We all start out curious, unedited.
We don’t worry about what our bodies look like.
We know how to eat when we’re hungry and we don't care what anyone thinks of how we dance.
We know how to play without holding back.
Well-meaning parents correct their children, wanting them to be their best but what children hear is something else. The child begins to question herself.
When I was young, I started picking up on messages that I needed to act a certain way because it was really important what others thought of me.
My young brain heard..."other’s opinions matter more than what I think of myself."
This version of me at 17 believed that if she was friendly and popular that everyone would like her.
It was easy for her because that was her nature...friendly and open.
She knew without being told that it wasn't nice to say things that might upset someone or make them...
My mother told me something a little startling when I asked for a pair of red panties.
I was 9 years old.
She said, “only bad women wear red panties.”
I was puzzled by what she meant by "bad women" but whatever it was I figured, I didn’t want to be a bad woman.
I remember my aunt told me that her parents said "no" when she wanted to be a nurse. They wouldn’t allow it and explained that “respectable” women weren't nurses.
I wondered about that, too.
Instead, my Aunt Billie stood, at the age of 16, right beside my grandfather who was a pharmacist at Hatcher's Drugstore in a tiny little town in South Georgia.
Aunt Billie worked alongside my grandfather, filling prescriptions as a compounding pharmacist. There were far less regulations then and so she was allowed to do this.
She had learned from her father how to fill prescriptions. So, even more, confusing...
"When our souls are tired, we don't need sleep, we need to get away and just be.”
A retreat is a time when you step away from your daily life to reflect on where you are in your life at the moment. It's a time to rest, restore, reset and it's a time for deep listening.
When we're exhausted, our body is working hard to just keep up with the daily tasks. When our brains are tired, we can't put anything else in.
This is where I was. Totally blah. Tired and wired. Sick of everything. No pizazz. Dull.
I decided to save myself and take a week off. From everything.
I knew I needed to get away and let myself do nothing.
I chose a beautiful place...the California central coast.
The first morning when I woke up without an alarm, I felt strange.
I resisted my impulse to do the usual thing...get up, check the news, check my emails, my texts. Instead, I heard a little voice say, “wait… you don't have to...
In the small Southern town where I grew up in the 50's, it was customary for women to put on a “tea.” These teas were to honor one of the young women in the town who was soon to be married.
A group of three women who were best friends entertained together: Miss Virginia, Miss Sara, and Allene, my mother.
They would plan in advance…sometimes on the phone, occasionally in person. The parties were elaborate.
My mother and her friends were not sophisticated or wealthy.
But they knew how to put on a “tea”. The silver platters were polished and ready beforehand, along with the silver coffee pots, sterling silverware, bone china, and freshly starched linen napkins. Fresh flowers from their own yards and tasty morsels were always featured.
My younger sister and I were designated servers. I’m guessing I was 9 when I became a part of the tea party scene. What I remember is that we had detailed instructions as we learned...
I’ve decided to come clean and tell you the truth: I’m going to write you every week. Whoa. I cringe because I’ve said this before. But this time I really mean it.
When have you promised yourself (or someone else) that you’d do something? And then - it happens. You stop doing something you meant to do. And usually it goes like this: you miss a week. A week turns into 2 weeks and then 2 becomes a month, and then the next thing, it’s not happening. AT ALL. Please tell me you’ve done this, too.
The thing is, I KNOW what happens for me. It’s called a big fat, mean saboteur, who sits on my shoulder.
I hear him breathing in disgust, reading what I’ve just written. “So, Jo ... when did you get so bold that you're telling people you’re going to write them every week? Really?” (I can imagine him rolling his eyes). “How long will it last THIS TIME? You can’t even think of what to write about."...
This is me on my 5th birthday right next to my sister
Today I am 69 years old.
I decided that part of my birthday present to myself would be in looking back when I was 5 years old to see if I have any of the traits she had after all these years.
I wanted to get to know this younger part of myself since I have three granddaughters about this same age.
It's so important for me to be aware and guide them so that they don’t fall into the same traps as I did.
This is me at 5. I look determined and a bit defiant.
It is shocking for me now to see this photo since I grew up with a mother who didn’t tolerate any challenges to her authority and certainly not any sassiness in a little child or anyone for that matter.
When I look into the eyes of this young girl I wonder, was I really a little spunky?
So what was going on here?
Was there a moment of posing for the camera with my real true little self before anyone noticed and could...
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.