There are a number of women who have influenced me over the years and continue to do so. As I am inching towards 60, and becoming one of the elders myself I look around and think,"Who are the elders I can look up to that have forged ahead and inspired me to be my best and better self?"  Today I take time to share three of these women who come to mind.  

   

Kathy Bond is a pilates instructor and the owner of Saskatoon Pilates. Kathy is - in a word (or two) the 'real deal'. I first met Kathy a few years ago in a women's group where the ages ranged from about 25 - 70 and Kathy was the most flexible and fit of us all! That would be due to her active practice of pilates and a long history of involvement with dance. In 2017 Kathy was selected by the National Ballet of Canada to train and teach dance to older adults with dementia. When she returned to Saskatoon, she implemented her training with several nursing homes as well as combining this with a group of Grade 10 students to work together. I had been looking for someone to do body work with, namely pilates, and I finally took the plunge a few years ago. Never once have I shown up to class and had Kathy lacking for motivation and a clear plan for us on any given day. Her dedication to her work, her sense of humour and a deep understanding of how the body moves make Kathy stand out as a woman of talent and conviction.

Let me introduce you to Karen McCall, a gentle force to be reckoned with. Karen is a pioneer and forerunner in the field of financial and spiritual wellness and the author of Financial Recovery: Developing a Healthy Relationship with Money. I was first introduced to her work about 14 years ago when I lived in Seattle. I had the good fortune to work with her protege at that time, as well as attend workshops with Karen over the years to uncover some of my own attitudes and disconnects with money. Today, Karen is living a life-long dream of travelling the world (with her husband) while continuing to provide financial and spiritual wellness via digital online workshops. 

Lastly, my Mother.  She taught me all she knew about sewing, but it was way more than sewing, it was her innate sense of design and composition, her adventurous spirit (even though she'd never travelled, she did so through 'good' books), her experimental curiosity and inquisitiveness. I still hear her voice when I'm in the studio working on a new design or well, any time of day actually; she's never far away. I had a long-forgotten childhood memory the other day, chuckled and thought of calling her, knowing she was the only one who would know what I'd be talking about.  But I had to pull back and remembered sadly, that she's no longer here. 

I ask you, today, on this International Women's Day to think of some of the women throughout your life who have influenced you in a positive way. Take a moment to honour them in whatever way that might be. Tell them how much they made a difference in your life. 

March 05, 2020 by Kathleen O'Grady

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