Archive for women

Throw Forward Thursday

It’s Throw Back Thursday on Facebook.  I feel sure you’ve enjoyed, as have I, seeing the pictures of your friends as adorable newborns, as toddlers trying to walk, teenagers striving to find themselves, couples getting married, and more.

Today, however, I want to offer you something different: Throw Forward Thursday.

You see, I’ve just watched an incredible video, one that I hope you’ll stop right now and watch along with me, as I watch again and again. It’s aimed at women, but I do believe the brave men who watch it will be just as inspired by it as I’ve been.

Please – whoever you are, no matter your gender, your age, or any other circumstance or situation you find yourself in –  please, give yourself the gift of the 4 minutes and 15 seconds it takes to watch this short, powerful film.

I wholeheartedly invite you do so, and then comment with your feedback. I’d love to hear how it affected you – what you thought, what you felt, what you are re-inspired to do, or what you are now inspired to do and/or be for the very first time. In other words, as a result of watching this motivating movie, how will you now Be You Out Loud as never before?

Here’s the video: Your Calling?

PS A favor: If you are willing, I ask you to please share this – specifically the post, and in general, my website and blog, too. You may not get a prize, but you will get my deep appreciation.

PPS Some shameless self-promotion: If you know others who could benefit from a conversation with me, about their callings or  anything else on their minds and hearts, please ask them to email me for an appointment.them to me. It would be my pleasure to offer this to them, as my gift. Why? Because it would mean I’d get t0 be myself out loud, while helping them get clear on how to do that for themselves! And if this person is you, and you’re not a current client, you’re just as welcome to contact me for a chat! Come on in, the water’s fine!

Poetry and the Oympics: Celebration

Due to attending a funeral out of town, I’ve spent the last few days away from home, my computer, and a television.  Hence, I’ve missed the last few days of the Olympics and posting here on this blog.

I am aware, however, that tonight is the closing ceremony, and I hope to make it home in time to see it.  To close this series, and in honor of the Olympic athletes, their victories and their disappointments, their dedication and their willingness, I am posting a poem I wrote last year.  It was in honor of the women in the first graduating class of my year-long Be You Out Loud program.

I hope you enjoy it.

Celebration
 For my BYOL 0610 “Lovelies”

It’s the end of a time here;
It’s the beginning of another.
The overlap of now and

Next is ephemeral and
Palpable. How can that be? Our minds say.
We just do. Our souls answer. It just is.

We celebrate that which brought us here,
That which we thought we knew but
Which reveals more to us as we open to see the more of it.

We celebrate that which we’ve experienced here
That which we expected and didn’t, that which we wanted and didn’t
Get, that which revealed us to us as we opened to us.

We called upon the centers of ourselves
To birth more of what came to be born.
We wonder what will come

Now at this closing,
Now that we are open
Both dying and being born in this moment.

We celebrate the multitude of births of essence
That deaths of form allow. We birth the new, the ancient
The us we are and will be.

Because we opened to worlds within and outside,
We opened our eyes our minds and our hearts,
To every single thing possible …

We go forth into the dark
Of going forth into the light
We are going, we are growing

We are grateful
We are courageous
Above all

We celebrate.
Above all, we celebrate
That we are willing.

Laura Overstreet Biering, copyright, May, 2011

Poetry and the Olympics: History, Then and Now

Back at the beginning of this series, I talked about the history of the relationship between the arts and the Olympics.  In fact, it was learning about this that inspired me to write the series in the first place.  And recently, I was forwarded a great link by a loyal reader to even more details about the period during the modern Olympics when the arts were included in the competition.  It details several winners of medals in the Arts portion of the games, including one man, Alfred Hajos, who also won two medals for Hungary in swimming, and the only woman to ever win a gold medal in Olympic Arts.  She was a Finnish poet, and her name was Aale Tynni.

Again, the link for learning more and seeing examples of the winning work is here.  Feel free to go there now and enjoy!

PS  Wasn’t that a great USA v USA match in Beach Volleyball between Misty May-Treanor /Kerri Walsh and Jen Kessy /April Ross?  Talk about making history!

Poetry and the Olympics: A Bonus from Carol Ann Duffy

Want to read some poems that have something directly to do with the Olympics?  Well, Britain’s Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy thought you might, and has posted several here at this link.  Enjoy today’s bonus – thanks, Ms Duffy!

Again, here’s the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jul/10/sporting-poems-carol-ann-duffy

 

Poetry and the Olympics: Thank Goodness for Title IX

Yes, there was poetry at the Olympics in the olden days.  But no, not until 1900 were there any women!  This was because Pierre de Coubertin thought it would be “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect,” according to an article at TopEndSports.com.  Harumph!

Thankfully, however, due to Title IX and some very brave pioneers from all over the world, the tide has turned.  According to the LA Times, this year’s Games had already made history before the opening ceremony.  For the first time ever, all of the participating countries have sent female athletes to compete. And the good ole’ USA even has more women than men (8), also for the first time. We’ve come a long way, baby!

And now, for today’s poem:  It’s “A Song in the Front Yard,” from A Street in Bronzeville, Harper, 1945, by Gwendolyn Brooks, an amazing woman I had the honor of meeting when I was a child. Please go here for the poem itself.

Poetry and the Olympics: My Opening Ceremony

On the way to my weekly networking meeting this morning, I happened to hear a cool story on NPR.  It was about how in the early days of the Olympics – and I mean the earliest days, as in B.C.E. – poetry was an integral part of the festivities.  And how, at the 1912 Games in Stockholm, music, architecture, and painting were added, as well. One could even win medals in these categories! Sadly, however, after the London Games in 1948, this type of competition was suspended.

Hence, my tribute over the days of this year’s Olympic Games in London.  While I won’t be posting poems strictly about  sport, I will be posting some of my favorites, and I hope you’ll give them a chance to win gold in your heart, as well!

Let’s celebrate last night’s Opening Ceremony with an ode to roundness, as in the Olympic rings, among other things…

“Fat is not a Fairy Tale” by Jane Yolen (from Billy Collins’ Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry).  Please go here to read this poem.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt, Goddess of Authenticity and Courage

I have been re-reading one of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt biographies, Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way, and seriously, this woman rocked!  Hence, I see her as a great choice with whom to kick off Women’s History Month (after my mom, of course)!

I am not going to even begin to think that I can do her justice here, in a little ol’ blog post.  What I am going to do is point you over to her page on Wikipedia.  First, however, I am going to list only some of the many great things she is quoted as having said.  Enjoy!

  • Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier.  We do not have to become heroes overnight.  Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
  • Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
  • Friendship with one’s self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
  • I you have something to say, you can say it.
  • I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.
  • In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
  • It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
  • One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
  • People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.
  • Readjustment is a kind of private revolution.
  • Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
  • We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.
  • What matters now, as always, is not what we can’t do:  it is what we can and must do.
  • When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
  • When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
  • Work is easier to carry when your heart is involved.
  • Women are like tea bags – you can’t tell how strong they are until you put them in hot water.
  • Women, whether subtly or vociferously, have always been a tremendous power in the destiny of the world.

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month:  One whole month of the year dedicated to one of the two genders.  Hmm… In one way, it’s sad to think we need a designated month to remember that (we) women have made significant contributions in our world. On the other hand, I am glad that while we still need it, we have it.  (At what point do you think we won’t need it?  Soon, I hope!)

This year, and every year, that month is March. And so today, on the first of this month, we celebrate Women’s History Month.

For which women in history – recent or in the distant past – are you most grateful? What did you learn or receive – directly or indirectly – as a result of their lives and the actions they took – or refused to take?  And how are you living differently now, due to their influence?

Think about it and then let me know.  I’d love to hear!  Plus, there are so many, and so many I don’t yet know about, I look forward to learning from you.  Most of all, however, together, let’s celebrate and honor the important women that came before us!

PS  March is a special month for me for another reason, too.  It’s the birth month of someone very special in my life – Mary Ann Luck Taylor.  Happy Birth Month, Mom!  I celebrate, honor, and love you!

Your Business and Your Image – Are they Coming from Your Heart?

Too often, when we dive into the business world as a solopreneur, we lose sight of both who we are and the original goals we had in mind.

At the recent  Spark and Hustle conference, brought to Atlanta by Good Morning America’s Tory Johnson, I was listening to Alyson Hoag of Authentic Beauty speak about how, as business people, we should look.  She wasn’t talking about the physical, outward image, though, she was talking about our inner beauty, shining outward.  You know what I mean – you’ve seen people who simply glow when they’re in love.   The same is true when we’re in love with our lives.   Alyson says, “Having a life you love is the best thing you can do for your soul.” I have to second this, and add that when we are in love with our lives, it shows.

But how many of us aren’t doing this – giving ourselves lives we love?   Often, instead, we act as though we are fully passionate about all we’re doing.  And when this isn’t the whole truth, we are the ones who suffer – not only because we are lying to ourselves, but also, in the lying, we aren’t giving ourselves the opportunity to make different choices and move toward more truly loving our lives.

“The image you project should be a reflection on your authentic self,” Alyson goes onto say.  Thus, it would come to reason that if we’re doing something we love, the reflection we send out to the world would be authentic.  (See why I loved her presentation so much?)  Granted, what she and I both recommend, is often easier said than done.   Why is that?

The good and the bad news about being in business for yourself is that there is no mold to follow.  Uniqueness and creativity are what drives us to push the envelope to make sure that our voices are heard and our products and services are recognizable above the fray.  According to Alyson, “business is a learnable skill.” First of all, thank goodness!  That’s what I am in the midst of doing!  And second, if that’s really true, then we can also learn how to create a business that is part of a life we love, and which projects who we really are.    When we come from this place of our True Voices, we are able to “do something exceptional,” in the words of Laurie Baggett of Waggle Force, because it’s something authentic.

So, if we know that we need to be authentic in what we do, for it to all fall into place, how do we do that?   Cynthia Good of Pink Magazine has a couple of great suggestions.   First, “make sure your vision of success fits you.” Again, we’re back to creating a business and a life, for that matter, in which the outcome is going to be a match with what you want, who you are, and how you want to be known.   To do this, follow Cynthia’s second piece of advice: “don’t just keep courage on your mind; put it back where it came from – your heart.” Your mind is a great tool, and it will play tricks on you from time to time; however, your heart never lies.   By pulling what you need from your heart, the outpouring will be genuine, real, authentic, your true voice, and more than attractive.

Note:  This is one blog post in a series of them that I’ll be publishing here periodically about the insights I gleaned from the aforementioned Spark and Hustle conference.  It is my hope that these posts will not only inform you, but also inspire you to take action on making your dreams real, especially if your dreams include becoming an entrepreneur.  Perhaps with some spark and hustle, we can all profit from our passions!

True Voices Spark and Hustle

Hello!

This will be a brief post, with much more to come later on this very topic.   I am scrambling this morning to get ready for a call with one of my Be You Out Loud clients, then a call with my coach, Jeanine Mancusi, and then to get on the road heading toward to the Spark and Hustle Conference at the Cobb Galleria Centre in NW Atlanta.  It’s run by Tory Johnson, with Michelle Pippin, and I am delighted to have been chosen to be one of their official blogging/tweeting/posting people!

I am also excited about all of the great information and great women I am sure to meet there!  It’s a conference all about women entrepreneurs and their (our) businesses, so it’s right up my alley.  And this is a year that I have dedicated to (among other things) learning about how to be a better business woman.  (I could say something here about it being about time, since I am in my 10th year of business, but I will refrain.  🙂 )

Not that I will ever stop learning.  First of all, I love to learn.  And second, the way I see it is that one would have to work rather hard to avoid it!

OK – short post, as I said.  But look for more later about what all I am learning.  I am happy to share whatever it is, so that you can learn, too…

Have a sparkling day,
Laura

PS Written a year later: In 2011, I was a speaker at Spark & Hustle, and this is a picture proving it! 🙂