Before I left the office on 2 weeks ago to catch my afternoon flight to Kota Kinabalu, my colleagues were asking where am I off to again.
“Malaysia” I replied making it sound as uninteresting as possible because I am always guilted into travelling far too often, although I beg to differ. Inside me, I cannot wait to jump right on the plane and leave everything behind just for that few days! I knew I was going to have an incredible weekend. How incredible? Certainly not the way I expected.
I was in Kota Kinabalu to attend the 2nd annual Asian Women Empowerment (AWE). It is a conference meant to inspire women to follow their dreams and not be swayed by the naysayers. Last year, it was held at Kuala Lumpur, it was an amazing experience surrounded by inspirational women. It was comforting to know I am not an oddball, at least not odd enough not abiding to social norms.
This year conference had impacted me on a whole new level. It was magical how it circled beautifully and it not just inspired me, it made me more positive (not that I have been a negative person before) and open my mind to endless possibilities.
First of all, environment and people matters! Do not underestimate what a bunch of highly energised people can do. Good energy rub off each other and BOOMZ! Like an explosion during chemistry class but in a good way. I was happy, genuinely happy to be present at such event with surrounded by people with positive energy. I was able to put my mind in a state where I am more acceptance to new ideas and willingness to listen wholeheartedly.
I found myself nodding in agreement with speakers in most sessions. I was absorbing all the useful advices, feeling awesome and inspired, wanting to be a better person. Dr. Siva highlighted, A.B.C. Awareness before Change. I thought hey, at least I have that sense of awareness so it was not too bad.
What made me come to a big realisation and goes WOW!!! was during the last dinner in KK. Through conversations, I gained enlightenment. I came around and saw the connections back to the conference on a certain issue I had subconsciously choose to ignore.
Centered around AWE’s statement, Think. Act. Achieve, Christianne Goonting said we have to make choices with passion, under circumstances and seize the opportunity, then come along with an action plan on achieving.
Inspired and ready for the change, I am opening my doors to endless possibilities. It became clear to me, I need to devise a plan. I may not have figured out what exactly it is but at least I know what I do not want it to be. I have been sharing with friends on this little project I want to embark on because it will make me power on knowing that it is harder to back out since I have already mention it. That is only the first baby step I am taking.
Don’t be afraid to be empowered because you are afraid to change – Juno
2015 will be the year of changes, for the better I believe. I need a plan! No need for a well-devised one because as travellers, we know how plans can change all of a sudden due to internal or external environments. At least one that is pointing to a general directions, after all, as what Dr. Siva mentioned in his talk, intuition will guide to what you cannot plan. Hence I am going to ride on the wave and see where it will bring me to. Most importantly, never live a life with regrets.
I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Juno and team for your hard work all these months to make AWE’14 a success to inspire and empower women.