Heroine: Women’s Creative Leadership, Confidence, Wisdom show

Heroine: Women’s Creative Leadership, Confidence, Wisdom

Summary: Discover female legends, badasses, and rule-breakers who will make you laugh, weep, and feel alive again. Eavesdrop on real, vulnerable, intimate conversations, like listening to two good friends talk over a cup of tea or glass of wine. We go deep.

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 Eileen Fisher on Embodied Leadership | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2005

Eileen Fisher is more than a strong, female leader. Eileen Fisher is an icon. Her clothes - and her signature style - soft, elegant, warm - are an entire way of life. But unlike many famous leaders, and especially many famous FASHION leaders, Eileen is not driven by ego. She is humble. Midwestern. The Devil Wears Prada...she is decidedly, NOT. Throughout our interview, I wondered, how can such a strong leader speak with such a down to earth realness? Perhaps it’s because Eileen is an example of how to succeed well. As her brand continues to grow, she continues to reinvent. Instead of defining her business by how much money it makes, her company’s new parameter of success…. is sustainability. Her new mantra is do the most good instead of make the most money. In a world where our political leaders deny climate change...and other painful truths such as a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body...all to hold on to power...I think we can all take something from Eileen’s example. Live your values, show up, try. And remember that integrity is the only real currency we have in this world. Alright, on to the show. A BIG THANK YOU & SHOUT OUT TO OUR BADASS PATRONS ESPECIALLY:  Bianca Wendt, an award-winning art director and graphic designer based in San Francisco and London. Learn more about Bianca and her work here. Pssst....don't forget to follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine for more goodies, inspiration, and updates when episodes drop – yay! Want to support women's voices? Go to patreon.com/heroinefm & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters. MUSIC: Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs

 Disrupting the Fairy Tale — Justine Musk | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1877

What happens when you marry someone who becomes rich and famous? Perhaps you find yourself becoming a bit blonder, a bit more stylish, and less, well, you - to fit into his life. I think we’ve all done this to a certain extent. Changed ourselves to fit the needs of someone we wanted to fit with. (Quick note: This episode is from the archive and available when you subscribe to the podcast on ApplePodcasts.com/Heroine or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also stream it live from any browser on spreaker.com/heroine). But let’s say this all happens in the public eye. You and this man start a family. And after all this stretching and shifting, tragedy strikes. Nothing can insulate us from that. And then, he breaks up with you. And quickly takes up with someone new. That’s what happened to Justine Musk. She’s a writer, speaker and soul-blogger. She is also the ex-wife of tech billionaire and provocateur Elon Musk. When I interviewed Justine, I was reminded of why I do this podcast. Justine experienced something in the Heroine’s journey called the descent. In crude terms, Justine was kind of a starter wife. She herself has said this in an article she wrote for Marie Claire. But as we’ve seen with our examination of archetypes in fairy tales at the beginning of the season, this one is woefully inadequate. It’s an oversimplification as they do little to reveal the soul of the person. And the origins of Justine’s story don’t define her. It’s what she chose to do with her story...that does. And it’s the descent - the darkness in her life that revealed the light of who she is. Which I think...is the truth for all great heroines. As the Sufi mystic Rumi once said, be patient where you sit in the dark, the dawn is coming. References: Check out Justine's blog at http://justinemusk.com/ A BIG THANK YOU & SHOUT OUT TO OUR BADASS PATRONS ESPECIALLY:  Brigid Cabry Nelson leads Lettershop, an award-winning creative studio that serves a wide range of clients—from boutique retailers to large corporations—approaching each and every project with vigor and enthusiasm. Learn more about Brigid and her work here. Bianca Wendt, an award-winning art director and graphic designer based in San Francisco and London. Learn more about Bianca and her work here. Pssst....don't forget to follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine for more goodies, inspiration, and updates when episodes drop – yay! Want to support women's voices? Go to patreon.com/heroinefm & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters. MUSIC: Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs

 How To Create Your Own Myth — Roz Savage | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2396

I can’t believe it’s been about three years since I first aired this episode with Roz Savage, the first woman to row solo across three oceans. Honestly, I remember feeling so nervous, not so much during the conversation, but more so in sharing the interview, as it was the first show that launched the podcast. Today, my editor, Anne, recut this so it’s lively, fresh and even more revelatory. (Quick note: This episode is from the archive and available when you subscribe to the podcast on ApplePodcasts.com/Heroine or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also stream it live from any browser on spreaker.com/heroine). Give yourself a second to really think about the fact that Roz rows across oceans alone. She sits in a small boat, day after day, with little besides the cold waves for company and the sea mist hitting her face. This is a woman who is comfortable with solitude….and freedom. But when Roz started rowing, she was, in her words, “just a management consultant” from the UK. So...how did she get to that wide, open ocean? What drives someone to leave everything they’ve known for so long to achieve a distant goal? In a way, that’s really the central question of this podcast. How do we stop being good girls and start being the heroines we’re meant to be? How do we write our own stories, create our own myths? How do we activate our own potential - even when it goes against all of our social conditioning? Roz ended up leaving her ordinary life because she sat down one day and wrote herself two obituaries. It sounds morbid, but for Roz it was clarifying. In one version, she had lived life as a business woman, in control and with fancy clothes. In the other, well, I won’t give too much away. Let’s just say, in the other obituary, her clothes didn’t matter. References: Roz Savage’s book, "Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean." Roz Savage’s website, http://www.rozsavage.com/ A BIG THANK YOU & SHOUT OUT TO OUR BADASS PATRONS ESPECIALLY:  Brigid Cabry Nelson leads Lettershop, an award-winning creative studio that serves a wide range of clients—from boutique retailers to large corporations—approaching each and every project with vigor and enthusiasm. Learn more about Brigid and her work here. Bianca Wendt, an award-winning art director and graphic designer based in San Francisco and London. Learn more about Bianca and her work here. Pssst....don't forget to follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine for more goodies, inspiration, and updates when episodes drop – yay! Want to support women's voices? Go to patreon.com/heroinefm & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters. MUSIC: Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs

 On Rapunzel, Feeling Trapped, & Healing (Part 2) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 512

Today, we’re going to sink deeper into the waif archetype to understand the true essence of the powerful fairytale and heroine Rapunzel. This episode is available when you subscribe to the podcast on ApplePodcasts.com/Heroine (or wherever you get your podcasts). You can also stream it live from any browser here. Let’s bring back Kate Forsyth – an incredible novelist and fairy tale connoisseur – from the last episode. Kate argues the motifs we believe are passive in the tale, or that look passive at first glance, really aren’t. Here’s our convo. Majo: Yeah, I mean on the one hand her hair is kind of passive because it's dropping off the side of the building and it's being climbed on or it's being used but on the other hand – Kate: See I don't think that is a symbol of passivity, her own hair is the only form of ingress to her, it's the only way that people can reach her in her isolated state and in the end try and think of it more her hair is actually a symbol of her own strength that is being used against her. And once she's freed from that that is when she comes into her true power. It's not necessarily a symbol of passivity, in fact Rapunzel is not a passive figure, she sings with all of her strength and that draws the prince to her, she allows herself, she takes control of her life even though she is trapped against her will in this confined space. It's a misunderstanding of the fairy tale to use her as an example of female passivity. Majo: Yeah, that's really helpful, I love what you wrote, "Rapunzel's no passive maiden awaiting rescue. She was an active agent in events, an empowering figure. Though later versions increasingly drain the tale of it's subversive power." Kate: I mean that is exactly right, so the earliest versions are when she's at her most active. So what happened? Turns out the Grimm brothers, who were telling these tales in a very religious society, received a ton of backlash for the Rapunzel story. The story of lovers having sex in a tower was too racy (especially for children), so they stripped away the eroticism, darkness, and violence out of the original story. As Kate shares, The Grimm's were trying to make their stories more suitable for children but Rapunzel was never meant for children, it was always meant for young women on the verge of their own sexual lives. Because the truth is Rapunzel was proactive, clever, and resourceful. She was not waiting around. In one older version of the tale by Italian folk collector Giambattista Basile, Rapunzel is even more fierce, as she finds three acorns from the witch she then uses against her. Each acorn becomes an animal ally of sorts – first a dog, then a lion, and finally a wolf that devours and kills the witch. I was super into this version, and was going to go with it and be like, “See Rapunzel’s a warrior!” until I met Kate, who brought way more refinement to the conversation. Kate was attracted to the version written by 18th Century French, female writer Charlotte Rose De La Force. Because in that version, it is Rapunzel who heals the prince with her tears. The more I reflect on both versions, I do love what De La Force did to the tale...Rapunzel’s tears are not a sign of weakness, but of power. This got me thinking about something a friend once told me, “healing doesn’t happen through force, or action, it happens through relaxation, opening…release.” Tears are a form of release, sacred tears are the release that, like the rain, allow for new growth to happen. For centuries, we’ve been shamed for having tears, for being emotional, we’re called hysterical, when our feelings are a source of our intelligence as women, and I think that’s what Rapunzel is truly all about. Feelings, sadness, grief, and tears, allow us to release and move on, allow us and others to heal. Tears are a sign of compassion. In fairy tales, we’re so used to good versus evil, but Rapunzel not only heals the Prince, but she redeems the witch. Rapunzel moves the...

 On Rapunzel, Feeling Trapped, & Healing (Part 1) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 706

Today, we’re kicking off the first part of exploring the waif archetype, also know as the very passive maiden in the tower, the princess waiting to be rescued, and the good girl – an archetype I’ve long been fascinated with and am even writing a whole book about (coming out next year, still can’t believe it!). Today’s episode is available when you subscribe to the podcast on ApplePodcasts.com/Heroine (or wherever you get your podcasts). You can also stream it live from any browser here. Some of you may be wondering why I’m focusing on fairy tales, when most of us haven’t thought about them since we were children. What do they have to do with you now? To help me answer this question, I invited Australian author Kate Forsyth onto the show. Kate has retold many fairy tales through her novels, including Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and Rapunzel. I asked Kate if she thinks that reading fairy tales as little girls actually affects us as adult women. Kate says that yes, fairy tales help prepare us for what’s to come: I mean in a way the witches and the dragons and the ogres, these are metaphors that allow us to examine things like fear of abandonment, fear of not being loved, fear of failure, fear of death, fear of harm. And because they're generally told in a safe place in a circle of light around a fire, in the comfort of a mothers lap, while tucked up in bed, because the person listening to the story is safe, it enables them to for a while in their imagination do battle with these witches and these monsters and triumph over them. Now we know, neurologically speaking, that anything that we experience in our imagination acts in the brain as if it has actually happened. So when we feel that thrill of triumph at having outwitted the witch well our brain processes it as if we had actually done it. So these stories help us learn emotional resilience and intelligence, and if we were fed wonky stories, or if we didn’t fully integrate them as little girls, that will affect how we live and lead down the road. A few years ago, Kate completed her PhD on reimagining the Rapunzel archetype, which is why I specifically reached out to her. I thought she could better help me understand this maiden in the tower. In this episode, we go over the Rapunzel tale together, which is super important because some of you may remember it differently (I was shocked by the ending, which I had no memory of whatsoever). In her more reduced interpretation (as a trope for female passivity), Rapunzel represents this idea of feeling trapped, which is symbolized by the tower in the tale, as Kate shares: I mean fairy tales work at this kind of metaphorical or archetypal level and it's a rare human that does not find themselves trapped and disempowered by their circumstances in some way. And so in Rapunzel the tower stands in for anything that is tying back the human spirit, it might be fear, it might be an unhappy relationship, it might be ones own parents, it might be the school that you are forced to go to against your will, it might be a job that is making you deeply unhappy. It's a metaphorical tower and so for that reason it is the most memorable motif in the fairy tale. So what’s your tower right now? It could be internal or external. That’s my question to you. Or let me put it this way: what is the story you’re telling yourself, about how you’re trapped, and you have no choice to be doing this or that. Remember, an uncomfortable situation and relationship can be bizarrely comfortable because it’s familiar, so we forget amidst that cozy comfort, that we still have choice. Every day, every second, we are making choices. The first step to getting out of your tower is taking back your agency by seeing that you have choice. Rapunzel made choices. She was far more proactive than we think. I’m only scratching the surface of our conversation in this post, as you’ll need to listen to the episode ( ApplePodcasts.com/Heroine and here) to get...

 Understanding Your Inner Queen (Part 2) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 478

For the first four episodes of this season, we’re exploring the female archetypes (and stereotypes!) in old fairy and folk tales. First up – the Queen. To quickly recap – in the last episode, we learned about the sequel to Sleeping Beauty’s “happily ever after” in which she has to deal with her mother-in-law –  the evil Queen Mother – an ogre and wants to eat her twin babies. If you haven’t listened to that episode, go back and do so, otherwise this second part won’t make sense. Today, we’re going to sink deeper into this archetype to understand what’s going really going on – and in the process, learn more about ourselves.   Episodes are available when you subscribe to the podcast on ApplePodcasts.com/Heroine (or wherever you get your podcasts). You can also stream it live from any browser here. So, I came across a 17th Century version of Sleeping Beauty called Sun, Moon, and Talia, and oh heroine, did this really put the Queen in perspective for me. It helped me see her in a completely different light. In this other version, the evil Queen isn’t the King’s mother, but get this, she’s the King’s wife. Yes, Sleeping Beauty– or Talia – is actually the “third” woman in this tale. That’s right, our homeboy King is a player. He already had a wife before he met Sleeping Beauty – it’s the part Disney doesn’t mention. He’s just doing what Kings did back then, sleep with whoever they wanted. So we begin to see that there’s a complicated relationship between the King and the Queen. At one point in the tale, when The Queen thinks he’s eating one of his own kids (the kids he would have had with another woman), she tells him, and I quote “"Eat away! for you eat what is your own." What the King replies is fascinating, and I quote “"Ay, I know well enough that what I eat is my own, for you brought nothing to the house." Oh snap. That’s a rude response. The tale writes, “And at last getting up in a rage, he went off to a villa at a little distance to cool his anger.” In other words, the King is annoyed that the Queen isn’t contributing “bread” to the table. This line could be interpreted many ways. Either he’s mad she hasn’t brought home the bacon or he could be shaming her for coming with a small dowry. But what options does a Queen have, locked in a Kingdom, in a patriarchal society, to go out and bring something to the house? Very little. In fact, in most of these fairy tales, the King is always quite mobile of course, traversing stretches of land, while the Princesses and Queens are confined within walls, or being ordered around to go from place A to B. It’s clear that the Queen is powerless in the patriarchy with her lead patriarch, very literally the King. At one point, when she confronts Talia who we know as Sleeping Beauty – the woman her husband is having an affair with –  she says, “Are you the weed that has caught my husband’s eye and given me all this trouble? So so, you are come at last to purgatory, where I'll make you pay for all the ill you have done me." Obviously, Talia’s not the problem – the King is the main issue here, lest this becomes an episode of Jerry Springer. Both Talia and the Queen are powerless in different ways. So, it’s obvious and quite justified – one of the ways the Queen has responded to betrayal, hurt, and feelings of powerlessness is to become a total Queen. Duh. In other words, she claims control because she’s been badly hurt. She’s wounded! When we see the full context of the Queen, we can see how she’s very connected to the inner victim...underneath Queen behavior is a feeling (and perhaps even a reality) of victimhood. Ok, now it’s our time to turn it to you. How have you felt out of control in your life, and how has that made you double down on becoming more controlling? For some of us, we grow up in chaotic households, so we turn to controlling what we eat. In my case, I grew up moving around a lot, not having control in where I’d live or what community so I doubled down by becoming...

 Understanding Your Inner Queen (Part I) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 592

For the next four episodes on Heroine, we’re exploring the female archetypes (and stereotypes!) in old fairy and folk tales. The first archetype we’re going to explore is one of my favorites – the Queen. Obviously the “evil” Queen is a common storytelling trope. But like all tropes, they’re simultaneously false and real. They’re real in that by learning and growing up around these characters, we internalize some of them. They’re false in that they’re still tropes, which means nobody is all Queen, or all Princess, all of the time – that’s a sweet oversimplification. We’re going to first explore how there’s some reality in this Queen archetype. If we think of these characters as part of our own psyche, who is the reckless Queen out to control and maintain power? Is this a part of you that’s loud in your life, or quiet? I was curious about the Queen archetype in the women in my life – so I thought I’d interview a mutual friend. Meet Dionna. Dionna: My name is Dionna McPhatter. I'm the co-founder of Nacci (naccidigital.com). We do data driven storytelling that harnesses the power of data, data science, narrative and storytelling and design thinking to bring solutions to businesses. Majo: Do you feel like others perceive you to be like queenly or have this energy? Dionna: Yeah, I think so. I think there's plenty more to me, but yeah, I think that this wouldn't be hard for them to ... I mean, I have people that call me Queen D. So I think that has come out early and I never asked for that as a title. Majo: Do you have example from your own life where you were like, oh dang, maybe I was too much, maybe I was too powerful in this situation or too assertive or too queenly and I should've peeled back or that got me in trouble. Dionna: Trouble, no. I see it all as learning. I haven't felt in trouble in a long time, but I think the ... I've had times where I'm leading a team or I'm just on the team. So it was all of my peers and so, I didn't see myself as higher than them. But I just have a certain way that I communicate. And I got feedback that because I communicate with such clarity, that made people feel like I wasn't open to their ideas, right? There's plenty of times when I choose not to speak, so you know I don't really care that much or I'm in listening mode or whatever. But when I choose to speak about something, I am passionate, so that can deter other people sometimes. And then, when they're speaking, they can think that I'm not listening. I can really relate to Dionna, because I have a lot of the Queen archetype within me. And it manifests in a variety of ways – I want things done, when I want them, efficiently, and on my own time. I like to delegate, I actually have no problem with it at all. And being a Queen feels great most of the time, but I did notice that there’s a downside to it – people often don’t feel my warmth, or feel cared for, when I’m acting like a Queen. One time I was queening out, and dissatisfied by someone I hired to help handle my social media. I found myself getting irritated, and angry, and snappy at her. You know since my Queen is a total perfectionist, one who wants it perfect or not at all. And then she quit! I felt relieved, but also kind of embarrassed. I realized when I’m being a Queen, people obviously don’t want to collaborate. The impact of that of course, is that Queens end up lonely and isolated in their glass or ice palaces. They shut themselves off from the world. It’s hard for me to admit tell you about the times I Queen because she’s not a part of myself I’m proud of. Even now, I can feel how uncomfortable it is to share with you, because it’s an ugly dark part of myself (the shadow!) I sometimes wish would go away, especially when she’s acting out. So how about you? What is your relationship to this trait? Does it help you get things done? Do you value it? Do you feel trapped by it? Do you secretly resent it? Perhaps you feel don’t have enough of this archetype...

 Spring Season [Teaser] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 188

One of the reasons I started this podcast was to share women’s stories – showing us as complex, nuanced, and still very much in progress. But as we know, stories like this have only become available to us recently. I remember as a little girl, being bombarded by Disney Princesses, witches, and evil step mothers who were one dimensional and pretty flat. But a lot of these characters were based on older stories which were far darker, even more multi-layered and satisfying. Old folk tales that show us the full dimensionality of who we are as women. That’s why this season, we’re going to explore these older tales and uncover more about ourselves in the process. Have you ever felt like a major Queen, stirring up drama for yourself and those around you? Or have you ever felt like a waif, a kind of frail woman, who is too breakable to take on a challenge? For the first half of this new season, we’ll explore how there are more to these female archetypes (and stereotypes!) than what we see on the surface. We’ll talk about how by embodying and rejecting them, they play out in our personal and professional lives. Ok, so that will be the first part of the season. For the second part, my editor Anne Hoffman and I have curated and freshened up four interviews from the archive that relate to the theme of archetypes. You’re going to hear from record-breaking rower Roz Savage (she was my first interview ever), Justine Musk, a writer and the ex-wife of Elon Musk, design icon Eileen Fisher, and from New York Times Award-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario. Even if you’ve listened to these episodes, I guarantee you will hear something new in them the second or third time. Also, I invite you to connect with me on my website that has a ton of free resources for you such as a Rituals e-Guide, Creative Confidence Playbook, articles, and also a free guided meditation. Check it out on majo.co (MAJO.CO). An episode will be released every Thursday as usual – and the season will run for eight weeks starting on April 11th. Onward!

 How To Voice & Stand Up for Your Needs — Boundaries Minisode (4/4) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 493

For more tips and inspiration, go to my website majo.co and follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine You made it this is the last and final minisode in a four part series on boundaries. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to listen to the entire series from top to bottom, because it will give you a full picture on how you can maintain healthy, strong, boundaries to be more badass in a world that is clawing at your time and attention. In this episode, I want to introduce you to a four-step communication tool for speaking up when something is bothering you, when you feel someone has overstepped one of your boundaries, and you want to let them know that’s not cool with you. Because in working with and talking to hundreds of women, I noticed a pattern – after years of growing up in the patriarchy, when something bothers us, we don’t speak up. You know, It starts in our teens. Harvard researchers found that during adolescence, girls stop speaking from their experience, and expressing their true feelings and thoughts, even though they were outspoken as children. They literally lose their voices, become more quiet, and say “I don’t know” a million times, really as a way to hide. The researchers conclude “to say what they are feeling and thinking often means to risk losing their relationships...” Sound familiar? It starts in our teens but carries on into our 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. The tool I want to introduce to you is called nonviolent communication – NVC for short. Started by a psychologist in the 60s, Marshall Rosenberg, this process will help to communicate to others about you need with less judgment. You might want to pause the audio and grab a paper if it’s helpful to take notes. Surely, you’ve been in a scenario, where you’ve felt triggered and want to respond, so what can you do? NVC consists of four simple steps: Step 1: State the facts – What events did you observe? Step 2. State your feelings – How did you feel? Step 3. State your needs – What is your unmet need? (Note: I like to give the option of stating your values here, if that works better in a professional context than your needs) Step 4. State your requests – What is your request? What do you want moving forward? I’m going to break it down and run through examples and tips. Step 1. What events did you observe? __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Example: “Last month, you authored the article about our project.” Notice here, that I’m sticking to the facts. It’s something that a third party objective observer would agree , and couldn’t be argued. Tips: So, you want to stick to the facts. “You seldom do what I want,” is an evaluation, versus “You did not attend the last three meetings,” which is more factual. You want to be specific. “She frequently attends,” is too vague, versus “She attended at least three times a week,” which is precise. You want to focus on observable behaviors. Memories about words people said can be subjective and distorted, so report on actions. Step 2. How did you feel? “I felt … __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Example: “I felt frustrated.” Tips: Focus on emotions and sensations. Most derive from these five: sadness, disgust, fear, joy, and anger. Avoid thoughts (e.g., "I feel like I didn't get a fair deal"), stories about yourself (e.g., "insecure"), how you think others are evaluating you (e.g., "unimportant"), or what we think others are doing to us (e.g., "misunderstood," "ignored"). Be vulnerable. It takes courage to state something plainly, but it’s powerful! Step 3. What is your unmet need or value? “Because I need/value …. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Example: “Because I need/value collaboration and equality.” Tips: Focus on universal human needs and/or cultural values. Under your feeling is an unmet...

 Reclaiming Multiple Identities in the Age of Extremism — Shiza Shahid | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2724

I’m thrilled about today’s interview. Shiza Shahid co-founded The Malala Fund along with the youngest Nobel-Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. I’m sure you already know this, but just in case, Malala was the young girl in Pakistan who was shot in the head on her school bus by the Taliban for going to school, but she survived and became internationally recognized. So Shiza, who I speak to in this interview, was one of Malala’s early mentors. While in college, Shiza started a secret summer camp for girls in Pakistan, which is also her home country. Today, Shiza is a venture capital investor and many other things. Named one of Time's "30 Under 30 People Changing the World" and Forbes "30 Under 30 - Social Entrepreneurs," she’s also host of the USA Today news show "ASPIREist," which activates millennials to have a positive impact. http://majomolfino.com/blog/2018/11/1/shiza-shahid In this episode, we talk about why empowering women around the world is so important and what Shiza sees as global trends as she travels to different continents. As a fellow immigrant, she shares how culture helped her shift perspectives, and what it means to reclaim your identity when you grow up cross-culturally. Highlighted Excerpt: Majo: You do so much. How do you stay grounded? How do you avoid overwhelm or do you just feel overwhelmed? Shiza: How do I avoid overwhelm? I think perhaps by  not comparing myself. I think a lot of the overwhelm comes from comparison. Now when we do good things we have to put it on Instagram and count how many likes it got, and I think a lot of that comparison causes dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Because if you go and truly help someone, the way that will make you feel will give you so much satisfaction, it will calm the fatigue and help with the overwhelm, so as long as you don’t go to that place of you know, “Is this good enough?Am I good enough?” and allow the satisfaction of doing your work become overshadowed by the comparison, which I think we’re constantly in the middle of particularly here in the West. I was in Pakistan for a while, and I realized that I didn’t buy anything for weeks, and I was barely on social media, and I came back to the U.S. and started getting hit by all these ads and all these things I felt I needed to buy, and information about other people doing other things. Majo: When you came back you started noticing that you were comparing? Shiza: Absolutely. I think that over here, there’s a lot of that comparison, even when you’re doing so called social impact work, you’re still comparing – Majo: Right. Like, who’s doing more social impact work. Shiza: Right. I think avoiding that. Getting outside this place which can really do that to you, and focusing on direct impact. Show Notes: Shiza’s parents and upbringing in Pakistan [3:20] On volunteering as a teenager in women’s prisons and her passionate activism as a young woman [5:36] Applying to college in the U.S. on a whim and her decision to go to Stanford where she was first exposed to technology and entrepreneurship, but still feeling connected to help women and girls back in Pakistan [6:58] The online diary of Malala Yousafzai (at the time, 11 years old), inspiring Shiza’s creation of a secret summer camp amongst dangerous circumstances [11:30] Joining McKinsey and receiving the news of Malala being shot [14:00] On co-founding and building The Malala Fund at age 22 and leaving the safe, predictable path [21:00] Witnessing Malala become the first child to win The Nobel Peace Prize and how it shifted stereotypes about what courage looks like [26:00] On the polarization of technology, tech utopianism, and how social media creates a divide and leads to a rise in extremism, as well as the need for a representative group of people making decisions [28:00] On being a global citizen and how that perspective-shifting encourages entrepreneurship [32:20] The patterns she sees across the world, particularly around the false facts...

 Doing Less & Ruthless Prioritizing — Boundaries Minisode (3/4) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 282

For more tips and inspiration, go to my website majo.co and follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine This is the third minisode in a four part series on boundaries. Make sure to listen to the entire series, so that you can have those healthy boundaries that allow you to thrive as a modern woman, when there are so many demands on your time and energy. In this episode, I’m going to give you a process for clearing crap off your plate. We all have very full plates, don’t we? We pile it on there, because we’re ambitious, smart, modern women. In hundreds of women, I’ve seen us dry ourselves up and burn ourselves out and feel so overwhelmed and anxious because our plates are simply too full. It’s an epidemic that needs to stop. Here’s what you can do. Write a list of your commitments or things you said “yes” to but that you aren’t excited about or really meant to say no to. These also might be thought of the logistics and operations of life, that take away and claw at your energy from doing deeper, more meaningful work. These are things that may feel more like “shoulds” or obligations. Go ahead and pause this minisode if you need to, and grab a piece of paper, and then come back. Here’s an example list you might write: Host dinner for the family next Saturday Go to Cape Cod in July Write out the brief for Jackson Grocery shopping Create four columns, and write the following empowering VERBS at the top: ELIMINATE, DELEGATE, AUTOMATE, ASK FOR HELP. Your next step is to slot your different tasks into each column. The idea is to get all those annoying “should” activities of your plate and into one of these buckets. It’s amazing what eliminating can do – oftentimes, we think we have to do something, but do we really have to? Time and time again, I’ve seen that the real issue is that we’re afraid to say no and back out...make sure to circle back to the first minisode about how to no. Let’s define these for a second. Eliminate is obvious – take it off your list, and it ceases to exist. Delegate is when you request that somebody else do the task, instead of you. That’s pretty clear. Asking for help is different from delegating in that you’re still doing the task, but you’re doing it with someone, or having someone take a part of it off your plate. But what about automate? Automate is when you build a system that makes the behavior easier to do on a repeating basis. So, let’s take grocery shopping, a way to automate that, and cut down on your time doing it, is to use a tool like Instacart, in which you have a set repertoire of groceries that you get weekly, or signing up for one of those farm-fresh CSAs that deliver to your door. The point is, you’re not spending loads of time thinking about and doing it every week. Capeeshela? That’s it, if you care about living an empowered life as a woman on this planet, follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine more juiciness – and go to my website majo.co and get on my email list for more updates about my work and this podcast. You got options. Make sure to be in touch. Lots of love, onward!

 Disrupting the System & Throwing Out the Rules — Robin Berzin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2245

Today, I speak with Dr. Robin Berzin. She’s the doctor, founder, and CEO of a wellness and medical practic, Parsley Health, that takes a whole mind-body approach to your health. Robin is on a mission to heal and reinvent American healthcare when less than 4% of CEOs in the healthcare space are female. She’s a real badass with a medical degree from Columbia University who has raised millions of dollars in venture capital. In this episode, we talk about how she dealt with being lost and confused after college, having a baby while fundraising for her startup, and how to build your creative confidence as a woman. http://majomolfino.com/blog/2018/10/18/robin-berzin Highlighted Excerpt: Majo: How did your yoga practice help you align into your purpose? Robin: It taught me to listen. It taught me to listen to myself. I think I was someone who was a little bit trapped in her head and I think a lot of us live with a bit of a concrete wall between our bodies and our heads and we don’t really pay attention to what’s happening in our bodies, and we live in our minds and we live in the past; we live in the future and we’re never present. And if you’re somebody who is like a grades getter, go-getter, and an overachiever in any way, whether that’s in sports or academics, you’re rewarded constantly for that, right? It’s reinforced in our educational system and it’s certainly been in mine growing up in Baltimore and going into this all-girls school that was very academically oriented and also athletically oriented. I wasn’t good at the athletics part but I was pretty good at the academics part. For me, yoga was this moment of literally just waking up to right now and I realized I had this huge concrete wall between my head and my body. And then in many ways, there’s kind of low-grade abusing myself living on really crappy food, not really exercising, partying at night, hating my job, being in a crappy relationship with a crappy boyfriend at the time, and I think yoga was just this kind of stillness. And then I started listening; and then I started looking back to undergrad and back in my life and starting asking the questions, “What do I want to do? What do I care about? What is interesting to me and how do I want to spend my time?” Show Notes: - On childhood, her early days as a “neat freak” and “good girl.” [01:55] - Working as a paralegal and stumbling on a yoga studio that would change her life. [04:42] - Losing her grandmother to colon cancer and her growing interest in medicine; winning the award for a paper in complimentary medicine. [09:17] - Her amazing experience working with Dr. Oz and Oprah’s team. [20:20] - Reaching out to Dr. Oz to get the job. [23:09] - How she learned to fundraise and how she managed after giving birth to her son. [26:04] - Her thoughts on starting a company – don’t overthink it, just do it. [32:02] - What she reclaimed during her heroine’s journey. [33:42] References: Majo's website – majomolfino.com Robin's website – ParsleyHealth.com Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – carolynpennypackerriggs.com Want to support women's voices? Go to patreon.com/heroinefm & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.

 A Simple Technique for Staying Grounded — Boundaries Minisode (2/4) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 163

For more tips and inspiration, go to my website majo.co and instagram @majo.heroine This is the second minisode in a four part series on boundaries. Make sure to listen to the entire series, so that you can have those healthy boundaries that allow you to thrive as a modern woman, when there are so many demands on your time and energy. Have you ever been talking to someone and then you felt completely drained? Maybe that person was in a terrible mood, or complaining, or qualifies for a personality disorder. Whatever, the case, you feel fried. In this minisode on boundaries, I’m going to give you a simple technique for staying grounded when you’re face-to-face with someone who feels like they might be sucking the energy off of you. Obviously, the most ideal scenario is for you to steer clear from energy vampires, or to cut the conversation short, and leave. But let’s say you’re locked in, and you’re like fuck, what do I do? The technique is this: drop your attention down to your feet, specifically the soles of your feet. Feel them make contact with the ground. Go ahead and do that now as you listen to this, bring your attention to your feet. And then take deep lower belly breaths. So, attention on the feet, and deep breaths while the person is speaking. The benefits of this simple move are amazing. You will walk away feeling less floored, and swayed by the other person’s emotions. If you’re an empath like me, you’ll feel less emotional contagion between you and the person. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. That’s it, if you care about living an empowered life as a woman on this planet, go follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine more juiciness – and go to my website majo.co and get on my email list for more updates about my work and this podcast. You got options. Make sure to be in touch.

 Esther Perel on Masculinity, Power & Relationships at Work | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3122

I am so honored to bring to you this conversation with a personal heroine of mine: Esther Perel. Esther is truly a thought leader in the space, with a perspective on modern relationships that is refreshingly original, insightful, and pretty un-American. Recently, she’s been stretching the bounds of her work beyond the bedroom, which is the focus of this episode. More about this episode: majomolfino.com/blog/2018/10/4/esther-perel Can we apply something like couple's therapy to co-workers and how easily does it translate? In this episode, Esther shares how to bring the relational intelligence from our romantic lives (things like trust, empathy, vulnerability, etc) into our most difficult, stressful work relationships and creative collaborations, especially in the context of patriarchy and the #MeToo movement. Esther’s work practically saved my relationship with my husband before we got married– and her work really helped us see what sustains desire between two people over the long-term. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered more than 20 million views and her international bestselling book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into 25 languages. Her newest book is the New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular podcast called Where Should We Begin? I know you will find this conversation fascinating and applicable to your life. Show Notes Esther shares about her childhood as a bold and extroverted girl, her experience as an immigrant and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and getting by on the goodwill of people willing to help her. [2:48] Esther turns the table on Majo and asks why she felt pressured to focus on her career over relationships for so long. Plus, how Esther became a “disciple of people” and learned to navigate uncertainty while writing her first book. [7:43] Why Esther enjoys taking on difficult and taboo subjects, and her non-prescriptive approach to finding solutions. [11:35] The major problem with our current culture of experts. [15:43] Bringing her expertise to the context of work: Esther shares her insights as a cross-cultural therapist, and the big shift she’s seeing toward reliance on relational intelligence as the core of company success. [19:59] Why do 65% of startups fail? Co-founder breakups. Esther discusses the deep, intimate, and often turbulent relationship between company founders. [26:10] Majo shares two true scenarios with Esther for advice on how to navigate relationships. Scenario 1: A woman being constantly triggered by her male manager who refuses to listen to her advice. [30:51] Scenario 2: A woman feeling disempowered by a male CEO who favors his own ideas over hers. [38:24] On difficult conversations, what’s missing from the #MeToo movement, and how we reshape and redefine relational thinking through communication (not policies or rules). [43:23] “Patriarchy doesn’t just hurt women.” On polarized systems, masculine vs feminine, and the honesty required on both sides. [46:30] From the bedroom to the boardroom – more resources on translating the personal to the professional. [49:39] Resources: Majo’s website – majo.co Esther’s website – estherperel.com Esther’s event – “The Masculinity Paradox” on November 10 in NYC – estherperel.com/therapists-and-coaches Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – carolynpennypackerriggs.com Want to support women's voices? Go to patreon.com/heroinefm & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.

 How To Say No — Boundaries Minisode (1/4) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 302

For more tips and inspiration, go to my website majo.co and follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine This is the first minisode in a four part series on boundaries. Make sure to listen to the entire series, so that you can have those healthy boundaries that allow you to thrive as a modern woman, when there are so many demands on your time and energy. By the end of the series, you’re honestly going to feel like you have so many more tools in your toolbelt to conserve your energy, so that you can channel it towards your creativity and calling on this planet. Because we ain’t got time, to be diddle daddling, OK? We need you to have those boundaries, so that you can function and be a badass. In this minisode on boundaries, I’m going to give you a simple template for saying no. SO SIMPLE you’re going to be like OMG, why did this take so long? LMK ask you this one question – How do you feel when you say yes to something, but you really mean no? Take a few seconds to think about it. What feelings come up when you agree to something you don’t really want to do, or care to do? When I ask most women this, they admit they feel resentful, bitter, annoyed, at the other person and themselves. It’s a radical concept but when you say YES when you mean NO so that you can please someone or not make them upset or because it’s easier, YOU LOSE TRUST IN YOURSELF. You essentially abandon yourself. That’s a big problem. The solution to this is to communicate what you want, to communicate your focus, and communicate your priority. Let’s take a really sticky situation. One of my clients wanted to quit her job forever, but was stalling because she didn’t want to set this boundary – to say no more to this soul-crushing job that was sucking the life out of her. She was scared of her boss’ disappointment, of her parent’s backlash etc. You know the drill. When we drilled down, it became obvious that she was nervous about not finding the right words, or screwing up in the moment, so we wrote out a script that she could practice and role play with her friends and roommates. That made it way easier. Based on the “sandwich” technique, she started and ended on a positive note, and shared her desire for the future as the filling of the sandwich. It looked like this: Positive: I’m grateful that I spent the last two years at this company as I learned so much. Desire: It’s time that I focus on transitioning into design that focuses on social impact and international development. Positive: Again, I want to reiterate that I’ve grown enormously through your guidance and appreciated all the autonomy you’ve given me throughout the years. Notice how she didn’t say NO to the job, but say YES to her focus...to the direction she wanted to move in. You can do this for anything – if someone asks you for your time, energy, or money, instead of saying NO, telling them what you’re saying YES to. I can’t go to Jamaica this year, because I’m focusing on launching my Etsy store. I can’t speak at your event on pickles, because I’m focused on almond milk this year. I can’t donate $100 to your campaign, because I’m donating my funds this year to animal right’s issues. Get it? So clear. Let people know what you care about, and they’ll understand you’re saying no to them, and they’ll respect you for it. They’ll be like dang, this woman knows what she wants. And if they’re pissed and you experience backlash, then fuck em’. That ain’t your problem. Your commitment is to yourself. Go get it, heroine. That’s it, if you care about living an empowered life as a woman on this planet, go follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine more juiciness – and go to my website majo.co and get on my email list for more updates about my work and this podcast. You got options. Make sure to be in touch.

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