Honoring My Family, Healing The Past

Family holding hands together

I’ve always felt I had a “complicated” family and upbringing if not just plain nontraditional, difficult and really tough at times. But, the more I learn about others, life itself and the illusions we confuse sometimes as normal or what’s suppose to be, I’m thinking things really may not be so unusual after all and certainly could have been a lot worse.

For the past year, I’ve proudly been contributing each month to Kim at Sperk* for Wednesday’s Woman, her awesome dedication to shine a light on positive and inspirational women. In all this time, I’ve never written about anyone personal or from my own life.

Although I actually am a pretty private person, for some reason this pained me a little and I found myself really wanting to share something more personal, closer to my own heart.

And if I know my own mind, it was probably because I didn’t think I could.
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The Beautiful Truth

The other night, I caught a headline about a model who gave an interesting Ted Talk on beauty and the modeling industry. Of course I was curious and had to watch it. If you have not yet, here you go!

While it’s not my favorite Ted Talk, I really appreciated a lot of what Cameron Russell had to say and especially, the pictures she shared of the way she looks in real life next to her modeling pictures.

So much of what we see is illusion, so much of what we are told is untrue, stated as fact to sell a product or trigger a reaction.

You need this new product so people will think you’re pretty and popular because if you’re pretty and popular you will be happy and never have any problems and will always feel loved and adored.

Sadly, a lot of these lies and illusions have been seemly integrated in to our society and subconscious as a reality and truth.

And in my opinion, they do nothing but cause pain and break us down. They can even deny us the peace, happiness and contentment that is our natural state and right.
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Freedom To Love

Richard and Mildred Loving with their children
Image source – Lovingfilm.com

Welcome to my first Wednesday’s Woman for 2013!

Some months, it’s a challenge to think of a good subject for my Wednesday’s Woman contribution and even more difficult to write a piece I think that adequately describes them and their accomplishments.

This week’s was more personal and as a result, a little easier to write. In fact, I’ve written about the Loving family once before on my blog (a post called Thankful) so I was grateful for the opportunity to revisit looking deeper in to what Mildred Loving experienced and how her life may have felt.

Although painful and infuriating, Mildred and Richard Lovings story too important not to tell and tell again.

In case you are not familiar with this couple, Mildred, a woman who was part black, part Cherokee, fell in love with her childhood sweetheart, a white construction worker named Richard Loving. Richard felt the same and was ready to settle down but there was a problem. Mildred and Richard were from Virginia, a state where interracial marriage was against the law in the 1950s.
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Wednesday’s Woman – What Being of Service Truly Means

Yoga Teacher and activist Seane Corn

Beautiful yogi Seane Corn

Image Source – healthycrush.com

Once a month, I have the honor of featuring a woman I find inspiring and amazing for someone just as inspirational and inspiring to me – Kim at Sperk*!

Kim has dedicated Wednesday on her blog to women who are positive role models for the world. According to her site:

What makes a Wednesday’s Woman?
Courage, honesty, authenticity, and humility–any characteristic that speaks to the power of what can happen when we are in touch with our own humanity.

Seane Corn was an immediate and easy pick for me. She is a well known yoga instructor and passionate activist on a mission to bring the principals of yoga – love, compassion and mindfulness, into every part of our lives and the world around us.
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Wednesday’s Woman: Eat, Move, Live – Healthy!

Each month, I choose a woman to celebrate for the wonderful Kim at Sperk* and her Wednesday’s Woman post. Honoring inspirational women, spotlighting their good works and spreading the word has been fun, educational and inspirational to me as well.

This month, I’m writing about a wife and mother who has extended her concern for the health and wellness of her own family to all of our families and children.

Michelle Obama for the Let's Move initiative

Image from askmissa.com

Today’s Wednesday’s Woman is Michelle Obama.
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Stop Fighting Your Bad Mood

home page screen shot of DoYouYoga.com

Have you been to DoYouYoga? It’s another one of those sites I fell in love with instantly and another great resource for everything from yoga and meditation to inspiration, health and spirituality.

I’m also excited to let you know, I’m honored to be contributing to this amazing site on a monthly basis, starting with this month! My first piece went live today:

3 Reasons Why Bad Moods Are Wonderful.
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For Wednesday’s Woman – Every Mother Counts

Happy Wednesday!

I’m back over at Sperk* today for my monthly contribution for Wednesday’s Woman and feel I found an incredible woman to honor for August.

She is a mother, wife, film maker and long time advocate for preventable health and wellness. Oh yea, and she rocked the modeling world for many years as well!

Christy Turlington at a premier for her documentary, No Woman No Cry
Image source – whatgives.com

From her desire to educate and compassion for others, Christy Turlington Burns has become as activist for two important causes, both close to her heart.
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Wednesday’s Woman – Helping Women of War

I’m so happy to be back at Sperk* for this month’s Wednesday’s Woman post.

In case you’re not familiar, Kim at Sperk* has dedicated Wednesday on her blog as a day to honor positive, inspiring women in the world.

Today, Zainab Salbi is our featured Wednesday’s Woman.

Women for Women International founder, Zainab Salbi
Img source www.time.com

Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International, an organization that helps educate, empower and brings hope to women survivors of war.

From the home page of her website at /www.zainabsalbi.com reads:

“I was born and raised in Iraq, I lived and worked in many war zones, I encountered displacement, I tasted loss, death and pain, and I believe! I believe in the possibilities of change. I believe in joy, in laughter and in dancing until the end. I believe in love and in forgiveness, and I am a witness to the possibility of healing. It is TIME for the new story to emerge. Welcome to my website.”

I hope you’ll stop over at Sperk* today to learn more about this week’s amazing woman and the work she is doing in the world.

I also urge you to scroll down and take the time to watch the video Kim has added at the end of the post, it is an important and incredible message from Zainab Salbi.

While you’re there, take a look around at what Kim is up to as well. She herself is a wonderful mother, writer, friend and woman. Her blog and her heart will move, challenge and inspire you.

A Special Mother’s Day – Wednesday’s Woman

Having the opportunity to guest post at Sperk* has really been a gift in so many ways.

Discovering and writing about incredible and inspirational women has filled me with happiness and hope. They are a constant reminder in the power of one – that one person can and does make a difference.

And they show us that among the darkness, there is light.

2011 CNN Hero Diane Latiker of Kids Off The Block
Image from garycrusader.com

Diane Latiker is a true example of the that light. Courageous, generous, loving and kind are just a few words I would use to describe this advocate for children. Witnessing the violence and rapid decline of her Chicago neighborhood, this mother and grandmother opened her home and heart to all the children in her community, offering safety and encouragement. What eventually evolved was a program she called Kids Off The Block.

In 2011 Diane was named a CNN Hero for her work with children and her community. Please stop by and learn more about Diane at Sperk*.

If you’re an Audrey Hepburn fan, you can check out the awesome post by Aubrey from last week’s Wednesday’s Woman.

And Kim at Sperk* is an amazing and beautiful woman, mother and writer herself. If you hadn’t already heard, Kim was just featured at The Parent DuJour – you can check out the article here or just browse around and read some of Kim’s wonderful writing here!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I always appreciate you!

Wednesday Guest Post – Helping Widows Heal

I am so honored, excited and happy to have been asked to make my guest posts a regular, monthly gig for Sperk*!

The Wednesday’s Woman posts are ones to educate and inspire by shining a light on women who are positive role models, making a difference in the world. For me, learning and writing about these amazing women has been a great experience and I’m constantly thankful for Kim at Sperk* for dedicating part of her blog to showcasing these amazing women!

This week’s woman of honor is Taryn Davis.

Picture of Taryn Davis

Taryn Davis

Taryn was twenty one years old when her husband was killed in Iraq four years ago. Devastated and grieving, she felt even more alone when looking for emotional support and other widows to connect with.

To aid in her own healing and to be a resource to others in need, in 2007 Taryn created The American Widow Project for women around the country whose husbands have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please stop over at Kim’s to learn more about Taryn and while you’re there, take a look around at some of the awesome recent posts as well.

Kim at Sperk* is an wonderful writer and amazing all around woman!