For the past 6 years, on as many Thursday mornings as possible, I’ve laughed, cried and connected with a women’s group that has met weekly for over thirty years! Yes, you read that right. A few of the original members are still alive, and the spirit and memory of the other elders who have passed infuses our gatherings and rituals. I’m one of the youngest members. The wisdom embodied in the decades older than me–60s, 70s, 80s and 90s–is poignant and inspiring. These women, who have become like family, exude the empowerment, beauty, freedom, vulnerability and honesty that comes with age. Aging is a gift to welcome and honor.
In our gathering last Thursday, we shared stories of how we find ways to love ourselves. It sounds so simple, but as you know, being gentle with ourselves and truly loving the intricacies of our being can be one of our greatest challenges. And yet our ability to love and truly welcome ourselves is the source for loving others in its purest, least agenda-d form.
As adults, our most consistent and reliable source of love comes from a pure, divine source from within or beyond—whatever that looks like and however that is cultivated for you. There are a myriad of ways our spirits, our heart source, our Self energy is nourished and fed. Our cozy circle of women shared favorite quotes, rituals, memories of digging in the dirt, stories of being nurtured in nature, being near favorite bodies of water, enjoying flowers, eating dessert first, honoring our physical bodies, writing love notes to oneself, connecting with loved ones, creating, playing, laughing, dancing.
How do you love and appreciate yourself and all your parts?
How hard or easy is that for you?
especially when it feels like no one else can offer that to you–or no one else truly gets it?
And I pause. And I listen for an answer.
And I whisper to this hurting, scared, overwhelmed part the phrase it longs to hear, like:
“Oh sweetie, I know this hard. I’m here with you.”
“Yes, this is a moment of suffering. I agree.”
“It makes sense that you’re hurting.”
“Take your time. We have as long as you need. It’s ok.”
“I’m right here. You aren’t alone.”
In those moments of suffering, take your time and ask the part(s) what they long to hear.
Offer that to them. You know better than anyone.
A favorite Valentine’s photo of Zukie, my beloved timeshare vizsla for 14 years, sending his love this heart-filled month!
As we honor Black History this month, here are two links to Melanie DeMore, a special musician I’ve grown attached to the past two years. Melanie frequently joins hundreds of online singers around the world as a guest artist with Heather Houston’s Sisters in Harmony gatherings Monday nights. This online offering started during the pandemic and continues—a gift for all of us who don’t live near Heather in Santa Cruz, CA!
An IFS Colleague shared the link to this moving performance “Sending You Light” by Melanie DeMore and Julie Wolff. I hadn’t heard this piece before and keep repeating it over and over. It’s quite moving. Talk about generating love and light. This is where it’s at!
Sending you light. Sending you love.
A comforting hour with Melanie DeMore posted during lockdown 4/20. Melanie often keeps me company while I’m working at the computer. You’ll recognize some of the tunes and spirituals. It’s hard not to sing along! At 52 minutes, Come By Here.
If you don’t already know this about me, I have to be incredibly protective of how much news I allow into my system. I get easily flooded with despair and overwhelm by the horror and unfairness surrounding us every day. When devastating world events happen (earthquakes, floods, mass shootings), parts of me shut me down with helplessness and discouragement. I’m not ignoring reality, but I struggle with how to interact with the news in a way that’s doable and not immobilizing. I end up being more silent than I want because it’s all so upsetting.
But for today, I can easily include links if you’re inclined to donate to Doctors without Borders and/or the International Rescue Committee. The two earthquakes in Turkey and Syria (one of the strongest to hit the region in 100 years) left thousands of families without shelter in freezing temperatures. The IRC provides emergency services to families in Turkey and Syria and refugee families in countries around the world. With IRC, all monthly gifts will be matched until 3/31/23. Your gift goes to 87% Programs, 8% Administration, 5% Fundraising.