Can we change the future of women one action at a time?
I say. "YES."
"But there is so much to do" you say.
"Yes, there is," I agree.
*Women have a projected 75 percent of all diagnosed autoimmune disease disorders with stress as a leading factor.
*Women have 13 negative body thoughts daily, nearly one for every waking hour.
*In the 2014 Census 83 percent of the single family head of households were single mothers of which 50 percent are below the poverty level.
* Women are perceived as indistinguishable from their male peers when it comes to key leadership traits such as intelligence and capacity for innovation, even stronger than men in terms of compassion and organization. Yet, women still have to do more than men to prove themselves.
*Mindfulness combined with a contemplative practice is one of the simplest and most important tool for a women's well being but most women don't practice mindfulness because they/re not sure how to do it or think its too complicated.
I certainly don't mean we can't work on multiple issues one action at a time because we certainly have a multitude of issues to address. From equal pay, gender diversity, higher rates of stress, depression, body image and domestic violence, the list goes on.
What's most important is that we start to work together for the biggest impact for the greatest good... step by measurable step. That is the plan.
When I became president of Women to Women by Julia I worked with the founder Melanie Contreras to develop the operating plan with the mission and vision of the organization. We worked hard to narrow the mission but ultimately the goal was to transform women's lives. We realized to change the future of women we at a minimum had to focus on the silos of Health, Spirituality, Sexuality, Divorce and Entrepreneurship for women. Our goal becomes more about focusing on each action of change versus narrowing the transformation. The silos support each other in a synchronistic approach to a woman's life. When we became strategic partners with Dr. Richard Davidson, founder of the Center for Health Minds at the University of Wisconsin we had to add a Mindfulness. We realized that mindfulness is the thread that connects all of the silos through the conscious decisions we make everyday that ultimately effects every aspect of our lives.
I won't lie, at first everyone thought we were a little crazy with such high aspirations with so many goals. Some said, 'Good luck, it'll take you a 100 years to do all that." We tried to cut back but the litmus test was our own lives. If our mission was to transform women's lives how could we as women be whole and live fully to our authentic selves with passion and purpose if we ignored even one of these areas. We knew we had to focus on a 'wholistic' approach.
Did I mention that we narrowed our focus to six silos? When Melanie first approached me to help her launch Women to Women by Julia we brought together a cross section of women and men, to brainstorm issues that women face. We began a list regardless of race, religion or any other demographic or sociographic profile and the list was endless. Ironically the logical sweet souls that first suggested we narrow our focus, that thought we were taking on too much, inevitably would end up suggesting additional issues that we should think of include. I knew this was more than a mission, it was a movement.
In 2016 we launched a call to women and men, leaders and experts, influencers and stakeholders to commit to the Power of 1 action of change for the future of women. Whether One woman or One man helps another woman, when we align our collaborative efforts for scale, together we create the greatest impact for social and cultural change for women. Thus one action at a time like a flutter of one butterfly wing we knew we could change the future of women by exponentially increasing an action to effect change for women.
Our goal is to focus one measurable tactic in six silos in one year. How? By developing a coalition of symbiotic experts, stake holders and influencers to maximize efforts and actions for the greater good in each silo of Health, Spirituality, Sexuality, Divorce and Entrepreneurship. There are so many wonderful individuals, universities and other organizations with the expertise and passion that can work together to evoke change to transform the future of women. Women to Women has evolved into the 'united way' to link women with support, research and programs that can transform women and can change their lives.
The first event for is today April 14, 2016 at the University of Wisconsin with our strategic partner Dr. Richard Davidson and our esteemed panel that includes Maureen Pelton, co-founder of ShiftIt Institute, Dr. Sona Dimidjian, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder,
Dr. James Gordon, Psychiatrist and Founder, Center for Mind-Body Medicine at Georgetown
Kelley McCabe, CEO eMindfulness, Aly Teich, Founder and CEO, The Sweat Life.
Join us on our live webcast to discuss the agents of change to transform women's health and see what action we declare for 2016-2017!
Change starts with one thought put into action and transformation is result of many changes.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Women to Women by Julia, in conjunction with the 4W Women Well-being Wisconsin and the World summit (Madison, Wisconsin, April 14, 2016). Women to Women by Julia is a non-profit dedicated to changing the future of women through a series summits on Health, Spirituality, Sexuality, Divorce, Entrepreneurship and Mindfulness. For more information about Women to Women by Julia, visit womentowomenbyjulia.com.