Open Studio Hours and Essential Apparel, baby

Let's talk!

I'd like to experiment with using the Google+ Hangout feature to hold Open Studio Hours where I'll be available to live video conference with Essential Journey course participants. Whether you've completed your course or it's in the mail on its way, whether you're working on Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story or The Iconic Self, I would love to see you and check in. What are your intentions, what breakthroughs are you having, or what questions have come up?

I will also experiment a bit with days and times--with participants around the world it's difficult to hit all the relevant time zones at once. My first Open Studio Session will be next Thursday, February 2nd, from 10-11am EST. I believe we're limited to 10 participants in each session. If you'd like to join me, send me a quick note using the contact link above, just to let me know what course(s) you are working on or may have completed. I'll send out a reminder email next week, along with some quick instructions regarding how to join us. If the timing of this first session doesn't work for you, let me know what days or times might and I'll keep you posted about other Open Studio Hours in the upcoming weeks.

The Iconic Self launched yesterday, and all the fun shirts we posted last week are also now availalble, either as part of the Home Retreat or individually:

Remember Who You Are

Essential Apparel: Iconic Shirts

$30 USD, ships free worldwide



Select Your Size(s) and Style(s)

"So Good" Vintage Tees feature intentionally distressed edges, super-soft cotton and light blue text. These run small, so size up if possible. This design is also available in our popular Curvy Girl style (Gildan UltraCotton shirt), which runs true to size (see drop-down menu).




"Closet Genius" Clark Kent Tanks are soft and stretchy with navy print. These run small, so size up if possible.




"Gentle Spirit" Clark Kent Tanks feature black print on a white background. Perfect for layering under other items, this runs small so size up if possible.



Iconic in the Making: Finishing Touches

Rejuvenate. Reconnect. Retreat. The home retreat tote, and a special delivery from The Chocolate Room.We're wrapping up our behind-the-scenes series today with the finishing touches before The Iconic Self launches tomorrow. (Tomorrow!!)

We knew a home retreat kit needed something to hold all the parts and pieces together, since it only took about two seconds for us all to imagine bits scattering throughout our homes and studios the way bits so often do. Then came the mini black tote, which made us swoon. It's the perfect size for hanging on the bedroom doorknob, for standing on the window ledge where you have your morning tea or on your nightstand. There's room to throw in your wallet, keys and phone and be on your joyful badass way.

Last but not least, as a Brooklynite I believe no retreat experience is complete without The Chocolate Room. Just a few blocks from my home, it's the Number One requested stop of all our visitors. And like The Iconic Self retreat, we found a way to bring The Chocolate Room to you, too. Sweet.

Iconic in the Making: Make it your own

Retreat notes in the form of over fifty uniquely designed stickers and labels. Affirmations, visuals, prompts, practices and exercises to work this wisdom through your journal, onto your steering wheel, into your life. A blank composition book ready to be filled with what resonates and moves you most. A craft cover that is the perfect canvas for painting or stamping or collaging this baby any ol' way you like it: Fancy. Clean. Or covered in rebellious doodles to appease your inner graffiti artist.

There are no rules here, just places and ways to express yourself and make this home retreat experience all your own.

The Iconic Self retreat notes, aka DIY sticker and journal set, arrive with a beautiful blue organza drawstring bag. Only three more days!

Iconic in the Making: The Inner Deep and Wild

April 2010 retreat in BrooklynWhat do you do when you find yourself in the midst of a conversation that's saving you? Share it.

That's where I was two years ago, making my way through a really turbulent time and doing my best to not blow up my life, or at least proceed with awareness and intention. I was changing, growing, excavating parts of myself I never dreamed were in there. It was messy. It was confusing. And I shudder to think about how poorly it could have gone without the good companionship that helped me find my way.

Phyllis was with me through the thick of it, and even though our stories and circumstances varied, it was like we were in the same boat, navigating the rapids and waterfalls. The same soul work brought us through that season of becoming, and the next one, and remains a path that faithfully draws us forward and helps us make sense of the inner deep and wild.

At first, all I knew was that these stories and experiences were weaving into a larger conversation that was saving me, and I wanted to invite others into the conversation, too. We held our first retreat in Brooklyn and tried it out in community for the first time. I think even then we struggled to say what "it" was, but our suspicions that "it" was "something" were confirmed when our kindreds took the conversation and ran with it. We planned another retreat for the Rocky Mountains that fall.

In the Rockies, November 2010By the time our November gathering came around, the material had grown and we had to cut a whole day of material from the first retreat to make room for the new stories and insights. People came, some not even knowing why, led by this strong feeling that they needed this, for real. And we watched again like magic before our eyes as something was released in that space--some healing, some balm for all of our souls. New, richer, more complex and true versions of ourselves were returning to the world after our three days together.

December 2010. A hard winter.In the winter that followed, stories kept happening to us, our soul excavation continued, and we caught and gathered them all, adding them to the treasure chest. We now had enough material that it would take us five days to work through it all in a retreat setting, and we were imagining other, more practical ways we could share it. We started dreaming of a home retreat kit, which wouldn't be limited by venue capacities or our travel availabilities. Something our friends near and far could hold in their hands, listen to and dwell with for as long as they needed.

In March, Phyllis flew out and we headed into the recording studio to catch it all. I told some stories that day that I'd previously only shared with close and trusted friends. I just kept breathing deeply, baring my heart with Paul listening in the next room. What are we going to call this? we kept asking. What is the title? It wasn't until after lunch, right before our last session when we were sitting on Paul's sofa that the title came to us: The Iconic Self.

Our beloved Paul Ruest, and our sound room at Argot StudiosI'm really so grateful for having the companionship of so many readers and dear beloved friends who have received and held and formed this work along with us. Words fail me when I think about how fortunate I am that this wisdom found its way to me before I exploded like a bomb.

Lucy and I were putting the packages together over the weekend and I was just overcome with longing. I want everyone I know to have this. I keep telling my friends, it's hard to care this much about a work--it's so extremely vulnerable. But with this project, I just feel like I've pulled my heart and soul right out of my body and I'm throwing them out into the world with all I've got. Praying every part and piece is received with open arms.





The Iconic Self is a unique four-disc journey that will be available January 24th.

Iconic in the Making: You Don't Have to Be So Good

We sit in a dark pub and I tell a story I never tell. We talk afterward about how I'll probably never tell it onstage, and then about the problem it poses to even have a category called Stories I'll Never Tell Onstage.  He understands the events as I explain them, but struggles to understand the dread that has me curled into a ball.

What are you so afraid of? he asks, and it takes me until the next day to find the words to answer.

I'm afraid of not being good. What if I'm not good, as in, a good person, good mother, good wife, good friend, good daughter, good sister, good citizen? The possibility alone makes me feel like the sky is falling--overwhelms me with feelings of doom and dread.

I spend days sitting with the realization that I've constructed so much of my life around this scaffolding called Being Good. A kind of tenderness toward myself creeps in as I see how it's run me around the block until I'm ragged and raw. Then sadness follows as I see how it's censored me and kept me from even telling the truth to myself at times.

I can't be true if I'm preoccupied with being good.

I'm hereby giving myself permission to give up the Being Good game, and I'm giving you the same permission, too. It's time to bring all the stories and parts that don't fit inside its limits out into the light.

Because goodness, like everything else we are taught, is best in moderation.

The "So Good" vintage distressed tee is available as part of The Iconic Self Home Retreat Kit, or for individual sale.

$30 USD, ships free worldwide

Liz Kalloch, by Bella Cirovic

"So Good" Vintage Tees feature distressed edges and super-soft cotton, and light blue text. These run small, so size up if possible. This design is also available in our popular Curvy Girl style (Gildan UltraCotton shirt), which runs true to size (see drop-down menu).