Throughout our lives we go through a myriad of transitions…….we enter school, we graduate, we leave home, move, travel the world, get married, get divorced and start new jobs to name a few. All of these experiences are wrought with a complexity of feelings –great hope and possibilities on the one hand and fears and anxieties of entering into the unknown on the other.
As baby boomers age, this year alone 3.2 to 3.5 million people will be transitioning out of the work world and entering into some version of retirement.
Needless to say, there is tremendous potential for this time of life and yetthe dreams we have- whatever they may be- maybe challenged with insecurities about money, self-identity and questions like, “ Can I afford it?” “ Who am? “ “Now what do I do?????
Louise Mayer, author of Poised for Retirement; Moving from Anxiety to Zen was my guestthis week on Wise Woman Storytime. Louiseis no stranger to personal introspection. On her journey towardsfacing her own retirement, she met many of her fears and anxieties along the way. Always reflective, she looked within, interviewed others and looked at research to best inform her decisions, choices and soothe her worried self. Her inquiries not only resulted in her latest book, but provide real life, practical suggestions for anyone who will one day leave the work place.
I invite you to listen to her story.There are lessons here for all of us.
If you live in Sonoma County odds are that you have been to Coffee Catz– that homey, friendly cafe where you might meet a friend or make new ones. At Coffee Catz you certainly mightenjoy a deliciousorganic salad, a bowl of freshly made soup or a delicious pastry. Odds are that you very wellmight walk into an open mic or poetry event, hear live music or sit down yourself and play a few tunes on the beautiful baby grand yourself.
It’s obvious from the first time you step into this legend of a business that you have entered into a very special space.And if you have the good luck to be there when the owner is around, you will likely get a warm smile or a big hug.
My guest this past week on Wise Woman Storytime was Debby Meagher, the owner extraordinaire of Coffee Catz and a west county icon herself. I invite you to listen to her story. Learn how and why shecreated Coffee Catz and the special life ingredients that she puts into her cafe, food, relationships and life.
We live in a world today where information is literally at our fingertips and knowledge is highly valued. But knowledge is NOT the be all and end all.Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
Today we’re going to hear a story from a woman who values imagination and intuition as a path to a richer, fullermore fulfilled and connected creative life.And she should know, because it’s been her life long journey and taken her to unimaginable places.
My guest this week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime was artist, writer, animal communicator and spiritual mentor Leiah Bowden. Intution, imagination, and positive energy are essential ingredients in Leiah’s work and life path.
She has a story to tell that may very well change your view of the world and offers us all a new lens for living, learning, and connecting.
You can learn more about Leiah and her work by visiting her website at http://www.lightspeak.com/. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our culture, aging, dying and death are often talked about in whispered and hushed tones and often viewed as an enemy to be defeated and overcome.
But what if we had a different paradigm……one that accepts and even embraces the end of life as a passage as sacred and blessed as the birth of child?
What if we looked to death as a great teacher informing us about living fully and reminding us about who we are, the gifts we have and the potential for a legacy that goes beyond our finite years?
My guest this week on Wise Woman Storytime, Tess Lorraine offers us a new lens and worldview that transforms conventional thinking about aging, dying and the end of life with a template for the rich possibilities that this life stage can offer.
Deeply personal, Tess’s story is a universal tale.It is what can happen within a family system as each family member comes face to face with their own attitudes, values, and belief systems as they individually and collectively care for and attend to all the needs of a dying loved one.
It is a story of how despite having end of life directives, one’s intended wishes can be misunderstood, misinterpreted and misdirected by those who love us the most.
All of us have or will eventually face the death of a loved one and certainly all of us are facing our own mortality.Do we really know what our loved ones’ end of life wishes are?Do we really know what we want? And have we clearly articulated our wishes both legally and informally?
Tess Lorraine’s story is a mirror for us all to look at our own lives, deaths and legacies.There is practical information in her story about death and dying. But, perhaps more importantly, she invites us to look into the portal of death as an avenue to become our most authentic selves in life and as we are dying so that we can ensure we give those we love and ourselves the life and death we really want.
Tess Lorraine designs seminars and retreats on “Awakening to Life and Death- an in-depth approach to exploring our choices at end of life”
Artist, printmaker and teacher, Jami Taback was my guest this week on Wise Woman Storytime.
Jami’sjourney has taken her to art schools around the world. She has studiedwith master teachers, and has been both an enthusiastic visitor to museums anda passionate art historian for others.
Through color, texture, illuminated light, and wordsJami examines the world, finds meaning for herselfand now through her story offers her unique lens to others.
This is a beautiful and passionate story of Jami’s journey as an artist and how her life path has shaped both her inner and outer world views.Join us and witness art, color, light, texture, and history through her lens.
Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”Today you will meet someone who easily could have written this quote, but would be likely to change it to……. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others and yourself see and feel.”
I invite you to listen to this visual artists’ story of her lifelong exploration and deep love and devotion to art. You may never enter a museum or view a work of art the same.
You can see Jami’s art, check out some classes and and connect with her atjamitaback.com.
In our culture, aging, dying and death are often talked about in whispered and hushed tones and often viewed as an enemy to be defeated and overcome.
But what if we had a different paradigm……one that accepted and even embraced the end of life as a passage as sacred and blessed as the birth of child?
The key to this revisioning of life and death may very well begin with an exploration of how the framework of our patriarchal system shapes our thinking, way of life, and our political and social justice systems. And it may very well inform us how male dominance, hierarchal ordering, violence and the ever present assent to power, shape every aspect of our individual and collective lives- even our deaths.
My guest this past week on Wise Woman Storytime, Leslene della Madre offers us a very different look at death and ultimately a new look at life. An initiate in the metis Paiute medicine tradition of Grandmother Mahad’yuni, and an initiated daughter in the Nepalese lineage of Ajima, protector of women and children, Leslene draws on ancient wisdom, the sacred feminine and her 45 years on the shamanic path of awakening.
Leslene’s message is an important one.
When we embrace a sacred feminine paradigm of aging, dying and death, whose foundation rests on peace, acceptance, solace, generosity, connection and love – we not only die peacefully, we live fuller and happier lives.
This is Leslene’s story and there are lessons here for all of us.
You can find out more about Leslene and order her book Midwifing Death: Returning to the Arms of the Ancient Motherat her website midwifingdeath.com. Check out her Facebook page as well.
For those of us who are older, it is quite the vantage point to be able to look back over our lives and see the influences that made and continue to make us who we are today.For most, the family of origin is probably somewhere in the mix- perhaps embracing the values of our parents and community or maybe quite the opposite – a negation of familial attitudes and beliefs.
Then there are the people we cross paths with. Sometimes there are momentary chance meetings with people who pass through our lives and leave an indelible imprint.And then there are the people we develop long term relationships with, who mold and change our ways of thinking, seeing, and living.
And of course, there’s each one of us…and how despite our upbringing, education, socioeconomic status,racial, and gender privilege – or lack of– that core of self that is open or closed to new ideas, reflective or shut down, trusting or distrusting of life and ourselves, willing or unwilling to take chances and make mistakes – that core inside of us that ultimately makes the choices anddecisions that shape who we are and how we live in the world…
This past week on Wise Woman Storytime, Sherrie Lovlershared her story of the early and ongoing influences in her life. Sherrie grew up in the Bronx and then as a young adult found herself moving to a rural part of NY where she lived on the land and homesteaded for many years and published a magazine called The Homesteaders News. From rural NY, Sherrie moved to Colorado and eventually made her way to the burgeoning Silicon Valley in California and bore witness to the birth of the tech boom.
Today, Sherrie Lovler is many things. She is a calligrapher, poet and painter. She is the author of two books, the latest On Softer Ground: Paintings, Poems and Calligraphy. She is a spiritual being connected to the Divine and lives her life with the same principles that she creates art with…openness, trust, playfulness, discipline, curiosity and the willingness to take risks.
Sherrie always had adeep seeded connection to the magic of the pen, words, and art. Combined with her connection to the “Other” this is a story about one woman’s journey to living a life devoted to art, all the while learning how to artfully live.
The classic Greek poet Simonides of Ceos wrote, “Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks.” In Sherrie Lovler’s case, you might say, art is living and living is art.
For more information about Sherrie’s calligraphy prints, art, and poetry and to purchase her book, here are her websites.Enjoy!
artandpoetry.com Her main art and poetry filled site with links to other sites and events.
natureartandpoetry.com Her blog with her most recent art and poems. 92 pairs are posted here with more coming soon.
I think we can agree that all families have stories………some might be tall tales that one might question, others might be more subtle and understated.Some stories may show pride in ancestral heritage and others might be silenced by shame, misunderstanding or the inability to speak the unspeakable. Children in these families are often kept in the dark so they listen in on whispered conversations, sometimes in foreign tongues, seeking to make sense of the unsaid and creating meaning and understanding for themselves as they navigate the family landscape.
My guest this week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime, Frieda Ferrick grew up in such a family – where the past was unspoken and the stories eventually unwoven, although perhaps never completely revealed.
A child of Holocaust survivors, Frieda slowly wove the threads of her parents earlier years together. It’s taken her years to piece her father and mothers story together and she still is exploring its impact on the people closest to her, the ones she never knew, the generations to follow and herself.
In this week’s show, Frieda reflects on her most recently completed book. Following Stories My Family Could Not Tell and Stories I Must Tell You, her third book in this trilogy offers us all a path to finding connection, optimism, and bravery during this and other turbulent times. Stories of Love, Hope and Courage has never been more relevant and important.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, we are all on a path….some paths maytwist and turnand and take us off in unimaginable directions…..others may be straight and steady with goals checked off at each end point as new ones are quickly created. Some of our paths are influenced by family and the values we learn in our early years and some paths are influenced by curiosity, and openness,……..even dreams, intuitions, synchronicities, coincidenceand perhaps a bit of magic. Some of our paths are a hodgepodge of all of the above.
My guest this week on KOWS Wise Woman Storytime, Susan Lamont has been a feminist most of her life.While always politically conscious, her activism became energized and more focused around 2000. Today’s story is about the intersection of all of the above……how the values in a family inform us; how the coincidences of our lives influence us and how synchronicity, a little bit of magic, a determination to live in a just world and the sheer grit and willingness to roll up our sleeves and jump in, transforms us into our best selves.
We cannot ignore the high incidence of child abuse in our country nor can we look the other way at the impact abuse has on the child and the adult survivor.
Here are some facts:*
2.9 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the United States.
1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before they reach age 18.
Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violence crime.
90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way. 68% are abused by a family member.
About 80% of 21-year-olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
Approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse.
And here are some consequences of adults who were abused as children: **
Physical health problems
Emotional health problems
Alcohol and substance abuse
High risk sexual behavior
Intergenerational transfer of abuse and neglect
High risk sexual behaviors
My guest this week on Wise Woman Storytime El Chess, suffered horrific abuse as a child. Her earlier years were fraught with degradation, deprivation, neglect, emotional abuse and dehumanizing conditions. It has been her lifetime commitment to do the deep inner work of breaking the constraints of shame, speaking the unspeakable andlearning to love herself that has forged her path towards living a fulfilling, happy and successful life today.
El’s goal is to share the practices and teachings that have helped her thrive so that others may also live happy lives.El has worked hard to create the first ever 12 step program called Adults Abused Anonymous which meets weekly in Santa Rosa and very recently published her book Adults Abused as Children.