Goddess Birthday Bash

Remember last week when I told you I had some moments of melancholy about my birthday? Well, I am happy to report that’s over.

As September is my birthday month, I am continuing to have celebrations to ring in my new year.

And I have to tell you that the celebration that I had last Friday was a real filler-upper. Soul fulfilling in such a delicious way. Setting me up in a way that I could not have imagined without having the experience.

It was a co-celebration with Reena Desai, my Goddess Collective co-leader and September 3rd birthday Sister.

Reena put the whole thing together. Even while being over in India on a spiritual dive into Ma, the Divine Feminine and the study of Odissi dance and singing — she pulled off the organization of this party.

I am truly grateful.

 

Guess who? photo by Eva Clay

Guess who? photo by Eva Clay

 

What was so special about this birthday celebration is that it was a celebration to honor the Goddess and Goddesshood in each and every woman who showed up that evening.

We played improv games (led by Reena’s acting teacher), sat in intimate circle, moved, danced, chanted (not your typical Sanskrit chants, but chants with modern feminine sass), and were serenaded with crystals and the most gorgeous sound and resonance of a priestess and her crystal singing bowl.

We even dipped our heads in the crystal singing bowl (something I had never done before).

If you ever get the chance to do that, I highly recommend it. You’ll understand why when you do it.

 

What was also so wonderful about this birthday celebration is that it was grounded in the energy of the Masculine supporting and celebrating the Feminine, as well as the Feminine and Masculine working in partnership.

What do I mean by this?

Well, Reena’s acting teacher happens to be a man. And the singing priestess I mentioned above (with the crystal bowls) is his collaborative partner. And put the two of them together, living their truth and doing their work in the world, as they did at the party, and you get magic!

And so, I found myself feeling super filled up from this experience. Not only was I so deeply honored and nourished by the brilliance of each woman who sat in that circle, I was also charged up by each woman moving, dancing, shaking, and shouting in her own uninhibited way — all in the love and support of the Feminine/Masculine partnership container and the deep power of Mother Nature.

I had forgotten how much I needed this!

And so, I’d like to turn the table to you. Here are some questions I have for you to consider this week:

  • If you could give yourself a mantra, phrase or chant this week to empower you whenever you feel you need a lift, what would it be? (i.e. I am Powerful. I am Mighty. I am Kick-Ass. I am Unstoppable.)
  • What is one of your favorite spots in Mother Nature that you can get to easily this weekend or early next week?
  • What kind of movements is your body longing to do?
  • What kinds of sounds is your body longing to make?

And now here are some assignments:

  1. Make an empowerment mantra or chant for yourself this week, and use it whenever you feel you need a lift.
  2. Make a date with one or a few of your girlfriends and meet at one of your favorite Mother Nature spots that is easy for all of you to get to. Spend at least an hour there connecting with each other and diving into assignments #3 & #4.
  3. Be willing to be daring and move your body in the way it is longing to move. (Preferably you will do this out in Mother Nature with your girlfriends. But if you can’t do assignment #2, then you can do your movement at home.) Spend at least 5 minutes in movement and see what comes. What wants to be expressed through your body?
  4. Either in your Mother Nature spot (if you have some spaciousness to do this) or in the privacy of your home or a friend’s home, allow your body to move as She wants to for a few minutes. After a few minutes, invite any sounds that want to be let free from your body. These may start subtly like a low hum and then grow louder and more distinct as you move, or they could come start out in loud pulses. See what it is for you. Let your voice articulate the sounds that your body is holding onto, whatever they are. Free up space in your body and energize yourself by releasing these sounds aloud. Finish in stillness with a grounding OM and gentle prayer of gratitude for the power of your soul.

See how you feel from doing one, two or all of these assignments, and let me know how it goes.

I’d love to hear from you! (Share your comments and experiences below.)

 

Tabby Biddle is a celebrated women’s leadership coach and well-known voice speaking out for the human rights of women and girls. She is the Co-Director of the Los Angeles Goddess Collective, and is the Creatix of the Goddess Leadership Program, a revolutionary program designed to strengthen and activate the political voices and consciousness of emerging women leaders and amplify their feminine leadership platform for global healing and socio-political change. Over the last seven years, Tabby has written, lectured and given interviews on the topic of the Divine Feminine and the power of a woman’s voice. For inspiration and guidance to strengthen your voice and advance your influence as a feminine leader, visit tabbybiddle.com.

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The Fears of Becoming More Visible

Tabby-Biddle-feminine-leader-fears
I struggled for many, many years coming more forward as a feminine leader. Some of the struggle I understood (what will people think of me? can I hold the space? am I ready for this?), and other parts I did not. I kept spinning and spinning in circles – erasing what I knew and all that I had accomplished already in my life. I did not even notice that I was doing this until a very dear friend (my husband) pointed this out to me. And in that pointing out, I began to really dig into what was happening. And it wasn’t pretty.
But then at least I understood.
I was protecting myself from a long line his-tory where women have been abused, raped, beaten, killed and de-legitimized for speaking their truth. And this still happens today. Sooooo, is it any wonder that we women struggle with coming more forward in our leadership? But the time has come for us to heal these wounds together (as women and men) for the greater good of humanity and our planet. Without feminine leadership, we are an aching world soul.
Ladies, we need your wisdom, your voice and your leadership. Wise women friends, do you struggle with becoming more visible and fully owning your authority as a feminine leader? If so, I invite your comments below and to come join me for my FREE 2-Part call series on July 31 & August 5th, “How to Go From Sideline Sitter to Trailblazing Feminine Changemaker.”
Say YES here:
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Tabby Biddle is a celebrated women’s leadership coach and well-known voice speaking out for the human rights of women and girls. She is the Co-Director of the Los Angeles Goddess Collective, and is the Creatix of the Goddess Leadership Program, a revolutionary program designed to strengthen and activate the political voices and consciousness of emerging women leaders and amplify their feminine leadership platform for global healing and socio-political change. Over the last seven years, Tabby has written, lectured and given interviews on the topic of the Divine Feminine and the power of a woman’s voice. For inspiration and guidance to strengthen your voice and advance your influence as a feminine leader, visit tabbybiddle.com.

 

Hey Women, You are Powerful and Mighty

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I used to be terrified to use my voice as a public speaker. I worried about whether I would sound stupid. If I would freeze up. If people would “get me” and if I would sound like a crazy lady. You remember those witch burnings, right? Tons of FEAR. FEAR. FEAR. But then my dream of trailblazing social and political change for women and girls became much bigger than my fear. It became more POWERFUL. More MIGHTY. More in synch with who I really am.
Do you dream of a world where all women and girls are empowered and ensured their equal human rights? Do you struggle with some of the same fears I did (and at times, still do)? If so, I invite your comments below and to join me for my FREE 2-part call series,“How to Go From Sideline Sitter to Trailblazing Feminine Changemaker,” on July 31st & August 5th. We are makin’ it happen ladies!
Say YES here:

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Tabby Biddle is a celebrated women’s leadership coach and well-known voice speaking out for the human rights of women and girls. She is the Co-Director of the Los Angeles Goddess Collective, and is the Creatix of the Goddess Leadership Program, an revolutionary program designed to strengthen and activate the political voices and consciousness of emerging women leaders and amplify their feminine leadership platform for global healing and socio-political change. Over the last seven years, Tabby has written, lectured and given interviews on the topic of the Divine Feminine and the power of a woman’s voice. For inspiration and guidance to strengthen your voice and advance your influence as a feminine leader, visit tabbybiddle.com.

What if You Let Your Inner Feminine Leader Out to Play?

Tabby-Biddle-Feminine-Leader

I’ve got something exciting to announce! Come and see … www.goddessleadership.com.

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Tabby Biddle is a celebrated women’s leadership coach and well-known voice speaking out for the human rights of women and girls. She is the Co-Director of the Los Angeles Goddess Collective, and is the Creatix of the Goddess Leadership Program, a revolutionary program designed to strengthen and activate the political voices and consciousness of emerging women leaders and amplify their feminine leadership platform for global healing and socio-political change. Over the last seven years, Tabby has written, lectured and given interviews on the topic of the Divine Feminine and the power of a woman’s voice. For inspiration and guidance to strengthen your voice and advance your influence as a feminine leader, visit tabbybiddle.com.

The Grand Fears of a Tortured Heretic

The Grand Fears of the Tortured Heretic.

This is a big deal for me to talk about. I’ve been kind of putting this off over the last couple of weeks because it has felt scary for me to come forward with this, but as usual, my bigger mission pushes me through the fears so I can be of service to you.

The reason why I want to talk to you about this is because I think this is one of those invisible conversations that needs to come out more in the “seen” world.

I know a lot of women — clients, colleagues, friends and myself included — who have suffered in one way or another from trying to come out or come more forward in their visibility and leadership, but for some reason they keep tripping up on it. They come forward. Then they go back. They come forward. Then they go back. Forward. Back. Forward. Back. Like a little turtle going into her shell for safety and retreat. Sound familiar?

I notice for these women that there can be a lot of confusion around what’s going on, and also massive self-judgment. Why do I keep getting stuck? What is wrong with me? Why is this taking me so long? Why am I so scared to become visible and be that feminine leader I know I am meant to be?

If this is all too familiar to you, I invite you to watch the video up top to learn about the truth of what may actually be going on for you, hear about some of my own experience with this, and learn some ways you can move through this so you can come forward in your leadership with more ease and grace … because we are waiting for you!


Tabby-BiddleTabby Biddle is a celebrated women’s leadership coach and well-known voice speaking out for the human rights of women and girls. She is the Co-Director of the Los Angeles Goddess Collective, and is the Founder & Creatix of the Goddess Leadership Program, a cutting-edge program designed to help emerging women leaders activate their political voice and develop their leadership platform for global healing and socio-political change. Over the last seven years, Tabby has written, lectured and given interviews on the topic of the Divine Feminine and the power of a woman’s voice. For tips, inspiration and guidance to strengthen your voice and advance your influence as a feminine leader, sign up here.

Healthcare: It’s a You-and-Me World

LosAngelesForumA line started forming just after midnight Tuesday at the Los Angeles Forum in Inglewood, California by thousands of people hoping to get free medical, dental and vision services being offered courtesy of the non-profit group Remote Area Medical. The people in line were not just the uninsured, but also the insured whose deductibles and co-payments are too high for them to handle.

Whether we are one of the insured or uninsured, the debate over the American health care bill affects us.

I have been listening to the debate astounded by those who are opposing the possibility of health care for all of our citizens. Those who are opposing the bill seem to think that if we provide services for the uninsured, that we will somehow be taking away from them – or, as a number of the protesters have argued, “taking statue-of-libertyaway their America.”  I find some irony in that argument. Isn’t America a country that built itself on this premise: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teaming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” (Quoted on the Statue of Liberty).

I wonder if this you-or-me mentality is something that we are going to have to contend with for the upcoming decades, or if we can consider a shift in perspective to a you-and-me nation, and ultimately a you-and-me world?

“Just as blood in the body must flow to all parts of the body for health to be maintained, money is useful when it is moving and flowing, contributed and shared, directed and invested in that which is life affirming. When blood slows down and begins to stop or clot, the body becomes sick. When water slows down and becomes stagnant, it becomes toxic. Accumulating and holding large quantities of money can have the same toxic effect on our life.”

– Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money

I mention this quote because it seems to speak to the toxic meltdowns we have seen recently – Bernie Madoff, AIG, Lehman Brothers – and in particular the situation with the health insurance companies.

We’ve heard about those Americans rejected by health insurance companies for having a “pre-existing condition.” I have been one of them. Getting that letter in the mail (twice) stung with a feeling that the insurance company’s choice was never really about the well-being of people, but rather it was about more money in their pockets.

Well now the money has clotted in their bank accounts, and the toxicity has grown to infect our whole country. If things continue to go in the direction they have been, our “health care” system will turn into a “health chaos” system.

Remote Area MedicalLuckily, there are companies like Remote Area Medical who believe in sharing time, talents, and resources to help those in need. “An infected tooth can’t wait while Congress debates healthcare reform. We’re taking care of people who need help now,” says Don Manelli, Executive Producer of the week-long LA event.

I am not saying that doctors, health organizations, or health insurance companies should be offering their services for free. Of course not. What I am looking at is where the money is getting caught up, where it is losing its flow, and what can we do to change this?

As we continue in this health care debate, I wonder if it is possible to shift the very basis of the way we think – from one where we compete and fight for what seem like “scarce” resources, to one where we realize that there actually are enough resources and that we just need to look at how we allocate them so we can help one another.

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Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. Additionally she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their personal transformation. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.

The Zen of “Yes” or “No”

Written by Tabby Biddle

Are you a “Yes” person or a “No” person, and is one better than the other?

YesManMovies like The Yes Man starring Jim Carrey would have you believe that saying “no” leads to a boring life and a host of unexplored possibilities. After saying “no” to just about everything, Carrey’s character is depressed, disconnected and on the verge of missing out on life altogether. As an antidote, he attends a self-help seminar that advocates saying “YES” to EVERYTHING. His life totally turns around: he goes bungee jumping, takes guitar lessons, learns Korean, flies an airplane, and finds love.

All good things.

But what really happens to people who go through life saying “yes” (note the lower case) to every request made of them without a “no” in sight?

LouiseHayLouise Hay, teacher, author and expert in looking at the emotional causes of disease, says in her book Empowering Women that there is a consistent pattern that she has noticed with almost every woman she knows who has breast cancer. She says that they usually have a tremendous inability to say “no.” “Breasts represent nourishment, and people with breast cancer seem to nourish everybody in their world but themselves,” she says. “They give and they give until there is no nourishment left for them.”

True or not, there seems to be a fine line between moments when we say “yes” to  open up to new life possibilities, and, when we say “no” to honor ourselves and maintain a healthy boundary.

For example, do you say yes to donating your time to a cause because you feel it is a good thing to do, but then start bouncing checks because you gave too much of yourself and your bank account? Maybe that should have been a no.

Do you say yes to learning another language, traveling abroad and possibly meeting the love of your life? That yes could work.

Sometimes the Zen of “Yes” or “No” can be a tough call.

We’ve all probably had the experience of sharing a confidence with a friend, and then they later spilled the beans to someone else. The next time around when they asked you to share something intimate, you thought twice about this.

If you are a yes person, learning to say no can feel difficult  — especially the first time! The first time I said “no” to someone when they asked for one too many favors, I was so nervous. I was so afraid the person was going to get angry with me. I wondered if I was being selfish, or even worse, not nice. I even contemplated reversing back to “yes.” If I said yes though, I would be betraying what I knew to be true for me — deep down I wanted to say “no.” After much deliberation, I stuck with my no.

“Anybody who is learning to say no has to put up with anger for awhile,” says Louise. “You can expect that reaction.” The people around you have become so used to you saying yes, that this disruption in the pattern can be unsettling for them.

Although some people would have you believe that when you say no, you are closing off to possibilities in your life … I would like to challenge that by saying that sometimes saying no, will open up tremendous possibilities.

Maybe when you say no to someone in certain circumstances, you are actually saying YES to yourself!

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Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. Additionally she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their personal transformation. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.

The Anti-Affirmation

Written by Tabby Biddle

NYTI have heard it said over and over in the personal growth world that in order to reach your potential, you must “embrace your dark side,” or “shadow.” What the heck does this mean? I thought for years. What dark side?

Little by little I would step a toe into what I thought was my “dark side,” but I was navigating through uncharted territory and I would inevitably turn back.

Instead, I found my way to positive affirmations through the wise women teachers Louise Hay, Anodea Judith, and Caroline Myss. This seemed like a gentler approach to waking my potential. I liked the idea of overriding old programming that said, “You can’t do it,” “You’re not good enough,” and “You’re just a girl,” with “I can do it!” “I am good enough,” and “I am proud to be a girl!” This all seemed liked a worthy pursuit and revealed hints of working, but I have to admit never felt like I was getting down to the root of things.

Then more recently I heard someone say, “If you want to manifest your full potential you have to reclaim the parts of yourself that you’ve denied, hidden or given away to others.” Could they be referring to our “shadow” I wondered?

The person who said this was Debbie Ford, author, teacher and faculty at the Chopra Center in La Jolla,Debbie Ford California. “We might not like all of our disowned parts, but acknowledging them to ourselves (and maybe even others) is a huge step toward owning our potential,” she says.

But how do we figure out what are the disowned parts of ourselves?

One method, according to Debbie, is to first look at all the qualities that upset you in other people. The idea here is that what we dislike in others is actually a projection of the parts of ourselves that we have disowned.

I thought to myself…how many times have I called someone (in my mind) – lame, boring, phony, annoying, overbearing, stingy, greedy, manipulative, mean – and a whole host of other “undesirable” adjectives? Was I actually pointing a finger at myself?

Yikes!

“If we embrace it internally, we no longer have to create it externally.”

— Debbie Ford

Although skeptical at first about owning things for myself that I did not like about other people, I decided to consider Ms. Ford’s idea.

Here’s a method she uses in her seminars:

She asks participants to write down five words that they wouldn’t want used to describe them in the newspaper. Once they’ve got these words, she has them partner up for a mirroring exercise that looks like this: Say one of your charged words was “shameful,” you would look your partner in the eyes and say, “I am shameful.” Your partner would mirror back to you, “You are shameful.” Then you would repeat, “I am shameful,” and your partner would repeat, “You are shameful.” This continues until it no longer matters to you if you are shameful or if you are called shameful. You work with your partner until each one of you no longer has any emotional charge on any of your five “disowned” words. Wow, could this really work?

Having been a part of the affirmation generation, I wondered if by going around saying, “I am shameful,” — would actually be a wiring recipe for negative self-imaging and quite the opposite of helping someone expand into their potential.

Apparently not, according to Debbie, “Just saying the word out loud, over and over, breaks down our resistance to being called that word and to having that quality.” In other words, it loses its energy and grip on our life.

I haven’t taken one of her seminars yet, but I went ahead and tried another method she suggested. You can do it on your own. The old stand-by … go to the mirror and say the words to yourself out loud. I did just that and while unsure at the start, I was surprised to feel the words lose their charge and felt a sense of liberation!

What are five things you wouldn’t want to see written about you in the newspaper? Are you willing to own them? (Or at least look in the mirror and say them over and over?)

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Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. Additionally she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their personal transformation. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.

Women Bullies

Many of us are familiar with teen bullying. If you didn’t see Mean Girls with Lindsay Lohan, you probably heard about it. Girls being mean to girls – backstabbing, back-talking and sabotaging. Pretty depressing, but pretty true. Where does this come from and does it go away as we get older or actually get worse?

I had my own experience of girl bullying in the 6th grade. I had recently broken up with a boy in my class who I had “gone out with” for a few weeks. One day an 8th grade girl who wore lots of dark eye-make up and was a lot bigger, older, and tougher than I came up to me in the school hallway with a very nasty look and said, “I call you out.” For those unfamiliar with the term it means, “Let’s fight.” I was stunned. Why me? She snarled, “You broke up with my best friend’s little brother. He’s like a little brother to me. You just don’t do that.”

Since then I’ve encountered off and on the wrath of other female bullies. Most recently, in a place I would have never imagined…on the phone with a wedding dress designer! I envisioned that looking for a wedding dress was going to be an experience of delight and feminine ooohhing and ahhhing. Instead, when I told the designer what I wanted, I got a surprisingly hostile response: “Strapless dresses are for girls. Why don’t you grow up and be a woman! Do you want to be pulling up your dress the whole night? Do you want to be all cinched up like a girl?!” While she may have had a couple of valid points, her delivery was aggressive and extremely unprofessional. I felt totally bullied!

So what was going on here? Why would one woman treat another woman like this?

My husband once did a documentary on girl bullies called “Mean Girls: mind games.” Working on this project he learned that there are certain patterns of behavior adopted by girl bullies. They learn what works to hold power over other girls and they typically stick with that behavior throughout their lives.

womenbulliesSome believe that the root cause is that women are taught to fight one another for attention at an early age. “We are competing with our sisters for dad’s attention, or for our brother’s attention,” says Michelle Cirocco, of Televerde, a company based in Phoenix that employs female prison inmates. In her position, she has seen a lot of bullies! “And then we go on in school and we’re competing for our teachers’ attention. We’re competing to be on the sports team or the cheer squad,” she says.

And then what happens after high school?

Let’s look at the workplace…

“Women feel they have to be aggressive to be promoted,” says Laura Steck, president of the Growth and Leadership Center in Sunnyvale, CA. That makes sense when you look at stats that show women make up 51% of our nation’s population, but only 3% of corporate CEOs are women.

Couple this with the recent research that shows women must work twice as hard as men in the workplace to achieve the same level of recognition and prove that they can lead. It’s no wonder that instead of showcasing each other’s work and abilities, women are competing in a do-or-die way.

So how can we can we break this seemingly endless bully cycle?

I know that whenever I find myself bad-mouthing another woman (or even just thinking it), I realize that in some way I am also bad-mouthing myself. I am stepping into the vicious cycle of sabotaging not only this other woman, but ALL women.

This is not to say that when a woman is hostile toward me I still don’t have my knee-jerk reaction of, “What a bitch.” However, I find that if I step back and take a moment to get some clarity on why that woman might be acting in that particular way, this usually helps me muster up some compassion and instead of biting back, I step outside of the game. Instead of meeting hostility with hostility, I actually open my heart to them. I start to see that their pain is some of my own pain.

This isn’t exactly what happened in the 6th grade, but had that older girl and I both understood our connection with one another, perhaps it could have.

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Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. Additionally she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their personal transformation. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.

India, What the Heck?

As countries like India and China rise in their global status and economic power, I wonder if the increased visibility will force them to clean up their act and see that their children are protected.

This headline last week was a harsh reminder of what goes on…

“The father of Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali, 9, is accused of trying to sell his daughter for $300,000 to a sheik.”

rubina-ali-oscarsAlthough I read this in a Hollywood gossip magazine — and many might question the accuracy of the reporting — I did appreciate that a pop magazine brought attention to the fact that the selling of daughters is not an uncommon practice in India.

Girls are trafficked in India for sexual exploitation, domestic labor, drug peddling, begging, adoption and marriage. Some say the price of the girl depends on the color of her eyes and her skin, and a virgin girl goes for a lot higher price. It can seem like a world away, but for some, it is quite close.

Last weekend in the New York Times Magazine column The Ethicist a reader submitted a query about whether he should give money, food or neither to the beggar children in India on his upcoming trip. The reader was concerned that exploitative adults might take the money.

If you saw the film Slumdog Millionaire then you probably remember the child trafficker who tricked the children into thinking they were going to get a promotion. When they arrived for their good news, the surprise turned out to be a cupful of acid poured into the child’s eyes to purposefully blind him or her to make their begging more poignant and profitable.

Records show that maiming a child is just another scam put on by these child overlords to get more money into their pockets.

I have seen these children. They have come up to me with their white milky eyes on the streets of Delhi and have knocked their stumps on my taxi window as I sat devastated staring back at them. It is all quite tragic to think about.

So why am I writing and telling about all of these horrifying things?

I write about this because I feel that the more it is reported and the more we talk about it, the more accountable the countries responsible for it become.

I am by no means saying that our own country, the US, is a grand model for human rights. I’m not wagging my finger. But in my opinion there is a level of global inhumanity that has been going on for far too long and perhaps we have reached a tipping point.

Admittedly, I may just be naïve to think that talking about issues can solve them. But in my heart of hearts I do believe this. With transparency, comes accountability, comes responsibility, comes change.

Your thoughts?

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Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. Additionally she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their personal transformation. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.