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My Dream to Fly Free Like a Bird

My Dream to Fly Free Like a Bird

Guest Post by Silvija Mitevska I began flying with paragliders at the age of fifteen. It all happened so quickly; on a family vacation in August I was introduced to the paragliding instructor, in September I joined the local paragliding club for a try-out session and two weeks later I had my first flight. I flew only twenty meters above the ground, but it felt like I was high in the sky. I looked from above at the yellowish grass swaying gently, moved  by the wind coming from the east. I carefully circled around two tall trees next to a dried riverbed and landed softly on my feet. My whole body was shaking; it was not from fear but from true excitement. I had just experienced the feeling of complete freedom. I took off my gloves, my helmet and my flying suit and started jumping from happiness. I couldn’t believe that I was in the air by myself. I, the girl who never went out from her home-town could fly....

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Living the Lessons of Resiliency: Connecting to Hope

Living the Lessons of Resiliency: Connecting to Hope

Guest Post on Resiliency by Becky Sansbury Three babies I never saw touched my heart and changed the course of my life. Three times I was pregnant when the child inside of me died unexpectedly. I had no idea how to speak about these unspeakable times of life. Yet, within that void, a voice beyond my own whispered, “Weep now. The words will come later.” What did come immediately was a wave of caring. Women from the community brought food and shared tearful hugs, while enduring the awkward silence shared among us. I was overwhelmed by unwavering support from women willing to be present when none of us knew how to mend the fabric of grief inside me. One thing I knew with certainty; their steadying presence sustained me when the rest of my world crumbled. Resiliency lesson number one: Faithful friends are as valuable as professional experts when you need to stabilize. Friends hold open the door of hope until you can walk through it. Eventually our family...

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Michealene Cristini Risley on Cultivating Resiliency, Leaning In, and Finding One’s Own Voice

Michealene Cristini Risley on Cultivating Resiliency, Leaning In, and Finding One’s Own Voice

Interview with award-winning writer, director, human rights activist and entrepreneur, Michealene Cristini Risley [Editor’s Note: A true force of nature and powerful role model and voice for women and girls worldwide, Michealene was first introduced to me last year by Eileen McDargh. Her personal story and professional advocacy have illuminated some of the most pressing concerns and barriers that often hold women and girls back from realizing their fullest potential. In this interview, Michealene shares her own thoughts on cultivating a spirit of resiliency, what ‘Leaning In’ means to her, and how we can each leverage our own voice to create positive social change.] (Sharon): Eileen McDargh is widely known for her expertise, speaking and writing on the subject of personal and professional resiliency. In a recent interview for the Global Girls Project, she defined resiliency as more than merely bouncing back, suggesting that resiliency is really about moving from a mindset of survival to truly thriving. What does resiliency mean to you? (Michealene): I can tell you from...

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Leaders as Learners: From Surviving to Thriving — the Role of Resiliency (Part III/III)

Leaders as Learners: From Surviving to Thriving — the Role of Resiliency (Part III/III)

Interview with Eileen McDargh, motivational speaker, author and Founder/CEO of The Resiliency Group [Editor’s Note: A world-renowned speaker on organizational, business and personal resiliency, Eileen McDargh shares powerful stories and offers key insights on how we can cultivate a spirit of resiliency in our lives, moving from a mindset of survival to truly thriving. Divided into three parts, this interview is the fifth in the series, Leaders as Learners, that invites global thought leaders to take a deeper dive into the 16 principles of the Global Girls Project and their application to women and girls’ empowerment.]   (Sharon): In part I of this interview, we talked about what resiliency means – the ability to grow through a challenge or opportunity and into a mindset of possibility than enables us to truly thrive. In part II, we explored sources of resiliency and the role strength, courage, hope, faith, purpose, gratitude and forgiveness play in building resiliency. You emphasized the importance of being able to not only ‘choose’, but also ‘un-choose’ those thoughts,...

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Leaders as Learners: From Surviving to Thriving — The Role of Resiliency (Part II/III)

Leaders as Learners: From Surviving to Thriving — The Role of Resiliency (Part II/III)

Interview with Eileen McDargh, motivational speaker, author and founder/CEO of The Resiliency Group   [Editor’s Note: A world-renowned speaker on organizational, business and personal resiliency, Eileen McDargh shares powerful stories and offers key insights on how we can cultivate a spirit of resiliency in our lives, moving from a mindset of survival to truly thriving. Divided into three parts, this interview is the fourth in the series, Leaders as Learners, that invites global thought leaders to take a deeper dive into the 16 principles of the Global Girls Project and their application to women and girls’ empowerment.] (Sharon): In Part I of this series, we talked about resiliency as more than merely surviving — growing through and beyond a set-back, challenge or opportunity, and into a mindset of possibility that enables us to truly thrive. As you suggest, part of that process involves the art of reframing our circumstances; daring to ask ourselves, “What is good about me? What do I want in my life? What is no longer acceptable? Is...

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From Surviving to Thriving: The Extraordinary Spirit of Love

From Surviving to Thriving: The Extraordinary Spirit of Love

Guest post by Laura Connor Blight If you were to ask me to briefly explain myself, I would say, “I see myself as an ordinary person with extraordinary experiences. I am amazed at what I’ve been through – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and frankly, I’m extremely grateful to still be cruising on this journey called my life.” In my twenties, I didn’t feel much different than most aspiring young adults trying to find my place. I had exceptional highs with great friendships, travel, and my early career. And devastating lows.  The loss of loved ones will always highlight those years for me. As I walked painfully through loss and disappointments, I tried to find my way. I focused on a MBA, my career, and finding joy in my friends. I volunteered, serving on the Board of Directors for a school for deaf children, and met some wonderful people. I was beginning to thrive after some excruciating years. Then, at the age of 32, I was...

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Leaders as Learners: From Surviving to Thriving — The Role of Resiliency (Part I/III)

Leaders as Learners: From Surviving to Thriving — The Role of Resiliency (Part I/III)

Interview with Eileen McDargh, motivational speaker, author and founder/CEO of The Resiliency Group   [Editor’s Note: A world-renowned speaker on organizational, business and personal resiliency, Eileen McDargh shares powerful stories and offers key insights on how we can cultivate a spirit of resiliency in our lives, moving from a mindset of survival to truly thriving.  Divided into three parts, this is the fourth interview in the series, Leaders as Learners, that invites global thought leaders to take a deeper dive into the 16 principles of the Global Girls Project and their application to women and girls’ empowerment.] (Sharon): As I reflect on my own journey and the challenges I’ve had to overcome, I have tended to view resiliency as a marriage between both strength and perseverance. In your writing and speaking, you define resiliency as not only the ability to find the inner strength to survive a setback, but to ultimately grow through and beyond a set-back, challenge or opportunity. How do we shift our mindset from one of merely...

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