Women Who Thrive, Change The World!

Archive for the ‘Courage’ Category

Looking Past Limits

I turn 63 years old in just a matter of a couple of weeks.  Two days before this day of my birth celebration I am taking flight by heading off down the road to visit family, friends, and new places all on the way to my new home in Austin, Texas.

Unhooking from a “conventional job” with all the trimmings, leaving my little cottage in the Oregon countryside, saying farewell to friends, and generally being aware of letting go of perceived limitations there is an excitement that is building inside.

There is no “job” to greet me on the other side, home to put my belongings in,  man to greet me with open arms, family to be closer to, or known territory to feel “safe” in….yet there is possibility, mystery, and new territory to open to and explore.  Is this what looking past limits is made of?

Mary Oliver said it in her poem, A Summer Day, with the line – “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  I love this line!  Do you know?  Well, it is never too late to breathe wildness into that precious life and find out!  We may not know how, but believing in the innate gifts we hold inside is essential.

Whether a woman knows it or not, she is a vessel of great magnitude born capable of reshaping humanities destiny if she only knew the true depths of her innate gifts. Be prepared now to see the fierce face of the feminine rock as her inner geographies of volcanic strength erupt from a love she has held in her belly for life all of her days. This is not a gasp of her last breath. It is her birthing cry into her wise leadership on our planet.” ~ Alisa Starkweather

Each of us as women need to hear of others that are doing this same thing as we leap off into the passionate expression of our deepest longings.  Below is a very powerful TED video with Caroline Casey which is well worth the time spent to listen to it in its entirety.

How will you spend the next days/months/years of this one wild and precious life?



ROAR!!! Shaking The Trees

Some of you might recognize this Tarot card which was given to me as a symbol for this last year of my life.  Everyone will see something different within the image and the symbols.  In fact, everyone will see and feel exactly what they need to at this juncture of their life within the depths of the images.

This card has been on my altar as a guiding light for finding trusting, and surrendering to my  authentic “voice” – amongst the many competing ones all around –  in an emboldened, passionate, sensual and expansive way.

In that vein, I would like to share with you a piece called ROAR!!! by Cinda Stevens Lonsway.  As I read this story energy raced through my body.  It was exactly the words that I needed to read right in this moment to inspire me to courageously continue bringing my voice and connecting with the likes of YOU – the Wildly Free Woman!

To read the story please go to:


You can find Cinda on Facebook at : ROAR!-Empowering Women to Give Voice to Their Truth     https://www.facebook.com/roarwithcinda

….and now for the Shaking The Trees part!  Eight years ago now there was a song that was created by Peter Gabriel called “Shaking The Trees”.  I had forgotten about it until today when I came across it once again on a Facebook post.

I gift you this video to go along with ROARING for I do believe that the two combined will have you not only up and dancing, but making sounds that only you can make.  Don’t be shy now!!




There was a circle of women sitting together having come to join each other in sharing what it was to walk a sacred, creatively authentic path as a woman in this world.  The small island on which this retreat was located held us within the energy of her natural beauty.  There was a leader of this group who stood before us in her power and with her unique voice.  She vibrated with confidence and a wisdom that was palatable to everyone in the room.

The present assignment was simple, or so it seemed.  Each woman was asked to share what brought her, and whether she had any expectations of the week that we would share together.  I immediately felt the fear of being transparent within this circle of women.  It was a full body charge running from the top of my head all the way to my toes….and it wasn’t particularly comfortable.   I felt like a deer in the headlights as my turn quickly approached.

As each woman shared eloquently (or so I judged) her journey to get here, and what she hoped to uncover for herself, I felt like I was the lone ranger with all of this fear of not being able to speak within the circle.  As long as I was the facilitator or leader of a group I seemed to be quite fine thank you very much, but when put in the position of being a participant where I felt not in control of what would come out of my mouth – well it was pure terror!

Most of my life had been spent in a man’s world, literally!  Motherless since 14 with 4 brothers, a father to take care of me, 2 husbands and another long term partner, 3 sons and many years in the conventional medical world, I wasn’t really certain of how to be in the company of women let alone bring my authentic powerful voice to the forefront.  I had been too busy anticipating the needs of men and everyone else around me to trust what my own voice had to say.

Well here was my chance, in this circle of women bound together out of a desire to mine the depths of our individual and collective hearts, souls, and minds – and dance together with our bodies in uninhibited movement.

It was then my turn in the circle to share, and do you know what I did?  I passed!  Oh, yes a lesson learned a 1,000 times over that when you pass on bringing your voice, no matter what the circumstances, you not only miss out on finding out more about yourself,  but you also hold back your unique thoughts, feelings, and ideas that could empower or break open the woman sitting next to you, the woman across the circle from you, or the woman on the other side of the world!

Yes, I finally did dismantle the fear that was keeping me silent, and shared a couple of days later in my own timing. That seemed to part of my lesson as well these many years ago now.  Honoring when I was ready to bring my voice by loving myself in the moment of absolute terror, and then committing within myself to bring my voice before the week was out.  It was what happened between the terror and the bringing that was truly the heart of the healing for me.  I let go of being perfect and committed to bring the whole of me – no matter what.

The “no matter what” was important for me in this safe circle of women, for so like many women we seem to hold a deep cellular memory of having been somehow “punished” for bringing our voice, our talents, and our opinions to the table of the world at large.  I say, let’s create another cellular memory for the girls that follow behind us and for the women of today and yesterday.

What does happen between finding our voice and bringing it out into the world in all of our relationships and endeavors??

There is a video below that is powerfully short and to the point.  Chills swept my body as I realized that although I have brought my voice out into the community, in relationship, and out into the world I have reached a point in age when there is not as much time to bring that unique voice of mine as there was when I was 20, 30, 40 or even 50.

What is it that will encourage, support, and sometimes give us a little lovin push or shove, as the case may be, to find and bring our voice?  I say – each other!

We need all of us to break any silence we have kept for reasons only we know deep in our hearts…tell your story and impact the world, reclaim your voice when you have lost it, be fearless, listen to your inner voice and act accordingly, let go of being perfect, talk about what is important to you with other women and ask for help when needed, live your life in integrity and on your own terms, let go of trying to be everything to everybody….Be completely, transparently, and powerfully YOU!





P.S.  Couldn’t help but include this little video as a post script.  Just watched it and still have a smile on my face.  Talk about finding your voice.  It comes in many ways of expression!!  Enjoy!






What if “impossible” is a wall
YOU build around your dreams?

Would you be willing to tear it down?

-Tammy Vitale

I love what Tammy says in the quote above!  Seeing “impossible” as something that is self created inside by our minds is very possibly exactly what happens.

There are many women that have lived before us, and are living now, that have either torn the barrier down or never built it in the first place.  Perhaps the wall was built of others expectations?!

Take some time to investigate what you are calling impossible today and imagine that you have indeed built a fence around it.  Is it a dream that burns inside of you, or keeps coming back to divinely nudge you one more time?

Are you willing to take the pieces of the barrier down one by one, or even with fierce passion all at once….to reveal what your heart knew all along – that “impossible” is a construct dressed in fear, void of self love,  and two letters too many.  Take the “im” away and become fearless in taking the first step towards the dream that has called you here.  It is time….

Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek & find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~Rumi

Two Resources For Practicing Being Fearless:

“UN Women and a 5th UN World Conference on Women is a natural fit, a synergy between the two that would raise consciousness and funds for the benefit of women and the development of women’s leadership at every level of society. Since it takes 3 years to organize, a target date of 2015 would be the 20th anniversary of the Beijing conference, the first since the internet and globalization, a time to network a new generation of women leaders. Reaching a tipping point would make it possible to carry out the Beijing Platform for Action, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security. A world that is safe and sustainable would become possible.”  -Jean Shinoda Bolen, speaking for 5WCW.

Fearless: Awesome Women Hub asks “What The World Needs NEXT” with Claudia Carawan



The Gift of Acceptance

Sorenna Elizabeth

I have just come back from visiting two of my sons,  and playing joyously and full on with my 3 year old granddaughter Sorenna.  As she grows quickly I see the amazing girl she is, and forsee the powerful woman she will become.

I watch Sorenna and see how absolutely at home she is in her body, her mind, and her playful and creative spirit.  She is not afraid to be exactly who she is – in the moment.  She operates from a place of full self  acceptance.  I yearn to be like her….

I often wonder why women – including myself at times – are frequently so hard on ourselves.  By that I mean attempting to fit into a “square hole” of our cultures making with our rounded, and curvy bodies (even if you are thin you have curves!!),  hearts, and psyches.

This week I was blessed to view two videos – both of which are here for you – that speak to acceptance in all of its many forms.  Here are two stunning women bringing themselves out to millions of people.  They are stunning because they both have a track record of saying yes to putting themselves out their within their particular creative art form, and they keep showing up to do just that.

One is a musician who has written many powerful songs for women as she speaks of her own life experience through her music, and the other is a young woman that very early on found her love of poetry and theater arts could be put together – and oh what a perfect fit for her!

The first is India Arie singing Gift of Acceptance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert with a global message for all of us.  We are in a time on our planet when we are realizing more deeply that what affects one of us affects all of us.  I say that acceptance of ourselves at deep levels of loving care allow us to accept others as we do ourselves.  Just what the world needs!

The second video is a brilliant TED2011 talk by Sarah Kay that inspired two standing ovations.   “Sarah tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of “B” and “Hiroshima.”

To me this is not only especially inspiring for our girls and young women coming up….but also a reminder to us as mature women that with acceptance of all of who we are (warts, fears, wrinkles, sexual preferences, and all!), the best of our creative gifts are unearthed. It is within our uniqueness that our genius shines!

You will find it here:



Will you be the next to step up “on stage”?  Dare ya!




It’s Time To Gather The Women!

International Women’s Day just celebrated it’s 101st birthday on March 8th.  “This is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievement of women around the world.  It is a national holiday in some 30 countries including China, Russia, Vietnam, Rwanda and Bulgaria.  In 2010 there were approximately one thousand clebratory events in 64 Countries.  On March 8, 2012, we will make history, with an unprecendetned celebration in every city around the world”.

….and YOU know we can create and manifest this!!  Coming on the heels of my last post I wanted to share the video below with you and also give you a link to Women’s Day Live 2012, a vision in the making. It birthed on 3/8/11. The question posed by Lili Fournier (and ME!)  is: How are you going to be a part of this?

Visit the website at: http://www.womensdaylive.com/

The video below is an inspiring one reminding us of the power that we hold collectively and collaboratively to empower ourselves and each other as women.  It starts with you taking care of YOU….and then reaching out for that “sister’s” hand.  I will be there with my hand and my full expression to meet yours…  Empower Women, Change The World!


Women Who Thrive, Change The World!




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Will I Be Pretty?…or Will I Be Pretty Amazing?

Today, like every other day,
we wake up empty
and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and
kiss the ground.

~ Rumi

I start with this Rumi poem for several reasons.  First it reminds me of what to remember as I wake up each morning with new possibility arising within a very big shift in my life.   It also speaks to me of the beauty that resides within and without each of us, and the myriad of ways that we can express this within our own uniqueness.

As women we have often listened to others dictates about what is right or wrong with us – especially our appearance –  and followed the voices of others whims and desires.   If you are like me, you have also wanted to fit in within the “appearance” that you were blessed to have been born with…but may have been continuously displeased with – attempting to change somehow to fit in with what “beauty” or “acceptable” appearance is in your particular culture.

This not only speaks to external appearance, but the “beauty” that we share inside of us offered as gifts of full expression.  This beauty that we seek to understand our entire lives may have been held back from full expression by fear of being misunderstood, not being accepted in the constraints of cultural bias, or perhaps even punished in some form.

In my global travels I have found this to be true universally.  What is it that has us judge our appearance, inside and out,  set apart from recognition of our heart and souls dream for who we are to become this lifetime?

This past week I was blessed to make contact with a woman at the gym after my swim.  She approached me, and what resulted was a short but very profound sharing between two older women that are committed to bringing the fullness of who they are out into the world.

Martha is an artist -a full time one at that.  The glow that radiated from her as she talked about her art gave me encouragement and inspiration to bring my own without the hesitation that has self sabotaged me in the past.

Yet, I learned that it was not until she was in college that she dove into the potential of the art within her.  Her mother did not want her to be an artist when she was growing up.  It was OK for her sister to be one, but mom wanted Martha to be an dancer.  With the freedom that comes from leaving home, Martha started to explore her own beauty within the world of visual art.  She now gives herself permission to bring this to the world as her gift.

This week I also bought a new bathing suit as the old one had such thin material from frequent use that it was bordering on embarrassingly revealing.  When I got it home I tried it on for the first time and realized that it was a tad too small – but not much.

As I gazed at the reflection in the mirror and turned and twisted to see all angles of my aging voluptuous (I love that word!) body I decided to see the beauty of having a body – a body that can swim, lift weights, hike, walk, ride bikes, make love, sit in meditation, run on the beach, play, laugh and breathe.  A body and ageless “beauty” that can be expressed until the last breath is taken….full and complete acceptance of what is now.

Is it time for you to explore that inner and outer beauty……  to simply be the pretty amazing woman that you are? !  There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the fullness of our expressions….

Here is a powerful video by Katie Makkai filmed at the 2002 National Poetry Slam.  She brings a lot of emotion and wisdom to the question – Will I Be Pretty?  Thank you to Karri Ingerson for this video!!



www.DivineWealthJournal.com – Conversations between The Brit and The American


Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living In better conditions. ~Hafiz

This post is important.  Important because women are being called to step up into their full expressions as the awakening on our planet spirals out globally, and as we build a new world with very different foundations.   We as women have an important purpose in all of this – to foster collaboration from the heart and soul; to speak out on behalf of the planet, our children, communities, and each other; and to express every bit of the creative genius that we are holding onto inside letting go of the fear that no one will recognize it for what it is – wisdom much needed right now!

Given all of this we cannot proceed, or pass GO as the game of monopoly states, until we heal the relationships with the women in our lives.  I believe that if we do not have closure or understanding with those that we have had challenges or break down of relationship  with, then we are bringing our wounds to the table, and not releasing those that have been close to us, and ourselves, into fullest expression.

As women we bond easily, fiercely, deeply, and often tenderly.  Relationships with other women are at the core of our thriving and full acceptance of ourselves.  Without healthy relationships with women we fall apart within and without.  Our culture, community, and world suffers…and so do we.

This week, as many of you know, there was a repairing of a relationship that took place

Iyanla Vanzant

between two very powerful women – Oprah Winfrey and Iyanla Vanzant. Feminine Power hosted that very same day a conversation with Iyanla on “Woman to Woman: How to Heal Our Relationship Breakdowns with Each Other”.

I bring you the link here to listen to the conversation as I feel that it is vitally important that we do this work with each other first!

Late in 2010 I lost a friend that was very dear to me.  She simply stopped communicating with me after 2 years of a meaningful friendship and many adventures.   At first I attempted to create story – in other words think of the ways in which I might had offended her, or figure out why she did not want to relate any longer.   I left phone messages, wrote e-mails and left a letter at her doorstep at Christmas time…but no response.

Then I realized that she was not going to respond, and that it was time to do my own internal healing around the loss, move out of any story, recognize that there was no longer a resonance which kept the relationship alive and growing, forgive myself and her, and let go.   There was of course sadness around the loss of the relationship…but what really hurt was that we could not come together, face our fears, and deeply listen to each other with an open heart and mind – either for closure, or for expansion of relationship with each other or with ourselves.

This is what Iyanla speaks to in the conversation on this link.  Take the time to listen in and reflect on whether there are any relationships with women in your life right now that require letting go of the fear that you carry and with courage (action taken from the heart) telling your truth.

Here is the link:  http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=17780457

“Woman to Woman: How to Heal Our Relationship Breakdowns with Each Other” with honored guest, Iyanla Vanzant

Welcome to the recording of our special Women on The Edge of Evolution event with Iyanla Vanzant, who shares the challenges, lessons and blessing of healing the relationship breakdowns with our sisters. Iyanla Vanzant is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. Her most recent book, Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through is a masterpiece of hard earned wisdom and a tribute to the resilience of the human heart.


JUST LAUNCHED!  www.DivineWealthJournal.com Recent Post: What Is Divine Wealth?

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Falling In Love With The Journey – Being Utterly Alive!

True Identity of a Carousel - Photo by Dewitt Jones

Falling in love with the journey is what makes life juicy!  Otherwise, we put off living, as if there is something better around the bend, tomorrow, next week, next year, or in the next moment.  Before we know it – our lives this time around are finished.

Time seems to be flying by these days.  It is not just me that is aware of it.  There are many of us that are feeling our way into a new reality.  Perhaps a different location to live,  the gathering of a tribe (community) to play and create with that aligns with our inner desires, dreams and values;  coming into the expressions that we have kept in that silent place inside of ourselves because of fear or self doubt; or as Lone Morch states below in a quote from The Feminine Fad: about power, truth & the new feminine, perhaps finally seeing ourselves as sacred, co-creators of the world.

On the societal, cultural level, maybe that means we move from seeing ourselves as mere consumers, sex objects and advertising targets to seeing ourselves as sacred, co-creators of the world, because, in our hearts, we know that for every action (thought, feeling…) there is a reaction. We don’t live in a vacuum, everything affects the collective, and each person’s choices matter. My sense is that when we can tell ourselves the truth of who we are, we can also love ourselves, When we love ourselves, we begin to trust ourselves, and naturally a lot of hole-filling choices, masks and needs might just fall away. We might see more clearly. We might feel closer to our self-authority. We might actually begin to feel utterly alive and begin to breathe with Mother Earth. A sweet thought to behold.” www.divinelyfurious.com

We all know that the journey can hold deep holes we at times fall into, mountain tops where we can see clearly, and the everyday one foot in front of the other where you never know what is going to show up next.   The potential for being utterly alive is constantly present in all of these places.

Will we take a breath and step into the aliveness on the unknown path,  or will be choose the “safe” and deeply rutted route?  There is a vivid dream that I had several years ago now that pointed me in the right direction and that I draw upon even now when I forget – which is often.

In this dream I am attempting to get to a destination of “higher learning” and many are on the path in front and in back of me.  I reach the cliff ledge and see in the distance the “place” where I wish to get to.  My attention is totally focused on “how to get there” thus I am assessing and watching how others before me are making it down the cliff side – including ropes, climbing gear, negotiating narrow and dangerous paths, just jumping with parachute (or without!). 

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.~ Ray Bradbury

As I stand there in indecision I take a breath and turn my head to the left – my feminine side – and see before me a path that gently winds its way to this place that I seek.  Ahhh – it has been here inside of me all along!

Now there is choice! An adventure down the dangerous cliff side by finding our own unique way to traverse it is possible, but not the only option.  It would be the journey from that ledge of possibility that teaches about life.  It is the falling in love with it from a place of trusting, and letting go from within that informs us.

Kerri Lake, in a recent piece entitled “Once You Are On The Freeway, You Can’t Back Up” speaks of a pivotal moment in time when mind became dictator and the voice of the universe, disguised in sheriffs garb, brought her back to her senses.  You will find it HERE Thank you to Sherryl Fraunenglass on A Woman’s True Voice, and Kerri Lake for this inspiration!

Sometimes it feels overwhelming to take life full on, yet the alternative is to live imprisoned in a game that doesn’t excite us.  Maybe, just maybe, we can fall in love with the journey no matter how dangerous or difficult it may seem, become sacred co-creators of the world,  move forward in spite of our fears and doubts, and immerse ourselves in the gravity of love.

Ashes and Snow – THE GRAVITY OF LOVE  – Enigma

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTTwww.BreathingSpaces.net

Contribution vs Making a Difference!

“…why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. ~ J.K. Rowling

Having spent some time this weekend in Portland participating in the ritual of sharing 2011 vision boards with two beautiful women friends,  I realized that although I feel like I am on the inside of a cannon about ready to explode in a completely new direction –

Gaye's 2011 Vision Board

that it is the contribution I have to bring in this new direction, place, and creation of relationship that matters most.

As women we often feel that we need to “make a difference” in the world, in our families, in our communities, in our relationships – it goes on and on.  However, might we try on how it feels inside to compare “make a difference” to “make a contribution”.   For me, there is a edge to “make a difference” that is somehow filled with the expectation that we have to do something, and the need to make certain “that something” hits the target that we are aiming at.  It also somehow feels attached to attempting to gain favor or recognition for something – that may or may not be our natural authentic expression.  Feel a little pressure here?

Now there is nothing wrong with challenging ourselves, but how does it feel to simply “contribute” from the still (and sometimes very loud) voice inside that asks you to follow your heart and soul.  To bring that unique expression that is only yours out into the world.  There is a flow that happens  when we reach this place….and a knowing that even if we “fail” in bringing or manifesting our contribution out into the world, that at least we have taken our divine and true nature and given it a voice and a form from which to express.

As J.K. Rowling says in the above quote, when we stop pretending to be other than what and who we are, then we have the energy, passion and commitment to direct into the livelihood/artistic expression/relationships that matters most to us.  We set ourselves free when we contribute from this place of being….and it is here that we thrive.

There are two videos this week that I want to share with you.  The first is of an amazing woman by the name of Jeanne Dowell who is a first-time entrepreneur at the age of 80!  Merging her long-time experience as a yoga teacher, Jeanne, along with her 44 year old daughter, launches a new eco-friendly apparel business – The Green Buddha company.  Jeanne teaches us that it is never too late to contribute and that often, just naturally, that contribution does “make a difference”.

The Green Buddha-oomphtv.com

The second video is at the other end of the age spectrum and features an incredibly courageous, articulate, wise, intelligent and beautiful young woman giving a keynote talk on Martin Luther King Day in her high school auditorium.  Kayla’s contribution is saying YES to her fullest self – even when that may present challenges that she might not know how to handle.  Staying silent however, is not an option for this young woman….and her entire school learns a deep and valuable lesson about being authentic, even when it is terrifying and filled with the unknown.

Maria Carillo Highschool, Santa Rosa, California – Kayla comes out.

May we yield to the Divine nature that we are and trust in the direction that it leads us.


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