Grassroots, Love, and Activism: 3 Videos to Inspire

When we feel the call to stand, when we know we must act, it helps to draw inspiration from the trailblazers.

Eve Ensler, Marianne Williamson, and Dr. Jane Goodall, each an EWLive alumna, spring to mind as women who live in the arena, speaking their truth and fighting for what is right.

Our partners at Gaia have shared 3 videos from these pioneers to invigorate us as we come together and work for equality, justice, and understanding at this historical moment in time. Let them fire you up – the world needs you now!

Eve Ensler

“I myself believe in building grassroots revolutions and grassroots energies that can begin to build and amass power and take things over.” – Eve Ensler

Marianne Williamson

“When you say ‘I am love…’ you are shifting your self-perception from the body identification to spirit identification, and that is the journey of enlightenment.” – Marianne Williamson

Jane Goodall

“If we are the most intellectual creature that’s ever walked on the planet, how come we are destroying that planet? We must learn to live in peace and harmony. We all have to get involved.” – Jane Goodall

How are you getting involved? Who inspires you?

5 Valuable Business Insights via Alaskan Backroads Biking Trip

Do lessons learned outdoors apply to the office setting? For Kate Purmal they do. And with over 15 years of experience as CEO, COO and CFO, and a stellar record both as a business advisor and consultant for Moonshot launches, we’re all ears when she’s sharing advice.

Stoke the campfires of inspiration with Kate Purmal’s pedal-powered business insights below, and be sure to listen to her Grace & Fire podcast for more game-changing ways to catalyze your business (and mindset).

I just returned from a six-day bike trip in Alaska with the active travel company Backroads. The trip was superb. Jaw-dropping natural beauty, fantastic food, unbelievable guides, great equipment and routes, 17 new friends from the US and Brazil, and a lot of rain.

As the trip finished I found myself wishing we had just a few more days on the bikes, a completely unexpected outcome given that I had just covered 275 miles in the saddle.

Several insights came to me as I rode through Alaska’s magnificent mountains and valleys. Here they are, with my take on how they relate to business – and life.

Insight #1: When it gets tough, the only way out is through. Refocus on what’s good and working rather than resisting what’s not. 

The second day of our ride through the Matanuska Valley started in a complete deluge. After an hour, it was clear to me that despite my hope and optimism, the rain was not going to let up. By this time my feet were soaking wet and the rest of me was soggy at best, though I was reasonably warm — at least until we turned onto the Glenn Highway to ride along the Matanuska River when the headwinds hit. Here I was riding through some of the most magnificent places in the world, and all I could focus on were my soaking wet and numb feet, freezing cold hands, painful sit bones, and aching legs as I struggled to ride slightly uphill in a cold and forceful headwind.

Kate Purmal in the Alaskan Backroads

In need of renewed energy, I stopped to take a break and have a snack. In the stillness I found my way through. I was completely alone along this wide, majestic river. No cars, no people, nothing but fast moving water, sky, trees and mountains. The Matanuska wove a disorganized braided course through the grey silt riverbed. The first of the birch trees had started to change color, their bright yellow and orange leaves screaming against a backdrop of grey and green. This was why I had journeyed to Alaska.

When I got back on my bike, I committed myself to remain focused on the beauty and not the rain, and tuned my ears to listen for the sounds of water, wind and birds. Though I was still soaked through and exhausted, I had managed to discover the joy and wonder of the raw grace of the landscape, even in the driving rain. The next 20 miles were just as miserable, but I had stopped resisting the rain and wind, and instead started to enjoy the ride.

In business we often hit long and difficult periods that seem fraught with obstacles and challenges. It’s easy to be disheartened by the arduous struggle of the present situation. While breakdowns and setbacks are discouraging, if you stop to take a break, you can remind yourself of what’s working, what’s already been accomplished, and the purpose that’s fueling your commitment. This creates a shift from resisting what’s happening in the moment to instead experiencing the goodness that comes as you and your team work together to find your way through.

Insight #2: Recognize, celebrate and be inspired by the heroic efforts of those around you.

Our longest ride was on day four and it provided the opportunity for intrepid bikers to test their mettle on a “century ride” of more than 100 miles. My appetite for a long ride was not that great, so I set my sights on riding two of the four segments for a total of just over 50 miles.

At the starting point of the second segment, where my ride began, Emily rode in just as I was finishing my bike adjustments and getting set to take off. Emily doesn’t own a road bike. She takes spin classes to stay in shape – and she is in great shape – but that’s not the same as road biking shape. Emily came to Alaska on a mission – she had committed to ride every segment – a total of 336 miles in five days. She had ridden 88 miles the previous day, and despite the cold and rain that greeted us that morning, she was committed to riding the 107 miles that awaited her, and she brought it.

As I rode off I couldn’t stop thinking about Emily’s determination, and how despite the fact that she was often the last one to reach the checkpoints and finish the ride, she just kept on going. Emily was solid in her commitment to finish despite moments where she wanted to give up. It was Emily’s grit I borrowed when I made the decision to get back on my bike to ride the 88 mile option and finish not two, but three segments of the ride, including the most difficult segment with a 2,000+ foot elevation gain on the climb up Thompson Pass. This was by far the best day of biking for me. It was a breakthrough, and it shifted my perspective on what I could accomplish on a bike. And it was all inspired by Emily’s heroism.

In any difficult project, when breakdowns happen and breakthroughs are discovered, heroes emerge. These acts of heroism, when made visible, serve to inspire others on the team and build momentum for the project. When the project gets tough and your enthusiasm wanes, it’s a great opportunity to look around and discover a hero among the ranks, and take the time to acknowledge and celebrate his or her contribution.

Insight #3: When you think you’re at or near the top, you’re probably not. Pace yourself.

Just before setting off on my climb up Thompson Pass, our guides told me about the route. They told me the steepest part of the climb was at the end, and it was a series of three stair steps – steep climbs followed by a relatively flat section leading to the next climb. I failed to pay attention when they told me the mile mark to watch for signaling the beginning of the series, nor did I know the exact mile mark of the summit. So I was left to rely on visual clues to determine when I was getting close to the end of my climb. Bad idea.

I went over what I thought was two sets of stair steps and had the third in sight. But as I got near the top of the third, I could see ahead that the climbing wasn’t yet done. Not even close. I knew then that I needed to climb without knowing which hill was the real summit, and as such, pace myself to be ready in case new hills emerged. Setting into a comfortable pace made all the difference. And I did eventually reach the top, though probably after three or four more sections of what I thought would surely lead to the summit.

I’ve had similar experiences in business. For example, when my team and I set our sights on the launch of a new product, we assume that as soon as we reach that milestone we’ll be able to catch our breath and coast downhill for awhile. In reality, the launch of a new product sets into motion a whole series of new challenges and milestones, new routes to climb. It’s critical to recognize and prepare people for this inevitability, and help create the right pace for the project – one that is aggressive yet can be sustained to reach the big milestone, still leaving everyone on the team with enough in reserve to summit a few more hills when they appear. A completion event can be tremendously useful for this. When you’ve hit a milestone, celebrate it and have everyone on the team recount the accomplishments and successes along the way. This can help to re-energize the team so they’re ready for the next challenge.

Insight #4: Refuel before you need it so you don’t bonk.

It took me several days to correlate the precipitous drop in energy that seemed to happen about two hours into a ride with a lack of glucose. Duh! This, by the way, comes without warning. You don’t feel hungry or thirsty – there is nothing to trigger your instincts to give your body fuel. All you know is that suddenly it’s REALLY hard to ride the bike, even harder if you’re climbing hills. What was fun a few miles back becomes instantly grueling. My solution was to stop and refuel on a regular schedule whether I wanted to or not – about every 90 minutes. That kept me out of the bonk zone.

One of the most persistent complaints I hear from the executive clients I work with – and one of the biggest challenges I faced as an executive – is the sheer volume of work and meetings. Executives work all day and go from meeting to meeting, often failing to eat lunch or even use the bathroom. One suggestion I make is to schedule meetings in 25 or 50 minute increments vs. the usual 30 or 60 minutes. That way they have time built into every hour to grab some food, stretch their legs, or take a bio break. And sometimes they even have time to make an urgent phone call or respond to a quick email. This lowers their stress, keeps them more engaged in their work, and leaves them with more energy when they go home to their families.

Insight #5: The best part is not always what’s best.

On the first day, there was an optional 4.5 mile climb from a turnaround point at Hatcher Pass up to Independence Mine, a ride with a punishing 11 percent grade. For those who rose to the challenge, the promised payoff was an exhilarating 4.5 mile ride back down the hill. Sounds perfect, right? Not so fast.

I chose not to make the extra climb. But those who did were not greeted with exhilaration. Instead, the descent was steep and harrowing, and the riders were wet from the rain and without sufficient clothing, leaving most of them freezing on the way down. Hardly the reward they anticipated.

How many times have you toiled to achieve something remarkable, only to find that the experience was not what you expected? Yet another reminder that it is, in fact, the journey that is the reward.


kate

Kate Purmal is a pathological optimist and accomplished visionary who brings out the brilliance in leaders and their teams. She has over 15 years of experience working as a CEO, COO and CFO to start-ups and privately held technology and life sciences companies. Kate previously served as a Senior Vice President at SanDisk and was on Palm Inc.’s founding management team. Kate regularly works with executives, leaders and their teams to initiate game-changing initiatives by launching Moonshots. She is co-author of The Moonshot Effect, Disrupting Business as Usual. Visit our website at www.themoonshoteffect.com

Could Women Overturn Traditional Labor Roles?

A 21st century woman who’s looking for a lucrative and in-demand field in which to start a career—or a business—may want to consider the skilled trades. While women have not traditionally filled job roles like electrician, carpenter, welder, or HVAC technician, they may find it easier these days to break in and find success than in the past due to shortages of skilled labor and greater emphasis on workplace diversity. Plus, many women could find benefits to working in the trades compared to traditionally female-dominated fields.

Skilled Labor Shortage

Over recent decades, graduating high school seniors have been steered toward pursuing a college degree rather than vocational training. Popular opinions regarding education and professional success have influenced this push. As a result, there are fewer young people trained to take up skilled trade positions for those who are retiring. One piece of proof for this trend is that the number of unemployed construction workers fell by 1.1 million in the four years before 2014 according to Associated General Contractors of America. Another statistic indicative of a move toward a skilled labor shortage is the fact that 35 percent of 112 economists surveyed in 2015 by the National Association for Business Economics reported skilled labor shortages.

Workplace Diversity

At the same time that the skilled trade labor shortage is developing, businesses are becoming more and more eager to build a diverse workforce. Diversity in the workplace is not just about ethnic or racial diversity, but also about gender diversity. This means that women nowadays may find that it is easier for them to land a job in the skilled trades since an increasing number of employers are eager to diversify their teams.

Advantages of Skilled Trades

Among the advantages that working in the skilled trades might be expected to bring to female workers are higher salaries, more affordable educational requirements, and higher job demand, as this graphic below highlights. Equally enticing are the entrepreneurial opportunities available in the skilled trades: the construction industry has the second highest rate of self-employment of all major industries. More women-owned businesses could prove beneficial and inspirational for all women!

Check out this beautiful infographic to learn more about all that the trades have to offer women:

Tribal Alliance: The Antidote to Adversity

women together in strength by Suhyeon ChoiAt the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit, the Dalai Lama predicted that Western women will save the world.  At the time, I believed that he was speaking about the impressive panel of female attendees, including three Nobel peace laureates, the Irish president, humanitarians, filmmakers—acclaimed peacemakers.  But through my work with Threads Worldwide and Emerging Women, our women Artisan Partners in developing countries, our Fair Trade Partners in the US, and the countless trailblazing women I have met on my journey, I have come to realize that the possibility he was talking about was me. He was talking about them. He was talking about you.

So I invite you to join me in this world-changing movement. I urge you to enlist in the tribe of empowered women who are making a difference, one dollar at a time, one necklace at time, one kneecap-to-kneecap conversation at time. Join us in creating a world that is fair, that is founded in compassion, that sees beyond gender, race, religion, and the depths of one’s pocket.

Surrounding yourself with Sisterhood = HOPE

Our vision has the power to equalize, and is built upon the notion that a seven-year-old Cambodian girl, sold into the sex trade, has the same amount to offer as a Fortune 500 CEO. She is equally worthy of love and joy and belonging.  She is equally deserving of the opportunity to contribute to her family, her community, and to help create a better world. That is her universal right. And it belongs to all of us.

This past weekend, surrounded by revolutionary women at our Threads Worldwide annual conference, I felt a gap close that had been welling over the past few months, blackened by mass shootings, suicide bombers, venomous political posts and mean-spirited debate. I felt hope. HOPE!

I understood, down to my core, that there is a way through. A way of being, of working together, of lifting one another up.

As women, we are inherently collaborative, compassionate, intuitive, and empathetic. We lead with our hearts and envision ourselves as part of the whole. These values—that I believe will save the world—have been undermined and devalued over the course of history. For our entire history, women across the globe have been told that our superpowers have no place in business, no place in politics, no place in any position of power.

Well, I say enough! THIS is our time. Our time to come together. Our time to live from a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. Our time to walk our talk. Our time to lend a hand to someone who is struggling. Our time to fight injustice, to transcend senseless violence, greed, war, and the “us versus them” mentality that is pervasive and toxic.

Ways to stay hopeful in this troubled environment:

  1. Surround yourself with powerful sisters
  2. Face the challenging times by keeping the discussion going with others
  3. Turn conversations into actions that ripple into the community

There IS a way through. But it starts with you and me recognizing that we are all in this together. Let’s bring our tribes together with the understanding that our vision is only the beginning—that it is our alliance that will bring about change, much more effectively than our independent efforts.

We can do this. We really can. Let’s save the world. Are you in?


kara wiegandKara Wiegand has over 12 years experience in the non-profit sector with a focus on business development, sponsorship, accounting and finance. In 2011 she launched her own successful business, Threads Worldwide, which connects women in developing countries who make beautiful jewelry with women in the US who are interested in making money while making a difference in the lives of others. Kara believes in women supporting women to raise our collective voice and better our global community and standards of living.

5 Principles of Being True from Tami Simon

After decades of interviewing gurus for her multimedia publishing company Sounds True, Tami Simon has picked up the mic to share some insights of her own. Her new audiobook, Being True: What Matters Most in Work, Life & Love, brims with 30 years of wisdom gleaned both from spiritual leaders and her own personal journey inward.

At Emerging Women’s Power Night Boulder, Tami let us in on the “5 Principles of Being True” she outlines in her book. We were captivated by her grace, humor and wit, and transfixed by her fresh perspective on living the truth of who you are. Read on to see why…

1. Recognize that each of us has never been here before

We are all unprecedented, and it’s important to acknowledge that. Referring to us all as “exploding mysteries,” Tami says it’s crucial to realize that no one can actually tell you how to be true. This means a lot coming from someone who’s questioned all the major players in the spiritual wisdom game. No one has the unique formula for your truth except you.

2. Spend time in a place where there are no reference points

We love this about Tami Simon. If you’ve listened to her Grace & Fire podcast, you know that Tami believes in The Mystery, and encourages us to spend time there. “Stop avoiding the void,” she says, and hang out in a space where there are no thoughts or images to rest upon. Why? Because it allows for unique transmissions that will leave you saying “Who the heck knew that?” Give the universe a chance to speak to you to find answers no guru can give.

3. Find directionality through natural inspiration

Tami is quick to point out that the inspirations you receive are often not glamorous, but a “Who knows?” attitude will give the phenomenal world a chance to play its hand. If you want to discover your Sacred Function, the universe is available to guide you towards it, as long as you’re willing to hang out in the unknown and be breathed by it.

4. Be brave and follow what’s needed

Choose “The Path of No Embarrassment.” We do not have to be embarrassed about who we are or whatever conditions we might find ourselves in. If acting on transmissions from the Mystery causes some awkward moments, at least we brought forth our love as best as we knew how. “That’s good!” says Tami, which brings us to…

5. Believe in your basic goodness

Pure goodness, Tami says, is bringing forth our gifts in service to others. You’ve got to believe that no matter what, your heart is filled with goodness. When you focus on that, you are filled with an unconditional confidence in goodness, and can act on your inspirations knowing they come from love.

Tami closed the brilliant Power Night evening with a blessing that reflected these 5 Principles of Being True up perfectly, and we’d like to share it with you here:

“May our Sacred Functions come wildly alive. May you touch gazillions of people. May you shine your light without embarrassment.”

To get in on more high-caliber inspiration like this, join us at Emerging Women Live 2017, featuring Elizabeth Gilbert, Esther Perel, Dominique Christina, Sera Beak, and more, October 5-8 in Denver, CO.

The Importance of Sex for Women

Throughout my years of working with women, there is a conversation that I have over and over. The specific details vary, but the bottom line is that an enormous number of women have lost their desire for physical intimacy. We are too tired, too busy, too angry at our partners—at the end of the day, the last thing we want is to let someone into our bodies. For many women, sex has become another thing on the To Do List—an obligation, a favor. What is most surprising and disheartening about this pervasive attitude is the idea that sex is not important for women. Culturally, we give our brothers permission to want sex, to claim its importance, but we don’t do the same for our sisters.

There are many things that shape our sexuality without us even realizing it—the way our parents expressed affection with each other when we were young, and the way nudity was treated in the household. What about our relationships with our fathers and brothers? Did you hear comments about being so pretty your father would need a gun when boys started to want to date you? What does that say about sexual desire in general and how does it affect us to be told we are vulnerable and need one man to protect us from another one? Much has been written about how the media shapes our feelings about ourselves—the advertising industry portrays women in a very specific way. What if we fall outside the range of what we hear is HOT? From booty-licious to thigh-gap, we have many criteria of desirability by which to judge ourselves.

From the time we are young girls, we receive a constant stream of mixed messages about our sexuality. With all noise interfering, it’s nearly impossible to cultivate a healthy relationship with a very tender part of ourselves. We are given little context for our identities as sexual creatures. And yet, it is exactly this expression that spawns life and sustains humanity—lest we forget, the survival of the species depends on women wanting to have sex.

There is scientific evidence of the physiological benefits of sex for women. Engaging in sex regularly has the following effects:

  1. Increases DHEA—Hormone that boosts immune system. Produces healthier skin, and decreases depression.
  2. Increases Oxytocin—Hormone that causes the release of endorphins, a natural opiate that relieves pain.
  3. Reduces Cortisol—Sex reduces stress, and thereby reduces cortisol levels which means more balanced blood sugar, blood pressure, and lower acidity in the abdomen.
  4. Increases Immunoglobulin A—Antibody which boosts immunity. Women who have sex twice a week have 30% higher level of immunoglobulin A.
  5. Some studies even show evidence that the increased blood flow and muscular contractions that occurs with regular penetration and orgasm promotes the structural health of a woman’s pelvic floor.

Though the facts are compelling, ironically the very nature of looking to science to prove we should be having sex is an obvious symptom of the reason why we are not having it. We are so caught up in a world that worships the masculine, that we have neglected the feminine. The most powerful evidence that sex is important for women is arrived at intuitively.

As women, we play many roles: partners, wives, daughters, bosses, employees, mothers. We deliver, nurture, manage, and please. We are accomplished jugglers, master manifestors; we make things happen. The bi-product of navigating our hyper-connected, multi-tasking lives with poise and grace is the suppression of raw emotion. To perform these many roles effectively, we contain, conform, and control our feelings, our words, our behavior. As a matter of survival we adapt to a culture that values our rational minds. In the process we become alienated from our innate, intuitive nature, often feeling unseen, unappreciated, and misunderstood. When we lose our sense of self in this way, we suffer in our relationships. We get angry; and we shut down. Our confidence takes a hit, along with our self-esteem, self-care, and our precious sex lives—the very thing that should be our source of power.

We can measure hormones and proteins in our bodies in connection with sexual activity, but what is even more powerful is the energetic, psychological, and spiritual benefits of sex as a form of creative self-expression.

There is a fire that burns inside each one of us. It is the flame of passion, of desire. It glows, it roars, it’s wild in nature. It is our birthright. This fire is our feminine essence. It is the stuff that is uniquely ours, that gives us eyes in the back of our heads, that makes our hearts twinge when a loved one thousands of miles away is hurting, it’s our spidey sense, the way we can heal with a hug, our ability to feel when a decision is the right one.

When we step away from our contained, controlled lives, and soften into the expansive formlessness of sexual arousal, we create a space for the feminine to rise; we stoke the fire. Passion is a necessary nutrient, desire, an essential ingredient. To pretend otherwise is to deny ourselves—and the world—a vital part of who we are, and how we can serve. Whether we are in the kitchen, the boardroom, the yoga studio, or the bedroom, our practiced access to our feminine fire is a source of vitality for ourselves, and in turn for our families, communities, and organizations.

So if you feel like the only reason to have sex is out of obligation to your partner, consider this: It’s not about getting someone else off, it’s about turning ourselves on, so that we can light up the world.

PS:It might be helpful to know, self-pleasuring counts!

On Being Unstoppable

stop

Last week, I visited the webpage of a coaching school someone I know is considering. On the school’s homepage, a graduate of the program boasted that the school’s methodology had enabled her to teach her clients to be “unstoppable.” And that stopped me, right in my tracks.

The nature of being human is that we are eminently stoppable. Our very biology gives us natural limits to how hard we can push. We need to breathe, to drink, eat, and sleep. We crave touch, the sun, fresh air, and communication. Our bodies are covered in a soft flesh–relatively defenseless with no claws or sharp teeth. We bleed and heal. Our reproductive cycle gives us utterly helpless young, demanding that we stop and take notice and care for these vulnerable creatures. And, of course, we die–the ultimate full stop. Death comes for us all with no regard for how hard we try to push it back. To be human is to be stoppable.

And yet we seek to be unstoppable.

Life should be able to stop us. If not for beauty, then for heartbreak. If not for the joy of seeing a tree’s stark branches waving against a gray winter sky, then for the horror of seeing people starving to death in our own rich cities or drowning to death on the shores of Europe. If not for the pleasure of a beloved piece of music, then for the despair of another mass shooting. If not for the happiness on face of a dear friend or family member, then for the agony present  when they suffer or when we let them down. Let life be present to us. Let it stop us.

To be unstoppable is to be blind to what is happening all around us. To be unstoppable is to refuse to notice the effect that progress–at any cost–might have on our relationships, our bodies, and our spiritual life. To be unstoppable is to deny our own biology. To deny our hearts and the beautiful web of relationships that surround us.

Sometimes the world demands a response. And sometimes the only response is to pause. To be stricken. To be soft. To take a moment to laugh, or to cry, or to hold someone’s hand. A moment of noticing how angry we are, or how sad, or how–this is the really hard one–how numb we’ve become.  And cultivating the ability to be stopped takes deep work.

It requires relational sensitivity to know when our families, colleagues, and friends need us to downshift and approach them in a new, more attentive way. It requires somatic wisdom to be able to sense our energy status and get a clear reading on what our bodies need. It takes emotional awareness to stay present in strong emotions while also noticing the emotional states of others. And, finally, the ability to stop often takes great bravery as it will likely be questioned by those who would not dare question the cultural value of being unstoppable.

In my coaching practice, I do not seek to teach clients to be unstoppable because I believe it is deeply problematic, even dangerous. What happens when you teach your client to be unstoppable, and their family and friends need them to stop because they have been neglecting their relational responsibilities? What happens when you have an entire culture of unstoppable people, and the culture next door needs them to stop because they are encroaching on ancestral lands? What happens when you have an entire planet of unstoppable people, and the environment is begging them to stop because species are going extinct and the land is being polluted?

Can you see where being unstoppable can lead? Do you see where it has already led?

Instead, I believe that we must learn to listen to the call of the world, our loved ones, and our bodies, to stop. In the coaching relationship, the relationship of mutual trust and mutual respect creates a strong container where clients can examine the habitual responses they have always relied on. Over time, they becomes more able to recognize the habitual turning away that has become so pandemic in modern society. They learn to cultivate a new response. This takes the learning of new skills and competencies; patience, compassion, resilience, discernment, the ability to self-observe (to name a few). I’ve seen clients, over time, become more resilient and able to stand in deep witness to their own emotional experience; to be stopped by the world, to be touched by it. They have the freedom to experience their reaction without being overwhelmed by it. This allows them the opportunity to make choices that they were unable to make before.

Today, let a small part of yourself be broken by this heartbreaking and fragile world. What might it mean to open yourself up enough for that to occur? What meaning might leak into your life if you dared? Stop, and and you might find out.



Jessica Minah is the Director of Enrollment and a Graduate of New Ventures West. Jessica’s presence, curiosity and wisdom—not to mention her previous experience as an award-winning radio producer and sales account manager—make her a natural fit for the role of guiding would-be coaches into the fold. She was certified as an Integral Coach® in 2014 and works with clients around the US. She lives in Baltimore with her husband Greg and brightens our San Francisco headquarters with her regular visits.

Azure Antoinette: Pulse

What a gift to be in the presence of an artist who can put the weight of our collective sadness, shame, hope and love into words for us, so that we may both process the trauma and do everything in our personal power to make the world a more empathetic place for those who are bravely living the truth of who they are.

At Emerging Women’s Power Night Boulder, in support of Emerging Women Live, Azure Antoinette screened a video that left no room for doubt why she’s been dubbed “the Maya Angelou of the Millennial Generation.”

Her deep compassion for those affected as a result of the senseless violence at Pulse Nightclub on 6/11/16, a tragedy that left the nation stunned, resonated through the hall with the power that only poetry can.

Azure Antoinette is a luminous example of how vulnerability, courage and open-hearted honesty not only elevates the self, but everyone we touch. Thank you, Azure, for being a part of Emerging Women.


A Room of One’s Own: Why we need sacred spaces in order to create.

A few months ago, we had a feng shui master and his wife over for dinner. His wife and I were talking about our creative writing ventures and, when the master overheard, he chimed in with the simple question, “Where is your writing space? I love to see creative spaces.” I stuttered around an answer. The kitchen counter after the kids are asleep? A stolen afternoon at a coffee shop with thirty other coffee drinkers? The lobby of the rec center while my kids swim?

His look bored into my soul. He said, “Your writing will never take you seriously if you don’t have a sacred space to create in.” In that moment I realized what he was saying was true, but that actually doing something about it felt inconvenient.

“Your writing will never take you seriously if you don’t have a sacred space to create in.”

So I’ve been thinking about it: Does inspiration really squeeze in beside you if she has to contend with the sea of laptops and fancy coffee drinks, table to table with other aspiring creatives? Whether you are seeking to create a poem, a killer investor pitch or high tech breakthrough, if you want to invite inspiration to come visit you need a place for her to sit down. You need a “room of one’s own”, à la Virginia Woolf.

How many of us read A Room of One’s Own in high school or college and said to ourselves, “Right on, sister!” Her small book declares that women need space to tap into their creative power. Like me, you probably thought that when you grew up, you’d insist on the room. It would be a non-negotiable. But as our adult living situation becomes a reality, we concede the space to the distractions around us.

Some never conceded, like my friend and entrepreneur, Renee Israel. Renee is an entrepreneur and cofounder, with her husband Rob, of Doc Popcorn. They both work out of the home and they both have private home offices. When most people were remodeling by tearing down walls for larger living areas, Renee knew that she needed that wall. She insisted on articulated boundaries versus the larger communal space. And with that came intellectual freedom.

I am lucky enough to have an “office” that is shared with my husband, but stacks of to-do’s cover the space: brochures for potential summer camps, permission slips, bills, catalogs and then there’s Will’s desk, which is even more chaotic. When he is sitting at his computer, we chit chat and share, and we interrupt with things like, “Hey, is next Thursday a good day to get the furnace serviced?” My son walks in without a knock to ask if he can have a turn holding the bunny. The humdrum and the wonder have a hard time cohabitating at times. Busy work is worlds away from generative thinking. My office is a place to orchestrate the responsibilities, not the whisperings of my soul.

“My office is a place to orchestrate the responsibilities, not the whisperings of my soul.”

Lately, I’ve been eyeing the potting shed in the back yard. It’s full of straw, torn slip n’ slides, stacked pots, a wasp nest and a weed whacker. All of the that can find another home, I realize. So what is really standing between me and a room of my own? Maybe it’s my own self-doubt, or the fear of taking up space, but I’m getting over that. I may not write the next bestseller, but I just will have more than half an hour without an interruption to my thoughts – that sounds just as delightful. There would be nothing worldly in there, just a writing surface, some cool tchotchkes and creative quotations pinned to the wall. And ventilation. That’s it – all my room needs.

I like to think of it this way: HGTV is full of shows on creating the dream man-cave, but what would a woman-cave look like? Even if the best room of your own you can create is the kitchen counter after the kids are asleep – go for it. Find a talisman, light a candle and tell the others to stay away because inspiration needs a signal for the all-clear. Demand it. Do it for Virginia Woolf and the women who fought for the right. Because when we take up space, we take ourselves and our aspirations seriously. And so do those around us.

Show us your “rooms,” ladies. How do you take up space?


annike Annika Paradise is a freelance writer living in Boulder, Colorado.  Her writing has appeared in Brain Child Magazine as well as various blogs.  She is currently working on an historical fiction novel that takes place during the women’s suffrage movement in Colorado’s mining towns.

Looking for guidance? Dive in to the Divine.

Dear Emerging Women,

As long as I can remember I have wanted to be “psychic.” As a young girl I’d squeeze my eyes shut and beg for a sign, a flicker of communication from a higher power to help me navigate all the unknowns, a life raft of certainty when the waters got murky.

I still yearn for the comfort that comes from knowing that an All-Powerful Force has my back. The difference is that now I try to keep my eyes open – leaning into the world, looking for miracles, love taps and gentle whispers that show up as synchronicities, timely opportunities or the right person at the right time.

girl

Life around me is constantly reaching out trying to get my attention, and the more I can open up to this, the more “held” I feel.

This hidden but felt guidance becomes reliable and consistent – to the point that I am able to accept all in my life as purposeful and intentional.
In this state of receptivity I have been able to move through some very challenging times as an entrepreneur. I feel like an Aikido master in a beautiful dance with the Divine, embracing, not fighting, all that comes my way.

This is why I love Tosha Silver. She points out that when we do this kind of work all the time, everyday life becomes OUTRAGEOUS. We are able to trust the guidance and just enjoy the extraordinary ride that is life.

Sure, I may still revert and try to claw my way through tricky spots when I am not on top of my game – but I am quickly learning that the shortest route to making anything happen in this world is through relationship to spirit.

Are you dialed in to your Divine guidance? I want to hear about it! Check out our Outrageous Openness Grace & Fire podcast with Tosha Silver and share your story in the comments.

chantal_circle

Big Love,


Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

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.

Empowering our Girls in the Coming of Age

It was the dawn of a new chapter in the life of someone I love dearly, my oldest daughter Katherine. She was turning twelve years old and I knew deep within my being that I wanted to help ignite the next part of her journey as she transitioned from girl to young woman with beautiful lessons and ancient truths told from women around the world.

Echoing deep within me were the words of the African spiritual teacher Sobonfu Somé:

“A woman’s medicine is another woman.”

Since the beginning of time, we have symbolized various life passages for girls and boys with the markings of ceremony, celebration, ritual and community. I want these same gifts for Katherine in her own way. From the metaphoric Red Tent, to Quinceañeras and Sweet Sixteen parties, to spiritual and religious ceremonies, we all have our own native ways to honor various coming of age traditions.I wanted to recognize our traditions, yet I also wanted to sprinkle in something else…

I wanted Katherine to experience the broader context of her own becoming.I wanted her to see the next evolution of herself from trailblazing women role models who share their stories, their dreams and their invaluable lessons learned.I wanted to help inspire her own truth that is beginning to take shape within her.

Not too long after these inklings, I received a message from Emerging Women thatJane Goodall was going to be the keynote speaker at their upcoming conference in San Francisco.Stop, breathe, synchronicity.The Jane Goodall… the one that Katherine has admired from an early age with sweet book reports to boot?I quickly called my husband and within minutes we had our plan.

No, this would certainly not be the Red Tent.But it would be our own unique way to start the conversation. We would blend multiple traditions into our very own, and it would be rooted in the powerful wisdom of the words of Joseph Campbell:

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

I sat down and wrote Katherine’s twelfth birthday letter.While the strokes of the keys came from my fingers, they were equally infused with the love and mutual support of my husband who adores and cherishes the young woman in our daughter.

Dearest Katherine,

We want you to know that you have every tool that you will ever need inside of you.The heart is the seat of your soul.It is the strongest voice you will ever hear.Listen to its precious whispers and it will always guide you home to the truth about your next step on your path. 

We want you to know that in the peaks and valleys of life, the ups and downs, the ebb and the flow, that self-compassion and self-love will be your greatest friend. 

We want you to know that you are an extraordinary young woman and your light shines so bright in this world.We are humbled and grateful to share this path with you, and as your parents, we will always, always, always love, support and honor you as your own unique person.

When you were in the fourth grade, you did a report on Jane Goodall because she inspired a calling that was already brewing inside of you – a love for animals and a voice for those who do not have one. So, for your birthday, you and I are going to take a sojourn to San Francisco and you will get to see Jane Goodall LIVE.Our special birthday wish for you as you embark on this next chapter in your life, is that you always live a life inspired by what moves you the most.Touch this place inside and you will live a life of authenticity and deep human fulfillment. 

With incredible love, empowerment and inspiration for you,

Mom and Dad

What started as a seedling in my awareness manifested into a truly transformational weekend with my daughter.We laughed, we cried, we danced, we played, we talked, we ate amazing food, we rode the trolley and we paid a visit to the magnificent redwoods.Most significant of all, we shared the collective umbrella of connectedness among a group of women who care deeply about bringing who they are to the table to help change our world.

There is a powerful exchange in the mere presence of people like Dr. Goodall. In Katherine’s own words: “Her presence was incredible, I could feel it from 5 rows away.Seeing her in person brought a lot of real to the situation.She sparked something in me to keep doing what I am doing, thinking what I am thinking.I look at her and think; she is one of my people, she speaks my language, she understands.”
These moments help define who we are. I asked her to share what she would tell other parents about this particular phase of her life, and she offered that “this stage of development is most crucial besides babyhood, and it is great to be embraced by people who are making change and good in the world.These are the women that I want to fan girl over.”I couldn’t agree more!

“These are the women that I want to fan girl over.”

As parents we sprinkle the very soil of our families with our own nutrients, our own fertilization, and the traditions that resonate with us.As we do so, we watch our children rise from this ground into their own becoming.

On the eve of our last day together, I watched Katherine stroll down a path in a cathedral of redwoods with lightheartedness and gratitude.I could not help but to think of these amazing trees, their incredible roots and the community of this majestic redwood grove.I reflect to my own grove, the roots who supported me into my own becoming and now who support Katherine.

We are standing on the shoulders of our mothers, and our grandmothers and with much reverence, and my daughter is standing on mine.

We’re Not Waiting 117 Years – Inspiration for International Women’s Day

The World Economic Forum predicts it will take until 2133 to achieve gender parity.

Wait… what? The year 2133? That’s 117 years from now, people. Do we really want to wait four generations to achieve what we know will be a world-shifting balance? NO.

This isn’t just about supporting equal pay for women (although it definitely includes that). This year’s campaigns for gender parity make it clear that businesses must harness female talent to really succeed and thrive.

Studies show that organizations most inclusive of women in top management perform up to 35% better than their peers. This study finds that an organization with 30 percent female leaders could add up to 6 percentage points to its net margin.

The bigger picture, then, is to value women equally as leaders – to bring balance to pay grade, yes, but also to respect and value women’s unique talents in the business, economic and political world. In this way we not only ensure that women are able to rise to positions of power, we also encourage men to incorporate more feminine leadership traits into their repertoires, resulting in a more prosperous climate for all.

Here’s what you can do to accelerate the movement. Make the Pledge for Parity. Pledge to call for gender-balanced leadership. Pledge to illuminate paths to leadership for girls and women. Pledge to explode both conscious and unconscious bias and to stay open to new points of view, for yourself, your company and the world.

Are you in?

Keep yourself inspired this International Women’s Day with these wise words from passionate leaders who remind us why equality can’t wait 117 years…

“We are here not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.” – Emmeline Pankhurst

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” – Rebecca West

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.” – Michelle Obama

Margaret Mead

“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place.” – Margaret Mead

 Aung Sang Suu Kyi

“In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued.” – Aung Sang Suu Kyi

Audre Lorde

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” – Audre Lorde

sheryl sandberg

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” – Sheryl Sandberg

geraldine ferraro

“We’ve chosen the path to equality, don’t let them turn us around.” – Geraldine Ferraro

virginia woolf

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf

10 Key Words for Mindful Leadership

Women leaders are faced with numerous challenges in their careers. No matter what type of work you do, it can sometimes be difficult to sort through all the “small stuff” that naturally rolls across your desk, while staying focused on the larger goals you want to reach.

We all hope to be mindful leaders in order to cultivate an atmosphere that will inspire us and others. As an independent business owner, I have learned through experience to make sure I include 10 key elements when planning my work day.  This keeps me mindful of my mission, and happy while I work.

Looking

As you set your daily schedule and map out your calendar of dreams, be prepared to meet all your daily challenges by putting these 10 key words into practice:

Focus

Start out your day with quiet time. Take 5 to 10 minutes after you wake up to relax and listen to your inner self. Before you jump into the tasks of the coming day, remember to begin quietly and stay in tune with your inner consciousness. Some people try meditation or yoga, while others just need to relax and be quiet. This is the key to a stress free day.

Organize

Make time to organize. Plan out your schedule in a way that is both realistic and ambitious. Divide your time into larger segments to keep you focused on the big picture. Then divide up those tasks with smaller goals. Keep in mind, your schedule should include flexibility for the unexpected things. Focus on ways to stay organized, and reduce the clutter on your desk. A clean and well organized workspace can help you stay motivated and inspired.

Work

This describes the part of your day where you do what you love, and expect to complete the tasks you start. Think about what you really want to accomplish with your day. Dive in and do what you do best. Have no fear as you take on both expected and unexpected events. Your work should bring you satisfaction more than anything else. Love what you do, and remember to make mental notes of your own efforts and accomplishments. Pat yourself on the back for the things you do well.

Enjoy

Make time every day for small moments of enjoyment. Find the joy in small things. Reward yourself in tiny ways when you reach a small goal. Take a breath from your hard work to unwind, even if only for a few minutes. Carry on with a positive attitude, fueled by self-awareness, generosity and gratitude.  Life is for living, and living means enjoying life. See the value in having some fun throughout your day as you work.

Act

Be bold. Drive yourself forward toward your goals. Be the powerful leader that you are and the confident woman that you have become. Lead. Inspire. Act on your instincts. And most of all, trust yourself to do the things that come naturally to you. Know and apply your talents in the best way you know how. Make your dreams happen. Walk the talk. Don’t hold back.

Connect

Connect to others. Be aware of everyone around you, and build relationships in the way that only you can. Make the connections you need to allow everything you want to accomplish happen. Build your personal (as well as online) connections into a network of people who support you, believe in you and are ready to help you do all the things you want to do. Use your knowledge as power to connect and stay connected.

Exercise

Take time to exercise. This doesn’t have to mean hardcore workouts – just regular exercise. Never skip a day. Take breaks and stretch. Go for short walks. Climb stairs whenever you can. Do what you enjoy doing, such as running, bike riding, doing sit-ups or dancing. Daily exercise is not only one of the most crucial ways to stay healthy, but to improve your energy and brain power. Getting physical is part of the larger picture of taking care of yourself so you can be your best.

Nourish

Even when you are busy, remember to eat healthy. Don’t cut corners when it comes to your own health.  In general, you will feel better if you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, and stay away from soda, too much caffeine and foods high in sugar. Stick to a healthy diet and avoid overeating. Eat small amounts more often, rather than just 3 large meals. Eating healthy foods that are high in protein will make you feel better and have more energy.

Dream

Make time each day for the important act of dreaming. Try to avoid fixating on every little thing that is racing through your thoughts. Quiet your mind and visualize your loftiest goals coming true. Allow yourself to imagine for a moment the satisfaction of reaching your goals. Dream often and dream big! Don’t hold back on imagining your greatest aspirations. Take time to sit back and dream of what you really want.

Relax

Finding time to relax is majorly important to your brain and physical well being. There are many ways to relax, so find one that works for you. You could relax with your favorite music, turn the lights down low, take a hot bath or sauna or lay on the floor with a towel covering your eyes. Let yourself slow down and enjoy the feeling of releasing any built up stress that can damage your health. Make sure you get enough rest. If you have trouble sleeping, you may need to explore sleep enhancing alternatives. Try meditating, doing yoga, getting a massage or whatever you need to do. Relaxing even for a few minutes periodically during the day will help reduce your stress and keep your energy flowing in a positive direction.

When you include these 10 key words for being a mindful leader in your daily routine, you can have a happier and healthier day which will prepare you for new adventures – leading you closer to realizing all your dreams!


karen>Karen is a free-spirited writer, photographer, and artist from Boise, ID. She loves exploring nature, taking photographs and writing stories about real people who do amazing things. She is the proud mother of 3 wonderful grown children and grandmother of two. She is a risk-taker, adventurer, traveler, sometimes hermit and sometimes social butterfly. She has high aspirations about living her dreams and she believes anything is possible.

3 Essential Tips for Leaders who want to be Truthtellers

If there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s this: One of the bravest and most important things you can do to be successful in your business and hone your personal leadership style is to own your story, and share it with the world.

Dropping your armor and revealing who you are isn’t easy—but it’s necessary, especially if you are committed to living and leading in an authentic, powerful way.

Sharing our stories gives us the courage to dive headfirst into the truth of who we are, and to take ownership over our lives, our choices, and our unique purpose. More than anything, it lets us know that we are not alone. Our stories validate our core truth and connect us to other people in magical ways.

Sharing this truth sets the groundwork for personal and business relationships that are based in authenticity and acceptance. It ensures that we draw to us exactly the right friends, partners, mentors, team members, clients and customers. It helps us get to the heart of what we stand for and reconnects us to our intrinsic motivation.

As the founder of Women For One—an organization whose mission is to empower women from across the world to share most powerful, life-changing personal stories—I have enormous respect for people who choose to come out from behind closed doors and let other people see the world through their eyes.

In the last five years, I’ve worked with a global community of women who are courageously taking off their masks and baring their hearts and souls to the world. Along the way, I’ve picked up three essential tips for women leaders who wish to tell their story in the most authentic, powerful way possible. I’d love to share them with you.

1. Dive into your shame and secrets.

Most of us have secrets that we’d much rather take to our graves than disclose to anyone else. For close to three decades, I kept one of the biggest secrets of my life: at the age of five, I was sexually abused by my father. It was such a devastating experience that I buried the memory until my early 30s.

Saving face and hiding an experience you’re ashamed of can help you feel safe and in control (at least for a little while), but by doing this, you end up losing more of who you are. You become disconnected from your truth. In fact, when you hide the parts of yourself that are too difficult to face, you also end up hiding the parts of you that are meant to shine brightly.

More often than not, the things we’ve hidden away out of shame or fear hold the keys to our freedom. Counteracting shame doesn’t necessarily mean that you throw all caution to the wind and give other people the nitty-gritty details of your life, however.

All the same, the most powerful leaders are transparent about the experiences that shaped them, and they use these stories to illustrate their success and share the specifics of their breakthroughs with others. By being brave enough to go “where angels fear to tread,” and to drag our shadows into the light, we give ourselves and other people permission to do the same—and to heal in the process.

2. Be YOU.

The best way to share your story isn’t to cover it up with impersonal details or spreadsheets full of statistics that will drive home your point. The greatest gift you can give to your peers and the people your serve is your realness.

When you are open, honest, and vulnerable, you have the power to truly touch others.

Your vulnerability cannot be underestimated in its ability to inspire and mobilize people, move hearts, and change minds. When we offer others a genuine glimpse into how something in our lives affected us, we give them an experience that every single one of us craves: connection with the raw truth of another human being.

Think of the leaders who have deeply touched you. It’s more than likely that they are self-aware and genuine—that they are just as knowledgeable about their limitations as they are of their strengths. They are also consistent, meaning that they don’t put on a mask for the public and act differently in private. They embrace their mistakes as part of their wholeness. More often than not, they are willing to share themselves unabashedly, without covering up the details or glossing over them with the paintbrush of perfection.

“Perfect” is boring. But you in all your real, raw, messy, human glory? That’s the leader people are yearning to see.

3. Remember that we’re all connected.

Above all else, there’s one big reason you’re telling your story. Our stories serve to remind us of one essential truth: we are all connected.

In sharing your story, think of the people who have gone through the same thing and will be affected by your account. Also stop to consider those who have little to no context for what you’ve been through, but who are still capable of being touched and changed by it.

When we share our specific personal stories with other people, we assist in revealing the beautiful diversity of the human experience. We contribute to the gorgeous, intricate tapestry of history (and herstory!). And as leaders, we do one of the most important things we possibly can—we create  and facilitate more connection, dialogue and community from our simple but profound act of self-disclosure.


If you’re ready to dive into the next chapter of your life and to share your story, you might be interested in Women For One’s debut course, Truthteller: A 5-Week Course for Boldly Sharing Your Story. By the end of the course, you will have a brand-new take on the stories that have defined you—and you will be ready to embrace your wholeness, harness your unique voice and leadership style, and show up in your own life in a way that is authentically you. Learn more about Women For One and the Truthteller course HERE.

Anne Lamott joins Emerging Women Live 2016!

More tremendous news on the Emerging Women Live 2016 front!

You know that the Emerging Women community is all about sharing our true selves so that we can shine as the uniquely impactful leaders we are meant to be.

That’s why we’re so excited to announce Anne Lamott as a Keynote Speaker at this year’s national event in San Francisco, CA.

Anne Lamott, author and activist, is a model of compassionate faith, unwavering humor and a voice that tells it like it is, on good days and bad.

As a memoirist and as a non-fiction writer, Anne has a gift for being irreverent and profound at the same time. She is equal parts raw honesty and real hope, with an uncanny ability to glide from heart-wrenching to hilarious without irony or detachment from the core of the matter.

She’s prolific about it, too. She’s written seven novels, several books of non-fiction, and three collections of autobiographical essays. She’s a New York Times bestseller, a prestigious Guggenheim Fellow, a nationwide teacher of her craft, and an inductee of the California Hall of Fame to boot. Rock star!

As Cheryl Strayed mentions in the video below, her work transcends itself. Bird by Bird is as much of a guide to life as it is to writing. Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith resonates with religious and non-religious people alike. We can’t wait to see what she brings to the intimate stage at EWLive16 to inspire and ignite the audience.

To get a glimpse of Anne Lamott’s style, watch as she talks with Cheryl Strayed about shitty first drafts, doubt, vulnerability and the universal impact of sharing your personal story:

We hope you’ll join Anne Lamott, Glennon Doyle Melton, and rest of the amazing Emerging Women community on October 13-16th at Emerging Women Live 2016 in San Francisco. Save your seat now!

How to thrive despite having so much on your plate

Do you find it overwhelming to juggle work, life, relationships, wellness and family responsibilities? You may need review your calendar and reevaluate what’s working and what’s not working so you can implement habits that support you for the long haul. The following are 4 tips that can help you find ultimate work-life balance so you can thrive in your life and in your relationships.

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1. Stop Trying To Do Two Things Simultaneously: Although employers in the U.S. and some abroad praise multitasking, statistically multi-tasking is a less efficient and effective strategy.  First, it sends your stress levels through the roof. And secondly, you are likely to make more mistakes and increase your anxiety level along the way. The key is to develop a one mindfulness skill-set where you focus on one task, stay in the present moment and as a result feel calmer because you are not as easily distracted by alternative tasks that pull you away from the here and now.

2. Take A Personal Inventory Of Your Habits: This is an important first step to evaluate and self-correct habits that are not beneficial for your wellbeing. Do you ever find that you are trying to cram in too many tasks in a limited amount of time? Do you also tend to underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete each task? If so, you probably find that you put a lot of pressure on yourself and set up unrealistic expectations. This leaves you feeling bad as a result. An alternative strategy to increase inner harmony is to increase the amount of time allotted to complete each task and reduce the number of tasks on your to-do list, so you can start setting realistic expectations with clearer, more achievable objectives.

3. Mindfully Increase Your Self-Esteem: By becoming more intimate with yourself and your time you can learn to find your own internal rhythm. The more you become attuned to the sensations and wisdom of your body, the more you can feel intuitively if a choice is uplifting or depleting, expansive or constrictive. By slowing down and giving yourself time, you allow yourself to listen to the voice of truth within and feel empowered to follow your intuition.  

4. Give Yourself Breathing Room: Do you tend to overschedule yourself, leaving little room for spontaneity? By incorporating extra breathing room in your schedule to just relax and decompress, you open up space for mindfulness and self-care to become a priority in your life. Delegating tasks to others, getting support and intentionally creating the life and lifestyle you desire is the key to greater fulfillment and inner peace.

Do these tips make a difference in your sense of balance and wellbeing? Share your voice in the comments section.


Andrea Cairella HeadshotAndrea Cairella is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and owner of True Potential Counseling based in Long Beach, CA.  She works with adults and children and specializes in couples issues, trauma, addiction, anxiety and self-esteem and is the creator of Create A Relationship You Love ™ an online psycho-educational program for couples. If you would like to access my Free 3-Part Video Series visit TruePotentialCounseling.com to: Avoid the 4 Common Mistakes Many Couples Make And Know What To Do Instead, Learn the 8 Strategies To Strengthen Your Emotional And Physical Bond With Your Partner and Improve Communication In 10 Minutes Or Less.

Glennon Doyle Melton Joins Emerging Women Live 2016!

GDM-500-214x300Exciting news! Glennon Doyle Melton, the voice behind Momastery, is joining Emerging Women Live 2016 as a Keynote Speaker.

This woman is all about the LOVE. Self-love through struggles with addiction, family love through all the mess and the magic, and global love through her charitable fundraising. And she lays it bare for the world to see with some seriously inspirational vulnerability on her blog.

Her latest post on the Compassion Collective, which she leads with Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell and Cheryl Strayed, outlines how they brought 41,000 people together to raise over $1.3 million dollars to respond to the refugee crisis, which they’ve identified as the worst humanitarian emergency since World War II. And they did this IN ONE DAY.

Her generosity spills over into her book, Carry On, Warrior, where she shares that all of her wisdom, all of her love, originated in the messiest parts of her life. In the video below, she reminds us that when life gets hard, it’s not necessarily a red flag. It might just be a sign that you’re really living.

Have you been inspired by this wonderful warrior? Share your stories with us in the comments.

We hope you’ll join us, along with hundreds of fellow women working to change the world with their heart, vulnerability and compassion, at Emerging Women Live 2016, October 13-16th in San Francisco, CA.

What must women bring to the world today? Jane Goodall knows.

When I think of Jane Goodall, one specific moment plays in my mind.

It was about 9:30 at night, and she had just finished her brilliant keynote at Emerging Women Live 2015. This was, mind you, after she had flown into San Francisco just that day, done her mic check, prepared for the event and participated in the audience for the talks leading up to hers. Plus she still had a book-signing and a media room interview to go before calling it a night.

I thought she might be tired, so as she stepped down from the stage I offered her my hand. And with classic Goodall grace, she lightly refused my help and alit from the stage like a morning-fresh ballerina in slippers.

With this simple movement, after a long day of long lines and travel and sharing her heart on stage, she helped me realize that that’s the way through. That’s the way to navigate this modern world. Bringing such a level of grace is not only what helped her make such a tremendous impact in her field, it’s also what has given her and her work such longevity.

And that’s what I want to emulate. That’s what I want to start practicing now, so I have it to hold on to in my eighties.

So, what does the incomparable Jane Goodall say we women must bring to the world today? Watch this clip from a video she taped after that night’s book-signing, still brimming with characteristic grace:

Want more inspiration like this delivered to your Inbox? Just enter your first name and email in the sidebar to the right and click “loop me in” to receive our newsletter.

Loving the Lives We Are In

Five Easy Tips to Move from Theory to Practice

Have you ever started a new exercise regime to improve your health? Have you ever dedicated yourself to reaching a certain goal in your career? What about the dream of having a partner who is just the right fit for you?

Most of us relate to having dreams, goals and hopes for our lives. After all, these aspirations are what ignite the fire that drives you to get up and go after your deepest desires.   

I believe big dreams create the magic of your life and are meant to be approached with a curiosity and thirst to fully experience life—bumps and all. By opening up to the idea that the journey is the magic, rather than reaching the actual dream itself, you open the floodgates to love your life right now.

When you give yourself the gift of seeing and experiencing all that is amazing in your life at this very moment, you no longer need to delay happiness until you meet some future goal.

In an effort to simply love life exactly as it is right now, no matter what dreams are in the works, I made this list of reminders and inspirations to put into practice each day. I encourage you to give them a try and see which ones work best for you:

1. Self-Awareness

When you step outside of yourself and take a good honest look at how you are showing up, over time you begin to take yourself a whole lot less seriously. There is a real lightness and sense of ease that comes from being able to laugh at yourself and see the humor in a situation.

By regularly checking in with yourself, you may also start to notice the patterns in how you show up and where there may be room to shift and grow.

Being self-reflective in a healthy way helps to strengthen your relationship with yourself. It also builds your self-confidence and resourcefulness in trusting yourself to take steps that are congruent with who you are at your core. Meditation first thing in the morning and writing at any time of the day have become essential tools in building my self-awareness practice. Have fun choosing the tools that most suit your style in order to create meaning and consistency in your self-awareness practice.

2. Give

Give what you can, whenever you can. It could be spreading kindness through your words, smiles, and helpful acts, or merely being present for those you share space with. When you adopt a generous attitude, it becomes easier to let go of beliefs and judgments that create an ‘us against them’ mentality.

Giving without strings attached or ulterior motives not only brightens the receiver’s day, it also fills up your heart and the moments before you with joy. It feels good to give, so do it as much as your heart desires. If there are times where you can extend your reach out to your local or global community, then do that, too.

Approaching your life with compassion and love may very well be the greatest gift you could give yourself and your community. The ripple effect you create by being content and happy with your life will be felt and may very well become contagious.

3. Move

Your health and well-being is deeply connected to your feelings and overall attitude. When you feel good in your body, it becomes natural and easy to be happy with life.

We all vary in our abilities and the types of physical activities we enjoy. What may feel great for one person may not for another. The key is to engage in activities that you enjoy and movement that fits your lifestyle and needs. Do what works best for you to create a regular habit of moving your body to help you feel the very best you can.

4. Breathe

Deep, intentional breathing is one of the most powerful ways to calm yourself and ease feelings of stress and anxiety. The best part about this particular tool is that it is “built-in,” and pretty straightforward to engage! 

When you find yourself in a stressful situation, you are more than likely holding your breath. In these situations, if possible, take a few deliberate deep breaths, holding each for the count of four. Doing this helps calm your body and creates space to refocus your mind away from destructive or overwhelming thought patterns.

The more you practice focusing on your breath, whether that is through yoga, meditation or routinely scheduled times throughout the day, the more likely it will become a habit and natural place to go to transform stress.

Breath may not solve the world’s problems, but it certainly helps to soften the daily stress and tension that often accompanies a busy life.  
 

5. Gratitude

Gratitude is my number one favorite way to get out of any funk and into the joy of life. When you focus on what you are thankful for, you relive all of the beautiful stories and reasons why your life is worth loving right now–and that feels so good!

There are countless reasons to be thankful. Getting to wake up each day to the miracle of being alive is just one of them. There’s also the air you breathe, the sights you see, and the opportunities and possibilities before you. Your list of reasons to be grateful is as unique as you are, and is yours by design.

I love to start my day reflecting on three reasons I am grateful to be alive, and end it by reviewing three reasons I am grateful for my day. The more you engage in a gratitude practice, the more natural it becomes to scan your world and see new evidence of things to be grateful for.

Being genuinely thankful on a regular basis helps you to see why your life is worthy of loving right now at this very moment.

Don’t delay your happiness for later. Jump in and love the life you are in. You are worth it!

Wedding Photographers Vancouver Island
Emily Madill is an author, professional coach and motivational speaker. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband and two sons. She has a BA degree in business and psychology and completed her coach training through Erickson International College. She blogs for Huffington Post and has published multiple esteem building books for children. Emily enjoys an active lifestyle including running, fitness, yoga, and keeping up to the adventurous pace of her family. She is a firm believer in stretching comfort zones and Dreaming BIG! Check out her new book, Fall in Love with Your Life, One Week at a Time.

Q: What do disco, a capella, Brené Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert have in common?

A: This amazing spontaneous karaoke moment from Emerging Women Live 2015, proving that business leadership, personal growth, and straight up FUN are not mutually exclusive terms.

After two of our favorite authors shared the details of their super-supportive and hilariously honest friendship on stage, Elizabeth Gilbert and Brené Brown led the crowd in an impromptu a cappella version of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, “dedicated to Shame and Scarcity.”

We love this community of women and the real sense of intimate connection that courses through the entire event. These power women, from audience and stage alike, become our peers – our sisters in revolutionary change.

If you want to feel the energy up close and in person for yourself, tickets go on sale today for the 4th Annual Emerging Women Live conference, October 13-16 in San Francisco, CA. Give yourself a truly transformative gift this holiday season. Get registered HERE.

From Adrenalin to Inspiration: The Burnout Solution

How breaking our addiction to excitement helps us access our natural, sustainable energy.

Most people intuitively get the concept of switching your energy source from “adrenalin to inspiration.”  It’s actually quite similar to switching from oil to solar power. One form of energy creates negative consequences and is limited, and the other is sustainable and life regenerating. We can grasp this concept for our homes or cars, but what about our bodies and our being?

What I call “authentic” or “connected” power is the source of inspired energy. This is the place where we are in tune with ourselves, nature and others. When we are in tune with our authentic power, we naturally source from inspiration. Disconnected, or reactive, power acts through selfish competition, survival, and without regard for others. When we are sourcing from disconnection, we tap into adrenalin. We need to rush, be busy, not be lazy, and get it done when we are in an adrenalin state.

Most people mistake excitement for energy. Energy is energy, excitement is a heightened state which can burn out your natural energy reserves. This one discernment can change your life. Read on to understand the subtleties.

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What is living from adrenalin?

For the most part, many of us use our stress response and adrenalin to increase productivity. We think this is the source of energy – it’s the source of the “just do it” mentality. The greater the pain, the greater the gain, so we push through and engage in a competition to determine who can work the most hours and juggle the most activities.

As a society, we are low-level adrenalin junkies. We chase it through caffeine, reality TV, dramatic relationships, Facebook, twitter, constant stimuli, and avoiding silence and stillness. Whether people know it or not, they tend to rely on adrenalin as their main energy source.

But this strategy is excitement masquerading as life-force. Living this way creates high periods of productivity, but they are always followed by the inevitable crash. That crash leaves us feeling low, disheartened, and guilty about doing nothing. Does this sound familiar to you?  Here are few more examples in order to determine if you are sourcing your energy from adrenalin.

Signs and Symptoms YOU Are Using Adrenalin as Energy

  • You can go for HOURS with no food or breaks and be very productive, but then you reach a limit after a couple days or on Fridays when you just can’t conjure up the energy anymore
  • You feel if you stop for one second you will “get behind”
  • Fear fuels your motivation
  • You never feel like you “get there”
  • You get snippy and irritable
  • You procrastinate on what matters, but busy yourself with other work (My house is very clean during tax season.)
  • You experience a lack of self-confidence, fraud syndrome, and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
  • You are never really full, content, or peaceful but you work hard to convince the world that you are

There is another way! When we are stressed, we cannot access the problem-solving state of mind necessary to relieve our stress. We cannot access intuition and imagination, and yes INSPIRATION. It’s hard to see what’s missing when we’re in this adrenalin soaked, spazzy place. But when we are able to shift to living from inspiration—to a state of connectedness and expansiveness—suddenly what we need becomes as obvious to us as getting a glass of water when we’re thirsty.

What does living from Inspiration look like?

Here are the possible benefits of shifting from adrenalin to inspiration:

  • Knowing you are enough, you matter, and your life is purposeful
  • Not requiring outside validation to feel on track in life or on a project
  • You operate from a place of: “I’m worthy, deserving, and good enough now. From this place, I can create whatever I put my mind and heart to”
  • Joy is regularly accessible
  • Your cell phone connection to the big boss of infinite wisdom is your intuition
  • You become inspired, feeling the desire from within to complete a task and you become an overflowing cup, rather than scraping from the bottom of your will power
  • You are pulled by your visions, rather than pushed by your self-criticisms

Simple Steps to Implement Inspiration Energy Into Your Life

I highly recommend stopping the search of what to do, and connect to your own inspired state to ask what you need. You know. I know you know. Now love yourself enough to do it, and be it. Remember, living things need life-sustaining nourishment. We need:

  • water
  • sleep
  • rest and work, ebb and flow
  • food that has nutrition for energy
  • the Sun
  • connection to other living things

You get the picture – doing what lights you up, nourishes you, makes you feel content.

Meditation Injection

Meditation can help train your connection to your inspired state of being. Here’s a quick practice I call Meditation Injection. It can take place during red lights in your car, bathroom breaks, elevators, waiting on the phone or in a line, waking up or falling asleep, commercial breaks, and so on. Giving yourself an uninterrupted two to five minutes is great. They key is to do what you know you will maintain. Here’s a tip: Set a reminder in your phone to remind you do this Meditation Injection.

Begin to breathe and notice how it feels. Feel the sensations: warm, cold, tingly, or perhaps numb, vacant.  You can’t get this wrong, just feel and notice. Feel your breath, notice and inhale and exhale. Notice how your body keeps you alive effortlessly. Notice that it’s all being done for you. The Earth is spinning and gravity is holding you in place. You are basically being hugged by the earth’s magnetic core. You might sigh or you might even tear up with relief and recognition. Inhale. Exhale.

Welcome back home – to being you and being connected to life.

Now you can get back to work and be your awesome, inspired self!


The Emerging Women Leadership Platform is dedicated to supporting learning and collaboration that integrates feminine leadership and catalyzes a vision for a thriving future. Start your 30 day free trial to get in on the live webinars, practices, and connection now!

Our Top 9 Fave Wisdom Quotes from Emerging Women Live 2015 Power Talks

If you loved our Emerging Women Live 2015 keynote speakers, don’t miss the wisdom from our Emerging Short talks, too. These power talks let us hear from a diverse group of women who are positively using their feminine leadership to change the world. We’ve sifted through our notes and gathered our top nine favorite quotes.

Be sure to catch these brilliant women on the live stream archive, which will be available for replay until Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015.

 

  1. Vicki Saunders (Founder of SheEO)

“We (as women) have not been at the table for designing this world. We need to be there for VERSION 2.0. We all need to redesign this world desperately.” twitter

 

  1. Wokie Nwabueze(Founder of Women Prepared to Lead)

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“When you can become enchanted by who you are, when you can forgive the part of you that betrayed you, then you will be seen and heard and nothing less than captivating.” twitter

 

  1. Promise Phelon (CEO of TapInfluence)

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“Grit is the sand that is exfoliating the path of where you want to go.” twitter

 

  1. Anese Cavanaugh (Creator of IEP Method)

“People often think it is the doing that is going to impact, what actually is more powerful is our presence.” twitter

 

  1. Neha Sangwan, MD(Founder of Intuitive Intelligence and Author of TalkRx)

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“It’s impossible to prove something to others that you don’t believe yourself.” twitter

 

  1. Johanna Jackman (Senior Director at LinkedIn)

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“Vulnerability plus tenacity – they are the platform for being truly authentic.” twitter

 

  1. Natalia Oberti Noguera (Founder/CEO of Pipeline Angel Fellowship)

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“Privilege is like oxygen, you don’t know it is there until it is gone.” twitter

 

  1. Guru Jagat (founder of the RA MA Institute)

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“It’s important for us to train our mind to consolidate our energy, so that we then can use that energy for a true revolution.” twitter

 

  1. Sahar Paz (Author, Speaker and Life Coach)

“Don’t let your shero cape, become a veil.” twitter

How To Treat Networking As An Investment

Networking is the unwritten rule of success in business. Your next business opportunity is more likely to come from a loose connection rather than a close one. But first, you need to have connections.

1. Your Network Is An Investment

It’s important to understand what networking is, and what it isn’t. Networking is not randomly clicking on people on LinkedIn. It’s not making a bunch of new friends and it’s not about getting an immediate payoff.

Networking is about nurturing connections over time. The early years are about investing in it – doing some introductions and little favors, inviting people to events or letting them know about a job they might be interested in. If you ask people for a bunch of favors before you do anything for them, they’re likely going to look at you askance.

Like any good investment, over time, your network will yield a return. The return, though, is on the portfolio, not each individual relationship. You may spend a lot of energy on one person and get nothing in return, but another person might introduce you to someone who will turn into a great connection.

2. A Diverse Network Is A Strong Network

Be in a network, not an echo chamber. If everyone is like you, you’ll be comfortable, but you won’t grow. That also means networking outside your company. Colleagues are great, but they aren’t likely going to tell you about opportunities outside of your cubicle.

3. Put It Into Action

  • Do something nice for someone in your network every week. That doesn’t mean you have to find someone a job, but you can connect two people who should know each other, send over an article that someone may find useful, or give a LinkedIn recommendation.
  • Deepen one relationship every month.  Spend time with someone you want to get to know better, and that doesn’t always mean having lunch. Consider doing something active – inviting them to volunteer with you, or go to a concert or a show.

At the Ellevate Network, we aim to give women opportunities and tools to connect and learn in order to get to the next level in their careers. Whether it’s at an in-person event or online during one of our “Jam Sessions,” women supporting women is just smart business.

What’s Your Devotion?

Bhakti Chai Shares One Simple Step to Help Your Dreams Come True

C.S. Lewis got it right when he said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…”

When you think about it, we put a lot of energy into the world on a daily basis – into our jobs, our families, our personal goals, financial obligations, friendships, relationships, maybe even our dreams.  And when you look back over the course of a year, or two, or five, you realize how much has changed, even if your day-to-day routine has more or less remained the same. People tend to overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can accomplish in a lifetime.

What if you took a chance, and focused a part of each day on what you are devoted to? Would your dreams of being a business owner finally come true? Would you be living in a place you actually love? Would you turn your side hobby into a true art form? The possibilities are endless when we believe in the power of our intentions and follow through on our commitment to ourselves.

Nearly a decade ago, I started Bhakti Chai with the intention to create a brand that not only offered a delicious chai, but also a company that made a huge impact in the global community. Bhakti in Sanskrit means “devotion through social action,” and I kept this top of mind when launching Bhakti Chai to remind myself of my commitment not only to fulfilling my own dreams, but to changing the world. I manifested that devotion by building Bhakti Chai and then later launched Gita, our social giving platform.

Gita means “Share Your Story” in Sanskrit and is the foundation for Bhakti Chai’s platform for positive social change.  G.I.T.A. stands for “Give”, “Inspire”, “Take Action” – the embodiment of what Bhakti Chai intends to do with the Gita Giving project.

 

This led us to taking the whole idea of taking devotion to the next level by inspiring others to share their devotion with us, and with the world. It’s one thing to know in your head and your heart what you feel devoted to, but once you put that on paper and share that energy with others and the universe, something starts to churn and then suddenly, that idea becomes manifested energy for change.

This year at Emerging Women Live, we asked participants to share their devotion with us by writing it down on a “My Bhakti” card, snapping a photo of themselves with their devotion and sharing it on social media. You can see by the photo that devotion can be big or small – it’s the larger act of empowering yourself to follow it, to grow that dream and intentionally work each day to commit to yourself and to your devotion that matters most.  

So, what is your Bhakti?

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

 

Brook Eddy India 2015Brook Eddy is founder and CEO of Bhakti Chai. She has always been devoted to support those who are authentic, daring, and committed to making a difference in our global community.

Top Six Benefits to Joining a Power Circle: The Inside Scoop from Past Participants

To date, more than 100 women—from CEOs and executives to small business owners and transitioning mothers—have participated in our Power Circles program. In true Emerging Women form, they have generously shared their amazing success stories to further inspire and ignite the community.

1. Thinking bigger.

We all know what it’s like to get stuck in old ways of thinking. What once worked wonders can quickly become the reason for a rut. Are you due for an upgrade in perspective? The group dynamic of a Power Circle helps us uncover new modes of viewing a situation, leading to more expansive thinking and creative problem solving.

As Rachelle Reichley, Founder of YAY! LIFE!, puts it, “The exposure here in the power of the circle—where everyone is going in their work, in their relationships, in their career—it’s helped me think a lot bigger, and that has a huge value.”

2. Gaining clarity.

Sometimes we know we’ve got “it” in us, but we’re not exactly sure what “it” is. We know or have an inkling of what’s inside or a spark of an idea, but may not have total clarity. As the NYC 2014/15 Power Circle participants told us, that doesn’t have to be a problem.

“These powerful women will reflect back what is burning inside of you, what wants to shine, what wants to come out, the gifts that we bring to the world.” And for others, like Rachel Allen, Travel Production Tour Coordinator, the circle helped her get clarity for her next steps: “It really helped me define and set the structure for where I want to go and put me on a different path.”

3. Speaking truth.

“The circle helped me find my voice. It helped me figure out my values, my definition of success in my terms, and how I wanted to move forward with my life,” shares a Power Circle participant.

It can be hard to locate our true voice if we’re not exercising it regularly. Power Circles are designed with reflections and practices to help bring out your truth, so you can lead with your most authentic self, loud and proud.

4. Holding vision and space.

Event planner, fundraiser and mentor Susie Mordoh says, “These women have become my sisters. They don’t need to get into my day to day (like family and friends do), they hold space for me, accept me and support me as a person overall. We do that for each other and our visions have been amplified, our frustrations have been protected and our successes have been celebrated.”

What she said!

5. Sharing wisdom.

The beauty of circle lies in the diversity—from life experiences to career levels—of people who participate. In this collective setting, you can leverage the strength and experience of others to help you grow and facilitate your own learning.

The flip side? We all have something to share in this world. Power Circles are an meaningful and impactful place to do that.

6. Pushing boundaries.

One of beautiful qualities of a Power Circle lies in the safe space created. When we feel safe, we have the foundation for deep intimacy and growth.

In the words of Liz Sinnot, Director of Stores for Evereve, “There was an intimacy created that was really critical to this group being successful. It allowed everybody to go beyond boundaries that you wouldn’t normally go beyond.”

Now it’s time to dive in….

“Joining Emerging Women’s NYC Power Circle was the best decision I made!” says Susie Mordoh. Are you ready to invest in YOU? Don’t miss this chance to take your seat in a circle built for elevation and transformation beyond your wildest imagination! Register NOW.


Registration closes on October 31st.

Top Six Keynote Quotes from Emerging Women Live 2015

Wisdom to inspire, calm, motivate and guide you.

Hundreds of women gathered in San Francisco over the weekend for 4 days of inspiration, authentic connection, feminine leadership training and more. Our lineup of keynote speakers was as influential as ever, including Dr. Jane Goodall, Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, TEDTalk sensation Esther Perel, Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewing and Dr. Tererai Trent.

We selected some of the most powerful insights from Emerging Women Live 2015 keynotes to share with you here. Feel free to comment, share, tweet and post your faves, too.

Be sure to catch these brilliant women on the live stream archive, which will be available for replay until Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015.

1. Dr. Jane Goodall (Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace)

“The tribe is like an eagle and the eagle will only fly true and high when the wings are equal,” American Indian Proverb via Dr. Jane Goodall, speaking on gender equality.”twitter

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2. Brené Brown (Research Professor, University of Houston and Author of Rising Strong)

“There is nothing more threatening to the critics than a woman who is willing to fall because she knows how to rise.”twitter

 

 

3. Elizabeth Gilbert (Bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and newly-released book, Big Magic)

“I don’t believe in fearlessness…there’s always an instance where fear saved us. Show some appreciation and respect for that. And then figure out how to work around it.” twitter

 

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4. Kim Jordan (Co-Founder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing)

“Leaders need to make choices that are consistent with what matters.”twitter

 

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5. Esther Perel (Psychotherapist and Consultant to Fortune 500 Companies) 

“Desire needs a space to thrive. It needs separateness. Psychological distance. It needs mystery and an unknown.” twitter
 

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6. Dr. Tererai Trent (Founder/President Tererai Trent International)

“I define myself. I create my own destiny.”twitter

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Rethinking Women’s Leadership: Reflections for Shifting Into A New Paradigm of We

Women’s leadership is on the cusp of a quantum leap.

Female leaders everywhere are inching toward the unknown, leaning into the new, announcing their readiness to the future that attracts them. Our passion, commitment, intention, and will may very well collapse the probability of equality and manifest it into a reality some day in the near future.

Denied access to the centers of power for so long in our history, we have become experts on the margins. We are masters at networking, advocating, circling, co-creating, transforming culture—working for the marginalized in every field imaginable. Women leaders are at the forefront of change from the grassroots to governmental levels.

Not About Me, It’s We

In the 1970’s, when the second wave of feminism washed over this land and changed everything in its wake, the phrase “the personal is political” became a slogan as we discovered together how the culture had shaped and silenced us. There was a sense of  “It’s not just ME, it’s all of us,” and that fueled our interest, our outrage, and finally our courage to stand up and speak our truths.

Now, two generations later, young women are assimilating into every institution—corporate, civil, religious, creative—and speaking their truth to power,from power, and about power.

As evolutionary women leaders we are abandoning old tactics and strategies; we are transcending patriarchal, hierarchical models of leadership and creating circular spaces for the surfacing and sharing of collective wisdom. We are creating new vocabularies, replacing words like compete, control, power, motivation with collaborate, co-create, process and transformation.

It takes women only moments to find our commonness, and generally, in every women’s circle, it is always agreed upon that what we are seeking is what is best for the whole. From business women to nuns to non-profit leaders, an awareness of our interdependency underlies every question and answer. And we often believe that if there is a striving to be had, it is to be the best for the world, not the best in the world.

The Value of Questions

Philosopher and scholar Jacob Needleman suggests that the real art form of today is “group pondering.” This resonates as an idea with me, although its execution calls for deep creativity. How does one facilitate “group pondering?” How does a leader mine the wisdom of the group? How do we evolve ourselves into more subtle sowers of collective insight?

The best leaders are the ones with the best questions. The ones who are humble enough to not be the center of attention, but to center the group’s attention. The ones who can laser focus the desire of the group, the intention and will of the group, in order to unleash the group’s ability to create a reality it agrees upon.

After a few decades of facilitating groups for higher levels of leadership and creativity, I’ve come up with some questions that aim at authentic and imaginative truth-telling. Answering these questions will give people an opportunity to find common ground with others, acknowledge what they are passionate about, decide what they are committed to, and proclaim their next steps in the matter.

People pay therapists thousands of dollars for this, but a good leader can bring about these clarifications in a short time by simply asking the right questions and engaging in this kind of group pondering. Here are a few ideas for starters:

  1. What is one thing you know for sure based on your lived experience?
  2. In what ways have you shared that knowing?
  3. In what ways have you advocated on another’s behalf?
  4. What success have you had in this area?
  5. Have you ever felt silenced as a woman? If so, how?
  6. Do you feel an affinity with any marginalized groups? If so, what is your response?
  7. Do you know the difference between your original thoughts and your inherited beliefs?
  8. What inherited beliefs have you disinherited? (about your body? your religion? your sex?)
  9. How have you been changed by another woman’s story or creation?
  10. If someone funded a documentary that you could produce, what subject matter would you choose?
  11. If you had a superpower, what would it be? What would you do as a result?
  12. Where does the imbalance of feminine vs. masculine show up most for you?
  13. What is the impact of that?
  14. In what ways are you bringing more balance to our society?

Tips for Facilitating

If there are many tables in the room, a dividing of the questions and sharing is an excellent way to foster more collective pondering. Introverts often need more time to think about their answers, so it might be wise to list these questions on paper and give people five to ten minutes to reflect and answer. The work of the leader is to create a safe space for sharing, to be self-disclosing and answer a few of the questions from her own perspective before having the group do the assignment.

I read once that the Old English term for leadership comes from the phrase to go first. The greatest leaders are the ones ready to go first, to risk being vulnerable. They speak from their lives. They learn how to master their ordeals, process their tragedies and transform them into stories that hold truths both personal and universal.

If She Can, I Can—The Power of Story

Everything we know happened to us in a story. All the wisdom in our cells came from our trials, our tears, our commitment to keep going in the face of every obstacle. Great leaders tell those stories. They don’t just share what they know. They share how they learned it. That’s what we all hunger for. Those tales of transformation. Those stories that remind us, “If she can, I can.”

You can stop reading leadership books anytime now. Just open up the book of your own life. See what you’ve been up against. See what kept you going. See what you’ve achieved and where you’re headed now. See how connected you are to all the others. And tell those stories. Tell them right from your heart. Don’t be afraid of your tears. This is heart work, after all.

Jan Phillips
Jan Phillips—Emerging Women

Jan Phillips, is the co-founder and executive director of the Living Kindness Foundation, a co-sponsor of Emerging Women, and an artist and author. She’s written  No Ordinary Time, Finding the On-Ramp to Your Spiritual Path, The Art of Original Thinking-The Making of a Thought Leader, Divining the Body, and more. To learn more about her work, you can visit her website.

The Native Genius of Jane Goodall: A Map to Living Our Truth

As women today, we’re hungry to live the truth of who we are at work—and even insisting on it—but how to do that often feels uncharted.

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE

What’s so remarkable about Dr. Jane Goodall (Emerging Women Live 2015 keynote speaker) is that she not only pioneered science, but she also opens our eyes to how to work from our most authentic self—all starting in the 1950’s.

She didn’t have the “right education.” She didn’t “plan it all out” or follow rules for making it. Rather, she made her preeminent scientific contributions by living the deep truth of who she is. All these years later, her path is still one of the most inspiring I’ve seen. In my work to help individuals and teams combine success and fulfillment, Jane’s life serves as a kind of archetypal map that guides us into authentic territory that’s available to all of us. 

Jane’s Early Insistent Actions

At the age of 23, this untrained, captivating blonde Brit was invited to Africa and met a renowned scientist. These facts on their own imply she simply landed in the quintessential right time and place. However, it was actually the momentum of what I call her Insistent Actions that led to her success.

As a little girl, Jane consistently repeated a set of actions, which she honed into valuable skills. Imagine Jane when she was 5 years old, sitting in a chicken coop. Hiding in straw, she was determined to know, “Where does the egg come out?” She waited unobtrusively for hours until she found out.

She also catalogued, drew, and wrote about animals. In countless personal letters, she wove together intricate descriptions of animals she watched. All these actions were unprompted by people or obligations. At 13, she wrote to her friend, “I am home today as I have a cold, and I am practising drawing birds from real life. I am determined to get good at drawing them.”

Like a fish swimming or a rose blooming, these Insistent Actions were native in her. She couldn’t not do them.

She brought to life something inside her—in the words of an E.E. Cummings poem—“which is natural, which is infinite, and which is yes.” We see what is natural, infinite, and yes in 13-year-old Jane as she’s lying on her bed with the sniffles—pencil and notebook in hand, determined to get good at drawing animals.

Dr. Jane Goodall in Gombe National Park

Dr. Jane Goodall in Gombe National Park

From Insistent Actions to Prodigious Impact

When Jane met her mentor, paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey, his life’s dream was to reveal the mysteries of human evolution. At a time when the typical methods for studying animals were killing them and examining the remains, his vision to observe chimps in their natural habitat was cutting-edge. He knew he needed a keen observer, and Jane’s Insistent Actions—practiced thousands of times over two decades—had shaped her into one. Soon after meeting her, he recognized her observational prowess and said she had “record eyes.”

Despite no formal training, her Insistent Actions developed into her Native Genius—which is something we all have. Native Genius is the intersection of what we love doing and what we’re good at. It expresses itself in a collection of Insistent Actions we do, that we may not notice we do. When we focus, practice, and train those actions, they have the potential to grow into something powerful and useful like Jane’s “record eyes.”

Jane’s life shows us how we can grow our Native Genius from moment-to-moment, starting where we are, regardless of our life circumstances.

Jane called her time studying the chimps “paradise.” That’s because she hit her Native Genius jackpot. She started using her Insistent Actions like never before, in a focused and deliberate way. All of the Gombe Stream Chimp Reserve became her “chicken coop.” Her patient, reverent observing was one of the key actions that made her so successful when living among the chimpanzees. In her first year there, she had already made four pioneering discoveries. The advancements in science were exponential.

Young researcher Jane Goodall with baby chimpanzee Flint at Gombe Stream Reasearch Center in Tanzania.

Young researcher Jane Goodall with baby chimpanzee Flint at Gombe Stream Reasearch Center in Tanzania.

Trusting Your Insistent Actions

Most of us don’t follow our Insistent Actions with Jane’s kind of devotion, because the uncertainty can be excruciating. We want to know the destination before we begin. We don’t sense our own eyes lighting up when we do them. Even if we do sense the joy, we need to know, “Where will this go?”

The answer we often get from inside is “nowhere,” or worse: “somewhere bad”—for example, a life without love or money. Fear gets in the driver’s seat and we subtly turn away from the spark of YES in favor of something seemingly more productive, more marketable, or more certain. Jane followed the spark of yes without knowing the destination. We can too.

We may be afraid to ask ourselves what our Insistent Actions are. Like the hero in a story, we fear we’ll get all the way to the treasure chest, only to pause, open it, and find it empty. As much as I’ve partnered with people to uncover their Native Genius, I’ve never found the treasure chest empty. Ever.

I’ve also never found it full of useless junk. We always find a collection of Insistent Actions, as unique as a fingerprint. The Insistent Actions almost always have underused energy and creativity behind them. Remember, what made Jane’s “nothing” of watching animals turn into a “something” was her natural, infinite, yes that animated it. We all have that.

No matter what our life circumstances, each of us can spend 15-minutes a week doing an Insistent Action we adore.

We can trust that it will grow and coalesce. Jane shows us the extent to which Insistent Actions are, by their very nature, generative. They generate results, learning, and trying again. Jane shows us that we can risk devotion to our Native Genius without knowing exactly how to make it into something. The Insistent Actions themselves are a map we can trust that unfolds with each step. Following them will pull us forward into the territory of our Native Genius, our thriving, and our most wondrous contributions.

Kristen Wheeler is the creator of the Native Genius® Method which helps people and teams be in the sweet spot of big results and personal fulfillment.

She has consulted for more than two decades with companies about the intersection of human thriving and organizational performance—from multi-national companies with 80,000 employees to small nonprofits with 100 employees. She’s been a speaker and audience favorite at TEDxBoulder and Emerging Women Live. At Emerging Women Live in 2015 she will speak on Vision and Native Genius with Vanessa Loder.

Threads Worldwide: Bridging the Local to the Global through Social Enterprise

After traveling to nearly 50 countries, many in the developing world, Angela Yost, Kara Wiegand and Lindsay Murphy knew they wanted to give back to the communities that were so impactful to them.

When they witnessed the severe poverty in these communities–from the little girl in Siem Reap, Cambodia who stepped into the sewer while begging for grape soda, to the families in Mumbai, India who were living on the highway medians between a constant flow of traffic–the women were determined to find a way to support these people in a sustainable and economically meaningful way.

Kara, Angela and Lindsay are the co-founders of Threads Worldwide, a fair trade company that brings jewelry handcrafted by artisan women in developing countries to market in the US through a social sales model and online shop. It’s not your average jewelry company. It’s one that is making a real and sustainable impact in the world.

Many of the cooperatives that Threads Worldwide works with employ women who are survivors of sex trafficking, have physical disabilities or are affected by other economic, social or political factors. When these women are taught a tangible skill (jewelery making), paid a fair wage and provided a safe workplace, they begin to emerge out of poverty and start to thrive. Depending on the season, they empower hundreds of women in over 12 developing countries around the world, from Ecuador to Kenya to Indonesia.

In the United States, women join the Threads Worldwide community as Threads Sales Consultants. Sales Consultants show the world how to shop with heart – ethically and consciously. Teachers, business owners, lawyers, doctors and stay-at-home mothers share the stories of the artisan partners while also earning an income for themselves by selling the handcrafted jewelry at trunk shows and within their communities.

Recently, EW had the chance to talk to these inspiring women about bridging the local to the global and the rewarding challenges of creating a social enterprise.

EW: How did the unique business model that Threads Worldwide created come to life?

Kara, COO & Co-Founder:The visions [of poverty] never faded, and that bolstered our resolve to find an answer to the question “What can we do to help?” We were drawn to community commerce, and Threads Worldwide was started as a way to provide a market and income to skilled artisans who would otherwise be limited in their potential.

Lindsay, Director of Artisan Partnerships & Co-Founder: We are very motivated to work with women since women invest up to 90% of their income back into their families in the form of healthcare, education and food. When coming up with business ideas, we were determined to find a way to connect women. Threads Worldwide does just that – both globally and locally – with our social sales model. It’s always so inspiring to hear how our Threads Sales Consultants are making an income for their families while supporting women across the globe.

Angela, CEO & Co-Founder: Exactly. We wanted to provide a scalable way to impact artisans around the world, so we developed a social selling model where women in the US can make money while also making a difference. By becoming a Threads Sales Consultant or by hosting a Threads trunk show, you are contributing to the growth of a community across the world.

EW: What are the challenges of running a social enterprise, especially since this type of business (one with a social mission at the heart) is a relatively new model?

Angela: The challenges are no different from many other young or emerging companies – from getting capital to business development. I think something Kara, Lindsay and I have that gives us an advantage is our really great network. We know really smart and successful people who are willing to introduce us to their networks and help our business grow. There is a lot of power in collaboration.

Lindsay: One of the challenges has been the education piece. Not everyone is versed or familiar with the fair trade movement, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to witness our Threads Sales Consultants take this journey with us, and educate themselves about fair trade, the supply chains of where their clothing and food comes from, and learning how powerful their purchases can be. We work with a cooperative that employs women who are survivors of sex trafficking, and it’s amazing to see how a few of our Threads Sales Consultants are using this story as fuel to run their Threads business, while also becoming advocates in combatting sex-trafficking.

Kara: At the end of the day though, despite any challenge the day presents, we love working with women around the world in true partnership. Threads Sales Consultants wouldn’t be successful without the beautiful handcrafted products made by our Artisan Partners. Conversely, the artisan women can’t thrive without access to the marketplace provided by our Consultants. We know that creating opportunity for and connection between women is the most effective way to create global change and that keeps us going!

EW: Can you tell us more about the jewelry and your products?

Kara: We source handcrafted products from around the world that we love for their quality and style, regardless of their story – but each piece has an amazing story.

Angela: Many of our jewelry items are made from sustainable and upcycled materials, too, from tagua seed to scrap metals. Lots of vibrant and fun pieces… and gorgeous, timeless bracelets, necklaces, and earrings that are great for everyday wear.

Lindsay: The artisans are incredibly talented; we’re continually blown away by their work!

Interested in joining the Threads Movement? Click here to learn more!

Threads Worldwide will be at Emerging Women Live, October 8-11 in San Francisco. Stop by their table and connect with them!

For more inspiring stories of emerging women in the business world, as well as tools and resources for your emergence, check out more of our blog and our podcasts.

Speaker Highlight: Esther Perel on Love, Sex and Desire

We are so excited to announce that we just added some serious ooh la la to the lineup for Emerging Women Live 2015.

The provocative Esther Perel will be joining us to talk about the tantalizing dance between modern love and desire, and how we can reclaim our feminine sexuality as a power source for life and business. Yes, please!

Just watch the first minute of this Esther’s TedTalk. We dare you to not hear a question that resonates with you:

Intrigued? Check out her badass bio:

Esther Perel is recognized as one of the most original and insightful voices on personal and professional relationships and the complex science behind human interaction. She is a best­-selling author, practicing psychotherapist in New York, organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies, and regular speaker on the topics of erotic intelligence, trauma, conflict resolution and infidelity. Fluent in nine languages, the Belgian native is a cross­-cultural relationship philosopher, shifting the paradigm of our modern approach to relationships.

Esther points out that in our modern world, we want to experience sexuality not simply for survival or duty. She says, “This is the first time that we want sex over time about pleasure and connection that is rooted in desire.”

She invites us to wonder, “When you love, how does it feel? And when you desire, how is it different?” The push/pull between wanting grounded security and our need for imagination and adventure exists both in our intimate relationships and in the way we relate to our entrepreneurial endeavors.

Masterfully, Esther elucidates how we can reconcile this dichotomy with playfulness and curiosity to activate a truly fulfilling journey. “Sex isn’t something you do, eh? It’s a place you go. It’s a language. It isn’t just a behavior,” she says. That is feminine power in action.

Getting clarity around our loves and desires (and learning to merge the two) is just as crucial to our authentic success in life as a solid business plan.

Emerging Women Live is on a mission to bring both concepts into the forefront to help revolutionary women like you take full advantage of all arenas of consciousness, so you can have the greatest impact as you work to make meaningful change in your life, your community and the world.

Ready to own your wanting and align it with your plans for success?

We hope you’ll join Esther Perel, Brené Brown, Dr. Neha Sangwan, Dr. Jane Goodall and more at Emerging Women Live 2015. Don’t miss out on your ticket to personal and professional transformation!

Free Online Seminar – 3 Keys to Feminine Power

We’re happy to share a special invitation from our good friend Claire Zammit, PhDc, to attend her FREE online seminar for women: “The 3 Keys to Feminine Power.”

Claire is the leader of the Feminine Power global learning community and co-founder of Evolving Wisdom, and has helped more than 300,000 women worldwide create extraordinary lives.

Register Here as Our Guest—The 3 Keys to Feminine Power

During the event, Claire will reveal her groundbreaking approach for generating genuine intimacy, deeper connection, creative expression, supportive community, meaningful contribution, and authentic success.

three keys We believe that women will play a profound role in creating a better world for us all – don’t you? Learn how to step into your own power to create the future you dream of with Claire’s free online training.

Discover Your Feminine Power — At No Charge!

We look forward to hearing about your experience. Please come back to this post and let us know what you thought about the class in the comments section below!

Freaking Out? Here’s 5 Ways Elizabeth Gilbert Deals with Fear

I recently interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert for our Emerging Women Podcast on the subject of Creativity and Fear (the focus of her newest book, Big Magic, due out in September). The fact that this wildly successful woman still struggles with fear gives me hope! The insights Liz shared in our conversation are not just for artists and writers. They can apply to any of us who are working on our passions, whether in business or at the writing desk.

Liz’s key to embracing fear: “It’s really about working with your fear and around your fear, without denying it and without attacking it.” But how? Check out these excerpts from my most recent podcast conversation with Liz: Creating Big Magic – Part 1. 

5 Ways Elizabeth Gilbert Deals with Fear:

1. Remember that fear has no toggle switch

“Fear is so old and so important that it’s not subtle,” Liz says. “It’s a toggle switch—it just goes on and off.” It lacks nuance, which is so important to creativity and authentic leadership. Its only function is survival.

But she respects fear. “It’s a viable and important human action,” she says. “But it also can get in your way when it comes to creativity, because creativity always asks you to enter into realms with uncertain outcome, and fear hates that. Fear always tries to shut that down.”

There are times and places where fear is very valuable. But when it comes to creativity, we need to put fear into perspective.

2. Start a conversation with Grandfather Fear

It starts with this wise advice Liz gives: “Without trying to get in a war with fear or pretend that it doesn’t exist or be ungrateful to it, we have to have a conversation with Grandfather Fear every time we begin a new creative project.”

Pretending that you have no fear is crazy. Hating fear is reactive, because we’re here as a human race because it helped us survive. It’s important to bring a healthy respect to the conversation, but have the conversation nonetheless.

How does Liz do it? She says to Grandfather Fear: “I know you’re scared because I’m going to expansively do something with an uncertain outcome, but we’re going to do it anyway.”

3. Bring Kid Sister Curiosity into the conversation

Liz talked at Emerging Women Live 2013 about how helpful it is to personify all the different emotions inside of her. In the podcast, she brought up the usefulness of that same technique when dealing with fear.

“I’ve got Grandpa Fear with the hand on the hand brake being like, ‘No one leaves this house!’ and ‘You kids get out of my yard!’ but I’ve also got the really reckless kid sister – Curiosity – who has no sense of consequence and wants to say “yes” to everything.”

Can you recognize those different parts within you? Now that you’ve said “hi” to Grandfather Fear, can you introduce him to Kid Sister Curiosity? Liz says that if you can, and you let them talk to each other, you can begin to approach wisdom.

4. Trust your Central Self to moderate

“Somewhere in me there’s a self who, if I’ve gotten enough sleep, if I am eating well, if I am in a relationship that’s nourishing, if I’m taking care of myself, and if I’m calm and still, can effectively moderate between all of these modalities,” Liz says.

You can tell Kid Sister Curiosity that you love her free-spirit, but to remember that someone has to pay the bills. And tell Grandfather Fear that you appreciate him looking out for you, “but you can put the shotgun down – those are just trick-or-treaters.”

She stresses the importance of recognizing the YOU that is in charge. And if you’re taking care of you, then you can trust yourself to hear all sides and move forward.

5. Keep doing the work

“Inspiration doesn’t owe you anything,” says Liz. Once you’ve found a balance between fear and creativity, you still have to do the work. She gets the good sleep she needs to start fresh. She sits down at 7am to write. She invites Inspiration to the table and then she gets to work.

“But it’s not like the Annunciation where suddenly an angel comes into the room,” she says. “It’s a drag, but I don’t sit there thinking, ‘Hey, you didn’t come to me! I asked you!’ I put the message out. They know I’m there. And I’ll just sludge through it.”

But the beautiful part? She says, “I’ve got one ear open, ready for the unexpected thing.”[inline]twitter-logo-ew[/inline]

She’s “ready for the sentence that I didn’t know I could write. Ready for something to change. Ready for something to grow.” And she’s teaching me to bring that open conversation to business, too.

Want more ways to deal with Fear? Get a free download of Power Practices Vol. 1 – Women Who Are Changing the World, and tune in to women’s leadership expert Tara Mohr’s “When You Don’t Feel Ready.”

Can KonMari transform your business?

Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.

I have to chant this as a mantra a few times before it starts to sink in. I seem to be a magnet for not only things but also experiences – gobbling up both in order to keep things alive and moving. Ah, but that is the irony: a life packed with objects and activities actually slows me down. Big time.

When I first became an entrepreneur, sticky notes were on every flat surface in my home and car. I met with so many people I could barely remember my own name. I was adrift in an endless sea of opportunities, connections, and partnerships. It was impossible to stay prioritized and selective with my time. My life and mind quickly became, well, a mess.

Then I discovered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a small book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing that has already sold 2 million copies. This is not the standard “neurotic-perfectionist-with-OCD-tendencies-illustrates-just-how-far-I-am-from-remotely-achieving-an-organized-life” declutter book.

Tidying Up is almost spiritual – a perspective on keeping house that reaches far beyond the physical environment. It’s not just a method, but a worldview that cultivates deep personal insight and real resilience in all areas of life – especially business.

The KonMari Method presented in Tidying Up really is life-changing because it allows room for clarity around who I am and what I want, and that’s the secret sauce to becoming an inspired leader.

So out go the bags and bags of clutter from my home and office. And it feels good! Thinking about giving it a try? Here’s 5 reasons you (and your business) will be glad you did.

 

KonMari Tip #1: “When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.”

I notice that the more clutter I have in my life and business, the more it distracts me from my greatest power source: ME. When clutter sprawls out of control, it captures more and more of my attention until I am spending way too much time managing my space. I feel heavy, distracted and completely disconnected from my intuition and inner wisdom. All that noise makes me lose my way as I become reactive to the clutter rather than proactive with my deepest vision.

Business Tip: Staying connected to your inner knowing is easier when your life and mind are free of clutter.

KonMari Tip #2: “There are 3 approaches we can take toward our possessions:  Face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die.”

Still hanging on to letters from high school boyfriends, a gazillion drawings from your kids, or papers from business school that you will NEVER refer back to? I do it, too. I accumulate stashes of old baby stuff that might come in handy when I’m a grandparent (my kids are 8 and 5!), endless computer wires and electronic equipment that might magically become useful again at some point, and countless clothes that are a few sizes too small for when I get back into that “skinny” phase.

According to KonMari, people hang on to their stuff because they are either still attached to the past or they have a fear of the future — or both. Getting rid of the things that don’t serve me keeps me in the present moment by letting me process my past and move on into my future.

Business Tip: Don’t hang on to your mistakes – thank them and move on. Staying streamlined in this way allows you to pivot easily and efficiently through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

KonMari Tip #3: “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

For so long women have forced our desires out of our bodies and minds in the name of serving others. As we begin to understand that there is room for both service and our desires, getting clear on what we want has never been more important.

What I love about Marie’s approach is that she doesn’t make tidying the end game of life. She may be a tiny bit obsessive (her “shock” at seeing socks tucked into themselves made me wonder), but she knows that a tidy house is a means to a more important end. “The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order,” she says. My read: If you are searching for your purpose in life – throw some shit out!

Business Tip: Discarding what is not working for you in your business life allows your vision to become more clear.

KonMari Tip #4: “Selecting and discarding one’s possessions is a continuous process of making decisions based on one’s own values.”

The act of tidying up your physical space is actually thousands of micro decisions about how you want to live your life. The golden questions: Does this make you happy? Does it bring you joy? When you continuously make decisions based on this criteria, you get better and better at surrounding yourself with things that reflects your desires and values.

I am one month into the process (she says that it takes 6 months for your entire living space), and I am already noticing a difference not only in my home, but in all areas of my life and business.

Business Tip: Making decisions on what to keep and discard in your life builds confidence and aptitude for making decisions in your business.

KonMari Tip #5: “The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”

Finally, what I love best about Marie’s approach is that she encourages me to thank all of the items that I throw away. So I do! I thank them for their service before sending them on their way. This helps to punctuate the transition to a life more in line with what I really want.

I use the same approach in my business with all of the “mistakes” I have made along the way. Instead of hanging on and over-processing a failure, I thank the experience for its tenure in my life, and free myself to focus on what is going right.

Business Tip: Appreciate where you are now and all of the events (good and bad) that have led you to this point. Gratitude for your more challenging experiences makes you a better leader without all of that bulky psychological baggage holding you back.

For me, the way back to my inner wisdom is to turn off the noise, get rid of the clutter and give myself the gift of less.

Does the KonMari Method work for you? How do you bring these principles to your life? Please let us know in the comments section.

Who Am I Without My Grief?

Grief. It can catch us off guard, stop us in our tracks, and swallow us whole if we allow it. A deep sense of sorrow so vast that sometimes we feel it will never end.

I’m in the midst of working through some big grief.

Over these past few months I experienced a domino effect of losses: I made the hard decision to let go of my business (and my paycheck), a significant 10 year relationship with my teacher/business partner/friend, the beautiful house I was living in, a handful of relationships that were no longer serving me, my practice community, and my vision on where I thought my life was headed.

All of this gone, in the blink of an eye, at the same time.

Hello crisis!

I was devastated. Brought down to my knees in suffering and pain. There were many restless nights of sleep, followed by groundless days of searching for any anchor to tether me from blowing away in the unknown. I cried a river of tears on a daily basis. Nothing was the same. Everything had changed.

Thankfully, I learned a big lesson about grief during a weekend retreat not too long ago.

The room was being set for our holotropic breathwork session. There were 11 of us in this experience – all women. We started laying down our Thermarest air mats and covering them with blankets. I was ready in my corner of the room, and my intention for this journey was clear.

How can I feel completely secure in my own being, without relying on my job, bank account, intimate relationship, and friendships? What is it that I need to do to be absolutely secure in myself, 100%, even in the midst of great grief?

The music started and we all began to rock and breathe. Deep, tribal, drum and bass accompanied us as we dropped down into ourselves. Then came the vibrational magic of the didjeridoo and blastoff, I was on my way!

It wasn’t too long into my session that I experienced a cascade of losses going back in time.

A lifetime of loss revealed itself like cards in a deck, fanned out, one after another: the end of my business, the loss of friendships, the loss of my practice community, losing my house, running out of money, dear friends moving out of the country, the passing of my father, break-ups and broken hearts, ending a career, pets dying, more break-ups, etc… Moment after painful moment of letting go, saying goodbye and change: this is what my journey showed me.

You’d think I’d have been devastated, right? But I wasn’t. And that’s the moment that I became extremely curious about my experience. Where is my grief in the midst of all this loss?

I began the feverish hunt, searching up and down, front to back for my never-ending sorrow. “It has to be here somewhere,” I thought to myself.

“How can I experience all these losses and not feel the deep despair of my grief?”

After a noble exploration of my inner landscape, I couldn’t find my grief. It was as if it had simply disappeared. I was astounded.

As I continued my breathwork session, I asked myself a very simple question.

What I learned from this experience was that I was adding even more suffering and pain on top of the real losses I already experienced.

A part of me was attached to my grief, wanting to hold on to it to prove my battle scars. I couldn’t find my grief during my breathwork session because I had quite naturally let go.

When I let go of my attachment to how I think things should be, when I give up my need to control, when I don’t live a life filled with expectations, and when I step into a deeper sense of trust, that’s when I find true freedom.

It’s in this freedom that I find security in myself.

Interested in finding the same as you move and shake yourself and this world into a better state of being? Try this technique that works for me:

Letting Go Practice

On the harder days, I like to anchor myself through the practice of Letting Go. It’s especially helpful when I feel stuck and attached and have a hard time loosening my grip on the way I think things should be. Here’s how I do it:

Step 1:

Identify what it is that you want to let go. Perhaps it’s a relationship that is no longer serving you, a negative thought pattern, or an attachment to the past or the future.

Step 2:

Feel your feelings. Feel the sadness, pain, loss, anger, guilt, whatever it is, feel all the feelings that arise when you step into letting go. Sometimes it’s helpful to write down your feelings in a journal. The important thing is that you feel through your feelings fully, don’t hold back.

Step 3:

Offer thanks and gratitude for all the ways this attachment has served you.

Step 4:

Let go. Let go of the control, let go of the fear, let go of expectations and step into a bigger sense of trust. You’ll know you’re on your way to letting go when you feel the flow of joy and possibility enter your life again. After all, life is a mystery. Enjoy it!

Share your experiences of Letting Go in the comment section below. Together we can create a space where we connect, share and crowd-source our favorite tips and tricks for letting go of grief.

8 Ways to Feed Your Soul with Spiritual Adventure

Do you love a good spiritual adventure as much as I do?

A few years ago I read a book that rocked my world. In Serpent of Light, Beyond 2012, Drunvalo Melchizedek describes a planetary shift in consciousness and power back into the loving arms of the feminine.

Serpent of Light follows the shift of the Earth’s own kundalini energy to the Peruvian Andes, which Drunvalo claims is the new spiritual epicenter of the planet in this emerging feminine age.

Whether Drunvalo’s story is true or not, for the past few years we have all felt the momentum of this shift, as women learn to claim their power and emerge to lead in so many beautiful and unique ways. I am inspired by the truly extraordinary women I experience here at Emerging Women and in my own circles. We are rising!

However, as feminine leaders in a still highly masculine world, we are pioneering this new age and it can feel like a lot to untangle and re-weave. The question is:

How do we continue to bring our feminine nature more fully into our professional lives and all that we do?

The answer, I think, is to create more space and time to feed our souls on a regular basis—to create conscious opportunities to pass the microphone from the left brain to the right brain and give the feminine our undivided attention.

Spiritual adventure is one of the best ways that I know to do that.

This type of adventure is more than a vacation. It is an opportunity to shed multidimensional layers of responsibility and enter a realm of mystical possibility.

When you step out of your normal routine and into a safe and sacred container to experience the unknown, the field of all potentialities opens to you. That’s why I co-founded Hanuman Adventures – to bring some of these practices and experiences to emerging women everywhere.

Here are 8 Benefits of Going on a Spiritual Adventure:

1. Remove the distractions.

We do our best to feed our souls and resource ourselves in the feminine… but let’s face it; our lives are full of distractions.

Work, kids, technology, social engagements, and all that we juggle makes it challenging to drop in deep enough to listen to the whispers of the soul.

Sometimes we need an entire week away from it all.

2. Create space for balance.

Make sure you have delicious and healthy food, plenty of time for rest, and an abundance of adventuring activity. Empower yourself to tune in to what serves your balance and to take good care of yourself throughout the week so that you return home rejuvenated and refreshed.

3. Healing and transformation.

Whenever you step out of your normal routine, or your “comfort zone,” you create the opportunity for break through. What parts of you are ready to be seen, felt, and heard? What are you ready to transform? A well-planned spiritual adventure can provide a safe container to hold you in as you release the old and step into the new.

4. Yoga as soul medicine.

On Hanuman Adventures, we practice yoga daily in nature to move energy and experience the health and vitality of a strong body-heart-mind-earth-spirit connection.

5. Grow in conscious community.

We need each other. It’s that simple.

6. Giving back.

Each spiritual adventure includes an opportunity to work with the locals to practice seva (selfless service). When we give in this way, we often realize that we receive exponentially more than we give.

7. Your men are invited.

All of this work of feminine empowerment is really to restore the balance between the masculine and the feminine. We love our men. Let’s bring them along!

8. Inspiration and celebration.

Joy is one of the most healing forces on the planet. Laugh, dance, sing, play and shed a few happy tears.

We are here to celebrate life!

Going on a spiritual adventure can be a game-changer. Just in making the commitment to the adventure you start to experience the transformational magic.

What you are seeking is seeking you… Are you in?

Dayna Seraye is devoted to cultivating the path of the heart through the sacred body temple. She leads transformational yoga classes, workshops, retreats and trainings nationally and internationally to support individuals and communities to connect and awaken.

Dayna is the co-founder of Hanuman Adventures, offering extraordinary yoga retreats with a unique focus on seva and sacred sites. She takes people like you to extraordinary sacred sites to melt the pressures of daily reality and experience the magic of immersion into nature, the heart, and community.

October 24–31, 2015, Hanuman Adventures is going to Peru for a spiritual adventure in the heart of the Sacred Valley. March 20–27, 2016 they journey to Bali, the land of devotion.

Sahar Paz Celebrates Her Independence

On the 4th of July, we couldn’t help but remember the story Sahar Paz told at Emerging Women’s Power Night Boulder.

Not just because Sahar is a firework of a woman. Which she is. “Smokin’ is the word that comes to mind,” said Emerging Women founder Chantal Pierrat.

When Sahar walked out on the stage, she was absolutely owning it. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at her amazing shoes:

But she didn’t start off owning it.

Sahar was born in war-torn Iran, where she never knew from one day to the next if all of her classmates would show up at school, or if the sidewalk in front of her apartment would still be there. She got the feeling that if she just stayed very quiet and very still, everything might be okay. Despite the bombs.

When she moved to America as a young girl, she was stunned by 4th of July fireworks displays. How could these sounds mean celebration and Independence when to her the soundtrack of explosions had always said live in fear and know your place?

In that environment of fear, her personal inner voice was shamed and shushed out of existence before she was 10 years old.

Instead, she aimed for perfection and quiet in an attempt to mitigate “the burden of her existence.” As she got older, the voice of perfection turned into wanting to please not just parents, teachers and friends, but also men. She habitually turned to others to define her value.

Looking around, the direct line to that value seemed to be MONEY.

Her tireless work ethic eventually took her to a corner office in NYC, complete with a view of Manhattan and the Queensboro bridge – the whole bit. From the outside, she appeared to be living a  “Sex and the City” life. She was check, check, checking all the boxes, but she was not happy.

What was once a hopeful sadness turned into a hopeless depression.

But Sahar turned things around. How did she do it? She found her voice.

“We all have a war of words within. I learned how to get out of my war way faster because I was dealt a lot of shit way earlier. But that’s probably the only difference between you and me.” Now, Sahar has stepped into a state of permission.

“Turns out Maya Angelou was my guardian angel,” Sahar said.

She bought a ticket to Emerging Women Live 2014 specifically to see the incomparable poet. And though Maya Angelou passed before the event, Sahar knew she needed something and decided to go anyway.

And she didn’t just go casually. She showed up. “I needed to be in the spit zone,” she said. She sat in the front row as woman after woman reflected versions of her own experience back to her, albeit in different contexts and with different words. She found strength in those women. And strength in herself.

She especially connected with the theme of permission.

“Chantal gave herself permission in front of all of us. She was vulnerable, right at the start, and gave herself permission to eff up during the weekend.” Sahar was moved and gave herself permission to do the same – to show up as her true self, to let her inner voice speak, and to trust that if she eff-ed up, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

“I was not holding on to that voice of failure,” she realized. “That’s only one voice within me. That is not all of me.” She knew her inner voice had more to say than just censorship, criticism and judgement.

Sahar’s journey has led her from a quiet perfectionist to a fierce woman, embracing her inner voice and encouraging others to do the same. We are thrilled to share her voice with you as an Emerging Short speaker at Emerging Women Live 2015.

“We exist in a world of abundance. All scarcity is here,” Sahar said as she pointed to her heart.

“There is an abundance of pain in this world,” she echoed,  “so that means there is also an abundance of opportunity.” Are you ready to take it?

Sahar Paz is going to change the world, but she knows she cannot do it alone.

In one of our favorite moments, she said, “Do not take the voice of comparison – we gotta hold each other’s hands. I’m standing on your shoulders. And I’m reaching for the UN.”

Then she gave herself permission to deliver a badass rap, full of her voice and straight from the heart. And it was smokin’.

What are you reaching for? And whose shoulders are there for you while you do it? We would love to know – please share with us in the comments.

Fear and Courage

When we are emerging, we feel that nothing can stop us, right? We feel the fire of our own inner alignment, and the clarity of our truth is rocket fuel for making our dreams manifest. We ride high on what we know is right and we feel like we have super powers.

Until the fear hits. And just like that, Bam! We become paralyzed, we procrastinate, we stay up at night spinning in our repetitive negative mental constructs, we do everything we can to fight the fear or avoid the pain. It’s exhausting! And it has never worked for me.

I am tired of fighting fear.

In my podcast with Emerging Women Live 2015 speaker Elizabeth Gilbert (best-selling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things), we question the standard meaning of the word “fearless.”

There’s a sense that fearlessness means we will try anything without regard for consequence, that we will take risk with no attention to repercussions, that we will leap off of buildings with nothing holding us back. These actions are brazen, but real fearlessness – real courage – is when we take action while feeling our fear and discomfort at the same time.

“People who are without fear actually scare me.” -Elizabeth Gilberttwitter

Here’s a little secret that I don’t often share – I dread public speaking. Or I should say: I dread the time leading up to the time when I am to speak. Once I am on stage, I feel comfortable, but the minutes, hours, and weeks leading up to that time are sheer torture. I feel like I am carrying a big weight on my shoulder that follows me everywhere.

But guess what? No matter how hard I try, I cannot avoid the public speaking part of what I am creating with Emerging Women. And so I stick with it – and bring my fear with me. Liz Gilbert goes so far as to say “have some reverence for your fear,” for it has treated you well, kept you alive in a world filled with dangers.

Courage comes from the French word coeur, meaning heart.

I love this because it brings a feminine perspective into the word courage, which for many years I have associated with the masculine paradigm – swinging swords, life-risking heroism, dangerous acts of self-sacrifice. But when we think of Courage as coming from the heart…..well, Sisters, we got this!

How are Fear and Courage showing up in your life right NOW? Share your story with the tribe in the comments section – we learn so much about ourselves by hearing from each other!

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

Join Chantal Pierrat, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Tererai Trent, Brené Brown and more at Emerging Women Live 2015 in San Francisco. Early Bird tickets to see are available NOW. Get yours before they’re gone!

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Mid-Year Reflections on Playing BIG

At the beginning of the year, in a letter from Emerging Women’s founder, Chantal, she asks the community, “How Big is your BIG?”

In that letter, Chantal illustrates the exciting possibilities of the New Year and sets an intention to dream BIG in 2015. She also reminds us that not everything has to be big, big, BIG all the time in terms of business.

“Sometimes “big” simply means “in alignment with our desires.” Sometimes just asking for what we want is big in and of itself.” ~ Chantal Pierrat

In times of adversity, Chantal also says to (re)inspire and nourish ourselves with the power of the feminine by circling with the important women in our lives.

It was a beautiful, motivating letter, rich with wisdom. And it’s an important message to revisit now that it’s summer and the midway mark of the year.

I don’t know about you, but I went BIG in 2015. New paths have unfolded and I have taken on exciting, challenging endeavors. I am pursuing the projects that I dreamt about at the beginning of the year and I’ve made huge strides in achieving them, along with other goals, both professional and personal.

We’re halfway through 2015 (how can it be June already?!) and I’ll be honest, despite the wins, I feel like I need a tune-up. I look back at where I was in January and I feel accomplished, but also fatigued.

So, in effort to maintain enthusiasm for my goals and work, I’ve taken some time these past few weeks to check in with myself. I evaluated my “BIG” so I can finish off the year by being the very best version of myself at this point in my life.

In this time of reflection, I’ve (re)learned 3 important things.

1) Sometimes creating your best life has more to do with what you remove from it than what you add to it.

I set a goal at the beginning of the year to diversify my portfolio of clients (I do digital marketing). I wanted to be more dynamic and marketable. But during the past few weeks, I’ve realized that although I’ve been performing great at juggling numerous projects with different clients, I need to focus on quality work over quantity to be at the level I want to be.

I made the decision to streamline my portfolio, focusing my work solely on a few companies, making my “BIG” – well, still big, just a better BIG… a more efficient BIG… one that can dig deeper with clients and better help them.

Bonus side-effect: My schedule has freed up, giving me more time to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends and family (something that we all know is significant). I realize there will be times in my life where this is the opposite – times when I need to “add” in things – but right now, in my work life, less is more. And I’m OK with that.

2) We’ve got to channel our feminine power to play big. But which flavor of feminine power do we need right now?

As mentioned above, Chantal reminds us to rejuvenate with the power of the feminine. I’m blessed to have wonderful and wildly accomplished women in my life, scattered all across the world. I love these women with every ounce of my being, so it’s difficult coming to the realization that I need more feminine power in my life. But it’s true! I need feminine power right here, in my own community.

AND, as much as I am nourished by my soul sisters, I’m realizing I need a different type of feminine power at this moment in my life. I need it in the professional realm, from women who’ve been in my shoes, who’ve made it through this chapter of emergence in their late 20s. Women in the midst of making their own big, BIG.

I’m making efforts to cultivate new friendships to inspire and help me in my everyday life. With the change in my workload, I’m taking the opportunity to get to know the women behind the brands I work with – feeding off their brilliance, humor, and strength. I’m also taking time this summer to chase after a few inspiring women in my community that I’d love to connect with on a deeper level.

I’m (re)learning that female friends are very important to me. When I’m surrounded by good women, I feel good, my soul feels good, and life is good.

3) Don’t get too attached to timelines. Any time spent towards playing BIG is fluid, and always valuable.

Lastly, assessing my “BIG” reminds me that reaching our goals, even if they are goals that seem obtainable in a year, is a journey in itself, and sometimes requires more than 12 months. Circumstances, and the way we react to circumstances, plays a huge role in the timing and timeline of those goals.

I’m consciously reminding myself during this reflection that the energy exerted and the trajectories I’ve pursued this year in going BIG are all relevant and valid, even when some things proved to be failures. And if I’m still working on achieving the same things in 2016… so what?! I’ll have 365 days of experience to look back on and learn from. Who knows – maybe “my BIG” will be reimagined into something even more meaningful.

We want to know: How is your BIG doing? Are you taking time to reflect during this mid-year mark?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. You never know who you’ll connect with in the tribe if you just put yourself out there. Thank you for contributing your unique voice!

Are you ready to take your BIG to the next level? Join the game-changers at Emerging Women Live 2015 in San Francisco to ignite the trajectory of your personal and professional journey.

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Promise Phelon Blows Up the Stage at Power Night Boulder

Do you perform and pretend? Promise Phelon does, and raises millions while she’s at it.

The instantly engaging CEO of Boulder’s TapInfluence rocked the crowd of over 200 entrepreneurs, executives and creatives at June’s Power Night Boulder. And though there’s nothing quite as electric as feeling the feminine power flow from the stage in person, we hope you enjoy EW’s recap of her magnetic performance:

Promise2Promise Phelon gets real the second she steps on stage.

“There are a lot of things that you can learn about me on Google,” she says. “Lots of billions and millions being thrown around. But what Google won’t tell you is that I’ve pretended and performed my whole life to get here.”

For 7 years, Promise Phelon thought of herself as a stutterer. She avoided speaking in public and hid herself and her feelings because of feelings of inadequacy. Her whole perspective changed when a teacher told her, “You are not a stutterer, you stutter. Pretend through the fear. Start getting over it. Don’t make it pathological.”

This advice changed her life, but it didn’t evaporate her fear. “When I wake up,” Promise says, “the first thing I think is How’s my hair? and the second is Will I stutter today?” But visioning allows her the confidence to get over it. If you can visualize the outcomes, it’s easy to act because the scary stuff has already happened and it turned out okay.

While working toward her 3 degrees at Southern Methodist University, Promise was fascinated by the sorority girls she passed on campus. They smiled and bounced when they walked, they waterskied on weekends,  they partied and networked. They had BMWs and pearl earrings, and Promise had a Ford Escort so crappy that she abandoned it on the side of the road when it broke down. But she wanted to know what it was like. She wanted to be elite. So she became the first African American in that all-white sorority.

She had to pretend to be a part of something she wasn’t because she wanted the opportunities that they had. She needed proximity to the people who were going to influence her growth and success.

“We’re all guilty of micro-analyzing too little info, and extrapolating too much from it,” Promise says.

When she first began pitching to raise $5 million, she was met with a wall of no’s. And after each rejection, she would “Molly Ringwald” – Promise’s term for crying in the parking lot of her husband’s work about how terribly everything was going. Her husband asked her, “How many meetings can you have if after each one you have a breakdown? What if you didn’t analyze every meeting, you didn’t decide it was about you, and you just went meeting to meeting to meeting. Would that make it faster to raise the money?”

400 meetings later, Promise had raised $5.9 million.

“Start pretending into the communities that you feel that you’re not allowed,” Promise says. “It is time to get out of criticizing ourselves and each other. It’s time to stop overanalyzing situations. It’s time to WIN.”

*MIC DROP*

Want to experience the real thing for yourself? Join Promise Phelon and the whole Inner Circle at Emerging Women Live 2015, featuring Jane Goodall, Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Tererai Trent and more.

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Mother’s Day Mind Shift – #emergingnow

Dear Emerging Women,

On May Day – the 1st of May – I experienced three miracles in my life. Ready?

Image from Crossroads by Jenna Greene

Miracle #1 – I am on time for a school function.

It’s exactly 11am on May 1st, and I am miraculously on time for the Maypole Celebration at my sons’ school. I stand in an empty field by the maypole, simply looking around and feeling a teensy bit proud of myself for being the first to arrive. Nobody is there – just the orchestra tuning up. Far from worried, I’m smiling and happy – I love it when other people are late! I figure “Hey, this is a Waldorf School. Everything in it’s own time.” And man does it feel good to just….. wait.

Fifteen minutes later I am clutching my bag, hobble-running in heels to the opposite-side-of-campus courtyard where the assembly is actually located and well under way.

I burst through the audience with panic in my eyes and stress on my face, frantically searching the student body to find my eldest son’s class, convinced I’ve missed his performance. And in the single, solitary minute it takes for me to reach the courtyard, a billion thoughts bombard my brain:

“Slacker!! Where is your focus, your diligence? How could you just sit there for 15 minutes with NO curiosity of whether or not you are in the right place? Why didn’t you read a single one of the bazillion emails the school sent out about this? Your kids are growing up and you don’t even know what’s happening to them! You are the ONLY parent who got it wrong – what the hell? Look how beautiful and calm all of the other moms are – you’re a mess! This is going to be hard on the boys, they are going to be SO disappointed…”

Miracle #2:  I remembered.

After a short teacher’s skit on the story of Spring, we walked in procession (back) to the field with the maypole where I had been patiently “waiting” before. I was as distraught from the run as I was from the inner-bullying going on in my head.

And then I remembered my practice of self-compassion.

I remembered! I sent loving words of encouragement and tenderness to my inner world, directly to my heart, and just like that – boom. I jumped off the hamster wheel of guilt and self-criticism and into an ocean of love, acceptance and peace with myself.

Miracle #3:  I was tested, and I didn’t die.

“You were late,” said my eldest after the event. I had disappointed him – he’s very into punctuality (oh, the karma of it all). I know he feels safe when I am holding him in my consciousness. I know that being on time is a reflection of that.

I know these things and I am bracing myself as I put on my inner running shoes to get back on that hamster wheel of shame…

But I don’t. Somehow I find the strength to say simply, “I am sorry, baby – but I saw the whole thing and you were great!” And I continue to swim in the ocean and I continue to practice, in the moment, looking into my son’s eyes. And I survive.

He gives me a big hug, we laugh, and we are out on the other side. As I write this now, I think of these words, and send them to all mothers and daughters this Mother’s Day:

“Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me. ~ Alice Walker”

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

 More from Emerging Women this week:

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Power Practice #11: Manage Your Stress In Any Situation with Erin Olivo

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Early Bird Tickets available for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

Maypole Image from Crossroads by Jenna Greene

Announcing our Emerging Women Live Winner

Meet the lucky winner of our Gaiam TV + Emerging Women Live contest: Suzana Zavila Pejovic. Suzana and a friend will be joining us in San Francisco in October to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent and more at Emerging Women Live.

We love learning more about the women in our community, so we asked Suzana a few questions about her experience as an emerging woman.

Suzana Zavila Pejovic 
EW Contest Winner & Education Activist

How are you emerging in your personal/professional life?

My emerging process began back in March of 1992 with the start of War in former Yugoslavia (Bosnia).

I was a 20-year-old aspiring student at the Faculty of Law, pursuing my interests and living a life full of dreams and hopes. In March of 1992 all of that changed and my life path took a major detour. I was faced with unimaginable life changing circumstances, and the next 2 years of my life were spent in a survival mode.

Finally, in December of 1994 I was able to immigrate to Canada, arriving at the airport with one carry-on bag and 40$ in my pocket. I was starting a new life in a new country, and would be faced with many new challenges.

Fast forward 21 years: I am a proud mother of three amazing sons (ages 8, 14 and 17) and married for 20 years to an incredible life partner. In 2008 I went back to school and obtained a BA degree with distinction in Sociology/Education. Since my graduation I have been employed at the leading University where I hold the position of Program Coordinator.

For the past few years I have been interested in the subject of “slow learners”, children who fall in the educational gap between students with learning disabilities and students with mental retardation. These children are not currently qualified to receive educational assistance like students with learning disabilities and mental retardation are.

My intent is to create an Independent School which will cater to the needs of students categorized as “slow learners,” while offering support to their parents and siblings. I am very passionate about this project as I believe that every child matters and deserves the best possible chance to grow up and become productive and valuable part of our community.

What drew you to want to attend Emerging Women Live?

This is an incredible opportunity to find out how successful business women lead with power and authenticity. It’s an opportunity to learn practical methods and tools for starting and growing a business, and it’s an opportunity to connect with other women participants in order to exchange stories and offer support to each other.

Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

The most influential person in my life is my mother. She is the quiet guiding force in my life and her wise presence has helped me face many of the life challenges . My mother thought me that we can all rise above our circumstances, negative thoughts and complaints and create a beautiful life – a life of purpose.

“My mother thought me that we can all rise above our circumstances, negative thoughts and complaints and create a beautiful life – a life of purpose.”

Connect with Suzana and other like-minded women in the Comments Section below!

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How’s Your Business Ecosystem? – #emergingnow

Greetings from New York City!

I’m in the midst of a three-city tour (Austin, NYC, and Boston), pitching Emerging Women to investors, meeting our community, and connecting with friends, old and new. On trips like this I’m always amazed by how important each encounter is, no matter how seemingly random.

It wasn’t until I became aligned and “on purpose” with my living that I began to see the intentionality and relevant interconnectedness of everything around me.

When we announced Dr. Jane Goodall as a speaker, I talked about the importance of plugging into our natural ecosystem for energy, connection and rejuvenation. Here’s the thing — your business has an ecosystem, too. And at the core of each ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.

“At the core of your business ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.”

Here’s a story: I met a young entrepreneur in Austin who had a business that piqued my interest. After connecting briefly, I asked for her card and offered her mine. She looked at my card as if it were coated in something not-so-savory and explained that if I was memorable enough, she would be motivated to track me down – that was how she stayed in touch. Needless to say, she did not have a card herself, and so we parted empty-handed.

Admittedly, I may have challenged my brain cells over the years in ways I would guess this perky, barely-25-year-old had not, or perhaps she has mega-memory super powers.

But what struck me the most here was the missed opportunity. She might have been part of my ecosystem, maybe in a way I wouldn’t learn until much later, but I was curious to find out. I might have been able to connect her to somebody that would complete a vital corner of her world. Alas, I can’t remember her business or even her name as I write this…

If you can hang with the view that everything that enters your field has the potential to nourish your ecosystem, you will find yourself leaning into every encounter with eagerness and true curiosity.

Your ecosystem will naturally grow and flourish – because when you approach things from this open vantage point, you tend to accept a wider variety of species into your world. And doesn’t that make for the healthiest of systems?

“Diversity leads to resilience, which leads to proliferation, which leads to the opportunity for evolution.”

As much as I wonder about the paper waste of business cards (which I could wallpaper my office with at this point), I see them as totems helping me treasure each encounter I experience along the way. I can feel the ecosystem that is Emerging Women growing into a vibrant jungle of feminine power.

What makes your ecosystem thrive? Share your insight with the tribe in the comments – who knows who you’ll add to your ecosystem that way!

Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – Nothing stimulates ecosystems like 4 days of inspiration, courage and connection at Emerging Women Live. Early Bird tickets to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent, Brené Brown and more are available NOW. Get yours before they’re gone!

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What makes your ecosystem flourish? Share your insight with the tribe in the comment section.

8 Badass Environmentalists You Should Know

In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day, we’re celebrating 8-extraordinary women who have continuously advocated and rallied for our earth.

These women work endlessly to implement policies and enact change to preserve and protect our environment – from waterways, forests, access to clean air, oceans, mountains, to the precious wildlife that reside within these ecosystems.

The challenges we face today, especially with the onset of climate change, have opened new opportunities in the environmental sector that has long been filled by men. The progress that has been made by these remarkable women is illustrative of just how dynamic the feminine power really is.

1. Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Goodall is considered one the world’s foremost experts on chimpanzees and ecology – it is hard to overstate the degree to which she has changed and enriched the field of primatology.

During her 55-year research study, she defied scientific convention by giving the Gombe chimps names instead of numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions. She has harnessed the power of the feminine, instilling such into every aspect of her work – from her research studies to her global work through the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots program, which aim to raise awareness and action for endangered species and vulnerable habitats.

Dr. Goodall has transformed the epistemological framework of how we study primates, and has exemplified immeasurable ecological integrity. She will forever be a leading voice in the environmental movement worldwide.

If you haven’t heard the exciting news yet, she is our keynote speaker at Emerging Live this year in San Francisco, and we hope you’ll join us to share in the energy of this legendary woman!

2. Julia Butterfly Hill

In 1997, Julia Butterfly Hill stormed onto the environmental activist scene in Northern California with her courageous 738-day protest living in an old-growth redwood tree, nicknamed Luna. This incredible act of civil disobedience saved the tree from being cut down by the Pacific Lumber Company and resulted in the raised international awareness for sustainable forest management techniques and the importance of establishing safeguards to protect old-growth trees.

Today, Hill continues her work as an activist, motivational speaker, and founder of the Circle of Life Foundation, a non-profit that trains community leaders to enact social change. Her invincible spirit is illustrative of the immense power that the feminine holds, and the tenets of her legacy – love, courage, devotion – are of immense significance and have made the environmental movement undeniably stronger.

“You, yes you, make the difference.” ~ Julia Butterfly Hill

3. Frances Beinecke

As the former president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Frances has worked tirelessly across political spectrums to strategically develop and execute the organization’s program of work; focusing on curbing global warming, protecting our oceans and endangered ecosystems, developing a clean energy future, addressing toxic chemicals, and greening our global economy.

Beinecke has been instrumental in igniting our global discourse on climate change. She was appointed in 2010 to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling by President Obama. She co-authored The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril. She is the recipient of the Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award, and her environmental stewardship has been honored by numerous other environmental entities. She is an incredible woman and a force to be reckoned with.

4. Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke is an environmentalist, social activist, economist, speaker, professor, and writer. She is Indigenous with Ojibwe ancestry. She began her career in education on the White Earth Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota, and soon realized the injustices that many American Indians, especially women, faced, which led her to found the Indigenous Women’s Network.

She is also the founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project, which fights for the retrieval of 837,000 acres of land to their original American Indian owners. Passionate about Native Environmentalism, she leads Honor the Earth, a non-profit that raises awareness and funding for environmental injustices–such as climate change, renewable energy, and sustainable development.

Bold, brazen, and unrelentingly dedicated to our earth, Winona LaDuke is a leading global voice on environmental issues and sustainability for  American Indians and Indigenous Peoples and communities everywhere.

5. Dr. Sylvia Earle

A National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle (dubbed “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker, “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine, and an “environmental badass” by us at Emerging Women) is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer.She has extensive experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and nonprofit organizations, and is the former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In the 1960s she fought to join male-only expeditions, and has since clocked 7,000 hours of diving, several of which were to record breaking depths. In addition to her PhD. from Duke University she has 22 honorary degrees, has penned more than than 190 publications, and speaks all over the world, focusing on preserving oceanic biodiversity in the wake of climate change.

Thanks to Dr. Earle and her fearless curiosity we know more about our oceans today than ever before. Her lifetime of work has enriched us with a deeper understanding of how to live sustainably and symbiotically with marine life, and our oceans are healthier because of her commitment to environmentalism.

“The only thing that men can do down there that women can’t is grow beards.” ~ Dr. Sylvia Earle on gender equality and deep sea diving

6. Lois Gibbs

Environmentalism claimed Gibbs, perhaps before she could claim it. In 1978 Gibbs discovered that her son’s elementary school in Niagara Falls, New York, was built on a toxic waste dump. Investigations revealed that her entire neighborhood, named Love Canal, had been constructed on top of this toxic site. Lois took to her neighborhood and organized a grassroots movement and battled for years against state and federal government.

After years of fighting, nearly 1,000 families were evacuated and a massive cleanup of Love Canal began. Gibbs’ efforts led to the creation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, a superfund within the US Environmental Protection Agency which is utilized to clean up toxic waste sites throughout America.

Lois went on to to form a grassroots environmental crisis center, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, where she currently serves as Executive Director. Love Canal is considered one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters, and Gibbs’ fearless heart and feminine leadership has transformed the way the US handles toxic waste sites, and for that, our communities are healthier and safer.

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7. Peggy Shepard

Peggy Shepard is arguably the most important proponent of environmental justice issues in communities of color in the country. She is founder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, a non-profit she created in 1988 to improve the environmental health and quality of life for communities of color in New York City.

Shepard also serves as an investigator for Columbia University’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and is working to open partnerships between researchers and clinicians and local community members to increase environmental health education and outreach.

Shepard was the first female chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, a position she held from 2001-2003. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Heinz Award for the Environment, the Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Achievement, and the Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization of Women. She remains extremely active in the environmental justice field and lectures often at universities nationwide. Her environmental consciousness is one of integrity and is an amazing leader with a passion for fairness and justice for underrepresented communities that is unmatchable.

 

8. Laurie David

Laurie David burst onto the environmental stage in 2006 with her Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. The film received international acclaim and is considered to be a catalyst for significantly increasing global awareness of climate change and for reenergizing the environmental movement. She serves as a trustee on the Natural Resources Defense Council, is the founder of the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and the creator of Earth to America!, a film raising environmental awareness with a comedic stance.

David is heavily involved in public education and advocacy campaigns, and is involved in lobbying the automotive industry and Congress to increase fuel efficiency standards for vehicles with her creation of the Detroit Project. Laurie David is a leading voice in the environmental movement and has utilized her unique position in the entertainment industry to promote and raise awareness of global environmental issues, amplifying participation and the accessibility of environmentalism.

“Everybody has to look at his or her own footprint and do the best they can. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing something.” ~ Laurie David

Know a woman who is making a difference for the environment? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at us @emergingw!

Anxious About Asking? – #emergingnow

Dear Friends,

Do any of you out there have the crazy habit of always trying to accomplish everything on your own? My hand is raised here because I am guilty of this a thousand times over. Well-trained in the masculine model of getting shit done, I used to be skeptical of collaboration because who would get the credit? How could I make sure my value would be seen?

In 2013, I launched Emerging Women with a Kickstarter campaign – another extremely challenging idea for me. I would cringe every time I sent out an update, or another post reminding people of the cause and the deadline. But while I was experiencing reluctance and shame, my advisors were pushing me to post more frequently, and even to reach out directly to individuals for help.

That advice went against everything I had learned growing up in upper-middle class Andover, Massachusetts: Don’t ask for money, it’s not polite to ask for seconds, accept what you are given, don’t be greedy, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, figure it out on your own, and above all, don’t EVER depend on other people for your success.

Somehow I had it in my brain that if I needed something, I must not be worth investing in. Don’t people want to invest in “winners?” People who are independently successful?

But I did as I was advised, and the more I reached out, the more I found amazing women who wanted to be involved, who wanted to help. In the end, I raised $55k in four weeks – and now I know that I could never have launched Emerging Women without this kind of collective support.

As a result of this experience, I have come to understand that I don’t want to go at it alone. That all those years of “pulling myself up by my bootstraps” left me depleted and more susceptible to self-doubt and self-criticism. When I reach out and co-create with the women in our network, I feel rejuvenated, inspired, and more passionate about my work.

“When I reach out and co-create with the women in our network, I feel rejuvenated, inspired, and more passionate about my work.”

I know I’m not the only one who’s investigating her relationship to asking. Amanda Palmer’s new book The Art of Asking looks into just that. It’s based on her experience as a trailblazing musician who redefined the industry with her ground-breaking Kickstarter campaign (still the highest funded music project on that platform). By reframing “asking” as an opportunity for collaboration and co-creation, by leveraging her huge and tech-savvy fan base, and by receiving support directly from the people she makes the music for, Amanda Palmer found a way to sidestep the middlemen who overrun the music industry. Her campaign (which asked for $100,000) closed at almost $1.2 million. Boom.

I hope you’ll tune in to this week’s Grace&Fire podcast as we dive deeper with Amanda Palmer on The Art (and Power) of Asking. I’d love to hear your feelings!


Big Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – Early Bird tickets to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent, Brené Brown and more are available NOW. Get yours before they’re gone!

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How do you view the art of asking? Share your insight with the tribe in the comment section.

The Business Ecosystem – #emergingnow

Hello Friends and Loved Ones,

One of the things I appreciate most about my life is that I live in an area surrounded by dramatic expressions of nature – Boulder, Colorado. Mountains, creeks, wildflowers and endless hiking trails are just steps away from my front door. But strangely enough, I did not really start to take advantage of nature’s proximity until I learned how well it meshes with my business life.

In this thriving entrepreneurial town, many of my meetings – with investors, media, speakers, partners, sponsors – get to be in person. Lately, about a third of those meetings take place on a hike.

It took some getting used to: I worried that I wouldn’t be able to articulate my vision without my computer. How could I refer to important statistics or relevant studies… and what if I forgot to say something important? But those worries fall away as the connection you feel with somebody when you walk together in nature blossoms.

Continue reading “The Business Ecosystem – #emergingnow”

5 Ways to Reshape Your Relationship with Money

Running a start-up with limited capital is tough, right?

You know you have a brilliant idea, and you know you could ROCK THE WORLD if you just had a little cash to implement it. So you shop your genius idea around, offering investors the chance to get in on the action. And then you start to lose your mind…

The challenge of raising capital for a new enterprise brings up many psychological and (dare we say it?) spiritual issues with regard to our relationship to money. It’s stretching me, inside and out. Sound familiar? Then check out these 5 Ways I’ve been reframing my relationship with money. Total lifesavers!

1)  Lead with the Impact

In her recent book Sacred Success, Barbara Stanny warns: “Tell a woman she can substantially increase her income, and she may get excited about the possibility, but not enough to stretch beyond her comfort zone, a prerequisite for financial success.”

Don’t let money be your driving force. When I started to raise money, I was so focused on making sure that my potential investors got a return on their investment that I spent too much time on the numbers and too little time communicating the impact we were having in women’s lives.

The excessive focus on the money aspect of my business began to consume my thoughts and I started to lose my “juice.” Once I started to lead with my “why,” to help women actualize themselves in business and as leaders, I attracted more aligned investors and supporters that shared my mission, and I started to get real traction. But more importantly, I felt more energized and resilient, even in the face of “no.”

2)  Do the Math!

Now that you have your priorities straight, it’s time to make friends with Excel. If I had a dime for every woman that has said “I suck at math!” I would be a rich lady. I am guilty of this myself – even with an MBA, I dreaded building my own financial statements as an executive and now still as an entrepreneur.

You cannot be successful in business if you don’t know your numbers inside and out. This is not to say that you should do everything  yourself: if math isn’t your super power, hire a financial management company that can do your bookkeeping (because who has time?). More importantly, they can do financial modeling and projections for you (key if you are growing or scaling).

The important thing is that you understand your costs and expenses, and where your revenue is coming from. If you don’t know your numbers, the chances of reaching  your goals are practically nil.

Understanding the economics of your business and the different scenarios that could play out are essential for forecasting viability, profitability and cash flow. You can’t reach what you can’t see, sisters, so roll up your sleeves and dive in. It’s not as bad as you think, and the confidence you gain from the visibility is invaluable.

3)  Alignment is King (and Queen)

This is a discipline. If your soul desires and your financial goals are not in line with one another, success will not be fulfilling or sustainable. If you are looking for investors, partners, clients or customers, remember that you are also investigating the right fit for your business. If you take on a customer or partner because they have deep pockets, but they are not aligned with the depth of your purpose, they will cause you pain, and cash, in the long run.

“If your soul desires and your financial goals are not in line with one another, success will not be fulfilling or sustainable.”

When possible, make sure you have enough runway so you can be selective and discriminating when aligning with your cash sources – these are the people can help to shape your brand and multiply your revenue efforts, but only if you want the same things!

4)  Keep an Abundant Mindset

This one is tricky, because often times when we are dealing with money, there is fear – fear that we don’t have enough or, conversely, that we will lose the money we have thus far. As women I think what we fear the most is that we will end up “bag ladies” on the streets without support or resources.

When we manage our money from a place of fear, we are less likely to take risks that could lead to wonderful opportunities and success, or we stay small in our aspirations and don’t allow for a more expanded vision of what we can do.

Here’s a little practice I do when I start to feel the walls of fear shrink my feeling of what’s possible:

Find a spot in nature with an amazing view – the top of a mountain, overlooking a vast body of water, anything that shows you the abundance and richness that surrounds us on earth. If you have limited access to nature, call up an inspiring place in your mind. Breathe deeply, take in the view, and align your thoughts with the vastness of the beauty, power, and abundance before you. This is a part of you, just as it’s a part of the earth. Own it.

5)  Spend Time with People You Admire

Notice that I didn’t say spend time with other financially successful people. My husband and I have a wide variety of people in our community, and while some are wildly successful by traditional standards, many are successful in other ways: they have lots of close connections, they spend time outdoors, they create art, cook, and relish their lives.

Surrounding myself with people I admire, in business and in my personal life, has inspired me to be my best – not do the most – because I naturally want to emulate what I admire. When I come from this place, the money always follows.

*If you are an accredited investor and want to be a part of Emerging Women, please mail us directly at [email protected]

The Best Valentine You Can Give, AND Receive

Dear loved ones,

It’s the week of love here at our household. Making valentines, planning a date with my husband, figuring out the candy limit for the kiddos – we’re all about it. Sure, as a culture we seem to have made every holiday about consuming more, and I don’t need to stuff my body full of chocolate hearts to feel the love (although it helps!). But there is something beautiful about all of the messaging we’re inundated with this week. Be mine, love you, be true, you’re all I need.

Here is my challenge to you, emerging women: let’s put ourselves on the other end of all of these loving messages. It seems like a simple change in perspective, but I find this to be one of the hardest things to do. Buddhist author Tara Brach calls turning love inwards like this “radical self-compassion.” I love that expression, though I feel like it’s almost redundant, because in my experience self-compassion is the most radical action we can take in the world.

“Self-compassion is the most radical action we can take in the world.”

As I have felt my way through big challenges like motherhood, marriage, career and now entrepreneurship, I see that I can sometimes fall into the trap of trying to manage my difficult emotions by beating myself up. I think, “I will give myself the ass-kicking that I need to really get off the couch – for once – and make real change in my life.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but for me this approach sucks. What has worshipping your unworthiness done for you lately? Nada. I love this painfully obvious yet game-changing reminder from Tara: “Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.” Right?!

“Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.”

And according to the research Kelly McGonigal presents in her book The Willpower Instinct, self-compassion is the shortest route to making long-lasting change of any kind in your life. It’s the mother of all New Year’s resolutions! And so I made self-compassion my only goal for 2015 – and maybe the next decade.

Like anything transformational, self-compassion and self-love only come alive through practice. HERE is my simple approach to this powerful practice – culled from the amazing Self-Compassion authors I have mentioned in this post already. Check out these 4 Steps to Radical Self-Compassion, and let the self-love-a-thon begin this Valentine’s.

This goes deep, friends, and the mind’s instinct toward blame and shame is powerful. You have to hit these practices hard, and don’t let up. Get those hands on your heart 50 times a day if you need it. It will be the best valentine you have ever given, or received.

BIG Self-Love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

4 Steps to Radical Self-Compassion

Like anything transformational, self-compassion only comes alive through practice. Here is my simple approach to this powerful practice – culled from the amazing self-compassion authors Tara Brach, Kristin Neff and Kelly McGonigal, plus bits and pieces from a lot of EWLive speakers who know their self-compassion stuff.

Step 1:  Do a body scan.

Take 5 minutes in the morning and evening to sit quietly, close your eyes and simply breathe. As I breathe, I notice my body and take inventory of places that feel contracted or even painful. And I just sit there, noticing and breathing until something miraculous happens – those places loosen up and I start to feel a tenderness toward myself.

Step 2: Feel the pain, feel the love.

Yes, this happens. Just like when you see a child skin her knee, and you instantly feel compassion toward her and want her to feel better. When we discover pain in our bodies and we simply recognize it, our human instinct for compassion sets in and BOOM – we start to send loving thoughts. If you want to kick it up a notch, physically and gently place your hand on the places of contraction in your body – it will feel… lovely.

Step 3: Hands on the heart.

This is Kristin Neff’s most powerful technique for instant relief if you are trapped in a cycle of worshipping your unworthiness. Put your hands on your heart – that’s it! Kristin’s version is more elaborate – but I am usually tight on time, and just this simple gesture can turn everything around in an instant.

Step 4: Recognize the change.

Perhaps the most important part of my practice is to witness, feel and record the outcomes from this practice. Recognizing the positive change that ensues when we are tender and forgiving with ourselves will reinforce the practice, and soon our impulse to worship our unworthiness will be replaced by an impulse of self-compassion. Rad.

Remember, the mind’s instinct to blame and shame is powerful, so you have to hit these practices hard one hard. I’m serious – hands on the heart 50 times a day if you need it. It will be the best valentine you have ever given, or received.

Share Your Self-Compassion Practices with the tribe in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

It Doesn’t Have To Be Hard – #emergingnow

Dear Friends,

Have any of you out there felt that you need to work really hard, climb high hills, carry big stones, and develop callouses on your hands in order to make big things happen? I have. Truthfully, I don’t remember achieving anything of note without really digging in and putting in some serious dedicated effort.

As a rule, I am suspicious of any approach that touts short cuts to getting what you want – affirmations, manifesting techniques, get rich quick groups. In my experience, when we really apply ourselves to any pursuit in life, we learn, grow and develop a wisdom that cannot be replicated by mere statements. I tend to respect perseverance, tenacity and weathered hands over glossy tales of being in the right place at the right time.

And yet when I came across this chapter in Vicki Saunders‘ book, How To Think Like A SheEO, I was totally blown away: It Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Wow. Instantly, I wanted to franchise that sentence – I saw bumper stickers, t-shirts, retail stores, a travelling SUV. “It doesn’t have to be hard.” Say it. It does a number on you.

This is what I love about Vicki – she recommends that we lead by leveraging what comes naturally to us. By focusing on what we are masterful at we can increase our levels of success without increasing our levels of stress. 

For me, the “hard” is not in the work itself (I am a Capricorn, I like to work hard!), but in the emotional exhaustion that comes with trying to do everything by myself – the learning curve, the top-line execution, the progressive leadership, the cash-positive business, the social impact, and so on. We all set high bars for ourselves, but must we tackle all of this by ourselves? 

I, for one, am ready for a new model. One that is based on true connection and authentic relationships. For example, if you are at a networking party, focus on developing relationships with people you really connect with. You might end up in deep conversations with only two people, but then you later ask them to introduce you to their friends.

Choosing this instead of “working the room,” passing out your cards and not remembering who you spoke to at the end of the night? Hells yes! Easy, right? 

When we connect with others as we reach for the stars life becomes easier – and the opportunities multiply. We learn faster, and we find the ropes we need to help us climb those high hills. But best of all, we are nourished – not depleted – by the shared human experience of striving. And that is not hard – it’s aaaahhhh.

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – The $100 Early Bird discount for March Power Circles ends on Wednesday at midnight! Register HERE  to be matched into a group of women specially tailored to accent and compliment your desire to take your business to the next level (spaces are limited).

 

 

Vicki Saunders – Think Like A SheEO

Unleashing, Unhooking and Understanding – EWLive14 Souvenirs

Super Early Bird Tickets are On Sale for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

How do you keep it in the “ahhhhhh” zone? Tell us below:

Unleashing, Unhooking and Understanding – EWLive14 Souvenirs

As we transition into the second month of a new year, it feels like time to start reaching back and pulling those soulful souvenirs from EWLive14 into the forefront of our consciousness again.

In this ongoing series, we’ll share some of our favorite moments and memories from the weekend, and we invite you to do the same. You never know who needs to hear the words that resonated so strongly with you. As all of the Emerging Women Live speakers would agree, it’s crucial to your emergence to share your voice and have an impact on the tribe.

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“Women are natural connectors. This our time. The bridges have been built. Now it’s time to connect. ~ Chantal Pierrat”

Sera Beak

In All Fears and Trembling Boldness

Sera Beak shared her personal journey of not only living her truth, but speaking it in her own voice. “We ache to be self-expressed, to be authentic, to totally let ‘er rip,” she says, “and yet we are terrified of being that vulnerable, that raw, that real. So we edit, shape or even shut up our unique soul’s voice in order to be accepted, successful, and loved. But deep down in our bellies, where our power burns the brightest, we know we cannot be of service, we cannot be free, we cannot truly come alive if we aren’t sharing the truth of who we are.”

As the Harvard-trained scholar found herself on the fast-track to fame, she struggled with squaring the messages she was receiving from her publicists with the messages she was receiving from her deepest self. As marketers tried to groom her speaking voice (which she self-describes as sounding like a chipmunk on speed) to be more “powerful,” she could feel the authenticity and impact of her talks losing potency.

“The most important part of my message IS my shaky, struggling voice,” she says in her trembling, yes, but 100% Sera voice.

“Your voice is a treasure. Don’t bury it, share it.”

And these words, beautifully unadulterated by public speaking shoulds and shouldn’ts, stamped an unforgettable image in our hearts that we can call on when sharing our unique expression with the world:

“Every time you speak your truth, a goddess tattoos your name across her belly.”

To feel the power of Sera’s soul voice for yourself, tune in to her EWLive14 talk “In All Fears and Trembling Boldness.”

Tara Mohr

Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message

Women’s leadership expert Tara Mohr has seen a pattern among her brilliant peers.

“Women are sitting on their big ideas rather than sharing them, holding back their most provocative questions instead of asking them,” she says. “They are having a collective hallucination that they aren’t ‘ready’ for that bigger role or next step.”

Based on her recent book, Playing Big, Tara helps us learn to trust our instincts, “unhook” from praise and criticism and begin taking bold and wise action. Because when women play big, we change the world.

The bump in the road is often created by paying too much attention to what other people think. Does that sound familiar to you?

“We strangely learn to see women’s stories as how they’re perceived by others,” she says. The solution is to unhook from both praise and criticism as motivating factors while we carve out our space in the world.

If that sounds like something you could benefit from, do yourself a favor and watch the entire insightful presentation here:

Karen May

Reflections on Leadership

It’s no surprise that Karen May is the Vice President of People Development at Google. Her bouncy energy and enthusiasm is infectious, and her ability to really listen to those going through an emerging process is obvious.

What’s not so immediately apparent are her battles with failure and disappointment. If you can relate, you’ve got to hear about the “Disappointment-A-Day Diet” she started with her brother, where they trained themselves to be okay with disappointing people by promising to disappoint at least one person a day, no matter what.

“You have to be willing to disappoint.”

“I failed! Victory!” became Karen’s new cheer for herself as she learned to accept failure as a natural and helpful part of a fulfilling life. “You gotta find a way to make failure something you just step through,” she says.

“You gotta find a way to make failure something you just step through.”

“To emerge requires looking in the mirror and confronting the awful truth that you’re flawed,” Karen says, “and then digging really really deep to find the grace to go back out and say ‘tell me more,’ trusting that you’ll have the strength and support to hear it and to grow with it.”

Get ready to grin with Karen May here:

Agapi Stassinopoulos

Integration is one way that Emerging Women Live sets itself apart from other conferences. The feminine is all about the body, and so we take time to consciously connect with our bodies through dance, yoga and meditation.

We invite you to take a moment for yourself right now and let Agapi Stassinopoulos, sister of Arianna Huffington and author of Unbinding the Heart, lead you in a soothing and nourishing guided meditation.

“Give yourself permission to not wear Spanx on your heart.”

Just press play and let Agapi do the rest:

Keele Burgin & Power Circles

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.” – Mary Oliver

In this moving Emerging Short, writer, poet and memoirist Keele Burgin shares her revelation that she did not have to be her father’s definition of good, and how her Power Circle helped her harness that exuberant empowerment. What a testament to the beauty of women’s groups.

“We can fit in anywhere, but to belong is our soul’s request.”

Want to be there in person this year? Save big when you register now for Emerging Women Live 2015 in San Francisco.

How Big is your BIG? – #emergingnow

Dear Emerging Women,

I love January because it is such an internal time of year. This is a time of curling inward to reach that deepest part of our selves that knows just what we need in order to feel that we are giving fully to the world. This is the source of all creative visioning, this place deep under the surface. And it is from this place that we are able to articulate our deepest desires.

All year, we have been gathering nuggets of insight, perspectives, goals and ideas for change, and we have buried them deep for the time when the hustle and bustle stops enough for us to sort them all out. This is a time to stay in the dream state a little longer, to enjoy the dive into the unknown, unfettered and without limit. It is a time for expanding our vision, without the hinderance of implementation and execution.

And for women, right here, right now – this is the year to dream BIG. As I have been collaborating with sponsors, investors, media and other strategic partners, I am always asked: “What is the long-term vision for Emerging Women?” And each time I come up with the most audacious goal I can imagine for Emerging Women, I ask myself….is that right? Could it have more impact? Could it help more people? Make more money? Could it be bigger? And then my sense of what’s possible stretches even further.

If you can imagine something, you can make it happen. So don’t hold back. Let the vastness of your inner landscape show you what is possible. And remember, not everything has to be big, big, BIG! all the time in terms of business. Sometimes “big” simply means “in alignment with our desires.” Sometimes just asking for what we want is big in and of itself.

No matter what big looks like for you, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. When the day-to-day reality of a bold new life path starts to set in, I can find myself shrinking under the weight of my lofty aspirations. I start to convince myself that my vision is too far-reaching, that I need to scale it back a bit, play it safe. And those are the moments I thank Goddess for my circle of power women.

Women have a special gift for reminding each other just how badass and capable they are. We help each other stay connected and inspired in the face of life’s challenges. We see each other, we listen to each other, and we inspire each other. As a new path begins to unfold in this time of reflection, tap into the wisdom of the feminine by circling with the women in your life, and ask each other: How big can we be in 2015?

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

PS – Registration for March Power Circles is now OPEN! If you’re looking for a facilitated circle that can help you create and execute your vision for 2015, join a Power Circle today.  Register HERE  to be matched into a group of women specially tailored to accent and compliment your process (spaces are limited).


 Super Early Bird Tickets are On Sale for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

We’d love to hear what you’re getting into in 2015. Let us know in the comments:

Authentic Success in the New Year ~ with a little help from Liz Gilbert

If you’re like me, you get a warm feeling when you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook posts. She is a true role-model – not simply because she is a successful New York Times best-selling author, but because her she is constantly examining what success really means for her.

Whether she’s sharing her rituals, her favorite moments, her missteps, her lessons learned (and relearned) on the path to authentic success, she does it with an endlessly endearing sense of humor about herself that is so totally relatable it feels like it’s coming from a best-loved big sister.

As the clean slate of the New Year approaches, and New Year’s resolutions lists loom large on our social media feeds, I find tremendous comfort in the Grace&Fire podcast conversation we had before the first Emerging Women Live. Here are some of the things Liz said that stand out as I begin to gently shape my intentions for 2015:

“Curiosity is given to you, but your response is your job, and whether you take responsibility for that curiosity is your job.”

“I think that destiny is a kind of contract between human beings and the Mystery. Things are put before you, situations occur, and then you decide what’s going to be made of it.”

“Instead of forging forward into the vast forest with no idea where you’re going, go back a mile…

When was the last time something felt inspiring to you? When was the last time something was exciting to you? Return to that and then be gentle with it. Don’t take it by the neck and try to interrogate answers from it about what you’re supposed to do. Go back to that spot and sniff around. Put your hand on the ground, feel where it was warm, and see if there’s a little small overlooked clue near there that you somehow missed.”

“I think everyone is trying to play the grand, final scene of the big opera, but really, it’s the scavenger hunt that’s the most interesting…

Eyes on the ground, looking for that four-leaf clover, looking for that little scrap of paper hidden under the next rock, trying to find the clue. Because it is just a series of very small, almost invisible clues. And there’s a level of trust that develops where you just believe.”

Happy New Year, everyone! We wish you joy and an inner knowing on your path to authentic success!

To listen to the full Grace&Fire podcast conversation, just click here: “Elizabeth Gilbert – Creative Curiosity: Discovering Wisdom in the Details of Our Lives”

OR Download the EW App to listen to all of our Grace&Fire podcasts on the go:  For iPhone click HERE. For Android click HERE.

Want even more Elizabeth Gilbert? Join us for EWLive15 where she’ll share not only a keynote speech, but an intimate onstage conversation with Brené Brown. We can’t wait! Reserve your space in the inner circle now.

Anybody out there working with fear? #EmergingNow

Dear Emerging Women,

Ever since I made the big leap into entrepreneurship, my resolve to lead with awareness and compassion has been tested daily. And while I am great at staying positive in the face of adversity (check), or building a culture of collective support and authenticity (check), I sure do swear a hell of a lot more than I used to (damn, check). And I can’t seem to totally shake some disturbing feelings – like fear. Fear of public speaking (right?), fear of details (anyone else?), fear of failure (check and double check). But instead of slamming the door in the face of fear, I have come to love the practice of welcoming this old friend into my home. After all, we have grown up together and we have each changed so much over the years.

This is why I love Susan Piver’s work. She says that instead of tightening up to squeeze the fear away from ourselves, we have the capacity to open further and create more space. This, she says, will allow the fear to assume its rightful shape as just one thing that is going on with you at any given moment. And wow: to see what all else is happening around the fear – it’s a party!

I have had a tendency to create a vortex around my fear, following its spiraling, tenacious grip on my psyche. But now I know better. I remember that leaning into something doesn’t mean impaling yourself on it, it means allowing it to be and seeing it for what it is. The space Susan’s practice creates allows room for the rest of our experience to come in, which makes a much bigger (and more manageable) view possible.

We can’t ignore it – the fear is going to be there because we are committed to doing big things: launching businesses, writing books, forging new careers and stepping into our roles as authentic leaders. But when I start to see my fear as a member of a collective of human experiences, I feel more compassion toward it, and toward myself. I hope that this podcast will help you to “embiggen” your perspective so you can see all the amazing things that you are doing, and know that fear is just one of the many internal states that help us along our journey.

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

 


Leaning Into Fear and Falling Into Beauty – Susan Piver

 Super Early Bird Tickets are On Sale for EW Live 2015 in San Francisco!

We’d love to hear how you’re working with fear. Drop us a line in the comments:

Juicy Bites: Your Voices ~ Sharing Experiences

This week, Juicy Bites is all about YOU and how you experienced Emerging Women Live 2014. Emerging Women is all about your strong voices, and we love the beautiful and varied ways you speak about October’s event.

So whether you joined us in NYC, tuned in via livestream, or gleaned inspiration via social media, we encourage you to join in the conversation. Let us know what your experience with Emerging Women Live was. We love hearing similarities, synchronicities and new points of view from our tribe.


1. 11 Changemakers Who Rocked ‘Emerging Women Live’ via Rewire Me

The Rewire me team compiles their favorite moments from 11 speakers, panels and workshops in this inspiring round-up of EWlive14.

“You can see Amanda Steinberg’s fearless attitude in this exchange: when asked if she ‘just wanted to be taken care of,’ she replied, ‘No—but my ex-husband and my boyfriend do.’”

Continue Reading…


2. Big Girl Panties via Strong Starting Now

Did you relate to the “time to play big” message that so many of the speakers were referencing? Melissa shares her realization in this personal essay.

“I have woken from my slumber and have remembered why I am here. Though my voice will quiver and my hands will shake I too find courage when I stand and say, ‘This is who I am.’

Continue Reading...


3. Falling Into the Comparison Trap via HuffPost Living

Peggy saw the women around her brimming with the magic of connection and inspiration. So why was she feeling disconnected and down?

“I’m at a stage in my life, on the other side of struggling through the healing process, where I believe in my worthiness and value as a human being. But, when I find myself making comparisons I sometimes still doubt it.”

Continue Reading …


4. Emerging Women Live Coverage via Elevated Existence

This is the series to read if to get thoughtful recaps of your favorite speakers’ main themes. Start with Kris Carr on resilience, then follow the links at the bottom for 3 more.

““Emerging means to come into being, transformation, to become manifest, to come into view, to come out from under. It’s not just happening to women. It’s happening to the feminine.” ~ Chantal Pierrat

Continue Reading…


5. 14 Things Danielle LaPorte Did Not Teach Me via Casey Erin Wood

Casey Erin Wood was wild about Danielle LaPorte – the kind of wild that leads to crazy, fantastical expectations about what might happen when they meet at EWlive14. Did the reality stand a chance of living up?

“The first time I found her it felt like she was living in my heart and whispering the words of my soul back into my ear.”

Continue Reading…


6.  The Most Ironic Story of Ever Upward via HuffPost Parents

EW veteran Justine Froelker describes her “full-circle” feelings after looking at the progress she’s made from EWlive13 in Boulder to EWlive14 in NYC.

“It took these failures, these lessons, along with the spark of magic, connections and courageous motivation from NYC for it to actually happen.”

Continue Reading…


7.  Event Tip Tuesday – The Message via Greater Than We

In this video, Susie Mordoh shares a common thread that she heard from multiple speakers at EWlive14, a message she wants to spread to help women uplift each other worldwide.

“Your body will answer your questions.”

Continue Reading…


8.  Feminine Power in Business via Kathrine Aspaas

Sera Beak’s powerful story of being advised to masculinize her voice spoke deeply to Kathrine Aspaas, who knows the discomfort of trying to live “as expected” instead of as is.

“We will use the F-word without shame.

Without fear of being burnt on academic, economic and political fires.
We say it out loud:

Feminine.”

Continue Reading…


9.  On Cultural Cockroaches, True Greatness, and Eating the Apple via Colors of Gratitude

Clear and elegant thoughts sparked by Even Ensler’s amazing keynote. Brief and thought-provoking.

“Unless a significant amount of individuals realizes her/his true power, the world will keep pushing the narrative of lack so it can keep selling less than excellent thoughts & stuff.”

Continue Reading…

Like what you’re hearing? Actualize your dreams with EW Power Circles. Registration open through November 1st. Circles begin the week of Nov. 17th.


We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Please join in with a comment below:

Impact & Inspiration from the Women We Love

As we get ready for EWlive14, it’s wonderful to remember how inspired and transformed we were by the inaugural EWlive in Boulder, CO.

That’s why we loved re-reading this blog post from Rose Caiola, founder of Rewire Me and Power Party New York speaker, recapping the many “a-ha” moments we experienced at that gathering. Check out the quotes and speakers that left a lasting impact on her here:

Emerging Women: 10 Women Who Rocked My Weekend.

Were you at EWlive13? Did you join us via Livestream? Add to the excitement for this year’s event by telling us who made your top 10 list in the comments below.

Just TWO MORE WEEKS, ladies! See you soon!

Watch: Our Beautiful Connect4Change Contest Winners

We are so thankful to have been able to team up with Threads Worldwide this year to create the Connect for Change Contest to send three emerging women on a life-changing trip to NYC for Emerging Women Live 2014.

The women chosen by our panel of judges stood out for their authenticity, open-heartedness, vulnerability, generosity and determination to empower themselves and others. Be sure to introduce yourself if you see them in NYC – these women are ready to ignite their gifts, and they have plenty of fire to go around!

1. Caryn Antos O’Hara – Grand Prize Winner, All-Expenses-Paid Trip to NYC and EWlive14

She is a shining example of the spirit of Emerging Women, and we are so so pleased to award her with an all-expenses paid trip to #EWlive14

Don’t let the picture of the needle scare you away – YouTube chose the most intimidating frame of the incredibly inspiring video for the thumbnail. For your daily dose of goosebumps (the good kind), watch Caryn’s winning Connect for Change video here: Continue reading “Watch: Our Beautiful Connect4Change Contest Winners”

Why We Leap – #EmergingNow

Dear Friends,

With just under two weeks to go before our national event in New York, you can imagine how busy and excited we are. Of course there are a lot of details and loose ends to tie up, but what is really taking up most of my attention is the inner landscape of how it feels to take big leaps and reach for the stars.

“Is there anything better than leaping?” Eve Ensler asked at EW Live 2013 last year. Well, honestly, sitting home under a cozy blanket with 5 episodes of Game of Thrones ahead of me sounds mighty fine right about now.

And yet I choose to leap. Why? Because this is where my emergence is taking me, and I am allowing myself to be led, no matter how much it pushes me against what I perceive to be my edge.

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have learned to trust in my unfoldment, that everything happening is for my expansion. I have learned to really lean on the people around me, instead of putting the pressure on myself to have it together all the time. I have learned to ask for help. I have realized that none of the spiritual principles we learn about can actually exist until we experience them in the body – that they are mere concepts until we live them.

Trust, authenticity, vulnerability, the body. Sound familiar? These big leaps I am taking are allowing me – forcing me, really – to rely on my feminine powers. And now I know more than ever how powerful these principles really are.

Most significantly during this process I have come to realize that Emerging Women is not just a business or an event. We are a network of extremely powerful women that can move mountains. This is truly a movement. A movement of self-actualizing ourselves on an individual level, but also as a collective.

One woman who has been instrumental in sending me and supporting me on my path as Emerging Women’s founder is Tami Simon. Her ability to love and listen to the people she comes in contact with, coupled with her belief that we are always, always emerging, every moment, makes her a wise mentor who is tremendously sympathetic to the fears that come along with leaping. Be sure to listen to our Grace&Fire podcast “Emerging into Being” to hear her advice for making the most of our eternal growth and evolution.

We can’t wait to feel the out-of-this-world energy as we come into being together in NYC – I am so grateful for the opportunity to dive into my bravest self while surrounded by many amazing and inspiring women. Thank you, and see you in two weeks!

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

 Listen: Emerging into Being with Tami Simon

Watch: Beautiful Videos from Our Connect4Change Contest Winners

Impact and Inspiration from the Women We Love

Miracle Makers – #EmergingNow

Dear Friends,

I first discovered Gabby Bernstein through one of her inspirational and empowering videos. With big, open eyes she leaned close to the camera and said in a fierce voice: If a book falls off the shelf in your office, even that has significance. I thought, “Wait – really?” I felt skeptical. I mean, what about Sigmund Freud: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, right?

That was almost two years ago, before I was deep in the throes of launching a feminine-power based company. The more immersed I became in developing Emerging Women, the more I noticed special synchronicities, surprise connections, and creative collisions with the universe, all directing me in taking action and making decisions for EW.

When I am in tune with my feminine power of receiving, I see these signs more clearly, more frequently and with more trusting eyes. I am amazed at the feeling of ease that comes when I’m navigating with this sign-minded compass. Now I strive to be in constant communication with the universe – it’s so important to the process and unfolding of Emerging Women as a platform and a movement for women’s empowerment.

The more I pay attention, the more I am able to engage with what is coming next, and welllll…. let’s just say that miracles DO happen!


Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

gabbyG&f

LISTEN: Gabrielle Bernstein – Leading with Purpose and Presence

Share your emerging synchronicites with us in the comments!

Fellow Emerging Woman Nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year!

We are so pleased to hear that Brook Eddy, founder and CEO of Bhakti Chai, has been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Brook and Bhakti Chai have partnered with Emerging Women from the beginning, so we can attest firsthand to her desire to use the success she’s created to empower women and girls worldwide.

“Honored doesn’t quite grasp the thrill and mania associated with being a finalist in such a prestigious national contest,” Brook says. “It feels like just yesterday I was a struggling single mother wishing for a better life standing over my steaming homemade chai. Thankfully, a magical network of women colleagues and female friends encouraged me to take the leap of faith and have been supporting and inspiring me to manifest my dreams of being an entrepreneur ever since.”

“Thankfully, a magical network of women colleagues and female friends encouraged me to take the leap of faith and have been supporting and inspiring me to manifest my dreams of being an entrepreneur ever since.”twitter

Brook’s passion, vision and authenticity shine through in the video on her voting page. Watch here to get inspired by Brook’s commitment to sustainability, fair trade and giving back, and then vote for your fellow emerging woman for Entrepreneur of the Year 2014!

Emerging Entrepreneurs – #EmergingNow

Dear Friends,

So many of us have felt the call to create new ways forward in this world, ways that support the depth of who we are as conscious women. At work, at home, we want to feel that we are using our energy and resources in a way that creates meaningful success, not only for ourselves but for as many others as possible.

Entrepreneurship is proving itself to be a fantastic way to tailor careers authentic to our individual passions, skills and values. How many of you have chosen this path? It takes a huge amount of courage to set off into uncharted territory – there’s no shortage of fears to be faced as an entrepreneur – but the rewards, both spiritually and financially, have the potential to be more than we could have ever envisioned. Continue reading “Emerging Entrepreneurs – #EmergingNow”

Walking Our Unique Paths

At Emerging Women, we passionately believe that listening to the stories of successful business leaders helps us realize our own potential and possibility as we emerge. Below is the story of how our friend, Kathy Krumpe, VP of Operations for Future State Inc., was inspired to tailor a career that allowed her to live her truth. There are so many ways to go about crafting a life of authenticity and meaning. What are the necessary components for you?

Finding A Work Culture That Is True To Me

Kathy Krumpe

As we prepare for Emerging Women Live in October, I have been reflecting about Emerging Women’s tagline, “Live the Truth of Who You Are.” How does this resonate with my personal life and support my growth into a stronger leader?

I’ve spent 12 out of my 19-year career with Future State in many roles, ranging from project management, talent development, operations, marketing and strategic leadership. I left for a bit to travel the world, try new opportunities and spend more time with my children. I came back to Future State as it’s been an amazing anchor in my life. Why? Because it offered me:

1. leaders who support me bringing my true self to the workplace;
2. a corporate culture that shares my same professional and personal values;
3. a culture that not only allows me to bring forward my various talents, but actually requires it for the business overall to thrive.

Starting out my career, I quickly was inspired by the founder of Future State (back when our name was TechProse), a remarkable woman named Meryl Natchez. Meryl is a talented writer with a passion for technology. As she witnessed Silicon Valley’s rise, she knew she had something to contribute to the companies that were shaping this new land of innovation. But she wanted to contribute in a way that brought out people’s unique offerings, values and cultures.

Combining talent and entrepreneurial spirit, Meryl quickly built a consulting firm providing writing, communications, strategic change management, and learning and development solutions with a focus on the people side of transformation. She believed in core founding principles of strong female leadership, being of service to each other and clients, passionate problem-solving, ethics, trust and relationship.

Thirty years later, the company Meryl founded thrives, thanks to her founding principles. My professional career has grown alongside Future State’s because our culture ensures that I live my truth at work. We help clients solve operational transformation challenges impacting many thousands of people worldwide. We’re helping companies as they create cancer fighting solutions; designing leadership programs that foster a new generation of emotionally intelligent, compassionate leaders worldwide; and supporting businesses in developing internet operating systems that connect the world.

To make this happen for clients, I have to bring my authentic self to the table every single day. Client success doesn’t happen if I don’t.

“I have to bring my authentic self to the table every single day. Client success doesn’t happen if I don’t.”twitter

I’m now a member of the second generation of women leadership at Future State. My colleagues and I are excited to support and prepare new leaders through internship programs and talent strategies that give the same space, voice and value to the next generation of women leaders.

At the conference in October, I’m eager to learn from all of you about how you are walking your unique path and living the truth of who you are.

Hey, What About the Men? #EmergingNow

Dear Friends,

Sometimes I get asked if we plan to include men in our EW programming. Will we share their voices and their take on this emerging women movement? Do we really need men to get behind what we are doing in order to shift the limitations of our current societal structures? Hell yes! I can’t see how we can do it without them. In fact, I will go a step further and say that without the men, the job will only be half done.

We are in the middle of a new birth of feminism, and it is my strong belief that this movement is not based on gender. Whaat? That’s right. It’s about the acceptance and celebration of the power of feminine energy. Men and women alike stand to benefit when we incorporate the feminine into the business world. Everyone’s work will be amplified by the power of community, connection and compassion. And we need everyone on board, regardless of gender, to actualize the global paradigm shift we so desperately need.

We want the women to take the lead and show us the potential of this new landscape. As the ideas continue to take solid shape, we can share the emerging wisdom with the whole tribe, a global community of men and women who know, value and support the importance of the feminine perspective. Our friends at OMEGA get it – how cool is it that after 11 years of their Women & Power Conference, this year they’re including men with Women/Men: The Next Conversation? Learn more about it below, and don’t forget to keep scrolling for this week’s Grace&Fire podcast with the wonderful Kris Carr.


Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

LISTEN: Crazy, Sexy Woman: a Grace&Fire podcast with Kris Carr

The Power of Story – #EmergingNow

Dear Friends,

I am so excited that Karen May will be speaking at EWlive this year. She’s the head of learning, talent and career development at Google, which was rated the #1 Best Company To Work For by Fortune Magazine this year. As one Googler puts it, “Simply by being here, I feel very naturally motivated to be (and also very proud to be) my best possible self.” While there are a lot of factors that contributed to Google winning the #1 position, I can’t help but admire Karen and her commitment to developing the whole person within the corporate structure. This is the future!

I was watching Karen’s interview with Eckhart Tolle from our friends at Wisdom 2.0 (you can watch the fabulous video on our site) and was struck by her framing of the question, “How do we integrate story in a healthy way into self, particularly in connection to others.” It got me thinking about the power of our own personal stories.

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been using story-telling to record history, disseminate wisdom, and foster connection within communities. Yet in our Western culture, we are taught to keep to ourselves, share as little as possible, and put on a show that we have it all together. The result is that we have built a society devoted to image and illusion and reverence of the fantastic, rather than one the celebrates the magic of our everyday experience.

Hearing the stories of others helps us to make sense of our world. As women, we need to know that we are not alone in our struggles to be seen and heard. The best mentoring-moments I have ever had are when a woman more experienced than myself opens up honestly about her journey. Hearing the stories of the women who are blazing trails ahead of us helps us to identify with the strongest parts of ourselves – giving us that powerful “If she could do it, so can I” feeling.

That’s the power that Emerging Women speakers are able to bring to the audience, and that Emerging Women participants are able to bring to each other. It’s a place to show up, get real, and be strengthened by the reality of each others’ stories so that we can continue to do meaningful work in the world. Thank you so much for being a part of it.


Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

Meet Karen May & Watch her awesome Wisdom 2.0 interview with Eckhart Tolle

Share the power of your story with us! Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Top 5 Reasons Why I Dance

I cannot imagine finding the strength and alignment to launch Emerging Women without the power of dance. I recommend dance as a core practice for any emerging woman. If you need a reason to remember the possibilities dance has to offer, I’ll give you five! Feel free to add some of your own reasons in the comments below.

EW-MG-Image-01

1) I dance for self-exploration and expression.  

When I dance, my body takes over my attention and my mind follows, witnesses, receives. Aahh. My body goes to work moving energy, processing the day, delivering thoughts into physical signals, a language pattern all on its own. My spine does not lie. Neither do my legs or my shoulders. When I dance, my body talks to me – letting me know where I need to strengthen, where I need to let go.

We can learn so much when the body leads, allowing our mental constructs to make themselves known through our physical movement. Do we feel light, or heavy? Can we fully extend or are contractions feeling more aligned? Are we holding back from expression? Are we allowing for vulnerability or are we playing it safe? All of these cues help me to track my inner state and keep tabs on how I am going through my life.

2)  I dance to stay grounded.

When I dance, my feet open up and I take in the earth. I become rooted in my pelvis in a stance of power and of receiving. It is from this place of foundation that I find the courage to lift my head and face challenges in the rest of my life. The weight of my body, the floor underneath my bare feet, my breath, my heart – the gross physical nature of my existence becomes a platform from which to jump and to which I return, time and time again.

3)  I dance to feel feminine.

Dance is circular, chaotic and free. This awakens the feminine like no other movement form. I am learning how to tap into my own feminine power as I work to grow this Emerging Women movement, and dance has been a cornerstone of this emergence.

I also dance to feel sensual. Yes, the physical exercise helps to keep my energy up, but the sensual feeling of dance keeps my mojo going, know what I mean?  😉

4)  I dance for connection.  

Feeling connected to my body allows me to feel more connected to others. I am more aware of personal space, subtle body language, and the energy of others, and I find that if I enter a room with my heart and chest open, like when I dance, there is more chance for intimacy.

There is nothing like dancing in a community of people all there for the same reason, to feel the spirit of self-expression move through them and be fully expressed through the body.  Everybody is vulnerable in dance – this is the great connector.  The more vulnerable, the more juicy the dance!

Just watch this video from Alchemy of Movement, a studio that teaches the SoulSweat™ program I developed. I love connecting with these women!

5)  I dance for ecstasy.

When we dance with freedom and allow ourselves to move from a place of unbridled passion, we become an open channel for spirit.  When we are connected to this life force, we awaken our sensual and creative energies – we feel vital and alive!

This is the ultimate feeling of being in the flow.  Once you have felt this through dance, you never doubt that you are connected to something bigger than yourself.  And once you connect with the natural power of the universe, anything becomes possible. We can move mountains with this momentum.

Let’s dance our way into a new era of feminine power!

Dancing to Emerge – #EmergingNow

Dear Friends,

In this modern world of innovative ideas, sophisticated thinking, complex systems and change, I find myself spending more and more time in my head. Meditation, yoga and spiritual practice all help to temper my overactive mind and bring in some space from which to witness the unfolding of my deepest self. But nothing feels as real to me as when my inner life comes alive through dance and movement.

I have been dancing my whole life, starting with ballet at age 4. By the time I was in my mid 20’s, I was fully committed to the rave scene. There was an incredible freedom in this kind of dance that I had not experienced in the more form oriented dance classes of my youth. I discovered the real sense of freedom that comes when we move our bodies unabashedly, without judgement, in community, and in the flow of the present moment.

I began to explore African, Latin and Rhythms classes. By my late 20’s I realized that dance for me was much more than performance – it was about feeling my emotions, connecting with my sensuality, and expressing my being in the fullest way possible.

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” ~ Martha Grahamtwitter

I have been teaching dance “on the side” for the last 12 years: through a full-time job with lots of travel, through two births (and a few miscarriages), through traumas and joys, creativity and day-to-day routines, and now through my emergence as an entrepreneur. It has been my practice 2-4 times a week for well over a decade, and I feel like I am just scratching the surface of what I can learn about myself and others through this practice.

It is only natural that dance has become a metaphor for our unique expression within Emerging Women, and that movement has become such an important part of the Emerging Women Live event experience. What better way to connect with and practice powerful feminine principles than through dance?

I’d love to hear what you’ve discovered through your own relationship with dance – check out my 5 Reasons for Why I Dance and leave a comment!


Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

Discover the Top 5 Reasons Why I Dance.

Raising our Voices on Malala Day

This Malala Day, the global community came together to raise their voices for the rights of all young people to receive an education.

The annual awareness event was inspired by Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban while advocating for the right to go to school. She celebrates her birthday each year by addressing people worldwide, offering the message that “No student, anywhere, should ever be the target of conflict of violence.”

This year, she travelled to Nigeria to make her speech, to renew the call to bring back the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram last April. In her speech, she said:

“We will not be silent while our Sisters in Nigeria and around the world are targeted in this war on education. Together we are stronger than oppression. We are stronger than violence. We are stronger than fear. We have a right to an education and we will prevail. We will see the return of our innocent sisters in Nigeria, and that they and all children will be able to go to school. We are stronger than those who stand in our way. Stand with us, and together we will win.”

Hear more from her in this op-ed piece for the Washington Post: Helping girls worldwide requires a united stand.

“Malala Day is not my day,” she says on her site malala.org. “It is the day of every girl and every boy. It is a day when we come together to raise our voices, so that those without a voice can be heard.”

Want to get inspired to raise your voice to empower women globally?

The UN Global Education First Initiative was launched on Malala’s birthday in 2013. Watch the #StrongerThan video the initiative shared for Malala Day:

To learn more about what Malala has been able to accomplish with the power of her voice, check out this Huffington Post article: On Malala Day, Prepare To Be Wowed Again By Her 10 Greatest Contributions To Humaity. Did we mention she just turned 17 this week?

Happy Birthday, Malala Yousafai!

What did Malala Day make you feel #StrongerThan?

Wholehearted Visionaries – Emerging Now

Dear Emerging Women,

There is one question I have been asking myself over and over as we get closer to Emerging Women Live: What is my true desire for this event?

Sometimes chaos and changing circumstances can force me into the “doing” and the details at a time when I really need to be thinking about the meta principles of why I started Emerging Women in the first place: the desire to connect deeply with others, to share moments and milestones in relationship and alongside others who are also committed to living a full and meaningful life. YES.

But here’s the thing: we cannot truly connect with others if we are hiding parts of ourselves or we are making decisions in our lives that don’t align with our inner truths. Naming and committing to our inner truths takes immense courage – and I don’t believe it can be achieved alone. It requires risk, vulnerability, and the desire for alignment over fantasy, and we need the witnessing and reflection from others to fully step into this bravery.

I have fought against being vulnerable my whole life, and as a result my capacity for intimacy was stunted, hampering all of my relationships – business, personal and otherwise. When I practiced vulnerability – over and over again – I realized how defended I was, how much I was holding back, how much I was keeping from myself and the world. It was hard – it is still hard – and yet with people around me also committed to this path, I have found the courage to make this the only place from which I move forward into the world.

This is why I love Brené Brown and why I am beyond honored to have her as our opening keynote for Emerging Women Live 2014. Join me and find out first hand how the daring work of vulnerability and authenticity is creating a new breed of impactful and conscious leaders, and together we can blaze trails for future generations of wholehearted visionaries.

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

Brené Brown to Deliver Opening Keynote at EWlive14!

>>Like what you’re hearing? Join me at Emerging Women Live 2014 in NYC this October for a truly unforgettable weekend of dialogue and connection.

Brené Brown to Deliver Opening Keynote at EWlive14

We are thrilled to announce to you today that the one, the only, Brené Brown will be speaking at Emerging Women Live 2014 in New York City, Oct 9-12th.

Those of you who saw her at EWlive13 know what a tremendous blessing it is to have her back again this year. Brené’s has reshaped the way we think about our strengths with her groundbreaking research on shame, gratitude, authenticity and vulnerability. Her insight and compassion is evident in this conversation we had in 2013 for Origin Magazine. Soak up some classic Brené wisdom and humor, and then sign up to join us all in NYC to see what revelations she has for us this year!

Interview from Origin Magazine, photography from EWlive13 in Boulder, CO.

Chantal Pierrat: I want to start by saying thank you for being so real. Your work gives people permission to be themselves, and that’s probably the greatest gift that anybody could give.

Brene Brown: Thank you, that means a lot. We teach what we have to learn. It’s been an extraordinary journey that I couldn’t have done with not only the research participants but the community, the tribe that we’ve built of people who are also on this journey.

CP: Does community help with the work of vulnerability? Does it help us to become more vulnerable?

BB: I can’t even think of the right word, but it’s not “help.” It’s more like a prerequisite. I think connection is why we’re here, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and belonging is in our DNA. And so “tribe” and “belonging” are irreducible needs, like love.

“I think connection is why we’re here, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and belonging is in our DNA.”twitter

CP: You started as a researcher. At what point did the researcher become the guinea pig, and how did that change your work, if at all?

BB: I’m still a researcher. The best way to explain it is that I trusted myself deeply as a professional, but I did not have a lot of self-trust personally. When I started learning all of these things about the value and the importance of belonging, vulnerability, connection, self-kindness and self-compassion, I trusted what I was learning—again, I know I’m a good researcher. When those things and wholeheartedness started to emerge with all these different properties, I knew I had to listen. I’d heard these messages before personally but I didn’t trust myself there.

I wasn’t really testing it on myself as much as I was learning from other people about what it meant to live and love with your whole heart, and then thinking, oh my god, I’m not doing that. Everything that these folks are saying that they’re trying to move away from, like comparison, perfectionism, judgement, and exhaustion as a status symbol—that all describes my life. It was more like a medical researcher studying a disease and figuring out he or she has it.

CP: You’ve got the credibility of your research, yet there’s something in your delivery that’s really opening people up.

BB: I love how you frame that, because it’s helping me understand myself better. Someone asked me very recently why I have 8 million views on TED —”your work resonates, what are you doing?” What I think my contribution is, what I do well, is I name experiences that are very universal that no one really talks about. That’s the researcher in me; that’s really part of being a grounded theory researcher—putting names to concepts and experiences that people have. Then I tell my own story. The two things that people really need to transform is language to understand their experience and to know they’re not alone. It’s the combination of the researcher-storyteller part.

“The two things that people really need to transform is language to understand their experience and to know they’re not alone.”twitter-logo-ew

CP: For people that are new to the concept of authenticity and playing around with vulnerability and courage, actually being themselves—is it something that can be practiced?

BB: It has to be practiced. It’s a practice for me every day, sometimes every hour of every day. It is an absolute practice. When I went into the research, I really thought that there are authentic people and inauthentic people, period. What I found is, there people who practice authenticity and people who don’t. The people who practice authenticity work their ass off at it.

“…there people who practice authenticity and people who don’t. The people who practice authenticity work their ass off at it.”twitter

It was so scary to me. Oh my god, that’s going to be a lot of work. I thought, You either have the gene or you don’t. It was scary. But it was so liberating: I thought, This is not predetermined—I get to choose. There are some days where I have to choose five times in a day. I had to make a choice when you called and the phone rang, whether I’m going to show up and be me, or whether I’m going to say what I think I’m supposed to say and get off the phone.

I had to choose this morning, when I could tell my husband was in kind of a rotten mood, whether I was just going to ignore it because I’m tired and it’s Friday and I’m packing lunches and getting kids to school and doing all this, or if I’m going to put everything down, start breakfast, and look at him and say, “Hey, something is going on. I want to hear about it.” It’s a practice. It’s about showing up. And sometimes I don’t do it. I almost always regret it, but sometimes I don’t do it. Sometimes I walk into a situation where I’m intimidated and I want to be liked and I want to fit in, and I don’t choose authenticity. And it’s always pretty miserable.

brene brown speaking

CP: What about the idea that we need to protect ourselves or have boundaries?

BB: Huge. One of the most painfully inauthentic ways we show up in our lives sometimes is saying “yes” when we mean “no,” and saying “no” when we mean “hell yes.” I’m the oldest of four, a people-pleaser—that’s the good girl straitjacket that I wear sometimes. I spent a lot of my life saying yes all the time and then being pissed off and resentful.

One of the things I talk a lot about in my work that I try to practice—which is really hard–is in those moments where we’re being asked to do things or asked to take over or asked to take care of something, we have to have the courage to choose discomfort over resentment. And to me, a huge part of my authenticity practice has been choosing discomfort and saying no.

“…we have to have the courage to choose discomfort over resentment.”twitter

On the flip side, I’ve also had to struggle with saying “yes.” Before I did this research and before I had my own breakdown and spiritual awakening around this work, my motto was, “Don’t do anything that you’re already not great at doing.” Which I think is the way the majority of adults in our culture live. Authenticity is also about the courage and the vulnerability to say, “Yeah, I’ll try it. I feel pretty uncomfortable and I feel a little vulnerable, but I’ll try it!”

CP: You’re talking about risk.

BB: That’s the whole idea behind Daring Greatly. That whole phrase, “daring greatly,” is from the Theodore Roosevelt quote that goes back to your original question of, what about the critics? And when I read his quote it was life-changing. “It’s not the critic who counts; it’s not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done the better. The credit belongs to those of us who are actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. We strive valiantly and sometimes there’s the triumph of achievement but at the worst, we fail, but at least we fail while daring greatly.” That has really changed my life. Profoundly changed my life.

“We strive valiantly and sometimes there’s the triumph of achievement but at the worst, we fail, but at least we fail while daring greatly.” ~Theodore Roosevelttwitter

CP: Now it’s changing the lives of others.

BB: I think a lot of us are looking for the same thing. I feel very lucky to have a definitive moment where I know everything shifted in me, and it was the moment I read that quote. Because I thought, A. That’s everything I know about vulnerability. It’s not winning, it’s not losing, it’s showing up and being seen. B. That’s who I want to be. Courage is a value. My faith is the organizing principle in my life and what underpins my faith is courage and love, and so I have to be in the arena if I’m going to live in alignment with my values.

And the last thing is, I can’t be paralyzed anymore by the critics. My new mantra is, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, then I’m not interested in your feedback. You don’t get to sit in the cheat seat and criticize my appearance or my work with mean-spiritedness if you’re also not in the arena. Now, if you’re also in the arena and you’re putting your ideas out and you’re owning them and you’re saying “I disagree with you about this and that, I think you’ve got this wrong”—then not only do I invite that, I freaking love that. I love that. I’m an academic. I’m hardwired for a good debate.

CP: How would the world be different if we all learned to really embrace vulnerability and authenticity?

BB: We would solve a lot of huge problems that are causing massive suffering. Poverty, violence, homophobia, heterosexism, racism, the environment—all these things that are crippling us. We need big, bold, dangerous, crazy ideas to solve these problems. When failure is not an option, innovation and creativity are not options. In a highly critical, scarcity-based world, everyone’s afraid to fail. As long as we’re afraid to fail, we’ll never come up with the big, bold ideas we need to solve these problems.

“Poverty, violence, homophobia, heterosexism, racism, the environment—all these things that are crippling us. We need big, bold, dangerous, crazy ideas to solve these problems.”[inline]twitter

We have become this very fear-based culture, especially post-9/11. Fear is the opposite of love, in my opinion. I think there would be more love in the world. I’m not talking about rainbows and unicorns and ‘70s Coca-Cola commercials. I’m talking about gritty, dangerous, wild-eyed love. Radical acceptance of people. Belonging. A good, goofy kind of love.

CP: You’re on fire!

BB: [laughing] I’m having a passionate Friday, can you tell?

CP: You’re really funny – you make people laugh. I’m curious: how do you think humor fits into your work?

BB: I’m a huge fan of the poet Billy Collins. I heard him say, “Humor is the door to the serious.” I think that shame is a universal, paralyzing, painful emotion. The only universal language I know of that wraps up joy and gratitude and love is laughter. And so I believe in the healing power of laughter. I believe laughter forces us to breathe. I think laughter between people is a holy form of connection, of communion. It’s the way you and I look at each other and without words, say, I get exactly what you’re saying. And so, it’s important to me.

“The only universal language I know of that wraps up joy and gratitude and love is laughter. And so I believe in the healing power of laughter.”twitter

CP: It’s also disarming.

BB: I agree. The laughter that happens when people are truth-telling and showing up and being real – I call that “knowing laughter.” That’s what happens between people when we recognize the absurdity of the belief that we’re alone in anything. If there’s a feeling you have, other people have it. If there’s something weird about your life, other people have lived it. If there’s something kooky about your body, other people have that, too. We’re not alone. There’s some kind of tremendous relief in that and I think it can only be expressed in belly laughter. This tremendous relief that happens the millisecond we realize, it’s not just me. That’s what good laughter is about. It’s about knowing that you’re not alone.

>> Ready to laugh, cry and get mad goosebumps and inspired ideas together? Join us at Emerging Women Live 2014 in New York City, October 9-12th. Register now for savings!

Why Share Our Voices with the Tribe?

Dear Emerging Women,

One of my favorite things about Emerging Women is the honesty and vulnerability with which presenters speak to the tribe. No one is offering any quick-fixes, there aren’t any gimmicks or pitches, just an open sharing of personal experience in hopes of pointing towards the truth.

As Dominique Christina says in one of the amazing videos we share with you today, “I could offer [my voice] into a space and not teach you anything, necessarily, but show up BIG and in so doing maybe, maybe it becomes instructive. Maybe you recognize that it is also belonging to you.”

It energizes me when women share their stories, and it inspires me to continue on my path towards self-alignment. Do you feel this power of connection when you listen to a woman speak her truth? Then continue the connection, join in the conversation and aim to share your most authentic voice with this tribe. We will all benefit!

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat

Founder, Emerging Women

“I could offer [my voice] into a space and not teach you anything, necessarily, but show up BIG and in so doing maybe, maybe it becomes instructive. Maybe you recognize that it is also belonging to you.”twitter

Read more about Dominique Christina – she’s this week’s Featured EWlive14 Speaker.

Check out Christine Arylo’s Power Practice #10 to see what she takes 3 minutes to do every morning.

>>Like what you’re hearing? Join me at Emerging Women Live 2014 in NYC this October for a truly unforgettable weekend of dialogue and connection. Make the leap now!

Power Practice #10: The Feminine Superpower of Receiving

Do you occasionally find yourself overworked, overwhelmed or just plain over it?

Choosing to make sure that you get what you need on all levels – physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally – is crucial to a satisfying and self-caring life.

Today, self-love guru Christine Arylo shares with us a superpower practice for receiving that she relies on daily. Less than three minutes each morning can help you retain your energy so that you stop getting sick, stop giving away your energy reserves and start living a more joyful and open life.

We hope you enjoy this transformational three step process for starting your day in a open way, listening to your energy levels and finding self-care anchor points to carry with you during the day.

Play the Power Practice:

Christine Arylo, inspirational catalyst, best-selling author and spiritual advocate, is on a mission to create a new reality for women and girls, one based on true feminine power, freedom and self-love instead of the relentless pursuit and unsustainable pressure of having to do, be and have it all. She’s written two best-selling books, Choosing ME before WE and Madly in Love With Me, The Daring Adventure to Becoming Your Own Best Friend, with a third on the way, based on her breakthrough program Inner Mean Girl Reform School which has helped over 23,000 women on 6 continents transform their inner critics. Her opinions and transformational techniques have been featured on CBS, ABC, FOX, WGN, E!, in the Huffington Post, and on radio shows, spas, conferences and stages around the world, including TEDx. She usually lives in Northern California with her partner, Noah, but in 2013 they sold their house to live their dream of living, working and speaking and teaching from anywhere in the world… true freedom, power and love!

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with Christine Arylo and Kristine Carlson in the Emerging Women podcast “The Power of Receiving.”

Christine Arylo and Kristine Carlson

Re-Learning the Art of Listening

Dear Sisters,

When I talk to the emerging women around me, I know we are ushering in a new era of feminism. This “third wave” of feministas is one that incorporates an active, aware discussion of what it really means to be feminine. And the vital consciousness this dialogue can bring to women comes not only in learning to be vulnerable and honest about our own experience, but also in fully and openly receiving the experience of others.

It took an executive coach for me to realize that I had completely squashed my feminine listening skills in my quest for success because I didn’t think they were powerful. But the truth is, when I trusted the feminine traits of receiving, compassion, and empathy, I became much more effective, more accepted by others, and more powerful in my leadership.

I find myself coming back to these thoughts often. It’s more like an un-learning than a learning, but it still takes practice and intention. So much about Emerging Women helps me remember the magnitude of feminine power, like today’s podcast. Tami Simon’s interview of Alanis Morissette on stage at Emerging Women Live 2013 was profoundly unique in its deep dialogue and receptive nature. Listen in and let us know what you think about Tami and Alanis’s take on the art of listening as they both discuss it and put it into practice. For me, as an emerging woman, models of connectivity like this are absolutely priceless.

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat
Founder, Emerging Women

“It’s more like an un-learning than a learning, but it still takes practice and intention.”[inline]twitter

Like what you’re hearing? Join me at Emerging Women Live 2014 in NYC this October for a truly unforgettable weekend of dialogue and connection.

The Feminine Superpower of Receiving

Dear Emerging Women,

If you’re like me, you might find it a little challenging to trust the “feminine superpower” of receiving. For the past several years, I have been challenged to stop relying on the perpetural doing-mode that has served me so well in the past and to start opening up to more abundant resources to achieve my goals.

When we learn to receive, we learn to truly communicate with our lives – noticing feedback from the world, feeling more deeply into our bodies, and finding solutions to challenges we never thought of before. It’s not easy! And it takes trust.

But, when I practice this simple concept, it feels like pure magic because I didn’t have to DO much to make things happen. How foreign! For years I led with my masculine side – workin’ it like a dude – because that is how I was taught to achieve success. And I was successful, but it took a lot of energy and a lot of pushing, and I was finding it exhausting and completely unsustainable.

When I am in conscious receiving mode, things seem to fall into place more perfectly than anything I could have planned or strategized – plus I have more energy to draw on for the next leap. Finding our way back to our feminine superpowers is the only way to access the unique strengths that will sustain us as we work to make real and lasting change in the world. The momentum is there, ladies – we just need to open our hearts to it and bravely ride the wave! I am going for it – you?

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat
Founder, Emerging Women

“Finding our way back to our feminine superpowers is the only way to access the unique strengths that will sustain us as we work to make real and lasting change in the world.”twitter

Need a little more inspiration to help you cultivate that trust? Join my conversation with the Superwomen of Receiving in this week’s podcast: The Power of Receiving with Christine Arylo and Kris Carlson.

Ready to Play Big?

Dear Emerging Women,

With feminine leadership on the rise, brilliant women are stepping into new and powerful roles everyday. But, as we’ll hear in today’s Power Practice, brilliant women are the least likely to know when they’re ready for that next big step. Does that sound like you?

I think that a big reason we are so attracted to this emergence movement is because deep down we know that we’re ready: to launch a business, write a book, speak our truth, to lead in a way that feels authentic and real. But when we continue to measure ourselves against unrealistic standards for success, it can be hard to tune in to that soft voice of intuition that says “It’s time.”

I feel so grateful for this community, where visionary female leaders are sharing their wisdom freely in the hopes of elevating as many conscious women as possible. I want to live in a world where all women are able to Play Big in whatever arena calls to them. Even though we walk very unique paths, we must keep each other informed and inspired if we really want to change things – yo! You with me?

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat
Founder, Emerging Women

“I want to live in a world where all women are able to Play Big in whatever arena calls to them.”twitter

Ready to Play Big? Register now to receive this Special Gift for Early Birds: Tara Mohr’s Playing Big

Not sure whether you’re ready or not? This can help>> Power Practice #09: When You Don’t Feel Ready

Power Practice #09: When You Don’t Feel Ready

Are you easily able to discern the difference between your true voice and your inner critic?

Tara Mohr, women’s leadership expert and author of Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message and 10 Rules for Brilliant Women, says brilliant, creative women are often really, really bad at this.

In this week’s practice, Tara invites you to uncover what you might be holding an “I’m not ready yet” story around, and suggests an interesting way to reframe the question to get an answer that comes from your wisest self.

Play the Power Practice:

“Women often don’t know what they’re ready for yet. Brilliant women especially.”

Tara Mohr is an expert on women’s leadership and well-being. Her work helps women play bigger in their work and in their lives. With an MBA from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree in English literature from Yale, Tara takes a unique approach that blends inner work with practical skills training, and weaves together both intellectual rigor and intuitive wisdom.

Tara has a deep commitment to amplifying women’s voices. She is the creator of the global Playing Big leadership program for women and the co-creator of two anthologies of contemporary women’s writings, The Women’s Seder Sourcebook and The Women’s Passover Companion.  Her 10 Rules for Brilliant Women have struck a chord with tens of thousands of women around the world. In 2010, Tara was honored as a Girl Champion by the Girl Effect organization, which supports girls’ education in the developing world.

Tara is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and has been featured on The Today Show, BigThink.com, Whole Living, CNN.com, USA Today, the International Business Times, Ode Magazine, Forbes, Beliefnet, and numerous other media outlets. She is also a poet, and the author of The Real Life: Poems for Wise Living.

Want “Mohr?” Check out her Emerging Women podcast, “Playing Big: the Work of Our Time.”

We are in this together!

Dear Emerging Women,

Today I’m writing you from New York City, home of tonight’s EW Power Party and this year’s national Emerging Women Live event in October. As we prepare the space for these amazing women to share their thoughts on the emerging process, I feel fired up about what we are really doing here.

The beauty of this new feminine style of business is in its passion for connection, intimacy and relationship. It allows for a truly unique experience with every female powerhouse we have on stage.

I want to celebrate that by sharing two conversations with you today: a fiery podcast with Meggan Watterson, who we are honored to have speaking at PPNYC tonight, and a thought-provoking conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert, who blew us away with her talk on magic at Emerging Women Live 2013.

We are in this together – making real shifts in the world as we express our truth and hold the vision for heightened awareness across the globe. Honestly, it’s all I want to do with my life. I hope you’ll join us!


Big love,

Chantal Pierrat
Founder, Emerging Women

“The beauty of this new feminine style of business is in its passion for connection, intimacy and relationship.”twitter

Like what you’re hearing? Join the tribe in NYC this October for Emerging Women Live 2014.

Creative Curiosity: Discovering Wisdom in the Details of our Lives with Liz Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is the beloved author of the 2006 runaway bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. At the time of this interview, her TED talk on creativity has over 8 million views, and her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, has been celebrated as “the novel of a lifetime” by O Magazine. Liz was a featured presenter at the 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference, and the following is a transcript of the conversation we had just before that event.

Chantal Pierrat: There’s a lot of places that we’ll probably end up going today, but I wanted to start with your book since it’s sitting here right in my hands. You were so kind to send me an unproofed copy. I’ve had a chance to dig in a little bit, and I have to say, it’s kind of a page-turner.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Oh, I’m so glad it’s making you turn the pages. That’s what I want. I want you to sprain your wrist turning pages with this book. [Laughs]

CP: Yes, I’m definitely falling down the rabbit hole. But it’s interesting—I’ve not read your fiction. I’ve read, obviously, Eat, Pray, Love, which had such a big effect on me. I’m curious to hear more about how this process was for you, not really writing about yourself. In the last two books, you’ve been writing memoir style. How did this feel?

EG: Well, it felt like a homecoming. That would be the word that I would use, that popped into my mind. It’s true, you’re not the only person who hasn’t read my fiction! [Laughs] I started out as a writer of fiction many years ago, and the only thing I ever wanted to be my whole life, my only dream as a writer, was to write short stories and novels.

So my first book was a collection of short stories and my second book was a novel. I was well on that path, and then my life fell apart, as anybody who’s got $10 to buy a paperback of Eat, Pray, Love knows. And I ended up veering very sharply into this world of confessional memoirs that, of course, I do not regret having done at all. It’s been an extraordinary encounter with myself and with readers. It’s just been an amazing phenomenon.

And then after that came Committed, the follow-up, but 12 years had passed and I hadn’t written a word of fiction. And I just had that feeling that we get sometimes in our lives where I felt like, “If I drift any further away from this essential part of myself, I will never uncover it again. It’s time.”

“If I drift any further away from this essential part of myself, I will never uncover it again. It’s time.”twitter

And also, the luxury appointed to me by the success of Eat, Pray, Love was I could do something as whimsical as take three, four years out of my life to do a passionate study of 19th-century botany and write a novel about 19th-century botanical exploration. So the book is also kind of a celebration of this place I am in my life right now where I have the time to pursue my creativity as I’ve always wanted to.

CP: So the main character is this brilliant young woman named Alma, and she’s developing for me still because I’m still in the early part. But I do think of you when I see her, and I don’t know if it’s just because I’m looking for you.

EG: Of course I’m there, and I think my readers will find me all over the book. It’s definitely a continuation of my passion. It’s a book about passion and it’s a book about travel and about discovery of the self, the discovery of the world, and discovery of the self in the world. Those are my themes that I’ve been looking at for a long time in a lot of different ways.

Alma is—the thing I love most about her is that she’s driven by a huge, towering lust for knowledge and for learning. Certainly in that, we are familiar. I really wanted to write a book about a woman whose life is directed by a craving to learn. I feel like that’s a character who we just don’t see enough in literature. And it’s somebody who I feel like I know, and somebody I feel like I am, and somebody who I think a lot of us feel like we are.

“I really wanted to write a book about a woman whose life is directed by a craving to learn. I feel like that’s a character who we just don’t see enough in literature.”twitter

CP: So The Signature of All Things—I’m curious how you came upon that title.

EG: The “signature of all things” is actually a theory that was posited in the 16th century by a quite eccentric German mystic, who’s also a plant enthusiast, named Jakob Boehme, who came to believe that God had hidden in the design of every plant on earth a clue as to the meaning and use of that plant. So, for instance, the simple way to describe would be that walnuts, if you open them up, they look like a brain, and walnuts are very good for headaches. And then sage leaves are shaped exactly like the human liver, and sage is very good for liver aliments.

So it was this idea, this compassionate gardener—God—wanted people to find their way to the clues hidden in the plants that would benefit us. It’s a lovely, kind of medieval mystical theory and it was well, well out of date by the time my characters in my book come along. There’s a lot of holes. [Laughs] A lot of leaves look like livers, and if you ate many of them, you would die.

You know, it’s one of those theories where he came up with a theory and tried to make the science fit to it. And my book is sort of about the opposite. My character is a real scientist who studies the world and deducts her theories after her study. However, she does fall in love with a man who still believes in that theory who’s also a botanist.

Liz’s fans send her pictures of their copy of SOAT from around the world.

And in a way, every single character in the book, all of them revolving around the world of plants, they’re all looking for the signature of all things in some different way, whether it’s scientifically or artistically or in the world of commerce. They’re trying to find the clues in the plant world to better their own life.

CP: What I love is that you are a great connector. You take us on a tangent, and yet it comes back around really beautifully to another piece. It’s not a hanging thread. It always ties back.

EG: Yes. Without a doubt. Thank you for saying that because I feel like the novels that I love—and I do love 19th-century novels. I love Jane Austen and Dickens and Trollope and Elliot. That whole gang, they’re my favorite. And I think that the mastery that they had is that they knew exactly, from the first minute of the story, where they were going and where they were taking you. And you know when you’re in their hands that you’re not going to get abandoned on the side of the road, which sometimes happens in contemporary novels where you’re like, “How’d we get here? I’m stuck here now!” [Laughs] “And I don’t think either me or the author has any idea where we’re going.”

So I wanted to have that same sense of leading the reader on a journey and saying, “It’s OK, you can trust me. We’re going to go on this together and we’re going to come back on the other side and we’re going to have a really amazing experience in the middle.” I’m hoping that’s what the book will convey.

“It’s OK, you can trust me. We’re going to go on this together and we’re going to come back on the other side and we’re going to have a really amazing experience in the middle.”twitter

CP: Do you feel that, in your own life, you have that same sort of philosophy as you do in your writing style, where you trust everything actually does have a purpose and will cycle back?

EG: I do! [Laughs] I do. And it is magical thinking, right? Cynics and realists of all stripes would object to that idea, but it also does seem to be the case. It’s been shown now, even in scientific and sociological studies, that the people who are the most resilient and the people who seem to have lives of the richest quality are the ones who believe that there is some sort of a purpose to their life.

And I do think it’s kind of your job, if you’re lucky enough to have shown up in this world, to figure out what your purpose is. What are we doing otherwise, right? We’re just waiting. We’re just killing time. And from earliest consciousness, I just didn’t want to live in a waiting room. And in that regard, I’m very much like Alma, my character, as well. She’s definitely a purposeful young woman who, you will see, becomes a very purposeful middle-aged woman and an extremely purposeful old woman.

CP: So the tangents that life takes us on—it’s a dance between creating your own purpose and letting it unfold and believing in the seemingly randomness of it. You want both

EG: Yes. When people have asked me if I believe in destiny, I absolutely do, but I think that destiny is a kind of contract between human beings and the Mystery—whatever you want to call “the Mystery” with a capital “M.” I just call it “the Mystery” because it’s easier. And the Mystery entails everything that happens in our lives. And I feel like destiny is sort of an open questions. Things are put before you, offers are made, situations occur, and then you sort of decide what’s going to be made of it.

Somebody asked me the other day if I felt like my husband and I, if our love story was destined. And I said, “No, I don’t think our love story was destined. I think our meeting was destined. We certainly could have blown it.” [Laughs] The invitation was presented, and then it was turned over to our care, and what came next was up to us. But we could have easily walked away from it.

And I’ve been in situations before, in love and in work and in relationships, where an offering is there, and for whatever reason, the participants are unable or unwilling to see through it and it goes away. I don’t think destiny can force you to do something that you’re not going to do.

CP: You have an incredible attention to detail. Robert Penn Warren is one of my favorite writers in this regard, and this book reminds me a little bit of that.

CP: It has that same sort of—it’s like time stops and there’s a micro focus. And yet, I always think, “Wow, Elizabeth Gilbert, she’s got such big vision.” It seems like you have a pretty good balance of those two things going on. I’m wondering if that’s ever a struggle for you.

EG: You know, I love that idea, thank you for pointing it out. I think that the big picture is in the details. And it’s not an accident that my character, Alma Whittaker, who’s a botanist, finds her way in the world through studying mosses, which are incredibly tiny and incredibly intricate and which have been largely overlooked.

“I think that the big picture is in the details.”[inline]twitter

Liz Gilbert in Wellington NZ (via her Facebook page)

And as a woman trying to make a name for herself in the botanical world, she discovers that there’s this huge universe right underfoot that everybody is literally stomping on. And that all the bigger botanists have made their name with bigger plants and flowers—you know, the orchidists and the people who study the great redwoods. But she can’t travel to those places. She doesn’t have that luxury to be able to take on those mega-floras.

But right in her backyard, there are probably 45 different varieties of moss growing on one boulder cropping, and she’s able to find an entire universe in that moss. And she’s actually able to ask the same giant questions about the origins of life itself through the study of these few boulders as the great men of her day are asking through the study of the cosmos and through evolution and through fossil records that they’re finding.

So all the answers are everywhere. It’s just that they’re in miniature for her because that sort of suits her life. And I also thought that was a big metaphor for women’s lives in general. I think for most of history, women have lived very rich, miniaturized lives. When you look at the artwork that women have done in Western civilization, it tends to be tiny. It’s needlework or it’s painting tea cups, it’s textiles, it’s tiny knots. Because women’s lives had been kind of compressed, unfortunately, into a smaller scale, and yet women bring their creativity to that small scale and make magnificent things on that scale.

“Women’s lives had been kind of compressed, unfortunately, into a smaller scale, and yet women bring their creativity to that small scale and make magnificent things on that scale.”twitter

So I thought it would be interesting to have a female character who does the same thing in the scientific world, and who reaches the same conclusions as the great men by doing that. So I do think in her life, and in our own lives, there’s tremendous greatness to be found in the very small and the very everyday.

CP: There was a Harvard Business Review study where they compared male and female professionals, and whether it’s true or perceived, women scored lower in visioning. Everything else was equal or higher than the men. The only score that they didn’t meet and were actually below men was the ability to vision.

EG: The big, big picture. And I think another thing that is the danger of that is, of course, a little myopia and also perfectionism. I think that it was really important to me to write a novel about a women with a towering intellect, and I really didn’t want it to be a story about a woman who was brilliant but nobody would listen to her because she was a woman. I just felt like that was an oversimplification and also didn’t honor the real lives of the real, incredibly respected 19th-century female botanists who I studied as I was working on the book.

But what I do find—and this is a huge generalization but I think it’s a point worth making—that a lot of times what holds women back in the world is this idea that they can’t put something forward until it is perfect. And we all know that has never stopped men. [Laughs]

“…what holds women back in the world is this idea that they can’t put something forward until it is perfect. And we all know that has never stopped men.”twitter

That’s the thing that I’m always trying to convey to younger women, to young artists, to young executives, to any woman I meet who’s entering the world at all. Don’t hold back your voice. Don’t hold back your ideas until they’re perfect because first of all, perfect doesn’t exist, and secondly, you’ll be overrun by people who are throwing out all sorts of stuff that’s half formed, and yours is 95 percent formed. You know, 95 percent’s good enough! Push it forward, put it out there.

Alma suffers from that level of perfectionism. And I think it’s probably one of the terrific saving graces in my own life that I actually don’t have a problem. [Laughs] I grew up with a mother who taught me from me a really early age that done is better than good. That was one of her mottos I grew up with. “Just finish it, just put it out there. It doesn’t have to be immaculate, it just has to be done.”

And I feel like that’s gotten me so far. That’s probably the reason I have six books instead of one. Otherwise I would still be editing that first one. I’m willing to throw stuff out there in the world. And I’m always trying to empower women to do the same.

“I’m willing to throw stuff out there in the world. And I’m always trying to empower women to do the same.”twitter

To be continued… You can listen to the recorded version of this interview HERE

>>Like what you’re hearing? Join us for an experience that will last far beyond the four days we spend together. Learn more here>>>

Embody your Feminine Power

Dear Emerging Women,

I am filled with gratitude for all of the touching responses we received to last week’s Mother’s Day letter. I feel filled with hope for the future when I hear the tribe on fire about raising awesomely integrated human beings – so thank you for reaching out and sharing your own stories with us.

What a great pairing we have for you in this week’s newsletter. So much of leading with the feminine has to do with embodiment, being tuned in and trusting the deep knowledge of our bodies. As a dancer myself, I am continually humbled by the power of the wisdom that comes through the somatic experience. If mainstream messages have you temporarily checked out of this great source of feminine power, take a few minutes in your day to listen to Power Practice #08 and let the wonderful LiYana Silver guide you back to your embodied truth.
And if you have any doubts about the potential of living your embodied truth, check out our feature on the magnificent Rha Goddess. The insights she has gained on her path are made doubly impactful by the lyrical beauty of her words. We are honored to have her as a speaker at next week’s Power Party New York. We hope you can join us!

Big love,

Chantal Pierrat
Founder, Emerging Women

“So much of leading with the feminine has to do with embodiment, being tuned in and trusting the deep knowledge of our bodies.”twitter

>>Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014.

From Starving Artist to Sustainable Revolutionary with Rha Goddess

To best support our tribe, we make sure that the speakers at our events have values that are truly in alignment with Emerging Women.

To say that Rha Goddess fits that bill is an understatement. When we watch Rha Goddess speak, when we hear her message of “embodying your truth” delivered in strong, feminine floetry, we get those goosebumps that signify connection at a core level.

Think you haven’t heard of Rha Goddess yet? Think again. She was an up-and-comer in the 90s hip-hop scene. She coined the term “floetry” that we used above. She worked with big names in the industry, and her influence on the genre can be heard in positive, powerful, political hip-hop to this day.

But Rha Goddess became disillusioned with the scene when the image of hip-hop artists started to shift to better sell shoes and soda, and she began seeing a destructive effect on the audience and community. She tells the story of her break-up and make-up with capitalism in the Tedx Talk below – a must-watch.

As she describes in the video, it took a lot of owning up to get over the romanticism of the starving artist and find a new way to heal her relationship with capitalism, society and herself in order to move forward. She had to “slow down, get real, woman up, and figure out the money,” as she puts it.

“Slow down, get real, woman up, and figure out the money.” ~Rha Goddesstwitter

Now she rocks the crowd in the name of social change as the founder of Move the Crowd, an organization which supports the next generation of entrepreneurs get the skills and information they need to lead authentically and effectively. Her mission to help people define their goals in the greater context of who they are as a whole person is resonating with people world-wide, and it resonates with us as well.

“It takes honesty, strength and courage to admit to ourselves what we really want — and then to go for it. Ultimately, we won’t feel successful until we do.”twitter

We are so excited to see her speak in person at Power Party New York. We hope you can join us, whether in-person or via free livestream.

Read more about Rha Goddess here: EW Power Party New York

>>Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014.

EW Power Party Denver, June 12, 2014

Emerging Women is hosting another fabulous Power Party on June 12th, this time in Denver, CO at Converge Denver. If you can’t make it in person you can still participate via Livestream by signing up below. Please note that all tickets must be purchased in advance.

About:

Power Parties are authentic networking events that aim to bring together brilliant women ready to influence real change in the world through “the how” of what we do. Power Party Denver is designed to be a comprehensive event that 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 performance and groove. The line-up for this event is awesomely inspirational – featuring Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, Sara Avant StoverKim Coupounas, Bari TesslerDominique Christina and Dr. Lynn Gangone —  all successful visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives who are trailblazing a new way of influencing positive change in the world.

Expect authentic sharing of what makes these women tick and how they were able to achieve uncompromising success by living the truth of who they are. 

Register for Emerging Women’s Power Party Denver HERE

[ew-in-the-loop headline=”Sign up to stay in the loop for Livestreaming of our regional events!”]

Speakers: 

Jandel Allen-Davis, MD

andel Allen-Davis, MD, is vice president of Government and External Relations for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. She leads the organization’s community relations and communications functions, stakeholder engagement, government relations, clinical research activities and community benefit investment.

Dr. Allen-Davis is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and after 25 years of taking care of patients, transitioned from a physician leader to Kaiser Permanente’s Health Plan Leadership team. Dr. Allen-Davis believes health care will improve when all the primary stakeholder groups — clinicians, patients, elected officials, community leaders, and employers — can collaborate effectively to put the patient at the center.

Dr. Allen-Davis is an active participant on community boards, including current Board Chair of Denver Botanic Gardens, CU Foundation Board of Directors, Colorado Association of Health Plans Board of Directors, Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry Board of Directors, and more.

Dr. Allen-Davis is the proud recipient of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado from the Colorado Women’s Chamber in 2013, the 2013 Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Women Making History Award, the 2013 Metro Volunteers Community Impact Award, just to name a few. Learn More>>>


Sara Avant Stover

Sara Avant Stover is a yogini, inspirational speaker, teacher, mentor, and author of the best-selling book The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life.

Sara graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Columbia University’s all-women’s school, Barnard College. After a cancer scare in her early twenties, Sara moved to Thailand, where she embarked on a decade-long healing and spiritual odyssey throughout Asia. She became a certified yoga instructor, and went on to teach thousands of women in over a dozen countries, from United Arab Emirates to China and from Greece to Sweden.

Sara is a student of Sofia Diaz, Sarah Powers, and others. She has been practicing yoga, Buddhist meditation, and women’s work for fifteen years. She taught the first 200-hour yoga teacher training in Thailand and is the creator of the world’s first Women’s Yoga Teacher Training. A pioneer in merging modern women’s spirituality and lifestyle, she now teaches at centers such as Kripalu and Shambhala Mountain Center. Sara’s writing has been published in Yoga Journal, the Huffington Post, and Yogi Times. She has also been featured in Newsweek, Natural Health, and on ABC, NBC, and CBS. Learn More>>>


Kim Coupounas

Kim Coupounas is a values-centered leader, public speaker, and entrepreneur who is a passionate advocate for the environment and a firm believer in the power of the corporation to do good in the world.

Kim serves as Director of B Lab Colorado where she is leading a collaborative effort to make the state of Colorado the leader in responsible business practice, enabling companies to model a better way to do business, better for Colorado’s workers, environment, and economy.

Prior to B Lab, she co-founded and served as Chief Sustainability Officer GoLite, the premier global manufacturer of lightweight, innovative and responsible apparel and equipment designed specifically for outdoor athletes. Kim and her husband founded the company in 1998, and she served as GoLite’s CEO until 2008. Kim is also past Chairman of the Board of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the trade association representing the $646 billion active outdoor recreation industry. Kim earned an A.B. with honors from Princeton and a joint M.B.A./M.P.A. from Harvard.

Among her deep passions are time spent with her family, trail running, hiking, singing, doing yoga and martial arts, drinking great wine, and climbing mountains.Learn More>>>


Bari Tessler

Bari Tessler, M.A., is a Financial Therapist, Mentor Coach, Mama-preneur, and the Founder of The Art of Money. She has guided thousands of people to new, empowered, and refreshingly honest relationships with money through her nurturing, body-centered approach.

Bari earned a Masters in Somatic Psychology from Naropa University and worked in body-centered therapy for over a decade before unexpectedly falling in love with bookkeeping systems and money work. Her unique methodology integrates these two worlds into deep money healing that honors all the facets of our money relationships: body to spirit, lineage to career, smart practices to deep visioning, and much more.

She is currently leading a global conscious money movement via her year-long program, The Art of Money, which weaves together personal, couple and entrepreneurial money teachings. She’s on a mission to bring healing, awareness, and un-shaming to our money relationships.Learn More>>>


 Dominique Christina

Dominique Christina is a writer, performer, educator, and activist. She holds four national titles in the three years she has been competing in slam poetry, including the 2012 Women of the World Slam Champion and 2011 National Poetry Slam Champion. She is presently the only person to have held two national titles at one time.

Her work is greatly influenced by her family’s legacy in the Civil Rights Movement; her grandfather was a Hall of Famer in the Negro Leagues, while her aunt, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, was one of the Little Rock Nine. Dominique has always known she was a colored girl. Her writing is a celebration of that. Dominique Christina has performed across the country, opening for Cornel West, and performing for the Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till families in Washington DC at the Shiloh Baptist Church.

She conducts performance/workshops for the LOHAS forum in Boulder Colorado, has done branding and marketing language for companies like Lotus Wei and Gaia. She is presently enjoying a rigorous tour schedule with Denice Frohman as Sister Outsider. Learn More>>>


Dr. Lynn Gangone

In spring 2007, Lynn M. Gangone, EdD was named dean of the University of Denver – Colorado Women’s College and associate clinical professor of higher education at the Morgridge College of Education. The college’s mission is to educate women to boldly lead in the communities where they live, work, and engage. Dr. Gangone is committed to building women’s educational environments that strengthen self-confidence, enhance leadership capacity, and empower girls and women to develop strong peer relationships.

Dr. Gangone is a champion of women’s leadership in the new economy. She is often called upon for her expert opinion by organizations like Rocky Mountain PBS, the International Leadership Association-Women and Leadership Affinity Group, TEDxMileHighWomen and others.

She serves on the faculty of the Women’s Leadership Institute, the HERS Institutes for Women in Higher Education Administration and the Midwest Women’s Leadership Institute. She co-created the Institute for Emerging Women Leaders in Higher Education. Dr. Gangone was recently honored as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado (Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce), as well as one of the 2013 “Women Making History” (Colorado Black Women for Political Action). Learn More>>>

 Reserve Your Spot at Emerging Women Power Party Denver HERE!

Check out an Emerging Women Power Party in action:

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014.

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Happy Mother’s Day to the EW Tribe

Dear Friends,

I always imagined what it would be like to have a daughter: pretty clothes, soft, fluffy things, pink ballet slippers. I imagined sharing all my womanly secrets with her and creating the most superwoman human being that ever lived. But instead I was graced with two boys, and instead, the house shakes; thumping, banging, physical madness – boys. I embraced this reality wholeheartedly – I can’t imagine my life without these little guys – but not without some small regret that I would never be able to relish in the feminine with a daughter.

But recently, on the day that Maya Angelou confirmed that she would speak at Emerging Women Live, I witnessed my sons greet my husband by rushing to the door shouting “Daddy, Maya Angelou said yes for Emerging Women! She is going to speak!” I know they’re a little young to fully appreciate what an honor that is, but they do know she’s an amazing woman and that I revere her. It dawned on me that perhaps I am growing supermen human beings, filled with all of my womanly secrets – and perhaps this could be even more impactful.

I often have the urge to thank my mother-in-law for raising my husband to be an integrated, sensitive, compassionate, “tuned in” yet masculine man. Growing up, I was taught that vulnerability, emotions, and being too accommodating were weaknesses. While I am grateful for the linear, pro-active power that I leaned on my whole life to “make shit happen,” I never learned the true power of receptivity, intuition and empathy until recently.

We all have the capacity, whether we are parents or not, to be stewards of these powerful feminine energies, and it is our time, as mothers to the world, to grow a society that uses those strengths to create a balanced and brilliant future for all.


With love,

Chantal Pierrat
Founder, Emerging Women

“We all have the capacity, whether we are parents or not, to be stewards of these powerful feminine energies.”twitter

Want more Mother’s Day inspiration? Check out this post: Mothers who Rock the World.

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Mothers Who Rock the World

Mothers not only physically create us, they shape our ideas of the potential and possibilities available to us as we grow into our true selves. From creator to protector, healer to warrior, different representations of motherhood in our lives can serve to empower all of us during periods of emergence.

One of our favorite commentaries on all of the characteristics, both beautiful and strange, that the mother archetype can hold is Isabella Rossellini’s wonderfully weird Sundance series Mammas. We hope that you may enjoy it, and the profiles of our favorite mothers below, with the women in your life this Mother’s Day.

1. Artist Moms

Mica Angela Hendricks has a wonderful take on what it means to be a mother, exemplified by her ongoing series of portrait collaborations with her 4 year old daughter. “In sharing my artwork and allowing our daughter to be an equal in our collaborations, I helped solidify her confidence, which is way more precious than any doodle I could have done,” says Hendricks. In this blog post, Hendricks confesses that it wasn’t easy to relinquish control over her art, but was forced to when her daughter cleverly trotted out some old mommy-wisdom: “We might have to take it away if you can’t share…” Read the whole story here.

“Those things you hold so dear cannot change and grow and expand unless you loosen your grip on them a little.” ~ Mica Angela Hendricks[inline]twitter

Other cool art moms: Annie Leibovitz, who made children a priority later in life after creating a wildly successful career as a photographer; Laurie Simmons, mother of Lena Dunham and inspiration for Dunham’s film Tiny Furniture.

2. Mothers to the Masses

What does a hell-raiser have in common with a saint? In the case of these two women, they both channelled the mother archetype, albeit two different aspects of it, in order to uplift those in need.

Mother Teresa’s seemingly bottomless well of kindness and service inspired many young people to dedicate their lives to helping others. Her work with the poor and needy earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresatwitter

While Mother Teresa calls to the caregiver in all of us with her lifetime of compassion and service, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones inspires the mother in each of us who can fight like a lioness to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Mother Jones was a 19th century labor leader who, rather than dwelling on her personal tragedies, worked tirelessly to organize for worker’s unions. She famously said, “I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.” She remained an active protector for the working class well into her 90s. Her legacy is that of a mother’s stubbornness and tireless pursuit of what is right.

“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”~ Mother Jonestwitter

 3.  Moms in the ‘Biz

We love actress, writer, producer, bazillion time Emmy award winner and mother Tina Fey’s refreshing take on “having it all.” Her 2011 book Bossypants approaches the subject of her anxieties about working outside the home with humor and honesty. She and fellow comedian Amy Poehler regularly use their sharp wit to skewer the double standards for working parents, as seen in this fun round-up of quotes over at HuffPost Parents.

“You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.” ~ Tina Feytwitter

Other moms we love in showbusiness: Wanda Sykes, whose OWN special Herlarious puts female comics in the spotlight; Angelina Jolie who recently wrote a beautiful op-ed piece about her decision to have a mastectomy.

4. Activist Moms

Following the birth of her daughter, Christy Turlington Burns suffered postpartum hemorrhage. The complication was quickly dealt with by her midwife and OB, but not all women have access to the same resources as we do in this developed country. As Melinda Gates says in last week’s Time’s 100 Most Influential People, “Christy’s realization that her life and her baby’s turned on the luck of geography inspired her to take action.” She founded Every Mother Counts to take action against these preventable deaths by addressing the main barriers to maternal health.

“…let’s extend that sentiment not just to our moms throughout the year, but to other women.” ~Christy Turlington Burnstwitter

Another mother making progress for women’s rights: Cecile Richards, daughter of Ann Richards, mother of three, and President of Planned Parenthood.

5. Moms on Mothering

Michelle Obama, First Lady and self-titled Mom-in-Chief, is clear about her priorities. When making the transition into the White House, her main concern was to support her daughters. But this mama’s power is not just reserved for her own babies. Her Let’s Move campaign to end childhood obesity aims to empower families all across the nation. Watch her team up with comedian Will Ferrell in this hilarious video about the movement.

“I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.” ~ Michelle Obamatwitter

We also love Dr. Shefali Tsabary‘s books on conscious parenting. Check her out on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday on OWN, May 18th.

6. Moms in Little Moments

Whether our actual moms, or the mother figures we find on our life’s path, it’s the moms we see day in and day out, through good times and bad, during both the special times and the mundane moments who are often the most powerful sources of inspiration. Listen to Your Mother is a series of live staged readings in celebration of Mother’s Day. In 32 cities across the nation, mothers, daughters, husbands, sons, grandparents and grandchildren gather to share their stories of motherhood. Check in all week for this year’s performances, or dive in to the archives. Don’t know where to start? Try Kris Adam’s take on the body of a mother here.

“By meeting them, by knowing my children, I have become something powerful and essential. I am no longer a question.” ~ Kris Adamstwitter

We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from you, dear emerging women. Let us know, with a comment below, what qualities of motherhood inspire YOU? Who are some of YOUR favorite moms?

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014.

So much gratitude for everyone in this AMAZING VIDEO!!

Check it out! Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Eve Ensler, Alanis Morissette – all our favorites are here, talking about Emerging Women Live. And so many power women from EWlive13 are featured, too. Are you in the video?

We are so humbled and grateful for the beautiful, thoughtful testimonies given by our tribe. Warm thank you’s and big, big love to you all! Let’s keep the momentum of this movement going! Let’s change the world!

About Emerging Women Live 2014:

Emerging Women Live aims to support and propel the emerging movement of women who are stepping up and changing the world. #EWLive14 is a one of a kind conference that helps women to harness the power of the feminine, rock the business world, and create a new paradigm for success. Join us in NYC for a truly extraordinary, one-of-a-kind event!

Join us for an experience that will last far beyond the four days we spend together. Learn more here>>>

Accessing Your Feminine Power with Claire Zammit

The article below is excerpted from the eye-opening keynote on Feminine Power Claire Zammit gave at Emerging Women Live 2013, and from my Grace & Fire podcast with her before the event. Claire is the co-creator of the Feminine Power training courses for women and co-leads a thriving learning community of hundreds of thousands of women throughout the world. She is a gifted and highly trained specialist in transformative education that gives her audience access to life-altering shifts, leading to embodied and lasting change. Read on to find out her definition of Feminine Power and why we all need it to make our destiny a reality.

 

“Masculine power is the power to create those things we can control and predict. Feminine power is the power to create those things that we can’t control.”twitter

 

CP: Six years ago, you made the decision to start trusting yourself and your abilities so that you could thrive in life. How did that decision come about?

CZ: I spent years of my life waiting to be “discovered.” I always felt like something was going to happen, or should happen, that was going to enable me to become all that I knew I could be. And I was very sad and confused when those opportunities never came.

And so late one night, by candlelight, I prayed for guidance. I knew I couldn’t just skip over this and continue on the course that I was on, and I didn’t know the answer, but I knew I needed to make a commitment to find out. And so, in the darkest hour of that dark night, I just surrendered, open, and I said, “Help, universe,” even though I doubted anybody was there listening.

And I had a very deep and powerful experience. It was almost like a mystical experience where I felt an inner voice say to me, “Claire, you have to have faith in yourself. And you have to believe that all of life is organizing around your success. Even though you don’t have any evidence for it, and even though you don’t know what to do, begin to make choices and take actions in your life aligned with a sense of faith.”

 

“You have to believe that all of life is organizing around your success.”twitter

 

So I went to sleep with that thought, and I woke up the next morning and I said, “Okay, what would I do if I really believed in myself and I believed that life was organizing around my success?” And immediately I had access to a very deep intuition that said, “Go and get an office space.”

It was kind of crazy because I’d just moved to LA from Australia, and I didn’t really know anyone, and I had given up my coaching practice 5 years earlier. But with my last $1,000, I went and I got an office space. And that’s how I met the woman who became a close colleague of mine, Katherine Woodward, and within a year we started teaching programs and creating courses together. And I met my husband and soulmate, Craig Hamilton, and the relationship that we share together is beyond anything I could have imagined.

I’m really so honored and grateful to say that having created a foundation of success in my own life, I began to fulfill on that dream of really standing for the global empowerment of women and girls. I wake up and I feel like I need to pinch myself because this outer life reflects the deeper possibilities that I always sensed, but I couldn’t quite see how to get there.

CP: Wow. So what happened?

CZ: I began to create my life from Feminine Power, and it really changed everything. And I know it can change everything for other women as well.

How many women in their clearest moments sense that they have gifts and talents that the world has never seen before and will never see again after they’re gone. And that even that they have a critical role to play in shaping the future of our world. And how many know exactly what that’s going to look like?

CP: There’s a big gap.

CZ: Yes, and this is significant. This yearning that’s waking up inside of us, it’s not just a desire to accomplish – to have a nice house, to have a nice car, to get married. What’s waking up inside of us is an impulse to actualize our higher creative potentials in service to something larger than ourselves.

 

“What’s waking up inside of us is an impulse to actualize our higher creative potentials in service to something larger than ourselves.”twitter

 

We don’t just want to have the relationship our parents had, we want to have the experience of intimacy that’s beyond that. We don’t just want to get a job, we want to express who we are and we want to develop our creativity and get it out of us in a way that impacts others.

We don’t just want to get more status or have more stuff. We want to become ourselves and create a life that reflects who we truly are. What we’re yearning for is our destiny: the greatest possibility of who we are in service to something bigger than ourselves. And the nature of destiny is that we don’t know what it looks like in advance, so it’s very hard to create a strategic plan to get there, or even put it on a vision board to be able to manifest.

So the system of power that we’ve been mastering as women over the last 50 years is actually a masculine system of power. It’s a power system that based on logical and linear thinking. So if you have a goal that’s predictable or controllable – you want to build a house, get a college degree – then the masculine power system is the way to go. The problem is, we’re no longer yearning to just accomplish goals. What we’re pregnant with are these higher possibilities.

We can’t get there with just a power system that’s based on analysis and logic. We need to have a power system that based on a much more intuitive, receptive, co-creative and feminine system. Masculine power is the power to create those things we can control and predict. Feminine power is the power to create those things that we can’t control.

 

“We need to have a power system that based on a much more intuitive, receptive, co-creative and feminine system.”twitter

 

CP:When you’re in a room with other women and see that maybe another woman is not living from a place of Feminine Power, do you reach forward and try and draw her out?

CZ: Well, that’s a great question. In our course, we have a whole new set of shared agreements that we teach about creating a culture of empowerment between women. And the point in which you can really partner to stand with someone and for someone is when they step forward in self-responsibility.

We can’t go into rescuing if that woman hasn’t yet said, “I’m committed to realizing the greatest possibility of who I am. And I’m standing to be responsible, to see myself as a source of my experience up until that point. And I am open to receiving support.” I think a woman has to step into that for the support to become really conscious and powerful and potent.

“I think a woman has to step into that for the support to become really conscious and powerful and potent.”twitter

I think generally speaking, we want to be finding ways to extend that invitation to women to actually step forth into that level of commitment, to stand for their own greatness. So I think rather than saying “Oh, I see you,” we want to mirror the possibilities. I think it’s, in many ways, so true. We want to mirror the possibilities. We want to reflect opportunities everywhere we go. We want to see and relate to the most powerful version of others.

And I think more than anything I want to encourage women to take that stand for themselves as a foundation for them being able to join other women in partnership, to be able to feed each other power. I think you can create a culture of empowerment between women when everyone’s stepping forward in self-responsibility as the price of admission for that.

“We want to mirror the possibilities. We want to reflect opportunities everywhere we go. We want to see and relate to the most powerful version of others.”twitter

To hear more from the amazing Claire Zammit, don’t miss her free webinar The Three Keys to Feminine Power on May 14th. Read more about what you will learn HERE. You can also see her in New York City, where we are so honored to have her back as a keynote speaker at Emerging Women Live 2014 in October.

About Emerging Women Live 2014:

Emerging Women Live aims to support and propel the emerging movement of women who are stepping up and changing the world. #EWLive14 is a one of a kind conference that helps women to harness the power of the feminine, rock the business world, and create a new paradigm for success. Join us in NYC for a truly extraordinary, one-of-a-kind event!

Join us for an experience that will last far beyond the four days we spend together. Learn more here>>>

Juicy Bites: Visionaries Re-imagine the World

“The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

This week in Juicy Bites, discover:

  • CNN’s Top 10 Visionary Women
  • Artist Agnes Martin on looking within
  • WitW’s list of 2014 Women of Consequence
  • The artist behind “Stop Telling Women to Smile”
  • How Jane Goodall changed the way we think about humans

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. The CNN 10 – Visionary Women via CNN

From “Skill Shaper” to “Stigma Stopper,” CNN’s list of visionary women represent many fields of work. None are household names, and all are inspirational. The EW tribe might be specifically inspired by Ari Horie, “Startup Sister.” Dive in and see who speaks to you!

 

“We can find another option for success instead of … being a slave of the startup world. You can still be driven and successful while being collaborative and successful.” – Ari Horie

 

Continue Reading…

2. Agnes Martin on Art, Happiness, Pride, and Failure: A Rare Vintage Interview with the Reclusive Artist via Brain Pickings

Minimalist painter and notorious recluse Agnes Martin was not one for giving interviews. But when she did, she expressed beautiful thoughts “at once poetic and philosophical.” Find out how Agnes envisioned herself and her art in this review of her 1976 interview with critic John Gruen.

 

“We all have the same inner life. The difference lies in the recognition. The artist has to recognize what it is.” – Agnes Martin

 
Continue Reading…

3. The 2014 List of the World’s Women of Consequence via Women in the World

There was no shortage of visionary women at New York City’s Lincoln Center this weekend. Women in the World’s annual summit was filled to the brim with activists, artists, and all-around amazing women. Their “Women of Consequence” list is a slideshow of over one hundred women whose stories captivate and inspire. Who stands out in your mind?

 

“The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” – Meryl Streep

 
Continue Reading…

 

4. The Artist Behind the “Stop Telling Women to Smile” Street Art Has Big Plans This Week via BitchMedia

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is organizing an artistic experiment that she hopes will have a big impact on the way women are treated on the street. She’s designed large wheat-paste posters of strong women, but that’s not all. Beneath them are “words that countless women deeply feel and want to say when men they do not know sexually harass them in public spaces, but are not always safe to say aloud.” The posters and wheat-paste instructions are available for download to expand the project well beyond Tatyana’s Brooklyn neighborhoods.

 

“These responses show what the work is trying to do: be an advocate and voice for women, and to push men to consider these voices.” – Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

 

Continue Reading…

5. Jane Goodall: How she redefined mankind via BBC

Scientist Jane Goodall celebrated her 80th birthday this week! In this interview, she tells Henry Nicholls “the inside story on how she transformed our understanding of chimpanzees, what it means to be human, and the controversy and condescension she faced in her influential career.” Learn how she stayed strong and true to her vision in the face of criticism.

 

“My mother always taught us that if people don’t agree with you, the important thing is to listen to them. But if you’ve listened to them carefully and you still think that you’re right, then you must have the courage of your convictions.” – Jane Goodall

 

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Tell us what you think makes a visionary woman. Join in the conversation with a comment below:

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014.

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Juicy Bites: Living the Truth of Who You Are

“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.” ~ Ellen DeGeneres

This week in Juicy Bites, we hear from:

  • Gloria Steinem, mother of feminist activism
  • Layla Shaikley, Muslim hipster
  • Yoko Ono, pioneering conceptual artist
  • Debbie Sterling, engineer and founder of GoldieBlox
  • Maysoon Zayid, comedian, actress and advocate

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:

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1. Gloria Steinem – Feminist Activist via MAKERS

Gloria Steinem’s 80th birthday made for such a beautiful week of stories about feminism online. Watch Gloria talk about the beginnings of the movement and the momentum that led to her life of activism in this inspiring MAKERS profile video.

 

“In my heart I think the only alternative to being a feminist is being a masochist.” – Gloria Steinem

 

Continue Reading…

2. The Surprising Lessons of the ‘Muslim Hipsters’ Backlash via The Atlantic

Have you seen the #Mipsterz viral video yet? MIT Media Lab alumna Layla Shaikley made the music video to express her own experience as a young Muslim American. It’s awesome. And so is Layla’s reflective and insightful response to the mixed reactions the video received from the Muslim American community.

 

“I made a music video to share my own story as a Muslim woman in America. In doing so, I was expected to share every other Muslim woman’s story, too.” – Layla Shaikley

 

Continue Reading…

3. Yoko Ono show at Guggenheim shines light on pioneering conceptual artist via The Guardian

Yoko Ono is a woman who has never let public opinion steer her away from her personal truth. The artist, peace activist, and musician is unapologetically herself as she explores and experiments through her visionary work. Read this article for a vivid picture of Yoko’s charm, mystery, and mission.

 

“Most people didn’t want to know and I wasn’t about to explain about it. My art was different from what was considered as art. My idea was that maybe one day 50 years later or 100 years later people might discover it.” – Yoko Ono

 

Continue Reading…

4. GoldieBlox’s Debbie Sterling on Changing Gender Stereotypes and Taking Big Risks via Fast Company

When Debbie Sterling told her mother she wanted to study engineering, her mother said, “Ew.” Since then, Debbie has not only become a successful engineer, she has made it her mission to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math. Have you seen the awesome Beastie Boys “Girls” parody video that went viral last year? That’s her, living her truth.

 

“We get fired up about these incredibly audacious goals, and what’s surprising is you can actually hit them. When you hit a goal like that, this whole thing becomes all the more believable, that what we’re doing is going to work.” – Debbie Sterling

 

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5. A Gorgeous Woman Shakes Her Body On Stage… And The Crowd Goes Wild via Upworthy

Where has this woman been all our lives? We’d describe how Maysoon Zayid, disabled Arab-American comedian, is living the truth of who she is, but she does it so much better herself in this TED Talk. Watch it now!

 

“If a wheelchair user can’t play Beyoncé, then Beyoncé can’t play a wheelchair user.” – Maysoon Zayid

 

Continue Reading…

Tell us who inspires you so that they can inspire the tribe, too! Join in the conversation with a comment below:

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014. Special discounts when you register before July 31st.

Loving Change with Kristine Carlson: #PowerPartySanFran Keynote Speaker

As women lead the charge to change our world through the authentic expression of who we are, we will create a more integrated place to exist where the best of the masculine and the feminine work in harmony. Everyday, we see the momentum of this movement building and it is thrilling! But periods of change can be just as daunting as they are exciting and exhilarating. That’s why we feel so blessed to have the support of our sisters in the Emerging Women tribe, as we all take our own daring steps towards transformation.

On April 24th, we are lucky to have the wonderful Kristine Carlson, eloquent expert on change, transition and reinvention, as a keynote speaker at Power Party San Francisco. The NY Times best-selling author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is following her life’s calling by helping emerging women remember that they have are brave, strong and fully capable of evolving. As Kristine says, “Here we don’t run from change – and we don’t just learn how to ‘deal’ with it. We learn how to love it. We learn how to laugh with it. We learn how to let it keep us awake and alive.” Check out more beautiful words of wisdom from Kristine below, and get excited about the authentic and down-to-earth sharing you can expect from her and others at Power Party San Francisco. Whether in-person or via livestream, we hope you can join us! Make sure you reserve your spot today: grab your ticket HERE.

 

Sign up below for access to the FREE livestream for the Power Party San Francisco, April 24th:



About Kristine:   Kristine Carlson is an international bestselling author and a leading expert on love, success, grief, happiness, and parenting. She’s the NY Times bestselling author and co-author of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, Heartbroken Openand An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love. Kristine has sold over 25 million copies of her books, and has been featured on national radio and television broadcasts, including The Today Show, Empowered Living Radio, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show Learn More>>>

 

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014

10 Timeless Love Stories that Inspire

Love is compassion and feminine power, love is sacred and courageous, love is truth and beauty, love is the world’s universal language and the only efficient panacea, love is a force that shifts paradigms and transforms the world around us…  Love comes in all forms, and its strength knows no bounds. Embrace it. 

Go beyond the clichés of Valentine’s day, and use the occasion to celebrate all the miraculous facets of love. Here are 10 love stories that serve as an inspiration for humanity, stories that teach us an indispensable lesson – that we can overcome any challenge with the power of love.
 

1. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre

 

Simone de Beauvoir, the mother of the modern women’s movement and the author of The Second Sex, and Jean-Paul Sartre, the father of existentialism and author of Nausea, met in 1929. For 51 years, their love, their conversations, their letters, their rebelliousness, and their work gained them the status of one of the most glorious and controversial couples of 20th century. To this day, they remain famous for their open relationship, a model of existentialist, free love. We admire their relationship because it was complementary not possessive, enriching, not consuming, incorruptible, not selfish.

  • “We were two of a kind, and our relationship would endure as long as we did: but it could not make up entirely for the fleeting riches to be had from encounters with different people.” – Simone de Beauvoir
  • “I am mastering my love for you and turning it inwards as a constituent element of myself. This happens much more often than I admit to you, but seldom when I’m writing to you. Try to understand me: I love you while paying attention to external things.” – Jean Paul Sartre

 

2.  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

 
They are one of the most glamorous and famous couples in the world, yet their status, their success, their beauty, and their famous Hollywood nickname -“Brangelina”- does not define them. They are parents to six children, avid philanthropists and human rights activists. Recently, in a courageous op-ed in New York Times, Angelina Jolie credited her “loving and supportive” partner Brad Pitt when talking about her double mastectomy. He later responded:

  • “Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie’s choice, as well as many others like her, absolutely heroic. All I want is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family.” – Brad Pitt

 

3.  Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller

 
They met in Paris in 1932. He was a struggling American novelist, she, an eccentric Spanish-Cuban diarist and feminist. Together they lived an intense love affair that lasted decades. Their relationship led to some of the most passionate love letters ever written. They inspired each other and vehemently supported each others’ work. We recommend you dive into their contagious intimacy by reading A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953

  • “Before, I almost used to think there was something wrong. Everybody else seemed to have the brakes on. […] I never feel the brakes. I overflow. And when I feel your excitement about life flaring, next to mine, then it makes me dizzy.”– Anaïs Nin
  • “Anaïs, I only thought I loved you before; it was nothing like this certainty that’s in me now. Was all this so wonderful only because it was brief and stolen? Were we acting for each other, to each other? Was I less I, or more I, and you less or more you? Is it madness to believe that this could go on? When and where would the drab moments begin? I study you so much to discover the possible flaws, the weak points, the danger zones. I don’t find them—not any. That means I am in love, blind, blind. To be blind forever!” – Henry Miller

 

4. Marina Abramović and Ulay

 
Their moving love story went viral a few times in the last couple of years. In the international art scene, Marina Abramović and Ulay (Frank Uwe Laysiepen) are widely known for their performance art work. They started collaborating as artists and living together in 1976.  They often made their deep connection a subject of their artwork, including performances such as Relation in Time, 1977Breathing In/ Breathing Out, 1977, and Rest Energy, 1980. Their final collaboration was dedicated to their break-up in 1988 and it is called “The Great Wall Walk”. Starting from opposite ends of the Great Wall of China, Marina and Ulay met in the middle after walking for 90 days. It was their way to say goodbye. A painful, restoring and memorable goodbye. They rarely saw each other afterwards. Their emotional reunion took place in 2010 when Ulay showed up at Abramović’s MoMA performance entitled “The Artist Is Present.” Watch the video below and get ready to be moved to tears from this incredible reunion.


 

5. Michelle and Barack Obama

 
They met in 1989. Michelle was working at a law firm, and was assigned to mentor Barack Obama as a summer associate. Barack didn’t love the corporate law world, but he soon found himself falling for Michelle. It is clear today, that “Obama could not have run had it not been for his wife: he has specifically said she had the power of veto,” as told in The Guardian. They are a truly inspiring couple, because regardless of their status and power they manage to look authentic, down-to-earth and… in love.

  • “Sometimes, when we’re lying together, I look at her and I feel dizzy with the realization that here is another distinct person from me, who has memories, origins, thoughts, feelings that are different from my own. That tension between familiarity and mystery meshes something strong between us. Even if one builds a life together based on trust, attentiveness and mutual support, I think that it’s important that a partner continues to surprise.” – Barack Obama
  • “I didn’t think it was possible, but today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago…even more than I did 23 years ago, when we first met. I love that he’s never forgotten how he started.” – Michelle Obama

 

6. Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz

 

Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz’s dedication to communication with each other is remarkable in many ways, not the least of which is sheer volume.

In their 30 years as husband and wife, they exchanged over 5,000 letters, some over 40 pages long. As Maria Popova of Brain Pickings points out, these letters “embod[y] those highest ideals of being not merely lovers but also each other’s finest muses, greatest fans and most constructive critics.” Dig deeper into the romance with Volume 1 of My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz.

  • “I’m getting to like you so tremendously that it some times scares me… Having told you so much of me — more than anyone else I know — could anything else follow but that I should want you —” – Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “All I want is to preserve that wonderful something which so purely exists between us.” –  Alfred Stieglitz

 

7. Elizabeth Gilbert and Jose Nunes

 
You may be more familiar with Jose Nunes as “that Brazilian guy from Eat Pray Love,” as Liz Gilbert helpfully points out on her website. Their romance is marked by an eyes-wide-open quality, and they work to keep it a “delusion-free zone” according to Oprah Magazine. Follow their curiously romantic road to marriage (which both of the pair had sworn off completely) in her follow-up memoir Committed.

  • “I did not demand that he become my Great Emancipator or my Source of All Life, nor did I immediately vanish into that man’s chest cavity like a twisted, unrecognizable, parasitical homonculus.” –  Liz Gilbert
  • “A woman’s place is in the kitchen… sitting in a comfortable chair, with her feet up, drinking a glass of wine and watching her husband cook dinner.” –  Jose Nunes

 

8. Freddie Mercury and Jim Hutton

 
Decades before marriage equality, Queen superstar Freddie Mercury called Jim Hutton “my husband.” The extravagant showman enjoyed the support and stability of down-to-earth Jim, a hairdresser who loved Freddie for who he was, not for his fame. The story goes that he had never even heard of Queen or Freddie Mercury until they first metJim’s memoir Mercury and Me shows an intimacy between the two that endured, especially in Freddie’s final weeks of his battle with AIDS.

  • “We communicated a lot without saying anything. But he constantly wanted to know that I loved him. And of course I did, deeply, and told him. When he was diagnosed he said to me, ‘I would understand if you wanted to pack your bags and leave’. I told him, ‘Don’t be stupid. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for the long haul’.” – Jim Hutton

 

9. Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman

 
They met when performer/musician Amanda Palmer asked writer Neil Gaiman to pen captions for a book of photos she’d taken of herself as dead. A relationship based on mutual admiration, respect, and trust grew. Each artist brought their own devoted cult-following to the table, and social-media communications with those fans shed an interesting light on the partnership (see this Reddit post: “Ask us anything. Go on. Go on you know you want to“). Collaboration is also key to this duo, including the delightful three disc recording An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.

  • “he actually understood me, deeply, and that he loved me as i was and had no desire to harness me. and he wanted to come on the adventure with me, not pin me down to his own plan, and not simply stand by the sidelines and cheer. i’d found an actual partner.” – Amanda Palmer

 

10. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart

 
On camera or off, the chemistry of this great Hollywood couple was legendary. “Bogie,” as she affectionately called him, was enchanted by Lauren immediately when they met on the set of To Have and Have Not. He coached her as she played opposite him in her first movie role, and encouraged her as she frequently stole the scene. The more they worked together, the more they fell madly in love, in true Hollywood style. Undeterred by age difference, the two were married and remained happily so until Humphrey’s death. Lauren placed a whistle in the casket as a nod to the famous scene from their first movie: “You know how to whistle, don’t you?”

  • “It was all so dramatic, too. Always in the wee small hours when it seemed to Bogie and me that the world was ours – that we were the world. At those times were were.” – Lauren Bacall

 

We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Please join in with a comment below:

 

What love story inspires YOU the most?

 

Like what you’re hearing? Dive deeper with us this October at Emerging Women Live 2014

 

Juicy Bites: Crafting Meaningful and Powerful Intentions in 2014

This week in Juicy Bites, discover:

  • How to start a 2014 “Happiness Jar” practice with Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom’s witty approach to New Year’s Resolutions
  • The benefits of resolving to be more generous in 2014
  • 10 TED Talks to inspire achievable, process-based resolutions
  • Why 2014 will be the year of mindful living

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. End of the Year HAPPINESS JARS! via Elizabeth Gilbert

“Happiness comes in the sideways moments, the humble moments,” says author Elizabeth Gilbert. Making those moments tangible, something you can hold in your hand on a rainy day, can be a powerful practice. In this post Gilbert explains how to start your very own 2014 Happiness Jar to celebrate the simple moments in life that otherwise might be forgotten.

“They are almost always nearly invisible moments when suddenly I just felt in my bones the very best aspects of my humanity — gratitude, peace, hope, contentment.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Continue Reading …

2. How Ursula Nordstrom, Beloved Patron Saint of Childhood, Did New Year’s Resolutions via Brain Pickings

Children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom had a witty approach to New Year’s resolutions. Half a century later, her funny and compassionate take on trying to better herself is still relevant and worth thinking about when styling our own resolutions.

“My New Year’s resolution is to be more loving. I don’t know how it will work out as I have been quite loving up to now with some disastrous, or at least misunderstood, results. Anyhow, I will try even more love and I will let you know what happens. So far not so good. But then it is only the second day.” – Ursula Nordstrom

Continue Reading…

3. A New Year’s Resolution Worth Making via Psychology Today

Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., has a radical idea for 2014 New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of fueling our inner critics with rigid goals meant to produce better versions of ourselves, Firestone suggests we turn our attention outward. In this article, she explains the benefits (not just to others!) of resolving to be more generous.

“Let’s stop buying into the notion that we need to be fixed. Instead, let’s resolve to do the one thing that’s been scientifically proven to make us happier, more fulfilled individuals – let’s shift our focus outward and become more generous.” – Lisa Firestone

Continue Reading…

4. Your TED-inspired New Year’s resolutions via TED Blog

Need some help making your meaningful and achievable New Year’s resolutions? Watch these TED Talks for ideas on making process-based changes in the way we think instead of focusing on specific desired outcomes.

“The perfect tools aren’t going to help us if we can’t give and receive fearlessly.” – Amanda Palmer

Continue Reading…

5.  Why 2014 Will Be The Year Of Mindful Living via The Third Metric

One of the world’s largest marketing communications brands has declared that 2014 will be characterized by a movement toward mindful living. This article explores why trendsetters, search engines, thought leaders, corporations, and scientists all seem to have mindfulness on the brain.

“What the culture is craving is a sense of ease and reflection, of not needing to be stimulated or entertained or going after something constantly. Nobody’s kicking out technology, but we have to regain our connection to others and to nature or else everybody loses” – Soren Gordhamer

Continue Reading…

We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Please join in with a comment below:

20 Powerful Women of 2013

This has been an exciting year for women. We are finally working together to shift women’s roles in society not by compromising our femininity, but by using our true qualities to make real changes in the workplace, in our communities and in the world. It’s been especially gratifying knowing that we, Emerging Women, participated in generating change. I am so inspired by all the women that passionately and courageously are creating a new life for themselves, one that is fully expressed and supported by the truth of who we are.

Change for women today is palpable. It is so important that we take meaningful action when called to participate in this movement. We are more ambitious, more daring, more unified and more determined to create impact by following our true calling, by speaking up, by crossing barriers, by unlearning habits, by being vulnerable, by welcoming failure as part of success and by expressing our true feminine power. And even though there is a lot more to accomplish and fight for, we want to celebrate the women who inspire and motivate us. You’ll find below a list of 20 trailblazers from different industries and different parts of the world who are creating change in the world.

And don’t forget, if you are committed to expressing your unique gifts to the world, you’ll find a community of like-minded women ready to help you succeed at Emerging Women Live. Also, we are curious to know who inspired you this year, so please leave a comment below and share with us the women that motivate you to create real change in the world.


1. Malala Yousafzai ― Activist, Writer

 

Malala Yousafzai, a 16 year old Pakistani girl, who a year ago was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, fearlessly continues to fight for the right of girls to go to school. Her courage and determination has ignited a global movement of girls who are standing up to speak for themselves. In October 2013 she published a bestseller, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, a formidable story of courage and the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”― Malala Yousafzai

2. Sheryl Sandberg ― COO, Facebook

 
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, is best known for her best-selling book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Published in March 2013, the book opens a new, refreshing conversation on feminism in the workplace. The “Lean In” phenomenon focuses on encouraging women to pursue their ambitions, and shifts the conversation from what we can’t do to what we can do.

“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interest.” ― Sheryl Sandberg

3. Shonda Rhimes ―  Screenwriter, Director, Producer

 
Shonda Rhimes is best known as the creator, head writer, and executive producer of the medical drama television series Grey’s Anatomy, but she is also the creator of the TV-series, Scandal, which made her one of the most influential women in Hollywood. Olivia Pope, the main, non-stereotypical character in Scandal, is one of the strongest females in prime time TV.

“Most of the women I saw on TV didn’t seem like people I actually knew. They felt like ideas of what women are.” ― Shonda Rhimes

4. Jill Abramson ― Executive Editor, New York Times Co.

 
Appointed in 2011, Jill Abramson become the first female executive editor in the paper’s 160-year history. Joining the New York Times in 1997 as the Washington bureau chief and managing editor, she now sets the editorial agenda at the nation’s newspaper of record. Abramson was also named as one of the 500 most powerful people in the world by Foreign Policy Magazine.

“In one’s relationship with dogs and with a newsroom, a generous amount of praise and encouragement goes much better than criticism.” — Jill Abramson

5. Park Geun-hye ― President of South Korea

 
Park Geun-hye became South Korea’s first female president this year, making her the first woman head of state in modern history of Northeast Asia. She was elected with the nation’s highest turnout rate in 15 years. Park presides over the world’s 15th largest GDP at $1.15 trillion.

“Different times need different types of leadership.” ― Park Geun-hye

6. Virginia Rometty ― Chairwoman and CEO of IBM

Virginia Rometty proves that the IT world is not a boys-only club. She heads up IBM, the biggest computer company by revenue ― bigger even than Google, Tencent or Yahoo.

“I learned to always take on things I’d never done before.” ―Virginia Rometty

7. Diana Balmori ― Landscape and Urban Designer, Principal at Balmori Associates

 
Diana Balmori  is redefining how natural and built environments interact by creating smarter and more responsive city parks. Diana was named one of the most creative people of 2013 by Fast Company.

“Landscape architecture is an agile tool kit for dealing with the complexity of the city.” ~ Diana Balmori

8. Angelina Jolie ― Actress, Philanthropist

 
This year Angelina Jolie sparked controversy by bravely opening up to the world about her choice to undergo a voluntary double mastectomy because of her high risk for breast cancer. Her Op Ed piece in The New York Times made Jolie not only one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, but also in the world. Also she received  an honorary Oscar reserved for those ”whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

“Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”―Angelina Jolie

9. Wendy Davis ― Lawyer, Politician

On June 25, 2013, Wendy Davis held an eleven-hour-long filibuster to block Senate Bill 5, legislation that would create new abortion regulations in Texas. The filibuster  inspired men and women across the country to rally for women’s reproductive rights. Davis is running for governor of Texas in 2014.

“My story, my personal story, is my story. I have the ability to make choices and I had opportunities that I was able to take advantage of in my life. Other women of course should be able to define their own destinies and this idea that the heavy hand of government should somehow come in and tell her how to do that is deeply resented in [a] state like Texas.” ― Wendy Davis

10. AM Homes ―Writer

AM Homes won the prestigious 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction for her for her sixth novel, May We Be Forgiven. The Women’s Prize for Fiction was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction written by women throughout the world.

“For years everyone kept saying, ‘Who is AM Homes? Is AM Homes a man or a woman? Or is she trying to hide?’ Clearly I’m out, I’m a woman and I’m thrilled to win this prize.”― AM Homes

11. Eve Ensler ― Activist, Writer

Eve Ensler is the creator of V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. Earlier this year she incited a global flashmob in which every country in the world participated. Ensler’s latest book, In the Body of the World, is a brave and beautiful examination of an illness, unlike anything ever written about cancer. Ensler was also a keynote speaker at our national event, Emerging Women Live 2013.

“So much of life, it seems to me, is the framing and naming of things. I had been so busy creating a future of love that I never identified the life I was living as the life of love, because up until then I had never felt entitled enough or free enough or, honestly, brave enough to embrace my own narrative.” ― Eve Ensler

12. Hillary Clinton ―Politician, Philanthropist

Hillary Clinton is one of the most powerful women on the planet and a strong supporter of women’s rights. Her crusade for women continues with “No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project,”  which aims to put equality for women in the global civil rights spotlight.

“The great unfinished business of the 21st century is helping women and girls break through these ceilings and participate fully in every aspect of life once and for all.” ― Hillary Clinton

13. Elizabeth Gilbert ― Writer

Elizabeth Gilbert is unquestionably one of her generation’s most beloved memoirists. Her new book, published this year, The Signature of All Things, was praised by O Magazine as “The novel of a lifetime…”

“To be very clear: Creativity can ONLY coexist alongside Fear.  I have always lived a creative life, and I know that you can’t be creative without being vulnerable. And you can’t be vulnerable without experiencing fear.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

14. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu ― Entrepreneur

Ethiopian entrepreneur Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu is one of Africa’s most successful women. She built SoleRebels, a shoe company that pays fair wages to its employees and uses locally sourced materials such as organic, hand-spun cotton. She was able to turn SoleRebels it into an internationally recognized brand: the shoes have been carried in Urban Outfitters and Whole Foods, and this year, Alemu will open stand-alone boutiques in Germany and Sweden. SoleRebels has become a hugely successful, sustainable, truly world-class enterprise.

“I am always challenging myself ‘how do I continue to make soleRebels not simply the best footwear brand but the best company to work at, a place of transformative opportunity for our staff ?” — Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

15. Oprah Winfrey ―Entrepreneur, Personality

America’s only African-American billionaire is finally celebrating  the success of once-struggling network, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, launched three years ago. Other highlights include Oprah’s co-starring role in The Butler (which is already generating Oscar buzz) and her memorable commencement speech at Harvard University.

“From time to time you may stumble, fall, you will for sure, count on this, no doubt, you will have questions and you will have doubts about your path. But I know this, if you’re willing to listen to, be guided by, that still small voice that is the G.P.S. within yourself, to find out what makes you come alive, you will be more than okay. You will be happy, you will be successful, and you will make a difference in the world.” ― Oprah Winfrey

16. Marina Abramovic ― Artist

 
Marina Abramovic, celebrated performance artist, embarked this year on an ambitious project to build a 33,000-square-foot center for arts called the Marina Abramovic Institute. The institute is is dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work: performance art, dance, theater, film, music, opera, and other art forms whose performance exceeds six hours. The project was supported by a successful kickstarter campaign which raised $661,452. Among the supporters of  Marina Abramovic Institute are high profile pop culture icons like Jay-Z and Lady Gaga. Abramovic wants the new Institute to be a cultural laboratory. She explains:

“What you get is the opening of your mind. I’m not preaching any new religion; I’m ritualizing everyday activities. You drink the water. You count the rice. You sit in Crystal Cave. You lie in Levitation Chamber. You push yourself to a new level.” ―Marina Abramovic

17. Arianna Huffington―Editor-In-Chief, Huffington Post Media Group, AOL

 
Arianna Huffington has created a separate niche for herself on the personal and spiritual well-being circuit. The initiative The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power focuses on a more sustainable definition of success, one that includes well-being, wisdom, and our ability to wonder and to give back.

“I love talking about my failures more than my successes because I feel that’s the most important thing I can teach—failure is an essential part of success, because these days no one has succeeded who hasn’t failed along the way.”― Arianna Huffington

18.  Reshma Saujani ―Political Entrepreneur

 
In 2010, Reshma Saujani became the first Indian-American woman (and the first South Asian American woman) to run for Congress. She founded Girls Who Code, a non-profit which aims to provide computer science education and exposure to 1 million young women by 2020. Their vision is to reach gender parity in computing fields.  Reshma is also the author of a new book entitled, Women Who Don’t Wait in Line which advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on risk-taking, competition and mentorship.

“It used to be that there was only one seat at the table for women and we would have to fight one another for it. Now, there’s no limit to how many women can make it to the top.”―Reshma Saujani

19. Angela Merkel — Chancellor, Germany

 
Angela Merkel who was just sworn in by the German Parliament to serve a third term as chancellor, ranked  #1 in Forbes’ Top Power Women and #5 in the top Powerful People in the World. She has served as ­Chancellor of Germany since 2005; the first woman in the position.

“When it comes to human dignity, we cannot make compromises.” — Angela Merkel

20. Sarah Hofstetter — CEO of  360i US

 
Sarah Hofstetter, a modern MadWoman, is the CEO of 360i US, a digital advertising agency selected as the Ad Age’s 2013 Digital Agency of the Year. She helped set up one of the first social-media practices at any agency, which now serves as a hub for social community management at 360i. Hofstetter was named Ad Age’s 2013 “40 Under 40” and was honored as a “Social Media All-Star” by the Social Media Society.

“We encourage brands to think about social media as a mindset instead of a marketing channel. Brands talk to consumers all day; whether it’s customer care, PR, advertising, event marketing or even human resources, it’s just a matter of translating that communication into conversations, and aligning those conversations with brand objectives.”

We are curious to know who inspired you this year, so please leave a comment below and share with us the women that motivate you to create change in the world.

Are you feeling a rising power inside of you that you feel must be expressed? Join us at Emerging Women Live 2014 in New York City and help us to spread the movement that is creating real change in the world.

 

Juicy Bites: Mindfulness, Compassion and Other Great Holiday Gifts

This week in Juicy Bites we learn:

 

  • How to reduce stress with mindfulness
  • How to prioritize what we really want
  • How to be kind to ourselves in times of stress
  • How to give to others this holiday season
  • How to slow down and be present, not perfect

 
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. “Be” home for the holidays via Mindful

Jeffrey Brantley, MD, is the founder and director of the mindfulness-based stress reduction program at Duke University’s Center for Integrative Medicine. In this article, Brantley highlights the importance of “being” over “doing,” and shares a quick exercise to help cultivate mindful connection.

“Above all, have kindness and compassion (a little ‘holiday spirit’) for yourself.” – Jeffrey Brantley

Continue Reading …

2. How to prioritize what truly matters via Kris Carr

Kris Carr admits, “If I’m not careful, I can easily regress into a people-pleasing ‘yes’ pez dispenser, who periodically loses her mind and agrees to everything–especially around the holidays!” In this post, Carr shares some tips for prioritizing balance and self-care this season.

“When it comes to shiny objects, people are like barracuda. We get mesmerized by the sparkly, swirly stuff.” -Kris Carr

Continue Reading…

3. 25 Women Writers Share Their Best Self-Compassion Tips via Psychology Today

Are you hard on yourself during the holiday season? These bite-sized reflections on self-compassion from women writers may give you the tools needed to choose self-kindness in a time of stress.

“No one knows our hurts the way we do. We are the sages of our soft spots and our edges. Self-compassion is showing up to that relationship with honesty and with love.” – Jamie Ridler

Continue Reading…

4. Kid President’s Holiday Gift Guide: The Perfect Gift Is Something That Makes The World Better via Mind Body Green

In this video, Kid President challenges us to think outside the gift-box when it comes to holiday presents. “Giving gifts can change the world,” he says, “especially when they are full of love.” Watch for hilarious and heartwarming gift ideas, and some important advice about bear hugs.

“The truth is, most people don’t need stuff, they need to know somebody cares.” -Kid President

Continue Reading…

5.  Stop the Madness: Choose Mindfulness Over Perfection This Holiday Season via Gaiam Life

Last week, we talked about perfectionism as the enemy of creativity. This week we look at how perfectionism isn’t doing your holidays any favors either. Yoganonymous advises us to slow down and practice voluntary simplicity instead of fueling the seasonal stress.

“I challenge you to move instead toward complete present-moment awareness — and away from the illusion of putting together the perfect party.” – Yoganonymous

Continue Reading…

 

We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Please leave a comment below:

Juicy Bites: Creativity & Courage — Key Ingredients of a Fully Expressed Life

This week in Juicy Bites:

  • Remember Anne Lamott’s timeless advice on writing and creativity
  • Redefine creative goal-setting with Danielle LaPorte
  • Take a guided audio journey to identify creative blocks
  • Learn 5 tips for managing a sudden flood of creativity
  • Be inspired by world leaders’ tributes to human rights champion Nelson Mandela

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. Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott’s Timeless Advice on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity via Brain Pickings

Rediscover Anne Lamott’s profound book on writing and creativity, written “not from the ivory tower of the pantheon but from an honest place of exquisite vulnerability and hard-earned life-wisdom.” A perfect read to remind us of the generosity and grace involved in any creative act.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” -Anne Lamott

Continue Reading …

2. The Perils & the Promise of Goal Setting via Maria Shriver

Danielle LaPorte’s advice on moving away from a traditional goal-setting mindset towards a soul-centered view that satisfies core desired feelings. This shift in perspective, LaPorte says, can lead to surprising choices in your daily life and unexpected, deeply satisfying results in the future.

“You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing the feeling that you hope attaining the goal will give you.” -Danielle LaPorte

Continue Reading…

3. Fully expressing our soul’s potential via Sounds True

Sandra Ingerman “opens up a new world of shaminic practice” to help us manifest our deepest desires and wishes. Journey with her in this guided audio selection to identify the creative blocks keeping you from living the full life you imagine for yourself.

“You are a reflection of the creative force in the universe, and you have this power, too.” -Sandra Ingerman

Continue Reading…

4. Effects and Remedies for Scatterbrain Creativity via Huff Post Healthy Living

Releasing creative blocks can cause a flood of ideas. Practicing good creative habits will help you anchor your ideas and bring your creativity home. Here are five tips to help you mindfully navigate a rush of creative inspiration.

“Your mind racing with new ideas is great, but unless you can compartmentalize them you are defeating the purpose because at scatterbrain levels your juices will go as quickly as they came.”

Continue Reading…

5. Nelson Mandela death: World leaders’ reaction via BBC News

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president who led the peaceful transition from white-only rule, passed this week at age 95. In this article, world leaders remember his courage, compassion, and commitment to equality and human rights.

“History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation. We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life.” -Bill Clinton

Continue Reading…

We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Leave a comment below:

Juicy Bites: Keeping Gratitude in Mind

In this edition of Juicy Bites we share:

  • A story of gratitude from Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Brené Brown shares the importance of having a tangible gratitude practice
  • How gratitude affects the brain
  • How to transform angst into thanks
  • Six habits of highly grateful people

At the end of this post, we encourage you to join us for a conversation.

1. Gate 4-A by Naomi Shihab Nye via Gratefulness.org

Wandering poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, offers comfort to a disoriented traveler, and admires the openness it stirs in an otherwise hectic airport.

“This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.”– Naomi Shihab Nye

Continue Reading …

2. Brené Brown on joy and gratitude via UMCSH

In twelve years of research, Brené Brown never interviewed a person who described themselves as joyful, or their lives as joyous, who didn’t actively practice gratitude. In this video Brené offers a few tips on how to cultivate more joy in your own life and  how gratitude has transformed her family.

“Practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.” –Brené Brown

Continue Reading…

3. The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier via Daily Good

This is quite fascinating. In one study, participants who kept a gratitude journal felt happier, exercised longer, and reported fewer health complaints than participants who kept a journal of their hassles.

“A growing body of research shows that gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits.” –Drs. Blair and Rita Justice

Continue Reading…

4. Thanks for the Angst by Wendi Knox via Maria Shriver

It can be hard to practice gratitude when you’re struggling, as Wendi Knox knows from recent experience. In this article she shares tips to “transform angst into thanks.”

“There’s so much we can’t control in life. But we can control how we look at it. I’ve found that the most powerful way to get through difficult situations is to find the gift in our struggles.” –Wendi Knox

Continue Reading…

5. Six Habits of Highly Grateful People via Greater Good

Here is some helpful advice if you are already great at being grateful.

“Gratitude (and its sibling, appreciation) is the mental tool we use to remind ourselves of the good stuff.” –Jeremy Adam Smith

Continue Reading…

Join the conversation!  We love hearing from our ever-emerging tribe. Leave a comment below:

Interview with Claire Zammit on Feminine Power

This is a transcript of my conversation with the powerhouse Claire Zammit. Claire is the co-creator of the Feminine Power training courses for women and co-leads a thriving learning community of hundreds of thousands of women throughout the world. She is a gifted and highly trained specialist in transformative education that gives her audience access to life-altering shifts, leading to embodied and lasting change. She is also a co-founder of Evolving Wisdom, a transformative education company listed as number 83 in Inc. Magazine’s 2013 list of top 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in the nation.

Chantal Pierrat: Welcome, Claire.

Claire Zammit: Hi, Chantal. Great to be with you.

CP: I’m excited to be talking to you because I know that every time we get on the phone together, we end up talking about my favorite topic, which is feminine power.

CZ: Yes, absolutely.

CP: Well, maybe we should just jump in, and I know that’s the title of your upcoming book, and it’s the title of your work. 

CZ: We’ve been teaching a seven-week course on feminine power for the last four years, and we’ve had about seven thousand women participate in that, and hundreds of thousands more with our free events. It’s something that I’m really seeing as speaking to women’s experience at a very deep level. I think that’s what we connect with when we have our conversations. So I’m excited to be able to dive into it today, together.

CP: “Feminine” and “power.” They’re two very different energies, but together they totally make sense. And I’m just curious to see if you can start with defining what you mean by “feminine power.”

CZ: Well, I might just start, if I can, with a bit of a story that creates a little context for it. My teaching partner Katherine Woodward Thomas and the women that we were serving in the community, we had started in Los Angeles—we had a center for transformation, and we were coaching women and working with women.

And both of us were accomplished, successful women, as were the women we were serving. And we really noticed, in spite of having so much “power” in our lives, we both felt this very painful and confusing gap between the deeper potentials that we sensed for who we were as women, for the creative contribution, for the intimacy and connection of our relationships, and just for our overall experience of life. We couldn’t quite put our finger on what it was, and we found that women everywhere were having the same experience as us.

At the same time, we noticed that there was a yearning towards the feminine that was happening. We said, “This is really interesting. So why don’t we do a class so we can begin to explore what the feminine is?” And the first night of class, we listed these feminine qualities up on the board, and these masculine qualities up on the board—just common assumptions about the feminine: flowing, intuitive, receptive, surrendered, nurturing. And typical masculine qualities like logical, linear, hard, angular, penetrating.

And we looked at these different energies and these different qualities, and what we noticed was that we were hungry, as a group, as women, to experience these more feminine qualities. We were very drawn, but there was a collective fear that if we allowed ourselves to be scented in these qualities, that there would be a loss of power. So there was this idea that we were drawn to power, we’re drawn to this feminine, but it occurs like somehow there’s not power available to us.

We looked up the word “power” in the dictionary, and it said, “To do, to act, to accomplish, political force, might.” And it was like, “Gee, this sounds very much like the masculine qualities that we have up on the board.” And we realized—it was kind of a big awakening—that we as women, in the power system that we’ve been mastering over the last 50 years, have been in  more of a masculine version of power.

And so we just went, “Wow, I wonder what a feminine version of power would look like,” so that we could begin to create and source our lives from these feminine qualities. We made it our mission to find out how to access the more feminine version of power. And the interesting thing we found was that it speaks to a shift that’s happening, I think, for women where we have accomplished a lot—and certainly there’s a long way to go globally and in the United States. But there have been huge strides made over the last 50 years through feminism that the opportunity, the access to power and to freedom is so enormous.

“We made it our mission to find out how to access the more feminine version of power.”twitter

It’s a different kind of yearning that’s waking up inside of us where we don’t necessarily want to just achieve success, or we don’t want to necessarily just have power for power’s sake. What we see—and this was my experience, it was Katherine’s experience, it was the experience of the women in our community—is that what we’re yearning for is to actually create our lives as an expression of who we truly are and an expression of our deepest gifts. We want to realize our higher spiritual potentials, our potentials for our relationships, our larger creative contribution.

“What we’re yearning for is to actually create our lives as an expression of who we truly are and an expression of our deepest gifts.”twitter

And what we recognized and realized was that because that has to do with the flourishing of these higher potentials, you actually can’t create that kind of success in your life just with the masculine system of power. For that, we need to awaken this new system of power, which is more of the feminine system, and that’s really what we’ve been going into in all of our work.

So the masculine system of power is anything that’s predictable or controllable, and that you can create with a step-by-step plan—like building a house. You have a plan, you have a certain number of bricks, you have an infrastructure, you know how many people you need, and you can just execute the plan and be able to make it happen. So the masculine system is a wonderful system to use for anything that you can create in that way. If you want to get a rocket ship to the moon, the masculine system has been amazing. The miracles of science, the marvels of industry are incredible gifts of the masculine. It’s not that it’s wrong and bad, it’s just insufficient to create the things that we’re now most yearning for.

And feminine power is really the power to create those things that can’t be controlled: true love, intimacy, higher creativity, the realization of your spiritual potential, your creative gifts, being able to impact others. All of these things we need to be able to access with more of a feminine system of power that we’ve found is based upon the feminine principle of relatedness. So I would say there is a difference—I could go into this all day, but I hope that’s a helpful starting point in terms of the context around the two.

“Feminine power is really the power to create those things that can’t be controlled: true love, intimacy, higher creativity, the realization of your spiritual potential, your creative gifts, being able to impact others.”twitter

CP: Yes! Creating a life where we’re really living our truth, and the outer world becomes a reflection of our inner alignment.

I love the idea that feminine power becomes expressed through relationship and our greater contribution. After you realize the truth of who you are, you can go in a million different directions. But when people with a strong feminine lead realize the truth of who they are, they want to express it in terms of relationship. This means a great contribution to the world and how we can make the world a better place.

CZ: Yes. And this is where it really is a paradigm shift.   Many of us are looking at what we’ve been lined up with. Many of us have been lined up with goals of success—going to college and getting a good job. I know I certainly grew up where these were the markers of success. And I experienced them. I was a high achiever early on in life, and I was able to accomplish a lot of goals.

By the time I was in my late twenties, I was the head of an organization, I had a team of 50 women. Everything looked great on the outside. I had accomplished all of the things that I was supposed to do, and yet I was painfully depressed. I would go to sleep with a kind of agony. I would wake up with it. And it was really the beginning of a dark night of the soul. And it was very confusing because I felt like there was a deeper purpose, a deeper reason why I was here. I could feel this contribution inside of me; I could sense it, but I couldn’t see it.

“I felt like there was a deeper purpose, a deeper reason why I was here. I could feel this contribution inside of me; I could sense it, but I couldn’t see it.”twitter

And I think this is the challenge that we have, where we need to create with a different system of power. Because the yearning that’s awakening in us, it’s not just to achieve these external markers of success, as wonderful as they are. A deeper yearning is awakening in us to discover who we are and why we’re here, and really participate in the life process in a way that’s bigger than ourselves. And that has to do with becoming the fullness of who we are in service to the evolution and flourishing of life.

“A deeper yearning is awakening in us to discover who we are and why we’re here, and really participate in the life process in a way that’s bigger than ourselves.”twitter

That’s really the deeper context each one of us—you, me, all of us—in our clearest moments sense that we have gifts and talents inside of us that the world has never seen and may never see again after we’re gone. Perhaps even in our most courageous moments we sense that we have a role to play in shaping the future of our world. And the thing I’ve really discovered is we’re right, but we can’t necessarily see what that looks like or how to get there. And the power that we’ve been cultivating— to do, to accomplish, to make things happen— is not necessarily the power that’s going to give us access to unleashing the fullness of who we are in this larger context.

“We have gifts and talents inside of us that the world has never seen and may never see again after we’re gone.”twitter

CP: Right. I think that’s what excites me the most about the rising feminine. And as we can teach our society, both men and women, to accept that energy, both as a lead and also as something to be integrated with the masculine, that it will bring that component of, “Yes, we want to realize who we are, but that’s not the end of the story. That’s not the end of the game right there. That’s just a stepping stone so we can be more effective in connecting with the rest of the world in a real way.”

CZ: Right! Absolutely. Through becoming ourselves, we can access the power to transform and evolve the world.

“Through becoming ourselves, we can access the power to transform and evolve the world.”twitter

CP: Right. So juicy. And I love your work also because you are teaching women. And again, the feminine is more subtle, there are subtler energies rather than, “OK, step one, step two, step three.” And there’s a lot of skills-based trainings out there for women who want to build businesses, who want to lead, but this vision piece, this perspective, the deep inner transformation that’s required—I really feel like that’s where the real work is.

CZ: Yes. Right. Absolutely. How do we begin to source power from relatedness? What’s the process of creating something from the inside out? In our work, we teach that there are three primary sources of feminine power, and the first is our relationship with ourselves, getting into an empowered relationship with our feelings and emotions so that we can transform and embody the deeper truth of who we are. I love that in your tagline, I think that’s the foundation. We need to actually step in and become the women that we came here to be.

“We need to actually step in and become the women that we came here to be.”twitter-logo-ew

Secondly, to be able to step into this rich co-creative relationship with the energy and intelligence of life and access our own inner guidance and the intelligence and creativity of the life process. And finally, in our relationships with each other. I think we’re so deeply entrenched in a paradigm of competition and autonomy. We feel like there’s something insufficient in us if we need help or partnership or support. But we’ve really found that the truth is we can’t become ourselves by ourselves, and we actually need to learn how to open up and receive and generate support at an unprecedented level to be able to create in this way.

“The truth is we can’t become ourselves by ourselves, and we actually need to learn how to open up and receive and generate support.”twitter

These ways of knowing and being and creating are a critical piece of development that we need to take on to be able to be successful at all of these other things—exactly what you’re pointing to. We don’t want to just have the tools to be able to make things happen. We want to be able to self-express, self-evolve, co-create, and for that we absolutely need to engage.

“We don’t want to just have the tools to be able to make things happen. We want to be able to self-express, self-evolve, co-create, and for that we absolutely need to engage.”twitter

I found it was critical in me—if I can share something from my own experience—to try to make that more tangible, more concrete. So the first thing, “becoming who you are,” I think we all sense this deeper possibility of who we are, and for many of us, we don’t have an experience of being mirrored by others in our lives, personally or professionally, in ways that reflect who we truly are.

That was my experience. I had this chronic experience of invisibility. I would go to different events, different places, and I would feel like I wouldn’t ever get any opportunities. And it would be very confusing because I knew I had wisdom to contribute, but I felt like there was a way, both personally in my relationships, where I felt very unseen and invisible, and professionally, where it was constantly my experience, where other people were not extending support or offering me opportunities or inviting me to participate in things. And I was very, very confused.

And I realized that I had a chronic way of being where I was constantly disappearing myself without even realizing it. So I was actually disconnected from my own feelings and emotions, and this is very common in women’s development in our culture. To access power in the masculine, we’ve had to become very hyper-rational, hyper-in-our-heads, to make it happen. That’s the kind of system. We don’t necessarily know how to relate to what we’re feeling. We kind of disappear our own inner selves.

And so I was so disconnected from myself that it was generating this experience of other people not being able to feel connected to me either. I was kind of waiting to be discovered [laughs]. I was confused because I had such an ability to see into other people and their experience—that’s often one of the gifts of this pattern of invisibility.

But through the principles we teach in Feminine Power—this is where we start, our first power base—I was able to get connected to myself, and I was able to get connected to what I was feeling, what I was seeing, what I was sensing. And I developed an ability to make that visible, make myself visible. So it was a shift from waiting to be discovered to actually taking responsibility to present myself into the world.

“It was a shift from waiting to be discovered to actually taking responsibility to present myself into the world.”twitter

This is what it looks like when we say, “Become the woman, become your true self.” There’s a gap in terms of who we are and who we’re being and how we’re showing up and how we’re relating. And when I began to show up and I was presenting myself, I can’t begin to tell you how radically things began to change for me in a very short period of time.

To be continued… You can listen to the recorded version of this interview HERE

Emerging Women Live — Speaker Highlights Part 3

This is part three of a series of posts that we hope will inspire and keep you engaged with what you learned at Emerging Women Live.

We are so grateful for being able to bring together these phenomenal women who shared their unique power stories, who gave us the gifts of wisdom and joy, who inspired and motivated us to take our work to the next level. We encourage you to share your favorite Emerging Women Live moments, so please leave a comment below and tell us what inspired YOU the most at #EWLive13.

1. Tami Simon – We Are Always Emerging

In 1985, at the age of 22, Tami Simon founded 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. A two-time winner of the Inc 500 award as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in America, Sounds True is widely recognized as a pioneer in providing life-changing, practical tools that accelerate spiritual awakening and personal transformation. In addition to being the publisher and CEO of Sounds True, Tami hosts a free weekly podcast series called Insights at the Edge in which she interviews Sounds True authors about the growing edge of their life and work.

“It’s true, we are each a complete, unprecedented, never before cosmic event.”~ Tami Simontwitter
“We can’t inherit a recipe to be our unprecedented self and to live the truth of who we are.” ~ Tami Simontwitter
“I ask you, what kind of evolutionary agent are you? What part of the world calls you? What do you want to see reinvented?” ~ Tami Simontwitter
 “I actually do believe that the truth of who we are flows out in such a way to be a medicine for others.” ~ Tami Simontwitter

2. Sera Beak – Soul Fire: It’s Time to Burn, Baby, Burn

Sera Beak is a Harvard-trained scholar of comparative world religions who spent years traveling the world studying spirituality with Sufi dervishes, Tibetan monks, Croatian mystics, shamans, and more. She is the author of The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark and Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story, has appeared in The New York Times, People, and Publisher’s Weekly, and on NPR, The Dr. Oz Show, and Oprah and Friends.

“If we allow the false to fall away, if we allow what’s been covering our truth to burn to the ground we come to know who we really are – a divine soul; and we begin to live as this truth.”~ Sera Beaktwitter
“I know in every cell of my female body that finding my soul is my true success.”~ Sera Beaktwitter/a>
“I need to be vigilant and responsible with how I transmit the feminine.”~ Sera Beaktwitter

3. Sil Reynolds – Emerging Crone: Gaining Value As We Age

Sil Reynolds, RN, is an author, nurse practitioner, therapist and workshop leader. For more than 30 years she has worked with women of all ages, helping them create balanced and meaningful lives.  Reynolds completed Marion Woodman’s BodySoul Rhythms® Leadership training and she a graduate of Brown University, where she majored in Women’s Studies. She has been an ongoing advisor to the Omega Institute’s Women and Power Conference since its inception. For over a decade, Reynolds led Geneen Roth’s Breaking Free From Emotional Eating workshops across the country. In 2005, Sil coordinated the Love Your Tree project for V-Day in NYC, in conjunction with Eve Ensler’s Broadway play The Good Body.

“Ladies, as we age, we are emerging as queens of wisdom.” ~ Sil Reynoldstwitter
“So when it’s your time ladies, boldly step into your third act of life, and know that it is bound to be your best act.” ~ Sil Reynoldstwitter
“Transform your suffering and your worrying into consciousness, ground in your body and wisdom and take the crown that is your rightful inheritance.”~ Sil Reynoldstwitter

4. Eliza Reynolds – The Whole Girl: A New Model for Growing Up Imperfectly

Eliza Reynolds is a 22-year-old workshop leader, author, speaker, and “professional big sister.” She is a certified teen mediator, SOS trained counselor by Planned Parenthood, and an affiliate of Adventure Game Theater. Eliza leads Mothering & Daughtering workshops for mothers and their preteen and teen daughters with her mom, Sil Reynolds. Her book, Mothering & Daughtering: Keeping the Bond Strong Through the Teen Years, co-authored with her mom and inspired by their workshops together. Eliza is also the co-founder and co-director with Josh Smith of Teen Rising.

“Our relationship with our bodies is a battleground for wholeness against the culture of perfectionism.” ~ Eliza Reynoldstwitter
“For me soul is our felt experience of our most true self, our authentic self.” ~ Eliza Reynoldstwitter
“Emerging girls need emerging whole women.” ~ Eliza Reynoldstwitter

5. Nancy Levin – Rock Your Own Foundation, Before It Rocks You

Nancy Levin, author of Writing For My Life, received her MFA in Poetics from Naropa University. Since 2002, Nancy has been the Event Director at Hay House, Inc., producing innovative events and experiential conferences focusing on self-empowerment, health and spirituality while weaving in her own story and poems to connect with audiences around the world during keynotes, workshops and seminars. Nancy is a certified LifeForce Coach and co-presenter for the Deborah King Center LifeForce Coaching Program, and she is currently completing her certification in the Breakthrough Shad Coaching Training Program with The Ford Institute.

“It’s very interesting how the most absolute devastating experience of my life, going through my divorce, is what catapulted me into this next phase of my life.”~Nancy Levintwitter
“I did the inner-work that I needed to understand that all of the validation that I’ve been seeking externally, I needed to resolve internally.” ~Nancy Levintwitter
“I now know heartbreaking one is a pain unable to be healed by the other. We can only heal ourselves.”~Nancy Levintwitter

 

Check out EWLive13 Speaker Highlights part I and part II featuring Eve Ensler, Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert and many more. Please leave a comment below and tell us what inspired YOU the most at #EWLive13.

Juicy Bites: Fostering Change through Feminine Leadership

This week we find out:

  • Traits people associate with great leaders
  • How supporting women leaders can change the world
  • Lessons for empowered female leaders
  • How one woman leads by being true to herself
  • How Tara Mohr connects spirituality with business

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. Great Leadership: 7 Traits of True Leaders via Inc. Magazine

What makes a great leader?  New studies are showing that worldwide, people want more feminine traits in the individuals steering them towards a better future.

“The ideal leader, then, should be like the earth itself: positioned between Mars and Venus. But in an environment of uncertainty and shifting power structures, Venus is rising.” –Leigh Buchanan

Continue Reading …

2. Accelerate Women Now: Building a 50/50 Global Economy via Forbes

Women entrepreneurship is a phenomenal force that  is truly reshaping the world. Approximately 37% of enterprises globally are women-owned. These women reinvest, create jobs, and innovate. Also, recent research showed that entrepreneurs tend to be more successful because of their trusted status in the community.

“Change business, change the way business operates and defines success, and you change the world.” –Ashoka

Continue Reading…

3. Dianne Bevelander: My Three Key Lessons for Female Empowerment via The Next Woman

Dianne Bevelander, a “true female hero who campaigns tirelessly for female empowerment and equality,” brings her business acumen and international expertise to bear on the topics of feminine leadership, risk-taking, choice and bias.

“…increased diversity of opinion and approach… should come from women in leadership positions rather than the demand that they merely adopt the approach of men.” –Dianne Bevelander

Continue Reading…

4. ‘I Don’t Play Games’ & Other Secrets From One of the Country’s Top Philanthropists via The Huffington Post

One of the country’s most effective philanthropists leads with openness, generosity, accountability and intuition. In this interview, Wallis Annenberg talks about how she found her voice in her father’s foundation, and how she wants to use it to benefit the community.

“So I’d say today what’s happened is that my insides match my outsides, and I like myself!” –Wallis Annenberg

Continue Reading…

5. Interview with Tara Mohr on Playing Big, Part I: Weaving Spirituality Practice and Business via Rise & Actualize

Women’s leadership expert Tara Mohr talks about her mother’s influence on her spiritually driven business sense.

“I grew up with this access to inner life and to spiritual concepts that I think children are ready for and can understand, but we often underestimate how much and how early they can understand it.”

Continue Reading…

Join the conversation!  We love hearing from the ever-emerging in our tribe. Leave a comment below:

Emerging Women Live — Speaker Highlights Part 2

This is part two of a series of posts that we hope will inspire and keep you engaged with what you learned at Emerging Women Live.

We are so grateful for being able to bring together these phenomenal women who shared their unique power stories, who gave us the gifts of wisdom and joy, who inspired and motivated us to take our work to the next level. We encourage you to share your favorite Emerging Women Live moments, so please leave a comment below and tell us what inspired YOU the most at #EWLive13.

1. Kelly McGonigal — The Science of Change

Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of The Willpower Instinct and The Neuroscience of Change, shared with us the latest scientific insights into why change is hard, and how we can succeed. We learned that mindfulness, self-trust, and social support are key for igniting change and achieving success. Learn practical, science-based strategies for getting started, overcoming setbacks, and staying motivated.

2. Jennifer Lee — Creative Action Planning for Right-Brain Entrepreneurs

Jennifer Lee, founder of Artizen Coaching, is the award-winning author of The Right-Brain Business PlanJennifer shared with us how to map out our business success and have fun doing it.

3. Christine Kane — Be the C.E.O. of YOU: Bringing Your Best Self to Business and Life

Christine Kane is known as the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She is the president and founder of Uplevel You™, a million-dollar company committed to the growth and empowerment of entrepreneurs and creatives around the globe. Christine taught us three core concepts for claiming the role as a heart-centered entrepreneur, in order to grow your business, emerge as a leader in your world, attract the perfect customers and clients, and stand as a friend to your partners.

4. Claire Zammit — FEMININE POWER – Ignite Your Destiny

Claire Zammit Ph.Dc, is the co-creator of the Feminine Power courses for women and co-leads a thriving global learning community of over 200,000 women. At Emerging Women Live 2013 Claire shared with us the KEY to awakening our creative power is a shift into the FEMININE way of shaping our lives. Feminine Power is the power to manifest that which is beyond our control, including those things that your heart most yearns for-intimacy, relatedness, creative expression, authentic community, meaningful contribution and authentic success.

 5. Tara Sophia Mohr — Playing Big: The Work of Our Time

Tara Mohr is an expert on women’s leadership and well-being. She helps women play bigger in their work and in their lives. With an MBA from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree in English literature from Yale, Tara takes a unique approach that blends inner work with practical skills, and weaves together both intellectual rigor and intuitive wisdom. At Emerging Women Live Tara redefined the patriarchal model of playing big and gave it a new meaning by introducing a model in which women are claiming in its place.

Big love,

Chantal

Gratitude for Emerging Women Live 2013

Just how much love and connection can one let in over a 4-day period? Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more, somehow my heart opened wider to let in even more joy.

I am not sure exactly what the secret ingredient was that led to the BIG MAGIC that was present throughout the event, but it seems that we all brought our wands with us to Emerging Women Live, and I am still floating as a result.

I thought I would reach out while we are all in this power state of emergence, and let you know how very blessed I feel to have had the chance to share this experience with you all, whether you attended the event or joined us via livestream.

Thank you for holding the space for me to step into my being in the face of uncertainty that comes when one is emerging. I was living the truth of who I was and you all made that possible for me – aaaaahhhhhh that felt great.

I have so much gratitude for the level of presence and authenticity that you each brought to the experience. From the beginning, there seemed to be an environment of trust and openness that set the stage for the entire event, and now this has become the foundation of our tribe.

There is much I could say, and yet I have little brain power for words.  I am wanting to sit in the feeling of it all. I want to dive deep into my heart and my body to relish this vibration a bit longer before inviting my mind back in.

And so with this I leave you with a bow of appreciation, and a request to help me build Emerging Women into the movement it is destined to become.

With gratitude and big love,

Chantal

The FREE recorded version of Emerging Women Live 2013 is available for a limited time only. Watch #EWLive13 HERE.

Juicy Bites: Women Heroines in Literature and Film

This week we find out:

  • Literature’s most beloved women heroines
  • Who is the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker
  • What are 3 communication mistakes that you can easily avoid
  • The real meaning of self-compassion and how it differs from self-esteem
  • Messy or tidy — which is better for creativity?

 

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. Well-Read Women: Gorgeous Watercolor Portraits of Literature’s Most Beloved Heroines via Brain Pickings

 

The New-York-based painter and fashion illustrator Samantha Hahn is celebrating women in fiction. This book is a fascinating collection of expressive watercolor depictions paired with a memorable quote, of such literary icons as Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, Holly Golightly, and Clarissa Dalloway.

JANE EYRE 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë
JANE EYRE ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Brontë

Continue Reading…

2. Meet Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker via Interview Magazine

 

This is quite impressive. Al Mansour’s first feature film called Wadjda, is the first movie to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia, and Al Mansour is the first female Saudi Arabian filmmaker.

“There are opportunities for women now, and you have to be able to stand up for yourself, for what you believe in. And the culture is opening up and there are pockets, windows for women. But a lot of women are shy to take them because the culture will not accept women working in a mixed environment; they don’t want women to travel alone and study abroad. It may compromise women getting married quickly. It is very much like America in the 1940s, but it is more [conservative]; women have to be completely covered.” — Haifaa Al Mansour

Continue Reading…

 

3. Three communication mistakes with big impact via Tara Sophia Mohr-Wise Living

 

Tara shares with us a super easy way we can play big this year. Learn how to avoid 3 common communication mistakes, and how to build your voice to be  strong, determined,  non-apologetic.

“Our words are our opportunity. That opportunity is bigger than ever before because women are more literate than ever before and have access to technology — from laptops to email — that amplify our communication.”

*Tara Sophia Mohr will be a featured presenter at the 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference, October 10th-13th in Boulder, CO.

Continue Reading…

 

4. Kristin Neff — The Real Meaning of Self-Compassion via Grace & Fire Podcast

 

This episode’s guest is the inspiring Kristin Neff. Kristin is a professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas, Austin, and she has practiced Buddhist Meditation since 1997. In addition to authoring numerous academic articles on self-compassion, she has written a new book titled “Self-Compassion,” released by William Morrow in 2011.

In this episode, Kristin Neff and the host of Grace & Fire, Chantal Pierrat spoke about:

 

  • The real meaning of Self-Compassion and how it differs from Self-Esteem,
  • The masculine and feminine aspects of mindfulness and self-compassion,
  • The researched results of self-compassion and what the findings mean for leaders, and women leaders in particular,
  • How self-compassion takes us from recognition, to action, and the power creating a practice of self care and love,
  • And finally, Kristen offers sage advice for those women on the precipice of their own emergence.

 

Kristin Neff will be a featured presenter at the 2013 Emerging Women Live Conference, October 10th-13th in Boulder, CO.

Listen here…

 

5. It’s Not ‘Mess.’ It’s Creativity. via New York Times

 

Olimpia Zagnoli
Olimpia Zagnoli

MESSY or tidy — which is better?

Historically, the evidence has favored the tidy spaces. But then the obvious question surfaces: “If messiness is so bad, why do so many people tolerate, and even embrace, it?”

Kathleen D. Vohs, from Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, with two of her colleagues, conducted an interesting experiment and came to the conclusion that physical order produces healthy choices, generosity, and conventionality, whereas disorder produces creativity.
Here are a few of their predictions that led to their experiment:

“Since tidiness has been associated with upholding societal standards, we predicted that just being around tidiness would elicit a desire for convention. We also predicted the opposite: that being around messiness would lead people away from convention, in favor of new directions.” — Kathleen D. Vohs

Continue Reading…


We are excited to start a conversation and learn more from YOU, dear emerging women. Leave a comment below:


Emerging Women Live is for women entrepreneurs and creatives who share a vision to change the world by living the truth of who they are. These are women who are burning with desire to to fully express themselves through the work they do, while promoting a new paradigm of success that leverages the incredible power of the feminine: collaboration, community, intuition, receptivity, sensuality and heart. Join us!