Inspiration & Writing Wisdom from SARK


OMG, that’s me with the wild and succulent woman herself, SARK!

This afternoon, I joined about 70 other creative souls in a packed room at the Hayward Library to participate in SARK’s Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper workshop.  What a treat to meet SARK in-person and experience her vibrant creative energy and warm spirit.  She had me in stitches as she shared one hilarious and fantastical story after another.  And when I wasn’t laughing my ass off I was nearly in tears, touched by her heartwarming tales.  The afternoon was filled with one delicious morsel of inspiration after another.  A few of the SARK-isms I’m savoring include:

  • “Delight yourself first and others will be delighted.”
  • “Action comes before inspiration. Inspiration comes from the actual doing of anything.”
  • Ask yourself, “How well are you loving yourself today?”

I also appreciated learning how SARK honors her introversion.  As a fellow introvert, it’s comforting to know that someone who is so successful and in the spotlight has found ways to balance her energy through honing her extroverted skills (she’s a riveting presenter and her energy lights up a room) and protecting her need to be alone and to not be busy all the time.  It was also good to hear directly from her how she can get distracted from her writing, but how she keeps her momentum through micromovements.  Last year, I did an Art Every Day Month post with the page of reasons why I don’t feel like writing from the Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper book.

One of the activities SARK had us do was to craft our own writer’s manifesto.  Here’s what I came up with:


We also filled in some micromovement wheels to help us find delightful, do-able actions that we could complete in just 5 seconds to 5 minutes.  I’ve already accomplished two.  The publisher catalogs from my trip to BEA are now stacked in a neat pile instead of strewn across the floor unintentionally acting as a makeshift pillow for Emmett’s head.  Also, I added to my new “I am a published author” vision board on my Vision Board iPhone app.  I included the photo of SARK and me and my writer’s wo-manifesto.  Woohoo for accomplishing a few steps toward my creative dreams today!


And here I am with my friend the inspirational Laurel Bleadon-Maffei who was there assisting along with her wonderful husband Wes.  My other creative buddies Chris Zydel and Michelle Favreault participated in the workshop, too!  It made the day even juicier to be surrounded by these wonderful women.

If you haven’t checked out Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper yet, I encourage you to give it a whirl.  It’s fun, inspiring and practical.  Also, I signed up for the e-course Juicy Journaling with SARK: A nourishing adventure to start your day off write.

When I ask myself the juicy question, “How well have I loved myself today?” my answer is “pretty darn well.”  I chose to say yes to being in creative community with likeminded spirits, I chose to honor my creative dreams by taking some micromovements, I delighted in affirming my creative gifts as writer/artist and last but not least I laughed my ass off. 🙂

On The View From The Bay: Lessons in Visioning

On Wednesday, I was live on a local San Francisco TV talk show The View From The Bay.  I talked with co-hosts Spencer Christian and Janelle Wang about balancing acts for busy moms (you can watch it here).  Janelle, Spencer and everyone at the studio are so incredibly nice which made the whole experience even that much more enjoyable.  I am extremely grateful to the several Lady Launchers who cheered me on from the studio audience and to Adryenn Ashley who was by my side backstage for extra moral support.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve reflected on a few important lessons that this experience underscores for me.  These lessons include the power of:

  • Visioning and writing things down
  • Showing up
  • Taking care of myself.

Lesson 1: Visioning and writing things down. Being on The View From The Bay was one of my goals for this year.  I wrote about it in a letter to myself from the future.  Also, in the marketing section my Right-Brain Business Plan, I included “be on The View From The Bay this year using creativity to get clear on vision.”  You bet I was excited that I got to show an Unfolding Your Life Vision collage book as one of the tips on getting more balanced!

Right before the Sacramento & Co. show and VFTB, I even wrote on my wish cards to get clear about how I wanted to show up.  My visions for each appearance included descriptions like being calm, comfortable, poised, engaging, informative, personable, positive, clear, present, relaxed, and inspiring.  I brought my cards with me and also printed out of all the lovely comments and e-mails people shared from the Sacramento show to help ground me.  It was really cool to get feedback afterward that was very much in alignment with my intention.

Lesson 2: Showing up. A few people have asked me how did I get on the show. It started simply by showing up!  Adryenn sometimes gets tickets to the studio audience, so when she offered tickets at the end of September, I said, “Yes!”  I was a geek and read up on the show and the hosts before I went.  I didn’t know this, but on commercial breaks they ask the audience trivia questions.  I actually won a prize because I got one of the questions right from reading the bios and I got to wave into the camera!  After the show, I had Adryenn introduce me to Janelle and I gave her one of my Unfolding Your Life Vision Kits.   Adryenn highly encouraged me to come back the next day and I did.  To my surprise, Janelle remembered me!  She said she had a story idea and to come see her after the show!  I worked with Adryenn to develop a formal pitch, sent it in and then was asked to be on for the end of October.  It all happened in about a week!

Lesson 3: Taking care of myself. I really had to pay attention to this since I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone.  The day before the show, I was starting to get anxious so I made sure to go to yoga.  After class I felt so much more grounded, focused and ready to prep for the next day.  The day of the show, while I was in the green room, there was a moment where this introvert/HSP got too overwhelmed by all the talking that I had to go find a quiet spot to just sit and breathe.  It definitely helped me center right before going on.

Lots of great learnings here from a truly wonderful experience!  I loved being on the show and getting to share tips and ideas about something I’m passionate about.  I hope to be on again and to also venture into other shows, too…  like Martha and Oprah, of course!  I’m including that in my next future letter to myself and on my new Right-Brain Business Plan!

There’s No Place Like Home

After two business trips in less than a month, this introvert is happy to be home! I really enjoyed journaling from the comfort of my own bed this morning and doing sun salutations in my meditation room with the sun shining in through the windows. Being on the road and around so many people reminds me that as an INFP and an HSP it’s vital for me to take quiet time to recharge.

During the conference this past weekend, when I found myself getting overstimulated and drained from all the sights, sounds and crowds, I sought the solitude of my hotel room. After taking a quick nap or simply just lying still for 20 minutes I felt ready to re-enter the hustle and bustle of the event and mingle with all the wonderful women there.

I’m glad that I now know what I need to do to take care of myself instead of judging that I’m not able to “keep up.” Learning my MBTI type several years ago and reading more about introverts and Highly Sensitive People has helped me embrace these traits as gifts. I now own that I naturally bring a sense of stillness, reflection and calm and by slowing down and observing, I often have intuitive insights on things that others may not notice right away.

I had a nice exchange with Leah of Creative Everyday after reading her blog entry “Introverts Go Out.” A great resource we both recommend for learning about what it means to be an introvert is “The Introvert Advantage.” I also liked “The Happy Introvert” which is a quick, fun read with some whimsical illustrations.

Not all introverts are Highly Sensitive People and you don’t have to be an introvert to be an HSP. I happened to learn about HSPs while reading “The Introvert Advantage” and discovered that I fit the bill for being highly sensitive, too. It sure helped explain a lot of things for me! Some books that were helpful for me where “The Highly Sensitive Person,” “Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person” and “The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide.”

I love how instead of working against my inherent personality traits like I did in my old corporate life, in my new life of working for myself I’m relishing in creative, personal, meditative endeavors that nourish my soul.

[tags]MBTI, Myers-Briggs, INFP, HSP, Highly Sensitive Person, type and temperament, introverts, introversion[/tags]