Monday, April 29, 2013

For Love and For Money--my weekend with Lisa Sonora Beam

A few weeks ago Coach Max sent me a note to say hello and to ask if I wanted to meet up at a workshop she would be helping out with--The Creative Entrepreneur taught by Lisa Sonora Beam. I of course wanted to meet the fabulous Max face to face but I didn't know about going to a workshop. I had just spent a non trivial sum of money to have a blockage removed from my cat's bowels (Kitty is ok but we needed to shave him so future deadly hairballs wouldn't form). Still, I was really attracted to the idea--a weekend away in a cute little town doing art. It sounded like a much needed departure from my daily life. I had a burst of warm feelings and decided to invest in my mental health. I didn't care so much about the entrepreneurial aspect as I did about getting away and having some light hearted rest.

In the days leading up to the retreat I read the materials for the workshop, collected the many whimsical materials, read Lisa's blog (utterly charming--but I was getting some ideas that she was far more than an art teacher). I had no idea what kind of magic she had up her sleeve but I was sure I was at the very least going to enjoy the process.

The weekend ended up being so much more than just a restful retreat with colored pencils and cool drinks. Wrapped inside an accomplished heart centered artist is one of the most practical and savvy business coaches I have ever met in any venue. Little did I know my life was about to change.

The first afternoon started with cups of tea at the studio. It was a small class so we had an opportunity to chat one on one. At 5:30PM sharp the workshop began.

We started with basic ground rules for time in the studio--this was to make sure everyone was present and able to have the space and quiet to really go deep and help us find our answers. We began with a simple art project that would be a tool we turned to time and again through the weekend. In a matter of minutes we were quietly painting--my own performance anxiety subsiding as I pushed swathes of saturated color across the page--a prelude to an altered state that allowed me to focus and be in the moment. We gathered images from piles of magazines and calendars--things that we found deeply pleasing--these were to be used over the weekend. There was some discussion about the content of the rest of the workshop and before I knew it two hours had gone by and I was ready for some dinner and quiet time.

The remainder of the weekend was a structured exploration of our best talents and abilities, discovering customer needs and defining areas where our talents best could solve customer needs. We did business strategy, planning, and scoped some initial product offerings all in a focused confidential environment.

None of this felt like work. We played all weekend. I've been to entrepreneurial classes before--not once have I had an experience like this. I literally vibrated all weekend long (and not because of the french press coffee Coach Max kept offering me).

I had solid take-aways from the weekend. Through Lisa's coaching, following her process and with group interaction I had one new idea for a business that I had never contemplated before. I also gained awareness that I do what I call so many other people out on--devaluing and downplaying my professional experience and ability. I tend to always think there is some credibility gap I need to cross experience or training away from a starting point. I realized I had skills I could use today to build a business with--that I have everything I need (not that I won't need ongoing education--everyone needs that).

My part in getting to my starting point is doing the homework to better refine what it is I want to do (this doesn't happen over night or in a weekend--this is CRITICAL to understand this before launching a business).

I cannot recommend this workshop highly enough. For the amount of information and attention I received, the workshop fee was very modest. I felt I got so much more than either a creative weekend or an entrepreneur's bootcamp could offer me.

If you are struggling to start your small business or need help getting to the next level, this is the right workshop. Click here to visit Lisa Sonora Beam The Creative Entrepreneur.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 20-25

Fatigue, I don't know
Sometimes things just want to stop
and then start again

Friday, April 19, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 19

who I thought I was

not the yelling voice in my mind
not the interpreted words of others
nor what I thought someone said
    or thought

not the memory of my potential
nor the projected wishes of elders

 not some better future self

when I met me for coffee
and listened as I told my long story
my heart broke
hearing the confusion that
I thought was just the domain of others

coming from the face
I never noticed
because I was brushing my teeth
were words that
made me reach out and take my hand

as I met my gaze
I was struck that the behind the eyes
feeling I felt as cold and angry
only looked wistful projecting out

how could I not have recognized
this person for so long

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 17

voicemail by voicemail


Hey its Rachel

and on India

and the other



luncheon meeting


there are bridge burns

looking forward


we were wondering

are wondering

where this well

And apparently

as usual

we're rather childish

and so talk (xxx) xxx-xxx

If you could

we don't really go


otherwise people

so far chill

around building 17


got your name



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 16

Customer Satisfaction Survey

on a scale of one to five

with one being

not at all

and five being

supreme excellence of an almost orgasmic nature

please rate the following

Do you find me useful

Do I meet all operating parameters

Do you find my interface accessible and user friendly

Do I respond to commands and
     use fuzzy intelligence
          to do what ever it is you are asking for
               even though you don't know how to ask for what you need

Do I operate quietly
     except for the purr of highly productive cycles

Does my exterior resist most scratches and abrasions
     and deflect most dings and dents

and when it comes down to that

will you be able to easily replace
     me in whole or in part
          when I finally say

fuck off

Monday, April 15, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 15

Development Proposal

Notice to:
mustard greens
minute timers
unidentified bush with tiny purple flowers
tumble weeds
fox tails
garden snakes
ground squirrels
burrowing owls
feral cats
field mice
beer cans
broken bottles
abandoned shopping cart
doritos wrappers
cigarette butts
office chair

a proposal
has been submitted
to the city of San Jose
to develop 
the open field
at the corner of
orchard and component

there will be a hearing
where you can voice
your concerns

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 14

just so

clear day
no clouds

lilacs that remind
but never last

sunlight that warms
but not enough to burn

sound of lawnmowers
and small birds in nests

apple blossoms
last oranges

even the weeds look intentional

Saturday, April 13, 2013


i'm back

i had the idea
there was some where I was going
that started here

that I was diverted

and that coming here
would set things straight

but seeing this place I think

there is no back to be at

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 11

i left my homework on the bus

to whom it may concern
I'm so sorry
I forgot to be inspired today

instead I had a good day
whistled while I worked
high fived a team mate
walked in the sun

and the heat and pressure needed
to produce
some verse
just never built up

instead I had nice thoughts
about good friends
ate my dinner slowly
called my mother
and gazed lovingly at my wife

a poem just didn't happen
life goes on--I will be deep tomorrow

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 10

little animal

your watchful watchful eyes
see in the angry stare an assesment
of your essence
although that stare doesn't see you
just your shape and the space it occupies

you learned something
a myth
a lie
a picture with you in the center
and the activity all swirling
in the same direction
the same outcomes
all a lie because of something you think you saw
something that you thought was the truth of you

faces are the same
and the words are the same
and you look in the mirror
and it all matches perfectly
with the myth
with the lie
the something you think you saw
the something that you thought was the truth of you

when you get up in the morning
and you collect the memories
that cement you to this reality
not the reality where you flew past the highwires
in a paper airplane
and the grasses held their own conversations
that reality is different
but this one is based on something you think you saw
this reality that you thought was the truth of you

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 8


when you were alive
I wished you were dead

you were the butt of my jokes
and the cause of every problem

when you were sick
I thought it was repayment

the fulfillment of your evil mind
proof of a just god

but then after time
I just saw you were sick

like good people I knew
the ones I agreed with

for whom such a fate was unfair
proof that god doesn't exist


when you were finally dead
I was sorry

that the time I spent hating
and joking
and twisting in the sheet of my outrage

that I wasn't doing
the things I knew
were the right things to do
to balance out you

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 7

I shall not compare thee to a summer's day

if you were wondering
why a love poem hasn't happened
and why my words halt
where they once butterfly boogied
past my flapping gums

words fail me
in the wake of our lives
as I now know you by
the mirroring of our flaws
and to feel like I'm falling
only to be caught by you
when I thought your arms were
too full

the things we've seen aren't pretty
and sometimes we pass a
single respirator back and forth
as we kick together
towards the surface

oh but the surface
with its sunlight
and oxygen
waits for us
as we kick
and breath
and hold on to each other

I didn't know you could swim so well

Saturday, April 6, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 6

can't get my head straight
keep it simple...who me?
too much cleverness

Friday, April 5, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 5

these and more

The unreasonable love that ended in crying

To keep a dark vigil that would end only in dying

To be quiet one time and another a blaze

To finally shake off my torpor and haze

Both the stupid and the kind things I have said

To drink all the wine before securing the bread

To complain of my form yet to stay in my chair

To spend a small fortune on cutting my hair

To take risks on faith not counting the cost

Driving for hours not admitting I'm lost

To dive in a lake filled with water once frozen

These are all things I can say I have chosen

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 4

You aren't sorry

You want things to be the same

You want to pretend

You don't want to pay the bill

You want the past to be something else

You want to think I think it's ok

You want the pain to end

You want to feel safe again

You want a smooth world that will never scratch you

You want some other road

You want comfort

but most of all

You just want me to stop looking at you
the way I'm looking at you now

It makes you feel sorry but somehow

You aren't sorry

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NoPoWriMo-Day 3

How I Plan My Garden

Where did that red rose come from?
Don't know

Why don't you get rid of the Scotch Broom?
Don't know

Did the Lamb's Ears spread by root or by seed?
Don't know

How will you treat the aphids this year?
Don't know

Your peach tree isn't thriving...why?
Don't know

You have so many kinds of many?
Don't know

Why did you plant so much purple?
Don't know

Where does the rabbit live? How many are there?
 Don't know

Will you rotate the tomato bed?
Don't know

Where do all these questions come from?
Don't know

When will I finally be present?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 2

am not am

I am a writer
not a reader
of writers
who write about writing

I am a doer
not a doing
of talkers
who talk about doing

I am a reader
but not a reader
of writings about writings
I should be reading

I am a thinker
but not a fighter
about thoughts
some other one thinks

I am a have
not that I have to do something
but that I have something to do

Monday, April 1, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 1


She begins
by turning all
the lights on
through the house

ending at the bath
she dials it to hot

light heat steam

invoking one voice
silencing others

"your downward mobility is your privledge"
she said and created her own voluptuous magic
ignoring skinny pale scolds who
had choices before they knew they were choices