We have a dream….

Martin Luther King’s famous words “I have a dream…” came to mind yesterday at the Women on Fire conference, when a few hundred women and a handful of mindful men gathered in the majestic beauty of Central Hall, Westminster.

Eleanor Roosevelt said “the future belongs to those who believe in the power of their dreams”

I do so believe in the power of my dreams and yesterday this was multipied100 fold with a whole audience of amazing women. Let me tell you more.

I experienced the fire of women come alive through this wonderful day; I heard their stories, trials and tribulations, victories and wisdom shared in an amazing uplifting energy to bring their dreams alive. The collective dream of those women gathered shines a new ray of hope and possibility, of aligning with Mother Earth with our female wisdom to seed new generations of healthy children, to support the underdog, to create new rules through current systems yet with a female vision of creative collaboration and great integrity; we seek the justice and care for all, as all deserve so because they are human beings; to defuse the power politics of the minority who hold all the wealth and power and deal with rough justice and not fairness; to spread kindness across all peoples, all communities, all nations.

Our dream is that women are heard, clearly, loudly, with due care and attention, and that we voice our truths in ways that men will hear and all women will grace with honor and pride. Our dream is that collectively and singularly we reach our pure and natural potential to bring harmony and goodwill into everyday existence, to be practical in our co-parenting and joint decision makers in world affairs, in corporate life, in our workplaces, homes and playgrounds. Women coming together, bringing fire from the source of Mother Earth into our bodies, hearts and minds, into our spirit, into our dreams “we too have a dream…” and we will be heard now!

In all of this, “I pledge my dream to help co-create a world where men and women truly understand each other, recognize and respect our natural contributions to life and business and society, and value our different attributes; a world where we truly have a partnership style not born of the past but of the future potential to truly be equal in the co-creation of our world; truly listening, observing, trusting and collaborating with each other on a new blueprint for life.

I have a dream that we can create life where there are no abusive relationships, no tortured families, no bullied schoolchildren or harassed employees; no wars, no crime and no damaging behaviour; a world where women are honoured and men are loving, where women value their natural female beauty and nurturing energy alongside their strength and courage; and men value their natural lead yet know their potential to embrace emotions – both dancing together in a natural alignment and flow.”

I commit to the happening of my dream – that all women’s voices will be heard and valued – that all will shine their natural value in honour of Mother Earth, to understand that we too take responsibility alongside men for the damaged world we live in our current daily existence; whether economically or socially challenged, whether in dangerous territory, or in civilized lands, women have not stood truly together to have one voice heard by men.

Sisters, we have no time to argue or condamn, to moan or complain; we must work fast to save our endangered world, our dimished family units, our rising crime rates and wars around the world killing our young men. Women have a vital role, a life giving nurturing role and together we can make the difference.

I declare my dream to bring collaborative between all parties, men and women, generations, communities, nations and religions; enabling all to come to the table, to the campfire, to the light; to engage in magical conversations. I declare my passion to educate young and old in the natural differences we bring to that conversation; to use my full skills and expertise to spread knowledge for all to learn; to teach people how to engaged in conversations that enhance their life and everyone elses; to help people transform their negative assumptions, release constraints and live a full and meaningfull life; to participate fully in the fire of love and compassion that can heal our world; and to seek through these conversations to achieve a new way to live together with respect and integrity.

How do I plan to do this ; with your engagement, your support, your contributions; through shared spaces, declared intentions, shared stories, shared knowledge; through bringing people’s great stories into public gaze, honestly and with truth and conviction; to do so through media, TV, internet, interviewing wise and courageous women and men who are stepping up to be the pioneers of our world transformation.

Many of these pioneers were at Women on Fire, both on stage and in the audience; this is the great beginning, Thank you Judith, thank you Lucia, without you and all your helpers this wouldn’t have happened, I am so blessed to know you and all there to be on this journey together, here’s to meeting again very soon and stoking up the fire!


A poem for today – Women on Fire

Women on Fire, Women inspire, together we are wise,
Our reality occurs to us daily; our hearts are soft, our will is strong,
Our true value is yet unknown even to our selves.
It’s time to recognize we are all one, mothers of a new world;
Here to love not fear, our kindness will kindle a future of hope.
We need a realization that we can forgive, the past is past,
Surely we are responsible for what happens next?
Let make sure it is inclusive embracing, collaborative, enriching,
Abandon now the competitiveness between sisters,
Instruct a new paradigm, a stand for integrity, a wholeness that brings joy,
Not born of yesterday, but seeded with our hearts and wombs.
A new blueprint for life and work, for families, for parenting, for abundance,
Breeding a society that serves all, dependants and workers alike,
Humanity for humanity, fair for all and love for everyone.

Written by Pauline Crawford 23.04.2011 for Women on Fire

Be curious about life

A curious adventure

In January 2006, I set off on a curious adventure and a turning point in my life.

I walked up Mt Kenya to reach 4200metres. Why curious? I am sure for walkers, mountains climbers and the like, this seems a good effort but maybe not a big deal but for me it was. It was my curiosity that pushed me to book a flight to Nairobi into the unknown.

I had never been a great walker, indeed not much of an outdoor type unless at sea, where I loved sailing. I didn’t know anyone I was travelling with and had made the decision to go only three weeks before leaving with my borrowed rucksack and inadequate golfing boots for over 2 weeks in Kenya.

There was something else happening than the usual ‘holiday’ desire, there was a curiosity to explore, to know what a totally new experience would teach me and to do something I had never done before.

My curious desire to expand what I knew about ‘me’ was certainly achieved although, as ever, not quite like I’d imagined and not necessarily in a predictable fashion. My first learning was that changing every parameter i.e. unknown place, people and context (mountain/tents/latrines/altitude) challenged my usual good sense of confidence; I was alone in a crowd on a dangerous track, and I became shy! Eeekkkk!

I needed to acclimatize.

I had never realized until then the true meaning of that word. I found myself timid, reserved and it was like being back as a child of 11 going up to my upper school without my best friend because we had fallen out. Then I had developed coping skills of communication, rapport and relating so that I could become the ‘connector’ of the class and so gain respect from all. I found myself doing the same with my climbing companions. Facing a challenging task with a range of experience, a diverse set of people and intimate living in communal tents with strangers was a good way to test your people skills!!

It reminds me now of how we can get over confident with our known experiences and forget to check-in on how others are feeling in the same situation which may be new for them.

How often do we not notice what others are feeling?

I sought courage!

The second challenge was the actual ‘doing’ the trek, it was tough. Apart from rushing up and down my 47 steps to the front door of my flat, I had really had no exercise as such. The mountain was long, slow, and steep – for me. We took it slow, a trip that can be done in 2 days easily by fit walkers, was taken over 5 days. I learned about endurance, courage, and pace. I learned also about ‘being’ at your pace not being worried about competing, the mountain was asking me to listen to my own rhythm.

Slowly, slowly, I learned to walk at a snail’s pace; breathe, and look up and notice the world around me rather than being stuck in my own fear of “can I do this?”

How often do we do this in our daily over pressure life?

I found insight and wisdom…

At the top of my trek, I stopped and rested at 4200m I saw the world in a new light. The mountain peaks, the valleys, the overhangs, the boulders, the pathway strewn with tiny sharp stones, the community we formed, the support network as we walked and talked and ate together, all formed a world in itself. Each experience, each adventure, each curiosity, was a micro view of my world and the whole world.

We come together, some unknown to each other, some friends, some family, all with different ages, genders, nationalities – and we all experienced the experience differently. I learned not to take things for granted, to get out of my own comfort zone, and to be in tune with the ground beneath my feet and the sky above me and all the beauty of life in between!!

My wise advice – Go be curious, be adventurous, delve into the unknown and know always it enhances your life if you’re willing! If I had not, I would never have seen this view….

Learning new stuff everyday


Day 15 of the 30 day Blog Challenge and I have learned so much.

I have managed to write every day – even though several times near midnight, even dealt with the whole thing on my blackberry writing the text in memo pad and copy pasting into Word Press on the blackberry screen!

I even received a text accolade from my son when I managed to take the ‘short link’ and post on twitter AND facebook. His shock and pleasure at my grasp of technology and social media was great to receive! It made me laugh out loud that when I suggested I wanted to know how to post photos too on my blackberry/ facebook that I received a prompt “not so fast, don’t get too big for your boots!”

Could it be that I might get too good for him! Challenging his generation’s way of connecting. I guess maybe I am getting into a style not desirable for a grandma?

This is a new age – for us all – and those who desire to be anything they want to be, can be.

At this half way mark I have discovered:

• We can learn everything we want, when we want, at any age we want – if we want!
• The most daunting task is not so once mastered; it appears to get simpler as we practice.
• The habit of anything takes practice – writing is available to anyone. Desire is the key ingredient.
• Its fun, it’s friendly, it’s rewarding, its mind stretching, its growth…
• The whole series could be chapters of a book.
• To be “retweeted” is extraordinarily wonderful complimentary and gives one a feel good factor!
• To be “retweeted” by complete strangers is even better!!
• The more I continue, the more I learn, the more I grow, the more I feel I am a writer after all.

The last point is poignant as at school I hated spelling classes, not least because I couldn’t spell. I have always felt I am a wee bit dyslexic if that is possible. Anyway, I soon decided that as I couldn’t spell, I wouldn’t read much, or write much that was to be examined. I was really good at Maths and numbers gave me no problem, so I steered away from the WORDS bit!

So I left school with the minimum O level English, in the written language experience, and vowed never to write a book – or indeed read too many. Curiously I wrote a detailed diary instead and of course made hundreds of mistakes where never read as no one got near that book. As I review my life, I realize how that decision that I was no good with words nearly thwarted my author potential!

My book is coming !

Always know desire and learning create magic, and watch this space for my book called ‘Who’s in Charge’ a story book about men and women and now we struggle to recognize there’s more than one type of each. Six characters, 3 men and 3 women, come together to solve a problem and save the world from disaster. Their journey charts a dynamic course from chaos to clearing, from battles to buddies, from distrusting each other to dancing together as they forge a new way to be who they need to be.

Do they transform and save our world? Watch, wait and wonder!

Courage to make mistakes

When did you last do something for the FIRST time? Do you resist the NEW out of FEAR? Do you lack COURAGE to break out of your steady norm of LIFE because you’re afraid of making MISTAKES?

Today I acknowledge the fear I have had about making silly “in the moment” mistakes and feeling like a fool. It’s happened in the past. I have said the wrong word in the wrong place; my mouth has sometimes worked independantly to my mind’s pace; I have tripped in my rush to get somewhere; I had fears about getting proposals wrong with clients; and in my personal life inadvertantly rejected romantic advances, unconsciously fearful of picking the wrong man!

From my Landmark Forum weekend, I have taken up the full courage of my own power. I now set into the new possibility that there no mistakes that aren’t opportunities to amend if they arise; to have fun with my errors as options to resolve; and finally to flow into a romantic relationship knowing he will love me “just the way I am”.

As Bridget Jones realised Mark Darcy did love her so, I too welcome a soulmate to journey with me!

What a fabulous release for me as continue on with my journey from “stuckness” to expansion. I encourage you to face your fears, name them and get to know as they are blessings in disguise. They keep us alive and alert to dangers and pitfalls to avoid. My ability to make mistakes now will fill my calendar with new ideas and solutions for growth.

Thank you to my fellow participants who gave me great feedback today.

Set off random ripples of kindness today

What one small action could you do today that would ripple out to many people? A random act of kindness is the start of a ripple – a smile – a helping hand – and who knows who might enjoy receiving your love. Start by liking yourself and knowing your best. Then you’re ready to ripple!!

Try it … feel the random ripples already coming your way!

Many years ago, in the 90’s I worked with a fabulous woman and together we ran a very successful programme called ‘High Impact Communication’ and the essence of it is still at core what I deliver today as an underpinning to all personal and professional development – making people feel great about themselves… that’s the best way to start a ripple. We worked with men and women, young and old, senior and junior, across all sectors and it was fun and spread happiness as well as buckets of improved performance. It was hugely successful.

At the core was a simple cycle of effects created by each person – the ‘me’ factor. And it sounds egotistic and all that, but it isn’t. It simply knowing yourself, warts and all, loving yourself, body and mind, heart and soul; and taking simple actions to start your ripple. I now call this our ‘value cycle’ i.e me, you and me, us (we). Everybody gains when we ripple our best in a loving way.

In our workshops, we would comment on that fact that the ripples either gently or at speed, spreads your ‘best’ into the pond of (your) life… it sounds trite but it’s not. It’s pure and honest… and we used to say “and when it reaches the banks (of the pond) it ripples back. Now that’s the honest truth of ‘random acts of kindness’. You don’t know where the ripple goes and who it reaches and when it’s going to turn back on you!
So make sure that your ripples are all that you wish back!

So today what random acts of kindness will you ripple… or maybe see these as random ripples of kindness making a river of happiness?

Yesterday I smiled at every person as I walked to the tube, the sun helps and I had a bright spring in my step as I love living where I am now overlooking the river at Richmond. I have landed on my feet having changed what most people would think was a painful stuck process into a glorious process of re birth! This is my garden view, how wonderful is that!

I find myself laughing as things occur. A funny text, a colourful billboard, a fascinating shop window, all things to lift my spirits. The blossom, the trees, the river, my walk to the station, the different routes I take to get to places that are familiar. Using the train to go places I used to drive, all makes me energized and excited. I am like a kid reborn! I find myself being more chatty with strangers, offering more help when needed, being generally more engaged in what’s around me.

Last night, returning home, I witnessed a random ripple of aggression – a verbal attack at the bus stop between two men…one angry because the other pushed past. The ripple was abrasive to my whole persona, my physical body shrunk back. The ripples hit the bus queue out and back. It was a sad punctuation in an otherwise lovely day.

I’ve learned that I am the start of the ripple and if I want everyone to ripple loving actions and thoughts … I have to walk my talk and be loving in every action and thought. This is the choice I make everyday I wake!

What’s your choice today?