The Enchanted Goddess Emerges…

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It has been an amazing journey since I last posted! In these Pandemic times, my timeline of events have become more fluid. I see to be time 🧭 traveling back to my fab creative performance days, featured here.

I have been blessed with so many amazing fellow creative soul travelers and communities along the way. The Enchanted Goddess Project is a magical vehicle for creating a space for me and so many women to celebrate and showcase their gifts and talents. There has been a “pandemic pause” around the world which we are all in together. I am also embarking on the most creative leg of my journey with my precious toddler grandson! More exciting creative musings to come…..

The Enchanted Goddess on TV

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This is a dream come true! Empyre Productions came to me about doing a telecast on Queens Public Television about the creation of “The Enchanted Goddess Project: A Literary Creative Arts Series.”  I was in awe!

 The magic🌟of +Empyre Productions producing and telecasting my show “The Enchanted Goddess” is a dream come true! Creativity is the portal to transformation! World renowned author/artist SARK aka +Susan Kennedy was the catalyst for launching “The Enchanted Goddess Project: A Literary Creative Arts Series” in 2014. +Queens Art Council and +Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer gave me the tools to create my artistic practice and a SU CASA Grant to build “The Young at Heart” program for Senior Women. 

  I was also able to have some of my work published in Newtown Literary, +Silver Birch Press, Backpack Press, Siren Magazine +Wendy Angulo’s fab “Lifting the Burden of Shame” series. I’ve been featured in +Queens Tribune +Queens Gazette in +Nicollette Barsamian’s fab “Local Express” Series, in +HuffPost in +Queens Ledger , +Luchia Dragosh’s fab series “Power Women of Queens” on +QPTV – Queens Public Television +Empyre Productions has featured me in their amazing “ArtistSpace” and “World of Arts” series on +QPTV – Queens Public Television 

   I also was interviewed for curating/hosting “Celebrating Queens Women Artists” annual performance series at +Queens Art Council  on +NY1 News I host “The Enchanted Goddess Reading Series” and “The Enchanted Goddess Creative Arts Collective” workshop series. I am currently writing my first book “The Enchanted Goddess of Queens.”  

  My website is: joanbechtwillette.com and on FB: http://facebook.com/ literarygoddess 

 

SU CASA Artist Residency Miracles

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The past six months have been a creative and miraculous experience for me, working with Seniors for my SU CASA Artist Residency, from a Grant funded by the Queens Council of the Arts, New York City Council, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Department of the Aging and Materials for the Arts. The Seniors well into their 7th and 8th decade, met the challenges of creative artistic and written expression with such joy and passion. The vaulted over language, physical and cultural barriers with alacrity and spirit!

 

Initially I was intimidated by the language barrier, but I found out quickly- that the “language of the heart” transcends all. Also, there were some bilingual Seniors that eased the transition into the creative activities. I learned all my colors in Spanish and many phrases. As a bride building activity, I had my brother and his family from Mexico, come visit the Senior Center and speak in Spanish and share their adventures as a family in Mexico. There was much laughter and hugs and kisses to go around amongst them!

 

The Seniors began to get more adventurous with their spoken and English phrases. Community was built with our laughter and forays into painting, writing poetry and personal narratives, making handcrafted jewelry, tee shirts and totes. They were feisty despite some fine motor or mobility issues as well. Some of the most interesting art and narratives emerged from these Seniors who came from countries all around the globe!

 

The most transformative part of the Residency was when they made their Frida Kahlo crowns and put them on. Their faces glowed with such beauty and vitality.  I captured these images on camera, and created a “Glamour Shoot Photo Gallery” at their public performance “Young at Heart Performance.” They we’re so delighted and deeply touched at their own visages. I was totally moved. Also, watching the Seniors strut on stage with a microphone and sing or recite a personal narrative or poem – was a wonder to behold.

 

My life has changed forever with this Residency. It has concurred my beliefs that “creativity marches through the decades and transforms lives.” This is also the mission statement of my “The Enchanted Goddess Project” practice. I saw Seniors regenerating right before my eyes. They worked well collaboratively and weren’t afraid to try new projects. We even did a creative writing unit with “positive affirmations.”

 

I have been a teacher, big sister and a mother for decades working with creativity. Now I give creative workshops to midlife women and to young artist women, who want to collaborate in their artistic practices. Now I have worked with vital Senior women who are transforming on e creative project at a time! Creativity has always been an active part in my life – is it in yours?

 

 

 

 

The Enchanted Goddess Teeshirts

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It is very exciting to see a dream come to fruition! I had my “The Enchanted Goddess” logo created by a renowned Graffiti Artist legend and author Louie Gasparro! I am pictured here with Queens Council on the Arts Projects Director Molaundo Jones. It captures the essence of the “rebel spirit of the divine feminine!”

I created Teeshirts from soft cotton with a longer length. The black and white palate gives versatility to any badass goddess’ wardrobe. You can “modify” the design by cutting off the collar for an off the shoulder looks cut the sleeves off or make it a crop top. More designs to come!

*10% of the proceeds will be donated to “Hour Children” an organization that houses/educates homeless previously incarcerated women and their children.

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“Vital Friendships”

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Let’s talk creativity, sisterhood and uproarious laughter, marching through the decades. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are the epitome of that – on and off the screen!

Watch this TED talk – it is hilarious!

<a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSercnrqeN4&feature=share”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSercnrqeN4&feature=share</a&gt;

Our friendships are our lifeblood. They sustain us and nurture us. We build families of belong and communities with them. We share trials and triumphs with our friends.

We celebrate love, traditions and honor losses with our friends by our side. Friends go where family can’t. Friends go where husbands and lover’s can’t. They stand by us through the storm. Sisters by another mother.

When the going gets tough, our friends are there. We consult, cook, evaluate, create and learn to fly with our friends. We see the best versions of ourselves through their eyes. Unconditional love through the decades is their greatest gift. They chronicle all the stages of our lives and help us to be our authentic selves.

I am so blessed with so many gorgeous friends of all decades. I can grow and create in the safe space of their hearts and home. They help me remember what a brace soul I am. My friends are a built in cheering section, into this next adventurous stage of my life.

Our friendships are our greatest resource in life, along with family! So go out there and hug a friend, send an uplifting text or photo, make a call and get together and dish on all your future adventures to come!

“Young At Heart”

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I have a veritable treasure trove of friends in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s that grace my life! The wisdom and beauty they hold, is beyond compare. Truly “young at heart” they are!

About two years ago, I stumbled upon a free “Gentle Yoga” class. I parked my car and headed into the building with my Yoga mat. Unbeknownst to me, it was in a Senior Center. These elders kicked my butt in their practice! I was in awe and I continue to take classes there. I walked away with renewed hope for a fabulous active future in my cards.

My Dad is 90 and can walk faster than me, ghosts me on Facebook, loves his computer and bosses around Alexa, his virtual assistant. He drives from NY to Florida, dances, and babysits his great grand children. Dad leads a family of eight children, twenty grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. I see a very long, active and creative life in the genetic roulette wheel for me.

Then there are the lovely ladies of 87. Irene traveled across country on a plane alone, with striking palazzo pants and a vintage handbag to die for. Lila is a feisty fashion plate that sports a spiky short hair cut, large movie star sunglasses and sporting sleek NYC black attire. She is the doyenne of Astoria and whatever shops or cafes she frequents – the royal treatment ensues.

Urban Shaman Mama Donna Henes is in her 70’s and is running her own business, counseling and marrying couples and leading outdoor ceremonies and parades for hundreds of people. She is an accomplished author, blesses animals and a spiritual advisor. There is a joy and power that emanates from Mama Donna – she is unstoppable! She truly inspires me!

My dear friend Chris at 90 years of age and his recently departed wife Florence at 85 were great friends. Trips to Costco, doctor’s office or a restaurant became adventures. Florence had an irreverent sense of humor, razor sharp sense of humor, chain smoked and could out dish anyone. I sorely miss her.

Chris now solo at 90, shops, cooks, does laundry, goes on the subway to doctor’s appointments and eats out with friends and family. He is up on all the news and local events. For the past few months, I’ve been going to another Senior Center for lunch a few times a week. We watch the ladies and gentlemen get up and dance after. We laugh, go shopping and share current events. My life is greatly enriched by this treasure trove of “seasoned” friends. I feel truly inspired about my future!

“Creativity Transforms Lives”

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   Creativity transforms. Creativity saves lives. It is a life force in us. Women are natural born creators destined by their biology. We give birth to life in physical form through our bodies when we nurture families and communities.
   Women create homes, projects and beauty all around us. Our paintbrush is our open hearts and multitasking brilliant minds powered by the divine feminine that flows through us all. Knock us down, we get up. We find a way with creative solutions.
   Whether we pick up a pen✒️and journal, a spatula 🥞for culinary creations, a paintbrush 🖌to create on canvas or a nursery, music 🎶 for an audience or a captive👩‍👧lullaby…. women suit up and show up for their lives. No matter what struggles and challenges, we share stories and solutions in community. Think “Red Tent” time. 
   We gather as our souls connect and divine sacred solid solutions to dealing with divorce, illness, career challenges, relationships, depression, disappointments, financial downturns and planting dreams for the future.

We pull together, we pray and we open our hearts and souls – to create. Solutions divinely appear when we lay pen to paper, paint to canvas or wall, photograph our neighborhood, plant some herbs or some dreams, go back to school for design or business, take a dance or yoga class….
   In my life, there have been many struggles and epiphany moments. I have skated in between worlds of many of the aforementioned challenges. Creative expression has always brought me through the other side. I have learned so much from a “young woman warrior” who has walked after me, with such grace and dignity. 
    My heart❤️bursts open with such pride, as she continues to walk the “powerful matriarchal lineage” of my life. My daughter Allison has faced a “lion’s share” of challenges in her life. She faces them full on with a “warrior’s heart.” She picks up herself journal and writes to reveal her soul’s “River Styx” down deep. She is fearless in traveling into “the depths” all while juggling career, relationships and family challenges. 
   Allison creates amazing textiles by “modding” through tearing apart and breaking down elements of materials and blends them into something “unique and extraordinary!” She transforms and upcyles items into magnificent personalized “fashion for the soul!” I have been a lucky recipient of her transformative🔮creations! That is a powerful metaphor for her life and how creativity reveals and transforms into something beautiful in her life.
   As a “warrior of the heart” she loves deeply and connects on a soul level with all the people in her personal and work life. Break ups and former colleagues become life long friends. Allison also creatively divines the language of the soul, through reading the✨stars and astrological🔮charts with an intuition that sheds light into so many souls. She builds bridges of understanding and creates another lense in which we can continue to recreate our lives going forward- with the cards we are dealt with. 
   If this young warrior woman soul can do it – so can we! Look into a Yoga class or go to a “Paint Nite.” Go to the library and feast on it’s literary bounty or create a culinary surprise for you or a loved one. Crank up some music -and dance in your living room or at a club. Plant an herb garden and watch how it mirrors the growth in your life.
   Start the day with your journal and some magic markers and write down your dreams & challenges, and watch the creative solutions pop onto the page! A “claw foot tub” from a vision board manifested. “A written dream list with “Venice” rested in the page for a decade – before it manifested into a life altering adventure. 
   What avenues of creative excursion are you willing to take – to alchemize the life of your dreams?

“The Enchanted Goddess” becomes “A Power Woman of Queens”

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Enjoy the video🔻link below of the show!

http://www.qptv.org/content/power-women-queens-joan-becht-willette

  Such an interesting turn of events – to be featured on TV! We as women have so many roles to play, in our families, careers and communities.  I have been a teacher, sister, daughter, friend, wife and mom for most of my life. It is through these lenses I see my dreams and accomplishments from.
   Then a few years ago, I shake things up. I am soulfully single, left my full time career and my daughter grew up and lives on her own. I now coast down the highway of freedom and opportunity. I have unfettered creative license to pursue  hidden/undiscovered passions. “The Enchanted Goddess Project” was born, and I became “The Enchanted Goddess!”
   I started to excavate my creative gifts and dreams. I started to explore my “Dream binders” and delve into my “Inspiration notebooks.” Awakened to the stirrings of a decade or so of dreams waiting to be reaped between the pages. Taking creative writing classes, reading my work at Open Mic’s and creating “The Enchanted Goddess” writing and creativity workshops – complete with magic wands!
    I’ve curated and hosted performances of women artists. The magic of the divine feminine has captured the imaginations of so many women. “The Enchanted Goddess Project” was created to help women transform their lives, like I have completely transformed mine.
   I never saw becoming “A Power Woman of Queens” coming!  I had been taking online classes with formidable Luchia Dragosh, a QPTV videographer, producer and so much more. She saw me in a different light – as a leader and catalyst in my work, that empowers women’s lives, as “The Enchanted Goddess.”
   I just viewed my life as a teacher, a writer and a creative with a magical bent. When I saw the full page ad for the show in the Daily News, I thought “Isn’t this an oxymoron?” Before I knew it, I was sitting on a QPTV set and was being interviewed for the telecast of “The Power Women of Queens” TV show.
  As a girl, I never knew I could dream so big and that I would be a writer, publish a few pieces, be on stage and on TV.  I guess dreams being fulfilled is pretty powerful business. An ordinary teacher/mom can transform into “The Enchanted Goddess” and “A Power Woman of Queens.” I feel blessed to have so many wonderful creative women who travel this path with me!