children's book, gratitude, katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, Poetry, storytelling

Be Spirited

pexels-photo-1148998.jpeg

Little spirit, what can we do today?
     She giggles, thank-you for asking

Remember the peace in awareness
     Play and laugh!

Enjoy the light of day
    Embrace bright colours

Be joyful and exuberant
    Wiggle and shake!

Discover new experiences
    Savour tastes, scents, and textures

Love and honour others
Please stay awake!

Remember I am here when you get busy
      I will give you strength

Pause and breathe deeply at least once each day
    She giggles, thank-you for asking

gratitude, katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, Poetry, storytelling, women

Out Breath

green grass field and mountain

‘This may be the last time I see you.
I’m so glad you came.’
The trip was a whirlwind,
but of course we made it.

She was the same as I remembered,
a bit crass and a lot stubborn,
proud of the life she had made,
reminding us to focus on what matters.

‘Breathe the joys of life deep into your Self’
Family. Friends. Home.
‘Breathe out life’s expectations’
Title. Status. Money.

‘Does a fancy car or impressive title define you?
Are you what you have,
what you do?
Something else entirely, perhaps?’

The countryside, as we drove,
a pine tree blanket over lush hills,
exposed the river now and then,
signs of moose crossings dotted our path.

We never did see a moose,
but we did, for a brief time, get a window
into another world, one of simply living,
a reminder to focus on what matters.

We may not see her again.
She will be cherished, always reminding us,
‘Life is lived somewhere between
the in-breath and the out-breath.’

We’re so glad we went.

katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, Poetry, storytelling, women

The trouble with time

shallow focus of clear hourglass

Her hand in mine.
A tender smile graced my lips.
Her breath, laboured.
I wished for peace.

A lifetime of moments
cresting on a nation’s birthday.
A day of celebration
becomes an ending for one.

My mind flooded with memories
of dinners together and days in the sun.
My heart tight with grief
reminded of all I have left.

Time came, and it went.
Another year, another month, another day, another hour.
Time, in the end, can not be bargained.
And, there is never quite enough.

gratitude, intuition, katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, Poetry, storytelling

Dandelion Wisps

background image beautiful blur bright

Today, tomorrow, yesterday. Now.
A daisy in full bloom
calling a bumble bee
to its nectar-filled heart.

The radiance of the sun
peeking through shape-shifting clouds
against a cerulean canvas
encouraging a seedling into being.

Dandelion wisps
dancing on the wind
blown from their
stable stem.

A world in motion
evolving with effortless creation.
Life flowing along the
stream of now.

Gender Diversity, Gender Equality, katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, women

What progressive looks like in gender equality

According to Stats Canada, women have outpaced men in university graduation since the 1990’s; this trend is projected to continue with more than 65% of university graduates currently women. Most fields, even in the 90’s, had more female than male graduates: health, law, social sciences, humanities, education, and business management. There are only three fields that still see fewer women than men graduate: math and computer science, architecture and engineering, and protective services; but less than 15% of all students graduate in these fields. Most of today’s leaders, even in the technology industry, come from a variety of educational backgrounds. There have been plenty of women in the pipeline since the early 90’s to identify, mentor, and promote into senior leadership and board positions.

So, what are the missing ingredients that have kept women out of the boardroom and executive ranks? Many will say it is confidence, acceptance, and support. Several organizations globally and locally are addressing this problem with young girls before they become university age; two such organizations are Technovation and ambiSHEous.

Technovation is a global technology entrepreneurship program that encourages young girls in middle school and high school to pursue technology and business fields. An annual challenge is run across more than 100 countries globally. Young girls work in teams to build a mobile app that solves a community problem, write a business plan that supports their idea, and pitch their start-up to a panel of judges. Professional women, who serve as impressive role models, mentor the girls as they work through the program. These amazing mentors often continue to support the girls throughout their future careers. Participating in Technovation Challenge gives young girls the increased confidence they need to pursue technology fields and to believe they can accomplish anything.

ambiSHEous is a local organization that was founded on the premise girls should be encouraged to lead early and should be, not only accepted, but honoured for their bold ambition. They combine entrepreneurship training, citizenship education, and leadership development to shape the ambitions of girls in a positive, world-changing way. Like Technovation, ambiSHEous knows that confidence is the result of skills, knowledge, and experience; which is why they focus on educating girls in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and social change. They equip girls with the valuable skills, real-life know-how, and confidence they need to step forward and lead.

It is through global and local programs like Technovation and ambiSHEous that girls are developing the confidence they need to be future leaders. These types of programs are reminding young girls that it is perfectly acceptable to be bold and ambitious; and they are encouraging young girls to tackle tough world problems. As the pace of female university graduates continues to rise and as young girls acquire the much-needed confidence, acceptance, and support to be future leaders, it could very well be ‘Our Turn’.

katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, Poetry, storytelling

FOCUS

Tsk, tsk. Tsk, tsk. Tsk, tsk.
A single grackle ruins an
inspired moment.

The delicate twitter of the yellow finches
as they flit through branches.
And the gentle coo of the mourning dove
as she guides from her perch.
A northern cardinal chirping
‘pretty girl, pretty girl’.

 
All softly unconvincing
next to the incessant
Tsk, tsk. Tsk, tsk. Tsk, tsk.

 
Isn’t that too often the way?

 

katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, Poetry, storytelling

A bump in the road

it happened too fast
the magic of the moment gone
into oblivion
as quickly as it had arrived

the reverberation echoed
penetrating her core
held in limbo
wondering, what happened?

a window shattered
spewing fragments of glass
caramel macchiato
splattering whipped cream across her lap

the din turned to noise
confusion palpable
cinnamon buns
burning sweetness into her nostrils

a hand on her head
applying pressure
wet cheeks
salt on her lips

time passed, hopeful
turning forever tragic
consciousness lost
a memory in chaos

Then peace.

katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, Poetry, storytelling

Math and Magic

arid bryce canyon clouds color

Standing in the rhythm of numbers
Predictable, safe
Black or white
Piano keys singing a melody

Dancing away with a tentative step
Courage, discomfort
Shades of gray
Storm clouds threatening an explosion of thunder

Tempting to cower beneath stability
Doubt, uncertainty
Depths of whiteness
White curtains billowing in a white room

Braving the fear with a jete
Determination, faith
Symphony of colour
A brilliant rainbow coaxed into being by the slightest glimmer of light

drabble, katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, Poetry, storytelling

The love of a partner

couple elderly man old

It had been several days since he’d eaten, and the water wasn’t going to last much longer. Every day was the same. Wake up. Drink water. Nap. Drink more water. He was hungry. The smell didn’t bother him, but he was sad that she had changed. He couldn’t understand why she wasn’t talking to him. Confused, he nudged her, snuggled her, kissed her cheek. He was getting weaker.

The banging was intense. The door crashed open. People arrived. He heard one of them speak.

‘This elderly woman has been dead for a while. Check that dog’s collar for his name.’

feminism, Gender Diversity, katharine griffiths, katharinegriffiths, women

Boys will be boys. And the women who love them.

I loved being the only woman in a room full of men. I played golf (not very well), shot pool, beat everyone (really!) at poker, organized beer nights, pointed out attractive women, and studied up on NFL, MLB, PGA, and NHL. I wore being ‘one of the guys’ like a badge of honour, until I realized that I was sacrificing my natural gifts to fit into a mold that wasn’t designed for me as a woman. You rarely hear guys saying ‘Man, I’d love to be ‘one of the girls!’. In fact, what I have heard, is other men say they’ll revoke a guy’s man card if he acknowledges his femininity.

Let’s save the topic of men embracing their feminine side for another day so we can focus on the masculine attributes that make working with men completely and utterly fantastic!

  • Men regularly say what they mean: Organizational politics aside, you usually don’t have to guess what a man is thinking. Men are more naturally assertive than women. They are comfortable saying what they think, so if they have something to share, they will say it directly with little concern for feelings. The result: fewer hidden agendas and little gossip.
  • Men tend not to hold grudges: Men can have aggressive arguments involving name-calling and cursing, and still toast a beer with each other later the same day. Because they have less concern for feelings, they get over conflict more readily (which is not to say the conflict is resolved).
  • Most men are amazingly bold, bordering on brazen: I am regularly flabbergasted at how confident men are in the skills they have, what they can achieve, and how easily they convince others of their value. I wish there was a pill women could take to get a dose of that confidence which is why I was thrilled when the byline for International Women’s Day 2017 was ‘Be Bold for a Change’.
  • Many men are naturally protective: Evolution is to thank for men being natural protectors. They can be counted on to take care of people and resolve issues that threaten an organization. Their protective tendencies are what make them very loyal to their friends, colleagues, and companies.

Men are easy to work with because their agenda is simple: take heed of their advice, get over conflict quickly, help them make their bold ideas a reality, let them protect their turf and stay loyal to their friends. The sweet spot will be when we can harness the power of these masculine traits and couple them with the feminine gifts that come naturally to women.