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Women in rebellion: Finding your voice

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Submitted by bailey on Fri, 04/13/2018 - 10:38

Women's voices have often found a strong outlet in poetry. Poetry distills the complexity of the human experience into a simple, powerful message that appeals to many. At the same time, poetry is open for interpretation, discussion, and reflection. As Alice Walker, a poet and activist, states:

“Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.”

For National Poetry Month, we asked the HERdacity team to share their favorite poems. From the silliness of Jenny Joseph’s Warning, to the raw honesty of Nayyirah Waheed’s Emotional Nutrition, these poems illustrate the strength of women in body, mind, and spirit.

Enjoy these and let us know if you have a favorite poem!

June Jordan // Oughta Be a Woman

Washing the floors to send you to college
Staying at home so you can feel safe
What do you think is the soul of her knowledge
What do you think that makes her feel safe

Biting her lips and lowering her eyes
To make sure there’s food on the table
What do you think would be her surprise
If the world was as willing as she’s able

Hugging herself in an old kitchen chair
She listens to your hurt and your rage
What do you think she knows of despair
What is the aching of age

The fathers, the children, the brothers
Turn to her and everybody white turns to her
What about her turning around
Alone in the everyday light

There oughta be a woman can break
Down, sit down, break down, sit down
Like everybody else call it quits on Mondays
Blues on Tuesdays, sleep until Sunday
Down, sit down, break down, sit down

A way outa no way is flesh outa flesh
Courage that cries out at night
A way outa no way is flesh outa flesh
Bravery kept outa sight
A way outa no way is too much to ask
Too much of a task for any one woman

Mary Oliver // Wild Geese

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.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Jenny Joseph // Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Brianna Wiest // Salt Water

If on my last day
I were to greet
The person I could have become
I hope I am happy to be who I am
And I hope that I love her anyway

Nayyirah Waheed // Emotional Nutrition

i will tell you, my daughter
of your worth
not your beauty
every day. (your beauty is given. every being is born beautiful).
knowing your worth
can save your life
raising you on beauty alone
you will be starved
you will be raw.
you will be weak.
an easy stomach
always in need of someone telling you how
beautiful you are

Rudy Francisco // Untitled

she is more than just
another piece of land
waiting to be claimed.

she is a music note
waiting to be loved into a song.
she is an acoustic guitar
waiting patiently for the hands
that have been trained
to hold her properly.

she is a wind chime
in a cul-de-sac
and her skin is a melody
very few men
will have the pleasure of hearing

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Challenging the Status Quo: Female Financial Empowerment

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Submitted by bailey on Fri, 04/06/2018 - 11:42

I had a conversation the other day about female financial empowerment. It began with someone stating that women need to be taught how to be financially empowered. Initially, I was taken aback. I didn’t fit into that category and didn’t want other women to fit in that category either. I had a credit score in the 800’s by the time I was 23; I have built up a retirement savings, taken advantage of every penny on employer 401k match programs, and most recently learned how to invest in stocks and mutual funds. 

But after subsequent discussions with female friends from different walks of life, I’ve come to realize I am in the minority. Like some women of my generation, I grew up with a traditional family dynamic. My mother stayed at home and raised five children, while my father worked his way up in corporate America (and Canada) to provide for his family. My mother taught me everything I needed to know about love, compassion, friendship, courage, right and wrong, and how to cook (probably wasn’t listening when she taught me that one).

My father took the time to teach me what I needed to know about work ethic, determination, leadership, and financial sustainability. The latter was one of the most powerful things he could have taught me. Women are becoming more financially independent, but there is still a gap in the number of women who take charge of their finances. In a survey conducted by Ameriprise, 41% of women said that they make their financial decisions alone, and only 37% considered themselves the primary manager of finances for their households.

For such a traditional upbringing, it was progressive of my father to teach his daughters about financial independence. In most countries, working women earn on average 60-75% of men’s wages. It is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76% if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion, according to UN Women.

My parents took the crucial step in teaching me about finances at a young age. I will teach my children these skills one day, and in a future very soon I hope there won't be a need for female financial empowerment. This isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a global issue, and it’s up to all of us to empower each other.  

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Jessica Thibodeau

HER Guide to SXSW: Curated Women-Centric Panels

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Submitted by anna on Fri, 03/02/2018 - 13:48
Sub Title
Part 1

There are so many opportunities for women to connect, learn and be inspired at SXSW this year. With 10 days and hundreds of panels, sessions, films, and events to choose from, selections can be overwhelming. HERdacity has curated all the events here to help you navigate the festival. #HERguidetoSXSW

 

sxsw calendar

 

March 9th

March 10th

March 11th

March 12th

March 13th

March 14th

March 15th

 

So there you have it, you're completely equipped to tackle the next 10 days. #HERdacity + #HERguidetoSXSW all of the inspiring things you see around town.

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HER Career Reboot Event Recap

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Submitted by anna on Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:47

The HERdacity team was honored to connect with more than fifty motivated and inspiring women at our February 7th Career Reboot Event.  Our attendees included women from diverse backgrounds, industries and age groups.  One thing they all had in common was a willingness to seek out career support and an interest in making new connections.  We had an incredible day with the group and with talented speakers who volunteered their time to present.  The workshop covered topics ranging from women's career development, resume building, and female networking to tips for building a professional wardrobe and where to find inspiration for the job search.  Here is a short recap of the event.

Chateau Bellevue
Chateau Bellevue, operated by the Austin Women's Club.

 

On the morning of February 7th, HERdacity kicked off the HER Career Reboot event at Chateau Bellevue, operated by the Austin Women's Club in downtown Austin, TX.  Attendees were greeted by HERdacity volunteers with name tags, enjoyed hot coffee, and mingled before having their complementary LinkedIn portrait taken by photographer, Allison Dudley.

 

Audience
Attendees at Chateau Bellevue.

 

Women attending the conference ranged came from a variety of industries including, tech, finance, health, marketing, insurance and teaching.  Their work experience ranged from a few years to several decades.  Most were looking to transition from not working or working part-time to working in a full-time position.

Mary Flanagan
Our President + CEO Mary Flanagan.

 

 HERdacity President + CEO Mary Flanagan welcomed the attendees and speakers, outlined HERdacity's mission, introduced the staff, and presented the agenda for the day.  She also shared her personal story of taking time off to care for family and returning to the work force. She addressed  some of the challenges women face when they look to re-enter the workforce including obsolete skills, diminished self confidence and economic pressures.

 

Speakers
From left to right: Marny Lifshen, Jen Young, Lydia O'Neil.

 

The first panel of the day had three speakers and focused  on career and networking presentations.  Presenters included:  Career Consultant Lydia O'Neil, an executive career coach;  Marny Lifshen, Professional Speaker,  Marketing Consultant and Author of Some Assembly Required:  A Networking Guide for Women; and wardrobe consultant, Jen Young, founder of Foreversytled.com

 

Lydia O'Neil
Lydia O'Neil, Executive Career Consultant.

 

Lydia O'Neil provided practical advice for women re-entering the workforce, detailing how to create a strong resumé and  how to present your authentic self in the interview process. She detailed useful tactics for the job search and addressed gaps on the resume that women often have to account for when they step away form the workforce.  Lydia shared the term "family sabbatical" as a method of explaining large period of times missing in many women's resumé.

 

Marny Lifshen
Marny Lifshen, author, speaker, and marketing communications consultant.

 

Next was Marny Lifshen, who effortlessly took the stage and commanded the attention of the room. She was an engaging speaker who emphasized the importance of leveraging your network. Typically, men and women have the same amount of connections throughout their lives, but she demonstrated that men tend to utilize their connections in a more effective way. To combat this, she outlined how to make use of natural strengths as a woman in order to get ahead in your career.  Marny was adamant about her "no apologies" attitude, touching on the importance of not apologizing for your choices, but instead, using them to your advantage.

 

Jen Young's Clothing Demonstration
Jen Young's clothing demonstration.

 

The final speaker was wardrobe consultant, Jen Young, who brought along a clothing rack and mannequins to demonstrate work-appropriate outfits for various industries. Her confidence and poise was contagious and had the whole room laughing with her. Her presentation was insightful as trends and styles change so quickly, and conceded that it can be daunting if you haven't been in an office in a long time. The right outfit can make your interview process flow more smoothly and ensure you are comfortable in your own skin. She brought along a Nordstrom representative, Paige Jeffries who was kind enough to supply both the clothing pieces for the presentation and goody bags for all the attendees. 

 

Q&A Panel
From left to right- Rochelle Holland, DeeDee Whitt, Suzanne Brown.

 

After a beautiful lunch (and chocolate mousse) we had a Q&A panel to showcase three moms who have gone through the personal transformation of getting back into the professional world.  These speakers shared their personal experiences of stepping away from the work force and provided tips on how to return.  Their stories sparked a lot of meaningful questions and conversations with the women in the room. 

Rochelle touched on the importance of visualizing your goals through creating a vision board (and keeping it somewhere you will see it often) and working to achieve them with an audacious spirit. 

DeeDee spoke about her journey of being a stay-at-home mom for fifteen years, going through a divorce, and suddenly having to re-invent herself in order to support her two children. Her story seemed to resonate with women in audience who may have found themselves in a similar situation.

Suzanne, the author of Insights from Successful Professional Part-Time Working Moms who Balance Career and Family, demonstrated that part-time work is a viable option for mothers who want to have a professional career that emphasizes flexibility. 

Overall, the event was inspiring and the camaraderie in the room was a reminder to women looking to re-enter the workforce that they are not alone. Whatever you are struggling with, there are others to help you.  The HERdacity mission is to bring women together to share their stories and support each other and the Feb. 7th HER Career Reboot was an example of doing just that.

If you're in the Austin area or are able to travel, check out our upcoming events here: https://www.herdacity.org/upcoming-live-events.  Or visit our site to see video recaps and presentation materials.  We are working to be able to offer live webinars to our community soon.  Please reach out with any comments or questions! 

HERdacity team + volunteers
HERdacity team + volunteers

 

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It's All About Who You Know

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Submitted by anna on Wed, 01/31/2018 - 14:57
Sub Title
Q&A with Marny Lifshen

Senior executive women attribute a key part of their success to making and maintaining connections. But according to a study by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co. of 118 companies (2012), only 10% of women who held leadership positions credited their professional advancement to 4 or more connections. When looking at men in similar leadership positions, 17% of them associated their success to the same amount of connections made through networking. Marny Lifshen, author of the book "Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women" saw first-hand the negative effects that this lack of networking had on professional women. She recognized that women had different methods to building relationships but could use those strengths to build the same supportive group of mentors that may come more easily to men. We wanted to know more about her professional career, personal life, and what to drove her to follow her passion. 

What did you see that was lacking in the workplace that made you want to write a book specifically about networking for women? 

Hands-on mentoring and sponsoring of women was not as consistent as it was for our male peers – we don’t have a “good ‘ole boy” network to give us feedback, introduce us to the right people and give us opportunities. But mostly I just think that we make and manage professional relationships differently than men – and that’s okay. I wanted to create a guide for how to take advantage of our natural strengths as women, but also to acknowledge what we can learn from the guys – like actually leveraging the network we work so diligently to create.

What impact do you think the book has made since? 

I hope it has helped a lot of women to understand and embrace networking as a critical career tool, and to correct some common misconceptions about what networking is really all about.  I also hope that readers understand that we don’t have to do it the way the men do in order to be successful.

How did you discover your passion? 

I have been very lucky to have incredible mentors throughout my career.  Through them, I was exposed to great opportunities and experiences, met amazing people, learned new skills and developed as a leader.  It was by learning to say “yes” to new things that I found my passion for consulting, writing and speaking about networking, communication and branding. 

What was a defining moment in your career? 

I am not a natural risk taker. When I faced a cross-road in my career and was considering leaving the firm I had built and loved for 9 years, I was very unsure. I relied on my network to give me honest feedback and advice – and that is what gave me the courage to start my own business.  

In terms of your personal life, what place were you in at that time? 

I was a partner in a PR/Communications firm and loved it. But I was also a newlywed and wanted to have children. I couldn’t figure out a way to make my 50+ hour work weeks fit with my desire to be a mom. Going out on my own as a consultant gave me the flexibility I wanted and the opportunity to explore new professional paths. It was scary but worth it!  

What was the biggest challenge when you decided to start your own consulting business?

For me the hardest part was leaving the security of a full-time well-paid job for the unknown.  It was also hard for me to have the confidence that I could “make it” on my own, but a wonderful group of mentors convinced me I would succeed and encouraged me to take the leap!

 How are you able to apply your personal strengths to professional life?

I believe that consistency is a key to success. You can’t be one personal in your personal life and a different person in your professional life. You must be authentic in order to build real relationships and credibility. While I strive to always be professional and polished in a work situation, I am also my energetic and friendly self. Think about what makes you unique and memorable and make sure those attributes shine in your professional roles, as well.   

 What do you NOT let get in your way?    

I don’t hold grudges. I think that holding grudges against people is pointless and may in fact keep you from opportunities with that person in the future. Just because something went wrong in a professional relationship doesn’t mean that you won’t find a way to work together or help one another in the future. 

What motivates you to coach others through your writing, speaking, and consulting? 

The feedback I get from people who see me speak is very inspiring and motivational for me.  Knowing that I am actually helping people overcome challenges and succeed in their professional lives is what makes all of the work worthwhile.  It just plain makes me happy to help them!  

One thing you would like to tell your 20-year-old self? 

Chill out!  Everything will work out!  You don’t need to have a 5 year plan or 10 year plan.  Just work hard and be open to opportunities. 

 What are three things  you want other women to know? 

  1. Be kinder to one another.  We need to support and encourage each other as women, rather than judging the choices we make.  

  1. Take risks in your career and be okay with a little failure!  This is one thing that men do consistently better than we do and it may well be holding us back. 

  1. Ask for help.  There is no shame in needing support, advice and assistance – in fact, there is strength in learning to ask for and accept help. 

 

Marny Lifshen

Marny Lifshen is an author, speaker, coach and marketing communications consultant with more than 25 years of experience.
Find her here:
http://marnylifshencommunications.com

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Leaning Back In: 5 Tips for Women Returning to Work

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Submitted by anna on Tue, 01/30/2018 - 13:28

In the US, women are the primary caregivers, often opting to drop out of the workforce to care for children, aging parents, and ailing relatives. According to a study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (2010), of the 90% of women who wanted to resume their careers after taking time off to have children, 70% found a way to return to their careers but only 40% found full-time, mainstream work. In addition, a growing share of stay-at-home mothers say they are home-bound because they cannot find a job (6% in 2017, up from 1% in 2000).

What do stay-at-home moms do all day?

After 15 years in the professional world, I stepped back to stay home and raise my kids. It used to bother me when people would ask if I “worked”.  At dinner parties, someone would inevitably try and make conversation with me by asking,  

“Do you work?”    

“Oh, yes,” I’d answer. 

 “What do you do?” they’d continue.  

“I cook, I clean, drive kids, help with homework…it’s 24/7.”

They would laugh, as if there was some joke there, then look away uncomfortably when they saw I wasn’t kidding. 

For some reason, the type of work a woman does when she cares for her family often does not count as “work”. Nor does it count as legitimate career development, presumably because money does not change hands.  The reality is, staying home for a time to care for your family is both a job and an education.   

Most working moms step back from their careers at some point to raise children, whether for a few months, a few years or a few decades.  And when they do, they find that they undergo a unique hands-on, pressure-cooker type of leadership program. It has long hours, zero pay and a hap-hazard vacation policy, at best. Technically, they do not even get sick days. But what they do get is an excellent management education. They learn to motivate, lead, negotiate, train, manage a budget, and drive to results with the most difficult, untrained work force imaginable: children under the age of 10. 

Yet, for women seeking to return to the paid workforce, this intense leadership education gets little or no recognition in an interview setting. Unless you’re going for a nanny position, the person across the desk may not readily acknowledge the people management or budgeting skills you’ve developed in your hands-on, stay-at-home Mom program. One of the biggest challenges a woman faces when returning to the work force is how to take the experience she has gained in her time off and leverage it to land a paid position. 

career mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some tips that helped me, and could help you, make the most out of your stay at home experience.

1. Break down the tasks you’ve used at home into marketable skills- 

You may have developed digital and networking skills through social media, blogging or other online programs. If you’re like many women, you’ve spent a big portion of your time volunteering and helping at your kid’s school. You’ve raised money by selling tickets for events, rounded up and managed volunteer workers to get the job done, and thrown entire events often without spending a dime. 

In job terms, these skills are: 

  • Social media & communications 

  • Sales management, 

  • Project team leadership and, 

  • Event planning.  

These are all resume builders.  Step back and look at what you’ve done and the skills you’ve developed as an employer might see them.  Whether you performed them for an educational institution, a nonprofit entity or an athletic leisure association, you’ve done it.  Remember to be specific and state the percentage of total revenues you drove, the number of people you managed and the impact you had on the organization.  These are all sound building blocks for a resume which reflect what you’ve accomplished in your “time off.” 

2. Showcase your skillset digitally-

Once you’ve got your resume updated, make sure you set a credible and updated online presence on LinkedIn.  Using the building blocks of the career skills you outlined above, try showing your experience by skillset rather than chronologically if your work experience is not recent.  Then develop your digital footprint by attaching a professional photo and by growing your network to around 100 connections, initially and ultimately to 500+ as your network grows.   

Remember to round out your profile by stating what is important to you and what you value. Employers appreciate volunteer work and want to see your personality in addition to your skills.  Spend some time making your profile is as complete as possible and include a crisp summary paragraph stating what you’re looking for and the skills you have to demonstrate your capability in this area.   

3. Network through your immediate circle of friends- 

Though you may not have been in the work place recently, you still have the ability to develop a strong network.  In addition to the strong network from your daily interactions, remember that the women you see in car pool lines, waiting for kids at after school activities and volunteering at your child’s school also have connections.  They may have spouses with jobs, know others that work for companies in your area or hold jobs themselves. They are not only great networking opportunities, but women you can develop personal relationships with that could help you professionally later on.

4. Have your elevator pitch ready-

It is important to you take some time to sketch out a brief description of what you're looking for—your elevator pitch-- and rehearse it in private until it rolls off your tongue naturally.   The more confident and well-articulated this "pitch" is the more credible you'll appear. Start by announcing your intent to get a job to friends and share the pitch which you've rehearsed in private earlier.   

Friends want to help; ask them if they know anyone you can reach out to for an informational interview.   Most people are happy to share information as long as they do not feel put on the spot to hire you and will be happy to connect you by email.  In your informational interview, ask questions about the industry, the company or their job responsibilities to bring yourself up-to-date in your field of interest. Any of these conversations can convert to more interviews and ultimately, an actual job. 

5. Persevere- 

It may not happen overnight (and probably won't), but your chance to move from an unpaid position to a part-time paid position or from a side hustle to a full-time job is out there.  Be open to volunteer opportunities if it expands your skill set (and your resume!) and don’t forget to ask for a detailed LinkedIn recommendation for your work contributions.  You can keep your efforts going strong by connecting with other friends that are looking to pivot, too.  It’s more fun to go with someone to the career meet-ups, lectures or career fairs. 

 

Ultimately, as in other areas of life, you will get out of your job hunt what you put into it. If you take some time to figure out what you want, articulate the new  skills your time off has given you, and share your abilities with friends and potential employers, you will stand out.  And when you do get that job, remember to take time and encourage that next woman who may be trying to move out of her comfort zone and find a way back to paid employment.  

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Toughing it Out & Motivating Others

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Submitted by anna on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 15:23
Sub Title
Anne Grady: Entrepreneur & Professional Speaker

Inspired by hardship, Anne Grady has worked to forge both a rewarding professional and personal life. From raising a child with mental illness to being diagnosed with a tumor in her salivary gland, Anne Grady found courage to start her own public speaking business, the Anne Grady group. Her challenges and setbacks have been a catalyst to her success as a public speaker and entrepreneur, leading to over 2,000 keynote speeches with audiences up to several thousand people. We set to find out how she does it.

What inspired you to become a prolific speaker? 

I learned very early on in my corporate career that I wasn’t political, politically correct, or a good rule follower. I was actually petrified to start my own business. I partnered with an amazing mentor for a decade before venturing out on my own. The catalyst was living at the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas for 2 months while my son was in the hospital. I realized if I could do that, I could do anything.

How did you discover your passion for public speaking? 

I loved debate and public speaking in high school and college. Communication was always my strength.  From the time I was little, I told my mom I would get paid to speak. She said, “You can either be a minister or a politician”. I’m Jewish, so that ruled the first one out, and I had way too much fun in college to be a politician! I’m one of the lucky few who have known what I wanted to do since I was a little girl. I’m really proud of the fact that I found a way to make it happen. 

 How are you able to apply your personal strengths to your professional life?  

My strengths are my ability to communicate, to connect with people, my desire for achievement, and my need to help and inspire others. My professional life is built around these things. I’ve been fortunate to build a team that can compensate for my weaknesses.  

What one experience are you still learning from today? 

I have two kids. A 16-year old daughter, and a 14-year old son. My son suffers from severe mental illness, making every day a new opportunity to practice. I have had to go beyond theory and really put into practice what I teach every single day, and not always successfully. My son’s illness certainly helps you put your priorities into perspective. His illness makes him really tough to live with sometimes. We live in a constant state of crisis, and it makes it a real challenge to keep the right head space and be able to focus on my family and the business. I’m fortunate to have a great support system. 

What do you  NOT let get in your way?  

Rather than hide our challenges, I hang a lantern on them. One in five suffer from some type of mental health issue, yet no one talks about it. People need to know they are not alone, and if by sharing my story in some small way helps people, I’m thrilled to be able to do it. Almost four years ago, after my son was discharged from his second hospitalization, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my salivary gland. The surgery resulted in complete facial paralysis on the right side of my face. Because I couldn’t close my eye, I scratched my cornea. While getting ready for surgery to implant a gold weight in my upper eye lid and stitch up my bottom eyelid, I fell down the stairs and broke my foot in four places. I was terrified to speak in front of groups, but I did. I’ve never had more standing ovations in my life! I used to think I wasn’t brave because I was terrified. Now I know that true courage is doing it anyway. 

 Where you do you find your motivation? 

I’ve always been self-motivated. It’s a blessing and a curse. It creates momentum to push harder and accomplish more. It also means it’s never enough, and always feel I should be doing more. Sharing our story has also give me the opportunity to be a source of inspiration for others, and that is so fulfilling. Knowing I help people makes it all worth it. Every time I get an email from someone saying I’ve had a positive impact on their life, I am inspired and grateful.  

How are you able to create a sense of purpose that embedded itself into your professional setting as well as personal life?

As my son’s illness has progressed, I have explored, researched and learned about information that I otherwise would not have pursued. I believe my purpose is to use this information to help people, to reduce the stigma of mental illness, and to provide a little laughter and inspiration in the world. 

What would you tell your  20-year-old self?  

Stop letting the little shit weigh you down. I promised myself after my tumor that I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff. That lasted about 6-months. Then I started slipping back into sweating almost everything. I have always put so much pressure on myself. I would go back and say, “You can’t chase happiness or you will never find it. Learn to be grateful and content with where you are, and happiness will follow.” And lastly, “Be kind and focus on what’s most important. Everything else will fall into place.” (I still tell myself these things every day) I want to know I have made a positive impact on the world, and that I’m leaving it better than I found it. 

 What are three things  you want other women to know?  

  1. Focus on what you can control: YOU 

  1. You are strong enough to handle any challenge thrown your way. The fact that you’re still standing is proof. 

  2. Learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Embrace failure, change, and adversity.

What's one thing that you would change in the world? 

Selfishly, I would wish for my son to be healthy and to have mental health coverage that makes treatment possible for anyone with mental illness. If you had any other illness, there are ways to get treatment. With mental health, there are limited resources, it is out of this world expensive, and there are few if any options. 

And of course, world peace. ;) 

 

 

Anne Grady


Anne Grady is a Motivational Keynote Speaker on Leadership, Influence, Communication, Resilience, and Navigating Change. Find her at:
https://twitter.com/annegradygroup
https://www.facebook.com/AnneGradyGroup/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/anne-grady-group/

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Power Magnets Ignite Daily Inspiration

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Submitted by CassieCT on Wed, 12/13/2017 - 11:42

Power magnets are the best!

 

I got three incredible HERdacity magnets… and here are the words on each one. 

 

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK I CAN’T DO SO I CAN GET STARTED.

 

WHEN SOMEONE TELLS ME WHAT I’M NOT ALLOWED TO DO, I LAUGH BECAUSE I DIDN’T ASK.

 

DON’T BE A PASSENGER ON THEROAD OF LIFE.  TAKE THE WHEEL.

 

I love each and every one of these and for different reasons. So since I have been a big fan of magnets for years, I searched my kitchen. Where can I put them?

 

Refrigerator? Nope. That new kind of surface isn’t really metallic. Stove or oven? Same problem. Wooden cupboard doors don’t work for the obvious reason that they are, well, wood. No metal involved except in the hinges and I don’t see an easy and obvious way for me to stick a magnet on a vertical hinge.

 

But inspiration struck. I have a weird little breaker box with a metallic door under a cupboard in my small kitchen! And thank goodness these little chunks of powering magnetism stuck nicely.

 

It seemed a powerful omen.

 

HERdacity’s messages do best with electricity, and that is where all of us come in.

 

We each generate our own spark, our own interpersonal electricity… and we give zing and energy to each other.

 

So figure out your magnets for your life – change them frequently – and find a place to put them that will provide the power, the boost, and the fire to drive you forward.

 

 

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Double Duty: Style that Works as Hard as You Do

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Submitted by annageorgakis on Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:14

You put so much effort into making the holidays perfect for others; sometimes it's a good idea to look inward.  How you feel and look matters.  You owe it to yourself to look at least as dressed as the turkey.  Here is one reader's suggestion on what to wear, whether you're cooking, moving chairs from the garage or posing for a photo.

It's an all-too familiar setting when you're hosting holiday events at your home… Every family member is either ready to eat or about to arrive, and you’re still running around throwing things in the oven, mashing potatoes, or setting the table, rocking yoga pants and a ponytail.

We often experience a downside to providing for everyone else- we neglect ourselves in the process. I know too well how much our clothing and overall appearance contribute to our confidence and happiness. 

With your comfort in mind, I created a Holiday Style Guide, complete with six outfit ideas, to help you feel self-assured and poised even while cooking and pouring holiday cheer, You are so ready to handle anything the holiday throws your way. 

 

outfit idea 1, holiday style guide

 

My first inspiration is this stunning Madewell x No.6 Silk Magical Dress in the color Vintage Rose paired with black tie-back booties. The Madewell dress loosely drapes over the body so you'll be able to run around with ease, and the wedge heel makes the boots comfortable enough to wear all day. Once guests start to arrive, throw on this set of two chokers also by Madewell to quickly dress it up.

 

outfit two, holiday style guide

 

I am loving this light pink bell-sleeved Tunic Top by Halogen. Nordstrom describes is perfectly, calling it "unapologetically feminine," to which I would have to agree. I mean, look at that velvet bow tie-back… Pairing it with gray straight leg twill pants keeps it casual (Bonus: they’re stretchy.) Adding a pair of snake print mules and Kate Spade silver studs adds an unexpected touch. 

 

outfit three, holiday style guide

 

Okay, hear me out. This spotted J.Crew jumpsuit may be totally out of your comfort zone but trust me, there is not an easier and more comfortable outfit out there. You won't have to worry about finding a cohesive top and bottom; this jumpsuit does it for you. Adding these red pointy-toe pumps and matching tassel earrings makes this outfit a no-brainer.

 

holiday style guide, outfit 6

 

This lantern-sleeve top pairs perfectly with washed-black wide leg crop jeans, both from LOFT. The outfit is relatively casual on its own, but can be quickly dressed up with the addition of these light blue ankle strap sandals and a black onyx beaded bracelet. Interestingly enough, the black onyx gemstone has been known to protect against negativity, just in case you encounter the evil eye or the stray, barbed comment from that certain family member over the holidays. 

 

outfit 5, holiday style guide

 

For a more effortless look, I bring you these relaxed utility pants. They're perfect for a hectic day. But don't be fooled, they look so chic when paired with a black and white striped wrap top. Add a pair of platform slides and rose gold chevron studs and you'll have an outfit you'll want to wear all day long.

 

outfit 6, holiday style guide

 

Lastly, I have these gorgeous weekender jeans paired with this delicate ruffle bell sleeve top. This combination is so understated, yet stunning. Throwing on this silver layered necklace and a pair of block heels easily takes this outfit to the next level. 

Remember, self-care includes loving how you look and feel in your clothes.

The holidays are full of fun and stress, especially when you’re juggling expectations and trying to sprinkle magic for others. Spend some time and money on yourself, and make sure you don’t put yourself last in all the preparations. You deserve the same comfort and joy you bring to others.

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Anna Georgakis

Gratitude's Double Edge

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Submitted by Jen at HERdacity on Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:34
Sub Title
For Bold Women Only

Gratitude has two sides.

When Sarah Ban Breathnach published Simple Abundance 22 years ago, her gratitude journaling practice started a movement.

Since then, studies have consistently proved that expressing gratitude is an indispensable key to happiness and fulfillment, an increase in generosity, physical and mental health, and thriving relationships.

Without it, we continually peer over the fence, longing for greener pastures. When people live in the future or the past, this “want” in life prevents us to feeling joy in the present.

This Thanksgiving, we’re inspired by women who not only exude gratitude, but help others tap into it in their daily work and lives.

One such woman is Rha Goddess, the founder and CEO of Move The Crowd, a coaching and entrepreneurial training company. Her take on gratitude, however, goes beyond cherishing the good stuff. Rha challenges people to take stock of the painful, messy parts, too.

Before you launch into goal setting in the new year, you must first summon gratitude for your blessings.

And here’s the kicker:

Blessings include both the abundance of riches AND the calamities and near misses. It's the fullness of your experience that allows you to be here at this moment, at this place, with these people.

Grown up women need to recognize this aspect of gratitude and embrace it. As you envision how to create lasting change in your life and those of others in the world, the key is to take a thorough inventory as you prepare to meet new challenges and receive new blessings.

Next time you’re trying to summon gratitude, include the unexpected car repair bill, the child’s illness, and the minor disaster at work. They count.

The holidays and new year are coming, wrapped up in pure promise and potential... and yes, you are ready.

You are here. You are stronger than you think. Life is precious, all of it.

Thanksgiving a great time to begin the process of practicing bold, bring-it-all, audacious gratitude. 

gratitude's double edge
the other side of gratitude
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