COVID-19

I first joined GAB during the COVID-19 pandemic. GAB showed me how to dive deep into my experience of an unprecedented time, and offered a format to safely share it. It also gave me a community of others who are doing the same yet in their own unique way. The gifts of GAB far exceed the autobiographical writing I have created- I laughed, I cried, I came to know myself and others in a new way. Thank you”

Crystal B. Victoria BC

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Finding the Wabi 侘わび Sabi 寂さび

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Isn’t this beautiful?  I found these intricate flowers made from tiny pieces of coloured glass, seashells and broken Chinese porcelain placed delicately into intricate patterns all exquisitely decorating the massive 70 meter high Temple of Dawn, in Thailand.

I was gobsmacked!

It was so Wabi Sabi! And so far from what we would find decorating any of our religious monuments in North America. Yet, I think the Wabi-ness was lost of most visiting that day as I certainly was the only one with my camera capturing the “flowers”.  I was drawn to how many there were, all slightly different, yet in an imperfect uniformity.

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Wabi-Sabi appreciates a certain roughness, or simplicity and uniqueness that makes things beautiful, despite their imperfect shape and texture.

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My love of everything Wabi, is my new lens from which I see the world. It is also how i struggle to live..some days successfully, others not so much, but I keep trying.

Wabi-sabi is a state of mindfulness, living in the now and finding satisfaction in our lives even when it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking the opposite.

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Today, appreciation of the things we have, people we love, and the experiences we have the opportunity to weave into our lives is losing value.

Wabi-sabi represents a precious cache of wisdom that values tranquillity, harmony, beauty and imperfection, and can strengthen your resilience in the face of materialism.

It gently motions you to relax, slow down, step back from the hectic modern world and find enjoyment and gratitude in everything you do.  It also asks that you embrace your imperfections.

As Wabi Women, we delight in being  perfectly imperfect, just like these flowers.

 


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The Temple of Dawn

 

Have a Wabi Sabi Holiday!

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This Holiday Season -Breathe.

Wabi Wash this holiday by asking What’s Important, What’s Unnecessary, and Where is the shine?

Take Time to walk, write a haiku, locate a new star in the night sky, and promise yourself one new thing for 2019!

I wish all our Wabi Women a wonderful Season!

Hidden Gems

I’m thrilled that The Huatulco Eye, a monthly magazine out of Huatulco, Mexico, that I have been writing for, has allowed me to share our Wabi Women Radio ideas with all the Midlife women who live full or part time in this part of Mexico. This is technology, when you can swing in a hammock in Mexico, and hear Wabi Women live. Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 9.14.53 AM

The Secrets to Longevity

“It is not primarily our physical selves that limit us but rather our mindset about our physical limits.”
― Ellen J. Langer, Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of PossibilityEnter a caption

 

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Join us on our seven week pilgrimage to Longevity MONDAYS 12 NOON Vancouver Co Op Radio 100.5 FM 

 

 

A Day without a Woman

Come Wednesday, women around the  world are being asked to make a stand. Like  generations before us, who stopped washing dishes and wiping noses and put down their aprons to march in the dirt roads for equality and the right to vote, we are being asked to Strike.  Wednesday we are being encouraged to not  work either at our paid jobs, or doing all those unpaid jobs in our homes, hospitals and nursing homes that house our loved ones.
I’m self-employed and work a lot of hours completely alone so if I strike no one will be the wiser. The only person I hurt is me as what I don’t complete Wednesday will still be there Thursday. Lots of women do not have the financial advantage to strike, worried they may lose their job for not showing up or how to manage the shortfall of  being docked a days pay.  Im not sure in today’s competitive workplace and high unemployment numbers,  if not showing up Wednesday is a prudent plan. We are also being asked to buy absolutely  nothing.
This Im totally onboard with. It is a 
 great way to put a dent in  consumerism and 
demonstrate our significant influence in the economy and highlight the companies we support.   It’s a sure-fire way to wake up CEO’s on women’s issues and potentially use our hard-earned dollars to buy brands that address issues that matter to us, like equal pay, discrimination, sexual harassment, and job security.We are also being sake to wear something red.
On Strike Wednesday I’ll be supporting the cause wearing everything red I can.
However I do wish to mark the day in a fun playful post JPP way. How could I  honour my femininity?
 I will start with a list of everything I like about being female. I’ll also write a list of things only women like me can do.
That will rev my engines.
I may write a story or start a new entry in our next book about our powerful species. I may colour, paint and/or stamp a card for my best friend and send it, thanking her for  an almost life time of female friendship, a real treasure to me. I might give my gratitude to Mother Nature, the wise woman of all, and plan out my beloved garden design this year.  I will create.
I will. 
I may start a new Women’s Day Tradition like bake a bunt cake in honour of my departed friend Roz,  and have a slice for all the Norma Rae’s and Emmeline Pankhurst’s that got me here. 
I’ll definitely go for a bike ride and remember the suffragettes who used the bicycle as a symbol of freedom and personal transportation to spread the idea of women’s emancipation as they cycled from one town to another. 
As I cycle I will observe all the women wearing red and wave!
Come Wednesday I’ll paint my toes. Ill sing an Annie Lenox song out loud and remember my fight is so so easy compared to my sisters in poverty, sweat shops.and forced prostitution. 
I’ll be grateful and proud and wave my red clad arms to attract attention.
But next year let’s have a Women’s Creative Day to try to figure out some solutions to our peril existence and that of our fragile dying world. Not showing up to work is a good plan for unionized or white collar secure jobs (think male here).
The pink collar jobs which women are predominantly holding, you know those jobs, the jobs paying less, demanding more and holding little if any job security, demand a different wash especially for tomorrow. 

The Winning Numbers

The Dalai Lama has declared, “The world will be saved by the western woman.”

I think he is right, especially if midlife women are enlisted.

A new wave is forming on the horizon, and the population of midlife women is about to crest. More women are in their middle years than ever before in history. In the next fifteen years, and that’s not a long period of time, our demographic will hit historical peaks—midlife women will comprise over half the female population. This growing demographic will allow midlife women a new opportunity, if they act, to be radical game changers in the second half of their lives. To do our best work now, we need to use this upsurge to our advantage. Our real power is in our new numbers.

These large and formidable numbers of midlife women are voting for how we want the world to be every time we push a shopping cart down the grocery store aisle, or go online to shop.

This is profound economic power. As the chief consumer of our households, we are the ones buying, using and being mavens on everything from books to balsamic, and our endorsements can be invaluable for every business’s bottom line.

We can cause corporations to sink or swim depending on whether their practices and products align with our values.

Just look at the success of the “Grab Your Wallet ” boycott campaign.

Shannon Coulter had never been a political activist until now, and she came upon it late night shopping online.

She is the woman behind  “Grab Your Wallet”, which encourages shoppers, mostly women by the way; to stay away from retailers that sell all manner of Ivanka Trump branded goods, including visiting Donald’s golf courses and wineries.

The campaign hit a high note this month with major chains, including Neiman Marcus, Belk and big Nordstrom dropping Trump merchandise, citing falling sales not politics, but the effect was the same.

Coulter exemplifies the new possibilities that social media presents for ordinary consumers to catapult an idea of activism. Coulter admits being a consumer activist is a new role for her.

“Like many University students, I was more politically active then, but that part of my life has been really dormant my entire adult years”, she admits.

Coulter, like most of us, has been a very straight ahead career girl for the last several decades, but now she says it feels like that has changed.

Our sudden surge of activism over suggested reforms on woman’s issues, like reproductive rights, has woken us up from a deep sleep.  It is time to take action. Midlife women of the western world have had enormous privileges. We have been educated, allowed religious and sexual freedom, enjoyed equality in the workforce and multiple career options. Our current midlife workforce includes CEOs of public and private corporations, politicians and leaders of state, and a high percentage of entrepreneurs.

 

We know how to “make it happen” and who to call when a door won’t budge. Collectively we can accomplish much. Tackling social issues such as poverty or illiteracy, or simply organizing a community garden, we know that as a unified group we can make a definite difference for the next generation and help to heal the planet.

Imagine if all midlife women only bought sustainable, socially conscious products that improved our lives without polluting, demanding brands that are affordable. We would refuse to purchase overpriced products and fraudulently “green washed” ideas and services.

Combine this opportunity with our innate ability to nurture and care for others, and we are poised as the natural stewards of the Earth, its inhabitants and its ecology.

Who but women are best to mother this troubled Earth? We western midlife women, with our skills, resources, and new numbers, are being offered a rare chance to nurse this planet, and its people, back to health. We have an obligation to use this watershed moment wisely.

We are finally here in numbers in the ways that seventies pop icon Helen Reddy was predicting. So let’s not waste this opportunity. It is time to act. This statistical bump will end by 2031, and our daughters and their daughters will not have the same numerical advantage ever again.

 

Our decisions, from what we buy to whom we vote for, and the causes we stand behind, have the power to radically shift society’s image of us. The wise women of midlife will awake and passionately play out their remaining years in highly valued roles as stewards of our Earth, sage scouts to the future. They will be the heroines for their daughters and their daughters’ daughters. Those who are brave enough to reject the idea that their later chapters are in some way diminished in value will create a new powerful midlife. It can be a sacred time that will change the very concept of midlife for others who follow, like the effect the liberating sixties had on our own lives.

Retreating is not on the list of possibilities.

“I feel a seriousness of purpose that I’ve never felt before in my life,” Coulter said.

I feel that too.

The March

It started with five words Teresa typed on her Facebook Page.
“I think we should March”, posted the midlife woman from Hawaii, before going to bed. Spawned by dismay and shock on the night of the US election, that rise to protest, today became a full -blown world movement.
Hundreds of thousands, of very ordinary women, of all ages and colors, and from all walks of life, congregated today for the Women’s March on Washington, protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump. Some men joined in with their daughters in strollers or baby carriers, but the mood was definitely feminist and female.
“We March for our daughters, granddaughters, our sisters and all people who want a fair, just and inclusive world”,
said a woman who had woke in the early morning darkness to ride a bus for six hours to get to Washington.
With 657 sister marches in the States, and hundreds more around the world, in places like Vancouver, where I live, to Mexico City and Yangon Myanmar, over a million people around the globe, showed their concern to the this new US President and his policies. Today, indeed, was a day for the history books.
This is the upside, to a downside situation, said Hollywood actress Diane Keaton, addressing the Washington throng, that was so big at the start of the March, organizers had trouble physically funneling that many bodies down the city streets.
As the day wore on the crowd, in a sea of pink hatted protestors ,chanted and waved creative signs like a picture of the Statue of Liberty with a ripped crotch, or “A woman’s place is in the house, The White House”, or “Big Ovaries trump small hands”
What began as an anti Trump protest, really broadened to include protecting reproductive rights, freedom of race and religion, and inclusion of minority groups, LGBT, and protecting immigrants who face new persecution in America. In whirling snow in Wisconsin or under waving palms in Mexico City, women spoke in solidarity for inclusion, saying this is what democracy looks like.
United, they stand for a world that respects all people,
Staying home wasn’t an option, and in Canada where I live, thousands of women could be silent no longer.
The greatest feeling, personally, was knowing there are so many other women who have been feeling as concerned as I have, as I listen, quite terrified, to the new tone of white male power that Trump is tweeting.
From foreign policies to environmental concerns, the list grows long, with women’s rights, tugging the hardest at my heart.
I know full well the struggle my mother had, never paid an equal wage for equal work, or having to quit her job, when her belly betrayed her, with my growing size.
My generation reaped the benefits of the feminist movement that were burning bras when I was playing with my anatomically incorrect Barbie doll.
Yet I also know first hand, how fragile these hard fought rights, are. How ceilings are still made of glass and how ageism, now in my 60’s, is the next frontier for women to truly be considered equal.
What we won, can easily can be trampled, even erased.
My daughter, who is just becoming a young women herself, woke me this morning, from her college, far from home, and three hours ahead, to excitedly send me a video of the early crowds of women congregating in Washington.
This evening, she texted ” I feel energized”
” Millennials, she explains, are thrilled to finally have a chance to act like our older sisters of past generations. In our world of non tangible acts ( that she explains is social media) it made a huge impact seeing thousands of women in the street, marching”.
The physical act of marching in solidarity, is unifying, in this world of disassociation with each other. I get that.
She also was raised to believe in all earnest that her body is her body and only her body. “The thought that someone else ( let alone a white man in a position of power) could do otherwise is very frightening”, she wrote.
Millennials also like what they term as the “intersectionality” of this growing movement.
White women holding signs for Black Lives.
Gay Rainbows in one corner of a sign, No human being is illegal underneath.
They are taking up each other’s cause, and becoming much more than a suffragette redo in the process.
We will need a unity, of epic proportions, if we are to put this Genie back into his bottle.