POWER in NY + Magic!Oct 13, 2023
Make yourself a beverage; this Weekly Words is a little longer than usual and at the end of todays words there is an invitation for you.
I have been thinking about the best way to share my time in the US, and I could not think of a better way than through the POWER principles themselves.
I have had to use the POWER Principles from the moment I had my first conversation with my Australian publisher. I knew that the relationship we would need to create and nurture was one where we both felt supported in our power.
When I partnered with Business Chicks for my Australian tour, it was created with the intention of ease, connection and impact. This was based on fully owning my values, energy and capacity.
My POWER has been taken from me since publishing the book (through day-to-day racist incidents), but I no longer give my power away. Not because I am against this as a form of survival but because I am currently not in a place where I need to do that to survive. But I have, and probably will again, because life throws us all curve balls, and we do what we can to get through.
Giving away or having our POWER taken away is a part of life, but it’s the self-compassion and understanding of our drivers that support us in rebuilding our POWER again and again.
As you read through these words and I share with you how I live into POWER, I invite you to see what resonates with you and your life.
Let us begin.
Presence to understand what is and isn't working in our lives. Who are you? Who are you becoming? What is it you want?
When I was in my early twenties working as an actor, my acting agent told me that she thought I should start doing auditions in Hollywood. I told her I had no interest in doing that because I believed I would get swallowed up in an industry that would make me feel less of myself, not more of myself. So when US Penguin reached out to me wanting to publish POWER, I had the same feeling as twenty-eight years ago! Fear. But when I stepped into presence, I remembered how young I was then, and I probably would have gotten swallowed up, but now that I’m nearly fifty, I am very clear on what is important to me and what isn’t. So, even though my first reaction was based on past fear, I decided to talk with my book agent, who understood my concerns. After that chat, my response to Penguin was yes! Thank you for the opportunity and….this is who I am and what matters to me at this stage in my life. Their response was, ‘Great! Let's do this.’ And so we did.
Learning: If we are not present in our past and present experiences and our feelings about a situation or person, our lack of presence to our feelings could swallow up incredible opportunities.
Ownership of our narratives, especially our power stories. What part of your story do you need to own? What do you need to let go of? What story will honour your past, present and future?
I had the privilege of working with Lucy Ormande, a friend and very talented manager for everything US-based. She is Australian but has experience in the US that I don’t have, and we have fun together. There was a point about three months out from the tour that I shared with Lucy that the fact we had not found our ‘home’ in NY was starting to make me feel anxious. I take full ownership of the impacts of being a foster child, so ‘home’ is a big deal. I knew I did not want to stay in a hotel for two weeks; I like to be in a place that feels like home. In communicating this to Lucy, she booked us a beautiful apartment in our chosen area within a day. Anxiety gone.
Learning: If you don’t take ownership of your stories, there is no way that your needs will be met. If your core needs are not met, do you tend to blame others for not meeting them, even if you have not communicated them? We all have needs. Owning them and sharing them is POWER.
Wisdom with our boundaries and growth. What areas of your life and leadership do you need to trust yourself?
I knew there would be at least one moment on the tour where Lucy and I would have a miscommunication. We were living together, travelling together and having a fun adventure together. A few days before we boarded the flight, I sent her a list of questions I wanted us to answer in the airport lounge before taking off. I asked questions about what safety would look and feel like for each of us, what support she needed from me to do her best work and what I needed from her to do my best work. We had established she likes smooth peanut butter, but…we all have flaws! We only had one miscommunication in two weeks, but because we had spent the time getting to know each other and exploring what issues or misunderstandings could come up, we got on top of it before it became something it wasn’t.
Learning: As a coach and facilitator, I spend much time walking alongside people as they have some of the most challenging conversations of their lives. Whether in the workplace or at home and in their personal lives. Difficult conversations are difficult and do not become easier the longer we leave them or pretend everything is okay. They also become more complicated if we make assumptions about what is happening instead of asking, ‘What is happening?’
Equality as part of the diverse human family, all of us worthy. With whom and in what situations do you question your equality?
On publication day, Lucy, myself, my US agent Stacy and publisher Nina met for lunch. They had chosen a beautiful vegan restaurant, and we sat in a half-circle booth. There would have been a time when I would have felt ‘less than’ Stacy and Nina because of their titles, university degrees, and the ‘power’ they could have over me as an author. But I have done the work to know they are no better or less than me. We laughed and connected and shared stories as equals for over two hours. It felt like we were a group of girlfriends. I must show them who I am in my full humanity and equality for them to know who I am; that is how they will know how to nourish and guide me as an author. If I feel unequal and find myself ‘hustling’, I don’t show up as myself, and they will never know me or how to support me.
Learning: If you question your equality with certain people or in certain spaces or feel that you leave part of yourself ‘outside the door,’ it may not be the space for you. Get curious about the impact on you. And if someone makes you question your equality, it is not about you; it's about them. No one makes us feel ‘less’ if they feel secure within themselves.
Responsibility for our choices, healing and happiness.
As an introvert, I love my home. I love being alone. I am also someone who thrives in routine. The US is far from home, so that I would be out of my regular routine. I needed to be my best self as there were a lot of appearances, including podcasts, live interviews, Instagram lives with other authors, keynotes, and my POWER Circles.
While creating the tour, I told Lucy, “Let’s board the plane on the way home and be empty. Let's give it our all!” And we did. And the only way I could have done that and not collapse in overwhelm was to take complete responsibility for my energy and needs.
I continued to exercise every day.
As a vegan, I do not rely on other people for my nourishment, so I packed a lot of snacks. (I could take more next time, actually!)
I continued to journal daily because it connects me to me and allows me to process the day before and the day ahead.
I continued to meditate because I am the kindest version of myself when I do, which resets my energy and spirit.
I took my art/travel journaling supplies, and every night, I would play with beautiful paper stickers and washi tape and artistically record the adventure.
Learning: Our POWER comes in being responsible for our well-being. We are all better humans when we take care of ourselves.
And some of the magic:
- Delivering a POWER keynote and workshop at Audible HQ in Newark.
- Attending a writer's retreat in New Mexico to honour Julia Cameron's (author of The Artists Way) impact on my life.
- Making deep connections with women doing similar work in the world and possible future collaborations.
- The delight of a new and now ‘a keeper’ friend baking a surprise vegan cake for me.
- Quality time nourishing new and old friendships.
- Being featured in Oprah Daily with ‘The Power of Money ‘excerpt from the book and my Money Matters playlist!
- A rainy day in NY at our apartment, listening to jazz on vinyl, then going to the laundromat and using the trolleys they have in ‘Friends’ when Ross and Rachel are doing their laundry together!!
- Being asked to keynote at A Writing Room retreat in the US in 2024 – I said yes!
- POWER having its moment as Amazon's #1.
- Spending an afternoon at The Free Black Woman’s Library.
Living into our POWER will always bring magic and challenges; it is how life works, and having a container, a lens through which to guide and hold us, is a sure way to understand yourself and how you want to live your life.
Applications for The POWER Collective™ - 2024 are open. If you know that being coached by me and being part of a collective of women doing the same work as you is what you need, fill out the application and book your POWER Date with me.
I will also host a ‘Collective Coaching Session’ the day before the Early-Bird ends so you can experience The POWER Collective™ for yourself.
If you joined a POWER Circle, this will build on the work we did. If you didn't attend a circle, you will still gain insights and action.
Date: Monday, October 30th 2023
Time: 7-8pm AEST
Learn More and Register here.
As always, I would love to hear your insights, thoughts or musings.
Wishing you a weekend of living into your POWER – without apology.