What better way to beat the dreary February blahs than to create a gathering designed to make powerful female connections. The sun did bless us with brilliant rays on the 15th as my friends arrived at my home. The depth of spirit in our sharing would brighten the gloomiest of days.
Wisdom = Knowledge Deepened by Love
My guests were invited to come prepared to share about
- a Woman of Wisdom who inspires you, and
- the wisdom that guides your life.
Just the kind of sharing I love. Nothing interests me more than hearing about people’s interior lives … their hearts and souls … and how the eye of their heart sees the truth of reality … how Spirit works in their lives.
As anticipated, this intimate sharing was touching and bonding.
Up Close and Personal
Several women shared about women they knew personally who had deepened their relationship with life in some profound way … who contributed to their moving forward with wisdom:
- Willa: an activist mother who devoted her life to helping others, who supported her children in being who they genuinely are, and who supported them in sharing their gifts to make the world a more caring community.
- Margaret: a woman with a zest for life and a wonderful sense of humor. My friend recognized that she was very much like this woman … with qualities that her family found perplexing. Experiencing how delightful this woman was gave my friend the confidence to be her true self. “She served as the mother to my true self.”
- Linda and Michele: Trend-setting, exotic older sisters who taught her the value of being herself and not allowing what other people think of her to influence her overly much. She is grateful for this gift because she sees the misery it causes others when they take things personally.
- Sister Patricia Kennedy: A Nun who became like a member of the family, attending weddings, baptisms of children, and holiday gatherings. My friend witnessed her blossoming through the changes Vatican II brought. And then Sister Pat, a member of a progressive order, introduced my out-of-the-box-thinking friend to the next step on her spiritual path … Creation Spirituality … which led to Evolutionary Spirituality … which forms who my friend is and how she lives her life.
- Louise: A next door neighbor who was like a second mother … always there as her mother had not been … teaching her the basics of being a wife and mother as her mother had not done … influencing my friend now that she is an elder to reach out and teach younger women.
- Amy: A woman who appeared as a spiritual teacher just as my friend’s life imploded and she was questioning and looking for something more. Amy helped her integrate her shadow self and live into who she has been created to be. Today, her spiritual journey is the most important aspect of her life.
- Betty: A professional mentor who gave my friend pearls of wisdom as she navigated a male-dominated world.
- Betty: A feisty neighbor from Appalachia with many artistic gifts. She tells Dolly Parton-like stories about her life and how she survived her challenges. She has become for my friend a model for resilience.
Inspired From a Distance
Others chose to share about prominent women who impacted them:
- Gabrielle Earnshaw: Because Henri Nouwen’s books are an integral part of my friend’s daily meditations, she was excited to learn about Gabrielle. This author and chief archivist for the Henri Nouwen Society has a mission to lift up the feminine energy in Nouwen’s spiritual teachings.
- Saraswati Miller is a Vedic coach for sensitive women who seek unitive consciousness and to embody authentically their soul’s purpose and the gifts they have to give to the world. She serves as a role model for my friend who finds it freeing to learn that reaching for enlightenment and unitive consciousness isn’t just a male thing. Saraswati is in the lineage of Buddhist and Hindu women from hundreds of years ago who led the way.
- Maya Angelou for her authenticity and deep spirituality. She taught my friend a valuable lesson that guides her life … that no matter what happens to you, you are going to be okay.
- Melinda Gates who models a commitment to growth and maturing by overcoming her shyness to become a spokeswoman for marginalized women; who, wanting to learn what life was like for an economically disadvantaged women in Africa … took her daughter to stay with a family in that region for a week … walking miles to collect water and sleeping in the goat shed; who demonstrates her faith by speaking truth to power … confronting the Vatican’s policy on contraception and the consequences for women and their families in impoverished regions of our world.
Cindi with an “i” approached me during the social time saying, “Thank you so much for this lovely gathering. I feel treasured.”
And treasured she is as is every “Woman of Wisdom” who came. I only wish my home was bigger because there are others I treasure as well and would love to have included.
Creating a Family of Choice
My daughter, my only family, isn’t comfortable with this depth of sharing. No one in my biological family or the family I helped to create has been comfortable. They choose not to participate. I am grateful for my daughter’s willingness to greet our guests and join us for our meal.
But it is a missing for me that I do not have a “one” in my life who appreciates sharing from the heart … the kind of quality time that leaves me feeling loved and valued. And so, I create gatherings to surround myself with the “many” in my life … treasured friends who are closer than family … who do find this kind of sharing meaningful as I do. I am making a concerted effort in 2020 to create and/or participate in such gatherings. It is my way of inviting love into my life.
In the days since Saturday, I have heard from several of these treasured women friends. It warms my heart to hear their expressions of gratitude for
- “What an insightful group of women and what power there is in coming together. We get strength from each other.”
- “I enjoyed the gathering yesterday! It was so interesting hearing everyone’s stories.”
- “Just sitting here thinking about your lovely gathering yesterday. I had a wonderful time. You have a great group of friends.”
- “Thank you for including me. What an honor to be included with such amazing and interesting women.”
I am abundantly blessed with many insightful, amazing, and interesting “Women of Wisdom” in my life. Each and every one is a treasure … the most precious of treasures. My heart fills with gratitude for each and every one.