Hivery Circle: Summer Soirée! 7/9/2019

Facials and brow waxes and Tarot readings, oh my! The Hivery Summer Soirée was so much fun. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate summer with us. It was wonderful to mingle and enjoy all of the amazing services on offer. The gorgeous white gardenias behind everyone’s ears made last night look like a summer celebration from a romantic comedy.

Huge thanks to the tremendously talented individuals (some of whom are Hivery members) who helped make the July Hivery Circle so special, including: 

  • Dauray Tannahill of Wildflower Apothecary (the amazing scents coming out of the Inspiration Lab as she gave skin consultations was divine)

  • Carrie Leeb of Spark Studio SF (how cool was it to decorate bowls and make them look just like they were purchased at Anthropologie?)

  • Emily Meier of HoneyGirl Beauty (our brows are thanking you)

  • Marlene Caldes of InnerVoice Network (her Tarot readings left us energized and optimistic)

  • Jill James Hoffman of Qorkz, who served delicious Bee Hunter Wine for us, and our friends at GT’s Living Foods serving their amazing kombucha

  • Food mavens Allison Berardi who prepared scrumptious bites (is anyone else still thinking about the bruschetta today?) and Daniela Kratz of Farmhouse Lab who deliciously dressed the salads

We are so grateful to have you in our community!

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ps… Check out the photos in our slideshow above, or you can also see and comment on our Facebook album!


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel

Hivery Circle: Yearning to Belong with Grace Kraaijvanger June 11, 2019

“Every person has, I believe, the feeling that she doesn’t belong in the lives of other people. That she is in some way different, a guest, and she takes all possible measures to make sure that others won’t notice. This is the feeling that all people have, and that is precisely why we all belong together.” —Harry Mulisch, Two Women


The Hivery Founder & CEO, Grace Kraaijvanger, opened the June Hivery Circle evening event with the question: Why is belonging important? She reminded us of the recent scientific studies showing that 1 in 4 Americans do not feel as though they have even one person that they can truly confide in and that loneliness can have significant, and detrimental, effects on our health. A study out of Stanford has also shown that even a single instance of exclusion can undermine well-being, IQ test performance, and self-control.

Grace also shared that her interest in creating The Hivery came from a longing, a yearning, that she noticed in herself and has since witnessed in hundreds of women. A yearning that women give all kinds of names—I’m stuck; I’m frustrated; I’m looking for clarity; I’m not sure what’s next—but that ties back to one thing. BELONGING.

“Belonging has an outreach, an energy, and commitment. Belonging is the essence of community.” A huge thank you to Grace for sharing her story, the stories that she’s heard from so women, and the Ten Attributes of Community:

  1. You’re not alone.

  2. There is sentiment (a sense of “we”).

  3. It’s not temporary (ie, not a “mob” or a “crowd”).

  4. There is a wider lens of outcome.

  5. There’s the Individual and the Collective.

  6. There is a “space” (physically, virtually, or metaphorically).

  7. It has shared values AND guardrails to protect those values.

  8. There are rituals and traditions.

  9. It allows for experiments, failures, and pain.

  10. It provides “space” for generosity and play!

In communities with belonging, we accept you for who you are. When you show up, you belong here.

We learned so much from others who also shared their own stories of belonging (or not belonging):

  • “Belonging can also come from within. Allowing ourselves to be accepted rather than seeing ourselves as an outsider can be half the battle.”

  • When people show up for us, we truly feel as though we belong.

  • Everyone feels like an outsider at times.

  • It doesn’t have to take 20 years to feel like you belong!

  • “Life was holding out an invitation to what I should be doing all along. Sometimes we don’t belong because we aren’t accepting the invitation to belong.”

It was an incredible night! We saw how quickly you can feel connected (just 30 seconds!) and we learned more about why people join The Hivery. There is something that each of us was put on this earth to do...and it often reveals itself as a yearning, a rustling, a calling. When we are in the isolation of our heads, that “thing” can seem muddy and confusing. When we are in community, it can flourish and thrive. What is that unique contribution you need to make in this world? It’s so much easier to answer that question in community.

“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are;
it requires you to be who you are.” —Brené Brown

Big thanks to our event collaborators! Drinks to cool us off provided by Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Kombucha. And thank you to Dove for sharing their new products in a special Hivery gift bag (the timing of dry serum antiperspirant and the heat wave was purely coincidental!). We appreciate Dove’s attention to #ShowUs #RealBeauty and for giving us the chance to #FeelItBelieveIt.

In community,

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With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by Mav Media
Flowers by Sara Florals

From Grace: On Love, Loss, and Being a Cello

We mark our lives in annual increments, birthdays, anniversaries, school years, holidays, each yearly marker an indication of what we’re celebrating, how far we’ve come, how old we are, or how long we’ve been at a particular pursuit (like marriage or parenting or existence). But, the anniversary of death takes on a different tone.

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This week marked the one-year anniversary of my sister, Maggie’s passing and about a month ago, I started to feel the weight of it coming on. I was confused by it, at first. Why did I feel a little nauseous, a bit more anxious, all-around blue, and the unexplained, yet burdensome feeling of a weight on my shoulders? As if a hostile, physiological takeover, the subconscious starts to identify the milestones. The light looks familiar. The days serve as a reminder. The weather guides you; the seasons won’t let you forget. Last year, my sister was dying on Mother’s Day. She was hospitalized on my son’s birthday and was too sick to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, too. She passed on Memorial Day. Each day a symbol of the process, the realization of truth, the understanding (or quest) to digest the permanence of loss, and the weird and eerie fact that someone you love is gone, and yet you are still here. That alone is confusing enough.

Yes, I carry her in my heart every day. And yes, I feel her soulful spirit with me. And yes, she has come to me in a dream, that was beautiful, but then achingly over, leaving questions like, “Was that the only dream I’ll get?" Yes, I see her in hummingbirds. And yes, I believe that she’s up there moving things around. When I was honored on Memorial Day as “Citizen of the Year” in Mill Valley, I could picture her up there making it happen; not only because she’s proud of me, but also because it would crack her up. She’d giggle that I felt a little shy about the whole thing and would have been cheering in the front row, determined to embarrass me with her loud laugh. She was so steadfastly present with me that it felt like she gave me a parade.

And yet, it's also true that sometimes you don’t want a hummingbird or a sparkling star or a dream or even a parade; what you really want is to have your sister back. And sometimes the only person that you want to call to talk about how your heart aches with agony, is the very same person that you’ve lost, and the very same reason that your heart is aching in the first place. So, you pick up the phone, and you reach out to someone else (someone who may also hurt, or someone that wants to ease your pain), and sometimes you don’t reach out at all. Sometimes because it’s too painful, and sometimes because you know that no one can save you from this experience of loss, that you simply have to keep going, and let the time move forward, and hope with all your might that acceptance will kick in.

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For each of you out there that is feeling the vast and deep human experience of love and loss, I see you, I feel you, and even across the miles, I’m here for you. Grief breaks open your heart…but what comes out through the cracks is a gold, liquid love. And, I want you to know that my heart sees your heart. There is a concept called “resonance theory” illustrated by two cellos across the room from each other. When one cello plays a chord, the other cello across the room reverberates in response to the sound waves, as if to say, “I feel you. I’m a cello, too.” For those of you hurting out there (which is at some point all of us), I want you to know that I see you and feel you. And wish only for you, my dear cello, that your pain is your guide toward something deeper and light-filled for you.

With love,

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PS… I know that not everyone feels compelled to share their experience in this public way. For me, it’s cathartic, and every typed word has felt like a little loosening of the pressure of grief, so I thank you for reading and experiencing this process together. This weird little social media platform where we take pictures of our food, and chronicle our vacations, and post videos of our kids’ dance performances, can also be used to pour our hearts out about what it means to live, grieve, find our way forward, and to love. I’m grateful for that. Thank you for allowing my world into yours.

Hivery Circle: WISDOM@WORK with Chip Conley May 15, 2019

The May Hivery Circle was incredible! Thank you for coming out and participating in our fireside chat with The Hivery Founder Grace Kraaijvanger and author, hospitality entrepreneur and thought-leader Chip Conley. The 90-minute conversation was captivating. We are thankful to Chip, author of new book Wisdom@Work: The Making of the Modern Elder and creator of the Modern Elder Academy, for being vulnerable, open and honest in his talk as well as engaging and deeply relatable in his answers during the post-event Q&A.

We loved hearing the details of Chip’s story, from growing up as a teen on a similar path as his father to being a mid-20s man coming into his own and founding Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which he ran for nearly 24 years. His stories were peppered with life lessons and wisdom. “One of my favorite quotes,” Chip said, “is from Oscar Wilde, who said, ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’”

Chip described the process of being an entrepreneur as the “process of finding your purpose.” And, it was inspiring to hear that when he joined Airbnb as Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, he realized there was a disconnect between young workers and those in his generation, which inspired his book on the "modern elder," and the launch of his Modern Elder Academy.

“Modern elders are as curious as they are wise,” he told us. “We help people illuminate possibilities.”

Chip also explained that as people age their EQ, or emotional intelligence, increases. He cited a Harvard Business Review article about how confidence in women increases between their mid-20s and mid-60s (love that). It was such an inspirational evening!

Huge thanks to our friends at Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Living Foods for providing delicious refreshments. Gratitude to Beverly Freeman for performing her original song to open the event and to Vanda Marlow for her inspirational reading to close the night. Talk about talented...thank you!

What takeaways did you get out of last night? Comment below to continue the conversation!


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by Oliver Ousterhout
Flowers by Sara Florals

The Impact of Isolation

When I first started The Hivery (and even still, five years later), there is a common response when I ask someone why they came to a tour of The Hivery. I’ll ask them, “What brought you to The Hivery today?” and invariably, they’ll respond, “I needed to get away from the distractions of my home office...I needed to get away from the laundry.”…After years of meeting with entrepreneurs, seekers, creatives, consultants, and people across all industries, I can’t tell you how many bring up the LAUNDRY as a reason to join a coworking space or community.

I’ve learned that it’s not about the laundry, AT ALL. It’s about the lonely.

When we are undertaking a next chapter or radical transformation, we can not do it alone. Isolation is the antithesis of creativity and can quickly become a breeding ground for self-doubt, overwhelm, and lack of action. And, even though we are “connected” every waking moment by the endless stream of social media, email, and the frenzy of life, the single greatest and most common challenge that I hear through my work at The Hivery, is the challenge of isolation. We need each other. We yearn for community. We crave being accepted for who we truly are. We have an instinctual response to help each other. We don’t want to grow, transform, or create alone.

The impact of isolation is very real. One in four Americans report that they have ZERO friends they can completely confide in. Another study showed that having weak social ties is as harmful to our health as smoking, and that the feeling of isolation sets off a cellular reaction that can increase inflammation in our body. In other words, the feeling of isolation, could be harmful to our health.

I’ve mentioned this before… Fear loves loneliness. Fear loves isolation. But fear can’t stand people banding together to support each other’s work. Alone in our thoughts, we can talk ourselves out of the very essence of who we are and what we are here to do.

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Belonging, on the other hand, is a state of being accepted for who you are and being part of something. Being part of something reveals shared values, hope, belief systems, rituals, and a collective spirit that we can continue to grow and improve, not just as individuals, but as part of humanity. It matters. Belonging is at the foundation of our human needs.

Here at The Hivery, it’s our goal to offer members the kind of connection that fosters well-being in every sense of the word—socially, emotionally, and physically. The Hivery is a place where you can feel true belonging, and...yes, there IS that added side benefit...you’ll also get a stunning workspace far, far away from the laundry.

XO,

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Beautiful Aspirational Space

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I love beautiful, aspirational space, not simply for aesthetics, but for the message that it sends to our deepest, internal selves. Space is a metaphor and indication of how we live life. Beautiful spaces create invaluable, subconscious reminders that YOU are light-filled, expansive, filled with possibility, bold, visible, and beautiful in ways that are so much deeper than the surface. You are bright, with unexpected dashes of color. You are in a state of transformation. You are lofty, constantly changing, and filled with texture. 

You have the power to move the furniture around in your soul, and you will encounter chapters when the coffee spills all over the floor. You aren't afraid to change it up, rearrange it, and create beauty in a different way. You're not just "pretty"...that's the exterior, it's lovely, but on its' own kinda' boring, and it's incomplete, not the full story. 

The deeper "space" that you are willing to inhabit is the courage, fearlessness, kindness, humility, and compassion of what it means to be a human.

You're willing to go deeper and deeper into the truth of who you are. And that truth is beauty. Do not be afraid. Embody that deeper beauty. Take up space. Make the world better in that way that only you can. 

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And, while all of that radical, soulful action is going on...take a look around. Drink in the beauty of the physical space, whether it's in nature, in your workspace, in a piece of music, or in a photograph...allow your surroundings to uplift and inspire.

Want to bring a little "Hivery" to your surroundings? Choose one corner of your house, bedroom, flower pot, or table top, and infuse it with beauty. No need to buy anything. Create a clean space, and thoughtfully add elements of light, soul, and life. It's a tray, a flower, a beautiful object, a plant, an inspiring book, a journal. All placed with thought and care, not for how it will look, but how it will FEEL. 

Take up thoughtful, bold, creative space. Be your own beauty-maker. You've got this.

XO,

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Hivery Circle: The Soul of Money with Lynne Twist and Sara Vetter April 3, 2019

In April, we are celebrating the importance of shifting from scarcity to abundance! At this month’s Hivery Circle, we were thrilled to welcome acclaimed author and speaker, Lynne Twist, and speaker and coach, Sara Vetter, of the Soul of Money Institute and Pachamama Alliance, an organization that partners with indigenous people from the Amazon to preserve their land and culture and bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on the planet.

Our April Hivery Circle evening event was one for the books, starting with delicious bites and drinks from the people at Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Living Foods.

Wining and dining with new and old friends in the atrium was followed by a captivating presentation by Lynne and Sara that dove into the societal perceptions around money, concepts around scarcity, and advice on how to bring more sufficiency into our lives. Lynne, a world renowned speaker and author of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship With Money And Life, started the evening by discussing how we all live in a culture of scarcity.

Sara then discussed the three myths of scarcity:

#1: There is never enough.
#2: More is always better (more pairs of jeans, more money).
#3: That’s just the way it is.

“But there is a radical, surprising truth,” said Lynne. “Sufficiency. What you appreciate appreciates. Sufficiency is a state of being.”

The evening ended with a lively Q&A where Lynne answered a question on how to balance less-than-ideal situations with the concept of sufficiency.

“We often don’t live in our lives, but instead live in the conversations we have about our lives,” she said. “Those conversations have power. Find the conversations that will empower you.”

What takeaways did you get out of last night? Comment below to continue the conversation!


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by MavMedia
Flowers by Sara Florals

This One's About The Money

Money. Money. Money.

There. I said it. The word that brings up so much for each of us, and yet a different story for all. Stories of scarcity, fear, pressure, abundance, pricing, value, inequality…Money’s such a tough subject that I have barely ventured to write about it yet. Until I saw a few patterns around money (both in myself and others) that made me want to do some myth-busting around common money issues.

“I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it.”

“I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it.”

Why this money pep talk? Because I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it. Pure and simple. I believe from the bottom of my heart, that you’re worth it.

Here are four money myths that I’ve identified, and best practices for how to turn those myths around into valuable truth (and money in the bank).

Money Myth #1: You have to have everything perfect before you can start selling. A female entrepreneur I know was closing up shop. She couldn’t make the money that it takes to live in the Bay Area and she was shutting down her business to take a salaried job for a tech company in the city. Listen, I get it…we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. But I wanted to understand what went wrong. “I just couldn’t make enough doing what I do,” she said. But, why?

She had amazing expertise, was an experienced consultant, had a sophisticated voice and point-of-view, had years of experience, and was certainly a thought leader in her field….so, what was she missing? Her business wasn’t producing enough revenue. I asked her a ton of questions. And the more she spoke about her business, it quickly became clear what was missing. She had avoided selling her work. She had named the company, created the website, created the opt-in to build her list, polished a list of services, created free content…she had done it all. Except selling…she had waited a whole year before she started selling her services and was reeling from a year with very little income. And there were all kinds of excuses for this…”I don’t want to be too pushy. I don’t want to be sales-y. I already told them how to buy from me, so they must not be interested,” to name a few.

As entrepreneurs, we have to flip the model…instead of being perfectly prepared and then selling, it’s imperative to make selling a priority, and then button up the myriad of other things on your to-do list later. In other words, sell EARLY. The website doesn’t have to be perfect, the offering can be a work-in-progress. But, flexing that selling muscle, and more importantly, telling your audience HOW to work with you and how valuable the results will be….that’s a critical step that can not wait until every detail is perfect. You need to start the exchange of value (money for the impact of your product/service) sooner than later, so that you can:

a) Learn what works.

b) Validate your offer.

c) Fine-tune your target audience.

d) Get a read on your pricing (too high/too low) for the time, energy, and value output.

e) Make sure you love it. By selling your work, you learn if this is the right project size for you, an audience you want to serve, the modality you want to do it in, etc.

f) Stay in business.

I’m not telling you to sell a sub-par product. But, in my experience, that’s not the danger to many entrepreneurs I meet. The pattern I see is that the product or service is READY to be sold, yet there’s a temptation to hide. Don’t hide your products or services. Put them right up front for your customers, so that the value exchange can begin.

Money Myth #2: I can’t set revenue goals until I’m making “real” money. A practical jumpstart for those that struggle with selling is to create a tangible revenue goal for next month. What do you want to make next month? Not next quarter, not next year, but within the next 30-45 days. You can create a monthly revenue goal based on your needs, and then work backwards from that number to create the action plan that will get you to your goal. It’s simple. Write your revenue goal at the top of a piece of paper. Write your products/offerings and their prices along the side. You’ll soon see how many sales you’ll need across your product mix to meet your revenue goal. And guess what? The universe loves it when you write things down. If you believe in manifesting (I do), start with the actual dollar amount that you want to see come in the door, and create the action plan to get there.

Money Myth #3: You can’t make money doing what you’re passionate about or what comes easy to you. Some of us have money blocks around how deserving we are of being rewarded when the work we are doing comes naturally to us, or flows freely. It took me over 40 years to realize that doing work that I loved and making money didn’t have to be mutually exclusive. My years as a dancer taught me subconsciously that making money meant I wasn’t a “real” artist. Well, guess what? I ain’t buying it. That thing that comes easy to you is a strong indicator of your zone of genius. And that zone of genius is unique to you. You’re the only one with the exact mix of passion, wisdom, experience, pain, joy, talent, and drive…thus, you’re the only one who can do it your way. When I’m mentoring someone on this concept, I like to remind them that if you withhold that magic sauce that only you have, you’re not just taking the opportunity away from yourself, but you’re keeping that value and expertise from the very audience that you’re committed to serve. In other words, if you can’t unleash your talent for yourself, then do it for us. We need what you have to offer.

Money Myth #4: Since I’m just starting this business, I’ll need to offer a lot of my services/time/products for free in order to gain credibility, customers, brand visibility, etc. Offering your services for free, or giving away your time in the name of gaining experience can go to far. Too often I see new entrepreneurs giving away their time and expertise over coffee for someone who wants to “pick their brain.” We often rationalize this by thinking that this free time will result in paid time down the road, or that they’ll recommend us in the future, or that we simply have to give away our time because we know the person asking for it (they’re a friend, colleague, family member, or friend-of-friend). Listen, I know that you’re gracious and hard-wired to serve…but let’s not give so much time away that we leave ourselves with little time to do the work, and be rewarded for it. Limit your “pick your brain” conversations to a short time limit that works for you, or a certain number of complimentary conversations per month. That way you can go on being your gracious self, AND know that you have the boundaries required to honor your expertise.

 

“Money itself isn’t the problem. Money itself isn’t bad or good. Money itself doesn’t have power or not have power. It is our interpretation of money, our interaction with it, where the real mischief is and where we find the real opportunity for self-discovery and personal transformation.”

― Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

 

Today I felt compelled to lay the money cards on the table and dispel some common myths and patterns that I see occurring around money, especially from some of our newer entrepreneurs. Let’s continue the conversation around money and help each other as a community continue to honor our worth and respect the wisdom and value that each of us bring to the table. Because frankly dear community, I need to know that you are being rewarded for your work. And, I need you to challenge each other to hold true to the value that you provide. What are some of your hiding strategies around money? Or myths and patterns that may be holding you back from charging what you’re worth?

Want to talk more about the deeper meaning and soul work of money? You’ve come to the right place. On April 2nd, we will be welcoming Lynne Twist, bestselling author of The Soul of Money and Sara Vetter, The Soul of Money Institute Business Development Director, to The Hivery stage. Join us for The Hivery Circle: Soul of Money Gathering Tuesday, April 2nd.

xo,

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p.s. Next up in the money conversation…let’s talk about raising your prices. Who’s in?

Hivery Circle: Courageous Women Open Mic • March 12, 2019

This month we celebrated International Women’s Day with an Open Mic of amazing stories and inspiration. Check out the slideshow below….

Bravo and enormous gratitude go out to the incredible group of talented, authentic, and surprising(!) women who bravely opened their hearts on The Hivery stage to share their stories, their fears, their adventures, and their courage. From exquisite descriptions of sacred places, to authenticity, stillness, and self-care, to speaking truth to power, these women showed us real ways to live with courage every day. We wanted to give a special shout out to each of them:

Dr. Sweta Chawla: "It's not materialistic to love beauty."

Michelle Moquin: "It takes courage to be an authentic person."

Cristol Barrett O'Loughlin: "Sixty million mothers on the planet are living with courage every single day."

Cindy Carrandi: "Finding value in stillness."

Allison Schoop: "I'm a butterfly. I need to fly."

Amy Gragnolatti: "I had no formal experience and thought I had nothing to offer, but I took the jump and my life is now richer than I ever thought possible."

Thais Derich: "Get your seat at the table and get in a position to make decisions and support other women who are."

Laura Vidal: "Communicating with each other can reduce some of our fear."

Denise Blondo: "Courage doesn't come in big Oprah moments,
it comes in the small spaces."

Katie Macks: "We are not meant to be alone, we are meant to be in community."

Dr. Sarah Dihmes: "Every person has the right to feel good about themselves.
It's not vanity, it's sanity."

Pamela Weymouth: "I found the courage to follow my gut."

Dr. Vera Amore: "Your angel will protect you. Always trust your soul intuition."

Fiery adventures, hitchhiking with cats, journeys through disease and the path to loving the person in the mirror—these bold, badass sisters shined their lights last night and for that we are forever changed and grateful.

We encourage everyone to follow their example —share your story and use your voice.


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by MavMedia
Flowers by Sara Florals

Three Internal Warriors to Fight the Battle of Fear

There’s a line by Judy Dench in the Second Best Marigold Hotel where she says, “I don't know if I'm excited or terrified. Sometimes it seems to me that the difference between what we want and what we fear is a width of an eyelash." … I heard that, grabbed my journal, and furiously wrote it down so that I wouldn’t forget. It’s a reassurance that when the fear kicks in, pay attention. You’re probably on to something.

I’ve learned in the last couple years, that there are a few key warriors to employ in the inner-battle with fear.

The first thing that fear really can’t stand…the one super hero that shoves fear into the corner and lets courage step in the ring…is connection. Fear loves loneliness. Fear loves isolation. But fear can’t stand people banding together to support each other’s work. Alone in our thoughts, we can talk ourselves out of the very essence of who we are and what we are here to do. But with connection, the voices around us can support and distract from fear.

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I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a woman nod her head in workshops or events at The Hivery, simply by hearing someone else reflect something that she too was feeling. It’s as if a thought bubble rises above her to say, “I thought I was the only one…” and with that simple realization, the inner-fear voice has been hushed. It’s so much easier to be afraid when you’re all alone, with just you and your laptop. Often that voice that is telling you that you aren’t ready, aren’t prepared, aren’t good enough, or whatever list of no-good-very-bad-things is racing through your mind, can be quieted through connection with someone else.

The second thing fear isn’t crazy about is discipline (the artist formerly known as showing up). The repetition and commitment required to be your true self…it takes work. When you show up fully AGAIN, it’s that resilience that can knock the wind out of fear’s sails. I think back to my days as a ballet dancer when my favorite sound was the clink of my ring on the ballet barre when we were about to start class. That clink was the signal that I was home. Nothing could take me down if I simply overcame the resistance, and showed up. How I danced at class was barely the point…it was that I got there, every, single day, even when I didn’t feel like it, even when I felt like crap, even when it felt impossible. I showed up, and that very simple (yet complicated) action mattered deeply in my internal battle to put my best self out there.

Lastly, fear doesn’t like to hang out in sacred space. Fear likes to keep you feeling lost and out of sorts. Creating a space in your home or work environment (or enjoying your nook at The Hivery) is a critical piece of the concept behind Joseph Campbell’s bliss chamber.

"[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.” — Joseph Campbell

Space is a metaphor and indication of how we live life. Beautiful spaces create invaluable, subconscious reminders that YOU are light-filled, expansive, filled with possibility, bold, visible, and beautiful in ways that are so much deeper than the surface. You are bright, with unexpected dashes of color. You are in a state of transformation. You are lofty, constantly changing, and filled with texture.You have the power to move the furniture around in your soul, and you will encounter chapters when the coffee spills all over the floor. You aren't afraid to change it up, rearrange it, and create beauty in a different way. You're not just "pretty"...that's the exterior, which is lovely, but on its own, kinda' boring. “Pretty” is incomplete, not the full story.

The deeper "space" that you are willing to inhabit, whether that’s through your connection with others, or your commitment to showing up for yourself, is the courage, fearlessness, kindness, humility, and compassion of what it means to be a human. You're willing to go deeper and deeper into the truth of who you are. And that truth is beauty. Do not be afraid. Embody that deeper beauty. Take up space. And let fear step aside.

xo,

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Blessed Unrest

“You strike me as a woman who’s never been satisfied.” sings Alexander Hamilton to Angelica in the infamous musical. That lyric has always had my attention. Is it true that we ALL feel that search for internal satisfaction? We often experience a yearning, a tugging, a wonder. There is a constant curiosity, an everlasting what-if? 

That feeling can be uncomfortable, and I've even heard women say things to me like, "Why can't I just be happy with how things are?". There is nothing wrong with you (quite the contrary!) in feeling this unrest. An artist is never pleased. I have been captivated and guided by this concept, so much so that I put the Martha Graham quote that references this idea directly on the wall (see the quote below). 

Never being satisfied is different from dissatisfied, and far different from ungrateful for what we have. Never being satisfied is a quest to uncover, to reveal, to scratch the surface, to do it differently, to do it again.

It requires repetition and conscious inquiry to uncover the truth. And it's part of our process of discovering who we really are. 

I put my left hand on the ballet barre thousands and thousands of times to begin each ballet class with a simple plié. Every ballet class for 400 years has started with this simple movement of bending the knees. But, it wasn’t until I’d been doing it for ALMOST 40 YEARS, that I learned that every plié was different. Every time, another opportunity to realign the body, come back to center, re-explore and begin again. Repetition is the mother of skill, an opportunity to create and maintain boundaries, that ultimately loosens the vice of limitations. You have to focus, in order to be free. 

That yearning, that tugging, that wondering about what you were put on this planet to do, must be attended to. Only you can tend to your garden. You have the seeds, you have the soil, you have everything required to plant the flowers. But, ultimately it’s up to you to explore the “blessed unrest”.

What is it about you, your hopes, your dreams, that lies in that blessed unrest category? That soulful desire that just won't leave you alone?

xo,

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Blessed Unrest

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action, 
and because there is only one of you in all time, 
this expression is unique.

If you block it, 
it will never exist through any other medium 
and be lost. 
The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is; 
nor how it compares with other expressions. 
It is your business to keep the channel open. 
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. 

You have to keep open and aware directly 
to the urges that motivate you. 
Keep the channel open. 

No artist is ever pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. 
There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction; 
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching 
and makes us more alive than the others. 

-- Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille

Expression as a Daily Vitamin

As I sat down to write yesterday morning, I found myself looking at the blank page for a long expanse of time; maybe it was only a few minutes, but it felt vast. I didn’t know what to write.

I’m trying to uncover or unlock the passion I have for writing that has been obscured a bit these past couple of years by a common roadblock of creativity…busy-ness. We know intellectually that we aren’t our best when our days are chock-full of the “shoulds” and to-do lists that leave us exhausted and feeling aimless. How many of you have felt those days that feel packed and busy and futile? The kind where you’ve done “all the things” yet feel like you got nothing done, or didn’t do any of it well? It’s exactly that feeling that I am consciously steering myself away from as I re-frame what I want my days to look and feel like. Being busy can feel like a trap, and a strong one with a powerful lure.

Because this has been a conscious process for me, I felt compelled to explore and name it. What is that state of flow and why is it that I can feel it so strongly and beautifully in various areas of my life, and conversely miss it and feel the intense void of it? Finally I understand that the flow is expression. Expression. And for me (for all?), it is a vital ingredient of the human experience, and must be tended to daily.

We need expression because we require an outlet. The world and this life are asking us to process so much and at warp speed. Our minds and our hearts become taxed and overwhelmed by the weight and the responsibility of all this stimulus. Without some sort of expression, we become bottled up, clogged if you will. The root of the word expression, to express, to let out, tells us all we need to know. Our bodies, minds, and emotions have a capacity for what we can hold and process. Without expression, we are filled to the brim with no room for flow. We feel stuck, stagnant, and in the “I don’t know what to do next” quagmire.

Expression is how we release the valve, take the pressure off, and regain flow. And the beauty of that expression is that it takes all forms. It’s a state of being, rather than a state of doing. It negates “busy-ness” and revels and thrives in consciousness. For me expression is in writing, dancing, conversation (especially those balanced with curiosity and listening). And, it’s also in unexpected places like making breakfast, making study cards with my daughter, and on walks in nature. Expression comes in the form of ideas, movement, sound, art, and even the way you arrange your personal mementos on your dresser top.

Why does expression matter? And, why must we consciously create awareness for expression? Because without it, we are confined to the parameters of our to-do lists, our schedules, even our bank statements. Our scope becomes narrow and we get that feeling that something is missing.

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Your assignment for today? Express yourself in a way that feels in flow: verbally, visually by making something with your hands or body or through words. Whether it’s a meal or a blog post or a business plan or a painting or a speech or a bracelet, make something before noon today. You don’t have to complete your expression as some expressions take time, but you do have to begin. Mine was this piece of writing, expressed through my pen and journal in the early hours of the morning. There. Feeling better already.  

xo,

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The Hivery 'We Rise' Scholarship Awardees 2018–2019

Inspired by Maya Angelou's poem, Still I Rise, and the powerful, brave work of women everywhere, The Hivery launched the 'We Rise' Scholarship Program in 2016 to empower, contribute and support passionate, bold beings who work tirelessly toward equality.

We are thrilled to tell you a little bit more about the amazing work of our 2018-2019 Scholarship Awardees!


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Amy Gragnolati

Amy, what are you working on?

I am the co-founder and COO of a local non-profit, LONA. Our mission is to invest in women’s ability to create economic opportunity for themselves and others. Our programming is simple but impactful: through grants, pro-bono services and access to "social capital," we offer the support a woman may need to jumpstart her education or entrepreneurial dreams. We emphasize supporting women whose plans include impacting a broader population of women and girls. This emphasis is really important to us, and it’s how we view our work having a far-reaching impact on the Bay Area. If we can empower one woman, she can empower others around her and spark systemic change within the community.

Currently, we are working on growing our grantee portfolio, developing a list of supporters willing to offer pro-bono support to our grantees, and growing our presence in the local Bay Area community. The Bay Area is an amazing place to live and serve, and we feel lucky to grow LONA’s roots in this community.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

In addition to my work with LONA, I am a clinical pharmacist at Kaiser San Francisco where I specialize in internal medicine and addiction medicine. I love my job, but unfortunately my work as a pharmacist does not always translate into the skills I need to continue developing LONA. I am excited to join The Hivery community and learn from a network of women with backgrounds in marketing, consulting, finance, social media management, etc. I know I could learn a lot from women with diverse careers and skill sets, and I am excited to use this knowledge to grow LONA.


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Denise Blondo

Denise, what are you working on?

As the owner of Better Choices Training,  I develop and deliver professional workshops, coach individual speakers and provide Lead coaching.

And, as the founder of a grassroots donation program, I provide patients with free Chemo Cold Caps, to prevent hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments.  In 2014, I began collecting and providing chemo cold caps to patients in need.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

The Hivery has been the single best investment of my career! Now, I am connected to business women on the rise in Marin. And, I’m excited to collaborate with the Hivery to develop business workshops to meet the needs of our community.

 


Cristol O'Loughlin

Cristol, what are you working on?

There are 7000 rare genetic diseases in our country, affecting 1 in 25,000 births and 30 million Americans.   My company, ANGEL AID cares for the caregivers— in particular, mothers living with the difficult financial, physical and social realities of raising a child diagnosed with a rare genetic disease.   

I originally started ANGEL AID in 2000 as a passion project with a purpose -- to raise funds to cure children diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) or “Hunters Syndrome.”  MPS claimed the life of my three older brothers. Randy, David, and Jared passed away at 12, 18, and 19—and in many ways our family is still recovering from the difficult decisions and realities of caring for them.  Together with my UCLA Pi Phi Sorority Sisters, ANGEL AID has raised $125,000+ over 20 years through personal donations. It has become a clear calling that there is more we can do to support mothers during this journey.   

In November 2018, ANGEL AID was incorporated as A Nonprofit Group Enriching Lives, Inc. and I broadened our charter to offer research, relief and inspiration services to all rare disease families, with an emphasis on mothers.    

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

Launching a company is a daunting endeavor—a journey with a thousand paths and ten thousand decisions.  I am thrilled to join The Hivery and tap the collective skills, experience, and inspired creative energy of this unique women’s collective.  It is truly an honor to be a ‘We Rise’ Scholarship recipient.

The goal for ANGEL AID is to source research, relief and inspiration for children and families living with chronic disease. ANGEL AID will uplift these families by caring for the caregivers, in particular mothers. We will achieve these goals through three measurable metrics (**Thank you Grace #womendoingcoolstuff & #selinatobaccowala for #TheHivery Entrepreneur’s Circle Jan 17th!)

  1. Grow our email database through regular communications

  2. Engage families in a connective online network

  3. Host 1-2 Sustainable SuperMom retreats in 2019 at historic Barrett Family Ranch.  

To create these offerings, I hope to collaborate with Hivery members and engage a myriad of skills: business operations, website design, social creative/posting/amplification, product design, technical development, user experience, retreat programming, grant-writing, storytelling, videography, etc. Working in an inspired space brings inspiration to your work. Grace’s Incubator program will no doubt help accelerate our relaunch.

I simply cannot wait to meet all of you!


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Hayley Leibson

Hayley, what are you working on?

I am cofounder and COO of Lunchclub, a platform that makes mutually relevant in-real-life professional connections. Users sign up and indicate their home city, goals, and interests, and opt-in for meetings on a weekly basis. Our machine learning algorithms work the magic from there. We are now in SF Bay Area, NYC, LA, London, Seattle and Austin with many more cities around the world on the way in 2019! The results of connections made through Lunchclub are truly inspiring: cofounding relationships, startup and entertainment investments, hirings, new friendships, consulting and advising, our users getting into Village Global and YC, speaking engagements, and more.

I am also the founder of Lady in Tech, an award-winning tech and lifestyle platform for women, and co-founder of Female Founders Community—the largest online community of women entrepreneurs. I write a column for Forbes that inspires, motivates and moves millennial women to enter the tech industry and build impactful products at scale to improve the world. I speak around the world about diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

I am extremely excited to join The Hivery’s incredible community and ideate, collaborate, create, and dream up ideas with members to forward women in the workplace and make the tech industry a place that is more inclusive and attractive to people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and cultures. I am also really looking forward to attending all of The Hivery’s events and programming, as well as the opportunity to work from the gorgeous and inspirational space in Mill Valley.


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Sarah Dihmes

Sarah, what are you working on?

I am creating a company that specializes in the science of beauty. Built to help women spend less time in front of mirror and more time in their lives, Beauty Bootcamp will revolutionize and transform women’s beauty routines.

My programs enhance women’s lives by helping them create and maintain their own unique identities. Through education of beauty options, professional trainings for at-home maintenance, full-service pop up salons, and personalized services I’m creating strategies for women to design and sustain their everyday appearance.

We opened for busy women who want beauty services, but do not know where to go or which procedure is right for them. Specializing in the most innovative devices and products we help clients achieve natural looks. Our programs were created to encourage women from all walks of life to embrace their inner and outer beauty.

My first workshop will be right here in Marin, March 30 & 31. I’m bringing the salon to the client. Celebrity hair stylists from LA, the best semi-permanent make-up artist from Romania, and some of the Bay Area’s top dermatologists and make-up artists. In addition, ladies will learn how to do their own lash extensions and quick fix make-up & hair in less than 30 minutes. We’re giving our clients back the power so they can spend less money and less time sitting in salons and more time doing what they love in life.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

As a psychologist, breaking into the business world is foreign. I’m excited to embrace my inner entrepreneur and become empowered to network, market, connect and help other women. I know I have many challenges ahead of me. From learning how to design a user-friendly website, embracing social media, creating logos, programs, workshops, and financing I’m ready and excited to start this adventure!

I’m so excited to be able to work on my company at The Hivery! I have been searching for a collaborative and supportive community that would encourage me to work on my passion project in a stigma-free, female friendly environment. I’m registered for Grace’s incubator and look forward to learning more about marketing, branding, and business development for my new beauty program. I feel blessed for the opportunity to learn from fierce female leaders about how to start and grow a company.

Q.U.E.S.T. - Quiet Your Ego So That...

A few days ago on my morning walk (omg, my morning ritual is on fire!! but more on that later), the word “quest” kept coming into my consciousness. In and out as if trying to send me a message, the word quest, quest, quest. I am personally on a quest right now to take myself into a deeper layer of my work, both my professional work and my inner work. So, the fact that this word kept entering my mind makes sense. But, as I walked, the word seemed to spell itself into an acronym that I had to share with you.

Now, I love a good acronym as a tool for remembering a framework or structure, but my creative (sometimes wild) brain doesn’t typically work in an acronym-loaded way. But, this one seemed to be handed to me like a little soft thought bubble falling out of the redwood trees. The letters appeared before me and they look like this. 

Q - Quiet

U - U/Your

E - Ego

S- So

T- That….

And the rest is up to you. Quiet your ego so that…

  • You can heal.

  • You can forgive.

  • You can overcome resistance.

  • You can say yes.

  • You can say no.

  • You can love.

  • You can grieve in the time and way you need.

  • You can make something.

  • You can try something new.

  • You can get unstuck.

  • You can cry.

  • You can stop crying. 

  • You can ask for more.

  • You can overcome shame.

  • You can love your body.

  • You can love yourself.

  • You can rekindle a relationship.

  • You can begin anew.

  • You can walk away.

  • You can walk back in.

  • You can say you’re sorry.

  • You can love more deeply.

  • You can create a new ritual.

  • You can quit.

  • You can persevere.

Or, whatever is required. This Q.U.E.S.T. is about quieting the “shoulds" and the expectations, the patterns and the hurt. To quiet your chattering mind so that you can move forward or look back. 

I hope it’s a useful tool for you. For me, it’s been occupying my mind all morning. “Grace, quiet your ego so that you can write this blog post today. Quiet your ego so that you can take a morning walk before you commit to anything else. Quiet your ego so that you can go easy on yourself as you get back to work”. And so on….enjoy the QUEST. We’ve got this. 

xo,

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It's my birthday.

This weekend I turn 44. Even my son was surprised...he thought I’ve been 41 “for a long time.” I’m sure I’ve missed some deadlines in the quest for eternal youth...my forehead still moves, I’m hardly ever vegan, and I don’t love Soul Cycle (sorry, not sorry). As I reflect on these recent years, I’m in awe not of the numbers on my birthday, but of what’s happened in this human experience. What I’ve learned. What I’ve lost. What has grown. And, what I’ve shed.

As I’ve shared with you my dearest community, my sister, Maggie, died in May. Running my business amidst this personal crisis was hard and I became overwhelmed with stress and self-doubt. I don’t think I slept for what felt like most of 2018. The flip side is that I have never felt nor imagined the depth of love as I did during the precious time I had with my sister.

Losing my sister and trying to participate in day-to-day life was a bit of a blur. I wandered. I cried. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t write. I resisted going to dance class. I was hurting and wanted to stay away from anything that brought me close to the deep places in my soul. My ability to manifest what I wanted felt broken; my magic touch no longer available to me. I became angry. I started to hate clichés and positive mantras...even the ones I had made up myself (and probably told you to do). I couldn’t be kind to myself, practice self-care, or show up fully...all of the things I prescribe to others. Darkness. 

During that time, a few leases and opportunities to open new Hivery locations fell apart. A guy in a shiny VC office mansplained that I had to open another Hivery fast in order to scale and “be relevant.” Otherwise, my work wouldn’t matter. I refrained from calling him a douche bag (victory bell!).

The days felt heavy. People that I never expected stuck to my side like glue, some showed up in a blindingly love-filled way, and conversely some wandered off (or lost my phone number). Even with a tribe, the road felt dark. People often said, “I know you have so many people around who love you...” as if to say that I’d be fine, but the loneliness was intense.

Through the cracks came faint melodies that started to sound like courage. We gathered 350 women for our Entrepreneur + Inspiration Lab event in San Francisco that finally reminded me again of my creative zone. I learned that if I don’t express myself, I die a little inside. Very good to know. Life hack...don’t forget. Another victory bell would soon be in sight when the location we’d been working on for over a year in SF finally came through.

That day at our big event, I felt the sunshine. That day I also met a world-class doctor. After meeting with her, to review my breast cancer risk (off the charts is what she called it, I believe), I decided to have a preventative double mastectomy. A couple months later, she held my hand and sang “Dear Theodosia” while I went under anesthesia. I woke up different, and in pain, but quite proud of myself for not chickening out. Glennon Doyle, you say “we can do hard things”…but geez. 

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. During these past two weeks of recovery, I’ve watched 18 movies and entire seasons of “Fixer Upper.”  I refuse to look at my iPhone screen time report as the boredom has led to an insane (and inane!) amount of scrolling. I am in beta mode right now, striving for Grace 2.0...I think I need to design a 2.0 t-shirt. I’m entirely sick of bone broth.

And the weirdest part? I’m happy. Confusingly, slowly, like moving underwater, humbly, happy. Hopeful. Willing. Ready. Alive. No longer attached to expectations, but thrilled to be here. Grateful for the love of a community I created, and just as grateful to be part of a world that I’m only a tiny molecule in.

Here I sit, surrounded by the massive love in my house and in my life. In awe. More willing than ever to walk through the door of what’s possible. Compassionate for all those whose struggles and battles are so much harder than mine. It is not a comparison of hardships, but on the global scale, I know I’ve had it easy. My hurt softens me to the hurt of others, and for that, this whole thing has been a whopper of a gift.

I see it again...the road ahead. And I’m squarely on it, facing forward. The rear view mirror is there to remind me of my fear, sadness and all that has been endured, but can be tilted away so as not to obstruct my view of the light. Licking my wounds, and putting a soft hand on yours, I have been beat up, broken-hearted, and reduced to pieces. I know you have, too. And I’m still here. With you. With so much love to give and so much more life in me. 

Screw resolutions. I’ve earned wisdom. And I intend to use it to create magnificent, bright spots on this curvy and unexpected road of life for as many humans as I can. As Pema Chodron writes, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”… That’s the quest: to humbly accept fear, to know that we don’t know, to have courage to stand on shaky ground, and to love fully and deeply, anyway and always.

Even with the unexpected. Even in the dark. There’s light. Don’t worry. Whether near or far, we’ve got each other. With unrelenting commitment, we’ve got this.

XO,

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ARTISTS SPOTLIGHT: Truth To Paper's Kate Nicholson and Rachel Hebert

Thanks to the talents of Kate Nicholson and Rachel Hebert, those looking for deeply moving, strikingly beautiful, profoundly original artwork need not look any further than the walls of The Hivery.

Kate and Rachel are the talents behind Truth to Paper, a creative agency focused on bringing poetry and art into the world. On Nov. 6, the duo premiered their first combined show at The Hivery with an impressive collection of visual art. The show is scheduled to last into January, and all works are for sale (note: several works have been sold, as of this posting).

The creative pair met eight years ago when their daughters (each has two) went to the same school. Both artists themselves—Rachel a dancer and painter, Kate a writer and photographer— they quickly found themselves in deep conversations about the process of moving from full-time moms back into the world of art making.

Both were fascinated by poetry—reading it and writing it in their personal time. In fall 2017—by then BFFs—they decided to go into business together and, at The Hivery’s 2017 Holiday Market, launched Truth to Paper.

“We wanted to bring poetry out of books and out of our private worlds,” said Rachel. “There is definitely a thread of wanting to reclaim language, and bring more beauty to the world, particularly in response to what we are seeing in the news right now.”

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The initial vision of Truth to Paper was to create small poem cards for table settings and greeting cards, but that quickly morphed into something much larger. Inspired by the 2018 Women’s March, Rachel and Kate created special poems and art pieces for the event. In May 2018, they worked with vulnerability researcher Dr. Brene Brown on a poem that would serve as her introduction at Mom 2.0, one of the world’s largest parenting blogging conferences.

This fall, Kate and Rachel designed The Hivery’s Empowerment Studio, the new space at the end of the hall in the Mill Valley location. If you haven’t seen it, please check it out—the design and artwork (including a massive mural of a dancer) are not to be missed. (And, if you’re interested in renting this beautiful space, more information is available here!)

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Then, in October 2018, the pair created the entire visual integration for The Hivery’s Entrepreneur & Inspiration Lab at Fort Mason. Remember the rainbow Instagram wall? The custom poem on the back page of the program? The language behind the stage?

That was all them.

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The current show is a natural extension of their work combining written and visual art, and an exciting development for Truth to Paper fanatics (of which there are many!). Each piece is an original, many cut from vintage books with use of gold leaf and burning techniques. A few of the larger pieces are slate in color with words found—if carefully looked for—and gold spreading like veins.

“Kintsugi, the Japanese tradition of fixing broken pottery with gold, was one of our inspirations for the show,” says Rachel. “We love the idea that a mended piece is more valuable because of its breaking.”

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Among the pair’s many pieces is one titled “First Matter,” which, from a distance looks to be a large circle with lines coming out of it. Upon closer inspection the work reveals itself to be an intricate series of phrases—unhelpful messages Rachel and Kate received from childhood have been written and then burned out. Phrases they’d like their daughters to absorb are written on the other side of the lines from where childhood phrases are burned.

“We were making stuff and somehow ended up in the territory of things our parents said to us and implicit messages we received,” says Kate. “It became an intensely personal piece. We spent the day crying and burning things.”

As for future plans, Kate and Rachel are keeping their options open. They are considering a book project, but regardless of what the future holds, they are enjoying the collaborative process of art making, saying it is incredibly freeing to step outside their individual studios and work together.

“Watch this space,” says Kate, “because we are just getting started.”

Wrap-Up - The Hivery's 2018 Entrepreneur + Inspiration Lab

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The Hivery’s Entrepreneur + Inspiration Lab on Sunday, October 14 in Fort Mason, San Francisco was amazing beyond our wildest dreams! From the keynote speeches (hilarious to tears and back again), to the yummy lunch from Greens Restaurant, to the connections made in the afternoon workshops, to walking between buildings on the incredibly beautiful day looking out at San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, and then at happy hour where we were blown away by an intergenerational choir. WHOA. Sunday was a day we will never forget.

A special thank you to our generous sponsors, without whom we couldn’t have put on this unforgettable event, including Boon Supply, Eileen Fisher, True Myth, Tangent, Madison Reed, and the many others who gifted goodies and services in our gift bags.

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We cannot send a huge enough thank you to each of our speakers, workshop leaders, and collaborators. Your insights are changing the world and you made magic on Sunday. Here are a just a few of our favorite moments from the day (we could fill a book with them all!!):

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“The time is now. The time is now to step into that deep inner rumbling that tells you that you were made for something only you can do. Change doesn’t happen when we’re in our comfort zone. We are stepping in, we are being bold, we are using our voice. YES WE ARE!” - Grace Kraaijvanger, Founder of The Hivery

“You are like a unique strand of DNA. You bring experience, knowledge, wisdom, and passion in your package. No one else has what you have. I won’t ask you; I will demand of you. If you don’t let it out, the world will not get it. You are truly the only one. Step into your boldness.” - Grace

“I believe we are artists of this life. We get to be creative, start over, make mistakes, and change mediums. Each of you is a masterpiece.” - Grace

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“One day I was working on the floor of the Stock Exchange and I went out for coffee, but instead of a coffee shop, I went to the nearest church and bawled my eyes out. I was miserable. I called my father and he said, ‘You have to find something you love. If you don’t love what you’re doing, you need to quit.’ His words were so freeing and inspiring, and helped me start my search for my true passion.” - Marie Forleo, Entrepreneur, Host of MarieTV and Founder of B-School

“Everyone has self doubt, even the most successful, famous people. The most important thing is to realize where it comes from. You have so much goodness inside of you.” - Marie

“Simplify to amplify.” - Marie

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“I believe that inside of each of you is a genius. That doesn’t mean everything will go perfectly, though. Failure is your best friend.” - Amy Errett, founder of Madison Reed

“Have I been discriminated against because I’m a woman and I’m gay? Probably. But I don’t give a s***. The greatest equalizer in the world is when you feel competent and centered in who you are, when you know you’re amazing, you put out an energy. You feel it.” - Amy

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“I had a spiritual awakening in that moment. Finally there was a vernacular for committing to my potential.” - Rosie Acosta, Founder of Radically Loved: Yoga, Health + Wellness

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“All I think about in my life is women's empowerment. Women are the game changers.”
- Dr. Tererai Trent, Humanitarian and Founder of Tererai Trent International

“Dreams are greater when tied to the betterment of a community.” - Tererai

“When you believe in your uniqueness, in your greatness, the heavens open.” - Tererai

“My dear American women. I need to tell you…November, November, November.” - Tererai

(We hear you, Tererai.)


If you couldn’t join us this year, we would love to see you next October! To get a taste of the day, check out our Facebook album.

Photos by Sophia Mavrides and Jacquelyn Warner.

Hivery Circle: Radha Agrawal, author of BELONG • September 2018

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Our September Hivery Circle with Radha Agrawal was one for the books! It was a deeply inspiring evening focused on belonging, and our universal need to come together in community. Known to many of us as the co-founder and CEO of Daybreaker, a company that puts on sunrise dance parties all over the world (if you haven’t gone, sign up for the next one - they are EPIC), Radha took to The Hivery stage with our very own Grace Kraaijvanger to discuss her latest creation, her book BELONG: Find Your People, Create Community and Live A More Connected Life.

“The first sentence in my book is ‘When I turned thirty, I realized I didn’t belong,’” she told the crowd. Radha’s vulnerability didn’t stop there. She explained in detail how, at 30, she’d found herself surrounded by people who weren’t inspiring, and doing things that didn’t reflect her values. She spent the next several years building a more nourishing community and launched Daybreaker in December 2013, a community that has now extended to more than 25 cities and has upwards of 500,000 members.

In addition to explaining her background, she offered clear, actionable takeaways on how everyone can build the communities of their dreams. Just a few of her nuggets of wisdom included:

  • Her CRAWL method, an acronym for how to build a community, but also a message of patience. “It’s a reminder that building a sustained community takes time,” Radha said. “We built Daybreaker over five years.”

  • The importance of rituals in community. At Daybreaker, participants are greeted by hugging committees rather than imposing-looking bouncers. “I cannot tell you how many people have cried on my shoulder over the years,” she explained. “We all need human touch; I think I’ve hugged upwards of 10,000 people in five years. It is so powerful.”

  • When building a community, Radha explained that it is paramount to choose people wisely. “We launched Daybreaker by creating a carefully curated list of 300 people that would define the energetic mix of our core community,” she said. “When creating a community, those choices must be very thoughtful to create the energetic centrifuge that you want.”

  • She also talked about the so-called “mean girls of our minds.” “We all have a cafeteria in our minds where there are mean girls sitting at a table with their pink jackets on filled with comparison, judgement and perfectionism,” she said, to a laughing (read: knowing) crowd. “It’s up to us to find our soul sisters and sit with them instead.”

More than anything, Radha explained the importance of creating community from a space of authenticity. “If you want to build something, it has to be from the heart.”

We are so thankful to Radha for sharing her wisdom and her time.

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Click here to see more photos from our September Hivery Circle on Facebook.

Grace's Corner: A Tribute to Maggie

Dearest you,

I’ve spent most of my four years since starting The Hivery as open-hearted and transparent as I know how to be. Telling my story seemed so safe among the kindness and love of a community centered on elevating each other. You always made me feel like I could lead so openly.

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But I’ve been quiet these past few months and the weeks since the heartbreaking death of my dear younger sister, Maggie. She died a little over a month ago, and I’ve wanted to say something for a long time. And like a long lost friend, I have felt the urge many, many times to reach out and write to you. Like when you pick up the phone to call and then set it down because you don’t know what to say.

Sometimes it was because the pain was too great and the emotions too raw to tell my story. And sometimes, especially when Maggie was sick, I had to choose between sitting down to write versus spending precious moments being present with my sister. And as the moments became more and more fleeting, I had to choose Maggie.

Now, as I grieve and try to process, I feel “ready” to begin to share. I don’t yet know the fullness of this experience, but it has begun to feel, only recently, like it is needing to come out. Glennon Doyle, a favorite author and activist of mine, talks about how she is able to be so transparent in her writing by not sharing her story in real-time. She allows some time to pass so that the rawness isn’t in the moment, but can be recalled with the slight safety of distance. I understand that now. I’m still raw and my heart is fragile and ripped open, but I feel called to express my love for Maggie and to begin to tell her story and mine, too.

Maggie was diagnosed with breast cancer last September at the age of 33. The day that I found out, I was shattered with worry… I remember vividly how I crumbled; I sat and cried in the shower at what she would have to go through to get through this. I was angry and sad for her that she would have to put her life on hold, take time off from a job she loved, and possibly have the opportunity to have children taken away from her. At that time, I never thought she would die.

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She was living in LA with her boyfriend, Brandon, and with him and my other sisters, we created a schedule to go with her to every chemo. I loved being by her side and was amazed at her determination to conquer this chemo thing, stay strong, and keep her routine. She worked full-time throughout chemo (she was a chef and the director of catering for a chic LA restaurant group). She was determined to show up as her best self, both for battling cancer, and for her future. She admitted often that this "cancer bullshit” was the most traumatic experience she’d ever been through, yet all she could talk about was how lucky she was to be so loved, to have healthcare, to have a second chance. She kept us laughing throughout her chemo treatments, making jokes with the chemo nurse that she’s here for happy hour, and requesting a margarita in her IV bag.

One morning, during my visit for her fourth round of treatment, I was leaving Maggie's house in LA…it was early, and time for me to go to the airport. Maggie was still sleeping, so I quietly tip-toed into her room and sat next to her on the bed. “I’m leaving,” I said, and kissed her on the cheek. Her eyes opened, I rubbed her little, bald head…it was the most perfect, little head I’ve ever seen. Bald and sleeping, she couldn’t help but be adorable. “I miss you already, Mags”, I told her.

“You need to go. You’ve got stuff to do. Keep doing what you’re doing, Grace. You’re doing the right thing.” she said. And then, “Mom’s proud of you."

“Mom’s proud of you, too.” I told her, as the tears welled up. My heart hurt and my heart was bursting at the same time.

Even after her own chemo treatment, in her pajamas, with her sweet, little face looking up at me like a Buddhist angel, she thought of me, coached me, encouraged me, and loved me. I sat on the bed that morning and felt through my veins what it means to love so deeply that it hurts.

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And, she did it…she did exactly what “they" told her to do. She did all of the chemo treatments. She continued an organic, vegan diet. She did yoga, she meditated, she went to acupuncture. She journaled. She practiced gratitude. She started telling me in November how scared she was and that she’d been thinking about what it means to face mortality, to think about being afraid to die. I reassured her. We read “The Hero’s Journey” by Joseph Campbell together and picked out where she was on the journey. She had accepted the call, she was in the dark night of the soul, she would reach transformation. She would use everything she’d learned for good and to make a difference. She got a double mastectomy in January. The end was in sight. She’d do a few rounds of radiation, go back to work, and put this horrible nightmare behind her. They scanned her breasts and saw no evidence of disease. We celebrated. She was worn out.

But, two weeks after her surgery, she just wasn’t recovering. She was exhausted and having debilitating headaches. They told her to come in to do a brain MRI, just in case. A few hours later, she called me. I was in a meeting with a potential investor for The Hivery…it felt like an important meeting until the phone rang. It’s amazing how life screeches to a halt when you get that call. “It’s in my brain.” she shrieked. “The cancer is in my brain!". I got on a plane to LA a few hours later. I laid with her in the hospital bed. “They told me that I’m going to die.” she cried. It couldn’t be true, it couldn’t be true. But, there it was. The truth.

I started to bargain in that unreasonable and unuseful way we do when we are desperate. “You can have my business. I will give up my house. I will do anything. I will start all over. But, please don’t take my sister. Please don’t take her from me.”…I’m not sure who in those situations we think will hold our business or our house as collateral, but we negotiate with the voices in our heads, nonetheless. We plead to the universe, to anyone, and to no one. We beg for the world not to be so brutal. Please no suffering, please no pain. Please don’t take my sister.

I tried to be strong for her. And sometimes I wasn’t. Sometimes, I was just her sister. And she felt for me, too. She asked me about our other sisters, “Grace, what will Abby do if I die? What will Emily do? What are you going to do?”…I told her that I didn’t know. I didn’t know what to do without her. I didn’t know how to raise my kids without her. I didn’t know how to have confidence without her. I didn’t know how to be inspired without her. I worried that I would lose my light, my soul, the flow of inspiration forever. That I would be sad for the rest of my life.

So, I stuck to her like glue. And, it was hard. I spent most of February and March in LA with her. She had brain surgery and a port put in her brain so they could inject chemo directly into her brain. We thought, “We can buy some time, and then we can beat this". She would be terrified one moment, and calmly tell me the next that THIS was not going to take her down, that she was not done. We got a second opinion at UCSF, and they gave us some hope. They would try other things.

“She’s young, and aggressive cancer needs aggressive treatment.” they told us. We drove her to SF in mid-March and she moved in with me. I was so happy to have her in my home. I wanted to take care of my little sister. My kids and husband were in it with me. We shifted from our family life to a life centered around focusing on hope and miracles. I have an amazing team at The Hivery that picked up the slack at work and allowed me to focus completely on her. The community rallied around her. The love notes started pouring in. We were all in with Maggie.

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We were determined to heal and created our days around the objective of thriving. Maggie and I created some beloved routines that I will treasure forever. We touched a redwood tree everyday. She wrote about self-love everyday. She taught me how to like green tea…she began her day each morning with our wonderful friend and meditation teacher, Rachel Rossitto. We lovingly nicknamed her “moonbeam” for the way she floated into our home each morning to sit with Maggie, sing, guide, drink tea, and meditate together. She saw my dear friend, Malcolm Campbell, a spiritual therapist. She was willing to go deep in body, mind and spirit to beat this. And, I was determinedly by her side. We drove to full brain radiation together every day for weeks. We decided we were the only weirdos who could enjoy the car ride to radiation as much as we did. We talked about the future. She got her appetite back. We rewarded ourselves with great meals, worthy of her foodie/chef palate. Our baby niece, Cici, was born. We flew to Minneapolis for her baptism as Maggie was the godmother.

Just before our trip, she had begun complaining about a back ache. The pain got worse. And worse. And worse. When we got home, they MRI’ed her spine. The cancer had spread again. This time to her spine. We held each other up in the hallway of the hospital when she got the news.

Her legs gave as she gasped, “Grace, I’m so afraid.”
“Me, too, sister.” I said. We hung on to each other; we stared at each other. The sounds of the city went silent. When we got in the elevator, we saw regular humans, who weren’t dying. They seemed like another world.

We shuffled out. We went home. The pain got worse and worse and worse.

We went to the hospital. They told us she was not going to be long. The moment that she passed in my arms, her spirit floated up and away from her physical body. I learned everything in that moment; I felt the closeness of the other side and went with her as far as I could. She was beautiful. I believe that she took her last breath, as if to say, “I’m ready."

The night before my sister’s funeral, I thought I might need to go to the hospital due to a piercing pain in my sternum. It didn’t feel like chest pains, but felt serious enough that I called a friend who is a Chinese medicine doctor. She explained that when loss is so great, it creates a loss of breath and that the breath can stay in the chest cavity and create tightness. She explained further and then said, “Grace, what is happening to you is that you are heartbroken. You are not having a heart attack. You are in the depth of the human experience and your body knows that this is the precipice of love and agony.”…Nothing ever felt so true.

I don’t pretend to have wise words of wisdom on the path of grieving. I have experience with loss but we are always beginners again and again when it comes to heartbreak. I know that I will go on, even when I don’t want to. I know that so many dear friends, family, and those before me have experienced the depth of loss. I watch them with deep respect; I feel the weight of their hearts. And I will live and survive, and feel joy again. I will create beauty and admire it, too. This level of sadness is not forever, but the agony is deep. And the questions are intense. “Why do I get to enjoy this sunset? Why am I the fortunate being that gets to be here?”…

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A few weeks ago, I was driving on the freeway and I admittedly cut someone off. I was distracted, likely crying, and pulled a lame lane-change maneuver. The driver laid on the horn. Many, many times. She was enraged. She flipped me off first with her left hand, then her right, then with both. My first thought? “Hmm, maybe her sister died, too.” Things had started to shift. My broken heart was softening. There would be light in the cracks.  

When I lost my mom seven years ago, the grief was intense. There was a moment crying on my living room floor when I searched and searched in floods of tears for who I could be and for what to do with the intensity of the loss I felt in my heart. I had to make something. I was certain. And from that, I made a Hivery. From this loss of my dear sister, I can’t see what might come out. But, the seeking and the willingness to let it out are what my sister wanted; and, I know deep in my heart it is the only way that I can survive.

So, now what? Where to go from here? How to rebuild or transform a soul that feels hurt, broken and tender. There is a pressure in the opening as if there is a new call to be. There is a searching and a gap, a distance between where I am and what I yearn for. And I’ve noticed that amidst the darkness, the cracks of light are starting to come back. I’m starting to hope again, to plan, to create, to think about ways to improve, and ways to go deeper.

As it relates to The Hivery I have, through this experience, been changed forever. And The Hivery is not “just” a business any longer. It’s not about where the next Hivery locations will be, although it is our intention to spread The Hivery love far and wide. It’s not even “just” a women’s co-working space. It’s a tangible, artistic expression of the human experience, specifically a community who is willing to boldly live at the epicenter. To use our talent, love, pain, and vulnerability for the service of others and for the depth of being the fullest humans we can be.