The First Eris Bracelets Fly!

Intentional and recovery jewelry for survivors

So very excited that the very first Eris Bracelets were shipped or delivered today to some very inspiring women!

These special bracelets remind women of their own incredible power and courage. They are celebrations of accomplishment, healing and determination.

I am continually humbled by and in awe of the women who wear XIZOZU. They truly are indestructible women!

GET YOUR OWN ->

You’re Forever Tattooed in My Heart

The very first ZIZOZU tattoo - a reminder to the wearer of how far she's come and to keep believing.

This week in our private Facebook group, The XIZOZU Sisterhood of Indestructible Women, the conversation turned toward tattoos. How many do you have? What are they of?

It was fun to read how different women used body art to express themselves—they’re philosophies, dreams and sorrows.

So in the spirit of giving I offered a free custom tattoo design to the first eight women who asked for one and was delighted when six women chimed in right off the bat.

One by one each woman shared her story with me privately. A few told me very specific experiences or character traits that they wanted to honor, others told me deeply moving stories about what they were going through currently, others shared their detailed accounts of their pasts and how they overcame emotional and physical adversity. I can’t tell you how many times I had tears rolling down my cheeks while reading their words. The strength—emotional and physical—these women possess is incredibly inspiring.

Using what they had shared I set about finding the expressions that would capture their intention and the essence of their stories. The first one I designed gave me chills as the XIZOZU characters landed on the page instantly; the second made me cry; and the third had me holding my breath as I tried many different angles. Then after one design took shape, I exhaled. I knew that was it.

I sent each woman their custom XIZOZU design and they each sent me back emails saying in their own words that when they saw it, they’d cried. Of course, that made me cry, again.

I posted this to the group:

“Your responses to the XIZUZO Tattoo designs have been more touching than I could have imagined. My heart is bursting.

I still have a few to do but I want to remind you all that the things these XIZOZU express are aspects of the magnificence you possess. Their beauty is in that. I’ve simply given some of your invisible energy and awesomeness a visible shape – made it something you can see. Something you can point to, or touch, and say “That’s me. That’s how awesome I am.” Even on your lowest days. Especially then.

So I hope when you decide where to have them tattooed it’s somewhere you can see, often. When others see them they might think, oh that’s pretty. But you will know…no, that’s fuckin’ beautiful. That’s me.”

And that’s what XIZOZU is: You.

I am in awe of the women who share their stories so they and other women can grow. It’s exactly what XIZOZU was meant for.

Want to see the designs we created? Come over and join the group.

 

 

In A world with Octobers

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ―  a famous quote from Anne of Green Gables. It’s a sentiment I share – especially living in what might be the undisputed capital of autumn. Vermont.

As beautiful as it is, October can also be a difficult month around here. It’s national observances include:

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Bullying Prevention Month
  • National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness month

Plus October 10th is both National Mental Health Day and my father’s birthday who was lost to suicide.

But truth is I, and most XIZOZU women don’t need a day or month to be made aware of these experiences – they are, or have been, these experiences. They have personal relationships with these and many other of life’s most gripping aspects. And we address, support and heal from them all year long.

So we use these decreed month-long banner-waving observances to celebrate the current triumphs of our tribe.

And there is a lot to celebrate! Here are just a few recent member triumphs (used anonymously, but still with permission):

  • one women left an abusive, soul-crushing nine year relationship,
  • another marked 8 years cancer free just yesterday!,
  • another made amends to a family member after years of what she described as alcohol-fueled emotional abuse,
  • another brought her sexual assault to the surface and shared it with her mother for the first time.

So yeah, October can be a mother of a month, but also a triumphant one!

I’ve also read the autumn is nature’s way of showing us how beautiful letting go can be. So keep rocking it ladies.

We are all here supporting and rooting for you! Stay on your path, no matter how difficult, and there will always be someone here keeping watch for you when you need to rest.

Not Another Monday

for those who know the ache of Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Child loss

It was the day after Father’s Day and I was especially excited to go to work that morning. The wait was over. I was going to tell my boss and colleagues that my husband and I would be welcoming a hatchling in six months. Due date: January 11th.

Keeping it secret for the customary three  months was excruciatingly difficult and seemed ridiculous, even though they weren’t able to find the heartbeat using ultrasound a couple of weeks before. “It’s not uncommon,” the gynecologist assured me.”It’s still very early and it may be too weak. We’ll pick it up next visit. All you’re other indicators are strong.”  I believed her. I had to.

I arrived at my office by 8:00am.  Once let loose the happy news traveled through the office at the speed of gossip and the morning was filled with congratulatory hugs and taps on the door from the receptionist to the partners.  I donned  the glow of expected motherhood.

The spotting started just before noon.

I raced back to my office, speaking to no one, shut the door and called my husband first. Then the gynecologist.

At 3:00pm, after drinking gallons of water as instructed on the phone, I was in an outer room waiting for another ultrasound and exam. I was doubled over by the urge to pee and the tumbling with the fear that my bladder might burst right there.

By 4:00pm I was on the doctor’s office phone scheduling a D&C.

I don’t remember the drive home. Only that I spent the next week balled into the corner of the sofa, my eyes swollen shut from crying, tarred by an ache that wouldn’t dull.

A week later I went to work and did my job just like the hundreds of other Mondays before the Monday before.

But now everything was different. Even Mondays. I’d never be a woman who had not lost a child to miscarriage. Once you’re that woman, you are always that woman.  And yes, the good news is you go on even on the difficult days. And you heal. But that person, that baby remains woven into your DNA, and your heart.

These XIZOZU were created for you to wear as touchstone of love and remembrance.
Honoring women who have lost children through miscarriage


For comfort and remembrance of miscarriage
Honoring the loss of a stillborn child


For comfort and remembrance of a stillborn child
Loss of a child


Comfort and Remembrance of the the loss of a child

What Gets Remembered. Forever.

I’m not surprised that Christine Blasey Ford can’t remember how she got home or other seemingly simple details after being attacked in an upstairs bedroom as a teenager in the early 1980s.

Thirty-six years ago I was sexually assaulted while walking (with crutches) from a parking lot to a bar in Brookfield, Ct. It was a familiar bar that I’d been to several times over a couple of years. Ask me the name of the bar. I can’t tell you. I don’t remember the dance floor, or where the restrooms were.  I’ve tried but don’t remember any of those things.

But ask me about the sickening smirk on the face of my assaulter; the smell of smoke in his long dark wavy hair. Ask me about his grip on my neck then his hand pressed over my mouth. The coarse brick wall behind my head. The Cheap Trick song blasting from inside the building.  His pants unzipped. The punch to my face once he regained his stance after stumbling backward. I can tell you all about those.

I was not penetrated,

Physically.

Christine Blasey Ford. Thank you. Your courage lifts us all.

The Last Lost Days of August

Suicide prevention and awareness

September 2nd is approaching; the anniversary of my father’s suicide.

It’s been nineteen years—yes, nineteen— and I still never know how that day will arrive. Some years the sorrow of loss starts gathering early. It might appear days, even weeks, beforehand, and is persistent like the dense fog that clings to these late August mornings—heavy and opaque.

Other years the date, though permanently circled on the calendar in invisible red ink, passes undetected by my emotional radar and I awake on September 3rd surprised by a guilt-tinged realization that I didn’t think of September 2nd at all. But those years are rare.

But today, August 21st,  marks a different anniversary from that same year that I rarely talk about. It’s the anniversary of the day my father wrote his suicide notes.

Continue reading “The Last Lost Days of August”

D. from USA. XIZOZU and the New Old Sister

Customers Share:

A few weeks ago I received a custom order request from a woman who was meeting her sixty-nine year-old sister for the first time. She wanted to bring her a gift of a custom XIZOZU to mark the occasion, privately. Of course being a story addict, I was captivated by the story and asked “D” if she would share some of the details of how this came to be. Here’s what she told me. She was gracious enough to permit me to share it with you.

My mother became pregnant while in nursing school in the late 1940s. When she graduated she went directly to a Catholic home for unwed mothers where she had the baby and gave it up for adoption. The baby, let’s call her Lisa, was raised by wonderful parents.

My mother assumed all records would be sealed forever but of course several years ago the law changed. Nobody in my mother’s family ever knew. AS it happened my brother is big into ancestry and uses an online site with a DNA service. Lisa was also in the system. Last year the website matched their DNA to be first degree relatives.

My mom had large family and I would have thought she would have been the last of her siblings this would have happened to. We had been communicating with Lisa trying to figure out which of our uncles or aunts would have been her parent. My brother and I were the only ones who knew at this point.

When the birth certificate was found and clearly showed my mom’s signature you could have knocked me over with a feather.

It’s 2017 and my ninety-year-old mother’s health is failing fast. My brother and I did talk to her about it and she really wanted nothing to do with it and it was not to be talked about to anybody else. Lisa eventually wrote my mom a wonderful letter and spoke with her briefly on the phone. Lisa wanted them to meet. My mom, a wonderful, popular woman with many friends, could not handle it at that time; she declined.

Ultimately I did convince my mom to meet with Lisa which I swore would be unbeknownst to anybody else. So the arrangements for a mother and daughter reunion were were made. Two days before they were to be together, face to face,  my mom passed away.

Since then I have stayed in communication with Lisa and my other siblings all now know. My sister and I are going to meet with her this summer and I wanted to bring her a gift.


Sisters meet their sister who was given to adoption in the 1940s.This is the custom XIZOZU™ created exclusively for this wonderful event. What D. doesn’t know is that in gratitude for her being so generous with her story, I’m sending one for her and her other sister as well. Only these three women ever have to know the true meaning behind the piece.

How about you? What makes you indestructible? Tell us here.

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The Many Journeys on the Motherhood Path

When mothers day brings sorrowIn a couple of weeks we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day, which may be the biggest breakfast-in-bed holiday of all time. No one deserves the recognition more than moms and we’re not only thankful, but in total freakin’ awe of every mum, mommy, mama, and mother out there! We applaud every marvelous women fortunate enough to spend the day “any way she wants,” encircled by her loving children—or at the very least surrounded by sweet bouquets and cards they sent.

But our larger mission is in supporting the woman who, for a host of reasons, won’t have giggling children fluffing her pillow and presenting her with a flower-adorned tray of fruit and pancakes. We want those women to remember, you’re not alone. You’ll be among countless women cradling more leaden emotions that are equally sacred.

We’re with you too. We understand. Your journey to motherhood might be winding and complicated. XIZOZU exist to hold space for you, wherever you are on your personal path. And to provide a peaceful point of strength during your fragile times.

These XIZOZU were created to embrace all the shapes of motherhood:

I Chose to Not Have ChildrenI Foster Parent
I Struggle with InfertilityI Raised My Siblings
I Lost a Child by MiscarriageI'm Raising My Grandchildren
I’m a Mother of A StillbornI Lost my Child
I’m a Single MotherI Lost my Daughter
I’m an Adoptive Parent I Lost my Son
I’m a Biological MotherI’m a Surrogate Mother

M. from Florida

Customers Share:

Trigger warning: Some of our customers have experienced unfathomable situations. Please be aware that certain stories might be upsetting and difficult to read.

I was 14 when my mother was diagnosed with end stage liver disease and we became aware that she needed a liver transplant to survive . Fortunately with a few bumps and bruises she received her transplant within a year and a half but during that time , I became ill and started my journey with mental illness.

During my freshman year of college, I was raped and then I ended up in an abusive relationship that lasted three years and took strategic planning to leave and that was 15 years ago. 

Because of my history, I’ve now developed PTSD, which I’m currently trying to heal from along with managing the rest of my medical conditions: depression, anxiety, panic attacks , ADD and chronic insomnia. But I keep on trucking.

I’ve learned even when you think you can’t, you can.

M. from Florida
“XIZOZU is being able to share my experiences with others but without having to reveal it to everyone.”

Resources that M. would like to share with you:

U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation

The Younique Foundation’s Haven Retreat for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse


How about you? What makes you indestructible? Tell us here.