Hey Soul Fam!
Is anyone else wondering how the hell we’re already in March?! While I’m as anxious as the next soul for the return of open-toed shoes and patio season, I feel like January and February just zipped by and left us eating their dust. I mean, how can my book baby be almost seven weeks old already? She’s making her own way in the world. I finally understand how all you parents feel watching your kids grow up “overnight.” Sigh…
It’s a good reminder to be present to what is, and to savor each moment…each gift…each lesson. Time is moving fast enough without us trying to rush it along! Let’s celebrate dropping into the magic of NOW. As a soul sister recently wrote to me, “Savor this beautiful season in your life.”
Speaking of celebrating, March 8th is International Women’s Day! But, c’mon, a day isn’t nearly enough to acknowledge our progress and sheer awesomeness. I say we celebrate badass babes the entire freaking month and year. That’s what a rebel would do, right? 😉 So, cheers to women supporting women, men supporting women, equality, collaboration over competition, standing on each other’s shoulders, and holding the door wide open behind us as we blaze new trails. Every single day.
On that note, I’ve dedicated this edition of Soul F.U.E.L. to the power of feminine leadership and to some of the many soul sisters and girl bosses who inspire me. I also want to acknowledge every one of you pioneering women reading this right now. I see you, I believe in you, and I’m so grateful be on this journey with you. We got this.
Cue “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys and let’s get this party started!
WHO OR WHAT IS INTRIGUING ME AT THE MOMENT
Horses. I know, probably not the answer you expected from this bona fide city slicker. I love my escapes into nature – especially the water and mountains – but I’ve never been called to be in the presence of horses. Until two weeks ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At a sacred and special place called EQUUS. Little did I know that these 56 million-year-old majestic creatures would teach me some of the most profound leadership lessons of my life. In a single hour.
Even now, a few weeks later, I’m still challenged to put the experience into words. But I feel called to share what I’m processing and practicing in real-time. This is the abridged version, but I hope it resonates.
Horses communicate with energy – and are responsive to the energy in their electromagnetic field. Their model of leadership and thriving is based on caring and presence (which creates an environment of safety, connection, joy, peace, and freedom). Care is about caring for the whole (including self); being responsible to versus responsible for. A powerful distinction. And presence is the power of simply being. Horses aren’t choosing to be, they simply are. (BOOM!)
Horses have no agenda. They are being themselves; in full integrity. They’re not worried about impressing or entertaining us, being liked by us, filling silence or a void with activity, or expressing themselves unapologetically (which means everything from snorting to sleeping to farting to shitting in your presence). They’re also very deliberate in their movement – every single ear movement, eye twitch, tail flick, playful nudge, and sound, is intentional and meaningful. Doing is an extension of their being, not vice versa. (BOOM!)
And why am I writing about this in an issue devoted to women? Because the mind-blowing insight for me was that the leader of a herd is most often a female. Not necessarily the largest or strongest horse. In fact, Artemis, the leader of the herd at EQUUS, was the smallest in the herd by far. But there was no doubt that she was in charge. She was a silent force – often leading from the rear. She wasn’t prancing around or running to the front for attention. Exactly the opposite. She was a commanding presence, holding space for the herd, acting only when it mattered, modeling the power of stillness, and establishing clear boundaries. She didn’t try to do leadership, she embodied leadership. Her energy was her power. (BOOM!)
The biggest takeaway for me is “be more horse.” Recognizing that my power is in my being, not my doing; in taking every step on my path with care and presence; in being unapologetically me; in being intentional about any expenditure of energy/movement; in embracing my feminine strength; and in letting go of any need to please.
I’m curious what this brings up for you?
WHAT’S GOT MY ORANGE HIGHLIGHTER IN OVERDRIVE
Being out in the world talking about Soulbbatical has not only created momentum behind my mission to inspire and liberate a billion souls, it has connected me with the most amazing, purpose-driven women. (Men, too, but I’m all about the ladies in this issue!)
My latest soul sister crush is Sally Lou Loveman. I had the pleasure of witnessing her shining in her element at EvolveHer here in Chicago. She had me at hello and a hug and a killer silver jacket, and then I saw her in action. She has such a special gift for connecting with people; it’s no wonder she was the audience producer (and warmer-upper) for The Oprah Winfrey Show for many years. She nails the trifecta of truth and humor and vulnerability – a powerful playbook for sharing our story AND being human.
The intro of her book says it all: “To have a career we love, to fall in love, to love ourselves, and to love our story, we have to be willing to do the hardest work of our lives. We have to love. When we live our lives with love, we become more comfortable with ourselves, and we feel more joy. We laugh more. We live more. We forgive more. We speak more.” And sharing our stories make us more connected as humans.
Sally Lou brilliantly calls her book a “teaching memoir” because she not only shares the gifts and lessons of her story, she offers up Lovespeaks practices at the end of each chapter. These are tips and prompts to help you start loving and articulating your own powerful story. I only wish I had read this gem before writing my own book – though it’s helping me as I craft my message for media and stages. (Side note: I just submitted my application to speak at TEDx Chicago in June! Send good vibes as it’s been a dream of mine for years to be on a TED stage.)
If you’re intrigued, you can follow Sally Lou on Instagram and buy her book here.
BTW, March is not only a celebration of women’s empowerment, it’s also National Reading Month. So, here’s a short stack of inspiring books by trailblazing women I admire:
Big Magic by Liz Gilbert
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Untamed by Glennon Doyle (Hot off the presses – this one launches on March 10th! Haven’t read it but have not doubt it will pack a serious punch.)
WHO/WHAT/WHERE IS GIVING ME ROCKET FUEL
There’s so much rocket fuel in my life right now, I don’t even know where to start. I’m straight-up going to admit that I’m experiencing an embarrassment of riches. Hard-won riches, but riches, nonetheless. Most of it in the form of accolades and exposure for the Soulbbatical message and book. ICYMI, here are a couple of recent TV appearances where I’ve been practicing “being more horse.” And it seems to be working. 😉
Good Morning Arizona
The List TV Show (Part 1)
I just did the WGN Morning News in Chicago this week but don’t yet have a link to share. Stay tuned!
For those of you in Chicago (and Chicago-ish), the stunning, woman-owned St. Jane Hotel on Michigan Avenue is hosting a book launch + signing for Soulbbatical on Thursday, March 12th. I’m honored to be a part of the St. Jane’s extended celebration of International Women’s Day. If you’re local, c’mon down for a hug, a toast, a signed book and some good company in a stunning setting. Register to attend here.
For those of you in NYC (and NYC-ish), I’m partnering with the Life is Priceless Foundation to co-host a book launch + signing event on March 24th. The event will be at the Norwood Club in Manhattan. Look out for details on the socials this week (or PM me for info).
For those of you in Milwaukee, my soul sisters Holly Baumgart and Elvia Savage are hosting a book celebration and signing event for me on the evening of Friday, March 6th. Email me if you want to join us. I’ll send you the details.
Finally, I’m beyond excited to announce that I’m getting back into retreats! This year I’m partnering with an organization called Walkshop on two incredible experiences. Our Women’s Dare to Lead Lake Tahoe experience in April is already SOLD OUT, but our Lake Como, Italy adventure in September (13-19) has 4 spots left to fill! Bonus extra: the focus in Lake Como is my book! We’re going to dive into living and leading more authentically, courageously, and on purpose. And learn how to become Chief Soul Officers of our own lives. I mean, c’mon: Lake Como, kindred souls, deep inner work, amazing food and wine, and the possibility of a Clooney sighting. Who wants to join us?! Click here for more info.
Honestly, I’m also feeling called to create Soulbbatical retreat experiences around the world. I’m starting to percolate on what those could look like and where they might be hosted; most likely starting in early 2021. Click here if you’d be interested in learning more and please share what destinations would be most intriguing/inspiring for you. I’d love your input!
PODCAST EPISODES, VIDEOS, OR WORDS OF WISDOM
FROM MY TRIBE
If there was a radio station called KBBB (triple B for Badass Brené Brown), y’all know I would tune in 24/7. I’m a self-professed fan girl. If they sold St. Brené prayer candles I’d buy out the whole lot for our Soul Fam. Mostly because she’s not a Saint and doesn’t pretend to be! She’s so refreshingly human – and candid about her struggles. The human truths she reveals in her work feel like a kind of universal religion that can help unite the world. We most definitely need more of that these days.
I absolutely loved Brené’s latest conversation with Tim Ferriss on The Tim Ferriss Show. Listen or watch here.
But the big news is that Brené is launching her own podcast this month! I’m doing the Happy AF Dance in my kitchen right now. It’s called “Unlocking Us” and it’s billed as conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart. Listen to the trailer here. This is going to become a weekly “must listen” for yours truly. Bring on the KBBB. 😉
Since I’m celebrating sisters, I’d be remiss in not mentioning two amazing women who have been friends, guides, and huge champions of my work:
Helen Appleby – Former c-suite leader, now executive coach. She has a new podcast called The Unwritten Rules of Women’s Leadership. Her book with the same title will be released in April. Her most recent podcast episode is a conversation with me on Soulbbatical and Rebel Truths, i.e. my version of Unwritten Rules.
Jessica Zweig – Entrepreneur, personal branding expert, podcast host, and author. Both her business and podcast are called SimplyBe. You can listen to her podcast here. My conversation with Jessica drops on Tuesday, March 3rd!
Please also keep sharing your book love with the world. I know many of you are already doing this (THANK YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL!). The more Soulbbatical fans we galvanize, the more momentum we get behind this movement. This is about changing lives, liberating souls, and shifting culture. One Chief Soul Officer at a time. Thank you for spreading the word and helping to create new fans through your influence. I would also greatly appreciate your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. These truly help with rankings and promotion!
As always, I would love for this newsletter to be the start of a deeper conversation with like-minded souls. I’m working on the community platform but, for now, feel free to shoot me an email or jump into the conversation on Instagram or Facebook. Let me know what lit your soul on fire, what shifted your perspective for the week or month or year ahead, or how I can support you in any way.
And don’t be shy. If you love what you’re reading, share it with friends, family, clients, and colleagues who need a little more Soul Fuel in their lives. I mean, in this day and age, don’t we all?