What I’d like to share with you today is in three parts: first, gratitude for the support without which I could not pull this together and for the sisterhood that we create each time we meet like this. Second, the “why” of this get together, what I am aiming to create by gathering, and, finally, my thoughts on the theme of the party, Beauty.
Barb Mathey, goody bags
Shelly Morris with her Lion & Rose soap, deodorant, and bath bombs.
Lisa Bakke, catering
Bartender Lynne Rooney Gatekeeper Lola Miranda, and keeping the music going Emily Aldridge and Elie Young
Table Hosts: Barb Mathey, Dianne Gregoire, Gail Young, Lisa Carpenter, Raquel Muller, and Sally Parker
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. Thank you to everyone that donated to the raffle
Raffle - ticket at the door? Additional $1 each or 6 for $5, cash goes to the WildChild fund.
The WWS has now been a nonprofit corporation for over 3 years. I’d like to introduce and acknowledge my board Lisa, Barb, Sue Ellen. Thank you to OCF for grants that keep me going.
This is ongoing and if you have someone you would like to nominate to be a WildChild please contact me.
Flora Rudolph Tree Card Readings. Flora has found that each tree species has a different quality, or energy, such as peace, relieving sadness or grief, joy, beauty, transcendence, female power, diligence and so much more. She has created a card deck and is working on having it published! She’s offering readings today, $10/10min.
Her readings are tune-in tools for clarity and for an opening to what your soul, and your heart need to receive.
I’d like to also introduce our Guest Artist Janet Clancy-Feliciano Primarily a self-taught artist, I met Janet through previous guest artist Sarah Goodnough. I love her fun and whimsical creations and especially the vibrant gorgeous colors she chooses. Janet is a mother, friend, sister, daughter. An employee, runner, business owner, and wanna-be gardener.
Having a guest artist to share their experience is part of my bringing new and different forms of expression to this group.
I like to repeat the “why” of this group. Sure, at it’s most simplistic The WWS is a party. An excuse to get together, have some nibbles and bubbly, take home a fun goody bag and maybe even win the raffle. In fact, I took this over from Della Rae (10 years ago if you can believe it!) calling The WWS Party. I wanted it to be a super easy, relaxing, self care afternoon. But under all that are many layers - everything from introducing you to fabulous musicians you can support, to one of my favorite topics, the Rise of the Divine Feminine. It is deceptively simple: when women gather together, when we really support each other, the result is MAGIC.
My mission statement remains: to bring women of all age, race, and background together to encourage self care. I am continually developing and creating this 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. I love to read and I love to learn and this is my attempt to tie what I have been learning and the things I am passionate about together and share them with you - to give you some things to chew on and explore for yourself.
Some of the ‘many layers’ are:
* Divine Feminine - by definintion: aspect of the self associated with "creation, intuition, community, sensuality (felt sense rather than thinking sense), and collaboration. feminine qualities do not have to mean a woman. Masculine qualities are more structured, logic, calculating, left brain if you will. The rise of the DF just means allowing the feminine qualities in everyone to have their place and a balancing out of our previous several centuries of overemphasizing masculine qualities and vilifying and demeaning the feminine.
“When my nonfiction students jump into a new writing project I ask that they immerse themselves in the tradition of which they wish to be a part and to try to note what is missing. Whose voices or perspectives have been left out? For too long, environmental concerns in the US have largely been in the domain of those who can afford to visit nature in their free time, who have the privilege to choose where and how they want to live. But the reality is that many living on climate change’s front lines are low- to working-class people and communities of color, whose relationships with the more-than-human world regularly go unaccounted for in the “official story” of environmentalism we tell in this country.”
In the months before my events I spend a LOT of time thinking about my theme. And inevitably I think about its opposite as well, here, ugly. There is an awful lot of ugly in the world. A lot to fear, and an equal amount to get angry about. In 2019 I set an intention to see the beauty in every single person. I’m sure it’s not a huge confession to you that I did not succeed in this, but intentions do not require 100% success, they only call for 100% commitment. My 2020 intention is similar, perhaps a bit more doable: right after the new year my friend sent me a picture she had taken that morning. It was a very large pig on a leash and her comment was about how it was a WTF moment. Inspired by that I decided that in 2020 I would try to find WTF moments every day. I’m giving myself some leeway though because WTF felt a bit too extreme - so far I had a glorious walk on the Oregon beach, 61 degrees, sunny and calm on January 3rd, that amazing sunrise at the end of January that many of you probably saw too, and at the top of my list is the hummingbird I looked in the eye as he hovered right outside my kitchen window last month. Most of all, these intentions of the last 2 years are about noticing.
There are so many beautiful things in this world:
The Gift from the Sea Anne Morrow Lindburgh
There are people who cry and cry, get angry, complain bitterly on social media - and I get this, I really do. None of this is to say you should not get angry. Something that really empowered me was the book The Language of Emotions by Karla McClaren. Anger, for example: getting wrapped up in your anger can be passive. Looking at your anger, asking it questions, armed with the knowledge that the presence of anger means something needs to be protected or defended, this can give you something to push off of. For as many women I know that sit in their emotions or let them play out viciously online, I know and seek out twice as many that turn those powerful, deep emotions into powerful and deep action. You probably know by now I’m a big Glennon Doyle fan - she started out as a “mommy blogger”, is a writer and now an activist. She has taken her pain (and she has had her share!), her passion, and her huge heart and created Together Rising. When she puts out a call that families at the border need financial and legal help to reunite she is able to gather, for example, $2 million in 2 days. I see women spending their precious time creating beauty: 3 of them highlighted today - art, music, poetry, and flowers…and many more hidden amongst you. This truly ties into my reason for gathering women like this. When the ugly gets to you, and it will, shape that sorrow, anger, and frustration, into beauty. That’s what women do. We may be told that all these things are trivial and unimportant, that tangible products, making big money, increasing the bottom line are the only things that matter. And so it can be hard to stay the course and follow your heart. But that, my friends, is where the beauty lies. And for the people with the courage to really do that, the rewards come.
one of my longtime friends posted: Don’t get mad and lose hope! And don’t try argue and debate on Facebook, thinking you can somehow change someone’s mind (note to self: they’ve already decided if they’re posting vitriol.) Don’t waste your precious time, energy, and overall outlook. DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE. Her daughter donates $5 to her own cause every time someone’s online political rant makes her mad.
And if you want to get really science-y about the effect of small actions, according to quantum physics a particle vibrating due to your sound when you speak can affect a molecule inside a star at the edge of the Universe instantly. This phenomenon is known as quantum entanglement. The greatest illusion of the Universe is the illusion of separation. The Butterfly Effect, the flap of a butterfly’s wings having an effect on a tornado.
This is why I often quote from Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. She is presenting ways to find the beauty in a life that is so fraught and full of hate and fear.. Life can suck, but we get to choose what to do with it. In the midst of ugly there are people dedicating their lives to educating girls (I hardly need to quote statistics to a room of women, but absolutely solid statistics exist to support the many ways girls education lifts entire communities and in turn the world: fewer pregnancies with healthier babies, fewer maternal deaths, increased socio economic growth - educated women improve the entire community, and more), Many times in my life I have felt diminished or ridiculed for not engaging with negativity. Love doesn’t seem to have a place in a country that values commerce, economic success, and constant activity above all else. But that I choose to look for the positive, the creative, and ways to counter bad situations in no way means that I do not care. Becoming part of the negativity does not improve the situation. And when all is said and done, when everything else drops away, when you hold your parent’s hand or lay next to them in their hospice bed, when someone you love needs you, when the world’s ugliness overwhelms you, what is left standing is the beauty of love.
Guest Musician Beth Wood has been touring and recording for 20+ years, has 11 solo albums, 2 books of poetry, a collection of awkward stories from the road called Facepalm. Last year her poetry book called Ladder to the Light won the Oregon Book Award’s Reader’s Choice Award. She is also a song coach and facilitates songwriting workshops and retreats. Her album Deep Blue from her project with Ara Lee james debuted last year.
Heidi Berkman is the founder and president of The Bloom Project, a nonprofit organization that takes flowers destined to be discarded and repurposes them to hospice patients and their families. This is a simple act of kindness created by a virtual army of donors and volunteers.