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Wellness
Published Monday Mar 15, 2021 by Bree Lewis

These Are the Most Inspirational Women of All Time, According to Our Mindbody Employees

Personal Growth

I’m sure, by now, many of us have heard that rather infamous quote that’s been circulating around. Although the author of the quote is not mentioned, it has still wildly resonated within our hearts and sparked inspiration in many of us. It says, “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” Why do those four short sentences carry such significance to us? I believe it’s because when it comes to knowing strong women, we don’t have to look far to find them.  

Whether it’s the women who’ve raised us, the women before us, or the women around us—we can all find a woman that we admire who has also directly influenced the trajectories of our lives. So, in honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating strong women—throughout history and in the modern-day – who inspire and teach us.  

We asked our employees to tell us about these women. Here’s what they said:  

Regina Wallace-Jones, Senior Vice President, Insight and Innovation - Stacey Abrams 

I take in a book a week, but a book that I have appreciated most recently is “Lead from the Outside” by Stacey Abrams. She has appeared for me as a new model leader that is part public servant, part executive, part philanthropist, part community organizer and part matriarch. 

Most of us try hard to place people in buckets. And what is surprising and refreshing about this book, and her work in general, is that it’s impossible to put it in any existing bucket. By using all her leadership identities, she has been successful in driving toward outcomes that many thought to be impossible. This is inspiring for me because I am certain that my leadership path is divergent and that I often call on a broad range of energies to achieve results. I used to think I was an outlier, and maybe I am. But Stacey affirms that if I am an outlier, I’m not the only one. 

Diane Hahn, Associate User Researcher - Naomi Osaka 

 I’m inspired by Naomi Osaka because of her amazing character and the way she uses her platform to stand up and speak out about what she believes in. She has taught me what it looks like to have physical, mental, and emotional strength both on and off the tennis court. - Diane Dah-Young Hahn 

Nicole Ely, QA Analyst - Surya Bonaly 

My biggest inspiration has always been Surya Bonaly. I was always fascinated by ice skating when I was a child, but seeing a beautiful, graceful, dark-skinned woman pioneering in the space always thrilled me. Her ability to perform elements that no one else could and make them look effortless, whether judges awarded her points for them or not, drove me to do my best, whether I was recognized for my effort or not. Just like Surya, my success is mine and no one can take it from me or dull the shine. 

Hema Prakash, Vice President & Managing Dir., Asia Pacific - Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What Ruth has done to foster and ensure representation, resonated with me at an incredibly early age. I learnt from her that each of us have a role to play in the improvement of our communities and society at large. Her public service is akin to so many, however, her gender allowed her to open dialogue and change laws that will continue to cause positive ripples for decades ahead the world over. I would like to see a world where our children go about their day with equity for all, and without limiting beliefs, to finally be at one with our fellow humans regardless of gender and creed. 

Bridget Finegan, Partner Program Manager – Her grandmother, Eileen Rigby 

There are many women to admire throughout history, and who are making history today. The most directly influential to me was my grandmother. A member of the first nursing class graduating Boston College, an Army Lieutenant during World War 2, and mother of seven; I admire her confidence and tenacious spirit. From the importance of being close to family, to the difference between passing judgement and setting personal boundaries, or how to make chocolate cookies – she taught me almost everything I know about the person I hope to be. 

Judy Tran, Onboarding Specialist – Her mom, Lean Tran 

My mom inspires me daily. She is very caring and so selfless. She raised 5 children on her own while my dad commuted to work in the Silicon Valley. She always chooses her children. She's taught me patience, to always try your hardest, and to pick yourself up and try again if things do not work out. 

Ivonne Smith, Manager, Strategic Accounts Marketing - Maya Angelou 

When I think of all the amazing women throughout history (and there so many!), one who comes to mind is Maya Angelou. Her civil rights activism, along with her overall tenacity for optimism and hope throughout her life continues to inspire me each day. My favorite quote “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  is framed on my office wall as a reminder to see past the surface of what we see, hear and do and look deeper to understand, listen and connect with others both personally and professionally. 

Emily Swall, QA Engineer – Jane Fonda, Laverne Cox, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Maya Angelou 

It’s hard to choose just one. Jane Fonda and her environmental activism is inspiring. Not many celebrities are willing to go to jail for their activism. Laverne Cox has been so strong and vocal in her representation of Black trans women. 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg is also a favorite. I never got to meet her but her strength, and determination to make our nation a more equal one has always been an inspiration. 

I had an opportunity to see Maya Angelou speak during my first year of college, and she really changed my life.  She made me see that there was a lot of injustice in the world that I wasn’t paying attention to, and she was the reason that I decided I wanted to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  

Dani Schenone, Product Marketing Manager - Debora Burgard, PhD, FAED 

Debora Burgard, PhD, FAED (otherwise known as Dr. Deb) inspires me endlessly with her decades of body activism and work as a psychologist + eating disorder specialist. I admire her tenacity and perseverance in fighting for representation of marginalized communities within the movement. Her lessons are infinite! 

Jamaica Wells, Supervisor, Onboarding - Ava Duvernay 

A woman who inspires me is Ava Duvernay. She is a powerhouse in the movie industry as the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe and the first African American woman to win the best director prize at the Sundance Film festival in 2012. As a community leader she uses her talents to tell the stories of the black experience and uplift the voices of black filmmakers. She is also completely unapologetic in her fight for inclusion and diversity for women in the director's seat by allowing up-and-coming female directors to direct episodes of one of my favorite TV shows Queen Sugar. Ava is a living example of how creating an environment for women to work together and be seen with the same equity, can spark a positive change. 

Yuki Daniel, Executive Assistant – Her sister, Maki Daniel  

I was trying to be thoughtful of who I admired (and not too cliche) and it came to me. Of course, it's my younger sister! Her name is Maki and although she isn't as well-known as Michelle Obama or Princess Diana, she's affected my life in ways I can't even name. She's the most thoughtful, resilient, purposeful, and intentional person I know. And whenever I've wavered on anything, all I need is her advice to know I'm headed in the right direction. She's 7 years younger than me but she teaches me so much about the kind of person I hope to be. 

Whitney Lewis, Senior Manager, Workplace Safety & Security - Jacinda Ardern 

I’m inspired by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. I was first so impressed with her when she brought her newborn with her to The UN General Assembly. I used to go with my principal there every year in my past life, and I was so moved by the example she showed for working women, and hoped she opened a lot of men’s eyes. Prime Minister Ardern is proof that in countries where there is a woman leader, the response to Covid has been more effective. She is a genuine leader that stresses solidarity and is a shining example for all leaders everywhere. 

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!
shanila sattar
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Self-care
Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Wellness

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.

 

Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

 

About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar