Women Leading Change


This piece was originally written for, and appeared on, the Loving Earth website.

On an autumn morning in May, 500 women gathered at Melbourne Convention Centre to be inspired, to be uplifted, but above all to connect. Welcome to Women Leading Change.

As Seane Corn, American Yogi Extraordinaire, opened the day, she spoke of separation and how it is on all of us to close the gap. The bar was set high as she spoke about her own personal journey, including her time in New York clubs and meeting one man in particular who bestowed this slice of advice which pretty much encapsulated the ethos of Wake Up Project’s tour…

“Ignore the stories, see the soul. Remember to love. You will never regret it”.

With not a dry eye in the house, the tone was set. One of heart cracking honesty, strength, wild resilience and true feminine beauty.

Janine Shepherd, the former cross-country skier, who, after a life changing accident left her with a broken neck and back, as well as a host of other devastating injuries, gained her pilots license within a year of leaving hospital. If you haven’t seen Janine’s TED Talk it is not one to be missed and gives a true view of what she shared; that acceptance is a lived experience, it is a doorway that we must pass through to live. How true acceptance only comes when you say ‘YES” to the whole experience and that it’s not about having it all but loving it all.

Or as writer and former model Tara Moss put it, it’s actually about having YOUR all. As someone who was famed for her physical looks Tara delved into what it looks and feels like to be a woman living today. With all the media attention and consistent reminders that despite all that has moved forward, women are still disproportionally represented in politics, media, and corporations, even in our own social circles. How if we as women are to create change we first must look after our selves, stop holding ourselves, or others up as superheros and recognise that as ‘ordinary’ people, we are capable of extra-ordinary things.

Which couldn’t be truer of the firework that is Lucy Perry, the former CEO of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. After going from a volunteer to CEO in the space of three short years, Lucy spoke of audacious determination, courage and how kindness should be the default business practice of every business. She also had the whole house laughing and crying, even sharing the story of how she gave birth at a party and that we need to always take the time to celebrate the wins.

Clare Bowditch celebrated women in all shapes, sizes and stages. How we must sit in The Uncomfortable During and acknowledge that life is seldom lead at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ stage. Treating us to a couple of songs – the lyrics reminding us that if:

“You want an amazing life

But you can’t decide

You don’t have to be just one thing

But you have to start with something.”

Leading an amazing life can only be done if we show up fully in every area, which is what Tami Simon urged us to investigate. Asking us if we can heed the call of our dreams, to have the courage to find out and be comfortable with forging the path that hasn’t been trodden yet. Tami left us with trust, truth and letting go as being the keys to being true to who we are.

Coming full circle, Seane Corn took to the stage again to tie up the threads of the themes that were shared on stage throughout the day. Reminding us to simply start where we are. There is no place to be other than now and to approach life, leadership and change with open ears, open eyes and above all an open heart.

I left feeling uplifted and so bonded to all the other people in the audience. Creating a space where hearts are open and people have come together with a similar intention awakens a very special and potent kind of energy. I think it was a beginning to understanding our own power and truth as women; that we, as we are and where we are, are the change makers who will lead the world into a new way of being.

Architects of our own Future Part Two


On wobbly legs, I began. To untangle and grapple with what the last twenty seven years had been about, but more currently the last five. What was I doing, who was I and what the fuck was I going to do now?

Root cause, begin at the base, otherwise it will keep growing back. But learn patience because somethings can’t be dealt with swiftly like a telesales caller. Somethings you have to bring out time and time again and get so frustrated that it is still there and then laugh as you finally get the biggest fucking joke of all. IT’S NEVER GOING TO GO AWAY. YOU have to make space for it, and love it in all its ugliness equal to the acceptable and pleasing facets of your human nature. You have to blaze a bonfire of light on it and say I AM NOT AFRAID OF YOU. I SEE YOU IN YOUR BIG GROTESQUE FRIGHTENING FORM. YOU ARE PART OF ME. Now come sit and be quiet, I have work to do.




Lose the things that need to be lost. Let them go. Honour them, remember them fondly like a lost lover, but put them down and put one foot in front of the other again.

Find the things that need to be found. Face to fear. Face it because you have to. It’s a choice again. This or death. Not in a Life-Death-Life cycle but in a this is the end abyss so be thrilled by it and then step back with renewed vigor and purpose and knowing.


I hear you.

I see you.

I honour your hurt.

Feel every last ounce of it. It will make you a better human being.

Remind yourself why you love people so much. BECAUSE YOU LOVE YOURSELF.

Not every moment on every day in a vocal way, some days you have to dig and sit and wait for the blue sky of knowing to peep through the blackest storm clouds for you to go ‘Yes there she is. There is my love. MY LOVE.’ But a belief, Inherent, wise, that it is always above.

Now go and share and sing it so loud that people will defy gravity because of your resounding voice speaking to their souls. TRUTH that they ARE ready to hear. That they CAN handle and will reverberate to the deepest beat of the heart.


I choose to be present to it all. To tighten up and to listen hard and to raise my head with open eyes and say I AM READY FOR IT. LET’S GO.

In retreat and in action, in reflection and in movement, I want to feel it all because it is the only way I will ever feel it. I am still learning.

Sometimes the same lessons in different disguises, through familiar voices and feelings that creep up with such knowing I could swear they knew me from the beginning of time. To wrestle with and heal and grow forth. To rise and to lead from the biggest open heart I know how to own. To love fully and unconditionally. As Woman as She who has always known. THANK YOU.

The Architects of our own Future Part One

I’ve always been a people pleaser. Maybe because I have always loved people and so making them happy, I thought would make me happy. Wrong. It is wholly unsustainable to make other people happy, nor is it in fact possible. People make themselves happy. Let me redefine that. People can bring joy, connection, companionship, love and respect to others, but to truly make someone happy? Impossible. We have to make ourselves happy. We can only make ourselves happy.

I spent years and years trying to make someone else happy. I’m not even sure I knew specifically who it even was. A mysterious ideal maybe, of what I should be doing, saying, being. What bullshit. I was so far into it, getting more miserable with ever fleeting glimpses of true joy and pleasure in my own sense of self that I was fading. And fast. This made me so…angry. God I was mad, raging red and full of hot hot heat. It was THEIR fault, not mine. Why can’t THEY be more this or less that. Why aren’t they trying to make ME happy when I am so clearly trying to make them happy. Aren’t THEY happy yet? Haven’t I done enough? Where is my reward and glory?

It has taken me literally YEARS to realise that there was NOTHING ANYBODY could have done. Why?

Because I was so desperately disconnected to myself, I wasn’t even sure I knew how to make myself happy, what did I even like that went beyond a face and façade of the escapism found in another bottle of wine, take-away box or packet of cigarettes. Watching mindless television or unmemorable nights spent in pubs or racing round town getting to the third social engagement of the night. Keeping ‘busy’.

I was exhausted. I was so tenderly, twistedly, tormented by running on the spot truly believing that I was getting somewhere, anywhere. Further up the ladder, further away from the low level, increasingly high level anxiety. The unchanging landscape of my life left me bored out of my mind, punctuated only by euphoric moments on recreational drugs with my best friends who were probably in their own sinking ships, where the serotonin flooding my brain cleared enough space for me to feel. TO FEEL. That THIS is what it is about – connection on a tangible, tactile, close, basic level. Proximity to love and tribal community was but a whisper and it felt like home.

But the crashing come down and hangover only impacted harder with the crushing reality of a new week starting, the post-holiday blues kicking in and it all beginning again. Like you’d never been away. Never skipped a beat.

Suffering silently behind the smoking and laughing and alcohol blurred benders of being a ‘laugh’ and ‘loud’ and ‘fun’.

I was in serious trouble. I had to do something.

Like a lighthouse in a perfect storm I saw a lifeline and knew from somewhere else that this was my chance. I went to a festival that cracked me open just a chink. Enough to let the light flood in and bathe my aching soul. I had to DO something. That was it. ACTION. It must be taken, because when you are so shit scared and the two options laid out bare in front of you are carry on and die or finally stop and do something else. Change the course, reroute, turn HARD LEFT.

I quit. I had so much tied up with my job and what I had laid at its feet to fix for me and my own sense of identity that one or the other had to go. Job or sense of self. Pick. I chose self. The wild woman is not dead yet…merely sleeping a long fucking deep arsed sleep.

I was bruised and blaming. THEY were still at fault, I was free-falling and winging every tiny thing.

Book the flight. Go. Fly. Gain ground and time and distance. PERSPECTIVE. Go live in the future where they have sunshine in their voices and smiles in the sea.

Half and half

CREDIT: wholelifewellbeing.com
CREDIT: wholelifewellbeing.com

I am a glass half full kind of gal.

I have always had (according to my dear papa) an ability to always believe that things will be OK.  Sure I have my moments when this is not the case, especially when I run out of tea bags.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a lost cause, that there is always time to change and that it is human nature to fight for what you believe in and ultimately stand for.

The world is in a pretty bad state at the moment, but I believe in the power of one.

I think it’s easy to over complicate things and that groups of many can be intimidating, or lead to a ‘Why bother?’ kind of attitude; something or someone else is already doing it/will handle it.


If you believe in one, then that feels do-able. It feels like a step and that it can be achieved. We have forgotten how to be simple. We have lost the need to take time to learn and digest, to borrow from lessons learnt and apply them again.

If we look at just ourselves and taking on one thing; if everyone picked just one thing to nurture and focus on, then that is 7 billion things being looked after and studied, improved and challenged. If that one thing is yourself, on making you the most open and nurtured and noticed.

Then we can look at the empty half of the glass and see it as space to grow into.


CREDIT: www.flickr.com
CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com