Creativity: Notes from our Salon on August 8, 2016


Conversations as creative pursuits

Thinking of creativity as musical talent, calligraphy

Imagination as creativity

How you express yourself


Elizabeth Gilbert's ideas of:

- ancestors were creative in order to survive

- the act of choosing curiosity over fear

I want to live in a world full of...

Who am I? What right do I have to take up other people's time?

- having new ideas = creativity

- medical professionals - also artistic in some way

Understanding there's another way to express yourself

Great artists are able to think critically and creatively.

Feeling of discovering your creativity.

Talent & Creativity comes in many forms

Shared creativity v creativity that you keep to yourself.

Performance v visual art

How did we box creativity in?  Limited thinking

Adults saying to children "you're not very creative" and "don't even try that because you're not creative"

If you hear something enough, you'll start to believe it - good or bad.  (is this true?  sometimes? always?)

Final Thought

be able to see, support, acknowledge and recognize other people's creativity.  Be the person that helps bring that out of other people.  

Boxing creativity in v allowing it to be openminded thinking - sharing ideas.

Ripple effect of our own creativity and supporting the creativity of others

Speak your truth - when I see others speak their truth/be their authentic selves - it's inspiring and beautiful.



Ripple Effect: Notes from the Vulnerability Salon on July 7, 2016

"Most people believe vulnerability is weakness.  But really, vulnerability is courage.  We must ask ourselves… are we willing to show up and be seen?" ~ Brene Brown

What makes you feel vulnerable?

  • Being called out

  • Being in front of people you don't know
  • Staying true to self when you want one thing and know the other person wants something else
  • Expressing feelings/ being honest
  • Giving up control
  • Asking for help
  • New situations - and getting to know new people
  • Being judged for needing help
  • When subject to opinions of others

How do you define vulnerability?

  • Weakness
  • Exposing self - to criticism/approval
  • Putting yourself out there
  • Being open and honest

How do you AVOID feeling vulnerable?

  • Staying in the house
  • Changing the subject
  • Pretending you have it all together
  • Acting like you're in control when you're not
  • Numbing behaviors

    • Humor
    • Cleaning/tasks
    • Self deprication
    • Forced extroversion - being "on" instead of authentic

Is vulnerability necessary?

"Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness but it appears it's also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love."  ~Brene Brown
  • Yes - to have real relationships
  • Without it - you're missing out on something deeper
  • Hand in hand with authenticity
  • Closer to people
  • Can't have amazing relationships without it
  • Don't want a relationship that doesn't have it


Negative Aspects of Vulnerability

  • As a kid - put down, humiliated for being vulnerability
    • Led to fear of criticism
  • Struggle to let guard down
  • Getting to a point where you don't care what others think
  • Risking rejection
  • Learning as a child to suppress emotions
  • Relationships that reflect back what you need to work on
  • Get back more of how you are showing up
  • Asking for help
  • Being honest about how things are going
  • What is our responsibility to initiate the conversation?
  • We all bring our strengths and weaknesses to relationships
  • When you open up, someone else opens up
  • Encouraging vulnerability by being accepting/empathetic
  • Modeling
  • Gentle nudge
  • Being open to other people's thoughts
  • Family - insisting on saying "I Love You"
    • Discomfort with saying the word

Strategies for feeling your way THROUGH vulnerability

  • Take a risk or you don't grow
  • If it scares you / feels uncomfortable - you probably need to do it
  • Breathing exercise
    • Breathe in through nose, out through mouth - air leaving body is anxiety leaving body, imagine it as a color
  • Meditation
  • Visualization
  • Phone a friend
  • Initiating conversation by stating your vulnerability
    • "I'm feeling really vulnerable/uncomfortable about what I'm about to say."
  • Writing (journaling)
  • Write letters
  • (Writing can be misconstrued by other person)
  • Writing as a discovery tool

Do you believe that what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful?

  • Narrative of how you're modeling to your children
  • Vulnerability allows you to relax - relaxing = being more present / makes yourself more beautiful

How does being vulnerable in our own lives contribute to global wellness?  What is the impact outside of ourselves/our individual wholeheartedness/happiness?

  • Inspiring others
  • Responsibility to have an impact
  • Need to put yourself out there for sake of global change
  • Vulnerability is not just about self
  • Struggle with impatience with others
    • Not wanting to see the part of you that's like her/him
  • Help others from acting out
  • Tolerance
  • Everyone is unique - we make fun of people who are different
  • If we are real with others - they feel like they can be real too
  • Ripple effect
  • Be involved - community, school
  • Volunteering


Final Thought

  • Like hearing how others deal - use things in own life
  • Tolerance - working on being more tolerant as others are being vulnerable with me
  • Be with other like minded people is great - knowing you're not the only one
  • Leaving here and making a difference - working on yourself inspires others to grow
  • Appreciate others talking about courage
  • Vulnerability is pervasive


"Vulnerability is not knowing a victory or defeat, it's understanding the necessity of both; it's engaging.  It's being all in." ~ Brene Brown



Love Your Journey: Notes from the Failure Salon on June 23, 2016

Session Opener

  • Famous Failures (check the Pinterest board for the image)
  • Centering exercise: Imagine you have achieved the highest level of success you could ever imagine for yourself.  Now think about the successes you've had so far in life.  Now think about all the times you've failed.  What would people say about you if you were on the "Famous Failures" poster?  Example: At age 10 she was the worst dancer in her class - not flexible, couldn't remember the steps - but she went on to teach dance to hundreds of students.


How do you define success/failure?

  • Battle of head v. heart
  • Failure implies something negative
    • No - it's about experience - if you don't try you don't know
  • What you need is within you
  • Setting boundaries
  • Discrimination of your input - everyone's job is to take care of themselves
  • Success = freedom
    • Doing whatever I want whenever I want
    • Being able to make up your own mind
  • Mindfulness - appreciate where you're at - while reaching for a bigger goal
  • Autonomy = freedom
  • Having a bigger purpose
  • Joy = success
  • Choice
  • Finding a mission/purpose that you can make money from
  • Feeling success without achieving ultimate goal
  • Self-rewarding


I believe that what we regret most are our failures of courage, whether it's the courage to be kinder, to show up, to say how we feel, to set boundaries, to be good to ourselves.  For that reason, regret can be the birthplace of empathy." ~ Brene Brown, Rising Strong

It seems like we're trying to AVOID failure - WHY?

  • Definition of failure has changed over time
  • Originally was defined by parents
  • See the end result(success)
  • Journey is not funif the process is only about the thing at the end
  • The journey IS achievement
  • Worry about being slowed down
    • Intellectually - understand something right away
    • Emotionally - it takes time to catch up
  • Never a failure if you haven't done what others expect of you
  • Vulnerability/perfection/fears of rejection
  • Let go of comparison
  • Comparison + black & white + achievement only happening at END of journey s toxic/poisonous thinking
  • Same action = different response
  • People are thinking/worrying about their own stuff (not you)
  • Difficulties when job is out of alignment with what you believe
  • Doing other things are distractions
  • Gap is getting wider
  • Trying to be nice
  • Nurture others instead of ourselves
  • Part of success is balance
  • Need for a spectrum
  • Life is like a lab - lots of experiments & failures
  • Stand on the shoulders of those who have already learned the lessons
  • Action must come
  • Ambivilence - do I/don't I? - sitting on the fence is a bad place to be

What would you be doing if I said you could not fail?

  • You may not know
  • Your fear is not nothing (it is often there for a reason and to protect you and make you think before you act)
  • Feeling the discomfort is necessary
  • Open the door for the next preference
  • Being whole yourself first
  • You have the key to everything you want - believe you deserve it
  • Do for yourself as much or more than you do for others
  • See you patterns & own your shit
  • Stay engaged in your life & the process
  • Finding out what you don't want in order to figure out what you do want
  • Positivity is great but it's also important to sit w/ your discomfort
  • That was good but I don't want to be there anymore
  • When are you ready to move forward?
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Writing as catharsis
    • F*ck you letters - start out that way but transition to here's why I'm letting go of it
  • Ask yourself the question instead of making an accusation.  Ex: instead of "I can't find any like-minded friends" say "Why am I attracting so many like-minded people into my life right now?"


Final Thought

  • Process instead of achievement
  • Gratitude for tonight's conversation
  • Success is not about the outcome
  • Making progress is success
  • Write letters to emotions
  • You create your own thoughts
  • I find openness really refreshing
  • Re-write your story


Closing quote:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worth cause;
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…"
~ The Man in the Arena, Theodore Roosevel


(Click on the links below)



Hello, World!

"Potholes and Sunrises": Notes from the Forgiveness Salon on May 9, 2016

Get Centered

  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Arrive here in the room.
  • Writing exercise: start a forgiveness list. 
    • Include:
      • Major life events (traumatic events from childhood or school)
      • Career
      • Relationships
      • Friendships
      • Yourself
      • Extras - authority figures/concepts (banking system)/institutions (government)


Opening Quote:


"True forgiveness is when you can say 'Thank you for that experience.'" ~ Oprah Winfrey



Share your response/thoughts on the opening quote.


  • Everything is a part of the life experience and being grateful is part of that
  • Mixed feelings/on the fence
  • Hard to wrap head around
  • Open to understanding how it might work
  • Opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference
  • Agree with quote but hard to see it at the time - later it proves to be true
  • Sets your soul free to find gratitude in the experience
  • Forgiveness - do it for yourself
  • Powerful
  • It's all part of the experience of life
  • Forgiveness is when I can say thank you AND accept anger/how I feel about something
    • Accept the situation.  Be grateful AND upset
  • Can be a test
  • Maybe applies in a one on one way but not on the group to group level (ex: holocaust, war)
  • Thinking of it as "Thanks for the lesson/teaching."
  • Opportunity to learn



What is forgiveness?

  • Being at peace with whatever occurred
    • No longer trying to fix/correct it
    • No longer ruminating on it
  • Inner residue is gone too(you're not still treating someone differently because of it.)

What is the process of forgiveness?

  • Not denying your feelings - have to accept/acknowledge/experience your feelings
  • Ignore it until it goes away
  • Can you pick up where you left off?
  • Being hard on yourself for not seeing something sooner
  • Steps of forgiveness
    • you can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it - you have to grow in some way
    • Establishing a new boundary or release a boundary in some way

How much of a role does the other person/group need to play? 

Do they need to acknowledge the situation?

What if the other person has a completely different interpretation?

  • You don't know that other person's life circumstances/upbringing - their values may be different
  • Feeling the need to make sense of it
  • Struggle with when the understanding/conversation with other person cannot happen
  • Answer for yourself how YOU are reacting/repeating same behavior toward other person
  • Forgive - not because they deserve it but beacause we deserve peace.

Do you need to tell someone you forgive them?   Do they want/need that?

Who is forgiveness for?

  • It's for YOU!
  • Exercise suggestion - writing a letter from your past self to your present self.
  • You can't go back and change it
  • Sports analogy: If you make a mistake during a game you have to forget about it because the game is still going and you need to stay present.
  • Limitations: current mindset, it's not possible to know everything


Live | Reflect | Grow

Let it go | Let it go | Let it go


  • Self doubt - getting in the way
  • Worry about stuff that's already happened. 

What do you do when the person is not available for answers?

  • Time & distance help with forgiveness
  • Hard part is not staying angry
  • Get to a place to see it through a different lens

If your life happened over, would you change anything?

  • If you say yes - does that mean you haven't forgiven?
  • No matter your answer, you don't know what that alternative outcome would have been
  • If yes - is that a wish that you were different?
  • Difference between wishing to change something and being able to actually change it


Fear or Love?

A Course in Miracles states that in any given moment - you are either choosing fear or your are choosing love.  Is forgiveness fear or love?  Why?

  • Letting go can be scary - but embracing/choosing love is still action without the fear attached.  Reframing the same situation with new perspective
  • Remind yourself
    • Your thoughts are not actually there
    • A thought is a thought
    • Distinctions between thought and truth
  • Write down the story you are making up (Tool from Brene Brown)
    • Is it true
    • Is it logical

Book recommendation: Love is letting go of fear by Gerald G. Jampolsky  


Final Thoughts

Share something you didn't get a chance to say, a takeaway, an "a-ha!"

  • Like the idea of either love or fear - it simplifies things
  • Validation of current goal of trying to be more present
  • You don't always get the conversation you need
  • Tension of love/fear and vulnerability of the forgiveness process
  • Still have more work to do in forgiving self and others - this is such a human struggle
  • When swirling thoughts overtake you - return back to center and remember: a thought is just a thought, let it pass
  • Very comforting to be talking with people about something we all go through but no one talks about
  • No matter how something is hurting - time will help you
  • Finding and accepting forgiveness - not letting something continue to be part of your life even when you don't get the conversation you "need"
  • Aha! You couldn't change your past experience
  • Gratitude for a community of people on a path


Closing Exercise - Ho’oponopono

  • Go through forgiveness list.  "I forgive you.  I'm sorry.  Thank you.  I love you."  
  • Ho'oponopono YouTube Video
  • Releases you from carry the memory.  The other people involved might not even remember it but you're holding onto it in your body and your energy - and it's blocking you from being your best self. 
  • Denise Duffield Thomas of Lucky Bitch says that forgiveness work "clears stuff.  It lets you really experience the abundance and happiness that the Universe wants to give you.  Without forgiveness, you're just going to sabotage it.  You're not going to believe you're worth it."


Closing Quote

"Anyone can hold a grudge, but it takes a person with character to forgive.  When you forgive, you release yourself from a painful burden.  Forgiveness doesn't mean what happened was OK, and it doesn't mean that person should still be welcome in your life.  It just means you have made peace with the pain and are ready to let it go.  ~Doe Zantamata





Wow.  Two days later and I'm still blown away by the courage, truth, and vulnerability everyone who attended Wednesday evening's Salon on FEAR brought into the room.  I'm filled with gratitude for all of you.  I had a vision for creating meaningful, mindful conversation around soul centered topics - thank YOU for making that vision a reality. 

Some quick updates & reminders:

  • Next month's Salon topic is Forgiveness.  You can register through Next Door or the Soul Centered MeetUp group here.
  • After reflecting on Wednesday evening's conversation I've decided to change June's topic (don't worry - it's still an "F-word"!) to Failure.  The meetup event will be updated soon - you can find that info here.
  • Meditative Movement is a weekly class offering at Tribe - one part life coaching, one part meditation/stillness, one part guided expressive movement.  Register for that by clicking here or through the MeetUp group.  

Now, without further ado... here are your notes!  Enjoy!!

Get Centered

  • Write a list of 5-10 fears that are on your mind
  • Close your eyes and imagine yourself finding a way to rid yourself of those fears
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt


  • What does your current relationship with fear look like?
    • Attempting the new & building on it - continuous expansion outside of comfort zone
    • Trying to break away from it.  Fear is safe, go-to way to operate in interactions
    • Getting more comfortable
    • More authentic
    • Intimate relationship w/ it as expand and grow
    • Holding onto fear
    • Living someone elses life instead of your own - want to live my own life - go away fear
    • Pre-worrier
    • Debilitating
    • Learn to step out of comfort zone
    • Face fears
    • Analysis paralysis
    • Not starting, not taking action
    • Acknowledge, plan, examine,
    • Can't plan for everything
    • Relationship is growing more mindful of when afraid
    • Tied to lack of control
    • Move past fear - because that's where the experiences are
    • Overthinking, assuming the worst
    • Holding people back
    • Self-sabotage because of overthinking and fear of unknown
    • Self-awareness
    • Fear of judgement from others
    • Work in progress
    • Find balance with good and bad - is fear always a negative thing?  What positivity can come from fear?
    • Want to be fearless - relationship w/ fear is diminishing
    • Step out and uncover more fears
    • Being aware
    • Fear of failure - based on expectations from others for you to be the best
    • Want to escape thoughts of "what will other people think of me"
    • Acute
    • Immobilizing
    • Letting thoughts overtake you

Definition of Fear

  • What is fear?
    • Failure to act
    • FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real
    • Knowing it's in your head
    • Thought that everyone is judging me
    • Second guessing self, doubting
    • Mental & physical response (lack of action)
    • Forget Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Rise

Fear: Friend or Enemy?

  • 2 camps of fear: is one better than the other?  How do you feel about these 2 takes?  Go back to your meditation - what role did you play? Can you really push fear away?
    • Punch fear in the face
    • Feel the fear and do it anyway

Group Thoughts:

  • Meditation - Inviting fear to the dinner table and making friends
  • Redefining fear - when you're excited about something experience same feelings as w/ fear
  • Fear punching - not effective - not addressing the issue
  • Fear v. worry
    • "Worrying is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do but doesn't actually get you there." ~ Van Wilder
    • Fear is seed/root and worry is thoughts going through head
    • Fear linked to primal, deeper issues like self identity
  • Playing devil's advocate in own head - "what's the worst thing that could happen?"
  • Too good to be true - become sure that everything will fall apart/ you'll get "found out"
  • Living in the past is depression, living in the future is anxiety
  • Fear is binary (have it or don't) Worry is continuous state (Is the house on fire - yes or no?)
  • Fear - where is it coming from?
  • Self-awareness : root of worry and fear
  • Brene Brown's research - vulnerability - ability to make self vulnerable
  • Injury from past - hasn't fully gone away - scar from past changes way you live today
  • Unhealed injuries create fears of current & future situations.  Fear now is based on past events. 
  • Fear causes anxiety & negative emotion


Sharing is Caring: tips & tricks for managing fear

  • Group shares:

    • Recall, exaggerate and remind self that the past fear was ridiculous
    • Remembering being nervous about going to an event and realizing the postive outcome and being happy you went
    • Focusing on human reaction of the fear and not the fear itself, emotional self-awareness.   Intellectualize the fear by acknowledging it and assessing it.
    • Keep your fear close and have a conversation with it
    • Adding something positive - especially when fear is paralyzing you (cooking, journaling, any activity that you know puts you at peace)
    • Future thinking - what will my life look like in 5, 10, 15 years if I let this fear stand in the way of my action
    • Fear can be a good motivator
    • What can I do to help this person
    • Imagining yourself getting out of a situation - from a 3rd party perspective
    • Childhood issues - rewriting childhood.  Digging deep to find the things that are amazing and focus on that.

Prompt: How is Fear useful?

  • Someone needing help and getting into helper mode
  • Make fear always a positive thing - it's challenging you to be better
  • Face what you're afraid of to prove fear wrong
  • Even if you fail you'll only be in the same pl
  • Self awareness - learning from the fear
  • Dig deep - what is the fear?

Final Thoughts:

  • Helpful to look at personality types, knowing where you thrive.  Example: if you thrive in exploring use it to handle your fear (by exploring possible outcomes and how you want to see yourself in a certain situation)
  • Helpful to hear people taking actions after the self-awareness step
  • Good things happen once you acknowledge fear and move through/past it
  • Vulnerability needs to be attached to our emotional existence.  Vulernability not acknowledged in our culture.  Be the vulnerable person.  Allow yourself to be vulnerable
  • Maybe I have conqured fear in more ways than I knew
  • Lots of gratitude!
  • Endless journey - you can always go further/deeper
  • Don't just think and act - pause and reflect and feel
  • It's good to be vulnerable
  • Feeling like you're not alone
  • Give self same patience you give to others
  • It's ok to feel your fear - what's the worst that will happen?
  • Maybe fear is outdated - we've evolved - give fear less power
  • Don't let your scars prevent you from living your fullest life
  • Put fear in the trunk and let yourself have the control
  • Remember that sharing with others can help you through it
  • Fear is as simple or complex as we want to make it
  • Keep trying and learn new approaches
  • Fear is blissful avoidance


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.  We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?'  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you.  We were bron to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us.  And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~Nelson Mandela