Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dear First Lady...

Maria Shriver,

My letter is an effort to share a compelling reason why you and I should meet for lunch.

I casually picked up your book, Just Who Will I Be, in Barnes and Noble one evening and began flipping through the pages.  I landed on a section where you noted your embarrassment about allowing your loss of position to chip away at your self worth.  Immediately I was drawn in and preceded to stand in Barnes and Noble reading the book front to back.  Have no fear, I still bought the book and in fact have read it again... and again.

My story.  I am forty-two years old and the mother of three boys.  My family recently uprooted and moved from Louisville, Kentucky to Dallas, Texas because of my husband's business.  I've spent my entire life working and have always intended to be a professional woman.  I was Dr. Beeny to virtually everyone in Louisville, where I served as Dean of Students at Bellarmine University, a small Catholic university.  Finding a position of interest has proven difficult, so the past year has been filled with indecision, sadness, moments of relief, and lots of confusion.  Your book came at the perfect time.

So far nothing I have said is all that compelling, I know.  Every woman has a story and many have probably put paper to pen in order to tell you theirs.  Keep reading.

In an effort to keep myself sane in my new role as stay-at-home-mom, I started a blog titled,  The purpose started out as simply sharing a creative idea a day.  A loyal readership developed quickly inspiring me to do more with the blog than originally planned.  Ultimately, I want the blog to be a place where creativity meets community... a place where the collective creativity of readers is used to improve our surrounding communities.  You have a commitment toward shining a light on extraordinary things women are doing, so I know my vision for the blog does not fall on deaf ears.

Still, not compelling for a woman as busy as you.  I know.

Here's the clincher.  I frequently challenge my readers to think big and to believe the impossible is not all that improbable.  I recently challenged them, based on content from the book, Never Eat Alone,  to make a list of three people they would like to invite to lunch: someone they know, someone they would like to know, and an aspiration person.  YOU were the aspiration person with whom I most wanted to have lunch!

There seems something so important to me in demonstrating through m own example that taking risks and being bold works.  Many of my readers listed aspiration people they would like to meet for lunch, but my guess is most everyone will stop there.  They won't pursue the dream, due to deep down, learned cynicism that there's no point in trying, because "stuff like that never really works anyway."

You are married to a leader and you exemplify leadership yourself.  So you know, for my blog to reach its full potential in creatively serving community, the readership has to believe that, yes our single acts can, in fact, make a difference.  My achieving, through this simple gesture of writing a letter, the goal of eating lunch together would go a very long way in restoring belief that we are capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to believe.

Your passion radiated from the pages of your book.  Hopefully some of my passion has been made clear through my letter.  Please join me in instilling a sense of possibility among my readers, by having lunch with me.  You are clearly busier than I am, so I will gladly work around your schedule and wait as long as necessary in order to make this dream a reality.  I can be reached by phone at (inserted my number) or by email at


Claudia K. Beeny

P.S. If lunch won't work, maybe a Starbucks.  Like you, I start off each day with a Starbucks.  My drink of choice... cinnamon dolce, non-fat, no whip, and heated to one hundred eighty degrees.

So, that's it.  That's my letter.  It was delivered in a green mailing tube with purple shred and fun stickers on the outside of the tube.  Cross your fingers and let's see what happens.  I'll be excited to hear about what happens with your invites too!

Crossing my fingers and signing off until tomorrow...

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