Celebrating our Daughters, Granddaughters, and Nieces – WOW!

Mercedes Sterling is on my mind, again. Her story was emailed to me March 2010. At the time Mercedes was 17 years old. (She is now a year older and just entered her first year of college!)

Before her mother Ann’s death, Mercedes and her mom hosted a gathering of “Aunties,” inviting them to become the special women/mothers in Mercedes’ life, in preparation for Ann’s transition.

After Ann’s death, the Aunties gathered with Mercedes and read the “Imagine a Woman,” poem to her, aloud, so she could hear the words in each of their voices. According to one of the Aunties, “Imagine a Women radiated among us.” Mercedes wrote her own response to the poem, and shared it with me:


“When I read the first line of “Imagine a Woman,” I was immediately captivated by its truth. Every verse seemed to speak directly to me and entwine itself into my very being. As I listened to the women around me say the next few verses I began to feel rooted within myself. I felt that someone had finally discovered who women really were and had painted it articulately and beautifully across the page for everyone to see.

I glanced around the table to see the reactions of the many women in my presence. They were nodding, smiling their approval, very absorbed in the poem. Occasional exclamations of excitement erupted followed by murmurs of agreement. I felt connected to the women by our mutual appreciation of the gorgeous work of art.

As the poem progressed I felt a deep realization move within my mind. It stretched itself for the first time, reaching its claws out to grab my attention. The poem was describing none other than myself! With every passing word I felt that it was describing my very essence and existence; everything that I was and everything that I longed to be.

Further thoughts led me into wanting every woman of every age to know, read, and engulf themselves in this provocative, truthful piece of poetry. I wanted them to relate to the words, to feel, as I had, that it was describing themselves. I plan to share this poem with every woman I can because I believe it speaks truths that many people haven’t voiced for themselves. Long live this astounding poem, “Imagine a Woman!”

Inspired by Mercedes, let’s bring our daughters, granddaughters and nieces into the circle with us. Let us imagine our young women growing in knowledge and love of themselves. Young women vowing faithfulness to their own lives and capacities. Young women remaining loyal to themselves—regardless.

Imagine an adolescence in which our daughters, granddaughters, and nieces deepen their relationship to their natural vitality, resilience, and sense of self. Imagine a girl-affirming rite of passage, a ceremony of commitment to themselves, culminating with these words of self-blessing:”This is it. This is my life. Nothing to wait for. Nowhere else to go. No one to make it all different. What a relief to have finally landed here…now. Blessed be my life!”

Now it’s your turn. Inspired by Mercedes, share your “Imagine a Woman” story with us here or on the Imagine a Woman International Facebook Fan Page.

Patricia Lynn Reilly is the founder of Imagine a Woman International and BAB Coaching and Publication Services. If you’d like to join our Team of Certified Coaches and circle the globe with WomanSpirit, visit here: www.imagineawoman.com/home/programs-services/iaw-certification


  1. Lynn Jaussi says:

    Great post , wonderful idea!! I’m in!!!!!! Blessings to you all !

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