Have you ever attended an event and a few days later, you suddenly realize that it was such a special experience and it needs to be captured with a blog post?
Well, about a week ago, I attended an international Women’s Day event, and I was blessed to exchange sacred energy and share space with some phenomenal women in York Region/GTA. It was a remarkable night of inspiring stories, sisterhood, celebrations and empowerment. Most of all, we had an awesome time socializing and we all had a whole lot of fun!
(Important to mention here that some of the topics we discussed were so damn hot that we literally set the place on fire! Like, seriously, candle to paper fire 🙂 That’s how much fun we had).
The event was held at the lovely and quaint Hogan’s Inn in the heart of downtown King city. A huge thank you to Angel Freedman for organizing an amazing, empowering evening filled with warmth and love. And everyone got to go home with a great gift! It was an embracing, multi-cultural guest list, with our backgrounds as diverse as Russian, Chinese, Nigerian, Ukraine, Canadian, Austrian…etc. I even got a chance to share my poem, (a tribute poem for every girl-child, especially in developing communities across the globe) : ‘Today, I will not bow; Together we RISE!’ 🙂
We talked about burning issues and shared our experiences over a delicious, candlelit, 3-course dinner, drinks and music. One of my favourite moments was when two of the ladies, Ingrid Folkers and Debora Kelly shared some highlights from an award ceremony held earlier in the day by the Soroptimist International York Region, where Angel Freedman received the Donna McCann award.
There was also a reminder to all the ladies, about the power of effecting change and transforming lives one person at a time. Angel’s Garage project was highlighted as a beautiful example of this principle. (I promise to do another blog post about Angel’s Garage; a simple, yet amazing initiative founded by Angel Freedman, and a vehicle for community engagement, connectedness and service).
Another favourite moment for me, was when each woman stood up and shared what International Women’s Day means to her. And each person also paid a heartfelt tribute to at least one woman who has shaped, influenced and positively impacted the trajectory of her life. It was such a cool way to honour our loved ones, living and dead, who paved the way for us and to energetically and spiritually bring them into our space and make them a part of our celebrations. And most of all, I got to share this wonderful experience with my daughter.
And because it was unscripted and each person had no previous inkling of the questions before the event, everyone spoke from their heart, in the moment, and what a truly enriching and powerful experience it was for all of us!
Here are some simple yet wise reminders and insights shared (at least what my pina colada mind still remembers):
-A celebration of all women, especially mothers, who selflessly put their careers/dreams on hold and take care of children with varying degrees of disabilities (physical, mental, cognitive, learning or emotional). And for all who fight for a world where everyone is treated with dignity, compassion and respect;
-I learned a really interesting tidbit: In Russia, Ukraine and China International Women’s Day is a full-fledged holiday and while we Oohed and Ahhed at such an amazing feat and progress, someone in the room quickly put it in perspective with this question. “Well at night who’s left to still do the dishes?” And we all had a good laugh to that.
-A celebration of all the women in our families- especially mothers and grandmothers, who showed us all what being ethical, strong, caring and empowered look, sound and feel like;
-A reminder that even though there are still a lot to strive for and challenges to overcome, it is important to take a moment to take a step back and celebrate the incredible strides women have attained in all spheres of life;
-A clarion call to women to avoid the trap of ‘victimhood’ and rally round to re-frame their experiences, proactively create opportunities and be more engaged in governance, politics and leadership, so that they are part of the policy makers and shapers;
-A celebration of the fact that in Canada, the status of women as ‘Persons’ have only been legal since (We’re technically only 87 years young);
-A celebration of all the fathers who raised strong, independent, loving and empowered women and a toast to all the men who love such women;
-Changing the narrative to be more inclusive; o shift the focus from women (mothers) empowering only their daughters, and integrate that with the more important message of empowering our sons to honour, be respectful and loving to women;
-The clarity that empowerment has different approaches and methodologies. It is not a one-size fits all or blanket strategy. Some people are more overt; in the frontline and headlines while others, are more quiet and inward looking. All approaches are valid and should be accepted and respected.
-A celebration of the freedoms we experience in the Western world (and often take for granted). And a call to action to use our freedom and opportunities to advance the cause of women in underserved communities worldwide where they are still denied the basics of life such as education, access to healthcare and are victims of kidnapping & sex slavery, trafficking, child marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic violence & assault etc.
It wasn’t all heavy talks about politics, gender equality and empowerment. We also focused on seemingly not to serious (but equally important), interesting topics such as the Vagina Monologues, the power of a well-fitted bra to enhance confidence (sub theme: how a perfectly great outfit can be ruined by something as simple as an ill-fitting bra)!
I shared my recent experience of finding a perfect Warcoal bra at the Hudson Bay in Hillcrest Mall, in Richmond Hill. I was so ecstatic that I ended up penning a poem about it right there in the fitting room before I even paid for it, lol 🙂 Click here to read or listen to Warcoal-inspired poem: “Brassière”.
Of course, the story of ‘the bra’ is simply a metaphor, a gentle reminder of how sometimes the little things in life create the most profound shifts and results. And how as women we need to pay more attention, put ourselves on our lists and take care of our needs, no matter how little or large (internal or external). We spend so much time taking care of others, but are we also taking care of us?
I was also pleasantly inspired to find out earlier today that Warcoal is having its 30th Anniversary celebrations and a bra of the month sweepstakes form now through December 26, 2015. Visit their website for more information: http://www.wacoal-america.com
More importantly, Warcoal Bras is also having Fit For the Cure® events around the country and it supports a worthy cause. See below for more details. Culled directly from Warcoal Website.
[Blogger Disclaimer: I’ve raved so much about Warcoal that a friend of mine once teased me that perhaps I was being paid to write sponsored posts for the company. I hereby declare that I do not gain anything in any form, from promoting Warcoal bras (financial or otherwise), I just really love their products so much!] 🙂
Fit For the Cure®
Wacoal invites women around the country to “step into the ring” (or even better, the dressing room!) and join the fight against breast cancer. Attend a Fit for the Cure event* in your area and let a Wacoal fit specialist help you determine your true bra size. For every woman who participates, Wacoal will donate $2 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to help fund breast cancer research and community outreach projects. (No purchase necessary).
After determining your correct size, the fit specialists will help you find perfect bras for all your different moods, styles, and fashions. As an added bonus, Wacoal will donate $2 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® for every Wacoal bra, shapewear piece or b.tempt’d bra purchased at these events. And, that’s not all, with a purchase of $80 or more, you will receive a Wacoal Black Nylon Essential Carryall as our gift to you. **
We are proud to report that, to date, Wacoal has:
-Donated more than $4 million to Susan G. Komen® for the Cure®
-Held 14,000 Fit for the Cure events
-Fit over 660,000 women
Together we can make 2014 the best year yet. Wacoal pledges to make a guaranteed minimum donation of $250,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and with your help we can give even more. Gather your girlfriends and come out to Fit for the Cure®, or tell women you know about events in their areas.
In conclusion, here’s an interesting article from ELLE magazine on how wearing the wrong bra for your boobs may get them going south faster :-). ‘The everyday habits that make your boobs sag’: http://www.elle.com/beauty/a26757/habits-sagging-breasts/
3 Questions for you: What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Who do you celebrate on IWD2015? What’s your favourite bra brand? I’d really love to hear from you! Join the conversation on our Facebook Page.
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Thank you 🙂
Love, Light & Truth!
-Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, MBA (www.julietkego.com)
Poet | Master-Certified Leadership Coach-Trainer -Consultant|
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Whole WoMan Network
Raising a New Generation of Empowered, Transformational & Creative African Leaders.
~Take empowered ACTION towards a Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier YOU!~
[Photo credit: Pictures by Blogger]