It's now the second week of the new year. I don't know about you but I have certainly had some big personal challenges that have really tested me and bought up some of the 'stuff' that has the potential to get in the way of me being my best self. I had thought that 2012 would be a big year and one that asked me to stretch and grow in a whole new way but I didn't expect that it'd start immediately and have a less than fantastic affect on me
Why does this 'stuff' affect me?
Well quite simply because I let it. You see I am exactly like you. When I am tired, overwhelmed, feeling frustrated, challenged physically or emotionally or intellectually then the first thing that happens is that those old things called fears pop up and fear is not helpful, other than to alert me to the fact that I need to take better care of myself and get back on track. Fear is a sign that I am not empowered with my usual resilience. It is a sign that I am shifting, changing, growing. It alerts me to the need to ask for support, and allow myself to receive it and much much more. Most of all though I see fear as a gift because it gives me an opportunity to reconnect with the potential in being me! Yes, fear is a gift....
Celebrate What You Love 11/21/2011
I've just returned from an inspiring time away with my husband, my parents and his parents to celebrate my father in law's 70th birthday early in November. It was a truely amazing time as we travelled through South Africa with our parents and as a bonus there was a few extra special days for my husband James and I to spend with one of our best friends in Cape Town. While we were away I was reminded daily of the importance of celebrating what you love. This time away and sharing with some of the most important people in my life was something I will never forget. It was more than a holiday, it was a reminder to me that too often we can take for granted those who are most dear to us and forget to let them know how important they are, and an opportunity to re-focus my inner lead-HER-ship from this point forward
I've had such a busy year which has been fabulous, but it's also meant that some of the people and things that I treasure the most have not had as much of my time as they deserve, or that I deserve. Therefore as I approach the final month of 2011 and think about what sort of year I want 2012 to be I see a gift in the time I have just had away as it's made me stop and reflect on what's really important and how I can ensure that what I love is celebrated at every possible moment
Here's the 3 biggest lessons I learnt from this time away;
1. I always have a choice about how I use my time
One of the many reasons I went into business was to be able to work a schedule that fitted my needs best. At time's it's been easy to achieve and at other's I've found it a struggle to maintain the balance I know is essential to my being the best I can be for my clients, my peers, my family, my friends and most importantly myself. The lesson I learnt by taking time out is that when it comes to creating the balance I crave, I always have a choice about how I use my time
Will There Be A Time In Your Lifetime Where Women Leading Is An Unremarkable Thing?
Last night I had the absolute pleasure of joining with some very dear friends to share an incredible experience. Right now, in my home town on Perth, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has just been officially opened. What does that mean? it means that there are literally hundreds of intersting, dynamic and powerful men and women who are literal leaders in their respective countires gathered together to discuss the potential future of the Commonwealth nations. This is a big deal on so many levels and literally a big deal for Perth to play host as this has to be one of the most isolated capitol cities in the world
As I mentioned, last night I shared a very remarkable experience. I joined with friends and fellow participants of the Catherine McCauley Women in Leadership and Service Award Program to attend a pre-CHOGM event, the Empowering Women to Lead Dinner hosted by our first female Prime Minister, the honourable Julia Gillard, alongside with Australia's first female Governor General, Quentin Bryce. They were joined by a panel of leading ladies representing countries from across the Commonwealth to hold a discussion on the key topic, Empowering Women to Lead
Now I wouldn't say that I am 'into' politics but I do get very clearly that these women, along with others working in political and senior government and some NGO based positions, do have the potential to influence change in a significant, lasting way. There were a lot of messages that stood out for me but one particurly stood out above the rest. Julia Gillard spoke of a desire in her lifetime to experience a sustained time where it will be unremarkable for a women to hold key leadership positions across all industries, all nations, all religions, anything in fact. Last night as each of the panelists were introduced we regularly heard, "The first woman to...", "The only woman to...." and the like. The great thing for me was that while these true Pioneer Seekers, Heroine Adventurers, Visionary Creators and Queen Rulers were first ladies in many respects of the word they were sitting there collectively as a group of women, inspiring others to be determined, focused and to be persistent in their belief in themselves and pursuit of their dreams
I too, wish for a world where women leading is an unremarkable thing and that we no longer need to count how many women are doing anything because their is equality and we all, as peoples of this world, come together to work harmoniously, men and women, boys and girls, with the purpose of creating a world that is truly remarkable. I was also proud to be amongst a group of over 500 women who were there, together as firsts, sharing the first pre-CHOGM event focusing purely on the Empowerment of Women
The question I want to leave you with is, "How can we, as women of priviledge, simply by the fact that we are educated, take real action to make a difference to the lives of our sisters around the world, in the Commonwealth nations and beyond so that everywoman has the opportunity to be seen as remarkable?"
Creative Flow and teaching women like you to create more flow in their lives is one of my great passions. Just this morning I was interviewed by Becky McCleery, host of the Healing Superwoman Syndrome Virtual Retreat on this very topic. It's so dear to my heart because it's a great way for us to be able to actively be the leader in our lives, which as you may have heard me say before, is the ultimate in empowerment and empowerment is the key to living your visionary life rather than it just staying a vision
Today I am going to share with you a little about 'creative flow' so you can start to embrace this self-honouring, nurturing opportunity to celebrate yourself every day and avoid the stagnation, stuck, trapped, contracted, locked down feelings that are the opposite of flow
As I get clearer and clearer about my own core strengths and how to lead from them daily I felt it would be beneficial to share a little with you about how you can leverage your own strengths, something critical if you're going to be the leader in your life, career or business
First though, let's look at the term strength and define what we mean by personal strength. It's more than just being strong and more than just being good at something. True personal strength comes from something you are naturally good at that also energises you. Confused? Let me elaborate
We all have things that come naturally to us. Skills, traits and attributes that are seemingly easy. We don't have to work at them. Do they make you feel fabulous when you're using or engaging with them though? I'm going to take a guess here and say that there are things that you'd add to a list if you were asked to detail your strengths that you are good at but that you don't really like to do. Am I right? If I am then that's not a strength for you. It is something you are good at, but that doesn't mean you should be engaged with or using it all the time
What Would Happen If....? 07/13/2011
As I sat this morning contemplating the day ahead with my de-caf latte I started to think about my life and how much it had changed over the past few years
Rewind to just a couple of years ago and I was working in a j-o-b, holding tight to a dream and a plan of doing my 'thing' as a business. The thing is I was also consumed by thoughts of "What would happen if....?"
What is your Personal Freedom? 06/01/2011
Over the past few weeks I have spoken to many incredible women who are looking for more in their lives. When I asked what they were seeking the most common answer I heard was "I want more freedom". My natural instinct was to ask "So what does your personal freedom look like?"
I'm delighted to say that there were some passionate, clear answers to this question but sad to say those answers only numbered a few. I feel that sometimes, particularly when times are tough and you feel drained and tired, that it's easy to say "I want more freedom" but not always as easy to know what that will look and feel like. Today is your chance to take some time to stop and ask "What is my Personal Freedom?"
I have had the most amazing week! I was excited about hosting the 1st Annual Creative Women Can Telesummit but I think I totally underestimated how much learning, sharing, connecting and inspiration could come out of 4 days. In fact we are still a day away from wrapping up so there is more to come! When I presented today I shared a story that I wrote as a celebration of the sister hood and magic that comes with being a Creative Goddess! it features some of my favourite Goddesses and is my way of highlighting with you just a little of the awe I've experienced in my learning this week. I've called it the 'Gift of Sisters' and I am sharing it with you today as my gift. I hope it inspires you and reminds you to reach out and connect with each other and to celebrate our differences, our similarities and to rejoice in the creative possibility that exists when we share the gift of sisters, no matter where they are in the world.....
Today I was invited to spend some time with some very special women as part of a week of celebration in this, the week that we saw the 100th Centenary of International Women's Day occur on 8th March. I was a guest speaker at the 'Strengthening Women" event hosted by the Ishar Multicultural Women's Centre here in my home city
In preparing for my presentation and thinking about how, as women, we can best connect with our inner strength I contemplated a lot of different possibilities. No matter how much I thought about what to say there were 3 key elements that stood out to me as essentials to cover when speaking with the 60 women who were participants in the weekend event. Embrace these 3 elements and you'll be stronger on the inside and happier on the outside! These 3 key elements stood out so strongly that I wanted to share them as part of this week's article for you
1. Self Belief
Believing in your self is one of the most empowering things you can do and one of the key elements of inner strength. When you have self belief I believe you also have focus, direction, determination, resilience and the ability to make things happen
Self belief is an attainable attribute for all women. Sometimes you need to look within, to the very essence of your core, and to find what it is that holds you together and then give yourself permission to live from that place, from the place of self belief
Happy Monday and Happy International Women's Day for tomorrow, 8th March!
Did you realise that this year is the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day? This day was first held as an 'event' in 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and some other European countries following events the previous two years that saw women come together with a determination to gain equal rights and more
International Women's Day is for me a time to celebrate what it is we can, have and do create as women. It's time to celebrate what makes us who we are as individuals and the power that we can generate when we come together as a group. I know on March 8th around the world there will be women gathering together to join in celebration - to celebrate what they have created, as individuals and as collective groups. During this very special week I want you to take some time out to celebrate what it is that you have created in the past, are creating now and are manifesting for your future