Facebook Live Recap: Power Circles Change Lives

In case you missed it …things got real this morning on Facebook Live.

I am fired up by the power of connection and ready to leverage our Emerging Women collective to bring about big change in the world.

As I watch the current tension between the old school, isolationist patriarchy and the increasingly powerful paradigm of inclusion and compassion I know beyond any doubt which model will win in the end.

Mother Earth understands interdependence. It is not a weakness, it is a strength. It is what keeps our world alive. And it is what inspires me to connect women all over the world so that we may work together for a future where all of life can thrive.

This morning, I shared my intimate and personal story of the creation of Emerging Women:

Of feeling the cosmic feminine emerging … and the knowing that followed that I was meant to be a strong voice for this potent energy.

During that time, there was a group of women who had my back … at every stage.

Watch my Facebook Live Video:

 

My Power Circle wasn’t just a women’s circle with wine and lipstick (though that’s great, too!) Or a mastermind to get ahead (also fab)… but a real deal power posse of badass women. Who saw me. Kept me on track. Reminded me of what I had said that I really wanted … as I created something bigger than myself. 

Women are poised for a new leadership paradigm … but to go fast and to go farther, we must NOT do it alone.

To what end are we developing ourselves? Ladies, all this self-awareness is to prepare us to access the next stage of human development … which is to learn and grow through relationship. The WE-volution is coming! And people and companies who are savvy in the art of relationship will come out ON TOP. This is where Power Circles come in.

Your time is now … our incredible Power Circles are open again for a short time (just one more week!) Make the decision and say, “Yes!” to a future that burns brighter than what you can achieve by going it alone.

Power Circles are a unique opportunity to connect deeply with other women who are ready to make a leap in their lives or lean in to leadership more fully.

Together with a trained Emerging Women facilitator, you’ll meet regularly with a small group of women to be deeply supported as you explore new ideas, process challenges, and get real together about what it takes to be a woman leading in today’s world.

Apply today to get matched into the carefully curated Power Circle perfect for you. Registration closes on Sept. 19th, so don’t miss out!


Need to hear more about Power Circles before you apply?

Check out our video featuring women who know first hand how a Power Circle can catalyze transformation, open doors, and expand possibilities inside and out.

 

Again, be sure to apply by Sept 19th to be matched into your new network of unparalleled support, vision, and heart.

I am so excited to go on this journey with you!

Chantal Pierrat

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat | Founder, Emerging Women

 

 

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How My Power Circle Changed My Life

Ladies … Let’s gather for a personal and intimate discussion on Facebook Live on Wednesday, September 12 2018 at 10:00 a.m. MT.

I want to share with you why I created Emerging Women in the first place … and the reasons that our individual and collective emergence is key to building a new future.

I will be diving deep on a personal story about how a group of honest, powerful, collaborative, authentic and amazing women absolutely transformed my life. These are stories we NEED right now as a new feminine leadership paradigm emerges.

Please join me: 10:00 a.m. MT on Facebook, right before our Emerging Women Member’s Only Circle Up at 11:00 a.m. MT on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

See you there!

Emerging Women Power Circles

Forgiveness and Feminine Power

Twelve years ago, sparked by a difficult transition to motherhood, I began studying the soul-quenching world of feminine power.

 

On this path I learned all about:

 

  • Sisterhood – I became part of a community of women that truly saw and celebrated each other.
  • Desires – and we lived in sacred alignment with our deepest desires.
  • Self-love – and in a societal sea of fear-based messaging, self-love was the boat we sailed.

Finding this path was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It lit up my relationships, intuition, creativity, and overall confidence. It was such a positive force in my life that I went on to create retreats and workshops working with these teachings.

 


“I received a message from the universe that simply said: Forgive.”


 

Back then, if you asked me about forgiveness, I probably would have suggested that forgiveness was a religious concept that instructed pardoning. Being a psychotherapist at the time and hearing challenging stories daily, I also may have added that forgiveness was a nice idea, but not for everyone. Some things were just too painful to forgive.

But then something intense happened to me: I was betrayed by someone I trusted. And I lost something I deeply loved.

Initially, I looked on the bright side. The relationship certainly had its problems, and there was a genuine part of me that was relieved it had come to an irreconcilable end.

I also had so much to be grateful for and even more to look forward to. I vowed not to let the loss bring me down.

However, as months passed, whenever I thought about what happened, I would feel an undeniable ball of resentment in my gut that made me think: “That. Was. So. Wrong.” My mind struggled to comprehend that it even happened.

So there I was on the path of feminine power that stood for:

 

  • Sisterhood – and a trusted female relationship had imploded.
  • Desire — and what I had desired was lost.
  • Self-love — and self-doubt rained down on me.

 

I was in the deep hole of betrayal’s aftermath, and I hung out there for three very long years. And then one dark evening in October 2012, I received a message from the universe that simply said: “Forgive.” 

I initially balked at this idea as I had no desire to let anyone off the hook. But the message was so clear that I reluctantly accepted the directive and began researching the world of forgiveness.

Three weeks later, my resentment was gone. I felt peaceful, and my faith in my myself and the universe was restored. I was wowed.

 


“Forgiveness is a spiritual experience that heals betrayal.

It is very powerful and sits at the core of feminine power.” 



 

Fast forward to today.

Over the past 12 years I have observed the rise of feminine power, and while “We can do it!” is the awesome and accurate collective cheer, becoming and achieving are never straight lines. Loss, setbacks, and failure are always part of our feminine path.

Whatever the story, it is imperative to the success and fruition of feminine power that we transform hardships into the highest force for good.

That’s where forgiveness comes in.

Betrayal is when someone or something you trusted fails you. It often results in a grudge, a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment.

Ask yourself: Am I carrying a feeling of ill will or resentment towards another or myself?

Or, does your body cringe or contract when you think of a difficult time in the past?

If you answered “yes” to either of these questions then ask yourself — are these feelings helping me to:

 

  • Attract and sustain the types of relationships I deeply crave?
  • Align with and attain my desires?
  • Trust my intuition?
  • Live creatively?
  • Be courageous?
  • Love myself?

 

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then your feminine power is likely being held back by something in the past.

Forgiveness not only untangles you from the past, but in doing so, unblocks the vast potential of your feminine essence.

And this is why today, when someone asks me my thoughts on forgiveness, my eyes twinkle as I say, “Forgiveness is a spiritual experience that heals betrayal. It’s very powerful and is at the core of feminine power.”

 

Ask to Learn New Things: Six Steps to Expand Your Feminine Power

We women are often blocked when it comes to asking for what we want.

This holds true even when it comes to asking for additional training at work. Maybe you were taught to be polite and to go for what you want – but only if you weren’t too demanding? As women … how do we best reconcile that?

In researching my book Pause  (and stretching personally to make bold asks) I created a six-step plan for women: How to negotiate to learn new things at work.

Honoring your deepest desires to learn and grow while voicing them is also an act of self-care – and one that can pay off in spades.

No matter what skill I am working on, I am becoming a more empowered feminine leader when I ask for support … and influence others based on what I’ve learned.

For the past several years, I’ve made bold asks from my employer to support and cover trainings including coaching certification, graduate and non-accredited courses, week-long emotional intelligence leadership retreats, and somatic leadership training.

Blaze on and trust your feminine intuition to make your bold ask. If you do get a no, all it means is “no for now.”

Improving our skills and being exposed to new ideas not only makes us better at our jobs but makes us happier and more engaged at work.

This is also true if you are struggling on the work-life balance beam.

It can be tough to find the time and resources for anything that’s selfishly for you, let alone for your own personal development. I encourage you to stay the course, tap into your hungers – and then go for it!

The pre-requisite: Give yourself permission.

Women often believe that asking for what we want is a selfish act, or perhaps our time should be spent elsewhere. Not true! We women are limitless!

The moment you decide to go for something, pause and trust … you can create space for it to happen … with a little intention, planning and support.

 

  1. Identify how you want to learn and grow.
    Get clear on exactly what you want to learn and how you want to do it. Do you want to build your emotional intelligence skills to be a more attuned business leader? Are you interested in a yoga or meditation retreat? Set aside a specific period of time, such as an hour, one evening or even a weekend to explore ideas. Research what appeals to you. Be vigilant and create boundaries for yourself to get it done. Journal or write it down.Research shows that writing has a neurological effect on the brain, effectively saying: “Wake up and pay attention!” When you write you honor the feminine value of creating.
  2. Own it.
    Women are especially prone to think that if we need to study up on something, we lack a competency or have a particular weakness. Not true! View this as a skill to develop. Step into owning it as part of your commitment to your emerging feminine leader. The first step is the ability to own your desire to grow in this area … and that will ripple into the work arena. If you don’t support yourself, no one else will.
  3. Create your vision statement.
    This is a powerful feminine leadership move. Create your vision statement and orient from there. Visions guide us to think big and are generative from a vast open world of possibilities. They infer possibility and are a beacon … a hint of the person we can become. Ask yourself, “Who will I become as a result of this investment in my time and resources?” Will you be more engaged, influential or mindful? Be specific and descriptive. Keep it in the first person. One sentence is ideal. Write it down, read it daily, and continue to refine it as you evolve.
  4. Connect your goals or outcomes to your employer needs.
    These are more specific to task outcomes and can flow easily once you’ve created your vision. To get buy-in from your manager, team, or company, connect what you will gain to their business objectives.

    Are there issues at work that you could better resolve as a result of this training? In what ways will your company benefit from your improved performance, skills or knowledge?

    What specific skills or knowledge can you share with your manager, team, and/or company from your training or experience? Can you provide a recap (verbally or visually) based on what you learned or how you plan to apply this at work or in your career?

  5. Prep and practice.
    Get ready for the conversation and to make your ask. What are the worst and best-case scenarios? Anticipate questions or concerns. Extra credit if you make your own note cards or flash cards. To my knowledge, nobody I know was let go for asking to learn more. Trust that you are prepared while you acknowledge any fear. Anticipate negotiating, or the opportunity to explore alternatives. Figure out how you will celebrate when you receive that long awaited: “Yes”.

    List out what is negotiable – things like timing, budget and activity. Is partial or full reimbursement possible? Can you avoid using vacation days? One colleague of mine negotiated a week-long leadership retreat where her manager agreed to only log 50 percent for vacation time – that’s 2.5 days she got back in vacation!

    When preparing for your conversation, think specifically about what each person involved in making the decision has to gain. Do your homework and read up on HR policies. Know how educational reimbursement works in your company.

  6. Make your ask. When you’re ready to sit down with your manager, don’t catch them off guard. Give them ample notice and consider adding it to the agenda for your next one-on-one meeting. It doesn’t have to be a formal meeting. If you’re catching up on how your weekend was, make a plug for what class caught your eye and why it matters to you. Better yet, offer how you think it helps you be a better leader in the workplace. Offer to provide a recap or follow up training based on what you learned open to the whole team or organization. If more time is needed, offer to schedule more time to discuss further.

    Recap your vision and goals. Be clear about what exactly you’re asking for – is it for time off, compensation (expenses), or some combination of the two? What will they get in return? Refer to your notes if needed. When the conversation is over, consider following up in writing, emphasizing how this would benefit you and your manager, team or business.

    Be grateful! As a feminine leader, you can be grateful for so much and send gratitude to others. Whether it’s in silence in a full conference room or with your manager, or as you pass someone in the hall, an attitude of gratitude never hurts when it comes to making bold asks. An example is, “Thank you [MANAGER NAME] for supporting me and helping me reach my potential.”

There are three likely outcomes: getting what you’ve asked for, getting some of what you asked for, or getting a flat out “no.”

By following these steps, you will increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome. Even if you get a no, think about how you could reshape your ask for the future.

Remember, just by making your bold ask you are contributing to, and maybe even igniting, a corporate culture that supports individuals to learn and grow in ways beyond the status quo. And that is leadership.

Power Practice: Ignite Your Divine Spark

Do you want to ignite an intimate relationship with your divine essence and feminine intuition? 

Author Sera Beak says a simple meditative practice can be a powerful tool to ignite a deep connection to our “divine spark” or inner wisdom that will help guide every aspect of our lives including career, relationships, health and spirituality.

Sera says the “divine spark” goes by many names. It is your soul, your essence, your inner goddess/god – the center of your center. The you of you. Your distinct and sovereign divinity that is connected to all that is. The divine spark is your guidance and grace, your deepest knowing, and your toughest truth.

Sera says the divine spark’s love for you is unmatched by anyone or anything in the universe. When you ignite it, you don’t just believe, you know on every level of your being, and in every cell of your body, that you are the one you’ve been looking for. “When you ignite your divine spark … you finally come home.”

On today’s Power Practice recording, Sera leads us through a transformative meditation to ignite our divine intuition, warming us to the essence of ourselves, our intuition, our bodies, Mother Earth, and all that is.

 

Play Power Practice – Ignite Your Divine Spark:

 

Sera Beak finished graduate school at Harvard studying comparative world religion and rapidly gained traction as what The New York Times called “a new role-model” for her generation.

She was much in demand as a speaker, author, and teacher for young modern women who she felt had been left out of the world’s wisdom traditions. She left lucrative offers behind to pursue the work of her Soul.

She is the author of three books, the latest: Redvelations: A Soul’s Journey to Becoming Human.Sera has been a featured presenter at Emerging Women Live

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with Sera Beak in our Emerging Women Podcast “Redvelations.”

Sera Beak Podcast Redvelations

Empathy: The Greatest Superpower of the Feminine

Sometimes I feel torn between wanting to disconnect from the media and turn away from the pain I feel from current events, while at the same time leaning into my increasing heart rate and palpable anger over the negative forces alive in our world. This past week was no different. And “leaning in” has won out — yet again.

As I, like many of you, learned that our government was taking children away from their parents at the border, I wanted to collapse and shut it all out. Instead, I was swept up by the collective outrage of so many people. Now I feel more alive than ever, with a renewed clarity of purpose and a hopefulness stemming from the undeniable power of our connected voices.

It’s easy to become despondent when we are alone and feeling alienated from the rest of the world. In fact, the patriarchy has traditionally drawn much of its power from separating people and creating strong divisive lines in areas of gender, race, economics and political ideas. This kind of bullying, top-down negative reinforcement, and abuse of power has been the norm in cultures where the masculine is out of balance with the feminine.

Now all of life is suffering. What we see happening with refugees seeking asylum at the border is a metaphor for our current global crisis: Humanity has become separate from our primary caregiver — our true Mother, the Earth herself. The aching in our hearts as we hear the cries of children reaching for their parents echo the pain of separation we feel for the loss of the Feminine on our planet. And we need Her; we cannot survive without Her.

Empathy is the greatest superpower of the Feminine. May we not be drained by the strength of our emotions, the depth of our compassion, and the lengths that we must travel to fight for Her rightful place in our world. Eve Ensler could not have said it better:

“I think what I’ve learned is that every time I say something I’m not supposed to say and every time I’m willing to look at something or feel something, there’s incredible freedom that comes — even if there’s sorrow attached to it. Even if there’s despair attached to it, even if there’s a responsibility attached to it, there’s enormous freedom. It’s a big question. How do we say Wake UP and make awakening a beautiful thing?” 

Lean in and feel; then speak up, vote, and gather with others. Connect with and love as many people as you can. Now is not a time to be stingy! It is the intimacy of our relationships that will remind us what we are fighting for.

It’s not going to be comfortable, it’s not going to be easy, and we are just at the beginning – but we have each other.

And we are, each of us, FIRED UP. Collectively? Unstoppable.

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat | Founder, Emerging Women

Power Practice: Breaking Through Your Inner Glass Ceiling

Do you want to become a powerful creator of your life and break through your inner glass ceiling?

Claire Zammit says the key to transforming our lives is fully understanding the emotional center of old thoughts, beliefs and emotions.

Claire says we can reconnect to the deeper truth of who we are by understanding and letting go of beliefs that don’t serve us.

On today’s Power Practice recording, Claire describes how to create the life of your dreams by breaking through your own inner glass ceiling – those thoughts, beliefs and emotions that are holding you back from living your full potential.

She leads us through a practice to connect to the deeper truth of who we are, and to anchor new beliefs and thought patterns that result in living from a more powerful place.

Play Power Practice – Breaking Through Your Inner Glass Ceiling:

 

Claire Zammit, Ph.D. is an expert transformational teacher, mentor, leader, and successful conscious entrepreneur. She is the co-creator of the Feminine Power training courses for women and the co-founder and president of Evolving Wisdom, an Inc.100 company. Her platform for the global expansion of the Feminine Power programs has now reached over 300,000 women throughout the world.

She was a featured presenter at the innaugural 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference.

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with Claire Zammit in our Emerging Women Podcast “The Keys to Feminine Power.”

Power Practice: The Backpack Meditation

Emerging Women Power Practices help you embody the freshest ideas in personal and professional development. Get the guided audio practices right here – straight from our favorite thought leaders to you!

Feeling blocked? Gabrielle Bernstein is here with a meditation that can help.

When we find ourselves pushing too hard, moving too fast, manipulating situations or trying to control the outcomes of our lives, we need to center back into our breath.

Our breath has the power to bust through our energy blocks and realign all that needs to be moving through us.

This meditation from Gabrielle will leave you calm, centered, aware, and ready to let your body guide you. It’s called the Backpack Meditation because you can pull it out anytime, anywhere.

Tune in to your inner guidance system so you can be the presence you are meant to be in this world.

Play Power Practice #23 – The Backpack Meditation:

 

If you like this Power Practice, you’ll love Gabby’s Emerging Women Podcast: The Universe Has Your Back. Listen here.

The Universe Has Your Back

Gabrielle Bernstein is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Universe Has Your Back, and has written five additional bestsellers. She was featured on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday as a “next-generation thought leader,” and The New York Times named her “a new role model.” She appears regularly as an expert on The Dr. Oz Show and co-hosted the Guinness World Record largest guided meditation with Deepak Chopra.

Gabrielle is a certified Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher. She is also trained in the Emotional Freedom Technique and she’s a student of Transcendental Meditation, as taught by the David Lynch Foundation.

In January 2018 Gabrielle launched her sixth book, Judgment Detox.

Power Practice: Mentor Visualization

Emerging Women Power Practices help you embody the freshest ideas in personal and professional development. Get the guided audio practices right here – straight from our favorite thought leaders to you!

Have you ever felt confused, triggered, or upset in an important situation, leaving you unsure of your next move?

HeatherAsh Amara has a guided visualization that can help bring perspective, creativity, and space to these moments, leading to more positive outcomes.

HeatherAsh led the Warrior Goddess Firewalk at Emerging Women Live 2018, and hosted the recent Emerging Women Power Boost Igniting Our Belly, Heart, and Intuitive Fire. Today she’s here to share a quick and potent Power Practice that can give you the confidence to speak your truth.

Take 10 minutes to close your eyes, pay attention to your body, and call in a guide who can help you hear the wisdom you’re seeking, even in tough circumstances.

Play Power Practice #22 – Mentor Visualization:


If you like this Power Practice, you’ll love HeatherAsh Amara’s Emerging Women Power Boost: Igniting Our Belly, Heart, and Intuitive Fire.

Members can watch the replay HERE. Not yet a member? Start your FREE TRIAL to check out all the amazing offerings!

HeatherAsh Amara is the author of Warrior Goddess Training Warrior Goddess Way, The Toltec Path of Transformation, and the newly released Awaken Your Inner Fire.

She is dedicated to inspiring depth, creativity, and joy by sharing the most potent tools from a variety of world traditions.

HeatherAsh studied and taught extensively with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, and continues to teach with the Ruiz family.

Raised in Southeast Asia, HeatherAsh has traveled the world from childhood and is continually inspired by the diversity and beauty of human expression and experience.

She has been dancing over hot coals for the past 25 years and is a certified firewalk instructor trainer with Sundoor International. http://www.heatherashamara.com

How to Talk About the Hard Things

There is one question that guides all of the work that Wokie Nwabueze does.

What does each woman need to do or reclaim in order to be able to speak with power and authority?

We all know the tide is turning in favor of women speaking up in difficult conversations. But just knowing there’s a movement isn’t enough to prepare us to actually have those difficult conversations.

Lucky for us, Wokie is here to help.

 

Mindset

In Wokie’s most recent Emerging Women Power Boost, she notes that it’s easy to lose integrity with yourself before you even walk into a difficult conversation.

To effectively advocate for yourself, you have to decide that you are in your authority, and that you’re comfortable with that. You have to inject yourself in a way that is powerful.

Wokie Nwabueze Power Boost

In Wokie’s words, you have to roll out your ideas like Rihanna on the red carpet. You must demand to be seen and heard so that you can overcome that barrier of invisibility women leaders are so often up against.

 

Phases of Constructive Dialogue

Once you’re feeling full-on Rihanna about yourself, you can further prepare by running through Wokie’s 5 Phases of Constructive Dialogue. To hear Wokie go into more detail about each point, watch the replay of her Power Boost HERE.

1. Planning
Get clear on your needs. Be deeply honest with yourself. When you can articulate exactly what you need and why, you’re much more likely to bring keep a conversation on track and bring the conflict to a satisfactory resolution.

2. Outline of Issue
Explore how you can present the issue in a nonjudgemental, objective way. Try attaching the needs you’ve identified directly to the issue at hand.

Say your partner leaves wet towels on the floor and it drives you nuts. Telling them, “I need to know you respect our shared space,” can lead to an infinitely more productive outcome than “You’re such a slob! You drive me nuts!”

3. Dialogue/Discovery
Now it’s time for connected conversation. Talk, listen, and ask questions. Find a way to recognize each other’s humanity through it all. As Wokie says, “Empathy is the holy grail of all communication.”

In the towel example, you might ask, “What does respect of space mean to you?” Be ready to listen openly to an honest response.

4. Value Exchange
Don’t forget, there’s a person who has their own needs and fears on the other side of this conversation. What might you offer to exchange with them so that both parties can come out with a win?

It’s also important to check in with yourself to see whether you are rushing to make everyone comfortable instead of focusing on your needs. Planning with Wokie’s 5 Phases will make you much less likely to do this.

5. Agreement/Next Steps
If the mere mention of conflict gives you the shivers, remember that conflict is simply the meeting of two different views or needs. All conflict offers the possibility of change and positive resolution!

 

What If You’re Getting Derailed?

Even with a lot of good planning in place, conversations can get derailed.

Wokie outlines the most common things that send us off track, and shares her methods for getting back on course later in her Power Boost. If you want to hear more about that, you can watch the replay HERE.

These tips are especially helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if the conversation is going on too long, or if you’re accused of being too emotional.

The Power Boost ends, as always, with an eye-opening Q&A from the viewers. We hope you’ll watch the whole video to prepare for your next difficult conversation. Members, you can find it here. Not-yet-members, you can see it (and a lot more) by starting your free trial today!


Member Spotlight: Tonya Gonzalez

Each month we interview an Emerging Women member to grow our connections and possibilities for collaboration with the conscious leaders living the truth of who they are. It’s the Emerging Women way!

This month we speak with Tonya Gonzalez, Tarot Life Coach. She’s a spiritual psychic medium and entrepreneur. She’s also been a TV star, librarian, yoga instructor, and radio personality. A self-described “global citizen,” she brings her rich life experience to bear in service to the Universe through spiritual connectedness.

You may have benefitted from Tonya’s wisdom and insight at an Emerging Women Circle Up. Now let’s take a little time to hear more about Tonya’s mission, process, challenges, and favorite practices. (And be sure to drop a line in the comments if you want to ignite a connection – who knows where it might lead…)

1. Tell us more about your work and how it supports women.

My work as an Intuitive provides Healing the Sacred Feminine. By journeying into the mind, body and Spirit of a woman, together we discover ways to become more of who she is or visions to be.

This deep Soulful Healing work supports women with powerful, practical Principles & Practices that increase intuition, develop confidence and builds SoulSelf Awareness, in other words teaching women to “Use Your Magic” and to be their own Oracles.

2. How would you define intuition? How can we truly KNOW our divine direction?
The definition of Intuition for me is the inner sense we are being guided. It is utilizing the senses, not just thoughts, as decision and directive markers

Understanding this begins with Trust. Knowing it did not come from you, but through you is the lesson. The Ego wants to take credit and also discourages you from believing in yourself.

Learning to distinguish chatter from channeled messages comes from relearning to trust and confide in oneself, which is the definition of Confidence.

You know it’s divine direction when you recognize it is.

3. In what way are you Emerging? What support do you need?

The ways I am Emerging are as a powerful Voice and Healer. Using my voice to speak on issues facing women of color, holding “Sacred Conversations” to discuss what support is needed, creating a community of women who are ready to heal themselves, tackle the complexities of racism amongst women, as well as other spiritual support needed for today’s woman.

The support I need most is sharing with more women, moving beyond social media to other mediums through collaborations, connections, and communities like this.

What challenges are you facing right now? Give us the REAL real.

The challenge I am facing right now is having time to do it all.

In one afternoon I can have a coaching client, get a prayer request for a loved one’s death, support a pregnant mom, heal a broken heart, and support someone’s health issues thousands of miles away.

As a multi-passionate spiritual entrepreneur, I am a one woman enterprise. I would love web design support and a virtual assistant to help get me organized so I can serve, thus have more to create.

5. What practices root you down and give you power?

The practice that roots me down is Prayer. As a licensed Spiritual Counselor (Practitioner) of Science of Mind, student and teacher of A Course in Miracles for over 6 years, and a yoga teacher, it is my go-to Practice, Mind Calmer, Heart Healer, and quick fix.

What gives me power are my Tarot Decks. Tarot is the only daily self directed spiritual practice, other than A Course in Miracles, that I use. They provide not only guidance, but insights about what the day may bring.

It is my unique perspective of Tarot blended with intuition that allow me to Serve, Share, and Shine.


And don’t forget to start your FREE TRIAL now to get inspired and grow with Chantal, Tonya, and all of the brilliant Emerging Women members.

Member Spotlight: Sage Hobbs

Each month we interview an Emerging Women member to deepen our connections and possibilities for collaboration with the conscious leaders living the truth of who they are. It’s the Emerging Women way!

This month we interview Sage Hobbs, a women’s empowerment and leadership coach, speaker, author of Naked Communication: Courageously Create the Relationships You Really Want, and host of The Naked Conversations Podcast.

Sage rocked the Sister Stage at Emerging Women Live so hard that we invited her to lead February’s Power Boost on Naked Communication. Here’s your chance to get a peek at what makes her tick… Enjoy!

Who are the most influential women in your life? Why?

There are so many women who have touched my life in profound ways, from those I’ve never actually met to the ones I call when I need support and encouragement. I’m way into the value of deep female relationships that are real and honest.

I’d name Audre Lorde for her message that has guided me for years: “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” It’s a battle cry to be courageous and to pursue our meaningful work, even with the fear that may show up along the way (which it usually does for me!).

And my mom, for her unwavering support of my big, driven spirit, from my childhood through to today. She always has my back, nudges me along when I feel doubtful, and is a total stand for women making a difference in the world on their own terms.

What’s your biggest struggle or challenge? How does it shape you?

My biggest struggle as a woman is the ever-elusive idea of “balance.” I’m constantly juggling my desire to go big with my work and my desire to be present as a mom and partner.

I’m naturally ambitious and service driven. I get super fired-up about amplifying women’s voices, supporting them in creating amazing relationships, and reconnecting with themselves (and how freakin’ powerful they are). I also really recognize that time is fleeting, that our relationships are the foundation of our happiness, and I want to always pay attention to those I love most. I had cancer when I was 23, and it made a lasting imprint about living life to the fullest.

It’s a dance between all my passions, and that’s the biggest challenge I have as a woman today… wanting to “do it all” and do it really well. There are other systemic challenges, of course, like speaking up and being heard in a “man’s world.” But the one I feel most acutely on the day-to-day is wanting to fill all the roles I play effectively.
Tell us more about your work and how it supports women.

Beyond my individual client work, I host a podcast (Naked Conversations) where I interview women who are courageously following unconventional paths to lead lives of their own design and make a difference in their communities. I love having the opportunity to share women’s stories and amplify their voices.

I recently had the chance to speak on the Emerging Women Live Sister Stage, where I talked about how to finally get comfortable being “naked,” to stop pretending that we have it all figured out, to really be ourselves and connect with each other in real and powerful ways. Whenever I can speak to a group of women and see them reconnect with that spark inside themselves, it is the most invigorating and moving experience. In those moments, I know that there is hope for a future where women support each other fully and lead courageously.

 

What are you known for?

I’m known for my bold, insightful, and dynamic approach to communication, relationships, and personal growth. I’m known for my work on “naked” communication and how to have better relationships and reconnect with our personal power. I’m also known for being outspoken, dropping some F bombs, being the best person to share good news with (I’m super enthusiastic), and always the first one on the dance floor. And I looooove the beach and Italian hoagies (in Philly only).

What topics are difficult for you to discuss and why? (Love, power, money, race, etc.)

I’m pretty comfortable with difficult conversations. Even if they make my heart race or palms sweat, I’m willing to have them. In fact, I really believe it’s in those conversations that deeper human connection happens. However, lately politics have been harder for me to discuss, as there are such strong and divisive opinions.

Five years from now what does your ideal career/family/social situation look like?

I’m a philanthropist on a bigger scale, traveling globally with my family while running a purpose-driven business that empowers girls and women to live the most powerful version of their lives.

Start your FREE TRIAL now to live inspired, grow, and connect with Sage and all of the brilliant Emerging Women members.


The Most Radical Resolution for 2018

As the Season of Light is upon us and the new year approaches, I’m keenly aware that many people are entering into the ancient ritual of thinking about, writing, and preparing for their New Year’s Resolutions. Even before we get through the holiday season and open gifts, people are starting to gear up for this annual event.

The stressed and impatient are vowing to find balance next year. Smokers are anxiously getting ready to take their last puffs. And those who want to lose weight are letting themselves splurge through the holidays prepping for the barren land that awaits them January 1

These are all worthy goals. And goal setting is a great practice. But just for a minute, consider whether this is the kind of gift you want to be giving yourself?

What is it costing you to be focusing on what needs to be improved every year? What would be possible if you gave yourself the most radical resolution:

To focus on what is right with you and your life instead of what you need to change? What would this season FEEL like if you practiced validating what you’ve done well? Validation is a gift that grounds you in the strength of who you are and nourishes your wholeness.

What would the world be like if people were focused on their wholeness and not on their not enoughness? This Season of Light, I want to explore and challenge you to gift your self differently.

Instead of focusing on what needs to change…focus on what is good and wonderful about who you are and what your unique gifts are. Grab a piece of paper and answer these three questions:

  • What can you say to yourself in the coming days/weeks/year that would feed your inner light and wholeness?
  • What have you longed to hear each day as you struggle to keep that bright light within burning strong and steady?
  • What might get in the way of you validating yourself in the new year? This is a gift you can give to your self each and every day if you choose.

When we fill our cups with self­‐loving validation and celebration of our unique gifts, qualities, and strengths, we bring health, well­‐being, and passion to our body and peace to our mind. Our bodies are nourished and sustained from within. I invite you to enter into this radical gift giving experiment and try a new kind of resolution! See what happens when you focus on your wholeness and give self‐loving validation to yourself and to others in the coming days/weeks/year. Maybe we can revolutionize gift giving and resolutions to truly create a Season of Light that lasts all year long.

Want some encouraging words to help you believe in your wholeness? Try our Emerging Women podcast with Gabby Bernstein: The Universe Has Your Back.


Adventure: The Gift of Not Knowing

Adventure is when you don’t know what is going to happen next. Life is uncertain, full of surprises, and we never know what’s around the corner.
So, life is one big adventure, right?

Why does it not feel like that all the time?
Why do we sometimes feel that our daily lives are packed with monotonous “to do” lists, obligations, “the same old, same old,” and not enough play? 

And those “adventure-like” surprises aren’t always what we want, are they?

I put pressure on myself quite often and forget to just enjoy the daily ride of life and it’s natural vicissitudes. I have frequently struggled balancing adventure and play with growing up and being responsible (my mother’s voice in my head, telling me to “get a real job”).

I began working in the outdoor leadership and experiential education space twenty-three years ago. While my family didn’t understand the life-changing work I was doing (with individuals and groups from sexual assault and military trauma survivors to senior management and VP’s of Fortune 500 companies), I knew the work was having a positive impact. From stuck to success, angry to inspired, and unhappily married to single and thriving, the life-affirming stories I’ve had the privilege to witness over the past quarter of a century continue to inspire my work today.

The acceptance of life’s uncertainties so positively transformed my life, I wanted to incorporate the therapeutic use of adventure and intentional travel to serve and impact others for good.

My offering (a blend of Adventure Therapy, Personal Discovery Coaching, and Guiding Sacred Vision) is most powerful in the immersion and group setting. As I prepare to lead another wellness adventure retreat this March, I look forward not only to the fun we will have and the laughs we will share, but the sparks that will ignite transformation. The specific goals of the individuals vary, yet the shared vision of our retreats is always some version of experience my authentic self, seek adventure and create a vision for my life in a supportive setting.”

You’ve got to be on board with this vision to play our way! We are equal. We all deserve respect. We all deserve the space to face new beginnings, scary adventures, and evolutionary partnerships. From CEOs, nonprofit leaders, and solo-preneurs; to single ladies, married mamas, single mamas, and everyone in between, our common ground is a love for nature, our selves, each other, and new experiences.

Adventures are opportunities for expansion, growth and self-discovery, specifically if the experience is framed and guided in an empowering way. Being prepared to handle unexpected or unwelcome challenges and struggles is an art form that requires a well and fit mindset.

Cue the adage: attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. It’s a good thing mindset is something we can cultivate and practice as we navigate life’s uncertainties.

I consider our adventure retreats a really awesome playground for “practicing life,” both a metaphor and blueprint for kicking more ass in our day to day. Not only do we practice yoga and cultivate other skills and strengths, like working out, paddleboarding, swimming with enormous sea creatures (whale sharks and playful seal lion pups!), some will learn to kitesurf or meditate for the first time on our retreats.

The magic of these practices is the meaning we make during and after. Our work is the embodiment of the learning and how we apply new insights to our lives.
Do we stand rigid and hunched over on the paddleboard or will we bend our knees, engage our core and flow with the rhythm of the water below us, and therefore life all around us? Do we freak out when we jump in the cold water and start to hyperventilate and scream, “I can’t breathe, get me out?” Or are we willing to be guided to a different experience? Yes, this happened. One woman had never snorkeled before, and she was skeptical that the little plastic tube bulging at her lips would allow her to suck in air from above. Plus the open bay water was colder than she expected. Already struggling with anxiety and self-doubt, she immediately went to, “this is wrong. I feel bad. This is dangerous. I can’t breathe. Get me OUT!” She wouldn’t even put her face in the water to see the incredible marvel of a twenty-five-foot Whale Shark peacefully drifting below her.

I had seconds to support her embodying a different experience as she splashed and lurched towards the boat’s ladder. I reminded her that indeed, she was still breathing, that her body would forget the cold water once she opened her eyes to the magic below, and that yes, she was floating, held in the community of support, and I’d be right next to her. I wasn’t going to force her, but I was hoping to make a quick and compelling argument for her to stay long enough to be transformed from her limited mindset and transfixed by nature’s gifts.

The physical experience of anxiety and stress can feel identical to excitement and bliss: racing heart, rapid breath, lack of focus. I reminded her that there might be a possibility to be excited by all the newness instead of the fear/flight default mindset triggered by these physical sensations.

With the support of two of us beside her, she stayed in the water longer than anyone else. She got back on the boat with a smile from ear-to-ear and nonstop giggling, bubbly joy, and open-hearted conversation the rest of the day.

This is more than a motivational moment. It’s an embodied experience. She perceived fear, but choose to move through it, with the intention of growth and expansion.
The next step was connecting the dots of her powerful choice in this moment… to committing to a broader, more expanded version of herself and what is possible for her life. From swimming in open water, to yoga on a paddleboard, to intimate sharing in front of a group, this woman experienced many firsts on that journey. Most importantly, she experienced the willingness to be led by others to a greatness she didn’t know she possessed.

This power of adventure and sisterhood, of experiencing ourselves in new ways, through challenging activities and different landscapes, allows us to clear the pathway for humble self-discovery and new possibilities.

We will never go back to small, safe, and business-as-usual.

I hope you’ll join us if you want an immediate and powerfully positive (and lasting) impact on your life.

Yes, you are going to have a meaningful, empowering and super fun experience.

Yes, you will also be challenged emotionally and physically.

AND…absolutely, you will go home with clarity, vision and a plan to implement change and consistent, restorative retreat and wild adventure in your daily life.

Join Wellfit Women’s upcoming retreat:
La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico
March 1-6, 2018
EMERGING WOMEN receive $200 OFF
OR Customize* your group adventure to one of our locations in Costa Rica, Baja, Mexico, Peru, Croatia and Greece
*Custom groups can include families and all genders

Your Moyo Knows: The Body Doesn’t Lie

Why don’t we follow that still small voice inside ourselves?

Why do we ignore our hunches and urges?

Why do we not live the life we truly are?

Why? Because we were programmed NOT to.

I didn’t know this… until I learned that the body doesn’t lie.

The universe had to help wake me up from what now seems like a coma, to realize I had created a life that was not me. It looked like the wonderful life I had been programmed to choose, but it was not who I was or what I truly wanted.

After being hit by four different drunk drivers in a 20 month period, losing much of my recruiting business on 9/11, and a near death experience, I had to face the truth… I was not authentically being me and living an authentic life.

I then had to do the most courageous thing I’ve ever done: tell myself the truth and begin to listen to my own heart rather than the programmed messages and beliefs running inside my head. I needed to begin the work of finding my way back home to who I am. I had to learn to love myself fully and release the negative beliefs that I carried.

There’s a famous Rwandan Proverb that says, “You can outrun that which runs after you. But you can not outrun that which runs inside you.”

Neuroscience has discovered that we reprogram our brains. But we must first identify, name, and question the outdated beliefs that are running within us, and then exercise our will to DROP IT and replace the old patterns and beliefs with new alternative positive ways of being.

So, what runs inside you?

For me, it was a fear of being selfish if I did what was best for me, plus some old buried hurts that were unconsciously eating up my focused energy and vitality.

Here are some simple steps you can use to question your beliefs and replace your old thought patterns with ones that better align with your purpose:

  1. Name what is running inside you that doesn’t serve you. Allow your body to tell you the whole truth. What outdated thoughts do you have about your self or others, old hurts, excuses, fears?
  2. Feel compassion and empathy for where you are and where you’ve been.
  3. Identify how much time is spent running these old negative programs.
  4. Write the vision of what life would feel like if you could drop these programs and replace them. What might be possible when you are free and open to following your heart?

How to hear what your heart wants:

  1. Breathe into your heart space and feel your curiosity and openness to learn what your heart wants right now.
  2. Remember that the body doesn’t lie. You may be surprised by what it says.
  3. Receive whatever your heart says in this moment.
  4. You may dismiss what you hear as “crazy” or “impossible” if it’s something you’ve not imagined you would ever want or could achieve. Or you may not be up for taking action at this moment. It’s ok to acknowledge whatever is real for you as you listen to your heart.

The first time I tried this exercise, “song writing” is what my heart said it wanted to do. I will share with you the brief dialogue that came immediately after I heard this:

“I don’t have TIME to song write and I’m a single mom and need to make money, so no to songwriting.”
End of discussion.

Fast forward 2 years after my MOYO said “song writing,” and you’d see me teaching a group of executives to “listen to their hearts and reclaim their gifts and passions.” I felt my body cringe with hypocrisy… I had tuned my heart out even though it had spoken so clearly. So I picked up a pen and paper late that night and wrote the words to my first song, “Love Your Self.” It took 10 minutes. After laughing out loud at myself and my programmed resistances and excuses for not trying songwriting, I began following my heart more often. I had to let go of the program I ran inside that said “anything worth having or doing has to be hard.” In less than 4 months, the song became a complete album called Love Your Self. Then it became a one-woman show and benefit concert, and further evolved into a book called The Inner Traveler’s Guidebook to Moyo: Discovering the Power of Listening to Your Own Heart

I believe the most self-loving thing we can ever do is to choose to come home and BE who we are so we can live our authentic, passionate, and purposeful lives.

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days of our life are the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born.” Our soul’s purpose is what we long to fulfill for this lifetime.

Moyo means heart, spirit, and life in Swahili. Discover the power of listening to your own heart. It’s a practice in trusting that your Moyo knows and that the body doesn’t lie.

What would be possible for you if you could trust that your Moyo knows?

Miracles began to happen as I took the steps to reclaim my gifts and give myself what my heart wanted. The same thing can happen to YOU.

My whole life now makes sense. Everything I’ve ever done and all my gifts are now engaged in my life’s passion and work:

To help Inner Travelers™ emerge and become authentically who they are so they can live the life they truly are.

Learning to trust your MOYO is a practice. The more you engage, listen, and act upon the truth your hearts speaks, the more congruent you become.

***If you’d like to work with Linda, she is offering a 3 Session Coaching Package for Emerging Women for just $399 if you sign up by December 31, 2017. This is a 50% discount. Email her at [email protected] or phone her at (805) 729-1663.

Is Your Creatress Running the Show?

There is a ‘She’ inside of you that is unstoppable.

‘She’ is the High Priestess of Manifestation.

‘She’ is the Warrioress.

‘She’ is the Confident Goddess.

‘She’ hunts down fears, insecurities and feelings of inadequacy.

‘She’ is the full embodiment of feminine strength, power and beauty.

All women have a unique ‘She’ screaming to come out.

Craving to be fully self-expressed.

Seeking to live the full potential of her purpose.

‘She’ is also hungry for something that we don’t talk about that much….

‘She’ has a lust to bring to the surface secret desires, sexual fantasies and yearnings for mystical encounters. And the most interesting part is that most of the time, women don’t even know it.

Why?

We are so busy taking care of business, taking care of others, that we numb ourselves from our most intimate desires. We don’t even know they are there. But we feel them!

I see this in every intimate conversation I have with women. Even women who tell me they have it all. There is always something deeper; it’s an intuitive feeling that they might be missing out on something.

That something is having ‘Her’ be in charge of the show. And for that to happen, you have to find ‘Her’ and turn ‘Her’ on.

And when ‘She’ is turned-on, you have access to your most intimate longings and desires.

The desires that you have repressed because you don’t believe you can have them, you think they are wrong and crazy. It’s simply because you haven’t activated all your power to attain them.

‘She’ is Spirit talking to you and working through you.

‘She’ wants to access higher dimensions and to be immersed in spiritual knowledge and service.

‘She’ is the one that wants to say yes to her intuition at every moment, so there is no reason to worry about anything, ever.

‘She’ is the one who is so damn sexy that she calls into her life exactly what she wants.

‘She’ is so powerful that she always knows what to say, do, be or act.

‘She’ is the one that experiences orgasmic pleasure.

‘She’ is the real you.

*Excerpt from Raquel Vasallo’s #1 Best Selling Book – Spiritual Seductress, The High-Powered-Women’s Guide to Devouring the World Through Spiritual Guidance


Raquel Vasallo will be a featured speaker on the Sister Stage at Emerging Women Live 2017. She will also be available for intimate 1-on-1 coaching sessions at the event, and will lead a group coaching circle that you won’t want to miss. Register here to join us for an unforgettable weekend of women’s leadership, Oct. 5-8th at the Westin Hotel in Downtown Denver, CO.

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Raquel Vasallo is the #1 Best Selling Author of Spiritual Seductress, The High-Powered Women’s Guide to Devour the World through Spiritual Guidance. She is an International Speaker, Elite Spiritual Advisor, Seduction Artist and Provocateur.

Struck by a car in 2008, Raquel’s near-death experience elicited a supreme spiritual awakening. She quit her successful career as a NYC architect and embarked on her work as a Spiritual Seductress.

Raquel plays with high powered luminaries and leaders, seducing their secret desires to live an outrageously turned-on and spiritually tuned-in life. She mentors women, worldwide, on the art of channeling goddess cosmic energy to magnetize opportunities for wealth, divine love, enlightened sex, spiritual guidance and highest purpose.

To receive Divine Whispers to ravish the world, visit www.spiritualseductress.com

Power Practice #21: Living a Virtues-Based Life

Emerging Women Power Practices help you embody the freshest ideas in personal and professional development. Get the guided audio practices right here – straight from our favorite thought leaders to you!

Emily Bennington is the author of Miracles at Work: Turning Inner Guidance into Outer Influence. Her work is about transforming women into mindful, heart-centered leaders who can navigate any life challenge with grace.

For most, this transformation requires a huge shift in perspective. In this Power Practice, Emily unpacks the problematic nature of a goal-driven life. She explains how a values-based life (focusing on who you are instead of what you want) allows for a better path to true success than anything we can plan.

Emily’s freewriting exercise will help you catch yourself when you’re out of alignment with your values, and will give you concrete actions to get you back to making decisions that align with what matters most to you.

We’d love to hear what ends up in your pyramid! Tell us about it in the comments below.

Play Power Practice #21 – Living a Virtues-Based Life:

If you like this Power Practice, you’ll love the workshop offerings at Emerging Women Live. See the full roster under the Workshop tab of our Schedule.

A bestselling author and teacher of contemplative practices for both secular and spiritual audiences, Emily Bennington inspires thousands around the world each day to live and lead with Grace.

Emily has been featured in media outlets ranging from CNN to Marie Claire and she regularly hosts training programs on mindfulness, spiritual intelligence, and nonviolent communication.

Totality and the Feminine Filter

This weekend I drove up with Jay (my husband) and our boys from Boulder to Wyoming to watch the solar eclipse in TOTALITY. 600,000 people were predicted to descend on the tiny town of Casper, WY for this incredible event and I was questioning whether seeing 92% of an eclipse may have been the better way to go – watching the cosmos from our snuggy hometown of Boulder.

But totality was calling. Scientific American says that seeing a partial eclipse is interesting, but witnessing a total eclipse is “mind-blowing.” So with gas tanks strapped to the car (tales of running out of gas were rampant in the pre-eclipse travel warnings!) we soon found ourselves in a big field with campers from all over the world who also heard the call.

And so as the moon was edging its way across the sun I got this big download:

In most Eastern traditions, the sun is considered masculine and the moon is feminine. Our world is an expression of those two polarities – masculine and feminine.

This particular sun is in Leo. Leo is all about self expression, which we love, but it can be narcissistic and very ego-focused if unchecked. Does this sound familiar? We have in our culture right now a very strong feeling of overblown Leo energy.

With this solar eclipse, the feminine moon moved to put a filter on that masculine energy. The moon is about Other, about nurturing, giving, and providing a safe haven. The moon is in service – it’s the mama energy, it’s the energy of Cancer.

But here’s the thing: the moon is ALSO in Leo right now. So the moon is also giving us the self-expression juice. The moon’s feminine energy will help us filter down that “me-focus” while still giving us the Leo’s shot of courage and heart. The feminine will be speaking, loud and proud, but the lens will be through service to others, to the whole.

“May our self-expression, may our full lifetime, our full voice, our full expression as human beings, be in service to others.” That is what I read in this eclipse.

For that brief moment of totality – 2 minutes and 26 seconds – I could imagine 100% balance of masculine and feminine. It is the most wonderful thing to see. TOTALITY.

It doesn’t happen very often. And we pretty much have to chase it. And everything that happens before and after is that dance between masculine and feminine.

But once we’ve experienced totality, a true balanced world, even for the briefest of moment, we have more resilience for the ebbs and flows.

It’s not about being perfect, but rather knowing that a balance exists, visibly at times, on a very high level. Keeping that in our consciousness in a gentle way is comforting. It’s the balance of the universe, it feels like there’s a system much bigger than my thinking that has it all figured out.

With that thought, I say march on brothers and sisters, and let us shine as brightly as we can, but always through the filter of service.

Thoughts? Too woo? In the spirit of collective expression, let me know in the comments. And to dig deeper into this idea of feminine and masculine energies, join us at Emerging Women Live 2017 in Denver, CO. Register here to save your seat, or sign up for the FREE live stream here.


In Their Prime

*Note: We loved this post from our partners at Experience Life so much we just had to share it here. Be sure to check out the 3 bonus portraits at the bottom to see one of our EWLive faves!

Think beauty fades after 40? These nine honest, beautiful portraits will make you think again.

The incomparable Bette Davis once said, “Old age is no place for sissies.”

She wasn’t kidding. Aging gracefully in a youth-obsessed culture requires mental toughness, especially for women.

We’re told over and over that time steals our beauty. We’re bombarded with “anti-aging” messages entreating us to erase every spot, pore, wrinkle, and gray hair.

We’re basically threatened with a grim life of loneliness if we don’t spend half our income trying to look younger, and we’re led to believe that if we look old, only our grandchildren will love us — and maybe not even they will.

No wonder we’re anxious about aging.

When was the last time you heard the aging process described as honorable or fascinating? Beautiful, even? It’s about time for a broader perspective.

Happily, the women featured in veteran celebrity photographer Peter Freed’s collection of portraits — now compiled in a book titled Prime — provide exactly that.

Freed’s project profiles more than 120 women — all over the age of 35 — who boldly faced his lens without makeup or artifice. Each unretouched image is accompanied by thoughts from the subject about her life.

You’ll meet nine of Freed’s Prime subjects and hear some of their thoughts on living and aging well. They make it clear that older does not mean duller, that beauty and vivacity and love all span time, that it is possible to embrace the signs of age as evidence of a hero’s journey.

As these women tell it, aging is not a subtraction, but an accumulation of experiences that make life richer. If that kind of experience shows on our faces, then so much the better.

Here’s to each of us wearing our own experiences proudly.

Christy Turlington

Christy Turlington

Age: 46

Profession: Model, humanitarian

ON EMBRACING AGE: I always wanted to be more experienced, more worldly. I couldn’t wait to be 30 when I was 20. I thought that would mean I’m a woman and I’ve earned the right to have an opinion and interests that matter and make a difference in the world. I felt like that’s when you begin the real good stuff.

ON BEING HERE NOW: It’s not that I’m realized or have perfect balance, but I do feel like there’s not a lot I’d want to change. I feel excited about what’s ahead, and I’m not in a place to rush through everything like I once was.

ON LOOKING FORWARD: Life is exciting where I am, and I like the unfolding of it. I’m interested in aging in that sense:

  • What will I look like?
  • What will I be?
  • Who will I become?

Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller

Age: 46

Profession: Author of the memoirs Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, and Leaving Before the Rains Come, among others

ON LOOKING OLDER:  I’m not going to outsource my face and my expression so that I look like everyone else or don’t look like I have had the life I’ve lived. I’ve smoked my body weight in cigarettes, I’ve lived through war, I’ve cried and been joyful — I’m supposed to look a little haggard. There’s something so powerful about unapologetically walking around in your own body and face.

ON AGING ENTHUSIASTICALLY: It’s such a brilliant thing, getting older consciously. Even the language shifts. I’m not “shrill” anymore; I’m strident. I think young women need models on how to age unapologetically.

Cindy Joseph

Cindy Joseph

Age: 64

Profession: Model, makeup artist, founder and CEO of BOOM! by Cindy Joseph (a pro-aging cosmetics company)

ON BECOMING A PRO-AGING ADVOCATE: I decided to launch a movement — the “pro-age revolution” — because I wanted to share the good news: Life gets better. It really does. As I get older, I am getting better, happier, sexier. But when we see people who are older, we often see people who are covering their signs of age instead of wearing them proudly. We could be excited about getting there, too, if we saw more of our elders celebrating their age.

ON THE POWER OF WORDS: We need to pay attention to our language and how we commit ageism. Let’s say “vital” instead of “young.” When we say, “Oh my God, she looks so old,” we could be saying, “She looks unhealthy, tired, or depressed.” But we say the word “old.” Yet you can have miserable, closed-minded, sickly people who are young. It’s not the age that creates those characteristics; it’s more lifestyle and attitude.

Ellen Fisher Turk

Ellen Fish Turk

Age: 70

Profession: Special educator, photographer

ON STAYING INVESTED: When I was in my late 60s, I started getting very sad and wondering if I was approaching the last stage of my life. And once I approached 70 I was free, because I had my life and my life was getting bigger and bigger. So I wasn’t resigning or retiring or relieved to leave anything. I was invested in my life.

ON BEAUTY: I have a bumpy nose, and curly, gray hair that doesn’t make any pretense. That sculptured, craggy carved look is what I like now. I’m wearing my hair pulled back and so there’s nothing but my face. I love it these days. I often see people who’ve had cosmetic surgery and how the surgery fights with their face. I wouldn’t want that.

Karen Walrond

Karen Walrond

Age: 48

Profession: Writer, photographer

ON BEING AT EASE:  I’m comfortable in my own skin. I like the lines that are coming. I actually like my face better now than 20 years ago. I’m not going to hide it. I don’t know if growing up in Trinidad gave me a different perspective on aging, but it did on beauty. Everyone wears tank tops and bikinis in Trinidad — all shapes and sizes. When I went back as an adult, that really struck me.

ON NOSTALGIA: Being 10 was a great age, but I have no desire to be 10 again! My 30s were an adventure — seeing what was out there for me. My 40s have been grounding. I can’t imagine how it can get better, but every decade has been better than the last one. I come from a line of long-livers. It’s not unrealistic to think that I will live to 100. That means I have an entire lifetime ahead. That’s thrilling. Some day, perhaps, I will have to slow down. But who’s to say I won’t be ready?

M. Joy Rose

M. Joy Rose

Age: 58

Profession: Educator, activist

ON THE FIRE OF PURPOSE: My friend Pam donated her kidney to me 15 years ago. I was a decent person or she wouldn’t have given me a kidney — but her generosity shifted my priorities. I became fiercely committed to having a life that benefited not just me but other people. We can’t always change the body; I know that intimately from being ill. But we can feed the flames of life, passion, and purpose.

ON CELEBRATING REALITY: I love myself, and I have to tell myself that every day. If I didn’t, society might tell me I need a facelift or I’m too old. Or that I should be wearing heels or be 20 pounds lighter or that I shouldn’t have pink hair. That I should get some injections. The antidote to that is literally to tell myself, I love me. Then I surround myself with people who will celebrate me, and I will celebrate them.

Shiva Rose

Shiva Rose

Age: 45

Profession: Holistic lifestyle expert, blogger, activist

ON GETTING BETTER WITH AGE: I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. I have more energy, and I feel alive creatively. I feel like I’m a little bit more fearless, maybe because I’m older. I’m taking chances, and doing everything I’ve ever wanted to do, because I realize how precious life is. Yet I’m young enough to still enjoy it.

ON SELF-CARE: I’ve been doing kundalini yoga seriously, and it has helped me tune in to my intuition. I have a morning ritual of drinking living tea and sitting in meditative silence. It has helped me not be dictated to by what the media is telling me, and instead I’m listening to what’s real and true for myself. I think if you have self-love, you appreciate what your body has been through. Like scars — look at them as warrior marks.

Mihea Kim

Mihea Kim

Age: 48

Profession: Attorney

ON OVERCOMING ILLNESS: There were years that I lay in bed with pain everywhere from arthritis and constant fevers from lupus. Doctors told me there was nothing they could do. But a close brush with death woke me up. Time passed, my body responded to my efforts to train it and regain strength. I started to run a little, holding small weights in each hand. Fast-forward 10 years to today — I’m a runner. My body and mind are awake, pain-free, strong, and alive.

ON THE VALUE OF SUFFERING: The Buddha speaks of “meaningful suffering,” a state of consciousness where one’s suffering has value. It is a state of reflection, a serious consideration of one’s experience of pain. Being sick is part of my story. I am the phoenix that rose out of the ashes.

Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth Lesser

Age: 63

Profession: Author of Broken Open, cofounder of Omega Institute and the Omega Women’s Leadership Center

ON AGE AND AGELESSNESS: My first job was being a midwife. I delivered enough babies to know that every one of us comes into this world in possession of a radiant, pure, ageless self. It taught me that we all have an eternal soul we come in with and that leaves with us. So on that level, there is no such thing as aging. But I am also quite attached to my body, my life here on Earth, the people in my life. I live in both of those realities — the eternal soul and the vulnerable human self.

ON THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF AGING: My spiritual life helps me choose the good parts of aging and shrug off the scary parts. The good parts are the wisdom gained from years of living, the way I no longer need to prove myself, the sense of humor I have about my own foibles, the acceptance of others, the joy in the simplest acts of being alive.

THREE BONUS PORTRAITS

Juliette Branker

Juliette Branker

Current age: 59

Profession: Retail manager, model

On maintaining perspective: I don’t focus on looks, to be very honest. I feel like I’m lucky that I look the way I look, but it’s not a concern for me. I am from Barbados. I am the seventh of eight children. I was born in a house. If you went the hospital, you went there to die.

On the gift of time: I think aging is a beautiful process. I’m happy to be here. I don’t want to die young. I want to be here as long as I can. It was a huge loss when my soulmate died. I went to Argentina to get myself together, where I knew no one, where I didn’t speak the language…. Someone snatched a necklace from me. It was a present from him, but I had to let it go. It freed me. I let go of my past. I started to tango. I let the dead be dead and live life.

Mireille Guiliano

Mireille Guiliano

Age: 69

Profession: Author of French Women Don’t Get Fat and French Women Don’t Get Facelifts

On mental age: I’ve met people in their 30s who look old inside and outside, and people in their 70s who look and feel young. Age is in your head. Right now, I can be 20 or 30 in a minute — or at least my spirit can be which is what matters, isn’t it? I don’t look at myself in the mirror often enough to spot my facial wrinkles — a true sign of the kind of life I lead…lots of kissing and laughing, so, yes, wrinkles around the eyes and mouth — and most of the time I feel physically well, and certainly happier and stronger than at 20 or 30. And so much love to give.

The happy surprises of aging: That I would love more time for solitude. That silence would become the height of luxury. That I would be even more sensitive than I have been all my life to the beauty of the universe and to real friendship. That I would meet so many new and interesting people. That age is about why and how we live.

Brené Brown

Brene Brown

Age: 49

Profession: author of Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, among other books, professor at University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, speaker

The problem of shame: If I had one career goal, it would be to spark a global discussion about vulnerability and shame and the dark emotions — the things that get in the way of us leading truly joyful lives from a place of worthiness, a place of “I am enough. I am imperfect, I’m vulnerable, I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time… but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m brave and worthy of love and belonging and joy.”

On opening up: The irony of being an adult is that in order to be the partner and parent and person we want to be, all of the windows we’ve closed, the doors we’ve shut, the walls we’ve built in our lives, have to come down and open up. I think that is the work of midlife.

Photography by Peter Freed

We are proud to have Experience Life‘s support as a sponsor of Emerging Women Live 2017. Join us in Denver, Oct. 5-8th, for the one-of-a-kind, intimate and interactive event!


We’re Hiring! Executive Assistant/Operations Associate

Emerging Women Power Practices help you embody the freshest ideas in personal and professional development. Get the guided audio practices right here – straight from our favorite thought leaders to you!

Today’s Power Practice comes from Bethany Webster, writer, transformational coach, international speaker and “midwife of the heart.” Her work is focused on helping women heal the “mother wound” so that they can step into their full feminine power and potential.

Emerging Women is seeking a new team member to join our growing organization.

The ideal candidate for our Executive Assistant/Operations Associate position has a keen sense of detail, has experience managing and executing projects, and can accommodate the fast pace and culture inherent to a startup company environment. You are a critical thinker who can see the larger picture, but understands how to dive into and manage the details of a project to done. We are looking for a dynamic, proactive and self-directed person who has experience using a wide array of online business technologies.

The position requires consistent communication with high-level external partners, service providers, and internal team members. We are looking for someone whose communication style reflects the sophisticated-yet-personable character of the company. Your personal communication style is warm and personable, yet professional and thorough.

Our candidate is excited to work from home, (or their favorite café), and lives in the greater Boulder/Denver area so they may participate in in-person Boulder meetings up to 2 times per week.  

Detailed project coordination experience a requirement. Must be proficient in the Microsoft Office Suite and Google applications. You must have an affinity for and experience with navigating and using a technical interface – WordPress and other similar online technologies.

We are seeking a team member who has a passion for women’s leadership and empowerment and is excited to support our important mission. Emerging Women is strongly committed strives to diversity and inclusion with regard to all of our staff, speakers, and facilitators. Candidates with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Position duties include:

  • Executive Assistant to the CEO and other leaders as needed; manage calendar, email and anticipate needs proactively
  • Business development and project management support
  • Manage tracking, execution and communications for partner and sponsor fulfillment
  • Scheduling; meetings, podcasts, interviews etc. and distribute materials as necessary
  • Develop and document operational processes
  • Event support
  • Select AR or AP duties
  • Load content onto website and other technical platforms
  • Liaise with external technical partners, service providers, and internal team members
  • Use critical thinking to suggest improvements and changes to processes and content
  • Administrative tasks related to operations

About us:

Emerging Women is an event and membership-based business platform dedicated to the rise of feminine leadership and entrepreneurship. Our main event, Emerging Women Live, has featured speakers including Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jane Goodall, Dr. Tererai Trent, and many more. Emerging Women Live 2017 will be held in Denver, CO on October 5th-8th.

Join our team and be a part of a growing movement to change the world through a more integrated approach to leadership, entrepreneurship, and success!

Expected Hours:

20-30 hours per week, most of which are to be performed remotely. We are currently accepting candidates local to the Boulder/Denver area only.

To apply please send the following to [email protected]:

  • Your resume
  • A cover letter about you – what you are passionate about, what type of work you consistently do well at, what you are looking for in your next job opportunity, and a summary of your business technology experience

We look forward to hearing from you!

Finding Myself Outside of Motherhood or Infertility: The Wisdom of Self Compassion

I once believed that I was less of a woman because I was not a mother.

What are the birth defect rates?

What is the chance that the pregnancy will go to term but without a live birth?
What is the chance of having multiple births?
What is the success rate of Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injections (ICSI)?
These are the questions, I, matter-of-factly, posed to the doctor of reproductive fertility.

In the National Survey of Family Growth (2006-2010), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 1 in 8 couples (12.5%) have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. In 2005, my husband Phil and I were one of those couples.

Phil and I, as many couples do, sought medical assistance. I daringly faced a rigorous schedule of subcutaneous hormone injections, antibiotics and birth control pills to stimulate and restrict the necessary pregnancy hormones. I endured numerous ultrasounds and blood drawings to monitor the levels. I experienced mood swings that were pretty unsettling and stressful. Phil and I went through uncomfortable procedures for fertility tests and egg retrieval.

After a single cycle of the procedure, the doctor advised us against trying the procedure again — because the probability of success was zero. My questions at the beginning of the process seemed in vain. I felt deflated.

The hard-coding of thoughts begins when we are children

Growing up in the city of Chennai on the southeastern coast of India, I was the youngest of three girls in a Catholic family. As a little girl, a path had been set for me — like many Indian girls growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, finishing school, getting married and having a family were obvious next steps… just as obvious as breathing.

I believed that having children was guaranteed. And in fact, I had an attachment to this idea — it was as if my self-worth was tied to this… as if my value to society rested on my ability to birth a child.

But with one statement from a doctor back in 2005, that surety was ripped out of my hands. It felt like someone punched me in the stomach without any warning. And I was terrified about losing the one thing I thought would allow me to be myself — that would allow me to shine.

Social stigma and personal beliefs are equally stifling.

Every time I received an invite to a baby shower, I cringed. I sincerely wanted to celebrate my friends and so I endured it quietly. Inside, I was screaming to be free. To be free of feeling left out, to be free of the feeling that I somehow didn’t count, to be free of the feeling that I would never be able to truly empathize with someone giving birth. I avoided seeing commercials on TV about babies. I disengaged if I heard someone say that only a parent would understand.

Talking about this wasn’t an option. I worked in the male-dominated engineering world, and there was no room for me to let my guard down — I had to stay tough. Not realizing that I was experiencing a loss, I didn’t really think seeking guidance or counseling was necessary. Besides, socially, I felt it made people uncomfortable — and so, I began to believe I just needed to “suck it up” and stop what I was feeling.

Family and friends were supportive, in ways that I allowed them. I remember one friend in particular. She told me that my feelings reminded her of what parents feel when their kids leave home for the first time; that empty nest feeling of sadness. This somehow encouraged me to feel less alone. It opened a little window for me to explore this differently. My father had been a lifelong meditator and so I began to explore meditation.

Begin exploring how to re-write your code.

I would sit in silence, allowing the anger to pulse through my body, allowing the tears to flow down my face, releasing grief, loss and pain. I was guided by teachers to wonder about the questions that surfaced during meditation. The one question that repeatedly surfaced was this: who am I?

Ready to experience your life outside of others’ praise or criticism?

Was I a wife? Surely if I was only a wife, then how could I explain all these other roles I had. Or how could I explain everything I felt or thought about? So, if I wasn’t a wife, then who was I? Was I an engineer or a senior leader of the management team? Surely I was more than that. So, then who was I? Was I a reflection of my bank account? That didn’t make sense to me. So then who was I? Was I a mother? The answer was a resounding no. So then who was I? You get the idea.

My discovery in these moments of stillness was that there was somebody making all these observations. Somebody that realized I still had value, even though I wasn’t a mother. Somebody that loved me even though I couldn’t play the one role that nature intended for me. Somebody that showed me compassion in the truest sense possible. Somebody who could give me the positive affirmation I needed. Somebody who understood that I was hurting. Somebody that realized that what I was not, was not who I was. This somebody was me. This was the beginning of the answer to my question of who I was.

This realization encouraged me to dig deeper. I started to challenge the notion that motherhood was the only path — as if being childless makes one’s life meaningless. I allowed myself to feel the sadness and the anger and loss — it was my right. Frequently I repeated to myself all the things I was not — to get closer to who I was. I started practicing action with clarity and conviction while staying detached from outcome. In meditation I created space for the knowledge of who I was to emerge — it could only happen in that space of stillness and silence.

Get started right now with this free download – a powerful guided meditation on self compassion. 

What you are is not who you are.As a woman leader, if you find yourself at odds with your beliefs or social stigmas, like I did, I encourage you to:

  • Practice first and foremost, self compassion, self acceptance, and self love.
  • Challenge the notion of a “normal” or “standard” path to solutions, goals, or life.
  • Gently ask yourself if you show up in life as more than the roles you play.
  • Practice decision-making with conviction and clarity while staying detached to outcome.
  • Explore your relationship with being uncomfortable… your relationship with discomfort.

I learned what I was not… but that does not stop me from being who I am.

Rita Devassy
About the Author
Rita Devassy, the founder and CEO of Deva Seed, brings leadership experience from the tough corporate world of tech. Conforming in a male-dominated culture left her personally depleted, but then called to bring mindfulness back to the corporate space. Now, she builds up business leaders who believe that self-inquiry, generosity and compassion are required hallmarks of an effective, successful leader.

Rita holds degrees in Business Management and  Computer and Information Science along with a certificate in Authentic Leadership from Naropa University and is on the faculty for The Foundations program at the Authentic Leadership Center.She lives with her  husband and their miniature pinscher dogs, Oliver and Oscar.  She meditates often, can’t parallel park to save her life, and seeks the American culture she missed in her childhood vicariously through re-runs of The Brady Bunch and Leave it To Beaver.

From Knife Skills to Life Skills, Executive Chef Dana Shares Her Journey

“I don’t know what else I would do. Food has always been an integral part of my life,” said Executive Chef Dana Murrell.

Chef Dana’s role in the culinary world has taken many forms throughout her life and career, from placing in a high school cooking competition to leading Green Chef as executive chef today.

But some things have always been constants for Chef Dana: her philosophy of food, her determination to make it in a male-dominated industry, and her commitment to family.

Chef Dana shares how she made her own way in the culinary field and what it took to find where she really fit.

Chef Dana

“You have to prove yourself, and I think that makes you stronger and harder.”

Cooking has long been viewed as a domestic task, a woman’s role. Yet in professional culinary circles, men are known to rule the roost. Dana is no stranger to having to lean in, and dig in her heels, among male colleagues.

Men have easy entry into the culinary profession: start as a dishwasher and work your way up. Not so for women, who seldom get hired for such entry-level positions. Instead, like Dana, women are expected to earn a culinary degree as the first step of proving their bonafides.

Even after graduating from culinary school and working in restaurants, Dana encountered “a lot of hurdles.” Such as a chef who made it his mission to bring her to tears and a line cook who refused to listen to her despite her expertise.

Of course, it takes more than one person to transform an industry, so Dana had to take control of her own experience.

“You have to continue to push yourself to show them that you can not only play with the big boys but that you can do it faster and harder and better. It makes them respect you. And I think that makes you a stronger person in general and a stronger person in your field.”

“I was content in knowing what I thought was my place.”

Earning the respect of her male colleagues wasn’t the only hurdle. Executive chefs are expected to work 50-60 hours a week, typically late into the night and on weekends, which doesn’t always mesh with motherhood.

It was difficult for Dana to find a restaurant that could accommodate her family’s schedule, and in those that would, advancing professionally was impossible. She couldn’t accept more hours to move up, so she ultimately decided to support her husband (also a chef) and children by taking a daytime line cook job.

“My place was a supporting role for [my husband] to be an executive chef. I was working during the day and home at night with the kids so he could live out his passion as an executive chef, which required working night shifts. So I wasn’t looking for anything else for myself.”

Cue Green Chef. While trawling Craigslist for job postings for her husband, Dana found an intriguing call for a chef to develop 10 new recipes a week. She jumped on it and has been Green Chef’s executive chef since the beginning.

Each week, she and her team mastermind recipes for Green Chef’s organic meal kits that customers cook at home. Chef Dana gets to not only bring her culinary creations to life for thousands of people but also work a more desirable schedule that allows for family time.

“There’s always work to be done here, but I get to have weekends off and still be involved in food. It’s huge changing over to Green Chef. My husband’s quite jealous, and it’s been really exciting for me as a chef. I am shipping 5-star-restaurant-quality food to consumers.”

Chef Dana sees the possibilities as endless. She can cook what she wants while giving other busy working professionals what they want: quick, simple, delicious meals.

“I think cooking is extremely empowering.”

Even professional chefs have to ask themselves when they get home, “What’s for dinner tonight?” But you don’t need culinary training to apply Chef Dana’s advice for achieving success in the kitchen: “Keep it simple, stupid. Or stupid-simple.”

Chef Dana strongly believes that simple, easy, no-fuss food is also the most delicious food. She also knows not everyone has the know-how to cook without a recipe or confidence in their abilities.

“I know cooking is a skill that I take for granted. I can go home, open my fridge, pull out a few things, and through knowledge and training, just whip up a dinner. That in and of itself is empowering. It’s amazing. When I take a step back and look at it through someone else’s lens, see what I’m capable of, it’s really kind of cool.”

At Green Chef, she’s able to carry out her passion for creating delicious, easy-to-prepare food and empowering others to cook at home. Every recipe Chef Dana develops and sends to customers comes with simple instructions and prepped ingredients to cook a complete meal in just about 30 minutes.

“There’s a need for more women doing what we do.”

Chef Dana hopes to not only empower more women to take charge of their own kitchens but also help them excel in the professional culinary world.

“I want to set up a scholarship fund that’s specifically geared toward women in the culinary business. It’s such an important field for everybody to be a part of, and I don’t think that women should be excluded. They have to go to culinary school, so what’s a good way to help them start that journey for their life?”

You can try Chef Dana’s masterpieces yourself by joining Green Chef. Their meal kits have everything you need to cook delicious dinners: organic ingredients, easy recipes, all delivered. Get $50 off your first order.

Life Beyond the Coffee Enema: Thoughts on Emergence

Yes, of course it hurts.

You’ve heard about coffee enemas right? An expensive cold brew you don’t get to drink. It goes in a different hole. Drinking coffee activates your bowels and improves peristalsis. Why would you…?!?! Never mind, I’ll never understand how this became a trend.

Spring’s got me thinking about bowel movements, pressure, frustration, self-judgment, irritability & anxiety. These are common feelings this time of year, believe it or not. Especially in Maine, we’re behind Alaska as the last to Spring. It’s a sloooow start and I can feel the agitation.

The truth is, spring is uncomfortable. Even if you slept like a champion all winter. Even if you live in a sunny state. Spring is like puberty, it’s awkward. It’s the opposite of smooth, it’s muddy, messy and there’s a lot of change happening at once.

The idea of reaching for a “coffee enema” to get your bud to sprout FASTER isn’t what mother nature intended. It’s natural to wake up after a long hibernating season NOT feeling “springy & sparkly.” You’re supposed to feel like you just woke up! The key here is to understand you’re in a season and not get swept away trying to “fix” it.

Magazine covers of women frolicking & jumping in spring dresses are designed to get you to buy spring. They know you want to sparkle & shine. And a dress or a brightly colored hoodie (whatever your fashion sense) can give you a boost. But the idea that you roll out of bed spring morning feeling like vibrant pastels is a MYTH. It is myth that does not serve women well. 

Spring is a dance, it’s playful, like a game of peek-a-boo. You  will get impatient, angry and frustrated if you BLAME yourself for being a “bud” and reach for a “quick fix”. Don’t make me wave my bright yellow CAUTION sign around, while break dancing, until you STOP and look at me. I will shout, “Embrace your awkward! Don’t miss your emergence”.

Doing anything other than nourishing actually causes weakness & atrophy. You become less resilient, more susceptible to disease, more irritable, impatient, critical of yourself and others. Choosing this less natural path forms a habit of swinging from one extreme to the next and making life, which should be a series of natural transitions, more difficult.

Are you ready to live beyond the coffee enema?

Ready to honor your emergence?

Here are my 5 favorite ways to flourish, sparkle & shine – no matter what the season.

Get to know your environment!1. Take a walk, often.

Over steamy Thai curry, my friend told me (with awesome hand gestures) she actually watched spring come to life! Other years, she’s looked up and there spring was. This year, she told me how much a plant grew each day, which fern’s fronds uncurled and which plants grew in her neighborhood. She took it all in – the smells, colors and essence of spring.

Spring has lit her up, and in return it lit me up.

She figured out how to make time slow down by enjoying the season.

Go for a walk! Get to know your environment. Look up. Look down. Return to the same places every day and mark the changes – nature’s emergence. Have a conversation with nature.

Seeing change, makes you resilient to change. Besides, your liver functions better when you’re moving.

De-clutter, shed or minimize, depending on your Feng shui school of thought.2. Clean your house.

This should cause a sigh of relief. De-clutter, shed or minimize, depending on your Feng shui school of thought. First, the surface clean. Then, the deep clean. Then, the ruthless elimination of stuff. Nah, it doesn’t have to be ruthless. But it helps when you’re guided by a vision of who/what/how you want to be.

Another friend recently told me, over the same bowl of curry, that out of “nowhere” she’s madly inventorying everything she owns. She either has to find a home for it, give it away or throw it away. If you find yourself “spring cleaning” naturally, go with it! Though the desire to “clear out the nest” is real, people unfortunately confuse this urge for cleaning out their intestines, hence the coffee enemas. Let’s stick to the house.

As a guest teacher for a wellness program that includes this step, I am always amazed when students get to the de-clutter section how much transformation happens from filling double-sized garbage bags with stuff and taking them away. I encourage you to make time for it, even if you take 15 minutes a day until each room is complete.

Wild foods help you reclaim the highest nutritional content available. 3. Bend down, eat a green (dandelion) leaf every day you can.

Eating wild food (often) is one of the best ways to build strength, resilience and vigor. Wild food has survived the elements. Weeds have the power to grow through cement. They’ve learned how to adapt in less than ideal habitats. You want wild in your diet!

Eat dandelion because they’re the most easily identifiable weed and they are available in many seasons. There are many edible options on your way from the house to the car or bus, on your walks and along roadsides. If you want to expand your weed diet, google “Herb Walk” in your community. You can also look for herbal medicine that uses “wild crafted” herbs or find a friend that forages. Even organic farming practices have bred nutrition out of plants. Wild foods help you reclaim the highest nutritional content available. They’re also slightly bitter, a taste American palettes have lost. By increasing the amount of bitter in your diet, you naturally lower sweet cravings and change your taste buds to desire more nutrition. Buh bye, willpower!

Skin brushing moves your lymph for overall health, it's not superficial.4. Exfoliate. Scrub the s#%t out of your skin.

This year I slacked on my winter sloughing and I can feel it. It’s like my skin’s not breathing as well and it’s less fluid. (This is from someone who spent years skin brushing). The lymph doesn’t have a pump like your heart but movement and flow is equally important. The lymph gets pumped by moving your tissues. I never knew how impactful movement of any kind is, until my partner told me what happens to stroke or TBI patients in the neuro unit. In the rehab hospital where she trains, when someone becomes immobile, even for a day, the body shows signs of breakdown.

Skin brushing moves your lymph for overall health, it’s not superficial. Although the skin smoothing and exfoliating is awesome, the real gig is that you get the benefits of exercise and an overall feeling of wellness. A consistent routine of skin brushing 1-2 times per week is beneficial. It’s especially great after a long day of travel, sitting, or road tripping. If you try skin brushing just be careful what kind of brush you get – not too firm, not too soft.

You can also use a washcloth, “shower gloves,” or a “fascia blaster.” Facia blasting is different than skin brushing, it works to break up fascia but the goal here is circulation, lymph movement and blood flow. I’ve never tried the fascia blaster, but it comes highly recommended for relieving pain, inflammation and cellulite.

Anger is a part fo every emergence. 5. Get pissed.

There’s a lot to be angry about. But if you’re socialized female, you were taught that anger is dangerous, impolite and not tolerated. You were shamed out of anger.

It’s the shaming of anger that causes problems, not anger itself. In traditional Chinese medicine, spring is associated with the wood element. The wood’s “climate” is windy and the “emotion” is anger. When these two are flowing in harmony, anger comes to pass. How do you let anger pass? The first step is acknowledging it. Anger is a part of every emergence. Before every blooming tree was an agitated sapling. Make this your motto and you can move through anger as it becomes food to grow!

Get angry in the presence of other women who have your back through the process.

Want some healthy ways to move through anger? Exercise, kickboxing, kundalini yoga, sex, singing (especially angry songs), dance, and poetry. And while we’re in the wood element, the vocal quality is “shout.” There are workshops for this, which is great so you avoid unleashing on others. I haven’t seen that be effective on people you love.

Let your anger fuel your passion to take action. My whole business started because I was angry. I was angry that people get sick from food related illness. I was angry that the food system doesn’t care about health or animals, it cares about profits. I was angry because sexism exists in the healthcare system. What are you angry about?

This essay was inspired by my Instagram post “What Stage of Bloom are you in?”

My friend Yasmine responded with this beautiful poem by Swedish poet Karin Boye:

Yes Of Course It Hurts

Yes, of course it hurts when buds are breaking.
Why else would the springtime falter?
Why would all our ardent longing
bind itself in frozen, bitter pallor?
After all, the bud was covered all the winter.
What new thing is it that bursts and wears?
Yes, of course it hurts when buds are breaking,
hurts for that which grows
and that which bars.

Yes, it is hard when drops are falling.
Trembling with fear, and heavy hanging,
cleaving to the twig, and swelling, sliding –
weight draws them down, though they go on clinging.
Hard to be uncertain, afraid and divided,
hard to feel the depths attract and call,
yet sit fast and merely tremble –
hard to want to stay
and want to fall.

Then, when things are worst and nothing helps
the tree’s buds break as in rejoicing,
then, when no fear holds back any longer,
down in glitter go the twig’s drops plunging,
forget that they were frightened by the new,
forget their fear before the flight unfurled –
feel for a second their greatest safety,
rest in that trust
that creates the world.

marcie-goldman.png Blog written by Marcie Goldman. There’s nothing that lights up Marcie more than getting you glowy-good-health. Her work combines functional medicine strategies with nourishing Wise Woman Traditions, a stellar combination she’s honed over the last 15 years in her professional one-on-one practice & group programs. When Marcie finally realized she couldn’t stop people’s search for the “quick fix,” she created Mojo Mastery Month. This popular health makeover program celebrates food, nourishment and your body’s natural ability to heal. She invites you to sample her 7-day program for free including her menu of over 21 recipes!

Don’t miss Marcie and a whole tribe of like-minded women at this year’s Emerging Women Live event. This October, you can find yourself surrounded with real support, authentic thought leadership and inspiring stories. From the talented Elizabeth Gilbert to Esther Perel on sex and Sera Beak on spirituality, it’s an integrative experience you won’t want to miss! Register today!

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Key Tools for Killer Presentations

Want to stand up and speak out with confidence, genuinely inspiring and influencing your audience?

Whether it’s a high-stakes presentation on a stage or a high-impact conversation in an office, Nan Crawford has some tools for you (and for an audio version of these tools, listen to Power Practice #16: Stepping Up and Speaking Out).


When preparing an impactful presentation, Nan says, it’s important to consider 2 realms: the internal factors of strategy and the external factors of delivery.

Internal Strategy

Ask yourself:

  1. Who is my audience?
  2. What do they need?
  3. How do I prepare to deliver that to them?

Identifying your audience and their needs is pretty straightforward. But how do you deliver on those needs if you’re busy worrying, “How do I keep from freaking out?!” That’s where #3 comes in.

It’s all about focus, Nan says. If you struggle with stage-fright or nerves, you can let go of that jagged energy by shifting your focus from fear to desire. Shift your focus from fear of failure to your desire to make a difference. Shift your focus from the fear of judgement to the desire to be generous. Shift your focus from a fear of rejection to a desire to connect. From fear of forgetting what you’re going to say to a desire to guide the audience to a place of discovery.

Shifting focus from fear to desire to be of service will allow you to connect with your audience and their needs in a way that is authentic, confident, and effective.

External Delivery

Ask yourself:

  1. How will I walk into the room? Where will I land? How will I hold my body?
  2. What am I aware of in terms of my breathing?
  3. Are my voice, facial expressions, and gestures congruent with my message?
  4. What do I want my audience to feel, say, and do?

The way you move and position yourself sends messages to the audience before you’ve even spoken a word. If you plan ahead of time how to position yourself so that energy is flowing through your spine, you’ll foster an immediate connection between your audience and your intention.

Breathing is another opportunity to send a clear message. So many of us live in a world of full plates and fast lanes. When you are “extravagant with our breath,” as Nan encourages, it allows you a moment of clarity to choose words that are delicious and juicy. More than that, it’s an act of generosity to your audience, giving them time and space to let your ideas (and their own) really land.

By taking big full breaths you give energy to your voice, allowing for concise, crisp, and clear words spoken with conviction. You connect with your body, creating facial expressions and gestures that are vibrant, alive, and compelling.

All of these factors are driven by your overall intention. Writing action verbs in the margins of your presentation will help you connect with what you want your audience to do, say, and feel. Maybe you want to challenge them or shake them up. Perhaps you need to dismiss a concern or clarify a point. You can paint a vivid picture. You can advocate, warn, or reassure.

It’s important to note: the question is not “What do I want them to learn?” If your intention is to inform, you are not going to inspire our audience to take action. “We’re all drowning in information,” Nan says. “What we hunger for is insight and inspiration, for energy and encouragement.”

We’re thrilled to have Nan Crawford bringing her insight and inspiration to the stage at Emerging Women Live 2017, along with killer presentations from Elizabeth Gilbert, Sera Beak, Alicia Garza, Esther Perel, Amanda Steinberg, and so many more. Register today for an some unforgettable energy and encouragement:


Remember: how you deliver your message is just as vital as what you have to say. With Nan’s tools, you are well on your way to giving a presentation that will genuinely inspire and influence your audience.

And be sure to tell us what killer presentations you have in the works in the comments!

Connecting with Your Soul’s Voice

A wild variety of voices influence us everyday.

How do we know which to listen to as we work to live our truths? Harvard trained scholar Sera Beak joined us for May’s Emerging Women Power Boost to help navigate the jungle, connecting us with the gem of all voices – the Soul.

We’ve all absorbed a myriad of external voices over the years: from our family, our upbringing, our schooling, religion, media, culture, friends, and other entrepreneurs. We’ve also got a chorus of internal voices: our shadow selves, our wounds and fragments, our beliefs and our complexes, like the infamous Inner Critic. There are negative aspects of our ego that like to shame, judge, blame, and compare in dogged pursuit of success and admiration, creating fear and stress. There are even aspects of our more spiritualized ego – which Sera calls a “tricky little sucker” – that can come across holier-than-thou and kick our butts for not being spiritual enough.

In short, there’s a virtual cocktail party of voices inside of most of us, most of the time.

But there is one voice that knows us best of all, says Sera. It’s eternal and infinite, connected to all that is, yet also awesomely unique for each one of us. It’s the root of our inner guidance and grace. It knows us better than any teacher, tradition, coach, therapist, friend, or woman named Sera Beak, Sera says with a mischeivous smile. It knows when and how we can emerge into this world and offer our unique gifts while staying in integrity and in alignment with our inner truth.

That voice is our Soul with a capital S. And it wants to spend more time with us.

The Soul is the wisest and most loving aspect of ourselves. It is often quite subtle, more of a gentle whisper than a “big cosmic light show.” It is there to remind us what we already know. You may feel it poking at you through mundane channels – a song on the radio, a sign on a bus, an overheard snippet of conversation. When we take the time to create the space to connect with our Soul, Sera says, it shows our Soul that we’re ready to listen, allowing us to turn up the volume on those little nudges.

And turn up the volume we did. Sera’s beautiful guided meditation helped us pump more life-force into our bodies and this earth by tuning in to the warmth, expansion, and unconditional love of the distinct divine being that is seeking to incarnate through each one of us.

We asked questions to our Souls, and practiced recognizing the flavor of the reply.

“It feels and sounds familiar,” Sera says, “like Oh yeah. This is me. This is my truth. This is my Soul.” Which is not to say that it will always sound “spiritual.” It has nuance and flavor, showing up as what we need in the moment. “And sometimes we might need a dirty joke,” she laughs. We ended the meditation feeling more grounded, devoted, present, alive, real, and connected to our truest selves.

Try the meditation for yourself (and your Soul) by watching the archive video here. There’s a 30 day free trial if you’re not already a member, so you can join us live for the next Power Boost, too.

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And just a reminder from Sera: she uses the word “imagine” in the meditation because imagination is an excellent tool for greasing the wheels between our human consciousness and the divine.

But, she says emphatically, this is not make believe. 


We can’t wait to see Sera Beak in her 3rd appearance at Emerging Women Live 2017, October 5-8th in Denver, CO. Alicia Garza (co-founder of Black Lives Matter), Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love), Esther Perel (author of Mating in Captivity), and so many more will be there, plus workshops, practices, a fire walk (!), coaching, dancing, connection with amazing women… it’s 4 days you’ll never forget.

Emerging Women Leadership Series @ Impact HUB Academy

Are you craving an opportunity to share authentically with women who face similar challenges and opportunities in bringing their work to the world?

We’re excited to announce the Emerging Women Leadership Series @ Impact HUB Academy in Boulder, Colorado!

Join us for an interactive evening of connection, wisdom, and deep dives to support you on your journey as a female leader.

This series is designed to grow community and support for women of impact to help you succeed in business. Each event will have its own unique theme, including diverse panelists and power circle discussion topics, not to mention libations and evening nibbles!

The Themes:

Women in Money // June 21st

Did you know women will gain control of 2/3rds of the nation’s wealth in a few years? We’ve invited some of the top money minds to help us identify opportunities to shift the world of finance and investing in a more sustainable and collectively beneficial direction with feminine leadership.

Women in Naturals // July 27th

We’re seeing huge opportunities the for growth of women’s leadership in the natural products arena. Join this panel of conscious leaders and entrepreneurs as we discuss how to bring the sustainability and self-care principles behind their products to influence the industry as a whole.

Women in Fitness and Outdoors // August 31st

These leaders are shifting the focus from looking good to feeling strong, capable, and connected to our bodies and surroundings. We’ll discuss how women in this market are increasing their impact by redefining fitness and outdoors as grounds for personal growth, transformation, and mutual empowerment.

Women in Social Impact // September 28th

Big change takes big vision, plus a healthy dose of know-how when it comes to execution. Join this panel of movement-makers as we discuss feminine leadership strategies that mobilize the masses to help girls, women, their communities, and the planet.

Women in Politics // October 26th

Is it safe to say we’re all fed up with the current state of politics? Let’s hear from the women working to get us back on track by running for office and managing campaigns with empathy, courage, authenticity, and heart.

Women in Tech // November 30th

We all know the challenges in this male dominated industry, but what are the opportunities? Hear from the CEOs, founders, and mentors leveraging their innate creativity and feminine leadership talents to elevate the technology landscape.

The Speakers:

We’ll be announcing the powerhouse list of speakers for this series soon. Stay tuned!

The Format:

6:00-6:30 Authentic Networking

6:30-7:15 Panel Discussion

7:15-7:45 Power Circles Breakout

7:45-8:00 ReGroup, Comments, and Close

8:00-8:30 Drinks + Connect

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We can’t wait to see you at Impact HUB in Boulder for the Emerging Women Leadership Series! Mark your calendars and register today.

Reclaim Your Voice Story

Wokie Nwabueze knows how to communicate. Negotiation, facilitation, mediation – you name it. “If it exists, I’m certified in it,” she says.

She started her career teaching kids, parents, and teachers in tough communities how to communicate clearly and without violence. After her first year of law school, she began to work in corporate spaces, and became very interested in women who were having trouble communicating their needs in the workplace.

She noticed a trend. Women were leaving the sessions knowing what to say, but not knowing why they were hesitant to say it. She quickly realized that the existing communication frameworks and execution strategies (“be assertive” “be confident”) weren’t addressing who we are deep down

That realization changed everything for Wokie. “Who I was was SHY, well into my mid-20s. I was a people pleaser without revealing it outwardly. I thought I could sacrifice more than everyone else, and I thought that was ‘strong.’ I was unwilling to rock the boat, and somehow that felt empowering, or even felt gracious. But the truth was I was disconnected from my voice.”

As she began to mine her own Voice Story, she was able to cultivate the self-awareness and personal transformation crucial to truly effective communication with others. She now dedicates her work to helping women do the same, as she did in our Emerging Women Power Boost (if you’re a member, click HERE to watch the archive). Here are some takeaways from that memorable event.

What is a Voice Story?

Studies show that for girls, confidence in voice starts to slip around age 9. While our confidence is falling, Wokie says, we are also starting to look out at the world to determine our value. For a lot of us, that’s when things start to fall apart, and it takes some serious work as adults to get our Voice Stories sorted.

Wokie started the Seen and Heard project, interviewing women to find those points in time when their voices had been hushed. This isn’t limited to times someone told you to be quiet. For example, Wokie remembers being in 6th or 7th grade. Her class took an IQ test, and it was announced that she had the highest score. For painfully shy 11 year old Wokie, it was humiliating – it made her feel different and alone. She calls it “the moment I got the handbook for playing small.” She stopped pushing herself outside of her comfort zone, believing there would be negative consequences if she was “smarter” or in any way different than everyone else.

Our Voice Stories color every communication we have. They can tint the outcome of conversations, negotiations, and conflicts if they are left unexplored.

Exploring Your Voice Story

Exploring your Voice Story means mining for the moments when something shifted.

One way is to identify discomfort in your body. When you have hard conversations, where do you feel it? In your stomach? In your hands? In your throat? Try to connect the dots. When else do you feel that way? When did you first feel that way?

Be sure to explore with love and curiosity. Sit with these memories and watch yourself without judgement. Journal, take a walk, cry, make art, talk with a friend – whatever helps you process. Come to understand what was lost, and begin to take it back. We can reclaim what was lost to shift our future. 

Another approach is to look at certain periods of your life. When was the last time you felt like you could express yourself fully without hesitation or fear? Young children don’t struggle with their voices. “We are not born quiet,” Wokie says. Something happens that changes the way we see ourselves and our right to be seen and heard in the world. Look at those moments when you stopped feeling that you could communicate without apology. Think about the points in time when something happened to make you feel less valuable, or that you should be less bright and shiny, or that you should be quiet.

When you get there, remember that this process involves some pain, but our goal is curiosity and reclamation. We have to go back and identify with real compassion what we lost. You can’t change the past, you can’t judge yourself or others for it, but you can understand it. Start to follow the threads with curiosity and compassion, and it will all begin to unfold.

How much of reclaiming what we lost is about grieving?

Grief is important, Wokie says, but we need to do that grieving from a place of hopefulness for the future. Transformational grieving means moving the grief through our bodies (Wokie says music helps her) and letting it go, because on the other side of grief there is possibility.

If we can move grief through us and find a good nugget, then the grief was not for nothing. If the things that have happened to you allow you to become who you are, if we can mine for those nuggets in our Voice Stories and use them to heal ourselves and bring us more fully into our voices, then the hardship wasn’t without reward.

And remember: Saying what you want to say, getting what you want – it’s not about cultivating power over someone else, it’s about being centered in YOU.

Thank you, Wokie Nwabueze!


Want to watch the archive of Wokie’s Power Boost? Start your 30 day Free Trial on the Emerging Women Leadership Platform to get access.

Letting the Divine Take the Lead

In this culture, we’re taught that we have to strive and push and exhaust ourselves if we want anything to happen in our lives, and especially in our businesses. But there’s another, radically different approach: offer the whole thing back to the Divine and ask to be shown the way forward.

Tosha Silver spoke to this at Emerging Women Live in her talk on Outrageous Openness. We thought you’d enjoy this clip – let us know what you think!

SO. GOOD.

And if you think you can handle FOUR FULL DAYS of inspiration and nourishment like this, plus workshops, coaching, and deep connection with the brilliant women changing the world, then register to join us at Emerging Women Live 2017, October 5-8th in Denver, CO.

Is there Magic in the Mess?

Dear Emerging Women,

It’s been almost 6 months since our annual Emerging Women Live event, and a lot has transpired since then. A LOT. There is a deep political and social disharmony being felt in our country right now. There is a dis-ease being felt in the world. And women worldwide are at the front lines of creating a new world order.

One thing I know for sure, when we are creating a new paradigm, there is no blueprint. And it can get messy. But today, I am cultivating gratitude for the mess. Here’s why:

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” – Carl Jung

Chaos puts us in touch with our desires

I’m not saying that mess is the end-game. I dream of – I yearn for and actively work toward – equality, justice, peace, civility. And on a micro level, it’s nice to have things run smoothly: to have a perfect business model, to have people on your team that are high performers and super easy to work with, to have clarity of vision and heart. But in order to get to those exalted, beautiful, non-messy things, we have to work through some serious chaos to get clear on what we want to see in our lives, and in the world.

“NOOO!” is my knee-jerk reaction to chaos. If feels unsafe and scary. But when there is chaos around us it gives us permission to stop trying to make sense of everything and just feel. When darkness descends, there is no way to move forward unless we feel our way, one touch at a time, from heartbeat to heartbeat. And it is through this feeling state that we can know our true desires. What do we want this new world to look like? What kind of life do we want to live?

Chaos connects us to our deepest, truest selves

When we are in the unknown, our usual landmarks are disrupted and we have nothing else to rely on but the ground of our beingness. Sounds True founder Tami Simon named “spending time in a place with no reference points” as one of her 5 Principles of Being True at Emerging Women Power Night. So it’s okay to feel off the map, out of your depth, messy. The key to resilience lies in having a close, intimate relationship with ourselves. This becomes our most trusted and constant reference point in times of uncertainty. From this place we can start to align with what feels true for us in the outer world.

Disorder brings people together

I think what I fear the most is an environment that does not allow for mess, that does not allow for exploration outside of the box. So let’s not do that thing that we women seem to do so often: strive for perfection. I vote for real conversations and fumbling with words over getting it right. I vote for epic failures in the name of change over risk avoidance and playing small. We need to organize and work together, we need to grow into our feminine humanity, and we need to let others to do the same – at their own pace and via their own path. So let’s give ourselves a wide berth, margin for error, and the benefit of the doubt that She knows what she is doing. After all, we are not doing this alone – we cannot do this alone – so what choice do we have but to come together with the best of intentions and drop the “shoulds?”

The Feminine thrives in chaos

“In chaos, there is fertility.” – Anaïs Nin

Life is messy when we are navigating uncharted waters, and yet somebody has to lead the way. Collectively, women are rising up to take their place as leaders in a world that is both thirsty for and resistant to this change. We are at the beginning of a new era in the women’s movement, and this time we are doing it with the cosmic feminine on our side.

Today’s world of disparaging views and conflict is the perfect environment for the feminine to rise, and She is rising like She has never risen before. I want to know what the world looks like, what business, politics, and an economy looks like, under a paradigm for society where the feminine is fully expressed. We know what the world looks like under a masculine paradigm (boy does that feel like it’s run it’s course) – and it’s going to take some dismantling to make room for new growth.

The patriarchy hates mess. It relies on order, logic, adherence. So in these times of seeming madness, I say let things break. Because the feminine will grow through the cracks.

“Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control.” – Terence McKenna

The strive for order seems to be the goal of the ego, but let’s make a pledge to surrender that ego, embrace the mess, and listen to our desires, trusting that they will lead us in our work to make the world a better place for all.

Chantal Pierrat Big Love,
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Chantal Pierrat | Founder, Emerging Women

Whose Money Is It Anyway?

Oh boy – we are talking money again, sisters! I can’t help it. Time and time again I am finding this topic to be the source of so much anxiety for women. Retirement, earning potential, glass ceilings, re-entering the workforce or leaving the J_O_B to become an entrepreneur. It all leads to the recurring bag-lady nightmare for me (am I the only one that has that?).

Regardless of our place in the journey, we seem to be in perpetual fear that there will never be enough, or that we will lose what we have, or worse, that we are fundamentally undeserving of anything above the bare minimum to survive.

In my case, my angst started when I left the snug comfort of my steady executive publishing job to start Emerging Women. I was traveling regularly to New York, LA, London, and Germany on an expense account. I had superfine outfits to support my super-groovy life. I bought a house in North Boulder (now known as NoBo – that should give you an idea) with my husband. I always had money for yoga, dance, and organic smoothies. I was set!

Then the goddess said “do your thing” and it all changed. I decided to leave the womb of a company I loved, an incredible mentor, and a decade of transformational personal and career growth to become an entrepreneur. What was I thinking?!?

Since then, I have wrung my hands, chewed my cheek, and even had to get a mouth guard to keep me from gnashing my teeth in the middle of the night. All from money anxiety. How was I going to support my family and this lifestyle to which I had become passionately accustomed? 

I consider myself a successful woman. I make things happen, I am creative, a visionary, and I love helping women rise. And I rode on this energy for the first year of Emerging Women, taking personal and professional risks that were worth taking. As I followed the natural growth of EW, there seemed to be more and more pressure, more risk, and less cash. I found myself pushing and driving to manage the cash constraints to the point of exhaustion.

Luckily, I’ve found women I trust to help me take more ownership over my finances. They guide me and encourage me to really dig into old patterns while developing healthy, concrete habits to both grow my business and stay rooted in my personal finances.

Amanda Steinberg, founder of DailyWorth and WorthFM, is one of those women. If you haven’t yet, tune in to her Emerging Women podcast Worth It to hear how to get ready for the “perfect storm of opportunity” coming up around women and money.


Another woman I trust, Barbara Stanny, is my rock when it comes to moving my money mindset from survival to stability to affluence. If you’re looking for a similar shift, her Emerging Women podcast Sacred Success: A Woman’s Guide to Authentic Power and Affluence is a must-hear.

Nancy Levin has also been so important by reminding me that 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. Here’s an Emerging Women Power Practice Boost Your Self Worth to Grow Your Net Worth to start uncovering and removing limiting shadow beliefs about worth.

But then one day I was talking to Tosha Silver, my go-to for all things surrender and divine, and she floated this concept that it’s NOT really my money. What the what? Whose is it?!

Tosha’s core message of working with the unknowable forces in the universe, co-creating your life in connection or in relationship to something greater than yourself, of letting go and trusting that the mystery will flow in a positive way for you if you truly offer yourself up to it, applies 100% to the realm of money as well. And that’s perhaps the most powerful, if not the most challenging, realm in which we can let the practice play out. Whoa.

Check out Tosha Silver’s long-awaited 8 part money course It’s Not “Your” Money: Fully Living From Divine Abundance. It starts on March 22nd, so nab your tickets now and let’s do the work together on releasing the blocks to receiving.

The first 3 women’s views help me check the boxes and dot the i’s, both externally and internally. And knowing that money ultimately does not belong to me allows me to surrender and not worry if I’m just a financial hot mess. All 4 of these women have shared wisdom that is freeing me from white-knuckle saving and a manic number crunching, allowing for a softer interplay of competence, worth, and trust.

What’s your money story right now? The more we talk about this “taboo” subject, the more opportunity we’ll give ourselves to, as Amanda Steinberg so beautifully puts it, grow stronger roots and freeing wings around our finances.

Trailblazing Women and Radioactive Bikes: Happy #IWD

Bates was the President of the NAACP Arkansas branch and used her position as a public leader to guide what would be national known as the “Little Rock Nine”. The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students that Bates helped enroll at Little Rock Central High School in the face of mobs, violence, and hatred.

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One of Bates’ greatest inspirations and supporters was her adoptive father, Orlee Smith. Before Smith passed he gave her some lasting advice:

“You’re filled with hatred. Hate can destroy you, Daisy. Don’t hate white people just because they’re white. If you hate, make it count for something. Hate the humiliations we are living under in the South. Hate the discrimination that eats away at the South. Hate the discrimination that eats away at the soul of every black man and woman. Hate the insults hurled at us by white scum—and then try to do something about it, or your hate won’t spell a thing.” – Orlee Smith

 

Marie Curie

Marie Curie was a Polish physicist and chemist who later became a naturalized-French citizen. She was the pioneering scientist on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and the first person, and only woman, to win it two times. She is also the only human to have won the Nobel prize in two different sciences. And if this wasn’t enough, she was also the first female professor at the University of Paris.

Despite being an academic badass in secondary school, she was denied access to the University of Warsaw solely because she was a woman. So instead, she adapted to be even more of a badass and continued her education at an informal, underground secret set of classes.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie

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Curie’s road through education wasn’t easy. She suffered through poverty, xenophobia, and criticism for being an atheist in France. She often survived solely off bread and tea in order to make rent. She went to Sorbonne in Paris where she changed her name from Maria to Marie in order to assimilate more into French culture and although her health suffered greatly from her living conditions, she still graduated first in her class.

During World War I, Curie developed what came to be called petites Curies (or “Little Curies”). These were mobile radiography machines designed to assist surgeons on the battlefield. Estimates show that her x-ray units treated over a million soldiers and later on she trained other women to use them as well.

“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” – Marie Curie

Curie donated the profits of every award and scholarship she received to the community to further scientific discoveries. She gave tirelessly to the French field of science even though she was met with constant resistance and received little to no recognition.

I have two little girls in my life, soon to be young women. Just as I owe much of my relentless drive and my passion for justice to the women before me, I also owe the characteristics that define me to my sweet little loves CD and LD. Although they are “only” 10 and 12 years old, they are a source of constant motivation for me. Whether it is discussions about politics and women’s rights over NPR on the drive home from swim practice, chats in confidence about what it means to be a “woman,” or laughter over Snapchat filters, these two girls empower me.

They inspire me to fight for what is right because I want them to grow up in a world that is better than the one I grew up in. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Daisy Bates, and Marie Curie fought for me to have a voice in the courtroom and a right to attend any school I want. And so too will I fight for the these young girls to never be ashamed of what it means to be a woman, to dismantle patriarchy, and to raise up the voices of those who have not been heard.

Daisy Bates’ adoptive father warned her about being fueled by hatred. So I ask, “What fuels you to be bold and to fight for change?” Are you fueled by anger, by love, by optimism, by hope for fairness? There is a real place for anger (read Audre Lorde The Uses of Anger) just as there is a place for passion and love. My fuel is my passion for social justice AND my anger towards our patriarchal society.

When I run for office it is because I am filled with fervor, fury, AND hope. I will run in honor of the women before me and I will run as a model for the young girls who will run behind me. Today is International Women’s Day. It is a day of celebration, a day of recognition, and most of all it is a catalyst for the women here today and for the women yet to come.

Speaking of catalysts, have you saved your seat at the wildly inspirational Emerging Women Live? Join Elizabeth Gilbert, Tara Mohr, Dominique Christina, Sera Beak, Esther Perel and so many more. Register before March 31st for deep discounts:


Esther Perel: Gender, Fluidity, and Desire

More exciting news, Feministas! We are thrilled to tell you that Esther Perel will be joining us at Emerging Women Live 2017 October 5-8th in Denver, CO. Why are we so pumped?

We find that stepping into your sexual power can be crucial to stepping into your full power as a feminine leader. What does one have to do with the other? If we’re disconnected from the flame that’s inside of us, nothing’s gonna happen. People will feel it (or feel something missing) and we’ll be exhausted from running on fumes.

Esther Perel is a penetrating observer of social and cultural patterns shaping our relationships: with our partners, with our desires, with our sexuality, with ourselves. At Emerging Women Live 2015, she invited us to imagine we were gathered for happy hour, favorite cocktails or mocktails in hand, and she asked us what she calls the 5 essential questions:

Why does good sex fade even with couples who continue to love each other? Why does intimacy not guarantee good sex? Why does sex make babies while parenting kills sex drive? Can we want what we already have? And why is the exotic so erotic?

We were HOOKED.

Here’s a few snippets from our Emerging Women podcast “The Fluidity of Desire” to help you get a feel for Esther’s brilliant perspective on women and desire in the modern age. Listen to the full podcast to hear more (plus get the benefits of hearing Esther talk about desire in a French accent).


Enjoy!

Excerpts from The Fluidity of Desire with Esther Perel & Chantal Pierrat

EP: Many women in this age of perfection have to learn to just say, “It’s enough for today. And now me,” rather than, “Wait!” She’s exasperated or frustrated or something beyond, and then she doesn’t know how to experience desire because then she experiences deserving. Now she’s in the realm of resentment and now she doesn’t just say “I want,” she says, “I deserve,” right?

“Deserving” is wanting a prize. Some people don’t feel that they are allowed to want so they have to be at the end of their ropes to finally say, “Now me!” But then they say it with such violence and with such an aggression that they can shake up the whole house.

That’s what happens many times in relationships. She doesn’t say it earlier when it’s just, “Hey, I feel like it, I want to,” she screams it: “I deserve! I’ve had it! I’ve had enough!” And then she blames him or her or whoever else is around her for not being allowed to say this sooner.

In fact, she just doesn’t feel like she can say it sooner because she first needs to be perfect, have it all done, and then she feels that desire is a reward rather than that desire is basically part of her human right.

CP:When we’re living in that loop of perfection, then that criticism can’t help but spill out. Because we’re putting so much on ourselves, we bring those standards to our relationships, and then it’s nothing but “lack” and “criticism” and “not good enough” on both the inside and the outside.

EP: It’s really kind of an epidemic at this point, yes? You’ve got the most confident, successful, powerful group of women in history walking around constantly with an inner voice of “flawed, and critical, and not enough.” It’s just tragic. And, I should add, resentful, because, “How can you sit down when there is so much to do? Don’t you see?” But why don’t you just sit down? Does it really matter? Is that going to be written on your epitaph? “You cleaned when…” or “You organized and labeled when…” or whatever? Or, “You deprived yourself nicely”?

It’s a very interesting thing to help women allow themselves the permission to experience pleasure, which is really where desire resides. To experience freedom, to experience autonomy, and all of that, we end up instantly feeling selfish and guilty.

CP: Well, what’s interesting about what you’re saying is that because we’re kind of hardwired to touch into our desire through the other, it’s hard to get in touch with that. It’s like a muscle we have to flex to find the source of our desire within.

EP: We rekindle desire by rekindling, first of all, the permission to think about oneself and not in the productive, instrumental way. The erotic is totally unproductive. You accomplish nothing. It’s just a state of aliveness and of vitality and of sensuality.

We are sexual beings, and sexuality isn’t how often she has sex and how long the sex lasts and how many orgasms she has. It’s basically a connection with her erotic self. It’s a much broader definition of sexuality, one where we talk about reaching desire, and that’s the progression that she needs to go through.

CP: I think a lot of what holds us back as women is this lack of ownership on that individual level of our own desire, and also lack of self-acceptance. We’re working on freeing ourselves from this perfection and actually kind of falling in love with ourselves so that we are a turn on, not just in terms of our relationships, but that we can have that juice and charisma and energy, frankly, to lead in a way that’s empowerful and impactful.

EP: But then we will need to learn that our appreciation of ourselves doesn’t become perfect, but more like how Brené Brown talks about it, because we welcome the gift of imperfection. If we actually are more compassionate with ourselves, we accept our imperfections, we’re not agreeing to sell everything, and we seem like ourselves and can even get a good laugh at it, then we will be in a much better place.

CP: What do you recommend for women, especially, to grab onto in this era of… “chaos” is kind of a strong word… but an era of new? Everything’s  being re-created and we’re rethinking everything. What’s something solid that we can hold onto that we can fall back on and know that it’s always going to be there?

EP: People. People. Community. That’s the only thing we have in this world. We don’t have the traditional pillars, we don’t have the models. What we have is conversation, which is really what your gathering is about, creating real-life, embodied experiences where people come together and discuss all the dilemmas of love and living.

And in those conversations, bit by bit, we dismantle and we challenge the old hierarchy. It’s time for women to be angry without being considered bitches or aggressive or masculine. It’s time for them to not constantly worry about being liked. It’s time that they think that they can ask for the same amount that the men are asking. It’s time that she feel that she can be seductive without thinking that she’s a slut. It’s time that she can integrate femininity and power as part of her success and her activation story.

It’s all these divisions, basically, dismantling the patriarchy, if you want to put a name on it. But what will replace it isn’t a matriarchy and it’s not genderless, it’s gender-fluid. It’s different. We are just living way too long these days to just abide by one model. And they understand it in the professional world, in the business world, the tech world. Everything is about multiplicity. When it comes to gender identity and relationships, we are left with very little monolithic, narrowly thought out models that don’t serve us anymore. They just don’t serve us.

So what happens is that people get blamed for not succeeding, right? You get blamed because you’re divorced, but nobody ever questions if the model of marriage is so sound. Why do we think marriage is a sound arrangement? And the people who don’t succeed, they’re the failures? And [it’s the same] for everything else. If you can succeed with children, it’s not because there’s a lack of childcare and a lack of good schools and a lack of this and that. It’s because you [know how] to juggle your schedule.

And so we are privatizing social problems and making the individual responsible for it. And I think that if women come together, the biggest challenge is not to think that it’s just a matter of each woman on their own, coming up with societal solutions to society’s problems. They need to be connective solutions for connective problems, in which she is a piece of the voice, that she’s not responsible on her own to deal with the lack of support that the system should provide her. To me, that is going to be the biggest shift that women can offer these days. It’s actually a challenge to the excesses of individualism.

I can’t even tell you, just from this week, with the amount of women I met, how often my eyes fill up. I’m thinking, “You carry a load, don’t you, and you actually think you should. And you still think that you’re not carrying it well enough.” I’m thinking, “My God, can we stop personalizing difficulties that are systemic, as if they’re your personal challenge?” It’s not like that, it’s really bigger than you, and we have to remember that it’s bigger than you, and then all come together and address it and make those changes.

And then our lives will be better and so will the lives of the people around us, because we will be less upset. And rather than thinking we’re upset because we can’t do it all, we will be upset because we are thinking that we should do it all.

CP: Amen, sister. May it be so!

Early Bird discounts expire at the end of the month, so save your seat now!

How Mindfulness Brought Me to Feminine Leadership

To say I was disconnected from the feminine when I was VP of Sales in the medical devices industry would be an understatement. I wasn’t just disconnected – I often actively pushed my feminine side away and even belittled the feminine in an attempt to prove to a room full of guys that I was tough and capable. Ugh! But I thought I had to to succeed and survive.

It wasn’t until I was passed over for promotion that I realized that no amount of strained fake laughter at sexist jokes would turn me into a middle aged white male. I was me, and I wanted to find the place where “me” could be appreciated for myself, not for what kind of mask I could project and maintain.

Luckily, my next job was at Sounds True, the wonderful multimedia publishing company with the mission of disseminating spiritual wisdom. I was able to immerse myself in mindfulness and mindful practices. Not just meditation, but conscious communication and receptive listening. Mind. Blown. 

Mindfulness has brought me to this journey of the feminine – brought me to my purpose. In the tech world, pushing your own agenda and drive above all else was the norm. The idea of making space for receptivity and real connection is deemed frivolous. As a result I see a lot of women, like me, allow the feminine to get pushed to the back burner. Like, waaaayyyy back. Totally off the stove.

My purpose? I want to help bring the feminine back to the front burner and celebrate what we have simmering there!

The good news about mindfulness is that you don’t have to carve out 2 hours of space for meditation. Just being conscious as we go through our day, conscious of our own reactions and receptive to that input, we will become more connected to our feminine sides, and can be guided towards a more balanced and authentic version of our true selves.

This is why I feel honored to speak at the first-ever Mindful Leadership Online Training Conference. It’s a rare chance for me to talk about this important topic alongside more than 40 top mindful leaders, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and teachers, including Tara Brach (total shero).

If you feel like you could use an infusion of mindfulness in your feminine leadership journey, this is the place to get it. See the schedule and sign up for free here:

My presentation is called How to Manifest The Power of Connected Leadership: Exploring A Feminine Paradigm for Business, and will take place on Day 7 (March 7th) of this 10 day event.

After you register you’ll gain access to over 35 video sessions from many of the world’s foremost experts on mindful leadership, plus you’ll receive several bonus gifts, including a Guided Intention Meditation from me! Additionally, every session ends with a specific mindfulness meditation or practice that you can begin to use immediately in your own life and organization.

I hope you will join me for this powerful new event. Here’s to the power of mindfulness to help us harness the power of the feminine and lead from the truth of who we are!

Big Love,
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Chantal Pierrat | Founder, Emerging Women

I’m Going to Mess Up… and That’s Not Going to Stop Me

In the days following the Women’s March I have encountered blogs and literature expressing ways in which people have felt marginalized by the mission of the Women’s March. One image that struck me was one of a black woman, Angela Peoples, holding a sign that read, “Don’t forget White women voted for Trump.” Standing in the background of the photo are three white women in pink “pussy-hats” on their phones, smiling and posing for a selfie.

This photo is an explicit visual representation of a deep racial divide that is still very much present between women of color and white women, a distinction made unmistakably clear by the 2016 presidential election. More than 53% of white women voted for Donald, while approximately 94% of black women and 69% of latina women voted for Hillary.

There are cracks in America’s feminist movement. We are not as united as we believe.

My post’s purpose is not to examine why this drastic difference in voting occurred. Rather, I am here to address my own unanswered question:

Where is my place in all of this? Where is a white, cisgender, straight, middle class, able-bodied, privileged woman most helpful, or more importantly, least helpful or possibly even damaging for a movement whose main purpose is to achieve inclusive equality for all?

When I am uneducated about a topic, or fearful of looking ignorant when opening my mouth, my default is to read. This is a great tool. Yet it can also open the door for passivity and cowardice. By only reading, I give myself permission, in a way, to gain knowledge while remaining sheltered. I can read all about intersectional feminism, how to be a better activist, how to be a better ally, but if I don’t get out there and talk to someone about it, if I don’t get out there and do something about it, then what the heck is the point?

Here’s the truth about all of this: I am afraid. I am afraid of saying the wrong thing. I am afraid of insulting someone or coming off as callous. I am afraid of being called a racist. But guess what? My reluctance to take a stance and engage in the discourse surrounding the intersection of gender and race only perpetuates racism, my inherent racism as a white person (and if you’re white, yours as well). I benefit from systemic racism. I perpetuate racism in ways that are invisible to me. I allow it to continue living for the simple fact that I have the luxury of never having to think about it.

My hesitation to enter the conversation doesn’t keep me “safe” from being called ignorant or hurting someone’s feelings. No, it keeps me docile and reinforces my white privilege to not have to participate.

If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to read Saroful’s How to survive in intersectional feminist spaces 101. The very first aspect the author addresses is how we will all be corrected at some point or another, and that is OK! And when you mess up, which we all will, guess what you say? “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I’ll do better next time.” Wow. That was a little more straightforward than I thought it was going to be.

No one can know everything and no one expects me to know everything, but if I don’t ever mess up because I never open my mouth, then I will never learn. Saroful goes on to discuss a seriously helpful list of ways to be a good listener, an effective learner, and an impactful activist.

One of the key points I found helpful was:

If it’s not about you, don’t make it about you. If it is about you, do better.” – Saroful

In my attempt to be an activist, I will eventually be confronted with a blanket statement about racism such as white women are racist. What I am coming to realize is that all white humans are inherently racist (see above), whether or not we are willing to admit it. But if we insist that these statements don’t apply to us personally (Saroful calls this “not me! I’m a good person!”) we hijack the conversation and erase the opportunity to discuss the real issue at hand. And by playing the part of the “innocent bystander,” educating myself, but not engaging with the issue, I am a detriment to progress. I am not speaking truth to power.

I have spent the last week reading and I decided it is time to move. I need to leave my safe place, the one inside my little head. In Saroful’s follow-up article, So you think you know a thing: feministing 201, she notes that in almost every circumstance, experience will outweigh education. Anything that has ever been written has invariably been lived by someone else. In other words, educate yourself with the voices of people from the relevant community. Widen your lens of perception.

The moral of my story is that I have to engage, to listen, to learn, to know I’ll mess up and to always realize that I have the capacity to do better; we all have that potential. I will mess up, I will fall down, and I will be hurt. The beauty of it is: I will grow. It is not a marginalized group’s responsibility to come to me asking for help, to “teach” me what I should know, or to coddle my feelings of white fragility. It is MY job to change and to work hard as hell in my discomfort. It is my job to figure out by asking how I can be a better ally, not by stating that I am one. It is the voices of marginalized communities that must be at the center of the conversation, not mine, or any white person’s for that matter. It is their voices that need to be lifted and magnified – again, not mine.

I now have somewhere to start. It is my job to ask where I can be helpful, not tell. It is my job to support the uplifting of POC’s voices, not my own voice. I feel optimistic about our potential, collectively, to be the change we wish to see in the world. And as Gandhi once said, this is a damn good place to start.

Note from Emerging Women: Kristen Neff’s Self-Compassion Break is a tremendously helpful practice when we’re doing tough inner-work that is likely to bring up uncomfortable feelings. We made a handy pdf for you – take a look:


Brené Brown, Kris Carr, and Jensine Larsen: Keeping Our Feminine Fires Stoked

When we ask our Emerging Women Live speakers what the number one thing women can do to stoke the flames of feminine leadership, the answers are distinct in perspective, but very similar at the core.

The real Power-with-a-capital-P seems to boil down to one thing: deep connection with like-minded women in a safe space. It supercharges everyone’s efforts to lead in a way that feels uniquely nourishing. Don’t you agree?

Brené Brown – author of Rising Strong and Daring Greatly

Kris Carr – author of Crazy Sexy Cancer and Crazy Sexy Diet

Jensine Larsen – founder of World Pulse 

We need to support each other. We need to speak our visions so we can be supported.

Power Circles are an ideal way to both share your vision and get the support you need to move your vision toward your reality.

The Circles are an opportunity to connect regularly with women who inspire you, to get clear about what you really want, and to be in a sisterhood that believes in your capacity for leadership and impact.

The more we meet, the stronger we get, and the further our waves of emboldenment and compassion will spread into the world. And that’s a world worth creating!

Learn more about the transformative power of Power Circles HERE.


Re-Emerging My Activist Self: The Women’s March 2017

I was a Women’s Studies major in College – and in my junior year I marched in Washington DC at The March for Women’s Lives organized by the National Organization for Women.

It was amazing to see over 500,000 women, men, and children marching in solidarity for the human rights and reproductive rights of women. It energized and inspired me, and shaped the work I do to this day.

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(Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)

I was absolutely an activist in my 20’s. But my 30’s? Not so much. My focus turned toward my personal future as I reached toward the female American dream: a partner I loved, 1.5 kids, a house in a good neighborhood, and a career that was meaningful and earned a decent salary.

Four years ago I started saying to myself, “I used to be such an activist… what happened?” I think I eschewed the word because I linked it to anger. But in retrospect, I don’t remember feeling angry – I felt alive and vital. As Brené Brown puts it, I felt like I was in the arena.

Now in my 40’s (ok, late 40’s, but who’s counting?) I realize that no matter how much of the American dream I have, it is a short-lived fulfillment. How can I feel satisfied while so much of humanity struggles to get their most basic needs met, while our ecosystem deteriorates under our negligence and greed, and while women and girls around the world continue to be the target of heinous crimes?

The same goes for personal growth. I have spent the last two decades finding myself, healing old wounds, using awareness practices to out-create deep-seeded psychological patterning. I am a better person for it – thank GODDESS for therapy – and I feel that I could spend my life working on my own personal evolution (is there ever an end to it?).

But I want to go beyond me. It is my wish that every human being has the luxury of working towards their fullest self-expression in this lifetime, just like I do.

So I can’t stop at my life. I need to fight for the lives of everyone around me. I need to speak up for those whose voices cannot be heard. I need to use the inner and outer power that I have accumulated through my personal work to make the way for a more sustainable future for all.

And so this weekend, I will march again. And I do not march alone. I’ll be joining thousands of Coloradans at the Women’s March on Denver to show my commitment to social justice, human rights, and equality. If you’re in Denver, I hope you’ll join the Emerging Women group – we’re meeting at the downtown Sheraton at 8:30am.

This sister march to the Women’s March on Washington is our opportunity to send a message: we are connected, powerful, and will fiercely advocate for marginalized groups to ensure a compassionate and just world.

Not in the Denver area? Check and see if a city near you is hosting a march (at the time of this post there are over 600 scheduled). We will show up all over the nation, and our numbers will speak for themselves. We are half the population, and we will not be ignored. I can’t wait to connect with you, and re-connect with my young activist self. Now is the time, sisters. Let’s show ’em our strength!

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PS – In true Emerging Women Live fashion, we will finish the day with embodied feminine power, aka dance party, at the Colorado Blue Ball – A Ball for All. I hope you are able to do the same with the soul sisters who keep your fire bright!

3 Must-Haves for Women Entrepreneurs

The face of entrepreneurship is changing in the United States. More and more women are taking the leap from employee to owner, and the number of women-owned businesses grew 74 percent between 1997 and 2015 – that’s one-and-a-half times the national average, according to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN.

During October, which is National Women’s Small Business Month, the small business sector was in the spotlight, leading many inspirational entrepreneurs and communities to ask, “What can we do to help you succeed?”

Interestingly enough, the answer hasn’t changed much over the years. Women, like the majority of small and medium business (SMB) owners, need a mix of three ingredients for success: community, capital and growth.

Community

When it comes to community, women have long been the gatekeepers. The same skills that organized neighborhood events and activities and led to the founding of women’s’ organizations in the 1970s continue to be crucial to the future of entrepreneurship.

Capital

No conversation about women entrepreneurs is complete without discussing the challenges and key developments pertaining to issues like women’s access to credit and cultural expectations that have, to a certain extent, limited many women’s ability to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. These uphill battles, which could, even today, become deterrents, have instead fostered new strengths and determination that are integral to business success.

Growth

In business, many would say if you’re not growing, you’re failing. When growth is the name of the game, it’s imperative to constantly seek new ways to succeed.  Technology is now integral to enabling SMBs to grow; ever more accessible and sophisticated technology continues to democratize the means to leverage solutions once relegated to large companies. More than ever, technology now delivers a level of flexibility and mobility that enables every female entrepreneur to define her own workstyle and lifestyle.

Microsoft’s Windows10 Pro operating system and Windows10 Pro devices play a prominent role in the ongoing transformation of small businesses to do great things. We’d like to offer you a free copy of the Windows 10 for Business Onboarding Kit (click here) to learn more about how Windows 10 Pro and new devices can help empower your business.

Want to Dial Into Desire? Love the Longing.

Have you ever wanted something so very bad your whole body ached? I am talking about a desire so profound that it wraps itself around your heart… and squeezes. As we long for the fulfillment of that desire, a feeling of separateness from the desired thing often begins to form. And if that separateness is allowed to solidify, it can become literally heartbreaking.

I’ve felt that gulf between desire and outcome a lot lately. I’ve watched my country make decisions I don’t understand, the course I set for my business keeps taking unexpected turns, and several new relationships in my life are not panning out the way I had hoped. At times like these sometimes I just want… well, not to want.

In Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths are aimed at freeing ourselves from our desires in order to end our suffering. This makes so much sense – if I don’t want, I cannot be without, and I can’t be disappointed. Freedom! Oh to be free of wanting – how civilized that must be. To walk about the world with such contentment, such satisfaction with what is and watch all the shiny objects pass us by without the grip of desire!

Still, I can’t help but think that desire must have some function besides to torture us. Surely an energy so strong, and at times all-consuming must have a greater purpose?

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Do Our Desires Evolve Us?

At a very basic level our desire for food, water, safety, and procreation keeps humanity going. Isn’t the purpose of all of life is to expand, evolve, to grow and spread? Maybe there’s a case to be made that what we desire will likely lead to our growth and expansion.

Could it be that we naturally long for things that will help us evolve? Having longed for a few “bad boys” and risky experiences in my day, I question this. But then again, the personal expansion that came from those experiences are undeniable. The more I lean into this, the more I am convinced: desire, regardless of the object or the outcome, can lead to transformation.

Do Our Desires Reveal Our Purpose?

Maybe we don’t have desires, we are our desires. In that case, if we run from our desires, we run from ourselves. I believe Spirit can talk to us through our desires, helping to reveal our true purpose. Do you?

A desire is anything but frivolous. It is the interface between you and that which is greater than you. No desire is meaningless or inconsequential. If it pulls you, even a little bit, it will take everyone higher. Desire is where the Divine lives, inside the inspiration of your desire. Every desire is of profound importance with huge consequences, and deserves your attention.

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Do Our Desires Create Connection?

As an experiment, I started leaning into my desires. Not the images or visions I have of the end result, but the physical and energetic pull on my heart, the heat on my skin, the stretching of my soul as I reach. The desiring itself. When I stay there, I don’t feel pain or separation, but an increased intimacy with… me.

Buddhist teacher Tara Brach has said, “Longing, felt fully, carries us to belonging.” My desires shifted from a source of pain and separation to guideposts for deeper connection – to self, to others, to God/the universe/the force. The movement toward something reminds me that I am not alone. As I reach my hands out for what I want, I know that somewhere another is doing the same, and perhaps our fingertips shall meet. I desire for Emerging Women to be globally impactful – yes. But what I really want is to feel connected to women everywhere who are risking everything to live authentically for the good of the world. And in the simple act of desire, I already feel that powerful connection.

Do Our Desires Shape the World Around Us?

As women, we have a history of suppressing our desires. We may not speak up, we may not ask for what we need, we may avoid making waves and stay safe in the caretaking of others while neglecting our own wants. At Emerging Women Live 2015, Esther Perel said, “As women we need to own our wanting.” Damn straight, sisters. How can we expect the world to work in our favor if we don’t allow ourselves to want? What good is dreaming if we don’t infuse our visions with the catalytic fire of desire? To dare to want in the face of possible disappointment, shame, or guilt – now that is courage.

Thomas Merton said, “Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.” The world we live in is a result of the desire of men. It is paramount that we women step more fully into that which we desire – own it, live it, breath it – if we are going to create change in the world.

Here’s what I desire: I desire a world that celebrates feminine leadership and exalts it to create healthy systems that are inclusive, compassionate, and fair. I desire meaningful relationships that are both intimate and impactful in the world. I desire increased connection to fast track a global consciousness that puts life at the center of everything we do.  What do you desire? I want to know. Let’s pool our desires and make it happen, sisters.


What it Means to be a Wild and Free Woman

“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.

5 Reasons We Want You to Take the Entrepreneurial Plunge

Some women decide to start a business because they have an innovative product idea that fills a gap in the market or a service they can offer that is in high demand. We love it when women choose the entrepreneurial path because we know the power of feminine business leadership to change the world at large.

Regardless of the motivation, if you’re a woman considering entrepreneurship, here are a few reasons to get excited about taking the proverbial plunge:

Determination

Women are likely to be well-armed when it comes to the determination necessary to succeed at starting a business. Rutgers University includes determination in a list of necessary traits in prospective and burgeoning entrepreneurs, along with perseverance, curiosity, innovation, and fearlessness. They offer the example of Airbnb, which for many months apparently only made about $200 a week; the founders are now estimated to be worth over a billion dollars each.

Causes

There is a great deal of interest and momentum behind what’s known as “cause marketing,” at the moment. Forbes cites Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research in noting that “Women are 1.17 times more likely than men to create social ventures rather than only economic ventures, and 1.23 times more likely to pursue environmental ventures than economic-focused ventures.” Considering the current popularity of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability issues, women would be well-advised to pursue a business putting environmental conservation, energy efficiency, or social justice causes front and center.

There is now the existence of Certified B Corporations, certified by B Lab—who define B corporations as “for profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” A new interest in the triple bottom line of “profit-people-planet” is making B Corps especially appealing to a younger generation interested in supporting causes that value sustainability and economic equity. The new prominence of B corps should be especially motivating to women interested in starting forward-thinking businesses concerned with contributing to the social good.

Support

There are better support networks in place in 2016 than ever before. SAP mentions a few noteworthy organizations like the National Association of Women Business Owners, Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and Aspect Ventures as examples of organizations or companies interested in fostering and supporting female-run companies. There are even more resources accessible online that offer a number of tools, words of advice, and support services to women looking to start their own business. And of course, Emerging Women and Emerging Women Live offer stellar opportunities to get inspired and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and investors.

Investment

It doesn’t cost as much money as you might think, at first. In fact, according to Intuit, “The majority (64%) of small business owners start with less than $10,000.”  That’s great news to those of us on a budget—which, let’s face it, is most of us. One way to make the process more painful is to start your business on the side, rather than quitting your job and hoping for the best. That way, you have a bit more breathing room to settle in and figure out which aspects of the business need adjustment or revision before full-launch. Entrepreneur offers a list of affordable business ideas to get you started, in case you’re at a loss for reliable options that are also on the frugal side.

However, if you are willing to shoot for more capital with which to start your business—especially if your business happens to be tech-based—Mackenzie Burnett put together a list of female angel and early-stage investors in tech. It helps immensely to tap into female-run investment firms, since for whatever reason many male investors are still biased against female entrepreneurs. Look into Broadway Angels, whose founder, Sonja Perkins, was recently interviewed by Fortune.

Independence

The last and perhaps most significant reason to start your own business is because of more independence and greater money-making potential. Many women want to start a family or would simply prefer to be their own boss than be forced to put up with traditional male-dominated hierarchies in a more traditional office setting. There is a great deal of marketing and business-based interaction that can take place online, now, as well—as opposed to in person or with the luxury of a brick-and-mortar office location. The traditional overhead costs simply don’t exist, when you work remotely or from a home-based office. And being in charge of your own business means you get to set your own rates or prices, which can feel empowering!

Make no mistake: setting out on your own can feel intimidating, and it probably won’t be easy. Set goals for yourself, and don’t be afraid to share your idea with the world. You have most of the resources you need, and you can find the ones you’re missing with the support and collaboration of your fellow females.

Forming a concrete image of your future entrepreurial success can keep you motivated when the going gets tough. Try this guided visualization from Right-Brain Business Plan author Jennifer Lee to connect with your future success:


Unity and the Power of a Broken Heart

I sent a (pretty different) version of the email below to a small section of our list last week, and I am so grateful for the responses I got. In sharing our stories, we find strength. We need this strength as we roll up our sleeves for the massive work to come. As Kate McKinnon (dressed as Hillary Clinton, singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”) said on SNL this week, “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.” Big, big love – CP

Dear Emerging Women,

Tuesday night hit me like a punch to the gut. Like everything I believed about who we’ve become and where we’re headed was jerked out from under me like a tablecloth in some gaudy, awful magic trick. I have spent the last week going through the motions trying to reconcile this pain in my chest, the grief in my bones. Today I surrender to it.

Surrender, you ask? Is that a typo? We need to engage, we need to rally, we need to fight! Yes, all this is true. But there is something very powerful in this heartbreak, and I want to bring it with me to the front lines.

Herman Hesse said, “God sends us despair not to kill us; He sends it to us to awaken new life in us.”

I am ready for this new life. I am ready for a global collective that has the courage to love big and to dream gigantic – even in the face of heartbreak. Maybe especially in the face of heartbreak, for it is through the common human experience of love, loss and longing that we can truly feel connected with others, regardless of what may stand between us.

Maya Angelou said, Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” The power of a recovered capacity for love is perhaps the greatest force in the universe because it knows the sacredness of our shared humanity. It is from this place that I want to move forward into the world.

At Emerging Women Live, Glennon Doyle Melton said, “Tell me what breaks your heart I will tell you your purpose.” If you, like me, are sitting with a broken heart, let’s work together to create a world where all people feel included and love is the driving force behind all that we do.

It’s hard to forget a broken heart. So let’s not. Let’s remember. Remember what we stand for, what we love, what made our heart break in the first place. And let’s fight for that with strength, compassion and a fire that refuses to be extinguished.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I truly believe that intersectional feminism will bend that arc like a bow, speeding the path to justice for ALL. So this is not the end. This is an exposé. The skeletons have come tumbling out of America’s closet, and I’m ready to tackle them. With my sisters. Together, we can heal, we can protect, we can uplift, we can impact. And we will. I know we will.

This is a call for citizenship. To live a life of active participation. To place solidly at the center of our focus not just “How can I make my life better?” but “How can making my life better be relevant to making the world a better place?” or in other words, “How can I use my privilege to serve?”

Emerging Women and our sister organizations give me hope. I’m grateful that we’ve built a community that celebrates both individual expression and collective compassion, values that will lead us into a brighter, more just future. Diversity, empathy, and inclusion make us powerful, innovative, creative, and bold.

In unity, we are transformation personified. We are alchemy. We are revolution. And we are love and love again.

Big Love,

 

Chantal Pierrat | Founder, Emerging Women

 

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Special Event: Power Night to benefit SheEO at Galvanize, Denver

Now more than ever we need to come together as women and leaders to create a collective vision for increasing our power and influence on the planet. I hope you’ll join me at this special event to become re-invigorated, strengthen our networks and create new ways of making capital available to the women entrepreneurs who are creating waves of impact in the world.

Together with our sisters from SheEO, Emerging Women is hosting a Power Night on November 17th at Galvanize in Denver’s Golden Triangle. We’d love for you to join us.

This celebration will feature amazing women who have been blazing the trail to a brighter future and building great businesses in the process. You will also find deep connection and community in our signature Power Circles as you experience the in-the-moment power of asking for and receiving what you need in acts of radical generosity.

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Power Night will benefit SheEO and its movement to redesign how woman-led businesses are funded, supported, and celebrated. Despite women starting businesses at twice the rate of men, they are still wildly underfunded. SheEO is out to change that by building a whole new field of play, created by women for women and built on Radical Generosity. This video explains how:

Emerging Women is supporting SheEO’s Colorado launch, and we want YOU to be part of this growing movement by conencting with and getting inspired by brilliant Colorado women. Ready to make this happen?

EMERGING WOMEN POWER NIGHT

NOV. 17th | Galvanize, Denver 

5:30-6:30pm – Private Reception (become an Activator to join)

6:30-9pm – Keynote, Power Circles and Panel Discussion (free admission)

Register HERE

Interactive Keynote: Jen Louden

Jen Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement with her first book The Woman’s Comfort Book. She’s the author of 5 additional books on well-being and whole living that have inspired more than a million women in 9 languages. Jen has spoken around the world on self-care, written a national magazine column, and even sat on Oprah’s couch talking about the power of retreats.

Panel: Grace and Grit: Founders’ Stories of Vision, Perseverance and Heart

Featuring Niki Koubourlis, Founder and CEO of Bold Betties; Jillian Gibbs, Founder and Global CEO of Advertising Production Resources; Amy Bayer, CoOwner-CoCEO, PorchLight Real Estate Group; Victoria Qunitana, Co-Founder & Board Chair of Istonish, Inc.

niki.pngEvery major life decision Niki Koubourlis made up until 2012 was motivated by a desire for security. The career she chose, the schools she went to, and the man she married were all based on a desire for security. But when she had built that secure little world, she found it wasn’t enough. Her life lacked purpose and passion.

Since leaving her 80+ hour workweeks behind, she has spent a lot of time outdoors, trying new things, seeing new places and making new friends. She is not your stereotypical hardcore, accomplished outdoorswoman, but she discovered that it doesn’t really matter if she is with the right people.

That is why she founded Bold Betties and Bold Betties Outfitters. Bold Betties takes the intimidation out of adventure by connecting women to each other, the outdoors, and ultimately their fabulous selves.

Jillian Gibbs founded APR to set new standards for advertising production consultancies. She sees APR’s role as a true production partner, not a cost-containment advisor. Her vision is to take a more comprehensive approach that helps clients optimize advertising production with stronger processes, greater efficiencies and cutting-edge production approaches across all media. Jillian has helped define new standards and best practices within the production industry throughout her 20+ year career for industry associations like the ANA, WFA, ACA and ISBA.

Today, APR is one of the nation’s fastest-growing advertising production consultancies with subject matter experts in all major production centers (Europe, North America, LATAM, and Asia). Jillian continues to expand APR’s original mission, providing clients with a growing choice of service offerings that reflect the ever-changing media landscape.

As a top-producing REALTOR® in Denver, Amy Bayer averaged more than $10 million in annual sales but inherently knew there was a better way to conduct business. She believed in a company based on emphasizing long-term, authentic relationships—a real estate company that looks at real estate in a different way—one totally committed to the client and that gives back to the communities they serve.

Amy co-founded PorchLight Real Estate Group with her partner, Carol, to raise the bar in the industry. By instituting the highest level of agent education and training standards, the pair created a sophisticated infrastructure and in just 12 years they have risen to the top three brokerages in Denver market share and are arguably the most tech-savvy brokerage in Colorado. A professed self improvement junkie, Bayer leads with eternal optimism, support of her 150+ brokers and is 100% immersed in achieving excellence across her business.

In 1990, Victoria Quintana founded Istonish with her sister, Annette. Their initial vision and dedication to creating an organization that was built on service, excellence and unbendable ethics, has led them from assisting companies and governmental agencies in finding the best technology talent, to now building and delivering IT solutions. Istonish is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, but works nationwide across a diverse sampling of industries: Government entities, medical, energy, telecommunications, oil and gas, as well as small organizations and Fortune 15 companies.

Having led Istonish through rapid growth during turbulent economic times, Victoria now serves as Board Chair while also leading a Denver Vistage International group. Victoria has a passion for strategy and participates on executive advisory boards of companies and non-profit organizations, helping them hone their vision, mission, core values, operational and financial plans.

What a stellar lineup! Get your tickets now, and we’ll see you at Galvanize on November 17th.

Are you owning your voice? Answer these 3 Power Circle questions to find out.

A lot of us are experiencing the call to leadership in big ways. It’s exciting, thrilling even, but it can also feel uncomfortable and risky. Getting in touch with the power of your own voice is a great way to create some solid ground to stand on.

On Saturday morning at Emerging Women Live, we did a Power Circle exercise to facilitate just that. Women got in small groups to answer the questions below. What seemed like simple answers led to some deep discoveries around old patterns and beliefs. 

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There’s an energy that gets sparked when women come together to explore their leadership stories. The Harvard Business Review has cited this connection as an integral step to increasing the number of women in positions of power today.

“Companies should encourage [women] to build communities in which similarly positioned women can discuss their feedback, compare notes, and emotionally support one another’s learning. Identifying common experiences increases women’s willingness to talk openly, take risks, and be vulnerable without fearing that others will misunderstand or judge them.”

Intentional conversation facilitates deeper authenticity and a lot more poetry in the way we speak to one another about our own lives. That’s why Power Circles are one the of the most powerful tools we have at Emerging Women. The quality of how we share our experience is commensurate to the quality of how we are able to show up in the world.

Take a moment to investigate your relationship with personal expression by answering the following questions. Remember, this is not a test – self-discovery is best served with tenderness and sweet curiosity. Let yourself free associate, and jot down or voice memo anything these prompts bring up for you. 

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We’d love to hear any insights you have. Why not start a mini Power Circle in the comments section? Sharing your voice is the first step to owning it, and there’s nothing quite like hearing a kindred spirit say, “I see you.”

And if you’re interested in the full-strength version, join a facilitated group of 7 women for Emerging Women Power Circles. Applications are being accepted now. You can email Carole Lundeen at [email protected] with any questions, or click the link below to check out more Power Circle themes.

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Badassery: The Eightfold Path

In the aftermath of spending several days with a few hundred powerful women in the container of Emerging Women Live, I am focused and energized. What is alive in me is the distinct awareness of possibility in a way that didn’t exist before the conference. I have a clear sense of the space into which I will emerge. It is calling me. There’s a chair at the table with my name on it.

Several months ago I hit a wall. I was exhausted. Flat-out, bone-weary knackered. Drained, depleted, beat, wasted, spent. You get the idea. I had been on a bender several months, giving birth to a batch of new programs and reinventing the way I did business. This is a good thing and as a result, I am fulfilling on my purpose. I am aligned with my passion. I am showing up in the world, climbing into the arena, playing big. I’ve been manifesting like a mad woman. BAM!

As a single mother, writer, coach, speaker, editor, entrepreneur, I play many roles. My hat rack is jammed full, and I wear all of those lids enthusiastically. I often say I am the most competent woman I know. I even changed a tire in my flip-flops one morning on the way to drop my son at school. I got this. I’m a badass, and I know it. And yet somehow I find myself in the familiar place of dragging my badass around wondering why this often feels so hard.

I’m not alone in this. I know a ridiculous number of equally badass women with whom I have this conversation on a regular basis. We are simultaneously inspired and tired. My most desperate moments of energetic decimation have brought me to this realization: there are two varieties of exhaustion.

PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION: The kind of fatigue that shows up when we haven’t fed, watered, moved, or rested our bodies in the way that sustains our wellbeing.

Symptoms: sleepiness, brain fog, headache, muscle weakness, short-term memory loss, difficulty regulating mood.

EXISTENTIAL EXHAUSTION: A syndrome that occurs at a certain point in the downward spiral of compounded physical exhaustion when there is no clear path out of the current paradigm.

Symptoms: overwhelm, depression, lack of motivation, loss of purpose, disorientation, hopelessness.
 
The question that characterizes the state of Physical Exhaustion is, “Can I really do it all?” Once Existential Exhaustion sets in, we find ourselves asking, “Can I really HAVE it all?”

The answers to these questions are largely determined by how we define “all,” but one thing is certain, if the answer is yes, it cannot be at the expense of our wellbeing. The cost of being a badass cannot, by definition, be our badass-ness.

Looking at the essence of what powerful women have in common—what it takes to show up in the world at full-volume, to look for opportunities not just to survive but to thrive, to maximize the potential of experiences and relationships towards a more conscious community, to move through the world with grace and compassion, and to navigate conflict by repeatedly choosing love over fear—I find it can be distilled down to a number of core principles.

If we want to be badass, we must adhere ruthlessly to these eight rules. No slack.

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1. Your own wellbeing is a priority.

You don’t pretend that everyone else’s needs come first. You’ve renounced martyrdom. You might take care of others first, but you never go without eating or sleeping or making everyone wait for a few minutes while you put yourself in time-out.

2. You have a strong statement of purpose and anything that isn’t in alignment with it has to go.

You have determined what it is you are up to here on planet earth and you use that vision as a guiding force in your life. You do not indulge anything that is out of integrity with who you are and you are ruthless in eliminating distraction. You are a living example of what you are bringing forth. You walk the talk. You are the change you want to see in the world. 

3. You have cultivated a relationship with your feminine essence and do what it takes to tend the fire.

You recognize that we are navigating a culture that values our rational minds and celebrates linear, problem-solving, masculine energy. You know that as a woman, you have an innate, intuitive nature that is fluid, expansive, and grows wild. You have developed the tools to access this creative life force to fuel your existence and fulfill on your purpose. 

4. You realize that saying no can be an essential expression of love.

You have a handle on your co-dependency quotient and feel secure in enforcing boundaries as a means of being able to sustain your loving presence in the world. You also know the importance of teaching people to fish for themselves, and that in doing so, they not only develop their own self-sustaining skills, but often discover and innovate in ways that serve others.

5. You have developed a support system and you’re not afraid to use it.

You have let go of the idea that you have to do it all and fully embrace the vulnerability it takes to ask for help. You even enjoy creating opportunities for others to show their love for you through acts of service.

6. At any given time, you can answer the question: What do you need?

No matter what the situation, you have developed a set of criteria by which you check-in with yourself—physically, emotionally, spiritually—to determine your needs, for which you take responsibility, and act accordingly.

7. You are willing to be alone.

You acknowledge that we are born alone and we die alone. While you choose to be in the company of others, you never do so to avoid confronting your own self. And you don’t pretend to have the right to mandate others’ thoughts, feelings, or behavior. In fact, every morning you release the ones you love, graciously, to their path.

8. You are willing to tolerate uncertainty.

You relish the state of “not knowing” because you know that’s where possibility lives. You have cultivated a practice by which you are able to disconnect from your controlling mind and embrace the natural flow of the universe.

5 Things We Can Learn from Successful Women Entrepreneurs

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The entrepreneurial waters are getting more crowded by the day, and it’s a blessing in disguise, especially if we take into account the rising number of businesswomen swimming valiantly upstream and writing their names and legacy proudly as they go. As we pause to applaud the growing female presence in business – a world which has up until recently been considered a male dominion – we might as well pick up a few lessons from ladies who know how to carve off a piece of the corporate cake for themselves and make most of their resources.

If your eyes are set on sustainability and success in the business arena, it’s a smart move to pick up the cues from the best – and the fairest – of world’s top-rated entrepreneurs of the 21st century.

1. Take Every Chance, Drop Every Fear

source: The Times UK

“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global

Arianna Huffington built a global brand from scratch, and she says she wouldn’t have pulled it off had she allowed her fears to hold her back. If you have a business idea you think might just work, don’t think about the negatives: take initiative and see where it leads you. You’ll be able to tweak your strategy as you go, but unless you hit the road, you’ll be robbing yourself of a chance at success.

2. Don’t Be Ashamed to Ask for Directions

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” – Oprah Winfrey, actress, book author, producer and host of The Oprah Winfrey Show

Face it: you’ll never know all there is to be known about business, but not asking for directions is the safest way to get lost along the way. World-famous female entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey knows just how important it is to do industry-related homework in advance and not be ashamed to ask questions and seek help or guidance when you need it.

If your eyes are on peak business results, research and hard work will get you on the right foot – but it’s the answers that will keep you on the right and fast lane.

3. Quality Is As Important As Quantity

“Those who believe in quality produce quality goods.” – Lailah Gifty Akita, founder of Smart Youth Volunteers Foundation

In a world that revolves around quantity, quality is what makes a brand stand out in the crowd. Lailah Gifty Akita is a shining example that excellence is the road to success – but quality takes time, commitment, and long-term investments. Money spent on first-rate office equipment is an investment in employee comfort, wellbeing, and work motivation and as such has a hand in quality of both workflow and output. Fortunately, entrepreneurs are starting to appreciate the benefits behind ergonomic workstations and seating and are no longer averse to investments in quality office equipment.

4. You’ll Make Mistakes – Learn from Them

“It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.” – Sara Blakely, Spanx founder

Sara Blakely is America’s youngest self-made female billionaire for a reason: she made mistakes, and she grew from them. According to her, failing is a sign that you’re pushing the limits of your comfort zone and taking risks; as such, errors are an integral component of the path to success. Mistakes are a source of valuable lessons on how you can tweak business strategy and approach to ensure best results in the long-run, so make them – and learn from them, too.

5. Find Your Passion and Go After It

“Ambitious people have a spark that sets them apart. They don’t just accept their lot. They’re fighters and grafters and they claw their way out of often difficult circumstances.” – Karren Brady, English author, columnist, TV personality and vice-chairman of West Ham United F.C. 

The path to success is covered in thorns, but ladies like Karren Brady aren’t fazed by obstacles, which is why they eventually rise to industry top tiers. When going gets tougher than usual, it’s the passion about your line of work that will keep you in the right lane and heading for top-notch performance metrics at full speed. For this reason, the spark is every businesswoman’s best friend: find your passion beyond fame and money, and let it guide you on days when the entrepreneurial waters grow murky.

Swimming in the business shark tank requires courage, constant learning, endurance, and skills – but these successful women have shown that success is attainable and worthwhile. We can all learn a thing or two from those who know business like the back of their ladylike hands, so pick up the cues listed above and put them to practice in your own industry, and laurels will hit home soon.

Who inspires you as your leadership story unfolds? Let us know in the comments.

Benefit and Purpose: Inspiration from the Women at Roche

I am thrilled to present at the 2016 Emerging Women Live Conference sharing ideas and inspiration with a global network of leaders and change makers. I am passionate about bringing out the best in people, and this conference provides a unique opportunity to share pragmatic and honest insights. Together we have an opportunity to take ourselves even further than imagined.
For me, inspiration comes from many sources, but especially from other women leaders at Roche. I had a chance to touch base with colleagues who are attending the conference to find out what led them on the path they are on today and what they would tell other women aspiring toward work of true benefit and purpose.  It’s remarkable to see the shared passion that exists in the field of healthcare.

lin.jpg“Personalized healthcare is a way of care that uses a patient’s genetic and biologic profile to inform both the risk of developing disease as well as a patient’s potential response to certain types of treatment,” says Lin Wu, Vice President of Development. “It enables a targeted approach to understanding and treating diseases and allows doctors to design a treatment path that is as unique as each patient. This has enormous potential to transform healthcare. I am still inspired and look forward to coming to work every day.” Lin’s inspiration and motivation continue to grow with the meaningful impact she has on patients and their outcomes.

laura-apitz.jpgLaura Apitz in our Tissue Diagnostics Unit is a leader of people, a mother of two with a very supportive husband, and she looks forward to where her path will take her next. She has worked in healthcare for more than 23 years and continues to evolve.  “I would tell anyone who wants to work hard, is inspired by technology innovation, and understands the need for improved healthcare globally to pursue a career in this field,” Laura said.  She is inspired by the impact of her team’s work and has seen first-hand how it makes a positive difference in people’s lives. 

Sushma_4x6_300dpi.jpgSushma Selvarajan knew early on what inspired her. “My mom is a mathematician and my dad a physicist, so I rebelled and went into biochemistry,” laughs Sushma who leads teams that design and commercialize novel diagnostic tests. “There are so many opportunities today to better understand human biology through new tools and approaches. It’s a great time to both learn and discover.”

We hear often about the importance of stepping outside one’s comfort zone.  But in the quest for growth, we need to allow ourselves to be a little scared.  I truly believe that people must constantly work to challenge themselves, acquire new skills, meet new people and say yes to new experiences. It’s important to take a step back and enjoy the journey as well as the destinations along the route.

R_Ewald_picture_small.jpgWhen I asked Rebecca Ewald, who leads one of the cervical cancer diagnostic areas about stepping outside her comfort zone she said, “Identify what interests you and understand what motivates you, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – those are key elements that helped me find work of true purpose. Sometimes we need to break our own mold to help get to the next stage of our personal and professional life.”  She has been driven by her curiosity that has pushed these elements forward.

Narges.pngTake Narges Bani Asadi, Head of Bioinformatics. “I want to propel clinical decision making into the future,” she recently shared with me. “We need to push the boundaries of genomic science.”  Narges came to the US from Iran and attended Stanford University, where she was encouraged by her professors to pursue the field of medical technology.  What inspires me about Narges is that she fearlessly embraced her ambition and curiosity to indeed push these boundaries. She started a company called Bina Technologies with a clear vision of the value of genetic information as it pertains to making accurate diagnoses and treatment decisions.  Bina is now an integral part of the company’s Sequencing Unit.

M_Theeuwes_2.jpgAnother colleague, who is a mother of four girls, started her career in Belgium.  Margaret Theeuwes, who manages many projects large and small, followed her strengths. “I say the same thing to men and women, do what you like and what you are good at. The great job you envisioned is out there, someone is most likely doing it now.  It is yours in the future if you understand the path to getting there and then pursue it relentlessly.”  

I hope you will have a chance to meet these inspirational women and get to know them. I know they are looking forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I challenge you to give some thought as to what inspires you and how you can inspire others. I look forward to continuing our conversation.


Sisterhood and Comparison

The squiggle comes while reading Chantal’s shout-out to Glennon Doyle Melton: “This woman is freaking amazing—authenticity, vulnerability, fierceness beyond measure, grit, grace….it’s all there. I can’t compare her to anybody but think Brené Brown, Liz Gilbert, Esther Perel, Anne Lamott, and Oprah all in one! For reals, people—don’t miss this one.”

I know my discomfort has nothing to do with Glennon. In fact, when literary agent and fellow Emerging Woman Kelly Notaras posts a video review of Glennon’s book Love Warrior on FB, I immediately google the Momastery blogger and fall in love with her. “She’s a true soul sister,” I think to myself, “having found her way to freeing the authentic self buried underneath her representative self.”

=Nope. My flinch isn’t about Glennon or Kelly or Chantal.

It’s my own insecurity.

I’m afraid there might not be enough room.

A voice in my head launches into her litany: “You better hurry up. You’re gonna miss your chance. That could have been you that Chantal was raving about. You’re blowing it.”

I peer scornfully at the voice and release my defense: “As if there were a way to hurry up, or pull off the latest 10 Easy Steps to Overnight Success. As if there were a stage—one stage—that, if I got onto it, would finally establish my legitimacy, my happiness, my worth.”

Ugh.

I take a long deep breath, shake my head, and call forth my hard earned superpower: my ability to pause. I enter this hiatus to step back and witness what’s arising. My capacity to detach kicks in strongly. Instead of reacting, I become curious. Years of meditation serve me well at times like this. The witness is now wired into my circuitry right alongside the relentless critical bitch.

I view the bitch’s reaction as the ingenious and honorable work of my reptilian brain. It’s suddenly hilarious to me that a reflex encoded millions of years ago for survival—a miraculous regulating force in the human organism—has somehow come to define survival as getting on the Emerging Women stage.

I chuckle. If I didn’t laugh I would certainly cry.

On a bad day here’s where my attention would be right now:

First stop, Judgement Square. In addition to the bitch calling me pathetic, Judgement Square is where her cronies spout their venom about everyone and everything: Glennon’s just feeding the mainstream dogma. She has no real depth. And Chantal’s just as bad … a phony new-age self-help-femininista.

Next stop, Pity Hill, where weepy voices incessantly wail: If only my mother wouldn’t have been so shut down maybe I wouldn’t have a competition thing with other women. But it wouldn’t matter anyway, because my story is not as interesting as theirs. Glennon is clearly smarter, prettier, and more worthy than I am.

Final destination, Righteous Resignation Corner, where every resident knows that a truly righteous person’s status is established by God alone. The voices here are stoic and disembodied: Your desire to be recognized is an insidious element of the unholiness of your wretched sinful soul.

Though my attention is tempted to slide down the well worn rabbit hole into my primal brain, I turn away from the familiar pathway and take a seat in my frontal lobe. Here I locate objective facts:

I’m perfectly safe.

There’s no threat to my physical life.

There’s no need to believe any of the chatter arising from the amygdala’s domain.

My forebrain confidently reminds me that a certain section of my nervous system is wired to survive, to compete for supremacy in a threatening predatory environment. “She’s merely doing her job,” my neo-cortex assures me. “She’s simply got some wires crossed is all.”

I soften my shoulders and lean back in my chair. I close my eyes. My heartbeat slows and my breathing normalizes. I can now become aware of what else is present other than the impulse to fight or flee.

Fluttering in my upper chest is a yearning.

When I notice it my heart quickens again.

“For what do you long?” I ask.

The answer comes softly and confidently: “I wish to be me.”

Relocating this self is like waking from a dream. Too often I ambulate through life as a confused and fearful dream character. But this one feels like the dreamer. She feels like home.

Through her eyes I now look at Glennon’s face frozen in the FB feed before me. I see power, radiance, and authenticity. I see a sister claiming her voice, sharing her story, taking her place on the stage of life.

I inhale and ask myself, “Is there room for both of you?”

The question now seems silly.

Shameful.

Just a moment ago it felt like life and death.

I know I’m not the only one who acts out due to the programming of well established reptilian neural pathways. I also know I’m not the only one clumsily waking up from this dreadful habit. I imagine I might even be one of a whole slew of homo sapiens approaching the possibility of becoming human. But it’s messy.

I remember the first time HeatherAsh told me she wanted to speak on the Emerging Women stage. I had just signed up for the inaugural Emerging Women Live event in Boulder and, even though HeatherAsh is a dear friend, has been instrumental in supporting my emergence, and is a transformative teacher and advocate for the warrior goddess within, it didn’t matter to the reptilian me. HeatherAsh had no business pushing into my space. After all, maybe I could be the one to step on the Emerging Women stage some day. Not her.

The Emerging Women event successfully yanks me out of my embarrassingly competitive habit by getting me high in a sea of hundreds of women shouting, “Yes! there is room for all of us!” Not only is there enough, but there is an urgent call for each of us to stand and take our rightful place on the world stage. These are unprecedented times. Humanity needs our feminine power and presence. In order to bring her forward we must access the depth of our capacity to be fully “for” each other as women.

Not only do I hear this message reverberate through the voices of the women who stand on the Emerging Women stage, but it’s also embedded into the choreography of the entire gathering. Like a 3-D onomatopoeia, Emerging Women is created by and for emerging women. No woman is considered on the outside. There is no outside. It’s all a matter of finding our rightful place … from the inside out.

I decide to buy my ticket for the second Emerging Women Live event in NYC and manage to side step my reptilian impulse to overtly dissuade HeatherAsh from attending knowing that the dates would not work for her again. However, my nervous system is buzzing on high alert poisoning my ability to be fully “for” her. I hate this feeling.

I sit down and pause to be with myself. Again.

My still small voice is kind when she says, “If you’re truly committed to bringing forward your authentic offering into the world, your place may never be on the Emerging Women stage. But HeatherAsh’s might.”

I settle into this knowing, though not without a bit of struggle. I know the truest, best, most fulfilling life is not found on a strategically targeted stage “out there.” Still, it tempts me.

“Where you stand is your stage,” she whispers to me.

How can I know this for sure?

“Because you’re here standing. Nobody else is in this place.”

I repeat to myself, “I am here. This is my place. I will move forward into the world from here.”

I say this mantra every day.

And so it has come to pass that the fourth Emerging Women Live event is less than a month away, and HeatherAsh is scheduled to teach a workshop. I’ll be a paying attendee for the fourth year in a row and HeatherAsh will be one step closer to the main stage.

I am sincerely thrilled for her. And here’s more good news.

Living my own unique story is getting easier every day. When I’m stressed, tired, or unmindful, my nervous system might flair, leaving me feeling vulnerable and exposed, unsure of my path or my future. At such times I may want to lurch at HeatherAsh and try to knock her off her path. When this occurs, I have only one way through. We are in this together, she and I. So I pause. I tell her what’s happening inside of me. I share my sorrow and my shame, allow my authentic self to show up and be genuinely for her rather than hiding the competitive one and pretending she doesn’t exist. HeatherAsh’s heart bursts open with compassion for me as she confesses her own inner competitive streak. We laugh and cry in each others arms.

This is the way of the sisterhood. Because we’re each connected to Source as the author of our unique life, when we are centered in this place there’s no stopping us. We are fully for one another. Still, let’s be real. We’re works in progress. We’re not always rooted in this place of clarity. We’re more and more grounded there, but not always. What to do when we are not stationed in our deepest knowing is the crucial teaching of these times.

What do I do when I know what the “right” thing is, but my instinct is to do the exact opposite and the strength to do the right thing is simply not available?

I pause.

I stop to witness and identify which self is about to act. I breathe. I rest into my breath and access the Breath that is breathing me. I practice this maneuver over and over and over again without ever believing this process of centering will get easier or that I will never again get drawn out of my center—without ever teaching others that it should be any other way. This is the dance of becoming human. It’s a journey. Not a fixed state.

I download Glennon’s book on my Kindle this morning as I fly to SF from NY. I can hardly put the book down, and have finally done so only because I want to finish writing this blog. The onomatopoeic experience is happening again right now. I’m reading about, observing, and living the emergent feminine. She is everywhere, coming through us with great force.

Maybe you are an emerging woman, too. Maybe I will see you in SF at EW Live in October. If you want to find me, I’ll be cheering on my bestie HeatherAsh and all the other incredible women who will convene to make this event epic. As I walk through the halls I will be emanating this mantra:

I am for you.

Not against you.

I see you.

I love you.

You’re just like me.

We are emerging women.

ORGANIC INDIA: Empowering Women through Opportunity

At ORGANIC INDIA, we know first-hand that when you empower women, you empower community.  As an integral part of our company operations, we invest in women through employment opportunities, fair wages, access to healthcare, job skills training, leadership development, and educational programming.

Why India?

While gender inequality is prevalent around the world, India is among the worst countries for gender equality (World Economic Forum, 2015). According to a 2015 report from the McKinsey Global Institute, India also stands to gain the most with a projected 16% growth in GDP from increased gender equality.

Empowering Women

We take great pride in providing opportunity to our farmers—many from marginalized groups including women, widows, the elderly and the illiterate—enabling self-sufficiency and developing skills to pass on to future generations.

We have seen first-hand that empowered women significantly strengthen families, farming operations and entire communities, providing an overall increase in quality of life.  

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Our efforts to empower women include:

Fair Pay: ORGANIC INDIA pays female farmers premium market wages, equal to their male counterparts. This is a rare opportunity in India, where the gender pay gap is very high. The World Economic Forum reports that Indian women are paid only one-third of what a man in the same position is paid.

Our relationships with farmers are built on mutual respect, dignity and interconnectedness. Fair wages honor this relationship by enabling female farmers to financially support themselves and their families. In addition, we pay farmers whether their crops fail or flourish, providing financial security regardless of temporarily unfortunate conditions.

Job Skills Training Programs: ORGANIC INDIA provides job skills training programs to empower women to achieve gainful employment. Female farmers are educated in organic and regenerative agricultural practices, but we also provide non-agricultural job skills trainings as well. For example, ORGANIC INDIA provides a 6-week stitchery training course to empower women to seek employment opportunities outside of farming.

Leadership on Farms: Because ORGANIC INDIA’s female farmers are educated in agricultural operations, we see them becoming empowered to assume leadership roles and even land ownership on their small family farms. As a result, women are independently leading operations on farms, a role traditionally reserved for men in India.

Employing Widows: In India, widows are largely treated as “untouchables,” forced into a life of begging and destitution. This stigmatized group is ostracized from Indian society, rejected by their families, refused employment and even shelter, due to a superstitious societal belief that they are cursed.

ORGANIC INDIA employs many widows, particularly on our Sweet Rose Farm in Brindavan. Here, you can find women and widows laughing and singing, handpicking rose petals in the fields. It is truly a beautiful sight, which is why we describe our Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea as “stress relieving and magical.” The magic is in the taste of sweet opportunity. Witness the empowered women of our Sweet Rose farm here:

Employment Opportunities

ORGANIC INDIA provides as much employment opportunity as possible to females in India. For example, our 200-person processing plant in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh operates with 95% female employees. We aim to provide employment opportunities for women both on and off the farm.

Celebrating Women

It is our duty and honor to take action as a company to support and celebrate the achievement of the mothers, daughters and soul-sisters who nurture bravely, build wisely and create compassionately in this beautiful world we live in. When you empower women, it’s not one person or one family that you affect — it’s the entire village. Every day we honor our women farmers, whose work and wisdom create sustainable land, strong families and healthy communities.

Learn more at: www.ORGANICINDIA.com

Radical Authenticity: The Path to Your Soul’s Purpose

There is a system.

And the rule of the system seems to be: If you want my resources, you gotta fit in. In the business world, whether in reference to raising seed money or spearheading a launch, this often translates to “You wanna lead, lady? Better man up.”

A lot of companies are trying to buck the system by intentionally funneling women into leadership positions, but those programs don’t always succeed. Women drop out (“in droves,” say most headlines on the subject). Is it because we’re soft, lazy, unskilled, or “not leadership material?” No! We’re simply tired of putting on the masculine masks (maskulines?) that companies hand out like parking passes as we climb the ladder.

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Trying to be something you’re not is taxing, and it’s not how ground-breaking work gets done. A Harvard Business Review study found that “Overinvestment in one’s image diminishes the emotional and motivational resources available for larger purposes. People who focus on how others perceive them are less clear about their goals, less open to learning from failure, and less capable of self-regulation.”

Sounds grim, but what happens if we turn the tables on perception? The same article suggests that we should “anchor women’s development efforts in a sense of leadership purpose rather than in how women are perceived.” Men are encouraged to devote energy to how they’ll lead and not squander it on how they’ll be perceived if they lead. We can do the same if we have the courage and support of our sisters.

Did the Harvard Business Review really say sisterhood helps?

Pretty much: “Companies should encourage [women] to build communities in which similarly positioned women can discuss their feedback, compare notes, and emotionally support one another’s learning. Identifying common experiences increases women’s willingness to talk openly, take risks, and be vulnerable without fearing that others will misunderstand or judge them.”

Yes. Yes. Yes. That’s our whole jam at Emerging Women! We want to help you hone in on your leadership purpose by creating a safe space for radical authenticity. We invite strong women like Janet Mock and Glennon Doyle Melton and Elizabeth Gilbert into the community to model radical authenticity in its many textures and hues. They tell it like it is, give voice to the doubts and own the vulnerabilities that will soon alchemize into strengths. They are unapologetic, tender, forgiving and inclusive.

We hear that kind of delivery – it strikes a deep chord with the cosmic feminine. And it legitimizes those of us who are working with parallel experiences, but haven’t yet voiced them (in private let alone in public).


So let’s make a pledge.

Let’s drop the weight of these masks so we can focus on our soul’s purpose.

Let’s actively participate in a community of radical authenticity. Share your strange, wild truth and celebrate it in others. We will fuel ourselves and each other, and we will spark a movement of leaders who are not simply passing as successful, or happy, or perfect, but who are real and ready to heal this world and make it a more compassionate, innovative, abundant and sustainable place.

Janet Mock: How Speaking Your Truth Increases Your Power

We are all emerging. We are working to manifest an outer life that aligns and resonates with our deepest and most true inner selves. Some emergences may be more physically obvious than others, but the priciples behind them remain the same. It takes trust, courage, and community to emerge.

Janet Mock is a model of all three traits. Her transition was superpowered by her belief that she knew herself, and no one could tell her otherwise. She trusted that inner voice, had the courage to speak it aloud, and shared her story in her book Redefining Realness, a trans girl’s coming of age memoir, to serve as a blueprint for others. That’s radical authenticity, and it has the power to make meaningful impact in the world.

At the end of her engaging Emerging Women podcast, we asked Janet what she would say to women who are no longer willing to compromise their inner truths for outside audiences.

This is how Janet answered:

“All of us, everyday, are fighting so hard to take off the masks that we were trained to put on in order to survive.

A lot of the work is undoing all the things that we learned about what we were supposed to do in order to be deemed as valuable or to be deemed as heard. We have to do that work of taking off those masks and revealing ourselves.

It takes a lot of power to be that vulnerable publicly, to exert your truth publicly, to no longer listen to all the commentary and what everyone outside of you are saying but then to just listen to what you know is true for yourself. What’s going to bring you happiness, what’s going to bring you joy, what’s going to make you content in the world?

For me, it’s been a life’s journey to come to that space to say, ‘Just because you may perceive me in a certain way, I have a lot of experiences that you may not see on the surface, but they are a part of me and I will own them.’ I will no longer think that having labels of trans or black or woman as things that I should push aside in order to be seen as more powerful. You know what? I’m going to actually speak them out, because me speaking them out and saying them and reclaiming them actually gains me more power. There’s such power in the truth, and we can emerge from such darkness when we tap into ourselves and tap into our truths.

May it be so, dear Emerging Women! Share your true voice with us in the comments section.

Have you heard Janet’s Emerging Women podcast? Tune in here:

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Emerging Women Power Night – June 22, 2016

Emerging Women Power Night

Power Night Boulder will explore the dimensions of living the truth of who we are through feminine power. You will experience real connection, intentional circles, speakers, book signings, live poetry and groove.

The line-up for this event is awesomely inspirational – featuring Tami Simon, Nancy Levin, Azure Antoinette, Lisa Wimberger, Kim Coupounas, Leslie Herod and Colleen Abdoulah — all successful visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and creatives who are trailblazing a new way of influencing positive change in the world.

Expect personal stories of what fuels these women and how they were able to achieve uncompromising success by living the truth of who they are.

  • WHEN: June 22, 2016 TIME: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • WHERE: eTOWN HALL / 1535 Spruce Street / Boulder, CO 80302
  • FEATURING: Tami Simon, Azure Antoinette, Nancy Levin, Lisa Wimberger, Kim Coupounas, Leslie Herod, Colleen Abdoulah and Chantal Pierrat
  • REGISTRATION LINK HERE
  • COST: 
    • $45 Networking Reception plus General Admission (includes a networking reception before the main event – enjoy light appetizers and drinks with display tables from local sponsors)
    • OR $35 General Admission Only

Networking Reception Starts: 5:00pm

General Admission Doors Open: 5:30pm

General Admission Event Start: 6:00pm

Event End: 9:00pm

Check out an Emerging Women Power Night from San Francisco:

Speakers

simon_t__c_stephen_collector_08Tami Simon is the founder of Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company dedicated to disseminating spiritual wisdom. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Sounds True has published more than 800 audio, video, music, and book titles along with online courses and events. Sounds True is widely recognized as a pioneer in providing life-changing, practical tools that accelerate spiritual awakening and personal transformation. As a pioneer in the conscious business movement, Tami focuses on bringing authenticity and heart into the workplace while honoring multiple bottom lines. Tami hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today’s leading teachers, delving deeply into their discoveries and personal experiences on their own journeys. With Sounds True, she has released the audio program Being True: What Matters Most in Work, Life, and Love.

Called “the Maya Angelou of the Millennial generation,” Azure Antoinette is a poet, brand humanist and creative strategist. Antoinette coined herself as a Commissioned Poet in 2008 and was firmly committed to finding a way to live out her mantra of “Do What You Love & Love What You Do.” In her crusade to be authentically committed to her medium of poetry, she has forged creative partnerships with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, worldwide brands, and national organizations by using her unique talent to curate and custom write the story of a brand.

Nancy Levin Nancy Levin is the bestselling author of Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, Writing For My Life, and the forthcoming Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth (Hay House, August 2016.) She’s a Certified Master Integrative Life Coach and the creator of the Jump Coaching and Worthy Coaching Programs, working with clients – privately and in groups – to live in alignment with their own truth and desires. She was the Event Director at Hay House for 12 years and hosts her own weekly call-in show Jump Start Your Life on Hay House Radio. Nancy received her MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and she continues to live in the Rocky Mountains.

Lisa Wimberger is the founder of the Neurosculpting® Institute. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Stonybrook, NY, a Foundations Certification in NeuroLeadership and a certificate in Medical Neuroscience. She is the author of NEW BELIEFS, NEW BRAIN: Free Yourself from Stress and Fear, and NEUROSCULPTING: A Whole-Brain Approach to Heal Trauma, Rewrite Limiting Beliefs, and Find Wholeness. As the Founder of the Neurosculpting® modality Lisa runs a private meditation practice in Colorado teaching clients who suffer from stress disorders, and she is a faculty member of Kripalu Yoga and Meditation Center, Omega Institute, and the Law Enforcement Survival Institute.

Panel 

Move the People: Changing the World through Connected Leadership

Kim Kim Coupounas serves as a Director of B Lab, a nonprofit organization that certifies “B Corporations” and serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Prior to B Lab, Kim co-founded and served as CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of GoLite, a global mission-driven outdoor apparel and equipment company. She currently serves on the Harvard Business School Alumni Board, the boards of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, the Center for Social Responsibility at the Leeds School of Business, and as a Mentor/Advisor for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, the Unreasonable Institute, Boomtown, and numerous other startup accelerators and incubators.  She earned an A.B. Cum Laude in Philosophy from Princeton University, an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Among her deep passions are spending time with her family, trail running, hiking, singing, doing yoga and martial arts, drinking great wine and climbing big mountains.

Colleen Abdoulah Colleen Abdoulah, who was the only female CEO to lead a top-ten cable operating company, is widely respected for her passionate focus on customer experience and company culture. Colleen guided WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone for 12 years, overseeing industry-leading financial success and creating unprecedented value for employees and shareholders. During her tenure, WOW! quadrupled the customer base served, from 200,000+ to more than 800,000 with revenues of over $1.2B. Under Colleen’s leadership, WOW! earned a remarkable 19 J.D. Power and Associates awards for customer satisfaction, multiple top-provider awards from Consumer Reports, and the PC Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for top cable Internet service provider. She is equally proud of the many awards WOW! received as an employer, including recognition as a 2012 and 2013 National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For winner.


Leslie Herod is the progressive candidate running for State House of Representatives District 8. She is passionate about making a difference in the community through advocacy and civic engagement. Raised by a single mother who was an officer in the Army Nurse Corps, she learned the importance of discipline, hard work and commitment to public service. After more than 10 years of experience working with local and state legislators, Leslie currently owns her own small business that focuses on strengthening community relationships. Leslie is a community champion who will proactively address our disparities in our education system, reforming our criminal justice system and tackling affordable housing challenges within the state.

Chantal PierratChantal Pierrat‘s passion is to empower women through feminine leadership. In September 2012, she founded Emerging Women and Emerging Women Live in order to support the integration of consciousness and business. Chantal’s ultimate vision is to weave feminine leadership and authenticity into businesses. When she is not dancing or working, Chantal enjoys family time with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.

Thank You to Our Sponsors power_night_sponsors

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to:

Emerging Women exists to support and inspire women to express themselves authentically through the work that they do. We strive to provide the tools, knowledge, and network to help women lead, start and grow their businesses in a way that integrates core feminine values like connection, collaboration, intimacy, beauty and heart. We provide a platform for leaders and entrepreneurs to come together to explore and express their inner truths. It is our ultimate desire that women have a strong voice in the shaping of our world’s future. Join us for our 4th annual Emerging Women Live event October 13-16, 2016 in San Francisco, CA.

Power Practice #13: Motivating with Self-Compassion

Kristin Neff Motivating with Self Compassion
Do you rely on self-criticism to get you moving?

This written exercise from self-compassion expert Dr. Kristen Neff is designed to help you shift your motivational focus from self-criticism to the more energizing benefits of self-compassion.

Press play to get in touch with what your inner critic might be trying to accomplish for you, and then let Kristen guide you towards meeting that same need with a kinder, more compassionate voice. Hands on hearts, people – self-compassion is the way through!

Play Power Practice #13 – Motivating with Self-Compassion:

kristin neff During Kristin’s last year of graduate school in 1997 she became interested in Buddhism, and has been practicing meditation in the Insight Meditation tradition ever since. While doing her post-doctoral work she decided to conduct research on self-compassion – a central construct in Buddhist psychology and one that had not yet been examined empirically.

In addition to her pioneering research into self-compassion, she has developed an 8-week program to teach self-compassion skills. The program, co-created with her colleague Chris Germer, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, is called Mindful Self-Compassion. Her book, Self-Compassion, was published by William Morrow in April, 2011.

Check out our Emerging Women podcast with Dr. Kristen Neff to hear more:

Why I Had to Elope, and Would Do It Again

On Instagram, #weddingplanning boasts nearly 500,000 posts. Pinterest has thousands of boards dedicated to “wedding inspiration.” You’ve seen them, right?

Have you seen how a quick Google search reveals countless articles on the average cost of a wedding last year and how the more expensive a wedding is the higher chance of divorce?

My husband, Aaron, and I skipped the bridal magazines and eloped a few weeks ago, in a tiny ceremony officiated by a close friend with just a handful of witnesses. There was little planning, no hashtagging (we decided to unplug for the weekend), and no disappointments, as we had set no expectations. There was laughter and authentic connection amongst the few friends invited, and it was easy and very inexpensive.

As the bride, and as a young woman who is emerging, my desire to elope stems from a strong disagreement with the gendered notions of what a bride should be, and the patriarchal, consumerist framework of which weddings are built upon.

I wanted to direct the time, energy, and money that goes into a wedding to things that actually matter to me in life. At this point in time, that means starting my own business with my husband and best friend from college, working for a few start-ups and supporting the expansion of a Bolivian NGO. My husband’s reply is: “Ain’t nobody got time to get married when they’re busy changing the world!” I couldn’t agree more.

“Ain’t nobody got time to get married when they’re busy changing the world!”

When I said “yes,” the course we set as a couple was intentional. As conscious millennials, we both knew we wanted something simple and fun. We didn’t want anything with a fiscal note that would hinder our entrepreneurial dreams (which had yet to come to fruition at the time of our engagement, but ideas were swirling around in our heads).

Blissfully engaged, we carried on with our lives. In efforts to solidify our entrepreneurial desires, and quench our wanderlust (we both are avid travelers), we quit our jobs and took off for South America for some much needed soul-searching and change of scenery. As we traveled, we casually shrugged off questions about marriage from friends and family, stating, “We’re too busy traveling to plan anything.” Which was true. We were busy learning Spanish, making friends, exploring, volunteering and dreaming up business ideas.

Spending time together abroad was critical for us as a couple. Our consciousness and understanding of the world were challenged, tested, and transformed.

When we returned to the US, we were even more inspired to start our own business, so we channeled all energy into replenishing our bank accounts. We also became consumed by  helping expand a Bolivian NGO we had worked with, and began to plant the seeds for a small social enterprise endeavor. We explored new areas of interest. We confronted fears about finances and business plans, and comforted each other in times of post-travel anxiety (like when I had a full-on consumerist meltdown in a big box store in Chicago).

When we decided to actually elope, we kept it secret to avoid getting distracted from our work. In planning it, we used the same values as when we took the plunge into starting our own business – we focused on community, human connection and supporting the local.

We leveraged our favorite resources that have continually enriched our lives here in the US and abroad. We rented a venue from Airbnb that would host us and 6 of our best friends for a long relaxing weekend. We found a young, aspiring, local photographer on Craigslist who wanted to build his portfolio to capture our event, and Siri helped us find a local bakery to get a cake the day of. We wrote the ceremony and our respective vows on a shared Google doc a few weeks out (in between meetings), and found the perfect spot for our ceremony on the edge of a cliff by simply asking the Airbnb hosts for a suggestion upon our arrival.

I never once stepped foot into a bridal shop. Time was never wasted picking out placemats, organizing a seating arrangement or trolling the endless pages of theknot.com (which I had never heard of before writing this). I simply didn’t want an entire year of my life to be consumed by one day. We exchanged vows with ease and smiles, our hearts happy and full.

At the end of the day, any day, I want to be part of something bigger and more important than wearing an expensive dress and doing the electric slide.

Hannah Faust is the social media manager for Emerging Women, a digital marketer, emerging entrepreneur, and helps run Cochabamba Pedal Project with her husband. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado.

Come connect with Hannah and the rest of the Emerging Women inner circle at Emerging Women Live 2015:

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The 5-Day Relationship Cleanse: Time for that Spring Detox

It’s spring, and you know what that means: buh-bye snow and time to do some cleaning!

But it’s not the typical green smoothie cleanse I’m craving. I’m spring-cleaning the mess of feelings I’ve padded myself with this winter.

As I start to remove some of that excess emotional weight, I realize that a lot of it is attached to over-engaging emotionally with a few “close” relationships that maybe shouldn’t be so close.

Let’s just say it: I wanted to write an article about getting rid of relationships that no longer serve us because I have one in my life!

She and I were really close. But then I had a baby, and things got AWKWARD as she became more and more scarce during my postpartum can’t-stop-crying and haven’t-slept-in-months and who-am-I and what-the-hell-happened-to-my-body phase of mommyhood. And I got angry. Why wasn’t she there for me when I needed her most?

As much as I want to just clean house, cut her out of my life, and try to move on – what I really need to do is re-evaluate.

According to friendship-expert and CEO of GirlFriendCircles.com, Shasta Nelson, “Friendships are the training ground for becoming the people that we claim we want to be.”

Let that sink in – because that shifts this whole friendship conversation…

In her Emerging Women podcast interview, Shasta says we too quickly bail on the uncomfortable awkward moments in our relationships, thereby abandoning potential intimacy-building moments.

The highest levels of friendships we can have are ones where we can be truly vulnerable, even (and especially) during the awkward moments. On the opposite end of the continuum are our acquaintances and more casual relationships – where we get to awkwardly practice loving people who are very different from us.

I do tend to expect way too much (and too soon) from relationships. Not everyone has to be an immediate best friend, and relationships can shift their levels of importance over time. Seeing relationships in this light tempers things a lot and takes some serious emotional baggage off of me (and my friends).

This cleanse really helps that process. Join me for 15 minutes a day to work off the emotional weight that’s built up this winter:

Day 1: Evaluating your Values

What are my top 5 relationship values? In my closest relationships, am I exhibiting these? Where can I get better?

Day 2: Assessing your Friendships

List your friends and answer the following questions about each relationship: Is this a healthy relationship? Does it have the potential to hold most of the values that I see as important? What (if anything) is keeping us from growing closer?

Day 3:  Appreciate, apologize and/or accept

Integrate your findings from Day 1 & 2. Apologize to those that you may have pushed away when it got awkward. Accept that some relationships are not going to grow stronger, and acknowledge the beautiful relationships that are currently growing.

Day 4: Go have a friend date with yourself!

I often expect so much from others before first figuring out how to be a friend to myself. Remember that playing and having fun are important features of any relationship. Go out and do something you enjoy: take yourself to a movie, go for a hike or start an art class. Chances are, if you’re having fun with yourself you are going to have more fun with others.

Day 5: Maintenance

How are you going to check in with yourself and your relationships? How will you handle jealousy or blame in your relationships? Can you find time to journal at least once a week and take yourself on a date once a month?

In three months this may change. Make sure to have the flexibility and grace with yourself and your friendships when changes arise.

As for me, I need to stop writing to you and start writing to an old friend. I’ve got some work to do and then a date to schedule with myself.

Unleash the Power of Your Voice with KC Baker

We’ve all felt it – the sweaty palms, the racing heart, the dry mouth that comes with public speaking. Making yourself vulnerable in front of a room full of strangers can be crazy intimidating! If public speaking is a big hurdle for you in getting your truth out there to the world, then consider KC Baker your track and field coach.

We are so excited to have KC speaking at Power Party San Francisco on April 24th at Parisoma. Her work to empower female speakers has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Daily Love, and Women 2.0, and Origin Magazine hailed her as “One of the Top Planetary Changemakers.”

KC is currently sharing a video training series: “The 5 Keys to Women’s Thought Leadership.” Her goal is to help you get clear on what you stand for, set yourself free from doubt, and get your ideas out there. Check it out, and get excited about what KC will bring to Power Party San Francisco!

Reserve your space for #PowerPartySanFran or sign up for the free livestream HERE.

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014.

Juicy Bites: The Courage to Challenge Expectations

“Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.” ~ Margaret Sanger

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~ Anais Nin

This week in Juicy Bites, we discover:

  • A woman challenges the pressure to start a family
  • The women Michelle Obama honored for their extraordinary courage
  • 10 ways we can lead with courage
  • How to challenge the way society describes successful women
  • A feminine approach to feminism
  • Bella Abzug, lifelong activist, leader and hero

At the end of this post, we encourage you to join us for a conversation. This week’s Juicy Bites question for you, dear emerging women, is:

1. Life Once Removed via Suzanne Heintz

Check out Suzanne Heintz’s answer to the annoying and limiting question “Why aren’t you married?” The Denver-based art director’s photos are truly worth a thousand words to challenge the outdated but frequently implied notion that a woman without a husband and kids is somehow suspect.

 

“Do we live our lives with a keen awareness of how it feels, or just how it looks?” – Suzanne Heintz

 

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2. U.S. Honors Extraordinary International Women of Courage via Mashable

March 8th marked the 103rd anniversary of International Women’s Day. In celebration, Michelle Obama presented the 2014 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award to 10 exceptional women, whose work and achievements, often in the face of personal risk, serve as an inspiration to women worldwide.

 

“While our circumstances may be different, in so many ways the solutions to our struggles are the same. So when we see these women raise their voices and move their feet and empower others to create change, we need to realize that each of us has that same power and that same obligation.” – Michelle Obama

 

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3. Lead With Courage: 10 Lessons From Women At The Top On Closing The Gender Gap  via Forbes

Using specific examples from women she’s met in her own career path, Margie Warrell shares 10 inspirational insights on courageous feminine leadership, from “Don’t go it alone” to “Lift as you climb.”

 

“I firmly believe that only when we women born in the western world step up to the leadership plate, and refuse to cower in the face of fear or failure, can we hope to permanently close that gap and create a more equitable world for the millions of women who have none of the opportunity we so easily take for granted.”

 

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4. How to Write About Female Politicians Without Being a Sexist Sh*thead via Jezebel

A few weeks ago, you emerging women started an awesome conversation about the power of words here. In the same spirit, with an added dose of humor, Lindy West challenges publications to be mindful of their language, and to dissolve the damaging double standards applied to news coverage of female politicians.

 

“Here, I made a template (just fill in the blanks and your article is done!): NEWS REPORT: [Female Politician] did [politics] today. [Describe politics.] THE END”

 

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5. Ms. Opinionated: Am I a Bad Feminist if I Don’t Take a Stand on Every Issue? via bitchmagazine

In this advice column, Sydette Harry challenges the expectation that a feminist should have a decisive stand on every feminist issue. We appreciate this reminder to bring a feminine edge to feminism.

 

“Remember that you become a feminist to love people and support them and to challenge the systems that don’t. That’s the important thing: Not what someone call themselves, not whether they have all the correct opinions, but how they’re working to make a better life for women.”

 

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6.  My MAKERS Hero: Bella Abzug via MAKERS

Suzanne Braun Levine, author and first editor of Ms. Magazine, tells Makers about her hero, Bella Abzug, “an activist and leader in every major social movement of her lifetime,” and a woman who truly, outspokenly, lived her truth every day.

 

“She didn’t knock lightly on the door. She didn’t even push it open or batter it down. She took it off the hinges forever. So that those of us who came after could walk through.” – Geraldine Ferraro

 

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We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Please join in with a comment below:

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014. Register before July 31st to enjoy deep discounts.

Power Party at HUB-Boulder, March 20th, 2013

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Emerging Women Power Party
Wed, March 20, 2013
6:00-8:30pm
The HUB-Boulder, Boulder, CO
Cost: $25

Brilliant Women Igniting Change in the World

~Food, Drinks, Music, Networking, Speakers – and probably some dancing!~

Are you on fire with desire to create a life of alignment, authenticity and powerful self-expression through the work that you do? If so, join us as we celebrate the rise of women leaders and entrepreneurs, and the movement towards a more integrated approach to success.

Continue reading “Power Party at HUB-Boulder, March 20th, 2013”