin‘ in there, too.) There’s not much sweeter than a curled up animal on your lap to coax forth our gentleness, nor an environment of friendship and safety to acknowledge those softer, more vulnerable sides we keep hidden.  So much gratitude…

It’s where those soft places meet the fiery ones, where success meets failure, when we allow our strengths and weaknesses to inform each other and collaborate, that wholeness begins.  Sometimes I need that push to define my desires more clearly, that poke to unearth my shy tenderness…and sometimes I need to be reminded to both give and receive fully.  For all the clarity I pray for, I’m thankful each time it materializes.  That it appears in the form of failure is a surprise, but I’m embracing it.  Besides, some of the greats, like Einstein, Edison, and Churchill were both successes AND failures.  Not such bad company…

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. ~ W. Churchill

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ T.A. Edison

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The Hydraulics of Spirit

I’m applying for a scholarship to an Entrepreneurial Powwow in NYC next month with Danielle LaPorte of White Hot Truth and Marie Forleo of Where Women Entrepreneurs Live Rich, Happy & Hot.

As spring is finally making its long-awaited debut, so am I.  This was my application essay – wish me luck!

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I am my greatest victory! I have created a life brimming with curiosity, adventure, and a healthy dose of being contrarian. I’ve been told by others I’m an inspiration, that I’m the happiest person they’ve ever met, that they wished they had my life…so for the past 11 months, since quitting 20+ years in the hospitality biz and dedicating my time to writing and fine-tuned inner work, I’ve been dreaming of a life that’s far, far bigger than where I’ve been.  To get here, I’ve plucked out the dark roots of money obstacles (I actually used to believe that being rich meant compromising your values – crazy, right?), adequacy doubts (How did I ever think this amazing life was given to me & I had nothing to offer in return?), and self- and otherwise-imposed limitations (now I’m sure, down to the bottom of my pink little heart and toes, that all the success, love, and freedom I’ve yearned for is MINE!)

Off~Peak, a blog I recently began (about how going against the tide taught me to go with the flow) is merely my first foray into self-expression.  I’m also chronicling my 500-mile journey, solo & on foot, across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, where this lost soul found spiritual connection (massive Oneness revelation! You breathe, I breathe – we are all the same song: the Uni-verse) and some really fab friends.  Research has also taken residence – I’m kneeling at the altar of playwriting, too – A coming-of-age during-the-Cold-War tale about false illusions is BEGGING me to write it.  I’m heeding the call.

I’ve so much to say.  I’ve so much to share.  I’ve so much to learn.  And I am…

My challenge is overcoming the unknown, but I’m on it! I’m kicking those fears to the curb.  I’ve enrolled in Web Design classes to learn the tech side of blogging.  I’ve gotten on the mat in yoga class and confronted constriction, transforming it into spaciousness! I’ve asked a broadcasting friend to teach me how to podcast, and a playwright friend how to develop structure and direction for the stage.  I’m getting good at asking for help;  I know now it’s a sign of strength.

photoWhat I want more than anything in this moment is to throw on my futuristic power suit (which includes visionary glasses – to see grand possibility with laser clarity, titanium stilts – to stride farther and faster, and my new Kris Carr-cleansed Body of Vitality), thrust out my hand with confidence and grab the outstretched arms of my tribe.  I can ask the questions (SEO tricks? find an editor/publisher? NGO bookkeeping?), all I want is to get what I want to give: a community of creative collaborators, generous think tankers, prosperous prognosticators, uplifting visionaries.

Where am I going? Ever-evolving is the birth of Luminary Foundation, a physical and organizational model that supports social justice and advocates for access around education, the arts, and food security.  With a far-reaching approach and dedicated vision (I’ve some radical ideas about a post-capitalist economy & the emergence of global non-money-based prosperity), this Foundation will shine its brilliance collectively, because only with transparency, accessibility, and collaboration will our best future come to light.

Thank you Danielle and Maria for this opportunity to join forces – inspiration overflows!

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