Last year, I attended the Austin-based Texas Conference for Women with my LIVESTRONG team, and we had a blast.
We heard talks from GoldieBlox creator, Debbie Sterling, the CEO of the Malala Fund, Shiza Shahid, journalist, mom and overall bad-ass, Soledad O’Brien, and my personal favorite, swimmer Diana Nyad, whose tales are as grand as one thousand This American Life stories combined.
(If you have a minute, do yourself a favor and watching Diana Nyad’s inspiring and hysterical talk.)
Between speakers, our team bounced around to various breakout sessions, workshops and roundtables, and we left the conference feeling inspired and empowered.
If you’re a woman or a man who loves women, I highly recommend checking out this year’s event, and lucky enough, I might just have a ticket for you!
The 2015 Texas Conference for Women, located at the Austin Convention Center, features actress Patricia Arquette, journalist Robin Roberts and artist Candy Chang, and action-packed panels and workshops from some of our leading female thinkers, entrepreneurs and artists.
If you’re interested in going, here is what you have to do:
-Write a 2-3 sentence comment belowexplaining which woman inspires you. It can be a friend, family member, leader, creator or thinker.
-You have until this Thursday, October 8th at 11:59PM to do this (I picked 11:59PM because that’s what they say on super official sweepstakes).
-I’ll then write all your names on tiny pieces of paper, throw them into a collapsible top hat, swish the names around and pluck one of the tiny pieces of paper out.
-And whatever name is on that tiny piece of paper is the winner.
-And I’ll contact you on Friday, October 9th.
-And we’ll run into each other at the conference and hug.
My lovely 5 year old daughter inspires me. She’s my heart’s smile, my soul’s joy, my moral compass, my shining light, my biggest fan & the inspiration for everything I do. Because of her, failure isn’t an option & mediocrity is simply unacceptable. She inspires me to do better, think bigger, fight harder, love more passionately & live on purpose, all while finding the lovely along the way.
My mother has inspired me to become the woman I am today, and though she was only twenty when I was born, she worked as a special ed teacher and often two other jobs to put me through college. And although she always told me I was beautiful, she taught me to love myself for my brains. I would not be the woman I am without her.
My aunt Kay inspires me. She juggles two kids, a full-time job as a nurse, and caring for her mom (my grandmother) who lives with their family. You’d never know it, though: the woman is always cool as a cucumber and happy to help with whatever anyone needs. In short, she rocks and I’d love to take her to the conference!
I am inspired by our friend Kristin S, who gets things done. When I am dragging my heels on a project or pitch or that phone call I should make or that important thing I’m doing everything not to do, I often think of how I’ve seen her just ‘do the thing’. I’m not certain if she doesn’t suffer from debilitating self doubt, or if she just refuses to listen to it, but her approach inspires me to stop indulging in doubt and just DO IT.
My aunt Jane inspires me. She showed me how to break the rules and become a powerful woman. Jane showed me how you can be totally yourself and still be respected. Sensitive, yet tough; strong sometimes, weak others; she proved to me that being a contradiction can be amazing.
I’m inspired by my mother-in-law. She drives me completely crazy in every way that a mother-in-law should, but I absolutely admire the way she’s reinvented herself after losing her husband and being forced to retire before she was ready. Nothing brings her down! She’s created a fun new life filled with Elks and Moose club dinners, dancing, yoga and swimming. She’s dating again, but proudly goes to the movies by herself several times a week – and she finally figured out how to use her iPad to message and FaceTime with us! She still spoils our kids at every opportunity even though I know she doesn’t have the means. I hope I can face life’s adversities with the same grace and sense of adventure.
She’s a lyrical writer who captures emotion and paints a picture with her prose that is excruciatingly painful but filled with joy. She’s a survivor whose performance I saw @The Bowery Ballroom in NYC 2013 was an inspiration…beautiful, uncompromising, generous and inclusive. She’s an artist without artifice…a pure soul.
Eve Ensler is a huge inspiration to me. Watching her Ted talk called “Embrace your inner girl” (can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhG1Bgbsj2w) totally changed my perspective when I was in college. I used to feel bad about having the emotions that I did and this one talk was really the catalyst in finding power in all the feelings and emotions that I experience as a women.
The woman who inspires me is the woman I could have become. She has got a bit older, but also a bit wiser. She has also become louder and is managing to get out into the world. She’s totally badass and will love to hug you. (If naming a semi-imaginary woman is against the rules of the contest, I can write something about another badass lady. But I guess you’d agree that rules are made to be fucked up, right?)
I’m inspired by comedian Jen Kirkman. Her storytelling comedy makes me feel ok to be flawed and sometimes selfish. She wrote a book called I Can Barely Take Care of Myself which serves as a memoir flecked an ongoing frustration with having to explain to people why she would choose not to have children. It’s super empowering for all women, not just the child-free ones.
As grand as “one thousand This American Life stories combined?????” That’s a bold statement. I guess I better watch the video.