Nicoa interviews the President of MWMS, the amazing Arya Donahue! She is the powerful energy leading a "Heart Corps" of women creating a blueprint for this revised women's event to be held November 17 - 19th 2023 at Shell Island Resort, Wrightsville Beach, NC.
"What would happen if one woman told the TRUTH about her life? The world would split open." ~Muriel Rukeyser
At MWMS, the aim is to document and share women's strengths, creativity, perseverance, and vibrant lives in a sacred gathering. The project is multi-cultural and multi-generational, and it helps to highlight the positive qualities and powers of the feminine while encouraging creative action. JOIN US, WE NEED YOUR PARTICIPATION and FEEDBACK for this inaugural event!
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Our mission is to tell a new story through the MWMS project. This story highlights women's worth, resourcefulness, and desire to make the world better for everyone. By sharing the wisdom and experiences of women who have undergone healing and transformation, we hope to inspire young girls and women to become self-empowered leaders and take positive action.
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By participating in the project, viewers and participants can gain new insights and ideas to integrate into their lives. We hope these stories and the accompanying experiential apprenticeship program will challenge and influence the distorted view of women and girls in today's media.
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Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Good morning, Arya, Donahue, how are you this morning?Arya Donahue:
Good morning, Nicoa. I am so well and so happy to be with you this morning. Well, INicoa Coach:
am too. And for those listening, we are launching today, the many women many stories series. And I couldn't be more excited and honored to be partnering with this many women many stories conference on its maiden voyage launching in November here in Wrightsville. Beach, North Carolina, just down the road from me. And Aria, you're the president of this event, is that right?Arya Donahue:
Yes, I am I that is a privilege that I hold. I consider it a deep privilege to be a holding that point with others who I call the heart core, not the hardcore, but the hardcore of the organization. There's several of us and we have shareholders there are about 20 shareholders now. But the hardcore is a small group, smaller group that hold the vision and the energy for the expansion of this project.Nicoa Coach:
Well, it's a phenomenal project. And I really think it aligns perfectly with my own philosophies about where we are in society right now and how we need to come together in community. So let me introduce you formally to everybody who's listening on coffee with Nicoa. And ARIA Donahue, you are actually quite the role model of a life by design, which is the typical client that are guests that we have on this show. You are currently the President, as I mentioned of this organization, and you are also a former town manager, a hospital administrator, a wellness practitioner, you have your own company called naturally you for many years, and you're an entrepreneur at heart, you're a coach, a trainer. And here's the part that made me a little nervous this morning, y'all ARIA hosted three different radio shows, and was awarded the Sir John Templeton award for piloting spirituality into media, which that would be an entire interview on my podcast. Yeah, you're a phenomenal. So thank you again, for taking the time to be on on the show. Because what we want to do is do an entire series leading up to the event. And it's, again, a real honor to be a sponsor and a collaborator with you. Why don't we just jump right in, tell us the backstory of many women, many stories and how it came to be?Arya Donahue:
Thank you. Well, it was I think back in 1996. I lived in Wilmington for 14 years. And I moved away and went to the mountains. And I came back a year ago. But it started in 1996 when a colleague of mine, who was professor at the University helped to coordinate a many women many stories event. And I participated as honor panel for women and spirituality. And it was such an amazing experience for me that as many times as I have moved all over this, the actually the mountains, I have kept this purple folder that had the program many women many stories in it. Because somehow intuitively, I think I knew it was going to come back around. I didn't think I'd be coming back to Wilmington. And then I did and when I did, I participated in a women's health event. A year ago, well last November. And I began to attract clients through my practice who started telling me their stories. And I thought, oh, maybe it's time for many women, many stories. So I asked a couple of them, and they immediately came into agreement. And that's what's important to me is agreement among women is key and because without agreement of heart and minds, it's not going to happen. So the three of us went forward and and here we are, and then as that agreement was solidified aid, we started attracting others into the group. And it's just a natural process of how that works.Nicoa Coach:
You created the hardcore the hardcore of women, your own board of directors for this event. And I love that you carried the purple folder around for so long. That's awesome. IArya Donahue:
actually had gold glitters, many women, many stories on it.Nicoa Coach:
So oh my gosh, well, I just think it's a beautiful endeavor. And, you know, my mom always says, You always come back to Wilmington. So don't be surprised about that. You're meant to be back here. I did the same about five years ago. So I'm, I'm glad we're both uniting now. And there are many women who are participating in this. Why don't you share with us? What what somebody could expect? Like, what's the vision of this event?Arya Donahue:
Okay, thank you for asking. I think it started with got triggered for me about what's going to make this unique. There are other women's circles all over the world. And Thank gosh, for that. I'm so happy that women are gathering all over the world. This is not a new thing. I mean, women have gathered for me, way, way, way long ago, in circles. Sure. And I when I was watching the there's a wonderful Netflix series with Desmond Tutu, and the Dalai Lama. And the Dalai Lama. They were talking about his story about when he was exiled from Tibet by the Chinese. And he said, I learned to change my perspective. About why. So for me, that was the aha moment. This is what there are several things that make this unique. And one is that it's not about gathering and just retelling story after story. The Native Americans say you can tell your story three times. And that's it, then you're done. Oh,Nicoa Coach:
interesting. Yeah.Arya Donahue:
So this is about women who have had challenging times, like we all have, the resiliency of women is just remarkable. And that's part of what this is about how resilient we are. And they've had what you could say, was adversity, adversity in their lives. And yet, they have chosen to reframe that not from a place of Oh, poor me, this happened to me, life happened to me, instead of life happens for me, and supports me. And so the reframing of the stories that the women will tell is about how then they look at the circumstances of their story. And they learn to the changes have learned to change the perspective and to say, why? How can I now use these talents and gifts that I use to move through these experiences, then to be in service to other women. So that I can be an inspiration to other women. And I can be encouraging and I can also share particular tools and techniques. Because I'm a tool person, I have a I have to have a toolbox. Yeah, used to be here. Now to me, I don't know what that meant. How do I do that? I believe in having practical tools that we can use in our everyday living, to, to then be I call it self empowered leadership. That's what we're about self empowered leadership. So that we're not only are we going to have presenters that are going to tell their stories and how they reframe them. We're going to have breakout sessions that will actually help women to oh, here's a tool and technique you can use, including including a breakout session on how to reframe your story and start writing your own rewriting your own story.Nicoa Coach:
That's beautiful. You know, that's you're talking positive psychology, proven research that says, I can tell my story all day long. But if I haven't reflected, reframed, and then take an action as a result of it, you know, then I won't be happier. And so I'm really glad to hear the way you've articulated it. Now, tell us a little bit about the actual breakdown of the event. So you say there'll be speakers, they'll be breakout sessions. This is over a three day timeframe. Is that right?Arya Donahue:
Well, it begins in the evening. On Friday. It We'll start at five o'clock. And what's important to me is, whenever I've worked with groups, and I've worked with many groups over the years, as many of us have, what we're doing is we are creating what we call a sacred container. So that's what we want women to gather and to be together for a certain period of time, a cycle, a sacred cycle. Because when we come into agreement, and we create a sacred container, that's an opportunity for something to really move, and, and to clear and to be shared. So we start on Friday night, and we will have our opening keynote speaker on Friday night, but prior to that actually backing up, we will have what's called a heart opening ceremony. And that will be So Gabby, our precious member, Gabby will be offering a heart opening ceremony that will begin the sacred container movement for the energies, beautiful, and that will be a beautiful experience will then have, I will offer the welcoming and the welcoming, we'll be setting what I call setting the heaven for the event, honoring the cycles of water, air Earth fire, and I'll be setting the intention and the heavens, so to speak for the event, then we'll have our keynote speaker. And then that evening, we'll have a sound bath with the sacred bowls from a cat Arnoldi, who's very gifted shamanic practitioner for many, many years, and will have some movement. So that's how we will begin due to, again, setting the energies.Nicoa Coach:
So people will arrive that evening, and I want to just highlight that, you know, remember everybody, she got the Sir John Templeton award for piloting spirituality and in the media, so spirituality, don't hesitate when you hear the spiritual practices that she's referencing, if you've never participated before, I want you to take advantage of this opportunity to come to a safe, sacred place. I am a corporate Girl by training and upbringing. And I began entering into the world of spirituality after I left the corporate world. And I want to invite everyone listening to recognize that it's time, it's time to begin to open your heart and listen to that intuitive voice of yours. And by the way, these types of practices are the way to do it. This is the tool box. So we'll continue into Saturday. So this, we're gonna go and tell you the dates. I know people are like, well, we're gonna use it, you know, they're listening. It is November 17, through the 19th 2023. Many women many stories conference at Shell Island Resort, right. So Beach, North Carolina. Now, tell us a little bit more, once they participate. You do want them to participate the whole time? Because that's part of the bonding experience of that group of women, correct?Arya Donahue:
Yes, yes, I mean, that they will benefit the most if they participate the whole time. Because when they hear these stories, then they're powerful stories. And again, one of the things that makes this event unique is we are multigenerational. Our presenters start at age 28, going up through the 30s. And going up to 90 years old, beautiful, we have the wisdom keepers, and we have you know, we have all all ages represented. So when when we hear stories like this, the chances are it's it's going to touch our hearts in some way. And and so we want the gathering to be that surround where we can when we do experience these feelings, that there is a container of women with their hearts open, who can be available to each other.Nicoa Coach:
Well, why is that important? Now in society? I mean, what's your vision for this? Like, why are we really doing this now?Arya Donahue:
We're doing it because in my my sense of it is that it's this it's the right cycle. And when I say the right cycle, I mean that we know that this is a time on the planet when old paradigms are falling away they don't work. We know that old paradigms and that includes all aspects of you know government, banking, everything old paradigm so that we're based in greed and fear, are deconstructing. This is a time of reconstruction of the new paradigms that are based on love, collaboration, inspiration support, that and we're not quite in the in the new paradigm shift. So we are part of this powerful, transformative cycle on the planet that we can help with the new paradigms coming forward. And that's what this is about, because it's just not paradigms of women who were in competition. Let's face it, I've experienced it. I've been in the corporate world, women haven't always supported each other. And there's been competition, it hasn't been fun for any of us. So now we get to come into this new, helping create this new paradigm of support, collaboration, inspiration for each other.Nicoa Coach:
Yes, and women are leading the way. And this is not in any way to discount our male counterparts, or, you know, anyone identifying as male, I want to make sure that people know that if you are that this is that, however, dedicated to females and those who identify as female, or non binary, if you'd like to join us, please do all are welcome. We want this to be a bonding experience. Women are making the decisions in the households we're spending the money, you need to recognize that I see it as it's like a responsibility. It's time to move away from reacting, the competition you talked about in the corporate world, and move to a space of responding intentionally, consciously, coming together, we cannot do this alone. I've had to learn that you cannot do it alone, and really coming together in a collaboration and creating a community. Now, what is the vision long term? Now, some people might not be able to attend this year, but I know you this is just the beginning. I mean, you're going to do this annually. You know, and you want to do what else with this?Arya Donahue:
Well, I want to speak to your point there, and I really appreciate your perspective Nicoa that you just offered about the rising of the feminine. This is not about and I grew up in the 60s and the feminist movement, so to speak. That wasn't my perspective. And I realized that sometimes we go one direction, one extreme and then we come back. This is not anti anybody, right? This is about the feminine rising and all people okay, time beautiful. That's what it's about. It's the feminine form as feminine form beings that are coming together in in this agreement. It doesn't exclude males. I have great compassion for males roles in the world and what they've gone through with their paradigms they've had experience absolutely open their hearts and be open hearted males in the in the corporate world.Nicoa Coach:
That's right, they need a conference to and they're starting, there's a lot more men's work out there. And you know, you could do a whole movie just about kin, not just Barbie. Right?Arya Donahue:
I did see, and I will I did see that movie. The ending of it was my favorite part. And I'm not going to do more little of spoil the ending, but the ending was actually my favorite part mine, too. So where are we going from here? Thanks for asking about that. Our vision is really, to start off with our country. You know, ideally, we start off with groups all over the country. We have had actually a discussion with a woman who has written a book about a Bosnian refugee, she's now interviewing Bosnian women, refugees. So and we may, you know, ultimately be global. What we are creating here that we see as the maiden voyage. This is we're refining this template. This is a template we're creating. And I'm have to say that each day, I guess, we get new, new downloads of inspiration where we need to include this, we need to include that. So this is a refining of this template so that we can then make it available for other women's groups that want to get together so that we can go and we can say here, here's the template. We'll help you boots on the ground. We'll help you get it started and and then it's yours. Beautiful. I think that's the that's the ultimate vision for it. And I think that part of the what makes this again unique. We talked about the heart opening ceremony. We're all also going to close the sacred container with a very sacred Chinese tea ceremony. So that our dear friend, Alicia, will be who's very who's trained in the sacred ceremony, we will close with this tea ceremony where women can share what they've experienced what's on their hearts. And then we will will close the container in a very sacred way.Nicoa Coach:
That's amazing. And I'm going to have an opportunity to speak with Alicia, prior to the event. And she's also wanted to do a personal tea ceremony with me she offered up so I'm going to be introduced to that practice. And this would be at the end of the event on that Sunday, right, which ends around midday or afternoon. I thinkArya Donahue:
it ends around midday. Okay. Yep. And wait, we're not going to rush anybody out. But we're going to take whatever sacred time it takes to allow women to share what's on their hearts. Yes, before weNicoa Coach:
close. So for those of you listening, please recognize that if you're hearing this right now, and there's any part of you that feels led, please listen to that voice. And because we're going to want your feedback in the process, and to help us create this blueprint for future many women, many stories events across the globe. So imagine you can be part of this maiden voyage as a founding participant. And we will be asking for your feedback throughout the event and post event so that we can find out what you thought what went well, what didn't go, Well, what did we forget? What else could we imagine? And it's going to be key. It's not just a group of hard, hardcore women, creating this by themselves. This is not an ego driven event, it's being called and LED. And so talk really quickly about where they can go get the tickets. And there's something special about their purchase of this event. Isn't there something unique that you guys have chosen to do?Arya Donahue:
Yes, there is, you can go to many women, many stories.com. And you can register through the website. And we are, we are so honored and privileged to be donating $5 of every purchase of every ticket to safe place, which is a place that it's a haven a safe place, again, for women who have experienced sexual trauma trafficking, just events that have been honestly horrific for women. And they are providing such a wonderful service and they now they now have a farm that they're creating, that can help women learn how to do gardening and those kinds of things. So it's expansion. We're supporting their expansion, one of our speakers, Christie Purdy actually came benefited from their services and was recommended for many women, many stories, wow. To us, soNicoa Coach:
wonderful. Well, you know, we'll put the links, of course, not only where you can attend this event, but also information about safe place, because that's very generous, especially in your main voyage to be able to take funds from the event, and donate it to an organization in need. And that, unfortunately, the state of North Carolina where we're currently based is it's known for its sex trafficking, and it's a bet a massive problem, and to be able to help women who have been fortunate enough to be removed from that experience or any sexual trauma. Thank you for being so generous in this maiden voyage, as you said, Is there anything else aria that I didn't ask or anything you'd like to share?Arya Donahue:
Um, we'll have there's an opportunity also, if if people would like to be a sponsor, we welcome sponsorships in their various levels of sponsorship that you can participate in. And that's on the website under be a sponsor. We will be inviting women to continue to submit their stories not just yet, but we want it we keep getting requests from women. So we will have that post conference, we'll still be doing that. We are also going to have an apprentice program for women to learn from other wisdom keepers and from other women, business owners, entrepreneurs. Oh, INicoa Coach:
forgot about that. That's such a great offer. So that would be something that people could apply for, during or after the event.Arya Donahue:
That is something that women can't who participate organizations to our sponsors can ask for mentor can be provided via mentor. And they can all add the women who attend the event can then apply to be an apprentice. I like apprentice rather than mentor. I don't know why I just I like that term because we'reNicoa Coach:
learning. We're gaining skills, like you said, and we, you know, an apprentice has a toolkit. So that makes so much sense. Well, there yes,Arya Donahue:
that's explains why. Yes, so there will be that opportunity for those who participate, who's who are at the event. And we've gotten many, many gifted women and sponsor so far that you could learn they can learn from Oh, absolutely. sponsor. Yeah, be a sponsor. And that that's a wonderful thing. You can be invited to be a shareholder, which is an investment in many women's many stories, we are a corporation, we are a very solid Corporation, we're not a 501 C three, or we're not a nonprofit, because that's the paradigm is, it's okay to have money. Well, if you want to create our organization,Nicoa Coach:
if you want to create space, you know, women supporting women, then we need to have the funds and apply our entrepreneurial skills to make that happen. So, so yes, so many options. Everybody, go check out the website, there was something that you said that I wanted to, Oh, of course, our collaboration will continue as well. Not only am I talking with ARIA today, but over the next few months. So we're right now we're holding this interview at the beginning of September. I'm gonna get my editor to get these out as quickly as possible. And we'll start posting not only this, this conversation, but another half dozen conversations with, can you share a couple of examples for some of the women I'll be speaking to just a tease for the event?Arya Donahue:
Yes, well, you'll be speaking to one of the women that went through this that was benefited from the SafePlace story of overcoming, actually heroin addiction and some really difficult times, and she is one of the most impressive young women. Her story is powerful. We have a 90 year old woman whose her message is it's never too late to create. I knew her at 60 years old, and she decided to get on a scaffolding and do trumped delay painting on scaffolding. But 60 She's been my inspiration. We have a young entrepreneur at 28 years old, who started her own business here in Wilmington. And we have a woman who's going to talk about her healing journey, powerful healing journey, Jennifer Leach, you're going to be talking with her. And we have a woman who's going to talk about human design.Nicoa Coach:
Perfect. So it's going to be a beautiful set of series though. That's what we're calling it, the mini women mini story series. And I will be having short little interviews, and I will be posting those on Fridays. I think that's the goal. As soon as we can get them out there as bonus episodes to Coffee with Nicoa. And I'm so excited and honored to be able to do this it it you know, I've I've only been doing coffee with Nikolas since March. And I am really playing with this and listening to my intuition as to how I can best serve the world with this endeavor. And it really just made so much sense when we connected the other night at the ER while back at the networking event. And I thought this makes sense. It's it's a heart connection between the two of us. And I'm just really honored that you said yes. And that I said yes. And here we go. Aria. Here we go.Arya Donahue:
Yes. Just the beginning how exciting. And thank you so much for your support your love your heart, and your willingness to be a part of this precious, powerful new paradigm organization.Nicoa Coach:
Well, I look forward to helping Chris in the maiden voyage when we kick off in November. So everybody gets your tickets and stay tuned. Make sure you subscribe so that you can hear all of our little excerpts and teasers. And I really do hope that you will be a part of this group of women. There are only so many tickets available because they want to keep it to that contained group. So make sure you get there. Go to that website and buy your ticket today. And Arya any last words of wisdom.Arya Donahue:
Will every woman has a story? Every woman has a story and our throat chakras. There's in my practice. I see. thyroids, clo thyroid issues, which is all about speaking our story in our truth and I welcome women, all women to share to share their stories in a new paradigm.Nicoa Coach:
Please comment Share your story and to your point or Yeah, it will be a healing experience. Yes. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Love you. Bye.Arya Donahue:
Bye for now.Jennifer Gardner:
Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicola for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow coffee with Nicola and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N I CoA. We look forward to talking with you soon. And enjoy your coffee between now and then.