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WP Live: Of butterflies, rain and clutches of silence

Its been 2 days since I arrived at New York to take part in the World Pulse live tour . Two days later, sitting in the sunny backyard of a beautiful apartment in the quiet neighborhood of Brooklyn, I am letting my thoughts flow out. What are these thoughts about? Of many, I am picking three elements: flying butterflies, washing rain and release from the clutches of silence.

My first thought - 'flying butterflies' - is what all the three of us correspondents (Neema of Congo, Hummingbird of Syria and I) are experiencing. And the reason is obvious: from tomorrow we are going to speak to people - men and women, young and old, in events small and big - and, share our stories with them.

While it is a huge opportunity, it is also a bit unnerving to think of being there on the podium and tell stories. Now, why is it unnerving? The first reason is, because, these are our stories. Something we have lived, suffered and conquered. Now, to tell them is like reliving that suffering. Secondly, for long, nobody wanted to hear those stories. But today, there is a large audience in a foreign country wanting to hear them. Its unbelievable. And, therefore, unnerving.

But, World Pulse has arranged for us to be trained in dealing with our nervousness. Nancy Crawford, a trainer with years of experience, is in charge of that. And Nan, as we call her, tells us that its ok to be nervous. That its normal and human.

As we speak, we hear the rain falling on the maple tree in the yard. The September rain washes the tree and the vegetation underneath, sometimes gently and sometimes with a little force. Then, when it stops, everything looks so calm, serene and peaceful.

And then I hear Nan's voice: "let your emotions wash over you, like the rain washes the earth. If you do that, the butterflies in your stomach will fly in unison.'

So, I make a silent promise to myself: 'yes, I will let the rain in my heart flow out and fall, gently. I will speak of how women in India are fighting millions of odds to live, to save their daughters and risking their lives to bring small changes that can make the world a better place. Np, I will not hold it.

Spending a day with us, training with Nan, is a former VoF correspondent Leina. Some of you know her as Shekina - a journalist from Cameroon who made a video on how little girls in Cameroon have their breasts ironed. Its a horrible practice of cruelty and violence. For her powerful reporting, Leina had been hounded by her government. She couldn't even participate in the World Pulse live tour last year, despite being selected for it. Today, a teary-eyed Leina tells us what a struggle it has been for the past 1 year and what sufferings she has been undergoing - both professionally and personally. Yet, she is happy to be here, in the company of we three correspondents and other world Pulse colleagues because it gives her strength to keep doing what she thinks is important: break out of the prison of silence.

Tomorrow, the World Pulse live tour kicks off at the New York University. Maybe it will rain. Maybe it won't. Maybe the butterflies in our stomachs will fly in unison. Or maybe in a chaotic way. But it won't affect me. For I am gonna throw away the clutches of silence. For, that's what I am here for.



mrbeckbeck's picture

Beauty, power, vision

Stella, so nice to read an update from you on your time in NYC so far! I can sense the power of the group by reading your words here. I can hardly wait to share the same space with you all.

I know you're going to do great tomorrow-- whether the butterflies fly in unison or not! The audiences on this tour are going to experience an awakening through the words of this group, I am sure.

Thank you and have fun tomorrow! See you soon.
With love,

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

Stella Paul's picture

Thanks Scott

Dear Scott

Thanks for those encouraging words! The spirit here is very high. And your words send them higher!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Greengirl's picture

Go for it Stella!

Dearest Sister and Friend,

The depth and strength of the words you've never been short of sharing through your writings have never failed you. Much so, I know that the words you will speak, will carry even more passion, power and peculiarity.

Your voice is unique and I know you will make the most of it.

I wish you a fruitful and fulfilling tour.

Very warm wishes to you, Neema and Hummingbird,


Stella Paul's picture

I speak for you too

Dear Sister Olanike

And you never stop touching my heart with your love. Here, physically its the three of us. But in spirits, there is everyone of you. When I speak, I will use all the energy and knowledge that gathered from you all. Love

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Greengirl's picture

I believe you!

Go ahead and speak for every one of us. You've got all it takes.
I'll be all ears. Take care of you.


Leina's picture

Brave and beautiful!

Sweet Stella,
You are such a dear heart!World Pulse is blessed to have women like you and I know you will inspire and move audiences .I can feel your readiness!Go girl the World is waiting to hear your electrifying voice.

Stella Paul's picture

We have a bond

Dear Leina

Its been so wonderful meeting you and hearing your booming voice! I am so grateful to World Pulse for letting me know someone like you who inspires me so much! Stay close sister, so the energy keeps reaching everyone around you.

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Nakinti's picture


Courage Stella,
You can do are a very strong woman.
I was also feeling the butterflies in my stomach, just reading at your post.
I know I have met an amazing woman....that is you.
Go girl.
The sky is your starting point.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon

Stella Paul's picture

Thank you Nakinti

Thanks Nakinti for this beautiful message. Each one us -which includes you - are doing good work and its important to bring that up before the world. I am trying to do that and I am grateful to have your support.Love!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Carrie Lee's picture

"for long, nobody wanted to

"for long, nobody wanted to hear those stories. But today, there is a large audience in a foreign country wanting to hear them." YES! These stories are wanting to be told! And I will see you tomorrow in NYC and I will hear your story.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I am honored to witness as you "throw away the clutches of silence!"
Many blessings and love to you (and Neema & Hummingbird too)

Stella Paul's picture

Thank you Carrie! make me wanting to fly! See you at the event my friend! Until then, thanks and love!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Sharontina's picture


Hi dear,

Great to see you there on top of the world, representing all our voices put together in one profound and powerful voice. Its going to be striking one.

Very proud of you sis.


Merlin Sharontina

Stella Paul's picture

And I am proud of you!

My dear sister

Every time I go before the audience,I think of you all - women who are doing so much in daily life to make a better living for themselves and their children.And that fills me with pride and courage! I represent those wonderful women! I am proud my sister, of you!
Together, we build one world!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Kim Crane's picture

Bye bye butterflies

Dear Stella,

I think you are about to go on stage right now (if I've got my time zones right!). I hope the butterflies take flight and leave you with your beautiful, clear, powerful voice. I wish I was at NYU right now. I can't wait to hear about how it went! I am so inspired by your courage to stand up in front of a crowd and speak truths that need to be heard. Hugs to you and pass them on to Hummingbird and Neema as well. See you in Portland soon!



Stella Paul's picture

Oh Yes!

The butterflies are flying in unison and singling with me Kim! I especially thank you guys for adding so many beautiful photos from India in the new website banner. Every time the butterflies go too active, I look at those photos and they start flying in unison ;)


Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

usha kc's picture

Dear sisi, you made me like I

Dear sisi, you made me like I am there experienceing every moments that you are having over there.
I felt like the sun shine, rain and the maple tree, flying butterfly , washing rain.............
thank you so much dear for making us live.


Stella Paul's picture

Thanks my loving sister

Thank you so much dear Usha sis.Not a single day passes when I don't talk about you! Every day, every single day, I talk of you. SO, I am representing you too! Love!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

usha kc's picture

My great pleasure to be

My great pleasure to be remembered by you --every single day--!!!

hugs dear:)

Osai's picture


Butterflies....what butterflies? Go sis, show the world how good that you are and connect.


Twitter: @livingtruely

SaiKiGo's picture

Fond memories

Hi Stella,

I arrived back in my home in Toronto today, but could not stop talking about my experience at NYU hearing your stories in person. As I drove home, my thoughts were consumed with thinking about how I can leverage my inspiration gained from listening to you, Hummingbird, and Neema, in order to make some impact and difference. Your humility, bubbly personality, and bravery are more powerful than you know, and I wish you all the best in the coming days over the course of your world tour. Your stories and experiences of suffering and hardship have not gone in vain, because I can tell you they are creating more positive change in attitudes, thoughts, and actions, than you might know. Continue what you are doing, never stop, because a change is coming, and might already be here :)

Love your sister,

Sai Kiran Gopie
Hon. BSc, MBA
Twitter: @SaiKiranGopie

Maura Conlon's picture

Butterflies in Portland, Oregon

Hi Stella,

What a beautiful quote from Nan:
"let your emotions wash over you, like the rain washes the earth. If you do that, the butterflies in your stomach will fly in unison.'

There is strength in vulnerability and your stories bring that vulnerability forth in those who hear you.

Every American woman I meet asks: "What is one thing I can do to help women globally?"

I bet every woman in your audience is also asking that question, inside their deepest hearts -- I know you and your colleagues will help American women find their heart's response to that question as they listen to your inspiration about what is possible.

Maura Conlon-McIvor, Ph.D
author, founder and social change psychologist
celebrate life/tell your story/live your heart's legacy

Stella Paul's picture

So beautiful!

What a beautiful message this is, Maura! I am filled with emotion and almost ready to cry! And that gives me hope that it indeed is possible to connect, to understand and to help each other overcome barriers - personal, cultural, educational, economic and psychological - to rise above the situation. I am telling those who come to listen, in specific terms, how they can reach out and help. And I will keep doing that. And I am thankful to friends and sisters like you who are so gifted with the power of kind words. Love!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

cece's picture

Thank You For Your Sharing

I heard your story yesterday at an Intel event and it was inspiring to know you are out there trying to make everyone aware of what goes on in your country. Listening to the 3 stories made me want to do something, even though I wasn't sure what, I just ask myself what are my options. I immediately went to World Pulse website and signed up there and have connected we a few women and their stories. Just in the one day I have been reading the stories and connecting with those women it has been a blessing. Thank you for what you do!



We are blessed to have many Sisters!


Rebecca Lerner's picture

Fabulous writing


Your voice is so charismatic, I just love it! I can't wait to read your next journal. Tell us what you thought of Portland and how it was to speak in front of so many people!



My Blog:
Twitter: @urbanforager

Lavonne Glanville's picture

Hello Stella

My daughter, Michelle Meloche, was so thrilled to meet and connect with you. I am excited for her and her new connections with ladies like you. thanks for all you are doing!! La Vonne Glanville

Stella Paul's picture

Hello Mum!

OMG! So I get to meet Michelle's mum! She just couldn't stop talking about you and how awesome you were as parents when she was growing up. And I see it now! Thank you so, so much! I feel really connected to Michelle and to you too now. Its hard to explain, but hope we can meet someday and talk over coffee. Until then, take care of yourself. Sending you love from Washington DC (arrived here yesterday)!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Lavonne Glanville's picture


It would be wonderful to meet. We will keep in touch!

La Vonne

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