eo Insights

Life starts with what you believe


It’s Time To Let Go….. :(

I have never really been a big fan of nostalgia.  Perhaps it’s because my vocations as an adult were always filled with international adventures, plenty of good-byes and fresh starts, accompanied by Velcro roots.   But alas, I now find myself in a place my loved ones complained of as I left their embrace.   My youngest daughter is leaving the nest and this uncomfortable, new sense of nostalgia is invading my soul!

It’s not that this is the first daughter to leave home.  Oh, no.  The older two have come and gone and come back again (as I expect my youngest will too).  But somehow this is different.  It seems that this daughter represents the remnants of a time in our lives that has become thread bare.  Her departure tears at the final strings to the wonderful moments of our nuclear family that can never be lived again.  How sobering!   (There’s the bittersweet longing for things of the past.)

Interestingly, I recall my mom had similar sentiments when I left home.   I also remember asking my mom to be happy for me.  ‘Please let me go with your blessing ‘ I pleaded.  Crazy how words come back to haunt us, although I see the merit in them.  There’s a  time for everything.  As a parent, it’s time to let go!

I also have never really been a big fan of Dr. Seuss.   However, since my heart has committed to let my daughter go with my blessing, the silly, imaginings in ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go‘ somehow seem oh-so appropriate and much less nonsensical.  So, cheers to you Mady!  Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting…..So…get on your way!

Excerpts from  ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!


Why Women Need Each Other

One of my favorite topics to speak on is ‘Why Women Need Each Other’.  I love this topic so much because it reminds me that the friendships of women are important. Time and time again, I’ve come to appreciate that no matter a woman’s age or stage of life, country of residence or family of origin; female stress, our insecurities and the often-very-tumultuous-pressures of our inner world are better navigated in the company of a trusted female friend. 

While researching this point several years ago, I came across an article that adds further credence to my female BFF (you know who you are!!) obsession.   

“Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a daily basis. A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women.  

Researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just fight or flight; In fact, says Dr. Klein, it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is release as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the fight or flight response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead. When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect. This calming response does not occur in men, says Dr. Klein, because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, she adds, seems to enhance it.  There’s no doubt, says Dr. Klein, that friends are helping us live longer.

Friends are also helping us live better. The famed Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight.

And that’s not all. When the researchers looked at how well the women functioned after the death of their spouse, they found that even in the face of this biggest stressor of all, those women who had a close friend and confidante were more likely to survive the experience without any new physical impairments or permanent loss of vitality. Those without friends were not always so fortunate. Yet if friends counter the stress that seems to swallow up so much of our life these days, if they keep us healthy and even add years to our life, why is it so hard to find time to be with them?

Every time we get overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships with other women, explains Dr. Josselson. We push them right to the back burner. That’s really a mistake because women are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another. And we need to have unpressured space in which we can do the special kind of talk that women do when they’re with other women. It’s a very healing experience.” (1)

(1) http://www.anapsid.org/cnd/gender/tendfend.html