I don’t think I’m the only one feeling extra reflective and introspective right now. That being said, I’ve been thinking about the women who have shared their stories, their triumphs and try agains here on The Modern Bee in the past year. I’ve spent the morning reading through the conversations with them, feeling uplifted, connected, and inspired; which is the ultimate goal of this community. If you’re new here, I wanted to take the time here to tell you about this phenomenal group. If you’ve been around, maybe you’ll take away something new from these older conversations. (Re)meet the women…
Vanessa McDonald. Vanessa was the first woman we “met” here at The Modern Bee and in many ways, the person who gave me the courage to keep pushing through with building this community. Vanessa heads marketing and events at the historic Union Station in Toronto and is also the creator of The Brave Journal. Thank you, Vanessa, for the lesson in living courageously.
Dr. Emily Elliot. This say of sunshine! Emily is a naturopathic doctor based in Toronto and is an inspiration when it comes to finding joy (hello, brightly colored rainbow smoothie bowls!) in embarking on a commitment to living our most healthy lives. Thank you, Emily, for encouraging me to take the steps to improve my own health and supporting my loved ones in doing the same.
Cassidy Thedorf. Every time I doing a walking meditation, I thank Cassidy. Cassidy is a meditation teacher at Just Be Meditation in Toronto and the tips. Now more than ever, I believe everybody can truly benefit from what Cassidy offers to her students. Thank you, Cassidy, for showing me how to bring a sense of calm to the most un-calm situations.
Rachael Lynn. Rachael is a writer and connector based in Dubai and man, do we need connecting more than ever now. We talked last summer about everything from what defines home to adapting to new environments. Thank you, Rachael, for showing me how to be more adaptable to new scenarios, also very helpful these days!
Yazmin Ashley Harris. Where do I begin with this gem? At 20, she hit rock bottom and packed up her life to move to Thailand to study yoga. It was a life changing experience and she is a living example of how life isn’t about finding yourself, but creating yourself. Thank you, Yaz, for showing me that it’s okay to stumble and it’s more than okay to continue to evolve.
Deirdre Lorenz. I’ve watched Deirdre face some ugly scenarios in life with that kind of take-the-high-road-grace that seems to be such an elusive quality. She’s a model and actress based in New York City. Thank you, Deirdre, for leading my example in not being afraid to shine.
Debi Young. Another woman who makes you want to shine brighter. Debi is a make-up artist in the film and television industry and its her job to make people look like their best (or worst!) selves, but for somebody who is so skilled with a make-up brush, nobody has ever made me feel more beautiful on the inside than this lady. Thank you, Debi, for bringing out the best in me.
Lauren Phelps. There is so much ugliness in the world and so much of our hope for the future rests on the shoulders of the littlest ones in the next generation. I don’t worry when I think about mothers like Lauren and how they’re raising their children. Lauren is a portrait artist in New York City who beautifully captures this hope in the children she paints. Thank you, Lauren, for showing me the beauty and promise out there.
Dakota Raine Baynham. Sometimes you need to take a leap, trusting in the beauty of your dreams and the limitless potential of your talent. That’s Dakota. Up until a few months ago, she was executive assistant to tennis great, Serena Williams, when she left to pursue her dreams of photography and styling in the fashion realm. Thank you, Dakota, for being a lesson in trusting the timing of your life.
Karen Williams. Karen takes on so many different personas as a model in New York City, but has always stayed true to who she is. She’s committed to continual growth and has always reminded me that more often than not, fear is: false evidence appearing real. Thank you, Karen, for showing me the importance of staying close to your truth, while still staying curious.
Fiona Davis. Fiona has been one of my favorite historical fiction authors for years so it was a dream realized to be able to have a conversation with her about New York City (where her novels famously take place). If you’d told me a year ago if I’d be sitting down with her I never would have believed you. Thank you, Fiona, for showing me that dreams can come true…and the first step is dreaming them up and writing them down.
Shannon Vittoria. Shannon is a research associate in the American Wing at the Museum of Natural History and I spent a dreamy afternoon with her a few months ago, exploring the collection and hearing some backstories behind some of the most iconic works of American art from Americans of all walks of life. Thank you, Shannon, for being a champion of diverse representation in art.
Cassie Wiginton. How do you transition into motherhood without losing who you are? Cassie is a stay-at-home mom in Dallas who has managed to incorporate who she was before she became a mom into this to role. She doesn’t make it look easy, but she does make it look real. Thank you, Cassie, for showing me how to transition with authenticity.
Cat Buckley. Cat is a writer, educator and as a daughter of a Conservative icon, a shining example of being your own woman, finding your own voice and using it. Over the past several months, we’ve had important conversations about everything from how to have tough conversations with little ones to ugly COVID symptoms. Thank you, Cat, for bringing honesty to the forefront.
Shelby Stone. Shelby is an executive producer in film and television and somebody I’ve looked up to for years. When we spoke, something that really stuck with me was her speaking of her difficulty with the idea that being Black American is a monolithic experience, something that all too often is reflected in film and television. Thank you, Shelby, for reminding me of the beauty and importance in diverse storytelling.
Sharon Washington. Sharon is a writer and actress based in the Hudson Valley but with deep roots in New York City. After encouragement from friends and colleagues, she decided to tell own story about growing up (literally) in a public library in Feeding the Dragon. Thank you, Sharon, for showing me that sometimes the best stories are the ones we don’t have to make up, the ones that we already know and just need to tell.
Looking forward to adding more voices to this circle. You all are incredible in your own, unique ways, don’t ever forget it.