“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
- Meister Eckhart
I am walking around in a state of prayer most days. Sure, frustrations and aggravations and impatience can bubble up to the surface at any time – after all, I am still very much a human being. But, most of the time, I am yelling, squealing, whispering, mumbling or silently talking to myself and saying, “Thank you.”
We’ve been in the new house for about a week and a half, and there’s been a flurry of activity going on – boxes up the ying yang on three floors waiting to get unpacked, but not all can be done because the painters will come in the first of November to start painting the entire interior and stuff would just have to be me moved out of the way again. So, essentials, like kitchen and pantry and bathrooms are nicely done for the most part and the rest is in a state of chaos.
And, did I mention we hardly have any furniture? We brought a few things from Baltimore that we loved, a few old things to sit on temporarily, and we have our bedroom furniture that will make its way to the guest room within the year. Starting this week, we met with the decorator to decide on window treatments and built-in bookshelves and cabinets – and, will soon start figuring out the furniture thing. In our twenty years of being together, instead of throwing together “his” stuff and “her” stuff as we did in 1995, we are now picking out “our” stuff. Overwhelming, exciting and definitely worth the wait. Thank you.
The workers we have assembled to do things around the house are incredible. We love them so much we’d like to have them move in with us. The gardeners have turned an overgrown, full of weeds mess of a yard and beds, into a clean palate for next spring’s creation to take place. The landscaper is a true artist that paints a beautiful picture and absolutely loves designing gardens that beckon hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. It’s been my dream to have these types of beds and the two giant New England rock walls that terrace the back yard are even more than I could have asked for. Thank you.
The electricians, plumbers, the yard man and his crew,– all of them – have been delightful , doing wonderful work and are responsive and efficient. They feel like the Welcome Wagon crew. Thank you.
The other day, Bob said, “I really love this house. I love these people who are helping us. I love this place. I’m so glad we’re here.” He’s worked hard his whole life and it’s time for him to enjoy himself. He’s happy and he feels at home. Thank you.
We’ve met incredible people who we really like and want to spend time with, and have had the opportunity to get together and “play.” People are reaching out to us and making us feel at home. Thank you.
On the first day of fall, I looked out the windows across to the mountain and saw the beginning of color in the trees. I know that within a week or two, our backyard, the woods surrounding us, and the mountain will look like an oriental carpet of oranges, reds and golds. Thank you.
If Meister Eckhart is correct, I have been doing a lot of praying. And, for good reason. I am blessed and I am grateful and I’m living in a state of gratitude. It feels good.
What’s on that gratitude list of yours? Hope it curls your toes!
The past few weeks have been pretty turbulent for women. The NFL made a huge fumble and that mistake has opened doors to much needed conversations. Saturday, September 13th women from around the country participated in a rally in our national capital in solidarity to continue our forward movement of equal rights for women. Last week, the equal pay act was again blocked in Washington DC. I continue to see a common thread – to hold women back from our human rights as people. I have been writing for a few months as I interview women about changes in their bodies that are natural with regard to menopause. Women seemingly have little to no say in the selecting innovative treatments with regard to sexual health. I continue to be disturbed. The trend of discounting women is across the board in many areas.
Last week I was out to dinner and bumped into several women that I have not seen for years. We were the gym girls of the 1980’s and 1990’s with our leg warmers and leotards as cutting-age aerobics instructors for a cookie-cutter club. Now we are between the ages of 44 to 56, seemly healthy and happy on the outside, but feeling some misery on the inside.
The topic of hot flashes came up in conversation. A few of the women are on social media and have seen my very candid posts about equal rights, women’s issues, empowering women to use our voices as a platform for change, and my articles. One woman, age 48, started telling us about her “burning bed.”. I thought she was talking about the 1984 movie with Farah Fawcett! She was going on and one about how she would lay in the bed and immediately would be on fire. Her bed was engulfing her in flames. This is her actual life, night after night trying to sleep in her own bed. Her mind is spiraling out of control and her body is unable to rest and be calm enough to sleep. Her graphic description made me feel like I was on fire! She is convinced there are no answers and she has tried everything.
Of course I asked if she knew about The Maryland Center for Sexual Health (MCSH) in Lutherville, Maryland. She quickly answered, “No.” She has tried everything, she is lacking trust in the medical establishment, and stated that women are just supposed to be miserable during this time of life. Of course that lead me into an entirely different conversation about how the FDA continues to allow a study – then once the statistics are in and they are showing favorable results, the committee denies approval. Even with positive favorable results, a loop hole is found. To date, there are twenty-six FDA approved medications for various sexual dysfunction with men and ZERO for women.
Is this a conspiracy? It seems to me, the status quo for moving forward to address various innovative approaches for women’s health has been an uphill battle. Social media and more women who are demanding change with relevant conversations and collective voices have certainly changed the playing field. With committed doctors who continuously look outside the box for cutting-edge approaches for women and organizations like Even the Score, demonstrates to me that change will happen and we are closer than ever before.
The Maryland Center for Sexual Health (MCSH) is participating in a phase three trial. Currently, recruiting women, between the ages of 40 and 65, who are experiencing discomfort from the first signs of sweating to persistent sweating and/or months or years of experiencing hot flashes. Substantial financial compensation is awarded for participation. The rewards just might outweigh the financial return! To learn more and stay up to date on topics, trends and additional studies Click Here.
Andrew M. London, M.D., a leading gynecologist, partnered with Leonard R. Derogatis, Ph.D. and created. Dr. Derogatis has been an attending psychologist with the Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit for over 35 years and was its director for a number of years. Dr. London, The Associate Director of the MCSH, also trained at Johns Hopkins and was Chief Resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hopkins. Both clinicians have extensive experience and interest in understanding and treating sexual problems.
Research and technology have yielded many new advances in the treatment for hot flashes. I found a pharmaceutical company who announced in September, 2013 a pivotal phase three trial of a bio-identical natural progesterone treatment. I have educated myself on the pros and cons of Bioidentical Progesterone vs. Non Bioidentical Progestin. Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (“HT”) are reporting less signs of the risks associated with breast cancer, more favorable on lipid profiles (cholesterol), improved carbohydrate metabolism (glucose/insulin) and improved sleep efficiency and mood. I say NO more burning bed!
MCSH conducts an extensive range of therapeutic clinical drug trials, evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of new drugs for the treatment of numerous sexual problems with women in various stages of menopause in Baltimore.
As far as I can remember….back to the 1960’s, I learned the rules and then I broke them! I never seemed to settle for the status quo and I have always asked a lot of questions. I certainly never settled when it came to my body, my health or my children’s well-being….why would I stop now??? As far as my friend with the burning bed – she is now in the study. So my point is, sharing our stories, our truths, and opening up to new possibilities matters! Let’s continue to be curious, ask questions, expect options and not settle for a sleepless night because our bodies deserve more.
Five provocative questions answered by an inspiring and fabulous woman – a woman with something to say.
Meet Lauren Alicia
Lauren Alicia (Michigan native) is the author of Dear Divorce, Thank You (Even Though I Hate You) Sincerely, My Parents’ Grown Kid: A Journey of Hate, Healing And Understanding, a self-help book designed to create an experience that looks the truth in the face for the sake of healing and sanity, as we grow through being our parents’ grown kid of divorce. Through writing personal letters and having access to Alicia’s, the reader goes through five segments/chapters: confront, cope, learn, decide and apply.
Alicia is a Parsons the New School for Design B.B.A. graduate, business/design enthusiast, blogger and collaborator of GYC Girl YOU Crazy, allowing her experiences to evolve into the reality she always imagined.
People would be most surprised to know that: Aside from writing poetry in a middle school version of creative writing, I got my first taste of writing through penning rap verses in my college dorm room. To say the least, I used it as a creative outlet and different level of procrastination. Only a select few can confirm this as true…and I like it that way (for now)! Just in case you were wondering, I did not have an alter ego rap name.
The WTL 5:
What’s the conversation that changed your life?
Although I believe there have been many conversations that provoked change in my life, one in specific was with a friend on my thoughts about relationships. This conversation was five years ago and full of assumptions/speculation, as I listened closely. It assumed I was hesitant about relationships and marriage because my parents’ marriage ended in divorce. As much as it frustrated me to think that I was giving off this “vibe,” it ultimately forced me to have a reality-check that asks: do I carry the baggage/past/drama of others into my decision-making and hesitations?” – and provoking a different level of conscious thinking.
What are you most conscious of today?
Over time, I’ve learned to be most conscious to remember that we each have a story, and that I don’t know it unless I ask and listen. Today, social media can easily give us a false sense of thinking that we really know people based on what they post, and as much as it is an indication of something, it just may not be the real thing. Without genuinely asking about what’s going on in someone’s life, we miss connecting. I have to remind myself that it is better to relate to people, especially those trying to relate to me.
What part of you have you yet to give voice to?
A year or two ago…I could have emotionally said that I’ve yet to give voice to verbalizing the pain/frustration of the past, turning it into life lessons and preparation. And how not confronting the truth with being honest about what hurts is hurting me, and only temporarily relieving me of what I think I let go of or moved on from. But today, that moment of honesty continues to lead me into more honesty of self, healing and realization. I’m like an onion peeling back the layers (day-by-day), finding out what I am equipped to give voice to for greater.
What’s the conversation women need to be having collectively?
A conversation that women (all generations) need to continuously and collectively have is the fact that we represent each other. In our successes, struggles, confusion, uniqueness and failures, we represent each other. I know that’s a broad thing to say but when we look at and dissect different situations, local to global, the conversation of struggle that one woman is able to publicly verbalize, can easily be the conversation of struggle that another is afraid to confront. The same goes for successes. When we look at where we are, we have to acknowledge that we are here together.
What needs to be said bigger, louder, stronger?
Your mistakes don’t erase your purpose or its power.
Thank you, Lauren, for sharing your powerful voice
with WomanTalk Live
I am now officially in a new territory – a place filled to the brim with Red Sox and Yankees fans. For real. Rabid fans who aren’t nearly as boastful as in years’ past and just full of explanations as to why their teams aren’t doing so hot this year. Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.
Well, there’s a new gal in town and she bleeds orange. And, this season is one worth hooting and hollering about… IF you are an Orioles fan. Heck, much of the team has been hurt and missing games throughout the season and Crush Davis is doing the exact opposite from his massive homerun hitting streak last year. But, these guys are good. They play well together, they work hard and they don’t give up. I like our guys. In all likelihood, unless something really crazy happens like them losing just about every game remaining this season, they will be the AL East Champions. We’ll worry about those pesky West Coast Angels down the road.
When we moved up here, I was prepared to be (most likely) the only bird girl in town. But… if you keep your eyes and ears open, it’s just like spotting that rare bird in the branches of a tree on an early morning birding expedition. Those birds are out there.
Here are a few that I have found:
Long Distance Spotting
Even before we moved to Woodstock, VT, I started following on Facebook and Twitter, various businesses and people who live/work in the area just to get a “feel” of the place and everything going on. One of those Facebook pages I followed was the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, and, I would often “like” things on their page or make comments. Shoot, I had even sent away for my “Newcomer’s Package” from them.
Well, it just so happened, that on Opening Day in April, the Boston Red Sox played the Orioles at Camden Yards. I posted a photo about this event on Facebook (no one knew at the time how much the Red Sox would suck this year) and the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce reposted it on their page. Surprised? Why, yes! So, I ran over to their page and told them I knew I would probably be the only Orioles fan in Woodstock, but I was looking forward to recruiting some more. Ha, ha.
From out or nowhere, a guy posted that, he, too, was an Orioles fan. He always had been and always would be. Just so happens he owns one of my now favorite restaurants in town. Not only is he smart, he’s a great chef, and maybe, my best friend here.
I’m was at the weekly Market on the Green checking out all the fresh veggies and meats from local farms and spotted an alpaca booth. Well, anyone who knows me knows that after baby goats, alpacas are the bomb.
I made a beeline to the booth and started talking to this lovely couple who own the Vermont Alpaca Company where they breed alpacas and harvest their wool. We started chatting and they asked me where I had moved from. The minute I said “Baltimore”, the man told me had been an Orioles fan for fifty plus years – and he was raised in upper New York state. When I asked him how that happened, he told me that when he was a kid, he was playing ball on a lot with a bunch of other kids who all said they were Red Sox or Yankee fans. Not being one to just fit in with the crowd, he wanted to be somebody else’s fan. So, he ran into his home, flipped the newspaper open to the sports section, and the first article he saw was about the Baltimore Orioles. He ran back outside and told everyone that he was a proud Baltimore Orioles fan. And, he still is.
He has the MLB app that lets him watch all the games and he sees just about all of them. I hope his wife is a fan, too.
A couple of Friday night’s ago, a local farm that supplies many of the markets and restaurants around with organic meats, hosted a Friday night barbeque, music, and hayride event in the fields of their incredibly beautiful farm. Believe me when I say, it was like something you’d see in the movies. Rolling pastures, mountains, wildflowers, kids playing in the fields, horses grazing in a pasture nearby, a great country music band, and happy, happy people eating, sipping wine and beer and having a fabulous time.
And, then I spotted him. An older, distinguished looking man headed back to his seat with a full plate… wearing an Orioles cap! For real. Bob told me to settle down but there was no stopping me. “Hey, you… Orioles fan,” I squealed, which can be quite dangerous in Red Sox territory, especially because they are sooo sensitive about this season. He came over to where we were sitting and I have to tell you, he could be my new best friend.
Get this… he lives IN Boston, but became a big fan of the Orioles the first time he went to a game at Camden Yards in the late 90’s. He goes whenever he can and that’s made easier since his son is a doc at Johns Hopkins. This man knows Orioles baseball and since he lives in Woodstock all summer and fall, we will definitely be carrying the orange banner here during playoffs, and dare… I …. say… the World Series?????
Needless to say, I am a happy woman. I love my new home and the people I am meeting. I really love the fact that I have some other birders living around me. As I tune into the games on my MLB app and twitter or text message game commentary to my two main Orioles buddies back in Baltimore, I am feeling content. Real content.
Come October, watch out.
Any other Boys of Summer fans out there?
Meet Nancy Ferrari
Nancy Ferrari shares her messages of inspiration and positivity as the host of her radio show, The Nancy Ferrari Show, on W4CY Radio within Talk 4 Media Network and iHeartRadio. Nancy is a speaker, author of Discover the Essence of You, and contributing writer for numerous online publications, including as a featured writer for Applaud Women Magazine. Nancy is a co-author within the best-selling books, Selling With Synchronicity, Contagious Optimism and She Shines: A Celebration of Women.
As founder of Nancy Ferrari Media & Mentoring, Nancy’s vision is to help women connect with their core essence and discover their true calling. Nancy serves on the Board for The Little Light Project and is a charter member of Lessons From Network, as a Life Transition Expert. Nancy’s message is to embrace the gift within and let it shine!
People would be surprised to know that: I was crowned Miss North Hollywood in 1972 when I was only 17 years old. This was only my second pageant that my modeling agency entered me in and felt it would be a good opportunity to express myself as a person and not just another pretty face. I was told that it was my speech about my heritage that captivated the judges!
The WTL 5:
What is the conversation that changed your life?
The conversation that changed my life was the opportunity to chat with Jean Houston. I had the pleasure of interviewing her two years ago on my radio show and then met her in person thereafter at the Women’s Journey Conference. Ms. Houston is wise beyond measure and it was when she asked me questions with our chat that prompted me to deep thought. She shared that we all have a story within us, such as she wrote within her book, A Mythic Life: Learning to Live Our Greater Story, and prompted me to recall why I loved “Sleeping Beauty” when I was a child. The analogy to my adult life was astounding. In essence, Ms. Houston shared that we all live a mythic life and to stay awake to all the possibilities within our lifetime!
What are you most conscious of today?
As I observe life and shifts therein, I find myself conscious of values and how they appear to have lost their significance. As a mother of three children, and now a “Nana” to my two young grandchildren, my observation is that digital devices are being utilized as a substitute for the one-to-one connection between a parent and child. I also feel strongly that it is not a teacher’s job to parent a child. Their job is to teach and encourage children to be their best in life.
What part of you have you yet to give a voice to?
As I speak daily through any one of my media outlets, radio shows, speaking to groups of people or writing, I feel I have yet to give voice to our young women and how the value of “respect” is needed. Once again, value for life and respect for each other has taken on a new form and if I can make a difference in even one person’s life as I educate and inform how damaging bullying is, then that is my legacy.
What’s the conversation that women need to be having collectively?
A conversation I feel that women need to be having is about connecting in collaboration and not competition. Whether it be a group of career women, a group of mothers, women in transition as children leave the nest and beyond, much can be accomplished when we support one another and implement trust within our relationships. Together, we can achieve a ripple effect which carries forth from connections with each other – which truly is needed in this massive global shift.
What needs to be said bigger, louder, stronger?
Honoring ourselves, loving ourselves and freely expressing ourselves needs to be shouted from within and radiated outward. For all that our trailblazers and pioneers who paved the path for us have done, the question remains, why have we gone silent? Far too often, I hear women share their shame, fear of judgment, fear of retribution and being ostracized which saddens me beyond measure. I encourage women to love and honor themselves and acknowledge that they are unique gifts to the world.
Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your powerful voice
with WomanTalk Live.