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SANTA CRUZ — The richness of so-called dark emotions such as fear, revenge, jealousy and rage are pathways to our creative energy, according to Deborah Allen, keynote speaker at the Women in Business quarterly luncheon Thursday.
“So much is never spoken about,” Allen said.
Allen is an actress, educator and counselor as well as screenwriter of “Jane the Movie,” the autobiographical story of a 15-year-old rape victim who struggles to heal emotionally. She will be encouraging her audience to turn from the stoic, “chin-up” American culture and explore the depths of their most trying times. It is there, she says, people will find inherent treasures.
“I’m a business woman, too, but my business is the interior landscape,” Allen said. That’s what I do. I help people bring more light to places that are complex and dark.”
Her talk, “Jealousy, greed, revenge and other gifts on the path to wholeness,” is meant to re-frame how people see these emotions and how they can use the inherent and useful energy within them, Allen said. Underneath are the avoidance of grief, loss or shame and, ultimately, an extraordinary amount of inaccessible fear.
“She’s going to take us on a journey from fear to enlightenment,” said Chris Maffia, chair of Women in Business, a committee of the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce. The committee’s overarching theme for the year has been “Becoming Fearless: Money, Career and Life Lessons.” The issue of fear and feeling safe is particularly pertinent for women these days given recent incidents against Santa Cruz residents, said Maffia. The last quarterly luncheon featured a talk by a martial arts expert.
So often the purview of the feminine, emotion has been devalued, Allen said. Hopefully people will become aware of how these emotions are a driving force of the machinery we live in.
“All of that power has been dormant,” Allen said. “For women to be made wrong for things we know culturally and personally — to have all that knowledge barred from the business environment is tragic. I’m suggesting that being able to work with emotions and in groups and collectively is going to change how businesses are run.”
The audience will hear some tips for unlocking the energy of their dark sides, which play out in the workplace as well as their personal lives.
“As flexible and creative as we can get with that material — the more creative solution capacity there is.” Mostly it’s about bringing awareness to it, Allen said.
The luncheon will also include a raffle fundraiser for scholarships and a “call to action,” a fundraiser for the Survivors Healing Center, which provides counseling and support to adult and youth survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their allies. Luncheon attendees are invited to bring art supplies for the center or make donations.
Follow Sentinel correspondent Jennifer Pittman at Twitter.com/jenniferpittman
If you go
The Women in Business luncheon is 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach St. Parking is free. For information, visit http://www.ittybittyurl.com/V8f. Registration is required. Chamber members are $37 and nonmembers $50.
This article on Deborah Allen’s talk to business women appeared here.