Caroline King – The Girlfriend Takeaway

I had trouble picking my girlfriend takeaway this week, and I love it when that happens! It’s purely because there were so many nuggets from my conversation with Caroline King that I struggled narrowing down to just one. In the end, I decided on two.

This young woman is the Caroline of Caroline King Photography in Tucson, Arizona, and she’s a woman on a mission. A valiant one at that. She’s taking on our toxic body image issues and destroying them one photograph at a time. Her weapon? Boudoir. Powerful and expressive, it appears to show no mercy.

Caroline admits in the interview to having had some body image issues of her own, and who among us hasn’t? God knows I did. But now she’s embracing who she is and inspiring others to do the same. And beyond the photography, she’s also a big proponent of filtering our exposure to toxic social media messages that dictate how we should look.

“I think that one thing I’ve learned through all of this is just how much agency we have over the way we feel about our bodies through the things that we expose ourselves to, and the way we have to be vigilant about our thoughts about our bodies. After practicing that over and over and over and working that muscle, and sort of rewriting how you think about yourself, you can actually change how you feel.”

Yes, you most certainly can. I couldn’t agree more. And it’s people like Caroline who are out there fighting the good fight for those who continue to struggle.

“I hope that what I can do in my work is at least create a space for people to explore a different kind of relationship with their body than they have. I mean, it’s up to every individual person to do all the work that it takes to really undo all of the toxic messages, but if I can at least create a space where people can help explore that, then that’s really all I care about.”

Well done.

So, let’s don the lingerie, girlfriends, and work to put this body image bullshit behind us.

You can listen to Caroline’s inspiring interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking here.

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The strongest hands that hold us
The deepest tone of voice,
We’re introduced to fathers
As tiny girls and boys

They toss us high as toddlers
And keep us safe from harm,
Defending and protecting
With the mightiest of arm

They’re unmatched superheros
Who can’t do any wrong,
Until we reach our teenage years
And elsewhere we belong

But always, for the better
They keep a watchful eye,
Often down on bended knee
Praying for our lives

And time goes by, and lives live out
With spouses, homes, and tests,
While a father’s arms grow weaker
And he sells his empty nest

But never does his love for us
Fade along with years,
It grows and spreads across the miles
Still braving all our fears

And though the cape has faded
In the years since we did part,
It’s never left his shoulders
And we’ve never left his heart

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, June 16, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-three of fifty-two

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Maxene Raices – The Girlfriend Takeaway

It was a different time in a different world when 17-year-old Maxene Raices got pregnant. A world where young girls became cloaked in lies and isolated for shaming their families. And all of this took place in a complete absence of sex education or discussion.

Fast forward 26 years to her answering the phone and hearing the daughter she’d given up for adoption on the other end.

Maxene is author of the book The Land of Sunshine and Hell: A Memoir of a 60s Unwed Mother, in which she chronicles a tumultuous and heartbreaking journey of giving up a child she’d had no option to keep.

“It left a hole in my heart.”

We often hear this expression associated with the loss of a loved one, and that’s exactly what she experienced when her child was taken from her. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.

I’ve seen movies set in the 1960s involving teenage pregnancy, but not until reading this book, and interviewing Maxene, did I realize the scope of what young girls experienced.

That’s my biggest takeaway this week. That we’ve truly come a long way in the war on acceptance and the ability to make our own choices. Now, let’s do all we can to ensure that it stays that way.

You can check out Maxene’s riveting interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking here.

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Off The Fence!

Beneath waves of upheaval
And morality’s guise,
Old, male caucasians
Avert their blind eyes

They claim God and science
Are supporting their side,
(Except when it comes
to environment’s cries)

“You must have your babies,
We’ll bring it to bear,
But don’t come to us
When there’s no food to share

“And don’t expect men
To wear condoms and such,
We like how it feels
Without one, too much”

And death to those
Who take action despite?
This bullshit hypocrisy’s
Reaching new heights

Most of my life
I have ridden the fence,
On political issues
With little defense

But when you in your tower
Try to silence our voice,
I will stand with my sisters
And holler PRO CHOICE!!

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, June 9, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-two of fifty-two

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Hana Woerde – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Hana Worede is one determined woman. A Dallas based dentist, she did a mission trip to Ethiopia just after graduation, and what she saw changed her life forever. Now she’s determined to change the lives of the underprivileged in that country.

How? By starting her own company, bottling an ancient Ethiopian honey wine (tej) that has been in her family for generations. She calls it Bilquis, after the Queen of Sheba, who’s rumored to have partaken of the exact same drink.

This is no small undertaking, and Hana and her business partner are burning the candle at both ends. The wine is well on its way to showing huge successes, but getting there is proving challenging, testing the owners’ resolve at every turn.

And herein lies this week’s takeaway from my resilient guest:

“What keeps me going is having a purpose. Every time I get sad or I just want to throw in the towel, I have my goals written down in my notebook on why I’m doing this (if I can’t find them, I have them in my mind or on my phone). And if I got this far, there’s a reason why I’m still here.”

Great point. I think it’s super easy for us all to get bogged down with details and completely overwhelmed. I have that happen at least once a week, so thanks to Hana for reminding us all to keep focused on what drives our ambition. Not the outcome, but the reason. Purpose drives passion, and passion drives success.

And another thank you to Hana for bringing us her fabulous wine!

I think I can speak for all in wishing Bilquis every success. May Hana’s philanthropy be something we can globally raise a glass to.


Check out Hana’s inspiring interview on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking here.

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