Posted by: ginalazenby | February 26, 2015

Who won the Oscar for Best Acceptance Speech ?

…. there’s hardly any talk about best actor/ best film …. all the post-Oscars buzz is about the acceptance speech of Patricia Arquette who picked up the award for Best Supporting Actress. Hers was the most inspired and talked-about acceptance speech.

Her speech about equal pay had a huge impact and you could see that from the way the whole audience rose to its feet as one, led by female champions J-Lo and Meryl Streep who clearly shouted “Yes! Yes! Yes!” on the front rows. I was just as excited as I watched the Academy Awards ceremony live in California at the weekend.

I thought it was beautifully phrased …. After her long list of thanks read from her aide-memoire, she said:  “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen in this nation: We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality in the U.S.”

That’s a beautiful reminder of the significant role women play in society .. we birth the nation, we champion other people’s rights and causes .. now it is time for us to be recognised as full economic citizens and be paid equally. And parity across the races needs to be addressed too.

  • While white women earn, on average:
    78 cents for every $ dollar earned by white men,
    64 cents is earned by black women and
    54 cents is earned by Hispanic or Latina women.

As usual, women who stand up and speak their minds attract a lot of flack but generally, the response to Patricia’s speech has been the main news story here in California from the Oscars.


Posted by: ginalazenby | November 7, 2014

NEW BOOK: A map to a new management emerges

Feminine Leadership Today

P1010766with Prof Vlatka Hlupic when she spoke at the House of Commons on Guy Fawkes night … auspiciously Nov 5th … releasing her intellectual fireworks blowing up people’s minds with her ideas for Emergent Leadership

Prof Vlatka Hlupic chose the infamous Guy Fawkes night of November 5th to appear at the UK’s House of Commons discussing her latest book on new management and leadership. Intellectual fireworks were the result as she shared the fruits of her 15 years of inter-disciplinary research and her passion for creating a new world of work.  Her goal with this latest book The Management Shift is to prove that making workplaces into happier and more purposeful environments not only nourishes the people who work there but also the profits.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.23.38 pmWhat is clear is that Business As Usual is no longer an option … the global workforce is unhappy with consistent research highlighting that 70% of…

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Posted by: ginalazenby | November 7, 2014

Rebecca Solnit: Feminism — The Men Arrive!

A really interesting read about how the Feminist movement is evolving and the high profile male figures speaking out about injustices to women …. excellent

Vox Populi

(Hooray! Uh-Oh!)

What do the prime minister of India, retired National Football League punter Chris Kluwe, and superstar comedian Aziz Ansari have in common? It’s not that they’ve all walked into a bar, though Ansari could probably figure out the punch line to that joke. They’ve all spoken up for feminism this year, part of an unprecedented wave of men actively engaging with what’s usually called “women’s issues,” though violence and discrimination against women are only women’s issues because they’re things done to women — mostly by men, so maybe they should always have been “men’s issues.”

The arrival of the guys signifies a sea change, part of an extraordinary year for feminism, in which the conversation has been transformed, as have some crucial laws, while new voices and constituencies joined in. There have always been men who agreed on the importance of those women’s issues, and some who spoke…

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Posted by: ginalazenby | October 13, 2014

The Day of the Girl & Malala speaking on the Power of One

It was brilliant timing that the world’s most famous girl should be on the front covers of most newspapers this weekend as Saturday October 11th is now known as the International Day of the Girl Child. What better poster girl could you have to draw attention to the plight of girls than Malala Yousafzai?  This is the second year that the UN have highlighted the need to care for the safety of girls, something that has long been campaigned for by the international charity Plan.

PLan sponsored child Oumou

My sponsored little girl Oumou

Plan is one of the oldest charities focusing on child development and one of my favourites to work with. I sponsor a girl child with them (my fourth, two graduated at age 18 from the program and one sadly died of malaria). Little Oumou is 6 years old, lives in Mali and it is hoped that my funding and Plan’s great work will keep her safe, well and educated to give her choices when she gets older. Malala saw that without an education, her own life would be, as she put it, limited to being imprisoned in a room, cooking and caring for children.

There is nobody more vulnerable than a girl
Malala is using the global platform that she has earned to highlight the fact that 62 million girls around the world miss out on an education. A excellent short movie called “The Girl Effect” clearly demonstrates the dangers faced by 12 year old girls who live in poverty and are not in school. They could find themselves married off by age 14, pregnant by 15 and at 16 in danger of having to sell their bodies to feed their families, risking HIV infection. If that 12 year old girl is in school she is more likely to be healthy, less likely to be married off and has a chance of making her own choices in life, getting married when she wants to and having children when she chooses, and enabling her next generation to follow in her footsteps.

Do watch the Girl Effect movie… it’s really powerful.

The Power of One
As Malala herself said at the United Nations… “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world”.

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 6.43.41 amThe plight of girls and the power of one girl is very much at the heart of a  documentary movie called Girl Rising. It’s is a MUST WATCH if you have not seen it. I first saw it in Sydney last year …. it shares the stories of nine girls in different continents across the world. I wept when I saw 8 year old Wadley recreate her story in Haiti.


The tears stayed with me through the whole film as I watched how these beautiful little girls had stepped forward with courage or grasped the opportunity presented by a champion who showed up in their lives.

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 6.49.40 am

Wadley is so disappointed not to be allowed back into school (image from the Girl Rising movie)

Everything changed in little Wadley’s happy life when she came home from school on the afternoon of January 12th, 2010 … a devastating earthquake ended the life she knew. She and her mother survived but in the aftermath Wadley’s days were spent fetching water … no more school for her. When she discovered her classroom had been reformed in a tent she excitedly grabbed her school books and joined her friends sitting on the end of a bench.


When the teacher spotted her and asked her for payment … even with her little understanding of money she knew her mother no longer had any … she was forced to get up and leave. I can’t write those words without feeling her disappointment. It’s painful to witness something like this. And bless little Wadley for recreating her own story for the film.
Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 6.48.56 amWadley so loved school and wanted her education that the next day she went back and simply refused to leave that bench. She defiantly stood her ground. The teacher let her stay. The film goes on to share the story of Suma who was sold by her family at age six into child slavery in Nepal. Bonded to a master from age 6 she became a Kamlari … domestic slave until her rescue six years later.

Do watch the movie (online) and witness these stories  … although they are heartbreaking, your spirits will soar with hope when you see what these girls are doing. One girl at a time, one teacher at a time, one social social worker, one champion, one donor….. what one action can we each do that could create change?

This is why we need to take action:

  • in one year 115 million girls are victims of sexual violence
  • 80% of human trafficking is of girls
  • every year 15 million girls face child marriage
  • 1 in 3 girls in the developing world are married by their 18th birthday
  • a child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to survive beyond the age of five
  • 700 million women today were child brides

An editor at the Pakistan Observer is quoted in the Sunday Times as telling the BBC that Malala had not really been shot and described her “as a normal useless kind of girl”. Girls are a vital part of the future of the world … we cannot see them as useless.


Posted by: ginalazenby | October 13, 2014

Recognising Malala & the Power Men have to Create Change

P1010522 - Version 2What a joy to see Malala Yousafzai’s smiling face on the front covers of the newspapers this weekend. She has been an activist on behalf of girls’ rights to education since she was eleven years old.  Now, having survived an assassin’s bullet two years ago and still only a teenager studying at school, she has become the voice for at least 62 million voiceless girls all over the world and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Interestingly she shared the prize with Kailash Satyarthi,  who has worked tirelessly against child slavery. Together they are powerful crusaders against the injustice suffered by children, both working to return childhood to children so they can study for a better life.
The Power Men have to Create Change
In fact, she could almost have shared the prize with her father. He is not just a proud parent watching his daughter on this global mission … he is very much part of the story for it was he who wanted her to be treated the same as a boy. Ziauddin Yousafzai seems to be an extraordinary man who has been a champion of education and in being determined for his daughter to benefit too  … obviously incredibly difficult in their Taliban-run region of Pakistan.

A lovely anecdote emerged in the Sunday Times yesterday. In a speech after winning the award, Malala thanked her father for “not clipping my wings”. He, more than anyone has been the fuel behind the fire of her passion to change the destiny of girls. Without him being willing to take risks to change the game in Pakistan, it would perhaps not have been possible at all.

Change on the home front as well as the world stage

Malala recounted to Christina Lamb, the co-author of her book “I am Malala”, about how she has been teasing her father. Apparently he travels the world speaking out for women’s rights and then expects Malala and her mother to do everything at home. She succeeded in getting him to make breakfast which he has now learnt to do and “is making a big deal of it” she laughed!  What a delightful insight into the family life of a global activist and so telling. There are so many patterns to break and many we can’t see. If you are a champion for a big cause then yes….. making small changes at the micro level of home life is all part of the shift … not just the speeches.

Another peak behind the scenes of a public life was given by Eleanor Mills writing in the Times yesterday. She noted that Miriam Gonzalez,  high-flying international lawyer and wife of the UK’s Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg apparently insists that he is home to read the bedtime story and take the children to school in the morning. Real hands-on co-parenting support from fathers is the only way for professional women to be mothers and still leverage their education as they aim for the top. Yes change has to happen in both the public sphere with men championing women .. appointing them to positions of influence, changing legislation … but it’s in the domestic sphere where the rubber hits the road and women need the support of their men in sharing responsibilities.

These are just three men who are champions for women and girls. Thank you for all you do guys.

Posted by: ginalazenby | October 10, 2014

The universe is always supporting me …

When I am going through life transitions and uncertainty, I find it useful to reach out for guidance. That guidance and reassuring answer to my question can come in many different forms. A sign on a bus, a phone call, a chance meeting …. I find there are so many ways that the universe (God …. or whatever the phrasing for your belief system) speaks to me through synchronicity.


IMG_5440Today, as I wrote the previous blog post I thought I’d choose an oracle card to give me some wisdom for the day … particularly around sharing this news about shedding my homes and moving forward into the unknown riddled with uncertainty. …. Is there any guidance I need here I asked my deck of “Mythic Oracle” cards.



IMG_5439You will laugh … the card I got was Poseidon … The Unknown.

As well as being the ruler of water and the seas, he is also the shaker of the earth and can create earthquakes. “Many times the heroes of myths have to pass through the realm of Poseidon in order to get where they are going, whether that be home or because they are on some sacred mission as in the Odyssey, where Poseidon creates many obstacles for Odysseus as he tries to journey home.

Perfect or what ?!

Posted by: ginalazenby | October 10, 2014

change the container … change the life

There is a big shift happening and woman-at-large is literally going to be ….. at large ! (That’s the name of my blog by the way!)

I’ve not been writing for a while so I felt it’s time to update you…. where to begin?

You’ve heard the saying that we make changes through inspiration or perspiration (I think it is derived from the original quote from Edison about creativity). Anyway…. many of the huge life-shifting changes that I have made in my life previously have been through perspiration. I’ve simply had to move in a new direction because of upset, illness or some other disruption forcing me to do so. The change has turned out to be great (often a wonderful blessing) but at the time there was a lot of perspiration and discomfort (read pain!) that came from my natural resistance to change. Well I’ve learned my lessons so now instead of waiting around for another disruption to descend on me I am choosing to make the move first. You could say I am operating from inspiration at last.

My inspiration is for me to create a new life … become a NEW ME.
That’s about it at this stage ….. I don’t really know much more than that. The old me would need a lot more detail and way more certainty but over the years I have really been seeking to master dancing with the unknown….. living in the flow. Now I have made a decision to leap and to trust that the net will appear.

bentinck exterior goodThe leap I am talking about is moving out of my home. Both of them. Many who know me in London will probably have visited my cottage in quiet Marylebone village. It’s a treasure of a place and it’s filled with amazing memories that have shaped my identity over the last two decades.

Over the years I have played host to many wonderful events and awesome people. The support community for Tony Robbins alumni called YES Group founded by Karl Pearsall was birthed in my front room, as was the Feng Shui Society, the feng shui movement as a whole and most of my business ventures in healthy living, wealth dynamics, entrepreneur profiling and feminine wisdom.

I started the London Personal Development Centre from here in 1994, the first of its kind in the UK, and it featured many teachers who went on to become the movers and shakers in the human potential movement. I have hosted suppers and talks for a diverse range of interesting people over the years including Brandon Bays, Boy George, Dadi Janki, various speakers from the Be The Change events including Elisabet Sahtouris and Sadguru Jaggi …..  many interesting authors, artists & people from most countries in the world have sat on my sofa and taken part in some kind of community event or conscious conversation.

It’s time to leave all that behind. The house is currently in the last few weeks of the sale process and I trust I am not jinxing it by sharing the news. I shall be hosting one final Women’s Gathering on Tuesday November 4th so if you’d like to be part of that or anything else before I leave then drop me a line or click the event link here.

At the heart of all this letting go is a desire to change the container that shapes my life. I know feng shui inside and out and deeply understand from first hand experience that what lives around us in our home and working environments has a profound influence on the shape and form of our existence. My intuition now is to stop rearranging the furniture inside the dwelling and to look at the actual outer container that holds my whole life and to change the container itself. Right now I don’t know what new container I need and so I don’t have anything to move on to except ….. I know that once I have let go of this outer layer I will morph into another version of me  … and without the constraints already set in place by a new container, the outcome will be more expansive.

good healthy home exterior women gathering north tewit gardenAs well as letting go of my ‘lucky’ London space after 23 years, I am also moving out of the Healthy Home in Yorkshire where I have also lived and had my office for the last 18 years. It’s simply time to move on.  So there is packing and shedding happening in many corners of my life and it’s taking all my spiritual strength and physical energy to manage, as well as every ounce of faith and trust that I can muster.

Looking back on the huge transition I went through when my significant relationship ended in 2006 and I cast myself out into the world, I had a real hard time embracing the idea that the phrase “I don’t know” would become such a constant in my life. At the time I could barely say the words. Now they are the foundation of my life because the moment I admit that I don’t know the answer … something magical is triggered and all kinds of new possibilities shape-shift into view. I have learned that not-knowing is the most creative space to be in. Right now I don’t know who I will be when I have let go of two of the things that have most shaped and defined who I have become over the last twenty years.

I do have a sense that I am just getting started  … that what I am really here to do is on its way to me and I need to be a little freer of old shackles to fully take on that next new role.

I trust all will be well in my world.
The universe is always working in my favour.
Those are my two favourite mantras I say to myself every day.

What are yours that see you through your major life shifts?
I can’t think I am alone in this transition and shedding process …. what’s happening in your life?

 Read the next blog post where I talk about the affirmation I received when I consulted an Oracle card about this while change process  …. ! It proves that the universe is truly always supporting me and I need have no fear.

Posted by: ginalazenby | July 7, 2014

Insights on how women are changing … & some Frozen wisdom

Elsa, from the mega-hit movie "Frozen" discovering how to use her powers and singing the Oscar-winning song LET IT GO !

Elsa, from the mega-hit movie “Frozen” discovering how to use her powers and singing the Oscar-winning song LET IT GO !

Yes, this is really an anthem for our times …. Let it Go! Good for Elsa.

This theme of letting go …. roles, behaviours, jobs, negative self-talk, belongings, relationships .. you name it ….. was very much present when I gathered with the women in San Francisco in May – see the blog post and photo.  See my note at the bottom if you are one of the few humans who have missed out on this song and story.

I thought it worth sharing some more wisdom from the Women’s Gathering that shows how we are exploring and creating new ways of being…….

  1. Goodbye to our desire to please and seek approval:  that is something we have shed. Now it is about “me” … what do I need to be? Who I need to be? Yes it is selfish and in the most positive way. We are choosing not to lose ourselves in the service of others like we have done before.  As the character Elsa sings in the movie Frozen …. “Let it go! LET IT GO!!”
  2. Everything is food for the future: Painful experiences and challenges in the past have provided us with a great deal of learning to plan a new future for ourselves. Now that we’re older and look back we can see how things could have been different if we had been more receptive and not been in resistance. Yet, as we reflect on who we are becoming, all those experiences gave us what we needed to be with who we are today.
  3. Our new focus on self allows us to ask more enriching questions like “What have I been brought here to do?”  “What is the best use of me and my skills?”
  4. Taking on new ways: gone are the 60-80 hour weeks, the over-work, over-giving and the masculine drive which left so many of us depleted and even immobilized by burn-out. Now we are using all our feminine skills and helping others to do the same.
  5. “Notice what you notice”: this is a new mantra that serves us well. The words Allowing, Trust and Intuition are powerful forces in our lives and words that frequently populate our vocabulary.
  6. We are finding room for Grace:  for many this is new in our lives and it helps us to be so much more productive and effective. The quality of seeking to live in grace means we make better choices like deciding to work with clients and projects who share our resonance. It is the most authentic way for us to live and run our businesses.
  7. We set the pace now: before, when challenges gave us setbacks then we lived from a sense of being behind where we felt we SHOULD have been and tried to play catch-up in our career progression or life situation.   Now we are on our authentic path, life is so much more expansive and we know we are in exactly the right place doing the right thing … whatever that is, there us a sense of order and rightness instead of mistakenly thinking we had been left behind.

Check out the movie Frozen’s award-winning song that is captivating little girls all over the world who know all the words …!


When I was in San Francisco in May, I hosted a women’s gathering and met some wonderful new friends. What an amazing group. Such wisdom shared, everyone felt thoroughly nourished by the end of the evening.  The group included a wide age range and what is so inspiring for us older women (who may be well-versed in gathering as women to talk about our roles) is to welcome an increasing number of younger women in their twenties and early thirties. They are embarking on a journey of questioning their work roles and their potential to make a different contribution to the world.

From our conversation that evening, I’d love to share with you what I saw as the gifts we are increasingly bringing to the world. A separate blog post reveals my insights into how I am witnessing women changing……

The gifts that we bring as women

  1. Being an elder, sharing our wisdom: the workplace now has three generations of women for the first time in history. Young women in business today now have women colleagues to turn to as mentors or elders, some of whom have perhaps three or four decades of experience in the workplace to leverage.  When these women started out they were mostly the new trailblazers with few role models to follow. Now these experienced women professionals are making both their maternal insights and grandmother wisdom accessible to other generations for guidance. I’ve heard the famous quote from Madelein Albright mentioned several times recently: “there is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women”.
  2. Intuition guides us: and as we increasingly choose to live and work steered by inner wisdom we are making the practice of turning inside and going deep for answers more acceptable for others to try. We are so willing to go there to make important life decisions.
  3. The power to live with uncertainty: so much of the world and workplace is driven by the need for certainty which is one of the great masculine powers that we also derive much benefit from. In these times, certainty is gone so now doubt reigns supreme …… we have to learn to live in the “not knowing”.  This is a very difficult skill to master, yet the journey that many women have made has enabled them to learn to be comfortable here and draw strength from this new way of being. In the the uncertainty there is much possibility and creativity.
  4. Taking on the great questions: living life as an enquiry requires courage and clarity. So many of us seem to be searching for what we are here to do. We seem to be keenly aware of both our sense of service to the world, using everything that we have for the greatest good whilst at the same time expressing ourselves in joy.  Crafting great questions is key to was moving forward. We know that the answers are continually emerging whilst we move forward in this state of enquiry.
  5. Let go of struggle: that was something we took for granted … no longer, giving permission to ourselves to embrace grace we are more effective and that is empowering others too.
  6. The gifts from our own healing journeys: these are providing so much for us, changing the way we do business. Insights, learning and practices from healing are crossing over into business and that is enriching everyone we touch.
  7. Noticing the difference of the feminine way: the more we are willing to explore our difference, we can see how working just from our masculine dynamic is only part of what we are capable of.


Posted by: ginalazenby | May 20, 2014

Palo Alto in Palo Alto … a tough place for kids today


Meeting first-time director and screenwriter Gia Coppola at the Palo Alto screening of her new movie “Palo Alto”

Funnily enough I happened to read about a new movie called Palo Alto set in … Palo Alto when someone called to invite me to attend a special screening of it, actually in Palo Alto itself. I decided to go. This kind of movie is not really my cup of tea but …. I went anyway and in the context of where I was, with people who grew up in Palo Alto explaining the nuances, I found it very interesting.

It’s an adaptation of a book by actor/director James Franco with  screenwriter and director Gia Coppola being none other than the third generation of her Hollywood dynasty family to take stories to the screen. The special screening on Saturday had Gia herself in the audience holding a Q&A afterwards hosted by James Franco’s mother.

The film is a coming of age teenage angst movie looking at that difficult period in life when a teenager transitions through into adulthood. For some their hours not studying seem to be awash with alcohol and drugs. James Franco resourced his own childhood and teen years to present these vignettes of schoolkids struggling to find their identity and their place in a world where adults did not have much understanding or time for them.  Some of the adults in the film had their own problems…. the main boy character in the film Ted went round to his best friend’s home and hung out with his Dad while the friend, Freddie, was out. Freddie’s Dad was high on drugs and hit on young Ted while sitting on the sofa. A young Ted, rather confused, brushed the guy’s hand off his hair and left.

For most of the movie I was praying that these scenes of disaffected youth were total fiction but talking to friends, sadly I find they are not. I do pity kids today. In this area of Silicon Valley with an extremely high level of wealth, there is enormous pressure on kids to succeed at school and many end up taking their own lives to escape the pressure. I heard stories of many parents so busy and distracted that they just don’t know how to support their teenage offspring.

If you are interested in a very artistically shot film about teens do go see it.



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