Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday's Truth - Food for Thought

I received a very interesting email yesterday. One that gave me pause and set my "truth-o-meter" into the red zone.

In the body of the email was an assertion that many of the Laws that have been passed by Congress contain language specifically exempting its members from the very laws they have passed.

That was a new one on me. So I set out to find the truth. As usual, there are two sides to every story, and yes, there appear to be many laws - the Civil Rights Act - being one of them, that are in question.

The only ".gov official list" I could find with a cursory Google search did not mention the recent Health Care Legislation, or The Americans with Disabilities Act, but these too, are cited frequently in many blogs and articles on this subject that appear to have more current information.

This blog is not meant to be a forum for political debate, and this specific day's post is dedicated to "truth". But if the food for thought I have offered compels you, I suggest further investigation is in order. If your research finds this to be true, then the implications are alarming.

I will also forward on to many of you the email I received. I don't often do this, but in this case I sense at least some of you will want to "pass along" this thought -provoking issue.

I leave you with a quote from one of the greatest Statesmen of our time:

The truth is incontrovertible,
malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it,
but in the end; there it is.

- Sir Winston Churchill

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage - Melanne Verveer

Today's Woman of Courage is Melanee Verveer, our nation's Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues.

Her experience and courage have created a Social Biography that is truly phenomenal:

Melanne Verveer is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international nonprofit that supports emerging women leaders in building vibrant democracies and strong economies. Vital Voices focuses on expanding women’s participation in politics and civil society; increasing women’s entrepreneurship and fighting human rights abuses, particularly the trafficking of women and children. Vital Voices provides international leadership training through a collaborative with Georgetown University that enables women leaders from around the globe to more effectively contribute to advancing progress in their societies. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network connects thousands of women leaders who have participated in Vital Voices conferences or the Global Leadership Institute training programs. Verveer served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady in the Clinton Administration. As a member of the White House senior staff, she advised the President and implemented a wide range of substantive policies, budget priorities and communications strategies. She was the First Lady’s chief assistant in her international activities. In that role, her responsibilities included overseeing Hillary Clinton’s global initiatives on women’s rights as human rights, democracy building, micro-enterprise development, and the education of women and girls. She organized the First Lady’s historic trips overseas, including her travels to Central and South Asia, Russia, Northern Ireland, Central Europe and Africa. She helped to create the US government’s Vital Voices Democracy Initiative to promote women’s economic and political progress globally. The initiative was an outgrowth of the U.S. response to the UN 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in l995. Verveer also took the lead in establishing the President’s Interagency Council on Women, which serves as a model for governments to address issues of concern to women. She was instrumental in coordinating the US response to the growing global problem of the trafficking of human beings and represented the US government at various international conferences. Verveer has over twenty-five years experience in government and public interest work. She has a broad knowledge of domestic public policy issues which she has brought to the international arena. Previously, she served as Executive Vice President of People for the American Way, a civil rights and constitutional liberties organization where she played a key role in the passage of several landmark civil rights bills. She was Coordinator for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for the U.S. Catholic Conference, Field Manager of Common Cause and worked in both the US House and Senate as Legislative Director and Special Assistant respectively. She was a founding member of the Coalition on Human Needs and has served on the Boards of Children of Chornobyl Relief Fund, Counterpart International, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Advocacy Institute, Public Allies, NETWORK and the Center for Policy Alternatives, among others. She has played a leadership role in the Women Leaders Initiative of the World Economic Forum. She is a frequent speaker and consultant on a range of public policy issues. She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Russian studies from Georgetown University, where she was a University Fellow. Verveer has been profiled in The Washington Post, National Journal, Appointments with Power, Beachman’s Guide to Key Lobbyists, and Who’s Who of American Women. She has received many awards, including the American Association of University Women’s “Woman of Distinction”Award, Knock Out Abuse Leadership Honoree and the Basilian Humanitarian Award. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s Foreign Policy Group, the Washington Institute on Foreign Affairs and Women In International Security. She was a member of the Robert Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights delegation to Guatemala in 2003, and has served as a faculty member of the Salzburg Seminar.

As a Woman of Wealth, you too can make a difference. There is always room in the "House of Change" for another person willing to stand up for the rights of others. And while your own social biography may not be as extensive as Ambassador Verveer's, the role you play in bringing about gender equality will impact women for generations to come.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess

Drag coefficient.

(yes, I’m following up a blog entry on discomfort with one on drag coefficient. Thank you for noticing).

This term kept coming to mind all week long.

The technical definition of drag coefficient is a dimensionless quantity that is used to quantify the drag or resistance of an object in a fluid environment.

Regardless of what it technically means, it was my metaphor for the week.

How much drag coefficient have I either created or allowed into my life? If it is true that we have a set amount of energy and we spend it like we spend our money, when it is gone, it is gone.

I haven’t spent enough time taking care of my wellbeing lately. My work hasn’t been enjoyable, I’m not getting enough quality sleep, I’m drinking too much wine, I’m worrying about some things, I’m trying to see too many people and squeezing in too many networking meetings, I’ve added a couple little projects to my list, I’ve added a couple larger projects to my list, I’ve taken on clients that don’t have a set routine, I’m not exercising, the toilet broke, the a/c was dead for 3 and ½ days last week …I may have been retaining water so my clothes were uncomfortable…need I continue…

Bite by bite, I have added so many things to my life that it isn’t fun at this pace. Normally I recognize this before I hit a wall, have a meltdown, or get too much of my agitation all over everyone else in my world. This time it took a little longer to tap me on the shoulder….maybe I just didn’t notice the tap… it took an elbow to the side of the head to get it (literally, I took an elbow to the head last week when I was out country dancing at the Broken Spoke. It left me seeing stars for a minute). Ok! Got my attention.

Being an advocate for quality of life and balance, I fully expect myself to notice when the walls start closing in and I can’t breathe. Not this time. I got to experience all of the frustration, upset and ensuing embarrassment that comes along with being in my own little free fall party for an entire week or two….even when I mentioned to those close to me that I was feeling stressed and anxious some time back.

Well, time to clean this up. Going to take an inventory today and see where I can clean house and organize my thoughts. See where I’m hemorrhaging energy and install some energy efficient measures.

How much drag coefficient are you operating with in your life? Has it been there for so long that you don’t even recognize the toll it is taking? What it the cost of continuing to live this way? Peace? Laughter? Health? Quality of life? Happy relationships?

Next week ….a sexy topic, I promise!

What’s in your life is what you choose, choose consciously and powerfully!

Friday, July 23, 2010

TGIF - Do Unto Others...

As we approach another weekend in what has been a long, hot Summer here on the East Coast, may I suggest a slightly different way to spend your "downtime".

Reach out to someone less fortunate and offer them support- moral, financial, or physical.

On this day in July of 1852, Frances Seward, wife of William Seward, President Lincoln's Secretary of State wrote to him after a visit to the Auburn New York Orphan Asylum, “I was greatly interested in the Orphans. . . . One of them has died & is to be buried this morning. As he was a poor colored child placed there by my advice, I am going round and shall defray the funeral expenses.”

Her compassion and support of African-American Slaves is well documented.

The return on your investment in others will be measured in part, by your willingness to give up a part of you to benefit the whole of humanity. The feeling you get when you have done so will be immeasurable.

Have a delightful, safe, and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday's Truth - Brutal Honesty

White lies. These are untruths that are spoken and are considered justified based on some higher purpose. The fact that they are "white" implies that they no longer have a dark meaning, which is really like adding insult to injury.

An example might be asking a spouse, boyfriend or significant other whether the clothes you are wear make you look fat. The response is "no" even though they truly believe otherwise.

The brutally honest answer is: "no, your fat makes you look fat". This would not play well in many relationships.

Just the combination of these two words seems to be an oxymoron. We normally equate brutality with abuse. We admire honesty as a virtue that is very difficult to live up to.

And Truth hurts - brutally so, at times. But the truth will set you free to enjoy life and make the choices that are wise and appropriate.

While I don't agree with the use of inappropriate language in the blog I am about to suggest as a resource, much of what the writer talks about is true.

Here is the link - view discretion is advised.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage -Summer Reading

I know many of you are looking forward to getting away at some point this summer, before the return to fall. Traditionally a time for renewal, the term vacation has come to mean more activity, not less, perhaps a "working one", and the added stress of making sure everyone else's needs are met.

This year maybe a "stay-cation" is in order. One that involves just one day, where you, and you alone are the focus. Doing this may take courage, since women tend to feel as though they are being selfish if not fully involved in family, friends, or community.

If you are looking for a good read during this brief period of self-renewal, may I suggest a book that profiles several women in categories such as the courage to persevere, the courage to listen to your heart, etc.

One of the women profiled in the perseverance category is Faith Popcorn. Our children had the experience of a Montessori education as a child, and I remember her as having children in the same school. I remember thinking at the time how interesting a name she had, but did not realize what her background was or career aspiration.

To me, she was a Mom interested, as I, in providing the best educational and life experiences as possible for her children. She appeared to be a devoted, caring parent although I do recall she was a single mom at the time.

We all know women like Faith. Some are struggling with personal battles, and circumstances beyond their immediate control.

But in the end, they are determined to prevail. And that spirit cannot be broken.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess


I’m sitting in my condo and it is 84 degrees in here.

On top of some challenges this week, I walked into my home yesterday and was welcomed by a wall of warmth and humidity. As I disarmed the alarm system I glanced up at the thermostat and it greeted me with a surprising 84 degree marquis. It hit 100 yesterday outside.

My immediate response was frustration. I was confronted.

The always present debate team in my head began volleying the problem against the data I had collected on my a/c unit in the last year. The system ran and cooled sufficiently however, I was informed at the last maintenance check that I may need to undergo open heart surgery and fork out thousands for a system overhaul. Dropping articles of clothing one by one onto the floor and acknowledging perspiration droplets populating my upper lip, I danced with denial a bit longer….and then…..I acquiesced to the debate committee.

It is what it is. Now I have to deal with it. There was freedom in the acknowledgment.

Resisting the facts was not going to get me to a solution.

Sitting with discomfort is not easy for me. There is the physical discomfort of the heat and the inconvenience it causes to my life. And then there is the financial discomfort of parting with the money. 24 hours later, I have had time to think about discomfort and how I operate inside of it. Maybe it is part of the human condition…pleasure seeking, pain avoidance.

I’ve been in an inquiry about how often I get to the brink of discomfort and resist it or pop out of it. I take a less challenging direction so I can avoid being uncomfortable. How often do I act in this way and what is the cost of this behavior? What would it look like if I pushed through the discomfort and stretched myself? Who would I become? What could I achieve? What might I learn? How might I grow?

So far there is no profound catharsis other than the noticing… and a willingness to lean into my discomfort and not be so quick to avoid it.

I’m on my way to a cool hotel room now……..(let’s not go crazy here).

What’s in your life is what you choose. Choose consciously and powerfully.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sanctuary Sunday

I find that taking a day to meditate on what has transpired during the last week and contemplate what will be my course for the next, is essential if balance is to be restored in mind, body, and soul.

Sometimes my moral compass becomes deflected by stray energy that takes me in a direction that is not "the high ground". This usually leads to regret, and yes, sadness which is never a good thing. As Tess has taught us "What’s in your life is what you choose, choose consciously and powerfully!"

So to stay on course, I have removed the "rear-view mirrors" from my life, and have chosen instead to focus on the "road ahead", regardless of where it may lead. May the following inspire you to do the same.

Angel of Roses
by Marie Wadsworth

All the tears
The people of Earth
Had cried
Lie flooding the base of
The stairway to heaven that
The angel climbed down.
She scattered rose petals
In the pools
Of anguish, fear and joy
For she was
The Angel of Roses,
A messenger of
God's constant love,
Light and gifts
He has for
All He has made.


Friday, July 16, 2010

TGIF - It's International Juggling Day!

I grew up during the infancy of television. At the time, the technology amounted to: a Black & White screen (12 inch), "rabbit ears" for inbound reception, and 4 -5 channels of live, then later, pre-taped programming depending on aforementioned antennae position, weather, and where you lived.

One of the "must see" TV shows was the Ed Sullivan Show. In addition to many celebrities, Ed would have circus acts, animal performers, and magicians as part of the evening.

My favorite were the jugglers. I became fascinated with them. Their ability to keep several things in the air at once - balls, bowling pins, plates - was truly a miracle, I felt. Defying gravity has always been a child's dream ever since the creation of the "Superperson" series - Woman, Girl, Man & Boy.

Women have an innate ability to handle multiple tasks. This has been well documented.

Dr. Christina Williams, the chair of the Psychology Department at Duke University, has done studies with rats, where the male rats have exhibited more “tunnel vision” than female rats (Williams & Meck, 1990). Williams study discovered that female rats use multiple cues, including examining landmarks of the maze and geometry to navigate a maze, while male rats just used geometry. This implies that women use their minds to synthesize multiple cues from the environment, while men would rather use single cues.

Additionally, there is a biological difference. According to MRIs performed, women have a larger corpus callossum (Halpern, 2000). The corpus collossum is the area of the brain that handles communication between the two hemispheres. It is responsible for synthesizing the information from the left and right side of the brain. In women, the corpus callosum is wider than that of men’s brains, which might enable the two sides to communicate better with each other. This is a theory as to why women might multitask more efficiently.

For more on Women and their ability to "juggle" all the things going on in their increasingly complicated lives click here.

Suggested reading: The Nine Rooms of Happiness: Loving yourself, Finding Your Purpose, and Getting Over Life’s Little Imperfections, Lucy S. Danziger, editor-in-chief of SELF magazine, and women’s mental health psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf, MD, founder of Payne Whitney’s Women’s Mental Health Center

Have a delightful, and balanced, weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday's Truths - The Mythical Lilith

Many of you are familiar with the "new" Lilith Fair, which has it's roots in the very popular women's concert series of the late '90's. While many believe the newest incarnation does not live up to the original conceived by singer/songwriter, Sara McLachlan and others, her choice to name this event after the so-called "second woman created in Genesis" , is a fascinating one.

Whether you believe in the Bible or not, the fact that such a powerful influence has left some doubt as to the truth regarding the equality of Woman and Man, is disturbing. The representation of Lilith as "evil" based on her refusal to be subservient to her husband, Adam points to a long history of discrimination and "untruths" that have vexed women as they seek to get ahead in a male-dominated society.

As put forth in Jewish Folklore, Lilith is represented as a powerfully sexual woman against whom men and babies felt they had few defenses and, except for a few amulets, little protection. Much more so than Eve, Lilith is the personification female sexuality.

But it is for her independence from Adam, her position beyond the control of a male, that she is most remembered.

She is disobedient and like Eve, and indeed all women who are willful, she is perceived as posing a constant threat to the divinely ordered state of affairs defined by men.

In yesterday's Wednesday's Women of Courage post, I gave some background on the efforts of women to overcome the myth that they are "the weaker vessel" dating as far back as the French Revolution.

The truth is not always apparent. Man-made myths like the one that vilifies Lilith only serve to perpetuate the falsehood of gender inequality.

The truth is, both human manifestations of life need to be working together to solve the problems that face us and future generations. A spirit of "diversity and inclusion" must be fostered among our youth if substantial progress is to be made.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage - Olympe de Gouges

Today is Bastille Day -a French national holiday. On this date in 1789, the Bastille fortress-prison which held many political prisoners of then king Louis XVI, was stormed by an angry mob tired of the corrupt monarchy.

This courageous act was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic and the end of the French Revolution.

Shortly after the storming of the Bastille, on 4 August feudalism was abolished and on 26 August, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen proclaimed.

Very few know that this period also marked a turning point for Women's Rights.

Beginning with the French Revolution and the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" in 1789, until 1944, French citizenship was limited to males -- even though women were active in the French Revolution, and many assumed that citizenship was theirs by right of their active participation in that historic liberation battle.

As documented by author Jone Johnson Lewis in her book titled: "Olympe de Gouges and the Rights of Woman", Olympe de Gouges, a playwright of some note in France at the time of the Revolution, spoke for not only herself but many of the women of France, when in 1791 she wrote and published the "Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Citizen." Modeled on the 1789 "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" by the National Assembly, de Gouges' Declaration echoed the same language and extended it to women, as well.

As many feminists have done since, de Gouges both asserted woman's capability to reason and make moral decisions, and pointed to the feminine virtues of emotion and feeling. Woman was not simply the same as man, but she was his equal partner.

For asserting this equality, and repeating the assertion publicly -- for refusing to be silent on the Rights of Woman -- and for associating with the wrong side, the Girondists, as the Revolution became embroiled in new conflicts -- Olympe de Gouges was arrested in July 1793, four years after the Revolution. She was sent to the guillotine in November of that year.

In the midst of a Revolution to extend rights to more men, Olympe de Gouges had the audacity to argue that women, too, should benefit. Her contemporaries were clear that her punishment was, in part, for forgetting her proper place and proper role as a woman.

Let us pause today to remember the bravery of women in the face of discrimination and persecution. While much has been accomplished, there is still much more to be overcome.

Make today your own personal Bastille Day. Become part of the movement to abolish corruption and discrimination against women within your community, home, or business.

Seek the Truth. Because the Truth will set you free.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure - Red Roses

You may notice a change in the look of the WWRG blogsite today. I have added a background featuring a bevy of red roses!

Few flowers are more recognizable and universally loved. The Catholic Rosary allegedly derives its name from the Latin term for rose garden, "Rosarium" and later, "garland of roses". Christian legend tells of a monk who made a garland of 150 roses each day as an offering to the Virgin Mary. Later, the monk substituted 150 prayers for the flowers. For his piety, he was presented with a rosary of 150 beads by a “beautiful glowing woman.”

What would be nicer than to have Red Roses delivered every day? A box of chocolates, perhaps.

I wish I had the ability to give all of you, my faithful viewers, a real box of chocolates and a dozen roses. After all, there is so much to treasure in a relationship, whether intimate or distant. I truly appreciate each and everyone that I know and look forward to meeting those who are " friends I know but have never met". Tess touched upon our need to act "civilized" toward each other in her blog yesterday. Slow down your pace and greet another with a genuine desire to understand them, not just with a glancing blow or a hollow "hello".

Take time today to smell my "virtual roses". Cherish the ones you love and do something special for them. Treasure the moments you spend with them.

Be respectful, be nice, be there for them in their hour of need.

But most of all, be true to thyself. Remember that to the world, you may be one person. but to one person, you may be the world.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess

My friend has this saying…..’Just be nice’……

He says that we all have our good days and our bad days.

No matter what is going on he maintains that we can all……’Just be nice’…..

Everyone has problems, aches and pains, joy and upset, concerns and fear. Some things can be helped and some things can’t, but the one thing within our control is our reaction to circumstances. We are civilized creatures after all.

Upon reviewing the topography of my week I was reassured that the ‘just be nice’ creed was supported overwhelmingly by clear evidence. Specific measurable results if you will.

My first unofficial lab results came when I was asked to buffer a negotiation between a condo owner and a tenant. They were at the end of their tolerance units with one another and hesitantly asked me if I would have any interest in stepping in to find a solution to the impasse that had resulted. I wasn’t certain that I wanted a challenge of this nature so I met each of them separately and assessed the individual perspectives.

They both were mature, humane, professional people that had felt disrespected along the way and had come out with defenses raised. Since they could no longer work together, I asked them if they would be willing to ‘just be nice’ and work with me. Since I mentioned to both that I have taken enough of what I call kicks to the head in my life and that I am selective about clients with whom I choose to work, I requested that we all recalibrate and find a way. If they didn’t want to ‘just be nice’ I said I didn’t care, but I wouldn’t interject myself into the experiment. Some people want to fight. They have a struggle within themselves and they are looking for a fight. I needed to make sure that they were not in this category. They both agreed and we proceeded. It has been a successful week of kindness, tolerance and civility. Much progress has been made.

Secondly, gentleman friend and I went to Houston where he was performing with his band on Saturday night. Instead of waiting for the band to leave after 1 or 2 a.m. before we got to take residence in the room that is reserved for them during performance nights, we decided to just get a room where we could relax after dinner and keep our things and then retire after the show. We walked up to the manager and Frank asked in the most thoughtful and kind way if we could possibly get a special rate since he was with the band performing in his restaurant. The way Frank approached him was so soft and diplomatic that the manager just turned to his front desk attendant and said to comp the room. ‘Just be nice’ saved us $200.00 on a room.

Grama Millie used to say, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”….but then she also used to say, “Tesser, if you don’t get in this house right now and take a bath, I’m gonna get a switch and beat you black and blue with it”…………she used a good deal of profanity also. But Millie was one of the nicest people I will ever know. She knew the secret of ‘just be nice’. It was a small town and a slower time then.

I’ve noticed what happens when I take the time to look into another person’s eyes and acknowledge them and greet their humanity before rushing back into the hurried pace that is my daily movie.

There is a calm pride I feel when I can turn a misunderstanding around or tell on myself when I’m out of line. The human condition wants so much to look good and be right that at times there doesn’t seem to be room for ‘just be nice’ especially if our foolish pride is as stake or embarrassment is lurking around the corner. But, the rewards are undeniable if I take the time to ‘just be nice’.

What’s in your life is what you choose, choose consciously and powerfully!

Friday, July 9, 2010

TGIF - In case you missed it...

..this past Wednesday was Chocolate Day. If you are a chocoholic like me, everyday is chocolate day!

And in keeping with my late mother's wishes, I try to eat at least one serving a day, because yes, according, the cocoa plant is actually a vegetable!

My fav is from Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland. I am lucky enough to be within a train ride of their store on Fifth Avenue in NYC. Although expensive, their signature line of Champagne Truffles are to die for.

This delectable delight combines two of the most powerful weapons in Cupid's Arsenal -chocolate and "the bubbly".

These are available via online order, so while it may be too late to enjoy them this weekend, there is always a backup plan - click here, make your selection from this list of "Tete de Cuvee" champagnes, then head to your nearest wine emporium. On your way there, pick up some dark chocolate from this list wherever you can find it, and a romantic novel.

Then spend an evening getting re-acquainted with the person you should treat the best - YOU!
Tune in tomorrow for Lifestyle Lifter's featuring Evie and her brand of Passion, Romance, Fashion!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursday's Truth - Networking Authentically

In yesterday's Wednesday's Women of Courage post, I highlighted the research that Cindy Padnos of Illuminate Ventures has made available as yet another data point proving that despite all the hype, women still face an uphill battle to reach parity with men in multiple venues.

In my opinion, the battle is not in the boardrooms or hallways of Corporate America. The truth is - this battle is in the minds of millions of brilliant women, conflicted through nature or nurture over their purpose in life.

Let's be honest, despite all the Political Correctness we display in public regarding equality and women's rights, there is still a large undercurrent of discrimination against women playing out every day in our homes, schools, and in the workplace.

While efforts like The Girl Effect bring tremendous inspiration to the effort, it is up to each individual, woman and man, to show courage and authenticity in every aspect of their lives, if we want to achieve our potential as individuals, families, and the world as a whole. But we must also reach out to one another for support and inspiration if we are to rid our minds of the falsehoods regarding gender equality that are holding us back.

One organization that is working hard to provide women with a place to network authentically is the 85 Broads organization. Recently, they discovered that their database of members included over 750 women with the title of CEO, Co-Founder, or President. This datapoint has led them to the following conclusion:

TREND: Female entrepreneurs are attracting capital through trusted, established networks like 85 Broads. In turn, they are hiring women to play key roles in their businesses, both as employees and as consultants. In essence, they are becoming “buying centers” of other women’s services and products globally.

ForbesWoman, a terrific magazine and website for "career-minded women who mean business," has selected as one of the Top 100 Best Sites for Women. Several fellow members of 85 Broads have sites that also made the list!

Take time today to join at least one network of women. Reach out, down, and up to another female colleague or friend and invest in their effort by applying your time, talent, or treasure.

And most of all, take time to defeat the enemy that lurks in your mind. Once you believe in yourself, there is nothing that holds you back from achieving your goals and dreams!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage - Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures

In a recent Thursday's Truth post, I focused on the lack of women leaders within the Financial Services industry. Specifically, the fact that there are very few female money managers, despite research that shows a very positive track record vis-a-vis their male counterparts.

Cindy Padnos, Founding Managing Director of Illuminate Ventures, had a sense that an imbalance was also occurring in the High Tech Industry. She researched this topic extensively and is largely responsible for writing a report titled "High Performance Entrepreneurs: Women in High Tech" that shows what many of us have long suspected - women entrepreneurs are poised to lead the next wave of growth in global technology ventures.

That being said, Cindy has set upon a courageous mission through Illuminate: to overcome the apparent lack of female investors willing to back this growth, and their historically risk-averse investment style.

In a recent article in Fast Company, Cindy commented on her drive to break barriers in the male-dominated area VC business: "In her slim spare time, Padnos also serves on the advisory board at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business, where she received her MBA. When she joined the board, she was the only woman; there are now three. "I don't have to fight for a stall in the ladies' room yet, but I'm looking forward to that day," she says. "If we want to encourage more women to enter this industry, we have to have a critical mass."

Please take a moment to download her study at the Illuminate website. You may also find the Fast Company article featuring her here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess

Angels Among Us

I had lunch with an angel the other day.

He looked like a normal being….skin, hair, arms…legs…..there was no white robe or halo…or gold dust shimmering about his shoulders.

But he was an angel.

I know this because when I left his company, I was vibrating at a frequency that is not of this world.. I was changed. His company left me in touch with the possibility of my unique contribution and specialness as well as an unprecedented responsibility to myself to cultivate it.

Sometimes you meet people that prove there is more depth to this existence than otherwise meets the eye. You never expect it or go looking for it and it just happens all of the sudden ….serendipity reveals itself. You may have only known them briefly yet there is a profound current of understanding that creates a synapse that cannot be discarded without deliberation.

Life can become routine and predictable. We salt and pepper it with drama and activities that enhance or complicate, but for the most part, life is regular. Occasionally, I’m present enough or aware enough to see the subtle nuance of evidence that there is more to this passage than we are taught to believe or conditioned to accept.

Although a rare occurrence, angels masquerading as people walk into our direct path and courageously guide us to the next level of consciousness. You may or may not want to take the direction suggested, but you know at a spirit level, it is time for you to grow and permission is granted to believe in the magic. Free will allows choice.

Just for today, suspend disbelief. Honor your gifts and your worth and trust that the world wants what is uniquely yours to offer. Be awake enough to identify the angels among us and surrender your doubt, if only for a moment, that there is a sentience both intellectual and emotional that receives serendipity and offers it to you as the pieces of your puzzle fall into place and create the life of your dreams.

What’s in your life is what you choose, choose consciously and powerfully.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saints Alive!

I have walked and talked with, a living saint. A modern day Mother Teresa.

How do you know a saint when you see one?

Perhaps the best definition of sainthood is one that draws remarkable agreement: the saint as a window through which another world is glimpsed, a person through whom the light of God shines.

To qualify as a living saint, Anglican Ross Walker, a social worker from Canberra, Australia believes "Love, self-denial, continuing self-sacrifice and grace are all necessary." Though saints "like to keep what they do private," he says, their very personalities often betray them: "They are all inspiring, larger-than-life people."

The once waspish Malcolm Muggeridge, writes movingly in his book, Something Beautiful for God, of putting Catholic nun Mother Teresa on a train in Calcutta, India where she lovingly cared for the poor and infirm; "When the train began to move, and I walked away, I felt as though I were leaving behind me all the beauty and all the joy in the universe."

This is how I felt when my modern day Mother Teresa left my presence. What remained, however, was a sense of inner peace, serenity. For this I am exceeding grateful.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Lifestyle Lifter's featuring Evie

In celebration of July 4th I want you to “ Fall In Love with America Again”.

Let us bring forth a second tsunami of American Romanticism…

Let us generate a three-dimensional emotional connection, and exploration

through our unique style of music and dance

Let us envision America's Passion… Romance… Fashion, inspiring artistic revolution & revelation.

Let us celebrate art, freedom, passion… enlighten, captivate, enchant and generate positive thoughts about America.

But most of all , Let Freedom ring across all our endeavors.


MISSION: a journey to rediscover America's romance... a good will campaign and artistic competition about the best of America. "Fall In Love With America Again" highlights America's endearing goodness and reminds everyone to celebrate America's sweetest moments, deepest victories and crowning achievements.

Fall In Love With America Again is exactly what we need - an artistic national face-lift, a radical PR makeover - to refocus our attention and encourage everyone to fall back in love again with the land we all adore. A good will campaign and accompanying artistic competition specifically designed to encourage, enchant and remind everyone of the beauty and charm of America. A campaign to generate only positive thoughts about America's grace.

Fall In Love With America Again:

· Inspires renewed energy & joy about America

· native & contemporary cultural expressions and their intersections

· Explores travel & American culture

· Incites and ignites a second tsunami of American Romanticism

· Issues a competitive challenge through a Call-Out to Artists to submit their best multimedia entertainment & artworks exploring the theme of "Fall In Love With America Again"

Check out more info on:


TGIF - Today is "I Forgot Day"!

TGIF - Thank Goodness I Forgot.

And today is the day we celebrate our forgetfulness. According to, Gaye Andersen of DeMotte, IN. created this day.

This is what they have to say about it:

I Forgot Day, by definition, is not a day to remember. So, just what are you forgetting? Can you even remember? Is it important? Hopefully, not.

Some days are days to remember and to cherish all of our lives. Others, like today, are ones to be forgotten. If you are having a bad day, it's just as well that today is I Forgot Day. We do hope that you are not getting married or having a baby today.

Some people view today as an opportunity to express their regrets for forgetting something, and to make amends. They do so by sending cards and flowers, apologizing for their memory lapse. The trouble is, if you forget something important tomorrow, you have to wait a whole year for the next I Forgot Day to arrive.

I Forgot Day is closely related to I'm Sorry Day.

FYI - July is also "Unlucky for Weddings Month", so if you so happen to forget to show up for your own wedding today, consider yourself lucky and treat yourself to a Hot Dog and an Ice Cream.

Oh yeah, July is also National Hot Dog and Ice Cream Month!

Have a delightful and safe July 4th weekend. Tune in tomorrow for more Lifestyle Lifter's featuring Evie

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday's Truth - Truth or Dare?

Truth or dare is a popular game played by children and adults in which a choice is presented to the "contestant".

Choose Truth, and you must answer honestly the question posed. Choose Dare, and you must carry out the scenario presented to you.

In Monday's Motivational Makeover, Tess presented her case for why honesty is so important in the context of human relationships. I'd like to take this discussion a step further to include the word trust, a inexplicably linked building block in any relationship.

Let's put Trust into the context of the Truth or Dare game. The questioner must put her trust in the one being questioned that the answer given is truthful. This takes a certain amount of faith in the respondent and confidence in their honesty. As Tess discussed, there are certain non-verbal ques that make such discernment evident - eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice to mention a few.

Trust is earned. Trust must be an expectation. Trust must be verified.

And Truth must not be compromised. I dare you to make today the day you begin to live your life honestly, truthfully, and without compromise. You also have a right, and yes, an obligation, to demand this of others.

And yes, sometimes Truth hurts. But the scenario that will result by a lack of honesty is often far worse.