To Listen

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 Image by  Cristie Henry

Image by Cristie Henry

These days, it feels like I’m continuously being schooled in the act of being where I am. I have a tendency to run ahead of myself: to be “better” before I’ve actually healed, to become anxious before a problem has arrived, to stress about the stress ahead of me. I’m learning that if things are good, it’s simply my job to let them be good. And if times are tough, then the first step I can take towards improvement is to acknowledge that I’m having a hard time.

If I’m lost, I’m lost. There’s no way around it. The sooner I acknowledge it, the sooner I can get to the business of finding my way.  

But the simple act of being where I am requires me to listen to myself. This can be difficult. As we spend this week looking at intuition, I am reminded of those moments when I ignored my own. I look on those moments with a sad heart. How silly of me to waste my time listening to the voices of expectation, dogma or fear. How ridiculous of me to think that ignoring my instincts was the way forward.

The best, and worst, part of all this is that if your instincts are strong, they won’t let up. They won’t leave you alone for one moment. That feeling that something’s just not right will gnaw away at you, until you’re rankled enough to finally make a change. And once you do, and you feel a sense of relief and peace wash over you (almost instantaneously in my experiences), you’ll look back at yourself and wonder why you made everything so damned difficult.

And hopefully you will learn, as I am learning, to listen.

xo

Chelsey

 

A Brief History of An Incredible Woman

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Elizabeth (Patton) Crockett 

 Elizabeth with her daughter Rebecca. 

Elizabeth with her daughter Rebecca. 

Thanks to the lovely Robin Reetz for this week’s submission of Elizabeth Patton! 

Elizabeth was born on May 22, 1788 in Swannanoa, Buncombe County, North Carolina. Little is known about her early years.  We know that she was married to James Patton and they had two children together, Margaret and George. In 1814, Elizabeth became a widow when James was killed in The Battle of Horshoe Bend. 

As he lay dying, James asked his good friend Davy Crockett to return his belongings to his wife, Elizabeth. After James’ death, Elizabeth and her children moved back into her father’s home in North Carolina. At this time, Davy was married to Polly Finley and together they had three children. When Polly passed away in 1815, Davy approached Elizabeth. It took Davy a long time to court her. Though he followed her all the way to Swannanoa and she appreciated his attempts she was never bowled over by his affections. However, after a few months, Davy succeeded and they married and moved to Tennessee.

While Davy worked as a guide and trailblazer, helping others to find places to settle, Elizabeth was left at home to care for their children and their land. This was during a time when there was little to no technology and most work was done by hand. 

Davy was killed in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 and eventually Elizabeth took her children and moved to Texas. She lived there, raising her children as a single mother until she passed away in 1860. 

Elizabeth’s tale is not one of newspapers stories or adventures around the world. It is the story of survival, strength and support. To us, Elizabeth represents the quiet courage that made up the backbone of our nation. 

Character is who you are when no one is watching. 

Anonymous (There is very little available on line about Elizabeth, and certainly no direct quotes, but we felt she’d appreciate this one!)

 

Lost & Found

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We have a book at the Girl Gift Gather Studio called Medicine Cards. It’s based on a Native American tradition that draws upon the ancient wisdom of animals to heal the mind and spirit. When we’re looking for a little guidance or insight, we go to Medicine Cards and flick through the pages. Somehow, every time, we land upon a page that offers just what we need in that moment.

Last week, as vacations came to an end and we prepared to get back into the swing of things, we had a little look through the book and opened it on the Swan.

“Swan medicine people have the ability to see the future, to surrender to the power of The Great Spirit, and to accept the healing and transformation in their lives. The Swan card is telling you to accept your ability to know what lies ahead. If you are resisting your self-transformation, relax; it will be easier if you go with the flow…Pay attention to your hunches and your gut knowledge, honor your female intuition.”

– Jamie Sams & David Carson

Have you been honoring your intuition? Have you been following your gut as of late? It’s not always easy to listen to the quiet voice inside.

So what can we do to connect to this inner voice, to get better at listening to what’s deep within ourselves?  If your mind feels awash with anxiety and dread, maybe it’s time you take a moment to check in. If your body is falling ill or failing you, then perhaps it’s telling you it needs a little extra love. Ground yourself through meditation or prayer. Spend some time with your hands in the dirt by gardening. Connect to your physical self by going for a run or taking a yoga class. Draw a bath and let your body be itself all by itself, completely relaxed. Or simply just be where you are. If we allow ourselves to be still in the moment just once a day, we are giving our intuition a moment to speak up. Hopefully, it will find us listening.

We look to our interview with Dr. JJ Pursell, when it comes to following intuition. She talked to us about how difficult times had been when she chose to go against her instincts and how wonderful things turned out when she learned to listen.

P.S. Yesterday was the Super Moon! It will fell in Aquarius and Mystic Mamma says it’s a time to reconnect with self and prepare for change! You have 3 more days where this energy is easy to connect with. Check out her Aquarius Super Moon reading here.

xx

C+C

A Beautiful Weekend

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Fell in love with this interview in the New York Times with food writer Betty Fussell! What an inspiring and awesome lady. (Plus, there’s an insanely yummy looking recipe for her Brown Sugar Cured Salmon). Possibly our favorite quote from the whole interview:

“I had no power and no money, but I had freedom. I was no longer responsible for anyone but myself. I could do whatever I wanted to do. It was a thrill I’ve never gotten over.”

A beautiful blog.

A beautiful magazine.

A beautiful woman

Have a beautiful weekend!

The Cathedral of Chartres

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“People ask what are my intentions with my films — my aims. It is a difficult and dangerous question, and I usually give an evasive answer: I try to tell the truth about the human condition, the truth as I see it. This answer seems to satisfy everyone, but it is not quite correct. I prefer to describe what I would like my aim to be.

There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. 

They worked until the building was completed — master builders, artists, laborers, clowns, noblemen, priests, burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres.

Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; ‘eternal values,’ ‘immortality’ and ‘masterpiece’ were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility. Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.

The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other’s eyes and yet deny the existence of each other.

We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain.I want to make a dragon’s head, an angel, a devil — or perhaps a saint — out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts.

Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral.” 

– Ingmar Bergman

A Brief History of An Incredible Woman

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Katharine Graham

Katharine Graham’s story, much like Indira Ghandi’s, is one of stepping up and embracing what the world throws at you (and kicking ass at it).  What so inspired us about her tale was that she, like most of us, was riddle with doubts about her capabilities. But she did it anyway. And wow, did she do a lot…

Katharine was born in 1917, her father was multimillionaire, Eugene Meyer and in 1933, Eugene bought The Washington Post at a bankruptcy auction. Katharine began working there in 1938 but after 8 years she stepped down to take care of her family (she had four children with her husband, Philip Graham).  When Eugene died in 1959, control of The Post was passed on to Katharine’s husband, Philip. Philip had struggled with alcoholism and mental illness for many years and in 1963 he committed suicide. As a result of his death, Katharine became president of the The Post Co and publisher of The Washington Post. At the time, there were no women in high positions at publishing companies and Katharine had few female role models to look to. She expressed difficulty being taken seriously by many of her male colleagues and employees. Over the years, this inspired her to advocate for gender equality, specifically at The Post.

Katharine hired Benjamin Bradlee as the Editor of The Post and together they redefined investigative journalism in the United States. Katharine and Benjamin’s most famous achievements were the publication of the Pentagon Papers and the investigation into the Watergate scandal. Katharine went against the advice of her lawyers and threats from government directives and supported the investigation by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Under her direction, The Post published stories on Watergate when few other publication would. 

Katharine won a Pultizer Prize for her memoir Personal History, was the first woman to head a Fortune 500 company and is credited with diversifying and expanding The Post Co. to include television, cable, newspaper, educational services and magazines. She passed away in 2001.

“What I essentially did was to put one foot in front of the other, shut my eyes and step off the ledge. The surprise was that I landed on my feet.”

Send us your incredible woman!

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One of the founding goals of Girl Gift Gather is to connect women and share in their greatness. About three weeks ago, we began a weekly series on the blog called A Brief History of an Incredible Woman. Here, we look at known and lesser known women who’s lives inspire and interest us. It is with great respect and admiration that we seek out the women in history who have changed the world in brilliant ways. 

We would like to open this series up to you! If there is a woman in history who has blown your mind, touched your heart or changed the world for the better, share her with us! Whether she is your mom, your mentor, an artist who inspires you or the first female fighter pilot, we invite you to introduceGirl Gift Gather and our community to her. Send us an email at info@girlgiftgather.com. Include a picture and a few or more lines about who she is and why she is amazing. 

We will be sharing submissions on our Facebook Page & Instagram account so include any information, tags and hashtags you wish to be linked. We want your stories of the incredible women who have contributed to your narrative to enlighten ours as well. 

So looking forward to reading and sharing them!

C+C