3 Ways To Sustain Your Inner Chispa

I work with an amazing organization called Starfish Impact, which aims to create global gender equality by offering educational and leadership opportunities to indigenous girls in Guatemala. Run for and by the indigenous community, Starfish is the epitome of #ChangeIsAWeThing – using collaboration, community resources, and innovative empowerment strategies to lay a sturdy foundation for tomorrow’s leaders.


One of the best benefits of working with an organization like Starfish is absorbing new insights and wisdom from the people I collaborate with. This held true while on my most recent trip to Guatemala, when I learned a new word, “chispa” which means, “spark.”


The world changers I know in my life (many of whom I’m now interviewing for my podcast Talk to Jess: Conversations with Today’s Thinkers, Movers, and Shapers) all share a similar Chispa. They are all lit up by helping others become their best. Whether they run an organization that encourages girls to lead, or help women look deeper within to find their sense of purpose, or lead a start up innovating technology, the people I most admire are constantly in service to and protecting that spark.


Have you found your Chispa yet? If not, don’t worry. Here are three things to get you started!


  1. Follow the Fire:
    You know that fire in the belly you get from connecting with someone fabulous, from reading a juicy piece of poetry, or waking up in the middle of the night from an inspiring dream? Listen, learn, and follow that fire. When you are excited, curious, intrigued – that’s a good sign you are connecting to your spark.
  1. Stay Curious:
    Now, once something lights your Chispa, explore it. Contemplate it. Act on it. Rather than shy away from something new and unfamiliar stirring within you, let it guide you in creating something new – perhaps a book or a business or a healthy lifestyle change. Curiosity is a key ingredient for self-discovery.
  1. Trust in Timing:
    If you’re not feeling a spark all the time, relax – it’s normal. We can’t glow 24/7 – trust in the timing of your ignition, nurture yourself with good care, slow down, dig deep, and know that in any moment – bam! That spark could hit. And you’ll be ready when it does.



Jess’ Bookshelf: All the Single Ladies

In honor of Independence Day, let’s put our attention on the largest growing demographic of women who are poised to change our world – Single Ladies!


If you let mainstream media and advertising paint the picture of single women – they are usually lovelorn, seeking marriage or partnership and generally feeling incomplete about their lives.


But cue reality: today’s single women are more satisfied personally, professionally driven, and delaying decisions like marriage and children until, when or if they are ready.


They are seeking a life that unites their value system with their circumstance. Many are single by choice, choosing powerfully to re write their own family legacies, expectations and societal impositions.


Oh, and in case you aren’t convinced yet – Single Women are also basically going to decide our next President.


In 2012 single women were 23% of the vote for Barack Obama and a major player when it came to getting Obama re-elected! Think about that for a second, in 2012 single women made up almost an entire QUARTER of votes in the United States.


If you haven’t picked up Rebecca Traister’s new book – please do. It was this descriptive sentence that made me click “Buy” on Amazon Prime:


“All the Single Ladies” is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the single American woman.


Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, “All the Single Ladies” is destined to be a classic work of social history and journalism.


And you can catch more of Rebecca’s incredible insights here: