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, going 8 years ago if you can believe it! She has her Juenesse products here to show you. Barb also sponsors the goody bags!
Shelly Morris with her Lion & Rose soap, deodorant, and bath bombs. Check out the Wild Woman soap! You can find Shelly on Facebook and at many Farmer’s Markets…
Lisa Bakke, catering, new business elder care placement.
Bartender Dani Gregoire Russell, Gatekeeper Sue Ellen Hodnot, and keeping the music going Emily Aldridge
Table Hosts: Barb Mathey, Gail Young, Sabrina Blair, Kathy Wery, Lisa Carpenter, and Laura Croll
I’m also excited to have Stephanie Stevens and Anika Warden here with Stephanie’s fledgling company Fat Bird Bakery. Stephanie and her firefighter husband Matt have an adorable son Henry who is of the age that I’m pretty sure he does NOT help out with the baking at all (but he is in charge of quality control for cookies), so I’m not exactly sure how she manages to pull it off, but I’m awfully glad she does and that she and Anika are here to share with us! You can find her at farmer’s markets in the summertime (follow her on FB to keep up), and she does special orders, but being a one-woman operation it is limited so remember to book her well in advance. Having Stephanie bring sweets is a no-brainer, but it is more than that. She ties into this whole theme of supporting women and women-owned businesses, and also Anika is her sister in law. Stephanie asked that I thank Anika on her behalf for her support - giving of her time, her emotional support as she grows her business, and for accepting her paycheck in oatmeal pies.
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 Winery
Raffle - ticket at the door? Additional $1 each 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 Mary Dennis. For a decade Mary did the costumes for Beaverton High school’s famous drama department and for community theaters. She has done soft sculptures as well, primarily creates these oil pastels that you see here and have been seeing on facebook, and has published several books about her art and her story. If you were here last February you may have met her daughter Michelle Lattanzi who was our guest artist then and I’m excited to have both of them here today to share Mary’s beautiful heart-centric work.
and, in case you missed it, the WWS has now been a nonprofit corporation for almost 2 years and we have the official 501c3 designation. This is continually developing and I am so excited to see what more we can do in the future. (introduce board Lisa, Barb, Sue Ellen).
The WWS mission statement remains: to bring women of all age, race, and background together to encourage self care. My aim is to develop and create a platform where I can present Self Care to you in many different ways. I do this to both to appeal to all your senses and to give us all exposure to different communities.
Many of you know I am a Glennon Doyle fan, this is from a video she posted on youtube, and I just love the message:
Carpenters know that the building block of a structure is the joist. A joist is just a special strong beam that supports a greater structure. Sometimes a joist has to carry such a heavy load that it starts to weaken. When that happens, the carpenter connects another board to the left of the weakening board, and, if that doesn’t strengthen it enough she connects another board to the right. With that extra support the joist is strong enough to carry almost anything. And guess what this process of joist strengthening is called? Sistering.
You can’t build a strong, beautiful, complicated structure, whether its a building or a life without sistering. Women are special, strong people who hold up the world but sometimes life’s load gets too heavy and hard for us to carry alone. I don’t think the hard is a mistake. I don’t think the hard means we’ve done anything wrong. I think the hard is purposeful so that we’ll need our sisters. If everything feels too heavy right now it might mean that you need a sister to your left and a sister to your right to help steady you and strengthen you. and hold you together. It might be time for a sister joist.
My life is just a dance between being sistered and sistering others.
And my favorite thing about being part of a sister joist is that i don’t have to say the right thing. I just have to stand there and be strong
Sistering. it’s the best part of life. because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.
Find your sister joists and be a sister joist.
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. 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. 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 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, I want you all to be able to put your support behind WHATEVER IT IS THAT SPEAKS TO YOU PERSONALLY. I respect those of you that honor your integrity and do only what your essential self calls you to do. I want to encourage you to do what your heart tells you, and if you cannot at this time that is totally cool.
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 the first WildChild. She is not a child, in fact she has two high school daughters of her own. Many of you have come to know her personally, many of you have supported her in different ways. Our WildChild is just a woman in need of sistering and support.
When I started the WildChild program I thought perhaps I would have a new WildChild with each party but as my relationship with Amara grew it was clear that I wanted more time with her. As it has turned out, Amara and I continue to collaborate on the program.
$2 of each paid door fee will go to our WC fund, and all of the funds collected for the raffle go directly to our WC.
Last February I introduced our newest WC, Lisa Carpenter. I first heard Lisa’s story from a mutual friend. 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 stable. Unchanged are her own chronic pain and her needs to support her son and disabled husband. Lisa now has a new job and a second side job doing deliveries. There have been some ‘bumps’ with the new position and she is still settling in. Lisa is still just 5 credits away from 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. So close, and yet to take the final classes the price tag of $616.25 has been insurmountable.
I am continually developing my WildChild idea and casting about for creative ways to support these women. At this time in my life I have been trying to focus on curiosity and passion. For a time there I was struggling so much that I had trouble thinking of what my passion was! But with work and time it’s 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. 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 how meaningful education is to me personally, and I’m no doubt preaching to the choir, nobody comes to an event like this without already possessing curiosity and an eagerness to learn. I have set up scholarship funds for Lisa and for Amara’s two daughters with the Oregon College Savings Plan. 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. Should any of you wish to support, please know that even the smallest amount WILL make a difference.
Just a bit more on the “why” of the WWS. Poet Adrienne Rich said, “The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.” We need to remember our strength and reconnect with our vibrant selves and each other — not only to assist the evolution of this planet as a whole, but, for each of us, individually to feel inspired enough to continue to go for it — whatever it is — despite the obstacles.
OK, hopefully I’ve laid the groundwork for WHY I do this and why take a slice of time for you one Sunday a quarter. Any questions?
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. “Listen” came to mind pretty quickly after the last event and it has become more and more relevant leading up to today.
Trying to pick and choose thoughts to share from this great book, 7000 Ways to Listen, I had to really dial it down not to read you the entire book! This is really beautifully written, broken into smaller chapters and its a good thing because it needs to be savored slowly.
“Apparently there are 7000 living languages on earth. And these are only the ones we know of. If there are at least 7000 ways to speak, there are at least 7000 ways to listen. And just how few we know. Listening is a personal pilgrimage that takes time and a willingness to circle back. With each trouble that stalls us and each wonder that lifts us, we are asked to put down our conclusions and feel and think anew. Unpredictable as life itself, the practice of listening is one of the most mysterious, luminous, and challenging art forms on earth. Each of us is by turns a novice and a master, until the next difficulty or joy undoes us. Why listen? Because listening stitches the world together. Because listening is the doorway to everything that matters…we listen to awaken our heart, to stay vital and alive. This is the work of reverence: to stay vital and alive by listening deeply. And the world needs healthy awakened souls to stay alive and whole.”
Jane Goodall said: Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.
When people express opinions that differ from yours, take it as a chance to grow. Seek to understand over being understood. Be curious, not defensive. The only way to disarm another human being is by listening.
Glennon Doyle Melton
I have shared several stories that come from a friend of mine that is a Master Martha Beck life coach, equine coach, and does elder care. Her name is Dixie St. John. She is very outspoken about many things and has amazing insight. She unapologetically takes on tough, volatile subjects like white privilege, racism, politics, and boundaries. She keeps humor and lightness in her elder care situations that are often poignant and heartbreaking by calling it ‘Life in Dependsland’, and calling her charges ‘old peeps’. Her stories often show me new ways to listen, learn, and respond. I especially admire her choice of words as she invariably creates a space of dignity that allows for a conversation rather than a confrontation borne from defensiveness.
(Re-posting this conversation with an Old Peep as a reminder that, as white women of privilege, it is our on-going duty to educate; AND it's never too late to learn.)
Just had a gentle, educating chat with an old peep client. In conversation, she has a propensity to whisper the qualification that the person being referenced "is black". Today, I pointed this out.
Dixie: I notice that often when you're sharing something with me, you stop and inform me that the person you're speaking of is black before going further with the story. Do you notice this?
Her: Why, now that you mention it, I suppose I do.
Dixie: Why do you think that is?
Her: Well, I guess I'm describing the person so you can imagine who they are.
Dixie: I get that you're wanting me to understand what you're sharing with me; I guess I'm just wondering how knowing the color of their skin beforehand makes a difference to the story. Help me understand.
Her: (Long pause) I can't say I know the answer to that. For as long as I can remember, that's just the way it's been done. I recall my mother using the same manner of speaking. I must say, this is the first time I've ever given this any thought...
Dixie: It's interesting how we adopt practices of communication or ways of categorizing others without being conscious of why, isn't it?
Her: I'll say! Now you have me wondering why, too. (Another long pause) My word! I love everyone, and believe we are all equal in the eyes of the lord, but I can't help but think I might not be sure everyone else does. Maybe that's why I buffer things.
Dixie: So are you saying you describe people as black as a way of protecting others?
Her: (Hanging head) No, probably more to protect myself. If I say it ahead of time, maybe they won't think I'm as associated, you know? Maybe it's a way to show I'm keeping kind of a distance. My, this is just terrible of me!
Dixie: This is honest of you. It's brave to ask ourselves about our reasons - especially the ones we've never noticed or questioned. It's even braver to listen to the answers and decide to learn from them.
Her: That's all well and good, but I do believe I've been a coward! How do I make this right?
Dixie: I can't tell you what you need to do for yourself, but here's what I know to be true: We don't make something right simply by making ourselves wrong. We make something right by doing things differently and it starts with being curious and open to new information. When we know better, we do better.
Her: Well then you're making things right.
Dixie: How so, honey?
Her: You were curious about why I spoke that way and you asked for more information.
Dixie: Thank you for trusting me with it.
Her: And I thank you for helping this old girl shed some light! Now back to my story…
Change. One person at a time, and self-care plays a large part.
It seems on the surface very discouraging to be a woman at this time in life, and yet, I am still optimistic. I really do believe that the rise of the divine feminine is necessary to save us all, and will lift us all up. And along with the divine feminine we need good men and to help restore that yin/yang imbalance
There is much to overcome to restore yin/yang balance: ancestral thought patterns, cultural codes, marketing, habits, shame, the extreme male patriarchal energy. We have been so off balance, so yang all the time, it is going to take some time to rebalance. Restoring the level of yin, or feminine energy takes deep listening and sharing. It takes sistering. The female is embracing itself, noticing the strength of the feminine and seeing how incredibly healing it is. This all just has to be happening for the human race to take action.
What are the classic, old-school qualities of leadership?
someone who KNOWS HOW TO GET THERE, holds the map, speaks the loudest and holds all authority, knows the most, profit-driven, logical, tops a hierarchy, wears a suit and tie.
The cultural story about leaders and how the US is run has been told by men. And they tell that story because it was the one handed down to them too. What a loss to us all that, for a few thousand years of patriarchy — we have became confused about the qualities (and even existence) of feminine leadership.
Feminine leadership DREAMS THE DESTINATION; it is visionary.
prioritizes the experience over the route.
may be quiet or even silent; it creates space for reflection.
seeks knowledge from the community.
is at home in a circle.
It is believed that there is a Maharishi effect - that meditation and/or intention of just a few can have a profound effect on many. At the very least, researchers today are finding compelling scientific evidence for stress reduction, lower blood pressure, stroke prevention, decreased risk of heart disease, improved immune system, and mental health…Research has also shown that meditation even slows the aging process. People who meditate tend to look and feel much younger than their actual age. I do meditate, have been doing it for years now, and in full disclosure I think I am truly TERRIBLE at it, I just say I’m practicing. Many believe (and there are an increasing number of studies to support) that individuals meditating can benefit society as a whole, even if others choose not to and/or do not believe. You may or may not believe that transcendental or any meditation can have this sort of effect, but to that I say: so what?! So many things in our lives seem to require proof but if there is no harm why not try?.
This from author A.A. Milne, a distinctly Pooh Bear thing to say: Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.
Do you all know the ham pan story?
How many things do we do simply because they have been imprinted on us? Childhood memories are powerful and if we never turn around and question sometimes we just repeat out of habit.This is the power of deep listening.
Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper
I’ve come to realize that everything starts with our own character and how we care for ourselves. I don’t know that we would have this brutal divide if so many of us weren’t criticizing ourselves and beating ourselves up on a daily basis. If we all could just start by changing the way we care for ourselves and the way we care for our neighbors, then perhaps we would end up with a country that reflects the way we care about ourselves…
Healing ourselves, bridging our internal divides, accepting all parts of ourselves at every age… that’s the real work. And if we do it, it will allow us to begin to heal the divides in our neighborhoods and our country as well.
I leave you with the always enlightening words of the Dalai Lama: When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.
Elke Robitaille is from a small mill town in coastal British Columbia, Canada, She has played at venues ranging from farmers markets and festivals; to house concerts and fundraisers – performing in 25 States and 6 Provinces in Canada. Elke also works for the Children’s Cancer Association doing music therapy for children. And, Elke brings today the youngest (to my knowledge) EVER Wild Woman, because she has a bun in the oven, so congrats to Elke!!
I’m so happy to introduce to you our guest speaker Suzanne Jauchius. I distinctly remember meeting her for the first time at a book club - that I was not a part of, at Club Sport - that I was not a member of, by myself, about 8 years ago. As she signed my copy of her book her spot reading was that I was carrying everything myself (I was). Since then I have had 3 readings by Suzanne. It seems that people are divided when it comes to psychics: some are excited to hear what might arise and others are terrified and uneasy. My experience with Suzanne has been so interesting and enlightening. Some things were correct as she spoke, some things happened in a very short amount of time, and some took time. To give you an example, in my first reading about 7 years ago, she suggested that I might be going back to school for something such as nursing. Ummmm, nursing? body fluids? Couldn’t figure that one out, but, oh well, I certainly didn’t expect her to nail everything. Before I had my second reading I reviewed the transcript from her first reading and it slowly dawned on me that I had been nursing my Mom through Parkinson’s for the previous 4 years. It can be a slow release! Hearing Suzanne’s stories provides a fascinating glimpse into the mysterious and often can open doorways into your own intuition and psychic abilities. Please welcome Suzanne Jauchius!