As you are getting something to eat and drink, I want to welcome you to the party and get things started with a little housekeeping:
Barb Mathey, my steadfast Wild Women sponsor since the beginning, 7 years ago if you can believe it! She has her Juenesse products here to show you. Barb also sponsors the goody bags!
Shelly Morris at the back with her Lion & Rose soap, deodorant, and bath bombs. Check out her latest product label: Wild Women soap! You can find Shelly on Facebook and at many Farmer’s Markets…
Lisa Bakke, catering
Bartender Nicole Gregoire, Gatekeeper Julia Stenberg, photographer Tirzah, and keeping the music going Emily Aldridge
Table Hosts: Dani, Kathy Wery, Barb Mathey, Gail Young, and Laura Handke
I have printed up half sheets 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 with you. OCF, 7Bridges, KP, Karlita
Raffle - ticket at the door? Additional $1 or 6 for $5, cash goes to the WildChild fund (I’ll talk more about that in a bit).
I’d like to also introduce our Guest Artist Bonnie Wilson Harold. She is an architect by trade, but has been a lifelong artist, creating, among other things, beautiful ceramics. She is the embodiment of feeding that inner creativity that we all need and crave despite all the demands of everyday life. In her words: "No matter how stressed I am from normal life, when I go to clay, it goes away! It can always de-stress me and make me happy and content. For that reason it is necessary and I fight hard to make room for it in my life because I know how important it is to me. I create all day with my work, but working in clay is different...it's cheaper than therapy!” Bonnie inspires me because she is so dedicated to her creativity. This is something that I have not prioritized myself, but really want to work on this!
and, in case you missed it, last March the WWS became a nonprofit corporation and we now have the official 501c3 designation. All of this is continually developing and I am so excited to see what more we can do in the future. (introduce board Em, Lisa, Barb, Sue Ellen).
The WWS mission statement remains: to bring women of all age, race, and background together to encourage self care. I have worked really hard to develop and create a platform where I can present Self Care to you in so many different ways. I do this to both to appeal to all your senses and to give us all exposure to different communities.
Because my mission is self care, and because there seem to be few events like this where it is NOT business networking and you are NOT expected to bring or do anything I have been hypersensitive to keeping the WWS distinctly non-commercial. It is a fine line though, because cash money can be a sensitive topic for just about everyone. When I present concepts and ideas to you I want to be super clear that my aim is to allow you to FEEL something and roll with it. I have been doing a lot of work with integrity: separating my social self (my personal answer to the world’s opinions) from my essential self (who I truly, honestly am, inside). Judgement (more correctly, fear of judgement) often makes us do things outside our integrity. Things that we don’t actually feel in our hearts. I can only speak for myself - what I am trying to create in this space is room for you to do what speaks to YOU. And I’m asking for all of us to allow that without judgement - of ourselves or others. Please know that I respect and value your integrity in deciding if and WHEN you respond to the different aspects of what you see here today because while I think we can all agree that we can get behind the idea of supporting each other, we are all in different spaces in our lives. I often tell people that one of the first parties I attended, before I took over the WWS, I was at one of the lowest points in my whole life. I forced myself to attend. I felt I had nothing to give. And I met one of the most amazing, out-there yet down-to-earth women ever. And since, I have had times on the opposite end of the spectrum where I was overflowing. Life is like this. I want you to know that I want you here regardless of whether you are ready to share or needing some sistering. What I feel so very strongly about is that support comes in many forms: yes, money, but also emotional sistering - vocalizing your support directly, showing up (to art shows, to concerts, to lend a hand), sharing food, and so many other ways. So with all that said, as much as I’d like to lalala dance around money and pretend that it doesn’t matter, that’s just not the way our world works. Much of what becomes a “personal issue” for us is what we make things mean. So bottom line, I want you all to be able to put your support behind WHATEVER IT IS THAT SPEAKS TO YOU. Again, I can only speak for myself but I respect those of you that honor your integrity and do only what your essential self calls you to do. There is no honor in shelling out money that you cannot afford so that the woman next to you that you just met maybe, just maybe, might not judge you. Not necessary. Do what your heart tells you.
All this lead up can only mean one thing: I’m going to propose to you something that needs money! Well crap, I’m sorry to put you to the test immediately, but I have been developing my WildChild idea and casting about for creative ways to support these women. In my life coach training, a part of which is to constantly practice on yourself, there are many tools to help you drill down on the things in life that light up your curiosity and passion. For a time there I was struggling so much that I had trouble thinking of anything! Ugh, dark times. But with work and time they are bubbling up. Education is a biggie for me. This is a legacy directly from our parents, learning was important and highly valued for Lisa, and I and our two brothers. As I tend to do, I had forgotten that I did this, but right before Danielle was born I volunteered for Oregon Literacy, teaching adults to read. Then I taught my 3 children to read, Then I volunteered as an ESL tutor. I could go on and on about education but I’m no doubt preaching to the choir, nobody comes to an event like this without already possessing curiosity and an eagerness to learn. What i have been working on is setting up scholarship funds for Lisa and for Amara’s two daughters. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that when you wonder where (and how) you will live and eat, that college fund gets literally eaten. The Oregon College Savings Plan allows for a nonprofit corporation to set up an account with a named beneficiary (as many as we want). Contributions to these accounts are tax deductible on your Oregon return! The accounts are being set up and I will have links on the website should any of you feel called to support. Please know that even the smallest amount WILL make a difference.
So allow me to loop back around to talk about the whole WildChild concept. Because I wanted to add a charitable aspect to the WWS - one where we could add more than just money, we could explore the possibilities of supporting as a community, making connections that are helpful and sometimes life changing, and practice sistering. Amara was first. Many of you have come to know her personally, many of you have supported her, I want to share with you how she is doing. Amara has most recently had four of her photographs accepted into the upcoming LO juried art show called Capturing Place. Her work is up and on display until June 15th at the Arts Council on 1st st. She is also participating in an upcoming RAW artist show on June 27th. The event coordinators had approached Amara several times before she was able to participate. This is a great opportunity for her to sell her unique artwork and jewelry, but there is a requirement that she market and sell 20 tickets in order to have a table that night. She is just over halfway there. This is a unique and fun event with music, dance, and other live performances in addition to the vendor displays. To support Amara the tickets must be purchased online through her specific link which you can find on the website Home page starting tomorrow, Amara has fliers on her table, and on the credits sheet I have on your table.
When I started the WildChild program I thought perhaps I would have a new one each party but as my relationship with Amara grew it was clear that I wanted more time with her. As it has turned out, once a Wildchild forever a wild child. Amara has her jewelry and accessories for sale here (as well as on Etsy), her daughter Tirzah is here as our photographer, and we are going to continue to collaborate on my WC program
Initially I established that $2 of each paid door fee will go to our WC fund. Barb Mathey, who I introduced earlier, either runs or is involved in more charity events than I could even begin to list and is brilliant at fundraising, suggested that we sell additional raffle tickets with those proceeds going directly to our WC fund…done! And that has been a great success. but I still want to do more!
In February I introduced our newest WC, Lisa Carpenter. I first heard Lisa’s story from a mutual friend. In a nutshell, shortly before last Christmas Lisa’s landlord told her that they had decided to sell the property and she needed to be out of the home where they had lived for 20 years. A planned move is bad enough! It wasn’t easy, but Lisa navigated the move and her living situation is now more stable. Unchanged are her own chronic pain and her needs to support her son and disabled husband. Lisa has a job, but has been steadily working at an Associate of General Studies degree from PCC and wants to go on to complete her Gerontology End of Life Care certificate to ultimately pursue a career in elder care management. She is just 5 credits away from finishing the associates but since the Christmas bomb dropped, stripping her financially, physically, and emotionally, she has been unable to take classes. So close, and yet to take the final classes the price tag of $616.25 is insurmountable at this time. So we are setting up a college savings plan for Lisa as well. And again, should any of your choose to contribute, your donations are tax deductible on your Oregon return.
OK, hopefully I’ve laid the groundwork for WHY am I doing this and why take a slice of time for you one Sunday a quarter. Any questions?
now let’s get to the ANGER!
Many of you know my one-word theme just…comes to me. Sometimes I meet someone and then the word pops in my mind as we are talking. Often it just comes to me out of the blue. This one dropped in on me almost immediately after the last party. And I was not impressed or excited, I was scared as hell. In fact, with a pit in my stomach, I said “no!” and tried to ignore it. Next time (actually many times) I thought: nobody will come to a party with an Anger theme! What the hell kind of party is that?? It does get easier, this arguing with myself, really. BUT. I have learned a LOT about anger and it’s an interesting topic!
Anger is the emotion we snatch up to avoid less comfortable feelings - confusion, fear, sadness.
An excellent book called The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren (always, you can find these books I reference under the Wild Books tab on my website) had, for me, a life-changing take on Anger and certainly illumination on many other emotions.
The book explains that different emotions have internal questions that they are posing: for anger, what must be protected? and what must be restored? And then what you can practice to properly honor the gifts that the emotion is there for. Anger sets your boundaries by walking the perimeter of your soul and keeping an eye on you. People typically handle anger by either using it as a weapon or by shoving it down and repressing it. But neither of these options are healthy or conducive to good relationships. What if there is a third option? And there is. Channel the fiery intensity of anger into your boundary instead of repressing or exploding with it - THEN speak your truth or make your correcting actions. This will reset your boundaries in healthy ways, which will protect you and your relationships. I have also learned so much about boundaries! how did I not know that soft boundaries are just as undermining as rigid? I’m the person that would never get outwardly angry. I didn’t feel angry inside either, I just felt unheard, disrespected, and confused. Hmmm, sounds like something needed to be protected and/or defended! Now I have tools: when I feel anger (or fear, another form of anger) I can stop, take a deep breath and step back, and use it as an opportunity to shore up my boundaries. Or protect and defend. But from a place of groundedness and confidence, because I took that little bit of time to turn and ask myself what is true and necessary for me. I don’t know if I directly taught my children never to be angry but I sure modeled it. It certainly is not too late, but rather than teaching them to never be angry I would like to teach them HOW to be angry.
Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.
Anybody heard of the School of Womanly Arts, Regina Thomashauer?
“For me these days, it’s the misogyny, racism, and plain vanilla closed-mindedness that makes me want to explode. There are so many good reasons to be mad. What are you angry about, sisters? Self-serving leaders? The oceans filling with plastic? The cost of prescription drugs? So-called “women’s magazines” and what they say about the wrongness of women’s bodies? How much work there is to do to get through a day? The electric bill? Your partner who can’t put socks in a hamper? The parents of the kid bullying your kid? Your best friend’s cancer? Aging? All of it? There is so much to feel angry about.
The culture teaches women to shut down our anger, stifle our rage, and conceal our displeasure at all costs.
Because if we got angry, really angry, instead of swallowing it, it might swallow us. Right? And then who would pick up groceries, get everyone fed, and log back in late at the office?”
Here’s what I do, she says:
I sit with it and feel like shit.
I find the anger and outrage and fury in my body. Is it in my belly? My throat? The base of my skull?
I give it my full attention. I don’t try to distract myself. Is it prickly? Is it oozing like tar? Burning like tequila?
I ask what it needs. Often the answer is movement, so I may stomp or dance. Or it could be sound, so I may howl or drum. Sometimes, it is tears.
I do this until I feel the next feeling, the one after the anger.
When the anger shifts – and left to run its course it will... I listen. The wisdom always comes.
From that connected place, I take right, aligned, inspired, creative action.
Anger that doesn’t receive this care and attention becomes leaky.
It oozes out at the too-slow grocery store clerk, or in traffic, or at the kids, or the dog. It’s toxic… to our environments and to ourselves. And it makes us destructive and depleted, which goes against our nature as creative beings. So we don’t want to do that.
And when it does receive this care and attention?
Your anger becomes your wisdom. Your anger tells you how to create an extraordinary and meaningful life on your own terms, and it gives you the energy to do it. Your anger can change everything. For you, for others, for all of us.
Another thing to keep in mind is what Eckhart Tolle said “Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.”
Valerie Kaur, a TedTalk speaker sums it up for us: “Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is the force that protects it.”
Guest Musician Haley Johnsen - I have been pinging her for a couple of years now and I am SO excited that, as I put it, the stars aligned at last. We’d been exchanging emails and texts, but I finally got to meet her in person a few months ago at a concert. When I told her the theme her eyes lit up and I knew it was TIME! Over the last few years since her time as a top 24 finalist on American idol Season 11, Haley has earned local and national attention by taking her impactful solo show on recent 2017 tours with Austin,Texas based band The Wind and the Wave, Seattle based band Gabriel Wolfchild and the Northern Light, and Season 8 winner of The Voice Sawyer Fredericks. I figure I don’t need to tell you how amazing her voice is or how engaging her songwriting is, you’re hearing that! And this is evident as well, but I liked the final words of her own bio: Haley’s heart is eternally, vulnerably, human.
Guest Speaker Karlita Nabours-Palermo is a nurse practitioner for elders and hospice on even days. She is an astrologer, psychic, and spiritual counselor on rather odd days. I met Karlita through a class she taught at The Perlene (remember Kiki??). What struck me the most about her is her attitude and approach. Divination is all fun and games, but I believe the real answers come from within, and Karlita is one of those special souls that can help you draw those answers out yourself. The difficult and liberating work of profound self-empowerment is her guiding mission. She loves to identify clients' superpowers as well as shadows in a lighthearted, compassionate way. She is a teacher of yogic, meditative, divinatory, and material methods toward a more fun & fulfilled life.