Author: Leana Delle (page 1 of 17)

A Warm Cocoon

There are days I have, I spend
Staring at a screen,
Binging on some nonsense show
That’s pointless scene to scene

Hair a mess, a braless chest
With PJs my attire,
Eating all my cupboards bare
And napping by the fire

It isn’t that I’m sad or sick
Or hiding from the world,
It’s simply that I need the rest
As dreams prep to unfurl

At times that voice, that pesky nag
Chimes inside my head,
Get up, get out, get at it,
There’s a list from A to zed

But over years, I’ve found a way
To shut the nagging off,
I close my eyes and take a breath
and whisper, “That’s enough.”

I visualize, I see instead
A caterpillar fair,
Wrapped gently in a warm cocoon
Awaiting wings to bare

And when at last I’m finished, done
With resting safe inside,
My metamorphosis will end
And consciousness will rise

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, August 18, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number thirty-two of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Marco Giraldo

Beth Fraser – The Girlfriend Takeaway

If you look up the definition of perseverance in the dictionary, you’ll see Beth Fraser’s picture. Well, maybe not literally, but she should be in there. She never gives up.

Beth’s first acting role was as Wilbur the pig in a 2nd grade production of Charlotte’s Web. That’s where she got the bug. Not the spider; the acting bug, and it’s never left. Not even in the face of discouragement from her well-meaning parents. When she got old enough to pursue what she wanted, L.A. beckoned.

As is the case with most passionate journeys, Beth’s hasn’t been easy. She’s very honest about dry spells and periods of self-doubt, but she admits . . .

“I have to keep going. I can’t think of anything else I want to do with my life.”

A lot of us can relate to this. I’ve often said on the podcast that I can’t not show up. It’s a calling, and if I don’t listen (or talk as the case may be), I suffer.

“There are plenty of things that we have other skills for, but what fills you? What feels right?”

It’s an age-old question, Beth, and many of us can relate to that need for fulfillment. I mean, after all, were we put on this earth to just pay bills and be good consumers? I don’t think so. At least when we come to the end of our run we can say that we did what we loved, regardless of the scale of the thing. I suspect that Beth’s scale is heading off the charts!

“If you want to do it, you make it work.”

Amen, Girlfriend!!

You can hear Beth’s interview on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.

Oh, and she’s an avid reader and wine pairer, so I can’t wait to hear which wine she sips while reading my novel!

Learn More/Follow:
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A Single Drop of Dew

I glimpse a tiny rainbow
In a single drop of dew,
And ponder how the earth and sun
Have many different views

Reflecting up, reflecting down
It’s all in how we look,
We see what nature’s given us
Or view all that we took

It doesn’t take a genius
To know importance of,
Finding our connection
And feeding it with love

For in that tiny dew drop
Resting on a leaf,
Lies all that’s gone before us
And all that we believe

And from on high, when viewed from space
Floating past the sun,
We are, ourselves, but dew drops
Illuminating One

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, August 11, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number thirty-one of fifty-two
Photo Credit: John Thomas

Nicole McLean – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Rapid heart rate; uncontrolled sweating; a continual reel playing in your head of worst case scenarios. Sound familiar? If you’ve ever had to speak in front of a crowd, odds are it does.

When Nicole McLean had a big presentation to give, she did the obvious: she practiced. In her case, she did it in front of her husband, over and over again. At some point, he suggested a possible solution, one that she jokingly says may have saved their marriage. He developed a virtual reality (VR) audience.

Not everyone’s partner has the ability to create VR, but he did, and the result has blossomed into Instage, a product that’s expanding beyond the living room to fill a genuine need.

“You never know what kind of opportunity you have or where you’re going to end up, so you have to really be grateful and say okay, now I have a chance to make a mark and not necessarily be trapped in one career path. I can open this up and help a lot of people.”

And who’s going to argue with this quote: “No one likes role playing with coworkers.”

Right?!

During our conversation, she expanded on that switch in mindset from career path to being an entrepreneur, covering everything from idea conception, marketing, pitching, self-doubt and just good, old-fashioned enthusiasm. And wait until you hear what this product is really capable of doing! Help a lot of people, indeed.

I, for one, am thrilled to see Instage become a reality (virtual and otherwise), and I know you will be, too.

Check out Nicole’s entertaining interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or by clicking HERE. And be sure to leave a review!

And thanks to George Gettas for yet another fabulous connection.

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Partnered With Our Dread

It echoes loud throughout our minds
This sound we’ve come to know,
A metronome in perfect time
Adjusting fast or slow

It follows us to bed each night
And greets us in the morn,
Playing over from the start
Until our nerves are worn

Its origin has many points
Like shopping malls and bars,
From Sunday pews to public schools
Converging on our hearts

Yet no one with authority
To save our very lives,
Will stand for truest liberty
And set the cash aside

The sound we hear each day and night
Is partnered with our dread,
That, God forbid, we step outside
And count among the dead

We look to faces unlike ours
Each one under suspicion,
When hateful, fear-based aryans
Hold the ammunition

And in their wake a child’s cry
Is silenced by a gun,
We shake our heads and say our prayers
But He knows Satan’s won

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, August 4, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number thirty of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Edu Lauton

Wendy VonSosen – The Girlfriend Takeaway

“I love what I’m doing, because I just love this community, and I know what it’s like to be a mom in this position. And I just want to help other people so that they don’t have such a hard time navigating this.”

Wendy VonSosen is referring to her role as president of Mama Dragons, an organization whose mission is to support, educate, and empower mothers of LGBTQ children. They support all moms, of course, but focus primarily on those who are religious or conservative. Why? “Because it’s more difficult for them.”

Like all Mama members, Wendy knows of what she speaks. Raised Mormon, her beliefs became severely challenged when her own son came out at a young age. In her attempts to process her child’s sexual orientation, something she’s come to accept as being “as natural as having 10 fingers and 10 toes,” she found the organization and the resources/support she needed.

For those who listen to this podcast on a regular basis, you’ll know that I’m passionate about women supporting women. This organization, however, raises the bar. Not only for what they do for each other, but also for the rippling effect into the LBGTQ community.

According to Wendy, LGBTQ youth who are rejected by their families are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide, 6 times more likely to experience depression, 3 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3 times more likely to be at high risk for HIV and STDs. Encouraging love and acceptance is a critical need.

“Everyone’s journey is different, and everyone has their own path, but if we can just support one another as women and mothers so that these kids can have the most loving environment for growing up, I think that that’s a really good thing.”

I couldn’t agree more, Wendy. Cheers to that!

If you’re a mother who is struggling with her child’s sexual orientation, Wendy and her fellow dragons have a message for you:

“You don’t need to know the answers. You don’t need to know how this happened or why this happened or what the future holds. The only thing that is necessary is for you to love and accept your child without condition. And you’re welcome to join Mama Dragons.”

You can hear my interview with Wendy VonSosen on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.

Learn more:
Mama Dragons Website
Mama Dragons Video
Mama Dragons Instagram
Mama Dragons Facebook

Catharsis

It’s time again to reinvent
To shed the skin of old,
Shake off any lingering fears
Start visualizing bold

Who’ll emerge when all is done
Is simply hard to tell,
Regardless, I shall not resist
For stagnant equals hell

I trust my soul when call it does
For me to do its bidding,
Cast off external nonsense played
By gratefully forgiving

For each time that the whispers build
Into a cry to alter,
I’ve found the wisdom of the change
A gift that never falters

So come again, this time and next,
And challenge all I am,
To shift perceptions of the whole
And find the grace to bend

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, July 28, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-nine of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Nadi Whatisdelirium

Adrienne Mullins – The Girlfriend Takeaway

I won’t lie (because this girl won’t let me). I loved this week’s interview.

Adrienne Mullins has learned a thing or two about authenticity, and it all started with some brutally honest blog posts about dating. What she discovered was that people got on board. They loved it when she wrote about what matters; they loved her being real.

If there’s one thing we’re burdened by in this culture it’s secrets. Now, I get that there are some things better left unsaid, but we’re hiding the most honest versions of ourselves, and it’s taking a toll. I’d like to say it’s for good reason, but it often comes down to fear of being judged, or, as Adrienne confirms, fear of being vulnerable. Oh, but vulnerability is where true connection begins!

I certainly connected with Adrienne when she was in the studio. She’s a shining example not only for her generation but for anyone who is struggling with self-concept and emotional baggage. Her advice? Let it out, and tell it like it is.

“It’s very difficult to be ashamed of something that you’ve put into the light.”

I so agree with this. In the majority of cases, our fear of reaction is far worse than what we’ll actually face, boiling down to the fact that we have more of a problem with who we are than others do. If people think about our honesty after the fact at all, it’s only for a few minutes, and then they’re on to something else.

You can catch a wealth of Adrienne insights by listening to her interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.

And don’t forget to pick up a copy of her book, Just Being Honest. It’s a great read that fully supports her mantra: “It’s time to live free.”

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Prejudice Be Damned

Unique instead of different
Together not alone,
United not divided
A common sense of home

Acceptance versus judgement
Kindness trumping fear,
Words of affirmation
Impoverished wait to hear

Love triumphing hatred
Healing versus pain,
Children knowing comfort
Families safe again

Growth over stagnation
Prejudice be damned,
An opening of hearts and minds
A sisterhood of man

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, July 21, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-eight of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Shane Rounce

Stephanie Andre – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Here’s a story: 30-something female smoker qualifies for 2020 Olympic marathon trials. Okay, she quit smoking, but not until after she started running.

When her sister signed up for her first marathon, Stephanie Andre dutifully stood in the sidelines, cheering her on. She left that experience feeling inspired to do the same, having seen every variety of human finish the 26 mile challenge.

Stephanie is a marvel. She wasn’t a couch potato going into this, but she sure didn’t like running.

“It was always used as a form of punishment.”

And what a huge AHA moment for me! Remember those horrible laps we had to maneuver in gym class when we didn’t do something right? Could this be where my own personal loathing for the sport began?

As for the smoking – she continued when she started running, but eventually, she felt compelled to give it up. In fact, it’s when she decided to excel that she felt the most motivated.

“I started reflecting on my lifestyle and changes I could make to move toward that goal.”

She specifically wanted to qualify for the Boston marathon, and that she did. Her best time since this all began is 2 hours and 41 minutes in the Chicago marathon in 2017. That’s the time that qualified her for the upcoming Olympic trials in February in Atlanta, GA.

I get this. Not that I run marathons, but I have certainly made some tough decisions and given up things for a passion. If it’s holding you back, ditch it!

And her advice for people who say, ‘Oh, I could never run a marathon’?

“Go watch one. Not the people in the front. Just stay and watch the ones in the back. You’re going to see people out there that, in your mind you’re thinking, ‘That’s not a stereotypical runner.’ They’re all ages, there are much older people, all shapes, all sizes. You can absolutely do it. Yeah, it’s difficult, but that’s part of what makes it great – because it is a challenge.”

I am a firm believer that challenge equals growth. If running isn’t your passion, figure out what is, and take a look at who’s finishing in your chosen race. And, for God sake, listen to Stephanie when she says . . .

“Don’t put limits on yourself, that’s what I’ve learned. You just don’t know unless you try. Also, it’s taught me that moving forward, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing in seven years, who knows. It’s just taking it one day at a time, learning from the experience, and trying to better yourself.”

Thanks, Stephanie! We girlfriends needed that.

You can hear Stephanie’s interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.

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Articles to Learn More:
Oklahoma Sports and Fitness {“issue_id”:462052,”page”:22}
Runners World
Tulsa World

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