A Glimpse Of Your Future?

I just returned from a most inspiring weekend in rural Rhinebeck, New York where I attended the 9th annual Women+Power Conference at the Omega Institute.  It was an international gathering of women under the theme “Our Time To Lead.”

World Pulse Founder Jensine Larsen, me, and Author/Activist Luong Ung

Hearing what women in this country and around the world are doing to promote peace and improve the lives of women everywhere gave me an incredible peek into the future.

Being with so many awe-inspiring, action-oriented women, I walked away with relief.  There is much work to do in this world, but we are in great and capable hands with so many dynamic and determined women moving forward!!

While the lives and conditions for women and girls in countries such as Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Bosnia are horrifyingly deplorable, a powerful force of women are bringing attention and change.

Many of these leaders are young women such as Jensine Larsen with World Pulse an organization building networks to connect all women to information and to each other.  With their publication, Pulse Wire, Jensine is her own CNN/Associated Press of a women’s world network!

Because of technology, even the poorest, most rural and even illiterate women can now directly report what is going on and share life-saving information with each other and the world.

And, then there is Zainab Salbi of Women For Women International. You may know her from her eight appearances on Oprah or from her best-selling book Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny Growing Up in the Shadows of Saddam Hussein.

What joy to meet Zainab Salbi, co-founder/CEO of Women for Women International

Some of you, like me, may even sponsor one or more “sisters” in a war-torn country through her Women For Women program.

She brought the audience to tears with her powerful story of being the daughter of Saddam Hussein’s pilot whose mother sent her to the United States in an arranged marriage to protect her from the abuse of Saddam.

Zainab was so ashamed and fearful of her own story that she never told anyone until 2005.

Funny, warm, charming and vulnerable, Zainab urged us to break our silence of whatever it is we do not share or speak about that holds us back.

And, by doing so, it could benefit others.  “It is not easy or fun to speak your truth. I lost many friends. I also gained many.” she said. When you do have the courage to tell your truth, she reminded us, “your black storm can become your crystal.”

Today, through her Women For Women program, she has trained and empowered more than 271,000 women and children, leading them to education and economically stable lives.

Is there any part of your life that you do not share because of fear, shame or embarrassment?  Are there ways this secret holds you back?  What might be the benefit and to whom if you told your story?

Interesting to think about…and you are always welcome to share your thoughts and heart in the comments section below.