January’s #ShePersisted Woman – 12 Days of A Calendar

January Woman #ShePersisted Series 2021 Calendar

There was a time when my silence caused me pain. When speaking up felt too dangerous, too complicated.

My critter mind kept repeating, “Speaking up makes you a target. Be quiet.”

Fortunately, the critter and I have evolved and while it still likes to have its say, the voice of inner wisdom has the vote that counts.

And that vote is always to support me in living true to who I am. To my values, principles and beliefs.

Which is why the January Woman is such a powerful message for me.

My voice matters. Your voice matters. All our voices matter. Even those I don’t agree with. We all matter.

My job isn’t to teach others how to speak up. It’s to ensure that when I speak, my voice fosters truth, honesty, respect and kindness.

For years, I had a note posted above my desk that read: It’s my responsibility to turn up, pay attention, speak my truth (with loving-kindness) and stay unattached to the outcome.

Not always easy.

Sometimes, I want to scream at the world to stop being so blind, so cruel, so ugly.

Sometimes, I want my voice to matter more.

A few years ago, while doing community engagement work for a not-for-profit that managed housing for individuals exiting homelessness, I faced an angry crowd who had convened a Town Hall to share their opposition to the NFP’s apartment building in their community.

At our first meeting together I was confronted with about sixty people, the majority of whom did not want the people living in the apartment building anywhere near their families, homes, lives.

They screamed and yelled and threw insults while I stood alone at the front of the room.

Whenever I had the chance to speak, I calmly asked people to please not yell. “I can’t hear you when you yell,” I said. “And I really want to hear what you have to say.”

I repeated my request several times over the 2 hour meeting and while I can’t say it was easy, I do know it turned out better than if I’d put up a wall of defences around me, Stood in silence or yelled back or stormed out of the meeting.

My putting up a wall of defences would have prevented me from being present to their fear, confusion, worry, anxiety.

My standing in silence would have meant I was standing in fear which would have added to the fear already present in the room.

My yelling back would have inflamed the situation more as would walking out (though there were moments it was all I wanted to do).

Every voice in that room mattered. Every voice deserved to be heard — and the fact is – I can’t hear people when they’re yelling at me (I don’t think many of us can). My mind shuts down, my body tenses and my heart races as my fear rises up to swallow me whole.

I wasn’t there to stop people from speaking up.

I was there to create space for every voice to be heard. Including mine.

I was there to listen to everything they had to say. To their fears and concerns as well as their ideas on how ‘the problem’ could be fixed.

And while the solution was not what they originally wanted, (move out), over time, through keeping the conversation going, respectful interactions and opening up to possibility, the outcome became something far better than could have been imagined in that original meeting — a community where everyone felt safe. Where differences were accepted and where every voice mattered.

In the past, I have lowered my voice and stayed silent when fear engulfed me.

In the past, I have flung my anger at others like daggers to their heart.

In the past, I have used my voice without conscious choice.

No more.

Today, I choose to keep my voice raised to create a more loving and kinder world.

Today, I choose to drop the daggers and instead, fling my words out into the world like a fisherwoman casting a net of silk onto the seas full of the hope that what I cast out will calm turbulent waters and bring back to me tenfold what I send out. Love.

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The #ShePersisted Series Calendar is Here!

I did it!

Yesterday, I decided it was time to ‘get real’ with my #ShePersisted Series paintings.

I made a start.

I spent the day creating a desktop calendar and video to go along with it.

And… you know that saying, the devil is in the details?

Well, after spending several hours loading in the photos, smoothing out the page turns, creating graphics and getting the music to sync I read the fine print on Etsy.

Videos are 5 – 15 secs. No sound.

LOL — man those details can be annoying!

Today, I shall create a soundless short video to put up on my Etsy Store a

There is a silver lining. The 1 min video I did create gave me lots of opportunity to stretch my video-editing skills, and, I do have good promotional video for the calendar! Win/Win

It also gave me a chance to use one of my favourite songs by Taylor Cochrane of 36? fame.

So… if you want to hear 1 min 14 seconds of Man at the Door by 36? please do click on the video below.

Full disclosure… Taylor is C.C.’s incredibly talented son. Once you hear him, you’ll understand just how talented.

I have been blessed with Taylor and his partner Laura Hickli’s permission to use any of their music in my videos. It is both a privilege and a gift to be able to share their music and to in some small way support them in their creative endeavours.

And now, Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and I are off to walk beneath winter’s soft grey sky and falling snow.

Once I’m back, I shall continue to update the #ShePersisted Series on my website and work on a new painting.

It’s the ‘thing’ I find so inspiring and amazing about the creative process. When I least expect it, ideas drift into my mind calling my imagination to run wild in creative fields of abundance.

The quote that drifted in as I lay between awake and dreaming this morning is:

“They said, it would be easier for everyone if you play by the rules.”

“She said, It’s not about easy. It’s about fairness, justice and dignity for everyone.”

Stay tuned for No. 61 (or is that No 59 or 62? gotta get that numbering fixed! :)) in the #ShePersisted Series.

The full version of The Man at the Door is available on your favourite music-listening site. Or click HERE to listen to it on YouTube.

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Click HERE to order from DareBoldlyArt on Etsy. Or DM me.

They make a great stocking stuffer! 🙂