This work is essential

It was a year ago – almost exactly – that I met Sierra Sullivan at a fundraiser. I won two tickets to Fun, Fabulous and Feminine. I remember thinking that I had no idea what it was but that it was something I needed.

The closer I got to the weekend of the event, the more I began to feel like I absolutely had to be there – but the night before, as I arrived at my friend’s house, I realized I was coming down with a killer cold.

I had gifted the second ticket to my best girlfriend and was staying with her since she lived close to where the event was being held. I got very little sleep that night, as the cold intensified. By the time morning came, as miserable as my body felt, I was NOT going to give up on going.10525623_750212708383513_1572325361133807736_n

Strangely, I really had no idea what was driving me so hard.

“Normally I would have used a cold like this to get out of whatever I had planned.”

Time to myself was something I rarely allowed in my life. I spent most of my time doing things other people wanted me to do, whether they were important to me or not. This felt like it was FOR ME -even though I still didn’t really have any idea what it was going to be like!

I had brought comfortable clothes – the kind I was use to wearing. Comfy, slightly slouchy jeans and a sweater. I didn’t really care how I looked. It was just going to be a bunch of women and I had a miserable cold.

I was in over my head.

As we entered the room there was loud, driving music playing, lights flashing –  there were gorgeous women everywhere with sparkles on their faces, butterfly wings on their backs – and over in the far side of the room – GASP – there were women HULA HOOPING.

My girlfriend looked at me with that “What have you gotten me into?” look on her face and I swallowed hard. “We can always leave early if it’s horrible” I promised her.

Tentatively we went in and found an empty table where we could look around in trepidation at these women doing things we didn’t dare even think of doing.
Fast forward to the present…

That woman sitting there that morning – I remember her but it’s harder to recall what it felt like to BE her as she is so far from the woman I am now.

As my bestie and I laughed, cried and danced our way through that first day, we began to change. By the time the weekend was over I would choose to take a leap of faith and commit to the FunFabFem Mastery course that would take me on a year-long odyssey gifting me with the most amazing tribe of sisters I could possibly ever imagine and radically change who I was forever.

It had been decades since I wore a dress!

One of the first changes that happened to me at the Fun, Fabulous & Feminine Live Experience was being so inspired by the beautiful women that I met and connected with.

Some of the sharing and being together was so deep and bonding that over the course of the day, and later the weekend, it felt that we had been through something profound together.

One beautiful young woman seemed to enjoy herself and her femininity so much that she simply glowed in her beautiful little black sweater dress with the blue polka dots.

I wanted to be like her – to look like her, to feel like she seemed to feel. So, that first night after the event ended, I went out and bought a little black dress in a shop down the street.

Now it’s important to understand that before that weekend, it had probably been 10 years since I had worn or even put on a dress. Due to childhood and adolescent trauma and shaming, and my mother’s rejection of anything feminine, I had been conditioned to disown huge parts of myself that had gone underground.

I, of course, did not realize that the urge to go and buy the dress was actually long-dormant and ignored parts of me beginning to wake up and come to the surface.

On Sunday morning I show up in this little dress feeling very tentative and more than a bit insecure. As I walked through the door with my friend, each and every woman that saw me hugged me and said something supportive and wonderful about how great I looked and how I “rocked that dress” etc – – – I couldn’t believe it!

These amazing ladies later voted me “MOST FUN, FABULOUS AND FEMININE” and Sierra had me go up on stage with her and do a catwalk – I HAD NEVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE!!

Little did I know there would be so many more chances to feel amazing and beautiful to come over the next year.

Little did I know that some of those women, who chose to take that plunge into the unknown with me, would end up being some of the most important people to ever grace my life.

That young woman who first inspired me to buy and wear a dress the second day is now one of my closest friends and someone I talk to every week.

Sierra has taught us to embrace our inner selves and each other as sisters. She has taught us that we are the creators of our lives – that we cause what happens, not some random force or luck of the draw. But that is just the beginning.

Embracing femininity and reconnecting with our body and its wisdom is the work that women are called to do in this time – and Sierra has found a way to pull together so many pieces of wisdom and bring them all to us.

The alchemy that happens in these groups of women is nothing short of magical – it reaches into every area of your life and brings warmth and connection to pieces of us that had become lost.

Much of this, I believe, is due to who Sierra Sullivan is. Her fearless commitment to being vulnerable and transparent and very very real allows a trust and openness that I have never experienced anywhere but in the tribe she has created.

So what has changed in the practical areas of my life due to choosing this amazing work?

My Relationship Got Sexier!

The first thing that comes to mind is the transformation of my long-term romantic relationship with the man I love. Bringing my more feminine self into our life together has enlivened and rejuvenated the time we spend together in and out of bed.

Bringing the goddess in me out and into the light – celebrating my womanhood and the divinity that is inherent in that has given me the confidence, joy and strength to approach him and make what I want and need known.

He has responded beautifully and very happily to this and I can say with conviction that we have achieved and maintained a honeymoon-like approach to each other and our time together literally makes me giddy to write about.

1002686_753238691414248_3017309884543772924_nMy Business Skyrocketed!

Another area of my life that has transformed is my business. As a professional portrait photographer I had limped along for decades, taking whatever jobs I accidentally bumped into and doing well at times, (this is, after all, the career I chose for myself, and I love being an entrepreneur) – but in a very real way, the limited successes I had did not feel like mine. The uneven way I ran my business left me feeling out of integrity and I could never quite figure out why I seemed to actually fear becoming really successful.

Working with Sierra and the sister tribe it became clear to me that I was not in alignment with what truly brought me joy in my field.

I had been so afraid of turning down any job – so afraid of not being able to be everything to everyone,  that I was acting from a watered-down version of myself. A version with no idea of where my true talents and strengths were, and how to access them. I didn’t have the self-confidence to charge what I was worth, and didn’t even know how to figure that out.

Once the process began with Sierra – working through my deeply-held beliefs  about myself and what being successful might mean, there would be no turning back.

There have been, and there continue to be breakthroughs to deeper and deeper levels of satisfaction for me in what I feel and do in the world. My business has begun a transformative process that is shaping it into a unique entity that will carry it into the distant future.

I now take only the jobs that allow me unbridled creativity and fulfillment. I feel completely comfortable asking for and receiving the money that I deserve for bringing to life the shared visions that I create with my very happy and excited clients. I approach my time in my studio with excitement and anticipation of the joy I will experience while I am there.

The deep relationships I forge with each person I co-create with spring from the co-creative process that was forged in the fire of the sister tribe , nourished by Sierra’s unending search for tools for herself and all of us, to bring us to higher and higher places for our own lives and for the planet.

This work is essential!  

This work is about transforming who we are to meet the challenges of this time in our shared history.  This work changes not only the lives of the women Sierra teaches but everyone connected with them.

I would highly recommend working with Sierra to anyone who asks, and the Fun Fabulous and Feminine Live Experience is the gateway to a transformed life.

Because of this I am living a life that is being shaped by this work. Work of joy. Work of passion. Are those words normally associated with work?

Work has taken on a new meaning in my life. Work can be dancing. Work can be creating art. Work can be crying and releasing our grief in a circle of women we love.

Every day is a journey, and one that I now take full responsibility for creating, feeling and sharing with everything I have. Nothing will ever be the same, and that is a great thing.