"I kept hearing this melody deep inside me and then the words just flowed out. I was in my room in an old Victorian House and as I looked in the mirror, I saw myself, and all the women who came before me and after me peering through my eyes. It was a cosmic experience."
"The most important message women can get from listening to Wise Woman is that we must believe in ourselves and know our self-worth at any age. We are never too old to be productive, creative women who choose to live full meaningful lives. You are never too old to follow your heart. When you do, it leads you in the right directions."

WISE WOMAN QUESTIONS

1. What was your inspiration for the song, and how did it come to you?

a. My adopted "grandmother" Eve Smith who at age 73 drove cross-country all by her lonesome to Las Vegas to "follow her heart" and become a stand-up comedian and consequently a successful TV and film celebrity, was the inspiration for Wise Woman.

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Do you recognize this face? Eve Smith, an actress who started her career very late in life, was Karen Soroca's inspiration for Wise Woman.

 So was my maternal Grandmother Florence, who was always my biggest fan and always encouraged me to use my God given talents.

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Karen Soroca's Grandmother, Florence, was always her biggest fan!

b. As I started to go through my midlife changes, I started to read about all the choices women have today. I came across a book by Susun Weed, Menopause the Wise Woman Way, and it intrigued me. Iíve always been interested in the wisdom of indigenous peoples and their respect for all living things that come from Mother Earth, feminine energy. So I kept reading and reading.

c. Then I went on a yoga and meditation retreat in Mendocino, CA. I am a yoga instructor and every year I like to take a week off to be in community with other yoga students and teachers. This time meditation was a big part of the retreat and I had to sit in silence for days on this land that once belonged to coastal Indians of the region. 

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"I had to sit in silence for days on this land that once belonged to coastal Indians" (Soroca on Yoga retreat)

I kept hearing this melody deep inside me and then the words just flowed out. I was in my room in an old Victorian House and as I looked in the mirror, I saw myself, and all the women who came before me and after me peering through my eyes. It was a cosmic experience. I believe that creativity comes through us when we are receptive to our higher self and so I just wrote down what I was hearing. The whole first verse was there before I even got home to further work the song.

2. Exactly what is the formal definition of a Wise Woman?

A Wise Woman in older more matriarchal societies comes from the word "crone", which meant revered elder of the circle. Crone through time has had such a negative ring to it. I prefer the phrase "Wise Woman" because it doesnít carry all the bad images of a toothless hag like the witch in Snow White and other fairy tales. It is also connected to menopause, 'one who keeps her wise blood inside' and no longer menstruates, a Wise Woman.

3. Is "Wise Woman" specifically a Native American term?

"Wise Woman" is not specifically Native American. There have been statues of wise women found from ancient Crete and other old societies including East Indian. It is used in many indigenous cultures.

4. What did it mean in terms of a womanís role in the tribe?

The Wise Woman was the leader who was the link between past and future generations, the physical and spiritual world. She used her intuitive powers to help women give birth, heal the sick, aid the dying. She was a healer who knew about herbs and energy. She also instructed the young men how to pleasure women. She taught the younger women the ways of her tribe. These are generalizations because customs varied among different tribes in different cultures. Basically, she was an elder whose wisdom was revered.

5. In general, what is the historical significance of a wise woman?

Historically, the wise woman was often feared in western cultures that were mostly patriarchal and ruled by men. Women were little more than property and had little power. They could not own land. They were often not educated and had little choice but to be married and under the rule of their husbands. The women who were in tune with their inner wisdom and intuitive gifts had to stifle their abilities because if they used them, they were often thought of as witches and burnt at the stake. Many of the so called witches in the Middle Ages were healers who knew about the use of herbs. Since the Church often accused them of doing Satanís work, they often had to practice underground or they would be killed. Thank God things have changed, at least in the United States, and womenís special talents are being recognized and respected more.

Itís not a matter of men being better than women or vice versa. We all have male and female energy in us. Itís a matter of recognizing this and balancing it and living in a balanced society, not one dominated by either sex. A Wise Woman recognizes the spirit in all of us.

6. Are there any specific historical examples of a wise woman?

Yes, there are lots of examples. I need to research this further.

7. Why is the wise woman idea relevant for todayís woman?

Today, the baby boomers have reached menopause and we do not do anything silently. Plus, science has extended our lives, so we are living longer. There are just more of us past 40 or 50 today than ever before in history. Since we have many more years to live after our children have left the nest, we certainly donít want to sit around and twiddle our thumbs. We realize that we have much to contribute to society. So we can take our nurturing energy and transfer it from our families to the community, our extended family. Women are the nurturers Ė our hormones might have something to do with this. As we go through menopause and our hormones shift, so do some of our needs. Now we have years of experience to help us make decisions. The wisdom of older women is now beginning to take hold and be respected. This is very important in todayís world. We are as the song says, "a mother, a daughter, a friend and a wife, a sister, a teacher, a healer of strife, a mover and shaker, a lover of life." We have many more opportunities today to live full, rich lives.

8. Is this song just for women going through their change of life or do you see it as broader in scope?

This song is geared toward menopausal women, but not exclusively, because all women go through various stages and transitions and all women need to "follow their hearts" in order to live full, satisfying lives.

My friendís eight year old daughter loves the song and so does my twenty-five year old stepdaughter.

9. How does being a modern day wise woman help a woman to cope with all her roles in life?

A modern day wise woman has many choices and in making these choices, she needs to use her intuition to answer her own truths. She might sit and meditate or practice yoga or tai chi or attend church whatever she does she needs to trust this inner wisdom to help make pertinent decisions. She is able to cope with life because she has deep trust in the process of life.

10. Are you a wise woman?

Iíd like to think so, I want to age gracefully without fearing the process, however, I will let each of you come to your own conclusions.

11. How does being a wise woman reveal itself to women in their everyday life? And what does the idea of Wise Woman mean to you personally?

Being a wise woman reveals itself in many ways; by seeing the wisdom of our grandmothers, by respecting nature and all living things, by being true to oneís higher self and not doing something because we think weíre supposed to, by owning our female powers and at the same time, not imposing our will on others, and by using our nurturing nature for the good of all humankind. The idea of a Wise Woman to me personally embraces and acknowledges all of this.

For me, personally, I find wisdom in the observance of things in nature and through my daily yoga practice. My students are all my best teachers. The writing of music gets me in touch with my higher self. By having the courage to follow my heart, I move away from fear and trust that what I am doing is right for me now, right livelihood, right on every level and it leads me towards living a full life, appreciating every moment of every day.

12. Whatís the most important message you think women can get from listening to Wise Woman?

The most important message women can get from listening to Wise Woman is that we must believe in ourselves and know our self-worth at any age. We are never too old to be productive, creative women who choose to live full meaningful lives. You are never too old to follow your heart. When you do, it leads you in the right directions.

13. What are your dreams for Wise Woman?

I want the message of our song Wise Woman to be heard around the world. I want it to be empowering and an inspiration to all women so they can go on with their lives especially at midlife when we have many more productive, creative years ahead of us. I want the song to encourage women to overcome their fear of doing something new at any age. I would like to set up a fund, a Wise Woman fund to help women go back to school and become self-sufficient so they no longer have to remain at poverty level and struggle to survive. I want to be able to help women help themselves.

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