What are your every day, must-reads, online or off?
I read The Taos News – which only comes out once a week and has a local focus. I also write a monthly column for them about hiking. I scan on-line headlines, Facebook and Twitter for news about women changing the world. Every night, I read about a new goddess in Goddesses for Everyday by Julie Loar.
You sing the praises of ‘swagger.’ What does that mean?
Swagger means high feminine confidence. As we find our own swagger, we are stronger and more able to reach our goals in life – whatever they are. We also have much more fun and care less about what other people think of us.
When I was working on developing housing, one of my first jobs included overseeing construction of 35 new town homes for single parents, along with a community and childcare center. The site superintendent was very old school and didn’t really approve of a woman running a construction job. One day, the crew dug up an old dump site – filled with snakes. They were so excited when they called me. I realized later it was because they hoped to scare me off the job. What they didn’t know was that I was a tomboy growing up and am not at all afraid of snakes. When I showed up on the site and didn’t get hysterical, they knew they were stuck with me and started to treat me with more respect. I found my swagger because I was able to be my authentic self – but still get respect in a world dominated by men.
As I talked to other women, I discovered some had found their confidence in sports or school or in relationships. My stories and those of other girls and women are included in the book-in-progress The Girl’s Guide to Swagger.
How can we bring a bit more swagger into our lives?
We have an on-line Swagger Survey that has been taken by more than 250 women. Forty percent say they were born with swagger, but 52% say they faked it until it was real or are still faking it. My best advice is to think about how you would act if you had more swagger, then try it out, a little at a time. Before you know it, you will begin to feel more confident and will become more relaxed, as you discover you can handle any situation.
If you could give your 16 year old self advice, what would you say?
It’s OK to be yourself and let your light shine. Don’t worry about what other people say. Forget the drummer.
Your perfect day. What would it look like?
I’m so fortunate to actually get to live my perfect day so often. It starts with coffee on my tiny patio with my dog, Dennis, looking at Taos Mountain. Then, I’m off for a hike along a cool creek, also with Dennis. After that, it is lunch and work on articles about hiking, poems about nature, and a blog for the website or a chapter for the swagger book. In the course of my day, I interact with so many wonderful women either in person, by phone or through Facebook and Twitter who are working on supporting girls and women in reaching their full potential and bringing forth their gifts into the world. It is really a blissful existence.
Thanks so much for sharing, Cindy!