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Be Bold, Be Curious, Be Kind

Be Bold, Be Curious, Be Kind

Here’s Kelly’s keynote from the Sharp Women Launch event, celebrating all women on International Women’s Day.

Wow. I look around this room and see so many faces that mean the world to me. Thank you for being here tonight to celebrate with me and everyone else in this room.

I started the Diamond Arrow Group five years ago this month. The reason why I named it Diamond Arrow was because years before that, I had read a quote about an arrow. It went something along the lines of, an arrow can only be shot forward by being pulled back, so when you feel like life is pulling you backwards, just focus and keep aiming because it’s about to launch you into something great. That was a great perspective shift for me on dealing with life’s challenges. When it came time to pick a name for my company, I wanted it to include an arrow. When I researched the meaning of different arrow phrases, I discovered an arrow through a diamond symbolizes courage or confidence moving forward. A solitary arrow can symbolize protection from harm. It was the perfect fit for my desire to help all women build their self-confidence to live life on their terms.

Now-that’s a big mountain to climb. Because each human is unique, with their dreams and desires, their motivations and the things they love, there are many paths to get to the top of the mountain. It really doesn’t matter which path you choose for you. There’s not a right or wrong path because what works for you, may not work for the person sitting next to you. I wanted to find a simple mantra that anyone could apply to their daily habits that not only applied to their personal safety, but all aspects of their life. That mantra was, be bold, be curious, be kind.

Be Bold: think back to when you were a little girl, maybe 2 or 3 years old. Picture her in your head- before the world told her who she could or couldn’t be- Ms. Sassafrass. Remember her spunk and courage to try new things. She didn’t look at a staircase and think, I can’t climb that-it’s too high. She didn’t stop to think about how she was going to reach each new step, she just started with the first one. Find her. Speak the words you would use to encourage her to figure out how to get to the top. Look around the room, you all made the bold decision to be here tonight. I’m willing to be most of you had no idea what to expect from tonight. To be honest, I didn’t really know either. I knew I wanted to have a party to celebrate publishing a book, but that was about it. As things started to fall into place, my vision became more clear. Rebekah working on setting up her Midwest book tour that coincided with my plans and both of us feeling strongly about having a charity component. Lori from Anna Marie’s Alliance being someone I worked with on a March of Dimes fundraiser so it was easy to call her directly with the Launch event idea. Calling Park Event Center and the woman who picked up asking if I was the same Kelly that worked at the CVB years ago, what are the odds? Really cool pieces of the puzzle seemed to fall into place naturally.

That’s when my self-doubt started chirping in my head. Who the heck do you think you are? What company is going to partner on your book launch event? Who the heck is going to pay you to come to your party? You better have an open bar.

That’s when I had to take my own advice. Kelly Sayre! You have built numerous events from scratch before! You’ve worked with teams of volunteers to accomplish a common goal! Stop listening to that negative voice in your head and be bold! The motivation for deciding to write a book wasn’t all pretty like a motivational poster, it was that little Ms. Sassafrass who was tired of the pandemic and threatened the Universe with an ultimatum. If you take away one more opportunity, I’m going to write a damn book! It’s amazing what channeling frustrations at things outside our control can do for motivation to achieve our goals.

Bet on yourself. Be bold. Because you made the bold decision to be here tonight, we were able to support Anna Marie’s Alliance. Use your voice to bring attention to the things that matter. Support other women being bold and working towards their goals. We can make anything happen when we work together.

Be Curious: The foundational skill of situational awareness is curiosity. That’s it. Being curious about your environment and the people in it. Juliana reminded me that it’s a proven fact women are better at reading non-verbal communication. Women are better at reading someone’s mood by tiny facial expressions. If you don’t believe me, watch a mom interact with her small child who doesn’t know how to talk yet. Watch a woman see her friend walk into the room and know instantly if something is up.

Our natural caretaking skills are the only reason why human beings are still on this planet. No offense to men, but there is a reason there are so many “when dad was left in charge of the baby” memes. Our curiosity is so natural that we don’t realize it’s our superpower. We intuitively feel the energy shift in a room. We don’t know how we know, but we just know when a loved one is struggling with something. That same feminine intuition skill can be applied to keep ourselves safe. When your instincts tell you something if off, whether that’s in the environment or with a person, trust it. As Gavin De Becker states, your intuition is always in response to something, and it always has your best interest in mind. You may never know what exactly was off that made your intuition alarm sound, but trust it. Your safety matters. You matter.

Be Kind: The world needs more kindness. I know that, you know that. Kindness and boundary enforcement are not mutually exclusive. You have a good, kind heart. Protect it like it’s the most precious thing it is. It’s a gift that has no limit. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere! One act of kindness has a multiplying effect and can make a world of difference to the person receiving it. It has value. Understand it’s worth, your worth. You are a gift to your family, your friends, your co-workers, the world.

And with any precious gift, protect it. You don’t have to give that gift to anyone who doesn’t deserve it. I want you to take your Sharp Women pledge, put it in a picture frame, grab a chalk marker or dry erase marker and write your name in the blank and sign the bottom. Hang it up somewhere you can see it every day. You are a Sharp Woman. You are precious. You matter. You never need to apologize for making your personal safety your priority. The world needs you and all the wonderful gifts you have to give. Remember-the world and the continuation of the human race depends on it. No pressure.

I want to thank all of you for giving me the gift of your time tonight. I’m honestly overwhelmed by the good vibes I’m feeling up on this stage. I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to truly express what I’m feeling right now. As I look out into this room, I see the faces of people who have known me for decades, and faces that I’ve just met tonight.

Thank you for sharing the gift of yourself with me tonight. I appreciate you, and know that I’m cheering for each and every one of you to be the Sharp Woman you were born to be. Be bold, be curious, be kind-and always remember to live life on your terms.

Grab your copy of Kelly’s book, Sharp Women: Embrace Your Intuition, Build Your Situational Awareness, and Live Life on Your Terms here.

 

Fear Mongering and Click Bait

Fear Mongering and Click Bait

Last week, an article was shared with me about an alleged Tik Tok video declaring April 24th National Rape Day. In doing a quick online search, there were quite a few articles talking about this alleged video.

When something gets shared with me, whether it’s a video, article, picture, or a personal account of a woman being attacked, I try to get as much information as I can. I want to learn the details, in order to pull out lessons that will help other woman stay safer. It’s not about figuring out what the victim did wrong. It’s about looking at the tactics or methods used by the predator, and sharing that information so everyone can learn to recognize early warning signs.

In every attack from one human to another (or group of people), there are pre-threat indicators. The indicators are not always recognized, either because the victim does not consciously observe them and misses their intuition signals, or a third party doesn’t recognize the indicators for what they are. Again-this is not a blame game, it’s a lack of knowledge on threat assessment.

The alleged Tik Tok video would be considered a pre-threat indicator. Except, no one could find the video. A friend of DAG, whose job is in crisis management and threat assessment, had his entire team scouring the web for this video. They couldn’t find it. What they did find was a post on social media talking about the alleged video. From that post, mainstream media took it as fact (without verifying there was an actual video), and used fear mongering as click bait.

Now, some could argue that the public needs to be made aware of any and all threats of violence, in order to protect themselves. I disagree.

Real and viable threats? Yes-those need to be brought to the attention of the right people to avoid violence if at all possible.

Fear mongering and scare tactics to get clicks, likes, and shares? Nope.

Not only do scare tactics make the situation worse, it can be re-traumatizing for anyone who has experienced that type of violence in the past. Instead of sharing knowledge to empower women in their personal safety (ex: here’s the warning signs to watch for and options to get safe), it causes panic and anxiety.

What is the most important thing to do when your intuition alarm bells start going off? Stay calm and decide on a course of action that keeps your safety the #1 priority.

How can you build confidence in your personal safety skills? Here’s 4 things to start with…

  1. Get on The Diamond Arrow Group’s email, follow DAG on Facebook and Instagram, and connect with Kelly on LinkedIn. (Share our info with others!)
  2. Practice simple daily habits to increase your situational awareness skills. (Watch this video for ideas.)
  3. Gather a group of friends or family and take self-defense classes. (Are you in central MN? Here’s a FREE class with 500rising instructors next month.)
  4. Research self-defense tools and figure out what would work best for you and your lifestyle. (Don’t know where to start? Email me.)

I don’t want you to live your life in fear of the “what ifs”. There are so many cool people to meet, so many cool places to travel to, and so many cool adventures to experience.

A diamond through an arrow symbolizes courage moving forward. Let me help you build confidence in your personal safety skills so you can live life on your terms.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

-Mary Oliver

Fear Mongering and Click Bait

Unchartered Waters

This Thanksgiving week looks different.

I toggle between being grateful for the things in my life that haven’t changed in the pandemic (home, family, friends) and frustrated by the things that 2020 has destroyed.

Yes, destroyed is a strong word, and that is exactly what I mean. I don’t need to list my frustrations because we’re all in a place we didn’t expect to be at the beginning of this year. It’s not necessary to compare ourselves to others in order to say, “I’ve had it worse” or “I guess I don’t have it as bad as the other person”. My pile of poo may be different than your pile of poo, but we both have a pile of poo to deal with.

I’ll refrain from pretending this is article is motivational, all shiny and happy, and simply share what I’m focusing on right now. The three words I live by are: Bold, Curious, Kind. Throughout 2020, how I applied those words changed. Considering we are under constant change right now, it’s good to be fluid.

Bold.

An author I follow posted a status over the weekend that smacked me upside the head. To paraphrase her post, 2020 has been a year of “wait, what?” so why not make some ridiculous goals and crazy plans? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?

Absolutely nothing.

I could hunker down and play it safe with my goals for next year, or I could be bold and put out to the universe that I’m not going to play small. What big, hairy, audacious goal (or goals) can you set?

Curious.

As humans, we can be selfish. “It’s all about me! My life sucks! I have it so hard!” I’m not here to tell you you’re wrong. Your perspective is your truth, and back to my earlier comment, we all have our own pile of poo.

I could either stare at my pile of poo and complain about its size and smell, or I could stop having tunnel vision and be curious about what’s in my peripheral view. What areas of your life could you focus your curiosity on instead of having tunnel vision on your pile of poo? What’s something you’ve always wanted to explore, but never focused on before?

Kind.

So. Much. Hurt.

I’m hurting. I see others hurting. I see people hurting each other. There’s a lot of people walking around without noses because they’ve cut it off to spite their face. Figuratively speaking of course.

It’s dumb.

The biggest lesson 2020 has taught me is I can only control myself. I know, I know- that mantra has been around for a long time, but 2020 FORCED me to feel it in my bones. You can rah, rah, rah at me all day long like a motivational speaker from stage, but when you’re done talking, my response is “that’s cool, but I’m gonna go back to trying to control everything because that neural pathway is firmly established”.

I could continue on my path of insanity (you know, doing the same thing and expecting a different result), or I could start being kind to myself. Focusing on myself may seem hypocritical of my early comment mentioning how humans are selfish, but it’s not.

In the past, I’ve only thought of kindness as it relates to the way I treat others. Through my work with #500rising training and surrounding myself with amazing humans at Violence Dynamics, who I’ve let myself be raw and vulnerable with (like legit ugly cry in public-not my usual M.O.), I’ve realized the person who needs the most kindness right now is me. What can you do to be kind to yourself today?

The upcoming weeks and even months look differently for DAG. I’m having to let go of a lot of things and with that comes some grief. It feels like loss. I wish I could tell you what it will look like on the other side, or even when I will get to the other side, but I can’t. That would be my old neural pathways of trying to control everything and I’m currently destroying those old habits. (maybe I CAN learn new tricks! ?)

I don’t know what the future holds for me or DAG, but what I know is I’m going to be Bold, Curious, and Kind.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

-Mary Oliver