What an amazing day at the Network Ireland National Conference in the celtic ross Hotel! #StepUp
I feed on inspiration! It fills my cup, gifts me with ideas. Shows me possibilities. Hints at possibilities I can’t even envision yet. When Grace O’Rourke said that 4 years ago she was at Network Ireland National Conference and wished that one day she would be on the stage as a speaker, that was my wish today.
What I realised listening to all the speakers, was that they were inspirational not because of all their wonderful achievements but because they were showing up completely as themselves and their ability to share their story and their vulnerability made them real and accessible. Authenticity was the common currency of the day.
Leaving the conference I head to the beach where I like to go to think and digest and write. Sitting on the cliff I feel high on the positive energy of the couple of hundred women who attended the event and okay also a little because of the coffee too.
I feel like I’m sitting in a pool of inspiration. In the short drive to the beach, my brain was buzzing with ideas and solutions and in this place of creativity and positivity, there is no room for the woman who is frequently overwhelmed and full of self-doubt and swamped by the to do list.
I am coasting on a wave of hope of the bigger picture, which I can be part of knowing that it’s not about ‘me’ at all but being part of a dynamic collective. Exploring new ways of ‘Being’ together that nourishes us as women as well as supporting the men and children in our lives.
It’s about being part of the change but not doing it alone or feeling daunted by the enormity of the task. It’s the awareness that we are all so much more capable than we think we are, and if we can see it in the women around us, we can begin to see it in ourselves as well.
I loved when Joanne Hession and Sonya Lennon spoke about social change and entrepreneurship going hand in hand. I think we really need to relook at how we view the world and how we do things. Peter Cosgrove spoke about innovation citing Airbnb being the largest global accommodation provider despite not owning any properties.
All that’s needed is fresh eyes and being willing to risk failure. In her success in the Special Forces Ultimate Hell Week, as the first female contestant to ever complete the course, Grace demonstrated how we can dig down deep into ourselves and mine the determination we need to keep going and she says that ability is within all of us.
So grateful for all the conversations today with friends old and new and to be part of Network Ireland especially my home branch of west Cork. With a net of support around us we can make change happen.