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Meet Leanne Tibiatowski of Together We Rise in Ocean Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leanne Tibiatowski.

So, before we jump into specific questions about your business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Professionally speaking, the work that lights me up is when I’m supporting people as they step into living authentically. I’ve had this passion for as long as I can remember… I feel that I’m living my purpose when bringing people together on this path toward personal truth.

It’s powerful to witness what happens when using agreements as a tool for creating safe spaces. People consistently open and connect in simply profound ways, listening and sharing from the heart. Releasing judgement and fear by stepping into trust. Daring to speak truth which leads to increased self-awareness and acceptance. They give and receive, and we create community.

In a culture that is increasingly disconnected and often operating in competition, comparison and exclusion, facilitating supportive “get real” conversations is powerful and liberating. It also helps to expose a common denominator… we all want others to listen to our point of view, to be valued, accepted and loved.

I feel inspired and alive just describing this type of communication because I believe it is through authentic connection that we can tap into happiness, peace and live our best lives.

The path that’s gotten me here has been pretty eclectic, yet each step woven together has prepared me to show up equipped to deliver the work that I love now…

Tell us about your professional development, Leanne.
In 1999 I asked one of my cherished mentors, Melantha Tatum, if she would start a women’s group. I was hungry to learn how to be a stronger more connected and embodied woman. She started the group and it was beautiful.

After the first session, she asked to meet. I thought we were going to discuss the next group session but instead she rocked my world by announcing she would be moving. And, that it was my turn to take over, to step in and lead. I was terrified.

At that time, I wanted to learn how to live my full potential as a woman, how could I possibly help other women?

Little did I know that Melantha was a game-changing catalyst in my life. She was pushing me into the deep end helping me to step into my greatness.

While I’ve had plenty of training over the years providing me with wide variety important tools, it was facilitating those groups that was truly the beginning.

It was also during this time that Together We Rise co-founder, Kali Love and I began offering groups for women and, ultimately men too. We created a year-round community experience that cultivated unparalleled lifelong friendships.

Between then and now I’ve had some amazing professional experiences, each glorious high and each painful low has paved the way for me to show up in more expanded and polished way.

Highlights include:

  • Vision Magazine, a holistic lifestyle print publication where my first articles were published.
  • The Jenna Druck Center, where I was honored to serve for 6 years as Program Director for two social service programs: The Spirit of Leadership, a year-round program bringing teens and women together for conferences, workshops, and summer camp. It was a safe space where both girls and adult mentors stepped into authenticity-based leadership in their own lives and communities. Families Helping Families, a grief and bereavement program with a peer-based model provided support groups, grief education workshops, and an annual family day. Working under the guidance of Dr. Ken Druck, we increased grief literacy and provided a lifeline for those navigating the trauma and pain experienced with the loss of a child or loved one.
  • Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience, as Associate Producer and Director of Content Development. It was an incredible journey to conceptualize and bring to life 5 product cycles attracting hundreds of thousands of participants from around the globe. I worked harder than I ever had learning from Susan McCabe, a true visionary and leader, she let me spread my wings and fly.

Most recently I’ve been self-employed, providing consulting services to non-profits and small businesses in strategic planning, content analysis and assessment, leadership, change management, content and brand development, and marketing.

However, my true passion is Together We Rise. After 18 years on separate paths, Kali Love and I joined forces once again offering events that are safe spaces for women to connect and get real by tapping into a unique community.

Our model is organic, collaborative and aims to be an accessible resource that recognizes and cultivates the strength that comes when we join as diverse people learning and growing together.

This work is not about me or Kali, it’s about the possibility that opens by making space for “we” …

We listen, we learn, we give, we receive.
We network. We share information and resources.
We come together to support, celebrate and elevate each other.
We are intergenerational, and we value diversity.

Our best work is in motion at events when we have a cross section of ages, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and representation of all those who identify as women present. Why? Because together we are stronger and together we rise!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
From the big picture view, the answer is yes. I have been supported in so many ways over the years.

In the day-to-day well, as my incredibly supportive mother describes it, my life has been colorful and non-standard… others might call it a high-speed roller coaster.

For me, it’s been a life of incredible opportunities and experiences with many unexpected and often intense struggles and adversity.

For example, the journey of raising my now 21-year old amazing son Travis as a single mother has been incredible and, down-right challenging. I was determined to be in professional positions that offered flexibility to ensure I was available and involved. It was difficult to make it all happen as the sole provider, yet somehow, I was able to call in work opportunities that I felt made a difference in the world along the way.

I have to say, I’m eternally grateful for my family and friends who supported me along the way, cheering me on in good times and lifting me up during the hard ones. And Travis, well I continue to marvel at the remarkable person he is, he changed my life profoundly.

It’s now in life however, that I would say has been the most difficult passage I’ve experienced in this lifetime. I choose to share courageously here to support the movement that is opening in our nation right now…

Through a series of significant events over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity awaken to and be with the impact of sexual assault I experienced that was kept silent for decades, since my early teens. Yes, #metoo.

Opening this Pandora’s box has been painful, scary, confusing, enlightening and… liberating. I’m still sorting it all out, but my life makes so much more sense as I accept and integrate this awareness. I’ve learned so much about myself, the miraculous ways my body and mind helped me survive, and the resilience that is accessible when I say yes to being with my truth.

It’s no joke being with what is. I’m clear that lovingly being with ALL of it, and giving voice to it all, is the key to pure happiness and possibility.

I’ve chosen to live passionately and follow my heart. I am practicing being 100% me on the daily. I can’t imagine living any other way. Each day I align with my guiding values by opening my heart with authenticity, faith and courage.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Together We Rise is, as I’ve shared, a passion project in its early moments. We offer women’s circles, workshops, networking opportunities and, we are growing a community. While our vision is grand, we are allowing for an organic opening that has started with monthly events where women come together to create an empowered experience in life by sharing, supporting and connecting with each other.

As I mentioned, Together We Rise is intergenerational and we value diversity. We are known for creating a haven for women to be themselves, make new friends and enjoy the magic that happens when we come together.

Currently, we are partnering with the OB Woman’s Club in March and April for a three-part series called “Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever”, all proceeds will be donated to further the important community work of the Woman’s Club.It’s open to the public if you want to experience Together We Rise first hand! Check it out and join us if you can!

What are you known for in your work? Holding space for truth and clarity. Facilitating authentic and brave dialogue. Bringing people together in ways that builds bridges and allows them to shine their light. Creating community. Moving mountains and making things happen!

What were you like growing up?
I believe most would say I was outspoken, insightful, bright, feisty and a bit on the rebellious side. Others might say I was a handful.

While naturally very social, growing up was not easy for me. I often felt awkward, lost and my perception was that I did not fit in. One thing I remember clearly is how much I felt the pain and feelings of others, I think that sensitivity may have been part of what made those young years feel difficult. I just felt so much.

Even as a child I’ve always believed that we deserve to be more connected and supported than our culture teaches us to be… back then this was expressed in the form of rooting for the underdog and being a voice for those who could not find theirs.

The place that always helped me find my center point has been the ocean, it brings me peace. Today I add yoga, dance, and my beautiful dog Shaka to that list.

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