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Strategies for clarity and achievement in business and in life.

Beautiful woman dancing in the beachMost of us spend the majority of our day doing our work. If that’s the case, doesn’t it make sense to design your life around doing something you love? Once you commit to your life as art, your art, your legacy, you’ll clearly see the new chapter ahead. You’ll hop out of bed with excitement and expectation that this day will, indeed, fulfill you. You’ll discover a desire to learn everything you can and you become a creative magnate.

Suddenly your life… your past and your present will all make sense for the future. You’ll discover the great wonder of your “Why.” When you’re in alignment and doing the work, you’ll learn the “how” was never your job, because the right people, opportunities, and miracles come easily to you. Isn’t that what you want… isn’t that what we all want?

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Creative WritingIt all made sense the day I received this message: “You made me feel not so alone.”

Instantly, I was hooked on sharing my life through writing. It didn’t matter if I set out to change one life or many; I just knew I was compelled.

I’d spent many years on the sidelines, working closely with my husband who was a writer and producer for television and film.

He was a prolific writer, and every script, was his brilliance, talent, and hard work, blended with my creative input.

Most nights, after the children were in bed, we’d sit on our patio and have lively conversations developing new story ideas. With each one, we believed with our whole hearts that the world was just waiting for this next film.

While the children were in school, I’d spend hours editing David’s scripts; and, I took weekly acting classes to learn as much as I could about character development.

Our creative partnership fueled my secret desire to write, but it also prevented me from writing. I had this twisted idea that I needed to allow David, alone, the position and title of “writer.” I believed his platform and expertise was more important, and truthfully, I thought it might make him feel as though I was taking something away from him. I hid my desire to write, comfortably behind my collaboration on his work.

My favorite show was Beauty and the Beast on CBS starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. David was the supervising producer and a writer on the modern day fairytale set against the backdrop of New York City.

Catherine, the Beauty, worked as a high-powered attorney for a prominent law firm, and while walking home in Central Park late one night, she was brutally attacked and left to die. Vincent, the Beast, with the deformed face and stature of a lion, rescued her. Vincent swiftly lifted the lifeless Catherine, into his arms, and whisked her below the city streets, through a labyrinth of tunnels where a utopian community of social outcasts made their home.

In the days that followed, Vincent cared for Catherine, tending her wounds, and soothing her with reading sonnets of Shakespeare.

The remarkable part of this story is that the love affair began while Catherine’s eyes were bandaged. When Catherine healed and saw Vincent’s face for the first time, she wasn’t frightened at all. He was the gentle soul who lovingly saved her life and restored her spirit.

Unlike the traditional Beauty and the Beast fairytale, this beast wasn’t physically transformed by Catherine’s love. Instead, the inner beauty of this man dominated the physical, and it was Catherine who was transformed by his love.  

As David would bring home his work on the show, night after night, we had many discussions about what it would be like to be physically and facially deformed. Unimaginable, really.

The show was a big hit, and we proudly walked the Red Carpet for Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. At the time, I was pregnant with my third child and thought I was living in my own fairy tale.

I couldn’t have known, then, what to expect on the night my daughter was born. The delivery room went silent. I saw my husband’s face turn ashen and my heart dropped. The moment I heard her little cry, I knew something was terribly wrong.

As the doctor lifted her up, I saw her face for the very first time. I silently mourned and tried desperately not to cry. But the odd thing was, it was a face that was familiar in a strange way. My daughter was born with a severe facial cleft, and her mouth was split almost like Vincent’s.

Suddenly we were faced with the same questions we had about Vincent, how do we introduce this beautiful soul to the unapologetic world of perfection?

It was at that moment, I was thrust into a larger life. It was time to unleash the writer in me and fiercely pursue what my heart called me to do.

In looking back at the story I’d told myself, I realized it wasn’t David’s expertise that intimidated me at all; it was my lack of courage, and the big question I was afraid to ask… Could I actually write on my own?

 That was the day my need to write became far greater than my fear of writing.

Because of Beauty and the Beast, I’d spent so many hours with thoughts of being different and shunned, that I knew what I had to do to protect my daughter from the teasing and bullying in her early years of school.

I knew I had to write her a story. I wanted to start my daughter’s school life as an empowered heroine.

“You’re a writer, you just need to write.” Jeff Goins

I had a deadline for my book and its mission, and I met it head on.

On the very first day of kindergarten, Julianne and I entered her classroom with the published, illustrated fairy tale, Rosey, the Imperfect Angel.

As I finished reading the story to the class, I looked up to see one little girl eagerly waving her hand. She could barely contain herself, blurting out, “Mrs. Peckinpah! I wish I could have been born with a cleft!”

From that point forward, Julianne was treated equally and fairly… and, as odd as it sounds, somewhat of a celebrity!

That was the first time I deeply understood the power of story telling, and how it can change people’s lives, most of all, my daughter’s.

Julianne and I toured the country, reading her story in schools, appearing on talk shows, radio programs, and speaking engagements. Our purpose was to bring hope and awaken people to a new story… the beauty of imperfection.

My daughter’s face has now come to full bloom after years of surgeries and the right care. I look at her today, as she steps into her adult life… strong, confident, and beautiful in every way. It makes me cry.

I know for sure, there’s something inside of you that can make that kind of difference in people’s lives. Creativity comes in many forms, it just takes unveiling your gift.

Don’t hide your creativity out of fear of not being good enough, or what people might think or say. We aren’t meant to simply stay small, we’re meant to share our talents and stories as gifts to others. And something more… it’s our legacy.

Isn’t it time to awaken your creative life? Give yourself a reason, a plan, and a deadline. Stop hiding your work. Put it out there for one person, or many. You never know when it will happen, but be ready for the life you’re going to change… like this one:

“I thought I was the only one who felt this way. You made me feel not so alone. It brings me hope.”

As a writer, that’s the best feeling in the world.


Follow your Art and the World Will Take Notice

by Sandy Breakthrough to Happy

And your art may not be what you think it is I just returned from Gidget’s ranch with a bounty of fresh cauliflower, lettuce, mustard greens, baby carrots and sweet tangerines. Our friendship began when I had this crazy passion to ride a horse in 1983. I had two young boys finally in pre-school and […]

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Chateau writing

This Was My Story, Now it’s Your Turn

by Sandy Emerging Woman

This new year, I was thinking about my goals and dreams. I asked one important question: How can I use my life to help more people?  Two years ago, I dreamed about writing a book to help guide grieving parents as they navigated the healing process following the loss of a child. I knew that story well… It was my story. Writing the book was […]

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My Paris Awakening

by Sandy Breakthrough to Happy

I never expected what happened in Paris. It was supposed to be a time to recharge, visit the sights, and enjoy being with my husband. Until I arrived in Paris, I had no idea how a different perspective and culture would help me appreciate what I’ve already achieved and inspire me even more. For months […]

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A Summer Mixed Bag of Gifts for You!

by Sandy Breakthrough to Happy

This summer is the culmination of some of the happiest times in my life…. and the most difficult. As you know, my son, Jackson, graduated from college in May; my daughter, Julianne, got married in June to a man I adore; and in the midst of it all, my son, Trevor, fell in love with […]

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Uncover Your Life’s Purpose and Discover Your Hearts Desire

by Sandy Emerging Woman

“Ask yourself…what is my heart’s desire and how can I use that to make a difference in the world?” This last month was a huge milestone for me… it was one I’ve been a little afraid of since I gave birth to my first child. I’ve emerged from this chapter of my life and I’m […]

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And now, the next act truly begins…

by Sandy Emerging Woman

“The modern woman is a blur of activity. She is pressured to be all things to all people.”Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. –author, Women Who Run With the Wolves Yes… that quote describes me… in fact it’s most women I know. We suffered a deep identity crisis that began decades ago when women went out into […]

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A Secret and the Back Story

by Sandy The Emerging Woman

“You will only have to think for a second to know exactly why you received this message today.” As many of you know, for years, I worked with my late husband, a television screenwriter who wrote and produced popular television series like Beauty and the Beast for CBS, Sliders, the sci-fi thriller about people sliding […]

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