taking flight into art, love, and life (the blog)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Creative Connection Event




It's been a long time since I've been to any kind of creative retreat or event, and so I was a little nervous about attending The Creative Connection Event - mainly nervous about leaving True,  about whether or not I would still feel the buzz of creative love and energy that often flows when a bunch of creative women get together, and of course, about what I would wear. But I'm so glad I went. It was FANTASTIC. I barely took any photos but I'll share what I have :)

I know that these kinds of events can be magic, that they have the capacity to transform lives. And that is exactly what this event did in the most unique of ways. I think of the TCC event as a perfect marriage between purely creative retreats and a conference for creative women entrepreneurs (at all levels). There were creative workshops mixed in with biz panels mixed in with pitch slams mixed in with a craft market mixed in with tutorials (cricut, here I come!) mixed in with shared meals and speakers and inspiring stories and good food and on and on. I LOVED the mix of women crafters of all levels hanging out, learning from one another, both in craft and in biz tips. My kind of place.
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Me with Jinger, Michelle + Claudine, me + Flyer Liv, Karen + me
I also LOVED being surrounded by people who completely and utterly understand my lifestyle - the hopping in and out of biz world and mama world, the passion, the creativity, the lack of showers and general hygiene that comes with really FULL lives of family and business and creativity. There were shared laughs of understanding, big comforting hugs, and a lot of omg, that outfit is awesome between all who attended.

I'm reminded that wherever we are in our lives, there is a place for us. For me, back in 2006 I found my place at art retreats like Artfest. I soaked up all I could - these were experieces that changed my life and started me down a creative life path alongside an amazing community of people who were doing the same thing. A couple of years later, I found my place teaching at creative retreats - experiences that helped me grow professionally. And now as I continue to happily skip down the yellow brick road of being a creative biz woman, I found my place at TCC alongside many many other women experiencing similar hurdles and triumphs that come with strarting, owning, running, growing, building a life around creativity.
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Quick self portrait in hotel room, Leigh + her mom laughing
Do you ever find yourself surprised by tears inside sacred moments? I'm not sure why, but sometimes I find myself tearful when I sit inside an empty church. Any church. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it's just a moment, a reflective few seconds of knowing that my little spirit is just one of many inside a remarkable path on this earth. The moment feels good, like a gentle but powerful confirmation that there is something greater, much greater than myself, and I'm just happy to be a part of the collective. In some ways it feels like the coziest and most comforting knowing that I am well taken care of and that something much bigger than me is holding me tightly and securely in love.

While listening to Jo speak one evening to the TCC attendees, I looked around and saw hundreds of women around me and I had that same similar feeling that I get sometimes when in a church. Just a knowing, an understanding that there was something special, something sacred happening in that space with all those women. I got goosebumps, and I got a little tearful.
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(me, with 12 yr old Olivia, me with Becky Higgins, me with Flyers Leanne + Petra)
I often hear people say that they feel closest to god/spirit/source when they are doing what they love.  For some of us, it's out in nature when we are quiet and surrounded by the trees or in the water on a surfboard or on the top of a mountain. For some of us it's church. For some, it's when we are with our children. For me, it's when I'm creating or when I'm talking to women who are being brave with their lives. There is nothing more powerful than sharing our stories and our lives. And that is what TCC was about for me - an affirming experience that reminded me that I'm a part of something bigger, something sacred, something meaningful when I do what I love.

In addtion to all of that, it was FUN! So fun! I learned a ton, came home with enough inspiration to last a long, long while, made a lot of new friends, and met a few of my creative heros!
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Me, Stacy Julian, Holly Becker, Leslie Shewring
Here are some highlights:
- Jo (who organized and created this amazing event!) said something that struck me. She said that so often our creative dreams are carried on the backs of our family and friends. So true and it made me pause for a moment of pure gratitude to those closest in my life who have carried so much of the weight of my dreams. It takes a village. 
- Spending some time with Lilla Rogers who I look up to so much.
Omg I met @timholtz!!!!!!
Tim Holtz
- Meeting Tim Holtz. I'm pretty sure I made a fool out of myself but that's what happens when I get excited. I regress to junior high. Oh well...
- Meeting Becky Higgins. I'm a HUGE fan and have always wanted to try her project life. My goal is try it in 2012.
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Leigh + me
- Spending some good quality time with Leigh. Adore her. And her mom.
- Sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. Eating, eating, eating
- Working with Beth and launching Hello Soul, Hello Business while we were together.
- I want to move in with Stacy Julian, please. 
- Meeting so many flyers who have taken my ecourse or read the ebooks. There were so many of them and it was AWESOME to meet their sweet faces, hear their stories, and encourage them to keep flying.
- Meeting Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring and sharing a couple of meals with them. I am now a washi tape fan! Both are as lovely in person as they are on their blogs.
- Connecting with countless friends (new + old), sharing tips, resources and stories of family, biz, and creativity.

My heart is full. HUGE thanks to Jo and to Nancy (I cannot believe I don't have a single photo of them!) for birthing such an important event. They are both visionaries, both creative superheros, both incredibly talented in what they offer. I am so grateful to have been a part of something so truly remarkable and affirming!

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