eWomen Network: Heart-centered Events for Aware Business Goddesses

eWomen Network, the premier women’s networking group in North America understands the  need for an empowered community of women to change the world. eWomen strives to educate women to reach their highest potential by setting heart-centered goals.

Thursday July 24:

Master Your Systems: Five Strategies to Make More Money, Find More Time and Have More Fun

eWomen Network invites you to an “Accelerated Networking Luncheon” here at the powerhouse Knoxville chapter where you will have the opportunity to share about your business with other passionate business owners, successful entrepreneurs, and visionary women.

Every  goddess needs three objectives in order to manifest success:

  • Make more money with less effort
  • Skyrocket your productivity
  • Wake up each day feeling inspired and alive

At this luncheon you will not only learn these elements from our esteemed keynote, Laura Gisborne, you will be able to connect with incredible women like you and begin fostering the greatest business relationships of your life.

About Keynote: Laura Gisborne











Laura Gisborne is passionately dedicated to co-operative entrepreneurism—having designed and built nine businesses, the first when she was just 23 years old. Laura’s business wisdom is supported by 20 years of successful entrepreneurial endeavors ranging from six- figure boutique businesses to multi-million dollar corporations. The founder of Powered With Passion, Laura’s systematic business approach empowers entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to actualize their dreams with ease and grace. Laura’s expertise is helping entrepreneurs discover exactly what their core values and strengths are to create the congruency of personal values with their professional expression.

Facilitated by: Rebecca Miller










Executive Managing Director
for Knoxville


Business Consulting and Entrepreneurial Training with Rebecca Speaking


In addition to business training, Rebecca is also the Executive Managing Director for the Knoxville, TN Chapter of eWomen Network. She facilitates three networking events monthly and invites you to be a guest!

Rebecca has a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Maryville College. She was a financial advisor and stockbroker for seven years with Hilliard Lyons and Morgan Keegan. Rebecca was the Executive Managing Director for the Portland, Oregon Chapter of eWomen Network, a premier International business networking group. She hosted over sixty networking events in two years and has facilitated dozens of seminars. She shares her expertise regularly as an inspirational and educational speaker.


Register today for an event unlike any other!


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Activate Your Life: Show, Don’t Tell



I remember as a student in writing class this directive was drilled into my head: Show don’t tell. Over and over I’d get papers handed back to me with red marks screaming it at me. I hated that teacher with the keen passion that only a young student can express. But those words held far more wisdom beyond writing in junior high school.

Those words have become a life lesson for me. They have taught me that I could tell you all day long about the me I want you to see. I could wave my fancy feathered fan in front of my naked body teasing you with glimpses of who I really am. I could rip off my spiritual bindings, groaning with effort and continued fear that I’ll not be perceived as blameless as I wish.

Show me who you are.

Don’t just tell me with clever slogans because those are the thoughts of someone else. Using a lack authenticity  to describe oneself  limits a person to the level of mediocrity, labels, and acceptance of someone else’s beliefs.

Who are you quoting?

I don’t want to be remembered with someone else’s words on my lips. My own actions are a reflection of my spirit. I do not intentionally set out to change the world, it just happens because my intent is  like a fire, fully engaged in whatever I’m doing. I require blazes of activity to spark up via conversations, actions, laughter, outrage towards injustice, or by committing random acts of kindness. I want to be remembered as someone who mattered to someone else as much as I matter to me.

I’d like for someone to make a graphic about me that reads, Man, if only you’d known her. She was a fireball like none other. Even though she gave up a lot, she wasn’t a quitter. She’d fight to the bitter end for whatever she believed in and without even realizing it, you’d be right there with her. She was trustworthy in action and word.

We’re all in this together.

Human to human, elbow to elbow, what shall we do? What beliefs do you wish to leave as your legacy? What can you give to the world that is unique to solely you?  Bring that gift to the table of manifestation as a dish to pass to along in your community. Fan out your peacock tail with glorious display because you’re necessary, valuable, and worth more than a few words with a pretty picture attempting to capture your essence. Go on, show all of us, don’t just tell us who you are. We’re waiting.

Resistance is Futile. Change, Gonna Come.

I am in the most hermetic phase of the summer now.

The temperatures in Phoenix are in the triple digits, tempers flare, cars overheat, dust storms roll through. My tendency at this time of year is to curl up in bed with a good book and an iced coffee, and wait out the heat. I teach my online summer course. I exercise,  cook, do course prep for fall. I clean out my closets. I write. In the dark, cool womb of my house, my animals gather in a semi-circle around me and we enjoy our sloth together, tucked in and safe from the chaos of the outside world.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t care what’s going on. I do. In fact, I think I care too much. My heart is too kind. I often feel much too fragile to navigate the ugliness and difficulty that has become the common thread of contemporary life. I’ve realized that some battles are not worth the time or energy they take. The older I get the more I understand that I must channel my time and energy into things that I want to see happen.

Things that disturb me, upset me, or cause my blood pressure to rise, are things I actively avoid. You see, no matter how bad I feel about poverty, injustice, hunger, killing or war — focusing on them actually entrenches them —  rather than makes them better. My feeling bad about the horror and strife and hatred in the world will not make those things disappear. I can never feel bad enough to make the world feel good as a result.

Change the way you see the world, and the world you see will change.

Let’s face it: the outside world is ablaze with recrimination and hatred right now. As a result, I don’t watch anything on the news – not because I don’t think the war in Gaza is a horrible crime against humanity or that devastating gun violence, murder, and domestic abuse doesn’t exist.  I know what’s out there. I don’t watch because those issues don’t deserve even one fraction of a fraction of a fraction of my attention or time. They’re a symptom of what’s tearing this world up: inhumanity toward all living creatures. The perpetrators lack any semblance of empathy or care or feeling for others. And because I do not want to give energy to things I do not want to see more of, I am doing my level best to put my focus on things that are actually fostering change.

Fighting against things doesn’t change things.  

Working toward things changes things. Constructive dialogue, collaboration and cooperation change things. That’s not just semantics. The energetic signature of something you are opposed to is completely different than something you actively support. One mindset traps the energy in regret, remorse and resistance. The other frees the energy to move in the direction you want to go.

What you resist, persists.

So, if you wonder why I am here at my keyboard rather than out on the street corner holding an angry sign, don’t misconstrue my intentions or my commitment to change.

There is much I am outraged over and much I want to see change. I am for equality, kindness, joy, education, the social safety net, and health care for all citizens. I am for my taxes going to helping the least among us. I want to see women paid on par with men. I want to see racism disappear. I want marriage equality for everyone who loves another person and wants to get married. I want our laws to protect us all — not just a select few.

I want to close our prisons and open more schools. I want us to spend $40K on each student in school instead of spending that amount incarcerating people who’ve been thrown away. Did you know that more African American men are currently in jail than were held in slavery?

I want us to embrace common sense and get guns out of the hands of the criminally insane.

I want a sustainable future, a clean environment, a warm place to rest. I want to trust the food I am eating hasn’t been showered in enough pesticides to kill me. I want to walk into the future with collaborative, kindred spirits who are ready to build a better world.

There is no time left to waste on pettiness or mind games.

What you focus on, increases.  

What are you going to do to make a change? We cannot transform our lives using the same mindset that created the status quo.

We’re living in a whole new paradigm. Anything’s possible.

And what about those among us who are hellbent on taking the world backwards?

They won’t win their fight against progress, kindness, mercy and care. Resistance is, indeed, futile.

So, if you are like me, protect your light.

We’ll need it for the road ahead.

{Book Excerpt} Start in The Dark: The Art of Human Error


You fucked up. You didn’t expect to either. You thought everything was going to be perfect because after all, of course, you are human. If you are anything like me, when you think of your mistakes, the misspoken words, the last conversations that led to broken relationships and fissures in the souls of others, you feel guilty. When you read this book, you will recognize parts of yourself that you wished had not been uncovered. Little shreds of your sense of self-confidence in your decision making skills erode every time you blame yourself. Let the sting fade from your cheeks. Turn off the playback of all the mistakes you remembered just now. It’s going to be alright.

Stop wasting your time thinking about the possibility of different events, what could have gone better. Your mind will attempt to rationalize that you cannot let go of information on your greatest disaster. People in robes will tell you the moral effect of your transgressions. Books may tell you how to alleviate your struggle and maximize your power while other philosophies will postulate that you were never actually here, and thus the mistake never happened. None of this eases the isolation and sorrow that floods our veins when we know we have done less than our best and it has affected someone else.

Our mistakes carry so much weight that we have created special apparatuses to carry them. Emotional baggage is our psyche trying to categorize, and therefore make sense of all of our failings, deeming them as psychological biohazards to be placed in safety containment and dropped off at the nearest landfill.  The problem lies in the belief that our mistakes are poisonous waste products that have zero ability to transform.

Moralists would argue that this is why the human condition needs a savior. The crux of moralism is in the creation of myth against visceral reality.  Religion is there to tell us what to do with the parts of ourselves that are inherently dirty and wrong as opposed to seeing them as portals of transformation. This bias is why we see sects of western religion as mom and pop novelty operations instead of the collective consciousness and searing truth that we are desirous to consume.

We humans enter into a state of observation upon birth, but it is our biases that get us into trouble. One bias is to believe that we have inherent sin and that our mistakes are a reflection of this soiled state. Because religion is supposed to make civil what is savage within us, we quiet the primal awareness to change; we become weakened by the fear of an invisible force’s displeasure with what is meant to be an individual experience.

We have created prejudices and judgments around all that we believe is a mistake or a perceived weakness in our lives and when we view the world, we begin to see with the same eyes that have determined right and wrong, good and evil. Innocent passers-by along our life path are observed and evaluated according to their level of moral strength.  Gender, race, physical fitness, religious belief, socio-economic status and other human constructs are all fair game in determining levels of supremacy. None of the aforementioned criteria absolve any of us from the greatest of errors; however our greatest errors lie in that we believe that such criteria have the power to perfect us.

So now that we have identified this mind fuck, what are we going to do about it?


#FridayFive: Photography Goddess Mallory Bertrand

Unassuming Portland native, Mallory Bertrand is a dark horse in fashion photography. You wont see her coming until you are destroyed a little inside from the vulnerability and beauty of her work. She deftly pulls unrelated elements of nature and ephemera together to tell a story in one shot. In her own words, Mallory shares how her gift as an artist has changed her perception.

#FF:  What does being an artist mean to you?

MB: Being an artist is everything about me. I have always been involved in art whether it be music, painting, drawing , or photography.  It is me being able to create something no one has seen and making them say wow with a plain canvas and turning it into a vibrant piece of magic.

Art is me.

#FF: How have you developed a relationship with the camera?

MB: I don’t know what I would do without my camera.

 #FF: When was your most fearful moment in your creative process?

MB: My most fearful moment was probably developing my ice queen shoot. I had the vision and was hoping all things would fall into place as we were working against nature.  The goal site was frozen waterfall.  We had to battle ice, snow, freezing water and on top of it all, freezing temps.  Luckily I had the most amazing model who was willing to do what it took to get the shot.


#FF: Where have you seen a difference in your work since you first began?

MB:  the biggest difference is the experience itself.  I have come so far in learning how to use the elements to get the best quality photo. I have always had my own style, but mastering it and learning new things over the years has helped me become a better photographer. 

 #FF: Who inspires you to be the person you are today?

MB: Everyone. I cant say there is just one person. The love amd encouragement I get from the many people I work with inspires me. It Makes me believe I can keep going and keep creating bigger and better.

Are you an emerging creative goddess? submit your story to #FridayFive


Mothering Me: An Ongoing Lesson in Self-Love


In February of this year, I made a decision to leave a relationship that, to put it bluntly, was completely toxic to me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I packed my belongings in my 1999 Honda CR-V, cramming things into whatever nook or cranny I could find (In fact, a few weeks ago a discovered some watercolors and paintbrushes in the glove box still). I loaded everything in my car over two days, and then set off. I was hoping that my sometimes functioning CD player would make the 8-hour trip back home to Knoxville.

When I first arrived in Knoxville, I visited my spiritual mentor who told me during our session that I must “mother myself now.” I am a giver. I give my love indiscriminately to everyone, except myself. By the time I had several failed dates and romantic interests after returning to Knoxville, I decided to take this advice and embark on a radical experiment in self-love and nurturing my own spirit.

I’m 23. “In my prime” as many would say. However, I rarely go out to bars with the intent of going home with someone these days. I’m single by choice for now, and this suits me perfectly. Why? Because for once in my life, I am not completely focusing all my energy on someone else and giving myself time to heal and reacquaint myself with sense of self after a losing that entirely in an unhealthy relationship.

Here’s why and how my ongoing “rebound” with myself after a string of rocky relationships has been the best thing I’ve ever done:

  1. I provide for myself now. In the relationship I left in January, money became leverage in the relationship. Since my move, I’ve learned that I may not have much, but it is my own and that’s beautiful. I pay the rent and utilities for a little house with no roommates. I’m gradually making this house a home through decorating it. I’m trying out new recipes and meal-planning (total old-lady move, but practical). I trim my hedges and sort my recyclables. I have pride that this space is my space – centered towards healing and loving myself.
  2. Getting to know me- Sometimes we can let relationships get the better of our sense of self, particularly those with toxic habits. I’m now well into my rebound with myself and I can safely say that, frankly, I’m my cup tea. I love language. I’m artistic and intelligent. I can be a homebody sometimes. Baking is therapy for me. I will dance to just about anything. I see beauty in the subtle details of life. I am actively reacquainting myself with all aspects of my personality (good and bad. See number 5) and learning to love, accept, and tweak them all.
  3. Freedom to be myself- Who cares if I listen Roger and Hammerstein, switch over to some heavy progressive rock, then finish the playlist off with Gregorian chant? Or if I’d rather stay at home rereading Tolkien one night and dance like a fool to some live music the next? There’s a peaceful feeling in knowing that I can be my wild, wonderful self however I please.
  4. Love, in other forms- Oftentimes, I feel our culture romanticizes romantic love forgetting the importance of other equally beautiful forms of love. I love my friends more than ever. I have a beautiful set of sisters and brothers in spirit who make me laugh, inspire me, encourage me to live life to the fullest, and accept me just the way I am. The same goes for my closest family members. Just as trees absorb nutrients from the soil through their roots, my family has encouraged me in this new period of independence and self-reliance. Then there is what I like to think of the truest form of “free love,” if you will, loving strangers. Engage in beautiful conversations with strangers. Volunteer wherever you feel called to act. Love everyone. There’s something about being open and loving to everyone that encourages chance encounters that might just teach you to love and honor yourself a tad more.
  5. Space to reflect- Over the past few months, I’ve had time reflect on my own flaws and why I keep making the same mistakes in my romantic relationships. While I thought that relationships would fix things like trust-issues and jealousy, I found that they only made things worse.What I came to realize is that, by not letting myself have time to reflect, heal, and love myself between relationships, I was doing myself more harm than good. I wasn’t learning from my mistakes, only repeating them. I now know that to heal yourself and love yourself prepares you to love others in a more complete, beautiful way.
  6. So much time for creative endeavors- I write. I draw. I play music. I dance. I sing. Creativity requires some degree of solitude, and I now have an abundance. As cliché as it my sound, my art is the only lover I choose to keep for the time being.

I’m not sure how long my “rebound” with myself will last, but I’m content to let it last as long as it needs to so that I can fully heal some old wounds. If you garner anything from this post, I hope it’s this – the old adage of you must love yourself before you can truly love others is completely and utterly true. Learning to love yourself, more importantly to see yourself as you truly are – full of foibles and flaws, but of merit and beauty as well, could quite be the most life changing love story you’ll ever have in your life.

Thrive: It’s Time to Stop Playing Small

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness. ~ Les Brown

Stuck in the middle with you.

We’ve all done it. We’ve stayed too long in a job that made us want to poke our eyes out. We’ve latched on and stuck it out with a lover who treated us like crapola, even on a good day.


It seems counter-intuitive.

Why would we want to to make ourselves small? Why would we accept less than all that we deserve?

Playing Small.

Part of it has to do with our sense that we can’t do better, that we can’t stretch or reach for much more than what we see those around us reaching for. We don’t want to be rejected by those we love, so we stay small. We sit in the dark because we’re used to the dark.

And even if that darkness makes us miserable, it is a familiar misery. It is not unknown uncharted territory.

We tell ourselves: We don’t need to push beyond our comfort zone.

Instead, we stay put. We keep ourselves safe.

Or so we think.

But what’s really going on?

We’re settling. We’re surviving. We’re opting for the easy way out.

I don’t know about you, but I want more, much more.

“Some people live in cages with bars built from their own fears and doubts. Some people live in cages with bars built from other people’s fears and doubts; their parents, their friends, their brothers and sisters, their families. Some people live in cages with bars built from the choices others made for them, the circumstances other people imposed upon them. And some people break free.” ― C. JoyBell C.

I want to thrive.

I want a big life. I want to live full throttle, all out. I want an embracing-my-gifts sort of life; not a shrinking, invisible, don’t-mind-me-I-am-a-doormat, life.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~ Maya Angelou

I want to show my light. I want to stand in the center of my life and radiate joy. I want to take up all the space I’m given, and then some.

“We all want to break our orbits, float like a satellite gone wild in space, run the risk of disintegration. We all want to take our lives in our own hands and hurl them out among the stars.” ― David Bottoms

These days, we’ve got a choice to make.

Do we grow or do we stagnate?

Do we maintain the status quo or discover who we could be if we pushed our limits and put the pedal to the metal?

Do we watch the lives of others on Entertainment Tonight or do we opt to watch Orion and Cassiopeia rise in the east from the deep loveliness of our backyard?  

Are we all about the known world or the vast, unlimited universe?

Which box will you check?  

Same-old, same-old?

Or adventurer/hero/scribe/scout?

I know which one I’ll choose.