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Passion into Action and Reinette Senum

“I have great appreciation and understanding that passion is like a deep belly laugh or a good yawn.
It’s very contagious.”
Reinette Senum

Reinette Senum is a green pioneer of the 21st century. Having traveled throughout fifty countries, climbing mountains and being the first woman to cross Alaska solo on skis, Reinette is no stranger to risk taking adventures. It’s surprising then that one of her greatest challenges is taking place back where she started, her hometown of Nevada City, CA.

See Jane Do had the privilege and pleasure of following Reinette over the year; participating in the community congress she initiated in order to create one of the greenest small towns in America, celebrating her success as mayor, traveling with her to the Sierras and observing the development of the APPLE Center for Sustainable Living.

Despite her independence Reinette realizes that the way to forge the new frontier is to rely on interdependence and community. Through this revelation she has accomplished a tremendous amount in a short amount of time.

You’ll have the opportunity to hear Reinette’s incredible story and learn tips, tools and strategies from the edge in her workshop, Women Don’t Build Canoes at the See Jane Do Passion into Action Conference in the Leading Your Life track. Of course there is a wonderful story connected to the title but you’ll have to participate in her workshop to get the full scoop.

Reinette shares where her passion stems from and how dissatisfaction led her to making a difference and becoming a leader in her community.

What do you love most about the work you are doing?

It’s very intuitive-based. I love the combination of tapping into the needs of my community as they arise as well as those of the planet, and collectively working with people I deeply admire and respect to create local solutions.

Most importantly, there is room in this line of work to be silly and playful.

What were the motivating factors that inspired you to get involved and share your passion?

I got fed up — but not until my thirties. Over the course of my life I became conscious of a growing dissatisfaction, frustration and anger over the direction our country and our leaders have and continue to take us. I decided to sublimate the oodles of frustration and put it to good use.

In 2004, after I educated myself on the theory of Peak Oil, I had my first internal paradigm shift. This altered the perception I held of our world and my place in it. After absorbing the reality of Peak Oil, my initial instinct to take on a global issue, such as our world’s oil addiction, seemed a tad-bit daunting. I kept thinking of my miniscule self on this vast planet with a world population of nearly 7 billion people, and I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What could one person possibly do?”

It was not until I read the book the Tipping Point, and after doing a simple math equation, that I realized that all I needed to do was create the world I wish to see in my very own backyard. Tipping Point author, Malcolm Gladwell, highlighted that by reaching just 15 to 20 percent of a population “the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable” is possible. With Nevada City having a population of only 3,000 people, that meant only 450 people, effectively, needed to be reached.

Now, this seemed doable.

Who were the some female role models or mentors that inspired your work and passion?

As a child and teenage I was enthralled with the likes of aviator; Amelia Earhart, astronaut; Sally Ride, feminist; Gloria Steinem, and the Bionic Woman. At age 10, I became an official card carrying member of the Bionic Woman Club. It was the only club I was willing to join at the time. As a teenager, Erma Bombeck was as deep as I wanted to go in the literary world. To my literary teacher’s dismay, Mrs. Mc Fadden, I choose Erma as the subject of my senior report.

Most notably, however, my mother was my ultimate mentor having the most everlasting impact upon my life.

Why is the work you are doing so important for everyday women?

I don’t believe in the word “no.”

Why is it so important for women to participate in an event like the Passion into Action Conference?

Not to sound ‘60’s… but we’re all sistas, here.

What are you hoping will be the biggest take-away for women at the Passion into Action Conference?

I just recently came across a quote from the author of “Conversations with God,” Neale Donald Walsch, and these words completely resonated with me. “The more you are, the more you can become, and the more you can become, the more you can yet be. The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be.”

Now is the time to become.

Until women are recognized, educated and paid at the same level as men, the planet will be in peril. Until women are fully represented throughout government, education, and the business sector the massive inequities will continue. No one is going to do this for us. We must find our own way and support one another in doing so.

Most women today are yearning for and sensing this “calling” from our planet. By utilizing animated story telling, humor and stories from the edge, I will share tips and strategies to assist women in navigating the fast changing waters of our times. Sharing tools I have learned along the way — tools good enough to build a canoe.

What is your message to women around the world?

It’s time, ladies.

The See Jane Do Passion into Action Conference takes place on Sat. January 23rd, 2010 at the Holiday Inn in Grass Valley, CA. The event includes keynote speakers, Nina Simons, Gloria Feldt, and Linda Tarr-Whelan plus over fifteen workshop leaders. For tickets go to www.seejanedo.com or Briar Patch Co-op in Grass Valley.

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