Finding Your Voice: Forgiveness

Photo by Allison Downey, allisondowney.comEvery time I step onto a stage I have to forgive myself.

I forgive myself for breaking so many rules, like: 

  • Be quiet.
  • Stay small.
  • Swallow your truth to spare other's feelings.
  • Look good.
  • Make us look good.
  • Stay positive.

I forgive myself for not being able to control what others feel, whether they agree or not, whether or not I am understood.

I forgive myself for decades of jaw-clenching to hold my words inside. For the way my throat still tightens and catches, making my voice break when I wish it was pouring out uninterrupted and free.

I forgive myself for forgetting how to forget myself and be natural, for needing to practice, to remember.

I forgive myself for wanting to be good, to get it right, to have my words tight and dialed in.

And I forgive myself for fumbling and for stumbling as I try to let it all go. As I try to surrender.

Join us for an intimate night of stories (no stage) tomorrow night at Park Slope Ale House (7:30pm, no cover). I'll be with one of my favorite people in the world, Jolie Guillebeau, whose stories are better than mine. You'll get to see what we've been up to together, live and in person. Tell us you're coming and we'll save a spot for you.


 

More on Finding Your Voice here.

2012 Essential Scholarship Program

The Iconic Self is in production, and I'm sitting at my little table in the kitchen with a pink, red and blue quilt draped over it like a table cloth trying to wrap my mind around it--the culmination of years and years of work, the completion of The Essential Journey Collection. The bulk of all I've written and taught and lived these last years finally having a physical existence in the world, a way to pass with a blessing from my hands and heart to yours.

To celebrate the completion of The Essential Journey Collection, I'm hosting the 2012 Essential Scholarship program. Open to all my beloved readers and friends, the opportunity to receive a $50 scholarship toward the tuition of any of the Essential Journey Courses (Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story, The Iconic Self) is just a super simple application away. You have until February 12, 2012 to submit via email or postal mail and recipients will be notified on Valentine's Day.

If this work is calling you, if this scholarship would bring it into reach, please download the application and apply. We want to support your journey.

Download the 2012 Essential Scholarship Application

A Special Bonus and More

A Special Bonus: The next 20 people to jump into Telling Your Story will receive a special bonus DVD featuring videos of me telling stories on stage here in New York--six of my favorites. I'm super private about these stories--you will rarely come across them online--so this is unprecedented. But a bold beginning calls for a bold bonus: one you will not want to miss. Order yours today.

Review Op and Completing the FYV Discussion Board:

Finding Your Voice is now available for sale on Amazon--please hop over and leave reviews or video testimonials there for people who are considering this work as a companion for their own journey. Then login to the FYV Discussion Board for a celebration check-in as we complete our online community.

The "Telling Your Story Sound Studio" Arrives!

I've been crazy sick this week--the kind that makes you stumble down the street when you're not laid out flat in bed--but even in this compromised state I managed some serious excitement yesterday when the Telling Your Story Sound Studio CDs arrived.

The three disc set, featuring extensive interviews with Peter Aguero and Ophira Eisenberg, is packaged in a beautiful 8-panel digipak designed by the amazing Liz Kalloch. To be able to hold these exquisite objects in your hands helps the possibilities they hold seem even more tangible and real. It's not just in your head or on your computer, it's in your car and your kitchen and on the little stand next to your bed--always reminding you of the path and all the possibilities it holds. Giving you permission to be a new way in the world--you own it. Your stories are just as worthy of being told as any of ours, and these physical manifestations of so many powerful truths will not let you forget it.

The Telling Your Story course starts shipping tomorrow. Be bold and audacious--be one of the first in the world to hold these treasures in your hands.

The other thing I was so thrilled to receive yesterday was our first, full-color four-page Jen Lee Productions catalog, which will go out with every order this winter. It's so amazing to see all that we're up to, all together. There is so much to celebrate with you.

What ARE these new resources, exactly, and when is your next retreat?

My next live event is in March at Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, CA. I'm bringing a whole bunch of my friends--amazing, inspiring women are gonna be in the house--and I hope you can come join us. I'm looking forward to the workshop format, which is more affordable for locals and still convenient for us out-of-towners to come in and stay at the hotel across the street, or in town with friends. The conversation we'll create about The Art of Creative Wellness is one I am living and breathing over here--one that makes us or breaks us. Read more and claim your spot here.

As for the next retreat, I'm really not sure. I'm doing a limited number of live events right now. In terms of presence and community, it's an ideal way to be together and interact with these powerful conversations. But in terms of tuition and the limited spots available for attendees, it's not so ideal. That's why I'm in the midst of a long season of producing resources that make the content of 12-week workshops or 5-day retreats available, for a fraction of the cost, to anyone in the world. No plane ticket required.

If you've been looking for opportunities to work with me, or suspecting that our paths are running in kindred directions, these courses are for you. I have so much to share (with more coming very soon)--this is the best way to make these conversations available to the most people, in a form so personal and intimate that it's the next best thing to being together live.

These practices, insights and conversations have changed my life, and they can change yours, too. Join me: find your voice. Tell your story. Share this work with those friends who are looking for Just This.

Flow

in Stanley Park, Vancouver

I dream of moving through days like these with something that looks more like grace and less like a stilted back and forth between bursts of cleaning and sound editing and cardboard box fort-building. I am wandering from room to room and task to task, trying to stay in my body while my idea factory is working at top speeds and I'm charting new terrain in the deep.

I know from experience that some kind of rhythm will soon emerge, even amidst the flow. Until then, here a few updates:

After a brief summer hiatus, the Merch page is back up and running, with apparel that's designed to be your companion on those days when you have to speak up for yourself in that meeting at work. When you're visiting your mother, your in-laws, or that person from your past who makes you feel like you're still 10. They are for the days when you need your courage close to your heart, for when you need to wear it Superman-style: tucked inside another shirt, where only you know it's there. They are for truths that are hard to live into, to soak in, to carry without losing along the way. I live in them, I sleep in them. I cook and I clean and I play in them, knowing that I need these words most of all and every single reminder brings me closer to the person I long to be in the world. I just made a few extras in case you need them, too.

Also, the introductory price for Finding Your Voice is almost over, with a significant increase coming soon.

AND, look for a new merch item here next week.

My birthday is coming up, which is a different experience every year. I'm feeling reflective about it today, and to be honest the last year has been really big and often hard, and in this moment the year to come feels daunting. It's surprising to feel so tender about it all, but I can't help but feel gratitude for this virtual home I have in the world, and for every day, moment, smile, tear, embrace, kiss, laugh, touch, gaze and step that I am blessed to partake in and to witness. For all the friends and companions who are with me every year, every day.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Finding Freedom From the Inner Critic

Presenting the latest installment in the Finding Your Voice video podcast series, in which I missed the good lighting, spent a lot of time looking at the floor, and had trouble with some video corruption after recording. I share about selecting your audience (or working without one), saving your editorial/critical lens for later in the creative process, and more.

You can watch previous video podcasts on the Multimedia Resources page.

I also spoke very candidly in an long audio interview with Melissa Rivera about the deep soul work I did through the winter, my relationship with my body and creativity in my childhood. You can hear it today on 3 Sisters Village.