This last weekend I had the opportunity to facilitate a Day of Reflection for AMEN- The Alumni Mothers Extended Network for Bellarmine College Prep, the high school where my three sons attended and thrived. I was sort of a replacement gig. Sister Rebecca Shinas, better known as “the rockin’ nun of MySpace”, had some urgent family business to attend to. So, my friend, Rosemary, had the thought to ask me.
Well of course! What are the degrees of separation between Sister Rebecca and me? I do have a Facebook…
Wondering if I was equipped to replace a sister who has devoted her entire life to spirituality and celibacy, I was hesitant to accept.
I remember when Rosemary called me to ask. I was standing in my kitchen and as she set up the invitation my head was telling me NO and my heart and intuition were screaming YES! YOU CAN DO THIS! BE BRAVE!
After a month of pulling books off my bookshelf and pouring over underlined and highlighted paragraphs, searching through my journals for significant dreams, scanning TED talks for presentations on life after raising a family, and searching the web for 10 ways to find your passion, I had my script and I was armed and ready.. perhaps dangerous.
I met some incredible women and of course the better part of the day was spent with their personal sharing. One thing I’ve learned from being Catholic and having to listen to priests talk from the pulpit every week and not being able to raise my hand and add my two cents is that women want to talk! They want to share, to ask, to unfold their insecurities in a safe place and gain wisdom and strength from other women. I was fortunate to be the facilitator for this day. But truly the best material came from the gaggle of courageous and forthright women who attended.
So Amen to all of us! We are brave. We are courageous. We are seeking answers. We are finding our path.
What fruit will come from this day together is yet to be determined.
In the meantime, I promised to post the resources I referenced for my talk. Some of them are pretty dated but really.. how much does this wisdom change over the years?
Ban Breathnach, Sarah. Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1995. Something More. Excavating Your Authentic Self. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1998.
Bolen, Jean Shinoda, M.D.Crossing to Avalon. A Woman’s Midlife Pilgrimage. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1994
Bridges, William. The Way of Transition. Embracing Life’s Most Difficult Moments. New York: Perseus Publishing, 2001.
Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way. A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1992. The Vein of Gold. A Journey to Your Creative Heart. New York: Penguin Putnam, Inc, 1996.
McCauley, Lucy; Carlson, Amy G.; and Leo, Jennifer. A Woman’s Path. Women’s Best Spiritual Travel Writing. San Francisco: Publishers Group West, 2003.
Carter, Cherie-Scott, PhD. If Life is a Game, These are the Rules. Ten Rules for Being Human. New York: Broadway Books, 1998.
Hendricks, Gay, PhD. A Year of Living Consciously. 365 Daily Inspirations for Creating a Life of Passion and Purpose. San Francisco: Harper/Collins Publishers, 1998.
Hendricks, Gay, PhD. & Hendricks, Kathlyn, PhD. Conscious Loving. The Journey to Co-Commitment. A Way to Be Fully Together Without Giving Up Yourself. New York: Bantam Books, 1992.
Livingston, Gordon, M.D. Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now. New York: Marlowe & Company, 2004.
Martz, Sandra. The Tie That Binds. A Collection of Writings about Fathers & Daughters, Mothers & Sons. Watsonville, California: Paper-Mache Press, 1992.
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow. Gift from the Sea. New York: Random House, 1955 (the original printing)
Rupp, Joyce, OSM. Praying Our Goodbyes. Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 1993.
Viorst, Judith. Necessary Losses. The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow. New York: Ballantine Books, 1986.
That wonderful 80 year old therapist who has her office on the Alameda? Email me and I’ll send you her information.
Sparkly pens- from Target
Thank you, ladies, for being such attentive and engaged participants! Until we meet again..