As Rose Caiola reported, the first night of Emerging Women Live 2014 was amazing—and as the event continued, it kept getting better and better. The energy of the hundreds of confident, savvy women gathered for the conference turned the Sheraton Times Square into a hub of female power. This convocation of women who are redefining success sends a clear message—the business world needs the collaboration and compassion that women bring to the table. We were blown away by the support, innovation, and unity that were conveyed through the words of the influential speakers.

Here are some of the Rewire Me team’s favorite moments from the weekend’s keynotes, workshops, and panels:

Dominique Christina
Dominique Christina

Dominique Christina
Soul Fire: Writing from the Inside

Dominique Christina has the rare talent of filling a room with her presence in a commanding way. She attributes this gift to her family, whom she calls “really mighty people.” Coming from a woman who held two national titles for slam poetry at one time and who won the Women of the World Poetry Championship twice, that’s saying something. She credits her unapologetic nature to her grandfather, a baseball Hall of Famer in the Negro Leagues, and her aunt, one of the Little Rock Nine, students chosen to desegregate schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Mediocrity was never available to me.”

Describing her upbringing, Christina said that even though her family had a history of challenging society’s injustices, she “never once saw them show up in anger.” But as for herself, she added, “I am absolutely all of my family’s unsaid shit.” Bold yet profound, emphatic yet carefully eloquent, Christina’s words are the product of honesty. “That’s where I go to tell the truth,” the poet said of her chosen medium, “and I don’t care where it lands…I can’t afford to care.”

Annette Richardson
Annette Richardson

Annette Richardson
Our Collective Future

Annette Richardson, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Office for Partnerships, didn’t always have such a long job title—she was once a 23-year-old French emigrant hoping to start a career as a translator. At 24, she married an American politician, and soon became a mother. What she hoped would be a life of domestic bliss turned into an abusive relationship, and eventually Richardson was left a young widow with a two-year-old daughter.

“Trust the journey as women. Feel your intuition. Believe. Do not overthink. You’ll go places, for sure.”

“We say we are defined by our environment; I think we are defined by our experiences,” she said. At that critical time in her life, Richardson uprooted herself and her daughter and followed her intuition all the way from New York to Los Angeles. Today her résumé includes stints as cofounder of a consulting firm, Director of International Relations for the Olympic Bid Committee, and Chief of Staff of Vivendi Universal. Maybe we can all take a leaf out of Richardson’s book and understand that, “we each have our journey and we have to trust it.”

Amanda Steinberg
Amanda Steinberg

Amanda Steinberg
Demystifying the Money: How women as investors, and investing in women, can positively impact our changing economic landscape

Amanda Steinberg was inspired to create a personal finance resource for women by her single mother, who taught her at a young age never to rely on a man for money. As CEO of DailyWorth.com, a site that serves nearly one million women with its daily newsletters, it’s clear that Steinberg has taken her mother’s advice to heart and then some!

“If someone tells me there’s a gender bias or that as a mother I shouldn’t raise capital, it makes me want to do it more.”

Calling DailyWorth “the first financial media company to package things in a way that wasn’t pink and all about coupons,” Steinberg hopes to raise women’s confidence when it comes to investing, because women are inheriting two-thirds of the nation’s wealth. You can see Amanda Steinberg’s fearless attitude in this exchange: when asked if she “just wanted to be taken care of,” she replied, “No—but my ex-husband and my boyfriend do.”

Kris Carr
Kris Carr

Kris Carr
A Pathway to Resilience: Developing Strength for Challenging Times & Everyday Stressors

We already love Kris Carr here at Rewire Me—we had the honor of seeing (and meeting!) the wellness guru at Hay House’s I Can Do It! conference, so we were delighted to have a chance to hear her speak again. Carr’s story is indeed a remarkable one—she was diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 31, and with no treatment options, she began to use self-care as a primary tool in her cancer-fighting arsenal.

“You gotta love the broken parts of yourself as well…it’s all teaching you something.”

“Self-care became my spiritual practice at 31,” she said, and now, about ten years later, Carr’s cancer is stable and she is healthier than ever. How did she do it? Asking herself, “What is it that I need to feel sturdy, to feel strong, to feel empowered?” Carr embarked on what she calls a deep-healing pilgrimage. With a combination of a nutrient-rich, plant-focused diet, exercise, and a commitment to joy, Carr has become a cancer “thriver.” She has written five books sharing her wealth of feel-good knowledge, most recently Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution (Hay House), featuring her favorite nutritious and delicious recipes along with inspiring and humorous personal stories.

Wokie Nwabueze
Wokie Nwabueze

Wokie Nwabueze
The Art of Being Heard: Reclaim Your Voice, Reclaim Your Power

Wokie Nwabueze, a first-generation daughter of West African immigrants, was brought up in a culture where children were taught to work hard, mind their manners, and be humble. As a child, Nwabueze believed that speaking up and asking for help was a sign of weakness; that demanding to be heard was impolite.

“Communication is a pathway between your soul and the world. Your voice is your power…Being heard is claiming your right to be.”

But at 22, Nwabueze landed a job as a mediator, and her natural talent for speaking to and educating others rose to the surface. Since then, she has dedicated her career to empowering other women who still believe, as she once did, that they are being patient rather than passive, or polite rather than compliant. In her capacity as a communication and conflict resolution expert and founder of Women Prepared to Lead, Nwabueze proves that you don’t have to compromise your authentic voice in order to earn respect.

Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

Arianna Huffington is a woman who needs no introduction—the media mogul, author, and speaker is a bona fide celebrity in her own right. Her newest book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder (Harmony Books), is an extension of her popular Third Metric conferences, which encourage professionals to consider health and well-being as a component of their career success.

“There is nothing more powerful than a group of amazing women who give each other permission to change the world.”

“The smarter we are, the more excuses we have,” she said, explaining why people often put their job success at a higher priority than personal fulfillment and living a life of meaning. The way we define success as a culture is flawed, Huffington pointed out, and leads to burnout, stress, and dependence on technology. The third metric that she proposes includes well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving as part of a well-rounded approach to success.

Agapi Stassinopoulos
Agapi Stassinopoulos

Agapi Stassinopoulos
Coming Into the Presence of Your Heart

Agapi Stassinopoulos, actress, best-selling author, and speaker, led a guided meditation, and wow, did we need it! She gave us a place to process and embody all that we’d been experiencing. She was introduced by her sister, Arianna Huffington, who called her “my spiritual guide.”

“We are all breathed by the same spirit, the same energy, the same love.”

Everyone understood why upon hearing her peaceful and profound meditation. In Stassinopoulos’s book, Unbinding the Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love (Hay House), she shares this gentle wisdom with stories about her life experiences and the values she learned from her mother.

Danielle LaPorte
Danielle LaPorte

Danielle LaPorte
You Are Worthy of Your Desires: Turning Your Ambitions Inside Out To Create Goals With Soul

Danielle LaPorte has built a following by being totally honest—she has 87,000 followers on Twitter who stay tuned for her daily “#TruthBombs.” LaPorte’s TruthBombs range from messages like “Dear Advertisers, you can’t fool me,” to precepts like “Turn your longing into a calling.”

“Reframe obligation into choice and the stress of the situation will reframe itself.”

Longing, or rather desire, is a focus of LaPorte’s guidance. Her branded life plan and fourth book are both called The Desire Map (Sounds True), and they encourage seeking the balance between inner clarity and outer action.

Tami Simon
Tami Simon

Tami Simon
Leading through Service and Serving through Leadership

At the age of 22, most people are just beginning the search for their passions in life, but Tami Simon was founding Sounds True, a media publishing company dedicated to disseminating spiritual wisdom. The company has published more than 800 audio, video, music, and book titles, and is a pioneer in providing tools for personal transformation.

“Somehow I want to use the gifts the universe gave me, whatever they are…to serve the entirety of creation. That’s what lives in the very center of my heart.”

Tami’s lifelong mission to inspire others has instilled a passion and knowledge that was clearly evident as she spoke. She posed the question of what would happen if we each made our connections with others our highest priority. “I feel this desire to be of service when I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,” she said, observing that our lives aren’t made—they’re gifted to us.

Gabrielle Bernstein
Gabrielle Bernstein

Gabrielle Bernstein
Miracles Now: How to Practice the Power of Your Presence

Best-selling author and speaker Gabrielle Bernstein seems to be everywhere these days—even Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra are fans. Her newest book, Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose (Hay House), is a guide to meditation and mindfulness practices in the form of easy-to-digest tools and techniques.

“Our presence is our power. It’s not what we say or do, it’s how we be.”

Saying that “there has to be a better way,” Bernstein offers a modern and realistic approach to spiritual living, favoring assessment questions, step-by-step guidance, and to-the-point meditations over more traditional and time-consuming yoga and meditation programs.

Eve Ensler
Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler
Eve’s Revolution

Eve Ensler is no stranger to empowerment—she embodies it in everything she does. The Tony Award-winning playwright, performer, and activist is the creator of V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women. Her fierce dedication to women’s rights has inspired campaigns from college campuses to the Congo.

“It was amazing to me that I put out an invitation to the whole world to dance and people got up and danced!”

Emboldened by her biblical namesake, Ensler said, “May I remind us that Eve asked neither Adam nor God permission.” In that spirit, she urges all women to collectively pool the power of female energy to combat inequality. Extending the Eve metaphor, she ended her keynote by handing out symbolic apples, which no one asked permission to bite into.

Emerging Women Live concluded on a high note as conference founder Chantal Pierrat shared the fifth point in her “Feminista Manifista”: “So much is unknown. It’s an unwritten story.” After this amazing get-together of revolutionary women sharing their wisdom, I know many of the attendees will be inspired to write their own unwritten stories. To use Chantal’s cheeky term, Emerging Women Live was definitely “badassery” personified.

Click here to see Rose’s tips for healthy and happy relationships

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