Something in the Way She Moves – Why Women are the Key to Happiness

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By Mark A. Leon

As a man, I can say comfortably that we are simple folk. We have simple common ways of thinking, actions and thought. We are the hunters and gatherers, the quiet communicators, the competitive spirits and the comforting companions. We think sensibly and act progressively. We are the backbone and the cornerstone of progress, but history will dictate, as well as the future, that we are billions of empty souls wondering aimlessly through life without the blood that makes our heart pump.

That blood with its nutrients and fortified vitamins of life is the women that gives us the guidance, confidence and strength.

Women are:

  • Irrational (in such a good way.? It leads to disruption, then change, then innovation)
  • Emotional
  • Passionate
  • Intuitive
  • Nurturing
  • Comforting and protective
  • Strong
  • Emotionally centered while always thinking outside the box
  • Crazy and neurotic in a way that makes them irresistible
  • Sexy
  • Scholarly
  • Heroes without the need for recognition
  • Patient to our needs
  • Prepared in times of danger
  • Always there with open arms

When I think about the women in my life, from infancy to adulthood, so many flash through the theater inside my head. From mothers, to sisters, to teachers, to girlfriends, to lovers, to companions, to friends, to strangers and beyond.

Each one has left something behind. ?Something meaningful that has sculpted my entire being.

Let me be the first to say, women are crazy. Crazy in the amazing, cannot stop thinking about them kind of way. ?Some in their words and others in their actions.

There isn’t a decision in my life that has not been powered by the influence of a woman. ?Think about every aspect of your life.

What does your life entail?

  • Careers
  • Goals
  • Dreams
  • Sports
  • Family
  • Education
  • Hobbies
  • Travel
  • Dating / Marriage / Partnership
  • Friendship
  • Arts (Writing / Photography / Film / Theater)
  • Nurturing (Hospitals / Clinics / Nurses)
  • Teamwork

How many of the above bullet points in your life are heavily influenced or assisted by the hand of a woman?

I thought so.

Why then do I still continue to hear so many stories of corporate prejudice, domestic violence, divorce, social inequity, emotional withdrawal and genders divided?

I wish I knew the answer, but unfortunately, like so many of my fellow inhabitants of this earth, we are lost for a resolution.

I am going to leave you with this:

Love is the defining core of the good in humanity. ?It is a simple gesture, a warm thought, a kind act. ?It is as easy as the feel of a human touch and as lasting as the depths of the universe. ?Accept the perfection that is in women and embrace all they have to offer.

They are our reason for living and the core of our being.

When you find a woman that is beautiful inside and out and she gives herself to you in some capacity, accept, embrace and give back equally.

You will find yourself in a much better place in the end.


A Woman’s Place – Original Poem by Charleston Poet Loretta Jophlin (In Support of International Women’s Day)

A poem from me to you, in honor of International Women’s Day.

A Woman’s Place – Original Poem

By Loretta Jophlin

Today we celebrate our gifts to make the world a better place

We have fought to be counted amongst the human race

We are not here for your pleasure, but we’ll alleviate your pain

You can’t “grab” us or grope us in jest for your game

We are not an accessory, a muse or a “plate”

Our strength is limitless and we stand against hate

We are half of the world, half of the love, half of the power

We have come through the worst and lived our darkest hour

Women unite, with children and our brothers

We fight for justice and respect each other

We won’t be reminded of “our place” again

Our place is this world, equal to all men.

*Loretta has been a featured poet twice in the last year at East Bay Meeting House Monday Evening Poetry and Open Mic

She recently published a collection entitled “Ephemeral Unions:? The Art of Never Being Still”

What the Charleston Lady Was Doing While Her Other Half Watched the Epic Finale of the 2016 World Series

By, Minta Pavliscsak
  • Enjoying the crisp fall evening on the patio while sipping a glass of wine and sneaking a few pieces of the kid’s Halloween candy.
  • Hanging out with her man because she is after all a true Southern Bell, and supporting his interests is just part of what we do. {…even if there may be texts exchanged with the bestie about how cute that one player’s butt looks in his uniform.}
  • Sleeping – hopefully not interrupting any important plays with the occasional, adorable snore.
  • Finally catching up on her DVR shows on the smaller T.V.
  • Using her man’s credit card to buy those shoes she has been eyeing for quite some time now. -How that matching belt made its way into the shopping bag is a mystery to her!-
  • Constantly refilling the chip bowl and mixed nuts while making countless pigs in blankets, all while keeping the coffee table her honey and his friends are huddled around clear of empty beer cans and bottle caps.
  • Taking advantage of an empty house to sit around in her favorite baggy, ripped sweats and bleached stained hoodie for once…crazy hair and all.
  • Getting hit on at Mac’s Place -unbeknownst to her significant other- by some guy rooting for the opposing team, despite the fact that her and her man have been sharing a plate of nachos since the second inning and he keeps drinking her beer because he refuses to take his eyes off of the screen.
  • Pretending to show interest in the game but instead, plotting her moment when she gets to use the line that starts with, “Honey remember that time when I sat up with you after midnight watching the World Series?”
  • Cheering right along by her love’s side because she has always been a Cubs fan.

 

World Series 2016 Video

From Vision to Reality: It Girls of Charleston – A Community of Acceptance and Friendship

By Mark A. Leon

Charleston is changing before our eyes. We are a melting pot of
locals and transplants sharing diverse ideas and lifestyles. Finding true
and life-long connections is a challenge we all face. The It Girls of
Charleston has created a solution for the women of the Charleston
area. By creating a safe environment built on relationships,
community partnership and social engagement, they offer women in the
Charleston area a place to connect and find personal and emotional connections.
We had a chance to sit down with the founder/organizer Jamie
Sprenger to learn a little bit more about the driving forces that led to this
energetic community that will be hosting a Brunch and Bachelorette
auction to support the Children’s Tumor Foundation [1] later this
month.

CD:? What is the catalyst and driving force behind creating this networking community??

JS: I moved to Charleston this past February and knew only one
person in town, my best friend. However, she is on call a lot, has a
serious boyfriend and her own group of local friends. I was very lonely and
wanted someone to go explore with, without having to bug my best
friend all the time. I searched online for social groups, but the
ones I found interesting either had no upcoming events, were composed of
members in their 50s-70s, or were co-ed. I was looking for an
all-girls group around my age range that was very active. Since it
did not exist, I decided to create one. In forming this group I’ve
found my true passions – organizing events, being a leader in the
community, and exploring Charleston with a truly amazing group of women.

CD:? What are the challenges your members face and how will this group help to reduce some of the pressures?

JS: 99% of us are not from Charleston, so we didn’t have any
friends when we moved here. It Girls is a place that fosters close
friendships. We also don’t know what venues are good (restaurants, hair
stylists, etc.) and need advice on where to go. Whenever we need advice on
local venues or anything Charleston related, we post in our Facebook group
and several people always respond with their feedback and
recommendations.? Some of us are finding it hard to adjust to life in a new city, away
from family, with a different culture and everyone else in the group
understands each other and supports each other. We are planning a
Friendsgiving dinner for those who cannot travel to their families
for the holiday.? Over half of us are single and are having a hard time dating in this
town. It Girls provides a safe space where no one needs to care how
they look or worry about getting hit on, because every night is Girls
Night. We can vent to each other about dating, get advice, and feel
like we don’t need a significant other because we have such a
great friend group.? A lot of us struggle with eating healthy and exercising. We created
a separate Facebook group for those interested where we hold each
other accountable for our goals and motivate each other. It is a personal
development group to improve physical health, self-esteem,
happiness, and well being.

CD:? What type of community engagement do you plan in the next year?

JS: We plan on organizing at least one large charity
event per year. Our first charity event is October 23rd at 5Church and it
is a date auction and silent auction benefitting the Children’s Tumor
Foundation. My childhood best friend, Alison Garrard, came to me
with the idea and we have enjoyed planning every detail of the
event and knowing we are making a difference in our community. We would
like to make this a yearly event. I also host a monthly book club, a
monthly murder mystery dinner, a monthly canvas painting night,
weekly wine nights, and sporadic dinners, movies, beach trips, girl’s night
out, exercise and dance classes, weekend getaways, Sunday brunches,
local festivals, spa parties, arts and crafts nights, and anything
else members suggest.

CD:? Does this group have a professional networking element, social or both??

JS: The primary focus of our group is the social element. However,
professional networking naturally occurs as well. Members will post
on our Facebook group looking for recommendations for services, etc.
and if a member is in that business, she will comment, or if
a member knows another member in that service, she will recommend that
member. For example, a member was looking for a professional
photographer and we found three within our group. The purpose of the
group is to develop deeper connections than professional contacts,
however, professional contacts are naturally made as people get to
know each other and talk about what they do.

CD: What makes the It Girls of Charleston different from other
female based networking groups?

JS: It Girls fosters close, lasting friendships, not just activity
partners. We are a close-knit group – several smaller groups have
formed based on who clicks with who, of course – but overall the
people who come regularly are good friends with each other. We call
each other when we’ve had a bad day to vent over a glass of wine.
We chipped in to send a member Edible Arrangements when her father
died, and sent another member a spa day when she was stressing about her
sister being diagnosed with cancer. Most meetups and other social
groups (at least in my experience) do not focus on fostering
meaningful friendships, they simply focus on getting people together
to do activities with each other.? We are a lot more active than other groups. We do things multiple
times per week. Not every member comes to every event, of course,
but they have so many options.? I have been told by many members how amazed they are that our group
is not caddy, we don’t gossip behind each other’s backs, and we
are truly supportive of each other. We build each other up instead
of tear each other down. Despite how difficult it is at the beginning
to put ourselves out there with new people, we are all committed to
making genuine and deep connections. We all strongly believe that
having a close-knit group of girlfriends is essential to every
woman’s happiness.

Testimonials

“I’ve worked in predominately female environments all my life.? I’ve never experienced a group atmosphere of women who are so kind, generous, fun and genuine as I have in this group.? Everyone has your back; everyone is so open and you can tell that there is a genuine vibe of wanting to be there for each other.” – Rachel M.

“What you have built is amazing and inspiring.? I look at all these girls who have come together every day and know that you have made a place for all of them to become friends and be themselves.” – Alison G.

“Been feeling down lately wondering if I made the right decision moving far from home, but seeing all the different activities coming up is helping.” – Jami M.

 

From Vision to Reality

With an idea, a passion and a community that thrives on outreach and
relationships, Jamie Sprenger created a place where women in
Charleston can share thoughts, ideas, emotions or just feel a sense
of belonging.? It is that level of passion and innovativeness that has given birth
to the It Girls of Charleston. We expect great thinks from these
ladies.