Did you see the 1968 film, Yours, Mine and Ours, with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda? If so, then you will have a pretty accurate image of my family, except we were a family of 11, not 20. I was the second to youngest and invariably got lost through the cracks of chaos. It's no wonder since my younger sister was born within months of our parents getting married, and everyone was trying to find their own place in this newly joined tribe of the Read/Willets family.
It was no one’s fault that I was “squeezed out” similar to “Philip” in the film, who was constantly forgotten. Looking back today I marvel at how well my parents did managing our brood. I have so many treasured memories and so much gratitude for my parent’s vision and courage bringing us together, and raising us all with an unshakable love.
And, I had my own story within this larger story. When my little sister was born she was diagnosed with Down syndrome and needed lots of...
To build a sense of trust with myself, I had to learn to connect to the deeper parts of my TRUE Self, even the aspects of myself I did not always "like".
I used to call my practice "Radical Acceptance" because to love myself well in a world that had trained me not to seemed just that, a radical act which felt deeply foreign. Loving myself went against how I was socialized, which was to disconnect from, abandon, objectify, criticize and deprecate myself.
As a woman, I was used to gathering with other women and I had many friends, but what seemed to bond us most often was our collective suffering or our complaints. We would find the talking points that put us on equal ground (equally miserable!) or air our collective grievances about what wasn't working in our lives, or worse, put on a facade about what was. Basically a collective stitch and bitch, or a show, putting a smile on our faces when we felt anything but content or happy. I noticed that what we...
It has been an incredible couple of weeks of revelations since returning from our TRP Fall retreat, "Revealing the T.R.U.T.H ™ of Who I AM".
My own truths surfaced like a freight train derailing at high speed and I had no choice but to dive in. Poetically I was faced with a huge disappointment literally within 24 hours of kicking off our retreat. I had received a rejection letter from CTI, a company that I hold near and dear to my heart and consider a part of my personal evolution to living my most honest, co-active, enriched, conscious life. The rejection was timed perfectly (a disguised gift) as it dropped into my awareness on the Friday night that we had kicked off our retreat, and as I was co-leading this retreat I had no place to hide, to pretend...I mean we were leading a retreat about personal TRUTH for Goddess's sake!
I could pretend (a lie) or I could be real, be transparent, and share it with our group to teach, to model, to lead for the highest of good, as well...
Think of all the fairytales we grew up with where the central female character is always rescued from danger through a force larger and stronger than herself.
From a young age we read or watch programs or consume images in our likeness who are very limited in their character roles. Some will be married to a handsome prince, some rescued from towers, some warned about the dangers of eating apples or straying off wooded paths. Our character choices are most often limited to innocence-lost, princess, step-mother, fairy -godmother or witch.
While modern fairytales and stories have worked to change these narratives, there is still much work to be done.
If women are going rise into positions of leadership throughout the world then we must be diligent in understanding and decoding the messages that are still rampant across our culture that objectify, undermine and shame us into the trance of unworthiness.
Instead we must begin...