Maya Angelou: A phenomenal woman…

Leaves a legacy and many lessons By Susan Caba Maya Angelou, poet, author and phenomenal woman, died earlier this week. I realized, when I heard the news,  that I really knew very little about her. I had read only her best-known book, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.” So, with her distinctive voice echoing through the house in tributes to her passing, I Googled the poems I was hearing for the first time on the radio. What an eye-opener they were, especially “Phenomenal Woman.” That poem should be given to every girl on her 12th birthday, again when she graduates from high school and college, and thereafter pasted next to her bathroom mirror. The poem so courageously—no, I mean brazenly—celebrates attributes that, as women, make us powerful and in which we should be proud. Pretty women wonder where my secret lies… I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Now, before you complain that Ms Angelou is referring to, and I’m lauding, the use of physical feminine charms as the source of our power, she’s not and neither am I. I read the … [Read more...]

Women’s Self-Worth & Work-Worth: Chicken Or Egg?

After decades of unequal pay for U.S. women, we need to continue shoring up our self-worth so that we can better value -- and demand -- our work's worth.  Rationally we may acknowledge that our work's worth shouldn't be tied to our sense of self-worth. Sometimes it feels hard to separate the two. Which comes first:  self-worth or establishing our work's worth?  Is this another proverbial chicken or egg scenario? Gendered Indies The Freelancers Union estimates that 1 in 3 adults now work independently in this country. A private research firm, The Aberdeen Group, says there are 81 million indies (26% of the U.S. workforce). This is a revolutionary transformation of the U.S. workforce. The UK is similarly experiencing the rapid growth in the indie sector. This indie workforce is highly gendered:   71% of freelancers are women between the ages of 30 and 50 according to an international study completed in 2012. I'm one of those indie women. Whether we're called self-employed, contractors, small business persons, freelancers -- during a project with a mega-international corporation we were introduced as "1099rs" -- there's an explosion of hustling unsalaried, … [Read more...]

Ultimate Sign of Worth

Advertising confers value. Publicity is a virtue. Therefore, celebrity is the most virtuous thing of all." -- Alice Waters One of my American heroines, Alice Waters, shared this rather Orewellian logic chain in her 2002 speech at a REAP (Resource Efficient Agricultural Production) Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Waters is the founder of Chez Panisse Restaurant and Café in Berkeley, California. She has championed local, organic farms for over four decades. More recently, her ideas have been introduced into public schools as the Edible Schoolyard Project (http://edibleschoolyard.org/).  The picture above comes from St. Louis' Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School Garden, where students get involved in all aspects of growing, cooking, and sharing food at the table. Waters continued in her REAP speech, The ultimate sign of worth is when something doesn’t need any advertising at all — when everyone just gets it somehow." Over a decade since Waters' speech, 'celebrity is virtue' seems stronger and more lucrative than ever. Even nightly network news programs report who won Survivor, and what "celebrities" like the Kardasians, the Duck Dynasty crew, or the Real Housewives … [Read more...]

Be Intentionally ‘Re-Inventional’

Hey you, I know you, you are... AMAZING WORTHY WHOLE POWERFUL Give yourself PERMISSION to start fresh this year! The past was a learning experience and this year, pick just one REENERGIZING, REINVIGORATING, REJUVENATING WORD to describe YOU. BEAUTIFUL WISE KIND You have the power to define you!  Go on, be like Madonna (okay, or Miley if you are so inclined) and be a little bit intentionally 'RE-INVENTIONAL.'   STRONG BRAVE Start with how you talk to yourself.   Choose one word you'll use all year long to describe YOU to YOU!  There is not one other living being quite like you. YOU are wonderfully whole and worthy...yes, YOU. Love & #PeaceHug for Your Best Year Yet!        … [Read more...]

Affirming Your Worth

This week, let's check in with our inside! Accomplishments, activities, accolades and things can be wonderfully validating but think about it, external validation doesn't entirely make for happiness, at least not the sustainable kind. Building a sense of self-worth that is independently strong, internally solid, is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Recently during a #TweetChat I mentioned the research-based 5:1 Rule. Highly effective leaders (we're all leading something, not the least of which is our lives) positively acknowledge and recognize others' contributions -- "what's working" -- five times more than "what needs work" to healthily engage others and produce the best results. Imagine if we applied the 5:1 Rule to ourselves? For every one thing we say to ourselves that we need to improve, learn, change or stop doing or thinking, we recognize ourselves with five positive things about how we are being and what we are doing. Pledge:  I'll use the 5:1 Rule on ME! Try it now! How did that self-love feel? If you're anything like me, this practice might feel uncomfortable or downright impossible initially. We've internalized messages about pleasing others … [Read more...]

READY TO GROW?!
Sign up now to receive articles, tips and inspiration right in your inbox!
We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address.
Never display this again
Find us on Google+