What’s Your Devotion?

Bhakti Chai Shares One Simple Step to Help Your Dreams Come True

C.S. Lewis got it right when he said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…”

When you think about it, we put a lot of energy into the world on a daily basis – into our jobs, our families, our personal goals, financial obligations, friendships, relationships, maybe even our dreams.  And when you look back over the course of a year, or two, or five, you realize how much has changed, even if your day-to-day routine has more or less remained the same. People tend to overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can accomplish in a lifetime.

What if you took a chance, and focused a part of each day on what you are devoted to? Would your dreams of being a business owner finally come true? Would you be living in a place you actually love? Would you turn your side hobby into a true art form? The possibilities are endless when we believe in the power of our intentions and follow through on our commitment to ourselves.

Nearly a decade ago, I started Bhakti Chai with the intention to create a brand that not only offered a delicious chai, but also a company that made a huge impact in the global community. Bhakti in Sanskrit means “devotion through social action,” and I kept this top of mind when launching Bhakti Chai to remind myself of my commitment not only to fulfilling my own dreams, but to changing the world. I manifested that devotion by building Bhakti Chai and then later launched Gita, our social giving platform.

Gita means “Share Your Story” in Sanskrit and is the foundation for Bhakti Chai’s platform for positive social change.  G.I.T.A. stands for “Give”, “Inspire”, “Take Action” – the embodiment of what Bhakti Chai intends to do with the Gita Giving project.

 

This led us to taking the whole idea of taking devotion to the next level by inspiring others to share their devotion with us, and with the world. It’s one thing to know in your head and your heart what you feel devoted to, but once you put that on paper and share that energy with others and the universe, something starts to churn and then suddenly, that idea becomes manifested energy for change.

This year at Emerging Women Live, we asked participants to share their devotion with us by writing it down on a “My Bhakti” card, snapping a photo of themselves with their devotion and sharing it on social media. You can see by the photo that devotion can be big or small – it’s the larger act of empowering yourself to follow it, to grow that dream and intentionally work each day to commit to yourself and to your devotion that matters most.  

So, what is your Bhakti?

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

 

Brook Eddy India 2015Brook Eddy is founder and CEO of Bhakti Chai. She has always been devoted to support those who are authentic, daring, and committed to making a difference in our global community.

Can KonMari transform your business?

Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.

I have to chant this as a mantra a few times before it starts to sink in. I seem to be a magnet for not only things but also experiences – gobbling up both in order to keep things alive and moving. Ah, but that is the irony: a life packed with objects and activities actually slows me down. Big time.

When I first became an entrepreneur, sticky notes were on every flat surface in my home and car. I met with so many people I could barely remember my own name. I was adrift in an endless sea of opportunities, connections, and partnerships. It was impossible to stay prioritized and selective with my time. My life and mind quickly became, well, a mess.

Then I discovered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a small book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing that has already sold 2 million copies. This is not the standard “neurotic-perfectionist-with-OCD-tendencies-illustrates-just-how-far-I-am-from-remotely-achieving-an-organized-life” declutter book.

Tidying Up is almost spiritual – a perspective on keeping house that reaches far beyond the physical environment. It’s not just a method, but a worldview that cultivates deep personal insight and real resilience in all areas of life – especially business.

The KonMari Method presented in Tidying Up really is life-changing because it allows room for clarity around who I am and what I want, and that’s the secret sauce to becoming an inspired leader.

So out go the bags and bags of clutter from my home and office. And it feels good! Thinking about giving it a try? Here’s 5 reasons you (and your business) will be glad you did.

 

KonMari Tip #1: “When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.”

I notice that the more clutter I have in my life and business, the more it distracts me from my greatest power source: ME. When clutter sprawls out of control, it captures more and more of my attention until I am spending way too much time managing my space. I feel heavy, distracted and completely disconnected from my intuition and inner wisdom. All that noise makes me lose my way as I become reactive to the clutter rather than proactive with my deepest vision.

Business Tip: Staying connected to your inner knowing is easier when your life and mind are free of clutter.

KonMari Tip #2: “There are 3 approaches we can take toward our possessions:  Face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die.”

Still hanging on to letters from high school boyfriends, a gazillion drawings from your kids, or papers from business school that you will NEVER refer back to? I do it, too. I accumulate stashes of old baby stuff that might come in handy when I’m a grandparent (my kids are 8 and 5!), endless computer wires and electronic equipment that might magically become useful again at some point, and countless clothes that are a few sizes too small for when I get back into that “skinny” phase.

According to KonMari, people hang on to their stuff because they are either still attached to the past or they have a fear of the future — or both. Getting rid of the things that don’t serve me keeps me in the present moment by letting me process my past and move on into my future.

Business Tip: Don’t hang on to your mistakes – thank them and move on. Staying streamlined in this way allows you to pivot easily and efficiently through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

KonMari Tip #3: “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

For so long women have forced our desires out of our bodies and minds in the name of serving others. As we begin to understand that there is room for both service and our desires, getting clear on what we want has never been more important.

What I love about Marie’s approach is that she doesn’t make tidying the end game of life. She may be a tiny bit obsessive (her “shock” at seeing socks tucked into themselves made me wonder), but she knows that a tidy house is a means to a more important end. “The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order,” she says. My read: If you are searching for your purpose in life – throw some shit out!

Business Tip: Discarding what is not working for you in your business life allows your vision to become more clear.

KonMari Tip #4: “Selecting and discarding one’s possessions is a continuous process of making decisions based on one’s own values.”

The act of tidying up your physical space is actually thousands of micro decisions about how you want to live your life. The golden questions: Does this make you happy? Does it bring you joy? When you continuously make decisions based on this criteria, you get better and better at surrounding yourself with things that reflects your desires and values.

I am one month into the process (she says that it takes 6 months for your entire living space), and I am already noticing a difference not only in my home, but in all areas of my life and business.

Business Tip: Making decisions on what to keep and discard in your life builds confidence and aptitude for making decisions in your business.

KonMari Tip #5: “The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”

Finally, what I love best about Marie’s approach is that she encourages me to thank all of the items that I throw away. So I do! I thank them for their service before sending them on their way. This helps to punctuate the transition to a life more in line with what I really want.

I use the same approach in my business with all of the “mistakes” I have made along the way. Instead of hanging on and over-processing a failure, I thank the experience for its tenure in my life, and free myself to focus on what is going right.

Business Tip: Appreciate where you are now and all of the events (good and bad) that have led you to this point. Gratitude for your more challenging experiences makes you a better leader without all of that bulky psychological baggage holding you back.

For me, the way back to my inner wisdom is to turn off the noise, get rid of the clutter and give myself the gift of less.

Does the KonMari Method work for you? How do you bring these principles to your life? Please let us know in the comments section.

Fear and Courage

When we are emerging, we feel that nothing can stop us, right? We feel the fire of our own inner alignment, and the clarity of our truth is rocket fuel for making our dreams manifest. We ride high on what we know is right and we feel like we have super powers.

Until the fear hits. And just like that, Bam! We become paralyzed, we procrastinate, we stay up at night spinning in our repetitive negative mental constructs, we do everything we can to fight the fear or avoid the pain. It’s exhausting! And it has never worked for me.

I am tired of fighting fear.

In my podcast with Emerging Women Live 2015 speaker Elizabeth Gilbert (best-selling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things), we question the standard meaning of the word “fearless.”

There’s a sense that fearlessness means we will try anything without regard for consequence, that we will take risk with no attention to repercussions, that we will leap off of buildings with nothing holding us back. These actions are brazen, but real fearlessness – real courage – is when we take action while feeling our fear and discomfort at the same time.

“People who are without fear actually scare me.” -Elizabeth Gilberttwitter

Here’s a little secret that I don’t often share – I dread public speaking. Or I should say: I dread the time leading up to the time when I am to speak. Once I am on stage, I feel comfortable, but the minutes, hours, and weeks leading up to that time are sheer torture. I feel like I am carrying a big weight on my shoulder that follows me everywhere.

But guess what? No matter how hard I try, I cannot avoid the public speaking part of what I am creating with Emerging Women. And so I stick with it – and bring my fear with me. Liz Gilbert goes so far as to say “have some reverence for your fear,” for it has treated you well, kept you alive in a world filled with dangers.

Courage comes from the French word coeur, meaning heart.

I love this because it brings a feminine perspective into the word courage, which for many years I have associated with the masculine paradigm – swinging swords, life-risking heroism, dangerous acts of self-sacrifice. But when we think of Courage as coming from the heart…..well, Sisters, we got this!

How are Fear and Courage showing up in your life right NOW? Share your story with the tribe in the comments section – we learn so much about ourselves by hearing from each other!

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

Join Chantal Pierrat, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Tererai Trent, Brené Brown and more at Emerging Women Live 2015 in San Francisco. Early Bird tickets to see are available NOW. Get yours before they’re gone!

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Mother’s Day Mind Shift – #emergingnow

Dear Emerging Women,

On May Day – the 1st of May – I experienced three miracles in my life. Ready?

Image from Crossroads by Jenna Greene

Miracle #1 – I am on time for a school function.

It’s exactly 11am on May 1st, and I am miraculously on time for the Maypole Celebration at my sons’ school. I stand in an empty field by the maypole, simply looking around and feeling a teensy bit proud of myself for being the first to arrive. Nobody is there – just the orchestra tuning up. Far from worried, I’m smiling and happy – I love it when other people are late! I figure “Hey, this is a Waldorf School. Everything in it’s own time.” And man does it feel good to just….. wait.

Fifteen minutes later I am clutching my bag, hobble-running in heels to the opposite-side-of-campus courtyard where the assembly is actually located and well under way.

I burst through the audience with panic in my eyes and stress on my face, frantically searching the student body to find my eldest son’s class, convinced I’ve missed his performance. And in the single, solitary minute it takes for me to reach the courtyard, a billion thoughts bombard my brain:

“Slacker!! Where is your focus, your diligence? How could you just sit there for 15 minutes with NO curiosity of whether or not you are in the right place? Why didn’t you read a single one of the bazillion emails the school sent out about this? Your kids are growing up and you don’t even know what’s happening to them! You are the ONLY parent who got it wrong – what the hell? Look how beautiful and calm all of the other moms are – you’re a mess! This is going to be hard on the boys, they are going to be SO disappointed…”

Miracle #2:  I remembered.

After a short teacher’s skit on the story of Spring, we walked in procession (back) to the field with the maypole where I had been patiently “waiting” before. I was as distraught from the run as I was from the inner-bullying going on in my head.

And then I remembered my practice of self-compassion.

I remembered! I sent loving words of encouragement and tenderness to my inner world, directly to my heart, and just like that – boom. I jumped off the hamster wheel of guilt and self-criticism and into an ocean of love, acceptance and peace with myself.

Miracle #3:  I was tested, and I didn’t die.

“You were late,” said my eldest after the event. I had disappointed him – he’s very into punctuality (oh, the karma of it all). I know he feels safe when I am holding him in my consciousness. I know that being on time is a reflection of that.

I know these things and I am bracing myself as I put on my inner running shoes to get back on that hamster wheel of shame…

But I don’t. Somehow I find the strength to say simply, “I am sorry, baby – but I saw the whole thing and you were great!” And I continue to swim in the ocean and I continue to practice, in the moment, looking into my son’s eyes. And I survive.

He gives me a big hug, we laugh, and we are out on the other side. As I write this now, I think of these words, and send them to all mothers and daughters this Mother’s Day:

“Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me. ~ Alice Walker”

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

 More from Emerging Women this week:

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Power Practice #11: Manage Your Stress In Any Situation with Erin Olivo

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Early Bird Tickets available for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

Maypole Image from Crossroads by Jenna Greene

How’s Your Business Ecosystem? – #emergingnow

Greetings from New York City!

I’m in the midst of a three-city tour (Austin, NYC, and Boston), pitching Emerging Women to investors, meeting our community, and connecting with friends, old and new. On trips like this I’m always amazed by how important each encounter is, no matter how seemingly random.

It wasn’t until I became aligned and “on purpose” with my living that I began to see the intentionality and relevant interconnectedness of everything around me.

When we announced Dr. Jane Goodall as a speaker, I talked about the importance of plugging into our natural ecosystem for energy, connection and rejuvenation. Here’s the thing — your business has an ecosystem, too. And at the core of each ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.

“At the core of your business ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.”

Here’s a story: I met a young entrepreneur in Austin who had a business that piqued my interest. After connecting briefly, I asked for her card and offered her mine. She looked at my card as if it were coated in something not-so-savory and explained that if I was memorable enough, she would be motivated to track me down – that was how she stayed in touch. Needless to say, she did not have a card herself, and so we parted empty-handed.

Admittedly, I may have challenged my brain cells over the years in ways I would guess this perky, barely-25-year-old had not, or perhaps she has mega-memory super powers.

But what struck me the most here was the missed opportunity. She might have been part of my ecosystem, maybe in a way I wouldn’t learn until much later, but I was curious to find out. I might have been able to connect her to somebody that would complete a vital corner of her world. Alas, I can’t remember her business or even her name as I write this…

If you can hang with the view that everything that enters your field has the potential to nourish your ecosystem, you will find yourself leaning into every encounter with eagerness and true curiosity.

Your ecosystem will naturally grow and flourish – because when you approach things from this open vantage point, you tend to accept a wider variety of species into your world. And doesn’t that make for the healthiest of systems?

“Diversity leads to resilience, which leads to proliferation, which leads to the opportunity for evolution.”

As much as I wonder about the paper waste of business cards (which I could wallpaper my office with at this point), I see them as totems helping me treasure each encounter I experience along the way. I can feel the ecosystem that is Emerging Women growing into a vibrant jungle of feminine power.

What makes your ecosystem thrive? Share your insight with the tribe in the comments – who knows who you’ll add to your ecosystem that way!

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – Nothing stimulates ecosystems like 4 days of inspiration, courage and connection at Emerging Women Live. Early Bird tickets to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent, Brené Brown and more are available NOW. Get yours before they’re gone!

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What makes your ecosystem flourish? Share your insight with the tribe in the comment section.

Anxious About Asking? – #emergingnow

Dear Friends,

Do any of you out there have the crazy habit of always trying to accomplish everything on your own? My hand is raised here because I am guilty of this a thousand times over. Well-trained in the masculine model of getting shit done, I used to be skeptical of collaboration because who would get the credit? How could I make sure my value would be seen?

In 2013, I launched Emerging Women with a Kickstarter campaign – another extremely challenging idea for me. I would cringe every time I sent out an update, or another post reminding people of the cause and the deadline. But while I was experiencing reluctance and shame, my advisors were pushing me to post more frequently, and even to reach out directly to individuals for help.

That advice went against everything I had learned growing up in upper-middle class Andover, Massachusetts: Don’t ask for money, it’s not polite to ask for seconds, accept what you are given, don’t be greedy, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, figure it out on your own, and above all, don’t EVER depend on other people for your success.

Somehow I had it in my brain that if I needed something, I must not be worth investing in. Don’t people want to invest in “winners?” People who are independently successful?

But I did as I was advised, and the more I reached out, the more I found amazing women who wanted to be involved, who wanted to help. In the end, I raised $55k in four weeks – and now I know that I could never have launched Emerging Women without this kind of collective support.

As a result of this experience, I have come to understand that I don’t want to go at it alone. That all those years of “pulling myself up by my bootstraps” left me depleted and more susceptible to self-doubt and self-criticism. When I reach out and co-create with the women in our network, I feel rejuvenated, inspired, and more passionate about my work.

“When I reach out and co-create with the women in our network, I feel rejuvenated, inspired, and more passionate about my work.”

I know I’m not the only one who’s investigating her relationship to asking. Amanda Palmer’s new book The Art of Asking looks into just that. It’s based on her experience as a trailblazing musician who redefined the industry with her ground-breaking Kickstarter campaign (still the highest funded music project on that platform). By reframing “asking” as an opportunity for collaboration and co-creation, by leveraging her huge and tech-savvy fan base, and by receiving support directly from the people she makes the music for, Amanda Palmer found a way to sidestep the middlemen who overrun the music industry. Her campaign (which asked for $100,000) closed at almost $1.2 million. Boom.

I hope you’ll tune in to this week’s Grace&Fire podcast as we dive deeper with Amanda Palmer on The Art (and Power) of Asking. I’d love to hear your feelings!


Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – Early Bird tickets to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent, Brené Brown and more are available NOW. Get yours before they’re gone!

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How do you view the art of asking? Share your insight with the tribe in the comment section.

The Business Ecosystem – #emergingnow

Hello Friends and Loved Ones,

One of the things I appreciate most about my life is that I live in an area surrounded by dramatic expressions of nature – Boulder, Colorado. Mountains, creeks, wildflowers and endless hiking trails are just steps away from my front door. But strangely enough, I did not really start to take advantage of nature’s proximity until I learned how well it meshes with my business life.

In this thriving entrepreneurial town, many of my meetings – with investors, media, speakers, partners, sponsors – get to be in person. Lately, about a third of those meetings take place on a hike.

It took some getting used to: I worried that I wouldn’t be able to articulate my vision without my computer. How could I refer to important statistics or relevant studies… and what if I forgot to say something important? But those worries fall away as the connection you feel with somebody when you walk together in nature blossoms.

Continue reading “The Business Ecosystem – #emergingnow”

How’s the Money Thing Going for You? #emergingnow

Dear Emerging Women,

Ah, money. Money, money, money, money (…..money)!

These days, I can’t keep the refrain from the O’Jays song out of my head. To be completely transparent, we have big plans for the growth of Emerging Women, and in order to reach our goals, we need capital. Money, honey.

So we’re in the middle of the grueling process of raising seed money to create the next level of Emerging Women. If you’ve done this for your business, you know: it’s a full-time job that consumes your entire mental space – even when you sleep. I’m constantly honing our pitch deck, three different versions of a “compelling-yet-super-brief” presentation which I share in as little time as possible to as many qualified investors as I can get in front of.

I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur before I even knew what kind of company I wanted to build. About a year before telling my mentor and boss that I was ready to leave my cushy full-time job as a successful publishing executive, I started emerging – creativity and ideas started sprouting in my brain a mile a minute, and I felt restless and powerful at the same time. I had endless energy and drive, even though I was a working mom with two kids under four. I was scared, but more of the “how” than the “what” or the “why.”

How would I make enough money to continue the lifestyle I had created with my husband as a two-income household? How would I find a mentor once I left the fertile business learning environment of an established company? How would I create a profitable business while juggling motherhood and marriage? And most importantly – how would I fund this dream?

Ironically, all of these questions led me to create the business itself, Emerging Women. I wanted a support network of powerful women dedicated to creating a new version of success that takes into account the specific “how” challenges that women in business face. And BY FAR my greatest challenge has been access to capital.

When I started the raise last September, I felt confident and excited – with an impact-oriented business supporting women’s leadership in the world, who could say no?

Then I learn that though the total investment in female-led companies has tripled since 2000, “85 percent of all venture capital–funded businesses have no women on the executive team,” according to Babson College researchers. Even more astonishing: “…only 2.7 percent of venture capital-funded companies had a woman CEO.” What the what?!

I know we have a brilliant idea that fills a real need in the world, so I’m crazy eager to have enough money to hire more people, launch new products, take risks, make mistakes. That’s how businesses move from simply surviving to soaring, and scaling. When I look at the powerful women in our tribe, I know we will make it happen.

Until then, I’ll just keep being grateful for my thick skin, because every “yes” I receive comes with at least a dozen “mehs.”

I have refined and honed my pitch (am I on version 37 now?) to the point where I can say it backwards. And while I am not done with the full raise, the lessons I have learned along the way have completely re-shaped my relationship to money.

Want to redefine your relationship with money before a big raise?

Check out these 5 Ways to start setting yourself up for a life of alignment, abundance and impact.

I’d love to hear where you’re at with the whole money thing, too. How are you funding your dreams? Share your smarts with the tribe in the comments section.

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

*If you are an accredited investor and want to be a part of Emerging Women, please mail us directly at [email protected]

More from Emerging Women this week:

Barbara Stanny – Sacred Success: A Woman’s Guide to Authentic Power & Affluence

 5 Ways to Reshape Your Relationship with Money

Juicy Bites: Black History is American History

Super Early Bird Tickets available for a limited time for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

How are you funding your dreams? Share your smarts with the tribe in the comment section.

The Best Valentine You Can Give, AND Receive

Dear loved ones,

It’s the week of love here at our household. Making valentines, planning a date with my husband, figuring out the candy limit for the kiddos – we’re all about it. Sure, as a culture we seem to have made every holiday about consuming more, and I don’t need to stuff my body full of chocolate hearts to feel the love (although it helps!). But there is something beautiful about all of the messaging we’re inundated with this week. Be mine, love you, be true, you’re all I need.

Here is my challenge to you, emerging women: let’s put ourselves on the other end of all of these loving messages. It seems like a simple change in perspective, but I find this to be one of the hardest things to do. Buddhist author Tara Brach calls turning love inwards like this “radical self-compassion.” I love that expression, though I feel like it’s almost redundant, because in my experience self-compassion is the most radical action we can take in the world.

“Self-compassion is the most radical action we can take in the world.”

As I have felt my way through big challenges like motherhood, marriage, career and now entrepreneurship, I see that I can sometimes fall into the trap of trying to manage my difficult emotions by beating myself up. I think, “I will give myself the ass-kicking that I need to really get off the couch – for once – and make real change in my life.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but for me this approach sucks. What has worshipping your unworthiness done for you lately? Nada. I love this painfully obvious yet game-changing reminder from Tara: “Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.” Right?!

“Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.”

And according to the research Kelly McGonigal presents in her book The Willpower Instinct, self-compassion is the shortest route to making long-lasting change of any kind in your life. It’s the mother of all New Year’s resolutions! And so I made self-compassion my only goal for 2015 – and maybe the next decade.

Like anything transformational, self-compassion and self-love only come alive through practice. HERE is my simple approach to this powerful practice – culled from the amazing Self-Compassion authors I have mentioned in this post already. Check out these 4 Steps to Radical Self-Compassion, and let the self-love-a-thon begin this Valentine’s.

This goes deep, friends, and the mind’s instinct toward blame and shame is powerful. You have to hit these practices hard, and don’t let up. Get those hands on your heart 50 times a day if you need it. It will be the best valentine you have ever given, or received.

BIG Self-Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

It Doesn’t Have To Be Hard – #emergingnow

Dear Friends,

Have any of you out there felt that you need to work really hard, climb high hills, carry big stones, and develop callouses on your hands in order to make big things happen? I have. Truthfully, I don’t remember achieving anything of note without really digging in and putting in some serious dedicated effort.

As a rule, I am suspicious of any approach that touts short cuts to getting what you want – affirmations, manifesting techniques, get rich quick groups. In my experience, when we really apply ourselves to any pursuit in life, we learn, grow and develop a wisdom that cannot be replicated by mere statements. I tend to respect perseverance, tenacity and weathered hands over glossy tales of being in the right place at the right time.

And yet when I came across this chapter in Vicki Saunders‘ book, How To Think Like A SheEO, I was totally blown away: It Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Wow. Instantly, I wanted to franchise that sentence – I saw bumper stickers, t-shirts, retail stores, a travelling SUV. “It doesn’t have to be hard.” Say it. It does a number on you.

This is what I love about Vicki – she recommends that we lead by leveraging what comes naturally to us. By focusing on what we are masterful at we can increase our levels of success without increasing our levels of stress. 

For me, the “hard” is not in the work itself (I am a Capricorn, I like to work hard!), but in the emotional exhaustion that comes with trying to do everything by myself – the learning curve, the top-line execution, the progressive leadership, the cash-positive business, the social impact, and so on. We all set high bars for ourselves, but must we tackle all of this by ourselves? 

I, for one, am ready for a new model. One that is based on true connection and authentic relationships. For example, if you are at a networking party, focus on developing relationships with people you really connect with. You might end up in deep conversations with only two people, but then you later ask them to introduce you to their friends.

Choosing this instead of “working the room,” passing out your cards and not remembering who you spoke to at the end of the night? Hells yes! Easy, right? 

When we connect with others as we reach for the stars life becomes easier – and the opportunities multiply. We learn faster, and we find the ropes we need to help us climb those high hills. But best of all, we are nourished – not depleted – by the shared human experience of striving. And that is not hard – it’s aaaahhhh.

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – The $100 Early Bird discount for March Power Circles ends on Wednesday at midnight! Register HERE  to be matched into a group of women specially tailored to accent and compliment your desire to take your business to the next level (spaces are limited).

 

 

Vicki Saunders – Think Like A SheEO

Unleashing, Unhooking and Understanding – EWLive14 Souvenirs

Super Early Bird Tickets are On Sale for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

How do you keep it in the “ahhhhhh” zone? Tell us below:

How Big is your BIG? – #emergingnow

Dear Emerging Women,

I love January because it is such an internal time of year. This is a time of curling inward to reach that deepest part of our selves that knows just what we need in order to feel that we are giving fully to the world. This is the source of all creative visioning, this place deep under the surface. And it is from this place that we are able to articulate our deepest desires.

All year, we have been gathering nuggets of insight, perspectives, goals and ideas for change, and we have buried them deep for the time when the hustle and bustle stops enough for us to sort them all out. This is a time to stay in the dream state a little longer, to enjoy the dive into the unknown, unfettered and without limit. It is a time for expanding our vision, without the hinderance of implementation and execution.

And for women, right here, right now – this is the year to dream BIG. As I have been collaborating with sponsors, investors, media and other strategic partners, I am always asked: “What is the long-term vision for Emerging Women?” And each time I come up with the most audacious goal I can imagine for Emerging Women, I ask myself….is that right? Could it have more impact? Could it help more people? Make more money? Could it be bigger? And then my sense of what’s possible stretches even further.

If you can imagine something, you can make it happen. So don’t hold back. Let the vastness of your inner landscape show you what is possible. And remember, not everything has to be big, big, BIG! all the time in terms of business. Sometimes “big” simply means “in alignment with our desires.” Sometimes just asking for what we want is big in and of itself.

No matter what big looks like for you, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. When the day-to-day reality of a bold new life path starts to set in, I can find myself shrinking under the weight of my lofty aspirations. I start to convince myself that my vision is too far-reaching, that I need to scale it back a bit, play it safe. And those are the moments I thank Goddess for my circle of power women.

Women have a special gift for reminding each other just how badass and capable they are. We help each other stay connected and inspired in the face of life’s challenges. We see each other, we listen to each other, and we inspire each other. As a new path begins to unfold in this time of reflection, tap into the wisdom of the feminine by circling with the women in your life, and ask each other: How big can we be in 2015?

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – Registration for March Power Circles is now OPEN! If you’re looking for a facilitated circle that can help you create and execute your vision for 2015, join a Power Circle today.  Register HERE  to be matched into a group of women specially tailored to accent and compliment your process (spaces are limited).


 Super Early Bird Tickets are On Sale for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

We’d love to hear what you’re getting into in 2015. Let us know in the comments:

Anybody out there working with fear? #EmergingNow

Dear Emerging Women,

Ever since I made the big leap into entrepreneurship, my resolve to lead with awareness and compassion has been tested daily. And while I am great at staying positive in the face of adversity (check), or building a culture of collective support and authenticity (check), I sure do swear a hell of a lot more than I used to (damn, check). And I can’t seem to totally shake some disturbing feelings – like fear. Fear of public speaking (right?), fear of details (anyone else?), fear of failure (check and double check). But instead of slamming the door in the face of fear, I have come to love the practice of welcoming this old friend into my home. After all, we have grown up together and we have each changed so much over the years.

This is why I love Susan Piver’s work. She says that instead of tightening up to squeeze the fear away from ourselves, we have the capacity to open further and create more space. This, she says, will allow the fear to assume its rightful shape as just one thing that is going on with you at any given moment. And wow: to see what all else is happening around the fear – it’s a party!

I have had a tendency to create a vortex around my fear, following its spiraling, tenacious grip on my psyche. But now I know better. I remember that leaning into something doesn’t mean impaling yourself on it, it means allowing it to be and seeing it for what it is. The space Susan’s practice creates allows room for the rest of our experience to come in, which makes a much bigger (and more manageable) view possible.

We can’t ignore it – the fear is going to be there because we are committed to doing big things: launching businesses, writing books, forging new careers and stepping into our roles as authentic leaders. But when I start to see my fear as a member of a collective of human experiences, I feel more compassion toward it, and toward myself. I hope that this podcast will help you to “embiggen” your perspective so you can see all the amazing things that you are doing, and know that fear is just one of the many internal states that help us along our journey.

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

 


Leaning Into Fear and Falling Into Beauty – Susan Piver

 Super Early Bird Tickets are On Sale for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

We’d love to hear how you’re working with fear. Drop us a line in the comments: