Week 4 - How to Start Advocating for Yourself (Wendy Noe's Story)
REBECCA: Hey, this is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession host of the BADASS Women's Council Podcast, and CEO of WEthrive. live. So tell me what you're loving about this series, stand tall in your story. Hit me up on any of the social channels. You can find me @ RebeccaFleetwoodHession or at BADASS Women's Council. I would love to hear what you're loving about it. We're in part four of eight in our Stand tall in your stories series, and each week we're featuring a woman from the Rise and thrive Indianapolis experience. This is a seven month experience that culminated into the most beautiful event on March 5th at the cabaret theater in downtown Indianapolis. So here's the premise of the title of this event. When we each courageously stand tall in our own unique story, we encourage others to do the same. It's inspiring, it's encouraging. When we're unwilling to do that or afraid to live out our uniqueness, we get stuck in competition and comparison, which is striving looking for that next achievement that fills us up. And the word striving actually comes from the word strife, which means battle and conflict. So we're always in a battle trying to find that next thing that's going to make us feel better. Another degree, another achievement, another something. Instead, when we look to affirm each other's uniqueness, not to compete and compare, but to stand tall in our authentic unique story, complete with all of our quirkiness, our experiences, our struggles. It's the combination of our unique essence that makes us valuable and relevant. We already have everything we need to thrive instead of strife. So we're each here to stand tall in our story, to serve and connect with others. So over the seven months of Rise and thrive, each of these women were invited to shed some of those expectations that others had put upon them and to learn more about who they are and what they want for their lives. And honestly, the transformation over seven months was magical. And March 5th, 2020 will forever go down as one of the best nights of my life. So when it would be easy to look at 2020 as a dumpster fire for a lot of reasons, I will finally look at 2020 as one of the most beautiful events that I've ever been to. And to say that I was able to host that for these women to tell their stories. That's good stuff. And thanks to our partners at Cantaloupe TV, shout out Jon DiGregory, founder and CEO. We're able to bring you back into that magical night, bring it to you. So you go to standtallinyourstory. live, and you can see the videos and the behind the scenes and really capture some of the magic from that evening. Before we get started with our next speaker, I wanted to let you know if you need a speaker for an event virtual or otherwise, we would love to participate. All of the speakers on the stage from Stand tall in your story, have been coached by a professional speaking coach, Alex Perry of Practically Speaking. You could find their bios in the platform we use for our podcast is, Casted. And it has all of their bios and all of their information, or just message me. And we can talk about who's the best speaker and the best topic for you. And I would always love to come and speak to your group about the power of our stories and the humanity of business. Today's speaker is Wendy Noe. Wendy is the Executive Director of Dove Recovery House For Women, which is in Indianapolis but is working on a statewide initiative because the model that Wendy leads at Dove is saving lives by providing free treatment —yes, you heard that right — free treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. And they're also bringing these women together to live together in community as they go through recovery. And because there's this model at Dove is so unbelievably successful, I think it's an 85% success rate in drug and alcohol recovery, which is unbelievable. They're asking Wendy to take this throughout our state of Indiana. And I totally anticipate that it will be a national initiative at some point. Wendy's just doing amazing things. And this model is so important for a lot of reasons, not just in drug and alcohol recovery, we're wired as humans for community. And especially when we've experienced trauma, we're looking to make changes in our lives. We need a powerful and supportive community around us to make those changes. So this is true in all of our lives, but especially true during trauma addiction and recovery, but take that message of community and make that a part of your life as well. One of the byproducts of a nurturing spirit as Wendy has, we can be so supportive to others, especially as women. We forget to put our oxygen mask on first. Remember airplanes. Remember we used to fly in them and they have that little video that says make sure you put your oxygen mask on first. Well, we don't always do that. And Wendy really learned this lesson. As an advocate for women as her profession, she was losing sight of her own needs. Let's hear her story.
INTRODUCTION: Tonight. I want you to give a really warm welcome to Wendy Noe.
WENDY: So my freshman year of college was a time of self discovery. I was going to college and I was going to be a nurse and I was going to help other people, my entire childhood, I had convinced myself that I was okay with blood and guts and all that came with it. It was very early on in my nursing classes that I realized I was a fricking idiot. I was not okay with blood and guts and all that came with it. At the same time, I was placed in a very, let's say basic English class. It was due to my very hurried attempt to write a very important novel in the English placement class. So I went to the very sweet nun because I went to a Catholic college who was teaching the class and I said, look, I'm clearly in the wrong class. What do you think about moving me to a different class? Well, she did. And by the grace of God and this nun, I was moved to [Galen's 00:08:11] English class. Galen was a bad ass. She was this Southern Belle with bright red lipstick and the sass to match. You knew it was going to be a very good day when Galen walked in with all her lipstick on or makeup, you also knew that when she walked into that class without any of her makeup or lipstick on it, wasn't going to be a fun class. I remember early on, she gave us an assignment and the assignment required us to analyze lyrics or a poem. And I chose the song. What the world needs now is love sweet love from the Forest Gump soundtrack. That paper became a transformative moment for me. Galen saw something in me. She ended up taking me and my paper to a conference made up of other English professors where she presented that paper alongside me. She was a breath of fresh air when I needed it the most. Fast forward several years, I'm young, I'm super into my career, holding onto my passion and that voice. When my oldest daughter was born. Someone that I loved and respected an important woman in my life told me you can't be a good mom and have a career at the same time. Wait, I can't be a mom and have a career. How am I supposed to choose between one of those? And so I didn't, I chose both. Throughout my adult life, I have found that I've become a fixer, always advocating for others, never truly advocating for myself. So much so that I felt like I was losing my breath. I was losing my own oxygen. At the same time, I felt like I had failed my husband. I felt like I had failed my children, my friends, my family, my colleagues. I felt like a fraud. And then it got worse. I remember driving to church one day, my girls in the back seat and I got the call, the call that we all dread. And yet the call that so many of us get. My mother- in- law had just gotten off the phone with her doctor. She had been diagnosed with stage four, ovarian cancer, stage four, ovarian cancer. Let me tell you about this woman. This woman was everything. She was amazing. She was strong. She was resilient. She was stubborn as hell, but she loved us like crazy. She was the absolute best mom, best sister and daughter and friend and grandma that any of us could have ever hoped for. She was always around and she encompassed our entire family with her love and she had stage four cancer. I knew at that moment that that disease was going to take away my person. And I began to suffocate. During that same time, I got a new boss and I was excited. I was ready to be reinspired and reengage and work alongside another woman that shared the same passion as mine, to help other women in our community. And unfortunately that was not the case. She took every opportunity to criticize me. She told me I was no longer allowed to represent the organization in the community. Something that I love to do. And when I asked her, what can I do to improve? She said to me, you can no longer speak publicly on behalf of the organization. And every email that you send from that address has to come through me first for approval. Yeah, that's what I thought. I remember walking into her office. After I found out that my mother in law was not going to survive this horrific disease. And I said to her, "my mother-in-law's going to die." She didn't even look up from her computer. So I thought seeing the good and all, well, maybe she just didn't hear me. And so I said, did you hear me? She looks up at me and she says, "Wendy, I am busy running an organization. We all have something." My breath was gone. I began to suffocate. I had no oxygen left. Throughout my entire career, I've become the fixer, always advocating for others, never advocating for myself, freely giving away my own oxygen, even when I need it the most. And I was not the woman that I was supposed to be. The woman that I wanted to be. I was not the wife or the mom or the friend or the employee or the leader or servant in our community. But she did me a favor. She really did. She forced me to look internally. She forced me to look inside myself and recognize my own skills, my own abilities, my talents, the gifts that I offered. And I did something that I needed to do. Something that I wanted to do. I left. I began to advocate for myself. I began to believe in myself. I began to breathe again. I knew that I no longer wanted to be someone that I couldn't recognize, but I knew that to stop that I had to give myself permission. I had to give myself permission to breathe again. I had to give myself permission to be a priority. I could no longer freely give away all that I had and nothing left for myself. So I began to breathe. I became a good wife, a good mom, a good friend, a good leader. And I became a good advocate. Since leaving that toxic job, I've come to an organization or I have done more than I ever dreamed I could do. I've built a brand. I have raised more money than I ever thought I could raise. And I have accomplished some serious goals, but I've also, I have saved lives. And today I'm worthy. Today, I see myself as others see me. I will continue to advocate for other women who are vulnerable in our community. I will continue to pull them up alongside me and provide a voice for them until they can find their own voice. Today, I will continue to provide them with that compassion, with the community, with the understanding and the love that they so deserve. Today, I breathe. I give them the gift of breathing. I empower them to breathe and become the versions of themselves that they are meant to be. And I encourage you to do the same because when we breathe ourselves, we can help others do the same. Thank you.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Thanks for joining us. You're now a part of our story and we're a part of yours. And when our stories collide, that's the best of humanity. If you're interested in joining a community, we have an experience starting in October in Indianapolis. It's a nine month experience. We're looking for 8 to 10 men and women, and it's called Business is human. And we're going to look at our human needs, the neuroscience of what we need to thrive and how that plugs into our business model. You can go to standtallintheirstory. life, click on the little link that says business is human, and it has some information there. We'll walk through a monthly session that really taps into what we need to thrive. Thanks for joining. We'll be back next week with another speaker and another story. Thanks so much. Make it a great day.
Sometimes we forget to put on our own oxygen mask before helping someone else. We advocate for everyone else before advocating for ourselves. And when we nurture and support others, we sometimes lose sight of our own needs.
In order to thrive, we have to be able to breathe and we have to advocate for ourselves. In this week’s episode, we will listen to Wendy Noe — Executive Director of Dove Recovery House For Women in Indianapolis — as she tells us a story about how she believed in herself and regained her breath. Throughout her adult life, Wendy found herself becoming a fixer. Always advocating for others, and never truly advocating for herself.
When her mother-in-law got diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer, everything changed. When her boss was unsupportive, she decided to leave her toxic work environment and began prioritizing herself. Since then, Wendy Noe has built a strong brand and raised more money than she ever thought she could. Currently, Dove is working on a statewide initiative because of the model Wendy leads at Dove — saving lives by providing free treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. She has become a fierce advocate for other women vulnerable in her own community. This week, you will hear about Wendy realized her own worth and began advocating for herself. When she could breathe, she was able to empower other women around her to breathe as well.
Listen in to learn more about how she recognized her own skills, abilities, talents, and gifts. Hear about how she regained her breath and now empowers other women in her community to breathe as well.
And tune in each week to hear from another speaker about how to stand tall in your story and rise and thrive during these difficult times.
This year, Rebecca has built a similar experience called, “Business is Human,” which is open to both men and women. Right now, she is looking for 4-5 men and 4-5 women join the group for a 9-month experience in Indianapolis. If you are interested in that opportunity, go to standtallinyourstory.live and tell Rebecca a little bit about yourself.
To check out the Stand Tall in Your Story 8-week series, go to standtallinyourstory.live