Update on the Gathering in New York City
There are so many things I could say about last night, but nowhere near enough words or time or space to relate it all. But I shall try to fill you in.
I arrived at the East Harlem Cafe at around 5.30 last night. It was a great spot. Small and cozy and smelling of coffee and tea, in the Spanish District of Harlem on Lexington Avenue. I ordered a chamomile tea, to help calm the nerves and sat at a table near to the door and the large glass windows. Less than 5 minutes later I saw a tall beautiful woman dressed in red walking down the street towards the cafe. I recognized her as Jensine immediately. I stood up as she came through the door and she smiled, clearly recognizing me as I recognized her... and we hugged each other! I couldn't believe it. I was here and so was she and we sat together and had tea and a bite to eat and talked about world pulse and our experiences and a little about what was expected of the program that was to come later that evening. Perhaps you can tell from my writing and lack of commas, how excited I still am about my adventure.
Jensine spoke for about 20 minutes to a smallish gathering of women and one man. I listened to her visions for world pulse, how she overcame her shyness, how she saw world pulse developing. It was all very moving and again I was reminded of how privileged and honored and blessed I am, we all are actually, to be a part of such a wonderful movement to empower women's voices and raise women up all over the world.
After her talk she introduced me as a special guest of honor, and I began to talk. I hadn't prepared anything. I had no idea what I wanted to say, there was too much to say about the program to condense it into a few words. I ended up speaking (somehow) about how the program has helped me to overcome my fears of becoming public, or of offending anyone, how I had at first worried about relating to women who have lives so very different from my own. I talked a little about what I had learned, but mostly I talked about all of you. The relationships I have begun to form with you, how it feels to be among such wonderful amazing courageous women as yourselves, how much I've been inspired by you to take more action, to want to be more engaged in world affairs and to continue to support and encourage you all on your journeys for change, as you have all done for me.
Some of the personal stories I shared seemed to have an impact and a few women came up to me afterwards to talk about the things I said and ask me more questions. This was amazing to me.
I have realized that I LOVE speaking. Even though I was nervous, and my hands trembled so much as I put my chamomile tea cup down on the table that I heard it tapping the table in time with my shaking!! I love having an impact, opening someones eyes a little wider and changing people's assumptions. And I love to inspire. I think that happened last night and I am so HAPPY!!!!!
I am really really grateful to all of the lovely World Pulse staff who arranged this, (Natasha and Andrea xxx) for giving me this experience and also for the opportunity to "practise" as they said, speaking in public.
As most of you know, when I began this program I was terrified of being public. Yesterday I talked personally and from the heart about myself and my experiences with perfect strangers...and it was wonderful!
I highly recommend it.
It was hard to say goodbye to Jensine at the end of the evening. Well to all those present actually. The atmosphere and the energy was warm and beautiful and I glowed with a big grin on my face all the way home on the subway. Jensine mentioned how she'd like to get us all together for a world pulse summit, maybe overseas, maybe in Kenya. I know many of us have talked about how much we'd love that. So lets put our dreams together and hope with all our might that we can make that happen some day!