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Yesterday I passed Lincoln Center in NYC, and there were a lot of pianos near the big fountains in the plaza area. They were being played by children, adults, even a dog was perched at one of the keyboards. The pianos were painted in varying designs and displayed as art. It was really quite amazing. We will be posting a video this week about three women who designed one of the pianos, stay tuned!
Enjoy these photos in the meantime.
Anne Carpenter is a scientist. She was featured on our television program: Bold Women: Women in Science and Technology. We need more women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) professions.
Role models like Anne can talk to girls and explain how important and exciting STEM careers can be.
Yesterday I attended an event The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power. It was held at Arianna Huffington's home. There were about 200 women and men who gathered together. Mika Brzezinski was the co-host.
These two women are amazing. They were passionate about wanting to make a difference in the lives of women. A theme throughout the day was the importance of renewal. Arianna's two daughters were there, and Christina led a panel of younger women. Katie Couric, Lesley Stahl were among the other panel moderators.
The sharing went deep. The CEO of Aetna told a personal story about his own recovery from a major accident. Dr. Dean Ornish shared about the benefits of prevention.
I applaud their effort.
My experience is that fear is always with us. The question is, are we going let it stop us from doing the things we know we must do?
You can move forward and take the next right action even if you are afraid. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable is the cry of the "working warrior."
Have the courage to step out in new ways, take a smart risk today. The time for change is now, not tomorrow!
Where can you make a difference? Use your intuition to guide you. Decide where you can do the most good and do it. The world is in a crazy place and needs every bit of our resourcefulness.
Veterans have fought the good fight for our country and we honor them.
What is the "good fight" in your life? Is it overcoming an obstacle that you are currently facing?
Know that you have the power to move through any challenge. And you don't have to do it alone.
There is help available if you reach out for it.
Never forget, how courageous you are. Take note of all you've gone through in the past and know your inner strength.
I salute the courageous warrior in you.
I interviewed the top production leader at Bravo recently, Shari Levine, and was impressed by her candor and powerful insights. Her career path has evolved and she's been flexible along the way to take advantage of the opportunities before her.
This single mom of two daughters has struggled like all of us to juggle between a career and a rewarding home life. Heed Shari's wisdom – there are lessons in it for all of us.
–Video by Elena Havas
Lee Glickstein, featured on the site this month, was my speaking coach. He transformed the way I approach my talks.
He recently started a series of videos called "The Miracle Minute" featuring a variety of everyday people. I particularly like this one about the critical voice within us. Artist Cara Brown explains how our doubts and fears can sometimes leave us incapable of taking action. Breaking through that negative self-talk is essential to personal and professional growth.
How do you quiet the negative voices that pop into your head? Share with us in the comments below.
The best musical I have seen in years. If you are in New York City, get tickets. I would get tickets now because the show opens tonight--it's bound to be a success.
Here's the story:
"Charlie Price (Tony nominee Stark Sands) has suddenly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola (Billy Porter). A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world."
The book is by Harvey Fierstein, the music and lyrics are by Cyndi Lauper. The cast is amazing, the sets are great. The choreography and direction are marvelous. Need I say more...
Do you hold on to hurts of the past?
Do you hold on to mistakes you have made?
Do you find yourself being too critical?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, reflect on the following:
No one is perfect. No matter how hard we try to be, we will never measure up to the unreasonable demands we place on ourselves.
So isn't it about time you "dropped the rope?" Know that you did your best at the time, and forgive yourself for not doing better.
If there is someone in your life that you owe an amend to, why wait? Now, is the time to share how you feel. The more you wait to do that, the more your energy is consumed with regret. And it is hard to move on.
When I look back on my life, I see how the difficult moments were my greatest life lessons.
Exercise: Say this inwardly to yourself--to the higher energy that dwells within you:
"I am now ready to let go of what has been holding me back. I forgive those that have harmed me, intentionally or unintentially. And most importantly, I forgive myself."
Do you often try to take everything on at once, knowing full well it will be impossible to give each task your full attention? One of the biggest factors that deters us from power is perfectionism, because trying to be perfect stifles our creativity and our growth. Some of us may be “perfectionistic” about our performance stemming from standards others set for us, fearing that we may not be able to measure up to them. There are those of us who feel we have to be twice as good as our male counterparts to get ahead (and often this is true), and this pressure can create perfectionism.
However, living this way doesn’t allow us to view making mistakes as a part of our growth process. And when we do make mistakes – which we are bound to – we may become defensive and interrupt our own advancement.
Our mistakes can be a great source of power if we learn from them and move on. Mastery of a new skill or achievement involves accepting that you will make mistakes. Margaret Maruschak, former vice president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, knows this to be true. She told me over dinner, “In my thirties, I resolved to make new mistakes and not to repeat old ones.” I like her attitude.
Being able to let go of perfectionism was empowering for me, too. When I started to write professionally, I struggled with putting my ideas on paper because I was trying to write “perfect” sentences. My creativity gushed when I took the advice of friends who suggested that I write down my thoughts without being concerned that my sentences were grammatically correct. I’ve learned to edit my material only after I’ve written down my initial thoughts. There is great power in just letting go and trusting that the right words will come to you. My perfectionistic tendencies do return. Even now, when I give a colleague of mine a new manuscript to read for feedback, I have to breathe deeply and remind myself that her criticism will only make my work better. And when I hear her words, I’ve learned to be selective. I ask myself, do the suggestions fit? If they do, I reread the manuscript with them in mind. If they don’t, I discard them.
Remember, letting go of perfectionism is part of the process of self-mastery. And as we begin to trust ourselves more, accepting our strengths and weaknesses, then we allow the best of ourselves to surface.
Do you tend to use “perfectionism” as an excuse to avoid taking that next step? How have you overcome those tendencies? Comment and let us know.
Adapted from Our Power as Women: Wisdom and Strategies of Highly Successful Women
Are you speaking up when you need to or are you holding back?
We need your voice to be heard.
If you are having difficulty putting your ideas forth, become more aware of your negative self-talk.
Are you thinking that what you are about to say won't be appreciated? What negative belief do you have that isn't allowing you to speak up?
Question that belief: Ask yourself, is it true? It probably isn't. And as uncomfortable as it may feel, let your voice be heard.
We need more women leaders. We need you to speak out when you know you can make a difference.
Just came back from a morning at the 2013 Catalyst Awards Conference, where three companies were honored for their roles in advancing women and business. Representatives from the winning companies spoke about their initiatives.Congratulations to Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Alcoa.
I was impressed with Coca-Cola’s CEO, Muhtar Kent. I have known Kathy Waller (VP & Controller) and Steve Bucherati (Chief Diversity Officer) for awhile and they are terrific. Walking the walk, rather than just talking the talk.
Kathy said something that was so important during the panel. Yes, we all need to work on changing a company’s culture but that takes time. We need women to take responsibility for being proactive, creating relationships with sponsors, and going for that next move, even if we don’t have all the skills in place.
Way to go folks! We can all follow your example. Check out some photos from this morning below.
Representatives from the winning companies gather on stage.
Emily Zuckerman (left), Senior Director, Global Administration, Catalyst; Steve Bucherati, Chief Diversity Officer, The Coca-Cola Company; Gill McLaren, General Manager, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei, and Member, Women's Leadership Council, The Coca-Cola Company; and Charlotte Oades (not pictured), Global Director, Women's Economic Empowerment, and Member, Women's Leadership Council, The Coca-Cola Company, gather to discuss Coca-Cola's impact.
Had such fun last night. I was part of a “Dress for Success” fashion show at Macy’s Herald Square last night. We had a great turn out. Pamela Watson was the stylist extraordinaire. And I talked about strategies to move your career forward.
They dressed me in an outfit, which is not my typical taste. My girlfriend Fran was in the crowd and she loved the way I looked, and remarked, “Helene would never pick this for herself.” So I took my own advice and stepped out of my comfort zone.
We had a long book signing line for my recent book In Her Power. I love personally meeting people in the line. Lindsay Putnam, our web editor was there, and snapped some photos. Enjoy!
There is nothing as empowering as being around a woman who is connected to a larger vision of what is possible. Last week I sat down with Shari Arison and we talked about her new book, Activate Your Goodness, just published by Hay House. Her heart is wide open – when you are around her you feel like you're with a long-term friend.
Shari is not only smart and strategic, but she thinks deeply about using her energy to do good. In 2007 she founded Good Deeds Day, an annual celebration of good deeds to positively change the world. The event just celebrated its seventh anniversary on Sunday, March 10, with acts of kindness performed around the world.
We can all have an impact on each other. Making random acts of kindness a part of everyday life will get us there.
–Video editor Grace Zinnel
50 Countries around the world are celebrating International Good Deeds Day.
Offer a random act of kindness to someone in need. Start a rippling effect.
Tonight, 10x10 will present Girl Rising, an exciting documentary that has attracted Hollywood’s power women. Actors like Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and others are participating in the narration of the film. The New York City premier is at The Paris Theatre tonight.
Intel, one of the sponsors of the project, has been working to educate girls worldwide in many different ways. Their role in the documentary has presented a new model for corporate funding, Shelly Esque, VP and Global Director of Corporate Affairs, shared with me, leveraging resources and relationships beyond money. For example, clips of the film were shown at the World Economic Forum and generated important discussions.
Roz Hudnell, Intel’s Chief Diversity Office, has been spearheading innovative programs for youth around the globe. She is a woman with passion and a mission to make a difference. And Roz does!
10x10 is a social action campaign to educate girls and create change worldwide. Visit their site to find a screening of Girl Rising in your area.
It’s invigorating to meet an empowered leader like Shari Arison. She is at the helm of several companies, and is always looking to make a difference. International Good Deeds Day, taking place this year on March 10, was her simple idea that today has a worldwide impact. Here are the highlights from a recent interview I had with Shari.
Helene: What gave you the impulse to start Good Deeds Day?
Shari: I’ve always thought about how I can create positive change. One day I thought of this idea, it was so simple – everyone can do a good deed. People think you need a lot of money or a position in order to give, but that is not necessary. A smile that brightens someone’s day is a good deed. Helping a lady cross the street or even just buying a coworker a cup of coffee to make them happy — these are good deeds, small acts of kindness. It’s taken off because everyone connects to it.
We started seven years ago in Israel, with 7,000 people. It grows every year; last year it was 250,000 people and this year 370,000 people have signed up thus far. People hear about it around the world. We started GoodNet.org as a “gateway to doing good,” where individuals and organizations showcase how they are doing good – whether it’s for the environment, volunteering, philanthropy, etc.
More and more people have asked to join in. In Washington, there are 3,000 people going out to do good deeds. In New York we are doing a kick-off event in Times Square on March 9. This year in Uganda they will be planting fruit trees to grow fruit for the community; in the Ukraine there are 5,000 students who are going to visit hospitals, senior citizens, and the needy.
Helene: Let's discuss the workplace because you’re such a terrific leader. Working women want to have greater influence – what will help them do that?
Shari: I always say that women have insight and intuition; we need to take our unique qualities into the workplace – don’t try to be men, be the women that we are, with our values, caring, and compassion. That’s what I’ve done in all of my businesses – I’ve put my focus on values and in the long run it works.
Helene: What is true power?
Shari: I think true power is inner power. When people are connected to themselves and they are authentic, that resonates with others.
Helene: How do we quiet the negative voices that don’t allow us to step up?
Shari: It’s work. It’s a matter of recognizing them, whether they are in our own selves or in our surroundings. Acknowledge them, and then let them go. Focus on the good – what you want to see in the world, what you want to see in yourself, and what kind of person you want to be.
For more information on how you can get involved in International Good Deeds Day, go to GoodNet.org.
I just came back from a Hay House "I Can Do It" Ignite weekend. Dr. Wayne Dyer started off the event and he was amazing. At one point during his three hour presentation, he called up to the stage, Jessie's mother. Jessie was a young six-year-old boy who was killed during the recent Connecticut school tragedy. He went into the line of fire to save some of his classmates. This wonderful woman talked about Jessie's courage, and when she shared, only love emanated from her.
On the second day my friend Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson spoke to us. Louise is proud of her 86 years on the planet. She is one of my Sheroes. She talked about how important it is to love ourselves and honor the child within us.
How do we do that? Here are a few of her suggestions:
Let go of criticism, offer praise instead.
Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself only good things.
Start your day with appreciation, rather than dreading the challenges to come.
Be conscious of your thoughts and choose to think positively.
This great lady has helped so many people come into their authentic power. I love you Louise.
Two of Wayne Dyer's daughters assisted with his presentation on stage.
Have you experienced a "lack attack" recently, thinking, "there's just not enough?"
Do you catch yourself looking at what you don't have, rather than what you DO have, much of the time?
Well, if you have answered yes to either one of the these questions, you are probably not a happy camper.
But there is good news, you can turn this around. And one simple way of doing this is practicing gratitude. Yes, we hear a lot about how we need to be grateful, and you may raise an eyebrow when you hear it yet another time. But I am here to tell you, this practice works!
I have had "lack attacks" during the day, and when I become aware of them, I turn my thoughts to what I have to be grateful for. It could be as simple as: I am breathing, I have an attractive outfit on, my son is well, etc. Whatever it is, there is always something there.
In shifting my thoughts I start to see the possibilities in front of me. And when I take action, I come from a more prosperous place.
Yes, you can change your thoughts, and one step at a time, begin to change your life.
Some of you do this already, but if you don't, you owe it to yourself to give it a whirl.
What are you focusing on throughout the day?
Here are some important questions to ask yourself and reflect on. Your answers will point out how you are spending your energy. With awareness, you can make changes.
Are you focusing on your priorities or are you getting caught up in the "small stuff."
Are you letting your fears stop you from putting an important idea forward?
Is your communication direct and to the point or are you unclear when you ask people to do something?
Do you believe in yourself or do you spend time second-guessing actions you have already taken?
When you make a mistake, can you accept it, fix it and move on? Or are you dwelling on how you should have done things differently, more "perfectly."
If you've identified some destructive patterns, you can get help and change.