I am often asked about my sword. The whole thing began more than 10 years ago when traveling and teaching conferences with my colleagues Randy and Barry. After an event, while we were sitting at a bar, Randy commented that my new nickname is Zena. When I asked him why he said “you do not let people play victim. When they come to you and wine and complain about the things that are wrong in their lives, you whip out this invisible sword and tell them to cut the crap.”

Zena stuck. The sword came as the true symbol of my brand years later.

I was at a conference where MaryAnn Halpin and was taking pictures for her Fearless Women book. At that conference there was a video with all these women getting pictures with her sword, a Scottish Claymore (I am holding it in the blue dress). I thought it would be great to have my picture taken and then it dawned on me why I should take my picture with that sword.

The sword is the symbol of my life, and it has represented so much for what I have done in my career. But to honor and respect the sword I chose to study the many powerful things that the sword symbolizes:

1- the manifestation of purity in the physical form. Coming from a violent abusive place, this manifestation has been a powerful journey. My husband has been the biggest part of it, giving me my Katana as a result.

My Katana

2-being grounded and having clarity of thought. Honestly, when I do not meditate, I loose this. I see my sword as a tool for deep thought and contemplation.

3-a way of protecting with strength to conquer those things holding you back. Therefore the iron of the sword is the true warrior within you. It represents so much of finding your true voice.

4-in many cultures it’s meaning is to cut through confusion and ignorance surrounding you.

5-honor and to possess one and is considered a symbol of transition, which life is in constant transition. It is the extension of true warrior spirit in many cultures.

6-The sword and it sheath are actually seen as the balance between the masculine and feminine. Masculine represents an active driving force for life and the feminine protective supportive element of life.

It’s amazing how much it has represented for myself and what I do with my clients over the years for the inner warrior and discovering your real edge.  Each picture I have taken demonstrates one of these meanings when you look at them.


Ann M. Evanston is a “Chief Breakthrough Officer” teaching other Business Warriors how to slow down, and find the most unique part of their business that makes them stand out among the crowd. She has been named one of the top marketing consultants by About.com, is a guest blogger for Showcasing Women and takes pride in moving you from “blah, blah, blah” to “BOOM, BOOM. BOOM!”

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