Wanna Migrate?

bird

Loyal followers… I wondered if you’d consider migrating over to my other blog and following me there?

I’ve blended the content so that I can continue to write with both voices, and would sure love to have you follow me here:

The Revelation Project Blog

The Revelation Project on Facebook

The Revelation Project on Twitter

and….

Here we are on Pinterest 🙂

My recent diagnosis of ADD comes with some insurance… or is that assurance? Hmmmm… anyways- it means that the treatment has allowed me to focus more and more on my writing, and I’m working to improve . I’d love to invite you along to help me get there.

A Call for Love and the Origin of Cyber Bullies

It begins here.

This morning I was reading one of my favorite bloggers posts, by author Emily Laden.  It was about cyber bullying, and it made me super sad.

The post was revealing how middle schoolers are using social networking sites like Facebook without making the distinction between who they are online and who they are in real life.

Her young brother is the object of cyber bullying, and one of the students in his network of “friends” asked his online community to LIKE if you HATE him (UGH!)

57 “Likes” later this poor child must face his haters this Monday morning, and will ( possibly) every morning for the rest of his life (in his wounded heart).  What would you do if this was happening to your child?  What would you do if it was your child who was one of the ones who “Liked” the post?

I remember being bullied and what it feels like… we’ve all been there… haven’t we?
Isn’t that how bullies become bullies in the first place?

I saw a quote the other day that resonates for me:

“The way of the miracle-worker is to see all human behavior as one two things: either love, or a call for love.”― -Marianne Williamson

So what I am struck by here is that there are 57 children who just “outed” themselves as a call for love!

they are calling out – TO US! We, the adults.

Are we failing them?  How is this possible that there are so many that would think it’s ok to openly “hate” someone in a digital setting and then be willing face that other child in a school setting … with their “gang.”

Sticks and stones?  No.

Words kill. They kill our hearts, our spirits, our creativity.

Emotional abuse in it’s most insidious form…..

Are we creating conversations about LOVE at home, and how are we demonstrating that love?  or… are we just not talking?  Are we all simply too distracted by other things that dominate our attention?  email, tv, chores, shopping? I’ll get to that later?

Well… later is coming… and it’s not looking so hot.

Later is coming and all of us can see it’s impact now ( if you care to look) with the political war campaign that’s all over our screens and in our faces everyday.  Lets look at who these middle schoolers are role modeling.  How many adults do you know who openly HATE and align themselves with disrespectful messages that downgrade another’s choices or opinions or feelings.

Who are you aligned with?

Oh… No – I’m not asking you if you are Republican or Democrat.

I’m asking: Are You LOVE?

or A Call For LOVE?

If our words create our reality then we must make the connection that social networking give our words power that are borderless, and can affect and impact THOUSANDS.  When you hit “LIKE” you send a message that can openly align you with thoughts, ideas, love or hate with just the click of a button.  Words hurt people.. and I think it’s these hurt people who, over time , act out their deep pain of rejection in our society… which is what we all hear… everyday on the news and in our communities.

I’d love your feedback and comments.  Please feel free to share this post if you feel there is something worthy of spreading here… 

Big Day for The Revelation Project

Today is a big day 😉 The Revelation Project is on Parentables from TLC ( Discovery Networks)! If you care to go, read, comment and “share” with your friends I’d be one happy camper. My dream is to have the project be sponsored by a company who is aligned with our message which is:

“shining your light so that others may shine as well”

 TRP is a social media and photography project that helps women reveal their deeper selves through photographs, interviews and through their own lived experience. 

While you are at it – if you have not yet “liked” our Facebook Page for the Project you can do that here.

Thank you!  

Love after Love and a Pregnancy Haiku

So, I’m not really sure when i started loving poetry but i think it was around the time I was at a loss for complete sentences to describe what was happening – so…. pregnancy perhaps?  I wonder what my pregnancy Haiku would have sounded like:

Plump and round…
Square circle
Weighing FAT 183 pounds

or

Cookie Cookie
Carbs and Baloney
Love you so… never lonely

I digress.

I’ve loved poetry since the moment i discovered what a beautiful way it describes the “in betweens” of life.  The intangibles of our emotional world.  It can weave words into beautiful life pictures.  It’s the artists pallet of the written word.

Take this image for example… in a sentence it would sound like this:

“yeah, this sunset over the water painting was so spectacular, and the colors were amazing”

or

“Sunset sweeps across the sky,

radiating color

warmth will spread from the hue of tomorrow”

Ok- who know’s if i am making any sense at all but the point of this post was to share the following with you:

I  love this poem a friend introduced me to about two weeks ago and wanted to share it with you and dedicate it to The Revelation Project and all the women who have come to the banquet of their own lives.  Also to those who dare to really discover who they are.  What inspiration-  wow.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.”

― Derek Walcott

Normal? That’s never really been my life.

The past almost eight weeks has really been a blur.  I started conducting social media workshops at my house just around the time my neighbor Robyn had a snowboarding accident and sustained a level three concussion which had originally thrown everything into a chaotic scramble.

Come July Robyn will have lived across the street for an entire year so needless to say having had so much in common (single mom’s, 2 small children, photography, our own businesses, and a love for self development) we developed a fairly significant bond. Her concussion strengthened that bond even further as throughout her recovery process myself and several others have been helping her get back to “normal” whatever that is.

Laughingly the other night we wondered if that’s even possible given the turn of events these weeks have provided.  Robyn’s head injury has allowed her to tap into a deeper knowing of herself and those around her that some might even say borders on (you fill in the blank).

Those of us around her who know her best have witnessed the change in her… a calmer more centered demeanor and while at first i wondered if perhaps I should call this “the injury” – it’s also clear that it’s not in any way impaired her work, the project, or her ability to process her thoughts and emotions…  her hectic, spinning, ADD self is gone… and in it’s place there seems to be a quiet, calm, knowing that some might find disconcerting.  Honestly, I’d be worried if I did not know her as well I do- and to my great relief her humor and wit is back in full form, which, if not for that I’d been truly beside myself with concern.  She is officially Robyn… but altered as if to a higher form of herself (maybe I should bump my head?)

So life continues along its semi- hectic pace with a new twist in the agenda, as Robyn taps in to what we can only both think of right now as a gift.  Her clarity and calm and optimism is refreshing and exciting and well, calming.

We resumed work on The Revelation Project last week and the experience seems more inspiring that ever, and I honor in my heart what I believe to finally be a greater part of my calling in the world.  Maybe that sounds hokey but I feel called to it in a way that is different for me.  I have no business to be unconcerned for money or material comforts as my “situation” does not really lend itself to a life of leisure – lol. But I feel like because the money is not the motive and my heart is 100% in it… it creates an ease, and earns “enough” to at least take the edge off.   In the meantime my social media classes and blogging workshops have been filled with amazing people who come to learn something I did not even realize I had to offer… (thanks Jennifer Neuguth) and who help me pay for the weeks groceries (side plug: I’ve got another social media workshop coming up late may on a SATURDAY for those who cant make a week day so let me know if you want to book a seat!)

It’s been a LOOOONG three years but I will officially now say:  I AM HAPPY.

(Deep gratitude to those of you who have been the light while i was the darkness)

What’s New? Mommy 911 and Blogging

Everything!

I’m a little overwhelmed.   Blogging for a few different organizations has been harder to juggle than i initially thought.  Did I really think that it was going to be easy?

I’m starting to get the hang of it now… it’s called routine- something I ROUTINELY avoid. Ugh!

Robyn (co-creator of The Revelation Project) is finally off my couch and seems to be able to feed herself again after banging her noggin snowboarding so I can no longer with good intention avoid the obligations that scream for my attention. KIDS! BATH! LAUNDRY! and I’ve managed to get a few posts completed on TLC’s Discovery Network.  I wrote this one today on my experience growing up and attending a Waldorf School in Detroit Michigan, and I’ve also managed to write a few for the Revelation Project which you can view here and here.  My favorite however is the one I wrote with YOU in mind which you can view here: Mommy 911

I CAN'T WAIT FOR SUMMER!

The other reason for some of the overwhelm is that the project has been a hit!  In order to keep things simple ( that’s a joke) I separated the blogs (Childerness and The Revelation Project) so if you’d also like to follow that one please sign up here.  I did this because many women and younger women who don’t have kids are interested but as soon as they saw “the childerness” title they got nervous (any surprise?) and though the project was just for mom’s… which it’s not.

Finally; I just want to say… I can’t WAIT for summer this year.  It will be the first REAL SUMMER I will have in a long long long long time ( I’ll explain in the next post!)

Sprinkler!!!

I could eat them!

TLC and The Revelation Project

A few months ago I was invited to blog for TLC’s new parenting site called Parentables and although I am loving it I have to say it’s incredibly hard to do knowing that other people outside my own social network will see my writing or eeeks, be able to criticize!

I always amaze myself at how insecure I can be when I venture out into the world of something new.  I love pretending I don’t care what people have to say about me while behind the scenes I have to make repeated trips to the bathroom for a nervous tinkle or two.

Anyway- the most exciting part is that The Revelation Project has also been invited to be posted there with the highly visible Kate Gosselin (I don’t have tv so something about Kate plus Eight or something? … and wait.. eight what? puppies?.. I mean, who would ever do that?  -animal control!) and some amazing writers such as Sarah Fernandez, Marla Garfield , and many more…

So far I’m only behind by three posts and would love to hear what some of you might want me to take a stab at writing about because somehow I have a feeling that you could all make me feel a bit braver if i knew you were kind of there with me. Kay?

I think i can i think i can i think i can…..

The two posts featured for The Revelation Project so far are this one and this one.

A Video of Gratitude: Thank You

Last Sunday I was looking through the many photos of the women who have taken part in The Revelation Project these last two months.  I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for somehow stumbling into this whole thing that all i could do was listen to the song ‘Thank You” by Alanis Morissette over and over… and then somehow was able to put this video together to capture what I wanted to express.

Thank you to all of you who’ve been willing, all of you who’ve been touched by this, and all of you who’ve continued to follow our progress.  I can’t even tell you how much it’s impacted me and infused every part of my world. My thoughts, my conversations, even my dreams.

I hope you enjoy the show….

Revelation Project Part VI: Sarah Fernandez

I’ve known Sarah for a few years now, and never realized that she is incredibly shy around the camera.

She gives the impression that nothing ever phases her, and has the ability to maintain a level head in some of the most frightening circumstances (…she used to work for me, trust me, frightening!) When she arrived with her sister Meg to be photographed for the project she seemed a little nervous and when the camera came out, she looked like she wanted to vanish-  “form of: INVISIBLE!”  but alas… this project is about being seen not about disappearing. Because part of the agreement is to have your photographs published on face book I’ve heard lots of feedback that Sarah’s photo’s were inspring for many women who saw them.  I found her interview answers just as inspiring so I’ve pasted them below in addition to some of her photos ( for those who missed them.)

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Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ever since I was very young, I’ve had four goals: get married, have children, own a house and have my own business. At 34 I now have all of those things, but the last one, my interior and event design company and blog, Chateau & Bungalow, is still in its very early stages and I’m trying to figure out how to make it what I want it to be while working several other jobs, taking care of my two kids and getting the bills paid.

What is the biggest challenge that’s ever faced you as a woman?

I would probably have to say body image. I’ve never let anyone tell me that I couldn’t do something because I am a woman, but I’ve always struggled with being happy with the way I looked. In high school I remember thinking I was so fat even though I was a varsity athlete and was 30 lbs lighter than I am now. Now it’s my goal to look like that again!

Are you a mom?

Yes, I have an almost 5 year old son, Teddy and a 2 year old daughter, Carolina.

What are some of the issues that you think are important to explore as it relates to our gender?

I think most importantly, we need to look at how much woman really do in this day and age. It’s no joke that we should all be running around with super hero capes on. While there has been a shift over the past several decades of men becoming more involved in child rearing and even becoming stay at home dads, most of the women I know are doing all of the scheduling for their families, arranging for childcare, paying the bills, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and much more, all while working part or full time jobs and trying to squeeze in some quality time with their husbands, children and friends. It’s no wonder that we take care of ourselves last.

What’s your idea of a great “girls night?”

Hanging at someone’s house with a lot of wine, a lot of laughs, no place to go and no kids interrupting.

Is there anything in particular that made you feel like being part of the Revelation Project was a good idea right now?

I know I have the talent to do what I want to do, but after mostly being a stay at home mom for the past 2 years, I’ve really struggled with projecting the image I want when I rarely wear make-up, am living in the same pair of jeans each day, and am not really happy with the way I look.

About the shoot: What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot (before you got there) and what were the results you were expecting?

I always love the idea of having great photos taken, typically with my family, but in the end I’m not usually happy with the way I look in them (back to that body image issue). But, I really needed some new head shots for work so I was just hoping I’d get one decent shot and I’d be happy.

How did you feel during the shoot and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed or open to the process?

I wasn’t really nervous during the shoot, but I hate posing for pictures so it took me a while to find my comfortable spot. It helped that I knew Monica so well and my sister was there so there were a lot of laughs. And by the time I left, I felt like I’d known Robyn forever even though we’d only met a handful of time. It was the closest thing I’d had to a girl’s night in a while.

Can you describe in three words the way you felt before we shot?

Anxious. Excited. Tense.

Three words for after ?

Anxious. Excited. Relaxed.

Three words for when you saw the results ?

Happy. Excited. Surprised.

After you left but before you saw the results – did you have any thoughts about the experience?  What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?

We had such a fun afternoon that the session itself had put me in a good mood. I felt good and confident that there were going to be some good pictures, but there was still that little voice in the back of my head warning me not to get over-confident.

When you saw the results can you tell me your first impression?

I was really excited because I finally had photos that projected the image I wanted for my business.

Can you talk about the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?

I’ve had such an outpouring of compliments from people. It’s been overwhelming, but it feels great.

Did you learn anything new about yourself from the experience?

I realized I had crow’s feet! But there is a reason this is called The Revelation Project. I was thrilled that there were some great pictures, and it wasn’t that I was really upset that I had crow’s feet, but it was the first time that I really saw myself as an adult, which probably sounds crazy considering that I’m married, have two kids, and a lot of years of working behind me. It made me realize that I’m in the part of my life that I always looked forward to, and I need to start paying more attention to it and soak it all in before it passes me by.

Did you feel empowered? Why?  Why not?

Yes, it made me feel like I now I had proof that I am a beautiful person with style and that I could now put these images out there for people to see the person behind my business. I think it’s hard to be in a business that’s about style if you don’t walk the part too.

Since the shoot happened more than four weeks (yikes) ago now can you talk about the lasting impact of the experience?  Has it altered the way you view yourself or your surroundings?

Well, the revelations about the time of my life that I’m in certainly will have a lasting effect, and one that I’m so happy I realized now before it was too late. But in addition to that, I never liked being the center of attention. I wouldn’t say that I do now, but I’m not as nervous about it anymore. Two weeks after this shoot, I had the chance to go to NYC for a photo shoot with my kids for my job as a writer for TLC’s new parenting blog, Parentables. Normally, I would have been a nervous wreck, but because I knew that it was possible for great photos to be shot, it just seemed easy. I couldn’t believe how relaxed I was about it, even being on video. I think that it has given me a new confidence that will lead to great things.

Do you think this was an important/valuable experience for yourself? Why?

Most definitely! I think it should be something we all do once a year just like going to the doctor for a physical. No matter how confident or beautiful we feel or don’t feel, it’s always good to take a step back and really look at who we are and where we want to go next. I think it helps us move forward.

Do you think it’s relevant for other women?  Why?

I think it’s invaluable to all women. When Monica first posted the images that she and Robyn shot of each other, I picked up the phone and called her and told her I thought they should be doing it for every girl out there. Young girls and women too are bombarded with images of impossibly thin models and movie stars who endure hours of hair and make-up before they are photographed that it is crazy that we expect them to have a healthy body image. I’m sure that’s part of the reason that I never did. For years, I’ve thought that girls should have a chance to do a photo shoot like the models in magazines so that they could have beautiful pictures of themselves too. This is a much more affordable way to achieve that, and it’s better because Monica and Robyn make sure that the results really look like the person and show people’s beautiful personalities too.

How would you use the photos moving forward? Professionally? Personally? As gifts?

I will definitely be using them professionally, and my husband, who didn’t really understand the whole idea when I first explained it to him, now wants to have a bunch of them printed and framed for around the house too.

What is your favorite song and why?

That’s a really hard question! There are so many. I guess I would say the one that makes me happy every time I hear it is “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison. It brings back all the happy memories of the summers I spent growing up in Newport (because it was on every mix tape we ever made in the 90s!) and it was the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding.

If you could sum up the experience what would you say?

Brilliant!

Revelation: Where Ever She Wishes To Travel

I always get nervous before a photo shoot.  I always say a small prayer that I will be able to capture the essence of the woman who walks through the door, and that she’ll be open to the experience.  So far so good.

Today for The Revelation Project we photographed Medelise (what an amazing woman- can’t wait for her interview to come back!) who showed up with her surf board and wearing her heart on her rash guard! and two sessions back to back tomorrow.  The sessions are rigorous because in addition to being “on” with respect to operating the camera (I’m not the most technical person, or the most detail oriented person, or the most…) the most critical part for me is connecting with the woman we are photographing.  I am also the self appointed “szhusher” ( kind of like a fluffer?- oh god that sounds kind of bad) and also the “make-up” artist for those who want a little emphasis on their features. Honestly… it’s one of my favorite parts of the session because I get to play up someone else’s features, and well.. I’m kind of gay like that.

So- lots of feedback lately on the project, and I have to say it’s a little nerve wracking as I’ve been asked to define it more succinctly by a few people.   All I can really do is keep saying what it’s not.

The atmosphere is very laid back and casual, and because it’s in my home, it just feels kind of cozy and relaxed.   I think Robyn Ivy adds great entertainment value…for me, that is, and great music never really hurts.

It’s definitely not a serious or intense affair or anything.  I think I’ve realized that its whatever “she” want’s it to be.  I think Medelise wanted it to be cathartic, and so it was… as well as joyful, and fun, and poignant at times.  I’ve been trying to capture the “mood” in order to write about it but I honestly think it varies as she lets us in ( without sounding too queer).  All I know is that it’s a deeply personal experience and as i witness the “unfolding” of the being on the other side of the lens, I too am transported with her wherever it is she wishes to travel…. joy, sorrow, abandon, fear, empowerment, release. Sometimes she laughs hysterically, sometimes she cries hysterically….. but where ever she needs to go to “get there” it’s completely and totally allowed, and encouraged.   By the time the shoot is over, I no longer feel nervous.

I feel awe.

Awe that I am in the presence of HER.

The only thing so far that remains consistant about the project is

HER greatness

HER goodness

HER strength &  light…

Every. single. time.