Wild Sage & Co.
What Femininity Means to Me
|Posted on 19 September, 2017 at 21:00||comments ()|
This article is the result of an inquiry I made into re-finding my feminine. I realized I had lost touch with "her" and was feeling sad and lost and lonely as a result. So this is a completely personal perspective and I invite you into it.
Femininity is the softer side of humanity.
Expressions of strength and power and compassion are different from the feminine than they are from the masculine. I almost can't talk about feminine without talking about masculine, because they truly are yin/yang and can't be separated. As with the yin/yang symbol - one is held within, a part of, the other. It is also true that men can contain and BE / express feminine and that women can contain and BE / express masculine. But for the sake of this discussion, for the sake of ease of writing and language, I will give voice here to feminine as woman.
Each woman's femininity is expressed differently. Some women are in love with being old school homemakers. It satisfies their soul to be the bakers, seamstresses, lunch makers, PTA meeting attenders. They truly see cleaning house as feathering the nest and keeping the sanctuary whole. It may be a boring or tedious part of it, but they see housekeeping as vitally important to the beauty of the home sanctuary and contributing to the peace of the family. (Personally, I didn't get in that line.)
Others feel an equally feminine expression on a tennis court or soccer field. (I didn't get in that line either.) Some are dancers, artists, mothers, doctors, executives.... the list is endless because feminine is a state of Being, a state of mind, of relating to a softer and more intuitive - that's it - a SOFTER, more INTUITIVE, AND CREATIVE aspect of Being.
I've been a single woman since I was 30 yr old. A stray boyfriend here and there, but predominantly single for 33 years. So for "all" of my adult Life, it has been up to me. Every. Single. Thing. Trash, dishes, all laundry, housecleaning, groceries, health care, safety, auto care, earning all of the money, paying all of the bills, pet care, ALL recreation (dining, concerts, movies, vacations). There is no one else. I have not let being single stop me from doing things. I've taken the vacations and gone everywhere by myself. For 33 years I have not allowed the LUXURY of being soft and vulnerable, because I had to be on guard. I had to protect myself, because there was no one else to do it.
However, I once noticed when a boyfriend walked into my house, as soon as I closed the front door and he hugged me..... I physically exhaled against him, every time he came in the house. There is someone else here. I don't have to take on 'masculine' now, because he's HERE. I can let down and be soft now, because "he", protector, is here. It's funny how you don't notice that you've been holding your breath until you exhale.
It's gotten worse - or perhaps more ingrained, more habitual - over the past 10 years. I used to do more creative & intuitive things. I used to do counted cross-stitch. I used to be more involved, more interested, in metaphysical things - crystals, tarot & other cards. I've also had a tiny "altar" space in my home for many many years; crystals, candles, a fountain, poetry, a beautiful pastel drawing of Archangel Michael that was given to me by a Hawaiian Kahuna, tiny Angel cards, tiny Buddhas, people whose names or photos I want held in prayer. It's still there, but I've ignored it for so long that I just noticed it's covered with dust now! (As I said, I didn't get in the housecleaning line.)
I also had a softer, more feminine wardrobe. In thinking about femininity, I'm noticing my clothes. They're not feminine now either. They're shirts and pants; not even "blouses", they're shirts and pants. I think that's a comment on how I feel about my body, too. As much as I LOVE soft, flowy clothes, (think gently aging flower child) I don't like the way they look on my now round body.
I can also say that I'm not spending money on clothes right now, but even so.... the money I WOULD spend wouldn't be for flowy "goddess" clothes. It would be for more of the same shirts that look presentable on this body. Just something that fits. I used to have comfy long dresses that I completely wore out, but I didn't replace them when they became too worn to wear.
WELL! Isn't that a kick in the head!? I am not only not feeling feminine, but I am not tending my own goddess!! Funny how that is a self-feeding spiral, isn't it. No wonder I was feeling sad and lost and lonely. I was ignoring the Center of my Essential Being, and I missed her.
I began by saying femininity is the softer side of humanity - which gave me a nagging question;
does that mean that masculine is the "stronger" side or the "harder" side? After writing this, I have my answer now.
Masculine is the guardian side.
Masculine is the physical strength, the protector, the guardian at the gate, the no trespassing sign
- and provides the fortress.
Feminine is the softer side.
Feminine is the strength of compassion, intuition, empathy, humanKIND - and offers the soft place to fall.
These descriptions hold up for equally well for a man or a woman, and either gender can embody them. This isn't about genitals. As we began, feminine & masculine are a state of Being and expression.
One last thing, just in case you think I'm defining "soft" as "weak".....
I invite you to think how strong a "soft place to fall" must be in order to catch a warrior.
With Aloha Love & Blessings,
Remember Who You Are
|Posted on 7 May, 2016 at 0:20||comments ()|
Do you ever wonder who you were..... before everyone else told you who to be? What were your natural instincts of who to be, how to play, what to do in the world before other people inserted their rules, their opinions, and the "shoulds" of their world onto you?
I'm not talking about rules of common sense; like safety rules around fire, traffic, or running with scissors. I'm not talking about social rules of common courtesy; like being considerate of others in public places, and respectful of public authority like teachers and law officials. I'm talking about the things you wanted to do, the calls you wanted to answer that felt natural to you, that got stifled along the way.
When I was in third grade three kids in my class (2 boys and 1 girl) knew at the age of 8 that they were going to grow up to be doctors. Every one of them did that. As I grew older I knew others in high school who knew that music was the only thing in their lives that mattered, that fed them, that was their constant star. I still know many of them and yes, they are still committed and active in making music. I always envied both the doctors and musicians because they knew, they always KNEW who they were and they remained true to themselves. No one was permitted to deter them.
It is predictable that the doctors may have had more support for their dreams than the musicians. Being a doctor does carry a certain status, gravitas, and maturity. It sounds like a real grown-up thing to do in the world. A parent is usually proud to say "My child is a doctor." When I was growing up, however, there wasn't quite so much parental pride in a musician. Mostly because, in their world, "You can't make a living doing that." There were a few exceptions made for violin prodigies and piano vertuosos. But for those who played for the love of playing - especially if it was "that noise" in a garage band on Saturday night..... parents were usually tolerant of the "hobby", but I suspect that some of those musicians allowed the food for their soul to die on the vine and they learned to live without it.
A wise person recently said to me "We forget who we are." I immediately flashed back to being 14 years old when I wanted to change the dress code in junior high school and I crafted a letter to the Powers That Be. I wanted the letter to be taken seriously by the administration, so I wrote a thoughtful and respectful letter, not a petition. I came up with half a dozen names of students who were leaders in things like student government to sign the letter with me. When I finished it, I took the letter to my father to review and check for spelling, grammar, clarity - to be sure it was a sound letter to send.
He read it carefully and said "The letter is fine. It's clear and well-written. But ..... I don't know that you're the one to do this." I think he said more words after that, but I don't remember them. All I remember is "You're not the one." Those probably weren't his actual words, but that's how it lives for my 14 year old self. I thanked him for reading it, I put the letter away, and I never did anything else with it. I didn't even give it to anyone else to take forward, because I wasn't the one.
It's important to understand my father wasn't being unkind in his comment. There was nothing belittling or derogatory about it. He was genuinely questioning my "authority" in the school system to question policy and to lead others, the recognized student leaders, in doing so. To him leaders are appointed, elected, assigned, ranked, and at least acknowledged by the population. They do not proclaim themselves and question the policies of those who are in power. There is protocol, there are channels. In his world view that's why we have leaders, to do those things for us.
"We forget who we are." Immediately on the heels of that memory, I remembered me 4 years earlier in grade school. I was a leader. I was involved. I only asked for parental consent when the school needed it, but in the classroom I was a rock star. I was smart, I was talented, I felt well-liked. I didn't hide out. I asked the teacher when I wanted to do things, even when what I wanted to do wasn't on the list of choices. No wonder I loved school then. I was able to express who I was and it was appreciated and rewarded like no place else.
"We forget who we are." I went to a new church two weeks ago and watched as two women came forward to read scripture during the service. A high school flashback of growing up in church services where men from the congregation read scripture each week on a rotating schedule. When I was 16 I went to the man in charge of the schedule and asked him politely "Is there anything that says a man has to read those scriptures?" He looked a tiny bit surprised, but said "No, I don't think so." I said, "Ok, can I do that? Can you put me on the schedule to do that?" He agreed. It wasn't a "rule". It was simply assumed and unrequested. It was 1971. I was the first teenager and the first woman to be a reader in that church.
It's interesting to me that while I did ask if it "had to be" a man who read, it felt completely natural for me to request that position. It was something I liked to do, I knew I could do well and it was a contribution I could make. It didn't occur to me that I was breaking new ground in the process. That I was, in fact, the one to question what appeared to be policy. That I was, in fact, the one to lead the way for other women and teens to read as well. Perhaps Divine Intervention gently whispered in my ear and reminded me of who I am to find my way around my father's world view on this one.
In remembering, I don't think he told me absolutely not to send the letter. But, in that moment, in what turned out to be a vulnerable, teaching moment, I allowed his belief system to quelch and temper my own. As a result at school, I was one of the general crowd; neither a leader nor a rebel. As a result in my Life, I became the best #2 person in the world. No matter what jobs I've had over the years, I turned it into being the very best administrative assistant my employers ever had; you know, the power behind the throne. For many years I allowed my father's guiding view of his world to overshadow my natural instincts and talents to be the leader in my world. Thankfully, it's never too late to reclaim your Self.
So... from my leader chair, I ask you to please Remember Who You Are.
Remember who you are in your truest self, when you think no one is watching or can hear what you're thinking. If you honestly and vulnerably peer into your Soul, are you feeding it with what matters most to you? Are you feeding your Soul with your most satisfying and your favorite - not your best, but your favorite contribution to your world? Are you doing it in a way that best aligns with you? Are you BEING your Divine magic powers and gifts in your world for good, for your own best good and for others? Or are you, to use an old adage, "hiding your Light under a bushel"? Your Light serves no one there.
Remember who you are, feed your Soul, and express yourself joyfully in your world.
My favorite quote:
"To thine own self be true,
and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be then false to any man."
With Aloha Love & Blessings,
And Then There Were Two
|Posted on 17 February, 2016 at 13:15||comments ()|
It's funny how things happen. It's funny what will prompt us to do something, what spark will ignite action.
I was in my local Trader Joe's last week when a woman approached me saying "I just parked next to your car. Do you work for Wild Sage & Co.?" She asked that because my license plates are WLD SAGE and the license plate rim on the back plate says "Wild Sage & Co. Empowerment Laughter Freedom". So I smiled and replied, "I AM Wild Sage & Co."
She is a lovely woman who owns a botanical essential oil product business called Sage Canyon; so to see Wild Sage caught her eye and sparked her interest. She said she thought for a few minutes about approaching a stranger, and then decided to do so. We spent a few minutes in conversation, talking about our businesses, exchanging business cards. I really appreciated that she got out of her own way to extend herself to "a stranger" to make a connection.
Seeing "Wild Sage" caught her attention and sparked her to check out a possible business connection, wondering if I was also in the botanical line. Our conversation sparked this blog post. It reminded me that connection can be that simple. Get out of your own way, your own concerns, and GO TALK TO SOMEONE. Stop worrying about "what will they think....?" GO TALK TO SOMEONE.
I realize how ridiculously simple this is. I know there are people who have no difficulty doing this. I've watched people casually begin conversations with "strangers" in the coffee line about something like the weather, part ways, and think nothing about it. Sure, that's easy enough.
But when we think it matters, when we want to talk about something of "significance", i.e. our business OR (Heaven forbid) our love life (gasp!) then approaching a "stranger" in a grocery store or at a party may seem a little more..... risky? scary? vulnerable? odd? I suggest it may feel odd because our culture has become so insulated that women in particular feel the need to protect themselves from strangers. I understand that.
So when it feels like our lives are at stake, our job, our romantic future... then, THEN the price of poker goes up! When the ante to get into the game, any game, is to GO TALK TO SOMEONE, does that sometimes feel like too high a price to pay? Because, oh my goodness, what if they actually TALK BACK!?!
In full disclosure, I must tell you I have been guilty of this. I have listened to the "noise" in my head when it says:
"What will they think...?"
"Oh, no, I'm not dressed right to have this conversation with them right now."
"Why would they listen to me?"
"I couldn't possibly be his "type". Why bother?"
"I'll just make myself "available" and if they want to talk to me, they can come to me."
If you haven't noticed, the common denominator in all of this noise is fear. Fear, worry, concern, take your pick, but they're all good "reasons" that will stop us from GO TALK TO SOMEONE.
So here's my word of wisdom for the day: Practice.
Practice talking to someone in the coffee line when it doesn't affect the state of your nation. Practice talking to people when it's not necessary. Practice SMILING at strangers! That right, smiling. Just let your face open up to them. Practice BEING OPEN to a new conversation, a new connection with a new person.
Be aware, or be reassured, that not every connection will be a lasting one. But every one you make will make it easier to make the next one and be the stepping stones that will lead you to the right places and the right people. And with every new connection, then there will be two. Two hearts, connected for any purpose, even for a few brief minutes, are always better than one. So GO TALK TO SOMEONE.
Thank you, Claudia, for reminding me of this.
With Aloha Love & Blessings,
Into the Light
|Posted on 3 December, 2015 at 22:00||comments ()|
The end of the old year into the new year... a time of looking back and looking forward at the same time. What we want to leave behind and what we want to create. Really a yin and yang kind of experience, isn't it? Many ways to look at this.
What didn't I get done? How did time go by so quickly? I thought I'd be farther along by now. I made so many "promises", I had so many plans, and I got so little done! How many times have I said I'd get something done and failed?! People must think I'm a flake or a liar or just plain not committed. Heavy sigh.....
I made progress. I took steps toward my goal. I opened myself, sometimes painfully. I tried new things. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't. But I took a risk and opened my heart or my mind. I discovered that I had to learn a little more before some things could be done. So I did. I've learned new things. I've made course corrections, so I didn't get where or as far as I originally planned. But my course is truer now. Satisfied smile.
Oh, don't we admire those people who seem to be "on fire!" The people who seem to get there so fast with such confidence!! The ones who seem to live Life with three !!! after their names in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! Oh, if we could only live like they do!!!
But suppose, just suppose, we're meant to live Life as we do it. As you do it... as I do it. Suppose my pace is the right pace for me. What if you are doing it exactly right for you all along? What a concept! We're doing it right all along. With or without the !!!
As we enter this New Year, as the Winter Solstice arrives and the Light begins to expand again, let us each create this year's future anew in that Light. Chart your course for the year from the place and to the place that is right for you, knowing course corrections are likely to occur. Personally, I will be adding volunteer work with young women in my community; encouraging them to look back at their lives in order to explore and re-invent their futures in new ways. That's the stand I'm taking for them. Each of them will create her Life for the New Year in a way that is perfectly, brilliantly and Divinely suited to her.
That is my New Year's wish for each of you. I pray that this year you are able to let go of anything that is not your Heart's truest desire; and that you embrace into your Light everything that feeds your soul.
With Aloha Love & Blessings,
In the beginning.....
|Posted on 28 September, 2015 at 4:00||comments ()|
There is always a beginning. Sometimes it is clearly and specifically on the calendar. A baby is born, the first day of school, the wedding that marks the beginning of “a new life together.” Some beginnings aren’t as clear cut. The first time you meet that isn’t “love at first sight” but later it blossoms into something true. Years later the date of that first meeting, the beginning, may not be remembered.
There are things that evolve over time, making their slow and patient journey to a joyful destination. Things that our inner wisdom holds on to and reminds us to continue even when it doesn’t seem like a “thing” is being created. Wild Sage & Co., this business, this website, this actual presence in the world is one of those things.
Jennifer’s initial interest and training and experience in coaching and workshops began in 1984. It was developed alongside of her working with non-profit organizations. “Wild Sage & Co.” a name, an invention, came into being somewhere around 1996, without a specific date on the calendar. The name born while driving the car, a flash in the brain, with no concept of what it would become; just the continued certainty of it being the right thing for whatever would be developed.
The Vision of “Empowerment, Laughter & Freedom” made itself known in 2001. The initial Wild Sage workshops were created while attending a retreat in 2005. Wild Sage & Co. legally formed in 2007 and the workshops were born into the world in 2009. The tagline “Dreams Grow Here” effortlessly fell out of Jennifer’s mouth in 2012. The world of life coaching had evolved, so Jennifer’s official “certification” was accomplished in 2013. At the same time the business cards and description about us crystallized. It took another piece of time for all of the pieces to be knit together with technology (and Jennifer’s ability to use it adequately!) to be able to express this all on a website in 2015.
No wonder when it came to creating this site, it came together fairly quickly. All of the pieces were built years before, waiting for a place to land. By 2015, 30 years in the making, this occurred as an effortless birth.
These details are provided not only to give you a little background, but as an example that sometimes it takes awhile for the soup to be ready. Some things go in the slow cooker and some things go in the microwave. It is important to allow everything the amount of time it needs to cook, being able to discern which time is necessary and which time is avoidance or procrastination.
It would be easy to look at the history of Wild Sage & Co. and think it “could have” or “should have” seen the productive light of day much sooner. Perhaps. Yes, it could have. There was certainly some avoidance and procrastination along the way. But “should” it have? That is doubtful. There is usually a tendency and a pitfall to compare yourself to the way others have done it. To each his own; all things take their own right time.
If you have found us now, I suggest this is your right time, for something, for reasons that only you know. Perhaps it is simply to read this blog and become aware of how much time things are taking in your world. Are you in action? Are you impatient for things that truly need a little more time? Are you stalling and avoiding? Are you content and patient with your progress? Or are you making yourself wrong because things aren’t happening faster?! I encourage both persistence and patience.
So here is the beginning, an actual date. By the time all of the wrinkles are smoothed out, and the facebook page is finished, we’ll call it October 2015. The date Wild Sage & Co. went boldly into the public eye with a mission, a vision, a purpose… and with no idea of HOW it will all turn out. That will probably depend on what goes into the soup along the way. But one thing we know for sure, this is certainly our right time to be alive and well and offering to be of service in the world.
With Aloha Love & Blessings,