I would like to introduce our guest artist Bonnie Taylor-Talbot...Whimsical, joyful, and delightful - the artist AND her work. A day with Bonnie flies by in her studio. You may be just a little nervous getting started, but with great music, snacks, an espresso or tea , and, especially, Bonnie’s gentle and experienced guidance you’ll find that it is lunchtime and you are so immersed in creating she has to make you stop. Art is truly good therapy and I highly recommend her classes.
Thank you to those of you who are back for another helping of Wild Women Society, especially those who brought someone new, I understand it is somewhat difficult to describe what The WWS is all about! And thank you to those of you who are brand new, for taking a chance - I hope you enjoy yourself. In case you don’t already know it, my mission statement is to bring women of all age, race, and background together to encourage self-care, I took over the WWS in January of 2012 at party #6 and this is #19! Consistent through all the parties are you amazing women that attend. And 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.
I referenced this piece called The Best Part of Life by Glennon Doyle Melton at the last party and quoted from it but I’d really like to take the time to play the whole thing for you. I don’t have a way to show you the video itself but you can always see it on Vimeo. Her voice is so sweet, listen: (link is https://vimeo.com/143054338)
My goal has been to have the parties grow and become richer each time and with that and this idea of Sistering in mind, I am BEYOND excited to present to you my latest addition to The Society: WildChild. In the interest of creating a space for women to thrive and grow, we do well to incorporate GRATITUDE. With that in mind, $2 of each door fee will be donated to the party's designated WildChild. There is also a WildChild tab on the website that lists additional needs should you feel so called.
Amara’s full story was included in the invitation email. If you missed it and would like to read it contact me. She and her daughters have been through a lot. What I would like to focus on here is how we, as a group, can make a difference. Even more than monetary assistance is opportunity and community.
In Amara’s words: “I am striving for glimmers of hope at this time. Trying to reclaim the parts of me, that I lost or dimmed. What I have left, I do for my amazing girls. I know it is also ok to admit I am scared, I feel very alone about how to survive and yearn for positive connections. Wisdom, hope, guidance, empowerment, self care, self worth and self esteem, are things I am trying to figure out at this time. What are they, how do I reclaim my life, and honor my healing. There is a lot of healing that needs to happen.”
I called on New Seasons grocery store to see if they might be interested in contributing to the goody bags. The community coordinator and I got to talking about my WildChild idea and as a result of that conversation we are so excited that Amara will be the featured artist October 6th, with a reception from 6-7:30 that will include wine and snacks. If you are able to attend and show continued support for Amara it will be so appreciated! This just came together two days ago, on Friday. There are still some hurdles to this opportunity: New seasons requires that her photos be framed so if anyone knows how we can help her with that please let us know.
Now, to the theme of ‘Hope’: I started using an app called Headspace to meditate. I like it because it starts out guided and then slowly teaches you how to meditate on your own silently. Also because there are short instructional videos that explain why even meditate and how to better your practice. One was a visualization: picture a blue sky, that’s hope. Clouds (or thoughts) may come and go or even cover the blue sky completely, but you always know that it’s there, that’s hope.
“Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word that means “noble or awakened heart”. It is said to be present in all beings. Just as butter is inherent in milk and oil is inherent in a sesame seed, this soft spot is inherent in you and me.
It is said that in difficult times, it is only bodhichitta that heals. When inspiration has become hidden, when we feel ready to give up, this is the time when healing can be found in the tenderness of pain itself. This is the time to touch the genuine heart of bodhichitta. In the midst of loneliness, in the midst of fear, in the middle of feeling misunderstood and rejected is the heartbeat of all things, the genuine heart of sadness.
Just as a jewel that has been buried in the earth for a million years is not discolored or harmed, in the same way this noble heart is not affected by all of our kicking and screaming. The jewel can be brought out into the light at any time, and it will glow as brilliantly as if nothing had ever happened. No matter how committed we are to unkindness, selfishness, or greed, the genuine heart of bodhichitta cannot be lost. It is here in all that lives, never marred and completely whole.” (Pema Chodron)
According to Desmond Tutu, Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. and MLK, Jr said “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
And who personifies hope better than Anne Frank? She said:
“Where there's hope, there's life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
When we go to the tables, one of the table host questions is whether there was an incident in your life that gave you hope. Sometimes we get so discouraged, but the smallest drop of hope can make all the difference: the teacher that said you have promise, the parent that believed in you, the best friend that stands by your side, the sister that always has your back - that can be life changing. We need to remember to reach out for each other and offer that hope. We need to remember our sistering.
I’m going to admit that I chose hope as a theme partly because lately I have been having so much trouble finding it. Overall life is good and I am a very optimistic person, but, frankly, my life has not turned out the way I envisioned it. In one of the Indiana Jones movies (the worst one!) there is a great line: ‘We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away’ It has been a long period of “fake it till you make it”, having a cheerful attitude to keep me going. But hope is the thing to live for and despite any tendencies I may have to feel sorry for myself, a grateful heart and a curious mind are the best ways I have found to regain that hope.
In the words of Albert Einstein: Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
So even thought I get discouraged I’m determined to dig in, keep learning and growing, show my gratitude by giving back, and reach out and practice “sistering”. I leave you with this piece of a poem by Emily Dickinson that I so often hear in my head, I love this:
'Hope' is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops—at all
My very special Guest Musician from last time, Sarah Billings told me about Saeeda Wright and that I should check out her Ted Talk - I was sold before I even met her! Make sure you check it out (Her unique name makes it an easy search)... oh, and then I heard her sing! And then I had the opportunity to meet her!
Saeeda’s performance partnerships range from the Oregon Symphony and the Portland Blues Fest to Prince. I’m honored and grateful to have her here with us today.
Guest Speaker: Karey Keith is a medium, healer, and teacher and who specializes in helping you empower your life with right choices. She has been a successful intuitive agent of change and healing since 1991. She is trained in many modalities of Body Work and Coaching, including: Massage, Reiki, Reflexology, Cranial Sacral, Theta, Magnetic, Hypnotherapy, Herbal Body Wraps, and Holistic Psychology.