It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions. These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.
Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. I am a dreamer and a doer and I believe that the way to tackle difficult topics in both life and business is to show up real, raw, bold, vulnerable and always ready for fun.
Growing up in a White, Middle class family, I was raised by hippie turned yuppie/new age parents. I was surrounded by passionate adults working hard…working hard for themselves, their families and for a better world. There was an idealism that bloomed out of the 70’s and I grew up believing I could be anything, do anything, love anyone. My parents broke the rules as they were married by a rabbi and a priest in 1974, bringing together Judaism and Catholicism in their newly formed family. They believed in universal love. I could have big dreams, and chase them without being told, “no, girls don’t do that.” I could be friends with and fall in love with someone from a different religion, race, or of the same sex and it would all be celebrated. This idealism wore rose colored glasses. It wasn’t until after I married into a Mexican family/culture and was living in Madison again, raising our own multi-cultural/bi-lingual family that I learned how detrimental my lens was to being able to create a more just world for all. Learning and speaking out about justice and fighting the isms has become a leading role in my life.
Backing up though...I graduated from the University of MN, Minneapolis with a degree in Spanish, moved to LA and then to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where I met Carlos in my mid 20’s. We moved to Madison, WI in 2002 and have been consciously creating a life intertwined with family, business and our creative desires with our two sons, ages 16 and 12.
Q. What is your work?
A. I am a proud slasher. I’m a writer/speaker/real estate broker/mother/wife/car-dancer/activist/love warrior. My work in the world is to lead with love, create and inspire change, and live authentically in divine connection. Carlos and I own a Real Estate Brokerage that I started in 2002. Our small business feeds our family, our hearts, and allows us to engage with our community in unique ways. Our work is in community, personal and professional growth and integrating our lives with meaning and purpose. It has taken a lot of sacrifice, determination and out of the box thinking to build our business and we are very proud of it.
I also spend a lot of time researching, writing and talking about diversity, inclusivity and race and am the co-creator of Step Up: Equity Matters, a community organization committed to sparking conversations and creating change around inequities in the workplace and community.
As someone who believes in the need for more unique educational platforms I’ve spent many years involved with our school system. I am a named founder of both Nuestro Mundo Community School and Badger Rock Middle School where I also served on the boards. I’ve also served on the local Realtor Association Board and Sustain Dane’s Board and was recognized in InBusiness Magazine’s 40 under 40 for (2013).
But what I’m most proud of is my work in the world keeping it real, being me in all my quirkiness, and challenging the status quo.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I’m working on a memoir that I’m sooooooo excited about. As a social person, writing this book has been a labor of love with many challenges, but it is part of my life’s work and a dream of mine that I will keep plugging away at.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. I speak my truth on a regular basis and it is scary Every. Single. Time. I started blogging in 2013 and pushing ‘publish’ has taken more courage than I could have imagined. Putting my work out in the world through my words, which come from the deepest part of my being, and speaking my truth in front of people I don’t know has created insights and deep learning opportunities that I’m incredibly grateful for. Sometimes the learning curve pisses me off. Why does it have to be so hard? But ultimately, that makes me smile, because sometimes it’s the important stuff that is hard and it’s the important stuff that makes a difference. Bring it on!
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. Living in co-creation with the divine. I believe it is happening whether I am aware of it or not, yet when I’m aware of it, life feels more delightful. I long to feel consciously tapped into it and to recognize the synchronicity more often. I get too busy. I struggle with work stress, parenting stress and the sadness of my Mother’s Alzheimer’s. Being a human is hard sometimes, yet there is so much magic and abundance and when I take the time to allow that to lead me instead of the notifications on my phone, I feel full, grounded, and connected to Oneness. I love that feeling, that experience and I want more of that in my life. It’s my choice to practice it and play in it more.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. You are LOVE, the world needs your love. Thank you for being you in all your preciousness. Keep shining and creating new ways of being in a world that wants to desperately put you in a box.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. Show up and shine. Be you. The world needs your gifts, your quirks, your passions and when you can show up fully as yourself, you create the change you wish to see.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. My love of sparkle. I like to feel on fire, in the flow and when I don’t, I know that creating will help me tap into those fabulous feelings!
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Have more fun. Laugh, dance, and giggle more. Lighten up. Things can be significant, without being so serious.
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Dancer pose. I feel elegant and powerful. I also melt into Shavasana. I tend to be more fiery than grounded. Shavasana is my connection to Mother Earth and the very place I am awake yet relaxed and held steady, stable and cared for.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. Because of my Mother. She chose to live in abundance and I wanted that perspective and way of life. But I had to do it purposefully. My Father, the breadwinner/wealth builder, showed me that the way to succeed is to work hard, long hours. The more you work, the more you succeed (and our definition of success is different). That belief system also carries a lot of scarcity with it and as I became my own person (and not simply an extension of either my Mother or my Father), I saw the power of abundance vs scarcity and decided to live that life instead. I knew it needed to become a practice that with time, would become a habit and a way of life. I also wanted to prove it was possible to build wealth differently, in my own way, with the abundance mindset.