Less is More: Anthony Marco PAB2010

One of the many highlights of the fab PAB2011 experience was the wit, wisdom and warmth of Anthony Marco.

While we await publication of the PAB2011 sessions, please enjoy his thought-provoking and experiential jolt from PAB2010, A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures (a PAB2010 JOLT! by Anthony Marco).

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More words, wisdom and wide, wide smiles thanks to Anthony, here.

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Digesting PAB

For the 53 hours since PAB ended, I’ve been squeezing my brain, hoping to shrink the PAB2011 experience down to a blog-post-sized blurb.

My mind, my chest, my eyes are still swelling with swirling ideas and images. Huge laughs, huge smiles, huge buzzing, tingling emotions. Huge gratitude for the privilege of belonging.

This morning, as we attended Lucy’s grade 6 graduation, I realized that the stilted, tension-filled ickiness of that sweltering gym, thick with twelve years of inter-parental encounters, was the anti-PAB. And that helped boil the weekend down to its core…

PAB gets me. It lets me be me when I’m there. And seems to do the same for us all.
PAB’s about expressing, not impressing.
It’s about connecting and creating and stretching and sharing.

It’s a slingshot into life.

Thanks to everybody for the photos (and for the weekend, of course).

More PAB here.

An Accidental Time Capsule

In fall 2009, during the stressful 6-week wait for diagnosis of that lump, I turned my back on our beloved podcast, Just One More Book.

Weeks later, Bob Goyetche and I discussed that decision, for the Canadian Podcast Buffet.
It was hours after my biopsy. Mark was out of town.

With all the PAB2011 captured-story excitement this week, that interview bobbed to my mind’s surface. And I took the time to listen to that 15 minute chat.

Wondering how we endured the 6 week wait. How I did that interview. And how we possibly got from there to here.

I’m glad those moments were captured. I’m glad I thought to listen.

Life’s odd. In a good way.

If you’d like to listen too, the interview is at the 18 minute mark of episode 147 of CPB.

Photo AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by Bruce Murray (The Zedcast)

Bold. By Default.

One million times I backed out of this jolt.

But having publicly announced and collected input for a 5 minute spiel about standing up to fear, it seemed the embarrassment of backing out might actually dwarf the embarrassment of flopping.

So I did the jolt.

And I’m glad I did.

Because life is better when we take bold steps.

Thanks to Alexa Clark for the jolt photo.

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Healing Humiliation: Wise Words from Julien Smith

I’ve been planning my PAB2011 Jolt. But I’m choking.

Luckily, I remembered this sanity-saving advice from Julien Smith.

Here’s a tiny taste….

Do things that you consider embarrassing.

You must try this. Find your internal filters and break them, one at a time. Notice how society, like an ocean, smoothes over the waves you make, until what you do gets eliminated, or becomes the status quo. Work with this.

Julien Smith, The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck

If my Jolt is a flop. I’ll handle it.

Eeep.

Your Story Deserves to be Told. Well.

Stories stick. Stories connect.
Stories deliver. Stories mend.

Your stories and mine.

This month (June 24-26, 2011), I’ll be treating myself to a weekend of narrative nudging, friendly faces and inspiration at the sixth annual PAB conference1 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

I hope you will be too!

1 PAB2011 is an annual three day social/new media conference that includes speaking sessions, discussion, JOLTs2, workshops, panel discussions, Saturday lunch and, typically, a boat cruise. The conference has flourished on a reputation of strong content and a welcoming community, attracting participants from as far away as the U. K. and South America. Online registration for the weekend is CDN$160.

2 A Jolt! is a timed 5-minute, slide-free session during which the speaker wakes up the imaginations, brains and collective energy of the PAB community.  Jolts are meant to get people thinking, talking, connecting and collaborating.

* PAB 2006 was the catalyst for our “Just One More Book!” podcast.

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Happiness Is…

Evolving.

On April 14, 2011, after 25 years of full-time employment and with no new position in the works, I quit my job.

That evening, I tiptoed timidly into the world of dance. Burlesque, unbelievably. Then celebrated with red wine, Mark and our good friend, Laura.

In the six weeks since then, I’ve turned down a full-time systems analyst position, booked our long-dreamed-of cross-Canada train trip, joined the speaker roster for PAB2011, contributed daily to Mark’s new company and endured ten grueling hours of choreographed belly dancing.

Sure, I’ve continued to torture myself with self-doubt, -criticism and -loathing.
But I’m better, stronger, happier than I was.

I’m alive.
And I’m evolving.

I’m Reading at CensorFest

Let’s celebrate the power of creative expression — and the freedom to offend — Wednesday, February 23rd 8pm at the cozy, kitchy Raw Sugar Cafe at Censored Out Loud:

Join a motley crew of writers, actors, musicians (including Lisa Poushinsky, Nichole McGill, Jesse DangerouslyMegan Jerome, Jessica Ruano, Mike Essoudry) and nobodies like me as we celebrate Freedom To Read Week by belting out some scandalous — and not so scandalous — censored or challenged works.

Cover: $10 or pay what you can.
Proceeds to PEN Canada.

Hope to see you there.

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