Author Archives: Barbara Belknap

About Barbara Belknap

Barbara Belknap spent the first half of her life in almost twenty different communities, from her birthplace of Portland, Oregon, to Kodiak, Alaska, to Puerto Rico. With a father in the Marine Corps and then a husband in the Coast Guard, moving was the norm. In 1989, her family chose Juneau, Alaska, to put down permanent roots. Her community of Juneau and the stunningly beautiful nature that surrounds it are very important parts of Barbara’s life. In October of 2001, Barbara was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer and had two major surgeries. She reluctantly retired from her job as Executive Director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute in 2002 to allow her body to recover. After several months of healing and adjustment, she went about the task of learning how to follow her passion for lifelong learning, community building, women’s issues, politics, and travel. Barbara has been involved with many women’s organizations, and is the current President of Gather the Women. She is also one of two Alaska delegates to Vision 2020, a Drexel University program that is focuses on achieving equality for women by 2020. Barbara married her husband Doug in 1969. They have two wonderful adult children: Amy, a Chef at the University of Washington in Seattle, and Will, a computer programmer with the State of Alaska, and a wonderful daughter-in-law, Shonda, in Juneau. Their grandchildren, Patrick and Marlena, live just 6 miles away.

Focus. Focus.

November 27th, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Empowerment | Inspiration - (0 Comments)

I think about writing my Gather the Women blog every day, and yet each day passes without a blog. But why? My last blog was on October 10th. Yes, I’ve been sick. Yes, I could write myself a note excusing myself. Illness and insomnia have had a way of superseding all else, but there are …
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When the bell rings

October 20th, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Circles | Gather the Women | Gatherings - (0 Comments)

When the women find their chairs and the shuffling ceases, A woman walks to the center and lights the candle, A woman rings the bell and the space becomes sacred. Maybe, for me, chairs will shuffle forward a bit or back a tad, so every woman sees every other woman’s eyes. A safe container forms …
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Sisters

October 2nd, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

In Gather the Women, we often call each other “sister”. We use the word to show that we care about each other. We listen to each other. We value each other’s gifts. We are sisters no matter where we live or who we love. When women are in circle for the first time, it’s common …
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Tend and Befriend vs Fight or Flight

August 18th, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

Like millions of other people around the world, my husband Doug and I are watching the Olympics every evening on TV. As is often the case, we see the same thing, but it’s through the gender lens. I have never been engaged in sports. Tried softball in a couples’ league here in Juneau once, but …
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Self-Compassion

July 21st, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

A few days ago, I was at the store and had just finished paying for my groceries when a woman came over and said, “Barbara! I would have recognized you anywhere!” Noting my obvious lack of recognition, she said, “I’m Betty (something – was it Gomez?), you and I met in Anchorage in the 90’s …
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Catching Up with GTW

July 7th, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

It’s been way too long since I wrote a blog for the Gather the Women. There’s been illness. There’s been a bit of malaise. There was also a 3 week visit from our daughter Amy and her baby Edith Simone. One forgets how much attention and care a baby needs. Edie is 9 months old …
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Sacred Activism

May 25th, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Activation | Circles | Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

What exactly is “sacred activism”, and why is it that so many women in the Gather the Women sisterhood are engaged in it? By one definition, sacred activism is “a philosophy supporting personal and spiritual growth and the pursuit of wholeness”. Scrolling down the GTW Facebook page today, I came across Beth Bondo Bontley’s post …
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Gathering in Los Gatos (Correction!)

May 13th, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

OOPS! I put down the wrong location for the Gather the Women Annual Gathering! It is in Los Gatos, California. It’s been quite a while since I wrote my last blog for Gather the Women. I’ve always taken my responsibilities seriously so not writing the blog has been weighing on me. I know that no …
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Prayer of the Children

April 3rd, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

I am so moved by the images of the children who are clinging to their parents (literally for dear life) as they flee the violence and persecution in their own countries. There is a hauntingly beautiful song by Kurt Bestor that the Juneau Pride Chorus performs. (I’ve been a member for many years.) Numerous YouTube …
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The Wheel of Life

March 24th, 2016 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women - (0 Comments)

How balanced is your life? Are you feeling unspoken and unmet needs? My friend Darcy and I explored this in a GTW circle gathering several years ago. We used “The Wheel of LIfe” (attached) to help the women visualize their level of satisfaction in ten different categories. Each category has three lines for filling in …
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