inspired

all choked up and inspired by strong, smart, bold girls

Emmy was one of my fave's, she was full of enthusiasm for life, it was pretty contagious.

Emmy was one of my fave's, she was full of enthusiasm for life, it was pretty contagious.

October 11th was International Day of the Girl. I was blessed to attend and speak at a fundraising event with Girls Inc. Pacific Northwest a few days before to celebrate the occasion.

The event is a day to celebrate the "strong, smart, bold girls of the program and showcase all that the organization does to promote and lift up these girls so that they can live independent, successful lives.

Jenny Hansson, anchor from KOIN TV shares her journey to the anchor desk and the supportive parents who helped her get there

Jenny Hansson, anchor from KOIN TV shares her journey to the anchor desk and the supportive parents who helped her get there

 

Hosted by Jenny Hansson, anchor for KOIN TV got the afternoon started by welcoming the attendees and offering her story and the support she received from those around her, I spoke with Jenny, an awesome woman who gets up every day at 2am to anchor the sunrise news. Yes, that is really early but she said it was a small price to pay to live out her dream.


reading the girls proclamation

reading the girls proclamation

Emmy and her Dad making an appeal to everyone to stand and support girls

Emmy and her Dad making an appeal to everyone to stand and support girls

Hands down, the best part of the whole event was the girls.. About 20 plus girls were there in total and they greeted guests with enthusiasm. They also each took lead at tables around the room to showcase some of what they experience with Girls Inc. PNW. A few of them were selected to get up on stage, no easy task for anyone but even harder when you are young. Many survey's done with people of all ages say that a lot of people fear public speaking more than death. YIKES. 

Lily tore the house down with her courage to get up and speak for the first time in front of an audience.

Lily tore the house down with her courage to get up and speak for the first time in front of an audience.

Sama, a 10 year old business older and future actress who saves animals gave an impassioned speech and rocked the house

Sama, a 10 year old business older and future actress who saves animals gave an impassioned speech and rocked the house

That makes what these girls did all the more amazing. For most of them it was the first time they had ever been in front of an audience. I am not understating how amazing it was to watch them in action. For most of their speeches I was a puddle of tears. No joke. I was so overwhelmed with the intelligence, enthusiasm and fearlessness of each of them as they explained who they wanted to be and why Girls Inc. is helping them make their dreams a reality.


Final speaker of the day can be an intimidating place to be.

Final speaker of the day can be an intimidating place to be.

Just my luck, I was the final speaker of the day and directly followed all of these girls. Talk about intimidating. There was nothing I could say that would appeal to the audiences desire to contribute to Girls Inc. more than what these phenomenal young women did. I had a job to do though and so I got up on stage and let the room know that they just saw the REAL reason to donate and support. There was really only one question to be asked...

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will you stand in a girl's corner to help her be strong, smart and bold?

 

A little gift to thank the people at my table for attending and donating to this great cause.

A little gift to thank the people at my table for attending and donating to this great cause.

This truly was an amazing experience for me. Not only did I get to live out my dream and speak to a room about girls but I got to see what happens when we support girls and lift them up. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend a Friday. I have to thank everyone who came to support the event, especially my friends and family who came to support me and this great cause. I also have to thank Girls Inc. PNW for doing what they do and letting me play in their sandbox for a bit with some amazing girls who inspired me to keep following my path and be

strong               smart               bold

How great would it be to keep the momentum train going? If you would like to donate to Girls Inc. PNW and support these girls, send me an email I can help get your donation over to the group. Hope to hear from you soon.

"the power and blessing of being a woman"

Excerpt from Regina King's Emmy speech (video below)

Excerpt from Regina King's Emmy speech (video below)

In a shock to everyone I know, I missed the Emmy's this year. It is a shock because I am actually known for my Award Show parties. Sadly, this meant that I had to watch clips afterwards, What really makes this sad is the fact that it really felt like the Year of the Woman (again), at least from social media and traditional media following the event.

Obviously everyone has been talking about the speech made by Viola Davis which and for good reason, it was beautiful, poignant and thought provoking. It aligned so clearly with not just the issues of women of color on television and movies but the entire culture of race continue as a global community to perpetuate. Between the increasing racial tensions in our country with regard to law enforcement to the Syrian Refugee Crisis we remain a world where hate spreads.

If you were to ask most people if they are filled with hate or are prejudiced against other people, they will say no. Nobody admits to being hateful. They make excuses for what they do based on a variety of experiences, religion, history etc. Think about it, most people will admonish the atrocities of World War II and the concentration camps or the Civil Rights Movement yet so many are standing by and watching as the refugees are hit with fire hoses and dogs or another video of a black American being beaten or killed by an officer of the law. 

So what does all of this have to do with the title of this post?

The other speech that impacted me but got less coverage was that of Regina King. Her speech was not necessarily out of the ordinary for an acceptance speech except for her seemingly very sincere shock at having won. There was one section/line though that stopped me.


It is a small but powerful sentence that I haven't been able to get my mind off of it since. It seems that we hear and see in the media a lot of the negatives and burdens of being a woman but rarely see the "power and blessing" being extolled. It is why I think this phrase needs more attention.

I study, speak and educate on women and it took me a minute to determine if I had ever expressed the power and blessing I feel being a woman. My stomach dropped as I realized that I don't honor that enough. Women are the most powerful force in the globe. Many will argue with me I am sure but let's really think about here.

  • 1st and foremost we are the caretakers of the world. Without women, our children wouldn't become healthy and contributing adults to society. Women literally are raising the future.

  • We are responsible for 80% of all purchases

    • advertiser's want our money

  • We have a seat at the table - in some cases at the head of the table

  • We are big in numbers and we are good at organizing around a cause

  • we have more women in high places

  • the power to influence - in my mind, women are the most influential people and yet in the past have never received credit for this 

  • We are educated 

    • 70% of all high school valedictorians are women

    • 62% of all associates degrees

    • 57% of all bachelors degrees

    • 63% of masters degrees

    • 53% doctoral degrees

now that is power...


So that is the power of being a woman, let's talk about the blessings.

It's a blessing because we have a voice and using that voice is changing the world in big ways. I feel blessed to call myself a woman when I see all of the amazing things women are doing. I feel blessed to be/have:

  • We are blessed enough to live in a time where we can get educated and fight for a career, a family and more and there is power in all of that

  • lots of conversations around women and girls now

  • to have a voice

  • empathetic to others

  • to be a caretaker

  • to be able to like sports and wear nail polish at the same time

I totally burnt the cookies. It is probably good for everyone that I am not a cook.

I totally burnt the cookies. It is probably good for everyone that I am not a cook.

  • that women in my generation earn more than our mother's and grandmother's on average and get to spend that money the way we want and still are selfless enough take care of everyone around us

  •  I don't have to wear heels to cook in ( I actually don't have to cook) but I can

  • I can do anything I want but I don't have to do anything I don't want to do


Some of the girls from Marymount School for Girls after our discussion on Purpose, Passion & Drive

Some of the girls from Marymount School for Girls after our discussion on Purpose, Passion & Drive

The real blessing in my life is that I get to help other girls and women by sharing my experiences

There is power and blessings in being whoever we are and it is imperative that we dig in to realize what it means to us so that we can celebrate and express gratitude for who and what we are. Once we realize our own blessings we can be more empathetic to others and open up opportunities for people who don't have them; whether it is welcoming refugees into our country and caring for them, volunteering our time to help others or opening up roles for women of color and other individuals in our art. You may say these have nothing to do with each other but the do. The art that these women do open our eyes to the experiences of others.


Quick tip, be sure to look up the show Regina won her Emmy for, American Crime. It was an amazing look inside ALL sides of a single situation and the struggles we still see around race and gender in this country.


woman crush wednesday - Mindy kaling

Social media has changed the landscape of how we talk. While on the surface I totally knew that, it wasn't until recently that it made me feel a bit out of the loop. I kept seeing the hashtag "#wcw", better known to people who actually speak words instead of initials as "Woman Crush Wednesday". Once I l got someone much younger than me to tell me what it meant in actual words, I realized, I need to get behind this whole WCW hoopla. 

Because of that Wednesdays on the blog, for the time being are going to be dedicated to my Woman Crushes. Now before you go thinking this is some other kind of blog.

Let me explain. Each Wednesday I will share with you a profile on a different woman I am crushing on because of what she is doing to make the world a better place. GOOD IDEA RIGHT?

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Since I just came up with the idea, I decided that week one would be someone everyone knows but in the future I will feature all types of women from business, arts, culture and even a few of my friends.

This week I chose Mindy Kaling.

If you are asking why. Then you don't know Mindy. Technically  don't know here know her but that is why she is one of my fave's. It feels like I do know her. Sr she has written for the Office, and now runs her own show which she created, and stars in (Mindy Project). That means she's a girl boss. (we all know I love that.) That's all great, fantastic even but have you seen her hilarious tweets and instagram posts? If not, I will give you a second to go "like" those pages now and then you can thank me later. If that isn't enough to convince you to also have a crush on Mindy, then read her book (soon to be plural).

But the REAL reason I am crushing so hard? 

She speaks her mind. She says the things you're not supposed to say but you think, so why shouldn't you? I could list all of the things she has accomplished and the walls she has broken down, but I think that is focusing on the obvious things. They're great, don't get me wrong but... I crush on her for that and so much more.

There’s this mentality that there can only be one woman who is successful and funny and running her own show and if there’s more than that you must hate each other.
— Mindy Kaling

I crush on her because sometimes I swear she read my diary and makes it sound funny and normal, charming even. That takes some real talent. She is using her voice, pushing the envelope and making a statement, all with out purpose or malice. That is the kind of person that makes the world more awesome.

Plus...she is flipping hilarious!

I say if you love something, set it in a small cage and pester and smother it with love until it either loves you back or dies.
— Mindy Kaling

Come back Friday for part 2 of our "writing your manifesto" series. Hope you've been working on your brainstorming.