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Podcast Transcript

Power Tools

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:10  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path To Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark! Join us on this journey where we are uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader today...

And Marsha, I'm going to have to say that, you know, I feel like I say this every week that I've been looking forward to this episode. But you know, I get, listeners, I get a chance to see these show notes in advance. And I don't know... There's something about the title of this one - "Power Tools" - that's just a favorite topic of mine. So, Marsha, I'm gonna let you jump in.

Marsha Clark  0:48  
All right! Well, I like that you like this one, and that we do... We say this is our favorite one, or we've been looking forward to. So, this is one of my favorites, too. And I guess, you know, we're gonna give a new twist or a new turn to the to the term "Power Tools." So let me welcome everyone, our listeners, to Episode 17 of this podcast called "Power Tools."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:13  
So okay, I want to twist things around a little bit and start with a question for our listeners first. Is that okay with you?

Marsha Clark  1:21  
Sure. Sure. Yeah, let's go for it!

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:23  
Okay, so listeners, here's your question. When you hear the phrase, power tools, what pops in your mind? Think of two or three power tools you're familiar with... So, Marsha, what do you think people are thinking of right now?

Marsha Clark  1:41  
Well, I know where my mind goes. And it's, you know, they're probably the thinking of their favorite hardware store aisle. And it could be the DIY, do-it-yourself, world of drills and saws and sanders and even leaf blowers. And yeah, that's one of those calming things that we we can do is just to blow the leaves.

And, and then some of our listeners may, you know, be thinking about the power tools in their kitchens. That wouldn't be me, but that that would be some. You know, whether it's their their frappe whipping tool, or their awesome KitchenAid Mixer, or perhaps even a margarita blender.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:15  
Yeah, now we're talking. This is the point where most people think of tools like that. The the automatic and expected, but when we're talking about power tools, today, we're going to go in an entirely different direction.

Marsha Clark  2:30  
Yeah, we are. So as we explore power tools, it's going to be focused on resources that energize us and that inspire us. You know, what fires us up? Those are what we explore and define as power tools.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:46  
Yep, yep. That's why I love this topic. It's gonna generate some diverse answers and create an entirely new way of recognizing and tapping into that power that people haven't necessarily considered before. It's about expanding everyone's definitions of and access to power.

Marsha Clark  3:07  
That's right. I love it. And I didn't talk about this specifically in my book, "Embracing Your Power," but I will tell you that tapping into these power tools has been an important part, and quite honestly, a fun reinforcing ingredient, to the work that we've been doing for decades.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:24  
Yeah. So we're not talking about leaf blowers, and blenders, what are we talking about when we when we say power tools?

Marsha Clark  3:33  
Yeah. So when you hear the term power tools, as you listen to this podcast, I want you to think about external resources that refuel and replenish us. So refuel and replenish... They may inspire us. They may challenge us. They may deepen our thinking. And these, these power tools can move us. You know, physically, it can bring us to tears or mentally and, or emotionally stretching our thinking, or, you know, touching us deeply. So all of these ways are, what power tools can how they can touch us. So we're going to talk primarily about three different mediums if you will, or categories of power tools. The first one is journaling. The second one is quotes and poems. And the third is media. And what we're going to talk about specifically there is in the form of music and movies.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:26  
Hmm, okay, so before we dig deeper into the categories, and some specifics around each one, will you share your thinking behind why or how these resources support the exploration of power?

Marsha Clark  4:41  
Yeah, I'd be happy to. So as we've talked about in previous podcasts, sometimes direct or head on conversations about power can be intimidating and uncomfortable for some people because they've had negative experiences, personal experiences with power. And, so helping people feel more comfortable with exploring power, and quite honestly, their especially their own power deep inside of them, it takes some creativity. And we need some finesse and a different approach and ways to enter the topic so that we can begin to see ourselves and really touch what's inside of us through some of these power tools in a more powerful way. So when you think about, even as you as we've said, before, thinking about the word power, or thinking about what it means for me to be more powerful, it can really send up some emotional and mental walls for people. So we use a variety of those mechanisms to experience and to explore power in a more roundabout way, and tackling a challenging subject by coming at it from these different angles. It isn't new. We didn't make this up. The educators, the psychologists, the counselors, and even coaches have been using tools like this forever. And it's an especially effective approach when people seem particularly stuck or were having a strong mental block. And, and we can't seem to get to sort of the nub of it or the source of it without considering some different options.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:18  
Yeah, that makes sense. So let's dive into the first power tool category. Journaling. How can our listeners use that process to deepen their exploration of authentic leadership power?

Marsha Clark  6:33  
Yeah, some people are now going to groan because when they think about journaling...

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:38  
I'm one of them. I personally, I have like 15 journal books that are a quarter of the way to halfway started and then abandoned for months, years. So I really want to... I'm going to be absorbing this episode just as much as anybody else.

Marsha Clark  6:56  
Well, I think that's true for many of us. And yet, I hope those quarter or half filled journaling entries, brought you some clarity. You know? Brought you something. And it's like, okay, when it's not useful anymore. It's okay to give ourselves permission to stop doing it. So I offer that at the beginning of this. So the beauty, though, of journaling is that it's an individual journey. And, it's into our own. Right inside of us - our thoughts, our fears, and our dreams. And it's, it's this entirely interior exploration. And, you know, the fact that it's just me writing these things down, that alone creates some safety. Right? That nobody else is going to judge or critique or read what I'm capturing. And, you know, it doesn't have to be full on sentences or, you know, beautifully written grammatically correct essays. You can write. You can draw. You can paint. Whatever you want to do. There's no judgment, no rules, there's no restrictions. And that's the part of if I give myself that freedom, sometimes journaling can take on a broader perspective. And, you know, there's lots of wonderful quotes out there about journaling. But this is one that I think is it speaks to me. And here it is, it's by Natalie Goldberg from her book, "Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within." So the quote is, "Write what disturbs you. What you fear. What you've not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open." Because this beauty is, in going inside, and dealing with the chaos, the confusion, the ugly, the messy, and that's what journaling can be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:47  
Hmm... Yeah, well. This is getting to the heart of my issue. I mean, I remember first starting to journal when I was a little girl, like you all had the little diary. Like it was literally like five inches by four inches, and it had a little lock on it with the key and I'm so proud to hide the key. And I don't know what I was hiding. Because every day I would write down practically the same thing... Went to school. Came home. Like, I think that's why I have this instinct, or maybe instinct is the wrong word, but this reaction to staying consistent with journaling. Because I'm going to freely admit that it's taken me almost my entire life to to get to the point where I write down things that I don't want others to see. Like, it's almost like my journal was Facebook before Facebook was around. You know? You put this image or Instagram. You put up this image and I was doing that literally in my own journal that nobody else would read or see. And I think that's, I hope that, or not I hope, but I feel like that's probably a common occurrence with a lot of young girls and young women.

Marsha Clark  10:05  
I agree with you 1,000%. I was having even to tell myself that everything was wonderful. Everything was peachy. It was perfect. And, you know, if you had siblings, that's the worst thing you want to do is for your brother to find your diary and then read it to his class or, you know, his friends or something. And so, so we created this mindset around, you know, writing down what is really deep inside of us. And so that's why I say, I love that quote about we've got "... to split ourselves wide open." And so journaling can be and this is the, one of the possibilities can be cathartic, you know. And that's can be true when you give yourself permission to be that real, and that raw and that uncensored self. And so I've also found it in my own personal, I'm not a person who journals all the time, but when I'm going through something really hard, that's when I pull out, you know, because I got to get it out of my head and onto paper and get clear about it. So I found it to be like a mile a good mile marker for me, you know where I've been? So I have I recently well, I say recently, two years ago, I downsized and moved and I went back. And I found all kinds of things, you know, when you're moving and trying to get figured out what to get rid of and what to keep. And I read some of my previous journals, and I had really a whole wide range of emotions around it, as well as thoughts. And you know, the first one was, I had forgotten about all the things that seem so large at the time, right? I mean, I was so immersed in it, and it was going to be the overwhelming thing. And I was just never going to look through it. And and yet it I did. And I figured it out. The second thing, I figured it out, and I did move through it. And that then led me to remind myself, I can do hard stuff, right? I can do hard things. And all of these are powerful thoughts and feelings when we talk about it or think about it in the context of power tools.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  11:54  
Yeah, and I think that that's the thing that has instigated me to pick this up again, and I've been pretty consistent this year, with the journaling, because I did exactly what you did when we moved into this house. Almost a little over two years ago, I found all of my past journals, and you know, put them in a consolidated place. And I started reading them again, and I have the same three reactions, all these things that seemed so big at the time actually worked. And number two, you figured it out and moved through it and look at that I am a big girl. And then number three, yes, I'm reminded that I can do hard things. And I think that's so, so important. So what specific hints or tips do you have to help our listeners get the most out of their journaling Power Tool?

Marsha Clark  12:47  
Yeah, and I don't want to be too prescriptive, or, you know, sort of at the risk of over engineering. Sometimes journaling is just a simple hard-lived process, right? I just, you know, I'm just gonna spill my guts kind of thing. And yet, there are some best practices out there that I want to share with our listeners in in support of them, considering this as one of their power tools. So the first one is be consistent and be committed. And so journaling, for it to really help you to break through whether it's a particular issue or challenge, you got to stick with it for some period of time, you know, it's like working out or eating healthy. You're not gonna, you know, lose that 10 pounds in one day. Right? Or just by eating a salad today, or whatever it might be. You've got to do it consistently. You know, do it... If you just do it every once in a while, it may help you. I'm not suggesting that that's not valuable as well, but if there's a really thorny issue that you want to work through getting some discipline around, that's going to help you. And then the second point is make it enjoyable. You know, if it feels like a chore, you know, the chances of you sticking with it is pretty slim. So maybe you do want to splurge and buy a nice journal or a favorite pen, a favorite pen color. If you're going to choose to write, I have often heard for many women that setting up a special space that's, you know, that you want to go into that you like sitting in that space. And, it allows you to focus and really have some dedicated private time. I know women might talk about, "I go out on my patio or my porch. I have my cup of coffee. I you know, perhaps read my Bible or have my inspirational quote of the day." Or whatever it might be. And then I want to write and it's a very enjoyable. I look forward to it part of my ritual kind of process. And then the third one is find some inspiration. And you know, there's hundreds of resources out there available on this topic of journaling. And you can find colorful workbooks that you know with built in prompts or questions or... Google videos or whatever and find some easy tips and tricks,  but find some inspiration around it. And then the last thing is think beyond the pen. So, you know, when I think about, we don't just have to write, I mean, some people journal by, you know, typing on their laptop. I mean, it doesn't have to be traditional or beautiful penmanship. There's lots of, there's lots of different ways to do it. And, you know, there are collages that you can do, you know, and put them, you know, post them together and let that be your inspiration. I remember one of the women in our early programs was an artist and poet. And she took us out into nature. There was a group of us and we did cloud journaling, she called it. I would go, I would expand it to nature journaling. So she asked us took us around. We walked. We talked about all the beautiful things that we were in the midst of that we were experiencing. And then she said, sit down and draw a picture about it. And then we drew up pictures. And then we came back together. And we talked about one of his true clouds, one of us drew flowers, what a mess drew a picture of the, the, you know, the the life that we were on. And so each one told a different story about what was going on inside of us. And it was a beautiful way to express and do journaling in a non traditional way. And so you can draw, you can doodle, you can paint and any any medium that allows you to explore an idea or an issue at what what you would say a deeper level is perfect for this journaling experience.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  16:25  
I love that. So yes, so I'm going to add a side note or a footnote to your number two - make the process enjoyable. And maybe splurge and buy a really nice journal. I'm going to give everyone a website to go to So J-E-N-N-I-B as in boy, That website, it's woman owned, but you know, probably woman run, but... Tons of beautiful, affordable, and some very expensive journals and blank books and notebooks and paper and all kinds of great things on that site. So I'm 100%, I'm going to set esthetic person myself. So yes, I'm 100% on board with number two, make it an enjoyable and something that you look forward to. And for me, journaling is a power tool that allows us to explore our stories that we tell ourselves and can often, you know, either get us on track, or I'm sorry, not get us on track, but will maybe get us on track, but then also it can keep us stuck. And if for whatever reason, we don't feel safe to tell our story to someone else, at least we can work through it with journaling. And it reminds me of one of my favorite Brene Brown quotes, which is "When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending."

Marsha Clark  18:06  
I love that quote. I mean, isn't that the truth? Yeah, you know, journaling is a perfect way to work through that process of really acknowledging our stories, understanding our stories, and ultimately owning our stories. And, you know, I have another since you and I love these quotes, which, of course, that's a part of what we're talking about here. You know, another favorite comes from Maya Angelou and she says, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." And so when we deny our stories, we're holding on to our untold stories remaining quiet and small. And all of those behaviors that keep us from fully understanding and then really, ultimately stepping into our power. And so this journaling can be this incredible power tool for our listeners. And I hope that each of you will explore and understand those stories. You know, if you were listening to one of our earlier podcasts "On The Nightstand," I talked about "Cassandra Speaks" which is all about women telling our stories. And they've often been quieted, and that's not serving us or the world well. So we want to understand those stories. And you know, they often are the key that helps us unlock beliefs that might be holding us back keeping us stuck. And so again, I offer journaling is one of our favorite power tools.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:31  
Yeah, absolutely. And so another one of our favorite Power Tools is something that we've already used quite a few times in this episode.

Marsha Clark  19:43  
Yes, yes we do. Yes, we do. We start every chapter in my book with a quote and we often sprinkled them throughout. So they are they are a way of my communication and you know, people even talk about my Marsha-isms, which are things that I say in classes routinely and repeatedly and and that they're just another form of quotes.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  20:02  
Right. So why do you consider quotes and poems power tools. It's another one of those things that most people don't connect with the idea of it being a tool...

Marsha Clark  20:14  
Right. So remember, our definition is that power tools can be anything that refuel and replenish us. So, you know, to me, poems and quotes are inspirational, they're challenging, they deep deep in our thinking, and, you know, quotes in particular, there are a limited number of words that typically carry big messages, and I can remember the few words. And when I think about that, quote, it helps me then create the bigger story that that quote represents for me, so it taps into sources or ideas, of how to see and experience power in, you know, the context of our conversations on these podcasts in a different way. And, and so, you know, think about, you know, quotes specifically for a minute. People quote people all the time. So maybe it's a line from your favorite movie. Maybe it's memorable lyrics. It might be inspirational phrases from a great book, and stories or stories, excuse me, are filled with signs or posters that have quotes all around them. And, you know, I mean, quotes are everywhere. And you know, even you can go Google and and how many quote sites are there for us to grab a quote, to make a bigger point than what we might be able to make In our own words?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  21:29  
Yeah, exactly. I have a coaster here in my home office that my dear sweet mentor, friend, Amy Rojas (shout out Amy!) gave me as a gift and the quote on my coaster is, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." And so I sit here... I see this every single day as I set my drink on it. My drink is on it now, and it's just a wonderful reminder.

Marsha Clark  21:56  
Yeah, and and if we, if we really begin to think about this, many of us can remember our grandmother's, you know, our grandparent's house. And grandmothers had quotes, in the form of you know, cross-stitch framed cross-stitch messages or embroidery pillowcases, you know, with their favorite sayings on them, too. I remember my mother's Bible. She had quotes all over it, my mother was a Thelma-isms if she was my, you know, predecessor for Marsha-isms. But she had a quote book, and my son gave her a gift of typing all these up one day because she had them written everywhere. And so the idea of capturing that wisdom of others as inspiration, or, or even teaching is really ancient. I mean, it comes, it's some of the very first forms of communication, whether it was you know, 35,000 year old cave drawings in Indonesia, and, and, you know, up until current day world with posters in stores. And it really reflects our collective and, and, and honestly our innate history of sharing stories and passing along knowledge and lessons from one generation to the next. And I had a favorite colleague, Jim Young. So my shout out to Jim Young, when I was at EDS, and he collected these quotes. And I loved his. And I'm probably going to steal it somehow, but he created a keepsake box of quotes on these little individual cards. And he gifted this to many of us. And it was called "A Box Of Pearls." As in, you know, the idea of "pearls of wisdom." And one of the ones that my favorites that he included was from E. B. White, the author of "Charlotte's Web," and the quote is, and this touches me and speaks to me in so many ways, "When I wake up each morning, I find myself torn between my desire to save the world or to savor the world. And this makes it really hard to plan my day." So what I do? Think about that...

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  23:52  
That resonates... That resonates!

Marsha Clark  23:54  
Am I gonna wake up today and try to change the world? Or am I just going to enjoy the world today? And different days I make different choices.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  24:02  
Yeah, yeah. Well, I've also always enjoyed collecting quotes, but I've never thought of them in terms of power tools until you presented them that way. And now really, it's the only way I can think of them. I mean, I, I and even and I'm like, you know, referring back earlier, you were talking about the woman who journaled with pictures. And, you know, I find myself he's even as I'm sitting down reading a fashion magazine or Architectural Digest or some kind of home magazine or whatever, and I get captured by a quote in an ad, and I will tear it out. So you know, that's something else and I'll tear it out, and I'll keep it and I'll probably add it to my journal. I'll write it down and then you know, throw the ad away. But yeah, it's definitely an inspirational power tool.

Marsha Clark  24:55  
That's about... It's like the collage, right? I collect the quote. I's combining a non-traditional journaling with our with our quotes. So yeah. So I, you know, for me quotes can help us feel that reinforcement and you know, we can gain power from that. And so when someone we admire or respect says something, especially when it aligns with our experience that can be a power tool because it refills and replenishes me. We feel that we've been seen. We've been heard. We've been acknowledged. And, and in many ways affirmed. And so I'll share one with you that is in my home office because I like to have fun with them, too. And so I have one hanging that says, "I am a woman. What is your superpower?" And it reminds me that I have power every day, I go in there, and I look at that as I'm working in my office. And yet, as we discussed in one of our earlier podcasts, it's not that I'm choosing to be Superwoman. And I and I want to make this distinction. And that just by being a woman, I have superpowers. I love that. So it's that distinction around that. And I think it's an important distinction.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:01  
Yep. Yep. I love that ideas of the idea that quotes help us connect with others and give us a sense of belonging. And they're also challenging.

Marsha Clark  26:14  
They do. They can stretch us. They can help us to see things differently, and to expand our thinking. And I love that I find great power. Even in that process, when I'm getting stretched or when I'm broadening my perspective. It's awesome. And, you know, that is an example of how a quote can be a power tool for growth, for learning, for deepening. And, you know, again, we use quotes and all of our materials, and I encourage our readers... What are quotes that touch you? What are those favorite quotes that challenge you that expand your thinking? And, you know, one that I'll leave you with that I think is... It's been around a long time and gotten a lot of play, and yet I still find great power in it. And it's by Marianne Williamson, and she says, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us." And you know, I, I am constantly challenging myself in in positive service-oriented ways to play to my light. Not to hide it. Not to diminish it. Not to deny it, but to really pursue it. And you know, to go along with this, the one that I think about in tandem with this is, "A candle doesn't lose its light by lighting another candle." And that's another way of thinking about my light being in service and a positive contribution to the world.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  27:48  
Yeah. So tell us what you think about poems. Do you think that poems fall into pretty much the same category as quotes? Because they're inspirational, thought provoking words?

Marsha Clark  27:59  
I do. The difference for me is that they serve the same purpose. Poems are just longer. Yeah, I know that sounds a little simplistic, but but I really do. But you know, and in our very first podcast, I read one of my favorite poems, which is "Imagine A Woman" by Patricia Lynn Riley, and as a way to frame my work, using her words and phrasing and turns that that I could never come up with on my own. And that's where I think poems, they can speak our hearts when we can't speak our hearts. So they're evocative. They touch our hearts in ways that, you know, allow us to connect with other people on a different deeper level. And, you know, connecting with the stories and experiences of others can be can be comforting. It can be healing. And it can be invigorating. And so using poetry as a power tool in the context of... Each of our listeners, you know, own leadership journeys can be liberating because it gives you words and expressions that might have been locked deep inside of you. And I'll tell you, we used them in my EDS days... It was with men, as well as women, that would bring their poems in to share with the group and, you know, explore some poetry all of us. Real poetry, you know, song lyrics are a kind of a form of poetry, and we're going to talk about that in just a minute. But find a poet that that really touches you and allow yourself just to get lost in their words, just... You know, close your eyes and imagine what they're describing. And in what ways do those words help you or inspire you or heal you? There's power there. So, you know, we're gonna we're gonna even wrap up today's episode with another one of my favorite poems.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  29:38  
All right, can't wait. Okay, so we've talked about journaling using quotes and poetry is power tools. The last category you mentioned when we started was the use of media, specifically music and movies. How do you use those as power tools?

Marsha Clark  29:55  
Yeah, this is pretty a typical and leadership development program. So when we talk about music and movies, I was on a conversation with a woman, a coaching client, just just this week, or last week, the end of last week. And we were talking about power of music. And, I asked her what her power of music was. And it was a whole different way for her to think about herself and her choices, the freedom that she had to make some different choices. And so, and this is something that's very accessible music and movies are at our fingertips and you know, our day to day lives. And so some some of our listeners, and may be doing this intuitively and you know, didn't even realize that part of what the the attachment or the attraction to music and movies was that they're really accessing power tools. And when you think about art in general, it can evoke strong, powerful emotions that that again, simple conversation may not help you get to. So you know, emotions can be joy or gratitude, or it could even be grief or fury or disappointment or hurt or whatever it might be. But that's what what different music at different times can bring us.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:03  
Yeah, I that makes me think of another quote by Hans Christian Andersen when he said, "Where words fail, music speaks."

Marsha Clark  31:13  
Yeah, and we've all seen that research. When we hear a song, it takes us to a place, right? A place in our past a place of a special memory or moment, I will tell you, when I lost my husband, I would hear a song on the radio and have to pull off the side of the road and cry. I mean, that's how music has played a very specific role in my life. And then I've also heard other songs that make me laugh and sing and sing along. Right. And as it comes around, and you know, think of a song for you, that feels like your power music. What song is it and what makes it powerful? You This is what when when we ask people to bring their power music to programs, we ask them what why is this a power? You know, power music for you? And it could be that the song ignites you and and is it the lyrics is it because the performer you know, has a story that courage triumph breaking through inspires you, or sometimes it just reminds us of the time when we felt invincible, you know, I think about all these shows that are on TV now about, you know, America's Got Talent, or The Voice are all of these. And I you know, I don't watch them consistently. But it never fails that when I do happen to have them or turn them off, or see them posted somewhere where I can listen to them, I just get overwhelmed because the story and the rendition of the music is just amazing. And again, it touches me in such a meaningful way. And what I will tell you is that when we do that in our programs, and and I'm suggesting that you do this with your friends, because it's another way to make more intimate connections there as well, is that we get to hear something about you or you get to share a story with why it's powerful. And all of a sudden, I know you better and we've connected in a different way. And I would tell you that it's you know, strengthens bonds and connections between people that few other team building activities can replicate, you know, so we've been using power music for decades in our programs. And as I said, we use it in our co-ed workshops too. And I just think it allows us to let down our guard a little bit and really let others get a sneak peek into what touches my heart.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  33:37  
See, see who people are under all the armor. I love that. So I love how power songs can be as diverse as the people who are listening to them.

Marsha Clark  33:47  
Well, that's right. That's right. And, you know, I one of the things I love is that I have this awesome and quite diverse playlist from all of the years of collecting people's power songs through the programs that we've done. And I go back to the early what I call the female power queens of the 70's like Gloria Gaynor, "I Will Survive," and Helen Reddy, "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar," and to "Hey Ya" by OutKast. And another one I love is "I'm Not My Hair" by India Arie. And we've heard them all and they all have beautiful stories connected to them about our program participants personal power, overcoming obstacles being inspired, doing things they never thought they could do. And, and every time someone shares their power music, I'm moved and I, I feel connected with that person on a much deeper level. And so again, I want to encourage our listeners, you may already share your playlist with your friends and maybe some of your colleagues, but I want you to think specifically of a song that speaks to your sense of personal power and share that song with your circle of friends and colleagues, whoever you know. I encourage you to go broad and wide on that and and share why it has the meaning that it does. And invite your friends and colleagues to do the same. Your family members should do the same. It's a it's a beautiful frame within which to see, understand and really connect with the people around you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  35:18  
So now I'm curious, what's one of your power songs and why?

Marsha Clark  35:24  
Well, I'm not going to give you one. I have several for different reasons. And you know, this first one that I'll mention is has really happened over the last, you know, I'm going to say a couple of months. There's a song by Barry Manilow and this goes back to the 70's and the title of it is "I Made It Through The Rain," and, and it's one that I've heard lots of times, and yet this time I heard it. And for some reason, it made me cry. It brought a tear to my eye, and so I went and listened to it again because I've never reacted to the song that way. I knew all the words, right? I love singing. So I knew all the words. But I recognize that it was a pretty good reflection of my own journey. I made it through the rain, you know. And I held on to myself in the process. That's a part of what I think. And that's what touched me in a very different way. And you know, I mentioned this earlier, but Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar." It was the anthem of the 70's women's movement. So it was like a freedom song for women in that generation. And I'll tell you a story about this. I was wrapping up a program with a group of younger women and this was probably about six years ago. And we were graduating the last day and we were having a fun time and and I kind of broke into song.... "I am woman hear me roar..." And, you know, they all just kind of looked at me like I was crazy. And I'm like, "Y'all don't know that song?" Because it was a Women's Leadership Program, and we'd been talking about power the whole time. And so I would love for our current artists to re-record Helen Reddy, so that our current generation of women will know this song. And for those of you listeners who haven't heard it, go out and find it on YouTube:  Listen to Helen Reddy "I Am Woman." And then just a couple more. There's one called I believe, by LeAnn Rimes is the person who I love her version of it. And it's about faith, and everything happens for a reason. So it's a very powerful song for me. And then the last one is "Listen" and it's by Beyonce from Dream Girls. "Listen to the song here in my heart, and listen carefully...." It is another one of those... I just want to be heard. I want to be seen, and I'm not willing to let it go. And over my life, I might let you tell my story, or drive my story or define my story. And as I go through life, I want to tell my own story. And that's a part of this journey as well. So, Wendi, how about you? So what are some of your power songs?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:05  
Oh, my. Well, I'm just going to go with one so that we don't...

Marsha Clark  38:10  

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:11  
Overwhelm our listeners with all of these all of these songs, because then they're going to be floating through their head throughout the day just like they do with me. So I'm now singing "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar.: So one of mine is "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera And, the the lyrics open with, "After all you put me through, you'd think I'd despise you. But in the end, I want to thank you because you made me that much stronger." And the song goes on about, you know, how.... Thanks for making me a fighter. Made me learn a little bit faster. Made my skin a little bit thicker. Makes me that much smarter. So thanks for making me a fighter. I mean, I just love that. It's taking an adversity and something that could have potentially crushed you and turning it into that, "Okay, you're now my reason!"

Marsha Clark  39:08  
Right. Well, and it goes back to the learning process in a bigger bigger way.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  39:14  
Exactly. Exactly. So the last category you mentioned earlier is movies. How can movies be power tools, or at least how do you use them that way?

Marsha Clark  39:26  
So we started doing this in the second program of Power Of Self. We didn't do it in the first one. And we introduced it in the second program because one of the participants said, "I would love for us to have like watch a movie over lunch because I just saw this really awesome movie." And oh my gosh, it opened up a whole new world for us. So that's how we got started in bringing movies to the programs that we do. And so then what we begin to do is look at each module that we taught would have a movie that reinforce the messages of that module. So authenticity, women in leadership roles, women supporting women, women overcoming adversity, having power struggles... All of those things. So we built up what we kind of called our must-watch list of movies that do strongly align with that content, program content. And I'm sure our, I would love to hear from our listeners, because, you know, I, that's how I watch movies. I don't just go find them. Somebody recommends them, and then I then I'll go watch them after someone's recommended it. So send us your favorite power movies, or power quotes or poems or any of that kind of stuff.

But, you know, some of the ones that we have shown are "Dream Girls" from, which is all about trust and betrayal. "The Contender" which is about political power, political savvy, standing for your principles. "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" which are those untold stories that we've that that have been hidden for so long. And that was when they are told everything changes between relationships, even in families and friends. "Paradise Road" which is one of women overcoming adversity by truly tapping into their feminine gifts and talents in different ways. And then the last I would recommend to our listeners is "Iron Jawed Angels." It's how women got the vote. It's Alice Paul's story. And what I often say about this one is, after women see this movie, they will never not vote again. When they saw what women went through to get us the right to vote. And that was only about 100 years ago. So this is not ancient history, you know, in its truest sense. And I watched that with my mother. And my mother just wept through this because women got the vote when my mother turned a year old. So she didn't know all the fight that went on before. But she saw, as with most change, she saw, it was still hard for women, even after the law had changed for women to go out and vote. So it touched her in this huge way, and I can't wait to show my grandchildren the story. Both my grandson and my two granddaughters because I think it's important history that doesn't get taught in schools. And that's the other part of it, it's Alice Paul's story. And so, you know, movies like music and portraits that give us that permission to explore the topic of power in metaphorical or through the experience of others. And we have that visceral responses, you know, how many of us cry at movies. You know, I mean, that because it touches us in that way. And, you know, it gives us the ability to touch and to look inside and connect with parts of ourselves, but through the lens of another person's story or another person's journey. And so I get to feel the feelings without attaching myself to the pain of my own feelings around that, if that makes sense. And and so I love that it can open up some really deep and heartfelt dialogue as we go through the topics and talk about, you know, where did this touch you? And I can't tell you the stories that were then shared after some of those movies were shown because it did, boy, hit you where you live, so to speak. So it's  a way to work through our own pain in an indirect way, and in a powerful way.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  41:03  
Right, right. Well, I love this list. And now I'm adding them to my list. I've seen a couple of them, but not all of them. So in some ways, these movies also reinforce this idea behind, "you can't be what you can't see." And they give women and young girls role models to follow.

Marsha Clark  43:52  
That they do. And you know, just like you were saying, you remember something when you were eight years old, because your neural pathways were being laid, you might not have known what was happening there. But, you know, if you've never really been exposed to examples, or stories of women overcoming abuse of power, stepping into their own power, you know, movies like this can open up the world to you that can show you there's another possibility out there. It's through the lens of the camera, you know, movie camera, but it's still a possibility because I see it right. And then I feel it. And you know, being able to do that for ourselves and for one another. Again, I just think it's a hugely powerful moment.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  44:37  
Yeah. Well, this has been a, a different topic and episode for us, you know, taking, taking inspiration and guidance from some non-traditional tools. I think giving... It's giving people a whole new set of tools to add to their toolkit. So what, Marsha, would you say are a couple of key takeaways from today's episode?

Marsha Clark  45:05  
Well, you know, I want to kind of bring us full circle. You said earlier that you'd never thought of some of these things as power tools. And now you can only think of them in that way, right? So we all know music. We all know movies. We all know, you know, quotes and poems and various things in our lives. And yet, now, if I think about them in a different way, that they can give me insights and connections and help explain what's going on inside of me, or exploring why I'm so drawn to this movie, or this music or whatever. And so you know, it, I hope it's been a new way of thinking about these things. So I know that, I just want to say to that, I know that both my life and my leadership practices have been incredibly enriched when I begin to think of these things as as real tools and insights that I get. So a couple of the key takeaways just includes our definition of power tools, not not leaf blowers and margarita blenders. But but their external resources that refuel and replenish us. They inspire us. They challenge our thinking. And they touch us in beautiful ways. So, you know, some of the tools that we've shared today are journaling, quotes, poetry, music, and movies. Just thinking about those as power tools. And a second takeaway is to think of these tools as ways to go deeper into the topic of power. So, you know, when we show the same movie, from class, to class to class, I've seen it multiple times. And yet something different touches me every single time. And it's because I've heard a story of one of the women in the program, or because something's happened to me, that causes me to see it different. So to go deeper, and to better understand it is to explore it for some from someone else's perspective, through a different lens. And the power tools allow me to express my own power and to understand how I feel about power. Why does that touch me in such a way that makes me think about power? And what is it? What would it be like for me to fully own my power and put myself in one of those places? And then finally, I'd say use the tools to discuss power with the people around you. That's where, you know, again, new possibilities open up. And if you're talking about power, and it's uncomfortable for you, maybe you can use some of these tools as examples or stories or metaphors to talk about it without it being as confrontational, either to you or to the other person.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  47:40  
Marsha, thank you for offering up these power tools and how we can use them to explore and ultimately step in to our own power. Now, you mentioned earlier that you had a poem you wanted to use to close this out today. So will you share that now?

Marsha Clark  47:59  
Of course, of course. So thank you, Wendi, for it was a fun discussion. I love talking about these things. They're not so heavy, right? So we can we can kind of have a light moment here. And thanks to everyone for listening in today. And we would like for you to share some of these favorites of yours. We'd love to hear from you on that.

And so here's the poem, and it's from one of my favorite authors, Mary Oliver. And it's called "The Journey" and we're all on a journey. Maybe you know, we talked about your journey to powerful and authentic leadership. So we're all on the journey. Now, when we would read poems in our classes, we would read them twice. And I'll give a shout out to Moana Bailey, who was in our very first Power Of Self program. And she said, we read it once for the head, and twice for the heart. So I'm only going to read it once today just to let people know, but I want I hope you'll backtrack as you listen to it. Again, for your heart sake, to hear it in a different way. So here we go....

"One day, you finally knew what you had to do, and began though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice. Though the whole house began to tremble, and you felt the old tug at your ankles. Mend my life each voice cried. But you didn't stop. You knew what you had to do. Though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations. Though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds. And there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world determined to do the only thing you could do. Determined to save the only life that you could save."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  50:11  
Wow. I think we'll leave that there with a mic drop. Okay. Thank you for joining us today on this our journey of authentic powerful leadership. Please download, subscribe and share this podcast wherever you like to listen. And please visit Marsha's website at for links to all the tools resources to find out information about her book, "Embracing Your Power," and keep up to date on everything in Marsha's world.

Marsha Clark  50:45  
Well, thank you, Wendi, for being another great hostess yet for another episode. And thank you, listeners, for joining us today and I will reiterate, please feel free to connect with us. We'd love to hear what your favorite power songs or movies or quotes or poems might be. And we hope you'll join us again next week. And as always, here's to women supporting women!

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