She is Me is the SheHive’s on-going series to introduce you to the women of the Hive.
Stephanie L.G., Detroit
Personal Trainer, Health and Life Coach
Currently reading: Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, The Universe has your Back by Gabby Bernstine, and The 5 Second Rule: Transform your life, work, and confidence with everyday courage by Mel Robbins.
Currently watching: Affirmations, mediations, workouts, yoga, spiritual webinars, marketing and building a website videos on YouTube.
Currently listening to: A bunch of podcasts! Precision Nutrition, Yoga Hacks, The Balanced Blond / Soul on Fire, the Alpha Female Podcast and Online Marketing Made Easy.
Craziest thing on your Ultimate Life List? Travel the world for a year, working remotely and at various speaking engagements. Climbing mountains, living in a tree house.
Best piece of advice you ever received? Love yourself truly, deeply, and unapologetically.
What brought you to the SheHive? And what keeps you here? Ursula Adams. When I first met her at the Build Institute I knew she was going to be someone I wanted to spend more time with and obtain her knowledge. I love the sisterhood of the SheHive - it’s right in line with my business model of empowering women.
How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered by my contribution to helping transform people's lives though health and wellness. Not just getting them on the path to eat well and exercise but to also have a positive outlook on life and the mindset that they can achieve anything they put their mind, heart, and soul into.#SHEisME
I posted a link to information about The Women’s Convention coming to Detroit in October on Facebook earlier this week and asked if anyone was considering going. A friend of mine, Nikki - a woman of color - quickly responded.
“No ma'am. It is my opinion that this is an extension of the march in January. This movement seems not to be inclusive of women of color. So many women went to D.C. and committed to reaching across the table and being an ally and champion and help provide access to women of color, and I believe it fell flat. Marching and attending conventions such as these doesn't seem to be for equality at all, and the needle doesn't seem to be moving for my sisters and me. Therefore, I will sit this one out.”
I truly don’t understand why the Women’s March felt so non-welcoming to so many of our sisters of color. What I do know, however, is that as a white woman I will never know what it is like to travel a day in Nikki’s shoes and if she says it didn’t feel inclusive, it didn’t feel inclusive. I cannot argue or challenge her experience.
The Women’s March in DC was such an empowering experience for me and such a bonding experience for the group that went together from the SheHive. Hearing its criticisms after returning made me so sad. It was good, but it could have been SO much better. I felt foolish for being so unaware of how many women felt left out of the conversation. I questioned if I was complicit. I wondered if I would ever again be able to tell the story of marching through the streets with tens of thousands of women as far as I could see without feeling a sense of shame. And I’ll admit it… I even got a tad bit angry. Why does everything have to be so complex?
The answer, of course, is because our world is complex. And it’s getting more so by the day. Charlottesville brought it to light again. Nikki’s comment reminded me that Charlottesville was just one instance in a long string of events.
Talking about matters of race, of inclusion and exclusion, is scary as hell. But it is one of the most important conversations we can have right now.
We just can’t let threat of being uncomfortable - or a fear of appearing to be stupid or unenlightened - stop us from talking. I’ll probably get it wrong 1,000 more times before I get it right - if I ever get it truly right. Let’s be honest, I’ve probably written something in the last six paragraphs that has offended someone and I’m sure to be schooled again by theend of this day. It's okay. It's how we grow and learn.
Our sisters of color don't have the privilege of just turning away from this conversation, so neither can we. We must learn how be better friends and allies to them.
I don’t know how that happens yet, but I invite you to explore with me. Nikki runs an organization called The Pack that is dedicated to stewarding honest and vulnerable conversations about inclusion in safe spaces. It has long been my dream to bring a Pack event to the SheHive - and both Nikki and the Pack’s original founder, Jessica, have offered to do so. If you are interested in attending a Pack event at the SheHive, shoot me an email or drop a comment on the blog. I’m committed to making it happen.
I’m convinced that women can heal this world, but only if we invite all women into the conversation on how to do so. Are you with me?
With much love and gratitude,
Meet the women of the SheHive!
Jennifer R., Saint Clair Shores
Currently reading: The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World by Nancy Colier
Currently watching: The Great British Baking Show
Currently listening to: Fred Astaire to Shawn Mendes
Craziest thing on your Ultimate Life List? Sky diving
Best piece of advice you ever received? The best relationships begin with matched expectations.
What brought you to the SheHive? And what keeps you here? Cool women devoted to making not just their lives, but our collective experience, better.
How do you want to be remembered? As a person who gave a damn.
Once upon a time, back in those days when I had a j-o-b, I filed a harassment claim. It was one of THE scariest time periods in my life. I worried, every day, for the duration of a months-long investigation that I was going to lose my job. I was always on edge, I was exhausted and worn out - my nerves were SHOT. The worst part, however, was the isolation - particularly for this extra-extrovert. My colleagues, even those that told me behind closed doors that they supported me, distanced themselves during the investigation.
Their message was clear - if I was going down, I was going to have to go down alone.
I didn’t go down. The investigator found that I was an “overly-sensitive female” and then my harasser resigned. And you read anything you want in-between those lines because I certainly did/do.
It took me a long time after the investigation ended to feel safe at work again. Even longer to shake the feeling of betrayal.
Shortly after it all ended I had a school assignment where I had to invite a group of colleagues to give input on my emotional intelligence. I did it because I had to, but I had no intention of actually reading their input. I was still so angry and hurt that I gave zero fucks what any of them had to say about me.
But then came the day when their feedback was delivered to me by my school-assigned coach. I pushed it aside for a long while, but eventually curiosity got the better part of me and I opened the report. I, of course, jumped right to the “What does Ursula need to do to improve?” section…
“Ursula needs to be less emotional.”
“Ursula confuses her emotionality with emotional intelligence.”
“Ursula needs to keep her emotions in check.”
“Ursula needs to better control her emotions.”
Ironically, almost every single one of them had identified my empathy as a leadership asset in another section of the assessment. Moral of the story, it was okay for me to feel their feelings - it was just inappropriate for me to feel my own.
I was incensed. I sat down with my coach, Anita, and ugly-cried for an hour. “Why are you so upset?” she finally asked me. “You have a choice. You don’t have to accept this feedback.”
I already knew I didn’t accept their feedback. I don’t want to be less emotional. I spent the better part of a lifetime trying to eat, smoke or drink my feelings away and that hadn’t worked particularly well. Feeling all the feelings is important to me now.
I was upset because I had betrayed myself… These people, irregardless of who they had once been in my life, had long since lost the privilege of giving me input and *I* had invited them back in.
I say it all the time at the SheHive - feedback is almost always more about the person delivering it than the person getting it. And that’s not to say that feedback isn’t important because it truly is. However, we need to make damn sure that those we solicit input from are those that have earned the right to give it to us - people who know us well, have our best interests at heart and have a vested interest in our success. Otherwise all we get is a bunch of how others want us to show up in life - a big ol’ boat load of shoulds.
In Daring Greatly, Brené' Brown writes, “I carry a small sheet of paper in my wallet that has written on it the names of people whose opinions of me matter. To be on that list, you have to love me for my strengths and struggles. You have to know that I’m trying to be Wholehearted, but I still cuss too much, flip people off under the steering wheel, and have both Lawrence Welk and Metallica on my iPod.”
Who’s on your small sheet of paper? And what is it they have to know about you before their opinions matters? I'd love to hear more: Shoot me an email or drop a comment below.
With much love and gratitude,
Meet the women of the SheHive!
Lisa L., Harper Woods Teacher, Instructional Designer & Founder of Something New LLC
Currently reading: I am reading The Hidden School: Return of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
Currently listening to: The music of Damien Escobar
Craziest thing on your Ultimate Life List? Write a book that Oprah recommends to her audience and appear on her Super Soul Sunday broadcast - because my work is making a difference on the planet and is THAT GOOD!
Best piece of advice you ever received? I should be learning something new for as long as I am alive. (My Dad told me this.)
What brought you to the SheHive? And what keeps you here? I saw an ad for the SheHive on Facebook. In fact, I saw multiple ads and friends who were interested, so I reserved a spot at the monthly orientation. What keeps me here is the group of powerhouse women I met and Ursula's frankness, sincerity, and sense of humor.
How do you want to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as the woman who wasn't afraid to take risks and knew that because she is free, she could design and redesign her own path.