Just a week ago I was in NYC walking in the Lincoln Center for the Women in the World Summit and not knowing at the time that this trip would change my life. I knew the Summit was about the fearless women who take on the world but I didn’t expect so many of them to be, well, like everyone else who were propelled forward to do more.
I mean the life altering part genuinely, by the way. Some people can exaggerate that saying with statements of truly insignificant things changing their lives. I once said a tiny brownie would change people’s lives if they ate it…
and while that was a slight exaggeration… I still haven’t had a brownie that has compared to that one. It really was that good.
This Summit is obviously bigger than a brownie. It’s the creme de la creme brownie of life topped ala mode with awesomesauce.
Not only am I currently still inspired but I am now really hungry.
I believe in taking every struggle, hurdle and obstacle in life as a lesson and making the choice to move from it with something to gain. I affectionately encourage those around me to ninja kick those obstacles out of the way to find happiness. It is what I teach my daughter to help her get through her life threatening health hurdles. It is something I live by and something that many have found inspiring about me. I’m flattered when people find me inspiring.
I mostly wonder if their heads have some screws loose!
I am very confident, don’t allow negativity to weigh me down and I have an obnoxiously determined personality, however, I am quite humble and am probably more critical of myself than anyone should be. Compliments make me feel awkward and when I am provided something amazing I often wonder why the hell I, of all people, am so fortunate.
Standing in a room with many powerful figures in the world and hearing their stories would usually make someone feel insignificant or intimidated… it gave me perspective. It charged me full of energy. It made so many day to day complaints insignificant. It made me even more determined to obtain my goals for my kids and I.
It made me realize that the encouragement we hear from childhood that anyone can make a difference is truly a fact.
I’ve been staring at this screen for a week not knowing how I would convey all that I learned. I have many notes. Many people I want to talk about. Many topics I feel are inspiring and can light a fire cracker up some butts to get people going. So many feelings I want to share about the company, Toyota, who sent me to this Summit because they support women in the world. Oh and the women they support! The Mothers of Invention and how fortunate I am for the time I spent with them.
So rather than writing a general blog post summing up my experience I am taking the time to research, plan and take action. I gained a ton of feedback on twitter, facebook and email from those of you who were following this event. I hope to share and start a ripple of inspiration from the knowledge I feel privileged to have now.
The situations that some of these women found themselves in seemed hopeless. All odds were against them. Some had no families and no answers. Some thought they had no rights in their own lives. They found strength, courage and hope despite everything… and they not only survived the unthinkable but they also empower other women. They make women as a whole stronger. They had me laughing, in tears, physically uncomfortable and inspired from their stories.
They made me damn proud of being a woman.
It doesn’t matter if you are from humble beginnings, giving a second life to teen moms, thrown in to a life of slavery, determined to invent something outside of the box or want to empower youth because every single person can make something extraordinary out of their lives.
There is no man, person or seemingly impossible odds that can hold you back from anything you want to accomplish. You want it? Go out there and do it and don’t stop until it’s done. It may seem easy to say that and sure these are just words on a screen just as a movie can give us that Hollywood ending that anything is possible…
But, after the Women in the World Summit I now know for a fact that it isn’t just stories. It is life. And it’s ours to live.
My feet haven’t touched the ground since my trip and I hope this elated and empowered feeling lasts a lifetime.
Disclosure: I attended this Summit as a special guest of Toyota as a member of the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network. My travel expenses and pass to the summit and event were covered. I was not compensated for this event and all opinions expressed are my own.
About Leila DontSpeakWhinese
Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of five awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.