This morning, I had awakened before the dawn even remotely cracked open its metaphorical eyelid and even though I had shut mine a mere 6 or so hours prior, I was rarin’ to go. Gear packed, a general theme in mind, I jumped into the Jeep and headed an hour north to speak with a group of 30-some women ranging in age from 26 to likely late 50’s-early 60’s. BW NICE Business Women Networking Involving Charity And Education is the name of the sponsoring organization. As the title goes, their dual purpose is to connect women with each other for the purpose of sharing ideas and being of mutual support to each other, as well as raising funds and awareness about a particular adopted charity related to domestic violence.
According to the website:
“BW NICE, Business Women Networking Involving Charity & Education, provides women at all stages of business and personal life with support, education and resources. We see value in the balance of business networking and charitable outreach. We bring women together to gain meaningful business connections, learn new ways to succeed, and foster an empowering environment. Each BW NICE chapter raises funds and awareness supporting a local organization in the fight against domestic violence.” The Lehigh Valley, PA chapter supports a program called Turning Point of Lehigh Valley.
My friend Veronica Drake had invited me to be what I call the ‘edu-tainment’ for this breakfast gathering of powerful women. When she asked me for a title for my talk, I immediately thought of wise advise that my mother often offered “Walk in like you own the joint, with eye contact and head held high.” I would add “Knockers up!” with chest forward, exuding confidence.
It seems that this gathering contained women who were already confident, since they were each professionally successful. As I spoke, I notice heads nodding when I shared about my own sometimes faltering confidence and imposter syndrome, despite appearances. I opened the curtains and revealed some of the contents of my ‘sink full of dishes’ mind that is sometimes overflowing. No one ran screaming and several said they could relate. I felt highly energized as if we were all plugged into an electrical socket that juiced us up. We spoke about our dreams and desires, our accomplishments and what could support us.
Together we laughed, smiled, sharing what I observed to be the collective wisdom of thousands of years. We learned to take off the Teflon Shields that allow compliments, praise and love to sliiiiide off of us and instead become love sponges that soak it all up and then we can wring it out on those around us.
Although I didn’t play this song, I offer it to the bodaciously brave women who strutted their stuff at the end of the presentation with knockers up!
Photo credit: Krista McKeon