Simply Celebrate Newsletter June,  2010

Ever had one of those moments that seemed almost cinematic? Like everything suddenly got bigger-than-life and bright as Technicolor? I had one last week and it catapulted me directly into the heart of my life and work. Really. I know that sounds dramatic. But I feel as if all my cells got jiggled around and the muddy pond in my mind suddenly got clear and potable.

Something happened for me and I want to share it with you because it has everything to do with what “Simply Celebrate” means to me — and a promise I want to make to you.

Last week I attended a motivational/training seminar hosted by Brendon Burchard. Burchard is young and dynamic and a master of creating events that deliver amazing business tactics within a context of big-hearted passion.

Throughout the four-day seminar, Brendon kept surprising us with special guests. My cinematic moment happened when Roger Love took the stage. Love is one of the world’s leading authorities on voice and works with folks like Jeff Bridges, Reese Witherspoon, Anthony Robbins, and other people who use their voices to create a big impact. Love was at the event to teach us about tonality, breathing, and using our voices to convey our message. He shared tons of great tips on using our voices. But more than that, he had such a huge presence, was so magnetic, and made everything so damn fun. He was a living example that it isn’t so much what we say that people hear. It is our energy they feel. And wowza — I could feel his energy from way back where I was sitting in the room full of 400 attendees.

So here’s what happened. At one point, I raised my hand to say that I’ve always hated my voice. I asked how I could get rid of my high, squeaky sound and find more authority in my voice. Love said, “Come on up,” inviting me on stage.

(Insert a huge dose of grace here. I am someone with great stage fright. And for whatever reason, maybe because I’d fallen under the spell of Roger’s magnanimous personality, I was able to be on stage without feeling self-conscious and bumbly. Thank you, Grace!)

Roger talked to me about funneling my excitement and energy through my belly and mouth in a way so that it didn’t all get trapped high up and come out without any power. He had one hand on my belly and the other on my jaw, helping me shape the sounds differently. Really cool stuff. At one point, he held my larynx, had me breathe correctly, and then say, “I want more Yogi Bear in my voice.”  I breathed into my belly, used the breath to fuel my voice and really powerfully said, “I want more Yogi Bear in my LIFE!”

It just came out that way. Roger cracked up. Everyone in the audience howled. I was laughing so hard, I cried. It was a simple goofy moment, but something happened. Something genuine and real broke through.

And it created a wonderful and amazing connection for me to the hundreds of people in the room. I felt like I shared joy and delight in a way that was palpable. People kept approaching me the rest of the weekend saying how happy that moment made them. How happy my hats and fun clothes made them. People told me they wanted to meet me just because they thought I might have something to share with them. I knew it wasn’t about the hats or the goofy thing I said. It wasn’t about me. It was the pure happiness that was alive in the moment. That’s what people saw.

And that one goofy moment, born out of grace, offered me the chance to connect to so many people. I got to talk to them about the moments in their lives when they feel truly alive. One woman said that last week she and her daughter woke up early and on a whim decided to walk around the block, stopping to smell flowers and pet neighborhood dogs. It was so simple, and yet she was beaming when she told me how happy that time together made them both. Another woman, who was wearing a bold leopard-print dress told me that she usually wakes up and feels like throwing on jeans, but that she makes herself be more creative in her dress because it changes the way she walks through the day. She said, “I glide when I wear a dress like this. It changes my life.”  Other people told me stories about how they’d always wanted to wear bright colors or sing or be a little more outrageous, but they just didn’t know how.

It made me realize that we’re all really truly yearning for more delight in our lives. We want to laugh and feel color and have cinematic moments. We want our lives to feel every bit as big as we always imagined it could be. And I know that it is possible. Because it happened for me. I am someone with a history of depression and getting stuck in my head. I usually wake up in the morning feeling uninspired or anxious. I’m not one of those naturally happy people. But with the help of a lot of fabulous teachers, trick, and tools, I’ve created a truly extraordinary life. I learned that joy is a practice. Big lives can be created. We can have what we yearn for, moment by moment by moment.

So this was the most powerful part of the whole seminar for me. Really getting it, during that yummy moment on stage with Roger Love, that life can feel as big as I want. And just by being who I am, doing what I love, and sharing what I know, I can offer something necessary to the world.  I really can create a community of people who all want to experience how momentous our lives are. How meaningful each moment can be. How unique each of us is.

This is possible.

Last weekend, I didn’t just fall in love with Roger Love’s presence. I fell in love with every single person I met who is so dedicated to his/her passion and message. I fell in love with the journey of stripping away all the things that hold us back from expressing ourselves and seeing color and feeling free and breathing deeply and laughing til we cry. I fell in love with my own story and path and all the things that led me to this moment, now.  I fell in love with the possibility of something new in every moment. Something unexpected. Something alive.

Am buzzing with glee and gratitude. Wanting to say this, to share it … in order to cement it in. These kinds of motivational events set me on fire. But I understand that it is a daily practice to stay lit up. It is easy for me to get tired or depressed or frustrated or uncertain. It is easy to fall into ineffective work styles or procrastination. There is so much I want to accomplish and life goes by fast. I wanted to get this all down on “paper” in order to have something to remind me of what’s possible when I step outside of story and wake up to who I am and what I want to do. AND, most importantly, that when I do wake up in that way, my capacity to serve and connect with others is limitless.

So this is where my promise to you comes in. And a favor I want to ask.

Here’s the promise: I want to do everything I can to share what I’ve learned in life about the practice of finding more color and joy. I want to create an online space where people can drop by and experience a jolt of energy or inspiration. I want to communicate with you more and offer more practices and tips.  I also want to share more of the extraordinary people I meet along the way. There are so many people doing so many amazing things out there.

And here’s the favor: I want you to recognize that YOU are one of the extraordinary people I’m talking about. YOU are full of ideas and practices and helpful thoughts. YOU are an essential part of the life force behind Simply celebrate. My biz partner, Tricia, and I can’t do this alone. It takes a village to remind one another of the practice of turning to joy, moment by moment. We really want you to join us in sharing ideas and thoughts about what it means to celebrate who we are, the people we love, and the lives we lead.

Our redesigned newsletter is one of the first steps we’re taking in expressing our commitment to you. In the next couple weeks you’ll be receiving a survey from us, via Survey Monkey. We’re hoping you’ll take a few minutes to give us some feedback on how we can better connect to you; what content would be most helpful; and what sorts of extraordinary people, resources, and products we can introduce to you.

If you don’t already subscribe to the newsletter, you can do so here. Also, if you know folks whom you think would like a little more color and connection in their lives, would you pass our information along to them? We’ve got a great free gift for folks who sign up: a list of 101 unique gifts to make or buy.

May your days be filled with the full range of color!

With deep gratitude,

Photo credits/Brendon Burchard Experts Academy: Debbie Lefever