Last weekend, I had a beautiful, wonderful time at SparkPortland in the company of some amazing women. We listened. We showed up. We inspired. We spoke our deepest secrets and we were heard. We were human with each other. We danced. We witnessed each other.
I am still feeling filled up from everyone who spoke; it was so moving. It was a mix of scheduled speakers and spontaneous moments when someone came on stage to speak directly from their heart—the truth. We cracked ourselves open and we changed. There was so much laughter and so many tears. We changed ourselves and changed each other.
One of the most poignant moments was a speech from Annabel Fischer, who spoke to us from her parents’ home in England. Annabel was at last year’s SparkChico in Chico, California, where she shared her journey with stage-four ovarian cancer. The cancer returned, and now she’s on a mission to make her one life count. She led us through several experiences; one was if you had two months to live, what would you choose to do?
There were no dry eyes in the house.
The second day, I was lucky to have lunch with Nasreen Sheikh, who had worked 15-hour days as a child in a sweatshop in Nepal. Nasreen said the most amazing thing: 85 percent of the women of the world are looking to women in America to lead the way for change.
Let that sink in.
85 percent of the women of the world are looking for us to lead the way for change.
If that isn’t motivation enough to get out of our own way and speak our truths, I don’t know what is. While American women don’t have the same privilege as men in our society, we have so much more agency than women in other countries of the world, and it’s time to use what agency we have to bring our dreams into reality. Time to stop being invisible. Time to stop being afraid of saying something wrong. Time to show up. Time to ignore the fear, step forward, and do our part to bring change into the world.
Not only was I able to witness these women’s amazing stories, I also had the great pleasure of speaking at SparkPortland. It was wonderful to share the work I create with everyone. Each Muse Board is magnetic and personal. The stories of how each person uses their board and what has happened since creating them are moving and powerful.
The best part for me was leading a small MuseMethod workshop and watching everyone in the theater interact with one another while sharing their dreams and their reason for “Why now?” The whole place buzzed with excitement and energy!
Thank you, Rachel O’Rourke and Mollie Openshaw, for the honor of speaking at SparkPortland 2018!
I arrived home from SparkPortland to the daunting task of packing my entire house to move. I’ve lived in this home for eleven years. I’ve put so much of myself into this place. I will miss the special things I’ve designed and my garden. I will miss the friendships I’ve developed over the past eighteen years of living in this area. And yet… as difficult as it is to embrace big changes, it is all really good. Perhaps the best part is I will be “homeless” for about a week between escrows. It’s been a wild few weeks, and it’s going to be a wild few more.
After all is said and done, I’ll be closer to my family and the ocean. I will be living in the redwood trees!! I’m excited and tired and emotional and happy and busy! Lots of feels going on!
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photo credit: Madeleine Eno: SparkPortland, The Albert Rose Theatre