Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Your Message to the World

“ Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes—goodwill among men and peace on earth.”  ~ Albert Einstein.

What is it you have to say? What is on your heart? Why are you here? All of these questions point to your purpose, your passion, your service to the world. 

Three years ago I embarked on a little experiment I created for myself. I started the Happy Healthy You! podcast in an effort to discipline myself with a daunting weekly deadline and hone some deeper interviewing skills. 

“The Goddess is in the questions."    ~~Gloria Steinem

Where did this start? I suppose it started with my interview with Gloria Steinem. Back when I was fresh out of college I was working in public relations and had the opportunity to work with Gloria on a promotion and fund raiser for the Ms. Foundation for Education and Communication. Gloria was great. When I made the call to her office to ask if she was interested in participating, I got an immediate and resounding “yes!” The next day I found myself sitting in her office at Ms Magazine in New York City as she went through her rolodex to find a celebrity to join us for our promo. First she called Alan Alda. He was busy the day of our event so she next contacted Loretta Swit, “Hot Lips Houlihan” from the hit show Mash. She was in. In seven days we created an event that brought more women into the doors of Freestate Raceway in Laurel, Maryland where I worked. The regular customers didn't know what hit them that day as feminists from the area flocked through the gates to see Gloria Steinem and Loretta Swit ride in a sulky behind a racehorse, competing for charity. Gloria writes about this in her new book, My Life on the Road, and even mentions my name on page 196. She uses my married name of Bowman (my maiden name is Thompson) but that’s OK. I love her.

I write about this event because back in 1982 when my girl Gloria and I worked together we were able to raise some needed money for the new Ms. Foundation which helped women and girls with educational pursuits and promoted advocacy for women. Though we only had seven days to prepare and promote, the promotion was a success and Gloria promised that if I ever needed a favor, she was there for me. What? Crazy fun stuff happens in life. Thirty years later my producer and friend Scott Morgan and I were working on another project and looking for people to interview and I recalled Gloria’s promise. I sent a quick email to request an interview and again she responded with a resounding “yes!” 


Although my project with Scott didn’t pan out as planned, Interviewing Gloria inspired me to create the Happy Healthy You! podcast. You never know where one thing or another will lead. The thing I learned from GS is just to say “yes” and go from there. One step at a time, things unfold almost magically when we do this. 


“Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.”
        ~~Joseph Campbell

Like Gloria Steinem and even little ol’ me, we all have a message to speak to the world. It can be large or small, quiet or loud. I have learned so much from the many people I have interviewed on the Happy Healthy You! podcast, some of them famous and some of them not so much. The common theme among them all is that they use their voices to share their special gift with others unapologetically.

Many people I spoke with, like Mary Sidwani, PhD went through traumatic life changing events. Others were healers and helpers like the woman who shared my name, Connie Bowman. She brought me to tears with her story of her struggle with addiction and her fierce but tender love for her pit bulls whom she is on a mission to protect. About halfway through the three years, I decided to share my own story with the world and my book Back to Happy was written. I felt vulnerable sharing my grief and loss with others but was bolstered by the many brave guests who spoke to me on the podcast.


In retrospect, I am pleased with the Happy Healthy You! experiment. I was able to get out a weekly show which is quite a bit of work. Creating this discipline has spilled into other areas of my life such as meditating every day, eating better and even becoming a yoga teacher. 

A lot can happen when we use our voices. We need to say “yes”. We need to share our stories with others. In doing so, we not only can help others but we can also open doors for ourselves we never expected to open.

Namaste friends and thanks for listening!

XO,
Connie