My trip to Emerging Women Live 2016
Early this year I decided that I wanted to attend Emerging Women Live 2016 in San Francisco. I’d heard great things about this event and given I had not joined a mastermind (at this stage) I decided to spend my annual overseas work trip attending this inspiring conference for women.
At the time so much of what has transpired this year was yet to show itself and I didn’t really understand just how relevant this event would be to me and just how much I’d need the soul food.
But I’m so glad I made this commitment to myself and gave myself this gift.
Attending a big event like this is not without its challenges for me.
I am an introvert. I hate networking. I feel terrified to walk up to a group of people and “break in” to a conversation.
I guess these are wounds from childhood about not being enough and being rejected.
My family and friends would tell you I talk their ears off and that is because I am a D&M (deep and meaningful) kind of girl.
If I know you I’ll tell you EVERYTHING – too much many would say!
So off I ventured to San Francisco my first trip to the USA.
I was so overwhelmed and consumed by the amazing speakers so I want to share a few select observations and quotes from each person I heard speak.
I want to make it clear that this is what I took from this. Someone may have been sitting beside me and interpreted what they heard and witnessed entirely differently.
That is the wonder of our individuality. Therefore it is my truth and no-one else’s.
Power circles are a fundamental component of the emerging women ethos. Throughout the event there were small and large power circles where we came together in groups and discussed powerful questions and truly listened and connected with each other.
The emerging women conference brings in movement through structured and scheduled kundalini yoga, soul sweat, dance parties, stretching and embodiment and short meditations throughout the event.
I was unable to participant in most of this as my chronic back condition sadly flared up the day of the conference but I loved the short movement exercises interwoven during the sessions and hope to try soul sweat next year!
There were many opportunities for book signings throughout the event and they a book store set-up.
I actually had to buy another bag due to the sheer amount of books I purchased – let’s just say I’m set for the rest of the year’s reading material!
The opening evening blew my heart wide open and thrilled me for what was to come.
The founder of emerging woman is a powerhouse and a beautiful speaker. She spoke my language inspiring us all to realise that we are right at the beginning of the biggest movement of our time (the awakening of the feminine).
She spoke about her own journey in male dominated industries and workplaces and how she had to shrink, hide and assimilate. This and her story about her “last straw” that led to her current calling was so similar to mine that I realised in the worst things are also the biggest blessings.You cannot feel like you belong if you are exiling parts of yourself - Chantal Pierrat Click To Tweet
She called us to action to love ourselves and to break the cycle of suppressing the feminine because it is actually what the world most needs and will most set us apart.We have inherited a collective consciousness that we are not enough - Chantal Pierrat Click To Tweet
She asked us “what would happen if being kind was the key driver for businesses around the world?”.
I sat for a moment and asked myself – how am I being kind and how can I be more so – in my business and in my life?
We ended this session in a collective guided meditation holding hands with those next to us and the power of this was electric.
I may have lived under a rock but I had never heard of Azure Antoinette.
What a loss that I have not known her.
She started playing this video of a poem she wrote for the families and all affected as a result of the senseless violence at Pulse Nightclub on 6/11/16. It is quite simply stunning and I encourage you to watch it.
As an Australian who has watched the #blacklivesmatter campaign in the USA unfold on social media but not truly understood it – the next story Azure told about being a woman of colour right now in America and the poem/song she performed with Australian singer Emily Rex to the song “smile” – really made me finally “get it”.
It was beyond powerful and I feel privileged to have heard her live on stage.
I can’t write about the next speaker without laughing out loud to myself.
Again, I have not read any of Anne’s work but this woman is an absolute firecracker.
She told story upon story and the audience had laugh after laugh.
She spoke about the fact that she doesn’t know what she will sit down to write and that she feels shit about herself while doing it. In other words, even someone as experienced as Anne Lamott has the same demons that any other artist, writer or creator of any type has.Discipline is the path to freedom - Anne Lamott Click To Tweet
In other words just get started, just do it and set little goals and tasks to chip away at things.
Anne was hilariously funny, endlessly passionate and yes quite a lot crazy (in the best way).
One quote from her talk in particular really spoke to me and that wasThe dark night of the soul is where it all happens - Anne Lamott Click To Tweet
As someone who has had the dark night of the soul this year (and many years prior) I can say that this is a million times true.
Everything begins from your hardest, darkest moments. Everything that you are going to become starts from these moments. You will look back and thank these moments (eventually).
And finally she left us laughing when she said:Insist on the right to waste more time…stare off into the distance like a cat.. - Anne Lamott Click To Tweet
You could feel the wisdom in her words (in a way that can only come from someone that has been around the block and lived a full life already) that there is only so much time, with our kids, with our parents and with ourselves (in our earthly incarnations) – make sure you spend it wisely.
Finally Nina Grae performed “I am (woman)” and another song I am unsure of but she was absolutely stunning and she had us cheering from our seats. I could not help myself from buying her CD to take her home with me!