The last week of the World Pulse Live tour has been filled with many different emotions. I can start with exhaustion, but that was the first day when I was en route to New York because I had to wake up at 3am to catch my red-eye flight. I was still nonetheless excited to meet Sarah and Nechesa, our chaperones for NYC, and to meet Jampa and Olanike. I tend not to eat when I travel (not the best habit, I know) so as the day went on, my stomach certainly began to dictate my mood until we met up with Jensine and Ellen Wingard for dinner.
Nan Crawford has been our speaking coach over the last couple of days. It was challenging at first to condense my story and message into something concise because, if you have read any of my other posts, I am used to describing in detail my ideas in my essays. I got frustrated at first, and then began to understand how to deliver the same intensity of my articles in a straight and direct way. Speaking of being direct, we had a morning in which we sat with our whole team and told each other some truths that were a bit hard to swallow. I learned that being honest can be scary; I see that in our community especially with issues around security and safety. We don't always have the luxury to be forthcoming and brutally honest. I know for myself in my life, I have feared making people angry with my truth. And as I have learned by sharing my story online and in person, the truth sets you free. In a group of women with diverse life experiences, it can be easy to disconnect when in hard conversations. So I also learned that when you truly love someone, you are more willing to tell them the truth because you trust their potential to change and receive it.
I love the women who I am on tour with. Jampa's passion for educating the young women in Tibet so that they may continue to work on solutions and opportunities for transformation is incredibly inspiring. Olanike's work to train women in her Nigerian community around environmental sustainability through her organization, The Women’s Initiative for Sustainable Environment, is unbelievably powerful and motivating. And their smiles. These women are so beautiful and lighthearted even as they talk about such hard truths. Their light shines through so brightly. Truly a JOY and an honor to be on tour with them. Sarah, Nechesa and Chelsea have been the best chaperones and event planner we could ask for on this trip, always making sure we are feeling well and are wherever we need to be. It has been great to finally meet the originator of this website, Jensine, and talk to her about her ideas and hopes for the future of World Pulse.
Of course, it goes without saying that I am so happy to be home! I've been away in Texas getting my midwifery training so being in New York City has been very refreshing for me. The rush, the trains, the walking quickly and weaving in and out of people in this busy city feels comforting. I've missed my city so much! We have a couple of more events coming up in the next couple of days and I am amped to get to share my story and messages with audiences that can support and keep us all going. See you next week Portland!