A Fork In The Road

If you are

going through hell,

keep going.

Winston Churchill

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The other day, a woman asked me what I thought she should do about her marriage. She has felt sexually numb the last few years to the point of nausea when her husband is in the house–a bit of an inconvenience when two people have to work from home.  He thinks a trip to a sex therapist will “fix” her, for it is obvious to him that she is the problem. What man in his righteous mind will admit the possibility that his wife’s coldness, illness, or depression might be self-protection, the fruit of anger and built-up resentments?

But I’m getting carried away…

To be fair, who knows what really goes on behind closed doors? Does she really want to do something about her situation or does she just need to be heard? Is the problem she identifies the root of it all or a symptom of something else?

Discussing a problem with others helps us deal with it (eventually.) As consultant, it is tempting to say, “If I were you…” though much as we try, we can never really be them. While it’s easy to find similarities with our own experiences, any resemblance may be superficial and an analogy may not have legs.

Providing a range of scenarios and possible outcomes may be more useful than definitives that begin with “Do this” or “Don’t do that.” Time and thought are needed to weigh decisions against several dimensions and the personalities involved.

The first step in giving good advice is:

Do not give advice. Just listen.

Giving good advice need not necessarily mean solving a problem. It could be about making the situation easier to understand, shedding light and encouraging the exploration of different points of view.

Trust that they will arrive at the best answer for themselves in their own good time. Be comfortable with the silence and the not knowing. Affirm them with, “I can’t wait to find out what you decide!”

Every success and every failure changes states when perceived in the short versus the long term. While we might wish someone would simply rescue us when we’re feeling lost in the forest, this is the process we need to grow spine and courage, to find the light within us to illuminate the path, to make our own choice which fork in the road to take. No matter the journey, one great comfort is the certainty that all paths always, always lead us home to ourselves.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how indecision eventually led you to clarity.

xoxox

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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

Keira Knightley on Broadway

To be well dressed

you must be

well naked.

Oscar de la Renta

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In Pride and Prejudice

I have a weakness for costume–the more romantic and dramatic, the better. Double that weakness when it’s combined with beauty and triple the fascination when there’s courage to do without it.

Keira Knightley, whose coming of age has been sumptuously chronicled in movies like Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and the tragic Anna Karenina, now dares herself to grow further by facing her fear of live theater. On October 1st, 2015, Keira debuts on Broadway in Roundabout’s Theater Company’s Therese Raquin

With exemplary fearlessness for a photo shoot with Patrick Demarchelier for Interview Magazine, Keira agreed to pose topless under one condition:  the image could not be altered or edited in any way.  She said, “I’m fine doing the topless shot so long as you don’t make them any bigger or retouch. Because it does feel important to say it really doesn’t matter what shape you are,'” the actress said. What greater romance can there be than loving what you’ve got?

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share the courage of a woman you admire.

xoxox

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In Pride and Prejudice

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As Anna Karenina

Keira Knightley stars as Anna

As Anna Karenina

Keira-Knightley-Patrick-Demarchelier

by Patrick Demarchelier

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

Thinner Peace

I want to weigh less,

not by diet and exercise,

but by acquiring a faulty scale.

Jarod Kintz

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Now that both men and women (and, by osmosis, our children) stand firmly united in obsessing about weight, how about a new way of thinking to start the schoolyear? A visualization from Martha Beck on how to keep that weight off for good:

Hold out both your palms. Imagine on one hand a mini-version of your Dictator, that part of you that insists on losing weight, screaming insults that make you feel fat.  On the other hand, see a mini-version of your Wild Child, the kid who’s tired, afraid and frightened from being continually assaulted by the Dictator’s attacks and privations. Notice that both mini-yous are essentially good. The Dictators get frantic when you gain weight just as you would if you saw a toddler wandering into traffic. It screams and yells, pushes and forces, because it’s trying to save you from a terrible, fat fate.  And your Wild child isn’t remotely malicious, just devastated, confused, and afraid.

Realize that both the Wild Child and the Dictator deserve compassion. Offer it to them by saying this:

You are well.

You are blessed.

You are free.

The wisdom traditions of every culture teach techniques (meditation, prayer) for aligning with this compassionate, observing self.

The antidote to obesity is not starvation, it’s compassion.  The opposite of being out of control isn’t being in control, but being in love–not in romance, but as in compassion.

Don’t feel compelled to replace overeating with virtuous work or exercise; instead, make a list of things you love, from watching TV to hanging out with favorite people. Nurturing touch (a pedicure, a massage, sex) is especially effective, since it triggers production of the same opioid hormones as eating.

Stop taking undue responsibility for your spouse’s and children’s feelings.

Become the Watcher.  Be kind toward your anxious self. The body is a persistent teacher, always trying to teach us acceptance:  of our bodies, our emotions, our situations. Love, in the form of kindness to ourselves, is what never fails.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you show compassion towards yourself no matter what.

xoxox

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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

China at the Met

Be not afraid of growing slowly.

Be afraid only 

of standing still.

Chinese proverb

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Couture inspired by Anna May Wong’s costumes in her Hollywood classics. Among my favorite pieces is this very easy to wear hot number with seductive tassels as shoulder straps and as a dramatic train sweeping the floor.

If you’re near Manhattan this weekend, get to the Metropolitan Museum early (or very late to avoid the crowds) and catch the end of their hit exhibit China: Through The Looking Glass.  Attracting more foot traffic that the Alexander McQueen exhibit a couple of years ago and even more than their King Tut exhibit in 1979, this latest feature of the Anna Wintour Costume Institute is a collection of haute couture influences flowing East to West and vice versa.

China as a collective fantasy began when it was still beyond the reach of most Western travelers. Chinoiserie by the best artisans, creatives and film makers have since perpetuated the myth of this land as one of wealth. elegance, mystery and romance. Sample the best of the best at the Met on its last weekend of display.  Museum hours extend until midnight this Friday and Saturday (September 4 and 5, 2015) and this exhibit closes on Monday, September 7th.

Dragon dress inspired by an imperial robe, John Galliano for the House of Dior

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Intricate embroidery and silk are among my favorite things!

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In the China Pavilion, a collection of John Galliano pieces for the House of Dior

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Haute couture in a forest reminiscent of the bamboo scene of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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A lotus flower ballgown by a Chinese designer

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Mao and Chinese calligraphy as design elements

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The Weight of the Millennium artwork made of porcelain shards by Li Xiaofeng 2015

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Glamour couture inspired by designs on Manchu robes

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what country captivates you best.

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

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