We are excited to announce that artist, author and Silicon Valley startup survivor Elle Luna will be joining the lineup as a Keynote Speaker at Emerging Women Live 2016!
Elle Luna happily makes art in her very special studio in San Francisco (listen to her Grace & Fire podcast to hear about that peak experience in her life). But that wasn’t always her gig.
Before, Elle was nailing the shoulds. She worked with teams to design and build Mailbox’s iPhone app, redesign Uber’s iPhone app, and scale the storytelling platform, Medium. But in the midst of this life of business and chronic busy-ness, she felt the pull of something deeper calling to her in her dreams – the musts.
With one foot in each world (art and startup), everything was suffering. She wasn’t really feeling her creative process, and her work in Silicon Valley was exhausting her. Her head was saying “you got this” while her body was screaming for a vacation – and not just a week at the beach. She was craving the deep peace of a restful mind. She was at a crossroads.
She had enough in her bank account for a window of time to “not know” and just journey down the roads of should and must. She left her job in Silicon Valley and rented the dreamy studio in San Francisco, the dedicated physical space where must had a chance of being heard. And it worked.
On April 8, 2013, Elle published an essay on Medium.com, “The Crossroads of Should and Must,” which quickly went viral. Within weeks, it was tweeted to over 5 million people and seen by over a quarter of a million readers. Elle extended that post into an illustrated, four color book, The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion, where she explains the importance of mistakes, of “unlearning,” of solitude, of keeping moving and of following a soul path. She had taken a leap, and it resonated.
It’s not just a one-time decision, she learned. It’s a daily thing. Shoulds are decisions for anything or anyone other than yourself, put on you from outside from family, community or culture. When you hear or think a should, you shrink in your body. Huge systems of thought are at work that feel overwhelming. She keeps a list of shoulds in her journal because she says that continuing to bring them into awareness is what releases their hold on your life.
To really get the juices flowing, you’ve got to have your finger on the pulse of must. Must is pre-thought. It’s inexplicable and undeniable. She says that staying in touch with that force is crucial. It’s “the source of our being – it’s the song, and we have to keep that song alive” by opening our eyes to “little mirrors, little clues that lead you back to something essential.”
Should, she says, is like cracking an egg on the countertop to get what’s inside out. Must is letting it burst out from the inside, and what results are the greater potentialities of your life. And the most important step? “To trust that that will manifest over time.”
We hope that you will join us in San Francisco to hear the inspirational Elle Luna share her insight with us at Emerging Women Live 2016. We can’t wait to see what will burst from your egg!
Listen to the Grace & Fire podcast here: