Phenomenal Woman

I have no filters,
no class, no poise,
no decorum.
Just fun!
Kathy Griffin

xoxox
One of the most influential voices of our time, Maya Angelou led a fulfilling life to a ripe old age despite a traumatic setback very early in her childhood. She inspired many through her autobiographies, poetry, and work as a civil rights activist.  From her collection published as And Still I Rise, this poem Phenomenal Woman reminds us that looks need not be our source of confidence:
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

 Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your favorite poem that invites your inner powers to come out and play.

xoxox

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Best Books About Her Story

Behind every great man

is a woman

rolling her eyes.

Jim Carrey

In honor of Women’s History Month, these novels celebrate the women who didn’t quite make it to our history books as well as their husbands did.  The stories are well researched, parallel real life events, and read like memoirs. Excellent gifts to pass on to your favorite women!

The Aviator’s Wife

How Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the dutiful wife and daughter who married aviation’s first hero, came to realize she had been the brave and fearless one all along

The Other Einstein

Not a great deal is known about Mileva Maric’s scientific contributions, since her husband, the genius Albert Einstein, was careful to relegate her to the shadows.

The Paris Wife

After reading Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, author, Paula McLain, was moved to write about Hemingway’s little known first wife, Hadley Richardson.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Would you mind very much having your own work published under your husband’s name?

Loving Frank

Would you leave your children and devoted spouse for one great love?

 Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your favorite memoir or novel about a woman whose story needs to be told.

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

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Key To The Labyrinth

Getting lost is 

just another way of saying

“Going exploring!”

Justina Chen

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Excerpts from Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter:

When you’re in the middle of initiation, when your “old” womanhood is dying away, you may think you’ll be stuck in that dark place forever. You cannot see your way out. It is hard to keep moving, to put one foot in front of the other, because they are always landing on some new and unfamiliar ground, and half the time, that place is a swamp.

In a Greek myth, Ariadne gives Theseus a saving thread to drag into the labyrinth so he can find his way back out after he slays the Minotaur monster within. For a woman, the thread is the life cord that sustains you as you move through the spirals of life. Your Ariadne thread is the thread of your feminine Self.

We each have an inner destiny, one imprinted in the soul. Each of us also possesses a very goal directed energy that seeks to bring the seed of ourselves to fruition. It pulses inside use, trying to complete who we are uniquely meant to be. In science, this energy is called entelechy. This is the wise force that spins the Ariadne thread, wanting to take us toward our fulfillment as women. When you deny it or refuse to trust, refuse to pick up the thread, you feel lost, afraid, off center.

The way to find your thread again is to be still and remember who you are, to listen to your heart, your inner wisdom, as deeply as you can and then give yourself permission to follow it.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share who your best permission giver is.

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

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

Best Books for Couples

 

Women marry men

hoping they will change.

Men marry women hoping they will not.

Albert Einstein

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Yes, there are plenty of fish out there!  Yet bliss can be found with one–or with one at a time. 😉 Now, will someone please hand us some handy tools for navigating the dynamics of commitment?  In celebration of the end of this fabulous summer, some book recommendations for healthy relationships by Huffington Post’s Dr. Nikki Martinez:

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  Things get lost in translation when we are not aware that people speak different languages in the ways we give and want to receive love. How do you and your partner differ?

Couple Skills by Matthew Mackay. How can you communicate with compassion while coping with differences and resolving conflict?

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay by Mira Kirshenbaum.  Should you stay or should you go?

The Relationship Cure by John Gottman. How do you strengthen relationships we tend to take for granted?

When The Past is Present by David Richo. How do you understand the different places where you and your spouse are coming from in navigating your relationship?

I Love You But I Don’t Trust You by Mira Kirshenbaum.  Be it daily dishonesties or a monumental betrayal, how can you heal and build trust again?

Love, Sex and Staying Warm by Neil Rosenthal.  How do you keep good old comfy relationships from going totally ho-hum?

47 Love Boosters for a Happy Marriage by Marko Petkovic. How do you connect and deepen your bond even when you’re both terribly busy?

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your favorite(s) to this list. And may you be happy with however many fish you have–or don’t!

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

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

My 7 Fave Books About Paris

America is my country

and

Paris is my hometown.

Gertrude Stein

“I don’t like reading!” must be the only chorus my two younger teens agree on. They usually bicker like cat and dog yet form a united front on the topic of books, stubbornly glueing their noses to the computer. If it’s any consolation for a mother, at least, their older brother in college actually values the occasional recommendation, discussing his insights and revelations when we talk on the phone. He says this may simply be a function of age and how the book resonates with his current life journey. I say one out of three kids is not a bad average, yes?

In honor of this blog’s favorite French fan’s birthday, here are  stories set in Paris you’ll want to chill with on or off the beach this summer:

The Flaneur by Edmund White. Because meandering strolls with no particular destination is so very Parisian, observing the everyday theater on the city streets.

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Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik (2001): What would it be like to raise children in Paris? An American writer shares his adventures starting a new career and family abroad.

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Almost French by Sarah Turnbull.  An Australian’s memoir of her giant leap, moving to Paris and marrying into a different culture.

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The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain.  Would you marry a struggling writer much younger than you? Could you be friendly with your husband’s mistress? A story told from the point of view of Hemingway’s first wife.

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My Life in France by Julia Child.  How did the student become the master? Julia tells of her move to Paris with her husband before she figured out what she wanted to do when she grows up.

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The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. A bookseller helps heal wounded hearts by prescribing the perfect story for them to read, eventually mending his own.

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Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. shares her 20 style secrets learned while living in Paris.

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what’s on your summer reading list.  Stay cool and tres chic!

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

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

The Perfect Mother

My mother’s menu

consisted of two choices:

Take it or leave it.

Buddy Hackett

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This Powerful Goddess has fond memories of growing up inheriting her mother’s good looks, sunshiny personality and a romantic vintage trousseau. May we all be so blessed! For those  whose gifts from their mothers did not initially appear this lovely, an excerpt from Byron Katie‘s A Thousand Names for Joy:

When my daughter attended her first of my workshops with a large group of therapists present, she was working on “the mother from hell”–which was how she had experienced me as she was growing up. She couldn’t bear to look at me as she was doing her Work; it was hard for her even to hear the sound of my voice. I was the root of her problem, she thought, and I was also her salvation; she had to ask the monster for help, which made her furious. At a certain moment she became very passionate and got right in my face saying I should have mothered her differently. I said, “That’s not my job. Mother yourself, Honey. You be the mother you always wanted.” Later she told me that that was the greatest gift I ever gave her. It turned out to be her freedom. I know the privilege of mothering myself. It’s hopeless to see it as anyone else’s job. Here’s what I’ve told all my children: “You have the perfect mother. I’m responsible for all your problems, and you’re responsible for the solutions.”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share how you’ve been a good mother to yourself.  And have the happiest one yet!

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

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Earth Friendly Fashion

I’m just trying

to change the world

one sequin at a time.

Lady Gaga

Earth Day treats for the fashion conscious includes Elizabeth Cline’s book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

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… and these clothing brands that strive to raise the bar on the matter of making style kind to the earth:

H&M Conscious  H&M’s affordable options to those who want eco-friendly fashion without breaking the bank or compromising on style.
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Litke Behind the minimalist design, eccentric tailoring and unique touches of Catherine Litke’s self-titled line are quality organic fabrics, handmade details and a business model that puts local manufacturing high on its priority list.
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Amour Vert Leading the eco-style industry with its French casual chic, incredibly conscientious style, “With Every Stitch a Purpose” motto, made-in-the-USA manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, sustainable fibers, innovative fabrics and zero-waste design philosophy. And who else plants a tree for every t-shirt they sell?
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Study NY The female version of Tim Gunn, Tara St James creates minimalist style with contemporary flair using eco-conscious practices, including zero-waste, environmentally friendly fibers and local production.
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Zero + Maria Cornejo Using ecological and sustainable materials and techniques when possible (with everything from fabric made from recycled cassette tapes to llama wool), Maria Cornejo creates timeless, modern designs that have been worn by the likes of Michelle Obama and Tilda Swinton.
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Reformation Every list of green clothing brands must  include Reformation, the manufacturer of super chic products in an environmentally friendly sewing factory, then ships off their garments made of sustainable fabrics and vintage garments in 100% recycled packaging.
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Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your Earth Day fashion tips here. Photos on this page are from Google Images.

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 Woman

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