From pain to power: if you’ve felt triggered, you’re not alone


lisa fabrega

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It was no accident that we were all gathering to mastermind on the island of Santorini on the very weekend a man accused of sexual assault was being confirmed to the Supreme Court.

My clients were all abuzz about it. Even the ones who don’t live in the US. Womxn from across the globe were watching this situation with baited breath.

And yet, I knew deep down in my soul, that this was perfect — that we were gathering during this very tense time for womxn in the US and the world. I had been seeing all the pain and rage it brought up in most of us over the last several weeks. I could feel my own fatigue and exhaustion. A feeling of having to experience a centuries old trauma all over again in my bones.

It was so perfect we were here in Santorini. The birthplace of the Goddesses Artemis and Athena. The warrior goddesses who represented a balance of masculine and feminine energies in one body. Greece. The birthplace of “knowledge”. And a land filled with ruins of old cities and ways of life. The landscape itself spoke to what is happening in our world and reminded us constantly of the old ways that must die…

The suppression of feminine energy is finally starting to reach its boiling point. The Dalai Lama himself has said that the western womxn is going to change the world.  

Movements like #metoo and #whyididntreport borne from incidents like the Kavanaugh appointment are shaking the world to its core. White womxn leaders all around me are finally waking up to their own privileges and the struggles of womxn of color. I know because they text me all the time asking, “how can I help?”

And we are all, men and womxn, realizing that the old “patriarchal” way of viewing, thinking, and being in the world is on its last death throes. Patriarchy places men above womxn. Masculine above feminine. It values win/lose dynamics (where the loser ends up under the thumb of the winner). It values the rational, logical approach to everything. It is concerned with strategies and blueprints over soul and emotional wisdom. It is obsessed with achievements instead of fulfillment.

But this isn’t working for us anymore. We can see the evidence of this system breaking down and becoming ruins right before our eyes. We can’t only focus on profits while people starve or have their rights taken away. We can’t obsess about strategies until the heart and soul of our work is strangled. What good is a perfectly running “machine” of a business if it has no soul or we feel like something is missing?

Over the last 9 years, womxn leaders have been coming to my masterminds and 1:1 programs with these very conundrums. We’ve dug deep to find all the parts of them that still believe all the “lies” about themselves that society taught them. Lies that hold them back ever so slightly, from making that profound impact they feel called to make.

Womxn leaders who have successful businesses, who’ve achieved the profit margins, the recognition they craved… and then wonder “now what? What am I leaving behind in this world beyond achieving my own personal financial and business goals?”

We didn’t get into this just to make money. We got into this to change the world. And we actually meant it. We didn’t just use that as a cute catch phrase.

Changing the world around us, leaving a legacy long after we are gone — it looks different for every womxn. But it starts with the work we do on ourselves. The inner leadership work.

We can’t expect ourselves to show up and change a world where Kavanaugh isn’t stopped from being on the highest court in the US, if we haven’t done the internal work to show up as powerful, clear, and aligned examples of right leadership.

We can’t expect to be agents of allowing the patriarchy to die if we haven’t done the work to clear out all those damaging dynamics within ourselves.

So, I opened up the discussion with the womxn in my Empress Circle mastermind that third day in Santorini with this question: “what is the opposite of patriarchy?”

I saw blank faces staring back at me. I knew this was a hard question. I didn’t know the answer myself before I began learning about it.

I continued, “Contrary to what you might think, it’s not matriarchy. I have seen matriarchal societies in the country I grew up in and they were not always the most empowering for womxn and men, either.”

The room was buzzing now with the question. If it’s not matriarchy, then what might it be?

You see, I don’t believe the solution to a binary system is to swing to the other side of the binary. Human beings are so much more vast and diverse than “either, or”.  

What if the solution is to do something totally different? As womxn in positions of influence and leadership, we can use our power and influence to create this new system our world needs so badly.

I continued to teach, “the opposite of patriarchy or matriarchy is synarchy.”

Now I could hear the fierce and successful womxn in the room scribbling furiously into their notebooks.  

“In synarchy, the community elects an authority figure to lead, and the leader reflects the will of her/his community. The leader is constantly aware that her/his duty is to listen, commune with and listen to the community, and create harmonic solutions that reflect the will and desires of all community members. Not to impose her/his will upon everyone whether they like it or not.

It is a **synchronistic** relationship where leader and community constantly loop feedback to each other. Both the leader and the community do the work on themselves to clear their own biases and show up with the joint commitment that what is decided as best for the community is actually the best, and not just the interests of a few who placed themselves in power.

The leader is deeply energetically in sync with the community who placed her/him there and is always tapping in.  

How can we apply this to our own businesses and to the way we are showing up as leaders? Let’s talk about what we want to create as a collective of leaders around this.”

Now I could see excitement on the womxn’s faces.  

This is similar to what I teach when I talk about the Empress archetype in my work with leaders. The Empress knows how to empty her agendas and instead tap into what is most needed in the environment around her and channel THAT into the environment. Not her personal agendas.

When I found this word “synarchy”, I loved this definition of the opposite of patriarchy (which is toxic and so very clearly does not work for our world/men/womxn anymore, and is falling apart).

The idea of being in sync with our world, our communities, and it being a constant loop of feedback that shapes what we are creating as leaders — that’s revolutionary when it comes to what we see all around us. Instead of being obsessed with “crushing”, “dominating”, and “profit first”.

Why can’t we have both? Why can’t we have amazing wealth AND be contributing to the world around us in a way that lifts it up? Why can’t we have profound influence and use that influence to create a better world? It doesn’t have to be one or the other, as our patriarchal world would have you believe.

This idea of combining both masculine and feminine energies within a leader. Using soul and strategy (but understanding always that Soul must be in the driver seat). Encouraging the development of inner strength and emotional maturity in business just as much as we encourage blueprints and benchmarks. These things are actually still rare when it comes to business.

How many programs out there do you see offering “how to” and “step by step blueprints”? Tons. Yet how many programs and coaches do you see talking about INTERNAL leadership work, depth, and learning how to let your soul lead in business? Very few.

No one wants to believe that doing deep work, looking within, learning how to strengthen our inner core as leaders and rooting out all the bits that are leftovers of a badly functioning system… well, no one wants to believe THAT could be the secret to higher revenues, more aligned wealth, and MUCH bigger impact.

Hint: it is. This is the business I have had for 9 years and the world I’ve been doing with womxn leaders. These womxn come to me having great success and influence, and when they do the inner leadership work of the Empress, find they triple everything in their lives and businesses (including profits), WHILE leaving a legacy and showing up as leaders they can be proud of.

We dance around the inner work, or leave it “for later”, because we want the “quick fix” of avoiding doing that work, and instead hire another business strategist that will help us implement the perfect funnel.  

Or we think we can hire someone for a “one off” and in only one hour somehow align ourselves spiritually, emotionally, and mentally… then go back to the old way of obsessing over strategies and profits.

And then when things happen in our personal lives that can throw our business off we don’t have the internal, emotional, & spiritual tools to handle it. One rogue team member can throw off our internal peace for weeks. We stay up stressing about profits every night until we develop adrenal fatigue.

Or we see situations where we can influence more positive dynamics as leaders and yet we freeze. Because we haven’t done the internal leadership work to be equipped to deal with the larger problems we face as leaders in the world.

How can we expect to change the word if we don’t have the internal strength to do so? If we don’t know what world we want to create as womxn with power and influence that we can use for good?

Why would I teach about patriarchy and synarchy in my mastermind? It’s not something you find in standard masterminds for successful leaders, which are usually focused on revenue and making life more efficient.

The answer to the question is: because the Empress Circle is about how womxn leaders are here to change the world. And we need to know WHAT it is we want to create and change in the world in order to do that most effectively.

I do believe the Dalai Lama when he says the western womxn will change the world and usher it into its next evolution.

I happen to work with a lot of western world womxn. And so we gather and we talk not just about our businesses, increasing profits, and personal challenges, but we also talk about the greater vision of what we want to create as a collective of womxn leaders who are becoming more powerful, more influential, and more wealthy.

What will we do with the power we gain through strengthening our inner core in this work I do with them?

What will we do with the wealth we build as a result of the inner work we are doing?

What will we do with the increased visibility and influence they gain as a result of the work we do together?

Where is this all leading?

It’s not just about more money — it’s about more IMPACT. What kind of a world are you leaving behind? What world did you contribute to? Patriarchy? Or something new that uplifts more humans?

Take it from someone who has achieved big dreams, financially and career wise — none of that means anything after a while. It’s essentially empty.

What keeps you going is your legacy — what are you going to leave behind in the world? What kind of an impact will you have made?

Just to create more rich coaches? And then what?

You need something greater and deeper to keep your fire burning through the tribulations of building a high impact business.

So that’s the question I leave you with today. Journal on it and think about it.

And for those asking, yes I am opening up enrollment soon for my 2019 Empress Circle mastermind.

If you’re a womxn in a successful career or business and want to be in a mastermind with other high performers like you not just wildly increasing your profit margins, your legacy, and your impact, but also are craving deeper more meaningful conversations about how you’re going to TRULY change the world, this is where it happens.

And I’m told by my successful clients and alumni of this mastermind who have been to all the popular masterminds out there that there is truly nothing like this mastermind.

Email us at if you want to be put on the waitlist and we will send you an application before we open it up to the world at large. 💜

With love,






P.S: Did this resonate with you? If so, let me know in the comments below.