Strength in Numbers

“Every time a woman succeeds in business, every other woman’s chance of succeeding in business increases. Every time a woman fails in business, every other woman’s chance of failure increases.” – Gail Evans, She Wins, You Win

In this Podcast Extra, we have the fourth in a series of conversations focusing on women’s voices, my colleague and fellow Reboot coach Jamie Kim talks with the co-founders of Blume, sisters Bunny, and Taran Ghatrora. On top of talking about what it’s like to fundraise during a pandemic as BIPOC founders, as well as lead a company through the ups and downs of the past year, the trio also covers self-care and gives a nod to feminine leadership. 

There are inequities in funding for women and BIPOC founders–this we know. While these disparities are very real things, how we internalize situations of inequity and defy the larger message around ‘who we are supposed to be’ can determine what we make of ourselves and what we accomplish. 

How can we claim your power, our creative agency, and use our voice and actions in the most true way possible, despite layers of challenges we face? Then, from there: how can we be with and for each other in supportive ways?

At Reboot, we know that grand revolutions out in the world begin within the hearts of individuals. One’s commitment to the inner work serves the collective–everyone in our lives. The inner work is a form of self-care. And when we take care of our inner world, by tending to our bodies (and our suffering and our joys), it creates space for others to do the same. Self-care, we know, is a radical act. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,” notes Audre Lorde. Likewise, “Joy is a political act,” author Kelly Wendorf reminds us. 

Self-care includes all that you do to take care of your emotional-physical-psychological-spiritual well-being. It can look like ample rest, listening to your body, learning the language of your emotions, tending to your shadow parts, knowing what you need, being clear and direct with yourself and others, building healthy relationships, and upholding good boundaries. 

Self-care at its finest can help us:

  • Know our worth and heal the wounds that make us believe we’re not enough. 
  • Take up space and own our right to be here, because we do not need permission. 
  • Show up as all that we are.
  • Forge our own path through the world.
  • Know our inner voice, our instincts, our intuition.
  • Honor our boundaries. 
  • Create the space for our inner world, where we have space to imagine and dream and invent and be in our wildness separate from the world’s expectations of us.
  • Feel connected to ourselves, our communities, and the larger mystery that holds us. 

All of which keeps us grounded in our truth and our own personal playbook. Revolutionarily speaking, when we operate from here we resource a healthy sense of self-love. When we have this resource within ourselves, we’re less likely to abandon ourselves or resort to coping mechanisms that try to find it elsewhere in relationships, or our work, or exercising our power in a non-generative way. Good self-care gives us fortitude and allows us to be A-Ok with who we are, which in turn allows us to be able to show up in our wholeness in the world. We can then be more present for those around us. We can listen better. We can hear what might be really needed. Such a spacious presence deeply connected to ourselves in an embodied way that allows us to sense emerging possibilities (what might happen next). 

Leaving self-care behind leaves much at stake. Doing so leads to burnout, emotional breakdowns, and anxiety attacks, and creates unpleasant interpersonal relations and undue harm to those around you. By taking care of yourself first, you can better care for others. My mentor Kelly Wendorf notes that leadership in the horse herd is a fine balance of presence and care. Without presence, care is ill-placed. Without care, presence is aloof. Staying grounded and connected to ourselves shows up in our leadership, which we know ripples through our organizations in positive ways. A leader who models this way of being models a kind of leadership that allows others to do the same for themselves. That is a beautiful domino effect. 

What is your commitment to self-care? Where does it fall on the priorities list? Where are you on the burnout scale right now? What might support your self-care?