A Courageous Voice Dwells Within You

Does this sound like your life experience?

You are a writer, poet, painter, speaker, singer, dancer, musician. Your art is breath to you. You wish to connect with an audience; a tribe that you inspire. You long for connection with them… to share…to listen and be heard.

And/or you are a parent. You too, long for deep connection with your tribe…your children. You too, wish to listen and be heard.

You’ve probably asked yourself, “How do I craft my art/my voice so that my tribe will truly hear and understand my spirit?”

 

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 I know how you feel.

 

Last week I (again) despaired that I’d ever find my audience, those souls who want to hear words from my spirit. I’ve searched for many years.

So I arrived at a moment of brilliance. “I shall change my work. Remove those parts that might offend or be misunderstood. Ahhhh. Then, I will reach the multitudes, they will want to hear me, all will work well!”

And I proceeded. I slashed the heart and soul right out of the best work I’ve ever created.

First, my spirit revolted as I read my amputated work out loud. My own words, previously resounded like a beautiful melody,  now choked me. It was as though mud caked each verb.

 

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Then I felt my stomach revolt. “No, this cannot be. I’m about to vomit!” I stumbled into the bathroom. I’ve not experienced such a gut primal scream since I was 22 years old and enmeshed in an emotionally abusive relationship.

I feverishly wrote, re-attaching the amputated limbs of my work. My spirit rejoiced. So did my body, for my gut quieted all rumblings.

 

And I breathed a deep sigh of awe.

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Life Makes You A Master Mentor

I enjoyed brunch as well as a sobering conversation with a dear friend:

“Gail, I often ponder what it would be like to mentor a young woman. But then I ask myself, ‘What in the world can I tell a young woman? I have no great wisdom to share. I’m still struggling to figure this sh*# out myself! Why in the world should she listen to me?’”

I’ve heard this from other female peers. We think we need to have life figured out before we dare mentor with any competency.

Seeing Clearly

“Because, my friend, you are 63 years old and you are Still Here.

At 19 you packed up your baby, fled and divorced your abusive, drunken husband.

And you are Still Here.

 

At 24 you couldn’t go to see a movie with me because your financial choice was, purchase a movie ticket, or purchase milk for your son. You chose to purchase milk. And you are Still Here.

Your own mentally ill mother nearly destroyed your will to live. You chose to live anyway. And you are Still Here.

Your body systems have nearly failed, physical debilitation, pain and suffering have plagued you for years. You’ve despaired but you consistently fight to understand your body and you strive to give it what it needs to heal. And you are Still Here.

You know what true friendship means. You’ve unwaveringly listened to my trials and tribulations, laughed with my excitement and personal growth, shored me for over 40 years. And you are Still Here. Listening.

Walk On With Hope

“My friend, you can share with any young women that it’s a real thing that you have done. A real event to have lived through it all.

And that experience is the wisdom you share with her. Which is just about all the wisdom of the world…”

 

From My Heart To Yours and back to mine, sharing our wisdom…

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Good News Join me!

 

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I met Fawn Weaver, author of Happy Wives Club when she was in Minneapolis last month to support her New York Times bestseller.  She asked me and several other women in attendance to share our stories:

“How did you meet your husband and when did you realize he was the one?”

Later as she autographed my copy of Happy Wives Club, Fawn looked up, smiled and asked, “Gail, what a charming story of when you knew Bill was the one and how you are celebrating him and your upcoming wedding anniversary. Women will love reading it. Could I invite you to share that wonderful idea in a guest blog for the Happy Wives Club website?”

Oh, I was tickled to share it!

Here is an excerpt of my guest blog:

Bill and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary last month. We’ve never been big on exchanging purchased gifts. (In the early years we had very little money anyway!) This year I wanted to create and share something memorable and priceless.

I designed a 10-day Countdown To Our Anniversary. Each of the nine nights leading up to our anniversary, I wrote and posted a brief and loving letter on his Facebook wall that reflected my thoughts about his wonderful character, such as:

  • The man who makes me so happy
  • His wedding day surprise behavior
  • Supporter of my talents
  • Businessman
  • Father figure/mentor to hundreds of at-risk young men

 

Read the entire guest post by clicking below!

 

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Marriage: A lot in common with gardening

Did you enter your marriage full of expectation that everything you and your spouse “planted” early on will be fruitful forever?

Every gardener knows nothing planted will be fruitful forever–at least not in its exact current form. Still, with tending, what is planted can be fruitful for a lifetime!

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There will be many a fallow season in a lifetime of marriage. Trust me. I’ve been happily married over 20 years. What you do or don’t do during those fallow seasons is probably more important than the harvest.

In the garden where nature rules and much of the outcome stretches beyond the gardener’s hands to determine, much of our marriage life (how we deal with the inevitable trials) is in both our hands.

In the garden our flower bulbs may be struck with an infestation of worms (the natural order). Probably the fallow season has arrived for at least that part of the garden. Time to dig up the remaining healthy bulbs and replant them elsewhere.

Marriage may be struck with an “infestation” too, such as:

  • Infidelity
  • Illness
  • Financial setbacks
  • Family of origin issues
  • Job change or loss
  • Boredom

 

Here are some simple, powerful, and hearty bulbs that I hope you planted together on your wedding day! When you and your love are dealing with one or more of the above trials  (it must be both of you working for a positive outcome), try this approach. Dig deep within and bring out these healthy concepts:

  • Commitment
  • Forgiveness
  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Laughter
  • Love

 

  1. Chose a half hour period of time when you are refreshed and relaxed. Bill and I do this first thing in the morning over breakfast and when we’ve had a good night’s sleep
  2. Sit down together with some lovely stationary that you’ve purchased for just these times. Each of you thinks back to your wedding day and reflects on what the above words meant to you on that special day. Write your recollection in a column on the left.
  3. In a column on the right, write what these words mean to you today.
  4. Now share your lists. Look at one another, smile…hold hands and speak quietly and honestly.

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You’ll be surprised how this simple reflection supports your bond and reminds you that these “infestations” I listed need not compromise your marital foundation even as some will probably require the help of a licensed counselor to work them through. Don’t hesitate to seek the professional advisement you and your marriage need.

Accept and embrace the fallow seasons in your marriage. Those seasons are not a failure of your marriage to thrive. They are a time to honor rest, renewal, and reflection together!

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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Marriage: keeps you stretched like a shoetree

I’m pondering my life as wife. No. I take that back.

I’m pondering having embraced the real and scary risk of stepping out of my comfort zone to be someone’s intimate partner for life!

You see, I’m very much an introvert. When I was 18 I knew I was not destined for motherhood. I also knew that I was heterosexual. That meant I would probably desire men in my life for companionship and romance. But I was ambivalent about ever becoming wife.

I’ve always enjoyed my own company; listening to my own thoughts and perceptions. In those early years I imagined that by the time I’d reached the age I am today I’d be living alone in a cave somewhere. Blissfully.

Today I find myself happily married for the last 24 years. It’s a multifaceted wonderful experience.

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The best part? Marriage has stretched me beyond myself!

Once upon a time I thought I’d be perfectly content with my own company, seated in Lotus Position in a cave on a mountaintop.

I no longer envision that scene. Marriage allows me to experience vulnerability, compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional support. Marriage teaches me the joy of sharing assets AND liabilities, fulfilling that promise I voiced to do so.

Who could have those experiences living alone in a bleeping cave on a mountaintop?

 

What about you, sisters? Please share.

How has YOUR marriage stretched YOU?

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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Infidelity and a Healing Heart

Infidelity wounds, doesn’t it? The pain from the wound reverberates. One stranger’s infidelity can rip the healing scab right off another’s previously wounded heart.

Don’t believe me? Then listen up…

“Gail? Hey girlfriend. I’m in Minneapolis on business. Are you free for lunch today?

Finally sitting down to lunch with my girl, “Adrienne.” How long has it been since I’ve caught up with her? At least two years.

Adrienne is a verified success story. MBA. Six-figure income. Talented. Beautiful.

“I turned 46 last week, Gail. I got to share my birthday with my love, too. He and I stole away for a weekend ski trip. We didn’t do much skiing though!

Healed Hands

Adrienne has never married. I wanted to hear all about this new love she’s been dating for 4 months.

She gushed about Mr. Wonderful. Not as much gushing about the fact that he has a wife and two teenaged sons.

I wasn’t shocked. I’ve indulged my share of dumb moves that I’m not proud. Adrienne’s grown. So I made up my mind that I will neither judge nor criticize.

But is was difficult (boring) listening. Her niggling and giggling about their romantic (sex) escapades. Did she assume I’d be enthralled? Why would I?

Oh, she knew the affair was “simply mad fun and romance,” she admitted “it won’t lead to the marriage I want,” she conceded “he had one other affair years ago and his wife forgave him.” But…

“What can I do, Gail? There are so few available men my age. My love tells me he can’t wait for our fun relaxation times together, and that he has powerful feelings for me.”

Adrienne yammers on. She doesn’t notice that I’ve tuned her out. Someone else in the room catches my eye and my intuition:

The man seated alone at the table across from ours.

Business Man

He appears immersed in his I Pad screen. He doesn’t fool me. He’s listening to Adrienne! And I can feel his…irritation. He soon rises from his table, packs up his computer, and pulls on his suit coat.

Oh my. Is he really coming over to our table?

 

“Excuse me, Miss. Clearly you know little about what goes on in the mind and heart of a husband who cheats on his wife. Since it takes one to know one, please allow me a few moments of your time.”

As men are prone to do, the man gets right to the point.

“I heard you laugh about the fun he’s having in your affair. Sure, an affair is big fun for a couple of months. If a man has any self-esteem–bona fide self-esteem–then the fun quickly grows dank and cloudy. Guilt and shame begin to chew jagged holes in his mind and heart.

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“Regardless what happens after the affair ends–his wife stays with him and they work it out–or she leaves him. Maybe his wife never discovers his cheating. Maybe he even stupidly queues up another affair. He retains each self-inflicted wound.

 “Oh yeah. The wounds scab over, the guilt and shame recede and you do go on with your life. Months or years pass. While the scabs sit there as a reminder, still, you assume you’ve healed deep within. Forgiven. Forgotten. Past tense.

“Then today you sit in a restaurant and you overhear that lie, overhear that laugh about recreational cheating. That asinine lie and that smug laugh you once uttered yourself.

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“Rips your scabs right off.”

I didn’t see Adrienne’s reaction. I was too busy picking myself up off the floor.

“Enjoy your afternoon, ladies.”

 

Emotional wounding/healing are messy voyages. The wounding/healing ebbs and flows as we sail out on that journey. And it seems we invite everyone within hailing distance along for the ride.

 

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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The SisterWhisperer Invites You: Embrace Impossible!

“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen…’Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’”  ~  Lewis Carroll

What is impossible? Do you know? I daresay I’m baffled regarding what is “impossible.” Our incorrigible egos would swear they do know. How else would ego implore us to live within that limited vision?

Outstanding Woman

Last night I dreamed a 30-year recurring reverie. It provides me a smack-in-the-face fresh perspective on an aspect of my life even if I’ve not requested such–not with conscious directive anyway.

In the dream I dive deep into the ocean. I’m at a 40-50 feet depth when I panic.

 

How will surface on this single breath? Oh no, I can’t! I will drown. How foolish was I to risk this dive?

Just as I’m about to resign myself that I’m drowning–that I will soon perish–I begin to breathe. Normally. Within the depths of the ocean without mechanical breathing equipment assistance.

The impossible has manifested possible. I’m awe struck, grateful, and serene as I slowly kick to the surface.

Notes to Self

This dream always portents that a phase of my life is waning to make way for the waxing of another significant growth phase.

Corroborating with nature. New life emerges from the compost of the former new life.

Are you ready to experience the impossible? Regardless what your churlish ego may tell you, it’s never foolish to risk opening your mind and heart.

Embrace it. Because if impossible is on its way into my world, then it’s on its way into yours, too.

Believe that!

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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