“It starts with a question.”
The discovery of our hearts, our passions, our purpose, and our relationships. The best things in our lives, all start with a question. They start with us staring at the seemingly unconquerable gap that stand in between who we know ourselves to be in the present, and who we believe we are called to be, and asking ourselves a question.
To begin the month of March, Jill and I ventured to Bend, OR to attend the Muse Women’s Conference. It was 3 incredibly curated days of inspiration, empowerment, and activism. We knew going in, that it would be an incredible experience, but there is really nothing that prepares you for being surrounded by 400 incredibly talented, passionate, powerful, and nurturing women and men whose desire it is to empower every individual to find their voice and purpose in the world, and go after it with their whole heart.
We heard from a Marine helicopter pilot, a Maasai warrior, authors, activists, editors, directors, chief officers, professional athletes, film makers, artists, mothers, and to top it all off, a Nobel Laureate (and personal hero of mine). We rejoiced in celebration of stories of triumph, wrung our hands with a knowing nervousness when hearing stories of risk and fear, and wept for the bravery of these women who, facing opposition, rejection, and downright oppression, believed that the work they are called to is too important to throw in the towel, and instead took the next step forward.
No two women who took that stage were the same. They came from different socioeconomic backgrounds, different ethnicities, different industries, different sexual identities, and were different shapes, sizes, and colors. Each of them brought such an intimate and powerful reflection on what it means for them to be a woman, and what it means for each of them to find their purpose in the world, and do that.
Isn’t that the loaded question: What is my purpose in this world? Finding it and living it out are much easier said than done. While I was relishing in the inspiration of these women’s stories of living out their passion, I was feeling this inner turmoil- what if I don’t know what my purpose is? What if I don’t know what I’m supposed to do? What if I’m scared to do it?
It was the earnest and wise words of Ily, a 15-year-old film maker that transformed these thoughts for me.
“I don’t know exactly what I want to do, but I know how I want to go about doing it.”
Each of us is called to do different work. We were created with different passions and skills. Different things break our hearts and set them on fire. We bring something to the table that no one else can and I’m learning that rather than trying to decide on what that is, our lives are about uncovering what we already know it to be.
Our circumstances will continue to change, our jobs, titles, employers, income, and daily lives will almost never remain constant. But that’s okay.
What transformed me while listening to the stories of each of these women, and what I realized when Ily transcended to a place of wisdom beyond her years, was that when we do the work we are created and called to do, and we do it with passion, authenticity, and gentleness towards ourselves, we are unstoppable. We are women, and we can literally do anything.
About the Author: Gillian McGann could not be more in love with or passionate about the mission of Circles of Change. She is currently serving as the Director of Ophelia's Place where she is constantly in awe of the incredible women she gets to work with, and the blessing it is to be in love with what you do. Her advice: there are two things it is always time for: dancing and popcorn.