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Dare to Lead
February 20, 2019

The third Tuesday of each month brings one of my favorite events: Book Club. Good reads, good wine, good conversation–got that. But we also have something special which is a direct product of intention. A couple of years ago, led by a few energetic, young women, our neighbors set out to unite as a community. To go beyond the obligatory wave. To learn and care about one another. Book Club was one tiny piece of that effort and the intention has become reality. For two years now, a dozen-plus women meet, excited to spend an evening together and discuss great books. Yes! we talk about the book! For real. And everyone shares. It’s magical. I have the pleasure of leading and writing the discussion questions–an activity that fills a tiny hole in this ex-English teacher’s heart.

We begin with a get-to-know-you question that I email a day or two prior (okay, sometimes, the day of). Minus the obvious, the go-around for this question establishes the habit of one person talking while the rest respectfully listen. It works. The rest of the questions are geared toward the themes, characters, and plot of the book which often include a hint of our intended neighbor bonding and an occasional poke at our human consciousness. Usually, someone cries. Always, we laugh. And ultimately, we encourage one another. We’ve talked about our fears, joys, dreams, disappointments, challenges, and our victories. We’ve disagreed with one another on some really important stuff without a single eye roll or temper flare.

Hoping you now understand how important my book club is to me, you’ll grasp the gravity of my story here. Dare to Lead by Brene’ Brown was a bit of a departure for us. Aimed at the corporate world, I was set on crafting questions and discussion that made it relatable to our thirty-somethings, our nanas, our teachers and nurses, as well as the few book clubbers who step into the corporate world each week. But before I could write the questions, I had to finish the book. Like in a few hours. Brown says the book could be read on a single plane flight. That’s for people with attention spans and reading speeds different from mine. I started it on my way to Tampa earlier this month, but never quite got back to it. A quick Google search netted no questions. Sometimes, I find questions I can tweak and use. That would have been helpful yesterday. No luck. I did a quick meditation and called on my angels to help me focus well enough to finish this book and write meaningful discussion questions. And we all know what happens when we set a positive intention–it happened. By 5:00, I was conducting a quick edit of the questions and printing out 12 copies of a cool worksheet on values: Dare to Lead. I had plenty of time to shower, pack my bag, and make it the two blocks to  Vino Villa by 6:15 so I could make sure our room setup suited me. But first, I quickly skimmed email. I HAD READ THE WRONG BOOK! Yes! We were to read Braving the Wilderness by Brene’ Brown. Yup. And I’m the very one who typed up the list of our 2019 selections and emailed it to everyone.

Vulnerability. And yes, I see the great irony here. I had to face this group of intelligent, strong, faithful women and admit their leader screwed up. Big time. It was a moment to test my ability to trust and be vulnerable. It was an opportunity for my neighbors to show empathy and compassion. Vulnerability at its best.

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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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