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The Power of WE (Women Entrepreneurs)
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The Power and Wisdom of Sensuality by Jenna Pfingston

In 2017, I awakened to the reality that I had lost connection to my sensuality as a woman.  Sensuality could be explored in many ways.  However, I want to explore sensuality within the vastness and curiosity of sensation within our bodies which has many layers.  Our feelings are meant to be felt and yet there are so many opportunities that we tend to tune out, numb out, or feel we shouldn’t feel a certain way.  Our world is within a deep and emotional shift.  The navigation into the Self exploring both masculine and feminine energy is an opportunity to recognize we need to cultivate a relationship with feminine energy.  When we are more in tune with the balance of feminine and masculine energy then we listen to the wisdom within and move from there, we magnetize what we want to bring into our life, we move from a space of authenticity, we awaken our intuition and strength, and we trust the flow of this wild human experience. 

I know so many beautiful women who are highly successful within careers, being mothers, wives, and the list goes on.  However, many of them have been slowly losing themselves through the expectations of society.  That constant movement of what is next, doing everything on the to do list, leaving no time for pleasure or the Self, being someone their not because they want to please others, and working until they no longer can feel. 

What I had realized within my journey as a woman that I had lost connection to my innate sensuality.  As I dropped into the Embodied Arts School with my teacher Jenna Ward I started to tap back into my feminine beauty and strength.  I invited my senses to reawaken and I started to explore pleasure in different ways. My practice of yoga has been a steady pillar but my other practice, Primal Embodied Wisdom has brought me back to feeling safe within my bones.  The invitation of awareness, sound, movement and breath. 

The Power and Wisdom of Sensuality

What is sensuality and how do we reconnect with the gift?   
I believe that once we can tap into sensuality, we can start to cultivate power and wisdom within our lives.  Sensuality is an opportunity to bring more authentic flow into your life and ‘Be within Your Body.’  To cultivate sensuality we must bring it into our daily lives as a practice.  Sensuality is pleasure and pleasure is always at our finger tips even when we are feeling pain.   By dropping into our bodies and feeling (somatic experience) beyond the labels we start to embrace an intimate relationship with the ‘felt sense’.  We connect to a higher frequency within our external and internal senses.  We start to trust what our body is telling us and intuition moves into a state of flow more often.  We start to look at life as a lover rather than a big to do list.  We start to magnetize what we want to bring into our precious lives. 

We can be highly successful women and also be sensual Goddesses! 
There are days that I am still disembodied and I find myself in the business of life.  However, I catch myself within the twirls and I take a deep sensual breath to anchor my body.  I take time for daily rituals such as; a cup of tea, meditation, baths, essential oils, pleasuring myself, primal embodied movement, primal sound, and just checking in with the Self. 

A sensual Goddess is an invitation to be vulnerable within your absolute truth be it messy, beautiful, or the in between.  I believe if we can reconnect within our innate sensuality, we will step more fully into who we are. Shall we dive in?!

Jenna invites you into a couple episodes of her podcast, A Cup of Tea with Jenna. 

Jenna will be joining in a panel discussion this Monday, November 16th, at noon. She joins the Power of WE Forum Series for women entrepreneurs.

by Jenna Pfingston,
Owner of jalaBlu Collective Healing. Primal Embodied Wisdom Coach, Yoga & Primal Movement Teacher, Spiritual Alchemist
Website – www.jalablu.com/
YouTube – Jenna Pfingston
Facebook – Jenna Pfingston Apple “A Cup of Tea with Jenna”
Spotify – “A Cup of Tea with Jenna”

#smallbusiness

Rural Small Business Paradigm Shifts and Methodologies by Delaney Keating

We think of paradigm shifts as forward-thinking, perhaps futuristic, or as part of an evolution into a new state of being. Though not always the case, especially in business, emergent paradigm shifts, in many ways, pay homage to roots in the past.

In 2015, I first took note of this when I hosted a speaker on the tenets of Conscious Capitalism at a remote, rural innovation center for small businesses. The audience response to Conscious Capitalist ideals of “people over profit” was “this is how we’ve always done business.” Rural participants didn’t see Conscious Capitalism as something new but rather a reflection of how they had always done business.

As a long-time rural resident, it was a proud moment to see this new corporate, or perhaps urban, set of ideals validate the ethos of something that was inherently rural. It made sense. Over the years, working with rural small business owners and innovators, I am in constant admiration of the commitment and motivation to positively impact their economies and environment. Rural entrepreneurs show many values of the earlier Conscious Capitalism principles baked into their DNA. They value their communities as stakeholders, sought to elevate people through higher-paying jobs, and, more often than not, if they weren’t solving for the environment, they factored their environmental impact heavily within their business plans. The biggest differentiator was the sense of community.

Community
Community is a core aspect of small business paradigms, whether it’s a desire to impact your community positively, foster a healthy work culture within your company’s community, or serve as inspiration for a community of industry. This return to a greater sense of community fosters a more collaborative spirit internally and externally. Not only does this community awareness and participation better serve entrepreneurs, but it also showcases a return to previous eras where humans operated with a greater sense of dependency within their given communities. A commitment to the community requires both trust and relationship within that group and, therefore, also fosters the emergence of agreed social contracts and behavioral norms.

A community becomes a support network and is built to help uplift the success of initiatives within that and can also be made strong enough to help weather uncertainty.

The benefits of community are many, and we see new founders seeking community connections and network support, ongoingly, as a regular aspect of “doing business.”

Trust
A core component for the success of any community, it the facet of trust. Trust creates a baseline or foundation for a community to self-manage based on shared values and expectations. Though not discussed often, trust is more than a facet of a healthy community; but is also central to economic prosperity. Next to the return to the community, the importance of trust is a catalyst for many other aspects of our shifting paradigms in business.

Beyond entrepreneurs and their relationships within their various modes of community, a company culture also depends upon trust. Company culture reflects the health and satisfaction of its employees and the relationship it has with its consumers. Trust is increasingly built upon human-centered leadership that upholds values for people, whether in employee engagement and well-being or customer service tactics. Trust is vast and nuanced but straightforward at its core. Furthermore, both transparency and vulnerability are stated parts of the rhetoric of trust when we are even casually discussing a company or leader.

With community and trust at the forefront of paradigm shifts within a business, whether located in a rural or urban environment, there is a catalytic ripple of other paradigms that continue to emerge. Many paradigms emerge as divergent forks in a road, but for many, they represent a spectrum of seeming opposites, and how we “teeter” or surf between them individually or within a company or society reflects how ingrained a paradigm becomes a long-term aspect or value of culture.

Join Monday, November 16th, to explore leadership and business paradigms with Delaney Keating at the next WE Conference for women entrepreneurs.

by Delaney Keating, Managing Director for Startup Colorado and a seasoned creative, entrepreneur, and change agent. She successfully owned, operated, and exited her first company and has since been dedicated to fostering ingrained cultural values for art and innovation.
Website –  https://startupcolorado.org
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/startupcolorado_/?hl=en
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/StartupColoradoOfficial/

Paradigm Shift From Division to Unity by Janessa Gans Wilder, Founder of The Euphrates Institute

I found out the election results while hosting a call with Joan Blades, the founder of Living Room Conversations, an organization that has developed over 100 guides for engaging on difficult topics such as politics, race, covid-19, immigration, etc. Though that morning we were all focused on the leadership of the nation, Joan emphasized the role that each of us plays in uniting and healing the country. “Leaders stand on the foundation of the grassroots,” she stressed. “We’ve gotten good at lose-lose outcomes. We need to restore the concept of win-win outcomes. We need to restore our connections in order to avoid mutual destruction.

Restore our connections. I love that phrase. If we restore the connection, it means the unity is already there, it just needs some repairing. It’s hard to imagine a time when humanity has been more connected across the globe. From the day astronauts captured the first image of the earth rising, we’ve become more aware that all humanity that has ever lived has shared this tiny blue sphere floating in space. From climate change to interconnected financial markets, to transborder security, drug, and trafficking issues, the challenges we face are complex and inextricably intertwined. There is no more going it alone.

The day before the election results, I was on a Zoom call with a small group discussing our respective grassroots interfaith efforts. One was from Yemen, one from Egypt, one from India, one from France, one from Peru, and one from Venezuela. The technology allowed simultaneous multiple translation channels, which were going on in Arabic and Spanish and English. It seemed so simple and ordinary to have this kind of conversation on a weekday morning, and I had to reflect on how far we have come from the late 80s when I spent a year abroad and the only chance I had to talk to my family were monthly calls. It had to be on Sunday evenings when it was cheapest and I could only spend a few minutes on a scratchy, delayed line. No video. No email. No idea of what was going on in their lives apart from those fleeting minutes.

Now, we are connected to others around the world in ways that actually enable meaningful connection and powerful intimacy. I’ve participated in several online curriculum forums with people from around the world where it is like we are in the same classroom together, seeing one another, listening, exploring values and ideas. The sharing is so deep that I often feel more connected to them than to the people in my own physical community. Community, itself, is broadening and expanding, in terms of whom we can reach out to, whom we can include.

These technological tools have helped me expand my sense of community globally, and I notice a natural openness and curiosity about people of other faiths, ethnicities, cultures. Yet, I notice an inner resistance to engaging in the same way in our domestic politics—feelings of fear, frustration, a sense of superiority, disgust, even, of the other side. I know I’m not alone. A September 2020 report by the non-partisan Pew Research Center, uncovered that nearly 80 percent of Trump and Biden supporters said they had few or no friends who supported the other candidate.

I know in my heart and understand like many of you, the reality of our interconnectedness. I have even powerfully glimpsed something of our Oneness on a spiritual level. Yet, in the day to day, I am caught up in othering, in division, in conflict. I know where that road leads and it is not where I want to go. After spending nearly two years in Iraq during the war, I’ve seen the destruction of division. In Iraq during the conflict, there were times I felt the incredible release of energy and great relief that comes with connecting across a great divide. I once organized an ultimate frisbee tournament between American soldiers and Iraqis in Baghdad. The two groups lined up, tense and silent, the language barrier heightening the mental and physical barriers of distrust and difference. As we started playing, I noticed the tension start to melt like an ice cube on a hot day. Smiles replaced hostile stares. Then I noticed thumbs up in response to a good pass, then audible cheers, then pats on the back. By the end, the groups were hugging and posing for pictures. Years later, many of the soldiers told me those games were the highlight of their tour.

If a little game, or a Zoom call, or a conversation in a living room, can help us see the Other differently, then perhaps there is space enough and opportunities for us to engage if we can summon the courage. Rather than lie in wait in the hopes that our political leaders will restore unity, it seems we are being given a supreme invitation, an imperative, even, to go into the scary and difficult places and “restore our connections.” Maybe we’ll find that unity is already there.

For more information:
Explore Living Room Conversations
Be a peacebuilder and engage with a global community with Euphrates Institute:
Learn about global interfaith efforts with United Religions Initiative:
Get inspired by inner and outer transformation through service at ServiceSpace:
More on my journey—TEDx talk “Turn the Other into a Brother

About: Janessa she is a former CIA officer turned peacebuilder, social entrepreneur, and nonprofit executive. She founded Euphrates after five years at the CIA focused on the Middle East, including serving 21 months in Iraq from 2003-2005. Janessa is a frequent speaker in interfaith, community, government, international, and educational settings and a TEDx speaker. She has written dozens of articles and been interviewed by major news outlets, including CBS, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Democracy Now & many more. Website – https://www.euphrates.org/ – Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/euphrates_institute/ – Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/euphratesinstitute/

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: by Heather Barron

Self-limitation, low self-worth, and other crippling beliefs come from the stories we tell ourselves.

Empowerment, capacity, and self-actualization come from the stories we tell ourselves as well.
So why don’t we just choose to tell ourselves empowering stories?

The stories that control our inner narrative may have been told TO us long before they became the stories we rehearse within and believe about ourselves. Beth Kurland, Ph.D, writes: “As children, we inevitably experience upsetting things that happen, whether the smaller hurts such as having a parent yell at us, or being called a mean name, or having an embarrassing moment, or the bigger hurts of loss or traumatic events. We do our best to make sense of our world, but because of our limited ability to see things from a more complex perspective, we can internalize inaccurate messages from these early experiences that lead us to believe that there is something wrong with us. The stories we tell ourselves about these situations can become beliefs about the very nature of who we are, about our worthiness, value and ‘enough-ness’.”

If we had a parent or guiding adult in our life who told us, “You are brilliant. You can do anything you set your mind to. You are made of infinite possibility.” We may have a very empowering inner narrative.

If, on the other hand, the role models and adult guides (and, to our impressionable, young selves, all it takes is one person we trust or look up to) in our childhood told us things like, “You’re stupid. You’re worthless. You’re trouble. You’ll never amount to anything.” You may struggle with feeling like you will never be good enough. You may even believe that you are broken or flawed in essential ways.

As adults, many of us tend to think that whatever our internal voice(s) say must be true about us because they present in the first person.

Do any of these sound familiar:
– I’m not/never good enough.
– I’m a fraud.
I’ll never be as good/talented/beautiful/funny as INSERT NAME HERE.
– I have to prove my worth.
– I’m not worthy.
– I’m not smart enough.
– I’m too fat.
– I don’t deserve love.

Many of us don’t realize that we have adopted external lies as our internal stories. The beauty of this? We have the power to CHANGE the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we have accepted as our own and as the truth about us. We have the capacity to, as Dr. Kurland says, “unhook” these limiting stories. 

We can change our inner narrative. 

So how do we do that? Here is a process that has helped me and the clients I work with as a Transformational Life Coach:
#1. PAY ATTENTION – BECOME AWARE OF THE STORIES WE ARE CARRYING

We have to observe and become aware of the stories bouncing around in our heads. These may be hard to identify at first because they are as close as our own thinking. Sitting down to journal – what beliefs stand in the way of me having the courage to live authentically. 

#2. IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT THESE OLD STORIES
In “The Work” by Byron Katie, there is a step in her simple and profoundly freeing process that asks us to imagine who we would be without certain beliefs.

Once you have identified the stories that are limiting your peace and keeping you hustling for your value and worth, ask yourself what life would look like without these stories.

Close your eyes and ask, “Who would I be without the story/belief that…” and then notice and record how you feel. 

#3. IDENTIFY THE STORY WE WANT TO LIVE
Without the old stories, what story do we want to claim for our life. Taking the lead of the last step, let us imagine what life looks like without all the tension, fear, concern of the old stories. What new possibilities can we perceive for our life as we write our new story? WRITE THEM DOWN and post them somewhere we can see them regularly.

#4. DISOWN THE OLD STORIES

Just because a thought comes to us in the “I” form does not mean we have to believe it or keep it as our own. A very powerful practice is to begin observing the thoughts that present themselves as “I”: 
– I can’t believe I did that. 
– I’m so stupid. 
– I should be ashamed of myself. 
– Well, as long as I look like this, I will never deserve love. 
– I will never be smart enough to own my own business. 
– I’m such a fraud and someday everyone will find me out.

Leo Babauta writes“… (T)elling ourselves stories is natural — we all do it, all the time. There’s nothing wrong with it. But if we’re not aware of the stories we tell ourselves, we can’t understand how they shape our happiness, relationships, moods, and more.

We can become aware of these aggressive stories. We have the right to start saying, “THIS IS NOT MINE.” We have the right to say, “I no longer choose this as my story.” And then REPLACE IT. “My story is…”

#5. CLAIM THE NEW STORY – AFFIRM & PRACTICE WHAT WE WANT TO EXPERIENCE
Affirmations are a powerful tool because they are a stepping-stone to filling the old space with the new. We cannot remove something without a better something to put in its place. For whatever reason, the old way becomes a sort of default (probably because that is what we have practiced for so long already). When we affirm the story we know is rightfully ours, or that we wish to experience, we are claiming, practicing and living our way into a new story of our life.

Perhaps the greatest challenge of this kind of work is that we have practiced the old stories for so long that it can feel challenging, and even impossible, to practice new, empowering stories.

Josh Becker says“Almost certainly there will be progress and setbacks. When the setbacks happen, don’t fall back into the same old story of ‘See, I knew I couldn’t do it.’ Tell yourself a new story, ‘I can’t believe I took a step backward! I was doing so well. I will start again tomorrow. I can do it.’”

What we practice, we experience. We can change the inner narrative we rehearse daily, one story at a time. And that, in turn, can change the way we experience ourselves and the whole world. 

by Heather Barron, Founder of Luminous Life, Inc. Heather is an Integral Life & Mindset Coach, Writer, Speaker. 
Website – www.luminous-life.com
Instagram – www.instagram.com/luminouslifeinc
Facebook – www.facebook.com/LuminousLifeInc

The Power of Story to Change and Transform

The Power of Story to Change and Transform By Laurie Benson

I’ve just returned from a trip to the border of Arizona and Mexico, where my personal experiences reaffirmed that not only is story powerful, but when our stories overlap with those of others – we are changed. 

I was staying in Ajo, AZ with the intention of visiting the Quitobaquito Spring in Organ Pipe National Monument, to see first hand how much it had been impacted by the border wall since my last visit in February.

I had my camera and equipment to gather more stories for my project, A Hundred Voices, which focuses on opening the doors to reconnection with ourselves, each other, and the planet. Simple enough. I knew it would be an emotional trip, but was in no way prepared for what I experienced.

Our border communities are truly sitting at the center of all of the issues plaguing our global communities right now. They are impacted by threats to endangered species and wildlife habitat, migrants and human rights, Indigenous rights and freedom, environmental destruction, and government policy and spending. 

Standing in the center of it all I realized that these issues do not exist in isolation, but are all interconnected. We are all interconnected.

On the second day of my trip, I witnessed two teenage girls and a baby getting picked up by ICE in Organ Pipe National Monument. The look of fear on their faces will stay with me forever. I rolled down my window and smiled, it was all I could do. One of the girls smiled back and then tears began streaming down her face. I have never felt so helpless in my entire life. I pulled over on the side of the road and joined her in her tears. 

After that experience, I found myself completely consumed with the question – What can I do? So I turned to my practice, the embodiment work I’ve been focused on for years. In this silence and awareness, I found my answer – I needed to stand in my strengths and put them to work. I would bring the voices of those on the front lines to the rest of the world. Shine a light on all that is happening here through story. So, I got to work and Larger Than Borders began to come to life. 

I know that we learn through story. Our experiences have shifted who we are, impacted the way we move though the world, and created incredible a-ha moments. It is through the sharing of these stories that we create opportunities for them to support others on their journey as well.

When you sit quietly, slow your breath, and feel into your heart space – what is there waiting to be shared? What story will be your gift to the world?

by Laurie Benson, Laurie was recently introduced as a Voice for the Voiceless and the title stuck. She has dedicated her life to opening doors to reconnection with ourselves, each other, and all living beings. The question, “What story, or deep wisdom, is living inside of you ready to be shared?” guides her work.

Focused on embodiment and the sharing of stories, Laurie believes these two paths lead us to our deepest inner truths, and create a path forward toward unity and compassion. Embodiment Work – www.InwardBoundWomen.com Story Projects – www.AHundredVoices.com and www.BorderCollective.com