As we transition into the second month of a new year, it feels like time to start reaching back and pulling those soulful souvenirs from EWLive14 into the forefront of our consciousness again.
In this ongoing series, we’ll share some of our favorite moments and memories from the weekend, and we invite you to do the same. You never know who needs to hear the words that resonated so strongly with you. As all of the Emerging Women Live speakers would agree, it’s crucial to your emergence to share your voice and have an impact on the tribe.
In All Fears and Trembling Boldness
Sera Beak shared her personal journey of not only living her truth, but speaking it in her own voice. “We ache to be self-expressed, to be authentic, to totally let ‘er rip,” she says, “and yet we are terrified of being that vulnerable, that raw, that real. So we edit, shape or even shut up our unique soul’s voice in order to be accepted, successful, and loved. But deep down in our bellies, where our power burns the brightest, we know we cannot be of service, we cannot be free, we cannot truly come alive if we aren’t sharing the truth of who we are.”
As the Harvard-trained scholar found herself on the fast-track to fame, she struggled with squaring the messages she was receiving from her publicists with the messages she was receiving from her deepest self. As marketers tried to groom her speaking voice (which she self-describes as sounding like a chipmunk on speed) to be more “powerful,” she could feel the authenticity and impact of her talks losing potency.
“The most important part of my message IS my shaky, struggling voice,” she says in her trembling, yes, but 100% Sera voice.
And these words, beautifully unadulterated by public speaking shoulds and shouldn’ts, stamped an unforgettable image in our hearts that we can call on when sharing our unique expression with the world:
To feel the power of Sera’s soul voice for yourself, tune in to her EWLive14 talk “In All Fears and Trembling Boldness.”
Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message
Women’s leadership expert Tara Mohr has seen a pattern among her brilliant peers.
“Women are sitting on their big ideas rather than sharing them, holding back their most provocative questions instead of asking them,” she says. “They are having a collective hallucination that they aren’t ‘ready’ for that bigger role or next step.”
Based on her recent book, Playing Big, Tara helps us learn to trust our instincts, “unhook” from praise and criticism and begin taking bold and wise action. Because when women play big, we change the world.
The bump in the road is often created by paying too much attention to what other people think. Does that sound familiar to you?
“We strangely learn to see women’s stories as how they’re perceived by others,” she says. The solution is to unhook from both praise and criticism as motivating factors while we carve out our space in the world.
If that sounds like something you could benefit from, do yourself a favor and watch the entire insightful presentation here:
Reflections on Leadership
It’s no surprise that Karen May is the Vice President of People Development at Google. Her bouncy energy and enthusiasm is infectious, and her ability to really listen to those going through an emerging process is obvious.
What’s not so immediately apparent are her battles with failure and disappointment. If you can relate, you’ve got to hear about the “Disappointment-A-Day Diet” she started with her brother, where they trained themselves to be okay with disappointing people by promising to disappoint at least one person a day, no matter what.
“I failed! Victory!” became Karen’s new cheer for herself as she learned to accept failure as a natural and helpful part of a fulfilling life. “You gotta find a way to make failure something you just step through,” she says.
“To emerge requires looking in the mirror and confronting the awful truth that you’re flawed,” Karen says, “and then digging really really deep to find the grace to go back out and say ‘tell me more,’ trusting that you’ll have the strength and support to hear it and to grow with it.”
Get ready to grin with Karen May here:
Integration is one way that Emerging Women Live sets itself apart from other conferences. The feminine is all about the body, and so we take time to consciously connect with our bodies through dance, yoga and meditation.
We invite you to take a moment for yourself right now and let Agapi Stassinopoulos, sister of Arianna Huffington and author of Unbinding the Heart, lead you in a soothing and nourishing guided meditation.
Just press play and let Agapi do the rest:
Keele Burgin & Power Circles
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.” – Mary Oliver
In this moving Emerging Short, writer, poet and memoirist Keele Burgin shares her revelation that she did not have to be her father’s definition of good, and how her Power Circle helped her harness that exuberant empowerment. What a testament to the beauty of women’s groups.