What is it that empowers you most?
Well as cliché as it sounds, helping people is what empowers me! When I feel like I am making a difference to someone, I feel like I am living my purpose.
What is it that you love most about yourself?
Wow, tough question…I think what I love most is that I find it easy to show genuine care for people. As a public speaker, I travel a lot and meet people from so many places, walks of life, cultures and I find it so easy to connect, no matter where I go. People seem to feel my REAL concern and care for them even though they may be strangers to me. I am drawn to people who can do that and I recognize that ability in myself.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
Well there are several answers to this question. I feel most beautiful when my husband can’t seem to take his eyes off me! We are theater subscribers and we love the Opera and Symphony as well so often have evenings where we dress up, go for dinner and then to an event. These are natural times when many people feel beautiful or handsome. But there are also times when friends or family tell me that they love me, unsolicited and I feel beautiful on the inside.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
My mom. Hands down. The greatest! EVER!....She passed away in 1996 , much too soon…. I have spent my life and will continue to, trying to be more like her! She was beautiful, charming, positive, smart, never bitter (though she had reason!), generous, classy, funny, playful, supportive, accepting of everyone, kind and loving. She is what I want to be when I grow up!
Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Maya Angelou said the most beautiful things that I find myself quoting or reading for inspiration. l often quote this one: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote really epitomizes what I hope to give my audiences, my friends, my family. I realize that every interaction leaves people with an emotional response. I want it to be positive! It’s one of the reasons I have dropped my last name for business purposes and use an exclamation instead (Sylvia!). I want people to feel happy and excited when they say or hear my name because good things are coming!
Another cultural heroine is Mother Teresa, the Saint of the Gutters. Her peacefulness and unending capacity to love is something I admire greatly!
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
How much fun would it be to be Jessica Rabbit! That would be for my frivolous , fun self. My serious self would love to be super girl and save the world, seriously!
What is your biggest life goal?
Again, at the risk of sounding cliché, I want to make a difference.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
The 2 beautiful human beings I call my children. Not that I can take credit for accomplishing them. I gave birth, loved them, taught them what I know and how to be but they have taken it all and run with that! Naturally their father contributed as well. But they are exceptionally lovely people and I know that some of that came from me. I am unbelievably proud of my Nathaniel and Elyssia!
What is your favourite quote?
"There is no greater gift that one human being can give to another than that of understanding." - Rollo May
If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
You deserve the very best in life, NEVER settle for less. You are exactly enough!
What does feminism mean to you?
Literally it means “the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” What it means to me is just really treating everyone as an equal regardless of gender, ability, race, beliefs etc. I surround myself with people that hold the same views so don’t feel the need to use the term feminist. I feel more like a humanist which in my definition is the advocacy of human rights. Sometimes adding “isms” to words leads to reverse discrimination, so I shy away from defining myself or others with these terms. We celebrate different colors and even different genders in the animal kingdom (think of the colors of birds of the same species or the majesty of the male lion with his great mane!) so why not in our species. We shouldn’t have to have a name for it...
Sylvia! is an Activational Speaker and Former Radio Host in Winnipeg, Manitoba