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Archive for March, 2007

Celebrating Turning 50 With A Caribbean Cruise

Hmmm, just back from a very enjoyable week of celebrating turning 50.  I find that it takes me a week or so of being home to ease back into the usual daily activities and am just finding my feet again.

 We, my husband and I, went on a cruise and the whole experience vastly exceeded our expectations.  We had never cruised before, mainly because we had this notion that cruising was for old people, ahem, yes.  I guess we are middle aged now.  Also, being “sailors”, the whole idea of being on a huge ship seemed somehow unsailorlike, however, we managed to move beyond these feelings when we heard how much fun a cruise is.

 I picked the cruise based on the itinerary and the departure city, Galveston, so we could also visit my brother and sister-in-law, neice and her husband in Houston Texas.  I chose the Western Caribbean itinerary as the ports of calls were in relatively undeveloped areas of Mexico, Belize and Honduras.  We weren’t feeling in a very touristy mood and have learned about ourselves that we like quaint little places off the beaten track.  I loved Costa Maya, Mexico and the cave excursion in Belize was very cool too.  I wished I had more time to explore Roatan, Honduras.

So, on the  ship itself, it was anything but off a beaten path, with 2,900 of us passengers and 1,100 crew sharing the space.  We sailed with Princess Cruise lines on the Grand Princess, on the same ship as the two folks who fell off but the previous week.  Having been on the ship, falling off is not an easy thing to do, still wondering about how this all unfolded and am really glad they were rescued unharmed. 

I digress.  Wayne and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole deal, dressing up for formal nights; being served great food (when was the last time you had Baked Alaska?); reading, resting; working out; hanging out in the hot tub, um, once literally; going on shore tours, soaking up the sun at the beach etc.  Interesting to note that we were not the youngest folks on the cruise.  I was surprised by the diversity in ages, although most passengers were from a similar geographic area, the US midwest.  We didn’t meet any other Canadian passengers and enjoyed meeting the crew who were from many different countries.

While reading the future cruise info, I sailed away in my imagination to plan a grand world cruise adventure  in the style of the late 1800’s.  I need to be abit more matronly to do this though I think and have trunks of elegant clothing and a big hat and, and, and images from Victorian novels keeping coming up.

Speaking of novels, there was lots of time for reading and I loved “Eat, Pray, Love” by Liz Gilbert and now wish to include Italy, India and Bali in my grand adventure.  I started “Suite Francaise” by Irene Nemirovsky and will also include France on the itinerary.

 Suffice it to say, we will be booking another cruise!  I think we will continue to leave the teenagers at home though.

50 is wonderful so far, ahoy mateys.


Zoey Ryan

coach . catalyst . shakti sage

Life & Business Coach for Women

The Big 50 is on Friday! Yippee!

OK, so I turn 50 on friday, March 16th and this pre-50th birthday time has provided me with plenty of opportunities for personal reflection and pondering and I realize, I am loving the fact that I will be 50.

Somehow, into my early imprinting, I was given the message that women 50 and older deserve to be treated with respect, consideration and acknowledgment for life lessons learned.  Of course, women, girls, men, children, boys all deserve this but for me, there is something very significant about turning 50.  My birthday time is also in sync with my cycles in that my cycles have stopped, so this life transition seems even more of a significant turning point.

I can say with a great deal of emphasis, “I am a 50 year old woman and I will no longer…..”.  What I have yet to unearth and decide is that those things I will no longer do, engage in, listen to, watch, receive will be.

As well, with the age thing, I am again pondering my opinion on “enhancements”.  I have always said that I will never have plastic surgery, or botox or liposuction etc.  I do however colour my greying hair, have had electrolysis and use cosmetics.  So, where is the line?  What does ageing naturally actually mean.  I am a perhaps a walking contradiction!

I love how Joan Borysenko talks about all of this in her book “A Woman’s Book of Life: The Biology, Psychology, and Spirituality of the Feminine Life Cycle”.  She says about her own journey “at forty-nine I also felt that I was just growing up, just becoming a woman.  The Cherokees, in fact believe that we don’t enter adulthood until fifty-one.  On my better days, I had the exciting conviction that life was about to begin on a deeper, more passionate level than had been possible before.  Two different voices were vying for control of my mind and emotions.  The intuitive wisdom of the ages was calling for a celebration of re-birth into a deeper femininity.  The societal myths about women and aging, on the other had, were preparing me for the death of everything I had known and cherished about being female.”

As a 50 year old woman, I choose celebration: sinking into deeper femininity, wisdom, deeper spirituality, giving back, service, loving more, feeling vibrant and healthy, loving my age spots, wrinkles, sags and various other body changes.  I am loving being almost 50.  I am woman, hear me roar!



coach . catalyst . shakti sage

Life & Business Coach for Women

"Cultural Creatives", "Moderns" and "Traditionals"

I have been interested in sociology, psychology and cultural anthropology for many years, likely since high school where the “groupings” and “cliches” became painfully evident in overt and subtle ways.  So, when I read “The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing The World” by Paul H. Ray Ph.D. and Sherry Ruth Anderson Ph.D. it was like the kalidescope of my life and belief system suddenly clicked into place.

It has been a few years since I read this book cover to cover so I may have the terminology slightly “off” but I thought that a beautiful illustration of these three sociocultural groups in actions played out in Vancouver on International Women’s Day.  Granted, the book was written based on US research and focus groups, however, I feel that it is possible to extrapolate the findings generally to Canada.

On March 8th in Vancouver, there were 4 very interesting events being held in honour of International Women’s Day.  In my opinion, it is quite clear how three of these events would be classified according to the “cultural creative” lexicon.  “The International Women in Film” festival probably crosses boundaries between cultural creatives and moderns, maybe with a few traditionals thrown in.  The Jade Goddess event, clearly falls into the “cultural creative camp”.

The other two events, one of which I organized, I need to be up front about this; so clearly illustrates the socio-cultural differences between “moderns” and “cultural creatives” that it tickles my funny bone.  The “modern” event, a martini party and fundraiser, benefiting “The Minerva Foundation” held downtown Vancouver at a swanky hotel, made it into the social pages of our local “modern’s’ newspaper, the Vancouver Sun.

The second event, the “Misbehaving Women of the Year” awards, fundraiser and clothing swap, benefiting the Avalon Women’s Centres (supporting women in recovery from addictions), was a “dry event”, held in very nice but low key surroundings.  Given the energy devoted to organizing the event and the small group of women doing to organizing and that we weren’t really focussed on publicity, we didn’t get around to inviting anyone from the local more alternative newpaper “The Georgia Straight”, until the day of the event, so there was no media coverage, although there was a heart-centered evening filled with laughter, tears, hugs and great clothes.

Now, of course, both organizations  (Avalon and Minerva) are wonderful and are doing amazing work for women and girls locally and through out our province.  I happen to be involved in both organizations.  I seldom see such a clear outpicturing of the theories portrayed in Ray and Anderson’s book and wanted to share this with you.

The “traditionals” may have celebrated International Women’s Day too but I didn’t hear about any events within this group, which is interesting in itself. 

The book “Cultural Creatives” was written in 2000 and the lines may becoming blessedly blurry with the attention given to global warming and other pressing environmental considerations, in my opinion, yes, the “cultural creatives”, with organization and gathering together are a major force for social change.  So, if you feel drawn to this, participate with us, on May 13th at 1 pm local time for the “Standing Women Project”.  Contact myself, or check my website for more details about local women standing in the Vancouver area, or check out for more info about setting up an event in your area.



coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

Personal Reflections and Acknowlegment for "Misbehaving"

On March 8th, we celebrated International Women’s Day with the “Misbehaving Woman of the Year” Awards Event, Fundraiser and Clothing Swap in Vancouver.

I was the organizer of the event and even the organizing was fun thanks to the awesome help from Nicki Harris and Candace Waugh of Nicki Harris Productions and Heather, Susan and Teresa from Good Riddance Professional Organizing Solutions.  We were additionally supported by amazing sponsors and donors.

The best part of the evening for me was listening to the women (and man) talk about their friends, colleagues, wives etc (Brock Tully nominated his wife, Wilma) who they had nominated for this award.  The positive regard, the respect and the heart felt love and appreciation for the nominees was palpable in the room!  What was so clear was the daily committment each of the nominees make to “doing good in the world”.

There was great personal learning for me in the “judging” process.  Myself and Victoria Pawlowski, regional nutritionst with Capers Markets served as the “judges”.  There were five nominees and what became massively evident is that they were all winners in different categories: the planet (Betty Krawczyk), people (Christine Awram), profit/women in business (Pamela Chatry), pleasure (Linda Baker) and heart (Wilma Fuchs).  While everyone was a winner, we felt that all of this “misbehaving” revolves around a big, warm, melted heart and gave a little special acknowledgment to Wilma for this.  It was extremely fitting that Betty (a 78 year old grandma) couldn’t attend because she was recently sentenced to 10 months in jail for her peaceful protest of logging. Now, that’s misbehaving!

Each woman nominated displays passion and purpose “in spades”. 

So, and I can see this as an evolution of the event, we gave out five awards with bouquets of beautiful tropical flowers.  The event was incredibly inspiring and the women in attendance seemed to love the whole “everyone is a winner” result. 


I “outed myself” as an alcoholic, spoke abit about women and addictions in Canada and my personal 13 year journey of recovery. Michelle from Avalon Women’s Centres (supporting women in recovery from addictions) said a very moving few words about addiction as a physiologic, psychologic, emotional and spiritual disease.

There were tears, laughs, hugs, great food and the evening wrapped up with a fun, high energy clothing swap. All clothes not swapped go to the Avalon “closet”.

What this years event has done for me is strengthen my commitment to do it again next year, have categories for the awards and through working with Victoria, we have become even clearer on the essence of this award.  I also learned that I come from a strong value of inclusion, that I am unable to create “winners and losers”.  I have no idea what next year will bring if there are more than 5  nominees!

I sit here today, Saturday morning, in my dressing gown, happy, sipping on hot free trade organic coffee, relaxed, feeling incredibly grateful to have the acquaintence and friendship of many, many amazing women.  I honour all of you who go about doing the “silent work of ordinary women”, choose daily to engage in “acts of resistance” and “say no to the cultural drift” which tries to tell us as women, how to be “good girls” in our culture.

So, step up and step out and keep “misbehaving”!  Who knows what we can “unleash”.



coach . catalyst . shakti sage

life & business coach for women

Come and play the “pow game” for culturally creative women!  Check out my website for more info:

“Freedom is actually a bigger game than power.  Power is about what you can control.  Freedom is about what you can unleash”  -  Harriet Rubin

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