Inspiring Through Writing

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This blog has always been a labor of love. Believe it or not, writing is not my favorite thing to do. I have all these thoughts that I want to get out, but it’s surprisingly difficult to make the words fit what I really want to say. Still, I’ve persevered because this blog is such an important part of what I’m doing with Remarkable Women.

I made my very first entry in this blog in March 2015. In Allow Possibility to Feed Your Soul, I wrote about how I made changes in my life that led to personal fulfillment and satisfaction – and also sparked the idea for Remarkable Women. Even after that, I didn’t post regularly in the blog. In fact, I didn’t even post once a month.

Fast forward to now, and I’m writing and posting a new blog every week. That change alone shows just how far I’ve come since I began this initiative – since I made the decision to open myself up to new people, possibilities, and experiences.

I’m here to tell you that you, too, can effect this type of change in your life. It’s all about your mindset.

Every day, I am prepared to make meaningful connections. Not only am I open to them, I seek them out.

I seek them out when I’m speaking at business events. I seek them out when I’m recording my podcast. And I seek them out when I’m writing this blog and responding to readers like you.

I believe the highest way to learn is to take each moment of your life and realize that what matters is to live it fully. This means you’re growing. I hope that Remarkable Women is helping you to find your own inspiration just as it has helped me find mine.

Sharing Stories

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Sharing stories is the most personal way of connecting. And it’s one way I’m helping to build and nurture a community of remarkable women. I am making these connections – and helping other women to make them – when I’m speaking at women’s business events or meeting colleagues for projects and networking.

I am also making connections when I work on my Remarkable Women podcast. This podcast is my major vehicle for sharing stories about the people I meet.

I interview anywhere from one to several women each month. These women come from all walks of life and places around the world. They are small business owners, nonprofit founders, life coaches, mothers, teachers, and so much more.

Most recently, I interviewed Cheryl Piper-Snyder, a business and executive coach as well as a holistic and HeartMath coach. Her real passion is helping others live whole and full lives. I found it fascinating to learn about the “brain, mind, heart” connection from Cheryl, and how those intangible emotions can be visually tracked and measured. In tracking, we feel like we can better control them instead of just reacting and feeling at a loss. Cheryl helps people get to that state of control, calm, and resilience.

Cheryl is just one example of the unique individuals featured in my podcast. I am so grateful to the women who share their stories with me – both business and personal. They expose their journeys of adversity and growth, failures and successes. They bravely reveal these intimate details for the sole purpose of connecting with me and our podcast audience, and in turn, helping me to connect with others.

Women Feeling Enough

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Cindy headshot 2This is the second part of our series, “Are You a Fierce Woman?” with Cynthia Battino. Today we focus on the idea of “Women Feeling Enough.” This is so key, so foundational to having a chance at being “fierce.” There’s a healthy way to go after dreams and goals in life, and it starts with knowing what your real needs vs. wants are. It’s a game-changer when you have clarity about this. You’re able to know what enough really looks like.

Cindy is so insightful, and I appreciated her sharing her journey with us. She shared her own story of having a huge house on a huge plot of land with a huge truck and so many animals and still not feeling like it was enough. You’ll have to listen to hear about what finally made her step back and start asking the question, “Do you need all that?”

When we don’t know when “enough” is “enough” in a good way, we are left wondering all the time. We look around and compare to try to measure up. But the measuring stick also changes all the time, so there’s an insecurity or deep void when we look in the mirror and are not sure, and so we just keep trying to fill it up more from things on the outside.

What if we got to decide for ourselves what our “enough” looks like? When our body looks good enough for today? When our career path offers enough value and income? When we have enough good friends? We can stop listening to the “white noise” of other people’s judgments and be our own self-authority.

And then, once we are clear on what our “enough” is – likely a combination of needs and reasonable wants – then we can really experience gratitude – geyser-like gratitude! We are aware and honest enough to acknowledge the effort, the progress, the success, and we can step back and really be thankful.

This is a personal journey that looks different for everyone. But there is great freedom that comes from knowing that no matter what we do, there will always be people who hate us or who do not approve. That’s okay. We can’t make everyone like us. But when we like ourselves……that’s when we feel enough……that’s when we can be fierce.

I hope you get to listen in as you will appreciate Cynthia’s stories, wisdom, and humor, and overall joy. Feel free to connect with her as well at Transformational Healing.

 

Speaking and Networking

RWOver the past few months, I’ve been writing about the origin story of Remarkable Women – what I’m doing with Remarkable Women, why I created Remarkable Women, and how I’m helping to connect remarkable women with one another. For the final part of this story, I want to delve deeper into the “when” of Remarkable Women.

When am I working on Remarkable Women? When am I making meaningful connections? What does this look like in my day-to-day professional world?

I am making connections when I’m giving talks and workshops at women’s business events. These include small gatherings of professional women, chambers of commerce, and any organization that wants to promote and support women’s successes. I talk to women about how to build meaningful connections and create physical, emotional, and mental spaces that allow them to reach their potential.

I also serve on the Valley Business Women Committee in my hometown, which organizes motivational luncheons for women in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. At these luncheons, the talk I give most often is about the “5 Levels of Connection” – my how-to guide to help women find ways to connect with each other.

In addition to formal speaking engagements, I make it my mission to network with as many people as possible. In fact, meeting someone new is the first level of connection. By networking, I’m opening myself up to new relationships – and new opportunities. I’ve met many of the remarkable women featured in this blog simply through casual conversation.

It is all too easy to let life get in the way of connections. But I think it’s up to all of us to allow space in our busy schedules for those connections to happen. That’s what I do on a daily basis. Whenever I come in contact with people, whether it’s through giving a workshop or waiting in line at the coffee shop, I’m always poised to make those meaningful connections happen.

Remarkable Women Podcast – Michelle Perzan

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Michelle Perzan is a Remarkable Woman from Canada who now lives in Katy, Texas. She is a wife to an amazing husband and a mom of three boys, ages 11, 9, and 6. Michelle recently published a book that shares her story, Strength in My Storm and she speaks regularly around the country.

Michelle inspired me as she shared about her journey with breast cancer. She is a survivor and thriver, and uses her own struggles to encourage others in the middle of their storms. She grew up in a home with incredible parents and entrepreneurs who taught her that she could do anything. But it wasn’t until her experience with cancer that she felt like she realized her true purpose in life and that she could step into it with complete boldness and confidence.

That boldness and confidence didn’t happen overnight, though. It was a journey of realizing that she was meant to share her story with other people to inspire and serve them. With the help of a business coach, she was able to step out of her introversion. She says that when we take ourselves out of the equation, it’s amazing how much we can do. It’s not about us. We aren’t concerned about how we look or sound when our main goal is to help others. It’s about them.

The same is true when you are connecting with anyone who is journeying through cancer. Sometimes we may not know what to say. But Michelle says that as long as we have a genuine heart and interest, the care and intent will be felt. Authentic questions or texts to check-in or just a loving hug or surprise thoughtful gifts make a world of difference to someone going through cancer.

Michelle shares a great success tip with us: Lean on your faith, whatever that looks like. Every day, for every decision. In doing so, you will find the power to get through anything.

You can find Michelle via her website at michelleperzan.com or on LinkedIn, and she will be sharing her story soon on a Podcast with VOW (Voices of Women) radio. She is active in her community and began the GEST Foundation to help others traveling through the hard journey of cancer. Feel free to reach out to her; she’d love to hear from you. 

Remarkable Women Podcast – Cheryl Piper-Snyder

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cheryl 140dpi 23 (1 of 1)Cheryl Piper-Snyder is a Remarkable Women from Waynesboro, PA. She is a business and executive coach, as well as a holistic and HeartMath coach. Her real passion is helping others live whole and full lives, and so her training and experience meets people in whatever realm they are – business or personal –  as she helps them to grow and thrive.

I found it fascinating to learn about the “brain, mind, heart” connection from Cheryl, and how those intangible emotions can be visually tracked and measured. In tracking, we feel like we can better control them instead of just reacting and feeling at a loss. Cheryl helps people get to that state of control, calm and resilience.

She says that one of the biggest challenges in life is when we are in the middle of things that seem to be spinning out of control. It’s important to remember that those experiences are leading us to the “next best thing in our life.” We want to allow ourselves to slow down instead of create such a busy life that we are not able to take that control and find that time of reflection and calm.

In addition to Cheryl’s success tip of “Keep Learning,” I appreciated her encouragement to “Judge Less.” Instead of judging others, we can offer compassion which builds trust and makes communication just easier overall. We don’t do well as humans when we are responding to each other out of fear, and unfortunately, that is what happens when we give off a feeling of judgment. It shuts down any flow, creativity or openness between us.

Cheryl recommends several books and websites:

You can find her speaking as the Keynote at The New Holistic Leaf expo in Maryland this summer. Connect with her on LinkedIn or peruse her websites at Alchemy Holistic Life Coach or ConversationalCocktails.com.

Are You a Fierce Woman?

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cindyI’m very excited to introduce our newest series, “What Does It Look Like To Be Fierce?”

Today’s focus is, “Women Being Fierce,” and our special guest is Cynthia Battino, a life coach, speaker, and author who shares her wisdom and experience with us in an honest and fun way. I appreciate her authenticity and humor so much!

This is a Podcast you do not want to miss! As a woman, when was the last time you felt fierce? You know, focused and strong, yet fully-present and kind.

Some women feel this way in a couple areas in their lives; some, unfortunately do not feel this at all. What if you could? What if you were intrepid? What if you were fierce in all areas of life, both personal and business?

Cindy shares her own journey of healing with us and her choice to confront the residue of abuse in her childhood in order to trust herself more, trust others more, and stop the generational dysfunction in her family. Similar to myself, she wanted her own children to have a different story than her own.

She reminds us that our children are always learning from us – by who we show up as, not by what we say to them. If we are miserable, we are teaching them how to be miserable. If we are bitter, we are teaching them bitterness. But on the flipside, what if we could teach them how to be happy, free, fierce….because that’s what we lived out ourselves! That would be amazing!

And it’s possible. Cindy and I want this fierceness, this happiness for every one of our listeners. Fierceness is about our heart. We need to choose to step out of our comfort zones, and walk through that healing journey, not only for ourselves but for the betterment of all those around us.

We are all different as women. Some of us need to complete our fierceness by being more soft…some need to “shore up” and become more structured and grounded in strength. Either way, the journey (albeit ongoing) is worth it!

Cindy has many resources to share with us on this journey, and encourages you to email her at cindy@transform-heal.com for her special list. One book on that list is Embrace Your Magnificence by  Fabienne Fredrickson.

You can also schedule a personal meeting with Cindy either locally or via Skype or purchase her books and Interactive Online program. But you must check out her new Podcast with her husband, “Cindy and Jay Sittin’ In a Tree…” as well as catch us in our next podcast together, “Women Feeling Enough.”

Remarkable Women Podcast – Suzy Teele

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suzy teeleSuzy Teele is a Remarkable Woman from Pittsburgh, PA. She has had a very successful career in the technology and start-up sphere, filling executive, entrepreneurial and advisor roles. She has a passion for helping technology companies grow profitably and particularly enjoys helping women develop their careers by strengthening both their leadership and networking skills.

Suzy is a Pittsburgh native, and has a deep love for her city and community. She’s a self-proclaimed, “nerd-at-heart,” and s is active across the board in both the start-up world, working around healthcare, robotics, and software as well as in the non-profit world. She seeks to share her knowledge and experience with others through volunteer organizations like WELD which helps women develop their careers from a leadership standpoint.

I loved hearing Suzy’s passion and career journey! Her lens on any challenge was purely positive, sharing them as opportunities for herself to grow personally.  She has been able to “grow up” in her career as the technology industry was “growing up” itself, and it was exciting for her to be a part of it all. She says that technology is still an amazing career path for women. There are always jobs available, and they pay well.  

Listen in closely as Suzy shares of how she grew from one particular challenge. It was a struggle for about six months, but she allowed it to shape her positively. She chose to reflect on the situation and then grew her self-confidence and belief. The challenge actually catalyzed future opportunities within her company and also helped launch her into her own business shortly after!

Her success tip flows from this experience and also her extensive involvement in her community: Grow your network. Build your relationships. She says that it will be a defining factor in your career success. She encourages us to seek out activities or workshops in our own communities at least a couple times a month to meet new people. Great idea!

Suzy struck me as a very driven person. She is like me in that we hate to be bored! She loves making an impact in the lives of those around her – her family with six children especially, as well as her Pittsburgh community.

Suzy would love to hear from you. You can visit her consulting company’s site at Aceda or connect with via LinkedIn.

Remarkable Women Podcast – Ria Story

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unnamedRia Story is a Remarkable Woman living near Atlanta, GA. She and her husband are Motivational Speakers and love helping people learn how to communicate and influence others best.

I thoroughly enjoyed our interview, taking away many quotes and nuggets of wisdom. Even just hearing the incredible story of her own personal journey was inspiring. Ria tells of the great courage required to overcome her own fear in sharing about her painful past. But now she can genuinely help others be brave and share their own stories as well. As Less Brown told her, “You have a story to tell, and someone needs to hear your story because only you can help that person.”

Ria is passionate about helping others see and understand the potential they all have inside of them. We all have positions of influence, whether it is in our family, workplace, or social circles. Ria helps people learn different skills in how to gain more influence and use it for the most impact.

Listen in to our Podcast as Ria shares about her greatest challenge actually being just learning to communicate in general. She came to realize that she could be “that” person who started conversations and shared information effectively. I loved hearing about her biggest cheerleader in life.

One of my favorite parts of our conversation was talking about authenticity. We both agreed that it is most freeing to be honest with ourselves and others about our mistakes. Ria shared how that even helps us build influence and credibility with others. “We all have weaknesses. We know it. Others know it. The question is, “Do THEY know that WE know it!’” Too true! There’s strength that comes when we are our authentic selves and don’t cave in to the pressure of conforming to someone else’s ideal.

Ria shared a wonderful success tip for women: Be intentional about your own personal growth and development. I completely agree! It is so important! This will help you gain more leadership and influence with other people. Read books and watch training videos on leadership skills to keep growing.

Ria has just published her latest book, Leadership Gems for Women. You can seek her out as she tours the area for book signings and meet her in person. Or you can connect with her through her website or on LinkedIn.

Here’s a quote from her to leave you with that helped inspire her latest book:

Leaders are like diamonds, formed under pressure. And it’s the pressure that makes you stronger. No two are alike. They are rare. Don’t be afraid to shine bright in areas of strength. Work on weaknesses, most particularly weaknesses in character.

Part 3: Setting Intentions

Setting Intentions

In relating why I created Remarkable Women, I’ve talked about the power of connecting with women and the benefits of realizing your remarkable self. When I first began this journey, these seemed like tall orders (just as I’m sure they seem daunting to you now).

So, I want to give you a jump-start by passing on the wisdom I’ve gained. In trying to find myself, I found a solution in an unexpected place: A quote by American philosopher Wayne Dyer – “Our intention creates our reality.”

These words immediately resonated with me. I’m always trying to improve my quality of life, and that’s what inspired Remarkable Women in the first place. Working on myself is a daily practice, and setting intentions is an essential part of it.

We are always navigating life as we respond to changing circumstances. When we set intentions, we give ourselves the needed space to step back and realize that, through all the ups and downs, we care most about the type of person we want to be. I know from my own experience that the more we can stay connected to the deeper qualities that make us who we are, the happier we will be.

When setting your intentions, make sure that they reflect both who you want to be and also represent the here and now. The word “intent” may bring to mind the future, but it is equally important to focus on your desires in the present moment.

Setting intentions unites us to our values, our character, our aspirations, and our beliefs. One intention I’ve focused on in the past is authenticity – being true to my own desires and myself.

Your intentions may be similar to this, or they may be very different. They may be specific or general…

Maybe you want to choose a new and more fulfilling career path (even if others don’t approve).

Maybe you want to seek our connections with like-minded people who value the deep conversations that you do.

Maybe you simply want to keep a positive attitude every day, even in challenging situations.

Whatever intentions you set for yourself, I think it is important to share them with others in your life. This will give you a greater sense of encouragement and accountability. Setting and sharing your intentions is the perfect example of what Remarkable Women is all about: finding strength in our connections with others.