FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2006
100 Dares Every Daring Female Should Attempt at Least Once in Her Life
We're adding to our list of 100 Dares Every Daring Female Should Attempt at Least Once in Her Life - check it out and add your own!

Click here to read the ongoing list.

  posted by Natasha @ 6:44 AM   12 comments  
Inspiring dares
I wanted to share with you this dare that Ginny submitted to be part of our Dare Collage - I found it really fresh, important, and inspiring!

I dare myself to walk 20 miles to raise money for suicide prevention.

Starting place: sugar addicted, overweight and never work out

Mid point: Walk 4 x a week but still love sugar

Finish line: 20 miles on August 12/13 for 'The Overnight'

After reading Ginny's dare, I did a Google search for The Overnight, to find out what it is. Here is the link if you are also curious - what a great cause to support and what a great inspiration to take on this dare!

Thanks for sharing, Ginny, and a copy of the Daring Female book is on its way to you!

  posted by Natasha @ 6:26 AM   7 comments  
  THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 2006
I recently met a very Daring Female named Michelle Quiles, who created and runs I did a phone interview with her the other day that she has made it available as a podcast you can download and listen to, if your heart so desires.

Click here if you'd like to have a listen.

  posted by Natasha @ 11:20 AM   6 comments  
  TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 2006
10 Signs That You Need to Spice Up Your Life
(I am traveling tomorrow, so a double blog post today. Enjoy!)

Top 10 Signs That You Need to Spice Up Your Life

1. The guy at the local grocery store can recite your shopping list
2. Everything you wear always matches
3. Your hair dresser has changed more often than your hair
4. You confuse "chores" with "hobbies"
5. Your girlfriends order for you when you go out - and never get it wrong since it's always the same thing
6. You can't remember the last time you had an absolutely blast
7. Your idea of an adventure is trying out a new ice cream flavor
8. The last time you colored outside the lines was in kindergarten
9. You think that adding more spice to your relationship means putting more cayenne pepper in your chili recipe
10. You are certain that "boring" and "job" are synonyms

Got anything to add? Please do - just post it as a comment!

  posted by Natasha @ 7:46 AM   24 comments  
The art of not cheating yourself
On Sunday mornings I take a 45 minute spinning class. It's a treat to myself - my husband takes our daughter to the playground and I have some time to unwind and get sweaty, really really sweaty. I took up spinning on a dare a few months ago - I was getting bored with my exercise routine and dared myself to try something that I'd always found intimidating. Spinning was it; for years I'd walk by the spinning room at my gym, hear the pumping music, see the sweating, red-faced people working their butts off, and walk away thinking that I can never do that or like it. Well, a dare is a dare - I tried one class, survived it (just barely), took another, and another, and realized that I really liked working out so hard for 45 minutes that I couldn't think about or stress about anything else. It's challenging, but relaxing at the same time.

This past Sunday we had a substitute instructor. She would walk around the class as we were spinning away and come up to each of us individually to ask whether our resistance on the bike was high enough to make us work hard. (Each bike has a knob that adjusts the resistance you feel when you spin - you can have no resistance and then it's like riding your bike downhill, or you can have a ton, and then you feel like you are climbing a steep hill and you have to stand up on the pedals to even turn them.) Everyone controls their own resistance and you can make it as high or low as you like. Our usual instructor just calls out what it should be, but this substitute instructor had what I thought a more interesting approach. She would not adjust it for each of us, but she'd ask if we had the resistance high enough. And then she'd smile and most of the people in the class, including myself, added more resistance and worked harder.

As we climbed our last imaginary hill at the end of the class, most of us were in pain, judging by the faces I saw around me. I can definitely tell you that I was in pain - my legs were burning, my heart was pumping, and I was wondering whether this working harder idea was a good one. And then the instructor said something I loved:

"Hey guys! I know you are tired, I know you are working hard, but think about this: You are not cheating yourself out of a great workout and you should feel really proud of yourself for it!"

How very true. In spinning class and in most other situations in life we have the option of not working or trying as hard as we could. No one has to know if the resistance on your bike is set low or if you've put off writing that book you've always wanted to write. But there is one person who knows - YOU- and only one person you are cheating out of getting a great workout or pursuing a dream - YOU.

  posted by Natasha @ 5:41 AM   12 comments  
  MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2006
Dare Collage
My wonderful webmaster - aka my husband - added some new dares to the Dare Collage and I invite you see it, if you haven't in a while. I continue to be blown away by this amazingly diverse, courageous, creative, gutsy and daring collection and thank all of you for sending in your dares. Keep them coming - I know this collection is inspiring other women to take on their own dares.

(In fact, I was recently at an event where two women came up to me to say that after browsing through the Dare Collage they were both inspired to take on their own dares - one is now training for a 10k race, after not really exercising for years, and the other one is going back to school. Wow, and YOU inspired them with your dares!)

Click here to see the Dare Collage!

  posted by Natasha @ 11:55 AM   35 comments  
  FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2006
My personal Creative Spark for this weekend
This weekend I will go to an art store and buy some big canvases.

I will paint on them, regardless of how tired I might be.

I will have fun doing it, regardless of how great the actual painting comes out!

  posted by Natasha @ 7:07 AM   5 comments  
  THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2006
This week's dare
If you haven't already, check out this week's dare:

Dare to write your Daring Female Proclamation this week!

  posted by Natasha @ 12:55 PM   6 comments  
How do I know what makes me ecstatic?
Yesterday I gave a talk to a group of women scientists at the Brookhaven National Lab. (I was shocked when I was invited - what would a group of brilliant scientists want to learn from me? The jury is out on that, but they did seem to enjoy our time together, or at least no raw eggs flew my way.)

At one point, I was talking about one of my favorite dares, Dare to Find What Makes You Ecstatic and Do It for at Least 10 Minutes a Day, and one of the women asked how does one go about finding what makes them ecstatic if it's not immediately obvious.

Great question.

I think for some of us, the answer is obvious. If you love yoga, gardening, reading, running, painting, or whatever else, you could answer this question in a minute.

But for many of us and perhaps for all of us at certain points in our lives, the answer does not immediately pop into our minds. In that case, we have to go looking for it.

Here are a few things I suggested to the woman yesterday - I'd love to hear if you have any other ideas about finding things and activities that make you ecstatic, so please share!

  • Go to a bookstore and browse around. This is one of my favorite ways to get new ideas for things to do, places to visit, new things to learn. Go to the Crafts section and browse titles there - perhaps something will catch your attention and you'll want to try it out.
  • Take a class. Get the course catalogue from your local YMCA or community college and browse through it. Try to suspend judgment, at least initially, and consider taking a class in something you've never tried before: knitting, ceramics, writing, photography, you name it.
  • Attend a Meetup. Go to and search around for meetings in your area. This organization helps people with similar interests get together - film lovers, stay at home moms, cooking aficionados, etc. The meetings are free and pretty low risk - if you don't like it, you don't have to come back. I find that just looking through the many different types of Meetups gives me ideas for new things to try.
  • Check out It's a fun site where people list all the things they want to do - and a great place to search for ideas for things that might make you ecstatic!

  posted by Natasha @ 7:56 AM   8 comments  
  TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2006
The double shift life
If you've been reading this blog for a while you probably got the hint that I don't love my day job. I know that I've not written about what specifically my day job is and that is due mostly to the fact that I don't want the testosterone suits that I work with to accidentally stumble upon this blog and find out just how much I don't enjoy working with them. Feel free to challenge my logic of how a testosterone suit (i.e. a man) would stumble upon this blog, but I just feel safer keeping the exact nature of my day job a slight mystery. Leaving out specific details, my day job involves investing money in small technology companies.

I don't want to bore you with the reasons for why I don't like it that much - they include the old boys club nature of the industry where I work, the extreme difficulty that a woman (and worse, a young woman) encounters when trying to succeed at this job, the nasty nature of too many testosterone suits that dominate my day-to-day, and so on.

The bottom line is, I don't love it and there are some days when I outright hate it.So you're asking, why don't I quit? The easy answer is that our family needs the income I provide to pay the bills. Valid, right? I've read my share of books whose thesis is basically summed up in the following way: If you don't love your job, quit and find something that you love. Money will follow. I find this type of advice too one-sided and I think for many of us, unrealistic. I can't just walk out and hope to find something I love that will pay the bills. Before we had our beautiful daughter, well, maybe, but not when I have to think of her in addition to myself and my husband.

But the tougher answer to the question of why I don't quit a job I don't love is that I am not sure that I've come up with an idea for a job that I would love. Correct that, I have one: To write more Daring Female books, to speak to Daring Females and inspire them, to create other Daring Female products, and spend my time spreading the Daring Female message and growing the community. But if I were to quit my day job today and follow my Daring Female passion full time, our family would be in trouble. Because a new venture takes time to mature and to generate income. I should know this - I invest in companies like that.

So what's the solution? The best I've been able to come up with so far is to keep working at my day job but to organize my time outside of work in such a way that I can spend some if it each day working on one or another aspect of the Daring Female brand - working on new book ideas, finding new Daring Females to profile, writing the Daring Female blog, marketing the site, and so on. This does not make for a relaxed schedule, I can definitely tell you that. I have almost no downtime to just chill out - between my daughter, my job, and my Daring Female pursuits, I hardly have time to watch a movie with my husband, something we LOVE to do together. But while it's challenging and exhausting it is also enormously energizing to know that I am doing something to get closer to my dream to one day do something I love and make enough money from it to support our family. Sure, I wish it all happened sooner and that the producers of the Oprah show would call and boom! I could quit my day job. But every time I do something to get me closer to my dream, I feel really great and gutsy and empowered because I am taking control of my life vs the other way around.

And so in a very round about way, I guess what I am saying is that if you don't love what you do but you can't just quit and walk out, find some time in your schedule to start taking small steps towards doing something that you do love. Living this double-shift life, as I call it, won't be easy, but you will have a purpose, you will be spending time getting closer to doing something you love full time, and the main thing - you won't just be accepting life as is. Some self-help books and experts recommend this, but I certainly don't.

There is another great benefit to trying out your dream job as a second shift - you get to see if it's actually something that you enjoy. I always thought I wanted to be a writer. Then I started to actually write and try to get published, and believe me, there were many days when I wanted to just give it all up. But this was my true passion and it invigorated me so much that I didn't quit and eventually succeeded in getting my first book deal. But if I didn't truly love the process of writing, I could not have kept going. And then I would have probably turned to the next thing on my Life Wish List and tried to pursue that instead. For many of us, when we try out what we think we want to do, we might realize that it doesn't quite make us as passionate as we thought. And that's a great outcome, because then you can continue to search for something that really does make you ecstatic!

  posted by Natasha @ 7:52 AM   25 comments  
  WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 2006
When you get a minute, check out the newly reorganized Resources section on the website - we've got a new category of Daring Lists, Printouts, and Worksheets that I think you'll enjoy! I'll be adding to it frequently, so keep checking back!

  posted by Natasha @ 6:15 PM   5 comments  
Special days
Tomorrow is my daughter's second birthday.


The last two years have flown by faster than any other time I can remember. I can still feel her in my arms when she weighed 7lbs after just being born. Now I have to make sure I bend my knees when I pick her up so that I don't hurt my back.

In my family we always made a big deal out of my birthday not just for me but for my mom - now that I am a mom, I can see why. Tomorrow is my daughter's special day, but for me, it is even more special.

I've been racing around all week to try and squeeze 4 days of work into 3 so that I can take tomorrow off. I partially succeeded but you know what? The parts that didn't make it will just have to wait becuse tomorrow is my special day and I am going to enjoy it.

The three of us - me, my husband, and our daughter - are going out to get a cupcakes at 9:20 am - the time she was born - and then we are hanging out for a bit together. Then my husband and I are having lunch at our favorite little French bistro to celebrate.

No work, no to dos, nothing other than pure enjoyment and celebration of this special day.

I'll be back on Friday and hope that you will all soon have your own special days to celebrate!

  posted by Natasha @ 6:07 PM   17 comments  
  MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2006
This week's dare
This week's dare was inspired by an article I read in the New York Times about an art festival that Eve Ensler, the author of Vagina Monologues, is hosting in New York City this week. It is dedicated to stopping violence against women and girls and I think that's a heck of a daring way to stand up for something you believe in.

Dare to support a cause you care about!

  posted by Natasha @ 10:41 AM   5 comments  
Featured Daring Female and Daring Circles
I hope you'll take a minute to "virtually" meet Nichelle Stephens, our most recent Featured Daring Female. Nichelle is a blogger, writer, performer, and producer of Chicks and Giggles, a comedy show for women that she founded in New York City. She is also currently working on a book about cupcakes based on a blog she writes with a few friends.

I've added some details and resources for Daring Circles, so please check out the Daring Circles page. You can now print out an introductory flier to give out to your Daring Circle, download a quick fun worksheet to complete as your first Daring Circle exercise, and much more.

It's great to hear about some Daring Circles forming and remember, I am sending a free book to anyone who forms one and writes to tell me about it.

  posted by Natasha @ 6:51 AM   5 comments  
  THURSDAY, JUNE 08, 2006
100 Dares Every Daring Female Should Attempt at Least Once in Her Life
I'm starting a new list with this blog:

100 Dares Every Daring Female Should Attempt
at Least Once in Her Life

I would like your help in building this list - the more Daring Females who contribute their ideas to it, the more powerful, gutsy, honest, fun, unique, exciting, and DARING it will be. I will kick it off and will keep adding to it - but I hope that many of you will contribute!

(It's simple - all you do is add a comment to this blog post or to the future ones where I post this list and I will add your contribution to our list. If you'd like, you can also email me.)

So here goes - and in no particular order :

100 Dares Every Daring Female Should Attempt
at Least Once in Her Life
  1. Travel somewhere alone
  2. Perform in public (speaking, singing, dancing, juggling, fire swallowing)
  3. Conquer a fear (of heights, of public speaking, of being alone)
  4. Make the first move in a relationship
  5. Compete in a race
  6. Write a book (or an essay, article, poem)
  7. Stand up for a cause (start an organization, participate in a rally or a protest)
  8. Quit a boring/dull/unfulfilling job
  9. Become a great dancer
  10. Get in amazing physical shape
  11. Write a note to someone you admire, love, hate, are envious of or inspired by and tell them how you really feel about them
  12. Speak up for yourself
  13. Learn to play an instrument (piano, guitar, violin, flute, kazoo, whatever!)
  14. Be a great friend (to yourself and someone else)
  15. Be a great lover
  16. Pick the thing that scares you the most and do it
  17. Stop in a foreign city that you love and live there (for a couple of months, a year, a life) - find somewhere to live, a job, new friends, a favourite cafe and new confidence
  18. Go to a nude beach, and take off your clothes (for at least 5 minutes!)
  19. Run for public office
  20. Stand up to a bully
  21. Get a daring, funky haircut
  22. Try surfing
  23. Learn to snowboard or downhill ski
  24. Take yourself out for a fabulous solo date
  25. Go skydiving
  26. Wear a bikini and feel fabulous
  27. Eat a whole chilli pepper
  28. Walk barefoot in the rain without a coat or umbrella
  29. Paint a huge canvas and display it in your house
  30. Learn a foreign language

Please join me in creating this list - add your comments to this blog or email me with your suggestions for what should go on it!

  posted by Natasha @ 7:18 AM   146 comments  
  WEDNESDAY, JUNE 07, 2006
This week's dare
I'm really excited about this week's dare and will be taking mine on this afternoon:

Dare to crumble up some excuses this week!

I hope you take it on as well - there is a fun little exercise in it.

(In case you are too busy to read the full dare, just jump to the exercise - click on this link to download our Industrial Strength Excuse Crumbler!)

  posted by Natasha @ 5:52 AM   5 comments  
  MONDAY, JUNE 05, 2006
Belly Dancing
On this dreary Monday - well, it's dreary in NYC, but as far as I am concerned, most Mondays are - I thought of no better way to infuse some energy into our Daring Female community than by sharing this awesome dare sent in by Sheryl.


My DARE is to learn how to belly dance!

As a little bit of background on myself, I am one of the world's biggest klutzes. I literally cannot walk down the hall without tripping over the air, walking into the walls, or falling off my flat shoes. I've learned to laugh at myself (hey, everyone else is laughing, and some of my falls are truly comical).

So when I learned a little over three years ago that the local community center was offering
Beginning Belly Dancing classes, I signed up!

It turns out that, as a belly dancer, I become graceful!! It was one of the most empowering experiences of my life! I learned that not being a tiny petite thing actually works in my favor as a belly dancer, and now I display my larger-size body with pride in short choli tops with lots of my stomach showing! My stomach can do belly rolls, which, by the way, don't show up nearly as well on a skinny woman! In fact, not only did I learn to belly dance, I also discovered that when I dance with a 3 foot, 3 pound sword balanced on my head, I become grace personified! So now I
dance with not only one sword balanced on my head, I've performed solos with two swords.

My goal now is to perform a solo in the October 2006 show with 3 swords (yes, that would be 10 pounds) balanced on my head, including doing floor work and a backbend with ALL THREE SWORDS balanced!!

I have taken the Dare to myself one step further. In addition to overcoming my innate clumsiness and fear of public performing I will begin teaching belly dancing at the same community center where I first started in September!


What an awesome dare - Thanks for sharing, Sheryl, and a Daring Female book is on its way to you! Want to share your own dare? Click here! Check out other dares in the Dare Collage!

  posted by Natasha @ 11:39 AM   16 comments  
  FRIDAY, JUNE 02, 2006
What can dampen a Daring Female's Creativity Spark?
A flooded New York City subway which turns a 20-minute commute into a 2-hour ordeal. Wow. I think I just had the worst subway experience ever and I truly feel like a squeezed wet towel. Even though Fridays are Creativity Spark days here on, the past 2 hours of trying to get home to see my daughter - which I eventually accomplished by leaving the subway and walking in the pouring rain - have drained all spark and creativity out of me.

So instead, please do check out the ever-creative and ever-sparkling Dare Collage - a bunch of new amazing dares were just added and I am sure you can find one to serve as your Creative Spark for the weekend.

I am off to eat some really bad-for-me cupcakes. Nothing like some really bad-for-me food to cure hours spent in a New York City subway.

  posted by Natasha @ 3:14 PM   5 comments  
  THURSDAY, JUNE 01, 2006
A Daring Female Proclamation
I received a wonderful email the other day and I wanted to share it with you. It was from a truly Daring Female and in it, she copied what she posted on her blog after browsing through the Daring Female website. I call it her Daring Female Proclamation and I think it is amazing! Here's what she wrote:


Daring to Live Life

What a wonderful sense of warm came over me today when I realized that I was just NOT living life. At all. I am surviving. I am tolerating. I am

I am 37 years old now. I have a husband, two kids, a cat, a house, a
garden. A LIFE! How dare me NOT to live it?!?


I dare myself to live my life.
I dare myself to grow up.
I dare myself to live without resentment---of myself and others.
I dare myself to get rid of the control others have on my life.

I dare myself to be happy.
I dare myself to feel fulfilled.
I dare myself to be filled with love, fun, friends, family.

I dare myself to be a GREAT wife and mom.
I dare myself to read anything and everything.

I dare myself to allow God's love to be free in my life.
I dare myself to carry the fruits of the Spirit and have others see that.
I dare myself to be a living example of Christ's love and devotion.

I dare myself to exercise and be healthy.
I dare myself to accept the "fluff" I do have though.
I dare to celebrate each minute in life and every person in it.

I dare love myself.


I think every single one of us should write our own Daring Female Proclamation and keep it somewhere where we can't miss it - next to the computer, on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, in our planner, etc. It should be our constant and loud reminder of what we are after in life, of what we want to dare to do, of how fully we want to live.

I am going to work on mine this weekend. I hope many of you will work on yours and please, please, share if you'd like - it would be an incredible inspiration to all of us Daring Females!

  posted by Natasha @ 12:06 PM   9 comments  
This week's Dare!
Better late than ever, right?

Here's this week's dare:

Dare to explore one life detour this week!

It's a very personal dare, actually - well, many of them are - because my husband and I have just begun to explore a life detour of moving out of New York City to somewhere quieter, cheaper, and calmer. It's still a wild and crazy idea - New York is a place I call home in America, and I love it - but since our daughter was born, we find ourselves wanting more space, less noise, and less craziness in our lives. (How this life detour will turn out I have no idea - we might just move to Brooklyn and find quiet there - but it's a big one for us, since we always thought we'd stay here.)

So, what life detour are you exploring or taking? Please share, and help the rest of us Daring Females get motivated to explore our own!

  posted by Natasha @ 6:52 AM   46 comments  

Previous Posts

  • Where has Daring Female gone?

  • Need more hours in a day!

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