It's 6am, still dark out, and rain is softly falling.
I'm sitting outside my hotel room door on a protected stairwell, so I won't wake my roomates, typing on my laptop like a junkie waiting for a score.
I need these moments of quiet reflection to soak in all that is happening this weekend.
Creative Alliance began yesterday morning at Calliote Canyon, a breathtakingly beautiful home nestled in the hills north of Los Angeles. There is a large yurt, a babbling creek and a fire pit - in short, it's the perfect place to step off the grid, rejunvenate, unwind and let creative juices flow.
Yesterday afternoon we all gathered in the yurt. Forty women, sitting in a circle, sharing their hopes and dreams, communing over a common purpose: foster creativity and nurture authentic relationships in the online world.
As people introduced themselves and shared their dreams, frustrations and hopes, heads nodded all around the room. There was laughter, clapping and comaraderie. Some people articulated their aspirations out loud for the first time ever, without fear of ridicule. With so many creative, smart, entrepreneurial women in the room, ideas floated through the air like little sparkling diamonds. It was grace in motion.
It was a kind of like being at a recovery meeting; sitting together in a roomful of people - some who I know, some who I don't - where nobody wants to see you fail. It's a rare event indeed, particularly in what can be a cut-throat, drama filled world, to assemble and share our experience, strength and hope to help make our own dreams a reality and help others achieve theirs.
Some of these women are household names, at least in the microcosm of the blogosphere, and are sharing what they have learned, how they stay the course, what they aspire to achieve next. Some, like me, are new to the table and are soaking it in like a sponge, drafting behind their expertise with something like awe and more than a little respect.
I know how obvious and trite that sounds, like something right out of the pages of a cheesy self-help book. But for me, it's not obvious. Not at all. For most of my life I have been so externally focused, so determined to measure up to other peoples' standards for themselves
and for me, that this self-grounded sensation is new.
I like it.
The first light of dawn is peeking through, now. People are stirring, the smell of freshly brewed coffee fills the air. I've gotten my blogging fix, huddled here on the stairwell, and I can't wait to see what today brings.