Here’s what we’re talking about this week: A mixed-gender monument

Last week, the first group of women graduated from the United States Army infantry training last week, a true milestone for our country. As The New York Times reported, The Army sought to play down the mixed-gender monument, as Lt. Col Sam Edwards stated, “It’s business as usual.” With no gender exceptions made for infantry boot camp, The Army has developed gender-neutral performance standards in recent years. But some females view the achievement differently. One drill sergeant pulled aside a group of female privates to let them know they we’re making history. “This is a big deal,” she proclaimed.

Here are a few other things we’ve been chatting about this week:

  • In lieu of the tragic stabbing Friday in Portland, Oregon, we were moved by Mayor Ted Wheeler’s words about the two victims of the terrible hate crime. “Their actions were brave and selfless, and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all. They are heroes.”
  • Take a look at these moving photos from across the nation of American’s paying tribute and respect to our country’s service members yesterday.
  • The Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness or would on or after September 11th. Join us in giving back to these warriors, their families and their caregivers by clicking here.

Here’s What We’re Talking About This Week: Cheers to you, Mom

The word ‘Mom’ can hold a variety of meanings to us all. Whether Mom represented the woman who brought you into this world, the person who gave you unconditional love & friendship throughout your life, the woman who comforted you through your darkest times, or the one who believed in your biggest dreams, Mom holds a special place in all of our hearts. This week we are filled with gratitude, love and appreciation for all of the moms in our lives. And what better way to celebrate our leading ladies than by making them smile with one of these 25 hysterical Mother’s Day cards.

Here are a few other things we’ve been chatting about this week:

  • Emma Watson, Dylan Minnette and volunteers across New York City’s boroughs are leaving Books on the Subway in hopes you’ll pick one up, take a read and share it with another curious person. We love this project!
  • We’re exploring our H-Spot this week. Want to join in on the fun? Check out this interesting piece on what the female pursuit of happiness looks like.
  • We just signed the Pledge of Liberation, centered on the belief that none of us are free until all of us are free. We’re in this together – so join us by signing here.

Here’s What We’re Talking About This Week: Making Moves For Climate Change

This past Saturday, we joined more than 300,000 people in Washington, DC (and across the country) for the People’s Climate Movement – a demonstration of unity for jobs, justice, and climate action. The demonstration’s organizers casted a wide net to convey that climate change is deeply interwoven with traditional social justice issues like racial, gender and economic inequality. Much like the Women’s March, the signs were brilliant and the vibe was electric. Our favorite part was when the front of the march reached the White House, all 300K people sat down and pounded their chests or clapped their hands to symbolize one collective beating heart – it was a magical moment. Take a look at these highlights from the movement and the picture of our favorite sign below. If you participated, share your story with us here!

Here are a few other things we’ve been chatting about this week:

  • If you’re a huge fan of Aziz Ansari like we are, we think you’ll be interested in this article on why his comedy ultimately went political.
  • Avant-Garde is often used to define new or experimental concepts, especially in the arts. At Monday night’s Met Gala, the avant-garde theme was in full force, and we loved the bold & daring looks.
  • Water has the power: to break the cycle of poverty, to protect and save lives, and to make a bright future possible. Find out here how you can put the power of water into the hands of those in need.

The Question That Shaped It All

Last month, we read an inspiring On Being column by Courtney E. Martin about the very first ‘big’ question she asked in life that got her thinking on her own. It was the first big question she posed to tackle life’s challenges as a child, and through the years to follow. Whether consciously or not, this question has defined the choices and decisions she’s made throughout her life.

This prompt sparked a fascinating group discussion with friends and colleagues about what our first big questions were. For a friend who liked to push the limits, yet grew up with very strict parents, she questioned, ‘But why?’ when the answer was no. For the youngest, often overshadowed sibling of five, a colleague remembered asking ‘How can my voice be heard?’ Witnessing her parents go through a messy divorce, a friend often questioned, ‘Why is it so difficult to tell the truth?’

For Courtney, she uncovered that to some degree, she’s always asked ‘How can we wake up from our delusions of perfection?’ These big questions have shaped the stories of our lives, and we can’t wait to hear yours. What was your first big question? Send them to us at togetherliveteam@gmail.com.

Here’s What Were Talking About This Week: The Girls of our Generation 

Sunday night marked the end of an era for fans of the hit TV show Girls, a ‘dramedy’ created by Lena Dunham about four 20-something women in Brooklyn, New York. Through storylines touching on everything from the uncomfortable and chaotic reality of sex, to post-collegiate social struggles, to gender politics, Girls explored real issues in a raw and unconventional way. Whether or not you followed along with Hannah Horvath’s journey, the series tested social limits and started new conversations. We’re sad to see it end, but hope to see a rise of more unconventional stories on TV.

Here are a few other things we’ve been chatting about this week:

  • We’re incredibly inspired by Troop 6000, the first New York City Girl Scout troop solely for homeless girls. In recent interviews, the girls talked about what they want to be when they grow up; check out their aspirations here.
  • Curious about how to bridge the gap between being an amateur to a professional? Take a look at these seven things you could do differently to achieve your dreams.
  • It’s a beautiful time of year to get outdoors and get involved. Find out how you can help care for our national parks by volunteering with the National Park Service. Click here to get started or find a park near you.

Here’s What We’re Talking About This Week

Researchers believe that the extent to which we can generate positive emotions, even in the midst of life’s daily stresses, can limit our risk for a variety of health problems. Dr. Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, believes that taking the time to learn the skills to self-generate positive emotions can help us become healthier and more resilient versions of ourselves. Check out these tips for how to see the glass half-full more often.

 

Here are a few other things we’ve been chatting about this week:

  • At the Women in the World Summit last week, Hilary Clinton sat down for his first public interview since the election. She tackled a variety of topics including her post-election emotions, Donald Trump’s presidency and women’s rights around the world. Take a look at the highlight’s here.
  • We’re boosting our brainpower this week with these 21 smartphone games to help keep us entertained during our commute. Not a gamer? Send us your favorite ways to stay engaged to & from the office at togetherliveteam@gmail.com.
  • Your right to vote is important. Ahead of upcoming local, state and special elections, make sure your voice is heard by checking on your voter registration status and marking your calendars for key upcoming dates.

 

This is 50: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh on how she’s following the breadcrumbs of her life toward her next chapter

Together founder Jennifer Rudolph Walsh on how she continues to serve her purpose-driven mission.

Turning 50 on Valentine’s Day was all kinds of awesome. My grandfather always told me that the 50’s was the decade of great reward for people who did the hard work in their 30’s and 40’s. I always held that promise out like a beacon of light as I did the hard work during those decades.

In my 30’s, I built a family, which my heart beats for, and I dedicated myself to the work of bringing people’s stories into the world in the biggest, most impactful way possible. And I tried as hard as I could every day to be of service. I literally used to tear up watching Thomas the Train with my youngest son Wyatt because, like Thomas, I just hoped to be a useful engine. I wanted to leave my mark on the world but if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what my mark was.

In my 40’s, I worked just as hard but it began to feel lighter. I learned to breathe through meditation. I learned the power of saying no and the importance of prioritizing what matters. I let go of people and things that made me feel small. I judged less and listened more. I began to ask more questions and worry less about the answers. I felt the power of my positive thinking to actually manifest the things I wished for. The more I believed, the more things happened; a beautiful, virtuous cycle. I still gave way to negative thinking or obsessive rumination, but I learned to recover faster, turn the page, and forgive myself for slipping backwards. The more I forgave myself for my humanity, the easier it became to forgive others for theirs.

In the last year of my 40’s, we launched the Together Tour, gathering 15,000 women across the country to use the power of storytelling to find purpose and take community-minded social action. For me it was proof positive that anything is possible when you surround yourself with amazing people and believe in the magic of the universe, which is designed to help you live your purpose, and along the way, help you to make even your wildest dreams come true.

As I mentioned, my purpose wasn’t always clear to me. I had to follow the breadcrumbs of my life to point me in the right direction. Once I realized that I’m at my best when I’m using the power of storytelling to shine the light forward so others feel elevated, healed, less alone, and inspired to action, I dedicated the rest of my life to only doing things that serve my purpose-driven mission. Miraculously, the rest fell away and all the right people appeared. It’s a work in progress, of course, and I feel delighted to have the opportunity to keep growing and stretching. Like a great mystery novel, the fun is not getting to the end but instead living inside the thrill of the pages. Something tells me my Grandfather had this exactly right.

Why We Can’t Live Without Our Non-Negotiables

Around the office recently we’ve been talking about Seane Corn’s ‘non-negotiables’ that she shared with us on stage at the Together Tour last year –the six things she commits to each and every day to bring her best self into the world.

In tough times, it’s incredibly easy to feel inadequate, overwhelmed and burnt out. Our bodies are accustomed to shutting down and withdrawing, and we often seek substances as a way to change how we feel. But what has worked for Seane is sustainability and commitment.

Our Together team is also committed; to ourselves, and to each other. We’ve given a lot of thought to our own non-negotiables. Take a look below at what keeps us happy, healthy and hopeful. And we’d love to hear yours! Send them our way at togetherliveteam@gmail.com.

Maggie – Director of Brand Strategy

  • Sleep. If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I’m truly not a person the next day. I won’t sacrifice my sleep for anything! This is my hard and fast rule of self-care.
  • Therapy. Sometimes you’ve just gotta talk it out. I think a lot of us are taught to sweep the tough stuff under the rug and run away from heartbreak. But running towards it instead is the only way I know how to get through it. It also always feels like I’m doing my future self a solid.
  • Writing. The more I write the more I know what I’m trying to say. Putting pen to paper keeps me centered and helps me figure out where I stand on certain things.
  • Drink water. Easy to do, but easy to forget.
  • Good peeps. Being around my friends and family is the most reliable and best medicine. It’s an instant cure all. But I’ve learned the hard way that it’s about quality over quantity – you have to let go of the things and the people that don’t serve you.
  • IDGAF. Sitting on the sidelines doesn’t feel good anymore. March, write, call, scream and shout. It’s time to go the mattresses. (I’ve never seen The Godfather. This is, obviously, a You’ve Got Mail reference).

Jamie – Community Manager

  •  Early-morning routine. Mornings are when I have my precious ‘me’ time. Before I head to the office, I exercise, have coffee & breakfast and read the news. An early start helps me clear my head and stay more focused & energized throughout the day.
  • Well-balanced diet. I’m a big foodie – I love to cook almost as much as I love trying new restaurants and dishes. There are very few foods I won’t eat or try at least once – but portions are key. I love the way my body feels when it’s fueled with healthy foods – but I’ll never say no to a bite of an extra-fudgy brownie or juicy cheeseburger.
  • Exercise. From a casual jog to the two marathons I’ve completed, I’ve always found running to be one of the most calming activities. I also love the fun & competitive aspects of group classes – anything from cycling to yoga to Tabata to Pilates.  No matter the exercise, I try to keep active five times per week.
  • Affection. I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. But when you see the ones you love continuously get knocked down, it’s hard to keep convincing yourself of that. The universe is funny that way. I’m never guaranteed another day with the people I love the most. So I’ve made a point to tell them how I feel, even with the simplest of texts or shortest of phone calls, each and every day.

Caitlin –Director of Operations

  •  Clean eating. In the last few months I’ve shifted to eating a plant based diet. In a typical Western diet, food = pleasure, so we treat mealtime as our tri-daily dopamine hang. But for a moment, let’s put a pin in that and consider another view – that food is medicine. I KNOW, WHAT FUN? But before you hurl yourself into traffic, consider the idea that you ultimately won’t need to “work” (exercise excessively, take a million pills, many visits to specialist doctors etc.) as hard to be healthful, if every few hours you feed your body with medicine instead of those feel good chemicals that ultimately leave you feeling depleted.
  • Sleep. I don’t mess around with sleep.  You know how sometimes your friends are all “Hey wanna hang at some house this weekend where you may be sleeping on a kitchen floor, and I don’t think there’s extra pillows? But it’s ok because life is about adventures right! You coming?? Cait..?” No sir. No I will not be attending. Sleep is my #1 pal. And at this point in my life I know what it takes for me to get it and I don’t compromise that, even for your kitchen floor adventure weekend. Every day your bod gets filled up with toxins, and when you sleep it finally has a ‘lil downtime to clear them out. To get good sleep, I turn my phone off and stop scrolling the internets around 9, and then I watch or read something funny and light-hearted (see “Lolz”). Also, I’ve been reading about how the most important hours of sleep are 11-1am, so I’m trying to get to bed by 10:45ish.
  • Exercise. I’m all about helping my body expel toxins. Working out has always been a part of my life, but something that’s shifted my view for the better was learning that exercise and sweating is one of the most important ways your body rids itself of toxins. This has made it feel like less of a chore. Previously, if I had to choose between more sleep and exercise, sleep would win because I thought sleep=health, and exercise=vanity with a side of health. But now I hold the two with the same regard.
  • Lolz. Just about all of the media I consume is comedy. Books, TV, podcasts etc., my MO is I’m either learning or laughing because life is dramatic enough on its own, I don’t need to drown myself in someone’s made-up garbage problems. I loved how Seane Corn included joy as one of her non-negotiables, because it’s something I’m trying to be more intentional about. But one thing I’ve always been good about is making sure every day I consume some content that makes me laugh.

Let the Madness Begin

For some avid sports fans, March Madness is the most wonderful time of the year. The single-elimination tournament between 68 college teams yields unlikely heroes, unimaginable upsets and unparalleled joy to the players, teams and fans alike.

But it’s not the game-winning buzzer shots or the success of our brackets that we look forward to this year. It’s the passion and soul that’s poured into these games that really warms our hearts. It’s the unique bond we form with coworkers competing in the office pool. It’s the sense of camaraderie we experience rooting for our alma mater. And it’s the admiration we have for the college athletes who dedicate everything they’ve got for the love of the game.

Our Together team can’t wait to watch UConn’s women’s basketball team in this year’s tournament. The Huskies have won 107 consecutive games and will be seeking their fifth consecutive, and 12th overall, NCAA title this year. These girls are on fire.

Here’s What We’re Talking About This Week

Peaceful and Powerful. Here are a few things on our mind this week.

Yesterday we joined together in honor of International Women’s Day to act towards a more inclusive, gender-equal world. Why did we strike? Because we believe in gender justice, in racial justice, and in economic justice. Caregiving and unpaid work is largely devalued by our economic structure and we’re taking action to change that. Did you participate in #ADayWithoutAWoman? Share your reasons why by emailing us at togetherliveteam@gmail.com.

Here are a few other things we’ve been chatting about this week:

  • Music offers a way to publicly share what is often so personal. We’re so inspired by all of the talented musicians who entered the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest. Check out the entries here—your ears will thank us.
  • Vogue is celebrating the extraordinary diversity of style, enterprise and values that define American women today with these breathtaking photographs of leading ladies from coast to coast.
  • We’ve been taking action every 10 days. Get notified how and when to join us by signing up here.