The Year of Yes to “No!”

Let every new year

find you

a better man.

Benjamin Franklin

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I suspect my husband would prefer that I don’t take Ben’s quote (above) about finding a better man too literally. 😉 I also suspect New Year resolutions are just another way of making ourselves feel inadequate and never ever good enough. So how about pledging NOT to make resolutions in 2017?

Give “More” a break. Declare “I am enough, I have enough!” Focus on your strengths and build on what you’re good at. Love what you’ve got and find a feature to compliment each time you look in the mirror.

Eat what you like. Bless the food you eat instead of worrying about the calories and just choose from what’s made closest to the way nature made it: Fresh!

Don’t go to the gym. If you don’t like working out, don’t! Instead, make movement a normal part of your daily routine and walk to the farther ATM, bike daily to the grocery,  take the stairs at the office, dance when at a party, learn to cook so you stand in the kitchen for at least half an hour everyday.

Enjoy the mess! If you’re simply a fabulous creative thinker who thrives with stacks of this and that here and there, just minimize the clutter and give away whatever you don’t use or wear, want to clean or take care of, and whatever doesn’t spark joy.

If goals you must, set baby sized ones that make you feel like a rock star (instead of a failure shooting for the moon.)

There will always be more to want and do or things we could’ve done better. Swap the “If only…I should’ve…” refrain to “Next time…” Because even when things don’t work out the way we want them to, no one can ever take away our power to choose to find the gift in whatever life brings our way!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your naughty plans for 2017. Happiest of New Possibilities, Dear Ones!

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 Coffee Blogs

I like coffee 

because it gives me the illusion

that I might be awake.

Lewis Black

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Rise and shine with this Powerful Goddess and the best blogs about everything related to your morning coffee:

The Coffeetographer is set up like a magazine with pretty photos, coffee stories and other features.

The Coffee Adventures, a woman’s foray into the world of coffee roasting and brewing.

Coffee Brew Guides, a blog by Garrett Oden, a home brewing enthusiast.

The Coffee Concierge, Benji, reviews of coffee and coffee makers, recipes, brewing guides and experiments.

Pure Coffee Blog a fanatic’s guide to coffee and tea products and establishments.

Dear Coffee I Love You recommends gift ideas for coffee lovers.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your favorite resource for your cup of joe.

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 Woman

Best TED Talks by Women

Women are made 

to be loved,

not understood.

Oscar Wilde

 

To celebrate Women’s History Month 2016, here’s a short list of my favorite TED talks by women to inspire all. Enjoy!

The Secret to Desire in Long Term Relationships by Esther Perel

Our need for comfort and stability in a relationship goes against what feeds desire. What to do?

 

Why 30 is Not the New 20 by Meg Jay

Raising teens? A few things to think about…

 

Can we “Have it all”? by Anne-Marie Slaughter

Can we ever live and let live on the matter of our life choices?

 

The Opportunity of Adversity by Aimee Mullins

What’s a gorgeous woman to do without legs?

 

The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What is the untold version of the story you believe in?

 

Be an Opportunity Maker by Kare Anderson

How can you use our talents if you’re “phobically shy”?

 

The Price of Shame by Monica Lewinsky

How do you move forward from being shamed on a grand scale?

Why Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads by Dame Stephanie Shirley

How a child refugee of Nazi Europe made her life worth saving

Dare to Disagree by Margaret Heffernan

Is loving people who don’t think like us worth it?

How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over by Mel Robbins

How to get what you really want, just pick one!

 

The Person You Really Need to Marry by Tracy McMillan

Divorced three times, what if he isn’t the one–again?

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite inspiration.

 

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

 

 

Good Green Envy

I envy paranoids–

they actually believe people are

paying attention to them.

Susan Sontag

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With everyone’s life looking absolutely fabulous on Facebook and Instagram, it’s easy to imagine that other people always have it better.  If we can’t remember that what we may be comparing are our “insides” with their “outsides,” at least, can there be a good reason why we can’t help but covet our neighbor’s goods?

Of course, envy hurts–pain is meant to be a wake up call. The closer we are to the person we envy, the more intensely we feel this emotion and the harder it is to repress. Few can openly speak of the pleasure we derive from stories of the misfortune of others.

But when we are able to admit we’re envious, we can proceed to inquire, “What am I jealous of, really?,” “What can I learn from this person’s success?,” and  “What stops me from going for what she has?”

Envy is an important clue to something we desire but have been putting off. After we go through the gamut of dark emotions it stirs in us, envy helps clarify the direction we can devote our energy next, creating our own satisfying version of reality. And may we see no evil in that!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share how you deal with your own little green monster.

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 Woman

 

Sacred Healing: The Peruvian Despacho

The best gift you can give your partner

is to dress like his parents

and apologize.

@BisHilarious tweet

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My heart is overflowing from the happiest and most memorable Valentine’s week of my entire life–no sex involved!  With an expanded view of love beyond romance, there was so much to celebrate: cozy dinners with neighbors and friends, thoughtful surprises of gifts and flowers, dance parties with fun people, and most meaningful of all, a very unusual Valentine’s party my daughter and I attended.

A Powerful Goddess Shaman decided to avoid unnecessary angst and disappointment Valentine’s can bring when our beloved fails to show or deliver what we expect. She hosted a beautiful Peruvian Despacho Ceremony with her favorite people to affirm how we are the true source of unconditional love and healing. My daughter and I were moved to tears as we explained every element we chose to be part of the artwork we created for each other. This most touching experience made me felt seen by loving eyes, grateful to be blessed and bless in turn. My daughter said, “I’ve never cried so much tears of joy!”

Despacho is a Spanish word for “dispatch” or “shipment.”  It is a symbolic offering of your prayers for support, thanksgiving,  desires and blessing. The ceremony can be performed individually or as a group, a most meaningful celebration for birthdays, weddings, memorials, milestones and life transitions. A despacho is similar to a mandala or sacred creation in that it holds symbolic elements and the prayers of the participants for whatever concerns them: relationships, finances, health, career, etc. As the shaman adds elements to the despacho, it becomes a living prayer that brings energy shifts and healing.

To create your own, begin with a large piece of white paper that will serve as the wrapping for all of your offerings. Choose each ingredient you add for its significance and bless it with a prayer or intention before positioning it harmoniously with the other symbols at the center of the paper. Include elements to signify fire, earth, water and air. Examples:

Soil for the feeling of being grounded and secure

Sugar and candy to bring sweetness and love

Corn and grains to symbolize growth and nourishment

Flowers for beauty, joy and love

Arrange your symbolic items with great care and beauty on the paper. Take your time thinking of what else can symbolize what you are praying for.

When your mandala is complete, fold the paper and tie up the bundle beautifully. You can ceremoniously burn your creation to let your intention become part of the air, bury it in the earth to compost for new endeavors, or release it into a river as a symbol of letting go of your desires as they become part of nature’s flow of energy.

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Choose the symbols then assemble your Despacho at the center of a sheet of square paper

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This Romeo could not resist tasting the sweets I chose to symbolize joy, fun and play for my daughter’s mandala

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She cried on my lap as I explained the symbolism of each element I chose for the artwork I dedicated to her

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Wrap your creation beautifully before burning, burying or releasing into a body of water

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what symbols you might choose for your Despacho.

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

Winter Blues (and Green)

Real freedom is

being able to not have my way and

still be just as happy as if I did.

Joyce Meyer

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I often hear women bemoan their choices that are different and can’t possibly measure up to those who do more or better and lean in a whole lot. What does true freedom mean if we don’t feel liberated to create a life that feels authentic to our own happiness? When we feel compelled to conform to other people’s choices and measures of success? I hear the great advantage of aging is that each passing year brings us closer to the day when we can blaze our trail (or not) without feeling inadequate, defensive or judged.

From Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood:

The phrase “having it all” has little to do with what women want. If anything, it’s a reflection of a widespread and misplaced cultural belief, shared by men and women alike: that we, middle class Americans, have infinite promise and it’s our obligation to exploit every ounce of it. “Having it all” is the phrase of a culture that, as Adam Phillips implies in Missing Out, is tyrannized by the idea of its own potential.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share how you have chosen to be true to your happiness.

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 Woman

The New Leaf

This 2016, I resolve to 

accomplish my resolution of 2015

that I made in 2014.

Anurag Prakash Ray

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A delicious new year of possibilities and beginnings, Everyone! Another golden opportunity to see ourselves with more gentle kindness and greater love. What brave adventures will you say YES to in 2016?

In an era when looking younger than our age is the ideal, Carre Otis shares her journey of self acceptance as role model to her young daughters in A Sisterhood of Inner Beauty (on Huffington Post:)

I’ve learned to surround myself with women who lift me up and leave me feeling nurtured rather than drained. I’ve learned to watch my words, too, particularly around my daughters — two of my greatest teachers — doing my best not to gossip about other women or even myself. If they were to hear me put some of those seemingly automatic thoughts on loudspeaker, such as, “I look bad today… Look at those bags under my eyes…” I now understand that it would impact them in a profoundly unhealthy way. Just as young people absorb all kinds of messages from the media, young girls learn what it means to be a woman by watching the older women in their lives.

I’m proud that today, at 43 years old, I’ve come to value the aging process and anticipate growing older with a sense of excitement. I want my daughters to see their mother fearlessly and gracefully claiming her body, her voice and her years. Easier said than done, of course. For me, it’s required discipline: Just as I’m careful about what my daughters are exposed to, I avoid magazines that critique what female celebrities are wearing, what they’re buying and what they look like. I skip right past channels that exploit “cat fights” or reality shows. And I’ve learned to walk away from any real-life judgmental conversations about women. They bring me down. They bring us all down.

And Goddess knows how powerful we can be when we feel good about ourselves! I wish you a most magical year of reveling in your womanhood at any age. Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what new possibilities thrill 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

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

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