Saying Yes to Your Dreams

13 11 2018

I knew the process of creating and publishing my book would evolve in unexpected ways. One of the main takeaways that I write about in the book is to follow the path where your creativity guides you. It’s good to have a plan, but your creative spirit may alter the plan in surprising ways.

I just wrote the 6-week process book on this, so you think I’d really understand this? Right? Well…I had to relearn it this past week. It can be challenging to accept the gifts the Universe tries to give you.

Growing Your Creativity, The Live Your Life with Joy Workbook is about to burst forth into the world. I had the final details to put in the book, which I was going to do this weekend, in order to give my printer, plenty of time before my December 1 deadline. I had just promoted my book launch and party on social media on Tuesday.

On Wednesday I got a call that my church was having an Artisan’s Bazaar on Sunday and I should be a part of it. My immediate thought was, “No, my book isn’t ready.” But I ran to my printer to see if he could rush out a few copies and he said yes. That evening I made the final edits and prepped the files for printing. On Thursday morning, before I had even brought the files to my printer, I got another call from another friend. She was unavoidably out-of-town and did I want her exhibition booth at Saturday’s big event, the Louisiana Book Festival!

Wow! I knew this was a gift and still surprisingly my immediate thought was, “No, I can’t”. I didn’t have enough books and I had a weekend packed with chores that needed to be done. But yet again, I ran to my printer to see if I could get enough books and again he said yes.

I’m one of those people, who doesn’t know what they are thinking until I say it out loud, so I voiced my concerns to my co-workers, who know my book journey. I was told, “Connie, you’re ready, your next year plans have just started early, forget the weekend chores, follow your dream”.

So, I said yes.

Because I had done the prep work, I was able to make it happen.

That prep work included having real relationships from networking, real relationships with my vendors, and friends and family who want to help me make my dreams happen. I have people in my life like my sweetie, Steve, who thinks of practical things like buying a cart to haul everything.

So, I showed up.

People who didn’t know me bought my book! I was also glad I was able have my friend Dima Ghawi’s amazing memoir, Breaking Vases for sale too. I had written a rare book blog review for her book last year, so I knew her story. Since I was sitting under a sign that said Breaking Vases, A Middle Eastern Woman’s Story, I needed a connection between our books, because people read the sign and then looked at me slightly confused. I realized our seemingly different books shared a similarity. They are about creative journeys. Both stories resonated and both books sold.

The weekend was a real gift, made possible by a cosmic push. I had deep, meaningful conversations with so many people about how life and creativity are intertwined; about paying attention to the coincidences that happen to you; about how you need to tend to your creative roots so your life can blossom. I know the lessons from my book can be transformative and sometimes, you have to get out of your way and weed the negative thoughts that say you can’t follow your dream.

Say yes to your dream. Say it out loud. Do the prep work and create a plan that you can make happen. Plant your creative seeds and watch them grow. You can do it.

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Here’s my website, preorders for Growing Your Creativity, the Live Your Life With Joy Workbook are being accepted.





Breaking Vases

27 12 2017

The personal is political. Dima Ghawi’s deeply personal memoir proves this point even though her courageous journey happened decades after that phrase was first uttered. Breaking Vases is a book that can change how you view the world and how you view yourself. It is a woman’s story of breaking out of a repressive culture and living a life that was once unimaginable. But it is more than one woman’s story.

Breaking Vases

Dima was born into a somewhat typical Middle Eastern family in Amman, Jordon. As a young girl, her beloved grandmother told her a woman was like a glass vase, beautiful and fragile. A woman must stay perfect; everyone would see any scratches or flaws in the vase…forever. Those flaws would bring shame on herself and her family. It was only after Dima shattered that vase that she discovered it was a glass prison. Her journey of how she broke free is one of true courage and transformation.

This is a book whose words have stayed with me. While her personal story of breaking out of a violent, patriarchal family is Dima’s unique story; the book’s takeaway is one that is enlightening to us as individuals and to our current geo-political landscape.

Breaking Vases brought insight to a different culture. It allowed me to see the Middle East with new vision. Not only are women trapped in the perfect vase illusion, so are the men. The need for everyone in the culture to appear perfect and not authentic to who they truly are, is keeping an entire culture trapped in a glass prison. What is keeping the culture trapped is the fear of the unknown. The simple key to releasing themselves from this trap lies within their imagination to just see past the illusion and truly see the individual.

Dima’s book made me look at my own culture. The book does not mention the #MeToo movement that is transforming this country. But the parallels are easy to see; an abusive patriarchal system that stays in place because those trapped by it are scared to speak out. The fear is real. The repercussions can shatter your life. Like Dima, it takes tremendous courage to break your own culture’s glass prison. Yet, the shattered prison is what will free us to live our true destiny.

Time’s 2017 Person of the Year features the Silence Breakers. The cover shows six women. One woman is cropped out of the cover with only has her elbow showing. Time said, “the anonymous woman’s arm represent the many women who are afraid to come forward with their own stories.”

Dima is also a silence breaker. We all must continue to break vases until all our voices are heard and we all have equality; until we can all live an authentic life, with all it’s flaws and cracks. And amid the broken shards of the past we will have changed the world.

Click here to discover more about Dima Ghawi and Breaking Vases.

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