Oct 7, 2011, Vol. 9 Issue 9
Fall meeting season is in full swing and I’m hearing from happy clients about sold-out events and standing ovations. In the name of full disclosure, I also hear about A/V challenges, last minute changes of hotels and even venues, and other trials and tribulations of event planners and speakers. Arrangements don’t always come out the way we planned but somehow it all seems to work out in the end. Quite often the audience is none the wiser, thank goodness. Regardless of the occasional snafus, the good feedback about how our speakers cope and inspire audiences regardless of the circumstances makes me smile, so I send a big thank you to everyone who has ever put their trust in me to recommend your speaker. I know how important it is to you and I am grateful.
For any of you who might be interested in a different type of program for your event, I can’t wait to tell you about Pat Wynn Brown’s Beauty School. Have you ever looked at something and thought, “Oh, that’s just too corny.” Honestly that was my first impression of Pat Wynn Brown and her Hair Theater programs. Pat, however, is so enthusiastic, that you can’t help but catch her energy. I’m glad I did — she’s a winner.
Everybody’s got a hair story (or three or four if we’re being truthful), and Pat is tickled pink to help your audience reminisce. That’s me and my Toni perm in 3rd grade (in my Brownie uniform). Looking at that pic, I can smell the perm solution. Pat is crazy funny, and is an audience-friendly consummate performer. But don’t just take it from me. Let’s hear it from a client where she presented her Beauty School program in September — Holy Family Memorial in Manitowac, Wisconsin.
Also in this issue, you get to hear the rest of the story from the preview of Linda Carroll’s book, “Love Cycles.” If you missed the first part, you can click here to read it.
A HAIR STORY:
Pat Wynn Brown’s BEAUTY SCHOOL
Big Laughs For Every Woman of Every Age and Hairstyle
Talking with Pat Wynn Brown is like a breath of fresh air. She’s enthusiastic, earnest, and hilarious. I think it’s her authenticity that shines through and makes the hilarity ring so true. She relates to women on a very deep level — we’re not speaking lightly when we talk about our hair. “Hair is psychological. It’s emotional. It’s heavily cultural, it’s sexual and sensual,” Pat says. “We can remember what happened in our lives through our hairdos. It’s a marker.” And everybody has a hair story, and some a no hair story. Obviously hair is a sensitive subject for cancer patients, and Pat comes to this topic from a place of empathy as well. She was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1997. While her cancer was treated successfully with surgery, she has empathy for fellow cancer patients.
“When the oncologist told me I had cancer, the first thing I thought about was losing my hair, and then I thought about my mortality, in that order. I didn’t think I was going to die, but I was worried about my hair. It’s not about vanity. The sense of loss with women and their hair is about their sense of identity,” she says.
So, what exactly is “Beauty School” you might be wondering? “Beauty School” evolved when Pat was doing various renditions of Hair Theater, performances she designed for cancer, heart and women’s events revolving around the wonders of hair, whether it’s there or not, yours or store bought. She realized that the baby boomer women in her audiences, in particular, were dissatisfied with their looks and no one would ever admit to their age. She was appalled. To quote comedienne Carol Leifer, “If women don’t state their age, the terrorists win.”
“It’s better to say I’m living and breathing,” Pat says. “We should be rejoicing about our age and the fact that we’re not dead. We need to revel in what true beauty is all about — doing good and serving others. The women I know who have purpose, passion, self-care and a sense of humor are the most beautiful women I know.”
So Pat got busy and created a performance that’s full of fun, stories, silly antics, humor, inspiration — an all-around good time for everyone. “A beauty school performance is a humorous look at becoming a stylist of beautiful living and fabulous looks by following our passions, being grateful for the good in our lives (even though times may be tough), and serving others,” Pat says. “I know that a good laugh can raise spirits and dramatically change your looks. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.” And that’s exactly what the women of Holy Family Memorial got on a Wednesday night in September — not a makeover or a facelift, but an uplift of their spirits with lots of laughs and camaraderie.
Liysa Callsen, Fund Development Coordinator for Holy Family Memorial, was looking for something different when we talked about her special event to kick-off their Paint the Town Pink efforts for the entire month of October. “Paint the Town Pink was started last year to heighten awareness about mammograms,” she said, “to spread the word that early detection is the best protection. Last year there was a low-key event that was very successful and I could see that it could be bigger and better. I wanted to do something that the community had never seen before. I wanted to get sponsors, and have a silent auction and exhibitors, showcase hospital services, and bring someone in with the ‘Wow’ factor.
“While it’s a breast cancer event, I felt it didn’t need to be a breast cancer survivor, but someone who could deliver an inspirational message. When Barbara told me about Pat’s Beauty School, it was a standout and I knew it fit the bill.”
The entire event concept was a new idea for the hospital and it took some convincing on Liysa’s part, but she put together a budget and a dynamite committee and reached for the stars. “It just kept growing as we were doing it,” she said. “It escalated to the point that there were so many booths, we had to move the exhibits from the ballroom to the atrium, which freed up the ballroom for the show. And all of the food for 200 people was donated by local vendors.”
Not only did the audience benefit, but Liysa said that Pat was a dream to work with. They had some A/V challenges, and Pat rose to the occasion, not missing a beat, in either the pre-show challenges, or mid-show, when despite precautions, the microphone went dead. “She worked it out seamlessly, and went above and beyond the call. She is a trooper and true professional,” Liysa said.
“Beauty School is not an elective,” Pat says. “This class is mandatory. Women need to rejuvenate, and reclaim their beauty. Actually, in Beauty School we’re beauty rebels, re-defining beauty. When the women arrive at a show, they come in tense, because they’re playing hookey from their responsibilities. For an hour, they get to let go of their stress and their to-do lists, and become girlish again. They leave relaxed, free, and a better woman to face tomorrow. Honestly, the audience looks 10 years younger at the end of the hour. One woman came up to me afterward and said, ‘You don’t know how much I needed that. Thank you.’ And, we always save a life. Someone will go for a screening.”
“If you haven’t graduated from Hair Theater Beauty School yet, you better enroll now!” Liysa says in her endorsement. “Pat Wynn Brown was not only a delight onstage, but her stellar professionalism also shines behind the scenes. If you need a refreshing, interactive and hilarious program, I highly recommend Pat Wynn Brown. Our guests are now demanding MORE, MORE, MORE!”
Pat’s Beauty School and Hair Theater programs are a good fit for Girl’s Night Out, Go Red for Women and cancer survivor celebration and philanthropic events. There is even camera ready poster art that you can use to promote your event. To learn more, check out our website, or give me a call at 503-699-5031. You can see some of Pat’s antics in the video online on our site.
Oh, and P.S. – Since she started Hair Theater, Pat has organized fundraisers to raise money for wigs for cancer patients. Since 2001, 767 women have been helped through the Hair Theater Fund of the Columbus Foundation (in Columbus, Ohio, where she lives).
Stages 3, 4 and 5
by Linda A. Carroll
Copyright 2011, All rights reserved, do not use without permission of the author.
In Love Cycles, we explore love as a series of stages, from romantic bliss to rude awakening to disillusionment and even despair, and then finally, to a decision which may lead to a new sense of rich connection. We do not always move progressively through these stages in one steady progress upward. Love’s journey takes a form more like a spiral, where we can find ourselves back in earlier stages even after a long relationship. Learning the dangers and wisdom of each stage gives us insight into the path ahead, allowing us to take the long view [why the “cute” quotation marks? Don’t you really mean long view? What do you mean?]of our relationship, even when we feel mired in conflict. It reminds us that learning to live with, and love, another person over the long term is sometimes hard; but from this difficulty can arise wisdom, growth, and abiding connection.
For stages one and two, go to our previous issue,
Stage Three: The Struggle
This stage may feel like the end of the road. The power struggles in the relationship have come fully to the surface. Our original feeling of being passionately in love seems like a faraway memory. Unpleasant thoughts enter our heads, perhaps even being shared with others: “I am no longer in love with my wife” or “I realize I married the wrong person” or “my partner has turned into someone I do not know.”
Even if we don’t frame our differences in such dramatic fashion, we feel a sense of growing distance and estrangement from our partner in this stage. We feel that we are having the same argument again and again. Where we once saw the best in our partner, now we can only see their worst. Perhaps we even witness the worst qualities of ourselves. We may resort to behaviors that are unhealthy and damaging. In this stage, betrayals, lies, and transgressions often occur, and arguments escalate in their intensity.
Stage Four: The Wall
At a certain point, every relationship hits what I call “the wall.” We arrive at “the wall” when we feel the differences are too intractable to handle, and we simply cannot bear to keep struggling over the same issues repeatedly. We need a change. “The wall” represents the moment when we make a game-changing decision about our relationship.
Many couples decide to separate when they reach this level of estrangement, feeling their differences are too intractable to solve. Some couples decide to live parallel lives, staying married or in partnerships but no longer seeking intimacy, emotional support, meaningful sex, and personal growth from one another. Other couples will simply stay stuck, playing out the same battles over and over, and banging their heads against “the wall” without being willing to leave or to change.
All of these options will leave us with unfinished business. Without fully exploring the difficult lessons of this stage, and coming to grips with our own role in the relationship’s conflicts, we will probably choose the same kind of person and recreate the same story again. If we stay in the relationship without putting forth the effort to change it, we may find ourselves doomed to an unfulfilling, lifeless partnership. Worse still, we will miss out on the opportunity for growth, renewal, and meaningful exploration that a true commitment to the relationship can offer.
The other possibility is to embrace this commitment—to take the fifth and final journey, which is to learn about, and learn through, love.
Stage Five: The Promise Realized
This final journey of love begins with the hardest work of all: true individuation and self-discovery. Thus to enter this stage, we must find the courage to look inside ourselves, to examine the fears and limitations that hinder us as individuals. It is only by working through our own shortcomings that we can truly meet another person.
In acknowledging and exploring our own imperfections, we learn to accept those of our partner. We recognize that we cannot change him or her. Sometimes this results in realizing we cannot stay in the relationship as it is, but without the anger and blame we had previously. If we leave the relationship understanding our part of the trouble and knowing we have done all we can, we leave with more of ourselves intact. This can allow for a friendship to continue at the most, healthy co-parenting at the least.
In committing to the relationship anew, we commit to understanding our differences and to cultivating curiosity about them. We learn to listen carefully, even when our partner voices an opinion we find threatening. We develop what I call the “counter-instinctive move”: when we want to shut down or turn away, we stay open. When we want to withdraw, we say something welcoming. Such moves draw us beyond the limits of our habitual responses and defense mechanisms.
The fifth journey is not just a somber, serious, steady march toward mature acceptance. It can be a lark, a thrilling adventure. In the fifth stage, we rediscover some of the joy and passion of the initial “merge.” We learn to play together, to laugh, relax, and enjoy each other more deeply. We might create art, build gardens and houses, travel, and develop community, and share work and family life in new ways. And throughout, we discern new aspects of ourselves and our partner, as we work toward greater maturity and connection.
This stage of love teaches us to practice the key behaviors emphasized by all the spiritual traditions: compassion, humility, humor, gratitude, generosity, and patience. In taking this journey, we can discover immeasurable possibility and unexpected grace. The final journey of love connects us with an essential truth found in stories and myths from time immemorial: that the measure of a person’s true wealth and meaning is in how well they loved.
Look for the publication of LOVE CYCLES by Linda Carroll in 2012. Meantime, for booking information, visit our website, or give me a call at 503-699-5031.
Celebrate “The Girls” with the Girls
This is the month for women’s and breast cancer events, so I hope you can get out and enjoy one in your community. Spirit of Women hospitals around the country are holding “Spirit Girl’s Night Out” events this month. To find an event near you, go here.
And all around the country there are breast cancer survivor luncheons, teas and celebrations galore. These events celebrate survivors, raise funds to provide services for cancer patients and mammograms for those who otherwise cannot afford them, as well as for research to eradicate this disease. I can remember when talking about breast cancer openly was hush-hush, so I celebrate the high profile that women have created around this disease. It’s women supporting and helping other women at their very best. Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.
PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.