She Made Her Journey Her Life’s Work

Dear Friends,
I have had the joy of working alongside of the beautiful speaker and author Cortney McDermott over the last 6 months and this is one woman that lives what she stands for.
In the past 6 months she has taken a rough manuscript and brought it to life in the beautiful book, Change Starts Within You. Cortney has had the honour of speaking about her concept of sustainability at Ted x in Padova and inspiring some of the world’s biggest companies with her vision, all with the ease and joy she brings to daily life and encourages others to do so.
Cortney has developed a unique view on sustainability and it has become her life’s work and I thought it would be fabulous to share a little more of her story with you..
Over to Cortney..
cortney mcdermott, ted x, motivational speaker, inspiration, girl boss, creative coach, carla coulson

You have developed a unique concept on sustainability and that true sustainability can only happen if we start with ourselves. Can you tell us a little bit about how this came about?

When we think about “sustainability,” most of us think about cutting emissions or reducing our waste. And while those things absolutely do matter, that macro view has made our micro solution invisible. WE are the missing variable in that equation — it’s the health of each individual cell that supports and sustains the health of the body.

So now I define sustainability as the ability to sustain YOURSELF. My theory is really simple: If you’re feeling good and operating from a place of self-love and confidence, you are doing the most important work and making the highest possible contribution you can in this moment.

When you look back on your journey from high powered corporate executive to trusting your intuition to follow a different path, were there any particular moments that stood out as turning points or clear indicators to move in a new direction?

Absolutely. In my TEDx Talk I offer one story of my daughter blocking my Blackberry right before a business trip. Given the time constraints of a TED Talk, I don’t go into the story much there, but it was a real cold-shower moment for me.

Here I was leaving for 5 days, and I was so worried about reconnecting to that device that I was missing the most important connection and leadership opportunity of that moment — how I was showing up (or not) for my daughter and my husband. It was only a few hours later, sitting quietly (because I didn’t have the distraction of my Blackberry) that I realised how silly it all was… how removed from what truly mattered.

I went on to smack straight into similar walls a number of times before I inevitably had to face the hard questions: Whose script is this? What’s important to YOU? What would it look and feel like if you started moving toward what’s calling from that deeper place?

The answers are now my life’s work.

You have just published your first book Change Starts Within You, what is the message of the book and who will it help?

Change Starts Within You is about unlocking the confidence to lead with intuition. It’s about what happens when we surrender, even ever so slightly, to our Soul’s vision for us. I wrote this book for that earlier version of myself who needed it desperately and for all the women (and men) who are ready to step into what feels right for them.

You now speak with large corporations on true sustainability and have recently spoken at TED X in Padova on this subject what is the reaction when you tell them their greatest resource is their people? 

Innovative companies and rising entrepreneurs are ready for this truth. These leaders recognise what I mentioned earlier — that it’s the health of each individual cell that supports and sustains the health of the body. So their people have to be getting the basics — sound sleep, whole foods, etc… AND the more advanced stuff — a clear and simple understanding of their core values, a vision they want to live into, …essentially the foundations of your work, Carla.

cortney mcdermott, ted x, motivational speaker, inspiration, girl boss, creative coach, carla coulson

If someone is reading this who is stuck in a life that feels wrong but they don’t know how to change, what would be the first step you would recommend to start on the path of following your intuition?

Get quiet. This is simple, but not always easy. In a world in which we’re exposed to so much noise and constantly being presented with another1-2-3 solution to our problems, it’s hard to know where to turn. But really there’s only one place to turn: WITHIN.

Even just taking 3-5 minutes each day to turn off all your devices and simply sit quietly, bringing your attention to your breath can radically alter your ability to receive those intuitive insights and act upon them.

Have there been any big life lessons you have learned living in Italy? 

Yes! The first is that we can slow down. A lot of my work is actually a tribute to la dolce vita. Living in Italy also exposes you to so much beauty. Everywhere you look — from the language to the art and architecture to the expressions of fashion and food — Italy stuns you with its beauty. And that serves as a constant reminder to relax and enjoy.

How can we pass on and teach this knowledge to our children so they become more intuitive souls?

By living it. All the great spiritual traditions remind us to be the example we want to see. So just being real honest with ourselves about whether we’re showing up in ways we’d like our children to emulate is a powerful first step.

Anything else you would like to add?

On the back cover of my book it reads, “YOU are the answer you are seeking.” If you sit with that notion for even a few moments, you will recognise its truth.