September 9, 2013

The long-lost art of the dinner party: Or, why you should quit whining & create your own wonderland, already!

The best piece of advice I ever received didn’t come from a guru, a monk or a world-famous motivational speaker.
It came from my best friend’s mom.
Her wisdom-bomb?
“You can’t wait for other people to invite you out. Create your own reasons to celebrate.”
It was 14 years ago, and my BFF Karen and I were moaning about the fact that “nothing fun ever happens around here.”
“Here” being the corn-fed state of Indiana, far from the glamorous lights & swanky rooftop bars of LA, Seattle and NYC.
I took that momma’s lesson to heart, and I’ve made it my mission to remind myself (and others) that life is delicious, when you take initiative!
I’ve gotten pretty good at it, too — swirling life coaching with slumber parties & green smoothie smackdowns, so that big transformation happens while we’re busy laughing our asses off.
“Don’t wait for the fun — create it.”
That’s the motto I borrowed from my BFF’s mom.
But every now and again, I forget my own motto.
In fact, it happened just a few months ago.
I’d been jealously watching my friends post photo after photo after mouth-watering photo of the “Farm to Table” dinner parties they’d been attending, up in the Pacific Northwest.
Pan-seared brussel sprouts with bacon! Rocket lettuce with seared peaches & buffalo mozzarella! Fresh rhubarb cobbler with a ginger-caramel drizzle! Ohhhh mah gawd!
I turned to my husband and I lamented, “Damn it! We live in FARM COUNTRY INDIANA. We’ve got nothing BUT farms. Why the heck aren’t there any ‘Farm to Table’ dinners around here? Why are we so booooring?”
And then, I heard my own mantra ringing in my head:
“If you’re craving something — create it.”
And I thought, “Holy crap! I’m going to host one myself — and turn it into a coaching event. Work + play + fabulous women + food = YES!”
My first Farm to Table dinner unfurled in my very own backyard — and it was pure magic. 
My best girlfriend loaned me her blue mason jars to hold wildflowers for the tables, and another gal loaned me her mom’s vintage linens. The finishing touches? A crackling fire, sky lanterns & an incredible 5-course meal from a local award-winning chef.
It was an evening I’ll never forget.

20 women poured into my backyard — from as near as one block away to as far away as Washington, DC. Each woman arrived with her own story — the divorcee, the downsized, the young and adventurous — but we were all there for a common purpose:

To let go of all the things getting in the way of our happiness.

To BE the celebration that we want to see in the world.

The best moment of the night? Hands down:watching the face of one women as she released her wishing lantern into the sky and whispered, “I am now ready.”

I knew right then & there that Farm to Table dinners with dozens of girlfriends need to be a part of my life, on the regular. If nothing else: to serve as a reminder of how AMAZING life can be when you take the initiative to create your own magic.

So this fall, I’m doing it again in Seattle — because as fine as those Pacific Northwestern dinners may be … there’s never been one with bad-assery-activating coaching folded into the mix.

And there’s never been one done by me. 😉

P.S. To grab a seat at my Seattle dinner party on Saturday, October 12th — which I’m cheekily calling Girlfriends Gone Wild — click over here

P.P.S. What’s one kind of FUN you’ve been missing out on, that you’re ready to create? Percolate on that and declare it in the comments.



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