Yesterday, I attended (along with 8,000 other women, and a couple of men) the 2012 Massachusetts Conference for Women. ttp://bit.ly/VFym82 With its attendance breaking previous numbers, it was the largest women’s conference in the country. And let me just tell you, 8,000 women in one room is pretty damned impressive. Wow! And these were not just any women, they were every woman! A broad, cross-section of attendees – of many races, ages, professions, socioeconomic classes, etc. – all there to be inspired, to learn and to connect. Very powerful, very, very powerful indeed…
The conference, which went from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm – was organized under this year’s theme of: Imagine: Find Your Purpose, Make a Difference. And of the thousands there many attendees already knew their purpose and were making a difference in their own lives, in their communities and in the world. And with a full day out of the office yesterday, and an evening and day spent catching up and slowly absorbing and incorporating some of the pearls of yesterday’s experience, I am finally ready to decant some of what I walked away with from yesterday.
The keynote speakers were excellent! Charlotte Beers, (http://bit.ly/11TDjP3) the extremely successful business woman and author who has left her mark on the highly competitive world of advertising – talked about clarity, memorability and persuasion. Her wit and power delivered a presence that was riveting and engaging. Dr. Brene Brown, (http://bit.ly/VCWcoJ) professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, renowned speaker and author of Daring Greatly, who has spent years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame delivered an address that modeled authenticity and inspiration. Beautiful! Deepak Chopra, M.D. (http://bit.ly/TMkdXf)- physician, author, leader in the realms of mind-body health, spirituality, human empowerment and peace – delivered with the grace of someone who has attained international recognition; a thoughtful keynote about collective transformation, and the age of wisdom. And Arianna Huffington, (http://huff.to/11TGMgo) president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and prolific author charmed us with her humor and reminded us of the need to take care our selves and to nurture optimism. If only one had spoken – the price of admission would have been worth it, and if I wrote notes faster – I would share with you a pearl from each of them, but alas, I was absorbed in my listening and my notes paid the price.
Beyond the keynotes, the breakouts offered closer access to numerous influential and impressive individuals whose impact and accomplishments touched the lives of others across all strata. And the audience, this little group of 8,000 area women – soaked it all in, laughed, shared, energized, and even shed a tear or two. There was a sense of connection, of commonality – of a collective view for a brighter vision for the future and the beautiful self-awareness that comes when your skills, gifts and talents are humming with invigoration.
I am still soaking it in and enjoying the buzz of watching my inspiration work through my own bones – excited to see the many ways it will manifest. 8,000 women – there is a lot of power there – but the most wonderful part is the awareness of the immensity of power that resides within each of us – to imagine, to create, to enlighten and to inspire. Wow!