Quite a while ago, I found Elizabeth Gilbert through her TED talk and Eat Pray Love as a desolate time in my life when I needed inspiration and confidence. I’ve devoured her every word. Some of her books like Big Magic many times. She’s helped me overcome self-doubt and procrastination and begin to paint and explore art and eventually have the courage to quite my inner critic and start my art business, which was, and is, a creative and loving success because I love to paint and make people happy while adding, beauty to the world. While making me happy and satisfying my need to be creative, it was a commercial failure because I could to figure out how to connect with or even to create an audience. I floundered. Didn’t know who to ask. I didn’t know what to ask. I didn’t know how to create content that other people would want to read. Then, I got waylaid by health issues that consumed me for almost two years. Meanwhile, I created more art.
Last winter, while chatting with a marketing guru I was consulting with, she suggested I join an art group she did work for. That’s how I found Women Sharing Art. WSA gave me a community of vibrant and amazing women and many opportunities to exhibit and sell my paintings and scarves. The beautiful, creative and vibrantly talented women offer me (and each other) encouragement and support with the creation of art and, for me, the added excitement over the writing of my book.
When I needed inspiration and help getting over my fear of repeating parents mistakes and my own, and my fear of being alone forever and of feeling like I was never enough or good enough, or smart enough, or thin enough or sexy enough. A good enough mother or teacher or friend or daughter. Brene Brown, the renowned researcher of share, fear and vulnerability with an immense breadth and depth of knowledge gleaned from over twenty years of field research, helped me find my confidence and battle my inner dragons. And her phrase, “This is the story I am telling myself…” has clarified my communication with my loves (children and his sand and parents) and fine tune our exchanges and eliminate painful misunderstandings. I’ve listened to her narrate all her books: The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting, Rising Strong, Dare to Lead, Braving the Wilderness.
From an ex-boyfriend, I was introduced to The Dresden Dolls. Something about their music and Amanda Palmer, herself, I find electric charismatic magnetic and attractively quirky. Then last week, through listening to Liz Gilbert talk about Amanda’s book The Art of Asking, while I was finishing my latest draft of my memoir and readying it for my editor. Amanda’s outlook and connections with the world around her and her fans, her couch surfing, crowd surfing, crowd funding, and her big koombaya of a Twitter/ blog friendship circle that is her fan base and is an awe-inspiring interactive community. The way she loves her fans, with whom she communicates regularly, daily, hourly – all that she thinks and feels is a magical thing to behold. She has mastered the art of taking online connections and friendships into the real world to become IRL friends and companions. Amanda motivated me to start this blog.
She’s inspirational and I’d love to offer her my spare bedroom if she ever has a Long Island gig and needs to couch surf, or take her out for coffee or dinner or a Mai Tai or wine or scotch when she’s in New York. Her and Liz and Brene, too. Let’s go! My treat! These amazing women have literally all helped me, healed me, shaped me immeasurably!! Thank you from the bottom of my whack, quirky, bursting with love heart!!
Then there’s Craig Lancaster. This is a prime example of the universe conspiring to make something happen – to bring us together professionally. I read his book, 600 Hours of Edward and fell in love with his narrative and the main character Edward. When it was over, I was sad. As I am with so many books that I fall in love with. I was thrilled to find out there was a sequel, Edward Adrift. And then after that, a third book about Edward, Edward Unspooled. Both equally thrilling.
I took to Facebook and shouted out my love for these books and Craig Lancaster’s writing. A local IRL friend and FB friend responded “Hey, I know and am friends with his wife! He’s such a great guy!” So, stalker-style, I searched my friend’s friend list and friend requested Craig. He accepted and over the course of a year or two, we have commented on some of each other’s posts. When I was nearing the end of my first full draft of my book, I contacted him for advice on finding a good editor, after all, he’s published six books, has led a 25-year journalism career. He had to know someone. He PMd me and said that he worked as an editor, too, and he said that he would be happy to edit my book. I was beyond thrilled!!
There have been so many instances in my life, and probably yours too, where the Universe has brought you, or brought to you, precisely the thing you needed, even if you didn’t know that you needed it.
Trust the system. Trust the universe. Ask for what you want or announce that you are missing a thing that you need, to the wind, focus your energy on that thing and while you are working toward your goal, the universe will conspire to help you!!!