In your own words

and-so-she-lit-the-wayToday I had the opportunity to view the HBO Documentary, Gloria: In Her Own Words. It was fascinating to learn about Ms. Steinem’s journey, becoming one of the most recognized and important voices in the women’s movement.

The archival footage of her life and clips from press interviews over the years were both alarming (lots of haters) and inspiring.

One particular piece of advice Ms. Steinem offered during the interview segment of the documentary, regarding advocating for women and humankind really resonated:

 “Don’t listen to me. Listen to yourself.”

Yes. Absolutely. Please do listen to your perfectly, perfect self.

Your voice is especially important in this world, even when you don’t fully trust it. A voice resonating with wisdom, passion and knowledge. A voice fueling a bright light to shine into the darkness to bring about change.

Your own words – words that can voice the change the world needs at this very moment.

Let your words light the way!

 

Photo Credit:  Mimi Matthews.  More of Mimi’s EmPOWordment Cards can be found on her Etsy site.  You can also follow Mimi’s inspired and important voice on her blog, Particular Passions.

Be!

500full-alexis-bledel

Actress Alexis Bledel

Happy International Women’s Day!

How absolutely wonderful to have watched the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s live streaming Facebook event and listened to the Rising Women Rising World global event with Dr. Jean Houston, Marianne Williamson and Claire Zammit.

Some excellent learnings and reminders:

  • Your perfectly, perfect voice and your values can shape the future. Who will you be? What will you create? What will you have the courage to stand for?
  • Get out from under the old, worn-out lizard brain stories you tell yourself about not being smart enough, resourced enough, not good enough. Connect with and embrace your voice in this world. Acknowledge this is your world and you have a responsibility to take care of it – your voice matters.
  • Rally around and cheer on the women who have the courage to lead:I stand with you. I stand for you.”

 As Emma Watson brought her comments to a close, she shared this:

 “You are a human being.

 “You can change the world.

 “Be brave. Be brave. Be brave.”

Indeed. Be brave perfectly, perfect you – the world needs your voice at this exact moment. You are human. You can and will change the world.

Sing it, Esther!

Purim-HebrewPurim, which began this evening is considered one of the most joyous festivals of the Jewish year. Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.

A significant highlight of the story, which comes from the book of Esther in the Bible, is Queen Esther’s courage and bravery to use her voice to intercede with her husband the King to save the Jewish people. She makes this decision knowing she herself could be killed for speaking up.

Speaking up can be scary. Speaking up can cause others to distance themselves from you. Speaking up can place you in harm’s way.

When it’s time to speak up, my hope is that each of us will be like Queen Esther. That we too will have the courage to be bold and daring despite tremendous personal risk.

The world needs the perfectly, perfect harmony created when our voices come together, supporting and cheering one another on no matter our color, our religion or nationality.

Because I’m Happy!

Happy for those who use their voice and their art on a national platform to be the change they want for the world:

  • Domestic abuse survivor Brooke Axtell using spoken word. Her voice making a powerful statement to raise awareness of the insipid violence, especially against women.  She closed with these words:

“Your voice will save you. Let it extend into the night.  Let it part the darkness.  Let is set you free to know who you truly are – valuable, beautiful, loved.”

  • Prince’s words prior to announcing the album of the year winner:

“Like books and black lives, albums still matter.”

When we do our work, when we make our art, #ItsOnUs, as POTUS says in his message, “to go as far as our talents and dreams will take us.”

Whether standing on or off a national platform, when you go as far as your talents and dreams will take your perfectly perfect self, you can and will be the change you want for the world.

Be Happy! Be the Change! Glory for All!

Generational Tales

laura-ingalls-wilders-148th-birthday-6591517888086016.2-hpToday Google’s search page honors what would have been Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 148th birthday.

Wilder started writing her books, still loved by generations of readers, when she was 44.

Or, there’s 15-year-old Katie who attends Shorewood High School in Wisconsin. Her goal is to inspire young people around the world to write. Katie has just won the AFS Vision in Action award for her volunteer project called Kids Tales logoKids Tales around the World.” An approach Katie created to encourage young people to write. Take a minute to watch her inspiring video about her project for a new generation of writers.

No matter your age, perfectly perfect you has a story to share, a story to write that will be the change for yourself, another person or another generation.

Write on!

Gritty, grimey and glorious

Featured on a banner that prominently hung in my daughter’s school gymnasium were the words:

“If you had fun, you won”

My daughter received the most amazing education from this school.  A school positively, hands down, invested in helping children discover their gifts and talents.  At the same time challenging them to find their own voice, their own north star.  It is also a school that recognizes that one size of teaching does not fit all.

The aforementioned prominently displayed banner, however, is at head scratchingly odds with the school’s philosophy and value system.

The banner became a source of complete irritation and frustration for me.  I fantasized about sneaking into the school late at night and climbing on a ladder to reach the banner with a can of spray paint.  A can of spray paint obtained from the hardware store that I would have promised the clerk, as she was unlocking it from its storage space, that I would absolutely not, under any emotions of irritation or frustration, graffiti the misguided banner at the school’s gymnasium with the words:

“If you lost, you lost”

As I was paying for my spray paint, I would continue to assure the clerk that I would most definitely not add the words:

“Suck it up.  You just learned.”

Some of the greatest lessons come in the form of losing.  In the United States it seems as though we have placed an unhealthy, almost obsessive emphasis on winning.

"Winners" medal

“Winners” medal

We are inundated with the “winner winner chicken dinner” mind-set from reality television shows to sports to award ceremonies.  As parents we might even be accused of manically protecting our children from any circumstance in which they might not experience 100% success – a la, the ole’ “If you had fun, you won” banner or worse yet, medal!

In not allowing ourselves, our work teammates and our children to experience the gift of losing and avoiding healthy discussions about losing, we become robbed of the opportunity to learn.  This winning obsession also negates the opportunity to consider and honor the laden-filled gems of knowledge and wisdom indigenous to losing.

The grittiness and grime that comes from losing is merely the greasing of the skids for your next project and your next idea.  What’s keeping you from diving into the brilliant grit and grime of losing?

Sing it sister!

Your big dream. Full of possibilities. Full of your perfectly, perfect brilliant self.

During Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 presidential bid, George McGovern introduced the candidate to a group of supporters in South Dakota by quoting from the Impossible Dream lyrics.

Afterwards Kennedy asked McGovern if he really thought his bid for presidency was impossible. McGovern was quoted as saying, “No I don’t think it’s impossible. I just wanted the audience to understand it’s worth making the effort – whether you win or lose.”

Your big dream’s time is now. Your impossible dream is worth every single heart pounding ounce of your effort and your brilliance. Free that dream of yours that’s been resonating in your heart and mind with full bravado!

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