WISdom

I would like to hold my little hand

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
~”Bridge Over Troubled Waters” ~Lyrics by Simon & Garfunkel, Sung by
Aretha Franklin (in this version)

Hello WIS Community –

Here we are again, another month. One month closer to the end of the year. I’m late sending this email this month as I struggle to find words most days. Every day is living in a dual space of emotions: happy / sad, love / hate, calm / anger, peace / anxiety, joy / misery and confusion mixed with clarity and everything in between. The world has so much going on and it can be challenging to get out of bed to face it. It can be challenging to find a balance in every second of the day. Yet, I know I am meant to be here and YOU are meant to be here. We are meant to be in this world together right now. As I slowly arise from bed, I say …

I believe we are here because we CARE and can change this world together!

That thought gets me through each day as I ride the rollercoaster of emotions and learn to live in a space of duality and strive to find balance — well, at least as much as I can find in this chaotic world. How do we bridge the gap between these dualities? I don’t know the answer, but I get up to face the world and remind myself to be guided by WISdom. There is so much of it around us when we listen. I embrace the spectrum of emotions and hold space for a both / and vs either / or mindset. I work hard to understand that we live in a multi-dimensional world and that we are all humans at the end of the day.

As always, I am reminded of the WISdom that comes from everyone in the Women in Sustainability community. I learn so much from you every day and I’m grateful for it.

You lift me up when it’s hard to put my feet on the ground or keep on the path toward achieving a more sustainable and equitable world. I am in awe of your WISdom.

In case no one has told you lately, thank you for your guided WISdom in the work you are doing! Keep shining on, my friends, as your dreams are on the way!

As we navigate this world of duality and seek WISdom, I invite you to join us at one of our few events left in 2023 (that still sounds so weird to me). When we gather, we gain WISdom from one another and hopefully restore a sense of balance, even for a short while.

In addition, some of our amazing members are sharing their WISDOM with us this giving season! Grab your “WISdom for the Planet” guide filled with sustainability tips and Words of WISdom from our members! (Have you figured out the WIS part of WISdom yet?!)

We’d love to know – where do you find WISdom while finding balance in a world of duality? Share with us here! Here’s an affirmation I love that helps me.

We have a lot going on through the end of the month and hope you’ll take a few minutes to scroll down to check it out! We look forward to seeing you soon!

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org

Community • Advocacy • Resources • Education

Encouragement

I would like to hold my little hand

And we will run, we will, we will crawl
Send me on my way (on my way)
~”Send Me On My Way” ~ Rusted Root

Hello WIS Community –

Happy October! It has been a beautiful start to fall in Colorado as the Aspens turn their golden hue and snow returns to our mountains. It’s seriously my favorite time of year. I hope you’re taking the time to enjoy it too.

I was watching CBS Mornings and one of my favorite segments came on, Kindness 101 with Steve Hartman. If you’re not familiar with this segment, you can check it out on this YouTube channel. While this segment always pulls at my heartstrings, this one lesson hit me hard. I found myself sitting on the couch with full-on tears. Perhaps I just needed a good, ugly cry, but there was more to this story too. It was a “Lesson on Encouragement.” I don’t want to ruin it for you, so I ENCOURAGE you to take a moment and watch it.

I was particularly taken aback by this segment as it made me think about the WOMEN in Sustainability community. I know sometimes we feel like the work we are doing isn’t important or nobody is watching. It can be challenging to keep going. Days can seem like nothing you do matters. However, you never know who you are inspiring in your life. Maybe it’s the younger generation or a colleague. Maybe it’s a family member or a friend. Whoever it is, there is at least one person out there, listening, watching, and dreaming of a sustainable world with you. Including me! I’ll be your hype man all day, every day! I ENCOURAGE you to keep going on the work you are doing to make our world a better place. I believe in you and know you can do it! We keep joking that there should be a 1-800-WISHYPE number for tough days. Now it’s in the Universe, so you never know! 😉

In case you need a reminder, today:

You are amazing, and the world needs your gift. You got this!

I also want to give a shout-out to my new “Garbage Post Challenge” crew. This has been such a powerful group of women who are supporting each other through our social media efforts. I joined for accountability, but have found so much more in this small group of people. I receive so much ENCOURAGEMENT and support from them that it helps lift me up every day!

What are some ways you like to encourage others? Or how do you find encouragement in your life? Share with us!

If you are looking for a little extra ENCOURAGEMENT this fall, come and join us at an event, online or in-person. This is a community full of people who ENCOURAGE each other every day. Make the time to connect. You’ll thank your future self. (PS – saying those words to myself, as I also struggle with this outside of WIS events.) We kick off the month with an amazing conversation on Artificial Intelligence and how it relates to sustainability. I’m SO SO SO excited for this conversation. If you’re sitting there saying, “I don’t want to learn this new technology because of ________”, then go and click RSVP right now. Don’t get left behind. If you CARE about the future, you should be part of the AI conversation now. Later in the month, we’ll be ENCOURAGING one another to release our fears of what is holding us back from being our best selves. This event is going to be fun, vulnerable, and a little bit witchy. It is for members only, and sorry, men, we’re keeping it to all who identify as women. (It is limited to 15 people, so if you haven’t RSVP’d yet, do it soon.) Oh and not a member yet? See below!

We are also hosting our first Scream and Green Halloween event – whooooo (said in a ghost-like voice)! 👻 This is our flagship event on the connection between sustainability and mental health. We’re excited to begin building this programming in the future and hope you’ll help us kick it off on October 21! We’ll wrap up the month with one of my favorite humans this world has given me. Anna will be talking about a taboo topic and making it fun with her Community Voices webinar. With a little ENCOURAGEMENT, I convinced her to do this talk for us and I know it’s gonna be one for the YouTube books!

We hope you’ll join us at one, a couple or all of these events this month. We can’t wait to see you! In the meantime, remember you are AWESOME and I am grateful for you!

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org

Community • Advocacy • Resources • Education

Change

These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane
~”Changes In Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” ~ Jimmy Buffett

Hello WIS Community –

Welcome to September! 🍂 I am ready for the fall and so glad it’s finally creeping in … maybe a little too slow for me, ha! I love this time of year for many reasons, including hoodie weather, college football, soup, garden abundance, cinnamon tea, Macintosh apples, kitty snuggles, and I can go on. There is something that calms me as the weather cools and the seasons change. I take time to reflect on the year and focus my goals on how I want to end it. What do I want to accomplish before we start a new calendar? Who do I want to be to start the next year? Then, I focus on what I need to CHANGE to reach those goals.

I’ve never been one to fear CHANGE. I’ve always liked the challenge of learning something new, being somewhere different and finding ways to adapt. Perhaps because I never felt I fit into society’s mold and that I can embrace CHANGE a bit more. Perhaps it’s that I’ve lived with a health condition (Rheumatoid Arthritis) my whole life and have to be resilient and adaptive to change as my body demands it. Perhaps my Mom challenged me to live outside the box and always try something new or not be afraid to ask. Perhaps it’s all of it that has helped me to embrace change. Who knows! However, as I get older, I find change can be more challenging and my fear sits in a bit more (along with it’s friend depression). I’m learning that if I resist this change and lean into the fear, I am only fighting my internal self, which gets me nowhere. Just as nature goes through seasons, so do we as human beings. (To everything turn, turn, turn – There is a season turn, turn, turn …)

It’s how we handle the seasons and find ways to adapt to the change that helps us succeed in this weird thing called life. I often think about how this relates to the environment and sustainability. The Earth is changing every day around us and yet so many are resistant to recognizing the change and how we as humans need to CHANGE so we can enjoy this beautiful space. I don’t have the answers, but I know that being a part of this community has helped me to see CHANGE for good. It has helped me to find happiness, support and encouragement on the days it seems like we’re getting nowhere. This community lifts me up every day. I get to see the good in people all around and it helps me to not feel so alone. I get to hear the stories of how people are changing people’s lives. I see people learning from each other and growing so we can CHANGE the world together. This community cries together and laughs hard when the world seems so difficult. This community is about how we truly CARE for one another and this beautiful and daunting world we live in.

So, as Earth begins to turn into a new season, I hope you take the time to reflect on the CHANGES you want to see in your life. How can you embrace those changes and take one step closer to the person you want to be next year? Share with us – what are you working to CHANGE for the rest of 2023?

(My big change this year is that I’m not embracing an alcohol-free life! YAY! 😀)

If you need a change in pace, I encourage you to join us at a WIS event this fall and winter. We love connecting people together to discuss how we can collectively change this world. We have many ways to connect, either online or in person. We have members-only meetups, family-friendly events, webinars and more. We will be wrapping up our year with our annual holiday beach-themed celebration to celebrate this amazing community and all of YOUR accomplishments. It’s one of my favorite events that we host each year!

We look forward to seeing you soon! Check out all of our amazing events below and in the meantime, live life like Jimmy Buffett – one beachin’ day at a time!

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org

Community • Advocacy • Resources • Education

Joy

Singin’ joy to the world
All the boys and girls now
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me
~”Joy to the World” ~ Three Dog Night

Hello WIS Community – I hope you all have been enjoying your summer. It feels like it just started in CO, yet we’re almost at the end. Oy. Time seems to keep on slippin’, slippin’ into the future!

With a quiet summer, I’ve had time to reflect on what brings me JOY. At our happy hour this week, we asked all attendees to share what brings them JOY in their life (since we were at JOYride). There were so many wonderful answers. My JOY is truly being with this community. While it was nice to have a break from events this past month, I sure did miss seeing all your faces, laughing together, crying together, hugging one another and sharing in JOYful moments. I’m so grateful every day that this community exists. I’m grateful that you are a part of it!

I’m curious to know – what brings YOU JOY? Share with us!

As we took a pause on events, we have been working on some big projects. I have been digging deep into CRMs and organization. You may notice some changes in our online world if you’ve visited our website recently. These are exciting changes for us as we’ll be able to serve our community better. As this is all new for us and we’re in a learning phase, we appreciate all of your patience and graciousness as we get this new system up and running. There will be a few hiccups along the way, but I know we can get through them together!

We have also been working hard to plan a screamin’ fun fall and winter for you! The last half of the year will include webinars, family-friendly activities, members-only connections, sustainable conversations and so much more! As Wah Gwaan closed this Jan, we searched the seas for a new “beach-esque” location for our annual holiday celebration. We’re pretty excited about our new spot and look forward to revealing this Tiki-tastic location with its island-inspired vibes later this month! It’s gonna be a beachin’ good time!

As we move to our new-to-us internal system, we’ll really be turning more attention to our members with member-only, member-discounted, or member perks with our events. It really pays to be a member of WIS. If you’ve considered joining, now is a good time to do so! We’re running a “COOL” summer savings with $22 off 1-year individual memberships between now and the end of August. Your membership gives you perks and provides us with support to create great programs for YOU! Win-Win!

If you’re looking for some fun before the end of summer, join us at one of our upcoming events. We have our Community Voices webinar hosted by Brie Zoller. She’ll be giving tips on creating more meaningful connections through the power of questions. I’m looking forward to learning more! We are partnering with That Minimal Life and WeeCycle for another Sift & Thrift to celebrate your bundle of joy. We’ll be heading to Boulder for the Planet-Based Festival. Come and find us there! Check out all of our announced events below.

I hope you find JOY in the last few days of Summertime and I look forward to seeing you all soon!

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org

Community • Advocacy • Resources • Education

Fun facts: For those that caught all the music lyrics in this email, music is another JOY of mine. I worked in the music industry for years and was burnt out when I left. It took me a long time to find JOY in music again, but now that I have, it’s fun to incorporate it into my everyday life. I’m that person that can throw out song lyrics all day, even if they are wrong! 🙂

More fun facts: Beethoven wrote “Ode to Joy” in 1824 as part of his Symphony No. 9 composition. He wrote the song based on a poem written by Friedrich Schiller with the same name. The song symbolizes “hope, unity and fellowship – across borders and through conflicts.” In 1907, Henry van Dyke wrote “Hymn of Joy” and put the words to the same melody. These are the words many may know today when they hear the song. The song celebrates JOY either way and fits well with our JOYful celebrations this month!

Quiet

Hello WIS Community –

I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday weekend and start to this summer. We’re getting this email out a bit late this month, but hope it finds you in good health and spirits.

I recently took a workshop on seasonal planning for nature-based businesses (Thanks Taylor) and had the realization that summer is all about downtime and QUIET for me. I’m not a huge fan of the extreme heat (hello climate change) and try to enjoy some QUIET time in the summer as we host less events at WIS. The past two months have flown by so quickly that I feel like my head has been spinning in circles, in all directions, and at the same time. Yes, it’s as dizzy as it sounds! I feel that it’s been challenging to catch my breath and figure out what steps to take next with all the commotion in my head. I feel like I’m in the perpetual cycle of being behind and not following through on my promises, which is not how I like to be as a person. [Apologies if you’re one of those people that didn’t receive a follow-up from me recently. It’s not you, it’s me and I’m working to be better. That is my continued promise to this COMMUNITY.]

Anyways, it seems that every day has been packed full of noise from work, home, and everything in between. Have any of you been feeling that way too? If so, let’s take a breath together. (Deep breath in, big sigh out. Ah, that felt good.)

Somedays I miss (and crave) the quieter days of the COVID shutdown. Now it seems like we’re all trying to cram our schedules full of activities once again. It seems as the world is on edge as I listen to the noise of social media, news, dinging of emails, cars rushing down the street and fireworks exploding in the air at all hours of the day. (Anyone else feel like the “at home fireworks shows” are crazier than ever? Our neighborhood has been setting off fireworks since the Denver Nuggets won the championship weeks ago.) And if you’re like our family, the days are so crazy, that no matter what we do, dinner is always at 9:00pm. Seriously, I can start dinner at 6:00pm and still not get it on the table till 9:00pm – what the heck?!

Anyways, I am excited and very much looking forward to QUIETER days of July and early August. Fingers crossed the fireworks are over for the time being. Now, QUIET doesn’t mean the work stops, it just means finding time to catch my breath and focus on the big picture planning. It means allowing my head to fill with ideas and taking the time to plan so we’re not always playing catch up when a new month is upon us. It means allowing the space to go for walks in the morning and creating a habit to CARE for myself so that I can CARE for the WIS community. It means enjoying the sunshine and taking the time to calm down the noise in my head. It means being present in this time.

Where do you find QUIET in your days? How do you take QUIET time for yourself? What are you doing this summer for YOU? Share with us!

I hope whatever you are doing this summer, from work to vacations, time with family to finding time for you, that you can enjoy a little QUIET in your days as we prepare for the 2nd half of the year. Even if it just means eating dinner at a “normal time”!

As WIS gears up for the rest of 2023, we are going to use this QUIET time to finalize our fall and winter events. We will have lots going on from networking to workshops, tours, member-only events, webinars and of course, our annual holiday celebration in December! We hope that you find the time to rest and join us at an upcoming event this fall! We are also working on a new member platform and we can’t wait to reveal it. Stay tuned for more announcements coming soon!

In the meantime, don’t miss out on our summer connections including our Q3 book club and July webinar with Erin from RoomRedefined we’re she’ll be teaching us how to clean out our spaces in a sustainable way! Plus, we’ll be celebrating summer together at our “Happiness Hour” on August 2 at Joyride Brewing Co. If you haven’t been to their rooftop yet, it has an incredible view! This is a laid back networking event with no specific programming – just come and be in community! Non-alcoholic and gluten free options are available so everyone can participate in the event.

I’m wishing you all a little QUIET time this month and look forwarding to continuing to CARE together this fall! Thank you for all that you do to make our world a better place!

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org
My virtual door is always open – Calendly

Community • Advocacy • Resources • Education

“Creative People need time to sit around and do nothing.” ~ Austin Kleon

Proud

June 2023
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“What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel prouder?”
~”Proud” ~ Heather Small

Hello WIS Community –

A couple of weeks ago, a few of us community leaders met to discuss ways we could support one another. As part of the intro, we had to talk about ourselves, not what we do, since most of us already knew each other. Whew. How many people struggle with that? I found it challenging to introduce “me” and not what I do. (Note I still found myself talking about the “do”, which I 100% got called out for!)  

So that got me thinking about identities and how we show up in life in different places. So I did a journal exercise and started writing down, “Who Am I”?

I am an entrepreneur. I am a Connector. I am a friend. I am a Significant Other. I am a Rheumatoid Arthritis warrior. I am an activist. I am a Buckeye. I am a hockey fan. I am a trash talker and waste lover. I am a speaker. I am an educator. I am a hiker. I am an environmentalist. I am a cat mom. I am a “Second Act” woman. I am a volunteer. I am a (reggae) music lover. I am a community organizer. I am a learner. I am a PAL (Pledgettes Accountability League). I am an event planner. I am a party host. I am a Woman in Sustainability. And more …

In addition, I have shed some “I am” titles to make way for new and better titles. (Ex: I am a smoker … today it is I am an EX-smoker! 😳 Yup, I’m not always proud of that, but it’s still part of my life story. I am PROUD that I learned to overcome that challenge and open my life up to better health and environmental choices. Also, sorry Mom!)  

I have many “titles” in this life and they can show up in many ways and places. This exercise forced me to realize that I am a person with many layers. It made me realize that I am PROUD of all those layers that make me unique. When I show up in a space, I try to show up as me – no matter who “I am” at that moment. It’s not always easy to share everything about myself. Some days I want to stay hidden. Some days, I don’t want to reveal specifics about myself and find it challenging to show up. I want to blend in. Some titles are easier to say than others. However, I find that when I share the hidden layers, I do feel more free. I get to be me to discover authentic, honest and genuine connections with others. I remind myself that with all the “titles” I carry, there is usually one that helps me connect with another person. This can lead to at least a meaningful conversation, if not something more. Sometimes, we think we have to talk about what we do and not who we are. Perhaps, we can make the world a better place if we start sharing more about our lesser known “titles” in life. Who knows – maybe someone will change your life. Let’s be PROUD of all our titles. I know I am (even if embarrassed by a few too). I challenge you to go outside your comfort zone and connect in a different way this month.

I also want to acknowledge my privilege and that my titles don’t have the same weight as some others. This PRIDE month, I stand with everyone in the LGBTQIA+ Community. I see you. I love you. You can always share your “titles” with us and I work to create a safe space for you (and marginalized communities). I challenge myself to speak out against hate so that you can shine your light and love for all to see. I challenge our legislators to ensure a safe future for you. Your love lifts me and I am thankful for all those that can show up as their true selves. We all deserve to be ourselves in this crazy thing called life.

And always, be PROUD of you! We are! Thank you for showing up as your authentic self, even on days when it’s hard. We are here for you on those days too,

If you’re looking for connections this month, we have several opportunities including volunteer events . Volunteering is an excellent way to spend time with others and give back to the community! It’s something to help you feel PROUD. In addition, we are partnering with CohoUS for our June networking event. We’ll talk about co-housing and how it benefits the planet. This will be a great conversation that truly embraces community! Plus, we’ll wrap up the month with our book club and learn how to bridge the gaps to truly be inclusive in our lives at this month’s Community Voices webinar.

Oh, and we couldn’t be more PROUD to partner with our friends at CampExperience and The Pledgettes to host the first-ever BetterTogetherFest! This event is about collaboration, community, friendship, learning, and more! A huge shout out to Lara and the Smedley Events team for bringing this idea to life. We hope you’ll join us to spend time together and learn from our excellent speakers throughout the day. More info is below and check out BetterTogetherFestCO.com to join us on June 24!

We look forward to connecting with you soon. Thank you for all you do and we’re so PROUD of you.

If you have a moment, share with us your “titles” in the comment section. Who are YOU? We want to know! Be Proud of YOU!

the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free.” ~ Barack Obama

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder

Joy

April 2023
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“And the daffodils look lovely today!”
~ “Daffodil Lament” by The Cranberries

As I write this note, the sun is shining and yesterday’s snow is slowly melting away. This past week I loved being able to get outside and enjoy the warmer days. I went for walks in my neighborhood where I saw the daffodils popping up and showing their bright yellow smiles. The second I see a cluster of daffodils, I take a deep breath and take in their sweet scent. I always did this growing up and it floods my mind with memories. The smell brings me so much JOY and a reminder that spring is here (even if we did get snow in CO yesterday) and that like the spring, my world is ready to for renewal as this new quarter begins. It’s a reminder that we can ebb and flow with Mother Earth as she shows us signs of growth these next few month. I love that she gives us these subtle signs at the start of Earth Month. It’s a reminder that we are connected to her and that we too experience seasons throughout our life, but growth is always right around the corner. It’s a reminder to find JOY in the small things. These past few weeks, I’ve been finding moments of JOY from extra snuggles with my cat, to finding my great grandmother’s engagement ring that I thought I lost forever, to connecting with WIS members, friends and getting ready for our annual tradition of opening weekend at the ballpark. As people in sustainability, we sometimes forget to take in moments of JOY throughout the month as it is our time to shine. It’s when the world is paying attention to our voices and words that we scream from the mountaintops every day. However, I encourage you this Earth Month, to take moments for YOU. Find some time to take in your favorite experiences in the spring – smelling the flowers, feeling the sun on your face, dancing in the rain or connecting with your community. Whatever it is, find those moments of JOY throughout this month as a reminder why you work so hard every day to strive for a better planet for all of us.

How will you find JOY this Earth Month?
Share with us here!

We will be finding JOY this month through our events from your bundle of joy to celebrating all of YOU with our annual EarthYAY Celebration at Odell Brewing Sloan’s Lake on May 4. This is our big celebration that we throw in YOUR honor. It brings us JOY to take the time to celebrate YOUR hard work and accomplishments. It’s a time for you to find JOY by letting us take CARE of you for an evening! We hope you will join us.

Oh and don’t miss our special announcement below for our new annual fundraiser – it’s gonna be F-U-N!! (I also know this is bringing our board chair, Beth, a lot of joy in planning it for you.)

I hope that you have a JOY-filled Earth Month and find time for you to enJOY too! Thank you from all of us at Women in Sustainability for your dedication, passion, commitment and CARE to this world. We are so grateful for you.

with CARE,
Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org
My virtual door is always open – Calendly

“Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the Tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.” ~ William Alexander

Laughter

March 2023
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“Girls, just wanna have fun!”
~ Cyndi Lauper

Hello WIS Community –

Happy March and Women’s History Month. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to tell February (and this winter) goodbye! As we head into the spring and look ahead to sustainability experts’ busiest month (hello Earth Month), I’m reminding myself to take a moment and LAUGH. While this past month found many challenges from sickness to snow (and more snow), I have felt 10 steps behind the whole way. I suppose it doesn’t help that we had 8 events in 7 days, but hey who needs sleep anyways, right?! (I’m just kidding. Please sleep; it’s good for your health.)

While the days seemed long, I was always given reminders to relieve stress along the way. Our Book Swap on February 22 brought me back to COMMUNITY and a reminder that when all in life seems tough, COMMUNITY just makes it better. I walked in that evening in a funk and left with my heart so full. I am so thankful for all who joined us – you didn’t know it at the time, but you were healing my soul. My other reminder was from my friend (and pastor) Rev. Emily to LAUGH — laugh at yourself, laugh at the world, laugh just to laugh … however you do it, remember to not take life so seriously and laugh. I am REEAALLY bad at this. Ask anyone close to me. It’s even a running joke in our house that I can be at a comedy show and not know it was comedy. I take life seriously. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) too seriously. So this month, as I look ahead to April and May (extremely busy months for all of us), I’m reminding myself to LAUGH and not take life so seriously. (PS you can call me out when I’m being too serious too! 😉 )

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter is good for you – physically and mentally! It can help improve organ function, relieve stress, and improve your immune system. It can even help relieve pain! It turns out that you can learn how to laugh, too!

So how am I learning laughter this month? By kicking up my heels and looking a little silly to bring me back to my roots. I’ve always wanted to try polka dancing (I’m Slovak and polka is in my bones. My Dad even produces one of the largest polka fests in the U.S.) and I’ve convinced my partner to do it with me. Even the thought of that is making me laugh. Yes, pictures and videos are to come. Now is a great time to step back from oh-so-serious life to enjoy some time for not-so-serious fun, lean into laughing about it and maybe learn something new. Remember, we all look silly learning new things, so laugh at yourself and be proud of taking the steps to look silly!

I’m also excited to spend time with the WIS Community this month as we celebrate Women’s History Month. Every time I’m with this community there are tough, real, honest conversations, and yet there always seems to be a sigh of relief as we end the evening and we all leave laughing, smiling and hugging one another. While we know the world of climate and sustainability can be tough and exhausting, we lean into one another for support. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to walk this path alone. We can do it together through tears, frustration, love and LAUGHTER! Before life gets too serious in April, I hope you take time to LAUGH this month. Do something outside of your comfort zone, see a comedy show, or find a friend and just laugh for no reason. Maybe turn up the stereo and blast “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and badly sing over Cyndi Lauper as you dance around the room. While I may not have the jokes, I’m still always willing to help you laugh and hope you will join us this month as we celebrate all those identifying as women who work hard to make our world a better place, like you!

What are you doing to LAUGH this month? Share with us or tell us a joke (keep it clean) here!

Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org
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Kindness

February 2023
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“You can count on me like one, two, three
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it, I can count on you like four, three, two
And you’ll be there
‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do”
Count on Me by Bruno Mars

Hello WIS Community –

Happy February! I’m hoping that your month is going well and treating you kind. While we know that February is full of love with Valentine’s Day, did you also know that February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day? This is a great reminder that big and even small gestures (a smile, holding the door open, letting a person merge in traffic, etc) are easy ways for people to connect. It’s also about being KIND to yourself as we continue to navigate a continuously changing world.

KINDNESS is my word for this month. I’ve been thinking lately, can acts of kindness help us create a more sustainable world? When we practice kindness to others, or kindness towards ourselves, there are countless positive outcomes. We create a ripple effect of kindness that goes beyond the person it was intended for, creating compassion within our communities and beyond. When we can count on each other and kindness is shown everywhere from the rooftop to the workplace to our personal groups and even amongst strangers on the streets – then, kindness starts to become collective effort with infinitely repayable results!

We use so many words when it comes to sustainability (carbon offsets, climate neutral, etc) that the average person can feel lost in the conversation. What if we moved towards more messaging around well-being instead of statistics for a positive and motivated reason to CARE? Let’s try it this month! What are ways that you can provide random acts of (green ) kindness into your routine? (Remember this doesn’t require spending a lot of money or time.) Need some ideas? Check out RAK’s website or this list here. Share with us how you plan to incorporate KINDNESS into your month. How does it make you feel? Do you think we can change the world with one small act of kindness at a time? Let us know!

We hope you will be KIND to yourself and join us this month at an upcoming event. We have a lot going on from book club, swaps to webinars about money and diversity, equity and inclusion. we are excited to partake in CO Environmental Film Fest as we support our members‘ world premiere of “A Good Neighbor” based on environmental justice in Commerce City, CO. We are also looking forward to partnering with Let Em Have It Salon for our unique networking event to kick off Women’s History Month on March 1. Check out all the information below.

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”~ Fred Rogers


Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org
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Happiness

January 2023
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“Meet me in the crowd, people, people
Throw your love around, love me, love me
Take it into town, happy, happy
Put it in the ground where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands”
Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.

Hello WIS –

Happy new year and welcome to 2023! I hope it’s been a riveting start to the year, or perhaps (like me), you’re just tip-toeing into it. Either way, I hope the first ten days have been amazing for each of you! Over the past few weeks there has been one word that seems to keep circling around me. That word is HAPPINESS. What does it mean? How do we achieve it? This past Sunday I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and a segment came on titled “Friendships, the key to Happiness”. Is that the answer? Then I read an excerpt from “Adrift: America in 100 Charts” that gloomily noted, “Community connections are fraying. Friendships are fading. In 1990, 40 percent of men and 28 percent of women reported having ten or more friends. By 2021, deep into the age of social media, a staggeringly low 15 percent of men and 11 percent of women said they had that many friends.” Galloway provides hope in his book and his first key idea is to find COMMUNITY by joining a club or organization. That’s why I’m SO excited to kick off our year with a “Just Be-Cause Happiness Hour” event on February 1 at Raices Brewing Company. Raices Brewing Co is rooted in COMMUNITY so a perfect spot to gather. Maybe together, we can find the key to happiness (hand holding not required) as we continue to navigate our daily lives in this strange world. I hope that each of you can find your happiness this year, whether it’s within the WIS community or elsewhere. We all deserve to find it!

We had so much fun in December wrapping up the year at our Holiday Beach Celebration at Wah Gwaan Brewing Company (photos below). We laughed, sang, ate and had merry ole time. Thanks to everyone that joined us. We’ll be bringing back this celebration again this year with even more beachin’ vibes!

We will also be bringing back our monthly Community Voices Webinar Series. This is a series that highlights our members and the work they are doing in sustainability. It’s a great way to get to know more about the WIS Community members and learn something new. We hope you’ll join us at one (or more) throughout the year. Who didn’t love recess as a kid? (That was my happiness!) Have you ever thought about the importance of recess as an adult? Well, Ashley DePaulis can tell you why recess is still important in our lives and some tips to incorporating it into your busy schedules. Join us as we kickoff this series with Ashley’s talk “Give Your Mind A Rest With Recess: Purposeful Play to Thrive in Business & in Life” on Wednesday, January 25 at 12:30pm MT.

We are finalizing our volunteer schedule with We Don’t Waste and other opportunities throughout the year so stay tuned. These are great events to gather in COMMUNITY and give back to those in need. (Fun Fact: Researchers have found a connection between happiness and the performance of selfless acts.)

Does money bring happiness? That’s for you to determine, but there is an importance of understanding your relationship with money to be (feel?) financially well. Meghan Lape with Conscious Impact Financial Planning will be taking us through a “Money Mindfulness” conversation and providing us with some tools we need to have a good relationship with money and why it’s important in our lives. According to The Pledgettes, “when more women take individual action or make money moves, our collective impact grows, leading to healthier, wealthier communities.” Financial health is a key priority for me this year, which is why I’m excited to be a member of The Pledgettes too. Want to learn about financial health? RSVP for this webinar and check out The Pledgettes. Oh and please do hold me accountable! I think more women should ask “how’s your investment portfolio” instead of “how’s the weather”.

Finally, this year is about books! Did you know that “people who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life, happier, and more likely to feel the things they do in life are worthwhile” according to a 2013 survey by the Book Trust. Plus, it’s much more fun to read a book and share your insights with a COMMUNITY! That’s why we’re launching our quarterly WIS Book Club (thanks Zhuli for supporting this effort.) We’ll read 1 book a quarter but have opportunities to meet monthly to hold each other accountable and discuss our viewpoints. Our first book is “Braiding Sweetgrass” which is one of my favs! We’re also teaming up with Stephanie Vail and Jacki Carr for our first book swap on February 22. Bring a book, take a book and maybe find a little happiness (and friendships) along the way! Check out all of our book information below.

I keep saying I’ll keep these shorts, but we just have so much to share and I’m so excited (and happy) to be in this COMMUNITY with all of you. Thank you! The Board and I are working up great plans to bring you more ways to CARE this year. We can’t wait to share with all of you. Stay tuned for more events, resources, and so much more.

As always, my virtual door is open and I love to connect with this community. If you have ideas, thoughts or just need to chat, feel free to set up a time on my calendar. And remember to take care of YOU, too!

Wishing you all health, wealth and HAPPINESS this year!

Becky
Chief CARE Connector / Founder
becky@womeninsustainability.org
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