One of my lifelong visions…ending isolation among women…

At the Cafe

One of my lifelong visions, and my family assures me I have spoken of it since I was little, is that women do not feel alone/isolated/disconnected from one another. At the heart of my heart is for women to encourage one another towards their dreams.

Years ago I took a training to become an advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault. It went on and on, week after week, statistic after statistic. I remember that my pain in learning about what was actually going on was balanced by joy at the presence of the teacher, Lucinda, who was actually a bluegrass legend in her time.

I got Lucinda’s album, and after class in my car I would listen and integrate the information so as to not go mad with sorrow at the state of women in the world. The last night I learned the most important part of the course, though it was not at that time “printed” in the curriculum: No matter how much education women have, or how hurt they are, the only thing that will keep her out of a damaging relationship is… other women. The support of women in her life.  Wow.

That night Lucinda sang for us, her little banjo strum humming this truth into my mind, my body, and my heart. Sometimes, I think and acknowledge how everything I am doing in my work is a result of events, like this one, adding up over a lifetime like a string of beads on a red thread, one by one, leading me to this moment. This exact moment, which I am sharing with you.

This Christmas my heart was reminded of my calling: that women would not feel isolated… If it was possible for me to do something about it, I would. We had Christmas at Cosmic Cowgirls, and my brother, a loving redneck construction worker kind of guy, was standing with my mom, my sister-in-law and me.

They live just an hour from me, but I am not close with my sister in law, not far in spirit, just not close either. So my brother asked me, What is Cosmic Cowgirls anyway? And I surprised myself by saying, Cosmic Cowgirls is a place where we work towards women not feeling isolated. I said that, instead of my customary, We are a woman and girl owned school and publishing house, dedicated to transforming lives into legends!!!!

Then my sister in law said, I AM ISOLATED! She blurted it! My mom and I have not heard her say anything of the sort. My brother looked at her as if she was losing it, and she said: Well, I am. She is now a Cosmic Cowgirl member.

So the ultimate work of Cosmic Cowgirls, and Leading a Legendary Life, is to be connected to ourselves and to one another. The work is for her, a stay at home mom of two, and for women who are business executives who want to be more creative, and for conservatives who want self expression, and for the self-expressed who want to practice more creativity – to have a life where they like being in it. A place where women of all ages, and all walks of this outrageous life, choose to take a few walks together to consider the nature of the universe and what our part is in it!

We walk with our sisters, towards a life where we are not just existing, but thriving. This is not easy, or sometimes even likely, but at Cosmic Cowgirls we are revolutionaries and what are revolutionaries without a challenge?

Dear Sisters of the World,

All of us feel alone sometimes. All of us have felt like outcasts and like we don’t belong. We are searching for ourselves, while searching for a tribe of others like us. Now we find that how we are like others is really that we each of us is different. And each of us has felt along. Our differences are what is common amongst us. The red thread the connects us, connects a whole bunch of individual wild and wise women. We no longer seek for those like us, but those whose experiences reveal a shining individual jewel of a woman. We must work together to learn how to see each other and value one another for what each of us brings. Your contribution is needed and wanted by the world. Wherever you are right now. Whatever you are going through. And however it works in the world of prayer. I am with you in my spirit and I extend my hand towards you. Imagine that we are having tea together right now.

Shiloh