Friday, April 29, 2011

holy guacamole! (yes, i've gone and done it ...)

When you consider speaking, ask yourself whether what you have to say is an improvement on silence.
(Swami Kripalu)

Sorry Bapuji, I forgot to ask.

Not a vlog but a video in which I attempt to tell stories, babble a fair bit, get teary eyed and have no real conclusion (but Mel, did I have content?) Yes, I did refrain from reading my more emotionally charged piece of memory retrieval ... if you watch this, you will understand just how emotional that other piece must be!

Profound thought from all of this: why does doing your own thing (or thang as it would sound spoken with a twang) become burdened by expectations and judgments? When did we lose the ability to just do what we love because, well, we love doing it?

And now I wonder ... is there some kind of adrenal rush from making these things? I am floating around now in a haze ...

(although, curse you Vimeo! There is some evil gremlin within who always ALWAYS chooses a screen shot where I look like I am about to be seriously ill on the laptop.)

edit: links I need to share - Jen Lee Finding Your Voice
Natasha Reilly Creative Nachos

retrieving memory from Lisa Hofmann on Vimeo.


  1. omfg, omfg, omfg - i'm so freakin excited and i haven't even watched it yet!! *hyperventilates*

    i propose the no-content revolution....'cos that's just how we roll...

    going to watch now...*SQUEEEEE*

    can you believe i was dusting the keyboard and woke up the computer and thought to myself (as one does when avoiding continuing with the housework)...i'll just check my email and then i saw where you were and had another thought...

    and here you are!!!!!!!



  2. dear lis: you are beautiful! i am so thankful for the ihanna postcard swap as i feel such warmth in your sharings within your blog. it helps as i try to be a better person for those around me - especially my husband, kid and parents. i loved your story and your storytelling. thank you so much for sharing. and tangents are good. to me, everything relates, so the tangents are most definitely necessary. i will have to share some stories about my childhood - i often think about identity and try to explore it in my own work. hopefully soon, i will be making more. anyway, hope you have a good weekend yourself and happy mother's day in advance

  3. wow. mine wasn't a gym teacher - she was a math teacher (which i forever hate) - but i TOTALLY relate...i was the same way growing up...don't ask or it shows you don't know, don't put yourself in a position where you might be wrong...

    oh my goodness - so much here...and you made me cry and i so desperately want to protect the magic ninja-dancing-sword-fighter in my own kids...

    i SO hope you'll do more of these...i'm really beginning to realize that this telling of stories is how we'll bind the world together again...there is so much common experience in both joy and pain and for some reason we don't share even a portion of it. it's ridiculously stupid when you think about costs nothing to sit and listen while someone shares their story...

    oh...rambly, bambly comment...:D

    love to you...xoxoxox

  4. Hi Lis, wow what a brave person you are! Yes it's meaningful and yes I think you can open up for a lot of people by telling your storys. So keep up your good work and don't fear. You might end up finding some real treasures too you know. When it comes to our children I think they often have different experiences than us. The best thing to protect your daughter, as I see it, is to tell her your story and how it effected you. That way she will recognice the situations and be aware. Our children do understand a lot more than we think most of the time. That's my experience.

  5. So,of course,I became totally emotional watching this- I think one of the most powerful ways to heal our wounds is to connect the dots in the way you just did.I wanted to reach through the screen & say "But you didn't lose that moment of ecstasy & flying,Lis!It is still a part of you because you took the risk & gave it your all.Focus on THAT feeling too,not just the moments after." Your story though is powerful for me because I've been struggling with something similar.It feels debilitating somedays.Now I feel inspired to find when/where it happened for me- thank you!! You are sooo amazing & beautiful :) Much love -angela

  6. YIKES! Lis. I am so glad you did this. I always read your name in my head as more of a "Liz" than a "Lees". I'm glad I learned that. I think you are incredibly brave to have made a 15 minute vlog (yes, it's a vlog). I think Cowgirl is ridiculously lucky to have such an evolving mom to grow up with. Ugh. Gym class. Don't get me started. But it's helpful to remember some of those things on a personal level and also as a mom because it will make you help your child on a level that our parents were unable to help us. And NO - you were not supposed to know things by osmosis at any level of school (even Earth school although we might be a wee bit more accessible there). Your teacher berating as such was really he berating himself for his own poor teaching skills. Of course, forty years later we can see that but the damage is done. Do you know how gorgeous you are? How stunning your blue eyes are? Your thick hair which is the envy of so many (including me), your seeming ability to just let your story flow. Your chair dancing abilities - I mean, dancing in front of the camera (from my own insecurities - EEEEK!) I got so taken up in it, can't wait for the next one. What an enormous feat this was.

  7. Lis, dear friend. How brave you are. Did we watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at the same time? They were my favorite too! Dance, dear friend, dance. The desire is still there, the talent is there (you are SO graceful!), and now, at this wonderful stage of our lives, the only person who can tell you to do something, or not, is YOU. Watching your self-awareness is the gift you are passing on to your daughter. She will learn from your introspection, and will grow into a wonderful, confident woman. As you have, and are.
    Love and hugs, Pegi

  8. THIS 8 year old! THIS ONE!!! :) and E does exactly the same thing...'sword' tucked in her t-shirt, door closed, manic kung fu breakdancing with "Shu-shu" sound effects.

    So lovely to see you Lis. So lovely :) Movement is magical. We always knew it. xx

  9. The story was wonderful. I love the way you shared how you arrived at the story.

    It really spoke to me because of the way you put me in touch with the exhilaration you felt running to home base and then the crushing blow delivered by this of this selfish man. These experiences are wounding because we learn to not trust our own feelings. I could easily go on about this but this story is a perfect example of the way we become fearful.

    Thank you. You are a great storyteller.

  10. I LOVED it, Lis! I loved seeing you and hearing your voice. It almost felt like being in the middle of a little chat, like finally meeting you in person (a little). Actually, 14 minutes are too short.
    What you said really spoke to me as I have spent the last few months trying to disentangle myself from those destructive voices and the lies I started believing at some point in my childhood. You are so brave for sharing this here and it's encouraging me to keep finding my own voice.

  11. Hello, beautiful Cantadora! I love hearing your stories. I was so moved to hear how freely your girl expresses her desires. That tells me you are a freaking WONDERFUL mama. I hope your loving tender care of her heals the little girl in you who had her voice silenced by stupid effin' people. That gym teacher should have his license to breathe revoked, yeah?

    I hope you do more of these. Stories are magic for the teller and the listener, and when we join in story circles, we heal our very lives.

    Love you, Dandelioness! So glad we've found one another in this great big world. xoxoxox


  12. Lis!!! How wonderful to see your face! (i waited two days! till i had a quiet moment to myself, so worth the wait!)

    your gym teacher, mel your math teacher, me? my chorus teacher. omgod talk about literally loosing your voice. ugh. 7th grade. shite. STILL working on that one mr. french, thank you so very much.

    love love love coming here to hear your beautiful voice and stories and linear is just so yesterday anyway, all the juiciness is in the tangents, no? :o)

    big super duper hug and kiss, can't wait till september!!!

  13. Wow, how cool to see your beautiful face so animated and what a storytelling voice you have :) Yes please tell more stories, please :)

    Now for the truly spooky part, I too was a huge Fred and Ginger fan and I too used to spend time in my room swooshing and swaying. It would never in a million years have occurred to me to ask anyone to develop this skill- like you I have had this inbuilt belief of 'I should know this' for as long as I can remember. Also I was overweight and an introvert with parents who would probably of belittled my request if I had asked. I love so very much that your daughter is dancing so freely and that she has a mum who truly celebrates her. Oh Lis, if only we lived closer, the conversations we would have ;) I've been thinking about the teachers of my past also,I am glad to say that the majority were the role models I so craved but I have my own stories of art teachers who told me I wasn't good enough, which made me not pursue art any further in my studies. The power of words from those you are supposed to trust is amazing isn't it.

    Anyway, well done you for the video, you brave lady. I did a few during Unravelling and it felt really liberating. Maybe I need to take your example and join you in a story telling this space.

    Lots of love, Milena

  14. Lis,
    I just got a chance to sit down and watch your video. How beautifully emotional. When you got to the part about not asking questions because you're just supposed to *somehow* know... oh god do I relate! I felt my heart crack a bit in sadness for you and for myself and for everyone else striving to be perfect without ever being taught how or asking questions. It was gym class for me too. HATED gym class. How did all those kids already know the rules?

    Sadly, sometimes our parents are the ones who do the most damage (speaking from personal experience). But your daughter is so lucky to have you there to encourage her expression and to protect her dreams. There may be negative outside influences, but with you there to pick her back up... well, she is truly a blessed little ninja!

    Please keep sharing your stories <3


  15. Hi Lis, have just watched your video and also got to the part about asking questions and I really, really feel the need to say PLEASE ask the questions. No-one is going to rip you apart like that and if they even attempt to, turn around and stand in your power and say 'that's not acceptable to me'. I say this only because I have learnt the hard way too. I got told off for never asking enough and I remember being told 'you have a tongue learn to use it'! As a result I haven't stopped using it since and it's a most effective tool.I too don't know the answers and have decided it's my right to ask.

    For me it's also about knowing and feeling that you have a right to be here and ask and when we each know and feel this securely in our centre, no-one will be able to topple us and I just want to say (again!) you HAVE PERMISSION (even if it's just from me!) :)

    Go for it. You are doing the most wildly amazing job bringing up young people in this world and don't I just know it! You rock.


  16. How brave you are. I type with tears flowing down my cheeks. Did I get something from your video you ask? My tears tell me that I did but I will have to sit with myself for a bit for that "something" to be revealed.
    Thank you for putting yourself "out there".

  17. What a treat to get to spend time with you!! LOVED your video! Now headed to watch your second. So glad you made another:)