I’m going to speak with a successful social entrepreneur who will help shed some light on a recent study naming Albuquerque the number one city in the country to close the gender gap in pay, homeownership and education.
The recent study by Trulia showed that in Albuquerque, the pay gap between men and women decreased by 25% from 2008 to 2015. Meanwhile, women are slightly more likely than men to have 4 years of college or more and to be homeowners in the city. And Albuquerque’s city council just passed new legislation giving companies that want to work with the city an incentive if its pay gap is less than seven percent.
As women, we often juggle many aspects of our lives and on the Well Woman Show we look at women’s live through three lenses – first, personal, like family or health second, career building and entrepreneurship and third, community, such as sitting on boards or doing volunteer work. So I’m interested in how these three aspects of our lives have impacted the success of women leaders and entrepreneurs in Albuquerque and specifically how particular resources and networking opportunities have impacted the success of women entrepreneurs here.
Birth is one of the most important moments in a woman’s life and I believe the caregiver, whoever the birth attendant may be, should nurture and empower a woman in that moment. I am passionate about all women receiving care that strengthens them as individuals and gives them the power to make informed health decisions about their own care, as well as their family’s care. I attended deliveries at Lovelace Women’s Hospital from January 2004 through July 2009, but have always had a desire to attend women in a birth center. I fiercely believe that women need as many options as possible to birth their babies, and the birth center option has been missing too long and is greatly needed in our community.
Self-love can take on many meanings. It can convey self care, nurturing self-confidence, embracing selfishness, or it can even taken on a sexual meaning. For Self Serve owner Matie Fricker, these meanings are fluid and interconnected. After ten years of owning and running a successful adult shop and resource center while always working to make mental, emotional, and physical health a priority, Matie understands that all of these definitions are integral to self-love. Nonetheless, she sees that sexual self care is often one of the most overlooked for reasons such as taboo, shame, or lack of access to education and resources.
My guest today is Matie Fricker. Matie is owner of Self Serve, a sex-positive, health- and education-focused adult shop and resource center. Matie has been awarded the 2008 Tough Cookie Award from the National Association for Women Business Owners, Best Sexy Shop in ABQ’s Alibi Weekly Newspaper for 8 years and Albuquerque Pride’s Outstanding Retail Store Award. One of her proudest accomplishments was causing Rush Limbaugh to say “female orgasm” on-air multiple times. In this episode Matie and I talk about how to care for yourself even when you feel unlovable, why it’s important to allow yourself to have self-doubt days, and how her definition of success has evolved throughout her career.
What You’ll Discover in this Episode
- How to prioritize self care even when you are feeling unlovable
- Why it is important to honor and heal your relationship with your body if you want to make an impact in matters outside of yourself
- How concepts around sex and concepts around social justice are interrelated
More About Matie
Before opening Self Serve, Matie was headed for a career in law. At the time she was “killing herself to be acceptable” so she gave herself permission to take a job at a sex shop as an escape from the pressures of law school. When she went to work, it “opened up my heart… I saw lives change.” But Matie was conflicted- was she really going to drop out of law school to work in a sex shop? Her sister gave her the sage advice that helped make the answer clear: “what can you do for hours and hours and feel like minutes pass?”
“People are so surprised that [Self Serve] is so nice,” she explains, “as if sexuality is something that we don’t deserve nice things around.” For her working means that she gets to help people “honor our sexuality as being a part of ourselves and our wholeness.” This concept is important in every facet of our lives. We know that self care must come first in order for us to live our lives and make a difference as much as possible, so why would sexual health and acceptance be excluded? “If we’re not embodied we can’t fight the fights we need to in the world.”
Running a sex shop, Matie is intimate with issues around body positivity and body shaming in our culture. She takes an unusual stance on body image. She tells people they ought to “give yourself permission to not love your body… if you hate your body today, go ahead.” She sees that shaming yourself for not having a positive body image is simply creating more shame rather than inspiring body positivity itself. Instead, she suggests that even if you don’t feel lovable, “show up for yourself as if you are lovable.” “Big picture,” she explains, “you are worthy of being loved whether you love yourself or not.”
Check Out the Links Mentioned in this Episode!
When we think of big business, such as the banking and financial world, we don’t naturally associate it with sticking up for the small guy (or gal!). According to Nusenda Credit Union Vice President of Community Relations Robin Brulé, financial institutions and government resources ought to invest in local and grassroots efforts to support community and economy for all. This is why she directs Nusenda’s business model to prioritize local businesses and entrepreneurs. As an Albuquerque native, she understands that in order for this city to thrive, it needs to build from the roots up and it needs support from the larger entities that have access to financial resources.
My guest in this episode is Robin Brulé. Robin is a large-system service designer with a proven track record of mobilizing cross-sector partners to improve outcomes for New Mexicans. Robin serves as the Senior Vice President of Community Relations and Assistant to the President at Nusenda Credit Union and serves as an “executive on loan” from Nusenda to Mayor Richard J. Berry, City of Albuquerque, where she helps accelerate implementation and results in the areas of education, human services, economic and workforce development in her role as Chief Strategist for Albuquerque’s Living Cities Integration Initiative. Robin was named “Professional of the Year” by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions in 2014 and selected as an Annie E. Casey Foundation Fellow in 2007. In this episode Robin and I talk about why it is so important to support local, how she is able to see the whole picture to develop unique and nontraditional solutions, why we must work from a grassroots and large-scale level to support your local economy, how Robin is able to make this happen, and how she is able to care for her wellbeing amidst all of these undertakings.
What You’ll Discover in This Episode:
- How Credit Unions help small businesses and entrepreneurs, and how you can take advantage of the Credit Union in your city to further your businesses or bring your aspirations to reality
- How to help direct financial resources in your community into grassroots efforts
- Why supporting grassroots and local enterprises is important, and benefits your community as a whole
More About Robin
As a former strategic advisor to the New Mexico Children’s Cabinet, and Executive Director of the Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) Foundation Robin understands that in order for community building institutions to thrive, they require significant financial support and investment. Working with Nusenda, Robin makes sure that funding local and grassroots businesses is a priority. However, having worked on both side of the equation, she has been able to see that a huge barrier for these local efforts is access. “There are a lot of assets in our community that we potentially don’t take advantage of as we could.” With her diverse experience, she tries to recognize “when someone is not growing economically, what is stopping them?”
Robin addresses this information barrier by implementing a three step process. First, she emphasizes the importance of collective impact. “There’s no one leader or system thats going to be able to solve everything,” she explains, “we have to all work together toward a common goal.” Next, she examines the actual capitol innovation and financial resources available. “We have a lot of resources, but how are we deploying them?” She looks at if these resources are making an impact, and what can be done to expand the accessibility and influence of those resources. Finally, she dives into public sector innovation. In order for any business or system to succeed, “we need policies that really support and help them.”
As Robin seeks to strengthen the individuals that make up Albuquerque in order to better the city as a whole, she applies this same approach to her personal health. She recognizes that she “won’t be able to do these things if I’m not healthy in all ways.” Following a recent family tragedy, Robin experienced a grief that “sometimes seemed insurmountable.” Again, she chose to mirror the processes that she advocates for in her personal life. She “wanted to put my grief into action” and sought out legislative action to ensure that her traumatic experience would not be repeated for others. Today Robin makes sure to find a balance between taking action and taking care of herself, because “if now isn’t the time to take care of myself then it’ll be never the time.”
Check Out The Links Mentioned in This Episode!
Do you ever feel that, with your many responsibilities and dedication to those around you, you lose a sense of self? In trying to provide and support our communities and families, at times we lose sight of our own spirit’s needs. According to Brain Educator Bette Castoria, the first steps to gaining a sense of control of your life is by gaining an understanding of how your brain processes the world, also known as Brain Education. Brain Education gives individuals the power to use their brain’s full capacity, as well as decrease stress, increase focus, confidence, and mindfulness.
In this episode I talk with Bette Castoria, a yoga instructor at Body & Brain, a holistic yoga and fitness center, and a Body and Brain Educator. Prior to discovering the benefits of yoga, Bette worked a nine to five job for twenty two years. Today I talk with Bette about how yoga and Brain Education have changed her life, how she was able to recognize that she wasn’t happy in her former way of living, and how she is able to stay calm in moments of frustration or anger.
What You’ll Discover in This Episode
What Belly Button Healing is and how it can help you with physical pain
Bette’s tips for keeping calm and being thoughtful when she feels herself filled with anger
How Brain Education can help you to change your perspective, utilize your brain in a more creative way, and encourage greater productivity
More About Bette
Bette was introduced to Brain Education through yoga. She discovered a deep yoga practice eleven years ago, finding that yoga “woke up so much in me.” Yearning to take her practice further, she discovered Brain Education, which seeks to retrain the brain to be more creative, peaceful, and productive. Bette uses Brain Education with both children and adults. She loves working with children, as the influence of the education is so tangible. “I love to see the young person find their power,” she explains, “they have the ability to do what they want.”
Bette explains that Brain Education is an important tool for gaining control of our lives and our sense of independence. When seeking control and structure, we often “do it by holding, clinging, and controlling every aspect of [our lives and] everyone else’s.” By using Brain Education one can learn how to consciously change her perspective and discover a true sense of autonomy.
Prior to becoming a Brain Educator, Bette had a job where she made good money and could afford material pleasures. She reflects, “when I started yoga I started realizing [my lifestyle] wasn’t making me truly happy.” Since discovering the power of yoga and Brain Education Bette has found a deeper sense of fulfillment. These days, her sense of happiness comes from “waking up everyday and doing what I’m passionate about.”
Check Out the Links Mentioned in This Episode!
When difficulty arises, what is your first instinct? Most likely, you seek out ways to overcome or solve the problem. You make a plan, take action, and leave it behind you. While this approach alleviates the problem on the surface, sometimes there are deeper emotional repercussions that remain. For poet Eva Crespin and writer Carolyn Flynn, writing about personal experience can be the way to access and heal those deeper issues.
In this episode, I speak with Eva Crespin and Carolyn Flynn. Eva Crespin is an Albuquerque-based poet and slam poet. Eva has been writing and performing poetry since age twelve and has traveled around the US performing her slam poems. She has won numerous awards, and is admired for having created poems around emotionally heavy topics at such a young age. Carolyn Flynn is a writer and editor who has worked for such publications and institutes as SAGE Magazine, The Albuquerque Journal, and The University of New Mexico. Carolyn is a seven-time published author, TEDxWomen speaker and winner of the 2014 Rick Bass/Montana Prize for Fiction, and the owner of SoulFire Studios LLC, which nurtures authors, business-minded artisans and creative entrepreneurs. Today I talk with Eva and Carolyn about how they came to use writing as an emotional tool, how writing has advanced and shaped both of their lives and careers, and how beginners can start using writing as a tool to better know themselves.
What You’ll Discover in This Episode
- How writing can help you figure out your true goals
- Why women tend to play it safe or hold back, and what you can do to overcome that habit
- How writing can be used to heal, and how you can start to use it for growth today
More About Eva and Carolyn
Eva Crespin came to writing at a young age. She used writing and performing as a way to process the world around her and work through difficulties she had faced. For example, after her father passed away, writing slam poems about her relationship with him allowed her to “to forgive him without him physically being here.” “Writing the poem is helpful,” she explains, but “there’s something about sharing that’s even more helpful to forgive and heal.” For Eva, sharing her work creates a deeper sense of healing and connectivity, because in accessing and sharing her emotions, she is able to help others who have had similar experiences to process theirs.
According to Carolyn Flynn, once a person learns how to write to heal it becomes a very intuitive, natural process. She suggests that “too often we stay on the surface of life” and you “may wake up one day to realize you’ve chased after something that you don’t actually really want.” Mindful writing is a way to overcome this cycle, discover your deep, authentic desires, and begin to develop a relationship with them. Carolyn suggests that writing for healing is particularly important for women. She says that “women have so much more voice and power than at any other time in history,” however, “we’re still not the dominant culture.” We are sometimes silenced or tossed aside, and for that reason “it’s even more important for women to have that self knowledge.” For both Eva and Carolyn, writing is the best and easiest way to access that self knowledge.
Check Out the Links Mentioned in This Episode!