The secret ingredient

I am on my way to California to attend a women’s conference that I will tell you all about next week.

Before I go, I want to show you a picture that delights me — of radiant smiles after a Women on Fire tea party.  Thank you, Renata Ramsini, for capturing the women at last week’s tea in Columbus led by Jan Allen. Today, I’ll tell you the secret ingredient that makes these gatherings so very wonderful and powerful.

Women on Fire Tea last week in Columbus — Front row: Erin Brewer, Kris Myers, Jan Allen, Mary Kay Purdy, Nanci Larsen, Phoebe Lapine. Second row: Jane Juergens, Lisa Everson, Sara Diehl, Laura Benton, Julie Quackenbush, Jessika Ferm, Mary Duafala, Pam Allen, Roxanne Crocco, Michele Hoyle, Julia McLemore.

Women tell me all the time they are surprised by what happens at a tea and how connected they often feel.

Maybe they’ve said something out loud they’ve never voiced before.  Or, maybe they sat next to someone they’d never met, but shared so much in common that they were sure I sat them next to each other on purpose!

What I know for sure is when women get the chance to connect in a safe and inspiring environment, magic happens.

How often does that happen in your life?  How often do you connect with people who make you feel good to be alive?

When we can vulnerably and authentically share what is on our minds and in our hearts, we feel connected. And, when we feel connected, we feel worthy of our dreams.

Radio talk show host Janette Barber, who has attended at least a million Women on Fire teas in New York City, frequently says, “the tea party always works.”

What she means is that no matter the city and no matter the women who attend, being able to be ourselves, to share what is authentic and vulnerable, and to feel connected “always works!”

Research shows that when we experience feelings of connection and belonging, it gives purpose and meaning to our lives.  So, that’s why I think there are big smiles and much happiness after a Women on Fire gathering!

Some of you may know the work of researcher and story-teller Brene Brown.  (She is both brilliant and adorable, I might add!)

If not, I hope you will take some time to check out her inspiring talk at TEDx.

She and her research suggest that “to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen … to love with our whole hearts even though there is no guarantee … to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror … to feel this vulnerable means I am alive.

“When we work from this place, we stop screaming and start listening and we are kinder and gentler to the people around us and we are kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

This is why I love our teas and every single occasion where Women on Fire connect and we so often share what is vulnerable.

Dr. Brown inspires us further that “vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, of love, of belonging, of creativity, of faith and so it becomes very problematic when, as a culture, we lose our capacity to be vulnerable.”

Even though it may feel scary to tell another person our heart’s deepest longings, our fears, our insecurities, doing so is the very thing that will connect us and allow others to support us.

It is why I always encourage you to reach out and gather support before you embark on your journey.

And, vulnerability is the secret ingredient of why you feel so very good inside when you have shared your heart safely with someone who receives you.

Talk to you next week from sunny San Diego!

Have a wonderful week and let me know how you’re doing ~