#We Elevate Together

Women Elevating Women

“Get together with other women and decide to nurture and elevate the women around you.”

Maria Paterakis: #WeElevateTogether:

It’s change the culture amongst women, it’s time to act TO-GET-HER, the positive uplifting way of truly seeing her and understanding her.

#WeElevateTogether Summary

One of the things the #metoo movement highlighted is that when women come TOGETHER, we can really change things. So, why do we still have a pervasive culture of bullying amongst women…. starting in the playground, continuing into the workplace and turning up at our family gatherings?

The #WeElecvateTogether campaign is to spotlight the dynamics amongst women that no longer serve us or humanity. We strongly believe that unless we as women create a foundation of RESPECT for each other, we are at risk of railroading our equality with men. We want to be clear that we are not blaming women. We are seeking a conversation on this topic. We are seeking an increase in consciousness amongst women.

We are seeking an honest conversation about how toxic our relationships can be and what we can do to change them. We all have a part to play.

Let’s look at the two ways women come TOGETHER……or TO-GET-HER.
When we are at our worst, we are competitive, judgemental, bullying, belittling, shaming, jealous etc. So much of this comes from a unconscious or conscious belief that we are not “enough”. This is when we are out
TO-GET-HER and bring her down.

We all have the capacity to be a bully, so we do not want to demonise the women who are bullying, but rather extending a hand of understanding and an opportunity to create solutions together. We want strong female leadership at every level…in schools, workplaces, boards, communities, government.

When we act TOGETHER, we elevate each other.

At our best, the light side of our femaleness is loving, uplifting, nurturing, compassionate and understanding. We don’t feel threatened by other women because we have an internal strength and belief in ourselves. We know we are enough. We see the light in others and recognise their pain and fear with compassion. We know we don’t have to be friends with, or like every woman we meet. We can, however, respect her and where she is at in her life. None of this is weakness, but rather strength.

This is when we want TO-GET-HER, let her know we understand her, we forgive her, and we elevate her. The reality is that in order TO-GET-HER you have to get you first. This is an inside job, and it always will be for every person on the planet.

Equality and respect amongst women, supports the movement for equality with men. We believe it has the power to change our relationships with our children, with our partners, with our colleagues and impact positively on the world.

If you want to change the culture amongst women, it’s time to act TO-GET-HER, the positive uplifting way of truly seeing her and understanding her. Decide to become conscious of your thoughts and actions towards other women. Next time you see bullying going on amongst women, step up and don’t turn a blind eye. Get together with other women and decide to nurture and elevate the women around you.

Join us in making a statement about it. Tell your story on social media…it can be about you bullying or about you being bullied.
Add #WeElevateTogether at the beginning of your story.
If you want to support other women, comment and share with #WeElevateTogether.

For more information click here for Maria’s blog on the subject

Maria’s Earlier Appearance on Live Love By Design TV:

Maria’s Contact Details:

Email: maria@retiringwithjoy.com

Join The #WeElevateTogether Campaign

Join this groundbreaking campaign and receive first hand all the updates about this challenge and others to come..

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Maria Paterakis: Live Love By Design Complete Guest Profile

Maria Paterakis was born and raised in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

She is the oldest of three sisters, to migrant parents from Greece. Her parents are about to have their 46th wedding anniversary. She lived in a very social and giving household….very traditional in a sense that dad went to work and mum stayed home. Her father was the patriarch of his extended family in Australia. Her mother was the rock that not only held her family together, but extended family too. Her mother was the go-to problem solver of her friendship network. Her father was part of a successful business and her mother worked from home, using her seamstress training from Greece. Neither of her parents finished school, and this drove them to instil the importance of education in their daughters. Their age gap of 16 years also had a profound impact on the family dynamic. These two factors together moulded Maria about what was possible if you were determined, and that age and education did not determine your future outcomes.

Growing up Maria was passionate about music and dance, but her parents desire for a formal education meant they never encouraged and nurtured that in her. Despite the fact Maria was bullied for most of her years at school, she was always social and had many friends. She loved connecting with others. She decided before leaving school that she wanted to study psychology, but convincing her loving and protective parents to send her to South Australia for university was no small feat. After completing a Bachelor in Science at Flinders University, majoring in Psychology, she went on to complete postgraduate studies in counselling psychology.

Maria has had a varied career…working as a youth worker, school counsellor, welfare worker, ministerial advisor in politics, policy maker, community engagement officer, and general counsellor. One of the things she is most proud of is being the project officer on the development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Framework for Queensland Health.

All of this has led her to her current endeavours, starting her own counselling business, Retiring With Joy, which includes fulfilling her social and theatrical side by hosting and producing Retiring With Joy TV.

Maria is proud to leave behind two legacies…one personal and one business. That her children know that they have parents that love what they do. The other is to create a world where women are elevated and empowered. Where women support each other, rather than compete, judge and tear each other down….and is one of the cornerstones of her business.

Maria moved with her family to the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia 3.5 years ago. She lives with her FIFO husband and 2 children, a son aged three and a daughter seven years old. Retiring With Joy evolved over the past 2 years, and she now delivers support to women face to face and online.

0:14 hello and welcome to another episode of live life by design TV
0:19 I’m Karen Chaston and today I have a returning guest Maria Paterakis who we
0:25 met earlier on oh probably about four or five weeks ago but today we’re going
0:31 to be talking about a campaign that Maria has actually started and it’s
0:37 called #We Elevate Together so Maria welcome hello hello I’m so
0:46 excited to be here again and I’m so excited to be talking about this with
0:49 you because it is what sparked our interest in each other isn’t it it
0:54 totally is the first time we met for some reason you ran this idea past me I
1:00 don’t know what it was about me I guess you probably thought yes she will get
1:04 what I’m on about and I totally do and I totally love everything about it so just
1:10 briefly explain what we elevate together is all about ok so as women we can
1:19 sometimes be very unkind to each other and that’s putting it nicely that’s putting it
1:25 nicely our relationships can be quite toxic if we were going to be really
1:30 honest and I like many other women out there was bullied in the playground by
1:36 other girls and that kind of set a course for me in a way where I that
1:41 continued all through my working life and that’s not to say that some of the
1:47 women that bullied me didn’t bully men as well but for some reason when women
1:52 bully women that the energy is very different I totally totally agree and do
2:01 you feel that a lot of the time when other women bully other women it all
2:07 comes back to their level of their own self-esteem their self-love oh absolutely
2:12 and when I started thinking about this campaign we elevate together I really
2:17 had to look at myself because as I wrote about it I realized that I was not
2:22 completely innocent either though we all have the capacity
2:26 to go there I think most women have been there if they’re honest with themselves
2:31 but I feel that the older I get and the more I actually understand who I am
2:37 I understand where I’m going and I understand that I’m only in competition
2:43 with yesterday me yes I tend to not bring other people down I don’t judge
2:50 women as much as I used to yes yes and I and I agree and I I work
2:56 in in with older women I I like to call them sage women because they’re very
3:01 wise and I hear it often that the older you get those little judgmental things
3:08 and jealousies and competitions and all those things that was so important when
3:12 you were younger are no longer important totally agree and I love the saying if you
3:20 spot it you’ve got it yes so a lot of the things that we’ve
3:26 recognizing in other people we actually have within ourselves we may have healed
3:31 it we may still have it as a shadow side to us or we may just want to be that
3:38 person and so we’re bringing that person down because they have the courage and
3:42 the strength to actually portray those sort of traits about themselves yes yes
3:50 and I I have to say everyone that Karen is also instrumental in this campaign
3:55 because she helped me with the idea of breaking out down those the word
3:59 together and when you break it down you get to get her and when I broke it down
4:04 I could see it from a light side and a dark side a ying and a yang you know that
4:09 there’s always two sides to everything and I could see that at our worst we’re
4:16 out to get her to bring her down to bring her down and I’m already seeing it when
4:23 you know it’s reality TV time in Australia the shows are all about to
4:27 come on and they’re introducing us to the characters and people are already
4:31 creating in their mind the women that they’re not going to like Ok so
4:37 that’s interesting though with the #metoo movement as we know it all started in
4:42 the entertainment industry and it has now spread to every industry so
4:47 maybe it’s the we elevate together needs to go back into the entertainment
4:54 industry because they have always portrayed women and let’s face it they
4:59 love showing catfights physical or verbal with women and I can remember going
5:05 back to the 80s with dynasty or dynasty as they like to call it you know women
5:11 Crystal and Alexa Alexis Alexis moving around in the pool fighting now you know
5:20 and that’s all ingrained in our head and I think a lot of women took on those
5:25 traits and says well this is how two powerful women come together mm-hmm well
5:32 it goes way backward than that too it’s like there’s always been this need to
5:36 glorify one woman in the case of the Virgin Mary and bring down the other
5:41 woman in the case of Mary Magdalene it is so ingrained in us and I think that
5:46 women today have a higher consciousness we are we are more clever than those
5:51 stereotypes we have different ideas about how we want the world to be and if
5:58 the fact that we keep feeding that stereotype if we just keep adding to it
6:03 instead of trying to break that cycle and yeah how do you see the
6:10 cycle being broken then so what is it that we can consciously do to actually start
6:17 to seriously go No this behavior is not good enough we are going to elevate
6:24 women because let’s face it the sooner we actually come together right to get
6:30 her on a positive level the more that men can actually elevate us and get us
6:37 and let’s face it most men will definitely say I don’t get her I
6:42 seriously do not understand women when they start seeing that behavior amongst
6:50 women they shut down yes you know and I remember
6:54 you know I’ve been through some you know friend tribulations and so on and I’ve
6:59 sat down and I’ve talked to my husband about them and he’s like I just don’t get it
7:06 just let it go and just move on which is what he does but the emotional turmoil
7:12 that we put ourselves through when we’re trying to understand another woman when
7:17 really it’s about understanding ourselves so what can we do the first
7:22 thing is I think that this is very powerful next to the #Metoo campaign
7:26 because we’re talking about men respecting women but here we’re talking
7:30 about women respecting women and like you said when we can respect one another
7:35 and come together in that way we can also change the way we have our
7:40 relationships with the men in our lives with our children with our colleagues
7:44 with everyone so first of all notice what’s being triggered in you you’re
7:49 going to get her and understand her and love her and appreciate her and see the
7:56 light in her and see her strength and see the pain in her weaknesses instead
8:02 of bringing her down so I umm I I mentioned reality TV just a second ago
8:08 and people are getting ready and the TV the TV shows wants you to comment and
8:15 you know be horrible about one of the women it’s good for their ratings it is
8:22 it’s great for their ratings for women to be on line and bitching about each
8:25 other and and talking about the women on the show it’s good for their ratings so
8:31 first of all let’s not fall into that trap I love watching them too
8:36 Ok I don’t want reality show all right you’ll see them in the commercial so you
8:40 know roughly what’s going on and I and I do agree they always portray the
8:45 negative side on one person take what they say out of context and and make it
8:50 not even how it is meant to be portrayed They have a 1,000 cameras and they film them from
8:56 all these different directions and then they create a scene and then they find
9:00 the most the most interesting facial expression to add to that to add drama
9:06 to it it’s not real so if you can keep that in mind and also remember that
9:10 these are real people and they have real families that do love them and are
9:16 hearing these things said about their family members and that’s heartbreaking
9:20 right totally understand and I love the point that you brought up earlier is see
9:27 what is triggered in you because that’s an exercise that I love to do and it is
9:33 all about why were you trigger what is it inside
9:37 of you that needs to be healed was it the comment was was he the way
9:41 you interpreted that comment exactly how it was intended when it was said and
9:48 asking questions do you realize that what you just said has actually I’ve
9:54 taken it this way is that the way you actually meant to say and of course if
9:58 it’s a yes just say from there and then it’s like what I really like being
10:02 spoken to like that without having to go to the extreme of then bringing her down
10:08 because of of something like that and we don’t want to demonize women no we want
10:15 to respect them in their journey and where they’re at we don’t have to like
10:18 every woman we meet I’m not asking you to go and do big circles of kumbaya and
10:23 and get along with everyone that’s not what I’m asking here I’m simply wanting
10:27 to start a conversation about our relationships and see them in the
10:31 context of everything and and be able to recognize that we can step up that we
10:38 can do better because when we’re doing better about how we treat another woman
10:42 we’re doing better how we treat ourselves I totally agree Maya
10:47 Angelo has a saying I’ll just say the saying quickly she says every time you
10:50 stand up for yourself you stand up for another woman
10:53 Oh I love that that is so nice and she had so many great quotes and she had such
10:58 an amazing life what I really also love about all of this bringing women
11:05 together is the fact that I don’t know about you but I know in my history I’ve
11:11 initially met women who I have not really liked but I’ve then become really
11:17 good friends with them down the track after working with them and things like
11:21 that so it’s about not actually judging your first impression too much actually
11:28 wait till you get to know them before you actually put them in this
11:34 category of they are never going to be my friend or I don’t want to know about
11:38 them I want to bring them down do you see that happen a lot yeah and I do see
11:44 that happen a lot and I and I’ve had it happened to myself as well and women
11:48 that I’ve just thought of never get along with and sometimes it’s been
11:51 because of the power struggles that I’ve been going through at the time and and
11:56 and the relationships you’ve had with them because of your role and it’s got
12:01 nothing to do with them as a person and then in another context they’re
12:05 fantastic and you become really really good friends so I think that again it’s
12:12 about us and where we’re at and what might not work in a relationship with
12:17 one woman in a certain stage of our lives works in another the other thing
12:22 I’ve seen is that with the women that I’m working with I’ve had I had this one
12:26 group where we had a week women come together for a presentation and there
12:30 was two women in the room they used to raise their kids together and they grew
12:35 apart they just grew apart their lives went in separate directions possibly something
12:41 happened they didn’t mention it but this meeting like 20 years later and they’re
12:47 really good friends again Oh isn’t that lovely. I know isn’t it
12:51 wonderful so I think that we I had a very beautiful friend and she said you
12:57 know people will jump on and off your train ride all the time mmm that’s got
13:02 to be okay with that and and I guess in the end you’ve got to be solid within
13:06 yourself and be your own best friend and the rest comes I totally agree and this
13:10 fits so perfectly with all of the live life by design pillars especially the
13:15 all about you and all about your relationships and actually understanding
13:19 that sometimes people come into your life who are completely different to
13:24 actually help you to change to do something differently to embrace
13:31 different concepts and and different ways of doing things so bringing people
13:36 down you may be stopping yourself from actually learning and developing and
13:41 that’s what life’s about it is in my opinion absolutely and sometimes people
13:46 come into your life to remind you what you stand for I love that you know
13:51 and when I think about some of the women that that I’ve been bullied by over the
13:55 years they helped me realize the kind of woman that I don’t want to be known for
14:01 what do you want to be known for do you want to be known for as someone who’s
14:05 like the Bulldog and bulldozers through relationships at work or do you want to
14:09 be seen as someone who is compassionate and who sees the strengths in others and
14:13 helps them live and create their passion and purpose in your workplace and could
14:18 be productive for you all of the research says that works better course
14:23 it works better to actually extend your hand and to actually help someone
14:27 else to come up through the different stages of their career is I think the
14:33 most beneficial thing any woman can do either for another woman or for another
14:39 man and I know that in my past I have bullied both men and women and and it
14:45 has always come back to my insecurities at the times or my busy-ness or just you
14:52 know just get it done why are you taking so long to do this which is absolutely
14:57 pathetic but as I said with age comes a lot of wisdom yes I totally love this
15:03 and I apologize to anyone who I may have hurt in the past been short-handed with
15:09 and and know that I have grown and I hope that you have too and I hope that
15:15 you learnt some positives from it whether you’ve found your voice whether you
15:20 actually learned how not to do it to someone else
15:25 yeah that’s awesome and I think that’s that’s encapsulated and I would love
15:31 women to hashtag in their in their in their feeds whether it’s in Twitter or
15:38 even on Instagram or Facebook or even in LinkedIn which is a very workplace you
15:44 know environment hashtag we elevate together and say
15:49 something we don’t want to name women we don’t want to demonize women we want to
15:54 just say I’ve been through this and I elevate other
15:57 women and I reach out to the women who treated me like this in in good faith and
16:02 and healing you know heal yourself around it first I think that’s lovely now I’ve
16:08 got a little saying here that I’m going to read because I just thought it was so
16:12 appropriate it’s from Harry Palmer and it is when you adopt the viewpoint that
16:17 there is nothing that exists that is not part of you but there is no one who
16:22 exists who is not part of you that any judgment you make is self judgment that
16:27 any criticism you level is self-criticism you will wisely extend to
16:32 yourself an unconditional love that will be the light of the world yep so
16:39 understand that everything you do to others you do to yourself so why are you
16:45 bringing yourself down and lowering yourself when you’re actually living in
16:49 a time when you should actually be rising and bringing people along with
16:54 you absolutely absolutely love it
16:59 yes so thank you Marisa I love having you as a guest and I love your campaign
17:05 I just think it is amazing it is time it’s probably past time but now is the
17:13 time for us to actually move on from the #metoo movement or actually
17:17 extend it even further widen the actual the catch net and actually bring in all
17:24 of the women to actually elevate each other absolutely and I know as I said I
17:30 see them as as powerful friends you know they can move together to really make
17:36 change and we know the #metoo movement has made change so in that in that
17:40 bringing together of women let’s take at that a little bit further I totally
17:44 agree & let’s hope Hollywood adopts this as well oh we do need drama but does it
17:49 really have to be women being so horrible to a other women yes and and
17:56 you know we don’t want we don’t want film to stop talking about the human
18:00 condition we will see confronting things but I think that seeing this as normal
18:06 is what needs to change yes I tell you well thank you Marisa and I’m sure I’ll
18:13 have you back another time and that’s Maria Pardon that’s Maria oh
18:19 did I call your Marisa, you did oh I’m so sorry That’s ok oh did i do that twice you did Maria I know that anyway. I’m thinking of another lady who is similar
18:35 to you. It’s a compliment Oh good I love that not a problem okay thanks Maria bye well that is another
18:47 episode of live love by design TV don’t you just love Maria and the campaign we
18:55 elevate together just the words it just makes so much sense doesn’t it to know
19:02 who you are to know where you’re going and then to be able to bring everyone
19:08 along with you that’s right together we truly can make a difference we will
19:16 actually create the lifestyle that we all truly desire we’ll be able to stand
19:22 equal with men and with women alike it’s time
19:28 it truly is time so start posting on social media with the hashtag we elevate
19:36 together start sharing your story and be honest
19:40 know that you’re probably been bullied and you’ve probably done it to other
19:43 women as well know that it’s time for you to actually say enough and going
19:52 forward we elevate together so thank you for being here thank you
19:58 for watching another episode of live love by design TV I look forward to
20:04 seeing you again next week when we share another episode of live love by design TV
20:12 in the meantime make sure that we elevate together becomes part of your
20:20 daily life thank you


Karen Chaston: Show Host and Executive Producer

“I feel like I’m at the stage in my life, where honestly, I’m interested in giving back through showing people an easier way to do life, one where they don’t have to settle for less. One where they can learn from any mistakes I’ve already made. One that really makes it possible for them to live their dream life where every relationship in their life is complete, especially the one with them self. That is the true Essence of Live Love By Design.”  ~ Karen Chaston

As a former corporate Chief Financial Officer, Karen brings a unique perspective; extensive business experience and hard-earned wisdom that she wished were available to her when she needed them. Her many Live Love gems (tools and tips) will assist you to create your new normal life after any major loss. You will love who you become, all your relationships and any work you do will become more meaningful and effective.

For more details about Karen, her programs and other publications please visit: www.karenchaston.com.au and www.livelovebydesign.com

Thank You Dan Chaston for Continually Assisting & Guiding

Your Mum From the Other Side.

We Honour You. Thank You. Love You. Miss You.