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    Words: Writing from Within

    By Michele Karlsberg

    For this issue of the San Francisco Bay Times, I present a guest article written by Christie Hardwick, the talented founder of Provincetown Inspiration Weekend (http://inspirationgatherings.org):

    Fifteen years ago, I left my executive role at a Silicon Valley Tech company and haven’t looked back.

    As I left, folks asked me what I planned to do, and some followed me as their leadership coach. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to provide guidance and support to leaders in industry, government and the nonprofit world. As I set out on this new journey, I wrote myself a road map in the form of a book. It is a simple book full of vibrant pictures of Paris and The ABCs of An Extraordinary Life

    One reminder in the “O” section is that “Ordinary doesn’t exist. It’s only when we are not paying attention that we think we’ve stumbled on something ordinary. In truth, there is not one repetitive thing; in every breath, it is all new.”  

     I try to stay awake to this idea, and to see the possibility of every new moment as a chance to reinvent, and to rediscover how I can make a contribution to a life that is uniquely mine. 

    A few years back, when marriage equality was on the horizon but not yet in view, I wrote a book with a colleague called The Progressive Wedding Book, a guide for same gender, transgender and progressive couples. I wanted to contribute to the conversation and celebrate the choice that was becoming more and more available to nontraditional couples. In the book, we explore marriage and its history, and provide a practical how-to for when it comes to making the wedding day your own.

    Both books came from promptings from within. First there was a faint idea, and then a fully-formed vision. Taking action was a joy. Not everything flows so easily from me or for me, though. When I first had a feeling that I needed to make myself available to more than one person at a time in my coaching practice, I resisted. I didn’t have time, I didn’t know how, it would be too much work, blah, blah, blah. The taps on the shoulder eventually became a shakeup that would wake me at night to write down ideas. The wakeup call became Provincetown Inspiration Weekend, now in its fourth year. 

    This weekend reminds us of what is extraordinary in each of us and celebrates our progress as spiritual and human beings. Over 100 people join my wife and I in Cape Cod to be immersed in music, song, poetry, spoken word, movement, art and meditation. It is a gift for us and for all of those who attend. 

    From the “D” section of The ABCs of an Extraordinary Life: “Develop your gifts. You know what they are; those things that call you in the quiet of the night, the things you love to do … be at least as much as what is calling you and dare to be more.”

    Join us for the weekend starting September 29th. Find your inspiration, tap into the Fierce Love within, and see what happens next! 

    As a mother, grandmother, leadership coach, spiritual activist, singer and writer, Christie Hardwick is black lesbian proud.

    Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBT community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates twenty-eight years of successful book campaigns.