Kauai/Hawaii is always a good idea…

or of roosters & breaching wales

and a sort of life-changing decision…

I’m sure you know that state when you’re debating a decision with yourself, weighing up rational arguments and trying make sense of the completely irrational emotions sabotaging your attempt to actually reach a conclusion. It’s like no matter how hard you try to focus, discipline yourself and try to get to the bottom of it, it keeps slipping through your fingers. Before you know it, a state of confusion and frustration sets in – dead end – you can’t force it.

What this has to do with my trip to the oldest, most western island of Hawaii? Well, I purposefully decided to give myself a whole week in paradise not only to have a change of scenery, rejuvenate, explore, but also to allow myself all this time, to solely find the answer to one question that’s persistently been popping up over the last weeks: do I want to stay/return/move to Vancouver permanently?

So, there I was on the ‘Garden Island’ driving around in my ship of a rental car, going 25 miles per hour  through breathtakingly beautiful greenery, accompanied by the local reggae music radio station, going somewhere but not really…the dead poultry on the road added to this almost surreal experience, and I started to run a daily toll (I know, quite morbid). I alternated the days discovering the beaches, waterfalls or walking the ever botanically different trails with glorious views into the valleys. Besides giving each day a ‘theme’ (to do with my question) wherever I went, I brought my ink pens as well as notebook along, giving me the opportunity to capture absolutely all, i.e. thoughts & emotions.

This process and methodology suited me perfectly, and it is therefore not surprising that by the end of my stay, I had reached a crystal clear answer:  Vancouver it is

& hell yeah, it scared the living daylights out of me!

I mean, it’s half across the world from Zurich, where my entire family and lots of friends live. It means giving up my bijou of a flat, and of course, figuring out everything about the immigration process. All this to throw myself into the unknown, by myself, not knowing how/what/when etc.

That’s probably why it took so long to write this blog entry, as I first had to sort through all this and become clear, why I want to do this and what the plan(s) are. Luckily, I’m a coach! So, walking my own talk, I asked myself all the questions that I would a client and became aware of unproductive beliefs as well as automatic emotional reactions that were no fun…and therefore ordered myself a couple of loads of “Emotional Laundry”. The detergent was microwave popcorn and the background music were the screeching roosters (they have taken over the island and maybe they’ll soon be given a holy status like the cows in India 🙂

Anyway, guess what – it worked.

The conviction that “this is now the right thing for me to do” remained, bizarrely strengthened by lots of breaching whales that I had the luck to watch 😉 and even after landing back in Vancouver.

What it means? It means that I want to work in the service of the performing arts world, its artists, entrepreneurs, project leaders, support staff, educators, sponsors – true to my motto: the art of making art is putting it together…

p.s. you find my drawings from that week in the Doodle Art section. 

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Christmas is…

or how I found Santa, his elves, ALL his decoration,lights & more……

sitting here on my couch in Vancouver with the sun slowly setting on the last day of the year, it feels like I had just been dropped of by Rudolph with his shiny nose. I’m not entirely sure if the last month actually happened or if it was one long glittery dream and my mind is playing tricks on me. Yet, I can actually recite the lyrics and hum the tunes of more Christmas carols than I was ever able to as well as knowing the answers to questions, that were definitely not in my “repertoire”, e.g. the name of James Stewart’s guardian angle in the film ‘It’s a wonderful life’!

Maybe it is not that important to label or tell what factually happened (nobody wants to write or read that – least me!). However, what I do feel compelled to share is my tale of how I became witness and part of some true Christmas spirit moments.

Put on the kettle, snuggle up on the sofa with your favorite blanket…
As once upon a time, in a far away land – in the UK to be specific – a young Canadian and Swiss (both very pretty 🙂 became friends while singing for a small amateur opera company in North London. Little did they know that ten years down the line, after having lost contact for over a decade, they would re-connect on Vancouver Island where the talented Canadian had created a Christmas Spectacular. A show where professional singers and dancers entrance the audience with music from a wide variety of genres (musical, country, pop, jazz, etc.) accompanied by a versatile small band with more costume changes that you can count! The program is interwoven with humorous readings, a Christmas quiz and of course, an audience carol sing-along 🙂

So, how is this different to any other show? you might ask…well, imagine this:
a community hall outside a 80’000 soul city, on a Monday morning early in December. Trucks with horse trailers in tow have just pulled up. About 30 Santa Carpenters and Elves (all friends and family) get busy with unloading trees, wreathes, sleighs, wooden market stand, ribbons, bows, curtains and lights…and then more lights…within a day the hall becomes the most charming Christmas Wonderland, where rehearsals happen alongside the fork lift beeping, hammering, chatter, children running around and over a pic-nic lunch the latest stories are exchanged.

And then…finally, everything is ready (or almost 😉 and 250 people get transported each show to another world when entering this now magical place, greeted warmly by Santa’s helpers. You discover the little market area where Santa stands with some of his deer and getting engulfed by the smell of the mince pies and punch, while Bing Crosby is dreaming about a white Christmas in the background. The Christmas decoration and all the lights let you go back into your own childhood, when you couldn’t wait to discover that one present underneath the tree that had your name on it.

I had the honor of being the stage & light elf (my elf name: Sparkle Garland), and I was charmed by every single performance by the artists, a crew colleague, a volunteer or a member of the audience – or all of the above 🙂 I watched young and old having a fabulous time, creating an atmosphere you want to be in on a daily basis. The generosity of heart, support, humor, passion, professionalism, team spirit, countless hours of work by everyone who was involved left me with a smile I just couldn’t shake off. That was when I realized and got the distinct feeling that this is what Christmas IS all about…

Thank you and congratulations to Katy, who created with her family (Dave, Annette, Peter, Tim) including their beautiful young sons (Nicholas & Matthew) a Christmas experience we all want to be part of…

P.S.
if you want to sign up as a Magic Sponsor, Christmas Carpenter or Special Elf, go to: http://www.yellowpointchristmasspectacular.ca/ and drop Katy a line!

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