Two Tuesdays ago, I attended the Texas Conference for Women. It was such an amazing day that it took me a couple of weeks to process it all!
First, let me just say that there was a sea of women. And they were women looking to grow and to support — in a world that tells us women are out to get each other, how great is that? Milling around the booths and getting coffee (OF COURSE!), I chatted with several women, all excited to be a part.
The theme of the conference was the Power of Possibility. And boy, did that resonate with me. It is easy as a SAHM to feel like possibility has left my life. Well, after this day, I have zero excuses!
We started the morning with a bevy (yes, I just used bevy — I knew that word-a-day calendar would pay off eventually!) of opening speakers.
Bits of wisdom —
Bob Beaudine: “You are meant to be doing great and mighty things.”
Verni Myers: “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
Esmerelda Santiago: “I made this day happen!”
And then there was the fabulous Tory Johnson. If you want to know a woman who met her life where it was, found a new possibility, and made it happen — she’s such a woman.
And the amazing Blogess was there as well. I had the immense pleasure of seeing her breakout session and meeting her in person. She is so kind and such a wonderful witty warrior for mental health acceptance.
I also got to fulfill a long time dream and saw Delia Ephron in person. She is as smart and savvy in person as she is in words. She gave some of the best advice for writers — become disciplined. Schedule writing time and do it! I am heeding those words!
Later at the keynote lunch, there was more wisdom to be gained!
Oh my goodness! What a line up of possibility!!!!
I was surprised by Sallie Krawcheck. So often women who have risen to the ranks of executive levels at Forbes companies come across as tough as nails rising to the top by being more man than woman. Ms. Krawcheck was the polar opposite to that. She started her speech with a frank admission of the cost of perfectionism and being a woman. She was affable, funny, and frank. She told the stories of her successes but also the story of seeing her firing on the front page of the paper. Her resolve to keep her ethics over her job is refreshing and inspirational. She also stressed the value of finding a sponsor not just a mentor. Everyone needs someone in their corner ready to fight for them. Love that!
Johnita Johns, an inspiration herself as an executive and leader for women, introduced the amazing Nobel Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. yes, I said Nobel Prize winner. Her entire speech from the first utterance spoke to my heart and stripped me of any excuses. My favorite quotes were, “the fight is possible”, “Anger and pain propel me into action. Results and joy keep me moving”, and finally, “We all have power in us to change the tide.” Talk about rising above and allowing the power of possibility to move us! Yes, m’am!
Finally, Rachael Ray was interviewed by local food writer Addie Broyles. She reminded the audience that work has value. “You have to take the work very seriously, but not yourself.” I like that! Though, we all know, I never take myself seriously. Haha! I think we have established that I am not much of a cook but I appreciated her humble nature, love of Austin, and appreciation of hard work!
So that’s my wrap-up. Can’t believe it took me so long to gather it but there was so much good, I needed time to share how big the event made me feel. Yay for women inspiring women! I hope one day the same can be said of me.