And so I begin...

Hello, and thank you for stopping by!  

The official launch date of my website is April 20th, my mother’s birthday (read more on the ABOUT tab under ‘My Story’).  Also, check out the HOME tab for more information and links about ‘Sisterhood’ and ‘The Crone.'  MY SHOPPE is ready for you to browse through many wonderful products to help with menopause symptoms, radiating your unique, personal beauty, and improving your lifestyle – Naturally! 

I’m so excited to be finally here, at this point; finishing my website.  The idea to start an online business came to me just over a year ago, right after my 50th birthday. It was a just a little spark, tickling in the back of my mind, a thought for something new.  I was thinking about my mom and how I remember her when she was 50.  I do that a lot; I like to picture my mom at particular times and compare our similarities and differences at the same stage of our life.  I was thinking of how much I miss her and all the things we had plans for but didn't get to do. One of those things was having a bookshop together in our hometown, 'Yours Truly, Francesca.'  The tickling little spark eventually became an insistent nudge saying; 'come on, you can do it.'  I decided to humor myself with the idea and think about how I could have a shop of my own.  All the details ran thru my mind, and I realized there was no way I could do this.  I have a full-time job that I love, and wouldn't want to give it up.  I let out a long, disappointed sigh and tucked the idea away in my metal file cabinet.  But the nudge kept on and wouldn't let me be; it kept begging for my attention.  Several weeks later I saw an ad on TV one evening about starting an online business – ‘have your website up and running in 15 minutes’.... and something clicked. 'YES, I can do this!'  Let me just say, it took a lot longer than 15 minutes, but it did get me going!  The floodgate opened, and waves of ideas started rolling through my head.  I just couldn't sort out exactly what I would do and how I could do it; what platform to use.  So I made a list, I made lots of lists!  Months later, I finally narrowed it down to three things I love; holistic wellness, reading, and an old love - writing.  

I love to read; it's one of my favorite past-times.  I used to love writing. In high school, I enjoyed doing term papers, book reports, and English projects.  I enjoyed school and studying; I was a good student.  My mom became very sick while I was a freshman in high school, which kept me home a lot, but I didn't mind.  I was a homebody then, and I still am, home is my favorite place to be.  I grew up in a small town where everyone knew me as shy and somewhat introverted, but I never felt the need to be any different. Even in my shyness, I had many good friends still managed to break out sometimes and surprise everyone, mostly myself.  After high school, I went thru a dark time in my life. I married early, at seventeen, neither of us was prepared for what lay ahead.  We had a very volatile relationship that ended badly after six years of turmoil.  As a result, I lost my inner-voice and my sense of self for a long time.  I became very withdrawn. I tried to be obscure, staying on the sidelines and the social fringe.  Self-esteem had deserted me, and any form of attention was a terrifying thought.  Insecurity fermented into fear; fear of almost everything.  I lived in the realm of the victim; I just didn’t realize it at the time.  I never understood why I was so caught up in a perpetual cycle of destructive choices and bad luck.  I made my way, but life always seemed like a struggle for me.  My protective shell had a nice faux exterior.  I looked happy with my life, and I was, on the surface. Everything for me happened only on the surface. I tried to avoid anything deeper; it was safer for my heart. 

One beautiful Spring day, my outlook changed. I was on a business retreat in the snowy mountains of Utah.  My colleagues wanted to stop in one of the local shops to have our fortune told.  I was scared of this dark art; it went against my Christian upbringing and beliefs.  My colleagues teased me that I should lighten up, it was just for fun; so I acquiesced and went along.  When it was my turn, I entered the little room and greeted the young girl seated at the table.  She had a lovely smile and a peaceful demeanor. She made me feel instantly at ease as I took my seat across from her.  She looked at me and smiled for what seemed like a long time, and then she took my hands and held them in hers, she didn’t say anything.  After a few minutes, I started to cry. We sat there together until I was all cried out.  She had a very comforting, nurturing presence.  After a while, she told me I should look inward and find my strength and my voice and never let anyone take them from me again.  She said it was time to move forward and leave the victim behind, to reach out and take hold of all the beautiful blessings life had in store for me.  I was there with her for about 20 minutes, only those few words spoken.  Then she stood up still holding my hand and lead me to the front of the shop, over to the book section.  She scanned the shelves and took down two books for me; The Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukav, and Chakras & Their Archetypes, by Ambika Wauters.  Ultimately, these two books helped set me on a new path, away from the victim archetype and perpetual self-sabotage. This ‘physic’ didn’t tell my fortune, but she did have a profound effect on my future. Her insight and kindness, and these two books helped opened my eyes and my mind. I now think she was 'an old soul' in our modern world.  The most important thing I learned from these two books and many others that followed, is that it's ME who orchestrates my life, my future; no one else.  Perception is an active process; we see what we expect to see.  We each choose what to think, to feel, and how to react. I finally realized I am the architect of my reality; my choice, I choose!  I’m very thankful for that day, and for the young ‘fortune teller’ who did have a genuine gift. A gift she shared with me in a special way. She saw thru my wall and into the pain, fear, and insecurity it held back.  She helped me move past a block I had unwittingly created in my life and to set a course for brighter days. You never know what form your Guardian Angel may take, but they always manifest for us in a way that gives us the guidance, support and encouragement we need.  Their love for us has no boundaries.

I finally did find my inner-voice, years later... but it took a while to get used to using it without seeming like a shrew.  My husband, Raymond, has patiently dealt with me these many years moving (sometimes) awkwardly through the phases of my life from the quiet, passive young woman he married to the assertive, confident Crone I've become.  I lived in the victim archetype for so long; sometimes I too quickly reverted to this fearful, defensive posture whenever we had a disagreement.  Thankfully, Raymond saw in me what I didn't see in myself and knew it would pass.  Now my voice is steady and strong, and eager to be heard!  

It's been a momentous year for me.  When I started this journey to find my way in the virtual world, my voices began to sing loudly, and all at once; in my head, my heart, and my gut, all giving me a multitude of streaming tangled ideas.  For months, I sat up at night and made notebooks full of midnight scribbles, so inspired I couldn't sleep.  I had sticky notes all over my desk and my computer. The pockets inside my purse stuffed with notes written on the back of receipts and any scrap of paper I could find at the time; all jotted with ideas that were sprouting for me like dandelions under the summer sun.  It was so messy and crazy, and at times exhausting, but always exciting! 

I finally made my way to Sisterhood of the Crone. "Sisterhood" inspired for me by the amazing group of ladies I have the good fortune to work with every day. "Crone" inspired by the many books I've read over the years about holistic wellness, healthy aging, and natural living… and the tiny little wart that manifested itself on the side of my nose about two years ago. For me, it was a sign of my inner Crone rising, to take hold of my personal power and stop apologizing for myself.  I honor the divine feminine in our world and my daily life. 

I started over on my project many times this past year since that first little spark tickled my fancy.  But I always remained hopeful.  The excitement and anticipation have kept me going.  I’m so blessed to feel I’ve found my path for this stage of my life.  I hope you too, will experience the joy and enthusiasm I feel as I find my way to this new adventure. I will strive with every new post to inspire my passion for holistic wellness, natural health & beauty remedies, and honoring the sacred passage into our Crone years – together! 

Sisterhood, created by solid friendships, both treasured and new, forms a perfect base and support system as we find our way thru this new season of life.  Please join me at Sisterhood of the Crone in a rejuvenation of Mind, Body, & Spirit for a beautiful, healthy menopause; just as nature intended. 

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Yours Truly,

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