Updated: Feb 3
Well, with La Nina joining us for our first get-together in 2021, we were neither sweltering in the heat, nor dining out doors this year.
But we’re an adaptable lot, so we turned the inside of Barb and Tisiola’s home into our celebration area and felt the usual warmth of greeting one another again, and meeting new prospective members to our group.
As usual we had quite a number of our regular ladies not able to join us in January, so it was extra special to welcome newcomers Libby, Lillie, Leonie and Mandy to share our evening.
We don’t have a long break over the festive period, but there is always such a buzz as one by one we make our entrance and greet one another like long, long, long lost friends.
It is a joyful space. The laughter, the chatter, the oohing and aahing over delicious dishes individually created for the evening’s shared enjoyment. For me, there is something very special about the energy, a group of women can generate in a positive, and safe environment.
After our sumptuous meal, we drifted into the lounge, following the wafting music Julie was playing on the Grand Piano. Most definitely better than any cow bell I might have used to reign our loquacious lot in.
Tisiola welcomed us all into the space, then briefly reflected with us, how ten years earlier, after her break-down (or spiritual breakthrough as she prefers to call it), she made herself a promise.
And that promise, was to create a community where she felt a sense of belonging. Not just for herself, but for any other women who felt the need for an inspiring safe place to grow.
Of course, as is usually the case, dreams don’t arrive with road maps and travel funds, so she had no idea how she was going to bring her dream to fruition; she only knew she was. She knew in her heart, that there would be other women in the world, who would resonate with how she felt.
It was not only that she wanted to connect. There are plenty of places that provide a platform for women to connect. And that is wonderful, if that is all you want to do.
But her dream, was for women who wanted to make their connections meaningful and lasting. Not only in a social sense, but in a developmental sense. A place where they felt safe enough to be open, and not judged. A place where they knew they each had one another’s back. A place where the women were encouraged to share their unique talents and gifts, and most importantly, a place where they are encouraged and assisted to reach their full potential.
In order to assist women on their journey, Tisiola recognised that the education she provided, had to be transformative. It had to be functional, applicable, sustainable, and used to develop the individual’s life. In other words, it had to be along the lines of the transformative learning she was about to embark on.
So here we are now, ten years later; Tisiola is completing her doctorate of Education in Organisational Leadership; she has established EWP – TLC (Embracing Women’s Potential -Transformative Learning Centre), which not only provides that inspiring safe environment for women, with social gatherings and many free tutorial groups, as well as, Seminars and Workshops for those wanting more in-depth learning; but as she hastens to add, ‘ it is far from complete’.
Which I suppose is much the same as all of us, or at least, we who choose life, to stagnation. Growing. Developing. Evolving. Like the dream – always in transition.
Ricci then read one of her original poems titled “MeetnGreet the Miraculous Force” and Julie played “Lean on Me”, which is very appropriate for our current times.
Knowing how beneficial GRATITUDE is, we then spent a little time expressing our individual gratitude for various things: to be connected with such a diverse group of women; authenticity; reconnecting with Tisiola; delicious food; fun and laughter; approaching grandmother-hood; thoughtful friend; living in Australia, particularly at this time (COVID-19); green grass, grandchildren and the opportunity for Julie to share her singing and playing talent; all the support and hard work Tisiola has so freely given; bringing our hearts and sharing ourselves with this beautiful group of women.
Those who can sing, and those of us like me, who are determined to sing regardless (despite some good advice), then accompanied Julie with an inspiring song called, “Sing Your Own Song”.
And, so it was. All too soon, over. Another enriching evening spent with women from all different backgrounds, daily lives, experiences and dreams. Sharing ourselves, as ourselves, and enjoying our diversity, and similarities.
Until next time, it’s toodle pip from me,