"KILL THEM WITH COMPETENCE."
Yesterday's 'Let's Talk About It' event with Cosmopolitan helped others find their voice on topics that some (wrong) people consider taboo for women to talk about and more. Busting taboos around money & power, sex & romance, beauty & image, happiness and more, it was an inspiring, and empowering way to spend a Saturday. Kicking off the morning with 'humming in' with sound therapy practitioner, Sara Auster, and CEO of MNDFL, Ellie Burrows, the entire room suddenly felt like I was surrounded by hundreds of bees near its main nest. It was strange yet communal... zen. Practicing meditation helps one focus on themselves and who they really are. It was a unique opener and a wonderful way to bring us together.
The seminar was welcomed by Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, Michele Promaulayko, and her first panel of boss women, television personality, host, fashion designer, singer, actress and author of There's No F*cking Secret: Letters From a Badass Bitch, Kelly Osbourne, acclaimed TV journalist, woman's empowerment advocate and author of the upcoming book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, Gretchen Carlson, and CEO of, The Pink Ceiling, and the woman behind the 'female viagra', Addyi, Cindy Whitehead.
Self-acceptance, struggles in the workforce and yes, sex, was among some of the general topics discussed in the opening panel. I think my favorite moment from that panel was Kelly Osbourne's story about being bullied as a kid. At first, she confided in her mother, Sharon, and told her to go back to school the following day and tell the girls that were picking on her that if they didn't stop, she'd have her father bite their heads off. LMAO. But when that didn't work, she then went to her father, Ozzy. And surprisingly enough, his advice was to basically tattletale on them. He told her to tell the girls they had one last chance to do right and if they didn't stop, she would report them. And sending that kind of message to your daughter, that your voice is the most powerful force within you, is such an important lesson to learn, let alone acquire.
The second segment focused on money, power & work. The panel included Director of Editorial and Business Development of Cosmopolitan & Seventeen, Laura Brounstein, journalist & author of, Feminist Fight Club, Jessica Bennett, and women's leadership expert, Chief Leadership Officer for LEVO & author of, Drop the Ball, Tiffany Dufu. Heavy talks of the balance between your work life and personal life were extremely central to everyone, along with great tips for it. For example, Tiffany Dufu, said people respond to authenticity. “Embrace the imperfection,” she said. “Do what you need to do in order to be the kind of leader that people will resonate with." And I think this applies to everywhere in life, not just on Instagram. 9/10 times I want to work with someone because they're real with me, not because they're putting up a front that they're perfect. Because no one is that.
When Jessica Bennett was first starting her career, she felt uneasy about self-promotion. Her male co-workers, however, had no trouble shamelessly doing so — and got all the credit and raises. Then she and her friend came up with a strategy and became each other’s “boast bitches.” “When I did something good, she would send a mass email to all of our editors, being like, ‘Did you see this great thing that Jess did? It was really amazing!’ And I would do the same for her.” No good deed goes unpunished? Not in this case. It's selfless, they're both supporting one another and at the same time feeling good doing it and feeling good about themselves. And they finally got the credit they deserved.
Another favorite segment was the sex talk with Digital Special Projects Director for Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, & Redbook, Elisa Benson, actor & host of his own hit podcast, The Love Bomb, Nico Tortorella, and founder & host of the Sex with Emily podcast, Dr. Emily Morse. Dr. Morse encouraged women to talk about what they need from their partners in the bedroom but to not talk about it in the bedroom. Rather in a more relaxed setting, like at brunch, or over coffee. "Make it more casual," she said. "You just kind of throw it out there, not like a we need to talk." Another tip? Do it in the car or on the subway. It's a place where you can talk about awkward issues without making eye contact. And reinforce, reinforce, reinforce! It goes a long way, especially before giving some feedback that might not exactly be A+.
After lunch, there was a dance-off with the founder & creator of DanceBody, Katia Pryce, where she had the entire room gyrating together in a full circle. It was yet another great way to bring everyone together and to prepare everybody for what's next, which was the part where we all sat around each other in the same circle and went around telling the room what our current ambitions were. Many wanted love, happiness and more. Better jobs, bigger houses, more time with their loved ones... and I have to admit, when it comes down to it, we really all want the same things in life. To love and be loved in return, to find joy in the bittersweetness of life; to belong to something, to be accepted and appreciated. To have much purpose and to fulfill your dreams. To just be at peace.
And the Cosmopolitan conference did just that for me and helped me recognize what really matters and what doesn't. What's your current ambition? To answer mine, I would honestly say that I am striving to be a better wife and mommy to my fur child because, with the crazy amount of work I've been doing in the past year, the amount of time I have with them is really scarce. Sure, I work with my husband constantly, but that doesn't count for quality time. And my pup has been missing me being home and spending time with him. So I'm definitely working on that challenging balance in life as well. This event also reminded me how powerful our voices really can be. I think if we can continue to spread the gift of courage, in that the more we speak up about things we shouldn't necessarily talk about or are subject to taboo, the more we will all see that it can help and inspire others to break free from their silence. Thanks for stopping by and reading about my Cosmopolitan adventures! Don't forget to comment your ambitions down below!