Thursday, December 6, 2012

Planting seeds + Wisdom giveaway!

I think the most challenging part of blogging is crafting an accurate title!

I am loving the response to my last post ... it is so gratifying to see others carrying the conversation into other forums and this is why I churn out words and images on a fairly regular basis. For it is by being In dialogue and discussion with others and that compels me to dig deep and uncover the buried messages and yearnings of my heart and soul. From there, we bring together all our voices so that we can mindfully move forward contributing to the world we want to inhabit and pass on to the next generation.

Lately it seems I have been wrestling with questions that have no easy or apparent answers.  I have been conversation with 5 other brave and word-loving souls regarding the topic of Wisdom and how we each define, experience or find it in ourselves and in our lives.  This lively debate has spawned an offering I am proud to be a part of:

Bluestocking Introduction from Jill Clifton on Vimeo.

Let me just say, explaining what I mean by wisdom (never mind figuring out how I know it or tap into it!) is a pretty heady experience.  I suffered only minor breakdowns in attempting to tangle with wisdom.  I am here (in one piece!) to say that I am pretty chuffed (to borrow a favorite term from a favorite thinker/writer) with my offering.  And while I don't want to spoil the mystery, I will say that in the end I go beyond the wisdom of the body and the breath (and if you know me - and I think you all do - you probably can figure out where I finally discover my own wisdom resides, patiently and lovingly, awaiting my attention.)

I've had a sneak peek at some of the offerings in this 8 week course (6 presenters) and I can honestly say, it is full of juicy and artful morsels along with the protein component of wisdom.  What I love about this project is each of us grants authority to her own process and experience.  Each of us uncovers and shares the wisdom gleaned from women's experiences - creativity, connection and conflict of family life, the body, cycles and nature.  By recognizing we each can create and claim wisdom within our own lives, we empower others to look within themselves to determine and then align with their wisdom.  As a mother, I see the urgency of this message for my young daughter: believe in, and trust yourself.  

In celebration of wisdom, I am offering a spot in the Bluestocking Salon's first e-course: The Bones of Wisdom. The course run January 7 - February 25, 2013.  For a full description of the course and contents go here.  To enter your name for a chance to win, either leave a comment here (one comment per person) or email me to add your name into the hat: Lishofmann(at)novia(dot).   If you are a facebook person, then "like" our page and share with your readers (facebook or blog) to receive additional entries.  (Let me know how you helped spread the word by either a comment here or email.) 

I will draw a name at random next Thursday, December 13 and announce the winner on Friday.  Please be sure I have a way of contacting you (or be sure to check in and see if you are the lucky winner!)  

I mention planting seeds and I as I move through these thoughts on wisdom, which seems to involve self trust and deep listening, I am continually pulled to create or contribute to some kind of project or program involving girls in that wonderfully formative age range of 8 to preteen (of course, Cowgirl is 8!)  Just the other day Cowgirl agreed to an after-school play session with a friend, only to tell me in the car "I really want to be home with you, but I guess I have to make my friend happy and do what she wants."  She feared being honest with her friend, saying "She will be angry with me and tell me she doesn't want to be friends anymore."   Already she is picking up on the negative message to dismiss her feelings and needs in order to fit in or be accepted. 

I can address these issues, but I know deeper and more insidious ones lie far below every day conversations. Somehow, some way I want to chip away at inherited biases and beliefs that bolster gender inequalities.  No small task, but listening to this young woman speak, I am compelled to try to make a difference in whatever way I possibly can:

direct link to video here

(This amazing young woman is part of a documentary Somewhere Between which explores the experiences of four teenaged women adopted from China and living in the U.S.)

So tell me, how do we as women claim wisdom for our lives, our stories?  How can we empower younger women and girls not only trust in themselves, but stand up and fight for their place as makers and markers of wisdom?  Who are the wise ones, the mentors and heroines in our lives? How can we recognize and teach our girls (and ourselves) that, as Fang so clearly expresses it, "We don't have to wait around, we can be our own heroines, our own saviors. But we need mentors."  

This is the soil I am turning.  The seeds I am tending.  I can't help myself.  I love that little face with my entire being. I would love your thoughts. I would love the support.  I am open, ready, and apparently qualified in wisdom (as are you) so let's get started.


  1. This is such a rich and gorgeous offering, I'm super excited to be part of it with you.
    PS, no need to pop my name in the hat- the joys of such a richly collaborative venture is the wisdom of all of us is so much more than the sum of us.

    “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
    ― Helen Keller

  2. I am still churning your last post over in my mind...thank you for the great opportunity.

  3. So glad that all of you soulful women are sharing your wisdom in this way! Grateful for the opportunity to win a spot in your e-course :)

  4. Beauty beauty beauty. All your offerings are beautiful. Thank you Lis, for seeing clearly our potential. So proud to be involved in this project with you.

  5. Thank u for a chance to be part of this adventure

  6. Jenni Fang's talk is amazing. So much work for us to do in the world. You have been my wise mentor many times over the past 15 years!! :)

  7. Oh I would so love to win this spot as a gift for my friend! It would be perfect for her and since I am already taking a course during this time, I wouldn't feel right doing it myself.

  8. Please enter me in the drawing for Bluestocking. It looks wonderful!

    Enjoyed your blog.... I loved Fang, and how you wrote about your motivation to help young women and girls. Go for it, sister!

  9. oh, oh, oh.

    i don't think that a day goes by that i don't despair at the lessons my daughter seems to be learning from the world -- she totally said the same thing C-girl said -- she doesn't want to tell her friend to stop manhandling her because then M might not want to be her friend anymore. wtf? you'd rather let her push and pull and grab at you? of course, i think that and then realize that we, as women, allow such similar concessions of power and violations of our personal boundaries so, so, often. and then of course i spiral into panic and despair of how to fix it/change it for *her*. to share what it took me 40 years to figure out....



    the world needs more wisdom circles...more gatherings of women...multi-generational groups that learn and share from one do we do that, though? how do we break down the barriers that we've spent decades building in the name of a male-defined version of Success and Independence? how do we come to admit that we need each other?

    rambly, ramblestein. the moon had me up at ungodly o'clock and the two (to count) cups of tea have gone straight to my Thinker.

    i think we need to start our revolution with an Omaha-meets-Troy Summit. if i knew you were coming, i'd get the spare room painted much more quickly. :P


  10. I am happy I made it back here on time. Oh, but this month has kicked some "a" over here. I would love to be a part of Blue Stocking. I hesitate to sign up for one-more-thing but I do so want to be on the receiving end of the things that are making you take flight, Lis. I didn't sign up for your other class only because I was trying to do less rather than more. I am grateful to be flooded by such delicious menus whilst I try to not gorge and lay around burping (or worse).