A Room of One’s Own: Why we need sacred spaces in order to create.

A few months ago, we had a feng shui master and his wife over for dinner. His wife and I were talking about our creative writing ventures and, when the master overheard, he chimed in with the simple question, “Where is your writing space? I love to see creative spaces.” I stuttered around an answer. The kitchen counter after the kids are asleep? A stolen afternoon at a coffee shop with thirty other coffee drinkers? The lobby of the rec center while my kids swim?

His look bored into my soul. He said, “Your writing will never take you seriously if you don’t have a sacred space to create in.” In that moment I realized what he was saying was true, but that actually doing something about it felt inconvenient.

“Your writing will never take you seriously if you don’t have a sacred space to create in.”

So I’ve been thinking about it: Does inspiration really squeeze in beside you if she has to contend with the sea of laptops and fancy coffee drinks, table to table with other aspiring creatives? Whether you are seeking to create a poem, a killer investor pitch or high tech breakthrough, if you want to invite inspiration to come visit you need a place for her to sit down. You need a “room of one’s own”, à la Virginia Woolf.

How many of us read A Room of One’s Own in high school or college and said to ourselves, “Right on, sister!” Her small book declares that women need space to tap into their creative power. Like me, you probably thought that when you grew up, you’d insist on the room. It would be a non-negotiable. But as our adult living situation becomes a reality, we concede the space to the distractions around us.

Some never conceded, like my friend and entrepreneur, Renee Israel. Renee is an entrepreneur and cofounder, with her husband Rob, of Doc Popcorn. They both work out of the home and they both have private home offices. When most people were remodeling by tearing down walls for larger living areas, Renee knew that she needed that wall. She insisted on articulated boundaries versus the larger communal space. And with that came intellectual freedom.

I am lucky enough to have an “office” that is shared with my husband, but stacks of to-do’s cover the space: brochures for potential summer camps, permission slips, bills, catalogs and then there’s Will’s desk, which is even more chaotic. When he is sitting at his computer, we chit chat and share, and we interrupt with things like, “Hey, is next Thursday a good day to get the furnace serviced?” My son walks in without a knock to ask if he can have a turn holding the bunny. The humdrum and the wonder have a hard time cohabitating at times. Busy work is worlds away from generative thinking. My office is a place to orchestrate the responsibilities, not the whisperings of my soul.

“My office is a place to orchestrate the responsibilities, not the whisperings of my soul.”

Lately, I’ve been eyeing the potting shed in the back yard. It’s full of straw, torn slip n’ slides, stacked pots, a wasp nest and a weed whacker. All of the that can find another home, I realize. So what is really standing between me and a room of my own? Maybe it’s my own self-doubt, or the fear of taking up space, but I’m getting over that. I may not write the next bestseller, but I just will have more than half an hour without an interruption to my thoughts – that sounds just as delightful. There would be nothing worldly in there, just a writing surface, some cool tchotchkes and creative quotations pinned to the wall. And ventilation. That’s it – all my room needs.

I like to think of it this way: HGTV is full of shows on creating the dream man-cave, but what would a woman-cave look like? Even if the best room of your own you can create is the kitchen counter after the kids are asleep – go for it. Find a talisman, light a candle and tell the others to stay away because inspiration needs a signal for the all-clear. Demand it. Do it for Virginia Woolf and the women who fought for the right. Because when we take up space, we take ourselves and our aspirations seriously. And so do those around us.

Show us your “rooms,” ladies. How do you take up space?


annike Annika Paradise is a freelance writer living in Boulder, Colorado.  Her writing has appeared in Brain Child Magazine as well as various blogs.  She is currently working on an historical fiction novel that takes place during the women’s suffrage movement in Colorado’s mining towns.

Freaking Out? Here’s 5 Ways Elizabeth Gilbert Deals with Fear

I recently interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert for our Emerging Women Podcast on the subject of Creativity and Fear (the focus of her newest book, Big Magic, due out in September). The fact that this wildly successful woman still struggles with fear gives me hope! The insights Liz shared in our conversation are not just for artists and writers. They can apply to any of us who are working on our passions, whether in business or at the writing desk.

Liz’s key to embracing fear: “It’s really about working with your fear and around your fear, without denying it and without attacking it.” But how? Check out these excerpts from my most recent podcast conversation with Liz: Creating Big Magic – Part 1. 

5 Ways Elizabeth Gilbert Deals with Fear:

1. Remember that fear has no toggle switch

“Fear is so old and so important that it’s not subtle,” Liz says. “It’s a toggle switch—it just goes on and off.” It lacks nuance, which is so important to creativity and authentic leadership. Its only function is survival.

But she respects fear. “It’s a viable and important human action,” she says. “But it also can get in your way when it comes to creativity, because creativity always asks you to enter into realms with uncertain outcome, and fear hates that. Fear always tries to shut that down.”

There are times and places where fear is very valuable. But when it comes to creativity, we need to put fear into perspective.

2. Start a conversation with Grandfather Fear

It starts with this wise advice Liz gives: “Without trying to get in a war with fear or pretend that it doesn’t exist or be ungrateful to it, we have to have a conversation with Grandfather Fear every time we begin a new creative project.”

Pretending that you have no fear is crazy. Hating fear is reactive, because we’re here as a human race because it helped us survive. It’s important to bring a healthy respect to the conversation, but have the conversation nonetheless.

How does Liz do it? She says to Grandfather Fear: “I know you’re scared because I’m going to expansively do something with an uncertain outcome, but we’re going to do it anyway.”

3. Bring Kid Sister Curiosity into the conversation

Liz talked at Emerging Women Live 2013 about how helpful it is to personify all the different emotions inside of her. In the podcast, she brought up the usefulness of that same technique when dealing with fear.

“I’ve got Grandpa Fear with the hand on the hand brake being like, ‘No one leaves this house!’ and ‘You kids get out of my yard!’ but I’ve also got the really reckless kid sister – Curiosity – who has no sense of consequence and wants to say “yes” to everything.”

Can you recognize those different parts within you? Now that you’ve said “hi” to Grandfather Fear, can you introduce him to Kid Sister Curiosity? Liz says that if you can, and you let them talk to each other, you can begin to approach wisdom.

4. Trust your Central Self to moderate

“Somewhere in me there’s a self who, if I’ve gotten enough sleep, if I am eating well, if I am in a relationship that’s nourishing, if I’m taking care of myself, and if I’m calm and still, can effectively moderate between all of these modalities,” Liz says.

You can tell Kid Sister Curiosity that you love her free-spirit, but to remember that someone has to pay the bills. And tell Grandfather Fear that you appreciate him looking out for you, “but you can put the shotgun down – those are just trick-or-treaters.”

She stresses the importance of recognizing the YOU that is in charge. And if you’re taking care of you, then you can trust yourself to hear all sides and move forward.

5. Keep doing the work

“Inspiration doesn’t owe you anything,” says Liz. Once you’ve found a balance between fear and creativity, you still have to do the work. She gets the good sleep she needs to start fresh. She sits down at 7am to write. She invites Inspiration to the table and then she gets to work.

“But it’s not like the Annunciation where suddenly an angel comes into the room,” she says. “It’s a drag, but I don’t sit there thinking, ‘Hey, you didn’t come to me! I asked you!’ I put the message out. They know I’m there. And I’ll just sludge through it.”

But the beautiful part? She says, “I’ve got one ear open, ready for the unexpected thing.”[inline]twitter-logo-ew[/inline]

She’s “ready for the sentence that I didn’t know I could write. Ready for something to change. Ready for something to grow.” And she’s teaching me to bring that open conversation to business, too.

Want more ways to deal with Fear? Get a free download of Power Practices Vol. 1 – Women Who Are Changing the World, and tune in to women’s leadership expert Tara Mohr’s “When You Don’t Feel Ready.”

Authentic Success in the New Year ~ with a little help from Liz Gilbert

If you’re like me, you get a warm feeling when you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook posts. She is a true role-model – not simply because she is a successful New York Times best-selling author, but because her she is constantly examining what success really means for her.

Whether she’s sharing her rituals, her favorite moments, her missteps, her lessons learned (and relearned) on the path to authentic success, she does it with an endlessly endearing sense of humor about herself that is so totally relatable it feels like it’s coming from a best-loved big sister.

As the clean slate of the New Year approaches, and New Year’s resolutions lists loom large on our social media feeds, I find tremendous comfort in the Grace&Fire podcast conversation we had before the first Emerging Women Live. Here are some of the things Liz said that stand out as I begin to gently shape my intentions for 2015:

“Curiosity is given to you, but your response is your job, and whether you take responsibility for that curiosity is your job.”

“I think that destiny is a kind of contract between human beings and the Mystery. Things are put before you, situations occur, and then you decide what’s going to be made of it.”

“Instead of forging forward into the vast forest with no idea where you’re going, go back a mile…

When was the last time something felt inspiring to you? When was the last time something was exciting to you? Return to that and then be gentle with it. Don’t take it by the neck and try to interrogate answers from it about what you’re supposed to do. Go back to that spot and sniff around. Put your hand on the ground, feel where it was warm, and see if there’s a little small overlooked clue near there that you somehow missed.”

“I think everyone is trying to play the grand, final scene of the big opera, but really, it’s the scavenger hunt that’s the most interesting…

Eyes on the ground, looking for that four-leaf clover, looking for that little scrap of paper hidden under the next rock, trying to find the clue. Because it is just a series of very small, almost invisible clues. And there’s a level of trust that develops where you just believe.”

Happy New Year, everyone! We wish you joy and an inner knowing on your path to authentic success!

To listen to the full Grace&Fire podcast conversation, just click here: “Elizabeth Gilbert – Creative Curiosity: Discovering Wisdom in the Details of Our Lives”

OR Download the EW App to listen to all of our Grace&Fire podcasts on the go:  For iPhone click HERE. For Android click HERE.

Want even more Elizabeth Gilbert? Join us for EWLive15 where she’ll share not only a keynote speech, but an intimate onstage conversation with Brené Brown. We can’t wait! Reserve your space in the inner circle now.

Creative Curiosity: Discovering Wisdom in the Details of our Lives with Liz Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is the beloved author of the 2006 runaway bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. At the time of this interview, her TED talk on creativity has over 8 million views, and her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, has been celebrated as “the novel of a lifetime” by O Magazine. Liz was a featured presenter at the 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference, and the following is a transcript of the conversation we had just before that event.

Chantal Pierrat: There’s a lot of places that we’ll probably end up going today, but I wanted to start with your book since it’s sitting here right in my hands. You were so kind to send me an unproofed copy. I’ve had a chance to dig in a little bit, and I have to say, it’s kind of a page-turner.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Oh, I’m so glad it’s making you turn the pages. That’s what I want. I want you to sprain your wrist turning pages with this book. [Laughs]

CP: Yes, I’m definitely falling down the rabbit hole. But it’s interesting—I’ve not read your fiction. I’ve read, obviously, Eat, Pray, Love, which had such a big effect on me. I’m curious to hear more about how this process was for you, not really writing about yourself. In the last two books, you’ve been writing memoir style. How did this feel?

EG: Well, it felt like a homecoming. That would be the word that I would use, that popped into my mind. It’s true, you’re not the only person who hasn’t read my fiction! [Laughs] I started out as a writer of fiction many years ago, and the only thing I ever wanted to be my whole life, my only dream as a writer, was to write short stories and novels.

So my first book was a collection of short stories and my second book was a novel. I was well on that path, and then my life fell apart, as anybody who’s got $10 to buy a paperback of Eat, Pray, Love knows. And I ended up veering very sharply into this world of confessional memoirs that, of course, I do not regret having done at all. It’s been an extraordinary encounter with myself and with readers. It’s just been an amazing phenomenon.

And then after that came Committed, the follow-up, but 12 years had passed and I hadn’t written a word of fiction. And I just had that feeling that we get sometimes in our lives where I felt like, “If I drift any further away from this essential part of myself, I will never uncover it again. It’s time.”

“If I drift any further away from this essential part of myself, I will never uncover it again. It’s time.”twitter

And also, the luxury appointed to me by the success of Eat, Pray, Love was I could do something as whimsical as take three, four years out of my life to do a passionate study of 19th-century botany and write a novel about 19th-century botanical exploration. So the book is also kind of a celebration of this place I am in my life right now where I have the time to pursue my creativity as I’ve always wanted to.

CP: So the main character is this brilliant young woman named Alma, and she’s developing for me still because I’m still in the early part. But I do think of you when I see her, and I don’t know if it’s just because I’m looking for you.

EG: Of course I’m there, and I think my readers will find me all over the book. It’s definitely a continuation of my passion. It’s a book about passion and it’s a book about travel and about discovery of the self, the discovery of the world, and discovery of the self in the world. Those are my themes that I’ve been looking at for a long time in a lot of different ways.

Alma is—the thing I love most about her is that she’s driven by a huge, towering lust for knowledge and for learning. Certainly in that, we are familiar. I really wanted to write a book about a woman whose life is directed by a craving to learn. I feel like that’s a character who we just don’t see enough in literature. And it’s somebody who I feel like I know, and somebody I feel like I am, and somebody who I think a lot of us feel like we are.

“I really wanted to write a book about a woman whose life is directed by a craving to learn. I feel like that’s a character who we just don’t see enough in literature.”twitter

CP: So The Signature of All Things—I’m curious how you came upon that title.

EG: The “signature of all things” is actually a theory that was posited in the 16th century by a quite eccentric German mystic, who’s also a plant enthusiast, named Jakob Boehme, who came to believe that God had hidden in the design of every plant on earth a clue as to the meaning and use of that plant. So, for instance, the simple way to describe would be that walnuts, if you open them up, they look like a brain, and walnuts are very good for headaches. And then sage leaves are shaped exactly like the human liver, and sage is very good for liver aliments.

So it was this idea, this compassionate gardener—God—wanted people to find their way to the clues hidden in the plants that would benefit us. It’s a lovely, kind of medieval mystical theory and it was well, well out of date by the time my characters in my book come along. There’s a lot of holes. [Laughs] A lot of leaves look like livers, and if you ate many of them, you would die.

You know, it’s one of those theories where he came up with a theory and tried to make the science fit to it. And my book is sort of about the opposite. My character is a real scientist who studies the world and deducts her theories after her study. However, she does fall in love with a man who still believes in that theory who’s also a botanist.

Liz’s fans send her pictures of their copy of SOAT from around the world.

And in a way, every single character in the book, all of them revolving around the world of plants, they’re all looking for the signature of all things in some different way, whether it’s scientifically or artistically or in the world of commerce. They’re trying to find the clues in the plant world to better their own life.

CP: What I love is that you are a great connector. You take us on a tangent, and yet it comes back around really beautifully to another piece. It’s not a hanging thread. It always ties back.

EG: Yes. Without a doubt. Thank you for saying that because I feel like the novels that I love—and I do love 19th-century novels. I love Jane Austen and Dickens and Trollope and Elliot. That whole gang, they’re my favorite. And I think that the mastery that they had is that they knew exactly, from the first minute of the story, where they were going and where they were taking you. And you know when you’re in their hands that you’re not going to get abandoned on the side of the road, which sometimes happens in contemporary novels where you’re like, “How’d we get here? I’m stuck here now!” [Laughs] “And I don’t think either me or the author has any idea where we’re going.”

So I wanted to have that same sense of leading the reader on a journey and saying, “It’s OK, you can trust me. We’re going to go on this together and we’re going to come back on the other side and we’re going to have a really amazing experience in the middle.” I’m hoping that’s what the book will convey.

“It’s OK, you can trust me. We’re going to go on this together and we’re going to come back on the other side and we’re going to have a really amazing experience in the middle.”twitter

CP: Do you feel that, in your own life, you have that same sort of philosophy as you do in your writing style, where you trust everything actually does have a purpose and will cycle back?

EG: I do! [Laughs] I do. And it is magical thinking, right? Cynics and realists of all stripes would object to that idea, but it also does seem to be the case. It’s been shown now, even in scientific and sociological studies, that the people who are the most resilient and the people who seem to have lives of the richest quality are the ones who believe that there is some sort of a purpose to their life.

And I do think it’s kind of your job, if you’re lucky enough to have shown up in this world, to figure out what your purpose is. What are we doing otherwise, right? We’re just waiting. We’re just killing time. And from earliest consciousness, I just didn’t want to live in a waiting room. And in that regard, I’m very much like Alma, my character, as well. She’s definitely a purposeful young woman who, you will see, becomes a very purposeful middle-aged woman and an extremely purposeful old woman.

CP: So the tangents that life takes us on—it’s a dance between creating your own purpose and letting it unfold and believing in the seemingly randomness of it. You want both

EG: Yes. When people have asked me if I believe in destiny, I absolutely do, but I think that destiny is a kind of contract between human beings and the Mystery—whatever you want to call “the Mystery” with a capital “M.” I just call it “the Mystery” because it’s easier. And the Mystery entails everything that happens in our lives. And I feel like destiny is sort of an open questions. Things are put before you, offers are made, situations occur, and then you sort of decide what’s going to be made of it.

Somebody asked me the other day if I felt like my husband and I, if our love story was destined. And I said, “No, I don’t think our love story was destined. I think our meeting was destined. We certainly could have blown it.” [Laughs] The invitation was presented, and then it was turned over to our care, and what came next was up to us. But we could have easily walked away from it.

And I’ve been in situations before, in love and in work and in relationships, where an offering is there, and for whatever reason, the participants are unable or unwilling to see through it and it goes away. I don’t think destiny can force you to do something that you’re not going to do.

CP: You have an incredible attention to detail. Robert Penn Warren is one of my favorite writers in this regard, and this book reminds me a little bit of that.

CP: It has that same sort of—it’s like time stops and there’s a micro focus. And yet, I always think, “Wow, Elizabeth Gilbert, she’s got such big vision.” It seems like you have a pretty good balance of those two things going on. I’m wondering if that’s ever a struggle for you.

EG: You know, I love that idea, thank you for pointing it out. I think that the big picture is in the details. And it’s not an accident that my character, Alma Whittaker, who’s a botanist, finds her way in the world through studying mosses, which are incredibly tiny and incredibly intricate and which have been largely overlooked.

“I think that the big picture is in the details.”[inline]twitter

Liz Gilbert in Wellington NZ (via her Facebook page)

And as a woman trying to make a name for herself in the botanical world, she discovers that there’s this huge universe right underfoot that everybody is literally stomping on. And that all the bigger botanists have made their name with bigger plants and flowers—you know, the orchidists and the people who study the great redwoods. But she can’t travel to those places. She doesn’t have that luxury to be able to take on those mega-floras.

But right in her backyard, there are probably 45 different varieties of moss growing on one boulder cropping, and she’s able to find an entire universe in that moss. And she’s actually able to ask the same giant questions about the origins of life itself through the study of these few boulders as the great men of her day are asking through the study of the cosmos and through evolution and through fossil records that they’re finding.

So all the answers are everywhere. It’s just that they’re in miniature for her because that sort of suits her life. And I also thought that was a big metaphor for women’s lives in general. I think for most of history, women have lived very rich, miniaturized lives. When you look at the artwork that women have done in Western civilization, it tends to be tiny. It’s needlework or it’s painting tea cups, it’s textiles, it’s tiny knots. Because women’s lives had been kind of compressed, unfortunately, into a smaller scale, and yet women bring their creativity to that small scale and make magnificent things on that scale.

“Women’s lives had been kind of compressed, unfortunately, into a smaller scale, and yet women bring their creativity to that small scale and make magnificent things on that scale.”twitter

So I thought it would be interesting to have a female character who does the same thing in the scientific world, and who reaches the same conclusions as the great men by doing that. So I do think in her life, and in our own lives, there’s tremendous greatness to be found in the very small and the very everyday.

CP: There was a Harvard Business Review study where they compared male and female professionals, and whether it’s true or perceived, women scored lower in visioning. Everything else was equal or higher than the men. The only score that they didn’t meet and were actually below men was the ability to vision.

EG: The big, big picture. And I think another thing that is the danger of that is, of course, a little myopia and also perfectionism. I think that it was really important to me to write a novel about a women with a towering intellect, and I really didn’t want it to be a story about a woman who was brilliant but nobody would listen to her because she was a woman. I just felt like that was an oversimplification and also didn’t honor the real lives of the real, incredibly respected 19th-century female botanists who I studied as I was working on the book.

But what I do find—and this is a huge generalization but I think it’s a point worth making—that a lot of times what holds women back in the world is this idea that they can’t put something forward until it is perfect. And we all know that has never stopped men. [Laughs]

“…what holds women back in the world is this idea that they can’t put something forward until it is perfect. And we all know that has never stopped men.”twitter

That’s the thing that I’m always trying to convey to younger women, to young artists, to young executives, to any woman I meet who’s entering the world at all. Don’t hold back your voice. Don’t hold back your ideas until they’re perfect because first of all, perfect doesn’t exist, and secondly, you’ll be overrun by people who are throwing out all sorts of stuff that’s half formed, and yours is 95 percent formed. You know, 95 percent’s good enough! Push it forward, put it out there.

Alma suffers from that level of perfectionism. And I think it’s probably one of the terrific saving graces in my own life that I actually don’t have a problem. [Laughs] I grew up with a mother who taught me from me a really early age that done is better than good. That was one of her mottos I grew up with. “Just finish it, just put it out there. It doesn’t have to be immaculate, it just has to be done.”

And I feel like that’s gotten me so far. That’s probably the reason I have six books instead of one. Otherwise I would still be editing that first one. I’m willing to throw stuff out there in the world. And I’m always trying to empower women to do the same.

“I’m willing to throw stuff out there in the world. And I’m always trying to empower women to do the same.”twitter

To be continued… You can listen to the recorded version of this interview HERE

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Accessing Your Feminine Power with Claire Zammit

The article below is excerpted from the eye-opening keynote on Feminine Power Claire Zammit gave at Emerging Women Live 2013, and from my Grace & Fire podcast with her before the event. Claire is the co-creator of the Feminine Power training courses for women and co-leads a thriving learning community of hundreds of thousands of women throughout the world. She is a gifted and highly trained specialist in transformative education that gives her audience access to life-altering shifts, leading to embodied and lasting change. Read on to find out her definition of Feminine Power and why we all need it to make our destiny a reality.

 

“Masculine power is the power to create those things we can control and predict. Feminine power is the power to create those things that we can’t control.”twitter

 

CP: Six years ago, you made the decision to start trusting yourself and your abilities so that you could thrive in life. How did that decision come about?

CZ: I spent years of my life waiting to be “discovered.” I always felt like something was going to happen, or should happen, that was going to enable me to become all that I knew I could be. And I was very sad and confused when those opportunities never came.

And so late one night, by candlelight, I prayed for guidance. I knew I couldn’t just skip over this and continue on the course that I was on, and I didn’t know the answer, but I knew I needed to make a commitment to find out. And so, in the darkest hour of that dark night, I just surrendered, open, and I said, “Help, universe,” even though I doubted anybody was there listening.

And I had a very deep and powerful experience. It was almost like a mystical experience where I felt an inner voice say to me, “Claire, you have to have faith in yourself. And you have to believe that all of life is organizing around your success. Even though you don’t have any evidence for it, and even though you don’t know what to do, begin to make choices and take actions in your life aligned with a sense of faith.”

 

“You have to believe that all of life is organizing around your success.”twitter

 

So I went to sleep with that thought, and I woke up the next morning and I said, “Okay, what would I do if I really believed in myself and I believed that life was organizing around my success?” And immediately I had access to a very deep intuition that said, “Go and get an office space.”

It was kind of crazy because I’d just moved to LA from Australia, and I didn’t really know anyone, and I had given up my coaching practice 5 years earlier. But with my last $1,000, I went and I got an office space. And that’s how I met the woman who became a close colleague of mine, Katherine Woodward, and within a year we started teaching programs and creating courses together. And I met my husband and soulmate, Craig Hamilton, and the relationship that we share together is beyond anything I could have imagined.

I’m really so honored and grateful to say that having created a foundation of success in my own life, I began to fulfill on that dream of really standing for the global empowerment of women and girls. I wake up and I feel like I need to pinch myself because this outer life reflects the deeper possibilities that I always sensed, but I couldn’t quite see how to get there.

CP: Wow. So what happened?

CZ: I began to create my life from Feminine Power, and it really changed everything. And I know it can change everything for other women as well.

How many women in their clearest moments sense that they have gifts and talents that the world has never seen before and will never see again after they’re gone. And that even that they have a critical role to play in shaping the future of our world. And how many know exactly what that’s going to look like?

CP: There’s a big gap.

CZ: Yes, and this is significant. This yearning that’s waking up inside of us, it’s not just a desire to accomplish – to have a nice house, to have a nice car, to get married. What’s waking up inside of us is an impulse to actualize our higher creative potentials in service to something larger than ourselves.

 

“What’s waking up inside of us is an impulse to actualize our higher creative potentials in service to something larger than ourselves.”twitter

 

We don’t just want to have the relationship our parents had, we want to have the experience of intimacy that’s beyond that. We don’t just want to get a job, we want to express who we are and we want to develop our creativity and get it out of us in a way that impacts others.

We don’t just want to get more status or have more stuff. We want to become ourselves and create a life that reflects who we truly are. What we’re yearning for is our destiny: the greatest possibility of who we are in service to something bigger than ourselves. And the nature of destiny is that we don’t know what it looks like in advance, so it’s very hard to create a strategic plan to get there, or even put it on a vision board to be able to manifest.

So the system of power that we’ve been mastering as women over the last 50 years is actually a masculine system of power. It’s a power system that based on logical and linear thinking. So if you have a goal that’s predictable or controllable – you want to build a house, get a college degree – then the masculine power system is the way to go. The problem is, we’re no longer yearning to just accomplish goals. What we’re pregnant with are these higher possibilities.

We can’t get there with just a power system that’s based on analysis and logic. We need to have a power system that based on a much more intuitive, receptive, co-creative and feminine system. Masculine power is the power to create those things we can control and predict. Feminine power is the power to create those things that we can’t control.

 

“We need to have a power system that based on a much more intuitive, receptive, co-creative and feminine system.”twitter

 

CP:When you’re in a room with other women and see that maybe another woman is not living from a place of Feminine Power, do you reach forward and try and draw her out?

CZ: Well, that’s a great question. In our course, we have a whole new set of shared agreements that we teach about creating a culture of empowerment between women. And the point in which you can really partner to stand with someone and for someone is when they step forward in self-responsibility.

We can’t go into rescuing if that woman hasn’t yet said, “I’m committed to realizing the greatest possibility of who I am. And I’m standing to be responsible, to see myself as a source of my experience up until that point. And I am open to receiving support.” I think a woman has to step into that for the support to become really conscious and powerful and potent.

“I think a woman has to step into that for the support to become really conscious and powerful and potent.”twitter

I think generally speaking, we want to be finding ways to extend that invitation to women to actually step forth into that level of commitment, to stand for their own greatness. So I think rather than saying “Oh, I see you,” we want to mirror the possibilities. I think it’s, in many ways, so true. We want to mirror the possibilities. We want to reflect opportunities everywhere we go. We want to see and relate to the most powerful version of others.

And I think more than anything I want to encourage women to take that stand for themselves as a foundation for them being able to join other women in partnership, to be able to feed each other power. I think you can create a culture of empowerment between women when everyone’s stepping forward in self-responsibility as the price of admission for that.

“We want to mirror the possibilities. We want to reflect opportunities everywhere we go. We want to see and relate to the most powerful version of others.”twitter

To hear more from the amazing Claire Zammit, don’t miss her free webinar The Three Keys to Feminine Power on May 14th. Read more about what you will learn HERE. You can also see her in New York City, where we are so honored to have her back as a keynote speaker at Emerging Women Live 2014 in October.

About Emerging Women Live 2014:

Emerging Women Live aims to support and propel the emerging movement of women who are stepping up and changing the world. #EWLive14 is a one of a kind conference that helps women to harness the power of the feminine, rock the business world, and create a new paradigm for success. Join us in NYC for a truly extraordinary, one-of-a-kind event!

Join us for an experience that will last far beyond the four days we spend together. Learn more here>>>

Juicy Bites: Creativity & Courage — Key Ingredients of a Fully Expressed Life

This week in Juicy Bites:

  • Remember Anne Lamott’s timeless advice on writing and creativity
  • Redefine creative goal-setting with Danielle LaPorte
  • Take a guided audio journey to identify creative blocks
  • Learn 5 tips for managing a sudden flood of creativity
  • Be inspired by world leaders’ tributes to human rights champion Nelson Mandela

At the end of this post, we encourage you to join us for a conversation. This week’s Juicy Bites question for you, dear emerging women, is:

1. Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott’s Timeless Advice on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity via Brain Pickings

Rediscover Anne Lamott’s profound book on writing and creativity, written “not from the ivory tower of the pantheon but from an honest place of exquisite vulnerability and hard-earned life-wisdom.” A perfect read to remind us of the generosity and grace involved in any creative act.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” -Anne Lamott

Continue Reading …

2. The Perils & the Promise of Goal Setting via Maria Shriver

Danielle LaPorte’s advice on moving away from a traditional goal-setting mindset towards a soul-centered view that satisfies core desired feelings. This shift in perspective, LaPorte says, can lead to surprising choices in your daily life and unexpected, deeply satisfying results in the future.

“You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing the feeling that you hope attaining the goal will give you.” -Danielle LaPorte

Continue Reading…

3. Fully expressing our soul’s potential via Sounds True

Sandra Ingerman “opens up a new world of shaminic practice” to help us manifest our deepest desires and wishes. Journey with her in this guided audio selection to identify the creative blocks keeping you from living the full life you imagine for yourself.

“You are a reflection of the creative force in the universe, and you have this power, too.” -Sandra Ingerman

Continue Reading…

4. Effects and Remedies for Scatterbrain Creativity via Huff Post Healthy Living

Releasing creative blocks can cause a flood of ideas. Practicing good creative habits will help you anchor your ideas and bring your creativity home. Here are five tips to help you mindfully navigate a rush of creative inspiration.

“Your mind racing with new ideas is great, but unless you can compartmentalize them you are defeating the purpose because at scatterbrain levels your juices will go as quickly as they came.”

Continue Reading…

5. Nelson Mandela death: World leaders’ reaction via BBC News

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president who led the peaceful transition from white-only rule, passed this week at age 95. In this article, world leaders remember his courage, compassion, and commitment to equality and human rights.

“History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation. We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life.” -Bill Clinton

Continue Reading…

We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Leave a comment below:

Emerging Women Live Speaker Highlights Part One

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We are so grateful for each and everyone of you who participated in Emerging Women Live 2013. Check out our favorite Highlights in the video above.

We are still in awe with the level of engagement and the fantastic support we received from you. We are so looking forward to new projects and events, but for now we are still buzzing with excitement and joy about our first edition of Emerging Women Live. Please leave a comment below and tell us what inspired YOU the most at #EWLive13.

1. Brené Brown on The Power of Vulnerability

Brené dispeled the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argued that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.  She explained how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief and disappointment and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation and creativity.

 

2. Elizabeth Gilbert on Big Magic: Thoughts on Creative Living

Elizabeth Gilbert at Emerging Women Live 2013

The first and scariest step is this: believing there is magic in our lives. Elizabeth Gilbert explored how we can overcome our preconceptions to embrace the irrational but beautiful notions of kismet, synchronicity, and hidden messages that lead us on our true path.

 3.  Alanis Morissette Q&A with Tami Simon

Image by 11:11 Productions

Alanis Morissette and Tami Simon talked about the emergence of the divine feminine, about balancing the Yin/Yang, the masculine and feminine essence, about Alanis’s creative process, the effect of fame, self-knowledge and much more. If you missed this formidable, intimate interview you can still access it via on-demand streaming edition, available for a limited time only. See HERE

4. Eve Ensler’s In the Body of the World

Eve Ensler, a fearless champion of women spoke about themes from her most recent memoir, a meditation on separation and connection—to the body, the self, and the world. Eve has devoted her life to the female body—how to talk about it, how to protect and value it.

5.  Ani DiFranco’s Incredible Performance

Soulful and wonderful Ani DiFranco had a breathtaking performance at Emerging Women Live 2013. Her voice, her words and her presence moved us profoundly.

We are so grateful to everyone who helped make Emerging Women Live 2013 an amazing and transformative time together. Thank you!

Please leave a comment below and tell us what inspired YOU the most at #EWLive13.

With gratitude and big love,
Chantal

Gratitude for Emerging Women Live 2013

Just how much love and connection can one let in over a 4-day period? Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more, somehow my heart opened wider to let in even more joy.

I am not sure exactly what the secret ingredient was that led to the BIG MAGIC that was present throughout the event, but it seems that we all brought our wands with us to Emerging Women Live, and I am still floating as a result.

I thought I would reach out while we are all in this power state of emergence, and let you know how very blessed I feel to have had the chance to share this experience with you all, whether you attended the event or joined us via livestream.

Thank you for holding the space for me to step into my being in the face of uncertainty that comes when one is emerging. I was living the truth of who I was and you all made that possible for me – aaaaahhhhhh that felt great.

I have so much gratitude for the level of presence and authenticity that you each brought to the experience. From the beginning, there seemed to be an environment of trust and openness that set the stage for the entire event, and now this has become the foundation of our tribe.

There is much I could say, and yet I have little brain power for words.  I am wanting to sit in the feeling of it all. I want to dive deep into my heart and my body to relish this vibration a bit longer before inviting my mind back in.

And so with this I leave you with a bow of appreciation, and a request to help me build Emerging Women into the movement it is destined to become.

With gratitude and big love,

Chantal

The FREE recorded version of Emerging Women Live 2013 is available for a limited time only. Watch #EWLive13 HERE.

Juicy Bites: Women Heroines in Literature and Film

This week we find out:

  • Literature’s most beloved women heroines
  • Who is the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker
  • What are 3 communication mistakes that you can easily avoid
  • The real meaning of self-compassion and how it differs from self-esteem
  • Messy or tidy — which is better for creativity?

 

At the end of this post, we encourage you to join us for a conversation. This week’s Juicy Bites question for you, dear emerging women, is:

1. Well-Read Women: Gorgeous Watercolor Portraits of Literature’s Most Beloved Heroines via Brain Pickings

 

The New-York-based painter and fashion illustrator Samantha Hahn is celebrating women in fiction. This book is a fascinating collection of expressive watercolor depictions paired with a memorable quote, of such literary icons as Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, Holly Golightly, and Clarissa Dalloway.

JANE EYRE 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë
JANE EYRE ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Brontë

Continue Reading…

2. Meet Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker via Interview Magazine

 

This is quite impressive. Al Mansour’s first feature film called Wadjda, is the first movie to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia, and Al Mansour is the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker.

“There are opportunities for women now, and you have to be able to stand up for yourself, for what you believe in. And the culture is opening up and there are pockets, windows for women. But a lot of women are shy to take them because the culture will not accept women working in a mixed environment; they don’t want women to travel alone and study abroad. It may compromise women getting married quickly. It is very much like America in the 1940s, but it is more [conservative]; women have to be completely covered.” — Haifaa Al Mansour

Continue Reading…

 

3. Three communication mistakes with big impact via Tara Sophia Mohr-Wise Living

 

Tara shares with us a super easy way we can play big this year. Learn how to avoid 3 common communication mistakes, and how to build your voice to be  strong, determined,  non-apologetic.

“Our words are our opportunity. That opportunity is bigger than ever before because women are more literate than ever before and have access to technology — from laptops to email — that amplify our communication.”

*Tara Sophia Mohr will be a featured presenter at the 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference, October 10th-13th in Boulder, CO.

Continue Reading…

 

4. Kristin Neff — The Real Meaning of Self-Compassion via Grace & Fire Podcast

 

This episode’s guest is the inspiring Kristin Neff. Kristin is a professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas, Austin, and she has practiced Buddhist Meditation since 1997. In addition to authoring numerous academic articles on self-compassion, she has written a new book titled “Self-Compassion,” released by William Morrow in 2011.

In this episode, Kristin Neff and the host of Grace & Fire, Chantal Pierrat spoke about:

 

  • The real meaning of Self-Compassion and how it differs from Self-Esteem,
  • The masculine and feminine aspects of mindfulness and self-compassion,
  • The researched results of self-compassion and what the findings mean for leaders, and women leaders in particular,
  • How self-compassion takes us from recognition, to action, and the power creating a practice of self care and love,
  • And finally, Kristen offers sage advice for those women on the precipice of their own emergence.

 

Kristin Neff will be a featured presenter at the 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference, October 10th-13th in Boulder, CO.

Listen here…

 

5. It’s Not ‘Mess.’ It’s Creativity. via New York Times

 

Olimpia Zagnoli
Olimpia Zagnoli

MESSY or tidy — which is better?

Historically, the evidence has favored the tidy spaces. But then the obvious question surfaces: “If messiness is so bad, why do so many people tolerate, and even embrace, it?”

Kathleen D. Vohs, from Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, with two of her colleagues, conducted an interesting experiment and came to the conclusion that physical order produces healthy choices, generosity, and conventionality, whereas disorder produces creativity.
Here are a few of their predictions that led to their experiment:

“Since tidiness has been associated with upholding societal standards, we predicted that just being around tidiness would elicit a desire for convention. We also predicted the opposite: that being around messiness would lead people away from convention, in favor of new directions.” — Kathleen D. Vohs

Continue Reading…


We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Leave a comment below:


Emerging Women Live is for women entrepreneurs and creatives who share a vision to change the world by living the truth of who they are. These are women who are burning with desire to to fully express themselves through the work they do, while promoting a new paradigm of success that leverages the incredible power of the feminine: collaboration, community, intuition, receptivity, sensuality and heart. Join us!

Highlighted EWLive13 Speaker: Elizabeth Gilbert

Annie Proulx has called her “a writer of incandescent talent.” The author of 2006′s runaway bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is unquestionably one of her generation’s most beloved memoirists. Eat, Pray, Love, which has sold more than ten million copies worldwide, is Gilbert’s memoir of soul-searching and international exploration in the wake of her devastating divorce. Gilbert is a distinguished journalist who began her career writing for Harper’s Bazaar, Spin, the New York Times Magazine, and GQ. In 2002, her book The Last American Man was a Finalist for the National Book Award. Committed, the deeply satisfying follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love, tells the story of Gilbert’s unexpected plunge into second marriage—this time to Felipe, the man with whom she falls in love at the end of Eat, Pray, Love. Part memoir, part meditation on marriage as a sociohistorical institution, Committed is rich with Gilbert’s bright, engaging voice and characteristic playful humor. Gilbert lives with her husband in New Jersey. She recently finished a novel, The Signature of All Things, to be published in the fall of 2013.

Elizabeth Gilbert is a main keynote at Emerging Women Live 2013. She will share with us the “Big Magic: Thoughts on Creative Living”

The first and scariest step is this: believing there is magic in our lives. Elizabeth Gilbert explores how we can overcome our preconceptions to embrace the irrational but beautiful notions of kismet, synchronicity, and hidden messages that lead us on our true path. We will discover that we can seek magic, summon it, and allow it to guide us—moving away from a life of fear and self-doubt, and into strange and shining confidence in the greater forces that support us on our journey.

Enjoy this TEDTalk below (one of the most popular TEDTalks of all times), where Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk. Also, check out Elizabeth’s beautiful, intriguing promo for her upcoming book The Signature of All Things.

Elizabeth Gilbert is a main keynote speaker at Emerging Women Live. If you are dedicated to living a fully expressed life, and you are starting or growing a business that thrives on authenticity, creativity, and the power of your unique self, Emerging Women Live is your tribe. Join us!

Power Party Seattle Speaker: Danielle LaPorte

Danielle LaPorte is an authentic powerhouse.

All it takes to understand and appreciate that is to simply go to her website and read a blog post, watch a video, or listen to her speak. Her unique brand of wisdom is a refreshing remedy for all the overused and outdated self-help/business/marketing practices out there. Danielle’s approach is different. It’s insightful, smart and engaging.

Danielle encourages us to make room in our lives for the truth of who we are, to embrace our neglected passions, to respect our fears, and to welcome our authentic powers. In an interview she mentioned:

“Burnout is not a badge of honor. When things are easy for you, when you’re living and working from that place of your true strength  and natural talent, you’re happier. It’s super basic. You’re in a better mood. When you’re in that place, you’re more energized. You get to be of more service to other people.”

“Creating life on your own terms,” the credo of her book, The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown) is essential for shifting our paradigm of success. Cultivating and expressing, instead of suppressing our unique self, is what gives us our competitive edge. Danielle believes that: “You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge.”

Danielle is our keynote speaker at Emerging Women Power Party in Seattle, August 14th, 2013. You can reserve your spot here: http://powerpartyseattle.eventbrite.com/

The event will also be live streamed. Save the date HERE

Enjoy this inspirational video “A Credo for Making it Happen” by Danielle LaPorte: