Women

Pink Flamingos in the Pool

I sat down at my computer two hours ago with the intent of completing some overdue work. I have a task I eagerly look forward to. One of those tasks that I am a little bit afraid of – a ‘just need to sit down and pump it out’ task that still isn’t finished.

I opened up my computer, clicked to open Word and got the rainbow wheel of death. You know what I’m talking about. The ever whirring wheel that taunts you saying, ‘just a sec…. let me just load this one thing.’ You sit on your hands and grit your teeth and hope that the machine you use every day will respond to your gentle caresses and coaxing.

No luck.

Open Microsoft Office support, let them log on remotely (that’s ok right? I feel like I’m signing away all of me when someone remotes into my computer) and here I sit, uninstalling over 70,000! files so I can reinstall my Microsoft Office suite.

My task remains unfinished. My brain, and maybe the universe, are telling me to switch gears. Here we are instead, blogging. A much better use of time than staring at the screen as my trash bin empties on my Mac.

I drift back in memory to the wonderful weekend I just spent in Scottsdale, Arizona with my cousin’s best friends.

Lew, as we affectionately call her, is three years older than me and was always the epitome of cool. We grew up living two hours apart and spent major holidays, vacations, and summer play dates together. In elementary school I was in awe of her competitive soccer team and would get excited when her traveling team would come up north for a weekend game. In junior high I envied her Abercrombie and Fitch clothing and group of best friends. When I was in high school she would invite me to come watch a movie at her house nearby as she was in college. I’d marvel her home full of all things college – sports paraphernalia and the cute boys from the ‘guy’s house’ across the street.

She stood as Maid of Honor for my wedding and in three weeks time I will stand as a bridesmaid in hers.

I was thrilled to fly to Arizona for a weekend girl’s trip for her bachelorette extravaganza. I was blessed with an opportunity to bask by a pool in the desert and to rest in a beautiful mansion. Blessed with many hours of conversation that were distinctly feminine. The conversations carried threads of hopes for marriages, our careers, their babies (no, no not me, just all of her friends).

Laughter bounced along the water ripples as one of us would occasionally jump off the diving board or fall in the pool after trying to balance on a floating flamingo.

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Lew and me on our floating creatures.

There is something powerful when women gather. Energy shifts, back rubs are given freely, tears are shed over iced glasses of rose wine. I didn’t know these women that well, and frankly, they have intimidated me all of my life. Looking up to a cluster of amazing women that have supported my cousin has often left me feeling jealous – why can’t I seem to foster decade long friendships with such ease?

The veil lifted, though, as I took time to speak with each of these ladies. My myths of glamorous girls formed into real people with real problems, hopes, dreams, and jokes. Lots of wonderful jokes. I started to feel like a part of them. And that is a beautiful thing.

Friendship with women can be hard. We form cliques, we gossip, we exclude – unintentionally, often in an effort to protect ourselves. Yet, if we can let down our own IMG_5081guard, and let people in a little bit, we can find a whole lot more of ourselves.

A social lubricant of three powerful margaritas sipped out of a penis-shaped straw may have helped. 

It felt wonderfully beautiful to be taken care of, to rest, to sleep in the sun.To share salads and crackers and bits of cheese. To float on flamingos, and unicorns, and swans.

 

 

 

 

Get your own flamingo here: GoFloats Flamingo PartyTube Inflatable Raft, Float In Style (for Adults and Kids)

When Life Unravels

Beautiful power exists when we share our stories.

I have had the honor of writing for Invoke Magazine again, and today another installation goes live. For those who are interested in the beauty of sharing truth, being honest, and vulnerable in online spaces, here is my article.

3 Ways to Cope with Grief and Uncertainty (from Someone Who’s Been There)

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Thank you to Anna and Emily for the privilege of contributing again.

With love, bravery, courage and hope.

 

“What I Believe About You”

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I think I found this picture on Pinterest, I can’t remember, and I’m sorry if I’m not giving appropriate credit. What I love, however, about this little quote is it encourages authenticity. And it encourages celebrating myself. I don’t think society does a great job of encouraging us to celebrate ourselves. We down play compliments, are quick to point out flaws, and are often afraid of tooting our own horn for fear of being arrogant, loud, self centered. Yes, there are plenty of those “me monsters”, as comedian Brian Regan would call them, but I think it is rare when we come across people who are worth celebrating that actually allow themselves to engage in self celebration.

This week I had a few choice encounters with beauty in this world. My favorite came in a really unexpected way. I was invited on a whim to participate in an online writers workshop called Women Who Write Rock  – a virtual retreat where for seven days women share their writing online, and participate in Skype sessions, and post on Facebook. This opportunity excited me, and scared me too, because while I love writing, I do not love criticism or critique and I really am kinda uncomfortable with people I don’t know. But I signed up, and it has been a really fun journey so far. I am on day 4 of 7 and I am responding to prompts and responding to other people’s writing. Beautiful writing with beautiful expression of pain, of joy, of experience, and of self celebration. I am getting positive feedback, and these other people’s responses – hundreds of women whom I’ve never met- are making me feel more at home in this world that doesn’t often celebrate women.

This week, my beauty to share with you is the affirmation that the workshop creator gave to us as we started our week of writing. Helene Rose, whom I’ve never met, inspired me and gave me such a confidence boost with her words.  These words are reminders we should repeat throughout the day. They should echo in our actions, and be whispered to ourselves when we feel crummy. They should be yelled from mountain tops, and sneak out through laughter. They should be celebrated. We should be celebrated. How do you celebrate yourself?

” What I Believe About You”

You are a woman of great strength and courage.
You have the ability to express yourself. It may or may not need prodding. But it’s there.
You have a right to be heard, your voice booming out to the world, for all to witness.
You have a unique story to tell. All women do.
Your presence on the earth is magnificent, and we need you. We need your unique contribution.
Your life is filled with challenge and heartache, but it’s for a purpose. To serve your soul.
Your inner creatrix yearns to be free, to express, to just be, without judgement.
You deserve every ounce of ecstatic joy and abundance that life has to offer.
You can overcome your fears and claim your place in heaven on earth. The earth will rejoice.
You are a kick-ass, warm-hearted, kind, compassionate, loving, fierce and powerful woman. A force to be reckoned with.
Your broken-heart only grows stronger, more authentic, and more open to love when it heals.
Your supportive feminine community yearns to witness your heart-opening experiences through your creative self expression.
You want to be held and we hold you, in loving compassion.
You are a shining star. XXOO, Helene ”

 

 

For more information about Helene, check out Bebrilliantnetwork.com