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Life Makeover for the Year 2008

Week 16 – Black Sheep: Dare to be different

April 20, 2008

Dear Friends,

On Saturday, April 26th, I’ll be offering a brief overview of the book publishing process called,
“From Brainstorm to Bookstore” at the Newburyport Literary Festival. This annual event is open to
the public and you can learn more about it here.

Come to Chicago! On 5/30 – 6/1, I’ll be speaking at the “Celebrate Your Life” conference where
I’ll be joined by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, Marianne Williamson and many other
teachers. It’s a great event and you’ll find more info here.

Check out our “Mother’s Day Special” where you can give mom (or yourself) a special gift of
self-care. You’ll find it here.


Have a wonderful week…

Love,
Cheryl

p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here: http://www.cherylrichardson.com.


“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

–Robin Williams


Topic of the Week – Support Your Uniqueness

Now that my next book is finished and I’ve returned from our Writer’s Workshop cruise, I’m happy to be back creating this newsletter in real time. Thanks for your understanding as I republished newsletters over the last couple of months.

The cruise was wonderful. It was my maiden voyage on a large ship and I have to admit that I had reservations. But, once we were out on the open ocean I knew things would be just fine. Give me fresh air, sunshine, good friends, and an up-close-and-personal connection to the sea, and I’m a happy gal.

I love teaching and was thrilled to have a class full of sincere and purposeful writers who were excited and hungry to learn about the journey of book publishing. There are always important moments during an intensive workshop that highlight a universal theme. One of our moments occurred halfway through the class when a brave woman shared that the subject of her book was a departure from the more traditional life she grew up in. The thought of publishing her work for the world to see ignited the pain she felt as an outsider in her family – the unconventional one in a world of convention. Her honesty and vulnerability touched us all and gave me a chance to talk about what I see as the benefit of being the “Black Sheep.”

In all my years of speaking and teaching, I’ve found that those who are most successful at
living true and meaningful lives generally come from backgrounds where they don’t fit in. There‚s a good chance that you know what I mean. You may have felt like an outsider in your family, a flower in a garden of vegetables at work, or the one person who seemed to be dropped into the middle of school by alien beings. If you did (or do), you‚re in good company. Most of us who are working to live conscious and authentic lives feel that way.

At one point during the workshop, I invited a surprise guest, Wayne Dyer, to join us to talk
about his writing process. No sooner was his butt in the chair, when he explained that the key to his success was in his desire to buck the system and follow a path traveled by few. He was adamant that had he operated within an established norm, he would not have written more than 30 books – books that are published in more than 45 countries today! Later in the week, I invited Julie Barr, a talented comedian performing on the cruise, to talk about her creative process. Talk about out-of-the-box. Her success as a performer and comic artist was evident in her willingness to offer a straight, no holds barred conversation about what it takes to write and perform stand-up comedy. Boy, did we laugh!

The courage, commitment, and personal strength required to navigate the rough patches that
inevitably come with feeling like an outsider are the very qualities you need to make you stronger,
more convicted and better able to withstand the pressure when society tries to pull you back into
compliance from your position of originality. I like to think of the black sheep experience as a
“polishing school” – a training program that allows great thinkers and doers to develop what it takes to shine as they break new ground or conduct some kind of change-agent activity in the world.

The very act of living an authentic life requires you to risk being unusual, different, or strange. It‚s the very opposite of trying to fit in. Whether you dress or live in a unique way, bend the rules with your own creative slant on life, or follow a curvaceous path that meanders around social norms, the reward lies in knowing that you‚re living a real and honest life. Is there anything better? I don’t think so.

If you feel like a black sheep, welcome to the club :). Take this week’s challenge and get a little more comfortable in that great skin of yours…


~*~ Take Action Challenge ~*~

Look for one way, each day this week, to practice finding inner peace in the outer lane of life. Dress a little different, use words that are more reflective of your true nature, or offer an opinion that tilts the boat a bit. Be willing to be you. It‚s the best (and only) way to cruise through life :).

Speaking of cruises, I‚ll be cruising again in July of 2009 to Alaska for another “I Can Do It at Sea.” If you’d like to join me, call (888) 259-9191 for more info.


In the News

  • Have a question for Cheryl? Call in during her live Internet radio show, Coach on Call, on Mondays at 5pm ET (2pm PT, 10pm GMT) at www.hayhouseradio.com. Simply dial (866) 254-1579 if you live in the US, or for international callers dial, 1-760-918-4300 after your country code. Cheryl discusses a variety of topics related to practicing Extreme Self Care and living a high quality life.
  • We have a variety of unique life-changing gifts in our webstore at www.myextremeselfcare.com. You can have books personally signed for you or a loved one with a note of encouragement or support, include a hand-written gift card with your order, or find a special item to support your own self-care. There are heart ornaments, books, audio programs, lotions, and our popular Mesmerizing Oggz Egg (you need to see it to understand :). Check them out here: www.myextremeselfcare.com.
  • Listen to the free Practice Building Workshop telegathering on audio podium and learn to build your client base in a relaxed and authentic way. Whether you’re a coach, therapist, lawyer, massage therapist, or other service oriented business owner, you can learn about our program and the important steps for practice development by calling (405) 244-4000 – Box 104. For more info on our PBW audio program, click here.

Life Makeover For The Year 2008 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to: cheryl@cherylrichardson.com. © Copyright 1999-2008
Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950. All rights reserved.