Photo Credit: Nappy Photos
We at Open Dreams believe that women are our past, our present, and our future.
We know that women across the globe, work tirelessly everyday
to push for change, solve the world’s stickiest problems, raise our families, and uplift our communities with purpose, loving care, and continuous commitment.
Yet, we also recognize that our systems have not been designed by or for us and that these systems often purposefully seek to hold us down or erase us from history. If we are not careful or aware of their impact, we may digest and internalize these negative societal and familial messages of what we can or can’t accomplish as women.
And sometimes we even end up holding our own selves back.
So we developed our She Shines LeadHership programs to celebrate, uplift, and strengthen our power and confidence as women to make the changes we want to see in our lives and our communities. We aim to spotlight and highlight the tremendous work that current and aspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs are doing all over the world.
Together, let us seek to be the change we want to see in the world.
And let’s doing something radical in the process -
try be our own best friends and greatest advocates .
How do we get there?
Our women's leadership programs are designed and facilitated by certified multinational coaches with lived experience of battling through self doubt to create a life they love for themselves as women leaders and entrepreneurs. We aim to support women leaders, and current and aspiring entrepreneurs to help find the inner strength, confidence, and wisdom they need to make change both in their communities and in their lives.
We work with inspired individuals who can see where they want to get, but often stumble along the way with self-doubt, indecision, work/life balance, or the pressure of mounting societal, familial, and cultural expectations.
Offered through our 3-month cohort, individual workshops, and one on one coaching, we hope that every one who crosses our path can find a program that is right for them, and their budget. Accessibility and equity are two of our most important values, and we aim to support every woman on her journey at the price point that works for her.
Join our Women’s leadership programs today to start, ignite, or invigorate your own leadership journey.
Our Shining Leadhers Program is a confidence and skills building program for current and aspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs.
Taking place over 3 months, the program combines live workshops with one on one coaching from diverse, fully certified coaches, and individual buddy sessions with groups of 5-15 women from all over the world.
Our workshops are taught by women entrepreneurs and certified coaches on such topics as taming the inner critic, identifying our values as leaders, and finding compassion for ourselves in moments of doubt and growth.
Build community, connection, and confidence with Open Dreams today. Register your interest for our next cohort in January 2024.
Interested in sponsoring a cohort?
Email us now for more details.
She Shines Coaching
Our She Shines Coaching Program takes place over 6 months. It includes 10-12 sessions that are 60-90 minutes in length. During these sessions, we will use integral coaching techniques to listen deeply to your presenting issue(s), try our best to step into your world and life and see things from your perspective, and help you find ways to make actionable change in your life.
With your guidance, we will develop an Action Plan that contains valuable practices, self reflection exercises, and resources that will help guide you in your own personal journey.
Working together over time, we aim to help you align your mind, body, and heart to achieve your own individual goals with
greater peace, balance, purpose, and freedom.
Photo Credit: Nappy Photos
She Shines Workshops
We offer virtual and in person workshops for individuals, organizations and companies that seek to strengthen, unite, and uplift
women leaders across the globe.
Our unique, women centered workshops incorporate both feminist and integral coaching content, meditative practices, and self-reflection exercises. They aim to help current and aspiring women leaders find courage, confidence, and compassion for themselves while also
building community with other women leaders across the world.
Designed and delivered by women leaders for women leaders, these workshops help women find and act upon the
ABCs of Confidence:
Awareness, Beliefs, and Compassion.
Then join our
She Shines Worldwide Community
for resources, learning materials, connection, and monthly peer to peer learning group.
Meet incredible women leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world to share our successes, our challenges, our opportunities, and our potential to lift one another up!
My name is Cristina Bernardo, and I am honored to be one of the co-founders of Open Dreams. Celebrating and uplifting women leaders across the world is truly my life's passion and these programs are truly my dream come true.
As a Cuban American mother of four, I know first hand what it is like to battle through years of self doubt and harsh internal criticism. I realized far too late that much of this inner criticism was partially driven by the weight of cultural, familial, and and societal expectations. When tragedy struck and I lost my beloved daughter Aviva Lilia, my life changed forever. I realized that life was so short and precious and very unpredictable. We didn't have time to waste not loving ourselves or living a life without passion or purpose in what we do and who we surround ourselves with. I also learned I have some control over what I chose to believe about myself and my actions.
To survive, I had to tap into my own inner strength and wisdom to find what really matters to me and the mark I want to make on the world while I am still here. In freeing my own self from self criticism, I realized my own purpose:
To help free other women* leaders from self criticism and doubt,
help them find their true inner light
and unite them across borders to celebrate and amplify their impact.
Through Open Dreams and my She Shine programs, I aim to help others step into their own inner strength and power to have the self confidence they need to make the changes they want to see in their lives and in their communities.
Why me? You can see my list of qualifications here, but sadly I know first hand how all of these accolades can mean little, if we haven't found the peace and wholeness inside ourselves to live a fully embodied, relaxed, and free life.
With each achievement, I thought I would finally feel better about myself. Sadly, that never happened. Achievements were never what I needed - what I needed was to recognize and nourish my own intrinsic value within myself. To find my light.
I have now made it my life mission to help others do the same.
I designed these programs with the love and guidance of my daughter, who I know shines upon us all. With your support, a portion of all coaching proceeds will go to the Open Dream's Aviva Women in Science Fund, to support the advancement of maternal and child health in Cameroon.
My love letter to you.
Dear Grown You: Step Aside.
I am writing this to the little girl inside you.
The one that thought she could soar, until someone clipped her wings.
The one that knew she was destined for greatness, until someone told her it wasn’t possible.
The one that believed she was special, until society told her she needed to be perfect instead.
I am writing this to the little girl inside you,
who maybe once had a voice,
But now it has gone silent, distant,
or can barely be heard.
The one who is so bogged down by life’s chores,
that she barely has time to listen to herself.
Little girl, I hear you.
Little girl, I see you.
Little girl, I want you to come out.
To roam free.
To live joyfully.
To build a life you love filled with people who love you for who you are
Who see the power of what you can accomplish,
Even or especially if you can not see it yourself.
Little girl, I know it is possible.
Little girl, I know you don’t believe me,
But deep down, I know you want to.
Little girl, in some ways I am you.
Little girl, in some ways you are me.
And though you may not believe it yet,
I know you can be FREE.
And there are many Shining Women
To help you find your way.
Many have come before us.
Many will come behind us.
And ONE is reading this now.
It’s in you.
It’s in me.
Now, let’s let her light shine FREE.
"I was at a very low point in my career, feeling like I was stuck in a bad situation that just kept getting worse. It was affecting me mentally, emotionally, and even physically, and I was feeling paralyzed, fearing the unknown. I was also about to turn 40! Cristina helped me to break down what was actually holding me back, focus on what I was important to me, and to build my confidence.
I always thought confidence would naturally come with age, but I've realized since working with Cristina, that it is something I need to cultivate and develop, and truly put in the hard work to maintain. I couldn't have done it without her!"
"Working with Cristina...I realized how deeply gender norms through social conditioning had been engrained in my mind and affected my actions, self-image, and confidence on a subconscious level. I found myself realizing my routine behaviors and my lack of self-advocacy were direct results of several different circumstances and experiences throughout my life. Even more astounding, I learned that those behaviors were common to so many women because of perceived societal expectations. I learned that I was in fact my own self-saboteur in the ways I perceived what others thought or how I felt I should behave, rather than giving myself credit for my acquired skills, talents, and leadership traits. The fact that I was making everything easier for my competitors, or for those who wanted to take advantage of me, was one of the hardest and important lessons I’ve ever learned, and am still learning. Cristina helped me find my true voice, the one that cares about my well being and is kind to me, as I would be to a family member or very close friend. Many thanks to Cristina and Open Dreams for helping me recognize my true potential and the barriers I needlessly stacked against myself. "
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*we use the word women* with an asterisk to indicate that we aim to include the most inclusive definition of “women”, “woman’”,“her”, “she”, and “female.” Though our program is designed for those who have been socialized as women*, we welcome those of all gender identities.