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Craving guilt-free creativity that makes your heart sing and time fly?

Welcome to your Creative Oasis™!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Gift of Me

At the Double J Hacienda and Art Ranch over Thanksgiving weekend, I offered a holiday creative workshop. We had a cozy little group of wonderful women come together and took some time to stop and think about what we’d like this season to look like for ourselves. We began by quick-listing words and phrases from our pasts that brought up good memories of “Christmas” or “Holidays” for us: baking cookies, classic movies, looking at lights, etc… More often than not, our lists had nothing to do with shopping or gifts, rather our favorite memories revolved around shared experiences with friends and family.

We created mind-maps to expound upon the idea of intentionally creating a holiday season that would be fulfilling and joyful rather than stressful and filled with too many things that weren’t important to us or felt like obligations just to make someone else happy. From our mind-maps we created collaged postcards that I later mailed out as a fun reminder – a very personal Christmas card to ourselves. (That’s the front of mine above and the back below.)

What I realized was that I wanted to leave plenty of space and time this month to be with the people I hold dear and to share the gift of me with them – or rather, of my full attention and love.  I made myself a promise to cut back on multi-tasking and focus one thing at a time, especially when interacting with others. I also reminded myself that keeping enough time open for good self-care through meditation, exercise and journaling was a gift that I could give myself that would benefit me as well as my friends and family. You’ve heard the saying, “If momma ain’t happy – ain’t nobody happy – so true! And if I let self-care slide, I get pretty Grinchy pretty quickly. 

I’ll admit, it’s been a pretty jam-packed month, and there is still quite a bit left to do, but for the most part, I’ve enjoyed feeling in the flow of things rather than swamped, and that has been lovely. I'm so grateful for all of the special holiday memories I've experienced already: watching a young friend act in a wonderful production of "A Christmas Carol," seeing my daughter perform holiday numbers with her dance company at events around town, going with dear friends to see the musical "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," hosting our extended family Christmas party, playing Monopoly with my dad and daughter while my mom baked cookies and my husband played guitar – the good stuff you can't buy at the mall.  I feel sure that by taking the time to ask myself what I really wanted my holiday to look like, and spending some time with this awareness I've enjoyed this busy season much more than I would have otherwise.

What about you? There are a few days left before Christmas and over a week before the New Year.  There’s still time to create the experiences that you desire. Do you want to string popcorn and cranberries? Do you want to drink hot chocolate and watch “Charlie Brown’s Christmas?” Do you want to give yourself the gift of ten whole minutes just sitting in front of your Christmas tree enjoying the lights? Even the smallest of things can bring us an enormous amount of joy, especially when we allow ourselves to really be in the moment and immerse ourselves in it.

I wish you a Merry Little Christmas and the time and space to create at least a few wonderful holiday experiences that you’ll treasure now and always.

All the best from my Christmas oasis to yours,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Have You Ever Tried To Put On A Sari Without A Mirror?

This query, asked by Ayurvedic Cooking goddess Elaine Dodson, stopped me in my tracks. Resplendent in a brilliant flowing sari, she posed this curious question as we headed into the great room of the Double J Hacienda & Art Ranch. Elaine was about to lead another wonderful cooking class during a weekend Ayurvedic Retreat and had just dressed in a room sans a full-length mirror.

“Um…to tell you the truth, I’ve never tried to put on a sari period…under any conditions,” I laughed. To Elaine who has been a devotee of the Krishna Consciousness Movement since the 1970s, has lived in an ashram, cooked for gurus and founded the award-winning Indian restaurant Kalachandji’s, this question was as simple as asking “Have you ever tried putting on mascara without a mirror?”

I keep thinking about her question, and I now realize what I find most fascinating is that to Elaine, she’d asked something fairly run-of-the-mill. But to me, she might as well have asked whether or not I’d ever accidentally hopped into my Lamborghini and driven off when I’d meant to take my Bentley. Her question seemed that far-fetched and exotic. 

Of course, things that are second nature to us may seem unusual and even outrageous to others. My daughter came home from school indignant after some of her friends refused to believe that her grandfather races sport cars. “They just don’t get it, Mom! They say a grandpa can’t be a race-car driver, but they don’t know my Grandaddy!”

For me, simply spending time with people like Elaine and my dad is inspiring. Believe me, I have no hidden desire to become the personal chef to an Indian Swami nor do I wish to race cars at speeds topping 100-miles-per-hour ­­– but I’m all about hanging out with people who do!

I have a friend, Dawn, who traveled to Africa on a mission trip a couple of years ago that changed her life. She can’t wait to get back there, but in the mean time she writes an amazing blog called Bringing Dinner Back which shares information about Africa in conjunction with the importance of bring her family together at the dinner table at least once a day. She also helps a group that runs a small orphanage called Congo Restoration, moved to action by her experiences in Africa.

Will I ever be brave enough or selfless enough to take a trip like that? I admit I have a tough time visualizing it, but just knowing Dawn and reading her heartfelt and intelligent insights, I’m moved to learn more about other cultures, to stop taking my own blessed life for granted and moved to make a difference when I can.

In Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching, exposure ranks as one of the most popular techniques we share for finding inspiration when you’re feeling stuck. Being exposed to the creative passions of others (be it cooking or racing or traveling) can sometimes be just the spark you need to ignite your own creative fire.

Who lights your creative fire? 
Here's a big thanks to all those who do!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finding Wisdom in Traffic Jams, Speeding Tickets & Songs

Ever get the idea that the universe is trying to tell you something?  Something important…something simple…something that once you finally listen makes you smack your head in that “Wow – I could’ve had a V-8!” kind of way.

“Hey Jill, SLOW DOWN!” was the message for me this summer.  But, like so many messages from the universe, (or God or your wise inner self or your mother or corporate sponsors) it often takes more than one time before the idea sinks in. 

#1 – Driving to the Denver airport from Breckenridge, Colorado.  When I turned onto I70, traffic slowed to a crawl. As I inched along the winding mountain roads (in the rain no less) for more than two hours I tried not to think about how many cups of coffee I’d had that morning, how badly I needed to pull over and find a restroom (no exits & no time!) or how likely it was that I was going to miss my flight (the last one back to Dallas of the day.) So what did I do? There was literally nothing I could do but
slow down. My hand was forced. I breathed.  I listened to the two CDs I had thankfully thrown in my bag and memorized most of the songs on them. (Rogue Wave & Laura Marling) I enjoyed being surrounded by the beautiful mountains. It took over three hours (twice as long as usual) to reach the airport but because of weather delays I ended up making my flight. (Another part of the lesson perhaps?)

#2 – Up in Breckenridge – running on the bike path near the river (but really wanting to walk) I had to laugh when I saw the words painted on the path under my feet  – SLOW…SLOW…SLOW. Aha! It’s okay to slow down and just walk this morning.  I slowed down to a brisk walk and really enjoyed the cool morning air as the stitch in my side vanished.

#3 – Driving back home to Dallas with my husband, daughter and dog, just outside of Amarillo…I saw the flashing lights, heard the siren and felt my heart drop into my stomach. My first speeding ticket in years! But I was only going ten miles over the speed limit…the speed limit had been five miles higher in Colorado and New Mexico…excuses…excuses.  Bottom line – the officer gave me a ticket and I slowed down.  Not just for the rest of our drive home either.  I’m still paying extra close attention to my speedometer these days.

#4 – Running errands with my daughter (notice how we even run errands!) listening to the latest CD from wonderful Texas singer/songwriter, Terri Hendrix. “Hey, Mom – can you play track #2 again? I like that song about slowing down. It’s nice.  You don’t hear too many songs about that.” Riley Anna had been paying attention.  I had not. Too busy running errands I suppose.  So I played it again.  Listening to Terri’s song “Slow Down” was the moment it clicked for me.  

All of the above memories flooded back and I felt a kind of peace spread like a warm glow through out my body. Slow down, Jill.  Enjoy this moment. Enjoy hanging out with your sweet (perceptive) daughter.  Enjoy really listening to this song.  Slow down long enough to remember that you too wrote a song titled “Slow Down” with your husband several years ago. (now where did I put that?)

Ahhh…the wisdom of traffic jams, speeding tickets and my almost eleven year old daughter.  Here's to remembering to slow down. 

All the best from my creative oasis to yours,

Jill Allison Bryan

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer Oasis Moments

Sunrise runs along Blue River in Breckenridge, Colorado…

...hikes with my family in the fresh mountain air…
the penny-candy delight of reading a big ‘ole tween pop-fiction book (Ok, I admit…I finally read “Twilight” and loved every minute of it!)…a fabulous road trip with my husband playing DJ and hour upon hour to dream and talk about the future…watching my mom teach my daughter how to knit (Thank God for Nana! She teaches Riley Anna so many things that she’d never otherwise learn from her not-so domestic mother.)…sleeping late… 

Energy Effects at MCA of Denver
...exploring the amazing Museum of Contemporary Art Denver…a spur of the moment, 4-hour lunch with my sweet aunt who I don’t get to see nearly enough…yoga classes...watching Riley Anna and her friend be filmed for the video of our good friend, Jimmy Baldwin's new song ...

"Peace, Love & Chicken Fried Steak"
...extended family sleepover at Camp NanaGrandaddy with Grandaddy’s Famous Flapjacks for breakfast…painting and decorating Riley Anna’s new “big girl” room…ultrasound photos of my niece who should be making her appearance very soon.

In addition to all of these soul-nourishing oasis moments, I managed to play a few gigs to promote my new CD, “Dancing In Limbo,” coach some fantastic clients, share several Creative Oasis Coaching presentations and a teleclass, launch my new website and finally organize my office/music studio (with the help of Debbie from Make My Life Simplified it was actually fun!). I’ve also created a 6-week group coaching course, “Welcome To Your Creative Oasis™” which I’ll be sharing this fall at the inspiring Pigment School for the Arts (owned by my friend, gifted artist and teacher,  Tori Webb Pendergrass.) Tori was one of the 13 talented artists who participated in Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art and Women Helping Women.

I’d love to hear about your favorite summer oasis moments.  Which sounds and colors and feelings still play in your mind? What smells and tastes and images will always remind you of the summer of 2010? Which experiences felt like an oasis to you?

Our lives are made up of many moments…it’s up to us to fill those moments with all the good we can. Let’s raise a glass of lemonade to the beautiful memories of summer that still linger in the not too distant past and to the infinite possibility in all the wonderful moments that await us this fall.

All the best from my creative oasis to yours,

Monday, June 7, 2010

What Wonderful Summer Surprises Await You? Free teleclass – Wednesday, June 9th – 11am central

“I just realized that I want to write a story. Wow! That's a total surprise!” – the unexpected and delighted response of a woman who attended my “Create The Summer of Your Dreams” presentation that I gave in Dallas last Friday night.

Discover what unexpected delights await you this summer by joining me for the enlightening and fun interactive presentation I’m offering as a free teleclass this Wednesday, June 9th at 11am central. (Sign up & request call-in information for the “Create The Summer of Your Dreams” teleclass here.)

Once we explore options for activities and experiences that will fill our summer with creative satisfaction and joy, I’ll share a few easy and fun ways to open the time and space in your life to get to actually them.

For those who are interested, I’ll offer a follow-up 6 week teleclass series to keep your momentum going. The one-hour calls will provide support, inspiration, and gentle accountability while helping you make the most of your perfect summer plan.  Choose the morning or evening* class at 11am & 7pm (Central), Wednesdays (June 16 - July 21)  Only $75 for the entire 6 session series. 

All the best from my creative oasis to yours,

Jill Allison Bryan
Certified Creativity Coach

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Free teleclass - Wednesday, June 9th 11am central

"Create the Summer of Your Dreams"

A Free Teleclass with Jill Allison Bryan
Wednesday, June 9th at 11am central

Summer is upon us. What do you want yours to look like? Have you given it any thought? So often we dive right into the season with little or no plan only to look up and find that - yikes! - it’s already July 4th and we haven’t even peeled a single peach or read a good book yet!

Whether you crave lazy days in the sun, a balance of work and leisure or ideas to jump-start a creative project or two – I’ll share some easy, yet effective ways to help you design your ideal summer and then make it happen. Join me Wednesday, June 9th at 11am central time to learn a few simple techniques from my Creative Oasis Coaching that can help you create the summer of your dreams while feeling truly relaxed and fulfilled

Whether it's visiting your local farmer's market, making homemade lemonade, dusting off your bicycle or finally unwrapping the sketch pad you bought last summer - together we can turn your summer into one filled with moments of joy and memories of a lifetime.

Join me for this special free one hour teleclass and if you like you can keep your momentum going with a paid 6-week follow-up series. These one hour sessions will provide support, inspiration and gentle group accountability while helping you make the most of your perfect summer plan. Only $75 for the entire 6 week series. For registration & information contact Jill at creativeoasiscoach@me.com.

All the best from my creative oasis to yours, Jill

Friday, May 7, 2010

Giving Credit Where It’s Long Overdue – To You!

One of my favorite creative coaching tools is the “credit check-in.” By simply listing all of the things that you did get around to during the week you often realize you accomplished much more than you thought you had. We tend to dwell on all that we haven’t yet crossed off our never-ending, crazy-long, take-care-of-everyone-else-on-the-planet first to-do lists. You know – everything that needs to be done, didn’t get done and a few things we can’t imagine how there will ever be enough time in the world to get done. This just serves to frustrate and overwhelm us. Frustration + Overwhelm = Bad Feelings. Credit Check-in + Self-satisfaction = Good Feelings.

Today I had a “physician – heal thyself!” moment. About a bazillion things that I need and want to do (that’s barely an exaggeration!) raced through my mind. Things to promote my new CD, “Dancing In Limbo”… things to better serve my Creative Oasis Coaching clients … things to do for my family … things to do for my friends …things to do for the planet (when I get on a roll – watch out!) … lots and lots and lots of things!

Just about the moment I felt overwhelm wrapping around me like a boa constrictor and I couldn’t take a deep enough breath, I received a wonderful e-mail from a past client. She wrote to thank me for some of the tools that we’d used together during our coaching sessions and to let me know they were still essential to helping her make the time and space in her busy life for her creative passions (which includes writing a fabulous blog that you can check out here). “Oh yeah,” I remembered, “These fantastic tools are available even to me 24/7, but sometimes we just need a little reminder.”

So I took a break from obsessing about everything that needs to be done and did a credit check-in for myself. I made a list of everything I’ve accomplished in the past week. (even laundry and making lunches – everything that took even a few minutes of my precious time) Then I read it over and let it really sink in. I’m not shy, so I’ll tell you – I’ve been kicking booty this past week! Yes – there is still much to be done – but NEWS FLASH – there always will be. And if there weren’t life would be boring and stagnant and no fun, in my book anyway. I felt so much better realizing all that I had already successfully accomplished. I was able to take a deep breath and feel a blessed release from that awful overwhelm that had been creeping in. (insidious bastard that overwhelm!) I share this in the hope that it will serve as a reminder to you to take a minute to give yourself the credit your due. I promise it will feel great and you deserve it!

All the best from my creative oasis to yours,


p.s. - I'm thrilled to be the featured coach in this month's MUSE FLASH by Jill Badonsky. Pop over and check out her monthly musing here. It's always inspiring and fun!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Music, Art & Love Raised Over $10,000 For Women for Women International!

“Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women” was a tremendous success and, I believe all who attended would agree, a whole lot of fun. What began as a creative daydream about how to celebrate the release of my solo CD, “Dancing in Limbo” became a dreamy reality on the evening of March 27.

An amazing group of people gave freely of their time,
talent and resources to create an event of a lifetime and in the process raised $10,775 to benefit Women for Women International.

I introduced you to most of the artists here on my blog. You can still view all of these short films (most are 3 or 4 minutes) by visiting my youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/creativeoasiscoach. They’re a wonderful source of inspiration for anyone who longs to make the time and space in the life to pursue his or her creative passion.These gifted, giving women shared their talents generously by creating and donating artwork that raised more than $6,000 on the night of our celebration through silent auction. Additional profits were raised by our generous sponsors, individuals and businesses who donated to
our fabulous raffle prize basket, and the wonderful
guests who purchased tickets, CDs and special “Dancing In Limbo art & lyrics” books for a grand total of $10,775 profit to benefit Women for Women International.

The ultimate success of this event was also due in large part to the big-hearted offers of time and support from an amazing group of women who I am so proud to call my friends. They rallied to find sponsors, sell tickets, haul supplies, set-up, break down and offered me a non-stop flow of encouragement and support that lifted me up and carried me along even on the days I didn’t think I could do it. I am so grateful to them all.

I’ve learned so much more from this experience than I can relate in this short space – but I imagine I’ll be sharing more in the coming days and weeks as I process it all.

For now, I do know this – we are all capable of doing more than we think we can – sometimes you just have to follow your heart and see where it leads – and, finally, the power of love, music and art can come together in amazing ways to create awareness and raise funds to help women around the globe positively transform their lives and the lives of their families while lifting up everyone who participated in the process.

All the best from my creative oasis to yours, Jill!
Singer/Songwriter/Creativity Coach/Head Chica-in-Charge of Creative Oasis Coaching

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Following My Heart into Infinite Possibility

What is Infinite Possibility? It's a theory that in each and every moment there exist an infinite number of possible choices and outcomes in life. It's also a song on my upcoming solo CD, "Dancing in Limbo." And, it's the name of the event I'm hosting here in Dallas on Saturday, March the 27th to celebrate the release of said CD in collaboration with 13 talented female artists who have each created and donated an original piece of artwork inspired by the songs on my CD. These beautiful pieces will be sold in a silent auction and I will perform the songs live at the celebration thus creating the event "Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women" with all profits benefiting Women for Women International.

In the short video below, I share my journey into Infinite Possibility and invite you to join me.

In the beginning, I was searching for a creative way to celebrate the release of my CD - something outside the box and preferably not inside a smoky bar. I had no experience creating an event of this magnitude, fundraiser or otherwise. I was simply so inspired by the idea of combining music and art and finally having the opportunity to collaborate with some of my many talented artist friends and raising awareness and money for Women for Women International while I was at it - that I employed the "ready-fire-aim" strategy. I more or less just followed my heart and went for it. Luckily, I've had help and support from many, many wonderful people along the way including generous sponsors, raffle prize donators (now worth more than $1,000!) and, of course, the 13 gifted artists.

My good friend, Kim Hammond, was the ideal artist to pair with my song "Infinite Possibility." She and I share a long history of serendipitous moments, as well as psychic connections and experiences. I think she does an excellent job of describing her take on Infinite Possibility in her short video below.

If you're interested in attending and/or supporting "Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women" please visit the website link above. It's been truly gratifying to hear from people in other countries and states who are sending in donations and buying tickets to lend their support though they won't be able to join us for the actual event. Their reaching out has proven to me that the ripple effect is real and the possibilities are indeed infinite for us to do good in the world. What a joy!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An Artist Who Won’t Change Her Spots For Anyone

Tori Webb Pendergrass says that it’s not really a choice, she simply must remain true to her own artistic style. Several years ago, when her mother suggested that Tori try painting pieces that would appeal to a wider audience, rather than attempt to change her personal style, Tori was inspired to create this piece.

“The leopard represents me, comfortable in my own skin, while the different 'outfits' hanging in the painting represent other personas that people might like me to be.” In remaining true to her calling, Tori has built a thriving career around her art.

Tori draws on her personal narratives to create vibrant yet primal pictorial stories infused with magical realism. She has exhibited her works in galleries, colleges and rock ‘n roll clubs around the world.

For Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women (the celebration for the release of my solo CD, "Dancing in Limbo" & silent art auction benefiting Women for Women International), Tori painted a piece inspired by my song “RSVP,” which she discusses in the video below.

I find myself inspired not only by Tori’s compelling art, but by her ability to fully inhabit her life as an artist as well. In addition to creating and showing her own fine art, Tori owns and operates Pigment School of the Arts, an art school where she teaches and nurtures creative minds of all ages.

Visit her school at
www.pigmentarts.com and view her personal portfolio at www.urbanimps.com.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Inspiring Reminder to Be True to Your Creative Self!

Margaret Wolf admits there was a time when creativity took a back seat to the rest of her life, but not anymore. “I no longer steal time for my art,” says Margaret. “I made a promise to myself that the rest of my life would have to work around my creative pursuits.” A photographer/artist/writer, who recently held her one-woman show, “Three Cubed” at the Janette Kennedy Gallery in Dallas, Texas, Margaret says it’s a joy and a privilege to live a life immersed in her creative process.

As one of the 13 talented artists who agreed to donate an original piece of art to Infinite Possibility, A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women, (a celebration for the release of my solo CD, “Dancing in Limbo,” and silent art auction benefiting Women for Women International) I chose my song “Parallel Lives” for Margaret. This selection proved to be fairly serendipitous.

As she shares in her inspiring video below, although Margaret has always realized the value of living a creative life, she recently made the conscious decision to honor her true creative spirit at all times – to live her creative truth every day. She has successfully created a very satisfying MidLife Oasis™ for herself, and I for one am absolutely inspired by her!

Click here to watch connect directly to video if you're unable to view above. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSqi3YQJ56I)

No stranger to combing art and philanthropy, Margaret recently curated an charitable exhibit of 40 Dallas-based photographers (Living in Gratitude) and raised thousands of dollars for the North Texas Food Bank. “I feel lucky to be able to use my creative gifts to help others,” says Margaret.

And I feel lucky to call Margaret Wolf my friend. To see more of Margaret’s beautiful images visit her at www.margaretwolf.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

“Limbo” Offers A Solid Place For This Artist To Begin

While one might think of limbo as an indeterminate state of oblivion, “Dancing in Limbo” actually provided artist Martica Griffin with a tangible jumping off point for her painting of the same name. “I always like having a basis to begin a new piece,” says Martica. “It makes things so much easier.” This time the basis to begin happened to be the title song of my soon-to-be-released solo CD, “Dancing in Limbo.

Martica created and donated her painting “Dancing in Limbo” for my upcoming CD release/silent art auction fundraiser. “Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women” takes place in Dallas, Texas, Saturday, March 27, 2010 and will benefit Women for Women International. Please check out the all-new event website (www.infinitepossibilityevents.com) to learn more about the cause, meet the participating artists, see their amazing artwork, hear some of my music and learn how you too can be a part of Infinite Possibility.

The video below shows Martica in action as she shares a bit about her personal creative philosophy. (In the weeks leading up to Infinite Possibility I will introduce all 13 artists and share their videos here and on the event website.)

(To view full screen through YouTube click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2uGHrf5lGU)

Although “Dancing in Limbo” was the first time Martica painted a piece inspired solely by a specific song, she often uses themes as a starting point for her artwork. At present, she’s working on a new series titled “Charms of the 50 States” in which she draws inspiration from charm bracelets and offers her non-representational take on well known state symbols and icons.

Martica is now concentrating on “Southern Charms,” 10 paintings that will cover the South and still leave 40 states worth of inspiration to spare. She’s excited to announce that she will be the featured artist at Tinney Contemporary this April where “Southern Charms” debuts Saturday, April 3rd.

Martica and I became friends years ago when my first copywriting job out of college took me to an advertising agency in Nashville where she was an art director. She now owns and operates a long-standing Nashville advertising agency, ASAP (Alternative Strategic Advertising & Promotions.) As a friend, and as a creativity coach, it’s been a joy for me to watch Martica’s journey back to her love of painting over the last ten years or so. After watching her short film, and seeing her fabulous artwork, I think you’ll agree that this is a woman who has definitely created her own Mid-Life Oasis™.

All the best from my creative oasis to yours,

Jill Allison Bryan

Singer/Songwriter/Creativity Coach/Believer in Infinite Possibilities

Monday, January 25, 2010

2010 – The Year of Infinite Possibility for Me and You!

Allow me to begin this entry by extending the same forgiveness and compassion to myself that I would to any of my coaching clients, friends or family. Rather than beating myself up for not posting anything since mid-December, I’ll offer my sincere apology for the time lapse, and quickly move ahead to bigger, better and brighter news.

Since last we met I experienced a major Mid-Life Oasis moment when I successfully completed my first half-marathon at Disneyworld on Jan.9th, 2010. The weather turned unseasonably cold just as we arrived in Orlando. The morning of the race, (and when I say morning, I mean middle of the night – we boarded the bus at 3:30am!!!!) I waited along with several thousand other shivering crazy people for my 6:20am start time. When it began to sleet, I began to laugh, perhaps a little hysterically. This was definitely not what I had envisioned when I agreed to do this a year ago - running through the Magic Kingdom on a sunny, 50-degree day with Tinkerbelle scattering fairy dust on me to help me fly painlessly over the 13.1 mile course.

No matter, once I did finally cross the finish line, I may not have been able to feel my toes or nose, but the warm feeling of personal accomplishment was well worth it. I had successfully pushed myself way out of my comfort zone (way, way out) and lived to tell the tale. I felt strong. I felt invincible. And, yes, I could hear Helen Reddy somewhere in the distance singing “I Am Woman – Hear Me Roar!”

The timing couldn’t have been better, because as soon as I arrived back home in Dallas, I plunged headlong into another first-ever experience, producing “Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women”, my CD release and fundraising event benefiting Women for Women International. (Saturday, March 27, 2010)

With each passing day I’m learning more and more about what it takes to put together an event like this. If I had realized just how difficult, time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming this process could be back in August when I first had the idea, I might not have gone through with it. But, here’s the thing – if I had known it would be freezing rain on the day of my first half-marathon, I might not have done that either. And then I would have missed out on a pretty amazing life experience. So, I’m going to keep reminding myself, and you, that the possibilities really are infinite for us all. We can do whatever we put our minds and hearts to! (believe me – never in a million years would I have thought I would run a half-marathon – “wintery mix” or no – and yet, at 45, I did it and it was an amazing experience!)

Where is your heart leading you? What do you want to accomplish this year? Whatever it may be – writing a book, starting a business, planning a trip – I’m here to tell you it’s possible. Here’s to our hopes and dreams and the Infinite Possibility of them all in 2010.

All the best from my creative oasis to yours,