I've had this song, "It's Impossible" running through my head all week. It's an old school one from a singer my mom loved, Perry Como. Actually, I loved it too. The first lyrics are: "It's impossible, ask the sun to leave the sky, it's just impossible..."
That word "impossible" got planted in my head last week via a book by a master business/life coach, Steve Chandler. I had read two of his books previously,
Reinventing Yourself (brilliant), then his book Fearless, which got this review from Dale Dauten of the Boston Globe, "If you combined the best of Wayne Dyer and Anthony Robbins, it wouldn't be half as good as Steve Chandler."
Here's what makes him good. He's a fun read, short chapters, deceptively easy. Note, I said, "deceptively." Why? I'll be reading one of these short chapters, enjoying the anecdotes, when he hits me over the head with a question... or a challenge. And damn, I hate when that happens, because he is constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone. I walk away, annoyed. Then I love it. Well, "love" may be too strong a word. I resist it, I fight with it, I beat that challenge to the ground. But I do it. And I do it because he's done it.
Like me, he's in a recovery program (and yes, I reveal that because he reveals it in his books). It's a different program, but with the same principles, and his story is much more dramatic than mine. But what he's learned, as I have, is that people are so much more than they realize. There is so much untapped potential in human beings that it is mind-boggling. We could change the world if we just get off our butts and step into courage to live those dreams and desires that keep poking at us. It is why he coaches. It is why I coach, because I see it too. I have from a very young age.
This latest challenge leapt out at me from his book, The Life Coaching Connection.
Now, I have never met Steve. I talked to him once on the phone, and we are connected via The School of Womanly Arts in NYC, so I know what magic happens when he works with his clients, so I listen. The assignment he suggests, "Sit down and write an impossible future."
Well, I've been living an impossible future! I wrote it all out via a question my therapist asked during my heart-wrenching divorce 12 years ago. I'd had a successful theater career in the lovely city of Portsmouth. Living that one theater dream saved me through a very long, painful, lonely marriage, where I stayed to raise my wonderful children. My therapist said, "You've been living a life of 'should' in your marriage, but what do you want? Write me a list." As I worked that list... wanting to live a bigger life, wanting to take a bigger message out into the world, wanting to have more fun and freedom, little did I know where that would take me.
Where it took me, at age 51, was a move from my four bedroom colonial in New Hampshire, to a one bedroom walk-up in NYC. Where it took me was a profound (and ultimately hilarious) spiritual journey, which landed me in India. It led to me writing my solo show comedy, "Hot Mama Mahatma", producing it and performing it to rave audiences in NYC. It led me to write a tv pilot script which has thus far gotten me accolades from two Emmy winning writers and directors.
Lately it has led me to write/direct/produce/perform the comic cabaret variety show of song/dance/burlesque in NYC titled, "The Goddess Revue: The Journey of Turned On Women!" With my talented cast, Lauren Abrami, Kelly Garone, Erica Bryan, Omayra Rolon, Kitty Cavalier (Mary McGinn), and Vivi La Voix (Julie Nelson), we have sold it out twice at The Metropolitan Room in NYC and are heading for a third on Saturday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m. With it's multi-generational cast, ages 26 to 61 (moi), we are shattering stereotypes left and right!
I've even been featured recently in two books on fearless women! Mary Ann Halpin's beautiful photo book, Fearless Women: Visions of a New World, and Helene Lerner's inspiring book, In Her Power and I was featured in her public television special of the same name. Isn't that enough?
Here's where Steve Chandler bugs me. He tells me to keep going. Write out an impossible future? Wasn't this impossible enough? I've spent these past years in NYC taking classes -- in writing/producing/acting/singing, but also classes in women's self-empowerment and pleasure. I've spent an enormous amount of time and money. Why? Because each one of my shows delivers a bigger message... the power of taking the risk and living your dreams.
And just when I want to stop, I read this from him and I want to scream. My shoulders are exhausted from sitting at the computer, generating more audience for this third show, then writing the blogs encouraging women to coach with me, so I can help them step into their dreams and live fearlessly. Damn, this is work. And this week particularly, I have wanted to run away, to bag it all. But the universe keeps poking at me, via Chandler and so many others, to keep going.
But here's the secret: This has also been a hoot. These past 10 years have been a boatload of personal discovery, growth, fun and pleasure. And I've gotten more creative! I surprise myself. I'm not just passing time, I'm living passion! Somebody recently called me a "Renaissance Woman." I loved that, but I believe we all are. People have such buried treasure of talent and creativity. We just need to move past the fear and allow it out. That where coaches come in.
So, I'm outing myself here. Here is my impossible dream: I want to inspire people, with the coaching, the shows, with every gift and talent I have.
I want this show to be a hit. People have been wild for it, as they were for my solo show. I want to combine the two, and it turn into a blockbuster movie (kind of like the surprise hit, My Big, Fat Greek Wedding). If it has to be a Broadway show first, I could be down with that. Then I want to win the Tony, the Oscar, the Emmy (for my tv pilot script), The Grammy (yes, I've been writing songs too). Yes, I want the fame for a particular reason: for influence -- so that I can be in the rooms working with the big change agents in the world.
Here's the thing. We have our gifts and talents for a reason. Our dreams and desires mean something. They are intuitive signs connecting us to that which is greater than ourselves. If we would all have the guts, we could change the world. Chandler knows this. So do I. Come change it with us.