This blog has been a long time coming. In fact it's been in my head for about 5 weeks and itching to be out but I was still processing. It has taken me these 5 weeks to feel confident in summarizing what I learnt at the Women Leading Change conference I went to on May 3rd in my hometown of Brisbane hosted by the amazing people at The Wake Up Project.
This blog would be so much longer if I had written it earlier because I would have just vomited words out at you, endlessly and passionately. This is because I haven't been moved or enlightened as much as I was this day for a long time and my first instinct is to share what helps me and moves me. So instead, I let it marinate for a while and in the end I decided I will just share the MOST poignant things from each guest speaker (and man that was hard to choose!)
Before I get to the women that blew me away, I need to share with you the common denominator of their powerful messages.
They presented their wisdom wrapped up in their own personal story.
You can not reach people with a message without personalising it first. As humans, we want to change things because we are inspired to do so and that inspiration has to come from the human aspect of that lesson. We need the personal story for the impact. This is why when I want to get something across to you, dear reader, I try and weave my story into the information. It reinforces it for myself and it may help reach someone more effectively. Never be afraid of your story.
I want you to be empowered by YOUR story whatever that may be. You can help your friends, your family, your neighbours and your tribe by being honest and authentic. We can all learn from each other in this way and the time of concealing your problems and putting a disguise on reality is OVER. No one is helped from this. Not you and certainly not all the other precious humans you come in contact with. So whatever your stage or platform in this world may be, just be real, be honest and be generous with the lessons you can give others.
So now to the these pearls of wisdom.
1) The first one came from the little pocket rocket known as Seane Corn. If you love yoga, helping others and feeling inspired by humanity, look her up. Seane met a gay man that changed her life when she was 19. She was working in a gay club in San Francisco at the time and met Billy Sleaze who was dying with AIDS when it was still quite unknown and people were so fearful of it. Seane was scared and hated herself from recoiling from her friend Billy and so he left her with the words that went on to shape her adult life. He got her to look at all the different people in the club that night and said
"Ignore the story. See the Soul. Always Love. You will never regret it."
2) Second up we have one of my idols Petrea King. An Australian naturopath, author, hypnotherapist, yoga and meditation teacher and wellness speaker that puts as much (if not more) emphasis on emotional wellbeing as physical wellbeing. Yay! You can see why as a fellow naturopath, she has been one of my career inspirations. She is awe inspiring and her Quest For Life Foundation changes people's lives on a daily basis. She has come through cancer, her brother's suicide and sees crisis as a catalyst for personal growth and understanding and as an opportunity for healing and peace. I must admit the notes I took down when she was speaking would fill a whole blog or two so I'm just going to leave you with this little nugget she shared on control -
" If you want peace, you need to regain control over your RESPONSE to life rather than REACT to life. It comes from a deeper place of KNOWING, not thinking. Thinking is completely overrated."
Don't you just LOVE that? One of Petrea's books Your Life Matters is an absolute bible for me. She also writes books and meditations for children and I wrap my kids in rainbows every night thanks to this woman.
Excuse the blurry pic but my hand shook as I got to take a selfie with one of my inspirations in life!
3) Third up was Tara Moss. Now I have to admit I had never read any of Tara's books and was someone that knew her more for her former modelling days than I did for her writing, her feminist activism and humanitarian work. This. Woman. Blew. Me. Away. It wasn't just because she was such a beautiful and tall Amazonian like thing with bright red lips and a commanding presence, it was because her passion for women and girls in our society was delivered so completely that it had me feeling everything she was feeling. She awoke in me a passion that I had forgotten all about. Her information about how females are portrayed and recognised in the media, in our movies and in our workplaces was illuminating but her message on self care is what I really took home because it is so close to my own heart. She encouraged us to examine our own self care - what it looks like, what it means to us and the importance of finding the RIGHT self care that works for us as everyone's is different.
You may not be into massages and facials and lying on the beach with a book (If this is you, we need to meet, you must be a fascinating individual) and she described a very high powered friend that relaxed by shooting pictures of her dogs in fashion clothing! Tara herself loves to flip through magazines in her vintage caravans as that's what relaxes HER.
You need to find your thing, do it often and decrease your risk of burn outs, melt downs and becoming unhappy and sick.
Tara in her vintage caravan (image thanks to Tara Moss)
4) Fourth up was the incredible Janine Shepherd. I cried through most of her talk. She is just one of the best examples of human spirit I have ever come across and I felt so privileged to be hearing her story with her right there in front of me. She has done one of the most viewed Ted Talks ever (see it HERE) titled 'A Broken Body isn't a Broken Person' and if anyone is able to reach people and inspire with their personal story then Janine does it best. A former Olympian that was hit by a truck, completely crushed and barely lived to talk about it. She was told she would never walk again, never be able to have a family and went on to become a stunt pilot, marry and raise her children. She didn't like it when anyone told her 'Never' so she proved them all wrong. A movie has been made from her book, 'Never Tell Me Never', she has also been on Australian Story and my best advice is to watch her Ted Talk and then read her books. Her take home message is simply
"You are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar."
image thanks to The Wake Up Project
5) Tami Simon was up after Janine and I don't even know quite how to put this one in words still. Her presence in the room had me feeling peaceful without her even needing to say anything. I have never witnessed anyone so present and so comfortably inhabiting their physical presence before. She just made my mind slow down, the inner chatter finally stopped and I just felt 'still' by watching her looking out at us. She is the founder of Sounds True - a multimedia publishing company with the mission of sharing and growing any spiritual wisdom here on this earth. She's interviewed and worked with everyone from the Dalai Lama to K.D. Lang and she definitely left spiritual wisdom with me on this day, both spoken and unspoken. Her best tip on the spiritual journey I have summarised like this -
" Spirituality is actually a journey of subtraction, it's not adding anything on, it's about taking away your judgments and belief systems. There is no end to the spiritual journey as it's all path and no arrival. This helps takes the pressure off because you are on that path right now!"
image thanks to The Wake Up Project
6) Lastly was the incomparable Clare Bowditch. Singer, Actor, larrikin and founder of Big Hearted Business, I have had a crush on Clare ever since I was given her very first album (she now has 8 studio albums). Then the crush was reinforced when she appeared on one of my favourite tv shows Offspring and after seeing her talk on stage at this event, it developed into a full blown love affair. She is amazingly talented, funny and someone who is just very REAL. Apologetically honest in her realness and that's where the appeal lies for me. The time Clare was on the stage was the only time I wasn't frantically taking notes because I couldn't take my eyes off her! Her main take home message for me was
"Go about life like you are an amateur."
None of us really know what we are doing most of the time and we are also mostly doing things for the first time so relax into the fact that you are learning as you go! Be happy with being an amateur at life so when things stuff up, you are more prepared for it. Also, there isn't as much pressure to do everything perfectly! I love this. I think so many people put off doing what they want and love to do because they want to do it perfectly. Approach life as an amateur because, well, you are!
image thanks to The Wake Up Project
Thanks for getting to the end! Can you imagine how long this blog post would have been if I'd written it in the early passionately fevered 'just got back from the most incredible conference' days? Bet you're glad I waited!
I would like to thank Leah Williamson for gifting me this ticket at the last minute because I truly was supposed to be there and so many things have happened in my life already because of it (Watch this Space)
And secondly I would like to thank my mentor and healer Fara Curlewis who has helped me reach a place in my life where I am happy with owning my story while not letting it define who I am or what the future may have in store for me.
I hope you have been able to add one or more of these pearls of wisdom to your necklace and please leave me a comment if any rang true for you. If you feel you need to own your story more and get to a place where you are living more authentically that might need some emotional shifting. Please have a look at my transformative flower essence blends to help you do that.
Yours in Health,