My bucket is filled
Yesterday was inspiring, motivating, encouraging, enlightening, empowering, eye-opening, I suppose I'll refrain from listing the 67 other pronouns that could describe my experience yesterday.
When my lovely sister Heather graciously offered me a ticket to the ICAN Women's Leadership conference, I of course took her up on it! I made arrangements for the little's and I was good to go (thanks Joe, then Lucy, then Lisa, then Dad - it was a tag-team effort).
I have attended this event the last five years and each year has been impactful and fullfilling. But I did not consider it to be an option this year as I am not currently utilizing my professional talents to earn a paycheck. However, this conference truly has something for everyone, regardless of what "season" of life they are in - something relevant to everyone's interests. I chose to attend the more "philanthropic/self-discovery" breakout sessions rather than the "leadership/communication in the workplace" type sessions as in years' past.
There were several local, national and international speakers and presenters, all of whom were incredible, brilliant, fascinating and well-spoken individuals. I felt lucky to be in their presence and to be on the receiving end of each of their powerful messages. It was nice making connections with new people, but even more awesome catching up with several old Media/Marketing acquaintances of whom I have not spoken to in a while, now that I am a SAHM. It was probably good to let them know "I'm still alive" & I still have an interest in pursuing worthwhile endeavors, both professionally and personally. :-)
My perspectives are expanded, I am over-whelmed with ideas and strategies of the kind of things I can do to give back to both community and world I live in. It is after-all my FREEDOM to do so.
"Be the Change you want to see in the World" ~ Gandhi
Of everything I learned yesterday, I will share with you what left the greatest impact on my heart. Adam Day with the Nike Foundation introduced us to The Girl Effect.
I feel a strong desire to help spread the message.
go to this website and empower yourself with information. It is eye-opening. "The world could use a good kick in the pants" that's for sure!
When everyone knows about The Girl Effect, then real change can happen.
The Girl Effect is the potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world. It’s an untapped force in the fight against poverty.
Because there’s war, and hunger, and poverty, and AIDS, and because when adolescent girls in the developing world have a chance, they can be the most powerful force of change for themselves, their families, communities, countries, and even the planet.
But while those 600 million adolescent girls are the most likely agents of change, they are often invisible to their societies and the world.
So what can you do about that? Help make girls visible. Stand up and be counted by becoming a fan of The Girl Effect, and getting your friends to do the same. Tell the world that you think the 600 million girls in the developing world deserve better – for themselves, and for the end of poverty.
Check out this video
and this video
So now back to reality. While this conference had me inspired and empowered, let's be real. I arrived home to my family of 6 (we are watching the Cooke kids for a few days). The house was noisy, the kids were starving, my task at hand was to simply keep their minds entertained, bellies full and bottoms clean. Who has time to impact the world in ways I was dreaming up on the drive home?
Reality check - NOT ME! :-(
Well, at least not now. Baby-steps. At this moment I am doing my little part to keep my family satisfied. Yes, Children are gifts from God...but it is our duty to look after their well-being.
Volunteering at my church, being a "Big Sister", raising awareness for increasing acceptance of individuals with Down Syndrome and other forms of disabilities, being "present" in the lives of people important to me are just small contributions I can offer right now, in this season of my life...but,
The time will come, hopefully soon, when I can DO something to make a difference in the lives of those who can not advocate for themselves - not just here, but other parts of the world.
So for now, here is my part...sharing the message. This blog is my megaphone. I hope it leaves the same profound impression on your hearts as it did mine. Let's all join in prayer for a brighter tomorrow for girls around the world!