Queen of Heart

Honesty is the key

to a relationship.

If you can fake that,

you’re in.

Richard Jeni

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Esther Perel, sex and relationship therapist and author of Mating in Captivity, says we often confuse love as a state of enthusiasm. “To love” is a verb, and verbs are dynamic implying action, intention, and responsibility. If our ability to love ourselves well determines our success in loving another, what can these verbs mean for our relationships?

To Give.  Is it better to give what we believe the other person should have or what that person wants? True giving is being attuned to someone’s needs, to make that person feel special and that they matter. Assuming your partner is not a self-absorbed despot, giving from a place of confidence and generosity frees us from the chains of expecting acknowledgement or getting something in return. With this we allow ourselves the freedom to feel complete joy and empowered by a simple action. Giving when we’re at low points of our lives can also be therapeutic, too, lifting up our own spirits when we channel our energy towards seeking out those who need our help most. Of course, giving to ourselves first is essential to replenish the well.

To Receive. How do you respond to a compliment or a kindness?  If you feel obligated to respond in kind or wonder what that other person wants in return from you, take a moment to feel worthy and simply say “Thank you.”  Being a gracious receiver is a gift in itself.  Allowing others to give to us lets them feel good about themselves, too.

To Take.  Women can learn a few things from male assertiveness and entitlement.  Assertiveness is what we need to land jobs, get a better deal in negotiations, and evolve our (sexual) relationships. Since only you know what pleases you best, share that knowledge with your partner. We save ourselves a whole lot of grief when we surrender to the reality that mind reading is not a very common talent.

To Refuse. From the kitchen, the boardroom and the bedroom, women do things to please others that they don’t necessarily want to do and end up not liking themselves for it. Say no without closing possibilities by giving options and alternatives. If establishing boundaries is essential for a healthy relationship, should it be a stretch to say “I feel free to be speak my mind around him?”

To Play.  Playing lets you be creative and dream together, circumventing the hardships of reality. The ability to laugh and play strengthens a couple’s bond, especially amidst the incessant demands of parenting. Being silly, mischievous and unpredictable is a big factor in keeping your sex life fun. The freedom to be unselfconscious around someone is empowering. When you feel like you’re in a stalemate, think of ways to create happy memories and new adventures together. Great for couples, but even more necessary around moody teens. I grew up hearing “The family that prays together, stays together.” As a mom, I now realize “The family that plays together, stays together” is big.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what the sweetest  Valentine verb means to you!

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

Holiday Red Carpet

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

and have a party with

someone whose life gave them vodka.

Ron White

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If I had a party animal husband or at least one who stays up past 8:00 pm, I’d know exactly where to go for glamour gowns and dresses.  It’s the very elegant yet cozy boutique run by Paula and Maria, a mother daughter duo, who personally attend to your particular taste and style. Their shop manager, Fern, is equally charming–all so fortunate to have daughters to create happy holiday memories with. There’s nothing like personalized attention and caring service by a loving family with great fashion sense.

This lace corset style top and most unique train skirt count among their favorite ensembles this season. Feel the warm welcome when you stop by to meet them and their handpicked collection!

The Engle Shop

102 Engle Street
Englewood, NJ 07631
(201) 568-1331

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Cleopatra’s Feast

She makes hungry

where she most satisfies.

Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra 

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Like this Powerful Goddess, Cleopatra’s charms went way beyond beauty.  She had a keen intellect, a theatrical sense of style, and a force of character that rendered her presence irresistible. She knew how to make an indelible first impression, a grand entrance designed to weaken the knees of an audience of one or of the entire town. Even before email and despite stiff competition while her lovers traveled far and wide enduring mortal danger to expand her queendom, she new how to stir the pot of fun to keep her man coming back for more.

What ideas does this legend inspire for an extraordinary Thanksgiving feast? Present your beloved with your glamorous Powerful Goddess Cleopatra portraits before wrapping yourself in bandages like a mummy.  Let him unwrap you with his teeth, licks and kisses required for each exposed part. Use the bandages to blindfold and tie him up later.

For now, click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your genius on how to make Thanksgiving memorable.

Gobble gobble!

xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Beautiful Promise

Like charity,

I believe glamour

should begin at home.

Loretta Young

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Two house seats and a backstage tour of Beautiful-The Carole King Musical

Though my teens may disagree and take the opportunity for granted, I value education as the path to a better future.  For the less privileged, giving children a chance at such a future eases the lives of the women who raise them.  So for Mother’s Day this year, let’s make it easy to surprise ourselves and our mom by bidding on the array of unique gift ideas on auction to support The Promise Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping underserved children with learning disabilities.

A glamour portrait party for you, your mom, and/or girlfriends are among the fabulous gifts you can choose from on Charity Buzz’s online auction to benefit the Promise Project.  Below are a few other exciting offers.  

A live silent auction happens on May 6th, 2014 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC, but don’t be shy about bidding online until May 13th. Thank you so much for empowering women, making children feel loved, and do tweet, share, pin, instagram your favorite picks!

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Lunch with Nicole Miller and take home a look from her new collection

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Two Tickets to the Spring 2015 Fashion Shows of Carolina Herrera or Badgley Mischka at New York Mercedez Benz Fashion Week this September

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Two nights in a Club Level King Suite at The Prescott Hotel in San Francisco plus dinner at Postrio Restaurant

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Two round trip Jet Blue tickets to fly anywhere in the US

xoxox

Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Year of the Horse

The one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady.

It sounds like a saddle horse.

Jackie Kennedy

Horse Tattoo by Dmitriy Samohin

 By Ukrainian artist Dmitriy Samohin (Photo from Rattatoo.com)

As tribute to feminine creativity and courage celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Horse, here are a few Asian inspired tattoos and excerpt from Margot Mifflin’s Bodies of Subversion (another delightful addition to my library thanks to a favorite blog fan):

In a culture where surfaces matter, skin, the largest organ is the scrim on which we project our greatest fantasies and deepest fears about our bodies. For women, skin is a work in progress through which we celebrate–and denigrate–ourselves.

In The Decorated Body, anthropologist Robert Brain calls body modification “an attempt to put on a new skin, a cultural as opposed to a natural skin.”  His observation is especially resonant for women, whose ties to nature have historically been used to justify their exclusion from culture. Whether they see tattooing as an embellishment of or an intrusion on the “natural body; whether they build their collections on a bedrock of sexual politics; and whether or not they call themselves feminists, tattooed woman constitute a subculture whose political implications are indisputable.  Life female body builders, who contest the idea that a “built” woman isn’t a real woman, or feminist pornographers, who puncture the myth that objectified sex is necessarily exploitative or degrading, they’re rewriting the ground rules for female self-presentation.

In the never-ending project of women’s self-transformation, tattoos are both an end and a beginning, a problem and a solution.  Written on the skin–the very membrane that separates the self from the world–they’re diary entries and public announcements, conversation pieces and countercultural tomes, valentines to lovers, memorials to the dead, reminders to the self.  They’re scars and symptoms, mistakes and corrections. Collectively, they form a secret history of women grappling with body politics from the Gilded Age to the present–women whose intensely personal yet provocatively public art poses a complicated challenge to the meaning of female beauty.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what having tough skin means to you.  Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Samurai on Horse tattoo by Jill Bonny

Japanese Samurai by Jill Bonny, the first Western woman to be awarded the title Horiyuki by Japanese tattoo master Horiyoshi III

Alphonse Mucha tattoo reproduction by Thea Duskin

An Alphonse Mucha art deco reproduction by Thea Duskin on a fan that reminds me of the Korean traditional

Geisha flower tattoo by Jo Harrison

Geisha by Jo Harrison

koi tattoo by Kari Barba

Koi by Kari Barba

xoxox

Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

In The Woods

Now it is up to me to take the first step myself–

to listen to the child in me.

Alice Miller

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This Powerful Goddess celebrates her first birthday as mother to herself, recently having lost the woman whose love has been a refuge since giving birth to her.  It is a dark and tender time nursing her grief, remembering her mother’s comforting free spirit, so far ahead of her generation in providing a literal haven for women whose life choices defied the simplistic black and white.

She feels bereft in the woods without the familiar guiding hand that had always held hers.  The hand that had given her a firm, gentle push through the rough brambles, the muddy patches, through the forks in the road.  Now  it’s a strain to hear her mother’s voice when she wonders “Where do I go? How do I go on?”

Yet she does.

She ventures forth with small, hesitant steps at first, her spine eventually straightens, finding the strength to keep on.  She is her mother’s daughter after all.  Her mother’s courage lives within her forever, making sure she continues to keep her sights always true to her own North.

What is a woman’s life after all if not to serve as map and compass for other women to find and understand themselves?

To complete the Alice Miller quote from the top of this page:

…and this meant exposing myself

to all the pain once inflicted on her,

which she had had to bear all alone,

without witnesses, without words,

without hope of ever being understood.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share who has lent you strength to keep going when you couldn’t.

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xoxox

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

A Birthday Duet

There are far, far better things ahead

than any we leave behind.

C.S. Lewis

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What could be more fun than celebrating your birthday with your BFF?

This Powerful Goddess was radiant the night she and her lifelong friend made their dream come true of stepping onto the red carpet in style.   Loving family and friends traveled near and far to reminisce and honor these two stars who shine brightly in their worlds, bringing laughter and fun to the lives they touch.  It was a night to remember with a surprise Mamma Mia number that got the crowd dancing!  The gratitude of each guest was palpable, a testament to the Goddesses’ loving warmth, generosity, and inspiration in their strength to prevail no matter what.

As they continue their journey through life’s twists and turns, hopeful hearts hum her favorite tune, Judy Garland’s Somewhere Over The Rainbow:

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream,
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops,
High above the chimney tops,
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what you want to find over your rainbow? xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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