Life lessons from our foremothers strengths and shortcomings through their challenges and wisdom.
“It is essential to know our roots…for we are sacred blossoms that continue to bloom and branch off the tree of life.”
Shannon Hogan Cohen
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Welcome to our first Dame Dialogue!
This idea of exchange was designed as an added feature to the Daring Dame website in hopes of creating a gathering place where we can express our views about and reactions to the stories being shared. Each of us have different life experiences and we bring with us diverse viewpoints. The collective goal is to obtain a heaping handful of support and a splash of self-reflection through each other’s stories.
Allow me to present our Daring Dame readers (aka Greek goddesses) who will begin our Dame Dialogue and the three featured modern day women along with their replies. The following excerpts are from our readers who felt a connection with the Daring Dames presented. Please be advised, real names have been protected and replaced with Greek goddess monikers.
Eos -goddess of dawn who brings the hope of a brand new day
Gaia -ancient earth mother goddess
Artemis -goddess of the hunt and nature
Athena -goddess of war, wisdom and domestic crafts
Please note: in the event you missed the article or need to recall the story being shared, simply click on the linked headline of the story you wish to select.
Mary Wollstonecraft/Shannon Hogan Cohen - Story #1
Gaia shared the above story with her seventeen year old granddaughter. She mentioned that her granddaughter, like many teens is afraid to be unique. The story comparison of Mary Wollstonecraft/Shannon Hogan Cohen provided motivating lessons for both of them. She found the concepts – “we cannot lose who we are unless we give it away to someone” and “be yourself because everyone else is taken” inspiring and insightful.
Shannon Hogan Cohen replies:
Thank you for sharing. It is hard to be brave sometimes, but under no circumstances ever be afraid to be who you are. To be who you are is difficult, I felt life would never present me with friends who would admire me for my different external appearance. The girls in my elementary school would poke fun at my olive colored skin. I was mortified during a history lesson in second grade when a friend said out loud, “Shannon looks like the Cherokee Indians, which is why she probably does not look like the rest of us.”
Sink into chair, check. Cry inside, check. Run into bathroom and hide, check. In that specific order all three happened.
“Remember confidence is silent, insecurities are loud,” my teacher said to me the following day. I will never forget this, although it took me a long time to understand what those seven words meant. I still struggle to understand me. Through my daily attempts to dissolve my inner and outer discontent, I began to live life and never be ashamed of the shade of my skin, the mole in the middle of my forehead, or the fact that I enjoy being alone and reading books. I eventually found people that understand, appreciate, and embrace me for who I am.
Be you and believe in yourself.
Many wonderful things have happened because people have dared to be different.
Look at all our Daring Dames!
Elizabeth Blackwell/Gina Harvey – Story #2
Artemis shared how this story reminded her of her own mother’s desire to study medicine. She pointed out how her grandfather discouraged her mother from pursuing medical school. Although she never became a doctor and always wondered “what if,” she had accomplished a lot in the way of spiritual and emotional healing through her volunteer work.
Gina Harvey replies:
Thank you for your sharing your thoughts. “What if” - such a potent statement that I’m sure most of us have said or felt at some point in our life. I struggled with this somewhat toxic entity far more than I should have. How do you not feel this when we live in a society that is based on achievement and titles? I believe it is when we are connecting and giving of ourselves through things which we are passionate about that we can begin to unearth our authentic self regardless of our circumstances. As we all know this is the process of evolution and work. Living my life in a place of gratitude, service, and the desire to help has enabled a powerful shift in my perception of life. As Artemis states, her mother accomplished a lot in the way of spiritual and emotional healing through her volunteer work.
This exchange of thoughts is one of the many aspects of Daring Dames that I love. I believe we, as women, are healers and communicators. We yearn for personal growth, to be impactful in this life, and to make a difference in some way.
Marie Curie/Linda Glassman Davis – Story #3
Athena shared the following thought-provoking inquiries.
What occurred to her is how we feel about the work we do, not what we do. Are we contributing to a world we want to live in and is it challenging us to grow? Athena would like to have her work positively impact others and share this experience with those she cares about. She mentions these questions were generated while sitting in jury duty which is how she had the pleasure of reading it – otherwise her overly busy life would not afford her a break to read it.
Linda Glasssman Davis replies:
While I chose to work in any capacity where I could earn a living in my youth, my career path was guided first and foremost by my ability to attain, pay for and receive medical benefits. It was a painful decision to have to work in whatever capacity for the majority of my life just to assure me medical benefit security, and I did so while hiding my illness from employers and clients. With the passage of the very controversial Affordable Care Act, a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I can now explore any and all options for the first time in my life. Better late than never!
I can identify somewhat with women who have felt trapped in bad relationships and who are working in jobs they do not enjoy or feel are rewarding. I never felt satisfied with how I spent 35 years of my life at work. I have always felt a deep need to help others and contribute to society. From selling big game fishing trips to medical insurance, from designing email marketing programs to managing a small marketing company, there was always a void in my soul.
Today, with limited time and energy, I have a renewed spirit and am exploring how I may in some small way facilitate positive changes for others no matter how small these changes may be.
What a wonderful start - thank you ladies for sharing!
I challenge each of you to find a way to activate your instinct to dream and be the person you were meant to be despite the drama of life. We create our existence by the stories we choose to tell. They often shape and help us understand our own reality. Your continued participation is unique, as we are the sum of our collective experiences.
As a final point, another Daring Dame reader, Eos, mentioned in a recent email, her latest encounters with life are forcing her to constantly re-shuffle priorities. Her current circumstances may not always allow her the time to read and respond, but she appreciates being part of a league of wonderful women. Continue to strive for the best version of yourself and never forget to rally around each other for support.
Always strive to be a Daring Dame.
Shannon Hogan Cohen
P.S. Don’t forget to look for the "Comment Box” - be brave, click and contribute.
P.S.S. Daring Dames will temporarily be suspended during the month of April and early May – I will be travelling for three weeks and the website is being redesigned to fit growing demands of diverse interests. The overall objective remains the same, aspire to inspire through storytelling with an added bonus or two!