Thank you to:
Barb Mathey, a steadfast Wild Women sponsor since the beginning - and I mean when Della founded it! She has her Juenesse products here to show you. Barb also sponsors the goody bags and they are so beautiful!
Shelly Morris at the back with her lovely Lion & Rose soap smellies
Lisa Bakke, my sister for help with catering
Bartender Nicole Gregoire, Gatekeeper Julia Stenberg, photographer Sydni Hodnot, gap minder Dani Gregoire.
Table Hosts: Shawnna Verburg, Barb Mathey, Gail Young, Sabrina Blair, and here at the Founder’s Table, Della Rae.
I have printed up postcards to both thank all my table hosts and support team and to also give you contact information if you want to get in touch, so please feel free to take that postcard with you.
I am so happy to introduce to you our Guest Artist Mary Suzanne Garvey. She is an artist, healer and professional muse on the loose. She is mastering the healing arts as an artist, massage therapist, craniosacral therapist, yoga instructor, meditation guide and art journal workshop facilitator which she has done for over twenty years. She knows first hand the transformational effect creativity can offer the body and soul and believes in the healing power of the creative process. Speaking from my own experience, anything you choose to do with Mary is a gift: in a private painting session she hangs out casually just long enough to get you started then she flies in on her fairy wings (I know you might not be seeing them just now but, trust me, they are folded up there behind her) with just the right snacks, music, and color suggestions and then poof, she is gone again without disturbing your newly found meditative state. Or a hot stone massage that leaves you feeling like you don’t have bones anymore. And she also does journaling workshops, so whatever calls to you just go do that as an excuse to hang out in her healing energy for a while, you’ll be glad you did! Mary has handpainted journals, cards, and information on her classes here, so come check it out when we have a break.
If you were here in May you know about our Wildchild Amara. I came up with this idea of “adopting” a local woman in need as a way of showing gratitude and giving back and a way to connect as a community. Our very own Founder Della Rae, who is the original Community Spark, is going to give an us update on Amara’s status and what we have been able to bring to her.
If I EVER think I’ll be able to get up here without my cheat sheets this is NOT the time. I have so many topics I’d like to cover I feel like a dog in a squirrel park so these sheets are here to keep me on point! Here’s the heads up, let’s see if you can follow my crazy thread: Women waking up, Common Ground, love, relationships, and connecting, self-care!
I’m always nervous getting up here, but for different reasons of course. Today it is a number of things: well, it’s always nerve-wracking to speak! I have so many thoughts that I would like to touch on I fear being all over the place, like I said, but as I gave it more thought the thing that jumped out at me is this (and I think it is what often makes people hesitate to speak out): none of us want to be misunderstood.
It is difficult right now to say anything without people assuming a political implication. I don’t like the sniping, rhetoric, and posturing that always seems to be a part of it. What I AM a big fan of is just basic love, relationships, and connecting people. How can we help each other live better lives? (yes, I get that THAT is what politics SHOULD be about, ironic yes). I am grateful that I have been running the WWS for nearly 6 years now and I have been standing up here and showing all of you my heart (if you have missed parties you can see my talks on the website, there’s a tab for Party Talks, to brutally sum up for those who don’t know me: I got divorced, became an empty nester, my sister and I nursed Mom through Parkinson’s - and lost her, 2 years ago wrestled with my Dad’s 4th wife through his illness and just lost him 3 months ago, it’s been rough). But I have been able to take all of you along on my personal journey and development and you have been able to watch me fumble along, learn how to speak in front of you, and more importantly learn how to find my voice. My message has not changed, the mission statement that Della created remains: to bring women of all age, race, and background together to encourage self care. But I feel I am getting a stronger voice and I feel blessed that I have created a platform where I can present Self Care to you in so many ways. I have added a formal Guest Speaker, put the Guest Artist as a beautiful backdrop, and (I used to throw in music as a “surprise” but have now made it consistent with each party) a featured Guest Musician. And I do this to both appeal to all your senses and to give us all exposure to our different communities. I like the term self care because it is broad and can mean different things to each of us. For me it all speaks to my personal North Star, the thing in life that sparks my passion, and that is love, relationships, and connecting people. My friend Karey told me that she thinks I’m good at herding butterflies. To me this is such a huge compliment - to all of us! If it means you’re all my butterflies…I love that!
As your CIO, Chief Inspiration Officer, this is my job! I aim to have you leave here inspired in some way, whether it is by the guests (including your fellow guests), the wild-tinis, or the smell of soap! This is my way of throwing a bunch of spaghetti up and hoping something will stick.
What I originally hoped to bring to the WWS was my love of bringing women together and the connections that come from that. What I am discovering and learning is this recurring theme of the power of women together. I gather phenomenal women together like this because I love the magic that is created and the opportunities we have to support, encourage and care for each other, as well as practicing self-care.
So let’s just jump right into some interesting science news that I read just Friday night:
It has long been suspected that human consciousness can impact the earth’s magnetic field and create disturbances in it, particularly during moments of high anxiety, tension and passion
On 1/31/2017, for the first time in recorded history, the Schumann Resonance reached frequencies of 36+.
This is a big deal. In 2014, it was considered anomalous for the frequency to have risen from it’s usual 7.83 to somewhere in the 15-25 levels. The article was titled “Humans are waking up”.
Dan Rather was on Jimmy Fallon the other night, he is 85 years old; can you imagine all the events he has reported on and/or witnessed?? he suggested that rather than compare the turnout numbers for the inauguration and the women’s march the next day, what if we COMBINE the numbers and marvel at how many people are active and awake?
I’ve started speaking about the divine feminine here, well it’s an obvious place to discuss such a thing. We like to think that we are just discovering this now but remember those Greeks? (If you don’t, I have an ally here, I’m pretty sure she can find that Greek root to every word!). So starting with the original Superheroes in ancient Greece, every superhero needs a nemesis in order to awaken; if you don’t have to deal with an adversary then it would never happen.
There is a story that Buddha was giving a talk to a group of disciples while holding a bird in his palm. The students were fascinated by Buddha’s ability to prevent the bird from flying away and were unable to duplicate his feat. Finally, unable to restrain their curiosity, they asked “Master, why does the bird not fly away?” The Buddha responded: “It is quite simple, my friends. Each time I sense the bird will take flight, I simply drop my hand a bit and the bird has nothing to push off from.”
As you know, I draw heavily on the likes of Martha Beck, Glennon Doyle Melton, Brene Brown, and in this case, Liz Gilbert. (you can also find a Books tab on the website!) These powerhouse women are just REALLY good at words and science and creativity and magic (and you KNOW I love all that stuff!). Now Liz is pretty neutral in this post but it was written around the women’s march so it is inherently political. I would ask that you allow the message to women to shine through for you because at its base that is what we NEED.
THE DIVINE FEMININE IS RISING
When I told a neighbor this morning that I’d been at the Women’s March in Washington over the weekend, and he said “Wow - was it totally crazy?”
“no”, I said, “it was totally SANE.”
Because this is what sanity looks like right now: Hundreds of thousands of women are saying NO…
Please believe me when I tell you that there are very few forces on earth more powerful than a woman who finally starts saying NO. But when millions of women gather to say NO at the same time? That’s true might.
In fact, I believe that this word (NO) is the very definition of the “Divine Feminine”
Men will find their spiritual evolution in a different way than women. Men can only step into the “Divine Masculine” by learning how to be softer - by learning how to be humble, how to feel empathy, how to be self-sacrificing, how to put the needs of others before the raging demands of their own egos, how to share, how to forgive, how to be tender toward the vulnerable and suffering, and how to turn the other cheek instead of reacting with rage and violence.
It is essential that men learn to do this - how to SOFTEN. This is what every great spiritual teacher on earth has ever taught. It is absolutely true that - for the world to change - we need men to say “Let us lay down our arms and live in peace.”
But women - for the most part - don’t need to learn this.
Women don’t need to learn how to soften any more (trust me, most of us have got that “soft” part down already). For the most part, the women of this world already KNOW how to be humble, empathic, self-sacrificing, sharing, forgiving, and tender. All that stuff is what we friggin DO - instinctively. Women have been putting the needs of others first forever. And heaven knows - women have been turning the other cheek since the beginning of time.
So when you try to teach peacefulness to women the same way you would teach peacefulness to men (by telling us to be more soft) you run the risk of teaching women how to be only MORE meek, MORE subservient, MORE compliant, MORE self-sacrificing, MORE humble…
…Peace will come to the world only when women say to men…no, No, NO. It all ends today BECAUSE I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT.”
Honestly? I think the sentence “I’ve had enough of this shit” is the last thing every woman on earth has ever said, right before she finally liberated herself from stupidity, violence, and oppression. You KNOW it was the last thing Rosa Parks said, right before she sat down on that bus and refused to move, and the last thing every abused woman has ever said, right before she finally walked away from her abuser. Until we women say in holy unison, “WE’VE ALL HAD ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT”, nothing will ever change.
In other words, it is not enough to ask men to become more peaceful; women must become MORE FIRM.
Men have to find their hearts, yes - but women have to find their SPINES.
This is not about men becoming emasculated or women becoming shrill; it’s about rebalancing a poisoned world through a combination of men’s righteous peace and women’s righteous anger…such that we can all meet in the middle, on the common ground of basic decency and grace for all.
What I saw in Washington this weekend was exactly that rebalancing in action - with hundreds of thousands of women saying “WE’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT!”, while tens of thousands of men in the crowd said “WE ARE WITH YOU, WOMEN”
That’s what sanity looks like. And it’s divine…The mass awakening of the Divine Feminine.
Martha Beck is saying much the same thing:
Those who are low down in the power structure begin to awaken and when there are enough of us awake EVERYONE starts to wake up. If we can include hatred to death we can dissolve quietly from beneath. Begin with self-love and compassion and listen to your still, small voice.
This isn’t new! Herman Hesse said “God sends us despair not to kill us; He sends it to awaken new life in us.”
And if we are walking around in a rage and fear we will deliver that energy, so we have a choice.
I find it really interesting when I find a quote that is every bit as applicable now as when it was first said…John Lennon gave us this: “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” He would have made an awesome Wild Woman :)
So that’s my pretty long sales pitch about WHY I do this and WHY take the time to gather together like this, but can you see how it all boils down to my theme of Love?
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
So, circling back to this, our growing Wild Women community: I want to create and be part of a community that is dialed in and supports - whatever it is that is meaningful to you: if you love art, take a class or workshop from Mary, get an amazing massage. love music? support Emily’s shows and/or one of the many musicians pouring their hearts out in venues all over portland! Want to stretch your brain and heart? Barb does workshops and one on one sessions. It is my honor and privilege to scout guests for the parties and present them to you and I give you my guarantee that when you engage with them you will find yourself with phenomenal women with kickass hearts.
There are between-party needs: If you want to be even more engaged at the parties I’m always looking for table hosts and support peeps. If you know potential speakers, artists, and/or musicians I’m always scouting. If you have ideas, suggestions, or feedback of any kind I want to hear from you! And our WildChild still has needs that we as a community could help her with. This, is our Common Ground. So there you have it! Here’s my recap: women waking up, Common Ground, love, relationships, and connecting, self-care! I hope that wasn’t too squirrel-y!
Thank you so much for showing up today!
I am so happy to introduce to you singer songwriter Emily Aldridge. She is a new-in-town musician and feeling gleefully inspired by the beautiful surroundings, including the people. She and her boyfriend Matt, who is also a guitarist and composer, moved to the area from Jacksonville, FL in 2015, Emily took to the local music scene with her solo acoustic tunes and continued in her role as front woman of progressive metal band, Sacrifice to Survive. Her music is heavily influenced by folk and blues with elements of rock, and her lyrics are infused with the positivity she so wishes to bring to the world around her.
I am so excited to present to you our Guest Speaker Barb Beck!
Barb inspires individuals and couples to take seriously the quality of all of their relationships, especially their most intimate ones! As a 20 year expert in the field of "love", she helps people create a strong, empowered relationship with their own selves first, masterfully teaching them the tools and skills we're all missing so that they can get out of their own way, once and for all and start experiencing more ease and fun!
Barb works with a large celebrity clientele, is the author of two important books on intimacy and has spoken coast to coast, including at Yoga Journal Conferences, Kripalu, as a keynote for top corporations and at many New Thought Spiritual Centers across the country. Along with being a powerful relationship expert, Barb was trained by internationally known metaphysical teacher Louise Hay and is a certified Spiritual Practitioner. When she's not obsessively talking about "all things love", she's off escaping alone into the world for a spontaneous adventure, throwing a party with her new hubby or searching out the perfect hiking trail in the Columbia Gorge."