Women in the Arena

Embracing Authenticity and Empowerment: Celebrating 3 Years of Women in the Arena with Audra Agen

June 21, 2023 Audra Agen Season 5 Episode 25
Women in the Arena
Embracing Authenticity and Empowerment: Celebrating 3 Years of Women in the Arena with Audra Agen
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Can you believe it's been three years since Women in the Arena first began? To celebrate this milestone, I decided to shake things up and step into the hot seat myself! My dear friend and serial entrepreneur, LaWanna Bradford, takes the reins as she grills me on the origins of our show's name, the lessons I've learned, and how embracing our true selves can lead to a life of courage, authenticity, and joy.

In this lively discussion, I share my top three strategies to help you break free of comfort zones and step into your power. We explore the importance of acknowledging and celebrating ourselves, creating a contagious atmosphere of joy, peace, and laughter. Delving into the emotions that come with life transitions, we discuss the impact of embracing change and authenticity, and how it has shaped my approach as an empathetic interviewer.

As I reminisce about the wisdom imparted by my beloved grandmother, I'm reminded of how her lessons have shaped the woman I am today and influenced the lives of others. Listen in as we discuss the power of Women in the Arena, the ripple effects of our influence on future generations, and how recognizing each other as sisters and assets can create a wave of change and connection. Don't miss this special anniversary episode!

Go check out all of our episodes on our website: https://womeninthearena.net/


If you are ready to tell your story or want to refer someone, please email me at audra@womeninthearena.net

***Last thing- I'd love to interview the following women:

  • Joan Jett
  • Dolly Parton
  • Viola Davis
  • Ina Garten

Maybe you can help me get there****


Thank you all for supporting this show and all of the Women in the Arena!!

Audra :

Welcome in everyone and thank you for joining me in a very, very special episode of Women in the Arena. It is my third anniversary of this show. I started this show on my 49th birthday in 2020, not knowing what to expect, and I was just simply taking it one show at a time, one week at a time, to see what would happen. Turns out, a lot can happen, and that was three years ago, and today is a celebration And, like the previous two years, this episode is very special because I am in the hot seat. It's the only time of the year that I have the microphone turned on me and I invite a host to grill me with questions. And, boy, are you in for it today? Maybe I'm the one that's in for it today because I have invited my friend, lawanna Bradford, because I knew she wouldn't let me off the hook, and you have met her before. She has been on the show two previous times, but in the event that you haven't been properly introduced to her, let me introduce you. Lawanna is a force. She is a serial entrepreneur, she is a visionary leader. She is the co-founder of Celebrate You, and that is a women's organization. She has her own TV shows, which she actually has three of them where she produces, directs and hosts Power of the Pen, choose to Challenge and Business and Raw Talk, and she also is a five-time best-selling author. Are you guys impressed yet? Are you guys nervous for me? Because she is going? she is definitely not going to let me off the hook, so I'm going to bring her on and then the show is hers. It is my pleasure and my honor to introduce to you LaWanna Bradford LaWanna, thank you so much for being here and welcome to the show. I'm a little nervous. I'm a little nervous, but it's. The mic is yours.

La Wanna :

Well, thank you so very much for asking me to host this special episode and congratulations on your three-year anniversary. That is so exciting. And, yeah, you're right, i'm putting you in the hot seat. Let's crank up that furnace a little bit.

Audra :

Yep, yep, like I said, i knew. I knew I was in for something. I have no idea what. Literally everyone hold on that. This is live. I know zero, zero what's coming at me, so it'll be fun to listen to me squirm.

La Wanna :

Well, i'll use you into it. Okay, so the first question, and for I'm certain you have your, your past audience, that's listening, your followers. But then there's there's new individuals that are listening to this episode for the very first time, and what I would like to know is we hear the phrase women in the arena, and I'm often very curious as to how individuals come up with a particular name for their business, for their podcast, and this is, in fact, is your new business. So, when you think about women in the arena, two part question how did you come up with the name and why is it so relevant at this point in time?

Audra :

Coming up. The name was really interesting and it was and it was accidental. I was before, long before I even thought about having a podcast. I was watching a Brene Brown episode on show on Netflix and she raised the quote of man in the arena And I went and I looked it up to see what it was And of course it is the famous Teddy Roosevelt quote. And I looked at it and I thought the pronouns are wrong. And I had a friend. I have a friend who's an incredible artist. I sent her the quote and I said I need you to make me a giant plaque because I want to hang it in my office, but I need you to fix the pronouns because this isn't completely correct. So she did that And we hung it in my office and it hung in my office for probably two years. Like I said, long, long before I even thought about having a podcast. Then, when I decided that I was going to do this, i kicked around a bunch of names, didn't have any idea what I was going to call this, And I was pacing back and forth here in my office And I was standing there staring into space, arms crossed, thinking what am I going to do? And my eyes focused and saw the plaque hanging on my wall and realized I had named it two years before I even thought about putting together the show And I thought that's obvious. That is obvious. So that's where it came from. That's where I got the inspiration. I got the inspiration before I even knew I was going to do this. So let me answer the second part. The second part is the arena of life. We are all in this arena of life And it could be both isolating, but it can also be empowering, because when you look around and you realize that you are not alone in this arena and that you have friends, family and individuals that just want to see you win and maybe help each other win along the way, that is what I've visualized for an arena, and I do see us all as warriors, but warriors doing it together.

La Wanna :

I love that. And it's interesting, audra, that often, as we journey through life, there are seeds being sprinkled along the way and we don't realize their relevance until it's the time for them to not only germinate but to mature, to grow, and your harvest, if you will, is cultivating the voices of women from around the world. You said something in your response and you used two words that I found quite interesting. You said isolating and empowering. Tell us about a time I'm turning up the heat a little bit When you were part of a community and you come in, you're alpha female. You know who you are, you know what you're going, you know what you're doing and your value. But you shared with me in one time that you realize that there were some pieces that were missing, that you didn't realize were missing, and that this community helped to gird you up in a time where you didn't feel isolated And through their strength, you felt even more empowered. Tell us a little bit about that.

Audra :

Well, you invited me to your community Celebrate You, and I had zero idea of, first of all, what I was doing there, because these women are so accomplished in this organization that I was like I don't know what you want me there for. But okay, i'll go. But then I started to realize that these women were just like me, even though we had different backgrounds and we had different accomplishments. They were just like me And I was having a moment of weakness because I, over the past year, I have become an empty nester And that was a very strange transition for me, because you are, you're pouring yourself into these humans for a quarter of a century, because my oldest is 26. And suddenly they weren't there And I didn't know how to feel about that And I suddenly felt very alone and very sad And I came to the, the organization, and said I need, i need, some words of encouragement, because this just feels lonely, this feels weird And I don't know how to work through this. And all these women, many of them I have never met in person, many of them that I haven't had the pleasure of having a conversation with them, and this was all through a Facebook conversation All came to me and surrounded me And I do mean surround me, meaning surrounded me as in to embrace me and lifted me up and said you're not alone, what you're feeling is normal, and whatever you need, we're here. And it was at that point that I recognized that what I thought was a loneliness really wasn't It was this giant community that all I had to do was unlock the door and they would walk in.

La Wanna :

When you described it that way. It makes me think of what we just went through last month, which was mental health awareness month, and often we have misconceptions of what is. What is mental health, what is mental well-being, or what are things that can put us in a state of concern, and it could be anxiety, right Fear of the unknown and just not knowing how to get out of that loop of you know you're just spiraling, wondering okay, what do I do? This is my new normal. How do I show up? You know it doesn't feel right And I love that you shared that experience, because women in the arena is doing just that. You are showcasing in a very protective and loving way, the voices of women, their lived experiences, which, in turn, will give people hope and inspiration When you think about what you're doing. That's a pretty weighty call. Why are you and I know you're confident why are you confident that you're the one to make this happen on a global scale?

Audra :

Because I really feel like I was called to do it. And I had this. I had a moment, i had a moment where I got angry and it was. It wasn't. There wasn't some big dramatic thing that happened. I am a female in a male-dominated field and you know, you've heard all the stories. I don't need to go into the details of what it's like to be a woman in a male dominated field, especially in corporate America, and I just finally got to the end of what I was willing to tolerate And I didn't want any of the women around me to have to feel like they had to tolerate it as well. I was like I'm done. I'm done putting up with this And I thought what am I going to do with this anger? I it's, and what I thought in a moment of clarity is that anger is energy and it's not the emotion that is important, it's what you do with it. And I decided to use it as fuel for change, and I did it in the only way I knew how, which is to talk. I have no problem talking. I have no problem speaking to strangers, and I thought, well, i'm gonna do that. I am genuinely curious about the women on this planet and what they are doing, and that there is there's no one highlighting them, so I think I'll go do it, because I can't find anybody else who is So if not me, then who? So I'm? I'm doing it because the call was put out and I answered it.

La Wanna :

I love that And you are so journeying along your way, one story at a time, one moment of inspiration at a time. But I want to take it a little bit deeper, and I know you just mentioned to the audience that the seeing what was happening in the workplace was a point of frustration, but I think that's kind of like the icing on the cake. I want to get to the cake. What has happened in your past that even created a level of sensitivity in you that would spark an anger as to how other women were not being recognized? Was there any point in your life outside of work where you felt that perhaps my voice isn't being heard or where I'm not being recognized or I'm not being seen?

Audra :

Even in my own family Being I am the oldest of four children and I wasn't being heard. Don't have any idea why, and I'm pretty loud. I don't have any problem in expressing myself, but I just didn't feel as if I was being heard. So not, and it's not just in my family. Out in public You get pushed aside And I realize that I'm not. I don't take up a lot of space physically because I'm not a big person, but people walk by you like they don't even know you, that they don't even see you, and I thought I don't want to be irrelevant. I don't want to be erased from history, and I don't want other women to be erased either, because they are contributing so much every day to every, every aspect of their lives that they show up in. They're contributing something. I don't want them to be erased Because what we're doing is world-changing. People need to know about it.

La Wanna :

To the listening audience. We are here with the amazing Audra Egan, who is the founder of Women, in the Arena. She just said something very profound. If you are a woman out there that feel like you're being marginalized perhaps you're even sitting on the sideline of your own life and have the fear of being erased, not being significant I want you to just really lean in because I know Audra is going to give us some solutions to help you overcome that and to stand in your seat of power, to stand in your divine genius that I believe all of us have Now. Audra, you mentioned that this is and this is prior conversations that we've had that this is just like a fire in you, that you feel that this was a calling At this point in your life now a woman over 50, you are really solidified in this purpose. It's a very heavy call. We know at this time in the world, women's voices are being amplified even more, but there's still those that are afraid. They're afraid of how society will receive them or reject them. Family, we all want to be loved and accepted. If you could give three points of encouragement to those women out there that are saying gosh, audra, i hear you, but I'm just not like you. What would you say to them?

Audra :

First, i would say I'm afraid every single day. This is scary What I'm doing, putting a microphone in front of my own face and every single week interviewing somebody else. I'm completely and 100% vulnerable every single conversation I have, because it doesn't work if I'm not. And I'm afraid every single day. Every time I post something vulnerable, i'm afraid, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm doing one scary thing every single day because I have learned number one your comfort zone is a cage. It's a cage. The magic exists just on the other side of it. I don't want to be imprisoned anymore. So that's number one Understand that what you think is comfortable is holding you captive. Second thing is that do you really not want to live up to your full potential? I have this visual of when I die and hopefully go to heaven and I'm sitting across the table from that big giant higher power. I have this vision that a piece of paper is slid across the table to me. I don't want him to say or she, whomever, or whatever that higher power is. I don't want that higher power to say this is what I had in mind for you, but you didn't do it because you were too busy being comfortable. So I don't want to miss out on what's planned for me just because I've got a little bit of fear. So that's the second thing. Don't miss out on what you're here for. And number three stop caring what everybody else thinks. They're not you. They don't live your life, they don't pay your bills. They don't live in your skin. Quit giving them rent-free space in your head. Stop it. The moment that you give up the authority of opinions of others on your life, that is when you start to take back freedom, and in freedom in all aspects, you start to march toward freedom And you start to march toward who you really are.

La Wanna :

With that last statement, it made me think of the song Freedom by George Michael, and you're absolutely correct And I love those three points. It's feel the fear and do it anyway. Be willing to live up to your full potential, explore, find out what it is. And then, third, is get other people out of your head. Stop bringing space to them, right?

Audra :

Yes, Your brain is an amazing, wonderful and sometimes complicated space. Quit inviting other people in it. Quit borrowing trouble from other people that don't belong to you. You can do trouble all on your own, You don't need any help.

La Wanna :

Exactly. You mentioned being a part of Celebrate You embracing her wellness, and I know that you were talking about recognition And I think all of us we want to be appreciated, we want to be celebrated, but I always challenge individuals. The first thing is you have to be able to celebrate yourself. If you're not able to celebrate who you are, why do you expect the world to stand up and applaud you? Tell me about a time during this women in the arena journey that you were able to truly look at Audra in the mirror and celebrate the amazing work that you're doing.

Audra :

I told you, i'm scared every single day, and that is one of the areas because it's sort of uncomfortable. We're not trained to celebrate ourselves, as a matter of fact. We are trained not to. We are trained to diminish our accomplishments and no big deal. What not? And so that's something that I'm still getting comfortable with. I'm still getting comfortable with celebrating, showing up for other women, and part of the reason that there's this level of discomfort is because I never started this for recognition for myself. I literally started this because it was something I needed. I went looking for it and couldn't find it, so I thought, well, if I need it, maybe somebody else does too, and so that it's a little bit uncomfortable, but it's okay, because I know that if it's uncomfortable, i'm doing the right thing. So I am working on the celebration. I will tell you that when I turned 50 and I turned 52 in a week, and at the time that this will be published, my birthday will be three days away from it, so my birthday is June 24th. The year I turned 50, i started to throw myself a birthday party. So I threw myself a birthday party for my 50th birthday, i threw one for my 51st birthday and I'm throwing one for my 52nd birthday And it's not because I'm like, hey, look at me, look at me. It's because I want to celebrate And I want to celebrate with all these amazing women coming over to my house And, as I like to say, we're letting our freak flags fly And we're just going to have some fun and have some giggles and have some bubbles, without any stress. And it's not for the point of celebrating my birthday. That's just the excuse. It's to celebrate each other and our community together. So I know that's a long-winded answer to your question, but it's the truth.

La Wanna :

And I love that. And when you think about it celebration, laughter, joy, peace it's all contagious energy. When people are around that, then they're like wow, i want to do that too. How do I do that? How do I show up? Because when you're celebrating, truly celebrating yourself, i believe that's when you're showing up in your authenticity, in your genius, in your beauty. It's just world. this is me and I love me and I am doing me. You're allowing yourself, you've gotten to the point in your life's journey that you're giving yourself permission to be Audra, not to be corporate Audra, not to be mom, not to be wife, but to be Audra.

Audra :

That is the day that I get to do it And I tell the ladies come as you want to. If you want to come in your pajamas, come in your pajamas, i don't care, come and have fun and leave all of your insecurities, all your worries, all of those thoughts that are plaguing you and occupying space in your head. Leave them at the door, because that is not what this day is about. This day is freedom. It is celebrating freedom.

La Wanna :

I would suspect in the last three years of this journey appeared, with just life's transitions, that you are a far different person than you were before, but the essence of you is the same. I think the freedom of your expression is what has changed, would you?

Audra :

agree, i would agree. I'm not editing myself anymore. I'm not saying, oh well, i don't want to show them that part of me because they may not like that part of me, or I don't want them to know this about me, because what will they think? Now I'm like I don't care, i really don't, i really don't care. This is me, this is all of me. And if you like me, great. If you don't like me, that's okay too, because it doesn't matter. And I show up this way, even professionally, even in my corporate job. I make up words regularly And it doesn't matter who I speak to And you know they laugh. I mean, today I was looking for a PowerPoint, couldn't find it. I literally said out loud I'm becoming my grandmother, i'm putting stuff away for safekeeping, and then I can't find them, and I really didn't care what they thought of me, with me saying that out loud. So I'm not afraid to show the world who I really, really am And I'm fun, i'm goofy, i'm serious, i make up words, i'm a Star Wars dork. I mean, i am who I am.

La Wanna :

One of the things that we talked a little bit about is change, and With you Adding to your platter of things that you do, you have women in the arena. You and your husband made a decision where he has a new career path and Sometimes, when individuals in in a shared household take a different path, that can cause friction. On top of that, your children have created their own paths that you're celebrating. What would you say to a woman who is struggling with that, with letting go of What was and embracing the new and what is?

Audra :

I will say I totally understand you, i completely empathize with what you're feeling. As Luana knows, and as some of my listeners know, my daughter got married this spring and From the from the day of her bridal shower until about I don't know, probably three weeks ago, i cried every day. I cried every single day because I knew that I was mourning what Was no longer my role. I was mourning And I'm gonna say it's a loss, because it wasn't a loss, it was a closure. It was a closure of a chapter that was ending and I allowed myself that. So I would say allow yourself that, allow yourself to mourn the ending of a chapter, but don't stay there, because That's not the end of the story, that's just the end of the chapter. You have a whole lifetime to Write and it's and it's unknown. So don't be, don't be stuck in the morning that you miss the celebration of the new. Take the time you need Now. Let's don't stay there, just visit, don't stay, don't take up residence.

La Wanna :

How? how is that experience, and even the lesson that you're sharing, help to make you a A better interviewer, one who is able to interview from a place of empathy and understanding?

Audra :

I think it's because I have become intimately aware of how similar we are, regardless of which country you're from, your, your educational background, your job, your, your race, your religion, your sexual orientation None of that matters, that is, that's just noise. But what's truly important are the things that make us more similar, which is our emotions, and since I had these bevy of emotions, which were surprised to me, i am not a crier. My husband will tell you that the only time he has actually ever really seen me cry is when I am mad. So feeling these emotions, being overwhelmed with emotions, is not necessarily me, but it allowed me to understand Me a little bit better and since I understood me a little bit better, i would, i'm think, i'm able to understand other women a little bit better, and it's given me strength and starting to Recognize and feel empathy, whereas I don't think I fully allowed myself that before I might have been, i might have been a little afraid of it. Honestly, feeling empathy is a little scary, but now that I've gone through this experience, i realized that it's really nothing to be afraid of. You just Pick up your feet and go with it, because on the other side are rewards, and that's how I try to meet my guest is Go on the journey with them and let them know that I am truly there with them and at the end of it there are rewards.

La Wanna :

I love that I draw. When you look at yourself now in the mirror. Who is Audra? minus, minus outfit titles, all the wonderful accolades, who are you?

Audra :

Wow, okay, wow, i did not realize I was gonna get this. I I pause for a moment because I I Got this surge of emotion that I was not expecting. So let me take a deep breath and tell you Audra is a woman that is healing a little girl, and that little girl is me. I Was a very sad little girl. I was a very lonely little girl. I Thought that the more I achieved, i would finally be worthy of love and It. It was this, this cycle that happened that I Just wanted to be loved so badly and get acknowledged and recognized, and it never came. So, rather than rebel, i was like I'll just, or I'll, achieve more, then I'll finally be worthy and I would do this cycle, and it was. It's been a lifetime cycle and now I recognize that that cycle Wasn't, it was never mine. So I am a woman healing from that. I am a woman that is embracing the unknown. I Am a woman that Wants to go see the world. I Am a woman that finally recognizes and sees myself as a fully formed adult most of the time, and I I realize that I am just getting started, that I yes, my, my kid. I've lived. I've lived a lifetime already. But I realized that that was just the first half. The women in my, in my family live a long, long time. They live well into their 90s. So I realized that, oh, i've, i've had half a lifetime. I got another half to go. What adventures do I want to do? and I'm excited about the possibilities and I suddenly have realized that Anything's possible, literally anything's possible. If you can dream it, you can probably do it, and you Don't have to know how to do it. So I'm a woman that's curious and I'm a woman that's can't wait to see what's next.

La Wanna :

I, i love that you are at the point where you said that I'm a woman who's healing and you're able to look back at little Audra and hold her and tell her it's okay, right, because you're a sum of these wonderful highs and lows that life is taking you through. And if you just imagine, would you be such a force on women in the arena if you didn't have those experiences?

Audra :

Because I believe, that you're as.

La Wanna :

Women are hearing, you're tapping back here, there's things in your journey It's like okay, i may not have experienced that exact thing, but I understand the emotion, i understand the fear, i understand the longing Right.

Audra :

Oh, yeah, yeah, these, these women that are sharing their stories with me. It's, it's remarkable how much their stories have helped change and shape my own, how how much it has helped me heal from hurts that I didn't even remember that I had, that I was carrying with me as I don't know as as heavy weights. But you carry with them so long that you no longer feel it, until another woman highlights something in their lives and you go oh, oh, yeah, i have that too. Oh, and then you work through it and you let it go. And that's been an amazing gift is letting it go Go, and you have to do that because you can't. The other, the other part of feeling empathy, is that you can't absorb their pain too, because that's you can experience it with them. But you have to go through it, because if you keep all of theirs inside, there wouldn't be no way I could do this, because it would crush me.

La Wanna :

I totally agree. In our life we have often many individuals that inspire us along the way. But if you were to pick one person who, whether past or present, but you find yourself always leaning in to that voice, who would that person be in your life? Once again, i'm getting emotional.

Audra :

It was my grandmother. It was this amazing woman who only had an eighth grade education. She never worked, but she was so smart And she poured all of the wisdom that she could into me And she was so good at it. And she I refer to it as Graham's beauty boot camp. What she would do is she would make me walk around her backyard with a book on my head Because, she says, she didn't want me to clump around like a horse, so she had me walk around her backyard with a book on my head So I would carry my carriage. Properly is how she referred to it, as She taught me how to sit. She taught me how to set a dinner table, what all the forks were for, and I kept asking her why am I doing this? And she would say you're going to need this one day. You're going to be at some fancy dinner parties, which I had no idea what she referred to. I now know what is business dinners But she says you're going to be at these fancy dinner parties and you're going to have absolutely exquisite manners. And I thought, ok, didn't know what she was talking about, but I did it. She taught me how to play checkers And wouldn't let me win. She read to me every single day, and she didn't read me just little kids books, she read me novels, like she read me little women when I was very, very young. She, she, she was an immigrant, so she did her best to teach me Spanish as a little girl. She made me watch those tele novellas so it would sink in and I just couldn't. Sorry grams, sorry grams, but it just couldn't. But she was such a force And she did so much, was so little, and she poured all of this into me. So then maybe I could take the torch And take it further than what was afforded to her. So that is what I think of all the time Is the things that I'm doing, the things that I, the opportunities that I get, the awards that I that I achieve. I take her with me And I know that there just as much hers as they are mine, because I wouldn't have been able to do any of it without her pouring into me the things that she poured into me, not knowing what she was doing. I mean, you'd think you'd let a kid win checkers, not her. Nope, she says you're going to beat me fair and square, and it took me years, but she that taught me persistence, that taught me strategy And it taught me fair play And those were really big lessons to learn and take forward as we go through this crazy life. So it's her, it's always been her. What did you call your grandmother?

La Wanna :

Grams. Grams, one of the things I will. You said a lot, and I love when I hear people share about their parents, especially their, their grandparents. So so, grams, as you mentioned, she taught you the lessons of strategy, presence, culture, literature, ethics, etiquette right, and that's huge, because those are lifelong lessons that you apply every single day. And, as you were talking, it made me think of a song by Danny Bell called Ordinary People, and one part of the lyrics it says God uses ordinary people who are willing to do as He commands, because little becomes much when you place it in the master's hands. And you were that little child that she was given to safeguard, to protect, to nurture. Now look at you, lodra, look at the women who you're touching because of Gramps.

Audra :

I hope I make her proud. I really do. I hope that I make her proud I know she's smiling.

La Wanna :

now You're near me crying.

Audra :

I'm not going to edit that out because I need to hear. It's her every single day. I hope that I do what she wanted me to do. Yeah, beautiful beautiful story.

La Wanna :

So we've talked about your inspiration with women in the arena. We think about the women today who you are inspiring and you're celebrating their stories. How do you hope this will help to influence the next generation that's coming behind?

Audra :

First of all, the next generation that's coming behind inspires me all the time. They are fearless in a way that I was not fearless at that age. They are not afraid to take up space. They are not afraid to communicate what they think. They are not afraid to leave a situation that doesn't serve them. They inspire me all the time. What I hope is that the generation that's just behind us will do a better job of recognizing other women as our sisters, as our greatest assets on this planet, rather than our competition, because my generation, for whatever reason, grew up with this falsehood that other women are your competition, and maybe it was because there were so few of us fighting for space and we thought, well, i've gotten here, i got to defend my territory because there's only one little spot and I've got it. That's wrong. That is absolutely wrong. When I get to a space where I'm like, ok, i've made it, i'm automatically making space for the next one to come with me. Automatically, i'm making room. That was something I needed to learn, because that was not ingrained in me, and I'm hoping that the next generation does a better job than we did. When my daughter was a teenager, i told her, i said to her. I don't do mean girls. I don't play mean girl games. I don't want to hear mean girl stories. That does not exist in this house. There's no such thing as mean girls. They're misunderstood girls, not mean girls, and I take that with me with all of the women I meet. I may not get along with every woman I meet, but they're probably still my greatest asset and not my competition.

La Wanna :

Yeah, and we don't have to get along with everyone, but we do need to respect everyone right.

Audra :

Everybody's fighting a fight. Every woman on this planet is in that arena. Every single woman is a warrior in some way, shape or form. Respect that, respect that they're fighting a fight too.

La Wanna :

So you've created this amazing table of conversation. One of the things that Shirley Chisholm said was if they will not invite you to the table, you bring your chair to the table. But you've gone a step beyond that and said I don't really see a table like this. So I'm creating this table that is all over. It's popping up all over the world. How many nations are you in currently?

Audra :

As of this morning, 71. Wow.

La Wanna :

Congratulations Yeah.

Audra :

Is that insane, or what? 71 countries? Here's my voice. I try not to think about it too much because that will just make my head explode, but I just look at it and go, wow, i wonder, i wonder what those conversations are doing in those lives. I wonder what's happening in those communities. I hope, i hope it is having a positive effect.

La Wanna :

I believe it is. I mean, this is catching on like wildfire And one of the things sometimes people think, well, there's not much I can do. I'm in my own little community, but in your sphere of influencing and you're a testament to this that if we step out and we show up and we press all in, then we become this wave maker I don't like to say ripple maker, it's wave maker. You're creating this tsunami effect because only a tsunami is going to cross and hit other nations. A little ripple and a pond isn't going to do that. So you're creating these tsunami episodes with every single conversation. That is causing women to stir up within themselves a strength that may not have been there or may need or is maybe it becomes even greater. They feel, as you said, united. There's this sisterhood, not just in name only, but a true sisterhood, by uniting our stories and making a change. And we often hear Gandhi's statement be the change you want to see in the world. And I always flip that and say be the change the world sees. So 70 nations, the world is hearing, seeing and hearing the impact of women in the arena And that is phenomenal. So kudos.

Audra :

Thank you. You know what You use, what you got You know. And growing up my dad would say you know what You talk so much You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle. Well, close, close, i have a microphone and I'm using it.

La Wanna :

I want to go back to Grams And I know she's giving you many, many words of wisdom, but if you could leave the audience with one thing that they could take hold, that grammism, if you will, what would that be? What would you tell the audience?

Audra :

First of all, i wish that everybody could have met my Grams, because she would have changed your world too. And I'm going to give you a visual, because for me to be able to tell you what she said to me, you need the full visual. She was a 5'1", 100-pound, soaking wet little Hispanic woman that would cuss a blue streak, but in Spanish. So it sounded pretty. But she and I'm only 5'4", but I felt like a giant compared to her. I didn't realize I was short until I married my husband, because he's 6'6". That's when I realized, oh, i'm short. But I didn't think, i didn't know that at the time. My Grams would look up at me and point her finger at me and say don't ever, ever let anybody tell you what you're not. You know who you are. Don't let anybody say that you're something different than who you are. That's what she would say, and she would stand there and she would stick her finger in your face And you'd be terrified.

La Wanna :

That's powerful. It's know who you are, own it, and do so unapologetically. And so often as we, as women, we journey through life and we see all these impressions, whether it's social media, magazine, TV, everything telling us what we should be, how we should look, how we should talk, how we should dress, how we should be, And the world is groaning under the weight of that. And Grams got it right. She's saying just be, know who you are, own it, draw that line in the sand. It's like this is me right. And it's so powerful Because when you are you, then your purpose shows up, Then the visions come, Then the opportunities unfold, And it's for such a time as this is women in the arena And you're just scratching the surface. I mean, I'm three years. I remember when you were telling me I'm thinking of doing this. Where is it going to be three years from now?

Audra :

I didn't even know to dream that it would last three years. I didn't even know that. I didn't even know if anybody would listen. And now it's in 70 plus countries What in the world? And it's just because I took a chance And I take one step forward every single day. It literally is just that one step forward, because here's a secret, guys, i don't know what I'm doing, i really don't. I'm learning as I go along, but I take one step forward towards something every single day, so far that something hasn't stared me wrong.

La Wanna :

I have two last questions before we end, and the first is if a woman is interested in being on your show, is there a type of woman or a type of story that you want to feature? And then, secondly, what's next? What can we expect next for women in the arena?

Audra :

Well, in order to get ahold of me, first of all, there's no type of woman, there's no particular story of woman, because I think all of our stories are amazing and remarkable and are worth sharing. The only caveat is are you ready? Are you ready to tell your story? Because this is scary, especially when I just told you that your voice will be heard around the world. So, if you're ready, let's tell your story, because, as I said before, you have to be vulnerable or else this doesn't work. If you're interested, reach out to me. I am on all of the social platforms. You can email me. I mean, reach out to me, talk to me. I talk to every single woman that reaches out to me, every single one. Not all of them are ready to tell their story, but I am willing to listen to every single woman that has been brave enough to connect with me, every single one. And then, as far as what's next, i have big dreams. I have huge dreams. I have zero idea how I'm going to get there, but I have this dream of having an in-person experience. I don't even want to use the word event, because event just sounds so sterile. I want it to be an experience. I want this experience to be one unlike any other that you've ever had before, and I want it to stay with you. I want the experience to haunt you so that you will come back for more. So I have this big, giant dream. I don't know how I'm going to get it done, but I didn't know how I was going to do this either. So who knows? I don't know. We'll see what happens in the next 12 months. You never know.

La Wanna :

You never know And, as Bert Smith-Lynes always says, trust and allow, don't ask how. Audra Egan, it has been an honor and a privilege to be here on your show as the host of Women in the Arena interviewing you and celebrating you for all the amazing things that you're doing. Thank you so very much for having me.

Audra :

Thank you for being willing to be my host today and being willing to put me in the hot seat, which I knew you would. I knew you wouldn't let me off the hook, and thank you for your friendship and your support that you have given me over the last three years, and I can't wait to see what else we're going to do. So thank you for being here, and I want to thank each and every one of you for being such an incredible supportive audience. This simply would not happen without you. So thank you so much for supporting me these three years, and let's see what happens in the next three years. So thank you all so much for being here And I'll see you again next time.

Women in the Arena
Celebrating Freedom
Embracing Authenticity and Change
Lessons From My Grams
Women in the Arena