DISCLAIMER: This being an Awesome Women Hub event, I am going to greatly overuse the word awesome. :)
AMAZING! How awesome is it that 30 women can get together, get to know one another, and get down to business in the way that only women do? Let me tell you, it is REALLY awesome.
First was a wonderful keynote by Robin Rice, without whom the event would not exist! Then, led by Leslie Stein, we got to know each other. Leslie made us dig deep real fast. We were to all pick a card (or two!) that called to us and then share why we picked our card. With the best activity I’ve ever seen of introducing not just yourself, but who you are, your essence, we laughed and cried in the first hour!
In introducing myself to those wonderful women, I wish I had been brave enough to share more of what I was thinking. The women in that room were so supportive, but my underlying fear of sharing who I really am got in the way. Also, I didn’t want to cry in front of everyone! I wish I had said more. The card I picked was of a man standing at the end of a rock wall protruding into peaceful water. I shared that I saw myself there and that I was learning to explore like he was doing. That was my “safe” thought about the picture. The statement that wasn’t scary to share. Want to know what else I was thinking? That I am alone at the end of that rock wall and it scares the s*** out of me. That I wish my mom was still here to catch me if I fell off. I am coming into my own and learning how to be my beautiful self but being alone at the end of that wall came faster than I ever thought it would. I have a sense of peace and of purpose but I am afraid. Life is scary without her here. I wish I had shared that.
After we introduced ourselves we jumped right into our re-think tank groups. I cannot describe the AWESOMENESS in that room. The responses we all shared were amazing! Live and online, women are on the same page! So much was said and all of it was so important. It is hard to begin to explain or summarize. The messages that really resound with me:
-What would happen if we lived from our true essence, from who we REALLY are? We could connect to each other from the heart and we could remind each other of who we really are when we forget.
-What would happen if instead of seeing competition in other women, we saw camaraderie? When we saw another woman we thought “YEAH! She’s on my team!” instead of “Who is better?” We could band together in collective confidence from the start instead of feeling inferior or superior.
-What can we accomplish if we come together as women? SO MUCH AWESOME STUFF!
During the re-think tank, Trish was in one of my groups. I've always known that Trish and I make a good team but we had a moment that made me realize we are a GREAT team, awesome even. We were discussing one of the re-think questions and when Trish turned to me to explain what she was trying to say and I did. Then when I was talking I turned to Trish for help in explaining what I was trying to say and she did. We kept finishing each other’s sentences all day. It was really cool!
After the re-think tank was over we started an art project that will continue into day two and will be awesome just like we are. We each created a drawing, ripped it into three pieces, and glued it to a giant piece of paper with everyone else’s. Then we all got to add even more around those pieces and then it was ripped AGAIN! Tomorrow we will get to add even more and I am not sure how this is going to end up but I love the creative collaboration!
We broke up into our video making groups, a part of this weekend that I am very excited about also but very hesitant about. I am afraid to be on film. I think that it has a lot to do with my fear of sharing. But with all of the different experiences, attitudes, and essences we all bring to the table I have no doubt that this will be fantastic even if I’m terrified.
After hours in Northampton is something else. Being from Conway, where there is no night life, roaming the streets of Northampton was a treat. We got ice cream and meandered into shops. I met some musicians and talked to people I didn’t know. I found a button that was made for me. It reads:
“Hi! I like goats. Do you like goats?”
It’s perfect because I talk about goats a lot. I love them. Anyone that knows me personally knows that I am going to live on a farm someday and that when I talk about it all I talk about is growing vegetables, having chickens, and loving my goats. Nothing is better than scratching the head of an animal whose sole purpose is to bring humor into my life… and contribute to the biodiversity of the planet… but it’s all about personal opinion now isn’t it?
So much happened on Day 1. We connected. We shared. We created. We danced (I only danced a tiny bit because I was afraid to express myself but some of those women were BUSTING A MOVE!) It was amazing. I want to be in that environment every day. I want to be a confident woman. I want to connect, to share, and I want to LEAD.
I have made a resolution. I am going to share what I am afraid to share. I am going to let myself be vulnerable. When you live from that place, you don’t have any regrets.
Going into Day 2, I am going to be ME.