Da Vinci’s Muse

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Stephany Lane Yarbrough


Stephany Lane Yarbrough was born into an artistic family, where reflection, change, learning, independent thought and verbal expression, whether through Singing or Poetry, were the valued Muses. SLY‘s Muse has suggested a different journey.

Long story…, but in the darkness of life, learning to put a name to her experiences, SLY was self-encouraged to take a “phenomenological approach” to codifying her experiences particularly as a Woman. Focusing her graduate work (Ph.D. ’91) on the Concept of Boundaries: Identity Formation, Maintenance and Management and formulating a new theory in the field of Human Development through the Life-Span Psychology, SLY began to nurture the Creative Link between the spiritual world, the world of the unseen, and the meaning-making aspects of life, the self-reflective process of her life, and the choice to live in love rather than fear.

From early on, SLY questioned her life’s purpose. Through a myriad of phenomenally good and horrifically bad unconventional life’s experiences culminating in a divorce, she entered a time period of being in the world, but not of it and this was not by choice. Living close to the consciousness of conscious “being”,  researching during the past 16 years what it means to be a woman and living it in its purest form, this ephemeral nature of Womanhood, tempering her vision with nominal security even in the unknown timing of its birth, has taught her to recognize and honor the developmental phases of Womanhood. She is now encouraged to express her unique journey through Da Vinci’s Muse and in 2009, beginning with her mother’s journey, release a book on her mother’s behalf: Paperclip- A Daughter’s Collection: A Mother’s Courage.

Along with Stephany Lane Yarbrough’s Women’s Empowerment and Gender Studies,  she continues her work in the world of the unseen through a web site in development SecretChalice.com.

Stephany Lane Yarbrough was born on January 3, 1961

Each of us has a story steeped in family tradition and historical context, creating a personal mythology that gives insight into who we are, why we are here and where we may be headed in our respective journeys. In the lost traditions of holy days of the ancient Europeans, January 3rd signifies in the Sumerian tradition, Inanna’s Day, the celebration of the Birth of Light and the complex Goddess of life, love and death who embodies the full humanity of women, from adolescent, lover and mother to destroyer and crone. She has great power over lovers and cities and oversees the transformation of her own soul, by taking a dangerous journey into death,  she then gains control of all her feelings of fear. She must descend into the Underworld, where she is stripped of all of her power and is killed by her sister who is Queen of the Underworld, but is then reborn with her sister’s help and is able to return to her home. However, the rules of death still apply, and Inanna must replace herself in the Underworld with someone else. She finds her husband Dumuzi usurping the Queen’s privileges, so she appoints him to take her place. Once a year Dumuzi is banished into the Underworld to face his own transformation.

Like Inanna, SLY experienced her own journey of transformation through unexpected experiences and great reflection on the meaning of what it is to be a woman with assistance from the Muse MnÄ“mÄ“ (“memory”).  Though her journey into the “Underworld” was demanding, she has re-emerged with greater strength and insight into the developmental nature of Womanhood.  This story of transcendence is one she hopes she can now share with women through her work and in doing so, assist other women to find their own way out of the Darkness and into the Light.

We are All Muses Together.


5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eon // Jan 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    When you have the great fortune of knowing such a bright and gifted woman such as SLY. And have seen her transformations during her journey to this place. You know that it is her time to let the world see what she can teach us all about living life.

  • 2 MICHELLE // Jun 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm


  • 3 ric marlow // Jul 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Stephany is a beautiful, bright, sensitive woman. We men need more women like her…

  • 4 George Kastner // Nov 4, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I am taken by the Muse concept and by the understanding of oneself.
    I would love to meet you and discuss this. I am sure I will learn lots and understand more. Sadly we are so far.

  • 5 Andrea de Lange // Nov 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Like Michelle, I recently met Stephany in NIA/Zumba classes, and really appreciate her welcoming nature. In addition to recommending classes and instructors, she actually does the introductions! Stephany radiates serenity and beauty, and I feel lucky to have met her.

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