This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting an event called the Seattle Ignited Women Project. It was an idea I had, encouraged by those closest to me, back in October. After months of work and planning, the end result could not have turned out any better.
One of the questions I continue to get about creating the event, was “WHY? Why this event? Why now?” (along with the obligatory head cocked to the side, and “that’s so much work!”)
And my answer may surprise you (or it may not)…
- Women need to lead from the front. And we are already making those changes (hello, Women’s March on January 21). If we don’t demand this from ourselves, how do we expect to teach it to those around us and those watching us.
- To re-write a narrative I had no say in. There is a story about women that we can be caddy, back stabbing, gossipy, and bitchy. That may be your experience, but it’s not my experience. I wanted to showcase how inclusive, supportive, uplifting, and on a mission we are, together.
- We are not alone in our story. There were so many different types of women that showed up on Saturday, February 11, 2017. And each of them connected on some level to our speakers’ message, or with a conversation they had with another attendee. Our fear, shame, and feelings of inadequacy are present in all of us on some level. It’s a good reminder that you are not alone.
- To provide a space for others to show up, be seen, and feel supported. This was a hard one, because after a while I wasn’t sure anyone was actually going to show up to attend the event. My insecurities ran rampant and I second guessed everything. Anytime these thoughts crept in, I kept reminding myself that I was simply creating the space for people to show up and feel like they can be seen and heard. My job was to provide the opportunity; Their job was to take it.
- Walking the path from Woman to Warrior. To be perfectly honest, I have no “real” reason for starting this event other than I felt it in my bones. And isn’t that the path of the Warrior? When something shouts at you that clearly, you go with it. We have so much work to do, and this allowed me to empower others to step up and make changes for themselves, whatever that may look like. The different messages from each speaker were so unique, you couldn’t help but take something away from the evening. I felt more like myself after the event ended than I had in a very long time.
- I’m selfish. Why not do it my way? I got to call the shots, invite everyone to a kick ass party, and discuss topics that are important to me and important to pass on to those around me.
(From left to right: Dianna Russini, Erin Brown, Allison Tenney, Lori Lindsey)
The second annual Seattle Ignited Women Project will be next year, Saturday, February 10, 2018. I can’t wait to see what it Ignites in you!
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