Before we kick of this series, just wanted to let you know about Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a transmedia project addressing the challenges facing women and girls around the world, and aimed at igniting hope and action to create a new reality. 

Inspired by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, this project uses video, web, games, and other tools to educate viewers on the issues involved and give concrete ways they can help.

Somaly Mam is one of six activists featured in the four-hour television series, shot in 10 countries with celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde. Each segment tells the stories of women and girls living under some of the toughest circumstances imaginable – and finding the courage and strength needed to overcome them.  

On October 1st and 2nd, tune into PBS at 9PM for two nights of uplifting and inspiring stories, and learn what you can do to help. Don’t miss Somaly Mam and Meg Ryan, featured in the first night of this two-part special. Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #HalftheSky.


Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self. 
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life.

– Derek Walcott

Last year I read The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and was inspired by the above poem. 

I began to wonder, if I could go back in time and greet myself as a teenager or even as a little girl, what pieces of advice would I tell myself.
I decided to recruit women of all ages and find out what they would tell the younger versions of themselves.
In the words of Rod Stewart, “I wish that I knew what I know now.” 

We can’t go back, but can lessons from the past lead us to live differently in the present? In ten, twenty, thirty years can we look back and see that we’ve lived the life we wanted to.
Can we sit and feast on our life? I certainly want to.

For the next several days, I’ll be featuring “Advice to My Younger Self” from women in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and I even got my 85-year-old Memaw on board.
First up: Twenty-Somethings….

This list is from sisters, Brooke and Aubrey Pawlak (who are in their twenties, but are tweens at heart). I have known these fabulous ladies since they were in middle school. They have served in youth ministry, in their community, and are part of a bible study that I lead. You can follow them @brookelynne19 and @aubreypawlak.  
1. Be more outgoing.
2. Be more involved in school.
3. Try to care less of what people think about you.
4. Work harder in school.
5. Don’t follow the trends (don’t care so much about labels).
6. Don’t be so angry.
7. Be more forgiving.
8. Save more money.
9. Be more involved in the community.
10. Live in the moment.
11. Take up a hobby.
12. Learn to eat better.
13. Exercise more.
14. Gossip Less.

What advice would you give your younger self? What advice are you listening to now? 

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