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So many people showed up to march on January 21stin cities around the world! (3.3 million in the US alone!)
In our city, and in many other, it was the biggest march in history. Wow. What a powerful day. I admit I recorded the televised section of the march in DC so I could go back and watch it again and again. (Especially the Alicia Keys performance!)
WE ARE ON FIRE.
It was a great reminder to all of us of how powerful our voice can be. When we are at work, or in relationship, or in our communities, we sometimes forget that our voice matters.
I was talking to one of my collaborators at a big company here in PDX yesterday. She’s internal and I’m coming in to help with a change initiative. We discussed what happens to people in massive organizations like this, how easy it is to stop hearing and sharing the voice of your creative genius. She said, “Their ideas get beat down so much that they aren’t willing to put it out there anymore.” Embittered, they shut down and just do the work.
Fear is a great catalyst for silence. Governments and employers have all kinds of tactics to help you lose your voice.
A recent article in Fast Company looked into whether it was better to try to stand out or fit in. Research shows that success comes with a little but of both - being a part of the culture, but not getting lost in that network. Being connected but remaining strong and innovative are the best tactics.
Women are relators. We are wired to work together, but we know this strategy doesn’t always create movement for ourselves. Sometimes we need to stand apart. We need to stand up for our ideas or leave some of our work environments. The number of small businesses by women and particularly women of color is growing at an astounding rate. These women are not afraid to be independent, but also understand the importance of being connected. It's a fine line, but if anyone can tread it, we can.
Let's be a part of one another's cultures, whether they be female, LGTB, Muslim, African American or other. Let's hold one another up because we are #strongertogether. Let's not get swayed by rhetoric, fear, and misinformation. Let's not allow our ideas to be beaten down. Let's remain curious, critical and innovative. Let's stand apart but remain open, cooperative and kind.
Whether your work happens in the office, the great outdoors, or with your babes at home, your voice matters. So don’t let it stop with the march.
The organizers of the women's march are still organizing. They've come up with a list of 10 actions for the next 100 days. Check out the link, and get involved. Make it fun! Some friends of mine are hosting parties for each action. See what you can do to get people working together in your community.
The world needs Creative Genius You, so stay involved and I’ll be standing right beside you!
P.S If you're finding this week to be too draining, check out this awesome article on some self-care actions you can take to avoid burnout.