Opening Speech “Graduation Ceremony”

I have met a lot of women who are tired of having to “man-up”, but I have also met a lot of men who are just as tired. Together we are tired of being cut off from our emotional truth, of working for individualism instead of the collective, tired of standing for profit only – instead of humanity. Having to “man-up” makes both women and men feel as if they’re not whole. And when a woman has to deny being a woman, or just pretend it doesn’t matter, and repress her feminine values, this makes her feel unvalued and disconnected from the radiant woman she really is. 

That we are here today is a signal that the time that women thought they had to “man-up” will soon be a thing of the past. We are ready to “woman-up”, to stand for feminine values like collaboration, listening to your emotional truth, striving for equality and sustainability, trusting your intuition, and longing to create instead of produce. And by doing so, allowing men to stand up for it also. We hold the power to take the people, the communities, and the organizations around us higher.

Now, I am an optimist, but I am not trying to paint a rosier picture of the world than is currently accurate.

We all know the facts*:

That women still make 79 cents on the dollar that men make.

That out of 109 heads of state in the world, only 9 are women.

That only 9% of the top-grossing Hollywood movies were directed by women.

That 1 out of 3 women worldwide have been sexually, physically or emotionally abused.

These numbers are averages for all women – the statistics become much worse for women of color who are finding their way at the intersection of both sexism and racism in this culture.

*Source: Regena Thomashauer, The School of Womanly Arts, NYC

I see that we live in a patriarchy where the feminine is valued less than the masculine. And I see that women and girls, as the explicit carriers of the feminine, are being devalued and excluded from positions of power and decision-making.

I believe a lot needs to be done to change this. By governments, businesses, and NGOs. I am in favor of gender quotas, just so you know where I am coming from. But, in the midst of all this, there is one thing we as women leaders can do.

One thing… and that is to shine our light like never before! To turn on our radiance, our presence, and our voice. When women come together, feeling empowered and radiant, they can change the world.

I only have one mission with my company: for every woman leader to know, no better yet, feel, with every fiber of her body that it is she that inspires and ignites change.

The strength of a woman coming into her power, into her voice, into her femininity, and start doing what she has come here to do, transforming everyone around her. I am dedicated to reconnecting every woman that wants to connect to that presence. That natural, feminine, inspiring leadership presence. That is my longing. And I know my longing is shared by many women and men! That is why I created Carla Clarissa.

From my company I offer individual coaching, The Women’s Leadership Program and retreats. What I have done this last year is incorporate all the experiences I gained from 14 years of working as a business manager and a change leader into my offerings. I have also incorporated the teachings from the School of Womanly Arts, whose Mastery program I joined in NYC. I have studied ancient goddess religions in which the divine feminine was honored as the gift of life and incorporated the insights I gained in the program.

And of course I encountered both personally as well as professionally how difficult it is for us women to trust our intuition, to listen to our inner voice, and to follow our purpose. 

Because we have been cut off from it. I have been there. I have seen depression, burnout, and gone through a divorce. And I am grateful for these experiences. Because they helped me to become the woman standing here today, dedicated to using all of my life experiences to help women leaders soar.

And then… I invited 8 women to join The Women’s Leadership Program, one of the programs that I created. And they came, they worked their asses off and they… Well, they will tell you that themselves in just a few minutes.

I just want to tell you a bit more about the essence of The Women’s Leadership Program. Now, leadership works from the inside out. In my programme you will get to learn to lead your inner world first. From a woman’s perspective. What do I mean by this? I mean that you will learn to understand how the Mind, the Body and the Soul of a woman work. You will come to learn about the internal forces that drive you, as a woman, from the inside out. You will come to understand why you feel so much more than a man, how repressing your feelings represses your radiance and how you can process your feelings so you can hear what they are trying to tell you. You will come to understand that your body holds one of the greatest sources of your radiance. Knowing yourself, owning your mind, body and soul is what gives you your natural leadership presence. Then comes the time in which we are going to work on understanding your leadership purpose and having the courage to act on it.

So that you stand in your radiance, with conviction and courage as you raise your voice and stand as a decision maker for that which you came here for.  

Dear sisters, thank you for being here and thank you for everything you have taught me about feminine leadership!

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