Tonight was Book Club Night, which currently might more properly be called the Non-Book Club. We are in between books, and using our time together to explore a variety of topics. The beautiful thing is, as we take turns hosting an evening and leading the discussion, we are getting to know each other at deeper levels. And we get to shine, as our authentic selves.
Cate asked each of us to bring a poem, a song or a quote to share this evening.
I led off with Mid Life Woman, by David Whyte, from his book, The Sea in You. This poem touches me deeply as it creates a picture of a woman in her middle years. The opening lines are:
“Mid life woman
you are not
invisible to me.
I seem to see
beneath your face
all the women
you have ever been.”
Although the voice in the poem belongs to a man who has matured into one who can see into the heart and life of the mid life woman, when I read this poem I am invited to see and love myself at such an astonishing level.
Check out the poetry of David Whyte here, or on his Facebook page.
Margit shared a powerful quote from Marianne Williamson, that begins:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
The line that states,”Your playing small does not serve the world” led Margit to share about her own journey of finding her voice and speaking her truth. Margit now does this with joy and confidence and it was inspiring to hear more of her story.
Cindy shared the poignant poem The Mask, author unknown. It begins…
“Always a mask
Held in the slim hand whitely
Always she had a mask before her face”
…and ends in a startling way, a cautionary tale, as Cate called it, of what happens when we hide too long behind a mask.
Cindy led us in discussing why we choose to hide who we are, and the impact that hiding has on our lives.
Kathleen totally surprised us, by sharing a story that she wrote more than 30 years ago. She read it aloud for the first time, this story that very few people know about.
What courage she displayed, in so revealing her heart. What a precious gift to our little group. We were moved by her wisdom and vulnerability, and by her beautifully crafted words. We were genuine in our approval. We are gently encouraging this dear woman to publish her story so that it may be a gift to the world.
Cate closed our time together by sharing snippets from three of her favorite songs. She spoke of her journey and how the lyrics from these songs have touched her life. Messages are all around us, given to us to inspire and guide and reassure. Music is one of the ways in which these divine love notes arrive.
Cate delighted us with a surprise as well. Fanning out sealed envelopes, she instructed us to select the one we were drawn to. I love activities like this. I truly believe we receive what is intended for us.
Within the envelopes were gorgeous bookmarks that this creative woman had made. The bookmark I selected (pictured below) was absolutely the right one for me, as were the others for the ladies of the Book Club. Karen was not able to join us this evening, but Cate had a bookmark for her too, and we paused to send our missing friend love and healing energy.
I so value the roles these women play in my life. Tonight I felt we laid bare our souls, speaking with authentic voices. Marianne Williamson writes, near the end of the quote that Margit shared,
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
That’s what we are doing with each other, being who we are, and giving permission to one another to do the same. There were bright lights shining in the room tonight.