07/03/2012 11:57 EDT | Updated 09/02/2012 05:12 EDT

What Makes These Women So Extraordinary?

2012-06-18-ShannonSkinner.jpg I have had the privilege of interviewing more than 150 successful women from all walks of life who have chosen to listen to their hearts. That is what makes them "extraordinary." I would like to introduce you to some of them.

The heart is our most trusted guide. It is our intuition speaking to us. When we choose to listen to the wisdom of the heart, magic happens.

You have a heart's desire. Deep inside, your heart longs to create something real in the world, whether it is launching a new business, writing a book, making a film, inventing a gadget, learning a new skill, traveling the world, growing a luscious garden -- or having a family.

In September 2010, I listened to my heart. While I have done so many times throughout my life, this time it was different. A few months prior, a dear friend shocked me with the news that he had less than one year to live. After I got beyond my initial shock and disbelief, I asked myself a question: "If I had one year to live, what would I do?"

The result of that quality question was the launch of my web TV talk show, Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner. Since then, I have had the privilege of interviewing more than 150 successful women from all walks of life, who have chosen to listen to their hearts. That is what makes them "extraordinary."

I would like to introduce you to some of these extraordinary women:

Rona Maynard had it in her heart to become the editor of Chatelaine , Canada's premiere magazine for women, and was at its helm for 10 years. Her career success was not without the challenges of chronic depression that she faced. Today, she openly shares her story to inspire others.

Rebecca MacDonald, one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in Canada, had a desire in her heart to change the way people buy energy. She created Just Energy, a Toronto-based marketer of deregulated gas and electricity. Additionally, she later founded the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis and Autoimmune Disease at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital, which specializes in the research and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and associated autoimmune diseases, as a way of giving back.

Singer/songwriter, Darrelle London, could have attended law school. Instead, she chose to listen to her heart and pursue music. Her whimsical and playful songs -- such as Fine -- have captured the hearts of many fans, including celebrity columnist, Perez Hilton.

Young adults author, Deborah Ellis, bravely travels to war-torn countries to interview children and tell their stories through her popular books -- more than 20 of them -- including her latest, No Ordinary Day. She has been named to the Order of Canada, is a recipient of the Governor General's Award and, above all, has the courage to affect change. She donates much of her royalties to causes that are near and dear to her heart.

Katia Millar needed to reassess her life when her marriage disintegrated. In her quest to find fulfillment in her career -- and life -- she launched Positive Fabulous Women, an organization that brings together heart-centered women entrepreneurs for meaningful connections.

Beverley Wybrow, president and CEO of the Canadian Women's Foundation, has it in her heart to see that women and girls have bright futures. The organization raises money to research, fund and share the best approaches to ending violence against women, moving low-income women out of poverty and building strong, resilient girls.

Motivational humorist,Judy Suke, did not let having more than one heart attack and stroke get in her way of listening to her heart and making a difference in the lives of others through her talks and seminars. Today, her mission is bringing hope and humour to the world.

These women listened to their hearts and, in their own unique ways, are making a difference. I invite you to watch their interviews. Perhaps they will inspire you to listen to your heart. Visit:

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