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Dear Friends,

I’m so excited, I could burst!  I just had to share this with someone and who better than those who follow me and support and encourage me!

20 Years; 20 Stories; 20 Necklaces

Miranda Britton, a local Artist, developed a collection of necklaces that tell the stories of women impacted by YWCA Muskoka over its 20-year history.  The finished pieces will be auctioned off and 100% of the proceeds will go back to the YWCA Muskoka.

The necklace she made from my story, was called “Empower”.  It’s been chosen as the logo for the auction!  It really looks like the chaos of overwhelm I feel most of the time on both sides and the calm in the centre of the storm in the middle, when empowered by the support I’ve received from the Y.  She captured my emotions exactly!

She told me:

“Empower” was the first piece I made for the collection and quite possibly my favourite. Thank you for sharing your experience so honestly.

Here’s what I wrote, which inspired the necklace:

What first brought you to the YWCA? 

Ten years ago I moved back to Muskoka and was about to publish my first book.  I was excited to learn about the Women in Business course, which had both a business stream and a life skills stream.  I learned a lot from the program and ended up creating both a business plan and a life plan that guided me for many years.

Over the years I have benefitted from their many conferences, workshops and networking lunches geared to women entrepreneurs.  Recently I was at a crossroads in life and again the Y came through for me, through offering personal and business coaching and support through the Gathering Space.

How has your involvement with the YWCA changed you?

When I first came to the Women in Business Course, I was on a disability pension with anxiety and depression and PTSD.  I wanted to use my skills, talents and abilities and get paid for them.  The Y helped me learn how to do that in a way that was not overwhelming and whenever I fell back into overwhelm, they were there to support, encourage, nurture and empower.

Is there a story/anecdote that you could share that you feel really illustrates the spirit of the Y?

I had 6 sessions of counselling this past winter and was assessed going in with an anxiety score of 17 (very high).  By the end of the 6 sessions it was down to 1!  I attribute this directly to the hope and encouragement I gained from all of the staff at the Y, even from those not directly involved with the Gathering Space.  When the tasks ahead of me seemed impossible to accomplish, they wouldn’t let me give up.  Instead, they helped me break them down into manageable pieces, and filled in the gaps where my knowledge lagged.  Even when they didn’t know how to do something, they never gave up, but worked with me to find a solution.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Everything the Y does is 500% helpful!  The imagine something and then find the funding to make it happen.  My most fervent prayers are that they continue to provide services to the women of Muskoka.  They fill a gap that no one else can fill.  Thank you to all of you, from the bottom of my heart!

I think the artist captured all of the emotions brilliantly!  To see all the necklaces

I was worried they would disappear after the auction, so I’ve copied them below so you can see the work of this talented artist.  The link above is a much better way to view them, if it’s still live.

To see the necklace inspired by my story


“My” necklace raised the most money for the YWCA!  It was valued at $225, had 12 bids, and sold for $320!  Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá!

To view them with their names and stories check to see if this site is still live