Empowered women, empower women! One of the most wonderful saying ever, in my opinion and I`m thankful that other women feel that way, because if they didn't I wouldn`t be writing this…..
#IWD 2019 seems to be turning into International Women`s Month, with the celebrations carrying on locally and globally. Rightly so, say I. Women young and old, all around the world should celebrate being such a powerful being.
I spent IWD 2019 at the most spectacular Port Lympne Reserve , set in the most majestic setting in the Kent countryside. I`ve visited Port Lympne, many times over the years, being a Kentish girl born and breed. However this time, it was truly special.
I nearly didn't attend last minute, due to nerves and my sometimes close friend, imposer syndrome. That lovely nervous stomach ache returned the night before and it very nearly won.
However Friday morning arrived and after battling though the morning chaos and chores I made it out the door and got on the road. The car journey was fraught with negative feelings whooshing around my head but I am now determined to be as brave as I encourage my two daughters to be. I was so pleased that as I drove up to the event my nerves did start to subside as I became more excited than nervous….YAY !!
The day was fantastically organised by Butterflies Events https://www.butterfliesevents.co.uk and The Aspinall Foundation https://www.aspinallfoundation.org . I have to say that I was totally blown away by the thought that had gone into every aspect of the event, from beginning to end. From the lovely greeting that I received as I entered the venue to the totally delicious lunch that was part of the day, part of which was the best carrot cake I`ve ever tasted. Not forgetting the icing on the cake….the safari, which was filled with laughter and joy, from start to finish. The day was finished in the best way possible, the most delicious prosecco, from Thomson and Scott, with get this NO sugar….yep I'm sold!!
Taken on my last trip to Port Lympne Park As on this visit, they were already in bed.
Even though this was a networking event, it really didn't feel like it. It felt like a fun day with a group of girlfriends. Actually I didn't know anyone before the day begun. There was ease, inclusion, openness and the ability to be my authentic self. Which lets face it, is the best option for everyone because the right people will always be drawn to us, when we show who we really are.
Driving home I reflected on what a wonderful county, Kent is and how it is filled with the most inspiring women now as it was in the past. Like all the women that spoke at this event with passion and conviction about thought provoking subjects, to the fabulous Kentish land girls, like my Grandma who keep Kent great during the second world war.
Unfortunately as confident and determined as some of our young women are, there are still a whole selection of girls and women who feel, as I have through out much of my life, “Oh I can`t do that because……….” For me, I feel responsible in helping those that are in the place that I once was because feeling unworthy or less than another is a dark place to be.
As the celebrations continued, on the 11th March I attended Digital Women, run by Lucy Hall, form Avviso Media https://avvisomedia.com and Natwest https://www.business.natwest.com. Yes, before I left my home in the morning to travel to London, I went through the same feelings of “I can`t go, I shouldn`t go, I need to be near my daughter….” However I pushed myself onto the train and guess what I didn't get lost, I didn't get murdered, the train wasn't blown up, my family didn't die and no one at the event, judged me. In fact, I made some fabulous connections, laughed for most of the day and learnt a great deal, which I`m sure will benefit me greatly. More importantly it helped me remember the women that I once was, confident, full of fun and able to push myself out of my comfort zone.
Digital Women was a buzz of positive energy, 250 women attended as guests, all eager to learn. I have to say, we were not disappointed, the speakers were absolutely fabulous and full of valuable information given freely. In fact there was so much useful information given, I think that it may take me a week to go through my notes, implementing it may take me a little longer. I very thankful to Amy McManus, who spoke about “Success not being achieved in our comfort zones” This is something I am going to try to implement every time an opportunity arises from now on.
It is totally unplanned that this blog post follows smoothly from my last which talks about “Being authentic and that we are all ‘Enough' as we are. This, along with stepping out of my comfort zone is what I am going to try to instil in my own daughters, while remembering to follow my own guidance.
So, thank you all at Butterflies Events, The Aspinall Foundation, Lucy Hall from Avviso Media, all the passionate speakers, and women who inspired, support and guide me.
All my love Sophia