I’ve had my moments where I’ve thought that in order to be successful, I need to act alone. I’m the queen of self-reliance, and I know that I have a hard time asking for help.
However, last January, I heard the impeccable Madame Gandhi speak at an event thrown by WORN. She talked about how “the future is female,” and that she envisions a world that is “linked not ranked.” She talked about how we’ve been taught that self-reliance and pulling yourself up from your bootstraps is the ultimate marker of success, but to actually succeed in this world, we need to embrace a more collaborative spirit (which many would typify as a more feminine vs masculine viewpoint).
A switch flipped in my head. Here I was thinking that I needed to act alone in order to make the best impact, when in actuality it was the opposite. If I work with, everything is more successful.
This spirit of collaboration inspired me to put together a collaborative event. I invited Madame Gandhi to lead a live DJ set while I taught a yoga class. Jessica Guzik took on the role of event planner, Lauren Louise as photographer, and Alex Triana from Dacha lended the venue. We knew we wanted this event to be for charity, and specifically to benefit women. When I learned about Global Fund for Women from my friend Heather, I knew we had the perfect partner.
Global Fund for Women’s vision is that “every woman and girl is strong, safe, powerful, and heard. No exceptions.”
This vision resonated with me because it reflects a collaborative spirit. Being heard necessitates that there’s a listener – there’s a dialogue. That is collaboration. When we are heard – truly heard – that’s when we feel our strongest and most powerful.
The morning of the event, the positive vibes could be felt throughout the building. We moved, we danced, we laughed. It was an amazing day.
I could help but recognize that the success of the day was because of the collaboration of these women coming together, not in spite of it.
A few months later, I got the itch to do it again. I missed the camaraderie and togetherness. With Jess moving to Berlin and Madame Gandhi living in LA, it was time to build new partnership and friendships.
For this second event: we decided on a venue of the beautiful Apollo rooftop. Erica Krauss, their community manager, has made it a priority to bring amazing events to their amazing building and community space. Odetta Hartman, an amazing gift to the DC music scene provided music. Happy Healthy Human and Michelle Tafazoli from Whole Foods DC provided snacks and refreshments. We had a yoga clothing boutique from Ami Dodd of Energie Goods, and Erin Andreani did our photos. Once again, we donated proceeds to Global Fund for Women, with the goal of doubling our impact on this organization.
Truth: I worried. I didn’t know if we could recreate the magic of our first event. And I had some doubts as the date drew closer. But once the party started…voila. Once again we proved that positive energy and collaborative spirit reigns supreme. Odetta wowed us all by playing guitar, violin, and tuning forks through the class, and we shat and chatted long after the class was finished. These photos tell the story better.
All in all, we raised over $1,000 for Global Fund for Women.
How this helps me
For me, it proved the power of collaboration. I realized that self-reliance can sometimes assume scarcity. It’s assuming that having more people will dilute your personal gain. Instead, I found the opposite to be true. As we added more partners, the event only got better.
I’m not sure what form our next music/yoga event will take (soliciting ideas….), but I do know that there will be a rag tag team of awesome women to make it happen.
In the meantime, if you want to donate to Global Fund for Women, show your support here!
Let’s hear from you: do you work solo or in a group? What have been your experiences with group work? Be sure to leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.