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I Am Diva
BY: Elena Bates, Maureen O'Crean, Molly Thompson, Carilyn Vaile

The Legend of the Diva

Once upon a time in a land not so far away two sisters were born: Cinderella and Divarella. Although most of us have heard Cindy’s story, Diva’s story has remained a mystery . . . until now.

    From the very beginning both girls were taught how to be “proper” ladies, how to act, what was expected of them. They learned how to be good and appropriate, how to be patient and let the world come to them. There was pressure to conform and not to rock the boat. Day after day, once the chores were finished, Diva watched as Cindy would retreat into her fantasy world. Cindy was happy pretending to dance with her prince, and spent hours talking to the birds and mice about her dream man, telling them, “Someday, he will come.” Diva tried to pretend, too, but instead of making her happy, it made her anxious. Where Cindy was singing, Diva was screaming.

    Over the years Cindy seemed to relinquish herself more and more fully to her makebelieve world, letting the real one simply pass her by. Diva tried to get Cindy to explore the outside world, beyond the gates of their small town, but Cindy refused. She was happy waiting for things to get better, dreaming about her prince sweeping her off her feet and out of her hellish existence. It was not that way for Diva, who felt her discontent growing slowly over time. One day their stepsister burst into the tiny room Diva and Cindy shared and demanded that one of them iron her dress immediately. Cindy jumped up and snatched the dress out of her hands, always eager to please. Diva, however, stayed right where she was. She had had enough.

    Something inside Divarella began to stir. She felt as if she didn’t belong to the destiny to which she seemed predetermined. She felt lost. It had been deeply ingrained in her to “do the right thing,” but she began to wonder if that was truly her heart’s desire. Sure, Cindy will get the hunky man and the beautiful glass slipper, Diva thought to herself, but there’s got to be so much more out there. She longed to experience life, not dream about it. Diva sensed that the life that had been planned for her would be fine but somehow, “fine” didn’t cut it anymore. Predictability didn’t appeal to her, nor did settling, and certainly not being at the beck and call of anyone, especially those who were mean to her. Diva wanted to learn more about herself and discover—or better yet, create—who Diva really was. As she slowly took her hair down from her tight bun, she also felt herself unwind. She was no longer willing to wait around and to live her life by others’ expectations. While she was tempted by promises of safety, security, and a “good” (read predictable, boring) life, Diva couldn’t ignore the little voice in her head that started as a whisper and steadily grew louder until it sounded to her like a choir of the purest voices singing, “I am sensuous, succulent, passionate; I am outrageous, electrifying, fabulous; I Am Diva!”

    Diva felt the surge of emotions in her body. She began to dance a wild and freeing dance of sensuality. Cindy was shocked as Diva swayed her hips back and forth to the music that only she could hear. Diva stripped off her torn and tattered dress and examined her body in the mirror for the very first time. She liked what she saw. Cindy was speechless and covered her head with a blanket. “Cindy, could a life of stellar proportions be possible?” Diva exclaimed as she strutted back and forth across the room in her imaginary high heels. She didn’t know the answer, and Cindy was too paralyzed with fear to speak. Diva decided that taking the risk to find out who she was was worth the adventure.

    And with that thought, she shook her hair free and did the unthinkable: She took scissors to her flowing locks. Her mother had always told her she must keep her hair long, because that’s how men liked it, but what a nuisance it was now. As she threw the first cut of her hair to the floor, she felt her power surge through her body, her Diva power. Halfway through the process of cutting her hair she looked in the mirror and got a glimpse of a woman with chic tousled hair—a welcome change from that straitlaced bun, no matter what her mother or anyone else thought.

    Now she was ready to begin her quest to start creating her own destiny based on her own rules and definitions of what pleased her. She saw a glimmer of what was possible in the mirror, and it ignited into a fury of passion for life, love, laughter, and happiness. What had seemed a distant, blurry, and unattainable fantasy suddenly came into sharp focus. For the first time it seemed not only possible, but probable; Diva had stumbled onto the greatest untapped natural resource anybody had ever seen: her inner self, her Diva self! “This is it!” she exclaimed. No more would her self-expression be squashed by the rules of society or her creativity suppressed by the naysayers; from here on out she would live by her own rules of outrageous self-expression and unlimited possibilities. She would live the delicious, juicy, over-the-top, off-the-charts, spectacular life she had previously only dreamed of. She would never be bored again.

    But in the midst of her epiphany, a glimmer of self-doubt set in. Scrutinizing her reflection in the mirror, she became horrified. Just look at the mess she’d made! Her hair was a fright—half long, half short. The “Anti-Diva” within her showed her ugly face for the first (but not necessarily the last) time as she shouted, “What have I done?” Diva quickly decided that she needed help, and turned to her beloved—if somewhat repressed—sister. Cindy heard the urgency in Diva’s voice and rushed over to finish the job. “You gorgeous thing you!” Cindy cried as she set eyes on her sister. “Two more snips and you’ll be a knockout.” Diva jumped up and hugged Cindy. “Cindy, I want you to know how wonderful this feels,” said Diva. And although Cindy declined to cut her own hair, Diva enthusiastically set out on a mission to share her “treasures” with gal pals and support them in their mission and commitment to living spectacular, stellar, joyous lives. Like a sponge she soaked up qualities she admired in others, gaining momentum along the way. She learned something from every experience, from every encounter with a friend or stranger. Diva learned how to tap into her inner resources, her inner fire, passion, zest for life, love, and pursuit of happiness. She found that no matter where she was, she felt energized. For the first time in her life she was truly, deeply gratified, and that deep satisfaction quickly spread to others.

    “I’ve unlocked the secrets to pleasure, fun, freedom, and passion!” she would rejoice. “Let me show you the way to Divadom!” Women everywhere followed her like the Pied Piper. Together they formed a village, which would later turn into a nation, a planet, and ultimately a universe of empowering, outrageous, fully expressed, joyous Divas! Now it’s your turn. For in this book we will share the secrets Divarella has taught us on our own quest to Divadom. So go ahead, turn the page, and let’s begin!

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