Thriving Women: The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Love!!
Posted on July 2, 2006 at 11:06 a.m.
Dearest Thriving Women,
The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Love!!
There has been a bit of a lapse in the flow of iTHRiVE newsletters in the last month due to the flurry of preparations for Daniela's wedding to Steve (aka Stevelah, the Groomie, Groomster and all-around mench) which took place last Friday, June 23rd at Maroon Bells.
What a glorious celebration! In lieu of having all of you wonderful women with us at the event, I would love to share the warmth and inspiration that took place in four magical days in Snowmass.
In iTHRiVE, we talk about aliveness, love, commitment, community, creativity, expression, authenticity, generativity, compassion, delight, transcendence, joy, courage, vitality, imagination, vibrancy, soulfulness, wisdom, strength, warmth, serenity and hope. The union of Daniela and Steve is the embodiment of all these ingredients.
Daniela and Steve set the event up as Camp Colorado. They wanted the ceremony to be a part of a larger experience of fun and enjoyment of the glories of the Aspen/Snowmass area. Camp counselors were "selected" in advance to lead mountain bike and road rides, hikes, yoga classes, cinema under the stars, wine and cheese tasting and more. Wedding guests were asked to sign up for the activities they loved and to bring the proper attire/equipment to participate. The details were explained in the Thursday Welcome Dinner which was held under a tent overlooking a grand, sweeping hillside of aspen and pine trees dotted with wild flowers and indigenous grasses.
Daniela's brother James commented that this marriage is the joining of two tribes. This feels so true in such a powerful way. Family members and friends gathered from all over the country and even from overseas to bear witness to this event. There was a warmth and connection that permeated every moment of the wedding experience. One of the most wonderful and enjoyable aspects was simply gathering in small groups at random times and simply sitting in a circle and talking. In our rushed daily lives, it seems that we rarely take the time to gather on a daily basis and just relax in the company of open-hearted others. Most of the group was housed in condos that were all part of a larger complex, so there was ready company at any time of the day or night. Sipping wine and sharing cherries and stories under the blue, blue sky or crisp, starry night was a delight, indeed! As we all relaxed into this regime, muscles grew looser and smiles widened into welcoming beacons of community.
And then, the ceremony......I truly wish that I could convey the heart and soul of this moment for all of you. The backdrop was the incredible sparkling lake of Maroon Bells surrounded by magnificent peaks and lush valley grass. The intense blue sky was cloudless and a breeze ruffled the trees and whispered blessings on Daniela and Steve. The wedding party stood under the traditional Jewish chuppah, in this case, four wooden poles covered in lace supporting a white lace canopy which consisted of a family heirloom tablecloth. Daniela wore a simple and elegant peachy/orangey dress accented by a turquoise/azure blue beaded necklace that led right up into her fabulous eyes mirroring the same color. Steve, gazing back at Daniela with equally big, blue eyes, wore a perfectly tailored khaki suit and a blue and white checked shirt. The vows, created by Daniela and Steve, were beautifully stated intentions of love, partnership, friendship, equanimity, honoring and sharing a beloved life together. Woven into the ceremony were the traditional seven hebrew wedding blessings, a wonderful visualization, a community blessing of the bride and groom led by Paula Gerardi, along with a song that was sung with love and grace by a friend of Steve's, accompanied by a clarinet and two guitars. Hearing the soulful notes as they floated from the ceremony towards the lake cast a magical spell on all of us. Indeed, the entire ceremony was full of magic and love that emanated from Daniela and Steve's hearts to each other, radiated out to all who were surrounding them and then returned to the bride and groom in a perfect circle of light and love. It was as if the entire expanse was radiant with happiness and hope. Steve and Daniela kissed as husband and wife and then smashed the traditional glass under their feet. Waves of joy washed over the entire gathering as everyone spontaneously burst into congratulatory clapping and celebratory hugs. We lingered in the warm sun and then headed to Aspen for an afternoon of food, toasts and good cheer.
Daniela and I co-created iTHRiVE. We are colleagues, business partners and beloved friends. We were both married when we met, divorced within a few years of one another and ardent supporters and wise council for each another in the crazy and vulnerable world of dating and searching for love. We have endured blind dates, internet dating, mad flirting, speed dating and single's events. We have had countess ladies' room calls to one another to report on the progress of a first date. We have "what iffed", "maybied", "this could be the one", and analyzed life and love over countless coffees and walks. We have cried tears of longing and frustration. We have sent offerings to the Love Goddess, sworn off relationships, suited up yet again, and truly have had fun in the process. We nurtured each other through broken hearts, broken dreams and depleted spirits. We have laughed uproariously over the ridiculous predicaments that we each found ourselves in from time to time. We saw beauty in each other and learned to see it in ourselves. As our search for love continued, we found it within ourselves and began to stand taller and feel our hearts expand to possibilities other than romantic love. We slowly began to understand the need to complete ourselves. We shifted our gaze inward and began a journey to build a love relationship with ourselves. As we researched, interviewed and explored the aspects that were to be entwined in iTHRiVE, our experience of love and relationship changed and transformed. We re-engaged with our passions and rediscovered what delighted our spirits. While our desire and commitment to finding and adding a beloved partner to our lives remained stong, we found ourselves relaxing in the fullness and contentment of actualizing the creative dream of iTHRiVE and living in congruence with the beliefs and practices embodied in iTHRiVE. Our worlds grew bigger and bigger.....beyond imagination!! We met women and men who inspired us with their own passions and visions. We grieved over the predicament that women have found themselves in today's demanding culture. We grew immensely respectful and awed by the strength, vision and courage of women's voices through all of time. We began to have a deeper understanding of the complex nature of womens' souls and spirits. Our commitment to creating Sisterhood and avenues for women's voices to be expressed became a driving force in our lives. Our search for romantic love was greatly tempered and integrated within the growing context of our experience of being a woman on this planet today. We felt open, vibrant, excited and passionate. It was at this juncture that Daniela met Steven Blumberg.
What resulted was a calm and deep knowing merging with wonderful timing and readiness for both of them. Their love has been like a flowering plant placed in exactly the right climate with exactly the right conditions. They bloomed seamlessly and effortlessly. They have taken great pleasure in the blooming and have given equal joy and hope to all who know them and all who come in contact with them. They radiate good humor, comfort, generosity, community and genuine, open-hearted love for each other and for life. Daniela has not skipped a beat or faltered in her commitment to the life she created before she met Steve. Steve continues to nurture his friends, family and interests without fail. Together, they are creating an organic, alive, multi-layered, lively and lovely life. Love flows freely and creatively. They do, indeed THRIVE!!
It is with great pleasure and deep honor that I present to the iTHRiVE world......Daniela Ferrara-Blumberg and Steven Blumberg, husband and wife. May they always have aliveness, passion and light in their life together.
With love and joy,