It is what it is

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Design by BlackPaint Studios

Until you’re resolved it’s not.

The time is now.

What it is, is not the way forward for women, girls and families.

Backbones. Not wishbones.

Voice your perfectly perfect resolve to be the change you want for the world.

Rise up. Be Visible.

 

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13-year-old girls

What words pop into your head?

As a mother, maybe, Caring or Trouble or Sensitive or Shy or Passionate or Kind or Daring or maybe even Yikes!

How about this word?    Activist.

It’s likely the word activist is one Mary Beth Tinker’s mother may have used when describing her daughter.

In 1965 Mary Beth Tinker was 13. She and her friends made history – by being activists.

Armband Advocacy

Armband Advocacy

This young group of friends wore black armbands to school to mourn the Vietnam War dead and support the Christmas peace truce being urged by Robert Kennedy. Mary Beth was suspended as were others. Yet her 13-year old activism resulted in the landmark free speech Supreme Court Case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District.

In a few short weeks, on January 21st, people will gather for Women’s Marches in cities across the country showing their advocacy, their fortitude and their strength – just like Mary Beth Tinker did in 1965.

And just like Mary Beth Tinker, my daughter and I will be wearing our black armbands in the Women’s March on Madison on January 21st.

Thank you Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for working with women owned BlackPaint Studios to create this powerful reminder of advocacy while allowing us to support the country’s largest provider of reproductive health care.

How will your perfectly perfect 13-year-old heart, advocate for the issues and rights that are important to you?

#Riseup
#Bevisible

Click here to order your Mary Beth Tinker inspired armband.

Losing my religion

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My sister has lived in the south long enough to pick-up a number of southern-isms – “Don’t make me lose my religion” being one of them.

The first time I heard this southern-ism I understood its urgency – its immediacy to check one’s attitude, words or actions to avoid a world of hurt.

As the headlines broke yesterday regarding the degrading and vile conversation between a presidential candidate and a Hollywood reporter, the pretty-boys-white-club nearly made me “lose my religion.”

Instead I heeded the advice of Michelle Obama and went high with a little help from a friend.

DJ Bizzon has recently created a mixtape with songs of empowerment that took me high when the misogynists went low.

Here’s a sampling to help you go high:

  • I’m every woman – no doubt Chaka Khan
  • All I’m asking for is a little respect – amen Aretha
  • You deserve the best in life – thank you Madonna
  • Rebel, that’s right, I’ll call my own shots – absolutely Janet Jackson
  • So I like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m walking past the mirror – that’s keeping our heads on straight Mary J Blige
  • Uh-oh, running out of breath, but I got stamina and I see another mountain to climb – you’re free to be the greatest Sia
  • I’m holding on to my freedom, can’t take it away from me – yes we can live our lives like they’re golden Jill Scott

And finally with Beyonce’s lyrics in mind – it’s time to get your perfectly, perfect selves in formation because girls run this world.

Who are we? What we run? The world.

Rise up!

Vote!

Get off the side lines and run the world – today – our futures depend on it!

 

Graphics courtesy of Blackpaint Studios

Wisdom

Words of wisdom from women who are making a difference in the world:

Build your ark before the storm hits.Sophfronia Scott, Author

The harshness with which we judge others is the harshness with which we judge ourselves. – Mara Schiavocampo, MSNBC and NBC News Anchor

Stretch into the feeling of not knowing and trust that it’s going to be awesome!Terri Cole, Psychotherapist, Strategist, Coach

Be a priority in your own life. – Dr. Bernadette Anderson

Your dream may be bigger and have more legs to it than you even know. – Debbie Phillips, Founder Women on Fire

Shine Bright

The synchronicity of the universe.

I’ve kept a card from Sarah Fierek – the gracious, inspiring, creative, intelligent and amazingly wonderful connector of people – next to my writing spot.

Inside the card, she penned one of her beautiful, inspirational quotes. Today’s post felt like the exact right time to share Sarah’s quote.

As I was writing the title for this post – Shine Bright – something Sarah had written to me in her card, I was pulled off-task by Facebook’s ping alert. And, of course, once the almighty Facebook ping pings, it’s the understood mandate to abandon everything to discover what is happening in FB Land!

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Shine On, Shine Bright

Jumping onto Facebook, I immediately spotted the post from Sarah. Another one of her stunning photographs. I caught my breath as I noticed she had entitled the photograph, Shine On Milwaukee.

Ah, yes, the synchronicity of the universe – shine on, shine bright – agreeing this was the exact right time to share Sarah’s quote.

May these words from Sarah inspire you as you begin a new week, moving harmoniously with the rhythms of the universe. Permitting your perfectly, perfect self to shine bright.

“A harmony from a distance tells me to dream –

A song that’s so perfect the radio sings.” – Sarah Fierek

Photo Credit: Sarah Fierek

Is this the line for the bathroom?

While many gains have been made for the LGBTQ+ community, there is much work to be done in each of our lifetimes to obtain equality.

FullSizeRender-66Non-gender specific restrooms are just one of the ways.

Becoming a change agent for LGBTQ+ equality in your workplace, your home, your place of worship and your school district are great places to do this acceptance work.

Every ounce of advocacy matters. Especially for those who face discrimination when simply taking care of a basic human need – like using the toilet.

To be the best advocate or ally for the LGBTQ+ community you can be, start by educating yourself.

Julie Tarney is writing an exceptionally fabulous blog – also featured in the Huffington Post – called My Son Wears Heels. Her blog covers topics of gender identity, gender expression and self-acceptance. Plus Julie is a witty, thoughtful and inspiring writer. You’ll look forward to receiving her posts while you learn.

Another excellent educational resource is Diverse and Resilient. Find out how you can bring the Acceptance Journeys program to your city.

As you start educating yourself, bring others along with you.

After all, we are all children of this magnificent universe. Each deserving of equality, dignity and grace.

Change your shoes

Inspired by the core message of the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, I share this important thought:

“ You change the world when you change your mind.”

Mother-daughter Secret Shoe Store New Shoes!

In order to get to the soul of just some of the world’s pressing matters – poverty, incarceration, human trafficking, health care access, gun violence, equality, mental health, nuclear arms, global warming – we need to change our shoes and walk in the shoes of someone else along an unfamiliar path and often uncomfortable path.

When we open ourselves to meaningful introspection of our established thoughts and perceptions, our perfectly, perfect selves develop a generous spirit inciting positive change.

When we change our minds, as the cast of Kinky Boots sings: “It’s the most beautiful thing in the world!”

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