We hang out, we help one another, we tell one another our worst fears and biggest secrets, and then just like real sisters, we listen and don’t judge. – Adriana Trigiani
As a regular conference attendee, I expect to learn something new, be inspired, connect with some friendly faces, and have a thoroughly enjoyable experience. As a speaker, it’s a little different. I’m more focused on the value I can bring and the specific shift in perspective I’m able to offer.
The Empowering Women Conference on Saturday, in Brisbane (an initiative of Kristy Vallely), proved the ultimate experience. I received more than I could have ever anticipated, and thought I’d attempt to distill one or two insights while I’m still riding a euphoric, Gratitude high.
Here they are:
Good things happen when you take down your walls.
There were speakers from many different walks of life and business backgrounds, but in each of our stories, there existed a common thread of personal challenge and the importance of staying true to ourselves.
Shedding all pretenses of perfection, we shared vulnerable stories of our foibles and failures, of illness, suicidal ideation, mood disorders and recurring struggles. There were tears shed by almost everyone in the room, yet the energy soared higher and higher with the mutual recognition, that we’re all in this together.
It’s encouraging to hear someone share the shortcomings in their own life and if vulnerability is about showing up and being seen…well, there was an abundance of it on the day!
Our secret struggles are also our pathway to belonging.
So many of us walk around thinking:
She’s got it together and I don’t.
Or, we believe that there’s something a little ‘off’ inside us, a secret that separates us from everyone else.
And that if everyone else knew about our secret, we might be shamed and rejected.
But the truth lies in the exact opposite.
No matter how bleak the feeling, no matter how ‘out there’ our personal experiences may seem; when we can get over the illusion of our separateness – we come ALIVE.
We understand that not only are we NOT alone – we truly belong. And as strange as it sounds, the things that make us feel like we don’t belong are actually the things that bind us together.
Sharing our darkness inevitably lightens what first seemed inpenetrable and all-encompassing.
Sharing reveals the inescapable and encouraging truth – that the majority of us feel this way at one time or another.
All of us carry an extra suitcase or two of emotional baggage and when we recognise ourselves in the truth of another, the collective heart floods with relief, in a whisper that sighs:
It was an absolute honour to be part of the Empowering Women Conference – and to see so many women come alive.
Special Thanks to Kristy, her incredible family and other team members. My heart is full, full, full.
Tickets to the Melbourne Conference are available HERE