Archive for the ‘ Friendship ’ Category

Anais Nin Quotes and Writings

“A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked…”

“Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age…”

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom…”

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic…”

“Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living…”
 
 
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
 
“How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself…”
 
“I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.”
 
“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”
 
 
“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish it’s source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings. “
 
“Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together. “
 
“The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle. “
 
“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic. “
 
“We also write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to lure and enchant and console others. We write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely … When I don’t write, feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing.”     (‘The New Woman’, 1974)

 
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And So it Shall Be…

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

I sometimes think that my life has proceeded by way of a series of breakdowns and reconstructions.  Such episodes haven’t exactly been frequent in my life, but they have represented important turning points.  There have been three times I can recall where I’ve hit emotional bottom, learned something important about myself, and found a release that led to significant growth taking place.

In each case there had been a long period of holding on to some pattern that had been causing me pain (usually unacknowledged).  I’d been a tightly closed bud.  This was followed by a catalyzing event (in each case it involved being on retreat) in which I became fully aware of the pain I’d been causing myself.  The pain of remaining closed became too much.  Then there was a grand finale of emotional release and a spiritual awakening into greater wholeness and well-being.  The bud opened, albeit painfully. Anaïs Nin’s quotation — “…the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” — seems to perfectly encapsulate that process.

“We are the sum of all the moments of our lives”…

… all the experiences (good and bad), all of our actions, our words, our circumstances, our reactions, emotions, etc.  We are the sum of all the moments of our lives…

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; as theirs will never be broken…”

I feel reconciled today in accepting that the sum of my life changes daily as I add things to it and take some away.  I am reconciled and feel at peace that I am much more than a one-dimensional person.  Quoting ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’: “You have to live spherically, in many directions and never lose your childish enthusiasm and then things will come your way.”

There is divine beauty in learning just as there is human beauty in tolerance.  To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth.  Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps; sometimes daring to create  my own.  The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples.  I am the sum total of their experiences; their quests .  – Elie Weisel

I have added in this recipe of life some of my own special ingredients; but the fact is, we are one.  Alike and different.  We carry one heartbeat in this universe.  Use yours to carry love, forgiveness, tolerance, and acceptance…

All we can do is try to live a life we are proud of, pray we make a difference in someone’s life…and hope that you are blessed to have family and friends that will lift you up and embrace you even when you fall… and never judge another individual because you never know their heart or what they are going through to get to where they are…

The Secret History of the Carolina Yayas

     

Long before the world was like we know it now, there existed a Wise and Mighty Tribe of YaYas.  The yayas were a band of women, strong and beautiful, who roamed the country.  The stars in the sky loved them so much that they would dip down and allow the yayas to ride through the sky, so that they could travel from Louisiana to all around the world.      

Our mothers who raised us, were the first yayas and were most beautiful and loving.  People adored them and no one messed with the tribal yayas.  So that we could remember who we are, a great book was written about our story.  It is passed from yaya to yaya and holds our Divine Secrets.  From this book, we remember the good, the bond of true friendships and the love from beautiful souls who are family, even when they are not born into our family.  We also learned to love the inner gifts that naturally spring from being raised as a southern woman, which include charm, manners, quiet strength, and the ability to laugh at one’s self and not take things too seriously.  We remember that the meaning of life is about opening up, being in touch with our spirit and our feelings and finding the friendships of a lifetime.      

The Lady of the Moon is our guardian and her silver light reflects the goodness in us all.  She is here to teach us that the true mission of the yayas is to empower women and serve as a place to help us remember who and what we are.  We know that women are divine love, full of generosity, kindness, creativity, and wonder.  We wish to help women “remember” that these gifts are within each of us.  We share them with others, so that our inner light can come out and shine.  The Lady of the Moon, knew that so many of us had been forced to move from our birth places and so she promised to be with us always.  She also told us stories of how we would one day meet our other yaya sisters and be reunited.  We no longer live in our birth homes and we know that our town does not realize we are loyal, but, we the yayas, secretly know our history and we are loyal to our tribal sisters and the women who were there before us.      

From this we have grown and created our motto, which is to Live Well, Laugh Often, and Love Much.  We come together in appreciation of women and sisterhood and celebrate how much joy there is in this world.  We believe that in coming together, if only for a few brief moments, that the spirit of the yaya restores us, renews us, and reminds us of the wonderful women that we are and were always meant to be.  This is the true spirit of the yayas , our journey in life, of traveling to the next level, and paving the way for the deeper connection.      

“Friendship is a rainbow between two hearts…”      

What does it mean to be a yaya:      

This story speaks to the incredible power and love of women’s relationships.  I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did:      

“Young and newly married, I relaxed under a pecan tree on a hot Texas summer day drinking iced tea and getting to know my new sister-in-law, Estelle.  Not much older than I, but already the mother of three, Estelle seemed to me experienced and wise.      

‘Get yourself some girlfriends,’ she advised, clinking the ice cubes in her glass. “You are going to need girlfriends.  Go places with them; do things with them.’  What a funny piece of advice, I thought.  Hadn’t I just gotten married?  Hadn’t I just joined the couple-world?  I was a married woman, for goodness sake, not a young girl who needed girlfriends!      

But I listened to this new sister-in-law.  I got myself some girlfriends.  As the years tumbled by, one after another, I gradually came to understand that Estelle knew what she was talking about.  I remembered that she used the word ‘girlfriends’ with emphasis.  As I went along, I discovered the subtle difference between friends and girlfriends.  You go to work with friends go to dinner with friends, go to church with friends, belong to clubs with friends.  You send friends greeting cards.  You need friends in your life; all girlfriends were once only friends.      

But girlfriends are different.  I offer this praise to girlfriends:      

  • Girlfriends don’t compete and aren’t jealous of each other
  • Girlfriends bring casseroles and scrub your bathroom when you are sick
  • Girlfriends keep your secrets sacred
  • Girlfriends give advice when you ask for it; sometimes you take it: sometimes you don’t
  • Girlfriends don’t always tell you you’re right; but they are always honest
  • Girlfriends still love you; even when they don’t agree with your choices
  • Girlfriends laugh with you and you don’t need canned jokes to start the laughter
  • Girlfriends pull you out of jams
  • Girlfriends don’t keep a mental calendar of who hosted what event last, who spent the most money, etc.
  • Girlfriends are the friends who came into your life and never left your side; they’re the one’s you call when you need a reality check, a shoulder to cry on, to celebrate your joys…and who will be there for you no matter what else they may have going on in their lives
  • Girlfriends are there for you, in an instant, and come to you genuinely when the hard times come
  • Girlfriends listen when you lose a job, a boyfriend, or husband
  • Girlfriends listen when you’re children break your heart
  • Girlfriends listen when your parent’s minds and bodies fall apart

My girlfriends bless my life.  Once we were young, with no idea of the incredible joys or the incredible sorrows that lay ahead.  Nor did we know how much we would need each other.  I want to tell all younger women to take my sister-in-laws advice!”      

Dance Like No One is Watching and Love Like You’ll Never Get Hurt!      

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice.  But for those who love, TIME is an eternity! – Henry Van Dyke      

Women everywhere: Take heed…

“Sisterhood is many things. It’s a warm smile on a cold and rainy day, a friendly hug, a cheerful hello… It’s all that a good and lasting friendship is, only better. It’s treasured. It’s sacred. It’s knowing that there will always be someone there for you. It’s dreams shared, and goals achieved. It’s counting on others and being counted on. It is real.”

Sisterhood is the essence of all the wisdom of the ages, distilled into a single word. You cannot see sisterhood, neither can you hear it nor taste it. But you can feel it a hundred times a day. It is a pat on the back, a smile of encouragement. It’s someone to share with, to celebrate your achievements.” ~ Anonymous

I first went to see the movie “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” in 2002  or 2003 when it came out in theaters.  I went with my “girls” from Sharp-Rees Stealy when I was living in San Diego.  As Corrine, Martha, Alma, and I piled into the theater, you could feel the strong bonds of friendship, love, and an empowerment of women all through the room.  Friendship is something I value and cherish.  True friends are always there with a shoulder to cry on, a mirror to shine your true reflection back on you when you need it the most, to cuss you out when you’re screwing up…You may fight, scream, laugh or cry…but in the end you will always know that person is there for you and has your best intentions at heart.  She’ll be your army when you need or a safety net to catch you.  It’s a bond that can never be broken.  Friendship comes in so many forms: a mother, a daughter, a sister, or someone you hand-picked to share your journey with.  Wherever you may find that bond: Cherish it, value it, nurture it…and above all…never let it go.

I hope every one of you has someone in your life you can truly consider a friend.  I have been blessed with the friendships I have in my life: A wonderful mother who I can always count on to be there for me; and I, her.  A beautiful sister with whom I share the best of memories.  Friends who were hand chosen by me.  Some of whom I may not have directly in my life anymore but that I miss and think of often.  Surround yourself with that love and you can never be lost.

We are raised as females to be strong, independent women, who crave the love of a man to share our hopes, dreams, successes and failures with.  While I am also a hopeless romantic hoping for that very thing; I am also acutely aware of how much the relationships you share with other women are vital to happiness. 

So, if you haven’t done it in a while, have a get-to-together with your closest friends.  Have a Sex-In-The-City night and catch up over cosmos.  Have a BBQ at the lake and just socialize; enjoy the company of your friends.  Or if you have found friendship in other area codes: Send a text, call them, or message them on facebook just to let them know you’re thinking about them. 

We all get so busy in our day-to-day lives: work, family, children, etc. that often friendships fall by the way side.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Embrace life, embrace being a woman, and most importantly; embrace your friendships: family and friends.  Make today count.  Don’t be a tree that simply has branches but can’t establish roots.  Get grounded and enjoy life.

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE!

Raise our voices in words of Mumbo Gumbo: Ya-Ya!!

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood A Novel By Rebecca Wells

“Rebecca Wells’s new novel is a big, blowzy romp through the rainbow eccentricities of three generations of crazy bayou debutantes trying to survive marriage, motherhood and pain, relying always on their love for each other. It is a novel of wide reach and lots of colors: fun in a breathless sort of way. Vivi is one of the best characters in any novel you’ll read this summer.” -Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Plot Summary:  Sidda is a girl again in the hot heart of Louisiana, the bayou world of Catholic saints and voodoo queens.  She walks barefoot into the humid night, moonlight on her freckled shoulders.  Near a huge, live oak tree on the edge of her father’s cotton fields, Sidda looks up into the sky.  In the crook of the crescent moon sits the Holy Lady, with strong muscles and a merciful heart.  She kicks her splendid legs like the moon is her swing and the sky, her front porch.  She waves down at Sidda like she has just spotted an old buddy.  Sidda stands in the moonlight and lets the Blessed Mother love every hair on her six-year-old head.  Tenderness flows down from the moon and up from the earth.  For one fleeting, luminous moment, Sidda Walker knows there has never been a time she has not been loved.  When Siddalee and Vivi Walker, an utterly original mother-daughter team, get into a savage fight over a New York Times article that refers to Vivi as a “tap-dancing child abuser,” the fall-out is felt from Louisiana to New York to Seattle. Siddalee, a successful theatre director with a huge hit on her hands, panics and postpones her upcoming wedding to her lover and friend Connor McGill.   But Vivi’s intrepid gang of life-long girlfriends, the Ya-Yas, sashay in and conspire to bring everyone back together.

In 1932, Vivi and the Ya-Yas were disqualified from a Shirley Temple Look-Alike Contest for unladylike behavior.  Sixty years later, they’re “bucking seventy,” and still making waves.  They persuade Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of girlhood mementos entitled “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”  Sidda retreats to a cabin on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, tormented by fear and uncertainty about the future, and intent on discovering a key to the tangle of anger and tenderness she feels toward her mother.  But the album reveals more questions than answers, and leads Sidda to encounter the unknowable mystery of life and the legacy of imperfect love.  With passion and a rare gift of language, Rebecca Wells moves from present to past, unraveling Vivi’s life, her enduring friendships with the Ya-Yas, and the reverberations on Siddalee.  The collective power of the Ya-Yas, each of them totally individual and authentic, permeates this story of a tribe of Louisiana wild women impossible to tame.