Tag Archives: journaling

The Silent Generation and the Power of the Purse

29 Mar

Be Brave. Lose the Beige is not only the name of this blog, it’s also the name of a movement we are hoping to create among women’s groups.  My friend and colleague in this effort, Jackie, and I facilitated a workshop at the annual UCC (United Church of Christ) women’s conference a few weekends ago.  We conducted an intergenerational session entitled, “The Power of the Purse, during which attendees participated in a journaling exercise.  The exercise focused upon an artistic rendering of a red and white polka dotted bandana purse with Rosie the Riveter’s “We Can Do It!” affirmation in the background.    The principle sentiment behind this clay sculpture is Women’s Empowerment, financial and otherwise.

Women were provided with a journal prompt that said, ”

“Financial empowerment impacts the way we view ourselves and even how others view us.  This is not just an issue about working women versus non-working women.  There are many income producing women who have little control over their pocketbooks; there are women not in the employment sector who exercise considerable control over family resources.  What about you?  Do you feel you have power over your purse?”

Many of the participants in our session belong to the generation Time Magazine, in a 1951 cover story, labeled, “The Silent Generation “.  They were born between1925-1945.  This was a generation that did not issue manifestos, participate in protests or demonstrations, or carry placards and posters.  One of the characteristics of this age category has been their silence.   While the wonderful qualities of this generation are numerous, a dominant characteristic historically has been their reluctance to stand up to “authority”.  For many of the women in this group that authority figure often took the form of their husbands.

The resounding refrain among these silent generation women was how little control they exercised over their household purse strings.  Some of it was by choice, as was the case for a lady from Barbados.  Following her move to the United States, she ceded many of the financial responsibilities to her husband.  This posed somewhat of a problem upon his death when she was left with little to no experience in balancing a checkbook or paying taxes.  That “choice” did not belong to a second woman, whose controlling husband allowed her no input into their family’s financial matters.  She has found it strangely liberating since his recent death to have control over her own money.  She has taken to bestowing gifts upon herself (something her husband rarely did) saying, “thank you for my sweet present, Jack”.

Another woman, happily ensconced in a 25 year second marriage, discussed the ego depletion of her first.  Her first husband not only allowed for little to no monetary input, he did not permit her to even have a driver’s license.

The candor of these brave women was astounding.  They were willing, even eager, to share their stories as a way to urge their daughters and the daughters of other women, to exercise control over their own purses, and thus, their own lives.

That day in that room, those women truly embodied the “Be Brave” aspect of our “Be Brave. Lose the Beige” movement, and it was a privilege witnessing this generational transformation

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Joyful Journaling

2 Jul

Be sure to visit the online Joyful Art Studio featuring the art of Jennifer Hutchins. The site offers a step by step guide in creating your own journal pages collage.

It’s sites like this one and artists/writers like Jennifer who inspired me to create my own Be Brave, Lose the Beige art journal. I hesitated to even label my book a “journal”. Journal is such an over-used term, and yet there is still so little understanding about the benefits of journaling. The great minds of the world have kept journals to record their thoughts, art, dreams, and ideas. Albert Einstein and Carl Jung kept extensive journals in which they recorded ground breaking theories that changed the world. Your version of a journal does not have to be quite that dramatic, however. It can simply serve to change your world.

Ideally Living

17 Jun

Running from meeting to meeting, checking off the to-dot list-that isn’t really living. Discovering the playful side of life. Spreading joy. Being colorful…clever…creative.

Now that’s living. “Be Brave, Lose the Beige” hopes to inspire and encourage people to live their lives creatively and with at least a little more fun. Now “Be Brave, Lose the Beige” is not only the name of my blog but also the name of a journal I’ve just finished writing and illustrating. Through the use of whimsical and (hopefully) humorous, sometimes tongue-in-cheek art images and questions, you can explore your interior self and discover what your ideal life might look like. If you would like a sneak peak of the journal, write me in the comment section below and I will send you a few pages.

Sark’s Juicy Journaling

7 Nov

Anyone interested in journaling might want to sign up for SARK’s “Juicy Journaling” program.  It looks great – http://www.planetsark.com/JuicyJournaling.htm