It feels as though we’ve made up for the glacial pace of 2020 with this year passing by in the blink of an eye!
My instinct this time of year is to slow things down, to enjoy the deep dive of the darker days and go inward, to surrender fully into stillness…aaaaah.
And yet this year the world seems to be swirling with aliveness, with the coming emergence of the light in a way I have not felt since the beginning of the pandemic.
Are you feeling this too?
[SPOILER ALERT: Changes, Reinvention and BIG Emergence coming your way soon!]
In the Northern Hemisphere, today is the shortest day of the year – the day when our access to the Sun’s power is at its lowest.
According to Rudolf Steiner, this is the opportunity for us to turn inward, to draw power from our own light. In Waldorf education, one of the many creations of Steiner, the children walk a large spiral, in the dark, to a lone candle in the middle, where they light their candle and walk back out through the spiral, but this time with their light to guide them. It’s so tender to see their nervous little faces as they walk to the light, only to walk back out with an energy of triumph!
Do not underestimate this light within you, even though it may seem so very small and distant at times.
In the long nights of winter, the strength of our internal light is enough to navigate even the darkest of times — like the effects of a loooong pandemic!
This tiny flame is the fire-starter that will set your emerging journey ablaze.
And while the novel coronavirus has taken so much from us, it did offer us something in return.
Before 2020, it felt like we were on autopilot. Floating through our lives, striving for the next thing. The next promotion. The next speaking gig. The next relationship. The things that would — should — make us happy in the long run.
But what I learned in the past few years is that the answers aren’t outside of us. We don’t need to go on a solo trip around the world to find ourselves (and believe me, I have a dream!).
As much as we love Elizabeth Gilbert (and we do!), we can’t Eat Pray Love our way out of the world’s pain and suffering. Everything we need to be happy and fulfilled, we can find within ourselves.
This pandemic has given us the ability (and time!) to turn ourselves inward. Which inevitably ends up turning us back outward. When we do the work to connect to ourselves and fill our cups through self-care and rest, we are then able to move this energy outward and use it to nurture our relationships.
And to do the work that really matters. In a way that works for US.
Last year, we were stretched and stretched and stretched all year long. We learned just how resilient we are.
This year? We ride the fire.
I’m so grateful for you, the Emerging Women tribe. I’m grateful for the relationships we’ve forged throughout the years and for our shared humanity.
However you celebrate this time of year may you feel the love that surrounds you.
The way power is playing out right now is just not working.
Our current power structure is based on an old model that was designed to reflect the needs and the desires of just a small representation of humanity. Our view of power has become distorted and unhealthy, and it’s not inclusive of the voices and perspectives in our world today.
What we want is equitable, equal, just, and compassionate power. Not power over, but power with.
What we need is a new system of power that best reflects our shared humanity.
Leadership Equity is personal, community-driven, and systemic power that is used for the service of others and is representative of our diversity.
What Is Leadership Equity?
Similar to financial equity, Leadership Equity is a balance sheet of assets; yet, instead of financial assets, we’re talking about our influential assets: our clout, influence, and position in our communities and the world.
It is the value we’ve built through our work in current leadership platforms.
Yet the definition of equity doesn’t just speak to what we own — it also refers to how we use what we have in this world. The true definition of equity is: “the quality of being fair and impartial.”
True Leadership Equity isn’t used to benefit ourselves and our own communities. Leadership Equity is best used when helping to level the playing field for others.
The three ways in which we can build leadership equity within ourselves and out in the world are within the realms of:
— The World
Our growth, development, and impact in all three dimensions are what creates our Leadership Equity. How we use this equity within these three realms is how we shape our vision of the world.
Leadership Equity in the Realm of I
Everything starts inside the Realm of I.
All ideas start as whispers from our inner voice. These ideas are influenced and birthed by our values and belief systems. What matters most to me?
My truth. My acceptance. Celebration of my stories.
Our individual wholeness is the root of our personal expression in the world. All of us have personal power. Just by being here and taking up space.
For many, drive comes from overcompensation for our not-enoughness. We’re motivated ‘to become’ to hide our fears and vulnerabilities and to un-become what we don’t want the world to see.
But when we source our drive from deep, deep, radical self-acceptance, we can give up the war we have with ourselves, our not-enoughness, and our falling-shorts.
Leadership in the Realm of I starts with self-compassion. When our drive begins with self-compassion instead of a ‘covering-up’, only then can we risk vulnerability, failure, and hard lessons.
Leadership Equity in the Realm of We
We cannot be fully expressed as human beings in isolation. To what end are we doing this work on ourselves if not to take that representation — those ideas, truths, acceptance, and stories — into the world, into our relationships and communities?
When we emerge from our dark night of the soul, we are inspired to lead with the truth of who we are, and to do so with others. Our natural impulse is to share ourselves with others so that we may feel the power of belonging. Belonging is not about fitting in, it’s about fitting with – lending our unique imprint as we fit together with others to make a whole.
We must ask ourselves, “How can we connect with and support others as we are reaching for the stars ourselves?”
But sometimes people are scared of too much ‘We’ space. We’re afraid the people around us will dull our unique gifts or we will go unnoticed by the world.
This can happen – when there’s not enough diversity in the people around us.
If you find yourself scared of ‘We’ space, if you’re finding your gifts dulled within your communities, ask yourself:
Am I swimming in sameness?
While there may be comfort in surrounding yourself in people like yourself, sameness doesn’t have the same chemistry, spark, innovation, and grit as a diverse group.
The antidote to sameness is reaching for differences.
Reach for differences to build teams and communities with as much diversity in terms of:
Encourage new patterns, new solutions, and new thinking, and you’ll foster true innovation.
When we’re in the ‘We’ space, we need to pay attention to our language, set our intention, and welcome the gifts of curiosity. But above all, we need to place checks and balances on ourselves to ensure we’re creating an inclusive environment when we’re in this space.
Leadership Equity in the Realm of the World
I + We = The World
The Realm of the World represents whole-person leadership, relationships, communication, influence, and impact. The I and
The We create The World we live in.
Our old idea that The World just ‘happens’ and we respond to it is just not correct.
All the roads, the buildings, all the systems that support the functioning of our World are all direct results of efforts put forth by ‘The I’ and ‘The We’. Systems produce the results they were designed to produce. If we’re not getting the results we want, we need to change the system.
This is good news because we have more control than we think to make the world around us reflect what we want.
Leadership in the Realm of the World builds systems that reflect what we want and produce the outputs we desire.
Leadership in the Realm of the World means ensuring our systems are set up for inclusion and equality.
We need to evaluate every system (from our talent evaluation meetings to our hiring processes and our political landscape) to ensure they’re inclusive and that all races, genders, cultures, and bodies have a seat at the table.
We all have some level of clout, influence, and position (even if it’s only within our own families and communities). Our Leadership Equity is the value we’ve built up through our work in current leadership platforms, but also the work we have done on ourselves and in our communities.
What are you doing with the Leadership Equity you’ve built?
Leadership Equity Starts with Connection
Leadership Equity should be used to help level the playing field for others.
Doing so not only benefits others — but it benefits all the realms, from The World to The We to The I.
And Leadership Equity starts with connection.
First with the connection to yourself, to your truth, and knowing who you are. Then with your connection to others. Connection to your teams and to your community and connection to the earth, our world — and all of life. Emerging into being is so much more powerful when we do it with others.
When we structure our lives this way, Leadership Equity stops being the topic of conversation and just becomes the natural order of things.
From 2020 to 2021, we’ve seen a lot of ‘firsts’ for women.
First female vice president, first female secretary of treasury, and several ‘first’ female CEOs of major national brands, including the first black female Fortune 500 CEO (that would be Rosalind Brewer, former COO of Starbucks and now CEO of Walgreens).
We also saw a record number of women voted into political positions around the U.S.
I’d like to take a moment to thank a few women who have risen to inspire the world, so that future generations don’t need to think twice about whether they can do something because the role models will already be established.
She looks like me, will be the norm, not the exception in the future because there will be plenty of women in politics, science, finance, business, and entertainment — thanks to the women on this list.
1. Swati Mohan
Swati Mohan was the Indian-American aerospace engineer behind the scenes of the Perseverance Rover on Mars.
And while this should be big news (huge!), it feels like her role as Guidance and Controls Operations Lead wasn’t as highly publicized as it should have been.
Nearly 60 years after three brilliant mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson helped NASA launch astronaut John Glenn (the first person to orbit the earth) into the atmosphere in 1962, women are still ‘Hidden Figures’ in the U.S. space program.
But thanks to Mohan, Johnson, Vaughan, Jackson and so many others, women now not only have a seat at NASA — we’re also in charge of the controls, too.
On January 26, Janet Yellen was sworn in as the first female U.S. secretary of the treasury. Already, Yellen has hit the ground running.
This year doesn’t mark her first ‘first’ either: from 2014 to 2018, she served as the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve.
She was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 1994 and was named Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in 1997. I have a feeling that Janet is going to show us the money in a new way through a lens of compassion and wisdom.
At the age of 22, Amanda Gorman was named the first National Youth Poet Laureate (not just the first female youth poet laureate, the first-ever ever!) and is the youngest inaugural poet in the U.S.
She kind of ‘stole’ the 2021 inauguration with her poem, “The Hill We Climb”. Her words inspired us without sugar-coating our experience nor our history. Nor did it ignore the work we must continue to do to fight for democracy and equality.
Her performance was so talked-about that she didn’t just nearly upstage the president and vice president — but she also somehow managed to upstage J. Lo and Lady Gaga! More AG, please!
Jacinda Ardern is easily one of my favorite female politicians (not to mention leaders). She became the New Zealand House of Representatives’ youngest member at the age of 28 and the country’s youngest in more than one-and-a-half centuries!
But what has impressed me most over the course of the past year is her (and New Zealand’s) response to COVID-19. The country was able to control the virus with a death toll of only 25 people.
New Zealand was largely free of the virus for the majority of 2020, thanks to Ardern’s leadership.
In addition to the long list of TV shows and movies she’s directed and produced, Ava DuVernay has been a leader in both the black rights and women’s rights movements.
After speaking on diversity panels, telling industry leaders how to close inequality gaps, she decided to simply show them how to do it. And so she created a platform to help close that gap called ARRAY, a grassroots distribution, arts, and advocacy collective focused on films by people of color and women.
When people we love, our communities, and the entire world are at their most vulnerable, my first impulse is to jump to “fix-it” mode. Yet recently I have realized that this can be a diversion, a way to avoid the real work of fixing — feeling.
With the world crying out for change, it’s a time to act, to lead with our voices, but it’s also a time to follow…and to feel.
‘Feeling it’ is a critical step in the process of healing trauma, grief, anxiety, negative thinking patterns, collective anger, and other painful experiences that seem to be on rotation these days.
When the COVID-19 crisis hit, I was too busy to pay attention to my feelings. Busy pivoting my business. Busy juggling fractions and grammar and homeschooling. Busy making sure my kids weren’t spending all day living in 50 different Minecraft realms.
And when I had a second to breathe, I was inhaling the scent of what was on everyone else’s limited menu of COVID feelings: fear, anxiety, grief.
Still, I soldiered on, stuffing those feelings aside. I needed to get through. We all did. There was too much to worry about to pay attention to everything.
Then, Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brook, and so many others. And the 1,298 black U.S. citizens shot by the police in the past year — the ones whose deaths went unnoticed because body cams had been turned off and good samaritans weren’t nearby with their phones ready and waiting.
Not to mention the fact that people of color are dying of COVID at a rate of 3.57 times more than white people. According to the CDC:
“Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons have a rate approximately five times that of non-Hispanic white persons, non-Hispanic black persons have a rate approximately five times that of non-Hispanic white persons, Hispanic or Latino persons have a rate approximately four times that of non-Hispanic white persons.”
With all of this coming at me at once, I broke. I crossed a threshold. In my confusion and the chaos around me, with the graphic media in front of me and when I could not look away, I fell apart. All of a sudden, I couldn’t think straight for the rage in my heart. I felt like I was going to be sick and that feeling of nausea is still with me.
Author Glennon Doyle said at an Emerging Women Live event:
“Show me what breaks your heart and I will tell you your purpose.” (Do you not freaking love this?)
What I realized is that what breaks my heart is abuse of power and the suppression of personal freedom. What breaks my heart is when people are subjugated, unable to speak freely, and prevented from fully actualizing the truth of who they are.
Think of all the unexpressed potential that gets buried with these restricted souls!
This breaks my heart, and this is why I have dedicated my life to increasing women’s leadership, helping women be seen and heard, and creating a new paradigm for power that is sourced from our shared humanity.
When the Black Lives Matter movement was gaining momentum, we hosted co-founder Alicia Garza as a speaker at our national conference Emerging Women Live in 2017.
I remember digging into my own privilege and biases at that time, feeling overwhelmed by the issue and desperate to train myself ‘out of my white eyes’ — desperate to fix myself and find solutions to the racial tensions I was feeling in the women’s movement.
Then one of our African-American speakers, Promise Phelon, said to me, “Things will change when white people get as angry as black people are.”
I did not understand this at the time. I thought, but I don’t feel angry.
As a Women’s Studies major, I consciously decided that I was not going to be an ‘angry’ feminist. Those women were too much, too confronting, they made me feel… uncomfortable.
Yes, I wanted change, but only acceptable change, change that was approved by those in power. I chose to fight for change while playing by the rules.
But being able to choose when to “fit in” and when to go against the grain is in itself a privilege. One that is not afforded to black women of color.
In our patriarchal system, we can see white privilege showing up in so many places, and we also see the privilege of the masculine. In our dominant culture, we over-privilege the mind, the rational, the measurable, the controllable, and we demonize the unknown, the mysterious. Anything that falls under the category of unpredictable or anecdotal, such as the more nuanced world of the emotions, the heart.
We demonize emotions, especially the messy ones. We reward actions, especially ones that can be categorized under ‘advance and conquer’. We climb upward and onward without knowing why we want the promotion or what we would even buy with a six-figure salary. And the real rewards — emotional intelligence and personal development — become consolation prizes.
As a white woman I learned early on that emotions were dangerous, something to hide, something to apologize for, and to keep tidy. And as a spiritual devotee, I learned to detach from my emotions, to distrust them, to rise above them as the truly enlightened did, not muck around in such gross and relative states of consciousness.
But again, I was always afforded the choice to control my emotional footprint as a white woman.
Conversely, the angry black woman stereotype haunts black women of color every day, regardless of their level of expression. Just ask Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, and Shonda Rhimes.
Enter: fix-it mode. My sleeves rolled up, I told myself: I am doing something. Isn’t that more important than getting angry?
For six years, I was dedicated to using the Emerging Women Live platform to amplify this conversation, to filling our presenters’ list with diverse speakers, to making certain that I did not accidentally misstep as I hosted the stage for 550 women navigating this complex issue of race and what it means to be inclusive — me, a white woman with untrained privileged eyes and a whole lot more questions than answers.
Looking back I see my efforts as the white savior mode at its best. If we fix the pain we caused, the pain we’ve profited off and ignored for centuries, we don’t need to sit with the uncomfortable-ness of our own negligence, indifference, and white guilt.
The truth is, I have been living from the neck up, so focused on solving problems that I missed the opportunity to try to understand the pain of my black brothers and sisters. More to the point, I chose not to feel.
Daniel Goldman, the emotional intelligence pioneer, has said, “In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels. These two fundamentally different ways of knowing interact to construct our mental life.”
So now I am in the messiness of my feeling mind. The pain is real but I also feel a strong love from seeing and connecting with so many people — people like you — who are also FEELING IT. I don’t want to rush out of this.
It’s our feelings — our heartbreak, our anger, our desires, our shared hope — that will catalyze our mind to create the solutions we need. Our swollen heads and egos have held the reigns of power for far too long; it’s our hearts that will drive us to a better world.
In her iconic civil rights song, I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free, Nina Simone sings:
I wish you could know what it means to be me Then you’d see and agree that every man should be free I wish I could give like I’m longing to give I wish I could live like I’m longing to live I wish I could do all the things I can do
If we skip this feeling stage, both the recognition and the expression of our own feelings — as well as being curious about our fellow human beings — we might as well put lipstick on a pig.
Actions without true, authentic empathy behind them will not eradicate the long-ingrained, systemic abuse of power built on the back of out-of-balance masculine energy and white privilege. So keep the connection, lean into the heartbreak, and find your purpose in this conversation. It’s not going away anytime soon. And we have mountains to move.
PS: If you are a woman of color and have something relevant to share with our Emerging Women audience, I invite you to reach out to us so we can get you scheduled for a spot on our platform. We could share the mic — or just give you the damn mic. Use us…please.
PSS: If you are a woman of color coach with corporate or executive experience, and you are looking for more work, please reach out so we can interview you for a Power Circle facilitator role in our ongoing corporate women’s leadership programs.
I have to be honest: there are so many women I’m grateful for this year.
The Year of the Woman might have ‘officially’ been 1992, but each year, women continue to top themselves in the areas of grace, positivity, power, determination and leadership. This truly is an amazing time to be alive and be a woman. And I’m so thankful I get to exist at the same time as these seven powerhouses of feminine energy. They remind me that we can all get out there to make our own unique contribution toward changing what power looks like in the world – and we don’t have to do it alone!
I am grateful for this first woman for so, so, so many reasons. From the giant inflatable booty that (almost) upstaged her at the MTV Video Music Awards to her fierce lyrics of self-celebration, this woman tops herself time after time in the body positivity category. Just when we think we can’t learn anything more from Lizzo about loving ourselves just the way we are, she wows us with the even louder, more powerful, message of “you got this.” And then she shows us how to OWN what we got. Bam.
She’s a vocal activist for women’s rights and radical self-acceptance. And she works hard – she famously began touring before she ever recorded an album. Talk about crashing through a glass ceiling. She destroyed it.
You’ll find this OG femme fatale on the top slots of pretty much every ‘feminist and lovin’ it’ list.
(Yes, I just referred to Ruth Bader Ginsberg as a ‘femme fatale.’)
Media for women of all generations have paid homage to this supreme court justice who played a major role in creating equal opportunities for both sexes. Kate Mckinnon further cements her role as an icon for power, grace, and sheer “chutzpah” on SNL most weeks with her catchphrase, “You just got Gins-burned.”
This year, she’s been battling cancer for the fourth (fourth!) time, yet still works out every day. She has not missed a day! Her dedication and perseverance is legendary. Oh, and did I mention she’s barely taken off a day of work to recuperate? Instead, she’s been working from home and communicates via conference call when needed – still in the game, but on her own terms.
Any fan of the Emerging Women blog knows we are a big fan of this powerhouse philanthropist and women’s equality activist striving to change the future of work in America.
What I love the most about MG? Is that she seems to be evolving along with the movement. She is emerging right along-side all of the women she is inspiring to rise, showing us that we are all in this together. For reals.
What else do we love about Melinda Gates? Let me count the ways…
She taught us how to raise feminist sons *chills*
She led a feminist fight from the homefront by demanding equality with her husband in their relationship
She reminds us that until all women around the world are free, none of us are free
She’s brave enough to be vulnerable about her own toxic masculinity battles in the early days of Microsoft
This year she committed $1 billion to help create equality in the workplace
She committed $1 billion to help create equality in the workplace, which was so nice (and fierce and necessary), we had to say it twice!
Regardless of where you land politically, you can’t deny that Nancy Pelosi is one of the fiercest women in (and out of) politics right now — and has been for decades!
This woman is the epitome of class — and badass.
She knows when to speak up. And boy, when she speaks up, she demands attention. But what’s so special about her is that she knows when to stay silent, too. She gets that sometimes the biggest things happen when we create space – for others and for ourselves.
And while we all know age doesn’t matter, let’s take a moment to talk about her passion. She’s in her 80s (long after many of us will have retired), and she’s still vibrant, still so committed.
I am so grateful we have women with this kind of fire in our political system! More of this, please!
YOWZA! When I said “Age doesn’t matter,” this was the woman (not girl, because let’s be honest, she’s one of the most mature people in politics right now) I was talking about!
She’s done so much in her short life and even shorter career.
Greta has shown us what it means to be a leader: overcoming obstacles, standing up for others, speaking truth to power and demanding action.
The next time you’re feeling hesitant about leaning in, just consider Greta Thunberg your spirit animal, and ask yourself, “WWGTB do?” You’ll be moving mountains and people with your every word — and reshaping the world in the process.
Former first lady, Michelle Obama, is another woman on this list who I admire for her elegance and dignity — especially for her lyrical use of the English language.
She emanates strength through each word. Her vulnerability jumps off the pages in her memoir, “Becoming.” She proved she really was the typical American working mom when she relayed stories of taking Malia on a job interview and ‘breaking out’ of the Whitehouse to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage (also with Malia).
And who can forget the strength that resonated in her speeches? Her catchphrase, “When they go low, we go high,” became an anthem for the power of positivity. It still serves to keep me out of complaining mode when I am faced with challenges!
Not to mention that line in her final commencement speech (that still floors me):
“It’s the story that I witness every single day when I wake up in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters — two beautiful, black young women — head off to school, waving goodbye to their father, the President of the United States, the son of a man from Kenya who came here to American — to America for the same reasons as many of you: To get an education and improve his prospects in life.”
Were you also glued to the TV coverage of the World Cup for women’s soccer this year? If so, you were likely like me: screaming your head off at the marvelousness of it all. High stakes, close games, excelling athleticism — all combined with the articulation of a vision much bigger than any one-made goal. And Megan Rapinoe at the head of it all.
Talk about equal pay triumph!
Her elegance in her speeches is only matched by her fierceness on the field. The woman is an inspiration and a symbol of heart-centered leadership and dependability.
I feel so fortunate that young girls and women can look to Megan to understand that you don’t need to sacrifice elegance for power, teamwork for individuality.
The women’s soccer teams work just as hard as the men’s team, it’s about time they got paid equally!
All of these women are clearing the path with a new power for a paradigm that emphasizes connection, grace, empathy and fire. They all draw this power from authenticity, consciousness and real connection — which also happens to be the Emerging Women ethos.
It’s difficult to forge a path ahead when you’re the only one holding that machete. Luckily, we all have these leaders to look to when we need a leg up to continue on our own brave path forward. We GOT this!
As a former woman in technology, Emerging Women CEO Chantal Pierrat understands what it means to be “the only woman in the room.” When she was head of marketing and sales for an OEM product, she often found herself pitching mostly to men in white lab coats.
I know what it’s like to be underrepresented – both in terms of the business side but also on the tech and innovation side. And what that costs us in terms of the depth and the breadth of the solutions that are coming to the table.
Being that fly on the tech wall helped inform me of the challenges women face in the industry. Which is why when I was asked to speak at the Grace Hopper Celebration this year, I already had my topic: authentic leadership.
Why Is Authentic Leadership Important?
Both men and women must be themselves at work to be the best at what they do. But women are often viewed as a problem to be “fixed” for a “better fit” instead of a resource for a new paradigm for leadership.
When we are allowed to be our authentic selves, we radiate confidence and purpose. We come alive through our bodies. And this energetic power is the strongest differentiating quality in any leader.
But when we are pressured to fit in? We suffer from burnout, from fatigue. We don’t see the value in advancing our careers. And we rarely make it to the tech executive level.
The Problem in the Tech Industry: When Women Don’t Feel Valued
Mid-career is an especially challenging time for women. Most of us become discouraged from advancing onward when we:
Don’t see any evidence that our skills and contributions are recognized.
Cannot see a clear future path when so few women have forged those paths before us.
Are encouraged to spend our time fitting-in instead of innovating and streamlining products and services.
Suffer from low input, high burnout and lack of self-confidence.
Become isolated from those who would advocate for our success and advancement.
Have growing family commitments and are expected to “do it all” in order to “have it all.”
Mid-level burnout isn’t only a “tech problem” either. It spans across nearly all industries — from business to finance to farming.
The Solution: Connection-Based Radiant Leadership
Conscious, feminine leadership is changing the world for the better. But we still have a lot of work to do.
If we want to become our authentic selves in the office, we need to first believe we are worthy. Radiant leadership is all about the expression of love, confidence and happiness. But more importantly, the love, confidence and happiness we draw from within.
When we are whole, we are using our hearts, minds, bodies and souls in unison.
The result? Resilient women and men, working together to influence the world through a strong sense of purpose and making an impact on their industry.
When you are connected, you are:
Coming alive through your body.
Using intentional self-talk to override critical or negative thought patterns.
Visualizing your goals and creating your inner reality in the outer world.
Listening to your heart, checking in with your body and tuning into your intuition.
Following your highest truth (your purpose in life).
Connecting with yourself first and using storytelling to connect with others; it’s the specificity that makes all stories universal.
Changing hearts and minds with your charisma.
Case Study: HP
How do we know it works? This isn’t our first rodeo. When it comes to radiant leadership, we’re all for conversation — but we’re all in for more action.
In a collaborative partnership with HP delivering programming to 1,000 women (and men), we were able to measure the following in our participants :
Higher instances of speaking up
More clarity of purpose
Higher rates of advancement
When we support women, everyone enters a greater position of power. Everyone becomes free to innovate and create. We can all benefit from radiant leadership — on personal to societal levels.
How could radiant leadership change your industry? What could you build or streamline if you were fully supported? For more information, contact Emerging Women at [email protected].
I’ve been to Emerging Women Live twice now, and I’ll be there again this coming October 2017. The first time, I went on a whim, mostly to see Ani DiFranco perform. It had been many years since I’d had the prophetic experience of being in her presence and despite it being the most money I had ever spent on any concert, I signed up at the last minute. I read Daring Greatly by Brené Brown just before the event started and walked into a weekend that changed me deeply – for good. Being close enough to lock eyes with Ani several times was definitely a highlight of my life, but I got so much more. My whole world was turned inside out as the rest of the weekend I got in touch with self-compassion, inner courage, and a lot of feelings I’d been suppressing for far too long.
Flash forward to January 2017 – the inauguration weekend of a president I cannot accept and the surreal feeling that I’m living in another dimension. I ask my husband for his true feelings about some of my current projects. Like the oracle that he sometimes is, he responded with an idea bigger than both of us. “I think you should make a documentary series,” he said.
I felt an explosion of inspiration and, due in no small part to the amazing wisdom I’ve soaked in through the Emerging Women community, I recognized the quiet voice of truth and my inner mentor. I got to work. A couple weeks later on a plane to New York, I wrote out treatments for 10 episodes of “Belonging in the USA: Stories from our Neighbors.” Everything was in flow. A week later, I received fiscal sponsorship from Fractured Atlas, the very same day that I was heading to Los Angeles to spend a week shooting the pilot episode. From the very beginning, there has been a feeling of ease and purpose with this project. Emerging Women, and the incredible community of truth tellers and seekers I’ve met there, were catalysts in regaining the confidence in myself to do big things, like create a series.
For the past decade I’ve been helping families draw connections from their past to their present while mapping out the vision they want for their collective future through the company I founded in 2005, Legacy Connections Films. In my work as a family filmmaker, what has struck me over and over is how easy it is for us to lose the threads that connect us, perhaps especially when it comes to our own families. With this new project, “Belonging in the USA,” I am challenging all of us to connect the threads that link us together.
The series emphasizes connection, understanding, and empathy in a time when so many forces are constantly screaming that we are disconnected, dissimilar, and saying we should be afraid of anyone who is different. I reject this. I reject the notion that just if someone is different from me I cannot look into their eyes and see their human longing, yearning, hurt, and joy as my own. I reject it because I’ve lived radical empathy for years.
I’ve sat across from conservative male hunters as a liberal vegetarian woman and felt connected to them through our shared humanity. I’ve sat across from women who’ve suffered the loss of children in unspeakable manners and grieved with them, though I’ve never lost a child. I’ve sat across from wives whose sense of self has been shaped primarily by their children and by their husbands’ accomplishments and created the space to help them see their own contributions to the world as well, never once judging them because of all that I have done in my life. I realized years ago that one of my inherent gifts is that when I sit in witness to another being and look into his or her eyes, I see the child this person once was, and all I feel is love. This is the Native Genius that I naturally inhabit. At the first Emerging Women event in 2013, Kristen Wheeler described this and I finally found a name to what it is I was feeling.
Now more than ever is the time for me to use my Native Genius. Now, when even typically open-minded people have suddenly adopted an “us and them” mentality. Now, when many of us are feeling overwhelmed with fear, pain, and what if’s. Now is when we need to come back to what is essentially true. At our core, we all have a child that wants to be seen, heard and acknowledged. Connecting with this part of us is my Native Genius and will be a huge part of what you see revealed in the folks I interview.
This is all because when Trump became president of the United States, it caused me to wake the fuck up! I had been living in deep denial. A bubble of my own making, where everyone I knew and related to in my life shared relatively the same beliefs, ideas and ideals as me. And yet, I have felt the rewards of deeply listening to people that by all appearances I have little to nothing in common with. I wanted to find a way to consciously and deliberately connect with people who may seem different from me to counteract the influence of politics. So I will use my Native Genius to tell the stories of our collective, human family- the inner selves that are longing to be seen and heard – the parts of ourselves that transcend all apparent differences.
So I am creating a new kind of web series that will allow me to explore my own uncomfortable prejudices and judgments, a series that will force me to enter into communities and conversations that are not my own and ask questions, get curious, do a lot of learning, in order to bring about healing in my own soul. One of my favorite parts in Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is her chapter called “Motives” in which she talks about how she would rather a person write a book in order to entertain themselves as a writer than to help her, as a reader. This stuck with me because growing up Jewish, I have often felt the heavy pressure to try to make the world a better place, tikkun olam. Her chapter on motives helped to put this in perspective. Now I realize that all I really need to do is try to save myself or entertain myself, and the right people who need a similar kind of saving or entertainment will show up to partake in whatever I’m offering up. This is making art as a gift to oneself, not just because we want to do something big and lofty – some grand contribution to humanity (though, c’mon, that’s totally something I want to do, too).
In “Belonging in the USA,” I will interview different people to share their life stories, experiences, struggles, and wisdom all through the context of this political shitstorm we’re currently living in (without making it all about this political shitstorm we’re currently living in). I want it to feel like you’re in each character’s living room, invited to join in on an intimate conversation between them and me, the curious seeker bringing out their story.
With this show I feel that I’m creating an opportunity to explore some of the themes and ideals that are most valuable to discover whether they are valuable to others. What is universal? What is true? Do you derive meaning from the same places/in the same ways that I do? And if not, what life experiences caused you to be/feel/act the way you do?
The goal of the show is radical empathy, the idea of experiencing another person’s life story as if it were your own. My vision for the series is that by getting to know our neighbors near and far we begin to imagine how we can all live through these difficult times together.
The pilot episode of “Belonging in the USA” features Michael D. McCarty, member of the Chicago chapter Black Panther Party, army veteran, acupuncturist, and professional storyteller who currently teaches storytelling workshops to inmates in the California prison system. Michael’s story is one of personal transformation, systemic transformation, and passing along the gift of transformative storytelling. Michael has been a friend of my family for my entire life, and he has been a great teacher of mine since my adolescence. I am honored that he has entrusted me to share his stories with you.
We will host screenings around the country to create opportunities to engage larger communities and particular communities that don’t often intersect to have public conversations about race, values, privilege, unconscious bias, what it means to belong in America, how to be a neighbor, and what empathy looks like in an age of ever-increasing complexity, pseudo-connection and anxiety. I hope you will join me in my efforts to share this work with a larger audience. Please watch our trailer on YouTube. Like it, comment on it, and share it with your networks. This will be the primary way to get the word out about our work. Click here to support this effort with a tax-deductible donation.
Summer is my favorite time of the year. I love the expansive feeling that the heat brings. I find myself stretching to the sun, open and receiving.
In chinese medicine this is called yang – as opposed to the more inward yin cycle of the colder months. This is a time to make possibilities real, to tend to the seedlings of vision and purpose that we planted in the spring so that we may have a rich harvest in the Fall.
Our hard work of introspection and deep diving is ready to express itself through joy and celebration. Can you feel it?
June 20th marks Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Let’s not let this ancient holiday pass us by without reveling and delighting in it together! How will you celebrate? Will you observe the first rays of dawn? Will you share a radiant sunset with a friend? Will you dance and make merry as you move through midsummer’s day?
However you mark the Solstice, one thing is certain: it’s time to move, to love, and to connect as we use the power of the sun to catalyze our work in the world.
As a fun Solstice gift, we’d like to offer an extra $100 off tickets to Emerging Women Live ($400 in savings total). Simply register by June 20th using the code Solstice, and get ready for a community celebration like no other, October 5-8th in colorful Colorado.
It is so beneficial to stay connected to the earth and her cycles, to celebrate her transitions and transformations, to invite awareness of how her rebirth is mirrored in our individual selves.
Share your Solstice rituals with us in the comments section below, and register here to join us for the rich harvest that is Emerging Women Live in the Fall!
PS – In Russia and Ukraine, Summer Solstice celebrants jump over bonfires to display their courage and faith. Emerging Women Firewalk anyone??
Is money a constant source of anxiety for you? Nancy Levin, Emerging Women Live speaker and author of Worthy: Boost Your Self Worth to Grow Your Net Worth, has a practice that should help.
The real key to creating financial freedom isn’t changing what we do, it’s changing our limiting beliefs about how we feel—and that requires more than just learning how to invest. Ready to give it a shot? Discover which beliefs may be inhibiting your sense of self worth, and unlock the potential to grow your net worth in the process.
Play Power Practice #17 – Boost Your Self Worth to Grow Your Net Worth:
“All good things are wild and free.” – Henry David Thoreau
Healthy women have a playful spirit, are powerfully devoted to those they love, possess immense strength of character, and draw on a rich heritage of instinctual and intellectual wisdom handed down by generations of women before them. They are wild and free in the truest sense: unapologetically and entirely who they are at their deepest, most authentic core.
When we are not free, we are held back, closed off, and we feel overwhelmingly stuck. Our voice is silenced — by the outside world or, more often, by ourselves. We live in the black and white margins of life, unable to feel safe in the gray areas.
To be wild and free means to live from a place of your inherent worth and value. It means owning your imperfections as much as your strengths as worthy and valuable parts of yourself.
Here are some things that wild and free women have in common:
1. She is constantly in a state of transition.
In order for us to evolve, to move forward, to live our best lives, we must accept that women are designed by nature to be cyclical beings.
Our hormonal cycles are cyclical. So are the ocean’s tides. They both reflect the cycles of the moon. We have cycles of seasons in nature, cultural holidays and traditions that are celebrated and observed in cycles as well.
As women, our bodies and minds are designed to create. We are designed with the ability to create new life. More than that, we are designed to express ourselves creatively, to value the journey of creation as much as or even more than the final product.
Conversely, women who are wild and free also know when something they have created has run its course and must now end. This can be a project, a relationship, or even a set of values that no longer work for them. Wild and free women don’t hang onto things because they are afraid of what will happen if they let go.
They trust the cycles of life that dictate that new beginnings are impossible without endings and endings are the foundation upon which new beginnings are brought forth.
2. She doesn’t engage in relationships that don’t work or are meaningless to her.
They are devoted to their partners, their children, and their tribe, but they know that their relationship with themselves, specifically with their intuition, is paramount above all.
Without a relationship with intuition, we become lost, susceptible to predatory influences, and disconnected from ourselves and those around us.
Our intuition may show up as a still, small voice inside us, a gut feeling, or a sense of knowing or guidance. If we listen, it tells us how to best show up in the relationships we are in. When those relationships are no longer serving our best interests, our instinct tells us when and how to step away.
Relationships can be our greatest source of growth or they can be our greatest cages. Women who are wild and free know that the choice is always theirs.
3. She honors who and what she is.
Women who are wild and free know that their worth comes from who they are, not what they do. She creates because creating is an expression of her authentic self, not because she is looking for the love or approval of others.
She is conscious of her strengths and weaknesses and uses this knowledge to her advantage. She is comfortable with the concept of “good enough.” She values her own dignity and sovereignty above all else because she knows they are what keep her connected and autonomous.
While she doesn’t strive for perfection, she is always looking to grow herself: her knowledge, her abilities, her talents, her strength and vitality. She knows that growth involves work, and often also involves fear, and she is willing to be brave and flexible to reach her goals.
Being wild and free is the birthright of all women. When we are led by our intuition, we will always be on the right path to freedom.
We are thrilled to announce that Mallika Chopra will be joining us at Emerging Women Live 2016, with a keynote presentation entitled Living With Intent – My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy.
Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, published author, and a notable voice in the fields of parenting, meditation and the power of intention. Her most recent book is Living With Intent – My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy; and her previous books, 100 Promises To My Baby; and 100 Questions From My Child, have been translated and sold in dozens of countries worldwide.
Mallika is the founder of Intent.com – an online destination for turning your intentions into tangible actions, and inspiring others to do the same. Her intent is to harness the power of social media to connect people from around the world to improve their own lives, their communities and the planet.
Her varied background includes launching the Heal The World Foundation in the 1990’s with Michael Jackson, being part of the initial team to re-launch MTV in India, and starting The Chopra Well, a premiere YouTube channel with her brother, Gotham Chopra, and father, Deepak Chopra.
Mallika enjoys speaking to audiences around the world, and has shared her passion about Intent at TedXBerkeley, the 2016 Milken Institute Global Conference, the Robb Report Health and Wellness Summit, Ideacity, Business Innovation Factory, the Green Festivals, LOHAS, The California Women’s Conference, The Prevention R3 Conference, and many more. Mallika has an BA from Brown University, and MBA from Kellogg Business School.
What intentions will you set when you join Mallika Chopra and the rest of the Emerging Women community for our transformational annual event in San Francisco? We’d love to know.
Joan Blades is a progressive political activist, businesswoman and entrepreneur who co-founded MoveOn.org after selling her software company Berkley Systems in 1997 for 13.8M. She also co-founded MomsRising.org, the grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all moms, women, and families in the United States.
We are so proud to bring this champion for equality and respectful civil discourse to the EWLive stage. Trained as an attorney and mediator, and with decades of experience under her belt, Joan Blades will bring a fresh perspective on the importance of the feminine value of communication to authentic and effective leadership.
What would you ask Joan Blades if you could?
We’ve added three juicy descriptions of workshops to the schedule this week. Which ones are a “can’t miss” for you? Register today to save your seat.
“Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead” with Tara Sophia Mohr
Tara Sophia Mohr, women’s leadership expert, speaker, and author of the acclaimed book, Playing Big, offers women wise, simple, and proven strategies to make big changes in their own lives, their careers and the world at large. With stories from her own journey of playing bigger, and those of women on the playing big path, Tara will share why so many women today are playing small and the simple but surprising shifts that enable us to play much bigger. You will learn tools to:
“Unhook” from praise and criticism
Deal wisely with fear
Begin taking bold action to play bigger right now
“The Crossroads of Should & Must” with Elle Luna
Have you ever asked yourself the question “How can I find and follow my true calling?” That moment is what Elle calls “standing at the crossroads of Should and Must.” “Should” is what we feel we ought to be doing, or what is expected of us. “Must” is the thing we dream of doing, our heart’s desire. And it was her own personal journey that inspired Elle to share her story which, in a few short months, has touched hundreds of thousands of people who’ve read it or heard Elle speak on her new book: The Crossroads of Should and Must.
Starting out or starting over, making a career change or making a life change, the most life affirming thing you can do is to honor the voice inside that says you have something special to give, and then heed the call and act. Many have traveled this road before. Elle’s keynote will share how you can choose must, too.
“MoneyType: Learn How Your Values Impact Your Money”with Amanda Steinberg
How do your values impact your money? No matter your level of financial knowledge, you have a MoneyType that shapes your unique perspective on your finances. Amanda Steinberg, CEO of DailyWorth and WorthFM, will discuss how everyone is a unique combination of 5 MoneyTypes, each with their own gifts and sabotage patterns. Learn how to make your money work for you.
“Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead” with Tosha Silver
Tired of running yourself ragged? Of constantly efforting, striving, and pushing to manifest your desires? Come join Tosha Silver as she speaks to a different way of Being, of a life of aligning with Divine Source. When the Divine is invited in fully no problem is too big or too mundane; everything becomes holy.
The first step in this invitation is the sacred act of Offering. Offering isn’t about giving up, it’s actually impassioned, soul-deep surrender. It allows miracles and surprises far beyond what the mind can conceive. The right actions get shown at the right time.
Offering navigates that tricky space where Desire and Detachment meet. It’s truly the key that opens the door to Love and yet it’s actually very, very practical! Solutions arise in ways the ego would never imagine. When all is Offered, life begins to happen through you rather than by you.
At the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit, the Dalai Lama predicted that Western women will save the world. At the time, I believed that he was speaking about the impressive panel of female attendees, including three Nobel peace laureates, the Irish president, humanitarians, filmmakers—acclaimed peacemakers. But through my work with Threads Worldwide and Emerging Women, our women Artisan Partners in developing countries, our Fair Trade Partners in the US, and the countless trailblazing women I have met on my journey, I have come to realize that the possibility he was talking about was me. He was talking about them. He was talking about you.
So I invite you to join me in this world-changing movement. I urge you to enlist in the tribe of empowered women who are making a difference, one dollar at a time, one necklace at time, one kneecap-to-kneecap conversation at time. Join us in creating a world that is fair, that is founded in compassion, that sees beyond gender, race, religion, and the depths of one’s pocket.
Surrounding yourself with Sisterhood = HOPE
Our vision has the power to equalize, and is built upon the notion that a seven-year-old Cambodian girl, sold into the sex trade, has the same amount to offer as a Fortune 500 CEO. She is equally worthy of love and joy and belonging. She is equally deserving of the opportunity to contribute to her family, her community, and to help create a better world. That is her universal right. And it belongs to all of us.
This past weekend, surrounded by revolutionary women at our Threads Worldwide annual conference, I felt a gap close that had been welling over the past few months, blackened by mass shootings, suicide bombers, venomous political posts and mean-spirited debate. I felt hope. HOPE!
I understood, down to my core, that there is a way through. A way of being, of working together, of lifting one another up.
As women, we are inherently collaborative, compassionate, intuitive, and empathetic. We lead with our hearts and envision ourselves as part of the whole. These values—that I believe will save the world—have been undermined and devalued over the course of history. For our entire history, women across the globe have been told that our superpowers have no place in business, no place in politics, no place in any position of power.
Well, I say enough! THIS is our time. Our time to come together. Our time to live from a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. Our time to walk our talk. Our time to lend a hand to someone who is struggling. Our time to fight injustice, to transcend senseless violence, greed, war, and the “us versus them” mentality that is pervasive and toxic.
Ways to stay hopeful in this troubled environment:
Surround yourself with powerful sisters
Face the challenging times by keeping the discussion going with others
Turn conversations into actions that ripple into the community
There IS a way through. But it starts with you and me recognizing that we are all in this together. Let’s bring our tribes together with the understanding that our vision is only the beginning—that it is our alliance that will bring about change, much more effectively than our independent efforts.
We can do this. We really can. Let’s save the world. Are you in?
Kara Wiegand has over 12 years experience in the non-profit sector with a focus on business development, sponsorship, accounting and finance. In 2011 she launched her own successful business, Threads Worldwide, which connects women in developing countries who make beautiful jewelry with women in the US who are interested in making money while making a difference in the lives of others. Kara believes in women supporting women to raise our collective voice and better our global community and standards of living.
Chelsea has over 15 years of experience in administrative and executive support. After her years of working in the legal and oil and gas industry, Chelsea has made it her passion to fill her life with creativity and incorporates that into everything she does. Her position at Emerging Women allows her to expand on that creativity and assist with empowering women around the world. She is a native of Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband, her son, bonus son, family, and friends. In her free time she loves camping, painting, and all things creative.
Online Business Manager
Michelle studied Marketing and received her degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her passion for marketing, combined with great attention to detail, and over 7 years of experience in the tech-world makes her a valuable asset to the team! In addition to Emerging Women, she is also a solopreneur and works with a number of different clients in the online business realm. She is an experienced Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant who specializes in marketing operations, project management and online course launch management. She is a Colorado native, mother of two dogs, a cat, and a turtle, and step-mother to an amazing little girl. In her spare time she enjoys live music, good food, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
Power Circle Administrator
Jen comes to Emerging Women with over 25 years of experience in event operations and volunteer management. She has worked various types of events as a Volunteer Manager for Integral Life conferences and as an Event Coordinator for various large arts and sports festivals throughout Colorado. Alongside her passion for creating and producing events, she worked as a hospital administrator for over a decade in one of Denver’s largest hospitals helping make care affordable to hundreds of patients. Jen was born in Lima, Peru but has spent most of her life in Colorado. In 2016, a year sabbatical morphed into a life living abroad. Jen has been living in Cusco, Peru for the past four years and cherishes her life in the Andes mountains. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the world, playing capoeira, and deepening her yoga and meditation practices.
Director of Power Circles
For over 13 years, Nicole has been a producer and connector in the field of personal and professional growth and transformation, creating diverse content, life-changing curriculum, and exquisite live and online experiences. She loves to unite and facilitate people in their work to live more good, true, and beautiful lives. She’s honored to bring this diverse expertise to Emerging Women. For the past two years she has been the lead producer for Emerging Women Live, and now is bringing her extensive production, coaching and facilitation skills to EW’s Power Circles. Nicole works in private practice as a Certified Integral Master Coach™, through her company, Unabashedly You, and has worked with hundreds of women (and men) individually and as a group facilitator. She also creates programs and interviews fascinating teachers and wellness experts in her role as U.S. Content Producer for Conscious Life. She is the co-founder of Core Integral, an educational company offering a comprehensive and accessible approach to learning integral theory. Prior to this work, she owned a large and lively restaurant and brewery in Pennsylvania. She has studied extensively and worked alongside Ken Wilber (Integral Theory), Daniel Brown, PhD (Tibetan Buddhism, Self-Development, Attachment, and Positive Psychology), and Sofia Diaz (Hatha Yoga and Feminine Embodiment). She holds a Masters Degree from Lehigh University. She regularly delights in the sunshine and mountains of Colorado with her two dogs and her partner Clint, and is a new mama to her daughter Truly Golden.
Founder & CEO
Chantal’s mission is to increase women’s leadership across the globe. After earning an MBA from the University of Colorado, Chantal left a career in medical device manufacturing in search of work that would align her dedication to transformative leadership with her passion for living an inspired, impactful life. In September 2012, she founded Emerging Women, a global leadership and media platform that serves over 70,000 women worldwide and has advanced women’s leadership within Fortune 500 companies such as HP, Oracle and more. Chantal’s ultimate vision is to weave feminine leadership and authenticity into businesses, and to create a world where women have a strong voice in the shaping of our future. Prior to Emerging Women, for over a decade, Chantal served on the executive team as the VP of Sales and Marketing for Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company focused on spirituality, personal growth, and holistic living. Chantal is a sought after speaker delivering keynotes at The Grace Hopper Celebration, Wisdom 2.0, and many other stages where women’s leadership is critical to the conversation. When she is not dancing or working to empower women around the world, Chantal enjoys family time with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.