And then, as quickly as it registered in my brain, the doors shut and we were off—in the underground again.
I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live. It imprinted on my soul in a flash—you know those moments.
The sign on the platform that had me immediately clamoring for a pen and madly scribbling on the inside cover of my Lonely Planet London book was a quote from Lily Allen promoting her new book, My Thoughts Exactly:
“When women tell their stories loudly and clearly, things change for the better.”
Yes, Lily. My thoughts exactly, too.
Two months later, I would be taking the stage to kick off the first of two nights of women’s storytelling series, SheSpeaks. But this year, it had a twist.
It was the first time I had DOUBLED the event—2 nights, 10 women, and one theme that connected us all: Sovereign.
Could I do it?
Could I fill the house for both nights?
Would it be too much?
Would I be too much? Or not enough?
Would I be getting in over my head?
Was I too ambitious?
Or would it prove to be the smartest thing I’ve ever done?
Leading up to the show, I had Lily in my head talking about how telling stories is important…especially if you’re a woman. It made me think of that shampoo commercial with Heather Locklear (yes, I’m dating myself here…) where it was so good, she said, “I told two friends about it…and they told two friends…and so on, and so on, and so on….”
Storytelling is what women know. It’s also how we lead. And I wanted that to take center stage.
I didn’t know the answers to my questions leading up to that event, but I did know this:
I was going to do everything in my power to find out.
And I did.
What followed at the event that night—and then again the next night—was a highlight of my professional life.
It felt like magic.
If you were in the audience either one of those nights—or both—maybe you felt it, too. The stories told on stage that night—5 women one night, another 5 women the next night, with my own stories weaved in between each—weren’t video tapped, and the event wasn’t streamed. This was done with a great deal of intention, and was a contributing factor to why the night felt so….special. Refreshingly old-school.
You should have seen the audience from the stage. They were so….there. Present. Seeing us. Catching us. Being. No cell phones came out. No one got up to get drinks at the bar. They. Were. With. Us. And believe me, we felt that up on stage.
But what many people don’t know is that those stories told up on stage that night were recorded. The intention was to offer an “audio souvenir” for each speaker, because if you’ve ever told a story up on stage before and you’ve been really, really present to it, then you know…you truly have no idea what you said up there.
But then something delightful happened, and that brings me to why I’m here with you today.
The audio recordings? They came out really well—and clear. And after the dust of all that magic settled in our bones and the speakers had a chance to listen, process, and be with their own experience of what, exactly, happened up on stage for them….
They agreed to share their stories with you.
So without further ado—six months later— I offer to you, the stories from the five women who joined me on stage that first Thursday night of SheSpeaks, on Dec 6th, 2018. Enjoy. Take your time with them. Share them with those you love. See them as medicine to the headlines that divide us these days.
Let’s do as Lily suggests and change this world for the better—one story at a time.
Lael’s Intro: Sovereign
Anne Morin: Whispers Under The Words
Lael: On Making Shit
Louisa Irele: My Queendom
Lael: The Holy Grail Inside You
Corinne Mockler: Water Witching
Lael: The Game Of Life
Lyn Carter: Women’s Ways Of Knowing
Lael: The Golden Buddha
Nadine Farag: The Vessel Of Self
Note: I will be releasing the stories from the 5 badass women who spoke at Friday’s SheSpeaks shortly…but I wanted to begin with the 5 brave women who helped me kick SheSpeaks off that Thursday night.
Can I get an amen to that? Does any of this resonate with you over there or is this just my truth? Feel free to let me know if you’re on this slip ‘n slide with me. It feels good to hear from you—especially as I’m getting ready to publish my second book, Witch Ways, which is chocked full of more women’s stories and pulling-back-the-curtain reveals on the specific ways women are leading change—that don’t normally get talked about in the light of day (or the light of the full moon).
Or better yet, if you ARE a fan of my work and are out there cheering me on, please let me know you’re with me by making a contribution to my GoFundMe campaign that will support me in putting this in your hands sooner than later. Any amount would be most appreciative, and would go a long ways in helping me to know I’m not alone, but am backed by a large and robust pack of women #wolfpack.
Click on this link or simply scan the QR code below to make that happen. Thank you!
And stay tuned for these upcoming events if you want to meet your people:
Thursday, June 13th
I’ll be speaking about why women leave organizations at Disrupt HR in Portland. VERY excited for this one!
Thursday, September 26
SheChanges Leadership Summit for Corporate Women— save the date, details to come!