From Internal Flame to Emerging FIRE

 

It feels as though we’ve made up for the glacial pace of 2020 with this year passing by in the blink of an eye!

My instinct this time of year is to slow things down, to enjoy the deep dive of the darker days and go inward, to surrender fully into stillness…aaaaah.

And yet this year the world seems to be swirling with aliveness, with the coming emergence of the light in a way I have not felt since the beginning of the pandemic.

Are you feeling this too?

[SPOILER ALERT: Changes, Reinvention and BIG Emergence coming your way soon!]

From Internal Flame to Emerging FIRE

In the Northern Hemisphere, today is the shortest day of the year – the day when our access to the Sun’s power is at its lowest.

According to Rudolf Steiner, this is the opportunity for us to turn inward, to draw power from our own light. In Waldorf education, one of the many creations of Steiner, the children walk a large spiral, in the dark, to a lone candle in the middle, where they light their candle and walk back out through the spiral, but this time with their light to guide them. It’s so tender to see their nervous little faces as they walk to the light, only to walk back out with an energy of triumph!

Do not underestimate this light within you, even though it may seem so very small and distant at times.

In the long nights of winter, the strength of our internal light is enough to navigate even the darkest of times — like the effects of a loooong pandemic!

This tiny flame is the fire-starter that will set your emerging journey ablaze.

And while the novel coronavirus has taken so much from us, it did offer us something in return.

Before 2020, it felt like we were on autopilot. Floating through our lives, striving for the next thing. The next promotion. The next speaking gig. The next relationship. The things that would — should — make us happy in the long run.

But what I learned in the past few years is that the answers aren’t outside of us. We don’t need to go on a solo trip around the world to find ourselves (and believe me, I have a dream!).

As much as we love Elizabeth Gilbert (and we do!), we can’t Eat Pray Love our way out of the world’s pain and suffering. Everything we need to be happy and fulfilled, we can find within ourselves.

This pandemic has given us the ability (and time!) to turn ourselves inward. Which inevitably ends up turning us back outward. When we do the work to connect to ourselves and fill our cups through self-care and rest, we are then able to move this energy outward and use it to nurture our relationships.

And to do the work that really matters. In a way that works for US.

Last year, we were stretched and stretched and stretched all year long. We learned just how resilient we are.

This year? We ride the fire.

Together.

I’m so grateful for you, the Emerging Women tribe. I’m grateful for the relationships we’ve forged throughout the years and for our shared humanity.

However you celebrate this time of year may you feel the love that surrounds you.

Leadership Equity: A New Paradigm for Power

Leadership Equity

The way power is playing out right now is just not working.

Our current power structure is based on an old model that was designed to reflect the needs and the desires of just a small representation of humanity. Our view of power has become distorted and unhealthy, and it’s not inclusive of the voices and perspectives in our world today.

What we want is equitable, equal, just, and compassionate power. Not power over, but power with.

What we need is a new system of power that best reflects our shared humanity.

Leadership Equity is personal, community-driven, and systemic power that is used for the service of others and is representative of our diversity.

What Is Leadership Equity?

Similar to financial equity, Leadership Equity is a balance sheet of assets; yet, instead of financial assets, we’re talking about our influential assets: our clout, influence, and position in our communities and the world.

It is the value we’ve built through our work in current leadership platforms.

Yet the definition of equity doesn’t just speak to what we own — it also refers to how we use what we have in this world. The true definition of equity is: “the quality of being fair and impartial.”

True Leadership Equity isn’t used to benefit ourselves and our own communities. Leadership Equity is best used when helping to level the playing field for others.

The three ways in which we can build leadership equity within ourselves and out in the world are within the realms of:

— I
— We
— The World

Our growth, development, and impact in all three dimensions are what creates our Leadership Equity. How we use this equity within these three realms is how we shape our vision of the world.

Leadership Equity in the Realm of I

Everything starts inside the Realm of I.

All ideas start as whispers from our inner voice. These ideas are influenced and birthed by our values and belief systems. What matters most to me?

My truth. My acceptance. Celebration of my stories.

Our individual wholeness is the root of our personal expression in the world. All of us have personal power. Just by being here and taking up space.

For many, drive comes from overcompensation for our not-enoughness. We’re motivated ‘to become’ to hide our fears and vulnerabilities and to un-become what we don’t want the world to see.

But when we source our drive from deep, deep, radical self-acceptance, we can give up the war we have with ourselves, our not-enoughness, and our falling-shorts.

Leadership in the Realm of I starts with self-compassion. When our drive begins with self-compassion instead of a ‘covering-up’, only then can we risk vulnerability, failure, and hard lessons.

Leadership Equity in the Realm of We

We cannot be fully expressed as human beings in isolation. To what end are we doing this work on ourselves if not to take that representation — those ideas, truths, acceptance, and stories — into the world, into our relationships and communities?

When we emerge from our dark night of the soul, we are inspired to lead with the truth of who we are, and to do so with others. Our natural impulse is to share ourselves with others so that we may feel the power of belonging. Belonging is not about fitting in, it’s about fitting with – lending our unique imprint as we fit together with others to make a whole.

We must ask ourselves, “How can we connect with and support others as we are reaching for the stars ourselves?”

But sometimes people are scared of too much ‘We’ space. We’re afraid the people around us will dull our unique gifts or we will go unnoticed by the world.

This can happen – when there’s not enough diversity in the people around us.

If you find yourself scared of ‘We’ space, if you’re finding your gifts dulled within your communities, ask yourself:

Am I swimming in sameness?

While there may be comfort in surrounding yourself in people like yourself, sameness doesn’t have the same chemistry, spark, innovation, and grit as a diverse group.

The antidote to sameness is reaching for differences.

Reach for differences to build teams and communities with as much diversity in terms of:

— Race
— Gender
— Socioeconomic background
— Identity
— Perspective

Encourage new patterns, new solutions, and new thinking, and you’ll foster true innovation.

When we’re in the ‘We’ space, we need to pay attention to our language, set our intention, and welcome the gifts of curiosity. But above all, we need to place checks and balances on ourselves to ensure we’re creating an inclusive environment when we’re in this space.

Leadership Equity in the Realm of the World

I + We = The World

The Realm of the World represents whole-person leadership, relationships, communication, influence, and impact. The I and

The We create The World we live in.

Our old idea that The World just ‘happens’ and we respond to it is just not correct.

All the roads, the buildings, all the systems that support the functioning of our World are all direct results of efforts put forth by ‘The I’ and ‘The We’. Systems produce the results they were designed to produce. If we’re not getting the results we want, we need to change the system.

This is good news because we have more control than we think to make the world around us reflect what we want.

Leadership in the Realm of the World builds systems that reflect what we want and produce the outputs we desire.

Leadership in the Realm of the World means ensuring our systems are set up for inclusion and equality.

We need to evaluate every system (from our talent evaluation meetings to our hiring processes and our political landscape) to ensure they’re inclusive and that all races, genders, cultures, and bodies have a seat at the table.

We all have some level of clout, influence, and position (even if it’s only within our own families and communities). Our Leadership Equity is the value we’ve built up through our work in current leadership platforms, but also the work we have done on ourselves and in our communities.

What are you doing with the Leadership Equity you’ve built?

Leadership Equity Starts with Connection

Leadership Equity should be used to help level the playing field for others.

Doing so not only benefits others — but it benefits all the realms, from The World to The We to The I.

And Leadership Equity starts with connection.

First with the connection to yourself, to your truth, and knowing who you are. Then with your connection to others. Connection to your teams and to your community and connection to the earth, our world — and all of life. Emerging into being is so much more powerful when we do it with others.

When we structure our lives this way, Leadership Equity stops being the topic of conversation and just becomes the natural order of things.

Leadership Equity is the natural order of things.

Empathy Moves Mountains: The First Step in Creating the World We Want to Live In

white privilege

When people we love, our communities, and the entire world are at their most vulnerable, my first impulse is to jump to “fix-it” mode. Yet recently I have realized that this can be a diversion, a way to avoid the real work of fixing — feeling.

With the world crying out for change, it’s a time to act, to lead with our voices, but it’s also a time to follow…and to feel.

‘Feeling it’ is a critical step in the process of healing trauma, grief, anxiety, negative thinking patterns, collective anger, and other painful experiences that seem to be on rotation these days.

When the COVID-19 crisis hit, I was too busy to pay attention to my feelings. Busy pivoting my business. Busy juggling fractions and grammar and homeschooling. Busy making sure my kids weren’t spending all day living in 50 different Minecraft realms.

And when I had a second to breathe, I was inhaling the scent of what was on everyone else’s limited menu of COVID feelings: fear, anxiety, grief.

Still, I soldiered on, stuffing those feelings aside. I needed to get through. We all did. There was too much to worry about to pay attention to everything.

Then, Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brook, and so many others. And the 1,298 black U.S. citizens shot by the police in the past year — the ones whose deaths went unnoticed because body cams had been turned off and good samaritans weren’t nearby with their phones ready and waiting.

Not to mention the fact that people of color are dying of COVID at a rate of 3.57 times more than white people. According to the CDC:

“Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons have a rate approximately five times that of non-Hispanic white persons, non-Hispanic black persons have a rate approximately five times that of non-Hispanic white persons, Hispanic or Latino persons have a rate approximately four times that of non-Hispanic white persons.”

With all of this coming at me at once, I broke. I crossed a threshold. In my confusion and the chaos around me, with the graphic media in front of me and when I could not look away, I fell apart. All of a sudden, I couldn’t think straight for the rage in my heart. I felt like I was going to be sick and that feeling of nausea is still with me.

Author Glennon Doyle said at an Emerging Women Live event:

Glennon Doyle
Glennon Doyle & Chantal Pierrat at Emerging Women Live

“Show me what breaks your heart and I will tell you your purpose.” (Do you not freaking love this?)

What I realized is that what breaks my heart is abuse of power and the suppression of personal freedom. What breaks my heart is when people are subjugated, unable to speak freely, and prevented from fully actualizing the truth of who they are.

Think of all the unexpressed potential that gets buried with these restricted souls!

This breaks my heart, and this is why I have dedicated my life to increasing women’s leadership, helping women be seen and heard, and creating a new paradigm for power that is sourced from our shared humanity.

When the Black Lives Matter movement was gaining momentum, we hosted co-founder Alicia Garza as a speaker at our national conference Emerging Women Live in 2017.

I remember digging into my own privilege and biases at that time, feeling overwhelmed by the issue and desperate to train myself ‘out of my white eyes’ — desperate to fix myself and find solutions to the racial tensions I was feeling in the women’s movement.

Then one of our African-American speakers, Promise Phelon, said to me, “Things will change when white people get as angry as black people are.”

Promise Phelon
Promise Phelon, Emerging Women Live

I did not understand this at the time. I thought, but I don’t feel angry.

As a Women’s Studies major, I consciously decided that I was not going to be an ‘angry’ feminist. Those women were too much, too confronting, they made me feel… uncomfortable.

Yes, I wanted change, but only acceptable change, change that was approved by those in power. I chose to fight for change while playing by the rules.

But being able to choose when to “fit in” and when to go against the grain is in itself a privilege. One that is not afforded to black women of color.

In our patriarchal system, we can see white privilege showing up in so many places, and we also see the privilege of the masculine. In our dominant culture, we over-privilege the mind, the rational, the measurable, the controllable, and we demonize the unknown, the mysterious. Anything that falls under the category of unpredictable or anecdotal, such as the more nuanced world of the emotions, the heart.

We demonize emotions, especially the messy ones. We reward actions, especially ones that can be categorized under ‘advance and conquer’. We climb upward and onward without knowing why we want the promotion or what we would even buy with a six-figure salary. And the real rewards — emotional intelligence and personal development — become consolation prizes.

As a white woman I learned early on that emotions were dangerous, something to hide, something to apologize for, and to keep tidy. And as a spiritual devotee, I learned to detach from my emotions, to distrust them, to rise above them as the truly enlightened did, not muck around in such gross and relative states of consciousness.

But again, I was always afforded the choice to control my emotional footprint as a white woman.

Conversely, the angry black woman stereotype haunts black women of color every day, regardless of their level of expression. Just ask Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, and Shonda Rhimes.

Enter: fix-it mode. My sleeves rolled up, I told myself: I am doing something. Isn’t that more important than getting angry?

For six years, I was dedicated to using the Emerging Women Live platform to amplify this conversation, to filling our presenters’ list with diverse speakers, to making certain that I did not accidentally misstep as I hosted the stage for 550 women navigating this complex issue of race and what it means to be inclusive — me, a white woman with untrained privileged eyes and a whole lot more questions than answers.

Looking back I see my efforts as the white savior mode at its best. If we fix the pain we caused, the pain we’ve profited off and ignored for centuries, we don’t need to sit with the uncomfortable-ness of our own negligence, indifference, and white guilt.

The truth is, I have been living from the neck up, so focused on solving problems that I missed the opportunity to try to understand the pain of my black brothers and sisters. More to the point, I chose not to feel.

Daniel Goldman, the emotional intelligence pioneer, has said, “In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels. These two fundamentally different ways of knowing interact to construct our mental life.”

So now I am in the messiness of my feeling mind. The pain is real but I also feel a strong love from seeing and connecting with so many people — people like you — who are also FEELING IT. I don’t want to rush out of this.

It’s our feelings — our heartbreak, our anger, our desires, our shared hope — that will catalyze our mind to create the solutions we need. Our swollen heads and egos have held the reigns of power for far too long; it’s our hearts that will drive us to a better world.

In her iconic civil rights song, I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free, Nina Simone sings:

Nina Simone
Photo Credit: Roland Godefroy/Wikimedia

I wish you could know what it means to be me
Then you’d see and agree that every man should be free
I wish I could give like I’m longing to give
I wish I could live like I’m longing to live
I wish I could do all the things I can do

If we skip this feeling stage, both the recognition and the expression of our own feelings — as well as being curious about our fellow human beings — we might as well put lipstick on a pig.

Actions without true, authentic empathy behind them will not eradicate the long-ingrained, systemic abuse of power built on the back of out-of-balance masculine energy and white privilege. So keep the connection, lean into the heartbreak, and find your purpose in this conversation. It’s not going away anytime soon. And we have mountains to move.

PS: If you are a woman of color and have something relevant to share with our Emerging Women audience, I invite you to reach out to us so we can get you scheduled for a spot on our platform. We could share the mic — or just give you the damn mic. Use us…please.

PSS: If you are a woman of color coach with corporate or executive experience, and you are looking for more work, please reach out so we can interview you for a Power Circle facilitator role in our ongoing corporate women’s leadership programs.

– 59: Forgiveness and Feminine Power with Dara McKinley

Welcome to the Emerging Women podcast, where we hear from brilliant women leaders creating big change in the world.

I’m your host, Chantal Pierrat.

Today’s guest is my longtime friend Dara McKinley.

Dara is a thought leader in the divine feminine, an entrepreneur, and a modern spiritual guide in the art of forgiveness.

She holds a graduate degree from Naropa University in Boulder and formerly ran a successful private counseling practice.

Twelve years ago, Dara suffered a painful betrayal by a business partner that left her questioning herself. She asked the Divine Mother for answers and received an answer that simply said: Forgive.

At first, she was reluctant. But she began to research the art of forgiveness, ultimately developing a finely-tuned practice of forgiveness that allowed her to reclaim her personal power.

And, she says … you can learn how to forgive, too.

“I define forgiveness as a spiritual experience that heals betrayal,” Dara says in today's podcast. (7:00) What’s more, she says, mastering the art of forgiveness is key to unlocking your divine feminine power.
“Some not-so-obvious indicators that you may be in need of forgiveness are being very judgmental of others, being very judgmental of yourself, insomnia that has you worried in the middle of the night, and chronic anxiety.” (7:21)
Dara advises doing the “wince test.”
“Think of something in your life that when people bring it up or you think about it – just makes you wince inside,” she says. This is the area where you need to explore forgiveness.
Here are some fantastic quotes from my podcast interview with Dara:

“Forgiveness is not a tool; it’s foundational. Because the path to the feminine rise is going to involve loss and failure.” (10:08)
“The transformational process of forgiveness leaves you in such a stronger place than you ever could have imagined.” (10:45)
“The definition of betrayal is when someone or something you trusted fails you.” (16:08)
“Now, I use the word betrayal in my course to talk about anything that would benefit from forgiveness even if what failed you was yourself.” (16:41)
“Forgiveness is a function of universal love, and universal love operates even when there is no understanding and no empathy, universal love can still be accessed and applied.” (22:26)
“One of my big goals with this work is to evolve and create a working definition for forgiveness from pardoning offenses and ceasing anger to forgiveness is a spiritual experience that heals betrayal, that heals when what you trusted … fails.” (24:24)
“If forgiveness has your back then you’re invincible because no matter where you trip and fall and stumble, you’re going to be able to move forward in a really quick way.” (33:15)

 

In today’s podcast, Dara and I talk about one of the most challenging opportunities: self-forgiveness.

“Sometimes you need to forgive the aspect of yourself that gives you a hard time.” (8:37)

It never occurred to me when we started talking about this that the thing that I would pick to test this course would be myself. When I realized I was going to forgive myself, I feel like I struck gold.

Self-forgiveness goes way beyond having compassion for oneself.

It is:

A clearing out of what is holding us back. And an act of surrender and a letting go of that which does not serve us.

Self-forgiveness is an all-powerful gateway to personal power.

It takes openness, empathy, vulnerability, and receptivity – all inherently feminine strengths.

The truth is: We all have someone or something to forgive – perhaps even ourselves.

It’s not just about forgiveness. It’s about healing ourselves, others and the planet. And creating a future where empathy, vulnerability, and true feminine strength reign supreme.

It’s all a part of the Emerging Women ethos, so let’s jump right into this unique and fascinating conversation. Welcome to “Forgiveness and Feminine Power” with my friend Da…

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

 

 

Emerging Women Power Circles

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

– 57: Bring Your Whole Self To Work with Mike Robbins

Today we are talking to the first-ever male interviewed on our podcast: Mike Robbins.  And to quote Salt-N-Pepa: What a man!

Mike is a well-respected author, thought leader and speaker in our community. His fourth book, Bring Your Whole Self to Work, advocates a corporate cultural paradigm shift toward vulnerability — to both improve employee engagement and boost the bottom line.

Our mission at Emerging Women is not only to increase women’s leadership, but also to create a new workplace cultural paradigm that ushers in a more humane, feminine ethos of collaboration, empathy, and compassion. And Mike Robbins is a leading voice on that front.

During our podcast interview, Mike and Chantal explore an essential question: What if the workplace was not just a place to develop your career, but a destination for personal transformation?

In his latest book, Mike says that vulnerability — allowing ourselves to be genuinely seen — is the secret sauce to creating human trust and connections. Stemming from those connections is a feeling of “psychological safety” that leads to better performance, outcomes and success.

Mike is a sought-after speaker with corporate clients including Google, Microsoft, and Gap, Inc. to name a few.

Mike is a former professional baseball player who studied race and ethnicity at Stanford University. Growing up in Oakland, California, he was the only white player in his high school baseball league. Now Mike says he is no longer shy about speaking up on topics of race and gender.

In this episode, Mike and Chantal explore … what if the workplace was not just a place to develop your career, but a destination for personal transformation?

We discuss how a more feminine approach to business with collaboration, creativity, and connection – can translate into bottom-line success.

And we delve into the link between a team’s success and their feeling of psychological safety at work.

We also talk about what to say when tears come at work. 

Here is our compelling conversation, “Bring Your Whole Self to Work” with an absolute gem of a guy: Mike Robbins.

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.”