Empowered Women Make Likable Leaders


Lois Frankel, PhD

Fear of not being liked is the primary reason women give for not becoming leaders. But Dr. Lois Frankel says that women are confused. Women make phenomenal leaders; they just don’t call themselves leaders. As President of Corporate Coaching International, Lois writes bestselling books, speaks to international groups and convinces women how to overcome obstacles to become a leader.
Women have a great track record of leadership. The Red Cross, Planned Parenthood, the PTA and United Way were all founded by women wanting to make a difference. Yet many women allow the fear of negative labels to stop them from being appropriately assertive, negotiating for success, pursuing non-traditional careers or even recommending other women for management positions.

 Accept the Image of a Leading Woman

Lois says that even though women lead every day, they often think it’s presumptuous to call themselves leaders. While practicing psychotherapy with powerful women in downtown Los Angeles,  she found that every one of them failed to see herself as powerful or a leader.
However, if you have ever convinced anyone to follow you where you need to go, you are a leader. In fact, Lois says if you have helped a friend leave a harmful relationship or raised a child who is not hooked on drugs, you are a leader.

Likable Is Not the Same as Being Nice.

Women reportedly didn’t buy Lois’ book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, because they were afraid it would advise them that they couldn’t be nice and be successful. Lois said that nothing is further from the truth. Likability is very important for success. You might follow the old school power and control leader for awhile, but the leader you like will get your loyalty and most productive work.
Women are taught they must be nice to be liked. And even if their parents gave them more liberating messages, society is stuck in the same rut with stereotypes that subject women to subservient roles and make words like “feminist” carry a negative label. Lois says that women are natural and necessary leaders and she shares eight key ways for women to step into leadership in her essay for Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business and Life.

More about How Women Need to Lead

leading-women-cover-150This inspiring conversation includes Lois’s personal story of how she found business coaching to be the perfect career path for her, before coaching was even a profession. She finds her work to be more about how women should mentor other women and routinely witnesses positive change when women put their skills together to make a difference.
Finally, Lois encourages women with this message:

Look around the world and tell me what you see. I see war; I see poverty; I see famine; I see corporate greed and we’re not leading the world. When women come together, they fix the problem. That’s why we need more women’s voices at the table.

That’s why we need far more empowered leading women.
Check out more of Dr. Lois’s Frankel’s wisdom for women leaders at her website, in her books and learn more about her on her author’s page for Leading Women.


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Women Empowered by Tapping into Unique Self


Lisa Mininni

Bestselling author Lisa Mininni, says that women become empowered when they pay attention to the hard-wiring that makes them unique. Lisa had to face a near-death event to wake her up to her own unique talents and accept the direction that sent her to ultimate success in business and in life.
Lisa’s experience in navigating change in corporations, combined with her own natural intuition about how to guide people through the process, lead her to found her business, Excellerate Associates, LLC, which is now known in 11 countries and works with large and small entrepreneurs. It also lead her to write her bestseller, Me, Myself and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change and host her online radio show, “Navigating Change” on Blog Talk Radio.

 How Unique Self Plus Systems Approach Equals Successful Business

Lisa admits that for the first two years of her business, she struggled to make it profitable. Then she found the key, developing systems that worked with her own unique qualities.  She says that systems allow you to tap into your own hard-wiring. When that happens, it’s not work any more and it becomes naturally profitable.
Your unique qualities are the hard-wiring that you are born with. Lisa says they become evident at about two years old and stay with you throughout your life. She stresses that they are not the same as your behavior, which changes throughout your life depending on your experiences. When you create a business model in line with your hard-wiring – instead of someone else’s model – it motivates you, your employees and your customers too.

Sharing Stories Creates Empowering Relationships

leading-women-cover-191Today’s business is all about relationships. Lisa says that when you share your stories, people are drawn in. You are interesting and people are interested in what you have to say. That open sharing is what she likes about the collaboration it took to create the book, Leading Women. The book brought 20 powerful, leading women together to share their stories and expertise to help other women.
Sharing our stories so we can learn from one another is a form of mentoring. Dr. Nancy and Lisa both express the need for more mentors. Lisa says that she appreciates the opportunities she has now for mentoring both men and women.

Lisa’s Empowering Business Strategies

To find out how to get more clients, more money, and create a business you love, download Lisa’s new free e-book, “Get More Clients Now!” from her Excellerate Associates website. Listen to this interview for more inside tips and advice from this top entrepreneur and check out her chapter in Leading Women, “Four Lessons from a Tire Iron,” with four indispensible lessons to empower yourself for success, now available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


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Feminine Leadership Skills Key to Empowering Women

Author of Iron Butterflies

Birute Regine, Ed.D.

Dr. Birute Regine says that using feminine leadership skills is a key to empowering women. In a male-dominated culture, being independent, autonomous and decisive is over-valued at the expense of nurturing, caring and maintaining strong, interdependent relationships with others. However, both are essential to powerful leadership and crucial for long-term success in business and in life.
She interviewed sixty women in eight countries to develop her ideas about the strength of the so-called “soft feminine skills” of intuition, empathy, vulnerability and relational intelligence, which she featured in her award-winning book, Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World. While promoting her book, she felt invigorated by the enthusiasm of women audiences about the empowering ideas in her book, and wanted to find a way to sustain that enthusiasm. That led her to develop Iron Butterfly Circles and write the e-book, “Are You An Iron Butterfly?

Emerging Focus on Women and Girls Empowerment

Out of Birute’s work to develop leaders for her Iron Butterfly Circles came an emerging pilot project with mothers and daughters, which she calls, “the mother-daughter revolution.” Pre-teen girls are at that point where they aren’t sure whether to risk letting others know who they truly are or to hide their truth in order to be liked. The circles encourage them to accept their real and authentic selves. For the mothers, who are mostly in their 40’s, Birute says the Circles allow them to share their wisdom with others. The connectedness in a safe and nurturing environment enables mothers and daughters to develop as Iron Butterflies.
Birute stresses that it is Iron Butterflies, not singular, butterfly. The group aspect and developing the strengths in connection with others is what is most important. This lies at the heart of the complexity science that forms the foundation of her conclusions. Through the adaptations of the group, a greater creativity and intelligence forms to create results far greater than any individual member could do on her own.

Leading Women Use Their Innate Feminine and Masculine Skills.

leading-women-cover-150Soft is the New Hard: The Hidden Power of Feminine Skills” is the title of Birute’s chapter in Dr. Nancy’s new book, Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business and Life. She draws on her previous Iron Butterflies work and tells a story of how feminine-style collaboration pushed through a tough negotiation issue, and was discouraged to find she was not recognized as the powerful force responsible for the successful outcome.
That is typical of feminine leadership style in a male-dominated culture. Birute says it’s not a human fault; it’s what our culture has created. Feminine skills are really human skills. Our culture has defined that difference and we need to undefine it. In fact, she maintains that a leader’s greatest strength is the way she deals with vulnerability. Though vulnerability is considered a feminine trait, It takes a great deal of strength to admit one’s vulnerability and use the lessons learned to create successful outcomes. That brings her back to knowing and accepting your own truth. Being your authentic self where ever you go and whatever you do is mature self-confidence.

Listen, Read and Learn More Empowering Lessons

Listen to this interview for much more information about how disassociation from their feminine selves hurts women leaders. And check out Birute’s free e-book to find out if you are an Iron Butterfly. Check out and engage with Birute’s Iron Butterflies on facebook and with her Iron Butterflies & Iron Caterpillars, mother-daughter communities also on facebook.
Then check out her chapter in Leading Women, available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.


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Women Gain Empowerment by Supporting Other Women

Supports Women Empowerment Around the World

Cheryl Benton

When New York City marketing professional Cheryl Benton started feeling ignored by mass marketing, she put her foot down. Then she started a little hobby to empower women who were feeling as invisible as she was. started as a newsletter for 60 of  Cheryl’s midlife women-friends and contained subjects they talked about: where to go for dinner and have a conversation, where to get fashionable clothes that aren’t tailored for teenagers and other topics about living a good life as a grownup in NYC. Now, eight years later, Three Tomatoes is a thriving enterprise with over 12,000 subscribers, knowledgeable contributors and a new-in -2103 West Coast branch in LA.

Expert Leaders Co-Author Exciting New Book for Women

Dr. Nancy and Cheryl discuss how things were different when they started their careers. There were no other women to mentor them or serve as role models. Even though a woman has yet to occupy the top spot politically in the U.S., Cheryl points out that many women are serving on boards and making their voices heard.
leading-women-cover-150In fact, Cheryl points out that today when she looks around at groups of women, she thinks, “There’s a new boy’s group in town and it’s called the women’s power group.” She has a bird’s eye view of the situation in NYC, where she sees even traditionally male dominated fields, like finance, forming networking groups to support women and help them up the ladder.
Cheryl is also excited about having collaborated on the book, Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business and Life. Dr. Nancy brought together 20 accomplished women as co-authors who have unique individual perspectives to share. Cheryl says that this has never been done before and she welcomes the opportunity to share her viewpoints about women’s equality in her chapter, “You Don’t Have to Be a Feminist to Support Women’s Equality.”

Passion and Vision to Empower Women

As past president of the NY Metro Chapter of  US National Committee for UN Women and current board member, Cheryl is passionate about women’s responsibility to help other women. Whether it’s by serving as mentor or sharing our life skills and expertise in this country or reaching out to women in countries where their safety and rights are completely marginalized, we must help our sisters. Many women are doing just that. Dr. Nancy is planning a trip to Ethiopia and participating as a sponsor for the Convoy of Hope Women’s Empowerment Initiative. Cheryl tells a story about a woman she knows who has sponsored the building of wells and schools in Cambodia. Women are reaching out and sharing their wealth and good fortune more than ever before, but there is much more to be done.

More on Women Empowerment

Empowering Grown Up WomenCheck out the website for UN Women and their plans for the 20th year commemoration of the Beijing Conference where Hillary Clinton announced, “Human rights are women’s rights.” To date 189 countries pledged to do more and they have, but Cheryl says with 200 Nigerian girls still missing, there is much more work still to be done. Listen to this interview for much more information about the passion of these two leading women to help others and check out It’s free and will let you know what the Tomatoes in LA and NYC are doing to live highly fulfilling and empowered lives.


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Empowering Women to Lead

Co-Founder of Take the Lead Women

Gloria Feldt

Longtime activist Gloria Feldt encourages women to embrace their power and take the lead in business and in politics. She became obsessed with the subject, when she was asked to write an article for Ellemagazine in 2008. She thought it would be a puff piece about women running for office (since our first woman U.S. president was possible at the time), but the opposite was true. Women were not stepping up to lead. There were many organizations spending millions of dollars to help them run for office but women weren’t accepting the challenge.
Gloria blames the culture that raises women to be nice girls who want to be liked above all else. This causes women to play it safe and not risk jumping into the leadership arena the way men do. This applies not only to running for Congress, but also for climbing the corporate ladder to the C-suite.

Why Do Women Fear Power?

Gloria wrote No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power to give women the power tools they need to change the way they think about power. Women are ambivalent about power, and for good reason. They have been raped and abused and this has caused them to think in terms of power over rather than power to.  She compares power to a hammer. You can use a hammer to build something or to break something apart. If you use power ethically and to make the world a better place, why not embrace it? She says that when women perceivepower as a tool to do something good, they gladly assume leadership roles.

Organization to Help Women Become Leaders

Take the Lead LogoA self-proclaimed practical activist, Gloria says, “I want to fix things.” This is actually a feminine trait. Women are very good at fixing things. One of the things Gloria wants to fix is the lack of women leaders. She co-founded Take the Lead Women to help women reach parity by 2025. The website has many workshops, opportunities for digital networking and more. It’s a community of women helping one another to step into leadership roles.

Power Tools for Empowering Yourself

In this conversation, Gloria shares one of her power tools: Using your “sister courage” to create a movement and empower one another. As one of the 20 authors in Leading Women she explains another power tool: “Define your own terms first, before someone else defines you.”

More on Take the Lead and Leading Women

If you missed it, Gloria and Dr. Nancy want you to check out the Take the Lead Women launch, the inspiring event, which Dr. Nancy and 3,000 other people attended and over one million internationally watched on live streaming video. You can see it in its entirety with presentations by Sheryl Sandberg, Carla Harris and many other inspiring women leaders on Women 50
Be sure to check out Gloria’s website for more of her wisdom and advice and order your copy of Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business and Life for more insights from Gloria and 19 other amazing women authors.
This interview is full of women empowering advice from Gloria, who went from being a teen mom at 15 to become the President of the National Planned Parenthood Federation, where she served for 30 years. Her motto, “Just say yes.” Listen for much more.


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Empowerment of Self Healing

Medical Intuitive

Patti Conklin

Patti Conklin is called a medical intuitive, and in this role she has created a system of self-healing called ColorWorks and ToneWorks, which adjusts the frequencies of the vibrations in our bodies to combat and even prevent disease. Patti says that disease is largely caused by fear. When we get a diagnosis, we fear the worst and create it through our fear. Patti herself had Lupus, an autoimmune disease for which there is no known cure. She used her system to cure herself several years ago and it has not reappeared.
In this interview with Dr. Nancy, Patti says that we all have the power and intuition to do this for ourselves. We must understand how our bodies work and how much our words affect our health and well-being throughout our lives. Dr. Nancy says that we live in a unique time. We have given our power away to the medical profession and expect pills to cure everything.

Quantum Physics Meets Western Medicine in Vibrational Healing

At heart, Patti says that she is a scientist and says people need both western medicine with its phenomenal technology and an understanding of Quantum Physics, which sees particulate matter as energy. They complement one another in patient care. Patti tells about how she has used her intuitive gift to help vascular surgeons during surgery. The two skills go hand-in-hand to provide healing. While she admits that western countries outside of the United States are more open to it, she receives frequent referrals from medical doctors.

The Power of Choosing How to Feel

God Within The Day God's Train StoppedPatti said the biggest lesson she learned from writing her book, God Within The Day God’s Train Stopped, was what being the observer meant. She finally understands that it’s up to her to put meaning into her life. She is in charge of her emotions; we all are. It’s up to us to assign anger, fear, love or happiness to an event. No one in the universe can make us feel those things. This is how we create wellness or illness for ourselves.

Dr. Nancy says when we get caught up in labeling ourselves and our situations, it eventually becomes our illness or part of our downfall. Patti agrees and adds that we have to accept the feeling and let go of it so you can move on.

Listen to this interview to find out more about Patti’s personal story, healing tools from her book and contacting her through her website,


A 16 Year Old Firefighters Journey to Self Confidence

Author and Firefighter

Ali Warren

When Ali Warren discovered firefighting, she thought she had found her life’s work. But other firefighters had different ideas. She had to gain self-confidence to overcome the prejudice against the one thing she could not change, being a girl. Ali told her classic story of empowerment in her book, Where Hope Lives.

Empowering Women to Help People

Ali’s passion is to help people. Firefighting is the perfect outlet for helping people when they need it most. But while she was seeing people and children after horrendous accidents, learning how to cut apart a car and perform CPR, she was also learning a life lesson about how cruel people can be to their co-workers.
In this interview Ali tells Dr. Nancy that she relied on three things:

  • First, she had been raised to know and have confidence in her beliefs about who and what she was. That solid foundation allowed her to stand up to things that didn’t fit her values.
  • Second, she had the love and support of her family. They believed in something bigger and were in her court, cheering her on every day.
  • Third was her journaling. From a young age, she had written her life experiences. By the end of her ordeal, she had 31 journals, which had become more than a record, they were her salvation and her means to understand the reasons behind the obstacles that threatened her career.

Empowering Story is Helping Students.

Memoir by Ali WarrenAli’s story has turned into lesson plans to help high school students. When a Pennsylvania literacy coach asked her students to ready it, they not only read the first book in their lives, they asked to study its messages through the next semester. It has now become a professional series of lesson plans to help teenagers learn how to deal with difficulties in their lives: their homes and environments. Ali confronted issues that no one of any age should have to deal with and in doing so, she showed others how to face and conquer their own struggles.

Motivational Story a Good Book for Women

When people first told Ali she couldn’t be a firefighter, she wondered, “Can I choose this? Can I just say I want to be a firefighter and be one?” It was a long road, but the best of her motivational quotes for women is that we are all enough. In fact there is only one of each of us and it is our duty not to waste it. Share your talent and be happy with yourself. It is your greatest gift and when you realize it, you really can make a difference I the world.
Listen to this interview for more wisdom and be sure to read her book to find out Where Hope Lives and share its motivational message.


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Empowered Girls and Women Take Charge of Their Lives

Author and Founder of Real Girl and Real Women Programs

Anea Bogue

If we are to grow strong resourceful women, we must start parenting in the womb, says Anea Bogue, author of the new book, 9 WAYS WE’RE SCREWING UP OUR GIRLS AND HOW WE CAN STOP: A Guide to Helping Girls Reach Their Highest Potential. Parenting is the hardest job in the world and we are unaware of the cultural programming we instill in our children. But we created this culture and we can change it, Anea adds in this interview with Dr. Nancy,

The Puberty Party Begins at 7 or 8 for Both Boys and Girls.

There’s no doubt that children are maturing younger, but Anea stresses that this is happening to girls without them being armed with the supportive messages to put them in charge of their own decisions.
Anea’s own story is that she felt invincible until the age of 9; then she began to do things according to what boys thought of her. This behavior landed her in an abusive relationship at the age of 16.
She has vowed not to let this happen to her own daughters, and she founded REAL Girls® Workshops to give  girls the tools they need to be self-reliant. When the moms expressed their need for the same teachings, she founded REAL Women™ to reach and teach as many girls as possible.

Girls are always girls. Boys become men.

Dr. Nancy told a story about a mother calling her toddler son, “Little Man,” which lead Anea to bring up the point about how culturally, women always remain girls. We continue to be called “girl” at any age and terms of endearment used from infancy on continue to be used by adult men in our lives, while men would be insulted if you continued to call them boys after puberty. This is just one message that continues to perpetuate female inferiority.

Support of other Girls and Women Creates Empowering Self-Esteem

Book Cover ( WAYS WE'RE SCREWING UP OUR GIRLS AND HOW WE CAN STOPAnea tells about an exercise she calls “sister acknowledgement.” At the beginning of each session, she tells the girls to pick out a name and keep it secret, but to observe that person throughout the session. At the end, each girl tells one positive observation she made about the girl she observed. This is transformative for the girls. They have been taught that to speak positively about themselves (or brag) is conceited. How are they supposed to celebrate their achievements, if they can’t share them with others?
Dr. Nancy says that girls who have gone to all girl schools and played in girl sports have more success in life. They have had the support of the “sisterhood,” have had positive role models and have not been in competition against each other for the attention of boys. Building the sisterhood and connecting with strong, resilient women is necessary if we are to change the way we view ourselves and how culture depicts women.

The Goal is Mutual Empowerment Among Both Men and Women.

Women empowerment is about cultural empowerment. Anea says that a patriarchal society benefits no one. She notes a false sense she has encountered that women’s empowerment means disempowering men. She hopes in her lifetime to see total unity between men and women.

More Stories and How the Movies, “Brave” and “Malificent” Affect Girls’ Self Esteem.

Listen to the interview for more stories about how culture is affecting girls’ and women’s self esteem and what causes bullying and mean girl behavior. Check out Anea’s websites for more about her REAL Girl® and REAL Women™ Workshops, get answers to your questions and be sure to read her book, available at book stores and Barnes & Noble and Amazon. It’s a tremendous resource for building awareness of how we unconsciously perpetuate our gender attitudes about ourselves and our children.


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Empowered Women Make a Difference in People’s Lives

Founder of Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding Center

Meggan Hill-McQueeny

Reaching out to help others is the life mission of Meggan Hill-McQueeney. When Meggan was very young, her father put her on a pony hoping to get her to wear and use her prosthetic arm. This early intervention enabled Meggan, who was born without a right arm, to become fully functional with her prosthesis. She went on to ride competitively throughout her youth.
After learning how horse therapy helped another child — a boy with Down’s Syndrome — Meggan realized how her father had pioneered therapeutic riding with her, years before it was recognized. This inspired her to pursue a career in horse therapy and join Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding Center in Illinois as their President and COO with a mission of “bringing hope, joy and unlimited possibilities through the healing power of the horse.”

How Bonding with Horses Helps Us Heal

In this interview, Dr. Nancy describes how her relationship with horses helped her heal in the last few years and the bond she feels with her horses. Meggan explains that developing a relationship with horses helps people adapt their own behavior to become more productive with other people. She elaborates about how horses pick up on anxiety and become restless. In their Wounded Warriors Program, therapists can use this to quiet a vet’s mind and create awareness of how to relate both to the horse and other people.

Difference between Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding

Meggan describes the difference between hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. Hippotherapy, based on the Greek word for horse, uses a horse to accomplish the goals of a licensed therapist, who may work in a variety of disciplines. The focus is to improve the person’s ability to function in their every day environment. The horse’s multi-dimensional movement helps them strengthen their core and control their body.
Therapeutic riding, in contrast, is done to help achieve competitive goals. Bravehearts hosts the Special Olympics. Equestrian teams with cognitive impairment come from all over to compete in front of large crowds. Meggan says they work hard all year to compete in this venue; they receive medals and are rewarded for their excellence.

Find Out More

Meggan says it takes 130 volunteers every week to run Bravehearts, which is a 501c3 corporation. Check out their website, to see the opportunities and more about their programs. And be sure to listen to the wonderful stories about people who benefit from horse therapy in this amazing interview.

Empowered Women Follow Their Dreams

author, teacher and inspirational speaker

Aura Imbarus

The most empowering thought, according to inspiring author, teacher and speaker Aura Imbarus, is to “live like today is your last day.” In her critically acclaimed memoir, Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity, she expresses the desire to squeeze out each and every moment of life and use it to the maximum. “Every day has the potential of a lifetime.”
That philosophy of seeing each moment for its maximum potential propelled Aura from her home in Romania to Los Angeles with no promise of a future career or even daily bread. She simply followed a dream of palm trees and ocean views. Since the closest thing to an ocean in Romania is the Black Sea, she knew she had to leave her country to realize her dream.
In this conversation with Dr. Nancy, Aura shows what it was like growing up in communist Romania where people were suspicious of one another, fearing they were being spied upon and would be reported and imprisoned for thinking contrary to the communist regime. Aura followed a different path.

Choose Happiness Every Day

Aura emphasizes that one can choose to be happy even in the face of a depressing environment. No person or place can create happiness; you must choose it for yourself. So even in gray, depressing Romania, she struggled to rise each day with a smile on her face. She finished school and became a journalist.
In time, communism had been overthrown and she was busy with her career. But her dream of palm trees and sea breezes would not fade. So when she heard of the Green Card Lottery, she entered and won over millions of entries world-wide. With her husband, two suitcases and $400, she flew to Los Angeles to pursue a dream with no promise of success.

Lessons Learned on Her Journey

Out of the Transylvania Night Book CoverDr. Nancy asks Aura what were the most important lessons she learned quickly on moving to LA.

  1. Do not blame anybody. Aura realized that she had to grow up, not blame others and take responsibility for what she was doing right now. In Romania it was easy to blame the government; nearly everyone did. But Aura saw that anything outside of herself was not within her control. It’s up to us to take control of ourselves and choose the way we live each day.
  2.  Do not judge anyone. In Romania, there is very little diversity. Aura was not exposed to different cultures, but in Los Angeles, she found all the cultures of the world. She says that we’re all the same. We don’t mean to harm others, but we all make mistakes because we don’t know better.
  3. Wake up and be happy every day. Forget about yesterday. Don’t ask, “Why was I born there? Why did they do this to me?” She learned that focusing on the past prevented her from appreciating and recognizing the possibilities of today.

Aura’s Pulitzer Nominee Memoir

Aura teaches the lessons she learned to her students in Los Angeles. She is also working on two additional books. Check out her story of survival, Out of the Transylvania Night, which is a Pulitzer nominee for the memoir category. Be sure to listen to this conversation for more stories about Aura’s life in Communist Romania. And watch for her new books about overcoming your fears and the power of intention.


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