FIRST DAY OF FALL 2018

Some call it Autumn, some call it Fall, our Celebrate the Autumn Equinox this September 23rd!

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We love the first day of Fall.

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We are unabashedly in love with Autumn/Fall. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the only season with two names. Maybe it’s the light (ok, in some cases and places it’s very definitely the light — those of you in states and climates where you get technicolor tree leaves, we in California are envious and maybe be coming soon for a visit, so maybe get some cider ready and we’ll bring tacos to trade?), maybe it’s the wind (nothing feels quite like a brisk Autumn gale), maybe it’s the essential duality in the season itself — the first day of Fall, also known as the Autumn Equinox, has a kind of duality built into its name. Equinox quite literally the time of year (there are two) when the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are of precisely equal length, for one precious 24 hour period. It’s no wonder that people have been celebrating the Autumn Equinox with feasts, festivals, harvest celebrations, family gatherings, and collective gratitude for millenia, it’s decidedly kind of magical.

In a way, Fall feels fuller than any other season. Maybe even all seasons combined — maybe because in a sense, it IS the most interconnected season, a sensory feast combining the physical bounty owed to Spring and Summer (yum: fruits, veggies, squashes, grains, any and all harvestable things) and our collective gathering of warmth, light, attention and care needed to face the Winter (yes, even the cold California winter, where we break out our cashmere sweaters or burrow our normally sandal-clad feet in Uggs… for 58 degree evenings).

Fall is a season to gather and preserve, harvest and store, relish and celebrate all the bounty of the previous seasons, and also, to harvest and store light — whether it’s through outdoor sensory experience (making time to take walks in that rapturous, gilded light that only exists between late September and mid November –matched only by the leaves that echo the same tones), taking as many #nofilter Instagram-worthy pix of your favorite Autumn activities (apple picking, harvesting the last of your summer garden, taking your littles to the pumpkin patch, making pies, raking piles of dive-worthy leaves, taking up heirloom practices like making jams or jellies, and so many more), or metaphoric light — the light we create in relationships — via friendships, family ties, newly discovered kindred spirits, and communities of fun and faith.

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We only have a few short weeks before winter — an equally magical time to be sure, but before we bundle up and head full-tilt towards hygge practices, let’s make and keep some Autumnal magic of our own. We suggest…

  • Throwing a feast. Sure, of course there’s Thanksgiving and we LOVE Thanksgiving, but historically Autumn is a time for harvest and gathering — what better way to celebrate it on a more intimate/informal scale than a Gathered Gathering AKA Pot Luck. Pick a date, choose to serve one or two things that you either have (or will amass) in abundance, and invite your guests to bring something to share. Not a gardener/cook? Make stovetop cider — cinnamon for all and spiked for some is a good call. Had a bumper crop in the backyard and are afraid of impending rot? Not anymore! Run with whatever veggie overdid itself in your garden…lots of zucchini/yellow squash/tomatoes? Ratatouille is delicious and easy to make and nearly everyone enjoys it. Have nothing physical to harvest? Provide the venue. Give ample hugs.
  • Make playlists. Share something heartfelt. A feast isn’t limited to food.
  • Dedicate a day — any day in the season — to celebrating nature, honoring the earth, and giving back to it. This might mean going on a meditative walk in the woods, or it might mean volunteering to clean up the bonfire area at your favorite beach (where summer revelers might have been a little lax in their care for the earth).

Fall is a season of shifting, gathering, glowing, and going forward: gather the good, share your heart, and get cozy. We love you!

National Women’s Friendship Day

A sorta PSA on this NATIONAL WOMEN’S FRIENDSHIP DAY…

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IT IS NEVER TOO LATE
TO FIND (or FOUND) YOUR TRIBE

It’s a well-documented fact that Waxing Poetic loves/celebrates/wouldn’t exist without women: sisters (by blood, by blended family, by choice, by serendipity, by way of the Greek System, by divine providence) best friends, cousins (all sorts), mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces, grandmothers great and immediate, colleagues, co-conspirators, creative allies, mentors and mavens and…we could go on forever (and probably will in some form or another), and all manner of their friendships in between.

To that end, Women’s Friendship Day seems a particularly excellent  ‘invented holiday’ to celebrate (honestly, it’s kind of a perpetual holiday around here) – but this is a post suggesting that beyond celebrating the friendships we already all have, we celebrate our capacity to keep growing more.

This doesn’t necessarily mean more new friends (though it can), but it does mean more incarnations of friendship: we propose celebrating our capacity as women to make, nurture, evolve, and grow our friendships writ large. It is paramount to remember that we are never alone, that we can always find our people, that our tribe is never too tiny or too scattered, and that we are only a slight risk (in terms of outreach) away from connecting with kindred spirits.

Some of us are very fortunate to have a longstanding, core group of female friends nearby (or very receptive to calls/letters/texts/girls trips) – those of us with sisters and close cousins even more so – but sometimes life intervenes and we find ourselves in new territories (literal or figurative) – and finding your tribe in a new place (like…we move across the country or the globe, we face unexpected health challenges and need a particular brand of supportive co-combatant, we go back to school or change careers and feel the odd one out) can feel daunting. WE NEED TO REMEMBER, ALL OF US, THAT WE ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS (whatever this is – whenever ‘this’ is happening), that nothing – not even fear — is not going to stop you from finding your ladies or us from finding you. We need to remember this, because it is sometimes easy to forget as we grow up, leave school and scatter – and sometimes find ourselves feeling strangely lost and alone. This is a fiction!

Wherever we are in our lives, in our geography, in our journeys – our roles and selves are always evolving, and sometimes this involves unexpected changes and challenges.  As women, we are simultaneously awesome at taking care of other people and supporting one another and tending to our families and growing our businesses and expanding our networks and sometimes in all of that admittedly awesome stuff, we forget to make room to grow our friendships. Let’s all stop doing that.

Now: everybody hug. <3

 

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10 Tips for Anyone Who Wants Less Stress in Their Life

I love this Girl, she is one of my greatest teachers.  When I get stressed, I go to Georgia for a nuzzle, and answers.

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Here are her top 10 secrets for stress free living:

  1. Get off the computer. No screens.  Really, I mean it.
  2. Play, play, play. You think I’m kidding?
  3. Lay in a nice patch of sun. Even in a fur coat, it works. Let yourself feel GOOD.
  4. Practice achieving in your dream world. Why do you think I sleep so much?
  5. Focus on one thing. The ball.
  6. Understand that it is not about you. I am so not bothered by any of this.
  7. Be more loveable just by being you. Being touched by humans is VERY healing.
  8. Delight in simple things. When was the last time you begged for a treat? Enjoy it.
  9. Pay attention to the people you love.
  10. Live in the moment. I mean, right now. No worries.

 

 

Back to School, Back to School

The First Day of School is nearly here! Although it happens every year, it always happens differently and it is always somehow new, and there is always somehow a first new something.

Back to School often means packing things as if to put into a bag — packing up books, new binders, new pens, new pencils, new laptops, new tablets, a small special lucky something, packing up notes, packing up memories of the summer, packing up treasures to take to the dorms, packing up and making room in that packing for more packing — Back to School is so very often about Getting Prepared that sometimes we forget to pack up something intangible but imperative: thanks.

This back-to-school season, we’d like to to thank the people who make it happen — all the people who make it happen. To that end, some thank yous are in order…

To Parents/Grandparents/Step-Parents/Nannies/Aunties/Caretakers All:

Thank you for raising wonderful, open-hearted, funny, kind, inventive, delightful, impish, creative, athletic, artistic, empathic, open-minded, adventurous, brave, giving, clever, awesome humans. Thank you also for being those humans. The world needs you, and so on behalf of the world (and ourselves): THANK YOU FOR GETTING US READY.

To Teachers/Mentors/Professors:

Thank you for giving so much more than your expertise to our children/to us/to your colleagues/to your field. Thank you for sharing your compassion, your humor, sometimes your weekends, sometimes part of your summer vacations, your creativity, your intelligence, your insight, a particular piece of your particular attention to each particular student, for seeing potential and promise in places many of us forgot to look, and for showing us how to find those things ourselves (both as students, as parents of students, as colleagues of yours, etc.).

To Librarians:

YOU ARE HEROIC AND WONDERFUL AND ALL TOO UNSUNG.

To Students: THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

To Administrative Staff: Thank you for keeping us in order.

To Custodial and Security Staff: Thank you for keeping us safe, in all the ways you do.

To Coaches and Directors: Thank you for your guidance and direction.

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We’re Not Afraid to Emoji

Dedicated to all of our courageous sisters on #sistersday

When my sister Lizanne texted me her “WE GOT THIS!” Bitmoji response after she nailed a critical business need (in her typical, cool, take-it-on-effortlessly fashion… while mild panic likely ensued elsewhere), I had two thoughts (and one feeling):

She is a modern day superhero
She is a genius for figuring out how to dress her Bitmoji in a fitting Boston Terrier shirt
And,
I LOVE HER.

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Sisters, there is a reason so many women’s empowered movements have been successful: because when we get the chance, when we feel empowered, we can bring awareness, support and an unstoppable energy to the things that matter most to us. We are a fierce bunch.

We typically work hard for the benefit of others. It is what women do (most, at least… we are learning every day). It is what my sister does. And as sisters, our efforts are somehow amplified. There is just an unbreakable connection, and I know from my own working relationship with my sister, the WE is stronger than the ME.

My sister (each of them, I am blessed with two…, and all my other “sisters” – you know who you are!):
Does she not have my back?
Does she not care more than anyone?
Does she not put up with any of my bull$@*t?

Yes, yes and yes. Lizanne and I take this job of leading our Poetic family very seriously, and as we expand our own behaviors and beliefs into a value system that positively impacts so many people through our work, our care, concern and sometimes tough love matter even more.

Our relationship has transformed how we do business, and the lessons learned throughout our lifelong relationship are now being alchemized into a much bigger purpose. Other-mindedness. Really “seeing” each other. Cooperation over competition. Encouragement and support when we (and others) need it most. Not walking away when it is easier, but working through things. Always love and a mutually respect for each’s divinity, and our collective path.

The funny thing with sisters is that we know each other intimately enough to call out each other’s flaws, but usually, we help each other through those blind spots to a greater understanding that we have been given this bond for a reason. Showing up as each other’s keepers, mirrors, coaches, shrinks, best friends, sisters.

Passing along one more text exchange with my sister now:
She, understanding and encouraging me to have my bath and chill,
And me, all prayer hands and love.

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So grateful for her.

There is much madness in the world, but don’t you feel it… the “we got this?” The world turns in thanks and praise for all the sisters who have ever spoken those words to one another.

Now, go draw yourself a bath Sis (and all Sisters). Re-charge and be blessed in your sacredness to all of us. We’ll text later <3

 

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