Bookmarked: Emma Garcia

Emma Garcia is the chief community development and engagement officer at Valley of the Sun United Way

Recommends: “Energy Rising” by Dr. Julia DiGangi

Her Take:

This well-researched book left an indelible impact on me, resonating on multiple levels as I reflected on how my upbringing and childhood experiences shaped who I am as a person and leader.

The book explains how our brain’s electrical impulses shape our experiences and responses to uncertainty, influencing our emotional well-being. Integrating the concepts with personal reflection makes this an accessible, actionable read to help us lead our best lives. Dr. DiGangi explains the impact of our source code’ and how we can turn emotional pain into emotional power.

The exploration of uncertainty stands out as a profound revelation. As someone who has faced poverty and homelessness, I am intimately familiar with how the nervous system remembers and is hypervigilant to patterns it should protect itself from. The author argues that common behaviors to avoid uncertainty, such as overthinking and overworking, can intensify emotional pain, with dire consequences.

Energy Rising’ empowers readers to harness that energy to build a new source code. By confronting avoidance patterns and identifying a different way to relate with people, we can quit our command-and-control leadership style and instead become co-creators in our intimate and professional relationships.

A holistic exploration of emotional energy deeply rooted in neuroscience, ‘Energy Rising’ is a practical road map for cultivating emotional resilience and empowerment.”

Learn more about Valley of the Sun United Way’s journey to Mighty Change in Maricopa County at

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