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, Power
Kym Lardieri filling in for Shelly Morris with her Lion & Rose soap, deodorant, and bath bombs. Check out the Wild Woman soap!
Lisa Bakke, catering
Bartender Dani Gregoire Russell, Gatekeepers Julia Stenberg and Sydni Hodnot, and keeping the music going Emily Aldridge
Table Hosts: Barb Mathey, Kathy Wery, Dianne Gregoire, Sabrina Blair, Lisa Carpenter, and Lisa Jaqua
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.
And what is this WildChild Fund?? Because I wanted to add a charitable aspect to the WWS - one where we could contribute 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. I created the WildChild Program. You may have gathered, our WildChild is not a child, but is a woman in need of support of all kinds, and this ties back to sistering, and being part of a community. Our first was Amara, who many of you know, and our second is Lisa Carpenter, who is here with us today as a table host.
This is ongoing and if you have someone you would like to nominate to be a WildChild please contact me.
Karlita intuitive reading, $15 for 15 minutes - counseling astrologer, intuitive coach, and hospice nurse practitioner.
I’d like to also introduce our Guest Artist Sue Jensen (goody box trades allowed)
Sue has been painting for over 32 years and teaching for 25 and her work has evolved in many directions over the years. She finds her art calming and centering and loves the feel and smell of beeswax.
Right now she is working on encaustics, collages, and acrylics. Encaustic painting, for those of you that are unfamiliar with it, uses beeswax and damar resin, heated on a palette. Each layer of wax applied, whether clear or colored, must be fused to the layer below. This way a solid foundation is established and the wax is embedded into the surface, thus becoming archival. This method is older than oils, so has been tested well. The Greeks used this wax mixture in shipbuilding, and the early Egyptians used this method in their famous Fayem portraits.
“Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change – it can not only move us, it makes us move.”
― Ossie Davis
The late, great writer Ursula Le Guin said:
“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”
So 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. 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 have been waxing on about Divine Feminine for so long now that I assume you know what I mean, but let me back up here and define it:
The Sacred Feminine is the feminine force of creation that embodies the qualities of nurturing, receptivity, creativity, compassion, intuition, sensuality, inclusion, mystery, renewal and unconditional love.
And to help put this in a wider context. The Sacred Masculine is the masculine force of creation that embodies the qualities of action, drive, focus, illumination, determination, achievement, logic, order, and higher consciousness.
Every human being possesses both feminine and masculine principles and potentials. Although the Sacred Feminine is equally present in all genders, many of its qualities have been denigrated and assigned to being merely female and therefore “less than.”
I always want to emphasize the need for both masculine and feminine - in every human.
From Elaine Welteroth’s book More Than Enough; Claiming Space for who you are (no matter what they say)
“The world doesn’t prepare girls—especially little brown girls—to see the bigness of their dreams. It doesn’t train us to embrace the expansiveness of our own possibilities. And small towns tend to reinforce small thinking. So seeing our full potential isn’t work we can do alone. We need the other women in our tribe. Friends. Sisters. Mothers. Professors. When women affirm women, it unlocks our power. It gives us permission to shine brighter.
Women are taught to work hard and to play by the rules. We are taught to never overstep, to stay in our lane, to keep our head down, to go with the flow, to never be too loud or disagreeable. Not to be bossy. Not to be pushy. We are not encouraged to know our worth, let alone to demand it. We are not given the tools to fight for ourselves or taught to challenge authority. Instead, we are taught—in subtle and overt ways—to give up our power, to take what we can get, and to be grateful. Whatever it is, whatever it takes, you just do it. And you do it well. With a smile. Whether it feels good or not. Women aren’t taught to get comfortable with making people uncomfortable.”
“wokeness” doesn’t work like a light switch. You don’t just turn it on and boom, “You’re woke!” Instead, it is a process of learning, listening, stripping away the blinders that privilege puts on, and exposing yourself to suffering that doesn’t always affect you in order to act from a place of understanding and empathy.”
In my own personal journey I remember thinking privilege has the connotation of money - many people who started with very little money and then earned it assume that that is what is meant by privilege. Human brains love to sort ala Harry Potter, categorize things, place them neatly in a labeled box, then sit back and enjoy not having to rethink. But I’m willing to bet each of you has been put in a box that they did not appreciate or feel like they fit into. People are so much more complex than that. Once you step back and question you see the world through a different lens. An easy example is Disney. How can anyone not love Disney? And yet. We finally stepped back and questioned story after story of a helpless female getting rescued by a manly man and the result has been storylines and heroines you’d actually want your daughters to emulate. That is a seemingly frivolous example, what about white privilege? The importance of examining what privilege means to each and every one of us cannot be underestimated. Here is another privilege I am now more aware of: connections. Making connections has always been part of my life. Our parents taught us to call on connections for anything from college recommendations, to jobs, to loans. This is not to say that connections are not ok - this is something that I really love. The awareness piece is recognizing how easy or difficult it is for individuals to make those connections. I also had a nice home, loving parents, enough to eat, and nice clothes. What if you never had those advantages, ever? America boasts that it is the land of opportunity - and it is for sure, but minority groups and our most vulnerable populations continue to struggle.
Brene Brown says:
To not have conversations because they make you uncomfortable is the very definition of privilege.
The people who are targeted by racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. are not responsible for initiating these conversations and building the tables where they should be happening. That’s not how this works. We have to be able to choose courage over comfort, to say look: I don’t know if I’m going to nail this, but I’m going to try because what I’m sure as hell not going to do is stay quiet. That’s what we can’t do. Yeah, you’re going to make mistakes, be uncomfortable, learn about blind spots you didn’t even know you had.
Take learning it into your own hands , not make other people responsible for teaching it. That’s how we’re going to move forward. But if you think there is going to be real conversation around equity and diversity while you remain comfortable, that is not going to happen. And it shouldn’t happen.
I have woven conversation about privilege into my events for some time now. I am trying to constantly learn about my part in the larger privilege conversation. Unlearning lifelong assumptions is a journey not a destination, I learn a new perspective and then another one surfaces…many of them cannot even rise up until I get my next pair of lenses! But I feel so passionately that this kind of conversation plus deep listening is what is desperately needed.
I am doing the world no service seeking, searching, reading, and gathering all this information then keeping silent. Women like me who have been quietly living their lives, keeping the peace and at the same time longing for peace for others - we owe it to the world and to our sisters to speak up, to connect, and to share the things we learn. Aristotle said: “The more you know the more you know you don’t know”! Now is not the time for complacency and knowledge without action is like no knowledge at all
So how does this all, fit with the theme of power’?
When we think of the definition of power we may think of overwhelming strength, as in overpowering, dominance, and other masculine words.
But, Power comes from the Latin word potere, which means "to be able.”. No mention of force or strength.
Digging deeper I found another: The true definition of power is our ability to make our own choices. ... Sometimes power means standing strong…but sometimes it means choosing to step aside. Sometimes power means having our say…but sometimes it means choosing to let others have theirs
There is power in words that we cannot and should not deny. Who didn’t have a grandparent that said things we would never consider saying? My parents were better, but there were still some things that although I didn’t notice it at the time, remembering back, they were awful. With awareness and consciousness we have all begun to be more mindful of our words. It is shameful that there is ever a time when someone thinks it is ok to ridicule another and this is something that we must find our voices to stop. It ties in to bullying and shame in the most vulnerable among us.
And not just words, but small actions. When my daughter Nicole was still little, in her carseat, we drove by a woman and I heard her little voice chime from the backseat: “Momma! I taketed a smile from her and she taketed a smile from me!” There is great power in a kind thought shared, a smile from a child, thoughtful actions. A kind stranger can change the course of your whole day.
Greta Thunberg is a 16 year old climate activist from Sweden. She has been in the news a lot and the criticism of her is kinda wild.
criticized for being angry - women don’t get to be unattractive in their anger.
criticized for not doing anything, and not providing solutions. She is speaking out on a HUGE topic, raising awareness, and proposing action. This sure seems like something to me.
criticized for her manner and mocked…for having Aspergers - really?!
“I was so frustrated that nothing was being done about the climate crisis and I felt like I had to do something, anything. And sometimes NOT doing things - like just sitting down outside the parliament - speaks much louder than doing things. Just like a whisper sometimes is louder than shouting.’
One of the quotes I posted pre-event is: “there is only one you, and that is your superpower”. More often we are able to spot it in others easily. Keep doing this, tell your sisters what you see in them because looking for genius in others lifts us all up! It isn’t as obvious to you yourself, it isn’t always easy to find, but I encourage you to stay curious and go in search of your very core, the thing that makes you uniquely YOU. There are so many people here to help you figure things out. Find people that resonate for you, while holding honor for people that don’t - they are every bit as necessary for others! There are 7.7 billion humans on earth and the patriarchal idea that competition is the only way to survive, club, and kill, and conquer…I’m going to suggest that perhaps there is a different way! That is why there is room here for women that have similar offerings: plenty of people needing help, plenty of different ways needed. The question I would have you all ponder is, what will you do with your unique genius, your Superpower?
From the book Urgent Message from Mother by Jean Shinola Bolen
“Where masculinity is defined as power and being in control, men fear feminine qualities and suppress them in themselves.
The half of humanity in charge of the world’s agenda is led by men addicted to power and maintaining their dominance. It is time to gather women to save the world.”
The way power has manifested for me is learning to own that my personal unique gift, my superpower, may never be big scale, as I have traditionally defined power, and as I have admired it in others. I still struggle with this every day, does what I am trying to do make any difference? The beauty in pausing today and examining the different aspects of what power means is that we can respect them all: our creativity and expression in the arts and music, the importance of balancing divine feminine and masculine, the power of learning and growing through difficult subjects like privilege, humanity, and common ground, and the confidence that our small acts and our words have powerful impact.
Carol will be up in a bit - I deliberately do NOT know what my speaker is going to say (only in general) because it challenges me to let go and allow a flow that, I swear to you, amazes me every single time. It is terrifying because my temptation is to micromanage the hell out of the event, but this is all part of my relinquishment process! For now, there is an envelope for each table host.
Guest Musicians Camille and Ashley Perry, Complimentary Colors
- Camille and Ashley have only been a musical duo for about 3 years but we have many musical friends in common and I do not know how our paths have not crossed before, but in a fun turn of synchronicity, CC bubbled up two times in quick succession and on a beautiful sunny Saturday we sat together as they decompressed from a busy schedule of shows. There is a lot to love and learn from these two but I’ll share just one special thing: Ashley is pretty shy and quiet and had not even sung publicly before they met. This would be the inspiration and power of trying something unexpected and following your curiosity to find something new and rewarding that you may not have even believed you could do.
Dr. Carol Parker Walsh - hopefully you had a chance to check out Carol’s website and learn a little bit about her. I love her tagline: unapologetically be and do you. I met Carol about 10 years ago when we were both selling Silpada jewelry, but on both sides of that chapter of her life Carol has been an attorney, management consultant, executive, professor, and dean. She has also been A TEDx speaker, two-time Amazon #1 best selling author, international speaker, global thought leader and member of Forbes Coaches Council, Carol was the Editor-in-Chief of the AICI Global Magazine and wrote for the Vancouver Business Journal. Yup, a bit of a slacker. I had some theme words in mind when Carol and I chatted, but then she suggested Power and it was an immediate yes! for me. She is the embodiment of power, and not just because she has that incredible resume to back it up. She has the power of huge energy, sass and confidence. There’s so much more - obviously I could wax on about Carol even longer, but let’s get to the good stuff and let her tell you herself!