Post-Conference Reflections

Experiment with Lensbaby...see more at my Flickr

I've been back for nearly two weeks, and I am in awe of how the dream conference shifted my consciousness. I had an inkling before I left that something major would happen in Chicago, but I tried not to think about it while I was there lest I find significance in irrelevant things like how the waiter folded my napkin on the third night. I believe looking for synchronicity is a fine art, one that takes discrimination (although, I suppose one could argue there is significance in everything!).

The more I think about what message the conference brought to me, the more I see two clear themes emerge: I need to make my health my priority, and I need to stop hiding myself and my talents.

About my health: I had one of the most challenging weekends I've had in a long time this past weekend, experiencing pain that had me in bed for two days. I have avoided Western doctors for four years and yesterday, on the recommendation of a friend, I finally sat down and made the call. I have an appointment tomorrow. I'm a bit scared and I am trying not to let my past experiences color what I have in store for me. My hope is that I will get questions answered and that there is help for me that doesn't just include taking medications or getting surgery. I want to get to the core of the problem and take measures to truly heal it and prevent it from returning.

Making that phone call felt monumental. It tells me I am finally ready to take care of myself, that I am finally ready to listen to the signals my body and my dreams send me regularly. I tend to punish my body and I've started to wonder where I think that will get me. It deserves my respect and attention.

About sharing my talents: This is a recurring theme for me. I tend to make myself small, something I learned growing up. But all the messages in the last two weeks have been to ignore that urge and to instead be BIG. To bravely put myself and my talents out there. And to stop apologizing for who I am, hiding who I am, and feeling I am not good enough. I am good enough. People do want to hear what I have to say, and they want to see what I create.

As a result of this revelation, I am even more firm about my conviction to send some of my children's manuscripts back out to publishers. In a month I'll receive the brand new edition of the Children's Writers and Illustrator's Market and right now I'm polishing three manuscripts so they'll be ready to send when the Market arrives in the mail. Look how far I've come. Four years ago, I dissolved my contracts with my old publisher and I began a downward spiral, believing my career as an author was caput. This rebirth feels scary and painful and absolutely wonderful.

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