A Room of One’s Own: Why we need sacred spaces in order to create.

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A few months ago, we had a feng shui master and his wife over for dinner. His wife and I were talking about our creative writing ventures and, when the master overheard, he chimed in with the simple question, “Where is your writing space? I love to see creative spaces.” I stuttered around an answer. The kitchen counter after the kids are asleep? A stolen afternoon at a coffee shop with thirty other coffee drinkers? The lobby of the rec center while my kids swim?

His look bored into my soul. He said, “Your writing will never take you seriously if you don’t have a sacred space to create in.” In that moment I realized what he was saying was true, but that actually doing something about it felt inconvenient.

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Freaking Out? Here’s 5 Ways Elizabeth Gilbert Deals with Fear

I recently interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert for our Emerging Women Podcast on the subject of Creativity and Fear (the focus of her newest book, Big Magic, due out in September). The fact that this wildly successful woman still struggles with fear gives me hope! The insights Liz shared in our conversation are not just for artists and writers. They can apply to any of us who are working on our passions, whether in business or at the writing desk.

Liz’s key to embracing fear: “It’s really about working with your fear and around your fear, without denying it and without attacking it.” But how? Check out these excerpts from my most recent podcast conversation with Liz: Creating Big Magic – Part 1. 

5 Ways Elizabeth Gilbert Deals with Fear:

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Authentic Success in the New Year ~ with a little help from Liz Gilbert

If you’re like me, you get a warm feeling when you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook posts. She is a true role-model – not simply because she is a successful New York Times best-selling author, but because her she is constantly examining what success really means for her.

Whether she’s sharing her rituals, her favorite moments, her missteps, her lessons learned (and relearned) on the path to authentic success, she does it with an endlessly endearing sense of humor about herself that is so totally relatable it feels like it’s coming from a best-loved big sister.

As the clean slate of the New Year approaches, and New Year’s resolutions lists loom large on our social media feeds, I find tremendous comfort in the Grace&Fire podcast conversation we had before the first Emerging Women Live. Here are some of the things Liz said that stand out as I begin to gently shape my intentions for 2015:

“Curiosity is given to you, but your response is your job, and whether you take responsibility for that curiosity is your job.”

 

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Creative Curiosity: Discovering Wisdom in the Details of our Lives with Liz Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is the beloved author of the 2006 runaway bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. At the time of this interview, her TED talk on creativity has over 8 million views, and her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, has been celebrated as “the novel of a lifetime” by O Magazine. Liz was a featured presenter at the 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference, and the following is a transcript of the conversation we had just before that event.

 

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Chantal Pierrat: There’s a lot of places that we’ll probably end up going today, but I wanted to start with your book since it’s sitting here right in my hands. You were so kind to send me an unproofed copy. I’ve had a chance to dig in a little bit, and I have to say, it’s kind of a page-turner. 

Elizabeth Gilbert: Oh, I’m so glad it’s making you turn the pages. That’s what I want. I want you to sprain your wrist turning pages with this book. [Laughs]

CP: Yes, I’m definitely falling down the rabbit hole. But it’s interesting—I’ve not read your fiction. I’ve read, obviously, Eat, Pray, Love, which had such a big effect on me. I’m curious to hear more about how this process was for you, not really writing about yourself. In the last two books, you’ve been writing memoir style. How did this feel?

EG: Well, it felt like a homecoming. That would be the word that I would use, that popped into my mind. It’s true, you’re not the only person who hasn’t read my fiction! [Laughs] I started out as a writer of fiction DSC_7085 (1)many years ago, and the only thing I ever wanted to be my whole life, my only dream as a writer, was to write short stories and novels. 

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Accessing Your Feminine Power with Claire Zammit

The article below is excerpted from the eye-opening keynote on Feminine Power Claire Zammit gave at Emerging Women Live 2013, and from my Grace & Fire podcast with her before the event. Claire is the co-creator of the Feminine Power training courses for women and co-leads a thriving learning community of hundreds of thousands of women throughout the world. She is a gifted and highly trained specialist in transformative education that gives her audience access to life-altering shifts, leading to embodied and lasting change. Read on to find out her definition of Feminine Power and why we all need it to make our destiny a reality.

“Masculine power is the power to create those things we can control and predict. Feminine power is the power to create those things that we can’t control.”[inline]twitter-logo-ew[/inline]

Claire ZammitCP: Six years ago, you made the decision to start trusting yourself and your abilities so that you could thrive in life. How did that decision come about?

CZ: I spent years of my life waiting to be “discovered.” I always felt like something was going to happen, or should happen, that was going to enable me to become all that I knew I could be. And I was very sad and confused when those opportunities never came.

And so late one night, by candlelight, I prayed for guidance. I knew I couldn’t just skip over this and continue on the course that I was on, and I didn’t know the answer, but I knew I needed to make a commitment to find out. And so, in the darkest hour of that dark night, I just surrendered, open, and I said, “Help, universe,” even though I doubted anybody was there listening.

And I had a very deep and powerful experience. It was almost like a mystical experience where I felt an inner voice say to me, “Claire, you have to have faith in yourself. And you have to believe that all of life is organizing around your success. Even though you don’t have any evidence for it, and even though you don’t know what to do, begin to make choices and take actions in your life aligned with a sense of faith.”

“You have to believe that all of life is organizing around your success.”[inline]twitter-logo-ew[/inline]

So I went to sleep with that thought, and I woke up the next morning and I said, “Okay, what would I do if I really believed in myself and I believed that life was organizing around my success?” And immediately I had access to a very deep intuition that said, “Go and get an office space.”
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Juicy Bites: Creativity & Courage — Key Ingredients of a Fully Expressed Life

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This week in Juicy Bites:

  • Remember Anne Lamott’s timeless advice on writing and creativity
  • Redefine creative goal-setting with Danielle LaPorte
  • Take a guided audio journey to identify creative blocks
  • Learn 5 tips for managing a sudden flood of creativity
  • Be inspired by world leaders’ tributes to human rights champion Nelson Mandela

At the end of this post, we encourage you to join us for a conversation. This week’s Juicy Bites question for you, dear emerging women, is:

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Emerging Women Live Speaker Highlights Part One

 

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We are so grateful for each and everyone of you who participated in Emerging Women Live 2013. Check out our favorite Highlights in the video above.

We are still in awe with the level of engagement and the fantastic support we received from you. We are so looking forward to new projects and events, but for now we are still buzzing with excitement and joy about our first edition of Emerging Women Live. Please leave a comment below and tell us what inspired YOU the most at #EWLive13.

1. Brené Brown on The Power of Vulnerability

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Brené dispeled the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argued that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.  She explained how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief and disappointment and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation and creativity.

 

2. Elizabeth Gilbert on Big Magic: Thoughts on Creative Living

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The first and scariest step is this: believing there is magic in our lives. Elizabeth Gilbert explored how we can overcome our preconceptions to embrace the irrational but beautiful notions of kismet, synchronicity, and hidden messages that lead us on our true path.

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Gratitude for Emerging Women Live 2013

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Just how much love and connection can one let in over a 4-day period? Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more, somehow my heart opened wider to let in even more joy.

I am not sure exactly what the secret ingredient was that led to the BIG MAGIC that was present throughout the event, but it seems that we all brought our wands with us to Emerging Women Live, and I am still floating as a result.

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Juicy Bites: Women Heroines in Literature and Film

EW130029_JuicyBites_960x150This week we find out:

  • Literature’s most beloved women heroines
  • Who is the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker
  • What are 3 communication mistakes that you can easily avoid
  • The real meaning of self-compassion and how it differs from self-esteem
  • Messy or tidy — which is better for creativity?

At the end of this post, we encourage you to join us for a conversation. This week’s Juicy Bites question for you, dear emerging women, is:

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1. Well-Read Women: Gorgeous Watercolor Portraits of Literature’s Most Beloved Heroines via Brain Pickings

The New-York-based painter and fashion illustrator Samantha Hahn is celebrating women in fiction. This book is a fascinating collection of expressive watercolor depictions paired with a memorable quote, of such literary icons as Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, Holly Golightly, and Clarissa Dalloway.

JANE EYRE 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë JANE EYRE
‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Brontë

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Highlighted EWLive13 Speaker: Elizabeth Gilbert

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Annie Proulx has called her “a writer of incandescent talent.” The author of 2006′s runaway bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is unquestionably one of her generation’s most beloved memoirists. Eat, Pray, Love, which has sold more than ten million copies worldwide, is Gilbert’s memoir of soul-searching and international exploration in the wake of her devastating divorce. Gilbert is a distinguished journalist who began her career writing for Harper’s Bazaar, Spin, the New York Times Magazine, and GQ. In 2002, her book The Last American Man was a Finalist for the National Book Award. Committed, the deeply satisfying follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love, tells the story of Gilbert’s unexpected plunge into second marriage—this time to Felipe, the man with whom she falls in love at the end of Eat, Pray, Love. Part memoir, part meditation on marriage as a sociohistorical institution, Committed is rich with Gilbert’s bright, engaging voice and characteristic playful humor. Gilbert lives with her husband in New Jersey. She recently finished a novel, The Signature of All Things, to be published in the fall of 2013.

Elizabeth-GilbertElizabeth Gilbert is a main keynote at Emerging Women Live 2013. She will share with us the “Big Magic: Thoughts on Creative Living”

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Power Party Seattle Speaker: Danielle LaPorte

collageDanielle LaPorte is an authentic powerhouse.

All it takes to understand and appreciate that is to simply go to her website and read a blog post, watch a video, or listen to her speak. Her unique brand of wisdom is a refreshing remedy for all the overused and outdated self-help/business/marketing practices out there. Danielle’s approach is different. It’s insightful, smart and engaging.

Danielle encourages us to make room in our lives for the truth of who we are, to embrace our neglected passions, to respect our fears, and to welcome our authentic powers. In an interview she mentioned:

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