International Women’s Summit

womens summit collage.jpg

Four days of impactful, inspiring, love-filled connection, insight and enrichment at the International Women’s Summit.  Here are some of the highlights:


Melissa Harris-Perry, formerly of MSNBC 

  • The stories we tell ourselves affect the actions we take.
  • Listen to each other carefully.  People want to be heard.  Even when it’s really hard to do.  Even when you don’t agree.  Listen, until “she” is done…not until “I” am done.
  • We all need “Squad Care”, a community of folks to whom we can reach out when we can’t care for ourselves.
  • Bake cookies – do something nice, something tangible.
  • Work across the aisle, don’t become the other side.  Acknowledge that the other side is just as human as you are.  They are not your enemy.
  • You don’t need to be everything to everyone.
  • Anything you point a camera at will grow.  (i.e. media shined a spotlight on Hillary and Trump)


Liz Gilbert, World Renown Author

  • What are you willing to give up to have the life you are pretending to want?
  • Decide who and what you care about.
  • We all have said we don’t “have time” to get anything done.  How are you spending your evenings?  Are you watching tv, surfing the internet?  If you are honest with yourself, you are likely to find more time.
  • Trust your integrity and say “no”.  There is only one of you with a limited amount energy and resources.
  • Seek “Relaxed Womanhood”.  Going about our days with a sense of ease instead of urgency.
  • 3 things we need to be relaxed:  priorities, boundaries and a belief in something bigger than ourselves that we can align with to have the deep knowing that “it’s all gonna be alright”.  There is nothing to fear; you’re not in control.
  • Forget the word balance.  It is another word we use to beat ourselves up with. Balance cannot exist.  Liz says, “I don’t balance. It’s a mess.  I must drop one thing to focus on another.  Life is a dropped pie.  Grab your fork, sit on the floor and eat it.”
  • Go forth and “eat pie off the floor”.
  • Soul communicates through joy.  Pay close attention when your soul becomes appalled.
  • We are a student of life each and every day.
  • Rumi: show me the parts of myself I do not love so I know where to begin
  • First ecstasy and then the laundry.  We all have our highs and we all must go back to doing the laundry.
  • Remember to always say no matter what is thrown our way, “Let’s Dance”.
  • It’s All Gonna Be Alright.

Heather McCloskey-Beck

  • Do something you love 15 minutes every single day.
  • Learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • No one else gets to live your life but you.
  • Create a life that is inspiring
  • I have everything I have ever wanted but I don’t have me.”
  • As soon as you tell your truth, you free yourself and others to speak the truth.
  • If we keep standing there in a storm, we are allowing it.  We make our own choices.
  • Do not drag around the things that do not make us feel lifted.
  • I will become the boss of myself.

Nancy Hala, Co-Founder of Story

  • Most important story you will ever tell is your own.
  • Great stories happen to those who tell them.
  • The stories we tell ourselves are what make our dreams come true.

IMG_3355.JPGMarianne Williamson, International Lecturer

  • Evolve beyond the stage of where everything is all about me.
  • Find your fierceness and stand up for what matters to you.
  • Power is in the heart
  • None of us get there unless we all get there.
  • Your life begins to end when you stop talking about things that matter.
  • Take time for yourself but it is more than that.  Take time for others.
  • Your voice is here for someone other than yourself.


Sheri Salata, Co-Founder of Story, Former President of the Oprah Winfrey Network

  • Find your tribe, be with “those people” who talk about things that matter.
  • Reinvent, reenvision and renovate your life.
  • Dream without limits.
  • Imagine your life anew.
  • We are being programmed what to watch on media every second, every minute of every day.  Pay attention to what feeds your mind.
  • If you are over 50, it is easy to believe that things are over.  It is never too late to make your dreams come true.  We had someone over 80 who stood up at the summit representing that “my life is just getting started”.
  • “Let’s Dream A Little” is a phrase Sheri uses at her company to spark and ignite creativity and new ideas.
  • Dreaming up dreams is the true purpose of your imagination.
  • A “job” is not the goal in life.  What is the meaning of what you do.  You decide what matters to you.
  • Become a chooser. You decide who, what, where, when, why.
  • How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
  • The waste of not loving the days of your life.  The complain train is a road to misery and misery is a brutal compass.
  • Freedom, Growth and Joy are the benchmarks of our business.
  • Make happiness your true north.  Happiness is the compass you are looking for.  It’s the breadcrumbs that will lead you home.
  • Forget “to-do” lists, make “to-be” lists.
  • Words create our life.  We create our life by the words we choose.
  • Tell your story on purpose.  The stories we tell ourselves are what make our dreams come true.
  • Blessed to have a fun encounter with Sheri. Come to find out she wears her hair piled tight on top of her head just like me unless a selfie is necessary and then she lets it all down!
  • sheri-and-me.jpg


Lisa Ling, CNN Correspondent

  • Are we really connected?
  • Technology is giving people a chance to rebel.  What if we had ways to extend goodness instead of fear.
  • Raise our boys as feminists. They will know that women can do anything that boys can do.
  • All of the children in the world are OUR children.
  • Lisa shared this story: As a journalist, I have seen things that have scarred me. I have interacted with people who have haunted me. I have heard things that have pained me. As a result, I have long struggled with the notion of faith. I have said more times than I can count, “If there is a God, how can he allow this to happen? How can he let so many people suffer?”Several years ago, I married a man of strong faith. One day he sent an email to me that said this: “On a street corner I saw a cold, shivering girl in a thin dress, with no hope of a decent meal. I got angry and said to God, ‘Why did you permit this? Why don’t you do something about it?’ God replied, ‘I certainly did something about it. I made you.”
  • “Now that you know, you can no longer pretend you don’t know.”


Glennon Doyle, Author

  • TRUTH extraordinaire.
  • Who were you before the world told you what you should be?
  • Stop trying to outrun the hot loneliness.  The gems are inside of it.
  • Power from the pain.  Pain teaches us wisdom, tenderness and resilience.
  • Stop shielding children from pain.
  • Friendship means saying, “I don’t know”.
  • Be still and listen to your inner voice.  Trust the voice.
  • Stop asking for everyone else’s opinion.  You know the answer.
  • What breaks your heart is the clue to your life.  There you will find your people and purpose.
  • Every woman needs to take time each day to put away her roles and be her soul.  Be defined by that which cannot be taken.
  • No lies in, only love out.  Truth always works.
  • Every woman needs an hour of her own.
  • When you give things away, you don’t get to keep them for yourself.
  • Find your brave.
  • We belong to each other.
  • Only LOVE out.

IMG_3393.JPGZainab Salbi, Founder of Women for Women International

  • Zainab has served over 400,000 women in 8 conflict areas and shared many thought provoking stories and questions…
  • When we lead out of fear, we become exactly what we despise.
  • If you cannot respect the people you serve, then don’t serve them.
  • The taste of freedom (telling the truth) is so delicious that it’s worth the effort.
  • Did I live my truth?
  • Did I give it my all?
  • Everyone has a shadow and a light – If I don’t see your shadow (i.e. darkness, pain, etc.)… I think to myself, what are you hiding?
  • Explore your own shadows, darkness? What do you see?
  • Am I hiding behind my spiritually and positivism?
  • Are we detached from people’s judgement of us?
  • Explore the good, bad and ugly within yourself.
  • Build a bridge again and again… until it can not be destroyed.
  • When you are full… you do not hurt others.
  • Don’t lead out of fear or anger or desire for power. Building a wall imposes the wall on those people you are leading.
  • Dalai Lama: if you cannot respect the people you are serving, don’t do it.
  • Fear of leadership: as the crown descends, the chains surround your feet.
  • I lost the I in me.  The betrayal of self.
  • Never be attached to outcomes, always be open to outcomes. Live your life in truth.
  • The activism of women is not trying to lead like a man, it’s lead like a woman.
  • Respect and acknowledge fear rather than judging or shutting it down. To change something you have to first have a genuine conversation with it without judgment.
  • It is time for you to sing the song of your life!

Reading of the Soul from the Toes

Complimentary toe readings were offered at the Summit and so of course, jumped on board and took a leap.  It was incredible and spot on!  Each toe represents something different everything from destiny, creativity, temperament, relationships, faith and trust. Here is what she said:

  • Strong, faithful and kind.
  • “Princess Foot” with lots of space and openness. Princess feet also mean you don’t have a very tough life (this is true in the grand scheme of things especially hearing some of Lisa Ling’s stories).  Some slight yet fixable friction in life (Clues from darn calluses on my big toes, they leaked my secret.)
  • A slight gap in communication.  She said all I had to do was narrow the gap by speaking what I feel.
  • Abundant life but a small piece of it is still in waiting and waiting to be discovered.
  • Action is all I need.
  • She told me that she sees me on a “you tube” channel.  Ha, that one made me laugh.


con·nec·tion – a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.

These past four days in Arizona were rich in content and connection.  I was so lucky to share the time with my long time friend, Rae Van Seenus.  She always teaches me so much:

  • Wash and wear hair really does exist and gorgeous to boot!
  • Forget your inhibitions.  She is rocking it on stage in her 40s dancing her heart out in front of audiences.  You are never to old to live out your dreams.
  • Say hello to each and every person who is a part of your table.
  • Extend grace and offering to others and invite them in.
  • Friendships matter.  Take time and reach out to your friends, near and far.
  • My parting note to her:  Don’t forget the girl on the road or another way to say it, “Every child is an artist.  The wonder is how to remain an artist once she grows up.”  Go be you!  Love you friend!

Thanks all, hope you enjoyed this recap of this special event.  Hope you will join us at the next one.



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