“I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends” A Q&A with Shasta Nelson Founder of GirlfriendCircles.com

Mar 28, 2013 by

 

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2013 World Wise Beauty Icon: Shasta Nelson, Life Coach, Author of “Friendships Don’t Just Happen” and Founder of GirlfriendCircles.com

INTRODUCTION: We all have heard of on-line dating but who knew you could shop for friends on-line! It sounds cold and awful when I say it like this, but Shasta Nelson’s book and website are far from cold and detached. Put simply her book is all about making friends and keeping friends. The book “Friendships Don’t Just Happen” has received national attention by all the women’s magazines and just recently Shasta appeared on the “Katie Couric” show! I love the circle idea but must admit I find it difficult to navigate the circles and this where Shasta’s book is so useful. Her book is chock full of good advice on how to create and nurture lifelong supportive friendships which too many of us have not been taught or shown. I dedicate this post with love to my dear friends Shelly and Debs who have taught me the true meaning of “through thick and thin” constancy in friendship.

Welcome: Thank you Shasta for stopping by World Wise Beauty and for making friendship your mission! You are truly a World Wise Beauty Icon and I am thrilled to give the title! You join a few other outstanding women who like you, have made it their mission to encourage women to value and honor their inner lives.

Lauroly Q- I can personally say, as you age and life circumstances change, so do your friendships. When I was young in my mid-twenties, I was in a committed relationship and then married when most of my friends were single and hunting! I felt a little out of sync. Then as time would have it, I got divorced when everyone was getting married and having kids! To be honest I was kind of out of sync a good portion of my life. Let’s not leave out that most of my career I was traveling and I missed out on a lot of social rituals which would have nurtured my friendships. I am your perfect case for almost every friendship challenge! How important is “lifestyle” when it comes to making friends? I ask because as you have learned I just seem to be out of sync! Maybe others feel the same?

 

Shasta Nelson: Others definitely feel the same! We’re almost always “out of sync” with our friends because it’s impossible to fall in love, get married, have kids, find our meaningful jobs and all other life stages at the same time as someone else. And this stays true all the way up to retiring at a different age than our friends, becoming widows at different times, needing to move for grandkids, etc. The truth is that if we come to peace with living our own life, letting it unfold in its perfect timing, then we have to let go of the need that all our friends’ lives need to mirror ours. In the 5 Circles of Connectedness, there is only one Circle– that of Common Friends– that we might build up to support our current life stage. The rest of our friendships give us ample opportunity to find other things in common besides life stage. In fact, when research has been done to see what bonds us to each other, data shows that our bonds are just as strong if we both like the same music as whether we’re both moms. More important ultimately than having our life stage in common is finding 2-3 other commonalities that serve as glue to our friendship.

 

Lauroly Q- Your personal story is so interesting and I can’t tell you how much I related to your story about peering into a window watching a group of women laughing together and wishing you could just walk in and join them. You compared it to like being a puppy in a pound peering through the glass. You touched my heart with that story because it was so honest and you really showed vulnerability. Tell us more how you evolved from that lonely day and how you became our “friendship” expert.

 

Shasta Nelson: At the point of that story I was a pastor and life coach so I had long been teaching healthy relationships, facilitating small groups, and creating community, but it goes to show that, often, to no fault of ours, we will frequently find ourselves needing to make new friends. That time it was because I had moved and finally admitted I needed friends that weren’t all long-distance. But it can just as easily happen when we change jobs, go through a break-up or divorce, or move our youngest kid out of the house. So taking my own life experience, and that of so many others who shared their stories with me, I started to become way more fascinated with our friendships. Believing there had to be an easier way to meet other women who valued new female friends, I woke up one morning convinced I needed to start GirlFriendCircles.com to help us all find other local potential friends. And in that space, since I was reading everything there was about the subject, interviewing women about their experiences, and developing helpful relationship models, definitions, and diagrams, I became a teacher of this subject that is such an area of passion. I’m thrilled to see the subject of platonic friendship get more and more attention as I think we live in a culture where we need it more than ever but are having a harder time developing the depth of friendships we really crave.

 Lauroly Q- In your book you touch on an important necessity about friendship which doesn’t get discussed enough in our society. You share that experts assert supportive relationships improve our odds of survival by fifty percent. You cited a landmark study of 3000 nurses with breast cancer where they found that women without close friends were four times more likely to die from the disease than women with at least 10 close friends. If that doesn’t speak volumes on how mind, body spirit is interconnected I don’t know what would! So I think your billboard idea mentioned in your book “make a friend, save a life” is timely and sorely needed in our culture today. But back to the title of your book “Friendships Don’t Just Happen”, what are the three major steps we can take to improve our current friendships and develop new ones?

Shasta Nelson: Thanks for pointing those stats out. It’s SO important for us to realize the significance of our friendships so we feel more justified taking time for friends, initiating get-togethers, and being willing to be more vulnerable. One study points out that if we feel disconnected that it’s as harmful on our bodies as smoking 15 cigarettes and twice as damaging as being obese! And look how much energy we put to those areas of health! So the first three steps I’d suggest would be:

Step 1First, do your friendship evaluation using the 5 Circles of Connectedness– it’s like a check-up so you can see what types of friends you most need to cultivate right now. For some of us we’ll need to meet new people, whereas for some of us we may just need to deepen some of the relationships we’ve already started. Based on which Circle someone needs, the 3 first steps might be different.

Step 2

My second suggestion though would be, once you see which Circles you want to intentionally foster, one of the best ways to do that is by adding consistent time together. That regular time spent together was what made our school friendships feel so automatic. Now as adults we need to figure out the best way to see each other often enough that we can eventually go beyond “updating” each other into what I call “sharing.”

Step 3And third, if there is someone we need to forgive, then this is the time to do it. Our lack of peace with how we’ve been disappointed by other friends will bleed into our current experience. We want to show up now not just ready to create meaningful friendships but also grateful for those we have had and at peace with those that have ended.

Lauroly Closing- Thanks so much Shasta for sharing your work and creating an important conversation in wellness culture too. May your circles widen and deepen as you continue your journey in life…

I could talk to Shasta all day about her wise and enlightening work but I highly recommend you read her book “Friendships Don’t Just Happen”and also join her community called GirlfriendCircles.com. If ever there was a gift to give to yourself, these are two that should be at the top of your list. So don’t buy the designer bag and treat yourself to a good book and a friendship service that will lead you to a life full of love and nourishment. Objects will never bring personal fulfillment but loving friendships will. Just ask yourself—how is it that the cultures with the longest life expectancy generally are living in modest to low-income communities? Their secret is having supportive friendships and community. The research is there but we don’t need research to tell us what the Beatles already said “all you need is love and we get by with a little help from our friends”.

Truly Herself,
Lauroly

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The “French Mystique” Revealed–A Q&A with Mireille Guiliano, Author of “French Women Don’t Get Fat”

Mar 25, 2013 by

 

 

WWB “Healthy Epicurean” Featured Book:

“French Women Don’t Get Fat–The Secret of Eating for Pleasure”

Author: Mireille Guiliano

 

Welcome to our Healthy Epicurean department at World Wise Beauty. You might find a bit of a “French theme” in this department because if there is one thing the French are quite known for it is their “Joie de Vivre”. Chocolate croissants, delightful cheese and red wine are an epicurean heaven for many. The joy of living can be found in France all around you, but from a wellness perspective the French diet was really perplexing to health researchers. How do the French stay relatively healthy eating rich crème sauces, fatty cheese and calorie filled croissants? We all wanted to know what their secret was?

It must be the red wine! Well maybe, but wine is only a small part of the equation.  We discovered their secrets weren’t just in the wine but also found in the French culture, lifestyle and mindset. A perfect segue to introduce our featured author who pieced the French puzzle together for the whole world with an International best seller called French Women Don’t Get Fat- The Secret of Eating for Pleasure”. Don’t be intimidated by the title if you haven’t read this, because the book is a personal story about how even a French gal can get fat if her lifestyle is out of sync.  I am thrilled to introduce Mireille Guiliano our featured author and former CEO of my favorite champagne “Veuve Clicquot”.  Let’s get started before I bubble over!

Lauroly Q- Welcome Mireille to World Wise Beauty. There is so much to cover and little space with a blog, but our readers will be happy to learn they can follow you on your website French Women Don’t Get Fat and immerse in all things French wellness culture with you there.  The words “wellness culture” comes up often at World Wise Beauty because culture really is a collective of mindsets, approaches and attitudes and all affect our health and lifestyle. Your story is compelling because you were a French girl who went off to school in America and came back with a new modus operandi.  Share with us how changing cultures affected your attitude and waistline…

 

Author, Mireille Guiliano

 

 

Mireille Guiliano: When young we don’t realize how our mind controls us and our emotions and while an exchange student in America it was fun to eat the stuff I could not eat in my homeland like ice cream except for the summer months or snacking with sweets at any time of the day, and I was also probably eating out of being homesick or exhausted, frustrated, bored, etc. I was also suddenly deprived of my daily walks as living in the suburbs we took the bus for school and car for anything else with parents (usually mothers) driving us everywhere. Before I knew it, I was fat. I was not able to grasp the cultural differences at that time and age and loved my adopted land but the wake up upon return to France was another challenge!

 

 

 

Lauroly Q- The other curious fascination American woman have with French ladies is they don’t seem to embrace gym exercise all that much.  When we think about staying healthy we think about strict diets and usually intense exercise. No pain, no gain is our motto since Jane Fonda hit the fitness scene.  French woman seem to achieve wellness without all the “pain” we seem to endure. How do the French take in so many calories without burning it all off?

Mireille Guiliano: We don’t eat as much, at least French women who don’t get fat. We eat with our senses, at the table, sitting down and eating slowly, and so our taste buds get satisfied with less. Also, our portions are much smaller and our food is better (although globalization requires becoming careful with all the salt and sugar and bigger portions etc.). We walk a lot and prefer biking or swimming and don’t like machines although this is changing too. I notice that France is 10-20 years behind the US for most matters but bad stuff at all levels is invading progressively with globalization. Not a good thing but tough to escape so each of us must take responsibility for staying healthy.

Lauroly Q –You have a long list of French women sensibilities in the back of your book we could all learn from, but if you had to pick just a few wellness inspired philosophies from French culture we could easily embrace in our lifestyles, what would they be?

Mireille Guiliano: I’d say go to the kitchen and cook even if only once or twice a week and no fancy recipe or ingredient or tools are necessary. This will put you in touch with produce and also allow you to eat simply and well, controlling salt and portions. It is super important if you have children as mothers are role models and at that age you will give values that will last a lifetime. Food needs to be respected like humans.

Lauroly Q- Very wise Mireille! My personal mantra for World Wise Beauty is to be comfortable in your own skin?  The classic French woman always seemed to exude this very idea to many women around the world. What is this particular “je ne sais quois” that French women seem to have and how can the rest of us find it in your opinion?

 

 

Mireille Guiliano: Each of us has to dig inside to find it. It would take much time to describe this but much can be found in my book “French Women Don’t Get Fat and in more detail in “French Women for All Seasons”. It applies to food but also to style, attitude and much more.

 

 

Lauroly Closing- Merci Beaucoup Mireille for joining me for a chat at World Wise Beauty.  It took courage to share your personal story as a young girl but your journey is such a great lesson for all of us to learn from.  We appreciate you sharing your interesting life story and wise French culture with us, and for being such a lovely World Wise Beauty.

Truly Herself,
Lauroly 

You can delve more into Mireille’s world view with a French twist by reading her many enjoyable books. Her first book is French Women Don’t Get Fat available in paperback now. Additional wise books by Mireille are; The French Women Don’t Get Fat CookbookWomen, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense and Sensibility, and French Women for All Seasons. Happy reading to all and wishing you a trip to France in your near future!

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Mediterranean Diet Can Save You Money? Take Note…

Mar 21, 2013 by

I thought it was important to share this report from The Atlantic’s Health Section. At World Wise Beauty we are always seeking wisdom and sometimes just plain old common sense! The findings in this study is so important from a socio-economic perspective here in the states, but the wise takeaway gets drowned out by the constant marketing of the processed food industry in America.  Let’s share information like this with each other as “our voice”  is our greatest strength and defense.  Follow World Wise Beauty with a simple click of the follow button or use the RSS feed button to keep updated! Many thanks for checking in! Stay wise…

Truly Herself,
Lauroly

 

 

Study: Mediterranean Diet Can Save Money

Investing in learning to cook with plants and olive oil could save money in the long run.
 
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papalars/Flickr

The New England Journal of Medicine told us last month that the fresh produce, olive oil, and nut-filled Mediterranean diet confers significant health benefits, reducing the rates of heart attacks and strokes more so than diets that rely on low-fat foods. It’s believed to contribute to well-being and feelings of happiness, too.

Done right, it also ends up being much cheaper than buying specially made diet foods or lean cuts of meat, according to a new study. This is important news for people who aren’t shopping for premium organic goods at Whole Foods — people for whom having access to food at all is and will continue to be the reigning dietary concern. Dr. Mary Flynn specifically addressed this advantage by designing a Mediterranean-style diet based on items available at a local Rhode Island food bank. The emphasis, here, wasn’t on daily glasses of wine or fresh seafood. Instead, Flynn, a research dietician, wanted to focus on meals that contained no meat, poultry, or seafood, as such foods can account for up to 50 percent of low-income households’ budgets. She recruited 83 clients from food pantries and low-income housing sites, of which 63 completed the program.


The participants were given six weeks of cooking classes,
 in which they learned simple techniques for creating quick (10 to 15 minutes) meals. This consisted mainly of watching an instructor prepare the meals while discussing the health benefits of the ingredients, like whole grain pasta, brown rice, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. After class, they’d be given a bag of groceries containing enough ingredients for them to recreate some of the recipes for their families. They weren’t given any additional nutrition information or told what to buy in the future.

Once the classes ended, the participants were followed for an additional six months, during which they reported consuming more meals based on Flynn’s diet — three or more per week — and a greater amount and variety of fruits and vegetables. Their grocery lists, which the researchers collected and analyzed, show that they started stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables and, as a seemingly natural consequence, purchasing significantly less meat, soda, dessert and snack foods.

Along with that, the participants more than halved their weekly food spending, and reliance on food pantries dropped from 68 to 54 percent. Before the cooking classes, 48 percent qualified as “food insecure,” meaning they didn’t have steady access to food; after, only 33 percent. Although this wasn’t a focus of the study, half lost weight as well.

Where this succeeds as a food strategy, wrote Flynn, is that the positive results stemmed from the participants’ eliminating unhealthy foods, instead of just adding healthy ones to their diets — and budgets. That purchasing fewer snacks would save money is mostly intuitive, but it’s significant that the participants arrived at this change on their own, without being instructed to do so. It’s as good a reminder as any that the Mediterranean diet, on top of everything else, makes common sense.

 

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How to Be a Globetrotting Foodie Without Using Any of Your Bonus Miles? Our Expert and Founder of “The Healthy Voyager” Has Your Ticket!

Mar 19, 2013 by

Healthy Epicurean Featured Book: The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen

 Featured Author, Expert & Founder of “The Healthy Voyager”: Carolyn Scott-Hamilton

You have arrived at the Healthy Epicurean department with World Wise Beauty.  I created this special focused area because I wanted to share with you just how pleasurable living a healthy lifestyle can be. For example, there are many who have a preconceived notion that eating healthy precludes flavor and the “yummy” factor. Well I am here to say, you just don’t know what you are missing! 

Prepare to take off because the Healthy Epicurean is meeting with the Healthy Voyager and who knows where this will take us! It’s no surprise to learn the countries with the healthiest populations and longest life expectancy have mainly plant-based diets with limited amounts of meat. You hear and read about “health and longevity secrets” from these magical, faraway places but if you take a healthy voyage with Carolyn and read her book  you will discover there is no passport required to enjoy delicious healthy eating. Carolyn Scott-Hamilton is not only a digital maven and author but also a holistic nutritionist, healthy travel expert and a vegan chef! We are in good hands…

Truly Herself ~Lauroly

Lauroly Q- Welcome Carolyn to World Wise Beauty’s Healthy Epicurean series.  Your book called The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen is a mouth-watering culinary tour of the world where you can learn about cultures, customs and cooking techniques. I will never forget when I became a vegetarian as a young girl in my new apartment and decided to serve a Middle Eastern Vegetarian Easter dinner to my American traditional family. When they sat down to the table they were speechless, but once they caught their breath and got hungry they really enjoyed the dinner! Now my family experiments with Mediterranean, Japanese, Mexican, and Indian cuisines but my Easter dinner is still a memorable event they like to tease me about! How did you become the “Healthy Voyager” and tell us more about your personal journey?

 

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton: That’s a great story! Well, I became a healthy voyager back in 1999 when I was having some trouble with my weight. I stumbled upon a book called Fit for Life and it changed mine instantly. I switched to a plant-based, vegan diet immediately and have never looked back! I was so interested in health that I received my masters in holistic nutrition and went to culinary school to make sure I was doing it right. I was also an avid traveler and realized I wasn’t the only person to find it difficult to travel on a special diet, so in 2005 I created The Healthy Voyager show, site and brand!
 

Lauroly Q- Wow, so for you the ideas in one book really changed your whole mindset and ultimately your life.  How we do we convince people healthy eating can really be a “yummy” culinary experience? Your book is a gourmet globetrotting tour of the world but since we have so little blog space, what are some of your favorite International dishes and which ones are the easiest to make at home for today’s busy lifestyle?

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton: I think that you can really convince people through their taste buds. Food should taste good! I’ve always had success by being a positive example, never being preachy and either cooking great food for people and parties or ordering great stuff at a restaurant that inevitably, everyone wants to try! I made it a point in my book to cover international comfort foods so that no matter your dietary restriction, folks could enjoy dishes they grew up with or have missed out on. My personal favorites are the Latin American dishes and I’m Colombian so it was fun to share my nostalgic meals. ; )

Lauroly Q- I think it is wonderful how you inspire people to connect with real food and experiment in their own kitchens. This is so important because before you can really appreciate any great meal, it helps to learn about ingredients. Just as wine lovers learn about various grapes and the regions of the world they come from, foodies begin to learn about spices, herbs, sweeteners and grains. You have a wonderful section in your book that helps us stock a kitchen ready to prepare an international meal. How would you entice the plain Jane eater to experiment? And finally because we are talking with a holistic nutritionist here, why is it so important to lean toward a plant-based diet from a health perspective?

 

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton: Thanks! I think you need to get plain Jane interested with some trickery! If they love a burger, don’t serve them tofu masala. Make them a hearty veggie burger with some tangy bbq sauce. I always say, start with what you know and move forward from there. They will learn that just because it’s not meat, it is just another tasty food that can be an alternative. That tends to get people trying new things. As for why a plant-based diet is healthier? I could write a long novel to explain but the basic idea is a more alkaline diet (common with vegetarians) is healthier as illness and disease can only thrive in an acidic filled body. The more alkaline your diet, the less likely you are to fall ill and turn on the switch of so many common diseases. It’s cleaner, more pure, more easily digestible and darn tasty!

Lauroly Closing: It’s so true! So many vegetarian dishes “rock your taste buds” with flavorful spices. It’s been such fun to talk with you Carolyn. You inspire the wanderlust and voyager in us all! We will be looking out for more exciting projects from you and will be sure to sign up for your Healthy Voyager newsletter too. Happy travels and send a postcard to World Wise Beauty every now and then! Bon Voyage…

As you have discovered Carolyn is a multi-talented gal and her digital enterprise is filled with all kinds of adventures for you to explore. Visit her website portal The Healthy Voyager and learn more about her newsletter and other healthy-travel oriented projects. To add a little international spice to your culinary experiences click this link The Healthy Voyagers Global Kitchen or shop the WWB Amazon shop to your right Enjoy the pleasures of healthy eating!

 

 

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WWB’s CULTURE WISE: The Value of Caring for our Human Capital

Mar 14, 2013 by

 

Associated Press Photo. Sheryl Sandberg, Author of Lean In

 

All week-long the conversation has heated up about Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”.  The best opinion I heard this week was from Jody Greenstone Miller on a PBS aired discussion called ” Is the Advice in Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” Universal or Elitist”.  You can view the whole conversation here at PBS.  She said quote the problem is women aren’t leaning in not because they don’t know how to, but because they don’t like the world they’re being asked to lean into”.

 

Finally someone said it out loud!  I keep imagining in my head our current President saying ” It’s the culture stupid”! Our culture is made up of women and men and collectively we create our culture. Where are the men in this conversation? They too are parents who don’t seem to have time for their families, are stressed out and often sick too. Today’s modern families are often partnerships and the business community should recognize that solid families are comprised of both men and women.  Big corporations are no longer viable if family structures unravel in our society. Business employers, men and women need to decide together “what’s the Win-Win for us all?”.  Women shouldn’t have to solve this on their own. Arianna Huffington made a good point with her eloquent piece at the Wall Street Journal today about acknowledging the value of caring for our human capital. Read her full piece below from the Wall Street Journal.  

What kind of culture do we want to have? I say let’s “lean back” and embrace wellness culture and watch how productive we become! We are counting on our “valuable men” to join this conversation and shape the wellness culture to come! 

Truly Herself ~Lauroly

 

Huffington on Sandberg: To Lean In, First Lean Back

By Arianna Huffington/Wall Street Journal Article

Arianna Huffington

An enormous amount of ink and pixels have already been devoted to Sheryl Sandberg‘s important new book, “Lean In,” some of it claiming that Sandberg exhorts women to relentlessly drive themselves to the top. But that’s not at all what Sandberg is saying. What she’s saying is that as well as institutional barriers to success, women face a lot of inner barriers—voices that, as she puts it, urge you to “leave before you leave.” “Lean In” has unleashed multiple conversations. For me, the most interesting is the one about the nature of the world women are leaning into. This is a great moment for all of us—women and men—to acknowledge that the current male-dominated model of success isn’t working for women, and it’s not working for men, either. For everybody, stress has gone up—in the last 30 years, self-reported stress has gone up 25% for men and 18% for women. And we’re surrounded by stressed-out leaders—in politics, in business, in media—making terrible decisions. What they lack is not smarts but wisdom. And it’s much harder to tap into your wisdom, recognizing the icebergs before they hit the Titanic—a big part of leadership—when you’re running on empty.

 

As women scale new heights in the workplace, they pay a heavy price: women in stressful jobs have a nearly 40% increased risk of heart disease and a 60% increased risk of diabetes than their less-stressed colleagues. According to the latest study from the American Psychological Association, women are more likely than their male colleagues to feel stressed during a typical workday, due to many factors, including feeling underappreciated in the workplace.

There’s a French expression, “reculer pour mieux sauter,” which, loosely translated, means leaning back in order to jump higher. That’s what cats do. And by leaning back, we become much better at leaning in.

That means acknowledging the value of caring for our human capital — getting enough sleep and rejecting the culture of “time macho,” which Anne-Marie Slaughter describes as “a relentless competition to work harder, stay later, pull more all-nighters, travel around the world and bill the extra hours that the International Date Line affords you.” And it means acknowledging that family can actually be a great thing for our career, by putting everything at work in perspective.

The world needs women to redefine success beyond money and power. We need a third metric, based on our well-being, our health, our ability to unplug and recharge and renew ourselves, and to find joy in both our job and the rest of our life. Ultimately, success is not about money or position, but about living the life you want, not just the life you settle for.

Some companies get it. Already, twenty-five percent of large American corporations have some kind of stress reduction program — yoga, meditation, or some way for workers to lean back — during the workday. Not just Google GOOG -0.42% and Silicon Valley startups, but General Mills GIS -0.12%, Target Aetna AET -0.50%, etc. The realization is spreading that this is not just good for the employees’ health but for the company’s bottom line. Mounting evidence, both scientific and anecdotal, confirms that the practices that make us less stressed also make us more productive. (We at HuffPost launched a free app, GPS for the Soul, to track your stress level through your heart-rate variability; it also includes a personalized guide of pictures, music and poetry that helps you course-correct.)

For far too long, men have equated success with working around the clock, driving yourself into the ground, sleep deprivation and burnout. Women need to lead the way to change that — both for their sake and for the sake of successful men who desperately need to learn how to lean back.

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