I’ve dreaded writing this, but this needs to be said.
Just a few days over a year ago, Stephie passed away. 24 Jan 2016.
It was a long time in coming. She collapsed 4 July 2013 and never fully recovered.
This past year has been hard. It was a relief when the nurse said that she was gone. I know that the part of Stephie that is immortal was glad to be free of a broken body. I was relieved that she was no longer suffering.
I’ve gone through an emotional roller coaster, shock, depression, madness, anger, and enough tears to fill a bucket from bake me a wish
I’ve given a lot of her things away to Goodwill. Her clothes, shoes, handbags and the like. Now I’m left with all her things that I don’t want to give away, just yet, her bears, her books, her finished artwork.
The hole in me where she was is still there. The edges are not as raw, the pain is dampened, but not gone. I can function and I’ll survive this.
I don’t know why you picked an ugly, unlovable, person like me.
I am so glad you did. Having you with me made the world bearable, and fun. I’m sorry that I was away so much with my jobs, but it was the only way to survive at the time.
I loved you from our first hug, and I still love you today, a year after we can no longer hug.
I’ll be along, eventually, when the time is right. Maybe, I won’t be so ugly the next time around.
Your loving husband.
Hello Dear Friends,
This is a long overdue update! For those of you I get to see day to day, you know that for a few logistical reasons, I had to move my retreat from February to April. So, bags are packed and I am leaving tomorrow! Go to
jersey mike’s to save more.
Now that it is finally here, I am excited and overwhelmed and filled with wonder for what might be ahead of me these next two weeks. In preparation, I began collecting names and addresses for thank you cards. Reading all of your names is humbling. To be surrounded by such love and support–well, I have still not quite figured out how to digest it. I just keep thinking, "in what universe does this happen?!"
And still, I have one last request. Please send John and the children love and good thoughts (in person or from afar) during my absence. Knowing that the community is surrounding them with support in my absence, will be of so much help in my journey.
Spring Blessings to one and all!
The podcast is coming to life!
This Friday, September 29th, we’ll be sharing the first four episodes of this podcast in a single release!
If you want to get a note when they’re live, sign up at:
The first three guest interviews feature Nicole Walters, who famously quit her job in front of 40,000 people on a live Periscope to become an entrepreneur and in her first years in entrepreneurship, adopted and became a foster parent to three young girls in Washington, D.C.,
Annie Dean Zaitzeff, one of the co-founders and co-CEO’s of Werk, a company that focuses on flexibility as the future of feminism and an outspoken advocate for changing the way that work looks,
and Lauren Smith Brody, former longtime executive editor of Glamour magazine and publishing veteran who left to become an entrepreneur and founder of The Fifth Trimester, and recently published a book by the same name. She talks about the birth of the working mom and how she stayed sane in that rough, early transition period back to work.
Upcoming guests on the show include Morra Aarons-Mele, Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves, Shefali Mathur Christopher, Bridget Gleason, Tamsen Snyder Webster, Nisha Moodley, Kate Northrup Watts, Cary Telander Fortin and so many more amazing ladies.
My favorite quote from the first episode:
“There is something soothing about listening to the story of another working woman. How did you teach yourself? What was the hardest part? What changed? How did you learn? Who did you lean on?” — it’s not a one-sized-fits-all model, and this podcast shares the stories of other women as a starting point for understanding, simply, what is currently happening.
Over the bulk of the last year, I’ve been focused on adding meditation, quality, and depth to my life in a meaningful way. That includes: rethinking my relationship to reading, and reading entire books, slowly. With notes. Deepening my ability to focus and pay attention. Putting parental controls on my technology to block social media. Today, I share a round-up of essays that have helped me. Here are 17 essays on attention, anxiety, being over-busy, and why our lack of recharge time is more problematic than we think.
This essay from Cary Telander Fortin is so brave and so beautifully written.
“I had only one close friend who’d told me about her pregnancy loss a few months prior to mine. We would call each other and cry and speak in hushed tones about what was happening to our bodies, our hormones, our emotions. We’d send poop, knife, and crying-face emoji filled texts as we took medications, had procedures, cramped, and bled.
And yet there is only so much my husband or friend could do to soothe me; only so much one grieving person can offer another. You cannot just hold onto one another in a storm. Without any arms paddling towards shore, you both begin to sink.
Eventually, I did what lonely people do in the 21st century: I went online. I found a group of women like me, who’d loved and lost, who were desperately hoping to escape the madness of our shared invisible griefs.
But still. I could have used a hug, a familiar face to walk me through the initiation, someone to stop by my house, to invite me over, to physically buoy and direct me to shore. I didn’t have that.”
HAS THE WORD PRIVILEGE LOST ITS MEANING?
I want to share a few quotes to start the day with a gentle reminder towards compassion and kindness. This is from Roxane Beth Gay’s book, “Bad Feminist.” In one of her essays on privilege, she talks about how hard the word is to use, because it’s usually used as a flung accusation.
I don’t know about you, but I find flinging insults and accusations a terrible way to start a conversation or build a bridge. Reading this, for me, was a solid reminder to breathe and remember our shared humanity.
ON FEMINISM: “In truth, feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by people and people are inherently flawed.”
Yes. A reminder that a movement isn’t perfect, because people aren’t perfect.
“The problem is, cultural critics talk about privilege with such alarming frequency and in such empty ways, we have diluted the word’s meaning. When people wield the word “privilege,” it tends to fall on deaf ears because we hear that word so damn much it has become white noise.”
“We tend to believe that accusations of privilege imply we have it easy, which we resent because life is hard for nearly everyone.”
“To have privilege in one or more areas does not mean you are wholly privileged. Surrendering to the acceptance of privilege is difficult, but it is really all that is expected. What I remind myself, regularly, is this: the acknowledgment of my privilege is not a denial of the ways I have been and am marginalized, the ways I have suffered.”
“We would live in a world of silence if the only people who were allowed to write or speak from experience or about difference were those absolutely without privilege.”
And—my words here—I think part of the problem is that privilege is often relative.
Yes, some people have more relative privilege, and as groups, can have wildly more access than others. But for a lot of people, most people, maybe all people, life can be shitty. And to tell someone that their shitty-ness isn’t valid because it’s not “the shittiest shitty-ness” is striking big deep divides in a world that desperately needs more connection.
She says: “We need to get to a place where we discuss privilege by way of observation and acknowledgment rather than accusation.”
And in speaking from personal experience, writes:
“On my more difficult days, I’m not sure what’s more of a pain in my ass—being black or being a woman. I’m happy to be both of these things, but the world keeps intervening.”
AND ON RECONNECTING:
“Writing bridges many differences. Kindness bridges many differences too, and so does a love of One Tree Hill or Lost or beautiful books or terrible movies.”
It’s okay to write. To explain. To connect over shared interests. To talk about movies or television or your vacation. The point is, to join the conversation.
I’m looking for one more woman to join this Fall’s crew of the Mastermind that I run. We’ve got a soulful, brilliant group of thinkers already:
- deeply philosophical yet also analytical;
- independent and fierce and looking for community;
- doing big work in the world and looking to level-up professionally.
Let me know if this is something you’re looking for. It’s a little over 3 months long and I’ve had so much fun running the past two session that I can’t wait to do it again.
Edit: it’s a paid Mastermind, for 3.5 months, with monthly group calls, monthly 1:1 chats, and “deep dive” and teaching sessions every month. It’s about 2 hours a week of time commitment. Program link in comments.
“Almost every woman I know has found early motherhood to be an isolating time in their life.” — new essay by Mellisa Reeves on the Startup Pregnant blog:
Why are we still doing things the way they’ve always been done? What are the new options for reducing the isolation of new families and new parents?
NYC! Anyone with a vehicle able to bring 3-5 folks to my seed farm in Newtown Square, PA for a workday on Monday? Ruby Indigenous Seed Olisemeka and Simone Johnson and some coworkers would like to take their day off helping me harvest and process seed, but do not have a ride. Thank you!
Shipping out the first 30 packages containing the 2018 Seed Keeping Calendar! They are available now at trueloveseeds.com. With a theme of Resilience and Resistance, it features twelve plants that have played a role in the survival and joy of people facing enormous challenges. I offer this calendar as food for our journey together; we draw strength from our past as we move towards a more whole and collective future. (Thank you as always to my sister Sara Taylor for helping make this calendar so beautiful). #seedkeeping #resilienceandresistance #brownspeckledbutterbeans #sehsapsing