What is the absolutely most beautiful thing?

That’s easy.

It’s the women I know.

Nearly two years ago, I realized that I was collecting exceptional women.

Women who had suffered. Women who were smart. Women who had great ideas. Women who had done gutsy things.

Women who inspired me just by getting up in the morning.

Women who had experienced incredible success and women who were cruelly abandoned by those they loved.

Women who cared. Women who were doing the best they could. Women who dared to hope and women who couldn’t see straight.

Women who took my breath away, yet had no concept of their strength and beauty.

Lucky, lucky me! I am surrounded by so many exceptional women. Women who encourage and inspire each other.

I wanted to keep these women nearby, just so that I could see the amazing women they were going to be and the astonishing things they were going to do.

And I wanted these women to know each other.

I wanted desperately to hear each woman’s unique voice.

I wanted to applaud and encourage. I wanted to stand back and watch.

I didn’t want to miss a thing.

And so I came up with an idea, which you encouraged me to explore.

The idea became a network, but not the usual network because I don’t love those networks so much.

Instead, it was to be a connecting and nurturing place for exceptional women from all walks of my life. A place where joy was in abundance and judgment was non-existent. A place where it didn’t matter what you did, but who you were. A place where being you is plenty.

This network came to be called Le Donne (which means “women” in Italian.)

There are now nearly 100 women on the Le Donne list, receiving invitations to monthly get togethers. Each time we gather, there seem to be about 12 to 15 different women, so no one needs to feel left out if she hasn’t come before. I am still hoping that all of you will join us at some point or another. Our events are meaningful, but they’re also fun, and of course always involve delicious food and drink.

Share Events: Each woman shares something personally meaningful around a specific theme, just so that we can hear each woman’s voice, and so that everyone can get to know each other at a deeper level.

Classes: cooking, skincare, healthy living, goal-setting, more…Last summer, we had an herb class which was followed by a late night swim in Deirdre’s pool!

Casual get togethers: Gardening Q&As, plant swaps and tours.

Retreats: Next weekend (Mayday), we are holding our first ever weekend retreat, facilitated by healthy living guide Anna Dvorak. I can’t wait, but oh how I wish more of my Le Donne friends could have made it this time. (We have 5 and were shooting for 8.)
I know that I pressure, but it’s only because I love you all so much.

I develop our schedule season by season, and I’m always looking for unique ways to share the wisdom of our Le Donne women with the entire group.

In a big way, this blog has become an extension of what I intended for Le Donne. Encouragement, inspiration, joy, reflection, sharing authentically and deeply. Sharing our beauty and celebrating our lives.

Because I believe that the world really needs to see you and hear from you.

Today, I continue to collect you. Tomorrow you will hear about Gina, who may not know it yet, but has been collected. ( :

Even if Le Donne ended today, I am so grateful for how all of this has turned out and I have you to thank.

Now here’s a request from me:

If Le Donne has meant something to you, please comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

If you would like to find out more about Le Donne, contact me by leaving a message here or by emailing me at rgreenhouse@mac.com.

Love you (yes, even if I don’t know you yet, because I’m pretty certain that you’re fabulous!)