Sign up now for FREE
Joyfully Jobless News!

Primary Email:

February 10, 2010
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life when all that we need to be really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
~ Charles Kingsley
In This Issue
Another Inconvenient Truth
A Challenging Opportunity
Save This Date
Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
We'll be talking about Good Investments on the blog all month. Join the conversation! 
Barbara and the Cowboy in SedonaEver since I read Food Rules, I've been paying attention to Michael Pollan. Not only is he in possession of a great deal of common sense, he's also an eloquent writer. Pollan really got my attention, however, when he pointed out to Oprah that much of our bad eating habits are the result of a relentless marketing campaign to sell us on convenience.
Thinking about that, I flashed back to all the tv commercials, around since my childhood, where chirpy mothers happily served up a tv dinner or whipped up dessert from a box. Once we bought into this Convenience is Better mentality, the way  was paved for fast food restaurants to blanket the landscape. Cooking your own food was as outdated as growing it yourself.
It's not just our bodies that are suffering from this trend. It's spilled over into other areas of our lives as well. I once had a neighbor whose live-in boyfriend  was lazy and boring. One day, she confessed to me that she found him uninteresting, but justified staying with him because, "He's convenient." You pick a bank because it's convenient, I thought, not a partner.
Since hearing Pollan talk about convenience, I realized that if that becomes a top priority it can ultimately be very costly.  Instead of challenge, which is necessary if we're going to grow, we end up with fast food for our minds.
I was thinking about this yesterday  when Liz deNesnera called to share her enthusiasm for Eat Pray Love which she'd picked up in an airport and began reading on her way to Santa Fe where she was attending a retreat. After we talked about the book, I asked about the retreat. Liz said, "It was an event for twelve women voiceover artists, but it was so much more than that."
That made me smile, because I've learned that retreats are always so much more than that. And there's nothing convenient about them. Almost always, travel is involved, the pet sitter needs to be hired, clients alerted, and mail delivery stopped. That's only the preliminary to getting yourself there since many such events are held in lovely off-the-beaten path places making travel more challenging than convenient.
This morning, Rebecca Gallo sent out a mailing that almost echoed Liz's Santa Fe experience. Rebecca wanted to update the people she'd met at last fall's Follow Through Camp. She wrote, "It took some time, but I'm finally going to teach a course at a Lifetime Learning Institute this spring called, You Can't Take It With You - And Your Kids Don't Want It Either.  As you may recall, that title came from the Follow Through Camp."
Lest you think I'm advocating a return to pioneer times, let me assure you, I'm not. There are all sorts of conveniences that I'm keeping in my life, but I'm also looking at them with a fresh eye. I don't want to opt for convenience when it  leads to avoiding a challenge.
It's really about priorities and knowing what kind of life you truly want to create. As someone suggested  clean the bathroom quickly so you can read to your kids slowly.
Or avoid fast food for your mind and body so you're up for a challenge.
Sedona, ArizonaFor the past year or so, one of my projects has been to create inspiring events in beautiful places. This is not simply a business decision, however. When I look at the turning points in my own life, those times when I took a giant step forward, I can link every one with the learning adventure that preceded it.
When Terri Belford first suggested creating a retreat in magical Sedona, AZ, I was eager to be involved. Not only is it one of my  new favorite places, I'm as enthusiastic as she is about bringing more meaning into our work and lives. Spending time with a small group of creative thinkers in a gorgeous locale can produce incredible results.
I'll let you in on a little secret about retreats: whatever the plan is, the actual experience is bigger than that. (If you've participated in a good one, you already know that.) New projects get launched quickly. Ideas that we've been dragging around get discarded. We connect with potential collaborators and find a new cheering squad. We find the courage to challenge ourselves to have more, do more, be more.
So if Inspired Livelihood is something you want to put at the heart of your business, join Terri Belford, Alice Barry and me on April 16 and 17 in the red rocks of Sedona.
You can read a description of this event at
And if you want to be certain of having a spot in this retreat, don't wait to register. We're keeping the group small and we've already started to fill up. Early Bird enrollment ends March 15.
Inspired Livelihood
Last week I told you about going to Austin, TX  to find a venue for a really exciting event that's being planned for October 15 & 16. I'm not ready to spill the beans yet, but pencil it in if you think you'd like to join a lively group to celebrate the joyfully jobless life.
Buona fortuna,
Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter

Winning Ways | PO Box 800971, Valencia, CA 91380