Welcome to Project Fabulous Femme! Once or twice a month, I'll introduce you to a Fabulous Femme who's inspired me. I invite them to share their perspectives on being a modern woman and other vital corps topics. Please be kind, curious, and open-minded.
You know how namaste kind of translates to “The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you?” From the moment I first met Carla, my initial thought was “The fire within me salutes the fire in you.” Considering she’s a partner at New York’s second-largest female-owned law firm and fearless litigator specializing in sports, recreation and fitness industries, it’s probably not surprising I met her while we were both volunteering at a women’s negotiation workshop. Even more impressive is how this funny, dynamic, little pistol walks her talk. In her spare time, she’s helping develop up-and-coming professionals as an Adjunct Professor of Sports Law and Ethics, Columbia University. She is truly a fabulous femme.
How would you define being a modern woman in 2015? I don’t define it because it means different things to different women. However, the modern woman has options that our mothers and grandmothers never did. She can be an economic powerhouse and a well-spring of creativity in all areas of her life. Women are innate business starters and entrepreneurs! Think of businesses and volunteer activities such as Girl Scouts, PTA, Junior League, direct sales - women have spearheaded before there was a place for them in the traditional workplace. Leadership, resourcefulness, and collaboration come naturally to women if you think about it. If only we could get out of our way and see it that way. We spend millions of dollars a year loving industries that do not love us back.
What would you like to see modern women give more of a shit about? Two things come to mind: self-care and steering business and opportunities to other women. The modern woman should be interested in and an active participant in her well-being. Without your health, there is no vitality, energy or creativity; and you are no good to anyone-including yourself. I would like to see the modern woman really commit to steering business and opportunities to other women. It’s a way to give each other a leg up. And it helps.
Conversely, what would you like see modern women give less of a shit about? Reality TV and celeb-filled, fashion magazines loaded with cosmetic and drug ads for unhealthy products. They fill our heads with unrealistic and unhealthy images of what we should be and look like. Note my previous comment above regarding lavishing time and money on people and industries that do not love us back. Yet, we pump millions of our hard-earned dollars into those industries. It’s the spiritual equivalent of second-hand smoke exposure – to be avoided!
How does creativity show up in your life? How do you nourish or stimulate your creativity when you’re not feeling it? Creativity shows up in things I write relating to my work, that is a treat for me to take a topic and run with it. I am amazed and humbled by the writing process and how it flows when I write often. It’s like a muscle - use it or lose it. Creativity also shows up in my work with my students each semester. I feel like it is a gift to get to work with and nurture young people. I grow along with them each semester; it never fails.
What way of eating nourishes you the best or makes you feel your healthiest? Why do you think it works so well? I am a fan of Ayurveda and try to keep to a vegetarian diet suited to my vatta-pitta-deranged, little self. I am hardly perfect with it, but it has helped me over time with digestion, sleep, my energy level and even keeping an even keel at work and at home. It was an amazing shift when I did it as a one month experiment and then thought, “If this feels this good, why am I limiting this to month?” Duh.
Is stress necessary on the path to success? Why or why not? No! It is a self-inflicted wound and not a source of inspiration. Being under pressure is one thing, but your self is largely self-created and something that needs to be managed. I know - and have seen and felt in myself - how harmful it is to your health. I do not even utter the words “I’m stressed” because I feel like that is a self-defeating mantra. If you say it, you legitimize it.
Who’s a fabulous femme inspiring you? What makes her so fab? Joan Peters. She is someone I have admired and learned from for years. I call her my icon. She is a dear friend, a serial entrepreneur (her latest venture is a fashion and leather business) and a gutsy woman who lives life on her own terms. She is glamorous, sensitive, intelligent, worldly, curious and a hoot. She is inspiring to me because she is independent, creative and lives life with humor and style. I have watched her move across the world, start two businesses, and bounce back from health issues that would have leveled most people. She has met each of these transitions with grace and courage. No one defines Joan except Joan. And she does a good job of it.
If another woman wants to connect with you, how would you prefer that happens? She can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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