The Year of Your Dragon

I always wanted to ride a dragon so

I decided to do this for a year

in my imagination.

   Cornelia Funke, author of The Dragon Rider 

Much of Asia is gearing up for a baby boom in the Year of the Dragon, when children are believed to be born with an extra dose of luck, strength and an inherent knack for attracting money. The qualities of her Dragon sign suit this Goddess very well–not to mention the hand painted dragons on  favorite vintage wrap!

While I’m not into woo-woo stuff, I love anything that helps a woman remember her innate powers.  So I looked up the qualities that induce Chinese parents to arrange for the birth of their child in the Year of the Dragon more than any other…  (ie, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)

Dragons are self-assured leaders with the Midas touch.  They get things started and keep them moving.  They are feisty and opinionated, gifted with intelligence and tenacity. They succeed in whatever they choose to do because they are dauntless and determined perfectionists.   They know how to exert authority while being gentle with the people they deal with.  Dragon women are naturally sensual.  They  also possesses a mystical side, highly attuned to their intuition and artistic creativity.  No matter what happens, Dragons ultimately always land on their feet.

What Dragon trait will you claim this year?



© Sharon Birke


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

The Guru Within

Cultures are different as can be,

but in their souls, women want the same things:

 dignity, respect, love, freedom.

Jodi Cobb

No other country can claim to be both mecca and inspiration for the proliferation of gurus as India.  Whether the expertise be yoga, business, finances, self-improvement, romance, beauty, etc…, being a devotee to someone who is supposed to know better helps us rise above challenges with the aspiration that “If (s)he can do it, so can I.”  Then there is also the convenience of having  someone else to blame when things go awry. 😉

Author Meryl Davis Landau (Downward Dog, Upward Fog) writes in Huffington Post about gurus who admit they are only human, too: How Three Top Yoga Masters Find Balance, Both On and Off the Mat.

Seane Corn, cofounder of nonprofit activist group Off the Mat, Into the World:  I used to feel envious of people I felt were living their lives fully in ease and integrity. Now I recognize that no matter how I might perceive them, everyone is dealing with issues that I can’t begin to understand. If a shadow of judgment towards others comes up, I’ll immediately come back to me:  What’s coming up for me, what does it remind me of, how can I heal it in myself?

John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga:  After getting over the feelings of betrayal and violateion when my bookkeeper embezzled all my money, I applied the ‘three As’ from Anusara yoga. Attitude, in terms of first opening myself to the pain without denying what I was feeling, but then being optimistic that I had the capacity to get everything back. Alignment, by, instead of putting all the blame on her, taking responsibility that I had put myself in that situation by turning my finances over to another person.  This calms the mind because by taking back control I knew I was reducing the likelihood it could happen again. And action, by creating a plan to get money in the bank to pay the bills.

Ana T. Forrest, creator of Forrest Yoga and author of Fierce Medicine:     Never waste a good trigger. Triggers — something someone says that gets you white-hot angry or terrified out of proportion — are horribly uncomfortable, yet they can teach you so much. My own childhood abuse led to two key triggers: my quickness to anger and my tendency to plummet instantaneously into an emotional abyss.  A messy room left by my ex triggered my ‘unable to deal’ avoidance feelings and heart stress. He left in March 2008, but I was retriggered by this again just the other day.   I intend to clear any and all emotional trash that I find connected to this. I am okay with being a work in progress. My philosophy encompasses growing, making mistakes and learning from them as a lifelong process.

How do you pay attention to your Inner Guru?

© Sharon Birke

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

The Job of Perfection

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is

giving up on being perfect and

beginning the work of becoming yourself.

Anna Quindlen

No one could put down Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson in my family.   Instead of starting with Chapter 1, my 12 year old went straight for the section on the thing dearest to his heart:  the iPad.  My mom wanted a quick turn to read about the childhood that spurred outstanding success (–and an early demise, Ma!)  I read bits and pieces amidst all this passing around while my husband, who rarely reads anything outside of work, finished the 630 pages in a week!

Steve Jobs’ story is about persisting towards perfection.  My 2012 resolutions lean more towards loving my imperfections:

1. I will see my fabulousness.  A girlfriend in her 40s drove home this lesson when she confided that the sight of her teen daughter’s amazing body (an exact replica of her own two decades ago) makes her wonder “What the heck was I complaining about?”

2.  I will speak to support trust in our own wisdom and the possibility that life is an adventure of learning from our choices, not avoiding mistakes and failures.

3. I will listen for praise and appreciation though critics and know-it-alls tend to have louder voices.

4. I will resist the urge to rip off the little hair left on my husband’s head when he insists on an extended search for the perfect sofa.   Surely being married to someone with high standards can only mean that I am perfect!  😉

Malcolm Gladwell‘s article “The Tweaker” sums up “how effectively Steve put his idiosyncrasies—his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness—in the service of perfection” in  the New Yorker.

How are you already perfect with your imperfections?

© Sharon Birke

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

Painting Possibilities

Don’t ask what the world needs.

Ask what makes you come alive

and go do it.

Because what the world needs

are people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman

Aaah, the New Year, a clean slate, a blank canvas…  How do the messy details trailing us from the past clarify what to strive for as we look ahead?    And the beckoning possibilities are innumerable!   What will you choose for yourself this year, O Powerful Goddess?  Whom will you reach out to?  What freedoms will you relish?  What will you want to learn or continue to ignore?    What will you choose to do with your time and talents?  How much value will you give your “small” successes and pleasures?  How can you remember to  care for yourself, listen to your inner wisdom and feed your peace even as the world demands you do, do, do and give, give, give to others first?

Barbara Sher is one of my favorite author of self-help classics like I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was and It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now.   This loving and no-nonsense woman has been a bright guiding light in my journey of coming home to myself, insisting I dance to the beat of my own drum and honor my genius–however many.  😉  Her latest book Refuse to Choose is an invitation to create and define our own fulfillment based on what feels right for us.  What could happen when we pay closer attention to our joy and trust it as The Guru that knows how to make the most of our talents, learning abilities and work style?  That in feeding our happiness (without beating ourselves up if we don’t make a million dollars off it) we uplift and inspire others to do the same?   That there is no such thing as mistakes or failure in the lifelong adventure of exploration?

What will you paint on your 2012 canvas

that  feels right for you?  

A very thrilling beginning and Happy New Possibilities to us all!



Makeup by

© Sharon Birke

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

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