The International Women’s Summit: Support, Encouragement, Empowerment

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A few months ago I was invited by my mother-in-law, Jamie Metz, to attend the International Women’s Summit, which was being hosted in Phoenix, Arizona.  I had no idea what it was or what we would be doing, and it sounded like something that I typically wouldn’t do or even know about, but as I would encourage other people to do, I decided to say “Yes”. I flew to Phoenix on my own, which previously would have made me a little anxious, but after my journey to Australia, it was a walk in the park. I actually enjoyed my alone time and had some time to catch up on my blogging.

CYLWhen I arrived, Jamie and I received our itinerary for the weekend. Starting Thursday evening, we had back to back events which included speakers from all over the world and from every walk of life. I was feeling a little overwhelmed; how could I sit through this many speeches from all of these different women in a single weekend? I am not someone who typically has a weekend or even a day planned out for me, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this.

Thursday evening, our first speaker was Melissa Harris-Perry, who is a writer, professor, television host, and political commentator in America. She talked about the uncomfortable conversations that we avoid, but need to have in order to really see each other for what we believe in and why. She said that we have to be brave enough to engage in these conversations to not only realize, but to embrace the fact that we don’t all think the same. In a time where people are so divided for their beliefs, it was refreshing to hear someone speak to a crowd of over a thousand women and preach a message of unity and engagement. After hearing Melissa’s speech, I was humbled and so excited to see what the rest of these women had to say.

CYL 3The rest of the weekend included speakers such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Collette Baron-Reid, Marianne Williamson, Sheri Salata, Lisa Ling, Glennon Doyle-Melton, Zainab Salbi, and many more. If you don’t know who these women are, seriously, look them up and read their books, or at least their stories. They are inspiring and unique and encouraging and brave. It was like TED talks for women. I left feeling so inspired and uplifted, and almost two weeks later, I am still up in the clouds thinking about this amazing event.

Here are some of the most important things that I learned from this Summit:

  • You only have one energy stream. Where will you choose for your energy to go? Sometimes you have to choose entitlement, and have the arrogance to do what you want to do. In creating your own path, you are going to have to start disappointing people. It is okay to say “no”. Be the boss of your life.
  • Before you judge or attack someone, dial down your own self-righteousness. Be humble, get real, then speak.
  • Don’t keep repeating behaviors that don’t serve you. Do something you love, even if it is for just 15 minutes a day. If you aren’t living with passion then you are living with resistance.
  • Use your voice to better someone other than yourself. This is how you will find your voice.
  • Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a “to-be” list. When you are being who you want to be, the “to-do’s” will come into alignment.
  • We must forgive people even when we are not asked for forgiveness. We all have our own shadows and our own darkness. Acknowledge it and respect it so that you can control it.
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I will continue to tell the stories of each of these women in further depth, and include      what I learned from their journeys, as I wish that every person, (men and women), could have the opportunity to go to an event like this. To see and hear everyone’s perspectives, stories, and heartbreak made me look deeper into my own life and realize where I should take control, as well as sit back and be immensely grateful for the life that I have. There were over a thousand women present and every single one of them was cheering each other on, supporting each other, laughing and crying together. No judgement, no competition, no bad ideas.


Celebrate Your Life Events
hosted this International Women’s Summit, and their next event is for both men and women, and they are hosting a “Celebrate Your Life, Sedona Retreat” in Arizona in November. Check it out HERE. If this sounds fun, or even if it sounds like something you would never do, I encourage you to just give something like this a try. I never would have gone to an event like this on my own, and I am so happy that I just said “yes” to this experience. It is something that I never will forget. If you went to the Women’s Summit, share your own experiences in the comments section and what you took from it, or if you have any questions about events like these, feel free to ask!

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