Last night I hosted a meeting of phenomenal women. They took me up on my invite to give up their Thursday evening, in the main, to listen to me. They didn't come with an expectation of gaining very much from their time there. They came to hear what I had to say. They listened, gave me feedback, made suggestions and basically helped me untangle some of my thoughts and ideas around moving forward with setting up a new women's group (The Peloton!).
At times, I lost the thread. At times I rambled. At times I wasn't sure which direction I was going in. But I felt safely held. I felt confident and comfortable enough to speak openly without fear of being cynically judged. I felt supported by their attentiveness, their genuine interest, their enthusiasm, their kindness and their thought-provoking contributions.
Amelia Earhart said 'the most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity'. I can so relate to that. Lots of my ideas over the years have fallen by the wayside. Sometimes it's because I can't manage to get the idea to a 'perfect' enough starting point (cue voice in head reminding me that nothing will ever be perfect enough to make a start with because nothing is ever perfect!), sometimes it's because I forget to turn down the volume from that old 'what will other people think' nugget, and sometimes it's because someone else comes up with the the same idea, takes the plunge and makes a go of it (cue voice in head reminding me that every idea is unique and just because someone else is doing something similar doesn't mean I can't push forward with my version too!)
It's taking that first step, taking action, doing it instead of thinking about it - that's the hard bit. But that bit's made so much easier when you find phenomenal people who'll listen to your idea without cynicism. Who'll not belittle even the littlest or most off-the-wall of your dreams and visions. Who'll appreciate that every cycle round the world starts with one turn of the pedal. And who'll appreciate the effort (and sometimes courage) required to grab the handlebars and start that ride.
I'm very lucky to have enormous support from my family in everything I do. They tick all of the above boxes with their love and encouragement - and as an added bonus they inspire me, so very much, in all that they are and all that they do in their lives too.
But last night was all about a bunch of phenomenal women, and today I'm thinking about all of the other phenomenal women whom I'm blessed to have, or have had, in my life. My best pal from school days - and someone who is still one of my most special and best friends - Caroline, inspired me to write this article today by a recent highlighting of her favourite 'Phenomenal Women' on Facebook. It's a fantastic effort to 'provide an antidote' to the 'current ubiquitous exposure of hateful people'.
The first woman to feature on Caroline's wall was, of course, one of the most phenomenal women of all. So, I'll leave you now with Maya Angelou's words in dedication to all of the phenomenal women in the world, but especially to those of you who've played a part in my life and those of you who continue to inspire, support and encourage me to keep on turning the pedals and following my dreams...
© Jane Milne 2017