Brighten Your Light

In this inspiring essay, one of our favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, reminds us that anyone can be the light at any moment. You don’t have to be a spiritual leader, power player or an influencer to make your corner of the world a little bit brighter. 

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

  • There’s nothing better than curling up on the beach and immersing yourself in a good book. If you’re on the hunt for a great beach book for the hot weekends in July, click here for a complete guide to picking your perfect summer-read.
  • Whether it’s through yoga practices or conventional therapy, body-mind maintenance is essential. Singer and songwriter Katy Perry recently shared her therapeutic habits in this live-streamed session.
  • This week’s 4th of July holiday reminds of the strength and courage of the soldiers who have fought for our country. To provide support to the families of these brave men and women, learn more about The American Fallen Soldiers Project here.

The Colors of Pride

Citizens of the world celebrated individuality, love and pride this month in honor of the LGBTQ community.  We were thrilled to see these landmarks from around the world take part in the celebrations. 

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

  • Artist Benjamin Von Wong took on the challenge of activism through art. His mission? To address ocean pollution in a way that forced people to listen – and he did so beautifully.
  • Working Mom, Sarah Treem, opens up about the consistent struggle of maintaining two full-time jobs – acting and motherhood. Get an inside look on how she’s juggling her relationships (new and old), raising her children, and being nominated for a Golden Globe.
  • We’re truly moved by the Women On Wings initiative to jump-start the careers of women in rural India, providing them with the skills to become autonomous, productive and successful. Find out more about their mission here.

Leaders of the Arts

Some of our Together team had the privilege of attending last week’s Inaugural Performing Arts Hall of Fame Ceremony that honored the artists and leaders who have shaped performing arts across the globe. Among the many innovators recognized at the event was the remarkable singer and actress Audra McDonald. Described as an unforgettable performer with a gift for dramatic truth telling, Audra received a 2016 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

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

  • As part of Billboard’s 30 Days of Pride initiative, they’ve asked LGBTQ stars to create playlists showcasing what pride means to them. We can’t get enough of Miss Lawrence’s playlist.
  • Many of us don’t get enough sleep. But is your weekend social schedule causing you to suffer from ‘social jet lag’?
  • We want to help children around the country enjoy their summer days safely so we’re donating our time to Hands In 4 Youth. Join in on the fun here.

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.