This is part of a series titled WOW, or Women Owned Wednesdays. Read more about the series and my goal to genuinely support other women in my personal and professional relationships.
There is not much better than a friend you can talk about anything with. The friend that you can go years without seeing but feel as close to as ever--that's My Bridgett. We met about two decades ago working as makeup artists at Barney's (R.I.P) in Chicago, and became fast friends. Bridget is loyal, creative, brilliant, passionate and truly lives her life to the fullest. When we met, she was just getting certified as a yoga instructor, and her commitment to the practice and the way she connects with others through her teaching is beyond admirable...not to mention her flexibility. I love her and her family, and I'm thrilled for you to get to know her a bit more.
Tell us a bit about your journey that led you to yoga.
I was looking for a movement-based coping tool from my intense advertising job, and my best childhood friend, Margret, and I were looking for something we could attend together. (We grew up attending the same dance school, and were often dance partners.) We came across an evening, hatha yoga class that fit with our busy work schedules. She ambivalently came for a few weeks, and I started attending two yoga classes a day! It was transformative for me from the very first class. The physical movement was different from the movement of dance I had studied my entire life. It birthed this life tool of svadhyaya or self-study that I continue to practice to this day--20 years later.
I adore your heart and how you align yourself with people and causes that are important to you. Tell us about Heart Strong.
Life has invited so many beautiful, creative, conscious, and strong women to my heart. As I have grown in both my years and experience, so many fruitful collaborations and connections have manifested. One of my most cherished is with soul sister, Jessica Lindberg. Our story began working in our first "real" job out of college in advertising at DDB Chicago. Our connection was immediate--I recall in our second week of work sitting in Jess's cubicle spewing my entire life story. She is one of those girlfriends that is a chosen sister.
By design we continued to work together beyond advertising, with a stint in pharmaceutical sales on the same team at Eli Lilly. Our journey to follow one another marched on into the unchartered territory when we became pregnant with our first born sons together. Ethan and Rocco were born about 6 months apart. Ethan was born with a congenital heart condition called Hypoplasmic Left Heart Syndrome. Ethan lived an abundant and beautiful seven years. He and Rocco were fast friends--just like their mamas.
Jessica, alongside her husband, Erik, started the Ethan M. Lindberg Foundation in partnership with Boston Children's Hospital, where Ethan received the majority of his medical care. Taking their story--their pain, their joy, their love, Ethan's love--and spreading it to others, Heart Strong is a campaign that embodies a myriad of meanings, and speaks to all sentient beings. For Ethan, it was his "I will try" attitude that made his heart so strong.
For me, I share Ethan's Heart Strong sentiments, along with Emily Dickinson's, "I dwell in possibility." My physical heart is pumping and vital, and it's held in a physically strong body of which offers me the mental acuity to show up in my daily life and "to try".
How has expressing your creativity changed throughout your life?
I think the most significant way is that my creativity has become fearless. It no longer waits for the perfect moment. My creativity mantra is that you have to be a little bit brave, a little bit resourceful, and a little bit crazy.
You and your husband Neil have been together for decades. How are you similar? How are you opposite?
We will high-five our 19th wedding anniversary this Fall. And we have been partners for over 25 years. I am proud of our commitment to growth and encouragement of evolving as individuals and a couple. We have a healthy banter. Not turning away from the difficult discussions is my love language! Not so much his :) We agree to disagree. We respect each other's autonomy. It's possible that after spending more time together than we have apart, we have created a life that is much like partners in a dance: taking turns as the lead and when to command the stage. Stepping on each other's feet, no doubt, along the way.
Can you share a bit about your strength and confidence as a mother?
I grew up knowing, God-willing, I would be a mom. I have an amazing role model in my own mother. Motherhood is ALL the feels. And yet I've always subscribed to the notion that from the moment a child is born into this world that child is moving away from you. Becoming their own being with a mother's guidance, love, grace, and strength. For we mothers are the vessel that brings human life to be. I hold a quote I read as a child in my heart, and it resonates in my bones as a mother for my children, "God's gift to us is life, what we become is our gift to God."
What keeps you sane?
Daily yoga, meditation practice, and human connection (which can also conversely make me insane at times--oh the duality of life).
What keeps you hydrated?
The one thing that is always on my person is my pink Swell water bottle. Never without it. Aside from that, the usual suspects: coffee, tea, matcha, kefir water (not so usual).
Who do you look up to?
I'm inspired by any human who is out in the world living his/her truth. I recognize that I tend not to lean in the direction of those who accept life as linear. And I'm fiercely inspired by the feminine spirit. Women who authentically walk through life beating to her own heart. Rather than someone's 5-point plan to becoming...someone ELSE. I recently read a battle cry, if you will, by Santina Giardina Chard, "femininity is not a prescribed formula. We are women who hunt things, fish things, climb things, knit things, bake things, write things, act out things, sell things, heal things, teach things, pluck out things...all beautiful women. There is something fierce in the heart of a woman. We share something profound and true. The strings around our hearts are often strung tightly from fear of being re-wounded. And how does a woman begin to be healed from the wounds and tragedies of her life? Untie the strong heart and valiant woman."