Sunday, November 30, 2014

Medusa Goddess of Female Wisdom

Medusa began as a fair-haired priestess, prized for her stunningly beautiful hair, serving Athena in her temple and fully committed to celibacy.  That was before Poseidon flattered her and eventually took her, in Athena's if he didn't know how that would irk Athena. To punish Medusa for the betrayal, Athena took revenge by changing Medusa’s beautiful hair into snakes that turned to stone anyone who looked at her.  Humiliated and shunned, Medusa eventually fled to Africa where she lived in isolation until Perseus killed her.  Medusa represents the darker side of female wisdom.

There are two lessons to glean from this tragedy. One being that of female vanity, and the other female jealousy. Women possess the same strengths working for or against each other. Vanity and jealousy are traits women should earnestly learn to recognize and manage. 

Jealous women will turn on each other before they even consider the source of betrayal or lies told by another in the committed relationship.  No one can be stolen from anyone they are devoted to in a relationship.  I don't care how seductive the 'other woman' is, it takes two minds to stay together.  This notion that another woman's sex appeal can entrap and beguile someone into betraying a beloved is a myth.  Oh, they'll happily use that as a reason when caught, believe that. But here's the truth; reasons are not excuses.  In any committed relationship, both people are never under any spell to commit infidelity.  So why is  it when the one you love deeply has wandered, the first person you turn your anger upon is the other woman.  And, as has happened more than once, the other woman is just as surprised to learn she is the 'other woman'.  She has been lied to, as well.  But jealousy requires only one victor.  And it gets ugly and sometimes this hatred lasts a lifetime.

Will this stop the cheating mate?  Doubtful.  Someone deeply in love does not wander.  Two people deeply in love will work to strengthen their relationship through trust and support. They will build a solid foundation on honesty and communication. Who wants someone who doesn't believe the one they are committed to is everything they need?  Who wants someone constantly searching on the down low for someone better? Who wants someone who, when confronted, lays the betrayal at the feet of the betrayed woman, in the form of manipulative guilt trips?  If your beloved is not happy, set them free. Let them wander the world looking for the woman who completes them.  Wish them well, but let them go.  The next woman is either going to boast of finally finding that perfect someone, or she will learn, as you did, that there can be no satisfaction with this one.  Wasting time guarding your love from other women is a waste of your time and energy.  Nothing can keep someone at home if they are not happy at home.  We are all responsible for our own actions and choices.  It really is better to be alone than to be with someone who makes you feel alone when you're around them.

The vanity thing I've never quite understood, frankly.  Beauty is fleeting.  And natural beauty is the result of a roll of the dice, genetically speaking.  How do you take credit for what you had absolutely no control of from the second egg met sperm?  But what is your doing, or undoing eventually, is choosing to use that natural beauty to your advantage again and again, until you no longer know how to get for yourself without trading on your looks. Manipulation based on exploitation of physical charms you lucked into is your shame, if this is your claim to fame.  That beauty can only be maintained for so long, even with the help of needles and chisels.  If you have spent your best years allowing others to fetch and carry for you, without benefit of sincerity or gratitude, you're in for a big surprise when the newer models hit the market. It begins when you can see for yourself that age is, indeed, marching on and understand no amount of botox can undo the damage for very long.  Then you sense that you are becoming more insignificant to those you've depended on for so long.  It's the realization that every thing you've created to fulfill your needs is superficial.  The first time you experience invisibility when you have to leave the comfort of your superficial existence for any length of time can be crushing.  You have not bothered to establish, nurture, or empower even one authentic relationship. You, yourself, don't know what being authentic means. People came to you and you simply rode the waves of adoration.  It was so easy. You were beautiful.  Past tense.

Take a good look at the real beauty of the woman who glows from inside out at the ripe old age of seventy.  She shines.  Wrinkles?  Oh, yes.  And she wears them like medals of honor.  She takes time to share wisdom she's learned along the way.  She is a survivor who holds no one responsible for her failures and mistakes.  She is empowered to love life and freely share what life has given her.  They are all around us, all the time. These kind of women are never alone.  These women are prized in their communities.  The world can't get enough of them and they are simply living authentically.  Age is just a number to them. They have been through hell and back, in many cases, but they live in the here and now and start each day giving thanks.  They embrace the universal truth that teaches everything that happens to us will make us either bitter or better; our choice.  This is true beauty.   

Medusa suffered from vanity and Athena exercised jealousy to get even.  Both women were fools not to see what fools vanity and jealousy made of them.  Women are so much better than this, when they want to be.  Women, as a whole, are capable of moving mountains to help those they are determined to lift up.  Women, as a whole, are showing the world they can't be stopped when they've made up their minds to do good for the world.  If only we could learn to better negotiate those two speed bumps, vanity and jealousy, that invariably get tossed into the mix as we march on. Women have enough predators in life. Another woman should never be one of them!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Persephone Goddess of the Underworld

Persephone, kidnapped by Hades, found herself in a bit of a dilemma. Her mother, Demeter, furious to learn her husband, Zeus, had consented to the kidnapping of their daughter, refused to allow the earth to flower.  Nothing would console Demeter.  When it became critical that the earth bloom again, Zeus agreed to have the girl returned.  Just one problem.  After being rescued she wrestled with the truth; she rather missed that nasty old underworld, and the friends she had made there. What could she say?  She liked it down there.  Because she had tasted of the food of Hades, she was bound to spend part of every year with her husband in the Underworld. Persephone was torn between playing the victim and counting every day until she could rejoin Hades.  

As women, it's important we stand up to what we do but more important we teach our children to be accountable for the choices they make and except the consequences those choices bring. I don't know why it's called tough love when we simply allow natural consequences to teach.  Children should know early that some of their choices cost them more than the fun they had breaking the rule.  Lessons learned early in life save time and money. We have a nation of people who play victim in predicaments of their own creation. We make hundreds of choices in a day. Sometimes we make really stupid choices.  The problem with too many of us these days is that we feel someone else should have to pay us, literally, for being stupid.

Who really doesn't know coffee from a fast food drive-thru is too hot to safely be cradled between the legs while driving?  Really?  It's HOT coffee sitting in a flimsy styrofoam cup that you tuck between an area of the body where skin is as close to being as soft and tender as it was when you were born.  What could possibly go wrong as you weave in and out of traffic and have to make that predictable sudden stop in rush hour traffic? But, by all means, blame the coffee and get a lawyer to convince a jury the coffee, indeed, was in the wrong. No mention of how stupid a driver has to be to tuck hot coffee between the legs and hit rush hour traffic. Cha ching for both the lawyer and the stupid driver.  Choices have consequences but if you're smart enough to hire the right lawyer, you get paid for being stupid.

When you campaign on making transparency a right to your people, it shouldn't take an act of Congress to get the truth, or at the very least, the facts when something goes wrong. Being a man of integrity means we don't have to listen to you make excuses or blame everyone around you when you fail to do what you promised.Just admit it. You made a promise you could not keep. Of course it will damage the good press you had going, but it also means you will be hailed as a man who feels badly when he can't deliver on what he promised to deliver. Having a conscience is nothing to be ashamed of and it certainly is not a sign of weakness. Our leaders owe it to us to have the strength of courage to admit when they've led people to expect more than is possible at this time. It can be done without throwing anyone under the bus, too. Integrity trumps failure. We are a nation starving for honest and forthright leadership. We are a nation of people who are learning the hard way that we can't trust our leaders when getting a vote is more important than actually serving the entire nation, not just those who voted for you. And this trickles down to what children learn just by observing. And our children need to learn that honesty and integrity are to be valued and admired above all learned skills at schmoozing voters.

Persephone was victimized when Hades snatched her from her flowery meadow, and forced her to be his wife.  What she couldn't come to terms with was how quickly she had acclimated to such a drastic change in environments. Her mother was so distraught she had condemned the world to nothing green again; not another fruit, not another blade of grass until her daughter was back in her arms.  How could Persephone justify actually loving her role as Queen of the Underworld?  A role she took to so quickly and was very skilled at performing.  It wasn't her fault she was kidnapped, she reasoned.

How many women are guilty of playing the victim with the same abuser time and again?  I understand it's difficult for a multitude of women to get away from abusers, the ones they've fathered children with, depended on for survival, even as they suffer at their hands day in and day out.  But once out, how do they justify going right back into the same environment so many people worked to get them out of safely?  And this happens more often than anyone would like to believe. It takes courage to accept the help needed to leave a toxic environment. It also takes courage to admit those times, when you thought it just might work for everyone involved without long term damage, were times spent in denial. There was long term damage. Children become collateral damage and someone else's problem in some therapist's office. And a cycle is born. 

Persephone's arrangement was that she live in both worlds at different times of the year, thus providing us with our changing seasons.  The decision was made, but she never allowed herself the freedom of declaring her choice in the matter. She did not own up to her true happiness with the arrangement. She preferred telling her story as a victim rather than a woman in control of a situation she didn't choose.  True victims battle with the reality that even as they were being victimized and preyed upon, their bodies betrayed them into believing they were active participants.  It's the worst part of helping someone who was taken advantage of by a predator.  They understand what happened to them was wrong, but they can't explain how, at the time, it could have felt so right.  This is the real face of being a victim. Learning to accept that what happened to them was not of their choosing and that now they have no obligation to take any measure of the blame.

Then there are the wanna be victims.  The ones who made choices that didn't go as well as they hoped and now they choose to play the role of victim in order to be accepted back into their communities. “I didn't do anything wrong, this is not my fault.” is over heard time and again. But they know the truth. Reasons are not excuses.  Everyone has a reason for making an impulsive decision; just ask any lawyer. Reasons do not excuse you. Admit it. Maybe you ignored warnings by friends to avoid whatever it was that was luring you.  Or you ignored warnings just to be rebellious, just to prove how invincible you were, like we've all done at times in our lives. I, myself, am amazed nothing so serious happened to me with some of the really stupid risks I took as a young woman. So, it's time to be honest with ourselves. It starts with taking responsibility for failures and problems that weigh us down. 

Nothing has to be permanent, but until you can accept your part in your own dilemmas, you’re doomed to repeat them. If you, like Persephone, enjoy the role of victim, admit it, but understand the high price that comes with pretending to be anything you are not. It could cost you your own self-respect. Self-esteem is something we nurture and cultivate as individuals doing what enriches our lives, our authentic lives.  We need the empowerment and support from others but no one can want more for you than you want for yourself.  It is not the world's responsibility to make sure you like yourself today.  You must find your inner pride through the integrity that comes from being honest with yourself. When the price for doing something we know is wrong is higher than we thought it would be, we need to pay the bill and consider it a bought lesson; a lesson learned the hard way. 

We can, as one voice, demand changes in the way the media defines strong, beautiful, and sexy women.  We can, as one voice, pressure the powers that be to treat all women with respect.  Even though there will be women who take different roads to achieve that measure of respect. There will be those who use their celebrity to speak out against bias and disrespect of women worldwide.  And there will be women judged for setting us back fifty years every time they bare their breasts or butt in an attempt to further their careers.  And understand, women can be some of the most ruthless critics of other women.  We have to reach a place within each of us that can stand firm when it comes to lifting women up, instead of being first in line to throw the first stone.  We'll never get every single woman to stand as one in one voice, accept that.  We all grow at our own pace and judgement is not the answer. But if the world sees us as a credible threat to any attempt to devalue a woman simply because she was born with ovaries, we've left a much larger footprint on this world than our grandmothers and great grandmothers. They would be proud. 

The subject of self-esteem is viewed as mainly a female issue but mothers of boys know this is not true.  We need to help males and females understand the source of self-esteem or self-respect for the benefit of the all life on this planet. Self-esteem is the result of being happy with how we handle situations that come our way. Low self-respect is destructive. People who are not happy with themselves are careless and uncaring toward any and all who cross their paths. We need to focus on encouragement and empowerment of people so they see that they have the power to lift themselves up. It can be that one act of kindness toward another that, in turn, makes them feel alive. Every time we pass up an opportunity to be authentic and true to ourselves, we damage our own self-esteem. This creates a chain of effects. But, it's correctable. It's not a permanent state of being. Kindness is contagious. Smiles are free. A sincere thank you is good medicine. These consistent acts toward each other plant a seed that can grow into a feeling that insists on being authentic all the time.

Self-esteem starts with knowing the truth about anything. Our kids need to know the truth, right now. Truths like you get out of anything what you put into it. The world doesn't owe us a trophy just for showing up every day and doing what we were hired to do. Hard work is its own reward. You do not have a right to expect to be at the top of the ladder within three months of being hired for a job. There are going to be people you really don't like, personally but you will be expected to work with professionally. There is a school of hard knocks and it's called the Universal School of Experience and life requires you attend.  You won't learn everything you need to know about office politics in a classroom. You will learn, though. Your work ethic is one of the most valuable things you bring as a skilled employee and you should have started learning that in high school by attending every day and being on time to each class. Doing what you say you will do regardless the many reasons you can come up with for not doing it is called character. Reasons are not excuses. Character has always been praised but it's priceless in the world these days.  

Persephone had to play the victim in order to not disappoint her mother.  Her mother loved her enough that nothing her daughter did would have changed that, not even knowing what a kick ass Queen of the Underworld she was for a part of every year she wasn't with her. Honesty and integrity form the very foundation for our own self-esteem.  We might find ourselves victimized at times in our lives, but it's always our choice to be labeled victim. And at anytime that label no longer sits well with us, we should feel the solidarity of all women to shake it off, step it up, and learn the true meaning of survivor. You are worthy.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sphnix Goddess of Passage

The Egyptian goddess Sphinx has roots in Greek mythology, as well.  In fact, traces of this creature can be found as far back as Mesopotamia.  Depending on where you look you will find her described as part woman, part lion, with wings, fiercely protective of the passage into the after life, and a riddle. Riddle?  Odd place to stick a riddle for the dead who simply want passage to death into the after world.  Dirty enough job so if a riddle makes it more fun, why not? So what is the lesson Sphinx imparts, I wonder.

The riddle was key to what Sphinx did in performing her duty.  She was an over achiever.  She excelled in toying with her like a cat.  The riddle went like this; what walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?  Well, the answer,of course, is MAN! But what makes the Sphinx's story so sad is this was her one and only claim to fame.  Oh, sure, she killed nearly everyone who begged for passage, and she was feared because of her success rate in killing the losers. But Sphinx was so confident in what she did that it never occurred to her to switch up riddles once in awhile.  Eventually someone did get it right and this was the undoing of Sphinx. She destroyed herself.  She could not tolerate having failed and so ended her own existence.

So, the lesson.  Right.  Well, for one thing I think it's obvious she failed to plan for the day someone would get it right.

How many times have I gotten into such a routine that doing something as simple as switching purses could so throw me off my game that nothing went right all the rest of the day?  Many.  I like to think I've planned for every conceivable variable in problem solving but it never fails the one I didn't see coming is the one that ruins everything.  The Sphinx didn't even bother with a Plan B because of arrogance.  How does that go?  Pride precedes a fall.  We women tend to get caught up in this belief that if we don't do IT, IT won't get done and that will be end of life as we know it.  Partly because it's just easier to do things ourselves than argue with someone over how it should be done if we aren't going to be the one to do it. We get played a lot of the time.  Spouses being spouses and kids being kids, they all know if the job is done wrong, really, sloppy wrong the first time, we won't ask them to do it again.  We've got to be better sports at being played.  It's time to turn the tables on some of these requests at let the players get played.  And then remind ourselves life is too short to lose it over sour clothes because someone waited too long to get the wet things into the dryer. 

Secondly, Sphinx was an expert in ONE thing.  She created a life built on ONE interest only.  As we move through our lives from girls, then career women, and most likely into motherhood at some stage, we all need to guard against being so focused on climbing the corporate ladder, or raising children that we fail to actually live.  Jobs come to an end eventually,  Children leave home one day.  And women who spent so much of their lives being interested in the job or the children might find they are no longer very interesting to others.

Growing up we were all over the place in our dreams and passions.  Then we landed whatever corner of paradise that made us feel whole and we moved to the back burner our wanting to be an artist, a dancer, or an author.  We vaguely remember wanting to do SOMETHING where working around animals was important.  What ever that dream was, it sort of got lost while we were learning how to write grants for the company or guiding a group of girls in Girl Scouts, year after year.  It was just too important at the time to stop moving forward in the job or telling the girls that you couldn't work with them on that most important night of the week. Thinking about taking a class in water color, just for you, just for fun, just seemed selfish at the time. Weeks turned into months and then years and finally you are at the top of that ladder at work.  Or you are the Mom now mediating and mentoring for The Girl Scouts. No one gets the job done quite like you. And then it happens.  Those YOUNGER moms enter the picture. They are so much more in touch with what these young girls want now. Those YOUNGER and more hungry co-workers start nipping at the heels, wondering how much longer you'll be relevant in this job you're now an EXPERT at.  

It's a cycle.  It goes around and around and around.  And it never stops.  I've looked at brochures aimed at retirees, whether it's selling vacation homes, or laxatives and wondered just how many people of retirement age are really satisfied with where they are now in that demographic we all used to simply disregard; the 55-75 age group.  Then I wondered how many, if asked, would say they wished they'd planned for life with 'honey' in the retirement years.  I wondered how many couples considered having to be around each other all day long and into the night, as retirees who don't have to be any where at any certain time any more. I have friends who can laugh about it now, but at the time is was no laughing matter.

One friend retired a couple years after her husband and he was wired for sound the first few months. She'd come home and closets had been rearranged, and wire hangers replaced by heavy duty plastic hangers. She was a wreck trying to deal with all the changes he was making and finally put her foot down when it came to the pantry.  She told him if he touched anything in her pantry she couldn't promise a divorce lawyer wouldn't be called in to fix things.  Another friend created a transition job after retiring by volunteering in a program that provides assistance in delivering meals and even feeding shut ins. She's worked it into a reliable part time volunteer job where she can still be available to watch her grandchildren for a certain day each week. She's also available for lunches or brunches with friends, which keeps her busy and out of her husband's hair for a few hours each week.  

Learning to be happy around each other after so many years of spending the better part of the day at different locations is a huge adjustment.  It's so easy to get comfortable in routines that bring us together just long enough for a weekly romp in bed and then right back to matters that keep the family from falling apart.  Then we wake up one morning and there are no other distractions, no other mandates, and it's just the two of you staring at each other. You realize how annoying his constant clearing of the throat is and he wonders just how long it's going to take you to learn how to make good coffee. You find excuses to run errands, or start spending more and more time in the garage; anything to keep from having to exchange words until closer to dinner time.  Wow.  When did we stop being as interested in each other as we were interesting to be around?

Sphinx could have used a really good friend who might have chided her into 'getting a life'. Instead her one and only interest destroyed her.  It's a cautionary tale for not making one thing our whole reason for living. Whether it be your spouse, your children, or your job, find other things that interest you and make you interesting. Life is all about change. Allow yourself the pleasure of finding pleasure in a variety of things. Be ready for transitions that everyone faces, eventually.  Go ahead and be the BEST at what you do, just find a way to engage in other interests as well.  

I learned so much watching my in laws age. Kids were long grown and it was just the two of them. He was very active and enjoyed bowling and golfing with friends at least once a week.  As soon as dinner was over he was out the door.  She enjoyed being able to dominate the television while he was out.  Then things started to change between them. I don't have the specifics but suddenly they were BOTH taking square dancing lessons together. They took more vacations together or with other siblings and their spouses. There was the weekly siblings-only dinner for all the surviving brothers, sisters, and spouses. They laughed and sang and told stories til nearly half past 10:00, on a good night. They had some great years together before illness set in and took them both within 6 months of each other.  I remember her saying once after a vacation they took in the car that she loved traveling with him.  He was so interested in making sure she saw things she was interested in.  It was never too much trouble to stop and get something to eat or take a road completely out of the way just to see some tourist attraction they'd over heard someone talking about.  Both still enjoyed each after other all those years.  Still makes me misty.

We can start now making sure we're doing something of interest with people who interest us at least once a month.  If we're successful that transition between working for others into just doing what we like will be without speed bumps and detours.  We are in a cycle and it never stops so if you aren't having to deal with staying as interested in something else as you are interesting to others right will have to deal with it eventually.  Heads up.  It will happen.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mary Goddess Mother

No other woman has been a greater threat to patriarchal power than Mary, Mother of Christ. The Church denounced her but people were unwilling to let Mary go. The Church finally embraced her and included her in worship. Mary was the bridge between the old and the new. Even though the patriarchs continued to reduce the female’s role from leader to bystander, they were forced to find a way to make Mary worthy of adoration. There are other goddesses who bear a striking similarity to Mary; virgin birth, child dies and is reborn.  Myrrha, mother of Adonis predates Mary, as does Isis, mother of Osiris. But Mary is still taking her place in Christian worship today.

Women continue to turn to her for strength in all matters of motherhood.  As with all goddesses she has a lesson to impart.

Mary gave birth.  Virgin birth aside, she had a child she adored. As with all children mothers raise, mothers will tell you every child is special in their own way.  Mothers have an abundance of love for their children, no matter how many they tuck under their hearts.  I remember thinking when I first found out I was going to have a second child; how will I ever have enough love to go around?  I was simply head over heels in love with my first son, and could not fathom having enough love to sustain my second son.  But my heart simply enveloped that second son the instant our eyes made contact.  Mary had other children and loved them all equally.  A mother's heart expands to meet all needs.

Mary lost track of Jesus during one of the journeys taken to the big city and nearly lost her mind.  When she finally found him, her anger melted to relief when she found him safe.  I would feel such a panic any time one of my sons wandered out of my reach and that panic never subsided no matter how old they were.  Mary worried.  Mothers do that.

When Mary realized she could not keep Jesus from doing things so dangerous for the time, she did what most mothers do when their kids have become adults who have to make their own way in the world....she prayed...a lot.

I lost a child many years ago.  He was grown and making really reckless decisions.  It cost him his life. I am still grieving the loss of that precious child. Mary lost a child, too.  In fact she was right there as they tortured and killed him.  She stayed to receive the body, clean the body, anoint the body, shroud the body, and bury the body.  I can't imagine how difficult that must have been for her; remembering how tiny he was at birth, how funny he was when he was learning to walk and talk, and how proud he made her every single day of his life.  You think you can't go on, that the pain will simply kill you, but it doesn't. You live and remember and grieve.  

Mary forgave those who killed her son just as I chose to forgive the one who killed my son. 

Maybe this is why mothers for centuries have knelt before her shrines and poured their hearts out to her.  Because Mary had a son she lived to bury.  

Crying out to Mary finally validated the voices of women in the church, even as they suffered under the harsh attitudes towards women in every other area of life for them. Faithful women had a goddess worth her weight.  Because women gained a few inches up the ladder by demanding patriarchs submit to their demands, women were encouraged to continue that climb up the ladder. Female solidarity would not be denied.  The patriarchs had met their match.

Women continue to struggle to have their voices heard. It's an on going battle to find equal footing in a man's world.  But we keep going. It’s the solidarity of all women, world wide in one voice, that will finally force men to not just hear, but rather, listen to us!  

We can change the world with just one voice. We have women in parts of the world today who have all but lost their voices to the cruelty of patriarchal mandates.  Women are being tortured and killed because husbands want out of the marriage and no one will question the truth of their statements that the woman was unfaithful.  Women are being raped for daring to walk to a market without a male relative as an escort.  Their reasoning; she asked for it. The women of the free world have to stand in solidarity for these sisters and demand changes in the treatment of women world wide.  One voice.  

Mary had a son.  Her grief was no greater than the grief of any mother who loses a child or has to endure knowing her child is being mistreated some where 'out there'.  Women must be heard if there is any hope for the survival of mankind.  

Happy Birthday, Adam.  Mommy misses you as much today as she did twenty years ago when she had to let you go. You were my joy for twenty one years and you are and will always be in my heart.

Aphrodite Goddess of Charisma


According to legend, Aphrodite drove men wild, and not just because of the way she looked.  She had a way with men, she did. Men clamored to be with her, to sit in her presence, and yes, to be all she would ever need.  They were desperate to please her.  So what kind of magic spell did she cast on men?  Well, she could make a man feel as if he was superior to all other men on earth! And this became a problem for Daddy, Zeus.  He was tired of all the rivalry and married her off to Hephaestus, an ugly and deformed man. Aphrodite, however, goes on to have a torrid affair with another well known hottie god; Adonis.  Yes..THE Adonis.

So what can we learn from Aphrodite?  Well, she was a beauty,  But she took the art of seduction to a level not many other goddesses were inclined to put such effort into. She used the largest sex organ in the body when she seduced a man; the brain.  She understood a basic truth; men fall for the way they FEEL around a woman and she made them feel as if they could get lost in her care and attention for all eternity.  It was an authentic state of mind for Aphrodite. She was sincere in her passion toward Adonis. It was mutual, and it was real.  

Women today have the same abilities.  A woman is never more capable of winning the heart of a man as when she’s exuding confidence and holding her own in conversations with that man. Beauty is as much about attitude as it is physical features that just happen to have that IT thing going for them, not to mention the 'in the eyes of the beholder' thing.  Feeling beautiful is about knowing your self-esteem does not rest on anyone’s approval of you. You are comfortable in your own body, whether that body is draped in designer clothing or the top sheet you wrap up in on your way to a bubble bath. Confidence is sexy and captivating.  A woman who knows who she is, what she wants, and doesn't have to wait for a man to provide for her is irresistible to men.  It’s so irresistible that age is not a factor for men drawn to this kind of assuredness. A woman in possession of this kind of beauty doesn't have to take cheap shots at other women in order to feel superior. A beautiful woman lifts other women around her. She empowers them to be their own brand of irresistible. It’s okay.  Strut your stuff as you hit the floor running. The world is always looking for women willing to rise to the call of the bold, the beautiful, and the unique. Be authentically you every day!  You aren't a knock-off, baby…you are the real deal!  Show ‘em what you’re working with even if you do blush every time you hear someone call you beautiful.

Now, just a side note to Aphrodite's fame as a goddess of charisma and desire.  She had an ugly side to her, as well.  She cursed Medusa because her philandering husband raped the helpless virgin in her temple. Medusa's beauty was reduced to snakes for hair that turned anyone who looked upon her into stone. Aphrodite took her jealousy out on the wrong person, but that's the way some goddesses handled their rage.  I guess it shows that while her great beauty was the stuff of legends, she lost it over someone whom she felt threatened that legendary beauty.  

True beauty doesn't fade when wrinkles take up residency around the eyes and the skin once so toned becomes the waddle under the chin. True beauty resonates from eyes that still sparkle with mischief, concern, love....well, life, actually.  Because our words are soothing, and our touch reassuring and nurturing, our beauty is captured in our hearts; the most sacred place for a woman's truest and most authentic beauty.  So, while physical beauty takes center stage for however long you're given, know this....real beauty is that inner beauty that time can never dull. Shine on, beauties.  Shine on.

Ate Goddess of Discord

Ate induced rash and ruinous folly upon immortals and mortals, according to Greek mythology.  Zeus, so angry at being played by Ate, cast her out of Olympus. Being earth bound did not slow her roll, though. Greek mythology credits her with starting the Trojan War when she tossed an apple into the air inscribed with the words ‘To the Most Beautiful’.  Before it was all said and done, Helen of Sparta was not amused. Regardless, where there is discord and conflict, Ate still takes center stage.

Women are incredibly gifted at two things; inciting conflict and stopping conflict in its tracks.  The world needs women willing to use their super powers for good.  It’s something we cultivate as we age but we should be modelling the skill for those coming up. It’s never too early for children to watch a woman who knows how to, with perfect timing and just the right touch, turn a frown upside down.  This is a gift we can give to any generation.

Harry Truman defined tact as the ability to step on someone’s toes without removing the shine. To do this a woman needs a quick wit and a way with words.


razor sharp sense of humor is more attractive to many men than beautiful lips and sexy hips!  Women who can keep others engaged in conversations peppered with intelligent exchanges and clever ways of keeping everyone feeling validated are welcomed in all circles of society. 
The strength of a woman resides in the knowledge that she has that kind of power within her; to create discord or harmony as she interacts with people throughout any given day. We have no control over how others treat us but how we respond will lead to either harmony or discord. Patience and a healthy sense of humor will go a long way in keeping Ate at arm’s length in stressful situations.  Some would even agree it’s what makes a woman especially attractive in social circles she visits throughout a busy day.  It’s high time peace makers get the spotlight.  No, it’s imperative that the peace makers take center stage in this topsy turvy world we live in now.

Aida Wedo Goddess of Hidden Treasures

Haiti goddess, Aida Wedo, rules over fire, water, wind, and the rainbow.  She speaks to all those who chase rainbows, hoping to find that treasure waiting at the end.  Pipe dreams, you say? Perhaps, but tell that to the lottery winner who clung to hope as she spent her last dollar on the winning ticket.  Foolish, you say? Maybe. Some would say it’s just as foolish to believe in miracles or guardian angels. Believing in any thing that isn't tangible invites mockery from those who insist on believing only what they can see. The bane of their existence is faith in a higher power.  But in spite of it all we still willingly sign on to be Santa’s helpers year after year.  Try to remember the fun you had as a child. 

My favorite memory of Christmas occurred when I was four years old. My family lived in what would be called a studio apartment now but were quite common in the 50s.  My sister and I slept on a sleeper sofa in the living room area and this is where my mother had put the tree.  The tree stood in front of bay windows and my mother had it fully decorated.  I woke up on Christmas morning before anyone else in the family.  (I was always the first to wake up but the rule was, wait until mom or dad got up before kids attacked the tree!)

 As I sat there, waiting patiently, I noticed one of the windows was open just enough to blow curtains away from the window.  Oh, and there was a broken glass.  I waited.
In comes Mom with Dad right on her heels as she stops dead in her tracks and in her most annoyed voice declares, "He broke a glass.  He broke a glass and didn’t even leave a note.  Honey, go get the broom and dustpan so I can clean up and let the girls open presents.”  She was clearly miffed but not nearly as much as Dad.

"Well, we’ll see how he likes not being able to get in next year."  To which my mom interjected in a pleading tone, "Honey, stop and think about the girls.  We can forgive him this time.  After all, he is trying to see everyone in a really short period of time.  Let it go.”
I was mesmerized. Santa made a mess…oh, wow!  The glass was swept up and Christmas morning proceeded and Santa’s mess was never mentioned again.

Now, did I need therapy after learning years later that Santa was not real? Hardly.  I was so impressed, thinking back on how much effort my parents put into creating magic that they, themselves missed out on being poor children of the Great Depression.  My mom was a master at creating magic.  That was only one Christmas morning out of oh, so many I remember.

The magic lasted well into my teens because about the time I discovered the truth, I had a baby sister who needed to be enfolded into the mysteries of Christmas.  I had gone from being the object of the magic to being a conspirator of magic in the family.  But just because I knew the truth did not mean Mom slacked up on delivering magic for all of us.

I’ve thanked them so many times over the years for cultivating and nurturing the love for fantasy and magic in their children. This desire to create such wonders in childhood has been passed on to our children and now the grandchildren. 

Such a gift.  

Keep the child alive in you that seeks out magic and mystery, even if it can only be done by creating it for others.  Aido Wedo beckons to all who seek the thrill of waiting for magic to happen.  Long live the seekers of magic and treasure in the world today!!  We need a little magic right about now, don’t we?