St. Patrick’s Day is a good reminder

St Patrick, as the story goes, didn’t really drive snakes out of Ireland. Those “snakes” were actually the pagans, giving way to the rise of Christianity. With the suppression of paganism and rise of Christianity came the disempowerment of women and feminine power for centuries to come – something we still fight today.

 

So for today, enjoy the green beer and don’t forget to wear something green, but be reminded of its roots.

BTW – I still believe in Leprechauns.

And since all eyes are on Ireland,  today, Conde Nast Traveler published the 15 most beautiful place in Ireland to visit. In honour of St. Paddy’s Day, I’m sharing that article with you  here.


On this International Women’s Day, be Phenomenal

Maya Angelou on International Women's Day

On this International Women’s Day, I want to share a poem that so many of us can relate to:
Phenomenal Woman – a poem by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
*Photo courtesy Huffington Post

Join me tonight on the Global Social Change Summit

I am speaking tonight on the Global Social Change Summit on the topic: “Women: Why We Need Your Voice in 2017 ” – all about advocacy, spirituality and…politics (yes, they can coexist).

Join me at 6:30 PM EST – it’s free! Register online here:

http://www.gifew.com/summit-2017/#a_aid=SS

 


10 tips for women travelling solo

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Jaipur, Rajasthan, India (2016)

Women travel for a variety of reasons, from recreation to business to study. For any woman travelling solo, personal safety must be paramount — regardless of the purpose. Whether you are travelling to a major city on business, taking the road less travelled, or doing the all-inclusive resort get-away, the same principle applies: put your safety first.

Here are 10 tips to help you enjoy your trip and stay safe:

1. Attitude Check: Do not be afraid to travel alone. Remember this: whatever we fear comes near. When planning your trip, closely examine your attitude about it. If you are experiencing fear about traveling solo, find the tools to quash it before you go. On the other hand, do not be cocky either. There is a fine line between being fearless and using common sense.

2. Research Before You Go: Every destination has its popular spots and areas where it may not be wise to venture into if you are a woman alone. Depending on your destination, culturally it may not be prudent for you to be seen alone at night, such as Morocco. In some major cities, if you turn the wrong corner you might find yourself in an area that makes you uncomfortable or unwelcomed, like New York or Johannesburg. The best thing to do is research before you leave to get an understanding of what you are getting yourself into and the areas to avoid.

3. Keep in Touch: Let your loved ones know where you are staying and also your travel itinerary. If you are accustomed to traveling alone, it might not feel like a “big girl” thing to do. But it cannot hurt and your loved ones will appreciate it. If you are going into countries where there is political unrest or conflict, check-in with Canadian embassy and stay up-to-date with travel alerts. Also be sure to leave a copy of your passport at home.

4. Emergency Plan: Have a plan for what you would do in the event of a medical emergency. Often this is the last thing on our minds when we are excited about upcoming trips. However, if you are traveling alone and become ill – or worse — it would be beneficial to know where you will find the best support and help locally. Also ensure your insurance is up-to-date before you leave.

5. Leave Jewels at Home: Leave your good jewelry at home where it is safe. Some single women wear a ring that looks like a wedding band to fend off unwanted attention. While I have tried this, I cannot vouch that it was effective. However, I have noticed that whenever I have worn good jewelry it has, at times, grabbed unwanted attention of locals trying to determine if I am a wealthy tourist.

6. Mind the Alcohol: If you are not fully aware of your surroundings at all times, you are highly vulnerable. I recall when I was in my twenties traveling through a European country with some girlfriends. One became extremely intoxicated and disappeared with a bartender for about an hour, until we – fortunately — found her on the floor behind the bar just as the guy started assaulting her. This does not mean be paranoid either; just watch the amount of alcohol you consume and do not accept a drink from a stranger.

7. Blend-in with Locals: Do not look make it obvious that you are a tourist otherwise you are making yourself an obvious target. Do not read maps in the open. Always look like you know what you are doing and where you are going. Be respectful of the local religious and cultural beliefs, even if you do not agree with them.

8. Carry Two Credit Cards: I like to take two credit cards, one as a back-up with plenty of room for purchases, in case something happens to my primary card. One of the drawbacks of traveling alone is that you do not have someone else you can count on if you run out of money, get robbed or if your credit card company freezes your card.

9. Trust Your Intuition: Listen to your gut instinct. If you are feeling somewhat unsettled or something feels “off,” pay attention to it. If you feel safe, you are safe.

10. Have a Pretend Boyfriend: Sometimes when I am asked by locals or other travellers if I am traveling alone, I say I am with or meeting my boyfriend — or husband. This is one of my “best practices” and really comes in handy, especially when sitting alone at a restaurant and a male waiter starts to probe. This might sound silly, but it works for me.

Shannon Skinner is the host/producer of ExtraordinaryWomenTV, a radio show host, international speaker and author, who lives to travel and discover fine wines. Tweet to her at @Shannon_Skinner.

This article was originally published in Infinity Magazine


Episode 10 Shannon Skinner Live on VoiceAmerica Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, August 4, 2015 — Tonight on Shannon Skinner Live episode 10, host Shannon Skinner speaks with Chicago-based women’s health expert, Dr. Karin Ulstrup, about her international work in Mali around female genital mutilation, and her unique program educating medical students to prepare them for creating fulfilling lives; and Cynthia Horvath Garbutt, executive director for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) at Chicago Lake Shore Medical Associates, and the fund’s director for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, about their cutting-edge initiative to advance global healthcare. Tune-in to VoiceAmerica Women tonight at 7pm EST/ 4PM Pacific.

Shannon Skinner Live is a weekly radio show that uncovers the stories and solutions to living an extraordinary life and making this world a better place. It features interviews with experts, visionaries and activists.

Karin Ulstrup, MD,Instructor of Clinical Medicine, General Internal Medicine

About Dr. Karin Ulstrup:

Dr. Karin Ulstrup is an internist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago where her focus is on women’s health and preventive care. Before becoming a doctor, she was a partner at a litigation consulting firm where her focus was in weapon system programs. She returned to school and attended Georgetown University School of Medicine then residency in internal medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She serves internationally to help create sustainable healthcare solutions in underserved areas of around the world. She has worked in Kenya, Nepal, Guatemala, Nigeria and Mali, as well as in Southern Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, and has served on the Global Health Initiative Fund at Northwestern since its inception in 2008. She is also an active teacher and mentor in the Feinberg School of Medicine where she leads over forty medical students. She is based in Chicago.

 

C. Garbutt photo

About Cynthia Horvath Garbutt:

Cynthia Horvath Garbutt is an attorney and the founding executive director for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) at Chicago Lake Shore Medical Associates, and serves as the fund’s director for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Since 2008, she has  worked with GHI founding president Dr. Robert J. Havey and the physicians at Chicago Lake Shore Medical Associates, a regional medical practice of Northwestern Medical Group, to fund over 650 medical students and residents for month long rotations to low resource areas around the world. She is based in Chicago.

About Shannon Skinner:

Shannon Skinner is a Canadian television talk show host, speaker and writer. In 2010, she launched Shannon Skinner’s Extraordinary Women TV, the first-of-its-kind, as a live web TV show, and later developed it into an broadcast television show and online platform that is the ultimate online life-guidance resource for women. She is the author of the Whispering Heart: Your Inner Guide to Creativity; and she writes on a range of topics, including inspiration, feminine leadership, change, creativity and travel.


Episode 9 Shannon Skinner Live guests: Marina Nemat and Rona Maynard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, July 28, 2015 — Tonight on Shannon Skinner Live episode 9, host Shannon Skinner speaks with two authors of popular memoirs and advocates who are using their personal stories to transform lives. Shannon’s guest are Marina Nemat, author of the best-selling memoir Prisoner of Tehran; and Rona Maynard, journalist and author of  My Mother’s Daughter, and former editor of Chatelaine magazine. Tune-in to VoiceAmerica Women tonight at 7pm EST/ 4PM Pacific.

Shannon Skinner Live is a weekly radio show that uncovers the stories and solutions to living an extraordinary life and making this world a better place. It features interviews with experts, visionaries and activists.

Marina Nemat interview on Shannon Skinner Live

About Marina Nemat:

Marina Nemat was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. After the Islamic revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came close to execution. In 1991, she moved to Canada, where she now resides. Her memoir of her life in Iran, “Prisoner of Tehran,” has been published in 28 countries, and is an international bestseller. Her memoir has also been adapted for the stage.

Her second book, “Life After Terhan: a Life Reclaimed,” was published in 2010. She has received numerous awards including the human dignity award from the European parliament, and is an advisor to a number of human rights organizations, including the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, and Pen Canada, among others. She is a regular contributor to news outlets, and speaks all over the world. [http://www.marinanemat.com/]

 

Rona Maynard interview on Shannon Skinner Live Voice America Women

About Rona Maynard:

Rona Maynard taps the power of stories to open minds and build communities. As Editor at Chatelaine during the biggest re-branding in its history, Rona led the team that attracted a new generation of readers. Her truth-telling editorials were carried in wallets and taped to fridge doors. One of the first prominent Canadians to go public with a history of depression, Rona shares her story at podiums nationwide, proving that mental illness is no barrier to success. She is the author of a memoir, “My Mother’s Daughter,” that Alice Munro has called “wonderfully honest and enthralling,” and the leader of a memoir workshop for first-time writers. By popular demand, she now offers a companion workshop on brand building through storytelling. [http://ronamaynard.com/]

About Shannon Skinner:

Shannon Skinner is a Canadian television talk show host, speaker and writer. In 2010, she launched Shannon Skinner’s Extraordinary Women TV, the first-of-its-kind, as a live web TV show, and later developed it into an broadcast television show and online platform that is the ultimate online life-guidance resource for women. She is the author of the Whispering Heart: Your Inner Guide to Creativity; and she writes on a range of topics, including inspiration, feminine leadership, change, creativity and travel.


Tonight on Shannon Skinner Live: anti-aging secrets with beauty expert Vian Sharef

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, June 16, 2015 — Tonight on Shannon Skinner Live radio show, host Shannon speaks with beauty expert and owner of Toronto-based Dermedix Laser Clinic, Vian Sharef, about beauty and anti-aging secrets. Tune-in to VoiceAmerica Women at 7pm EST/ 4PM Pacific.

Vian photoVian Sharef, owner, Dermedix Laser Clinic

Shannon Skinner Live is a weekly radio show that uncovers the stories and solutions to living an extraordinary life and making this world a better place. It features interviews with experts, visionaries and activists, and more.

About Vian Sharef:

Vian Sharef is a single mother, beauty expert and the founder and owner of Dermedix Laser Clinic, based in Toronto. Born and raised in Iraq, Vian came to Canada as a teenager with her family, after living in a refugee camp for 3 years in Turkey. She would eventually achieve a successful career in the financial services industry  – and get married. Later, in 2008, life would have its challenges again. Vian lost her father, job and her marriage disintegrated within 6 months, and, as a single mother to a young daughter, she made the decision to go back to school to study medical aesthetics. Today, she is a successful businesswoman and has helped thousands of women and girls look and feel their best.

About Shannon Skinner:

Shannon Skinner is a Canadian television talk show host, speaker and writer. In 2010, she launched Shannon Skinner’s Extraordinary Women TV, the first of its kind, as a live web TV show, and later developed it into an broadcast television show and online platform that is the ultimate online life-guidance resource for women. She is the author of the Whispering Heart: Your Inner Guide to Creativity; and she writes on a range of topics, including creativity, inspiration, feminine leadership, change and travel.


Tonight on Shannon Skinner Live: Rev. Darcelle Runciman and Reeti Mishra on VoiceAmerica Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, June 9, 2015 — Tonight on Shannon Skinner Live radio show, host Shannon speaks with guests Rev. Darcelle Runciman, ordained minister, founder of Infinity Centre wellness retreat, and magazine publisher, about Metaphysics and healing. And Reeti Mishra, born and raised in India, who now lives in Toronto with her husband, about life as a diplomat and living in many place around the world, Hinduism, and why forgiveness is something we all need to practice. Tune-in to VoiceAmerica Women at 7pm EST/ 4PM Pacific.

Shannon Skinner Live is a weekly radio show that features interviews with experts, visionaries and activists, dedicated to helping people live their magnificent lives and making this world a better place.

About Rev. Darcelle Runciman: Rev. Darcelle Runciman is an ordained minister with a degree in Metaphysics, and founder of The Infinity Centre, a wellness and spiritual retreat centre, based in Stirling, Ontario. She is also a spiritual and business coach, and publisher of Infinity Magazine, a publication for spiritually-connected individuals, travellers and businesses.

Rev. Darcelle Runciman

About Reeti Mishra: Reeti Mishra is a motivational speaker, educator, writer, poet and president of the Consular Spouses Association in Toronto. She is actively involved in various community services as a member of diplomatic and consular organization in many countries. She is passionate about yoga and spirituality, speaks 5 languages, and has traveled and lived in Peru, Italy, Nepal, US, Afghanistan, Tanzania and Canada – where she is based.

Reeti Mishram pic

 Shannon Skinner is a Canadian television talk show host, speaker and writer. In 2010, she launched Shannon Skinner’s Extraordinary Women TV, the first of its kind, as a live web TV show, and later developed it into an broadcast television show and online platform that is the ultimate online life-guidance resource for women. She is the author of the Whispering Heart: Your Inner Guide to Creativity; and she writes on a range of topics, including creativity, inspiration, feminine leadership, change, lifestyle and travel.

Announcing SHANNON SKINNER LIVE radio on VoiceAmerica

I am pleased to announce the launch of my new radio show, SHANNON SKINNER LIVE on VoiceAmerica Women’s Channel (World Talk Radio), starting Tuesday, June 2 at 7pm EST.

skinner-Promo-Women

Hosted by Shannon Skinner, SHANNON SKINNER LIVE is a weekly lifestyle show that uncovers the stories and solutions to living an extraordinary life and making this world a better place. Each week features experts, change-makers and visionaries from around the world. We talk about subjects you won’t hear anywhere else! Shannon’s gift is unlocking hearts and opening minds, which she has become known for as host of her own popular television show and online platform, ExtraordinaryWomenTV.com, the ultimate online life-guidance resource for women. When you live your best life, you are changing the world. So tune-in every Tuesday at  7 PM EST/4 PM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Women’s Channel, listen with a new pair of ears, and turn inspiration into action.

I am looking for guests. If you are an expert, change-maker or activist (women and men), whose mission is to make this world a better place, please drop me an email at info@ShannonSkinner.com.

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This International Women’s Day, be thankful for the UN

On this International Women’s Day, I am thankful for the United Nations and its important work around the globe. The United Nations, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, touches the lives of every woman – and in every aspect of her life.

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I recently had the privilege of visiting the United Nations European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the world’s capital of peace. The UN is located in the magnificent Palais des Nations, a marvel of architecture situated on a sprawling property with a breathtaking view of Lake Geneva and the Alps. Much peace-making and humanitarian history has been made there and if you’ve never been, put it on your love list.

This visit not only opened my eyes, it is changing the course of my life.

“The United Nations has an impact on everyone on the planet, from the time we get up to the time we go to bed, for both women and men,” says Corinne Momal-Vanian, Director, Information Service and Spokesperson for United Nations Geneva. “From health, to the world of work, to mobile phones, to patents.”

The UN has a key role in ensuring women’s rights are protected and promoted, as well as ending discrimination against women. Though the education of girls in underdeveloped countries has been a major area of focus, in recent years, there has been an interesting shift in priorities. According to Momal-Vanian, in the last 10-15 years, the UN has made great progress with the education of girls, particularly at the primary school level. “We’re near parity at primary school, which is huge progress because that’s the basis for everything.”

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(Corinne Momal-Vanian, pictured in her office at the UN Geneva)

While progress has been made in education, there are now greater challenges ahead in other areas.

Maternal health is now one of the biggest areas of work of the UN, with the World Health Organization and UNICEF, a few of the many organizations that are part of the UN family. And for good reason. “Death in childbirth and death during pregnancy is at an unacceptable level,” adds Momal-Vanian.

The numbers are bleak. According to the World Health Organization, 1,000 women die every day of the consequences of pregnancy and childbirth, including severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders and unsafe abortions.

While maternal health is a top priority, according to Momal-Vanian, ending discrimination and protecting women’s rights in general, is also one of its biggest challenges. In her view, we need to be firmer with countries’ commitments to ending discrimination against women.

And so, this International Women’s Day, let’s not only celebrate the advancement and protection of our rights, let’s do our bit to help stop women all over the world from dying during childbirth and pregnancy.

Lastly, the United Nations in Geneva is holding a number events throughout the year to mark its 70th anniversary. For more information, visit the UN website and Geneva Tourism.

Shannon Skinner is an award-winning inspirational speaker, writer, and host and producer of the television and online series www.ExtraordinaryWomenTV.com.


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