It takes a village to make a dream into a reality. But it also takes tenacity and a passion for doing what is right. I know this from first-hand experience, and here's what happened.
As a lecturer and keynote speaker, I have been on tour with my latest book, In Her Power: Reclaiming Your Authentic Self, which was released last February. As a result, I have spoken with thousands of women across the country about "leveraging your power in the midst of change."
Change is something we are all going through -- big time. And it was exciting to meet so many talented women who were receptive to tools that would keep them on track. I thought I would get more resistance, but my audiences were open to the piercing questions I asked them. They were willing to look at the "false beliefs" they had accepted as truths that weren't allowing them to embrace their power fully.
Because of this positive response, I thought about hosting a television show on the topic. Nothing was in place for me to do that, except my strong intention to make it happen. But after I made the commitment, some interesting things started to come together.
I had dinner with Ellen Griffith, who was a strong supporter of my work for over a decade. I told her I wanted to produce the show in the next few months and there wasn't much time to mobilize the funding. Ellen offered to help out.
Being touched by Ellen's generosity, I decided to invest in the production myself. Now, I had the funds to create a modest production. I was banking on the fact that you don't need a fancy set and all the bells and whistles to create good television. I believed that if I invited great women and engaged them in powerful conversation it could be transformative, and it was.
Two women traveled from out of town on their own dime to tape the show in New York City, as did my beloved makeup artist, Bruce Dean Lindstrom. Two producers committed to women's issues, Molly Williamson Welch and Sabina Barach, were persistent in applying for the project, and I hired them -- they went way beyond the call of duty to make it all happen. And then, a wonderful program manager offered to present the show to other managers across the country.
It all came together and the women were amazing. The power of intention is strong; coupled with a passion to make a difference, goals that seem impossible become possible. It's my dream to have a series about women in power on a major network. Just think of all of the wonderful women who would be acknowledged.
The 30-minute presentation features a conversation between four women who have reinvented themselves and altered the course of their lives. Helene Lerner, Emmy Award-winning public television host and Fortune 500 workplace consultant, leads the discussion.
The special also features poignant insights from actors Julianne Moore, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Seymour and other self-made women from Lerner's past television shows.
"Women need to step out instead of playing it safe. The time for personal change is now."
Lerner's sentiment is embodied by entrepreneur Deepika Bajaj, who left behind a string of unhappy jobs to start her own company. Determined to create a business that was in line with her passion to make a difference, she garnered support by sharing her vision and inviting investors to be a part of her mission. But Bajaj also remembers the early years and what it was like to feel afraid and uncertain. "We yearn for something more, but we don't think we have what it takes," says Deepika. "We don't think that we are worthy [of success]."
Robin Kahn's previously full life became a blank canvas when her mother died, her daughter moved out and her long-term marriage ended. "This was a situation that could have left me feeling broken, but I used it in my writing as a helpful and funny look at real life," says Kahn, a playwright. Lerner points out that the change brought out a tsunami of creativity in Robin that had been neglected during years of caring for others.
Laura Newberry made the decision to part with her treasured collection of books after a flood destroyed many of her possessions. By cutting ties with these material objects, she made more space in her life for an inner wisdom of which she had previously been unaware. "You go out of your comfort zone and think you're walking out of the box, but for me, it was going inside of the box," Newberry says.
After her 25-year marriage ended, Karen Fitzgerald made a gutsy solo move to New York City and embraced the opportunity to explore new sides of herself, including her untapped sensual desires. She wrote and performed a play about the experience and is currently pursuing a career as an actor and professional speaker. "It is an absolute rebirth," Fitzgerald says.
Check your local listings where select stations nationwide will be airing In Her Power, starting in March.
Distributor: American Public Television (APT)
Presenting Station: Milwaukee Public Television