5 February 2014

Last week I spoke about enjoying the now, the importance of relationships, health, aging and positivity.  I have been inundated with comments about the relationship piece and decided to bla bla blog today about their value and importance in our lives.

Having had the privilege of sitting across from people struggling with relationships for many years, I am without a doubt that we all seek harmony, understanding, love and CONNECTION. It derives from a primal craving located deep in our brain. Research shows men live longer and self report as happier in committed relationships. Women spend GINORMOUS amounts of energy, time and money trying to maintain connection. Relationships are about having your needs met and finding a way to meet the needs of another. They are meant to be passionate, fun, reassuring, safe and warm

However because we are all flawed and so wonderfully imperfect, we are clumsy, awkward, mute or inarticulate when it dealing with our primary relationships. We either don’t know what we want  – no Reflection  – OR are embarrassed, shy, or feel undeserving that we don’t ask for our needs to be met.

I listened to a TED talk by Dr Daniel Siegel (I love this guy!) about the state of education and how to revamp the system.  He spoke of adding an additional 3 Rs to the curriculum;  Reflection, Relationship and Resilience.  Can you imagine how learning these skills and abilities would enhance our lives!!  Sometimes the only Relationship advise we get is watching our parents navigate through their married lives. In some homes this can be a great education, but in others it can be very negative; fraught with yelling, name calling, caustic hurtful non verbal messages or looks that could kill. Worse even are hours or days of tension when everyone knows something is going very wrong, the children try to redirect or take the blame on themselves, or fake harmony. Resilience means hanging in there, finding the hutzpa not to give up and hold on while trying to figure it out.  It requires effort and courage to spring back into shape, to have and to hold through sickness and in health………shall we add through disheartened fights, shattered illusions, disappointments, disillusionment, lonely nights and multiples changes, not to mention job loss, parental challenges etc etc etc (otherwise known as life) ……….what is the divorce rate now in the US?

I was asked to offer a recipe to include in a book for newlyweds.  I decided to offer a recipe below, enjoy:

Recipe For a Long, Happy, Passionate Marriage

  1. Constant Infusions of loving kindness
  2. Heaps of forgiveness
  3. Marinate in passion, foreplay happens all day…..i.e an I miss you phone call
  4. Inject unlimited amounts of laughter often
  5. Daily compromise, but only when it comes from both sides
  6. Immerse in fairness and equality even in differences
  7. Dashes of support from those who love you almost as much as your spouse
  8. Occasional, “How are we doing as a couple discussions. Know your partners needs as intimately as your own. Update frequently as they change over the years.
  9. Permeate with Resilience
  10. Be creative in keeping your loved one’s eyes on you

Our History

The Women's Heritage Walk is a life-affirming trek inspired by the worldwide history of women who walked to feed their families, bring water to the villages, trade goods and services, and migrate to safer, more hospitable lands. Women have been on the move for centuries, often reacting to the weather, food, and resources.

The Walks was a natural corollary to the three-day Wellness Seminars established in and around the mountains of Garmisch, Germany, in 1992. This format expanded to Poland, Rome, Italy, and into schools to meet the growing need to address the social and emotional need to cope with increased stress, particularly bullying in schools. Women's Heritage Walk, established in 2015, has become an unrivaled multi-layered experience for women.

The Women's Heritage Walk is an unrivaled multi-layered experience for women. It is rooted in the belief that women empower each other, their families, communities, and themselves through growth, learning, and pushing their limits.

Preparation begins three months in advance with a curated program to prepare walkers mentally and physically for an arduous, exciting adventure. This experiential journey captivates all the senses and enhances each woman's physical strength and internal fortitude while enhancing an individual's personal health and wellness path.

This adventure allows walkers to immerse themselves authentically in the local country's cultural heritage. Daily programs stimulate a more profound understanding of our foremothers' life experiences and offer a new appreciation for the habits and customs borne from the hardships of early life.

Participants forge deeper bonds with themselves and each other through physical, mental, and emotional development. Shared hardships endured with common goals create lifelong attachments, increase mutual understanding, widen tolerance parameters, heighten mutual respect, and reinforce shared values. Once accomplished, it accentuates individual strengths and potential more fully.

This transformational endeavor impacts the Walkers and their network of friends, family, colleagues, and community members. Each person learns vicariously from the participant's persistence, perseverance, lifestyle changes, growth, reinvigoration, and heightened knowledge.

Each year brings a new adventure and opportunity to connect as we obtain the most up-to-date research to augment and improve upon the four pillars of Culture and Heritage, Health and wellness, Strength and Leadership, and Community Connection.

We employ an overarching approach encompassing all human needs. We focus on physical and mental health, joy and balance in relationships and spiritual and intellectual curiosity.

Tolerance, perseverance, self-awareness, and cultural respect are themes discussed in the Wellness Component. These become more relevant as the event brings women from multiple nationalities together. The journey provides an open forum for the women to discuss culture, values, and traditions and to learn from each other without judgment. Through it, they discover more that unites them than separates them.

Each woman takes a chance by overcoming fear and disrupting their life momentarily, hoping to find something special inside and outside themselves. Through connections to others unlike themselves, they learn and grow.

"A heart afraid never learns to dance and never takes a chance." Bette Midler

Fear isolates us and diminishes our opportunity to live our best lives by finding our best selves. We must be challenged to do this, and the Women's Heritage will challenge you. Complacency and walking through our lives on autopilot does not. When we think of adventures, we think of exploring something outside ourselves. However, in this Walk, a large part of this challenge and any arduous struggle happens inside ourselves. This Walk challenges you to go outside your comfort zone in all areas.

This program is guided by integrity and honors heritage. The Women's Heritage Walk develops personal and collective strength. Proximity and shared hardship build not only tolerance but respect. By finishing, they teach our daughters, families, and community that difficult does not mean impossible. The challenging walks teach us to persevere with compassion, humbly appreciate nature's power, and draw on inner strength to keep moving forward when weary. This gift of struggling fortifies a heightened and profound belief in oneself and gratitude for the support given.

Along with her in-country cultural experts, Jody continues to develop a modern and ever-growing tribe of a global 'sisterhood.'

26-year-old UAE national Waheeda Al Hadhrami participated in 2017 and said about the event, "Walking through our beautiful deserts and reconnecting with our past was life-changing, although it was physically and mentally challenging. The experience allowed me to meet many women from different backgrounds and walks of life, and I enjoyed the cultural exchange. I loved every step of the journey!"