Monthly Archives: February 2011

Out of Touch

I recently started following @amazingwomen on Twitter, simply because I can’t seem to get enough of sisterhood/stories of women supporting women.  They’re a great powerful force spreading the good word. 🙂

Today, one of their blog posts popped up in my Twitterfeed and I clicked on it for a brief hiatus from my work day.  It turned out to be a birthday card from the author’s mother, transcribed for the world to see.

Lately, something about me just feels…disconnected, in a way.  I am very happy, have a lot of wonderful things in my life, and have even been filling my time in meaningful ways.  But this poem resonated with me because, despite all of those great things, I am not sure I can hear very clearly what my heart is telling me.  Time to get more serious about tuning in, I guess.


How To Make A Beautiful Life
Reflections for a daughter on her birthday

Love yourself.
MAKE PEACE with who you are
and where you are
at this moment in time.

Listen to your heart.
If you can’t hear what it’s saying
in this noisy world,
MAKE TIME for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let your mind wander among the stars.

Take chances.
Life can be messy
and confusing at times,
but it’s also full of surprises.
The next rock in your path
might be a stepping-stone.

Be happy.
When you don’t have what you want,
want what you have.
That’s a well-kept secret of contentment.

There aren’t any shortcuts to tomorrow.
You have to MAKE YOUR OWN WAY.
To know where you’re going
is only part of it.

You need to know where you’ve been too.
And if you ever get lost, don’t worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.

Life isn’t days and years.
It’s what you do with time
and with all the goodness and grace
that’s inside you.

The kind you deserve.


Anastasia kick

Seems like this site’s deserted save my sporadic posts. (Most of my energies, fyi, can be spotted at 26books, at least literary-wise!)

I’ve been thinking a lot about 20th Century Fox’s Anastasia flick lately, mostly because Sunday night I was chopping up mint leaves for delicious homemade tabouli and it reminded me of my childhood just like Anastasia’s grandmother’s peppermint scent reminded HER of her royal childhood.

Let’s continue.

So now I’m at the point where I was last year– where my life is rapidly approaching a point of transition, decision, or (as it nearly was last May) collision.  I am back and forth on a weekly basis about where I want to be, what I want to be spending 40+ hours of my week on, and what things matter the most as I begin my search.

And then, there’s Anastasia:

One step at a time,
One hope then another–
Who knows where this road may go?
Back to who I was,
On to find my future;
Things my heart still needs to know…

And then, of course, there’s ME.

I am RELIGIOUSLY devoted to Ehrmann’s idea that “Whether or not it is clear to you,/ no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should,” and that is certainly so much easier said than lived.  I have felt things in my gut that have ended up being right for one reason or another (often logistically), so I just need to remind myself that trusting what I feel for myself is not only ideal but also typically TRUE.

(Latest examples: feeling excited-but-not-too-hopeful after applying for a position in Laos only to find that the position posting had left off a very important “you must be a local” detail, and wrestling for literally 5 months with CWRU’s MSASS/MNO dual degree option only to be handed a full-ride scholarship notification that had, in fine print, that dual degree applicants were ineligible.)

After all, one option for my life post-VISTA will neither be right nor wrong; it’ll just be a CHOICE.  Something DIFFERENT than my other options.  Let me unfold where I may…as long as I’m doing so in the name of what I love.

a challenge:

@lecrae, 2/5/2011: The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you are growing. Growing is when what you know changes how you live.

How stuck are you?  How CONTENT are you?  How are you holding yourself back in regard to your own world-changing potential?  Knowledge is worthless if it never translates into anything tangible, and you are the only one to blame for your own inaction or apathy…


WE make me feel like a natural woman.

The post below this was a lead-up (I bet y’all were tossing and turning over the anticipation, just like you were with Pat Routa’s first and only appearance on the blog…!) to some great news.


(Like, duh.)

It is far from unknown that I was a Women’s Studies/Gender Studies major at Loyola, but my passion for women’s equity and a collective of women-as-sisters was sparked earlier than I can probably even trace back to, due to the incredible network of women I was exposed to at an early age.

A lovely Ramblerfriend of mine (E. Wilk HOLLABACKGIRL) and I had the delightful habit of emailing little poems, quotes, videos, and the like when we stumbled into ones that challenged us or warmed us or took us back to a special place.  Months ago, she sent me a simple 3-liner from Marianne Williamson, and those 3 lines happen to be the last three lines of my previously-mentioned last post. 😉

The inspiration bug has been circulating in my body for months now, and with the incredible help of another very talented LUC lady (Jillvira yeaaah!) and phenomenally supportive best ladies around me (Bniels, Illa, Sals) advising me and test-viewing and proof-reading and pumping up and sending good vibes, this is what I (we!) present to you:


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Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL??!

And it will be even more magnificent when it joins the ranks with dozens (possibly even HUNDREDS) of other tee-clad women across (literally) the entire country.  From the Rockies to DC to Chicago to CA to Cincinnati, women of all ages and occupations will proudly be embracing their womanhood and sending a message to women around the globe: we hear you, we are with you, and we are doing “this” together.

We’re each chipping in a few more bucks than what the shirts’ll cost to donate a lump sum to the wonderful works of Women’s Campaign International, a kick-butt NPO that works from the bottom-up AND top-down to most effectively combat gender-based oppression and inequality.

I genuinely hope you will hear our invitation and feel welcomed enough to stand by our side on March 8 (and invite YOUR special ladyfriends to join in, too!).  If you DO want to insert yourself into the movement of sisters, please comment here or email me ( ASAP (frealz) for more details.


It is impossible to realize our goals while discriminating against half the human race.  As study after study has taught us, there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General

Glorious Women.

“While it is true that Oprah has tremendous power and influence, I realized upon reflection that every woman can be an Oprah to someone.  Imagine what the world would be like if every woman showed support to at least one other woman, standing behind her in some way on the ladder of success.  Oprah seems to have the desire to share with others what she has received, and I would imagine this consciousness is part of her huge success.  What she demonstrated to me was the power of sisterhood, where a woman helps another woman and others are helped in the process.

We must not fail to learn from the lessons of women who share their bounty of opportunity and influence and power and goodwill.  There is a mountaintop with enough room for all of us.  None of us will get there and stay there unless all of us get there and stay there.  If women succeed only in isolated cases, the professional world will continue to be unsure ground for women in general.  We must take the communion of women very seriously at this time and do all we can do to support other women in reaching for the stars.  There cannot be too many glorious women.  There cannot be too many queens.  There cannot be too much success.

—Marianne Williamson, A Woman’s Worth



More on this…very shortly. 😉