Releasing the Armor to Love

My heart was in jail and I didn’t know it! 


The armor on my heart had to be broken open, in an aggressive way because on a deep level I wouldn’t allow it to come off. I had experienced more than enough heart break, one of them almost costing my life. With each heart break the armor grew. I could risk my life again for love.

My protection became so much a part of me that I forgot it was there.

I wanted to find love and be in a relationship. I read all the books I could get my hands on about conscious love and relationships. I became the person I wanted to attract, yet nothing happened. I was frustrated with having done the work and seeing no results. I didn’t attract anyone nor did I find anyone I was attracted to.  This went on for many years. So many I can’t remember the number.  It didn’t make sense.

My heart and soul had other plans…

Ah it was the armor that I had forgotten about! It was not only protecting me but was sending out mixed signal to everyone I met. “I want to be in a relationship ” and ” I can stay single till hell freezes over, I don’t need a man.”

Then the heart attacks started. It would take that kind of force to show me what was going on! My heart wanted to be heard, and I wasn’t listening. It didn’t want to pretend any longer that I could live without love. It also couldn’t deal with with my inner conflict about love and relationships.

It would take 3 heart attacks and open heart surgery to break my heart open!

This became a two year journey.  I didn’t need books to learn about love and relationships. I needed to develop a relationship with my heart to learn the secrets.

Each heart attack cracked me open and took me to a deeper level of understanding. Heart attacks 1 and 3 were not just heart attacks, but included stress induced cardiomyopathy also known as Broken Heart Syndrome. People die from this. I got the metaphor loud and clear each time.  This wasn’t about dying for me or I would be here with all I went through.

What I learned with each event was stunning and each time I gained new wisdom and my heart got lighter and more open.

Three heart attacks in 10 months took me on a painful journey within, to release what was in the way so I could see the path to love and desire it wholeheartedly.

My soul was so serious and my heart so hell bent on being 100% open once an for all that it pushed me to have open heart surgery. I was a peace with it. What an exquisite message! My body was sawed open so that everyone in the operating room could see my heart, exposed and vulnerable! And the doctors first response “That is the most beautiful, healthiest heart he had ever seen doing this surgery. He had done over a thousand open heart surgery. Most hearts by this point did not look healthy, nor did they look beautiful.

My Heart did because I have a beautiful, healthy heart. It did what it did, not to kill me, but because it wanted to be open and seen. My heart craved love but I didn’t feel safe enough to let it in. This was the only way it was going to happen.

I have met my beautiful heart, learned what I needed to learn, let go of fear, sopped running and started listening and my life has transformed.

I am ready to let love in!


The Inner Marriage

inner marriage
The Inner Marriage Collage by Katelyn Mariah

The pearl represents the union of masculine and feminine. The pearl is said to be formed of male fire/lightning and female water. More poetically said it is the merging of water and moonlight, a metaphor for the inner marriage creates pearls. The creation of a pearl inside of the clam is an alchemical process where one thing is transformed into something new.

Alchemy, best know as the age-old science of turning base metal, such as lead into gold. The same alchemical process happens in each of us as we turn what we perceive to be our biggest weaknesses into our greatest strength. In mystical tradition, it is metaphoric for a path of self-knowledge and transformation.  The symbols of alchemy lie deep in the collective consciousness. Pearl diving can be viewed as an alchemical process as is the inner marriage. The raw materials, which are the hidden aspects of the self, are discovered and transmuted into a beautiful new power and aspect of the self.

This alchemical process occurs within us every time we dive to our dive to our depths in search of that inner pearl.  If we are diligent and honest we can discover disowned parts of ourselves and change them magically into gold pearls.  We can find the things within us that are not working and make pearls of them.

June Birthstone Pearl 2

Many traditions suggest that deep in man’s psyche is an imprinted image of the ideal man. The same is true for women.  That image is subject to cultural change.  One wonders where it came from in the first place.  What characterizes the image of present-day man? What is the image of the new man and new woman, the one that is unfolding in the present day as we stand on the edge of change? Is this image a reflection coming from Source that tells us we are divine and perfect as we are?  That is what I am picking up.

The inner image can manifest as the dream lover, which is the person we feel would complete our soul. We want someone who will understand us, love and accept us and that would set us free so we could soar and express what is inside of us and give voice to our soul. The image of the ideal lover can take us away from reality and put unrealistic expectations on the lovers that do come into our lives.   That process has to happen within us first. I know that I have believed in a soul mate and there were many years where I chased after that illusive person who was going to complete me because I believed it was outside of me. I often found willing and unwilling people to play that part for me as I quested for wholeness.

A friend said to me once ” You are always very invested in some magical relationship or the pursuit of one or the fantasizing of one…how is that going on the love front?” It made me laugh because he was the object of one of my romantic fantasies at one time. I responded ” I gave up on magical thinking. It caused me too much trouble. Gosh, I have a fertile imagination!  I wish I would have channeled all of that energy into some steamy romance novel!  It would have been a best seller and I could have been rich by now.”

After a number of relationships that didn’t work I stopped chasing the fantasy and decided to find out who I was, which is when the process of inner marriage began for me.

My personal inner marriage had to take place while I was out of a relationship and alone. Little did I know it would take 12 years!

I think that most people can remember a time when they saw someone across the room and before the end of the evening they were married with children, in their mind. I was at home one day with my son and daughter and a group of their friends, all young people in their twenties.  Out of curiosity I asked ” has anyone ever made up a relationship in their mind?  I thought maybe I was the only weirdo that did that kind of thing. Everyone there said they had.  My son told me he had been married three times in his mind and my daughter had too and that I had a lot of grandchildren!  I did some of my greatest transformational work in fantasy relationships because of the angst it put me through!

It is not an outer partner who makes us complete.  We feel complete when balance occurs within us. The true inner marriage takes place inside of us when masculine and feminine unite. Balancing the feminine and masculine in the human soul lies at the heart of the processes of inner transformation.  Through this process we can rediscover our wild nature which is our true essence.

To know yourself is the path to conscious living, for in knowing who your are and accepting yourself completely with all of the strengths and weaknesses having equal status you can accept other’s completely and have compassion. You have healthy boundaries where you can set limits and also allow others to be in communion with you.

The process of the inner marriage begins when you realize that you do have a treasure within that is the pearl of your beauty.  The decision to explore the inner landscape takes a great deal of courage.  Many are not willing to go on that journey but those who do are greeted with unexpected surprises.  We may fear the worst and discover the best. We will discover lost parts of ourselves and enter into a marriage within that can lead us to find our equal in a partner in the outer world.  Pearls await you if you are willing to dive deeply and discover your wild nature.

I encourage you to dive in and go on this journey of self love…


Embody the Energy of the Goddess



Watercolor painting by Katelyn Mariah

from Awaken The Goddess Meditation Deck


ONE day as you walk through a forest that you have walked through hundreds of times before, you come across a tree-lined clearing that you have never seen.  What you see before you causes you to stop, for in the sun-flooded clearing there is a woman moving to a silent song.  You can hear the song in her movement as she dances in front of you.  She is tall and yet she is short.  She is beautiful, at the same time she is ordinary.  There is perfection in her imperfection.

She sees you watching and without breaking concentration, she motions you to come closer.  As you move into the clearing with this enchanting, magical woman, you notice and open leather bag lying on the ground.  Carefully placed in the center around her are stones, bones, sparkling crystals, fresh flowers, animal charms and beads.

Her dance intrigues you as she moves freely in her body without distraction or hesitation.  She circles and swoops as the toe of one foot, softly caresses the earth, followed by the toe of the other in a beautiful dance that honors her universe and herself.  This is a woman at ease in her body, at ease with her power, her strength, her magic and her childlike spirit.  She is free and she loves who she is.  Surrounding her is a magnetic energy that makes you want to come closer to her, and when you do, your eyes connect with hers.  In that moment, in the reflection of her eyes, you see yourself.

This is the energy of the Goddess.  She is ancient and yet timeless and present.  She is priestess, mother, destroyer, shaman, temptress and child.  She is the embodiment of the Divine Feminine and she is YOU! It is your birthright to feel your beauty.  It is your birthright to love and feel loved and to be in harmony with life.  The Goddess is here to show you her face, a face that is also your face!

To be balanced and whole, one must express both the masculine and the feminine.  It is the feminine that has been hidden and needs to be re-discovered in each of us in order for the masculine to come into balance.  I have spent 20 years exploring the energy of the Goddess, through my art and I discovered through that process that she lives within me, just as she lives within you.  I have walked with her in the forest, by the river and I have swam with her in the ocean and walked with her in the mountains, for she is the Earth.  I have witnessed her presence in the people around me, both female and male.   Right before I wrote this piece I noticed a billboard in my neighborhood that read “The Goddess is Alive”.  I knew she was making her voice heard to the masses, whether they understood it consciously or not.

The Goddess is alive!

As one who has passed through the gates of this Goddess initiation, Katelyn is well prepared to act as a midwife to those who want to walk the same path.   Contact her at to learn more

Building Homes in the Forest


The Earth has been referred to as our Mother since time began.  She is fondly called “Mother Nature” and “Mother Earth”.  Her motherly body echoes through the landscape, in her rolling hills that flow with falling waters, the nourishing fluid from her core.  Her caves draw us into her deep, moist womb and her sand fingers reach out into the sea.  The sea is her vast unconsciousness, the dark, fluid-filled womb of our origins. She is moist, rich, fertile, juicy and sensual as the cycles of life spring from her body in a free-flowing dance.  She is in union with the solar system as she dances in partnership with the sun, moon and all of the planets, their rhythm impacting all of life. Earth Mother is the perfect role model for how life should be lived in flow and freedom, as she shifts, changes and transforms in perfect timing with the natural cycles.  She is the mirror and original blueprint of the human body.  We are created from Earth and we return to Earth and the Earth is reflected within us.


When I lose sight of the sacred and my natural beauty, inner wisdom and flow, the Earth Mother calls me back to her and I return to explore, remember and reconnect. As a child, I found peace, comfort and freedom being in nature and I felt my innate connection with Mother Earth.  It was the only therapy I needed.  Even though I lived in the city I could find a patch of forest and make it my sanctuary.  It was there in the woods that Mother Nature held me in her lap. When I was required to go to church as a child I would have preferred to go to the woods.  Church felt pretentious to me as a young girl.  It still does in a lot of ways.  Nature has always been unpretentious and loving. I didn’t consciously know the Goddess as a child, because I was taught that God was a man, but on some level I am sure I recognized her in nature’s playground.


I built forts in the woods that were elaborate little homes among dirt and trees, where I could be exactly who I was.  A child’s fort was sacred space and no one bothered them, as far as I could tell.  It was an unspoken rule that you never went into someone else’s fort without permission and kids respected that, at least in the forest that I hung out in. I could leave my fort and the things inside of it unprotected for days, and nothing was disturbed when I returned. HarrisCenterFortsKids3_BW-sm RECREATING WOMB SPACE

I believe these houses in the forest were early attempts to recreate womb space, because womb space within mother/Mother was the first place we felt secure. The woods around my house were peppered with them, as children made attempts to return to the womb. They were made of materials from the earth, in combination with materials of man, using sticks, branches, ropes, leaves, cardboard, blankets and boards and even real furniture from home.  Each fort was a unique expression of it’s maker.  I happened to be the only girl building forts in this forest.  I guess it was a guy thing.  Mine were dark, intimate, earthy and small so I felt protected and contained.  I brought things from home to decorate it and make it more like home.  This is where I went to return to the Mother’s womb. Only special friends could go into my sacred space where time stood still and the veils were thin.  Children instinctively know how to stop time and slip behind the veils of illusion with an ease that disappears with age.  Even when I went into the fort alone I never felt lonely because there was a presence there and the animals, birds, bugs, butterflies, trees, plants and paths were my friends.  I could go into my space in the woods, in the dark and the outside world would disappear.

adf57acdb1734ad5424050ad8aba91b2 NATURE IS ALWAYS CALLING ME BACK

It’s not surprising that I return to nature, now as an adult, at times when my world feels insecure and chaotic.  She calls to me, I listen, and through the connection I am brought back to center.  I return to her rolling breasts of soil, deep womb caves, rainbow waterfalls and fingers of sand reaching out to the river.  She becomes my confidant, companion, my friend and lover. In nature I remember how to make time stand still, how to slip behind the veils of illusion and how to converse with my Mother.  Information slips easily through the cracks in time and I find answers to my questions. Nature is real and she doesn’t pretend.  Answers to questions come through the metaphor and language of the surroundings, through the birds, clouds, beasts, plants and all of natures creations.  One time an whole eagle’s egg roll up on a wave and I caught it in my hand and my question that day was answered. If you are open and listen what she is saying can be heard. In the silence, it is hard not to be open.  Nature’s playground is expansive and there is no positive and negative polarity because all is in perfection there. I invite you to return to nature and the womb of Mother Earth and rediscover the sacred landscape within.                     All rights reserved 2015 Katelyn Mariah 14087_10152760313891750_430416842179297373_n

I Would Rather Be Weird!


The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.  Friedrich Nietzsche

You are weird! Has anyone ever said that to you?  Did it feel like a complement or a put down?

I started thinking about the word and decided to look it up and see what the origin was.  Here is what I found: Wyrd is a concept in Anglo-Saxon culture roughly corresponding to fate or personal destiny.  The word is ancestral to Modern English weird, which retains its original meaning only dialectically.  Old English wyrd is a verbal noun formed from the verb weorþan, meaning “to come to pass, to become”.

Wow, really? That is a long way from the meaning it has now, which is something strange, odd and sometimes unacceptable. The modern adjectival sense, meaning strange or uncanny, dates only to the early nineteenth century.  The modern sense of weird developed from M.E. use of weird sisters for the three fates or Norns (in Germanic mythology), the goddesses who controlled human destiny. They were usually portrayed as odd or frightening in appearance, as in “Macbeth,” which led to the adj. meaning “odd-looking, uncanny,” first recorded 1815. I love the original meaning of weird/wyrd because it speaks to authenticity, being real and living our destiny.  That meaning is about our true beauty which is what I strive to embody.   

weorþan is a word that reminds me I want to be authentic and real.  It reminds me that I want to drop the “Minnesota Nice” and speak what is on my mind. It reminds me to flow with what I am becoming and flow with my destiny.   I am going to write the word weorþan in fancy letters and place it around my house to remind me.

I wonder how originality and authenticity became weird and conformity became the norm?  It’s easier!  Or so we think. We are socialized to conform and change our beliefs and behaviors to fit in with a group.  It starts at a very early age. This change is a response to real or imagined group pressure, on the playground by our peers and later through the media.  Media advertizing works because our brains are programmed to conform at an unconscious level through years of training as children. We all want to be accepted and fit in and it takes courage to do something different and stand out in the crowd. Conformity is rewarded in a lot of different ways and being unique and authentic sadly isn’t.  If conformity wasn’t rewarded and authenticity was there wouldn’t be an issue.

It is a challenge to become Weird Weorþan Warriors yet unraveling the social programing to conform is possible.  It is never too late to become your authentic beautiful self and it takes a whole lot less energy than pretending to be something you’re not.  

Here are some experiments to try that will help you break free of fitting in and move your toward authentic freedom:

1-Watch how much you censor yourself because you want to be accepted and stop doing it.

2-Wear stripes and plaids at the same time or some other “unacceptable” combination.

3-Spend one day a week being weird.

4-Do the opposite behavior of what you would normally do and see how it feels.

5-Focus on what makes you unique and accentuate it.

I also suggest paying attention to your resistance to doing these things and see where it comes from.  It is likely to lead to an unconscious belief that isn’t serving you.

I think weird is beautiful!  What do you think?

CrEAtiVe PlaY in the FieLd of IMaGinAtioN


The Art of Imagination by Josephine Wall

JOIN ME on a magical adventure into the realm of creativity.  Just reading this blog will expand your creativity.  Follow me and let’s play in the field of imagination.

Creativity, play and imagination are sisters, interconnected energies that assist us in being co-creators of our life.  They assist us in bringing clarity, energy and life to our desires.  Their influence is particularly strong at this time, because we are being asked to see life, our experience and the people around us with new eyes.  With new eyes we look forward into life’s mystery, rather than backward into our storehouse of memories, as we create our future.

Do you remember as a child how life was when there wasn’t a vast amount of experience?  Every day, every experience, every encounter was fresh and not tainted by the past.  As we grew and gained experience, the past mistakenly became the model for the present and the future.  The storehouse of memory became the matrix from which our reality was created and how we created our world.  We walked into our experiences expecting that they would look like ones we had in the past.


Memory is not reality. It is our mind’s way of cataloging what we have done. Past experiences served us in the past, but they do not serve us in the present, nor do they help us create our future.  What you have accomplished or not accomplished should not be a gauge for what you can accomplish.  I don’t want to be seen by others through the eyes of the past and neither do they. We do one another a disservice by doing that. It’s as though we are holding them hostage so they can’t move forward.  When we hold onto old energy we keep ourselves and others trapped and don’t allow room for change. The past is gone and so are the experiences that created it.  It is comforting to know that we don’t have to keep doing things the way they have been done in the past, isn’t it?

The challenge now is to walk as though there is no memory bank of experiences behind you.  Life’s adventure is to walk forward into each day, like a child, as though it is the beginning of something new, because it truly is!  The future contains the unlimited and mystery is filled with many pleasant surprises.  With our hands open to the future, we can receive more than we can imagine is possible.  Living in such a way takes total trust in the living kindness of our Creator, our self.

For a moment, just think about a life that is creative, playful and imaginative.  The Creator is a your call to manifest your desires for you so that you can not only evolve, but truly be in joy in the process.  Let us just dance in the energies of creativity, play and imagination for a few minutes and see how it feels.   From the vantage point of life filled with unlimited possibilities, we enter into a new playing field.  It is the field of imagination in which the sisters, Creativity and Play, dance.


Spirit Flight by Josephine Wall

Let’s take an imaginative journey together.  Let’s begin understanding the field of imagination we have stepped into by looking at the two dancers.

Creativity is a whiling energy filled with rainbow colors. She is uninhibited by the judgments of others.  Her clothes are an outrageous expression of who she is in any given moment. She wears wild hats and her long red hair falls to her waist.  In her hair, she wears the components of all that is. She is the void where all things are possible and where nothing stops her from dreaming her dreams.  She know that what she dreams she can create.  She has no preconceived ideas of what forms her dreams or creations will take.  This is possible because she trusts that only what is in her highest and best will manifest in her reality, because she is loved by her Source.

Robes of stardust

The energy of her sister, Play, is also magical as it dances in harmony with her.  She wears a robe of stardust and has crystal bubbles in her hair. As she moves, she leaves a trail of twinkling stars behind her.  Play is fearless, she is whimsical, and she has boundless energy. Her laughter, songs and stories are ancient, and they echo her wisdom through the canyons, over mountains and into rivers.  Play is the energy of joy as she darts, pirouettes, bounces and leaps through the field of imagination with her sister. She lives in  the moment for the pure pleasure of existing and experiencing all that is possible. Play is the expression of freedom.

The field of imagination is within each of us!  Creativity and Play are a source in each of us that brings us back to our true nature–the essence of what we have always been.  The field that we played in as children. The place where life was always new. We leave that child part of us behind only to spend many years searching for it again.  Looking for something that we already have!

Imagine your most creative, playful, imaginative self.   What would you be wearing?  What would you have in your hair?  What songs and stories would you be singing? Would you be young or would you be an ancient youth? What colors would be on your palette? Who would you be different from the people around you? How would your life be different from how it is now? Let your imagination go wild as you picture yourself anew!

Creativity and Play want to play with you again out in the field of imagination.  With them life becomes a blank canvas upon which to create a new image.  Each day is a new canvas on which to play and create all that you desire. You are the artist of your own reality. What do you want to create on the canvas of your life? Sadness or joy?  Abundance or lack? Conflict on love?

It really is as simple as that, because we are at choice. Each day is a choice, and every interaction is an opportunity to choose anew. You can create what you choose to imagine, so choose to imagine the ideal, the best possible outcomes, and the highest and in ourselves and and in others because the possibilities are endless.

The challenge is to release the old images that didn’t work and the fear attached to them.  We have support to do this work, for it is our birthright and true nature to be creative, playful, imaginative, loving and joyful, because we are children of the Divine.


As old images and beliefs arise, ask for help releasing them and then remember your new canvas.  Go to the new canvas and create the new image.  If your relationships are not working, re-imagine the ideal. If you are not in a place where abundance and prosperity flow, re-imagine that it does.  Do it again and again until you believe it to be true, and each time you do this, release it to the Heart of the Loving Creator, who ever that is for you, and watch what happens.

This is your story, why not create one that is full of joy, magic and bliss?

Miracles do happen, for when we change our inner reality, the outer reality must follow suit.

This is an invitation to dance in the field of imagination with our sisters, Creativity and Play, and return to who we truly are; our authentic self.  As you begin to play with the energies of Creativity, Play and Imagination your life will begin to change in magical ways and you will experience things you never knew were possible.  All you need to do is start taking baby steps and join in the dance.


(This is a re-work of an article I wrote for the Edge Magazine in 2001)

Confessions of a Beauty School Graduate!

I am going to reveal something that I have never told anyone in my adult life. In fact I don’t think I ever told anyone! I am a Wendy Ward Charm School Graduate. Yes you heard me, Charm School, and yes, I did graduate! My best friend, Mary, who was tall and gorgeous and looked like she was in her 20’s when we were only 14, was going and if she was going, so was I. By the way, I wasn’t tall and gorgeous, I was short and curve less and flat chested and looked more like a boy. My parents hope was that Wendy Ward Charm School would make me look and act more like Mary and less like her younger brother John who was also my best friend. That would have been okay with me too, at the time.

For those who don’t know about Wendy Ward Charm School, it was “ A Wonderful 6-week Finishing and Fashion course offered for Girls 4-19. “ Mrs. Jessie Ventura, the wife of Minnesota’s former governor was a graduate. There were Wendy Ward Charm Schools all over the United States in the 60’s. The classes at my Charm School took place somewhere in the bowels of the old Montgomery Ward building on University Ave, in St. Paul in a room that had no windows. We went every Saturday for six weeks and every Saturday I was scared to death. My group was all girls in their teens and I think they all wanted to grow up to be models.

We learned the social graces, poise and self-confidence, correct posture by walking with books on our heads, proper grooming, how to dress, how to sit properly in a skirt so nothing showed. We learned how to walk the run way, with our foot in the “one-o’clock” position, poised at ready to stand and look alluring, or to turn quickly and make a graceful exit. I haven’t use the skills since that time, except the proper way to wash your face!  We concluded with a fashion show wearing Montgomery Ward fashions that we picked ourselves, because by then we knew what it meant to be beautiful and what you can wear to enhance it. We learned all of that in six weeks! They gave us a Wendy Ward Charm School manual so we wouldn’t forget. I wish I could find it now.

As a young girl and well into my late teens I was a tomboy. I had to learn how to survive with three brothers and becoming a “boy” was the only way I found that worked. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress, though I was forced to wear one a few times. I always had dirt under my fingernails and band aids on my knees. I could climb trees, build forts, catch frogs, pick up snakes and eat weeds better than my three brothers and all the boys in the neighborhood. I was very disappointed when I reached the age where I had to start wearing a shirt all the time. I wasn’t Charm School material! I wasn’t interested in how to apply make up and lipstick or pluck my eyebrows.

What Charm School actually did for me was get me on that slippery slope of what society thought was true beauty. What stuck with me out of all that I learned was the awareness and embarrassment of my own flaws. I wasn’t charming and poised when I was finished nor did I have great posture and self-confidence. I learned that I had a square face, and that wasn’t as desireable as an oval, but there were things you could do with your hair and make up to make it look more oval. I bet you didn’t know that you were blessed if you had an oval face and high cheek bones and were cursed if you had a square one. I learned that tall with long legs, like my friend, was better for modeling than short and nondescript, like me. I learned that there was a standard for what beauty was, and I didn’t fall into that standard. Television, magazines and the media and my three brothers re-inforced that.

I came out of Charm School feeling more like the Ugly Duckling, than Princess Charming. For a lot of my adult life I had a skewed prospective of what beauty was and like many women I was seeing a distorted image of myself when I looked in the mirror. This shallow sense of beauty still goes on today only now there is airbrushing and advance technologies in make up, there is hair extensions and liposuction. Women are still falling into the mirror of the beauty spell and so are young girls. The subject comes up often with adolescent girls that I work with in therapy and it puts me on my soapbox about what beauty really means.

So…what is true beauty anyway, and how can we break the social spell?

Footnote: More About Wendy Ward Charm School:

The Wendy Ward Charm School was part of a national initiative launched by Montgomery Ward’s in the mid-1960s to tap into teenage fashion trends in different parts of the country. It grew into a national phenomenon at Ward’s stores across the country.

There were weekly fashion shows in Montgomery Ward’s first floor cafeteria, where the girls modeled clothes they chose themselves. The graduation ceremony consisted of a full length runway show, held in the lower level of the store and featuring the girls in a choreographed show that showcased Ward fashions for teens.

Girls in the program also had the chance to be selected for the Pacesetters Teen Board a role which combined local appearances and promotional work with community service projects. Pictures of the teen board members hung in the center of Ward’s juniors department, and they became role models for their peers.  That was the coveted prize we were all trying to win!  Dang, I wanted to win that so baaaad!