If you loved our Emerging Women Live 2015 keynote speakers, don’t miss the wisdom from our Emerging Short talks, too. These power talks let us hear from a diverse group of women who are positively using their feminine leadership to change the world. We’ve sifted through our notes and gathered our top nine favorite quotes.
On the 4th of July, we couldn’t help but remember the story Sahar Paz told at Emerging Women’s Power Night Boulder.
Not just because Sahar is a firework of a woman. Which she is. “Smokin’ is the word that comes to mind,” said Emerging Women founder Chantal Pierrat.
When Sahar walked out on the stage, she was absolutely owning it. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at her amazing shoes:
But she didn’t start off owning it.
Sahar was born in war-torn Iran, where she never knew from one day to the next if all of her classmates would show up at school, or if the sidewalk in front of her apartment would still be there. She got the feeling that if she just stayed very quiet and very still, everything might be okay. Despite the bombs.
When she moved to America as a young girl, she was stunned by 4th of July fireworks displays. How could these sounds mean celebration and Independence when to her the soundtrack of explosions had always said live in fear and know your place?
In that environment of fear, her personal inner voice was shamed and shushed out of existence before she was 10 years old.
Instead, she aimed for perfection and quiet in an attempt to mitigate “the burden of her existence.” As she got older, the voice of perfection turned into wanting to please not just parents, teachers and friends, but also men. She habitually turned to others to define her value.
Looking around, the direct line to that value seemed to be MONEY.
Her tireless work ethic eventually took her to a corner office in NYC, complete with a view of Manhattan and the Queensboro bridge – the whole bit. From the outside, she appeared to be living a “Sex and the City” life. She was check, check, checking all the boxes, but she was not happy.
What was once a hopeful sadness turned into a hopeless depression.
But Sahar turned things around. How did she do it? She found her voice.
“We all have a war of words within. I learned how to get out of my war way faster because I was dealt a lot of shit way earlier. But that’s probably the only difference between you and me.” Now, Sahar has stepped into a state of permission.
“Turns out Maya Angelou was my guardian angel,” Sahar said.
She bought a ticket to Emerging Women Live 2014 specifically to see the incomparable poet. And though Maya Angelou passed before the event, Sahar knew she needed something and decided to go anyway.
And she didn’t just go casually. She showed up. “I needed to be in the spit zone,” she said. She sat in the front row as woman after woman reflected versions of her own experience back to her, albeit in different contexts and with different words. She found strength in those women. And strength in herself.
She especially connected with the theme of permission.
“Chantal gave herself permission in front of all of us. She was vulnerable, right at the start, and gave herself permission to eff up during the weekend.” Sahar was moved and gave herself permission to do the same – to show up as her true self, to let her inner voice speak, and to trust that if she eff-ed up, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
“I was not holding on to that voice of failure,” she realized. “That’s only one voice within me. That is not all of me.” She knew her inner voice had more to say than just censorship, criticism and judgement.
Sahar’s journey has led her from a quiet perfectionist to a fierce woman, embracing her inner voice and encouraging others to do the same. We are thrilled to share her voice with you as an Emerging Short speaker at Emerging Women Live 2015.
“We exist in a world of abundance. All scarcity is here,” Sahar said as she pointed to her heart.
“There is an abundance of pain in this world,” she echoed, “so that means there is also an abundance of opportunity.” Are you ready to take it?
Sahar Paz is going to change the world, but she knows she cannot do it alone.
In one of our favorite moments, she said, “Do not take the voice of comparison – we gotta hold each other’s hands. I’m standing on your shoulders. And I’m reaching for the UN.”
Then she gave herself permission to deliver a badass rap, full of her voice and straight from the heart. And it was smokin’.
What are you reaching for? And whose shoulders are there for you while you do it? We would love to know – please share with us in the comments.
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.