Author: Leana Delle (page 1 of 13)

Jenelle Marie Pierce – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Her Instagram handle is @tatted_std_warrior, and she’s aptly named. Warrior, indeed! She’s the sword-wielding heroine-type who inspires onlookers and crusades to destroy the enemy. And who is the enemy, you ask? Stigma – and its time is up.

Jennelle Marie Pierce is the Executive Director of The STD Project, founder of The Herpes Activists Network (HANDS), and the spokesperson for Positive Singles. She’s a walking testament to the fact that being diagnosed with an STD/STI does not define a person, nor does it determine their fate. And although her missions are many, the one that stood out for me the most (my girlfriend takeaway) is this:

“Down with shame; Up with empathy.”

Valiant! If anyone reading this has fallen victim to shame, you’ll know the pain of it all too well. We’re prone to lighting the fire ourselves, but society freely hands out matches, while stockpiling fuel to add to our self-destructive flames. And regarding those among us who cast judgment? Enough. Done. Give it up.

Jenelle battles shame and stigma in many ways, but education is her greatest weapon. Knowledge is power, so I strongly encourage you to listen to this week’s interview on my podcast Girlfriend, We Need To Talk! to gain some power of your own.

Regardless of the circumstance, STD related or otherwise, no one among us deserves stigmatization, and all flourish in the face of empathy. Thank God there are people like Jenelle who defend the targeted and refuse to shy away from controversy. I, for one, would follow this warrior into battle any day.

You can listen to Jenelle’s interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking HERE.

Learn more:
The STD Project
Positive Singles
National Coalition for Sexual Health

Follow Jenelle:

Rhyme or Reason

From where do waves of sadness come
When all is going well,
That, “Pull the covers overhead
And disappear,” type hell

No rhyme, not even reason,
No logic to be found,
Just wallowing and sinking low
Into non-fertile ground

Shut out the world,
Shut out the lights,
Shut out the constant questions

Why am I this?
Why do I that?
Why paths that lack attention?

Am I to do the bidding
Of this soul that I encase,
When all the while the outer world
Spits squarely in my face?

I do believe, I always have
And will continue to,
But then these waves, these rhythmic fiends
Wash out my will to do

But carry on I will, I will
One short step at a time
And when I’m asked the reason why
I’ll tell them, “It’s to rhyme.”

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, April 14, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number fourteen of fifty-two

Sarah Hepola – The Girlfriend Takeaway

This week’s guest on my podcast, Girlfriend, We Need To Talk!, was Sarah Hepola, NY Times bestselling author of Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget. In it, she provides a startlingly honest account of life under the influence and how her own journey to sobriety played out. Our discussion dug deep into the subject matter, while showcasing her sharp wit and command of the English language.

My biggest takeaway from her interview? Phew! Tough call, because I loved so much of it, but this stood out:

“I got very, very tired, and I could feel my soul was really slipping away.”

And herein lies the signal for drastic change. I’ve felt it before, myself. The first time, prior to divorce. The second, and most recent, when alcohol began threatening to destroy all that I’d ever wanted to be. So, I left it behind for two years – along with a crap diet and dating the wrong men – and I didn’t return until all three relationships could be unquestionably deemed healthy and nondependent.

Sarah left it for good. She’s 8.5 years sober. And in a great many cases, permanent sobriety is the only option. We’re both here to tell you that that’s okay. It’s doable. And that the list of personal gains will far outweigh the losses.

If you’re wondering if – or you’re sure that – you’re in a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol, and especially if you feel like your soul is slipping away, this interview (and Sarah’s book) are a must. Equally, if you have a friend or loved one that you’re concerned about. The message is empowering and gives hope to the millions of people in our society who are suffering in silence.

You can listen to the interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking HERE.

It’s Alcohol Awareness Month. Please don’t not listen to this interview, because the topic makes you uncomfortable. Listen, because it does.

Connect with Sarah:

Help, if you feel you need it.
Help, if you’re worried about a loved one.

Trust In The Ride

Permission I ask for
I bargain, I plea
To simply do nothing,
I ask it of me

Set aside projects
And put down the phone,
Ignore a few deadlines
Hide out alone

Yet, each time I query
I counter, it’s true,
With a voice of ambition
And a list of to-dos

Whispering, taunting,
Causing me strife,
With threats of my living
An unfulfilled life

Neither side loses,
Neither side wins,
And the next day it starts
All over again

Maybe what’s needed
Is some kind of truce,
Put down the blowhorns
And stop the abuse

Quiet the body,
Silence the mind,
Praise my soul’s driving
And trust in the ride

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, April 7, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number thirteen of fifty-two

Nicole Gaitan – The Girlfriend Takeaway

I love art, and I often imagine myself creating it full-time. Challenging when I hold a paintbrush like an injured bird, but I can make a mean collage/vision board. Those living the dream intrigue me, including this week’s guest, Nicole Gaitan. I stumbled upon her work on a trip to Jackson Hole, WY and fell in love with it.

Her interview revealed my assumptions to be true: Artists have all of the same doubts and fears that we do. They just have a more creative way of working through them.

My favorite takeaway from Nicole?

“When you make room in your life, things come in.”

I’ve actually seen this in my own life as it relates to, well, pretty much everything. Peace, creativity, money, and yes, even love. If you give something the focus it deserves, “it will grow,” as she so appropriately added. Not in a day, a week, or even six months to a year, but it will grow. I’d like to add that doing with an open heart, not attached to an end result, adds yet another magical element.

My guest has figured this out, and she also (like myself) practices visualization and manifestation. Each of her pieces, along with herself, are strong evidence that they work.

Nicole’s interview on Girlfriend, We Need To Talk! is both enlightening and inspiring. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking here.

This is definitely a woman you’ll want to follow:

Watch Nicole paint with BBQ Sauce!

The Last Day Of March

I’ve got a big question
To ask from the heart,
Why a big snow
On the last day of March?

I’ll admit that it’s pretty
In a pre-Christmas way,
But I’m told even Santa
Is feeling dismayed

The poor little robins
Flew all the way back
With a promise of sunshine
And flowers and snacks

But everything’s shivering
From buds on the trees
To dogs and small children
All up to their knees

What kind of tomfoolery,
Tell me, what trick?
April Fools’ is tomorrow,
To rules we must stick

So, dear Mother Nature
My homeland implores,
Please bring back our springtime
And faith you’ll restore

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, March 31, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twelve of fifty-two

Helene Anne Fortin – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Helene Anne Fortin is one of North America’s leading photographers and an absolute joy of a human being. Blessed to interview her this week on Girlfriend, We Need To Talk!, I learned so much from her wise perspective that I struggled to pick just one takeaway. I had to start with a list of six and narrow it down.

Which quote won?

“Personal creativity is going to connect you to joy. If you bravely walk toward any kind of creative life, or even a portion of your life dabbling in creativity, you will not only enrich your life, you will enrich the world.”

I couldn’t agree more. Enriching the world may sound intimidating, but that comes from far beyond the actual work. It comes from the person you become while doing the work. It’s about how that new you interacts with others and spreads joy.

Again, Helene Anne specifies “personal creativity,” so it’s a matter of doing what speaks to you. That may be making museum ready sculptures or coloring in a coloring book. Dabble indeed, and experience the transformation. And DO NOT let your inner critic keep you from your crayons. Tell it to back the hell off.

You can listen to the full interview through the Girlfriend, We Need To Talk! website or by visiting iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.

Helene Anne is definitely enriching our world, and for that I send out a resounding THANK YOU, GIRLFRIEND!

Learn more about this outstanding woman, and her soul empowering work, through the following links:

The Art of Seeing Photo Workshops
HSP Workshop (Creativity for Highly Sensitive People)
One-on-One Creativity Mentorship Program

The Doubter

Question the doubter,
The faithless,
The lost,
Know that their lies have no basis

Ignore all the banter,
The whispers,
The cause,
The judge who holds court with no cases

The average have motives,
And plans,
And dark deeds,
Designed to derail the intended

“Protection,” they cry,
Is their purpose,
Their gift
To keep you from landing upended

Comparing they’ll do
Of others
To you,
Explaining why all plans do foil

And gloat from behind,
When you whither
They shine,
The victor holds tight to the spoils

But I challenge the victim,
The downcast,
Whence do these strong voices travel?

From within, I dare say
We destroy
We decay,
By our own hand our dreams do unravel

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, March 24, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number eleven of fifty-two

Beverley Elliott – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Beverley Elliott is a movie/television actress, singer/songwriter, and award-winning writer/performer of musical theater. She just ended a seven year run playing Granny on ABCs hit show Once Upon A Time (now available on Netflix), and her many movie projects include: Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood, Who’s Harry Crumb, The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, and The Santa Clause 2. Check out her impressive list of appearances HERE.

Beyond all of these accomplishments, Bev is also genuinely kind and naturally funny. And did I mention she’s Canadian?

My biggest takeaway from our interview?

“Remember the pumpkin patch.”

She’s referring to a grueling gig she once had that allowed her to express herself with “fearlessness and sheer abandon” – an experience she now pulls on when faced with new challenges.

Whether large scale or small, most of us have a version of a pumpkin patch, as well. A time when we gave ourselves the freedom and permission to truly be. Let’s make a vow to go back there as often as possible.

A huge THANK YOU to this outstanding woman for being on Girlfriend, We Need To Talk! I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Learn more:


Watch Bev perform:
Video One
Video Two
Video Three

It Always Ends The Same

Try to pick a movie,
A weekend game I play,
Searching, clicking, cursing
At the icons on display

Action and adventure
Sci-Fi tried and true,
Drama filled with heartache
Frozen, Ralph, or Pooh

Do I warp my brain on violence
Eyes closed more than they’re open,
Or pick based on the actor
Nicole or maybe Morgan

Comedy’s an option
Melissa makes me laugh,
but maybe that’s too mindless,
An Oscar win, perhaps

Romances never fail me
At least not when on film,
But God, there’s just so many
That the list can overwhelm

So every week it ends the same
With pounding my head,
I watch two hours of trailers
And stumble off to bed

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, March 17, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number ten of fifty-two

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