The Power of Vulnerability

Kindness to ourselves 

helps us

be kind to others.

Brene Brown


This Powerful Goddess welcomed her wondrous new decade by exploring the breadth of her enough-ness while honoring the women in her family with their treasured heirloom jewelry. It is magnificent to witness a woman venture out of her comfort zone, daring to go where she has not been before, celebrating the many possibilities of her choosing.

Through this long wintry month of snowy blankets that barely melt, I am grateful to be reminded of the reason for the fallow season and the blessing of dark times. I wish you the best and bravest decade, Powerful Goddess! Thank you for touching my life with the books of Brene Brown and the power of vulnerability.  I shall always think of you each time I remind myself “I AM ENOUGH!”

Vulnerability is beautiful and necessary.

The courage to be imperfect,

to let go of what we think we should be,

the willingness to say I love you first,

 to do something or love someone with no guarantees,

to let ourselves be seen as we are,

to practice gratitude and joy, to say “I am enough.”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you grow strength in your darkness. xoxox





© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

On The Beach

The ant is knowing and wise,

but he doesn’t know enough to take a vacation.

Clarence Day


If you have more than 7,000 islands, you run a pretty good chance of making the list of the world’s best beaches.  Boracay Island in the Philippines is renowned for its powdery white sand and clear blue waters.  Though its main stretch now feels more like Miami’s South Beach with rundown buildings sandwiched among the new, this island and many others in the archipelago have beaches that remain untamed.  My vote for best beach always goes to the one with soft sand, calm waters, tree lined shade and service with a smile nearby.  After almost a decade away, even I am impressed by Filipino hospitality.

To me, paradise means basking in loving kindness and cheerful helping hands, a dinner table that stretches as far as the horizon full of friends/family, and large platters of my favorite seafood!   Neither luxury nor squalor, relentless heat nor humidity gets in the way of everyone sharing an easy laugh and a lilting accent.  Among the variety of cultures I’ve observed in my travels, wealth always brings many comforts that are easy to love.  The indomitable Filipino spirit and charm are  powerful reminders that happiness exists with or without it.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your definition of paradise.

To get to this beach, you must…


Cross a deep ocean or two,


Brave flipflop traffic,


And risk being charmed by the locals.


What is a beach without palapas and coconuts?


My kind of charcoal grill has style


Tinikling is the traditional Philippine dance between 2 bamboo poles

that relentlessly snap at your heels


My favorite breakfast, snack, drink, shade, souvenir, etc…


Catch of the day


A little shell of a crab poked my toe–

making sure  this night owl wasn’t just sleepwalking on the beach at sunrise


Not all crabs are created (or cooked) equal


Many happy returns!


© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


Hope Springs in Maine

Never waste any amount of time doing anything important

when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under! 

C. Joy Bell C.

Hubby and I watched the movie “Hope Springs” after our family drive to Maine–no, not for Dr. Bernie’s couch. 😉  My mom will certainly need a big box of tissues watching Meryl Streep struggle to assert herself after years of submission to a self-absorbed and stubborn husband.  Who doesn’t want to be treated like a queen and spared counting pennies?  Who doesn’t want a husband who looks deeply into your eyes and listens with the heart when he holds you in his arms?  Who hasn’t had to learn that we may or may not want to make things work out after we sail off with Prince Charming into the sunset?

Among the inspiring women I met in Maine are Kim and Denise, proud new owners of the most beautiful epicurean haven ( in Boothbay Harbor, ME.  Their faith in the vision they nurtured for so long helped them move past the fears of “What if?” and keep moving one foot in front of the other towards making their dream come true.  While holding down full time jobs elsewhere, they painted and set up the entire store themselves in happy bright green and maroon–colors that make you grin as you sample their international selection of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  Kim’s mom, Mimi, is a Powerful Goddess extraordinaire with her cheerful smile and curls, tirelessly helping around the store when she’s not doing the laundry for a nearby inn.   These women are vital and active in defining their own success, radiating joy where they have to be.  They are divine role models who show me the power of hope and living with purpose, that we can create our own happy ever after at any age.

Here are photos from our vacation.  I would have loved to share rafting photos, too, but my hands were busy rowing and hanging on for dear life through Level 3/4 whitewater on the Kennebec River–a “must do” family adventure!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add you favorite family destinations around Maine and the East Coast.

Denise, Mimi and Kim at Eventide Epicurean Specialties in Boothbay Harbor, ME

Even the monarchs whisper, “Follow your bliss!”

“A Buck A Shuck” Oysters on Saturday nights at

Boothbay Lobster Wharf in Boothbay Harbor, ME

I’m alive and well after eating 4 dozen in 3 days–in a month without an “r.”

After whitewater on the Kennebec River, a relatively tame day on kayaks.

“Monkey C Monkey Do” in Wiscasset, ME for family adventure trapeze obstacle course and ziplines

The view of golf greens, yachts, sky and ocean from the pool at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, ME

Sunsets that take your breath away and inspire…

… to be the light where you are!

Hurray  for summer!

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


Rhapsody in Blue

Starting here, what do you want to remember?

How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?

What scent of old wood hovers, what softened

 sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world

 than the breathing respect that you carry

 wherever you go right now? Are you waiting

 for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this

 new glimpse that you found; carry into evening

 all that you want from this day. This interval you spent

 reading or hearing this, keep it for life–

What can anyone give you greater than now,

starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

–William Stafford, “You Reading This, Be Ready”

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

Schoolgirl Santa

Thank goodness I was never sent to school…

That would have rubbed off some of my originality.

 Beatrix Potter  

This Goddess was a little anxious.  She had never done anything like this before and she worried about all the things she thought she needed to fix about her body to look good in photos.   She had given up a career in the corporate world to adapt to the demands of multiple sclerosis while raising two small children.  Thanks to the help of her loving sisters, she prevails over adversity and has given birth to, a jewelry line dedicated to raising awareness on various afflictions, what truly matters, and how we can support each other in our struggles.

Imagine her thrill at how her images exceeded  her expectations!  She tells me, “My favorite part of the experience had to be your laugh.  It lightened up the whole session making everything feel safe, fun, and delightful!  Your patience with an amateur like me was amazing, too…  You made me feel pretty the whole time.  Thank you for sharing your creativity and changing the way I see things about myself.”

Imagine her husband’s surprise when he opens this Christmas present he’d never expect from his demure wife.    Oh, joy!

Let’s marvel at what truly matters and the gifts of 2011 that can’t be wrapped.  In the school of life:

Where did I go in my travels and introspection?

Where have my choices led me?

What did I learn from my successes and failures?

What meaningful connections did I make?

Whom did I cherish?  How generous was I with praise?

How have I given myself appreciation and gratitude?

Be the HAPPY in your Ho-Ho-HOLIDAYS!



© Sharon Birke

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

Very Koi Body Painting

It is a paradox of creativity that

we must get serious about taking ourselves lightly.

We must work at learning to play.  

Julia Cameron

“The Artist’s Way” by  Julia Cameron  recommends a weekly “artist date” to continually replenish our reservoir of creativity before we dredge a dried out bottom and feel stuck, blocked, or uninspired.   An artist date is any activity that’s fun, enjoyable, akin to childlike play and exploration.  My inner artist happens to be an uptown girl so for a recent artist date, I had to drag her kicking and screaming over the Brooklyn bridge to the new body painting studio of Danny Setiawan of (he’s matching me in red below.)  And, Goddess, was she glad I did!

Models patiently stood/sat through a couple hours of being a human canvas–whoever wasn’t comfortable being topless covered her front torso with a scarf or halter top .  My inner artist had not touched a brush in months.  She quickly got carried away painting the biggest koi fish possible, extending the design all over my model’s forearms and the contours of her voluptuous body.  After 3 hours of painting punctuated by fits of laughter and dancing, my model and I squeezed into the studio’se tiny bathroom where a wall of painted curls and swirls provided a matching graphic backdrop.  The perfect souvenir for a most memorable afternoon.

Add body painting to your possibilities for playdates and unique gift ideas.  Make a party out of it and ask Danny to bring his art to your venue!

Where will you take your inner artist on your next date?

© Sharon Birke

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

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