Happy Birthday

One year ago Bronwyn and I sat at kitchen table and window desk, each of us surrounded by writing books, notes, art pens, vases of garden flowers, and coffee cups, and stared in amazement at each other over Skype. Next to our chat windows were the opening pages of a beautiful website Bronwyn had created with a vibrant pink statement splashed across the top: Vivid. Life, energy, vitality, beauty, complexity, and story, all wrapped up in one brush stroke word. Roses peeked around the edges of posts she’d been crafting and collecting for years on menopause and perimenopause. Brilliant sunlight and cool blue and green shadows wrapped words we’d been playing with for weeks, words like wisdom, soul, beauty, grief, change, bloom, belonging. We were about to show the world what we’d been working on. We were about to create a fresh conversation. We were about to launch The New Menopause and it felt exciting, scary, intense, and incredibly joyful.

If I could paint what it felt like on my side of that August afternoon Skype screen, I would show you a sparkling blue river, bordered in every possible terrain, and somewhere in a light-dappled meadow, Bronwyn and me, barefoot and wrapped in our Vancouver Island floral tunics, kneeling to place a hundred paper sailboats full of roses into the sparkling current.

We were launching. We were setting sail. We were sending so much collected and considered beauty into the world. Some of our initial content came from deep personal experience, some of it came from questions and conversations with ladies from all over the world. All of it was just the beginning. And now it was sailing away from us, into your computer screens and hopefully, into the places in this world where it was needed most.

Before that afternoon, before Vivid’s official birth story and launch, is the story of Bronwyn and I meeting at her beautiful menopause retreat in Santa Barbara and becoming friends, friends who immediately felt a rare connection in creativity and energy. It didn’t take long for us to begin wondering aloud how we could take that connection and make something that included all the women like us, women who craved a safe and nourishing place to process their menopausal experiences. We began with connection, we moved quickly to discussions on desire and delight, and from there we began to dream. Bronwyn had already crafted a gorgeous eight week course to take women, either virtually (through an online class space) or live (at a relaxing and interactive retreat), through the heroine’s journey of menopause. I was deeply moved by the knowledge and spaciousness it contained. As a teacher and doula it was everything I believed in and wanted to be a part of. As a creator and fierce advocate of women’s stories and empowerment, I knew this was different from everything else I had read and seen. This was truth and beauty, together. There was tenderness and safety and so much freedom.

I am so proud of Vivid’s first year. I am so amazed at everything Bronwyn and I have built, stabilized, created, and made more beautiful. I am honored to have held your stories, your questions, and your fears. I have taken so much joy in learning alongside you and widening my understanding. I am so proud to stand in this middle place of life transition with you. I am so excited for all that will come next.

As we prepare to begin year number two I feel like I’m back in that same meadow, bringing our fleet of sailboats in and marveling at how seaworthy they are, how well they were crafted. All around my feet are baskets freshly filled with fragrant blooms in the shape of classes, blogs, podcasts, retreats, and so much more. In the next month they will begin sailing away from us and landing in your email inbox and on your computer screens. We can’t wait to share with you everything we’re continuing to learn about perimenopause, menopause, and what richness waits for us on the other side of change. We can’t wait to share new voices of wisdom and introduce you to some new ideas and creations. All of it is a celebration of all our VIVID lives. And as always, your story belongs!



About Annagrace

Lover of food memoirs, strong coffee, intricate poetry, and interesting wine. I am a mother, sister, wife, and loyal friend. I was drawn to create Vivid with Bronwyn Simons out of a deep love for the diverse and intricate experiences of women everywhere. I love watching women walk into their stories and discover and name their essential reasons and passions. I believe that we can heal our wounded, modern stories and live our own beautifully unique versions of Vivid Lives.

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