Monday, October 7, 2013

Wisdom For 'Success' - Connections

When women come together to talk about what motivates and inspires them, you can be sure the words “passion” and “finding your voice” are among them.  Creating the life you want to live takes energy and enthusiasm.  It also means having the self-confidence and knowledge to know you can live your dream.

The definition of “success” means different things to different people.  As we travel the journey toward wanting to make a difference in our life and in those around us, we might consider that success isn't about money.  A "successful" person learns to clear away the clutter and prioritize connections and community. 

Are you living your eulogy or your resume?  A recent blog post by Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post who posed that question set the tone for the Chester CountyWomen’s Commission Women Mean Business II event.  As a lifelong resident of Chester County, I felt privileged to be part of this special gathering as the commission celebrated two decades of helping women advance and serving as a catalyst for change

Mary Coyne, who chaired the event, made this observation.  "The word we keep hearing today is connections."
Susan and Mary
Here in the Women’s Writing Circle,  our emphasis has always been on community and connections.  We light the candle, ring the chime and for the next two and a half hours during our monthly read-arounds and critique sessions, shut out the distractions of the outside world. 

While we work on our writing, we also dare to take a risk, let our voices be heard and do what we love, which is to write . . . whether it is to write as a way of healing from life’s wounds, finding our voice, or asking how our story helps others.  In April 2013, we published our first anthology of stories and poems, Slants of Light.  It was our hope among the 15 collaborators that our stories might enrich others, as they enriched us by writing them. 

Carolyn Comitta
As speaker Donna Coughey, the first woman president and CEO of Mellon Bank, Pittsburgh, said.  “Define what success is for you.  It will change from time to time.” This leads to new opportunities in the workplace and in your personal life because you are purposefully grounded.

Carolyn Comitta, the first female ever elected as mayor of West Chester Borough, noted:  “When you invest in women and raise the status of a woman, you raise the status and economic growth of the entire community, the nation and the world.”  
I have seen this firsthand in the Circle as women empowered each other, inspiring the confidence to write stories and then go out in public and share them. Helping other women means raising an awareness and appreciation, empathy and compassion, for all women traveling this journey of the feminine. It means standing together and speaking our truth.

Recently, several of us took our stories to the Phoenixville Public Library.  You can view that program and see how our stories cover much ground; the variety of voices and stories, weaving together to form a portrait of women's ever-changing and challenging lives.
As the Women’s Writing Circle enters its fourth year, we will continue talking about ways to enrich ourselves  through our writing, as always sharing in the Circle our passions and finding our voice . . .  living our eulogies, not our resumes.
Molly Nece
Maybe the everyday wisdom for success can be summed up by motivational speaker and career coach Molly Nece:
  • Live simply, speak kindly, care deeply.
  • Build trust and be trustworthy.
  • Be self-aware and live intentionally.
  • Learn to teach and teach to learn.
  • Clear the clutter and pack in the positive.
Here's Molly's keynote video.


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