100 Days of Wisdom: Wisdom Day 80 – The Wisdom in Connection and Belonging

Wisdom Day 80: The Wisdom in Connection and Belonging

Read about the 100 days of Wisdom™ Project by Tonya Marie

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“Friend Chick” picture  taken during Barbra Watson-Riley’s memorial services weekend in Phoenix, AZ

“We gather in a group to be witnessed, to be supported, and to be both equalized and elevated in our struggles, gifts and ambitions. Common ground is very fertile ground … it is, what Emerson calls, “…the common heart of which all sincere conversation is worship.” Where two or more are joined with the same intention, grace intensifies and solutions multiply. Belongingness heals and nourishes with its affirmative recognition that we are not alone. Simultaneously, we are able to experience our unity and our uniqueness.” ~ Danielle LaPorte

December 22, 2013

Dearest Wisdom Circle,

Barbra Watson-Riley

I love this passage from Danielle LaPorte. And oh boy do I need a support circle right now. As an only child, sometimes I can withdrawal into my own world to be with me, myself and I when the ups, downs and challenges of life start to snowball and weigh me down. And recently I lost a childhood sister friend, Barbra Watson-Riley (a/k/a Pinkwellchick), to triple negative breast cancer.

So the allure of solitude is great.

The rush of adrenalin that hit as the signs of her inevitable passing began to quicken is gone. And the reality of her absence has hit me and her family and friends hard. But one of the greatest gifts Barbra gave to us is the gift of true, authentic, enduring friendship. She was a self-described and fully actualized “friend chick”. She had so many circles of friends and one of her greatest joys in life was when those circles intersected and overlapped. Her passing has brought us all together. To grieve. To forgive. To commune. To heal. And ultimately, to evolve. Continue reading

Web Wisdom: Survivor PinkWellChick delivers unique “cancer real talk” to save lives & find a cure

Her Name is PinkWellChick™ and she IS the CURE!

Pinkwellchick™ grew out of the desire to get people talking about breast and heart issues that we tend to ignore, as we go about our daily lives.

She has been a women’s health advocate for over a decade.  Her primary concentration has been on breast and heart health.   In September 2011, she was diagnosed with aggressive Stage 2, grade 3, triple negative breast cancer, a few months after a clear mammogram.  Her treatment has included chemotherapy, double mastectomy, and radiation.  As a result, she now has a more complete understanding of how this disease affects a family, a community.

As a result, she has a renewed excitement for working towards a “cure”, giving “cancerrealtalk”, and creating awareness by any means necessary!

Pinkwellchick™ resources are intended to help guide your journey, to educate, and enable you to take control of your health.

Think of her as that friend who wants to share tough information in a fun way, and keep people talking!Visit her at PinkWellChick.com and follow her @PinkWellChick!

She’s been a life-long sistafriend and I am honored to stand with her and for her in the race for the CURE! Here’s how you can join us:

Here’s how you can get involved!


I recently accepted the challenge to join PinkWellChick™ to raise funds to support the Phoenix Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in its efforts to end breast cancer forever. I will also take part in the 20th Annual Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure® as part of this program.

Please help support me in this important project by contributing to the cause and supporting our participation in the Race. Your tax-deductible contribution will fund breast cancer education, screening, and treatment services in central and northern Arizona and international research programs. It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause – you can make your donation online by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message.

If you would prefer, you can also send your tax-deductible contribution to the address listed below. More information on Komen Phoenix and its programs can be found at www.komenphoenix.org.

Whatever you can give will help it all add up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.


Tonya Marie @ WisdominTheWhisper.com

To donate online, click here.

To send a donation:

Make all checks payable to:
Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure

Mail to:
Komen Phoenix Affiliate
2040 W Bethany Home Rd., Ste 120
Phoenix, AZ 85015-2445

Breathe from InkWellChicks.com

Carla, Carol, Me (Tonya), Barbra and Chrystal at Seasons 52 to celebrate life and friendship!

May 8, 2012

This post appeared originally at inkwellchicks.com, a Web site co-owned by of one of my oldest and dearest friends and Sorors, Barbra Watson Riley. The site chronicles her life and experiences on her journey through breast cancer and the highs, lows and wisdom moments along the way. I had the great fortune and blessing of surprising her last week with my best friend and some of her best friends and supporters on her last day of radiation. CANCER FREE!

Unbeknownst to me, Barbra read my post at ByTheSpirit.net about the power of one simple breath and used the lesson as a way to take her journey through breast cancer and the final treatment one breath at a time. I am so very grateful for her life and the life force of our friendship. Strong as ever. One breath at a time.

When Red Ink Michele and I started this blog, it wasn’t really about the breast cancer lane. Our thought was it would chronicle 2 friends “of a certain age” going through various mid life twists and turns, and how we handled the journey of lifelong friendship. It just so happens that the twist of breast cancer kind of “took over”, and directed our journey. As so often happens, this weekend I was reminded that life is happening at lightening speed all around me. A friend back east passed away after just being diagnosed with breast cancer…in January. When I got the news, I must be honest. It scared me…a lot. Another friend revealed she might have a different cancer. A 3rd friend is having some major health issues with her child. It took my breath away. But then I was guided via Twitter, to a blog posting of one of my best friends, T. Marie, entitled “The Joy of One Simple Breath”. (see http://www.bythespirit.net). This particular sista-friend I have known since high school. Same College, same Sorority. She has provided me with so much over the years. This weekend was no different. She doesn’t even know her words affected me. It was, and is, exactly what I needed to read. In part, it said…

“Remember to breathe today. Use the joyous life cycle of one deep, conscious breath to return to the present moment; the space where Spirit dwells and your divine and creative power thrives. When in doubt (or fear, or confusion, or anger, or unforgiveness, or pain, or hate, or judgment or [insert constricting, limiting thought or emotion here]), stop and take a breath!”

So, I have 3 more treatments to go. “Life” is still happening all around me. I may be “burnt up”, praying for others’ strength, and taking care of a sick 9 year old.

But I will remember to…Breathe!

 Read the full post at “Breathe” at inkwellchicks.com, follow her blog, educate yourself on breast cancer and join our quest for the cure!