Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What I know for sure!

What do you KNOW for sure? 

Does anyone see those articles on the very back page of Oprah  magazine? (or online)
Well, I always seem to be drawn to them, not because I care what Oprah knows 'for sure'....because they turn back around pointing the finger at ME and I start asking myself 'What do I know for sure?' 

'For sure' is a tough one when you become a widow, because nothing looks certain. 

So, I never really asked myself this question until about 5 yrs ago when I was on a surprise date with an influential man who was a mayor of a big deal town. After our date and my walking in heels for many blocks in the city, we sat down finally in my hotel room where he offered to give me a footrub. I let him. 

During that intimate moment, he asked me a question- 'What do you believe in?' and my heart started to race nervously. I was stumped. I wanted to answer the 'right way' and I wanted him to approve of my answer. I had stars in my eyes for this man and I felt like any potential future with him might hinge on this one moment of sharing 'what I believed in'. 

I fumbled and stumbled, I felt inferior. I froze and admitted 'I wasn't sure.' Was he meaning spiritually, metaphorically or realistically. I started analyzing the answer and he quietly said again 'Just tell me what you believe in!'. 

He left that night and I laid in bed looking up at the white ceiling and thinking 'why couldn't I tell him?'. It made me wonder who I was and what my convictions really were. I had been living life and doing life with what I felt like I believed in, but in fact, I couldn't share these beliefs at a moment of important significance.

I've spent the last 5 yrs not only discovering what I believe in but being able to share it at the drop of a hat. Listed below are just a few. I welcome you to write and share yours with me if you know or maybe recommitting to finding out this year. 

~I believe that God has a much bigger plan for me (and everyone) than our pea brains can conceive.
~I believe I'm a widow, single mom of two daughters who are meant to witness a warrior mom because they will need this example for their own purpose in this world. 
~I believe life is right before your eyes if you look with God Goggles on.
~I believe that Jesus is my greatest mentor and I look forward to meeting him someday. I attempt daily to be a fraction of his example. Whether you believe in him or not, he is awe-inspiring. 
~I believe love is our universal language that makes all things good. 
~I believe it matters where you grew up and who you know, but I also believe it can become a negative or positive in your life if you see it that way. 
~I believe a vacation is the best medicine.
~I believe that my Macbook Pro is a lifeline. 
~I believe my cat Maggie taught me how to trust in love again.
~I believe you can't walk out of your own story, no matter how hard you try. 
~I believe we all have divine ingredients; discovering them allows you to have your cake and eat it too.
~I believe that every person I meet is a messenger and I'm meant to seek out the message.
~I believe that I will always want to live near water
~I believe life is short and bittersweet

Thank you for listening and being in my life. 
Carolyn Moor

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Welcome PA, TX, IA, KY, CA, WA, TN, NJ and NY

Good Morning Ladies, I wanted to say 'welcome' to all the newbies. (I might have missed a state or two.)

I woke up thinking about how very phenomenal every one of you are. Living out your 'not supposed to be' life. Your eyes open up and you choose to either pull over the covers again (which is fine) or get up and accomplish something (which is fine too).

I don't accomplish everything I set ou
t to do everyday...mainly because I attempt too much. I don't always leave 'space' for what God has ready for me. I have a ritual that I try to do every morning, I pull a 'grace card' and this card always seems to be a northern star for me. It centers me.

Some days I'm surprised how poignant it is and somedays, I'll admit, I get a little miffed at what I pull because its usually something I'm struggling with and want to forget.

Just this moment I pulled my card: RECEIVE- When we open ourselves up to others, we open ourselves up to the abundance of the universe.

I may not know you personally, but I think of you daily constantly. I praise you secretly and I know you do 'a-ma-zing', even when you don't take the time to realize it. I know this journey isn't always easy or wanted. But you have sisters, and they are freakin awesome and ready at the drop of a hat... this I know. There are a million places you can find solace online, I'm honored you are here and I promise to always be painfully authentic. Happy Weekend, we survived and thrived another day ;) 
Carolyn Moor

Sunday, January 22, 2012

No ordinary workshop at Modern Widows Club!

This is the feeling you have when you leave our Modern Widows Club workshops.

This is the work you will do and it's amazingly poignant. You receive 2-3 'take-away's' that will lead you to becoming more spiritually centered. 

These are the kind of women you will meet. Widows, beautiful, loving, caring, alive.

 Women who help each other and learn new tools to accomplish anything in life.

Women who smile, and cry in the same hour but always choose life.

Women who fly from out of state and drive 3 hrs to be in the same room together.

Widows approaching their first death anniversary.

Widows who found us 3 weeks after their husbands passed away.

Widows who found us on Facebook.

Widows who never knew another young and modern widow.

Widows found hope. They discovered veteran widows who know there is a purpose for their pain.

Widows who took a deep look into their own hearts and found life again.

Widows who took a chance and did something new and courageous. Widows who are so happy they did!

You are not alone, far from it. You are welcome to meet these women and more by attending our monthly Social Hours (every 3rd thursday), One on One Mentoring every Thursday , powerful workshops to move forward.
Big thanks to New Hope for Kids in Maitland for allowing use of their beautiful space and giving us this encouragement. 

With Sisterly Love, 

Announcing our very first Modern Widows Club Chapter: Seattle, WA COMING SOON. Ask me how you can start one in your city! carolyn@modernwidowsclub.com

Spread the word, share on facebook, tell your friends, this is something new, something wonderful and something very good.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lessons learned @ MWC Social Hour

Last evening was our 3rd monthly MWC: Social Hour in Orlando, FL. Yes, we are a fairly new group that packs a punch and blows the lid off of what life is really like for a modern widow. I closed the door to my home about 12:45am after opening it at 6:00pm. That's just how we do it. 

I was tired, but invigorated and hoped I'd remember half of what nurtured me last night so I could share with you today. Widows as recent as 6 months, 4 yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 12 yrs and 25 yrs were in the house. We are for every woman at every stage. 

So, here goes. 

Widows deserve surprise gifts, hugs and to know someone out there is thinking of them. 

Widows are gracious hosts because its wonderful to be 'giving back' after needing to be 'given to' for so long. 

No matter how much time and space has occurred since death entered our life, it only takes one reminder, one trigger to take you back there in a milli-second to remind us that life will never be the same. It can become bitter or better, you will have to choose for yourself. 

All of us are struggling with something: relationships, money, jobs, finding purpose. We are on a parallel path with others who truly understand. Finding others is important to being understood when you feel like an alien. 

We kinda know you are tired of hearing about our late husbands, but we are healing while we are talking. We are finding our way in a strange new world. Just find a way to sit and listen to us without dismissing how valuable your silence and receiving is to us. 

Always wear your invisible crown, but of course, when there are REAL crowns around, always wear THOSE! 

Life is full of surprises.

Sometimes a brave new idea will resonate with others deeply in ways only God can comprehend. Our job is to be the hands & feet and make His love a daily offering from your heart. 

Ask and you shall receive. We don't ask for enough of what we deserve. We don't share how we really feel- like how we hate writing thank you notes for favors that friends do constantly for us. Why? Because it makes us relive that memory of WHY we need so much help. As twisted as that sounds, its how we feel sometimes. 

A good laugh is the best medicine. A question was asked "Will there ever be more to do in life than 'pulling the covers' over our heads" Widow response: "I can think of a lot of other good things to do under the covers!" (INSERT HUGE LAUGH)
We all agree that we want 'partnering' again. Marriage? Maybe. That's up to the individual, but we all want someone to want to be with us. To look forward to seeing us, smiling with us, touching each other. We all want what everyone wants. 

We've all lost friends. We've all rejoined with those friends at weddings and funerals. These experiences anchor us to what matters in life. It's important to honor those connections and again feel the simple pleasures of a conversation, warming toes by a fire and planning a "People I Love Party". 

For those of you who were not around the fire last night, a 'People I Love Party' is a party where you invite all those people who you love, all those people who attended your wedding and funeral. But now,  you celebrate this life and love you do have today. Why must we have a life altering event to celebrate a life?

I had this party in 2005. Over 100 of my friends attended, I don't have photos to post to show you, but I'm sure every person who attended remembers. I created nametags that said 'Carolyn loves me because____________________________". So as you approached a stranger, you had a bit of information to learn and share. It was pretty awesome!

You see, life as a widow gives you permission to do life differently. You can have a party like no one else, you can create a group of widows and call it modern. You can do anything.....anything. Just do it. In the 'doing' you will find your next step, next clue to go another day and so on. 

Also, once a widow, always a widow, so reach back. As we learned last night from Anne- a 25 yr widow veteran who attended because  "even after all these years", she hoped to find a group like the Modern Widows Club
We are honored to be that for her. I am honored to have such extraordinary new friends. So let's spread the word. 'If it is to be, it is up to me.' 

So grateful for every lady who attending, shared their heart and experiences last evening. 

Looking really forward to teaching you this Saturday, Jan. 21st for our 'Goodbye Shadow + Hello Life' Workshop and 'Surviving to Thriving' Workshop. A few seats are still calling your name. 

Next month, mark your calenders!!!!!
MWC: Social Hour  Feb. 16  to prove 'There is life after love, even when you loose love on Valentine's Day!' I will be sharing tidbits of video from my TLC episode on 'Shalom in the Home' as I discussed Valentine's Day thru the lens of a modern widow. 

It's gonna be good, so keep up here and on Facebook!
Carolyn Moor

 Easy register: modernwidowsclub.com


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Widows are guilty for being quickaholics

Waiting. Stillness. Quiet.

Noiseless. Silent. Restrained.

Inaudible. Stagnant. Inactive.

Idle. Subtle. Calm.

Tranquil. Peaceful. Restful. 

Could you feel your resistance in the beginning to say and feel these words? A soul tug that says 'don't even think about it'. We are confronted everyday with the choice to compulsively seek out ways to ignore the inner knowing that we must embrace this 'mercifully being with myself' part of the widow journey. The quiet, silent nights, sitting in your car, hiding in your house and idle days of not knowing who you are.

Realizing our instinctive nature to be 'quickaholics' is our first step to knowing we are in a different consciousness on this earth (as if the shock of loss wasn't enough). We are addicted to and find deep seated resistance to allow our life to teach us what we are here to become. Instead, we watch TV, we work, we party, we brush it off, we're busy, we solve problems with every bit of knowledge we can muster up. We read, hear speakers and process well intentioned information for days, months, years.....and yet, one day, you must wake up, get quiet and face ourselves. Getting to the 'doing' and 'being' takes courage and a warrior spirit.

When that happens, we can see how the quick, fast shortcut just doesn't scratch the surface to the deep inner work that is going on everyday. We are addicted and turn back many times because, the future is scary, maybe painful and unknowing- we can't see the end. G.K. Chesterton said 'When we keep the line moving forward at the expense of inward motion, something deep within us "walks backwards".

It's in this moment, you have the greatest potential to move forward, to generate enormous power drawn from that place within you begging to be heard if you will simply honor the 'silent journey'. Maybe this will take some time to become 'acceptable' to you, but I believe, practice makes perfect. Keep trying to be comfortable with the quiet and DO SOMETHING with it. Journal, step into nature, draw, do a puzzle, but just 'be' with yourself in a nurturing way.

I know that the last thing you want to do is be alone, but this is a different kind of alone. This is a beginning, not an ending.

It's about getting to the 'doing' and 'being' instead of wondering and hoping. I'm talking to you, an intelligent, resourceful person who has endured great loss and experienced great love. You are definitely capable of this too.

First, realize, we all find ways to hide our emotions. It's natural survival. But it will eat you alive and suck the very life you are looking for if you give it too much hospitality.

Second, shift your mind from accepting and receiving from any outside source and instead, sit with you, in quiet and wait 5 min the first time, 7 min the second time and so on. All progress in life, takes discipline and consistency. When you lean into what centers you, your center responds like a magnet and you'll never let go because its your anchor. 

I'm curious if you know what centers you? My challenge for you today is to turn away from the 'busyness of life' where that predominant negative voice in your head exists and look towards the 'silence in life' to find the voice trying to be heard that is your inner lifeforce. With a trillion people on earth, one God with many dogmas and doctrines, you owe it to yourself to be honest at what genuinely brings you peace. You have your own unique recipe.

I don't know what yours is, I only know mine. It's been a twisty path for sure and while books, speakers, inspiration helped quench my thirst, when it came down to it, the voice inside me spoke great truth and I believe that voice is a gift of divinity. Knowing you are divinely loved, chosen for great purpose means you don't have to rush to find it. It's already in you.

Go look in the mirror, look into your eyes, you are amazing. It is there in the silence, in the honesty that brings back your aliveness. Let the words flow out, hear them, own them, honor them, record them and live them.

We all want to run from the pain and grief. But the running is actually taking us away from finding the very peace that exists in your own stillness. What do you hear?

------> Please, join our blog, we'd love to know who is listening and stay in touch.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Crooked Crown, Crooked Heart

Every person has a story. It is what it is.
In the next few minutes, you can either cruise along here, sum up this Modern Widows Club in a paragraph or two…. or you will read a little further with a bit more peripheral vision and discover what it  looks like when one finds themselves on the fringe.

The fringe is when you feel disoriented at no fault of your own, when your situation precedes you, it’s when you are known and whispered about on the playgrounds or happy hours as ‘that woman who lost her _____‘. Often, your name comes shortly afterwards and that’s alright, we know we force people to imagine their worst nightmare. Financial security gone, helplessness around the house and the long lonely quiet nights. A quandary creeps into the air, we all feel it, but rarely does anyone acknowledge it. If they do, it’s followed by an uncomfortable on-going apology like credits at the end of a movie. Sigh. Please, make it stop!!
Until…… you meet another widow who just ‘gets it‘. When it clicks it clicks. That’s how it feels at ....MWC.                                               

MWC began after a surprising realization and a very innocent conversation last year between two strangers. I needed some professional photos taken and Andi, being a talented photographer, somehow found her way inside my inbox. (Sometimes God uses our God Boxes, aka: Macbook as the messenger.)So, I jumped at the chance to get this task off my to-do list and emailed her back to set up a session within a few days. She arrived, so tall, so beautiful to photograph me. I, so short, so wise (that’s my way of saying older) to get this over with as soon as possible.
She agreed to email the photos later and instead by nightfall, I received this long email saying how she thought we had something in common. It turned out that we were both widows. She twenty something, me forty something. Smile.
Sitting in the bar at Ravenous Pig, Andi told me her story and I shared mine. She was in her 1st year and I was in my 11th year. I could see ‘me’ in her eyes and began to share a word of advice I wished someone had kindly shared with me in my first year. I told her she was wearing an invisible crown. A glorious crown that is only given to those who are chosen. Of course, none of us want to be chosen for this, but I explained that there will come a day when she will know beyond a shadow of doubt that she is loved so profoundly that God chose her for this journey.

I described a metaphor for her visualize. “The crown is the iron in which others would sharpen, so stay open to others like us and to all the love in the world. Then, as life presented obstacles and tribulations, beyond those experiences would come amazing insight, those were the jewels. Pick them up and place them on your crown” Only she knows how bright her crown is becoming but I assured her, the more jewels she picked up, the more reflective light she received and would eventually become light herself.
It was a radiant moment, she had never thought of her situation this way. She could only see it as ‘lonely’, not ‘lovely’. She turned to me and said ‘you must be the queen because you shine very bright’. I said ‘I didn’t in the beginning.’
In the book, ‘Broken Open’ by Elizabeth Lesser she talks about this journey. “If we are not willing to confront the truth about ourselves that a loss unearths, we squander a rare and precious opportunity for transformation. Our grief, while deeply felt, runs the risk of becoming a sentimental escape from the most meaningful part of the journey. If we do the hard work of a Phoenix Process, when we lose someone we love- then we find ourselves blessed with more love than we ever knew existed.” In a beautiful poem called “As I Walked Out One Evening”, W. H. Auden expresses what is the essence of the Phoenix Process.
 “O stand, stand at the window
      As the te ars scald and start;
      You shall love your crooked neighbor
      With your crooked heart.”

A heart made crooked through loss and change is a heart that can love the world and its less than perfect people. A woman who lost her husband in the OK City bombings writes, “It is so awful what happened, but it’s a different life for me now. It’s a deeper life. A life of connection to people on a more real level.” This is a process that will reshape your heart and lead you into a deeper life. MWC is on spot with our workshops to lead you there. Are you ready?
So when you see the crown above ‘Modern Widows Club’, know we see your crooked crown and what it means. We’re not in Kansas anymore! Or Oklahoma City, or New York City or New Orleans or…………
As we go forward, we go straight to the heart of love; love for those we lost and love for the life we do have now. In the end, Carolyn and Andi have become great support for each other and now with MWC  ladies. Sitting in Starbucks, the crazy idea came for MWC. What else are we suppose to do? We just had to make this happen. So now our journey together begins, Carolyn wishes she was taller and Andi wishes she was shorter, but together we make the best of what we are given; this life that God has given us to grace others with our sovereignty.

- The Queen, Carolyn Moor

Sunday, January 1, 2012

'Ask Carolyn'

‘Ask Carolyn’ Modern Widows Conversation:

Modern Widow:
I just wanted to reach out to you, I think you'll understand what I'm going through. It's been 10 months since Stan died and it's finally hitting me what I lost. I think I numbed it with romance, shopping and distractions. But now I'm remembering how he believed I was his only soul mate, and we shared the conviction that we were meant for each other, and all the joy that brought us. I'm so heartbroken at how it turned out.

It makes me wonder if I've been WRONG about love all along and should just take it all much more casually and not romanticize everything.

I want to get married to my new boyfriend Jerry, but am coming to see that he isn't as sold out to the idea of marriage as I am. And I don't know if I'm right to WANT it all, to want someone that believes I am the ONLY one sent by God to complete him.
Do you know what I mean?

Thank you for reaching out to me. Numbing is a natural response during the first year and half. Everyone wants what we all experienced the first time we really fall in love. It's quite possibly the first thing we grasp at after loosing someone we loved. It is familiar and safe. So don't be hard on yourself for wanting that.

No one has all the answers about love, I can tell you that. No one on earth at least…. That’s what makes it such a mystery and sought out…you can’t make it happen, it just shows up. You either accept it or run from it.

Jerry is a smart man to be hesitant in marrying you so soon because it has not been a very long time since you experienced such a traumatic life changing moment. Jerry wants to make sure you are in it for him, as well as, he’s probably intuitive enough to know that he might be rebound man.…which only time will tell on that....which means you need to STOP thinking marriage and think 'relationship' instead. Give this some time and space. It's all so new for both of you.

The initial attraction, affection has happened, but now, the real life scenarios are coming into play and that is where REAL relationships are created with depth, friendship, vulnerability, honesty and fortitude.

You are fortunate to have found him and vice versa, just appreciate it for EACH day and not look so far into the future. You are over-thinking this and I'm sure he senses this. Be beautiful, loving, sincere and don't be so attached to the outcome. God has your back and he doesn't need you messing up his plan.

Maybe its Jerry, maybe it’s not. God knows and every day you stay present, you will know too. Love you girl, I hope this helped in some way.

Modern Widow:
Wow, I sure asked the right person! Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed to HEAR and to KNOW. I have been reading it over and over so I can take it to heart. Headed out for a weekend with Jerry, I'll be sure to keep this in mind! Love you too, and Happy New Year!

***Please feel free to ask Carolyn a question at: carolyn@modernwidowsclub.com
-->All names and locations will always be changed to protect privacy! PLEASE, share our site with another person you know could benefit..it might make their day!

                                                                       ASK CAROLYN ANYTHING.