The Perfect Mother

My mother’s menu

consisted of two choices:

Take it or leave it.

Buddy Hackett


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!








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Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Self(ie) Love and Thanks

Wealth hasn’t changed who I am.

My feet are still on the ground.

I’m just wearing better shoes.

Oprah Winfrey


I’ve finally figured out the recipe for the happiest of holidays! First ingredient: Delegate! For Thanksgiving, my teens made one dish each while dinner guests added their family specialty to the buffet. They swear they’d never seen a hostess so relaxed even when the turkey burned–a casualty of computer games distracting the designated chef. I suspect forgoing heels at home had more to do with my cool, for I firmly believe (and note this second ingredient!) stilettos should only be worn to bed.

Looking at the big picture of my year, I spy the third and main ingredient: while “nothing is better than more, except all,” happiness truly depends on our ability to choose gratitude. No one teaches me this as effectively as my stubborn teen who struggles with the concept daily, cringes at hugs, and abhors giving praise. I count him among my great blessings because he reminds me that nobody can take away my power to give myself the love and approval I need.

Fingers and toes run out quickly as I count the small miracles I am thankful for: The very many fun travel adventures and the people I’ve met in my journey, the authors and Powerful Goddesses who have generously shared their wisdom and beauty on this blog, my firstborn thriving at college, he and his sister falling in love with the fun of ballroom dancing, the other son determined to do well on his SAT, the darling husband happy at work, this blog’s fans who always add inspiration and cheerful comments, family and friends who bring laughter and sunshine to our lives, excellent health, teachers who expand our understanding, acceptance and appreciation for who we are, all that what we’ve got, and what we can choose to be.

How about you?  Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your small miracles.







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

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Passion Project

It’s not true that

I had nothing on.

I had the radio on.

Marilyn Monroe


How do you sustain passion over the course of a long relationship? Is it possible to reinvent your sex life?  Can you bring excitement, lust, and desire back after the sizzle fizzles?

On October 28th, Wednesday, 7pm, the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF at 22 East 60th Street, NYC  212 355 6100) brings together the authors of two books recently featured on this blog.   Emily Nagoski, author of Come As You Are: New Science that Will Transform your Sex Life and Robin Rinaldi, author of The Wild Oats Project: One Woman’s Midlife Quest for Passion at Any Cost will be discussing their relationship  experiences, joined by Ian Kerner, CNN Health sex and relationship expert. Moderated by Dr. Sari Locker, sex educator, psychologist, and professor at Columbia University. Add your own two cents to the conversation and get a book or two signed.

FIAF’s The Art of Sex and Seduction series of talks is curated by writer and journalist Erica Lumière.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you rekindle your own inner spark.


New-York-New-Jersey-Pearls Glamour-Boudoir-PowerfulGoddess-Portraits-Sharon-Birke_S5A6212





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

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Breaking Free

Man was born free,

yet everywhere he is in chains.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


What’s a New Year without new beginnings? Same old, same old.  Unless you are courageous like this Powerful Goddess who enjoyed a good laugh celebrating the dawn of her new possibilities!

How different would 2015 be if we declared ourselves perfect as the day we were born, unfettered by beliefs, convention and expectations? Fearless except for the innate fear of heights and loud noises.  Imagine being guilt free in following your desires, in satiating your ravenous appetites, in heeding the truth you hear in your heart.  Imagine not having to explain, rationalize or defend your choices.

What would be different if you paid more attention to synchronicity and all the good life brings?  If you decided you are your own fun company, best lover, and doting parent? If you said YES to everything and forgave yourself for anything?

This year, may we all dare something new, stop insisting on being happy all the time, and see ourselves with kinder and more loving eyes.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how rosy this year can be when you declare everything is right with you!






© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Herb Ritts at the Getty

The secret to creativity is

knowing how to hide your sources.

Albert Einstein

The Getty Museum ranks among the 20 Best Museums in the world, sitting very pretty atop a hill with panoramic views of the City of Angels.  Catching the Herb Ritts: L.A. Style exhibit there was a definite highlight of my recent trip.    I love a man who knows how to mix fun and play in drawing out the beauty in people.  He and I share a love for spontaneity working with simple equipment and natural light, tasteful sensuality in strong forms, classical lines, and a woman’s back.  With their graphic simplicity, Herb’s images can be read and felt instantaneously, many of them challenging conventional notions of gender or race. His iconic photographs of noted individuals in film, fashion, music, politics and society capture both social history and fantasy.  As artists, our work documents time and place.

In planning a photo shoot, one of the fun things I do with my client is to create an idea board (using magazines pages, cellphone photos or Pinterest) to understand what’s beautiful and exciting to her.  With her selections and themes in mind, I show her photos, paintings, sculptures, ads, etc., I find inspiring.  Here are elements of Herb’s photos that I love:

I love sculpted hair, a dramatic pose, and elegant composition.

I love the sheen on skin, power form and movement, and

the clever use of high noon sun.

I love wind blown sheer fabrics.

I love abstract shapes and form.

I love creative shadow play.

I love the whimsy and humor of props.  Herb used tumbleweed as tree branches…

….and a live octopus as dreadlocks.

The Herb Ritts exhibit at the Getty runs until September 2, 2012.  Click on “Leave A Comment” (above left) to add your favorite sights, destinations, things to do in the City of Angels.

Talent and Greatness

The caterpillar does all the work

but the butterfly gets all the publicity.

George Carlin

Excerpt from Brenda Ueland’s “If You Want to Write”:

Who knows if you are great or talented?  No one.  We don’t even know what we are or what our lives are like.

Van Gogh wrote: “Who will be in figure painting what Claude Monet is in landscape?  I would be heartily glad if a kind of Guy de Maupassant in painting came along to paint light heartedly the beautiful people and things here… But this painter who is to come–I can’t imagine him living in little cafes working away with false teeth as I do.”

Chekhov did not know that he was a great writer.  Or to put it another way:  van Gogh and Chekhov and all great people knew inwardly that they were something.  They had a passionate conviction of their importance, of the life, the fire, the god in them.  But they were never sure that others would necessarily see it in them, or that recognition would ever come.

This is the point:  everybody in the world has the same conviction of inner importance, of fire, of the god within.  The tragedy is that either they stifle their fire by not believing in it and using it, or they try to prove to the world and themselves that they have it, not inwardly and greatly, but externally and egotistically, by money or power or more publicity.

We should all feel as Blake did.  He knew about his inner fire and had faith in it. He wrote and drew and painted with enthusiasm and joy what his vision and imagination showed him saying, “He knows himself greatly who never opposes his genius.”  He never hindered or discouraged it or let anyone else do so.  He cast out all prudence:  “Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity.”  As for moderation, caution, measuring, weighing, and comparing, he said, “I will not reason and compare.  My business is to create!”

Work to hone your skills because it is impossible that you have no creative gift.  In addition, the only way to make it live and increase it is to use it.  Third, you cannot be sure that it is not a great gift.

This is what I urge all of you and myself to do:  work and shine eternally.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your talents that have been wanting expression.

© Sharon Birke

Celebrate the butterfly that you are!

201 697 1947

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Makeup by Kristen Pickrell


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

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