We were strangers when we met for lunch on a beautiful spring day in Beverly Hills. How could we have known it was the beginning of a journey that would bring us into the hearts and souls of 108 remarkable women across the state of California?
Patty DeDominic, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and women’s advocate, had recently sold her award-winning staffing business. She had time to fulfill a vision of producing a series of Women’s Festivals in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Maureen Ford, former entrepreneurship educator, found herself reflecting on the words of her deeply inspired college students, “If you could find a way to ‘bottle’ the life stories of the business leaders you have introduced us to, you could make a million dollars!”
She realized that while the business lessons in her program were of great academic value, the intimate sharing of personal experiences had changed her student’s lives.
This was the genesis of Life Moments for Women ? two strangers leaving lunch as friends and agreeing to ‘bottle’ the life-moments of amazing California women ? and raise a million dollars for the Women’s Foundation of California.
We began by reaching out to women from all walks of life and from many different fields: business, politics, education, law, science, media, spirituality, athletics, nonprofit organizations, the arts and more.
Women like Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who as she lay bleeding to death on a remote jungle airstrip, committed her life to public service.
Dolores Huerta, recipient of the Medal of Honor/cofounder of the United Farm Workers of America, inspires us to follow our heart no matter what the rest of the world says.
Philanthropist Cheryl Saban shares her heartfelt moment of self-discovery realizing that sometimes it just takes a shift in perspective to turn life around.
“Claim your destiny!” says civil rights attorney, Connie Rice, while Kathryn Downing, former chair of the Women’s Foundation of California, proves that with courage and commitment, it is possible to find a way forward.
Stories from these wise warriors are a small sampling of what lies within the pages of Life Moments for Women.
In the last year of the journey, something bigger began to emerge. We were exploding with ideas and opportunities.
Could this book be the birth of a movement, a movement of discovering within ourselves the pivotal turning points that shaped our lives so that other women and girls can grow from our unique life experiences? Not just in California, but around the country, perhaps around the world?
Here are some life-lessons learned along the way:
- In order to get anything in life, you must believe in yourself. Nothing is impossible if you set your sights high and refuse to give up.
- Excellence means having a vision. If you don’t like the direction your life is taking, switch gears and do something else.
- Don’t be afraid of criticism; do what you love. Take big “calculated” risks and have the courage to say “yes” when a moment of opportunity comes your way.
- There are many ways to serve the world. You can do it! Just take it day by day.
- We are so much stronger than we know. With a positive attitude, we can transcend adversity, be transformed by it, and go on to prosper and thrive.
- Decide to do something positive with your life. Don’t wait; do it now.
- Time is measured by heart beats and moments. Make every moment of your life count.
The stories in Life Moments for Women, many shared for the first time, prove that in the midst of discovering our own authentic life-path, it is possible to empower others.
It is our hope that this book will lead you toward a path to a better tomorrow.
“I’ve always believed that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.”
– Gloria Vanderbilt