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Combining prosperous work lives and balanced personal lives
March 2003

My goal is to bring you news, insights, and information about leading a balanced and prosperous life.

    In this issue, you'll find:
  1. National Women's History Month.
  2. Claiming Your Power
  3. BossWoman coaching
  4. Up and coming workshops
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1. National Women's History Month
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To all my women clients, students, and audience members, happy Women's History Month!

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2. Claiming Your Power.
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What if you had all the power to do anything you wanted to do? What if there was no gender discrimination and no one said you couldn't do something because you are a woman? What would you do with your life then? What if instead of whining about the glass ceiling, you found a glass escalator, some alternate route to your dreams and goals?

You might as well try to do just that because as many gains as women have made in the history of this country, it will be a long time before gender discrimination will be eliminated altogether. Some of the gains over the last 30 years include:

  • Women college professors have increased from 16% of campuses to 37% (in part because of indirect effects of Title IX legislation).
  • Medical school enrollments are 40% female.
  • Law school enrollments are 50% female.
However, women make up only:
  • 15% of tenured full professors and college presidents.
  • 15% high levels of government positions such as state and federal legislators, state and federal cabinet positions, and governors.
  • 2-5% of Fortune 500 CEO depending on the year.
On the other hand, women own 9.5 million businesses and start twice as many businesses as men annually. Many powerful women, frustrated with the corporate glass ceiling have started their own businesses as a way to do what they wanted to do.

In 1917 the year before Mary Kay was born, Madame C.J. Walker wan already holding a convention of franchisors from her cosmetic company. Madame Walker was an African-American woman, daughter of sharecroppers, who discovered a hair product that helped her thinning hair problem. Women in her church and community started asking her if she would make some up for them. Founding her successful company allowed her to become a millionaire philanthropist who helped other women with her generosity. Her great, great granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles has written a biography of her great, great grandmother who said about her life, "I got my start by giving myself a start."

What are some ways that you can give yourself a start instead of waiting for other people to do it for you? Find a woman, historical or currently living, that is doing powerful things. Study her life and find ways to apply her lessons to your own life.

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Afraid of Your Power?
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Women still have much to overcome - some of it lies within us. Even when women do have opportunity, they are sometimes afraid to claim their power. I interviewed Satya Liz Rolland who teaches YogaRhythmics, yoga, and Pilates at Kinetics in Ellicott City, MD and at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD on the question of what blocks women's ability to claim their power. Academically trained in dance and dance education, Liz, as her students call her, sees women in her classes having difficulty accessing their power and using it in their lives. "I see a reluctance to move with strength and power, a restricted use of physical space, lack of eye contact with me and others, downcast eyes, a reluctance to step forward and claim a right to express and be themselves when the opportunity is offered."

She offers a bit of social analysis of what is happening for women around their power. "I can see in most women's bodies how they do not allow their strength to flow. I believe women are afraid of their power, afraid of being powerful. Maybe it is because we associate power and strength with masculinity. Maybe women do not want to appear to look or act like a man.

What are your fears about accessing your power? What messages have you been given about your power?

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Accessing Your Power
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Liz' Sanskrit name, Satya, was given to her by my yoga teacher after many years of study. It is the word for truth. Satya speaks her truth when she reflects on her own experiences of "being afraid and unable to access my strength and I found a way to break through this limitation. I strongly believe the body and mind are intimately connected and dancing or moving with strength and power is one way to access not just your physical strength but also your willpower, your tenacity, your focus and direction."

Liz' was working on a system to combine her love of yoga and dance when she discovered YogaRhythmics. Invented by a woman named Connie Miller, YogaRhythmics, is based on traditional yoga postures and jazz dance moves. It offers students a structure to learn how to open their energy systems called charkas. Liz says that, "The chakras are energy centers in the physical body which relate to not just physical issues but which offer a road map to help us discover and work with mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual issues in our lives. The 3rd chakra which lies at the solar plexus, just above the navel and below the sternum, is the center of power, strength, fire, will, etc.

She says that women with issues around accessing and using their power should certainly spend time working with the 3rd chakra. "But all the chakras are interrelated and interdependent, so working with all the chakras, using breath, movement, yoga, visualization, journaling, etc, can also help move the energy that may be stuck somewhere in the system. YogaRhythmics can help women break through the barriers, fears, and limitations to using their power by getting women in touch with their physical bodies, opening the chakras, beginning to move the energy through all the chakras, offering a loving and supportive atmosphere in which to test the waters of feeling and acting in a powerful manner.

What are some ways that you might access your own power and do something nice for yourself this month?

  • Dance;
  • Yoga;
  • Breath;
  • Movement;
  • Sports;
  • Visualization;
  • Journaling.
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Empowering Other Women
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Ever since Liz found a system that allows her to feel comfortable with her own power, she has offered it to other women (and occasional men students).

Judy Templeton, a dance teacher herself, said that Liz was "born to do this work." Liz agrees that her work is right for her. "I love making a difference in people's lives. It is deeply meaningful and fulfilling to have my students tell me how much my class means to them, how it helps them make it through the rest of their week, how they are touched and opened by the work we do together."

Liz exudes all that she teaches. She creates a safe place for students to explore and express their power while having fun and getting fit. Her students leave her classes with a renewed energy and sense of peace. If you are in the Baltimore- Washington area, and would like to sample a bit of this exciting medium for caring for yourself, join Satya Liz Roland on Wednesday, March 19 from 10-11:30 AM at Kinetics Dance Theatre, 3280 Pine Orchard Lane in Ellicott City for a YogaRhythmics celebration of the Vernal Equinox. Since it is a special workshop, not part of a regular course, all are welcome! The $15 fee is payable at the door and will benefit the Kinetics Kids Company- a group of young dancers who perform throughout the community at area nursing homes and hospitals.

Wherever you are, do something nice for other women this month like:

  • Contribute to a worthy cause.
  • Mentor a woman less experienced in your field.
  • Hire someone with potential.
  • Take a friend to lunch.
  • Help a women business owner get a loan.
  • Send a friend for a message or makeover.
  • Do the same for yourself.
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Conclusion
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For the rest of the month, act as if you have all the power you need. Use that power well for yourself and others. Let me know what happens.

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Happy Women's Month,
Susan Robison

Resources:
A'Lelia Bundles. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker

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3. BossWoman Coaching
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About the publisher: Susan Robison, Ph.D. is a professional coach, speaker, author and seminar leader. She loves to coach women who want improvement in:

  • work-life balance,
  • career transitions,
  • building your business or practice,
  • time management,
  • increasing productivity.
She provides keynotes and seminars to business and organizations on the topics of:
  • leadership strategies for women,
  • relationships,
  • work-life balance,
  • change.
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4. Up and coming workshops
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The workshop "How to Sell When You Hate to Sell" sponsored by the Executive Women's Network and presented by me and Margery Ritchie was filled to capacity with a waiting list. We are holding an intensive workshop on the same topic on May 9 at my office in Ellicott City. We will only accept 5 registrations. Cost is $60 a person. Contact Susan at 410-465-5892.

April 30, 2003. "HeartPower: The Gentle Art of Women's Leadership." Annual Educational Conference sponsored by the Executive Women's Network (other speakers will present various workshops). Baltimore, MD


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BossWomen e-Newsletter is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Coaching should not be construed as a form of, or substitute for, counseling, psychotherapy, legal, or financial services.

Copyright 2003 Susan Robison. All rights reserved. The above material is copyrighted but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. However, you may not copy it to a web site without my permission.

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Ellicott City, MD 21042
Office: (410) 465-5892
Fax: (410) 465-5967

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