In her paradigm-shifting TED Talk in 2010, Dr. Brene Brown brought to the fore what she called “The Power of Vulnerability,” melting the barriers that have previously impaired our capacity to feel joy.
My experiences this past weekend at the Canadian Mompreneurs® Conference & Awards event solidified my growing suspicion that vulnerability may in fact be a missing piece to Freud’s assertion that has become perceived to be an indisputable truth:
“Love and work are the cornerstones to our humanness.”
Quite frankly, I disagree. My experience as a woman and as a psychologist who has provided therapy for 30 years has revealed to me that this belief is incomplete. I would assert that vulnerability is necessary for healthy and meaningful connection to be possible. In order to be able to love and work, we need to be able to connect with one another.
As the recent Women’s March demonstrated, women are more assertively naming our needs and contributions to the world. We are also sharing the unique wisdom we have come to know through our experiences as the primary caregivers to the young and most vulnerable in our society. In many circles there are rumblings that perhaps many of the problems we are facing on the planet might be better addressed if women were to take the lead in the solution-seeking process. For example, as Dr. Steve Taylor articulated in “If Women Ruled the World: Is a matriarchal society the solution to our problems?”
“… if more women were in high status positions, there would be less conflict and competition, and more empathy and equality.”
Brene Brown would have been dancing in her boots had she been able to attend the Mompreneurs® Conference this past weekend. Founder Maria Locker understands the power of vulnerability as a woman who lives and breathes authenticity. Gathered together with 300 women from across Canada, Maria led by example what it means to step into her own authentic power and has created a vehicle to help other women learn practical business tools and strategies. Inspirational speakers unabashedly spoke about their own stories of facing obstacles and celebrating victories along their entrepreneurial journeys, where they were often faced by the dragons of our currently male-dominated world of business.
Not only were external sociopolitical & cultural realities and gender stereotypes and limitations acknowledged and productively challenged during the event, but perhaps more importantly, the internalized variations and distortions of these same themes were faced head on as well. The emotional transparency and openness that allowed space for vulnerability, laughter and tears humanized the experience like no other business event I have ever experienced. Even sensitive topics like pelvic health challenges were addressed, so that women would feel more empowered and less alone.
It was truly a privilege to be honoured, along with 21 other innovative and creative women as the 2017 Canadian Mompreneur® Top Finalists. Together we celebrated our accomplishments, uplifted, and cheered each other on. Surrey-based Duette Anderson brought home for BC the 2017 Mompreneur® Award of Merit for her Send Out Cards business.
True to its inclusive vision, Mompreneurs® honours ALL women, embracing women across the rainbow of age, race, culture, sexual orientation, SES, and gender identity. In fact, Canada may be the first country in the world to honour a trans Mompreneurs® with a Top Finalist Award (Michelle Emson – Ontario). As Canadians, we have a great deal to be proud of.
Anyone can join this inclusive community of women at absolutely no cost. You are not even required to have any children to be a member. This is an organization that is about women supporting women in an environment where vulnerability is treated as the source of power and possibility that in actuality it is. We are in this together. No one needs to feel left behind.
Ask Theresa Nicassio PhD questions about health, psychology, life, food, parenting, wellness and whatever else you need advice on, by emailing her at Theresa@TheresaNicassio.com, with “BECAUSE YOU ASKED” in the subject heading. Feel free to sign your submission with a pseudonym of your choice (e.g. “Sleepless in Seattle”).