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Inspiring Quotes from Women in Business: Body Smart Roundup

18 Aug

As I begin the wrap-up on our Body-Smart theme, I want to look back upon those who have given their time and stories to this series. Collected within this post are words of wisdom on loving your body, healing, and living well within your environment from the incredible business women who have been featured on Sister Leadership. We are full of gratitude and celebration for your brilliance, ladies!

What is Body Smart or Kinesthetic Intelligence Quotient (KQ)? To become Body Smart is to tune into the different aspects and intelligences of the body. We’re not just trains of thoughts charging through life: we feel, we digest, we smell, we heal, we grow – so much of life is experienced and interpreted on a bodily level. Let’s see this definition in action as I pull inspirational quotes, and link back to past interviews and to several competencies of Spiritual Intelligence (SQ).


Ottawa’s Dr. Marcelle Forget shared words of wisdom on the SQ competency of conviction – standing up for what feels right – and intuition, all based within her experience as a health care practitioner and champion of new methods for supporting her clients such as muscle testing, supplementation, energy work and more. For her, Body Smarts was ultimately about the bigger picture:

“I think in a way, we’re all part of very big energy. I don’t think it’s bigger than me, because it is part of who I am – I don’t want to think about it as something different, or another entity. We all contribute to this big picture of energy, so I try to make life beautiful and better for myself and those through my life. Every moment of your life, you imprint upon others, and this is something that will live forever – the imprint will live forever and so your energy never dies.”

Find her interview here.

Jessica_KeatsJessica Keats of Yoga with Jessica shared her insights on the SQ competency of forgiveness through a wellness perspective. According to her, forgiveness is a personal journey and will strengthen the more you take care of yourself. The more well you are inside and out, the less the need to be forgiven.

“I have started a set of falling in love with myself every day. Really sitting with myself, and taking care of myself with basic needs, like am I eating when I’m hungry; am I drinking when I’m thirsty; am I sleeping when I’m tired; am I going outside when I need to go outside; am I doing what is needed in my body? What are the whispers? Where is the pull?

When I can start to actually listen to those whispers and pulls, and make actions on them, I’ve really started to come into this nice place of being comfortable with myself, my body and who I am.”

Watch our first video interview with Jessica here.

With Body Smarts, particularly at the competitive level, comes the SQ trait of humility. We featured a then and now story comparing the competitive nature and humility between today’s Canadian swimming team athletes and the first group of women track and field stars who were allowed to compete in the Olympics. The FABIV are a group of young women who are excelling within their field, and through it all, they remain supportive and encouraging of one another.

“If we have problems we can bounce ideas off each other and help each other. If one does well, we all want to do well.” As stated by Ware in a FAB IV CBC interview.

Read their stories here.

Chiropractor Dr. Sasha Hamid volunteered with this year’s FIFA’s Women’s World Cup finals in Ottawa, and dared to take on a new type of role – one quite different from her healthcare practice – in her interview coupling Body Smarts with the SQ competency of gratitude. From giving tours to children, taking home a game ball, and making new connections, FIFA was clearly an exciting and meaningful time for her.

Listen in to the conversation here or click below!

Lydia Di Francesco brought some touching stories to Sister Leadership as she reflected upon the SQ competency of vocation and her role as a personal trainer. She isn’t just a personal trainer, she is a friend and supporter to her clients – using training to help better their lives.

“To ask ‘how are you doing’, or ‘how was your day’ sets it up. I had one client come in and say ‘I just had the worst day’. And I was like, ‘it sounds like you need a good tough workout where you can get aggression out.’ We scrapped what was planned and I gave him a heavy medicine ball, they’re made of sand, and was like, ‘Just slam it on the ground’ and he felt so much better after!”

Lydia-041 test

Read Lydia’s interview here.

And finally, Chef Patricia Larkin shared her insights into the SQ competency of virtuosity, the mastery of a great ability or skill as in the arts, sciences or other disciplines, as she embarks on a transition in her career with food.

“I think sustainability in my field and in life is something much bigger than I am. Working with nature and our seasons. I try to always be learning and to be more self-sustainable and self-sufficient. It is easier to do at home. Growing food, sourcing sustainable meat and fish, making pickles, preserves and fermentations with home grown food or local farmers produce and, starting this year, keeping bees are all small ways I try to do my part.”

Read the full conversation with Trish here.

Ladies, once again, I appreciate your stories. The amount of knowledge, courage and generosity of women in business never fails to amaze me. It’s clear from these women’s insights that body smarts is not only an internal bodily experience, but one that extends to our environment and the lives we touch through our work.

Next week I’ll be sharing the final post in our Body Smarts series, wrapping up a personal journey of getting fit – and how deep an impact that has had upon my life during difficult times.

Till next week!





The Women’s Business Network and mentoring

5 May

On Thursday evening, April 23, 2015, the Women’s Business Network (WBN) held its sold out 2014 Businesswoman of the Year Awards (BYA) at the Shaw Centre. Setting the mood for celebration, the aqua and white tapestry of tables, dais and crystal-strung room dividers shaped the open room. The elegant atmosphere of the evening was complimented hues of sunset through the faceted glass that fronts the building.

BYA Gala 2015

The atmosphere was inviting and inclusive. Earlier that evening in the reception area, while sipping from a flute of champagne, I introduced myself to an engaged group of women. They greeted me warmly and included me into their circle of friendship, success, and business experience. This is the kind of welcome I’ve come to expect at our WBN events!

The conversation oscillated from 34-year business careers to how WBN continues to serve as an indispensable mentoring place for businesswomen. Thirty years ago, WBN trailblazers had no mentors, and so this iconic group met and bounced ideas off each other.

Moving on during the reception, I met Judy Richards, owner of Davidson’s Jewellers, and her associate Bonnie Favilla with whom I brought up the same topic, asking who had mentored them, and we discussed the importance of creating a mentoring culture.

BYA Gala Marie BoivinLater during the event, I found out that Judy Richards was actually at the original meeting in 1981 that was held to determine if there was any interest in a group dedicated to women business owners. She, Anne Lal-Da Nada and a few other intrepid entrepreneurs decided to invite like-minded women to join them in the creation of a volunteer-based organization to facilitate networking for businesswomen in Ottawa.

Back in 1981, I had landed my first career job as the first woman sales representative at the French daily Le Droit. At that time, only men sold advertising at Le Droit but soon opportunities for more women in sales arose. It was a pioneering time for women in business – we had to be trailblazers. Amazing, then and for a long time after, banks required business loans to female entrepreneurs be co-signed by their husbands. (!) In such a male-dominated environment, can you imagine the spunk a businesswomen would have had to have to find a mentor?

Today, 34 years later, it’s still not uncommon to find women without a mentor. I was 52 before I reached out to the business community and was fortunate to have Nicole Beaudoin, a successful edge walker in the financial world, become my mentor. I consider myself very lucky to have her in my world. I wish that I’d figured out this mentoring thing much earlier in my career.

BYA 2015 Gala

During the gala, as the awards were announced, I saw how two teenaged girls looked proudly at their mom, Marie Boivin of Accu-rate Corporation and BYA finalist in the Company category. I’m sure that Marie is certainly mentoring her wonderful girls.

BYA Gala 2015 SocialAs well, I saw Genevieve Dowling hugging Caralyn Tierney of Caralyn’s Hair & Wig Design Inc., BYA Entrepreneur of the Year. Genevieve is Caralyn’s mentee and clearly it’s an important relationship to them both.

Being at the WBN gala shows me just how far we’ve come. Looking around the room, I saw all kinds of potential for businesswomen who mentor. Thank you to the trailblazers for the passion and hard work, for co-creating a solid foundation for today’s businesswomen to learn and share their wisdom.

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