If I’m totally honest, I’m not exactly sure how I’m feeling after it. It was overwhelming, affirmative, insightful...a little bewildering. Think I’m in the messy stage of metamorphosis. Maybe. Viv Grant described how the cycle of the butterfly can be applied to people - the changes they go through to become the end self/ butterfly...a leader that is you.
I found out about #womened last September. The beacon of light that is Vivienne Porritt - vulnerable and fierce, compassionate and candid. She is an angel of empowerment. In twelve months, I’ve been to three teachmeet/ gatherings in Coventry, Leicester and Oxford, spoken at two leadmeets and did my first proper talk at #PedagooHampshire17. I’ve become a West Midlands Regional Leader, blogged a lot, curated a series of epic myth busting blogs and met the most wonderful human beings. At the moment, I'm looking into setting up a YouTube channel for womened and helping organise the next WM Regional event in Birmingham.
Womened is a beacon – the lighthouse analogy Hannah shared in Leicester will always stay with me. Your beacon, the light that guides you are your values. Three beacons shone effervescently at the unconference. I have been inspired, to my core, by Hannah Wilson – a powerful force of hope. An incredible human. If I'm just a tiny little bit like her in the next ten years, I'll be very proud. I’ve been supported through validation connecting with Kathryn Morgan – she is a rare and purely beautiful human, full of depth and compassion. Annemarie Williams is effortlessly amazing. She is authenticity personified. Her work speaks for itself.
The bewildering part. It was A LOT to take in, quite overwhelming at times. I’m not entirely sure how I would describe the energy that I could feel. Observing and listening to the interactions between a lot of women in the same space was insightful. I'm being very honest in saying I did question why some were there. You could spot the very empowered people in the room but to be frank they were in ‘privileged’ positions. The temperature went from radiating warmth to coldness in different spaces.
Saw 3 people by themselves so went up to them. One lady I couldn't b/c I was in mid flow convo...but wish I had. I'm going to be controversial but I have a voice, so I will use it, I question whether every single woman came for the right reasons, was it because they believe in the movement or was it an opportunity to say ‘I was there’ - were they there for the collective, which in fact includes the chn we teach? #womened isn’t a fad, or a bandwagon to jump on, that’s why I am a little undecided about Unconference 4 – would it be the worst thing in the world to wait for Unconference 5 and then Unconference 10? Do we need an annual unconference?
Where there is substance, there'll be impact. Impact takes time. Like the butterfly, change takes time. Time enables substance to build. Substance is the foundation of purposeful, lasting impact. Future leaders need to grow and develop with time. The choice to lead is the first step, the journey of leadership is a trail of steps... They need to curate and foster change to have impact. Isn't that the point of #womened?
The one truth that weaves through each word is that I know my ‘forever’ pledge. I pledge to be guided by my heart, what feels right for me, what I believe in. In essence, following my heart means being guided by my values.
These are my favourites lyrics from every KOL song. I get lost in the words...they are comforting and uplifting
I won’t forget to love because that will guide me. I love #womened. I’ll keep following the light. I hope I can become a beacon.
So by following my heart, I've three outcomes I want to work towards.
1. Enable young girls to understand and engage with fierce conversations - empower young girls through language
2. Set up #womened YouTube channel so that potentially wider audience can engage with #womened
3. Become an English leader, who has a greater sphere of influence