Welcome to my new website!

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“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!

“Celebrating Queens Women Artists”

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http://www.queenscouncilarts.org/calendar/2017/2/8/celebrating-queens-women-artists
   I am so blessed to know so many talented women artists. It has been three year journey uncovering my creative venues, that have transformed my life!  I have always been an avid reader, writer and creative arts person in my classroom and in my home.  I grew up with a tribe of creative painters, teachers, crafters and musicians in my childhood home.
  My talents and secret creative dreams remained in the confines of my heart and home for decades!  I was so busy with juggling family, career and community for decades, that I had little time to ponder and create our into the world.
   The I left my full time career and marriage and embarked on an amazing solo adventure of creativity!  Suddenly I was whisked into the heart of the Queens Arts scene by “The Rebel Poet of Queens” Audrey Dimola – who introduced me to so many reading and open mic venues – to read my freshly minted pages aloud, on stage and in public!  Hoong Yee Krakauer- Director of the Queens Council on the Arts mentored me and welcomed me with open arms into the plethora of artist workshops and performances at her venue.  Yvonne Shortt, an innovator and director of RPGA awarded me my first grant – to create poetry in Socrates Park for community members. Mari Fernandez- founder/producer filmed and televised me for my for TV show on QPTV.
  I started “The Enchanted Goddess: Literary Creative Arts Series” two years ago. So many women read, wrote, shared and collaborated in community.  Jennifer, May, Lucy, Sikeea, Sanyukta, Tania, Christina… all writers, artists, phographers and musicians sat down together sharing their dreams and creative visions!
  And now we have “Celebrating Queens Women Artists” performance to celebrate all these creative goddesses!  I am bursting with such love and gratitude for all these amazing women who create, collaborate and celebrate together!

For more info: http://www.queenscouncilarts.org/calendar/2017/2/8/celebrating-queens-women-artists

Astoria Characters: The Enchanted Goddess | The Huffington Post

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http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5884cc77e4b0d96b98c1dd26

A Dream Come True”

  I am so blessed to have an amazing and inspirational community behind me! My family and friends have been so supportive!  This is the year where seeds burst through the ground and take flight – “The Enchanted Goddess: Literary Creative Arts Series.”  Women are growing, awakening, collaborating and creating. This has been my dream for decades, after a decades long as a Public School Teacher. The skill set morphs and alchemizes!  To be continued…..

“Crossroads”

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This is 2017.  A time for reflection.  This street art piece, by Audrey Dimola, speaks to me.  We can all be spectacularly unique, fluid and changing, but still be complete in this very moment in time. Yet the masterpiece of me and you, are definitely works in progress.

 

Me, as I know me, is a beautiful midlife creative writer, mother, teacher, lover, friend and bridge builder. I have been this masterpiece all my life! As the decades march on, I still embody all these roles of being. Spectacularly, I might add. And so do all of you!

 

Take a peek behind the curtain of your life. Look at how “12 years old” you are in so many aspects of your life! This is where the “alchemy” comes in your “work in progress” parts of your life.

A new career, an empty nest or a divine unrest stirs. Impetus for broad brush strokes of new living, loving and creating are in the air! Do you dare to look under the bed?

 

Will it herald an invitation to dance to write a book, start a new business, settle old business, a love affair with yourself or another, a new creative venture, tango lessons, an excursion to Bali…..

 

Well, after decades of full time teaching, I did. I opened that door. I left a marriage I had outgrown. My divine daughter was grown and on her own path. I left a career overcome with layers of bureaucracy. I bought my own home of belonging, in Queens (of course!) I took classes, did various odd jobs of teaching gigs and started to write and actively create. I was finally “allowed out to play” in my life.

 

A new fresh creative community of friends and mentors entered my life. Rekindling of tried and true long term friendships with new adventures ensued. Dancing, dating and blue hair with bohemian flair graces my new life. Open Mic’s, gallery shows, artist events galore knock at my door.

 

With rapidly beating heart, I curated and hosted my first show “Celebrating Queens Women Artists” last March. It was a smashing success, in which the artists were celebrated in local TV and print media!  I  am also starting to write my first book “The Enchanted Goddess of Queens.” Just jumping into the deep end of the pool, I am!

 

Within the first year , after leaving my career, I published several pieces of work, was featured in “The NYC Poetry Festival” “Queens Lit Fest” and on QPTV shows “The World of Art” and “ArtistSpace” as well as received my first QAI Grant. I also started “The Enchanted Goddess: Literary Creative Arts Series.” Not bad for a “work in progress!”

 

In the second year I started “The Enchanted Goddess Performance Revue Series.” I was published in another book, “These Winter Months.” I hosted several other shows and started a creative collaborative group. Oh, and did I tell you – I went to Venice (alone) on a writing conference!  It was transformative!

 

I know that you can do this too! Life is an adventure, if you dare to dive in. The “forever young” are the bold of heart – like us! Being a work in progress, is a great place to be – flexible, sensual, open, adventurous and endlessly creative. That is how malleable our lives are.

So what colorful brushstrokes are you going to use, with this great big wonderful masterpiece of your life?

“A Man with a Mission”

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A life so full with family, health and friends

That approaching ninety is not the end.

That you can live a rich full life,

And embrace hope, with a second wife.

Dad marches across the decades seamlessly,

While being strong and vital effortlessly.

His tribe of eight watch in wonder,

As he runs around and has optimism without conundrum.

That doesn’t often takes place,

Of a person occupying this age parking space.

He drives cross country and travels,

With memories of forty years with my mom, he does not unravel.

Leading the way,

By facing each new day,

With a fresh start in his heart.

A father’s wisdom does he lovingly impart.

I find answers to the reasons

Of the ways into all the seasons,

Of major changes of home, career and heart.

And gives us courage for our own fresh starts.

In life, health and love,

Anchored with prayers from above.

With his steely Taurus resilience conquers all the phases,

Of stunning losses and life changes.

His eternal youth cultivated by Joan, his loving spouse,

Has given him great health and a beautiful house.

With satisfying longevity 

He has blessed us with many decades of levity.

As a career educator well into his eighties,

Half of his children followed in his footsteps gratefully.

Into such a satisfying career,

Into the future we did not fear.

We are blessed by his ongoing legacy,

Running around way past seventy,

As a happy octogenarian!

Thank you Dad for forging the way, we love you always!