Come As You Are

Women who love themselves 

are threatening; men who love

real women, more so.

Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Glamour-Boudoir-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6280038

Excerpts from Dr. Emily Nagoski, PhD’s new release Come As You Are:

A woman’s body and her pleasure belong to her and no one else. It’s possible to say no to intercourse without saying no to all the other things that come with it–the love, the affection, the pleasure, the play. Your own internal experience is a legitimate guide for whether or not you want to try something.

Exposure to media that reinforces body self-criticism increases body dissatisfaction, negative mood, low-self-esteem, and eating disorders. If there were a food that consistently made you sick, you’d stop eating it. So if there’s media that makes you feel more self-critical, stop looking at it.

Pay attention to how magazines, TV shows, and music videos make you feel, and stop buying what makes you feel worse. If it makes you feels worse, it’s likely to interfere with your sexual wellbeing. Even if you’ve been taught to believe that feeling worse about your body “motivates” you to “improve,” that’s a psychological trap you never need to be caught in again.

To stop watering these weeds in your mind:

Take off all your clothes–or as many as you can bring yourself to take off–and look at your entire body in a mirror. Make a list of everything you see that you like.

Of course, your brain will first be filled with all the self-criticism and disgust you’ve been holding on to all these years. Remind yourself that the day you were born, your body was a cause for celebration, for love without condition, and that’s just as true today as it was then.

Do this over and over again. Practice acknowledging the self-critical, judgmental thoughts yet focusing on the self-appreciating thoughts. Celebrate your body as it deserves to be celebrated. Treat it with the respect and affection it deserves. Never say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend or daughter.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what helps you be grateful for the beauty that you are.

xoxox

NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Glamour-Boudoir-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6280042

 

NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Glamour-Boudoir-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6280045

 

NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Glamour-Boudoir-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6280058-2

 

NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Glamour-Boudoir-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6280057

 

NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Glamour-Boudoir-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6280062

 

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

At the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum

You can’t connect the dots looking forward.

You can only connect them looking backwards.

So trust that your dots will connect in the future.

Steve Jobs

NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-museum-family-poster-Sharon-Birke

Benker & Steiner 1996 poster on the beleaguered patriarch

What museum allows you to photograph and assemble a webpage of your favorites among their exhibits? Encourages interactive fun for design inspiration? Has the stairs of a London Bus wedged into a mansion’s grand staircase?  New York City’s Cooper Hewitt checks “Yes” to all these and more! Even my difficult-to-please teen says he’ll save his ticket stub to remember our visit. Next time the heat gets unbearable this summer, hit this cool destination with your favorite young adults!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your fun family ideas in/around NYC this summer.

xoxox

In the mood to design a hat, a chair, a building? Possibilities can be endless here…

NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-museum-interactive-design-Sharon-Birke

Extrusions 2009 by Heatherwick Design Studios.

A metal bench inspired by the toothpaste you squeeze out of a tube.

NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-museum-extrusion-bench-design-Sharon-Birke

My kind of grand staircase model, but, boy, would I hate forgetting something in my bedroom upstairs!

NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-museum-grand-staircase-design-Sharon-Birke

An artwork from the more glamorous days of luggage airline tags.

NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-museum-travel-poster-design-museum-Sharon-Birke

A functional chair that lets you spin like a top.

NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-museum-spin-chair-design-Sharon-Birke

Next two photos, a dress that folds itself neatly soon as you drop it onto the floor. Every mom’s dream!

NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-museum-folded-square-dress-Sharon-Birke

NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-museum-folding-dress-design-Sharon-Birke

Did I say we love the Cooper Hewitt?

Go on weekdays to enjoy the “Immersion Room” for more than the 5 minutes you’re allowed when there’s a crowd. Draw a single object and the projector will multiply it across two walls. Lucky my teen was game to plaster himself amidst his heart pattern.

I-love-NYC-Cooper-Hewitt-design-museum-Sharon-Birke

See my collection of Cooper Hewitt exhibit favorites at

http://cprhw.tt/v/n42f

Happy Summer!

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

 

Marseille: Shade and Shadow

Boy, those French–

They have a different word

for everything!

Steve Martin

South-of-France-Marseille-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-4875-2

Mature romance by the water is how I will remember Marseille. With its Mediterranean harbor of clear blue waters coyly inviting you for a dip, sunshine 300 days of the year, a spread of restaurants representing its multicultural population, Marseille has all the good stuff tempered by a rough-edged reputation.  It’s a three hour train ride from Paris and an easy commute from the smaller cities of Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Arles and Nîmes when you’re in the South of France.

Marseille is both gritty and pretty–full of graffiti and locals who warn tourists not to wander in certain areas after dark or even during the day. Despite this, I had a wonderful time traveling with easygoing photography lovers who had much enthusiasm for the town. Marseille reminds me of the less savory parts of ourselves we’d rather skirt over and the dark corners of our psyche that might prove to be less dangerous  if we embraced them.

South-of-France-Marseille-MUCEM-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-7010198

The freshest seafood right off the boat!  At the fish market, this octopus stealthily tried to grab some lunch before he became someone else’s lunch.

South-of-France-Marseille-seafood-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6300211-2

Stay at the Intercontinental or chill on their terrace bar and restaurant with its view of Notre Dame de la Garde. Thanks to Anais, Gerard and Olivier for charming service!

InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu, 1 Place Daviel, +33-4-1342-4212

South-of-France-Marseille-Intercontinental-Notre-Dame-NYC-NJ-Sharon-Birke-Portraits-6280188

At the MuCEM (Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée), admire the engineering genius and patchwork shadows of its lace facade made of cement. Check out the sea view from their restaurant “Le Mole Passedat.”

7 Promenade Robert Laffont
Marseille, France
+33 4 84 35 13 13

South-of-France-Marseille-MUCEM-NYC-NJ-Sharon-Birke-Portraits-7010185

Underneath this Cathedral (across the street from the MuCEM) is Les Voûtes Marseille: home to shops, restaurants, bars, etc…

South-of-France-Marseille-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-7010131

Open air Tango in the square on Friday evenings by the ferry dock. I loved seeing elderly couples walking hand in hand, dancing tango in the open air, women much older than I am still wearing high heels and above the knee dresses on date night. C’est si bon!

South-of-France-Marseille-tango-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-5110

Hop on or off a boat to swim, visit the calanques, the Frioul, and the prison of “The Count of Monte Cristo” (a movie you’ll want to re-watch!)

South-of-France-Marseille-boat-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6300023

Go topless at this most adorable little cove near Le Petit Nice, a Relaix and Chateaux boutique hotel best known for the Marseillaise specialty dish, bouillabaisse.

South-of-France-Marseille-topless-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-4903

For casual rooftop dining with sea and marina view among good looking locals:

Rowing Club, 34 Boulevard Charles Livon, 13007 Marseille, France
+33 4 91 90 07 78

Best couscous is at Le Kahena, beside the white church corner of the Vioux Port.

Le Kahena, 2 Rue de la République, 13001 Marseille, France
+33 4 91 90 61 93

Foster and Partners’ Ombriere reflecting steel pavilion at Vioux Port.

South-of-France-Marseille-Ombriere-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-6290200

Had the most delicious meal at the casual garden of La Passarelle. Look up when you’re facing their kitchen to find this embroidered artwork.

La Passarelle, 52 Rue Plan Fourmiguier, 13007 Marseille +33 4 9133 0327

South-of-France-Marseille-La-Passarelle-garden-restaurant-NYC-NJ-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-7030605

Limo to/from the airport and anywhere else:

Taxi Perez (Joseph’s phone 0613360991)

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your South of France travel tips. Vive Le France!

Watch my slideshow on Youtube

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Best Books This Summer

Too much

of a good thing

is wonderful.

Mae West

While I do my best not to get overly baked in the Mediterranean sun, do tell what’s on your reading list?  Here’s a collection by (mostly) women writers for whatever corner of the planet this summer may take you:

The Ladies of Managua by Eleni Gage. Through three generations in Nicaragua and Miami, love, loss, secrets, and the mother daughter dynamic hold true no matter where we live.

Ladies-of-Managua-Eleni-Gage

The Wild Oats Project by Robin Rinaldi. Move over, Madame Bovary! This woman’s midlife memoir  is a quest for passion at any cost.

Wild-Oats-Project-Robin-Rinaldi

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. A Sonoma vineyard provides the backdrop of a family drama, each character exploring what (s)he wants from relationships and of her/himself.

Eight-Hundred-Grapes

Speak by Louisa Hall. Moms will want to read this book recommended “for all teens.” What to do when your kid in high school refuses to speak out of shame and becomes a social outcast?

Speak-Louisa-Hall

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendetta Vida. In Morocco, a woman reels you in on her journey of reinvention, questioning our preconceived notions of identity, perception, and social blueprints.

The-Divers-Clothes-Lie-Empty

 

The Rocks by Peter Nichols. Spanning six decades and three generations of two families, a tragic event sets the stage for the tale of two warring expat Brits in Mallorca who used to be married to each other.

The-Rocks-Peter-Nichols

In The Country by Mia Alvar. What stories do we tell ourselves to make our reality bearable? Nine short story vignettes of Filipinos working around the world, each contemplating the masks we wear and the consequences we face after tough choices.

In-The-Country-Mia-Alvar

The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus.  A New York family struggles to hold on to the waning opulence in their lifestyle. When is feeling rich (or poor) relative?

the-unfortunates-sophie-mcmanus

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what’s in your beach/travel bag. And have the sunniest 4th of July!

xoxox

 

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

 

The Russian Doll

If my kids turn out good, 

it means I’ve been a good dad.

If they turn out bad, it means they

took after their mother’s side of the family.

Jeff Foxworthy

New-York-New-Jersey-Fathers-Day-Necktie-Glamour-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-1392

This photographer feels most alive capturing moments with her camera that show the beauty in our world through people’s eyes/smile, architecture, nature, flowers… In her Powerful Goddess portraits, you can see she counts among the beauties of our world, more breathtaking in front of the camera!

Her father through her lens:

My father is the most positive person I know, very generous, smart and kind. He is full of anecdotes to make people laugh. I’m sure my passion for music and dance come from him. He can dance, sing and play the accordion. His love for adventure, change, and travel took him to live in Mongolia, Cuba, and Norilsk (Northern Russia.) He loves sports while I love his energy and passion for life. When he hugs me, I feel the love of a good father. He is the Sun! I have his smile, blondness, optimism, and boundless energy. Papa, I wish you could give all this to my kids as well! I love you so much!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what you love best about your dad or of being a dad. Happiest Father’s Day to the men we love! You know who you are… ;)

xoxox

New-York-New-Jersey-Fathers-Day-Necktie-Glamour-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-1401

New-York-New-Jersey-Fathers-Day-Necktie-Glamour-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-1443-2

New-York-New-Jersey-Fathers-Day-Necktie-Glamour-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-1448

New-York-New-Jersey-Fathers-Day-Necktie-Glamour-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-1498

New-York-New-Jersey-Fathers-Day-Necktie-Glamour-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-1482

New-York-New-Jersey-Fathers-Day-Necktie-Glamour-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-1493

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

The Graduate

The unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing

about life is that

there is no core curriculum.

The entire place is an elective.

Jon Stewart

Drummer-Boy-Highschool-Senior-Graduate-by-Sharon-Birke

My not so little Drummer Boy is marching off to college–hopefully without lugging his drum set. Sniff! Have I told him everything I wanted to say? Will he remember to dare failure and never give up on himself? Will he get some sleep despite internet being on 24/7 at the dorm?

Because a mother’s wisdom may not always appeal to a teen, a favorite Powerful Goddess blog fan helped cull this collection of books that might be lifetime companions for someone starting out on life’s brave new solo adventures.

The Evolution Man or How I Ate My Father by Roy Lewis

Have the travails of teens and man changed much since our cave dwelling days? Human evolution explained as a domestic situation comedy.

How-I-Ate-My-Father-Roy-Lewis

 

For all hopeful tinkerers and creatives who suspect creativity is the domain of a select few.  Might genius simply be the fruit of learning from the next failed step that you persist beyond?

How To Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention and Discovery by Kevin Ashton

How-to-Fly-a-Horse-Kevin-Ashton

The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Life could be much sweeter (and sooner) when we ask for the help we need. Here’s why and how.

aladdin-factor-book

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay

For the generation of indulged youth, a friendly reminder that it’s never too soon to plant the seeds of relationships, career and finances.

Defining_Decade_Meg_Jay

To honor my Drummer Boy’s Asian roots while impressing young ladies with his culinary skills:

Mangoes and Curry Leaves: Travels Through The Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford

Mangoes-and-Curry-Leaves

Because he was born in a land that he has not visited since…

Frog In The Well: Portraits of Japan by Watanabe Kazan by Donald Keene

Frog-in-the-Well-Watanabe-Kazan-Donald-Keene

To make the ladies swoon…

John Updike’s Collected Poems 1953 to 1993

Collected-Poems-John-Updike

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

Easily the smallest book of the lot, it is powerful in its specific practices  on how to live in peace with oneself, with the least worry and regret.

Four-Agreements_Don-Miguel-Ruiz

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat (Young Reader’s Edition) by Michael Pollan

If what we eat is what we are and think, shouldn’t we be more curious about our food–or what we consider food?

Omnivores-Dilemma-Michael-Pollan

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

A non-fiction thriller lest science and obsession carry him away, leading him to forget he is a piece of nature’s whole.

The-lost-city-z-David-Grann

And whether you are have comfortably discussed the myriad aspects of the topic that simmers in their mind…

S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College by Heather Corinna

SEX-book-for-teens-Heather-Corinna

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your fave to this list. And give yourself a giant pat on the back for being the best parent that you are!

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

King and I

Alone is

such a nebulous state 

when one is queen.

Rae Carson, The Crown of Embers

_S5A6984-New-York-New-Jersey-Turquoise-Robe-Glamour-Boudoir-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke

In the Broadway musical, The King and I, “Something Wonderful” is what the King’s First Wife sings to Anna (the English teacher who fights, tames and falls in love with him) to coax her into stopping the fight, to simply accept the King for who he is. These are the lyrics:

This is a man who thinks with his heart,
His heart is not always wise.
This is a man who stumbles and falls,
But this is a man who tries.
This is a man you’ll forgive and forgive
And help and protect, as long as you live.

He will not always say what you would have him say
But, now and then he’ll say something wonderful.
The thoughtless things he’ll do will hurt and worry you,
Then, all at once he’ll do something wonderful.

He has a thousand dreams that won’t come true
You know that he believes in them and that’s enough for you.

You’ll always go along, defend him when he’s wrong
And tell him when he’s strong, he is wonderful.
He’ll always needs your love and so he’ll get your love
A man who needs your love can be wonderful.

by Rodgers and Hammerstein

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what reminds you to accept and treat yourself this kindly.

xoxox

_S5A6956-New-York-New-Jersey-Turquoise-Robe-Glamour-Boudoir-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke-2

 

_S5A7058-New-York-New-Jersey-Turquoise-Robe-Glamour-Boudoir-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke

 

_S5A6917-New-York-New-Jersey-Turquoise-Robe-Glamour-Boudoir-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke

 

_S5A7015-New-York-New-Jersey-Turquoise-Robe-Glamour-Boudoir-Powerful-Goddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: