POWERshotJune2017: Brave NOT Perfect


POWERshotJune2017: Brave NOT Perfect

Want a BraveNOTPerfect tee like the one I'm wearing?! Visit our MoxieShop to purchase one!

Want a BraveNOTPerfect tee like the one I'm wearing?! Visit our MoxieShop to purchase one!

Hello! My name is Lucy Dornbach, I’m a college student at the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, and I have been interning with AWEinc. for just over a month now…and what a month it has been! In just a short time with Kristi, I have been able to see first-hand what it takes to not only create your own business and put your dreams into action, but also what it takes to sustain that dream, grow that dream, and use that dream to change the lives of women and girls all over the world. 

As a gender studies major and peace studies minor, AWEinc.’s work is something I am passionate about it; it is something I see as not only world-changing, but absolutely crucial in today’s society if we’re striving for an innovative and powerful future (hint hint...women are the answer!:) )From small workshops, to large conferences; from POWERcamps with young girls, to a room full of C-Suite businesswomen, to meetings with past and present Changemakers (aka the boss lady leaders of tomorrow)—because of AWEinc, I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from all walks of women who came together with a common goal (whether knowingly or not).

That goal being the practice of Brave NOT Perfect. While that may look different for everyone, here’s what I’ve learned since joining this movement—  PERFECT is impossible, and BRAVE is possible. Brave is freedom, vulnerability, giving out your business card even if you’re shy. Brave is the power of pause, it is agency, it is responding to doubt confidently. Brave is having fears, and taking that leap anyway. BRAVE is AWEsome! 

5 Ways I’ve Become More Brave (And You Can Too): 

  1. It only takes talking through my fears and hesitations to realize just how small or irrational they are! 
  2. Just because I am young (or old) does not mean my voice is not powerful, valuable, or appreciated amongst “professionals.” 
  3. I’ve become more brave by asking questions or asking for help unapologetically. 
  4. I’m learning that Perfect is an illusion that wastes time and energy. Focussing more on unique, creative, “me” ideas makes me Brave.
  5. Brave is taking initiative or taking the first step, accepting feedback, and working from there! Rather than trying to plan everything out or wait until all the details are “perfect” before acting on them, I’ve learned that sometimes just taking that first step will open doors you’d never have thought of! 

Thanks, Lucy for sharing your Brave NOT Perfect moments and working SO hard this summer. Now here are some of my (Kristi's) favorite Brave Resources:

  1. Grit by Angela Duckworth.
  2. Brene Brown’s TEDtalk.
  3. We’re all about bringing other women along—check out my friend Neda Kellogg’s fearless business Project Diva
  4. And we’re partnering with Ellevate for a Brave NOT Perfect POWERshop in MSP on July 20th. 
  5. Lastly, the AWEsome shirt Lucy is wearing is for sale. Proceeds go to our Mother/Daughter POWERcamps in MSP. 

Our MOXIEchallenge this month is Feel the FEAR and do it anyway! Report back to be entered in a drawing for a FREE MOXIEbag.

Until next time, MOXIEon. Kristi and Lucy



Copyright © |Kristi Hemmer| www.puttingwomeninpower.com



Courageous Conversations.

Photo: Jill and I at the Special Olympics Polar Plunge 5k.

Photo: Jill and I at the Special Olympics Polar Plunge 5k.

“Kristi, thanks for providing a safe space for my daughter and I to talk about tough topics. I wasn’t ready, but she was. So I had to be.” This was my favorite comment from a mom at our International Day of the Girl conference in October 2016.

I get that. When my niece was in elementary school, I bought her American Girl’s The Body Book for Younger Girls. I felt she was ready; her mom didn’t. It’s awkward right? And who has practice with that? And then Jill found the book on my bookshelf, took it out, and read it page to page. She was ready.

I flashback to my teen years; my mom and I never had a Courageous Conversation about confidence or peer pressure or sex or violence against women or dating or anything.

And it hasn’t changed. I was talking to a young woman I’ve known for years, and she said it wasn’t until she attended our One Billion Rising event that she and her mom had a Courageous Conversation. She found out her mom had been sexually abused by somebody she knew and a stranger in her young adult life. This conversation inspired the following.

Ready or not. The time is now. But don’t fret. We have created a POWERcamp based on worries, research, and real life Moms and Daughters that focuses on Confidence and starting Courageous Conversations. It will not only be lots of fun but will also create a safe space for Courageous Conversations and a pathway for future Courageous Conversations.

And best yet? You can say, “Remember when Kristi said…” and take the pressure off of you as The Mom. You have enough to worry about as a Mom. Let us help you!

And Jill? Every time I see her and talk to her on the phone, we have Courageous Conversations. She expects them, and I believe looks forward to the safe space to be her powerful, vulnerable teen self. And even if she doesn’t look forward to them, she expects them.

If you’re in the MSP area, join us April 30th. If not, let’s figure out a way to bring a POWERcamp to your town. You know I love to travel (as I write this in transit to Bali).

And until next time, MOXIEon!

Resources I used as a middle school counselor and Auntie:

  1. The Body Book for Younger Girls by Valoire Schaefer.
  2. The Body Book for Older Girls by Cara Natterson.



Moxiemaker#4: Mirette Bahgat


You've been complaining of living in a pit, 
Yet never tried to climb out of it.

You're sick and tired of potentials unfulfilled,
And a heart burdened by doubts and guilt.

So why, why don't you try to step out,
and cry out loud to call back your dreams,
and the passions that once filled your young heart.

Why don't you fight back the sweeping stream,
and take the unbeaten path towards a fresh start.

Just take heart, throw your darts, and believe,
that all realities were once upon a time a dream.

Meet poet, refugee advocate, and Humphrey Fellow Mirette Bahgat.

MOXIEmoment. “I’ve been always writing,” said Mirette, “but I stopped for 7-8 years because I couldn’t get in touch with my creative side.” Then in 2015, she turned to her creative outlet to reconnect with herself and her creative side and decided to take a year off. “It was what I was dreaming to do my whole life. I got in touch with my creative side-I published a couple of short stories, won a literary award, finished a novella, published an ebook on Amazon, traveled, started meditating, and became mindful.”

Mirette’s role model. Her grandmother. She was the first woman in Egypt who studied environmental science. “I remember her always being very present. She had lots of energy and was an influential and strong woman. She symbolizes strong women to me.” Her grandmother showed her that being a strong woman didn’t mean you were independent and tough all the time-it also means you have grace in your weakness.

Her challenge into an opportunity. One of her biggest was when she graduated from college and worked in a bank because “everybody was doing it and telling me to do it.”  It was her worst time ever: “I did not belong.” It felt like a prison and she hated it. However, everyone around was saying, “This is real life. Quit dreaming. Accept it.” Not Mirette-she didn’t accept it. She switched careers and received scholarships for graduate school and is now studying for a year in Minneapolis.  

Mirette’s favorite author. Toni Morrison. “She’s very powerful.” Mirette is rereading Beloved and it reminds her of what black girls go through. Toni’s description of the pain is so poetic, she feels like she’s reading poetry.

And the future? Mirette wants to collect ideas for her first novel. “It’s scary to write a novel, but I have to do it. It’s inside of me. It’s time for me to see myself as a writer.”

Her advice to the reader? “Go for your dreams even they scare or too unrealistic. Respect them. This is the only thing allow you to be who you are.”

Want to know more about MOXIEmirette?  This is the link to her ebook https://www.amazon.com/Coffin-Roses-Mirette-Bahgat-ebook/dp/B017M7S24Y and this is one of the flash fiction that was published a year ago https://afreada.com/2016/03/18/a-house-in-the-sky-by-mirette-bahgat/  which was awarded the Madalyn Lamont literary award from the American University in Cairo. 

And, Mirette will be one of the panelists at the International Day of the Girl conference on October 9th. http://www.puttingwomeninpower.com/idg2016/ Come by and ask her a question.

Mirette is definitely one to be heard and seen! MOXIEit Mirette!  

















MOXIEMAKER #3 : Grandma Bernie

Happy MOXIEmaker Monday!

This week is brought to you by my Grandma Bernie who as my mom said, “was her own woman.” Maybe that’s where I get it from?

She exuded MOXIE. In a time when girls married right out of high school, she earned her teaching certificate and taught at a country school. When widowed at 49, she ran the family farm-getting up at 5am to run the irrigation pipes by herself. And later, she battled cancer and congestive heart failure with grace and dignity.

.Her trademark: Grandma’s finger. When she was right (which was almost always), she’d raise her pointer finger, pause for effect, and say what she had to say. At the annual 4th of July family picnic, she was also known for her lasagna, red Jello fruit-cocktail salad, and caramel bars.

Favorite Grandma Bernie saying: “It’s never a good time to die. Somebody is always busy.” Funny, smart, clever, and frank. Pure MOXIE!

Her favorite prayer: “God, I need you. Carry me when I’m weak. Hold me when I’m tired. Love me when I cannot care anymore. And when I huddle, lonely and afraid, cover me with your strong protective hand. Guard my sleep. And wake me in the morning, rested and strong, and ready to try again.”

She protects me; I call them Grandma Bernie moments. Whether I’m traveling on a crazy Panamanian road or making a big decision, she intervenes and saves me.

Her impact: in the ER when she was dying, she said to me, “Kristi, you’re smart…You’re living your life.” I was in Tokyo and living a good life-but not a great life. Grandma Bernie inspired me to quit a job that did not bring out my possible, travel the world for four years out of a backpack, and start my social business. She is my CEO-from Heaven.

Thanks GB for teaching me to be my “own woman.”



moxiemaker#2: Amanda Erickson

It’s MOXIEmaker Monday!

Meet Amanda. I’ve known her since she was a junior in high school; she is now a sophomore in college and just launched her first movie Bits and Pieces: a documentation of the creative process between eight strangers.  https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=3HS4B_47Z9k Amanda said, “I used my creative abilities to shine light on those who don’t get noticed/recognized, especially in art.”  For the film, she captured how artists experience art and why it’s important. It’s first showing had over 55 attendees this summer. Check it out and stay tuned as she will find out in December if it was accepted for Sundance!

Her impact (so far).  Her movie has helped break down barriers between art mediums. “When you combine from different backgrounds, something beautiful can happen.” It taught her to work on a long project with somebody else, try something new, and see what I can do with it. “We’ve been told it’s a good reminder you have a lot of power in what you’re creating, who you share it with, and who you make it with.”

Amanda’s motto: “I tell myself, ‘It’s ok to be a little messy because I’ve never been an organized person and always felt I had to be. I’m never going to have it all together. Embrace it in my art and my life.’” This motto reminds Amanda to own herself and her ideas and gives her self-assurance and self-acceptance.  

Her favorite Ted talk:  Brene Brown second one, “Listening to shame.” To her, it’s about accepting shame as something different than guilt. “It’s about separating myself from mistakes I made.” http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame  

Amanda’s fave movie. Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom because it’s focused on the visual v. plot “…which I think is very beautiful.” It taught her that “adolescence isn’t necessarily naiveté. You can do anything no matter how old you are.”

Her fave book. All I Did was Listen by Rachel Awes. It’s a visual book about all the things a therapist learned. You have to take the other things people say and learn from it.  What she’s reading right now? NOT. But her favorite blog is Everyday Feminism because it’s funny and relatable. Serious and light. She likes the balance.

MOXIEmoment. Recently saying good bye to her childhood home. “It sounds small but it’s a coming of age thing for me. Adulthood is among me; I have to pay rent and water.”

What’s one thing you love about yourself? “Self-love. I leaned it this summer and am practicing it.”

And the future? Amanda is starting an art magazine that will allow her and her partner to shine light on more artists, supplement her career, and start an art community center. Her advice to the reader? #1 Never let being afraid of messing up stop you from doing something  you love. #2 Support others, especially women. #3 Sometimes the push is support.

Push away Amanda! We are supporting you! And MOXIEon!

 To contact Amanda about her film or other MOXIE-related topics: artcommunityfilm@gmail.com

Meet Amanda at IDG2016. It’s her third year of designing the logo. http://www.puttingwomeninpower.com/idg2016/