07 Jun A Full Circle Moment
A week ago I had the honor of presenting to a group of women at the first annual Stilettos and Strategies Conference hosted by Nu Epps, Founder and President of Esyntial Elements Consulting Inc. The conference mission is to positively enhance the lives of women with a unique mix of practical and applicable strategies designed to educate, equip, empower, and elevate women for a more meaningful, fulfilling, and balanced life. Talk about alignment and timing! At the start of the new year I asked God to open doors for speaking engagements and while doing so allow my voice to be amplified, strong, steady and powerful. You see a little back story about me and my voice, I’ve had this long standing love/hate relationship with it due to its childlike, high pitched sometimes adenoidal sound. Just the other day a caller asked me if I wasn’t feeling well because of the sound of my voice. Huh? My voice has always been an awkward conversation starter- Are you sick? Do you really talk like that? And so forth and so on. I absolutely hated it but have found over the years (with maturity) this tiny voice has spoken and continue to speak volumes and there are people who want to hear what I have to say… genuinely.
When Nu invited me I accepted without delay but I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the topic at the same time- The Two Step: Life Balance Strategies. It was almost comical because I have been called the “Queen of the Doing the Most”. In addition to my regular 9-5, I am a mom of a rising senior, I have a fur baby, somebody’s boo, obligations to various church ministries and my sorority (I <3 my AKA), staunch HIV/AIDs advocate, mentor, business partner, business owner and more. Typing this made me tired. Lol! In all honesty I have been struggling to find that balance and keep a happy medium myself. With planners, calendars, charts, etc. I have been doing pretty well keeping the balls in the air to ensure everyone is ok and that I’m practicing self-care as well. There was no way I could stand before women without walking my own talk. Nonetheless I came, I saw, and I conquered.
There were so many great takeaways and wisdom nuggets shared throughout the entire event from start to finish. But the thing that resonated with me the most was that every woman in attendance left with what she came to receive. It’s always amazing to see God working in and through women as well as through me. One of my favorite quotes is by Diane MarieChild- a woman has the ability to nurture, transform, and create.
And all three of these things happened in this intimate space, in one setting, on one day. The nurturing happened as women spoke about their visions some with doubt, some with the vision being at the threshold ready to get to the other side only needing a little more resources and some just nesting waiting for the right opportunities. You and I both know a time will never be right. In my best Skyy voice I charge everyone reading this to Go! Dare! Do! Merriam Webster defines nurture as the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing. From one woman to the next attention, feedback, love, words of encouragement, hugs, smiles, applause, an extended hand all were given as an act of nurturing.
Transformation occurred. When I tell you yokes were broken, women were set free, and tears flowed sometimes like rivers you would have thought we were having church, as the elders would say. I am sure within my heart that some of those broken pieces were put back into place and women left with an intent to be a better friend, wife, mother, leader… a better person. Transformation doesn’t have to be radical. It can be a simple pricking of the soul to do a new thing- a different thing.
And lastly creation occurred. We created new relationships, partnerships, and friendships all while making everyone accountable to and for one another. I ventured into this conference with the notion to help women take a hold of their productive lives and left with so much more from women from all walks of life. One thing that is unmistakable about women is a common thing that we share- the need to fit in, belong, to be loved, to be successful, to matter. While seeking validation is one thing that we are taught should never happen, we do seek it, especially from our other brown sisters. And it’s ok. Validation comes in so many forms but a simple “I see you” and “you matter” goes a long way. My heart was full… is still full, clarity showed up concerning my bigger purpose and I have some God given new allies on this journey and for all these things I am grateful.