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About Talking Umbrellas

You’ve always been driven to succeed, to live “your best life.”  But what if the definition of that life has changed?  What if—by choice or circumstance—you have come to an intersection?

Maybe the GPS you used to rely on can’t get a fix on your new destination. You may be facing stiff headwinds of internal and external resistance; the weather may be unpredictable, but you can count on rain and patchy fog.

Talking Umbrellas is a collective of storytellers dedicated to the premise that truth-telling women have potent medicine to share.  I’ll go first, then a sister, a friend, a mentor, fellow storm troopers:  a community of lightning rods.

And to help shine a light on the sometimes dark and destabilizing storms of transformation, we’ll give you a Weather Advisory–expert divining rods to address the psychological, spiritual, and financial aspects of change.

We honor the courage, time and space it takes to move through change, and delight in calling out the quick-fix culture that tells us otherwise.

Even for women like you, who have accomplished so much, loved with abandon and tried every form of self-help to build the “perfect” life, big personal or professional changes can be lonely, confusing and frightening. But you don’t have to go it alone.

We dare anyone to rain on your parade.  But here’s an umbrella, just in case. Let’s go girls.

about-Holly-Smith-Berry

Like you, I’m a shape shifter, living as many roles as an umbrella has spokes:

marketing exec, entrepreneur, parent, daughter, friend, sister, yogi, writer. Most of my career I’ve worked in the Housewares Industry developing new products.  Sometimes I’ve taken them all the way from the gleam in an inventor’s eye to America’s kitchens.

But wait, there’s more. I’m also a recovering perfectionist who every day for the last 35 years has asked herself (hit it Peggy Lee):  Is that all there is? Does my work really matter? Am I using my gifts? What about the writing?

As much as I’d like to break out the booze and have a ball, my inner voice inside won’t let me. As I get older, lose friends to cancer, witness the world in its crazy death spiral—this voice keeps getting louder. As I watch my brilliant father—himself once a perfectionist—succumb to Alzheimer’s disease, this voice rattles my eardrums.

There’s a whole drop down menu of reasons—real and imagined—that I have resisted my lifelong yearning to bust my writing out of the closet. 

But what has really held me back is Fear, the real F-word, the world’s most effective form of birth control for creativity.

Fear is the enemy of every inventor I’ve ever worked with. And every woman I know who wants to live a life more in synch with her heart’s compass.

The world doesn’t need more “successful” women.  It needs healers, artists, filmmakers, writers, social activists, and leaders who serve the people.  So I’ve decided to fuse my career and my calling into a labor of love called Talking Umbrellas—a community for and about women reinventing themselves.

Maybe like me, you have toiled and spun, proving yourself over and over, thinking you’re not enough.  Maybe the truth is that THIS is not enough for US.  Let’s join forces and follow that voice into the life we were born to live, and the work the world hungers for.

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