I told you I would share a little from the California Women’s Conference, so here is my promise kept.
First of all, if any of you get a chance to go, it’s a must. Not just for the rah-rah-girl-gathering or the tear-jerking stories, but because it’s a nice kick in the, not so risk taking-afraid of failure-too cool to pursue, ass.
While it was a who’s-who fest of speakers, one in particular stood out. Eve Ensler shared her perspective and a monologue, not the v-kind, but rather from her newest book, I Am an Emotional Creature. She was articulate and funny, exuberant and profound, loud and courageous–she is clearly an emotional creature, but it was not Eve that gave me chills and moved 15,000 to tears.
The barely English speaking Somaly Mam was the one who taught me something. Following Eve would be no easy task for anyone, lest a women who has never spoken in a public arena and who apologized for not being able to pronounce “Shriver” when thanking Maria for her introduction. For a moment, I felt my heart sink as I watched her struggle to communicate. My concern for her soon waned as she commanded our attention with her powerful story. Somaly is a sex slave survivor and the founder of the Somaly Mam Foundation. Her purpose is to help Southeast Asian girls and women escape the nightmare she lived through.
What a story, what an inspiration, what a woman. How was she able to so clearly convey her vision and her heart with the barrier of language? In a world where elevator pitches and concise marketing messages are a must for anyone trying to be heard, Somaly’s power lay in her ability to see what is possible. Her power was in articulating her heart, regardless of and free of any clever, polysyllabic, perfectly annunciated words.
So the next time you find yourself trying to communicate your vision and getting stuck in properly grooming your words, remember the key here is to let your heart speak–it’s trying to tell you (and perhaps the world) something significant.