Women Leading Change Event x Wake Up Project
Saturday morning. It’s 8am. My usual weekend would start with dragging myself to a gruelling Xtend barre class and piecing back the night before from the standard Friday night post-work drinks scenario…. so I wasn’t entirely sure how valuable an all day self-development workshop on my sacred work free Saturday was going to feel…
But in life, when we move away from our traditional routine and step outside our comfort zone, almost always great things happen. And it did. Today, I had the delight of attending the Women Leading Change Event in Sydney – a celebration of Courage, Self-Care and Sisterhood. Sounds a bit Kum-Bay-Ya? Well, I always thought so… until I attended and participated in this special event and, as a result, felt completely awakened (which is more than any organic dairy free shot of espresso could do!). It was the most valuable and worthwhile reason I’ve ever had to wake up early on a Saturday morning.
Today’s event was designed to nourish the soul and to encourage women to inspire positive change through self-care, courage and compassion. Listening to incredible personal stories by some of the world’s leading philosophers, yoga teachers and published authors it was an uplifting and inspiring day. I even did a group guided meditation, sang out loud and held a linked yoga pose with 650 strangers.. yes. This really happened.
The event was held by The Wake Up Project, and if you haven’t heard of this heartfelt powerful community you need to sign up and register your details with them today here. Wake Up Project is a community of 75,000 people who want to make the world a kinder place. I have heard people talk about their events in the past and have been particularly moved by the feedback of these compassionate and inspiring sessions. Do yourself a favour ladies, instead of spending money on expensive egg nourishment bowls at trendy breakfast eateries, spend some time and resources on your mind, soul and self-development. It will be the best bowl of therapy you’ll ever eat!
The special day-long event was about inspiring change for a new way of envisioning women’s leadership. They gathered a stunning line-up of speakers, storytellers and artists such as world renowned Yogi Seane Corne, meditation devotee and modern day Mother Teresa Petrea King, Sarah Wilson, Tara Moss just to name a few.
The event situated at the Concourse Amphitheatre in Chatswood, was hosted by Jo Wagstaff a Leadership & Living Facilitator. Jo works with corporate individuals to be more authentic and compassionate as leaders in the workforce. Having worked in investment banking, she turned her focus to living a more compassionate and connected life and she spoke about the importance of celebrating the feminine in ourselves.
The event kicked off with a heartfelt talk from Seane Corne. She is a renowned highly celebrated yoga teacher and long term sacred activist for social and political change. In addition to her dedication to strength and flexibility on and off the yoga mat, she also is an inspiring advocate for beauty. Seane wears no makeup and has written into all of her publishing contracts that her photos never be airbrushed – even on the Oprah show! Very much like yoga she said, strength rises from practice. She brought heart and wisdom to today’s talk, and also brought a unique view into the world of marketing beauty and aging gracefully.
We also heard from Petrea King, an inspirational author, mother, hypnotherapist, herbalist, nutritionalist (the list goes on). She has participated in 3 x 30-day fasts and studied meditation with Tibetan monks. Having been voted Australian of The Year almost 6 years in a row, Petrea inspired the crowd by talking about her deeply moving personal experiences with grief, death and tragedy and why living your life in the light and moving through times of darkness is in fact important. Because – living our life does matter.
By this point, I didn’t even want to grab a coffee (or go to the bathroom!) in fear of missing out on a single word of wisdom or electrifying narrative…. and with every speech and story you felt more and more empowered and inspired. We also heard from Tara Moss who in addition to her modelling credentials has sold over hundred of thousands crime novels and recently announced her role as the Patron of the Full Stop Foundation for ending domestic and sexual violence.
Sarah Wilson a well known Australian Health Coach and Blogger spoke about her resilience in business and her ability to let the tennis balls “fly over her head”. She also spoke about not holding onto “stuff” and her discomfort with possessing material things. The I Quit Sugar Queen doesn’t own a car or buy clothes and is about to launch a new food initiative to encourage people to re-use their scraps.
We were wowed by the singing prowess and comical repertoire of award winning song writer and actress Claire Bowditch who made us laugh, cry and most important join into a crowd choir sing-a-long and mexican wave…
Lucy Perry was refreshingly candid and hilarious. A successful advertising agency executive she spoke about her transition into motherhood and her path to living a fun, forgiving and fearless life that can change the world. (She also told a hilarious story about giving birth to her second child in the middle of a Christmas party). Appointed as CEO of the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia Foundation (an entity that raises funds for a network of hospitals and a midwifery school in Ethiopia) Perry was also awarded as the winner of the 2015 NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Award in the not-for-profit sector.
One of the final talks was from one of the most important voices in mindfulness philosophy – Tami Simon. Tami is the pivotal mentor and business coach behind the Wake Up Project’s Founder Jono Fisher as she assisted him originally with his dream and vision to create a heartfelt community. Her life goal is to disseminate life wisdom and serve spiritual awakening. She is the Co-Founder of Echart Tolle TV and her own independent multimedia company called Sounds True. She also imparted in her 6 life learnt lessons to spiritual awakening…truly magical words.
The day was peppered with wisdom and inspiration from such a stunning line up of fearless warriors who all in their own ways are encouraging women to live their truth with heartfelt authenticity. I strongly urge everyone to keep an eye on the next Wake Up Project event – it will make you feel awake and connected. Something, I believe every human can benefit from. I also learnt you don’t have to start a million dollar Not-for-Profit or go on a 30 day fast in a Tibetan cave to change the world (although those things are amazing!). It starts with you and taking one small step in the right direction. A direction that feels good – and true to you, your experience and your narrative. So whether that is reading a book, disseminating your own wisdom or speaking the truth, we can all change the world from within. For me, it started with attending this event.
Thank you to The Wake Up Project and all the wonderful people that made this event possible and accessible to so many women with your Women Leading Change Tour.