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.

Part 2: Being Your Remarkable Self

Be your remarkable self

As you know by now, I care deeply about giving women the resources they need to connect with each other. I believe it’s those connections that allow us to blossom and achieve our true potential.

That’s one of the reasons Remarkable Women is so important to me.

I want all women to feel remarkable. When I feel this way, it really improves my quality of life. It ignites an incredible sense of joy within me. In fact, it’s so contagious that I have an enormous feeling of spreading it to everyone around me.

Of course, I know that no one feels remarkable 100 percent of the time. Life is full of challenges, setbacks, and sometimes negative feedback from others. Those things can get us down if we let them. But I think it’s important to put those self-limiting thoughts in perspective and realize that they don’t define who we are. Focus on this truth: When you’re at your best, you are a creative and compassionate person with unique qualities.

Over time, I’ve learned a lot about how to be and feel remarkable.

I’ve learned that it actually requires less compromise, not more. I’ve learned

to be clear,

to be choosy,

and to be consistent.

I’ve learned to follow my heart with courageous energy. I view challenges as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.

I’ve learned to bite off what I can chew – and chew it! I continually learn, as learning leads to continuous improvement. I give myself time to think.

I’ve learned that where your attention goes, energy flows. Cultivate more of what you want instead of what you don’t.

But the most important lesson I’ve learned in my pursuit of being remarkable is this: Remarkable women recognize that life is a balancing act between holding on and letting go.

I created Remarkable Women to share these bits of wisdom. On days when you are struggling, I want you to be able to easily call on your positive qualities. I want you to feel remarkable as often as I do!

Remarkable Women Podcast – Yahrah St. John

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HeadshotYahrah St. John is a Remarkable Woman living in Orlando, FL. She is an accomplished author of 24 romance novels, both self-published and with Harlequin. She has been writing short stories, plays, and novels since she was twelve years old! Her writing career has complemented her 17 year career in Commercial Property Management to give her a perfect balance of financial freedom and creative pursuits.

I thoroughly enjoyed our interview, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the life and writing process of an author. Yahrah is passionate about her craft and spends a great deal of time, reading, going to book conferences, and networking with other authors to keep her inspiration and standards high. Because of her extensive experience, she is able to get her publishing time from idea to completion down to three months! Incredible!

Yahrah shares about the beginning of her writing journey, when she would spend weekend time with her family, as they were very religious. She began writing about all the things she wanted to do and imagined doing – her “fantasies” – like going to summer camp! This springboarded into a lifetime career of writing romance novels.

Her career has not been without challenges. When her mother passed away, and she was with a new publisher, she had to step back and think about why she had started writing and what she loved about it. She remembered that her mother would say, “Never give up,” and that helped her push through. She also sought out help from friends and colleagues who encouraged her to find a new agent, and she was able to continue writing again.

She recommends to all women that if they are ever in a tough situation, not to be afraid to seek out help from others. She was very grateful for those who came alongside her. She helps others as well, by offering self-publishing advice to help authors who would like to go that route but don’t know how.

Yahrah has a lot going on! She shoots for about 3-4 published books each year, and this year will have a “silver anniversary” with her 25th book coming out!

You can keep up with her latest news, find much inspiration and connect with Yahrah via her website. She has video trailers for many of her books and other video interviews of herself.

Why Am I Doing This? Part 1: The Power of Connections

Power of Connections

In my last few posts, I’ve talked about my journey of self-exploration and how it led me to create Remarkable Women. Now, I want to talk more about my “why” – my reason for doing what I do.

I’m a very confident, goal-oriented person. But just like everyone else, I hit obstacles and glitches in life. We all have days or weeks like this, right?

Over time, I figured out the secret to overcoming those down moments and pushing towards those big dreams in life: connecting with people. I’ve noticed that I just feel so much stronger with the support of other women behind me.

During the hard times, I’ve learned to lean on my friends and colleagues for encouragement or creative ideas to get over the hump. That’s one reason I’ve loved being part of my community as a business owner; it’s given me unique opportunities to connect with remarkable women.

I’ve seen firsthand the incredible things that can happen if you have a supportive network of women. I want this for the important women in my life – my daughters, my friends, and all of you, and my passion for facilitating these connections comes from that desire.

If you’re wondering what the value is for you – especially if you are a busy, driven person and feel like connections are just one more thing to add to your calendar – I hope you will continue to read this blog and listen to my Remarkable Women podcast.

This is my “why.” I do this because I want to encourage you to devote time and effort to seeking out remarkable connections for yourself. Trust me, this is how we can change the world!

Creating Connections

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In the beginning, my story of how Remarkable Women came about focused almost entirely on myself – my own pursuit of possibility and inspiration. But this is the point where my journey takes a turn.

After I made my remarkable space, I realized what such a thing could do for the soul. And I experienced a sort of clarity in that I knew I needed to share the concept with other women so they, too, could let possibility into their lives.

Connecting with other people, even in the most basic ways, makes us happier and more fulfilled. We need others for encouragement, inspiration, and to help to go after the big things in life (those possibilities I keep mentioning).

It struck me that I could create spaces – above and beyond my own personal space – for making connections in my daily life, and for helping others to do the same. I began looking for creative, intentional ways to make this happen.

Eventually, creating connections became habit. I would schedule quick chats in coffee shops, take walks on my lunch break, and sign up for volunteer opportunities or committees where I knew I’d be working closely with other women.

Notice that these are all face-to-face experiences. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep that tangible human connection rather than replacing it with something like a text message or email.

There is one exception to this, and that’s the phone call. I found that setting time aside to have a one-hour phone call with someone each week was very gratifying. We discussed resources, offered support to one another, shared our objectives, and celebrated our wins together. Had I not made that conscious effort to make those calls, these rewarding conversations likely would have never taken place.

After several months of creating and nurturing these connections with women, I wanted to share what I learned. I wanted to connect all these remarkable women with one another so they could learn from each other just as I had learned from them. Ultimately, the Remarkable Women project – including this blog, the podcast, and the store – is a result of my drive and determination to make that happen.

Remarkable Women Podcast – Eileen Scully

 

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Eileen Scully is a Remarkable Woman living on the beautiful and peaceful Cape Cod, MA. She is the founder of The Rising Tides, a global consulting firm focused on making the workplace a better environment for women. She is also the publisher of 52feminists.com, a website that features first person narratives from people all over the world who identify as feminists.

We had a wonderful conversation about Eileen’s career journey and the many things she is most passionate about. She has had an extensive career in technology, research, and advisory services and has been able to channel her experience into this new business, helping organizations around the world address relationships among women and helping women accelerate each other’s careers.

There has always been an undercurrent of philanthropy in Eileen’s career, but now that her daughter is grown and flown, she has been able to spend much more time working with foundations she finds rewarding. Since 2010, she’s proudly served on the board of directors for the Get In Touch Foundation which provides free breast health education to girls around the world. This organization is now in all 50 states and growing globally! We spoke about the challenges that all non-profits face, but I was so proud to hear how this one successfully overcame a “passing-of-the-baton” in leadership and continues to thrive.

One of my favorite parts of our interview was hearing Eileen share about the difference between advocate and mentor. A slight nuance, but an entirely different mindshift. Advocates allow for a two way conversation whereas mentors are usually a one-way-street. Eileen recommends that all women seek out a team of advocates whom you trust and respect and who will be brutally honest with you and share helpful feedback. Look outside your own workplace or field. Intentionally nurture and build these relationships well.

It was this team of advocates that has proved most valuable to Eileen as she launched The Rising Tides and also the biggest piece of advice she offers as a success tip. This team can serve as a personal “board of directors.” They will likely be the ones to share new opportunities or connections before you’d hear otherwise.

52feminists.com is a resource Eileen would love to share with others. It’s an inspiring place to read the stories of feminists from all eras and walks of life. A new story is featured each week.

Connect with Eileen

Eileen would love to hear from you! Connect with her via:

Making It Happen

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I’ve talked about how opening up my mind to possibility led me on a new journey in life, and eventually to creating Remarkable Women. Not only that, it led me to create my very own “remarkable space” to nurture my new outlook.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing from that point. I knew by now that I couldn’t just sit in my space and expect good things to happen without movement on my part. Rather than staring blankly at the wall, I took action. I got to work channeling my rush of excitement and purpose into goals.

I decided to make it happen, and to accept no other outcome.

I started by seeking out capable, confident people who could be sounding boards for my ideas – “doers” rather than thinkers. I shared with them, but I also listened to their perspectives.

Secondly, I didn’t rush myself. Inspiration doesn’t happen in a day. So I gave myself the time and energy to find it. Before I began this journey, I felt like I was always getting caught up in everything except what was happening in the moment. Now, I insist on living in the moment.

Next, I made sure to constantly try new things. Whenever an opportunity presented itself – be it advice, a new experience, even something as small as trying a new food – I took it. Why? Because any one of these experiences had the ability to completely change my outlook on some aspect of my life. In turn, this helped me to fully unleash my creativity.

By the same token, I worked hard at developing good habits like determination, courage, and discipline. I also constantly reminded myself to be open no matter what. I would do daily “gut checks” to make sure I was stretching myself and committing to doing something beyond my capabilities.

Finally, one of the most important lessons I learned was that I needed to stop insisting on perfection. I had to let go. I finally concluded that “done” is better than perfect. I found that when I achieved deadlines, I actually gained more clarity. And clarity is golden when it comes to action and results!