Ana de Andrés
Just back… (why does it feel like a long time already) from my first Women in the World Conference in NYC at the beginning of the month. Still on my first stage of digestion. Two and a half days of intellectual stimulation, powerful testimonies from all over the world and many bodies of knowledge, enlightening debates… and profound questions for which I -we- don´t have an answer and with which we might have to live for a very long time.
Feeling strongly that dreaming of a better future is more necessary than ever, and that those are really not times to look the other way, even if the price of courage and of rocking the boat seems to be higher than ever. Also, with all-encompassing questions about the kind of leadership that the world needs and with ample proof that what we have is NOT it.
There were many vital messages during these two days, and I could go on for hours, but one that stuck with me is the need to radically align our lives, our energy, our agenda, our priorities, our talk… with who we are, what we stand for, our causes and what we have come to the world to be, to express, to do… and to keep on doing that with fierce determination and “stubborn optimism”.
The other relevant -and matching- message is our acute need for clarity and focus, such an incredible tool in this super busy, super stimulated, super attention-deficit-afflicted world. Clarity on what is worthy of our talent, our passion, our continuing labor… and what is NOT. Clarity on where we should invest our energy and our passion strategically and intentionally, and on what our new level of self-expression should be. This is even more true for those of us who are in what I call our “prime years” … a time for integrating everything we are and we have done and making sure that we turn all of that into an avenue for self-expression and for Service with capital letters. This next level of influence requires a very conscious exercise to make sure that what we do is an expression of who we really are and that it is consistent with the impulse, the “movement” we are trying to be a part of… Otherwise, the time might have come for us to join a different one.
These are times for courage, times to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves so that our energy has a multiplying effect… and that we are not supporting in any way the wrong causes -or people- or living in a way which, truth be told, is innocuous at best or even contradicts who we are or whom we are trying to become. Times to get serious but not solemn and make sure that we don´t allow the past to get in the way of the future… while remembering vividly that the experience of being human is often profoundly contradictory:).
Finally, let me introduce you to the person with whom I am in the picture, my friend Gloria Bader… a vibrant example of radical alignment and “joie de vivre” at the same time. A futuristic and lucid mind and a generous soul. An hour with her nourishes me for six months…
I can only wish that you have people like her close to you. I wish I had more myself… People who make you feel that you want to be a better person, and that you want to engage in a more powerful, bigger purpose… People with whom you can engage in “high thinking”, who really care about what we are living and have not lost their hope to change the world. People who are not are focused on themselves and their “tribe” and dispersing their attention in trifles… or “watching series”. Judging by the state of affairs, being around the wrong people has proven fatal for many once good-will people who have become not only cynical but utterly uninteresting. And what is worse, many of them are occupying strategic places. Let´s make a concerted effort to either inspire them to go back to their initial state… or isolate them in an area from where they cannot spread their virus any further:).
#bethechange #future #changingthesystem #leadership #women #conversations