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The Defining Power of Story with Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey

“Who you are is exactly what the world needs right now they are starving for models of inspiration. And you will know that you’re on track because every fiber of your being comes fully alive.”

Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey, National Geographic Explorer

In this episode

This special episode of the SheEO.World podcast was recorded at the SheEO Summit March 2021, titled “The Defining Power of Story” with Dr. Elizabeth Lindsay of National Geographic

Dr. Elizabeth Kapuʻuwailani Lindsey is the first Polynesian Explorer and woman Fellow in the history of the National Geographic Society. A cultural anthropologist and award-winning filmmaker, the former Miss Hawaiʻi travels throughout the world as a conservationist of indigenous wisdom and an advocate for social, environmental and cultural justice.

Elizabeth serves on the board of Global Voices for World Pulse connecting women across 190 countries. She has also served on international boards, including the Tibet Fund for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, and worked with the United Nations on behalf of environmental refugees.

Elizabeth discusses:

  • Her story as a National Geographic Explorer and lessons learned from mentors and wayfinders
  • She teaches us how we can use our thoughts influence and direct our destinies
  • How we can learn to stand firmly in our own presence and center
  • The importance of asking ourselves, “What brings me fully alive?”

We invite you to join us as an Activator at SheEO.World.

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Podcast Transcript:

The podcast is being transcribed by Otter.ai. (there may be errors, run-on sentences and misspellings).

Elizabeth Lindsey 0:00
Who you are is exactly what the world needs right now they are starving for models of inspiration. And you will know that you’re on track because every fiber of your being comes fully alive.

Hannah Cree 0:15
Your host for today’s podcast is Hannah. SheEO Venture-in-Residence. Welcome to SheEO.World. This talk was recorded at the SheEO Summit March 2021, titled, The Defining Power of Story with Dr. Elizabeth Lindsay of National Geographic. Learn more about her work at elizabethlindsey.com.

Elizabeth Lindsey 0:37
My name is Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey. I’m a National Geographic Explorer and cultural anthropologist, humanitarian, and I am committed to women’s efforts. The poet Rumi has said, “Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction. Run in that direction.” During these really tumultuous times, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious and even lost. And as a wayfinder, I sometimes feel lost. But what history has shown us is that even during the darkest times, great light follows. It’s like a caterpillar going into a metamorphosis and becoming a butterfly. We are in that moment. And we can define this as our own metamorphosis as our own transformation, as the defining moment of our lives. And this becomes the power of our lives. As I travel throughout the world, I have learned many valuable lessons. But the most important lesson that I have ever learned, I want to share with you. And I will teach you steps on how to apply this. And if you do, it can be a game changer.

But first, let me tell you a story. There was a young girl born to parents of slaves in 1857. As you can imagine, life was very hard for her. And as she grew up, she was not defined. She refused to be defined, in fact, by circumstance. What she saw was that there was a need in her community. And so she filled that need by creating a small and humble line of hair products for African American women. And she believed in this dream, and she believed in herself. And she told a mighty story about who she could be in the world. And in time, Madam CJ Walker became the first female self made millionaire in the United States, not only an African American female, she became the first female self made millionaire in the US. But more importantly than the money, she created resources and became a powerful philanthropist, helping the lives of many. I believe that there is a part of CJ Walker in all of us. What my bio never shows is that I was born in a plantation hospital. I was born without a lot, my parents were teachers, they worked very hard, but we didn’t have any social or economic advantage. We lived on the far side of the island of Oahu, on the opposite side of Honolulu. And as a little girl, I would go into the big city thinking it was more than I could imagine. This little town could hardly have dreamed that someday, myself included, could hardly have dreamed that someday, I would become a National Geographic Explorer that I would travel the world again and again and again. That my mission would become to elevate the voices and visions of people, particularly women and children, because I know that when their visions are embolden and when their voices are empowered, it will transform the world. And I want to support your visions and your voices by doing the same thing.

So let me tell you about this important lesson that I have applied from these cultures. These cultures of wayfinders. My mentor was a wayfinder that could sail on a canoe thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean without the use of maps or instruments. And yet he could find his way to these small little islands. On the surface. It looked like, to an untrained eye, that he was sailing toward an island. But in his mind, the vision of the island was so strong, that what he was actually doing was harnessing this power of his mind and calling the island to him. Quantum physicists are only now discovering what these ancient cultures have always known. That we are all made up of atoms, we know that, but only 0.1 percent of that is matter. 99.9% of that is what scientists call empty space. And what does that mean to us? And why does this matter? Because our thoughts influence and direct the way our destinies will unfold. We are creating from moment to moment, the course of our lives. This empty space is not just empty space, but pure potentiality. And what that means for you is like the wayfinders, the navigators, the sea nomads, the Qigong masters that I have lived among who all use the same principles, is you can create the life of your visions, if your visions are clear, and unstoppable. You are capable of this. What these elders will always say is that they have no special gifts that you do not have. They don’t have any capabilities greater than what you do. There’s a level playing ground here. All you have to do is apply this practice consistently. And it’s very simple. So let me share it with you. Now. It only takes three to five seconds, and everybody has three to five seconds. So I want you to close your eyes. Plant your feet firmly on the ground. And as you inhale, and exhale, let go of all of your ideas, your thoughts, your plans, your identity of who you are. Your biases, your prejudices, your preferences, let them all go. Drop everything you know yourself to be and set yourself free.

Now you can open your eyes. It can be that simple. That done consistently throughout the day, just take a few seconds throughout your day as frequently as you remember. And what you are doing is resetting your field. What you are doing these elders say is strengthening the muscle that will access your deepest knowing because it is from this internal compass that will never lead you astray. It will always be the most accurate. We live in a society where we’re constantly looking outside ourselves for answers, when in fact the answers that we seek are already within us. Everything we want to know is there. But we need to hone this muscle. And I assure you that from this state, you will grow in your clarity and your confidence. And you will stand in the world with authority in the presence and center of who you are. And who you are is exactly what the world needs right now. They are starving for models of inspiration. And you will know that you’re on track because every fiber of your being comes fully alive. It’s like Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask the world what it needs. Ask what brings you fully alive and do that.” Because what the world needs is for more people to be fully alive. And this is how we practice radical generosity. Because as we transform our lives in this way, as we rise to the occasion that the world needs, we transformed the world.

And so in closing, I want you to know that the more that—we are living during a period of a pandemic and financial insecurity, and while some people may choose to retreat and hide out and hunker down, I would encourage you instead to rise up and be bold and brave and we will be bold and brave together. Because as we do, we invite more people to play bigger than they feel that they are. We live in a world where the elders and the wayfinder said, when they are sailing through intensely difficult conditions of storms, they say do not pray for fair weather, because fair weather will not make you a master. You pray for courage, and you’ll be brave, because that is what the crew needs. Well, this world is our canoe, and we’re all in this together. Collaboration strengthens us, competition weakens us, I want you to know that I am here for you in every way. My social media contacts will be posted for you. I want you to DM me on my Instagram so that I can know how I can support your journey, how I can be there for you. I want to hear about your journey. And what makes you strong and what makes you brave. And want to hear about how you’ve applied this. Remember Rumi said, and I believe, “Your heart knows the way. So now run in that direction.” Thank you.

Hannah Cree 11:14
This talk was recorded at the SheEO Summit March 2021, titled, The Defining Power of Story with Dr. Elizabeth Lindsay of National Geographic. Learn more about her work at elizabethlindsey.com. Thank you for listening to the SheEO.World podcast. Like, comment, subscribe, and share this podcast with your friends. We invite you to join a global community of radically generous women at SheEO.World.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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