On Tuesday evening I was a part of something truly glorious!
The ColourFull event is an event created by Winitha Bonney, to advance women of colour in Australia.
Tuesday was the launch event for the gala event happening in 2020.
The room was filled with women of colour from many parts of Africa, Fiji, India, Asia and everywhere! Some of us were born here, some of us were born overseas. Some of us arrived as migrant children, some of us as students, some of us because of love.
Some of us work in government and some of us work in entertainment, finance, HR, diversity, education, law; we are working everywhere.
I had decided the day before that I was going to give a free copy of my book The Gift Of Asking to every attendee, because although women can struggle with asking, women of colour struggle with the concept of being worthy enough to ask, especially when you are the minority. We can easily fall into the trap of being thankful we are ‘allowed’ to exist in certain places at all.
As I was signing the books, 2 Anglo- women (self-described) approached me and I asked them how their evening had been; they said it was great.
Then I asked, “How was it to be a minority for 3 hours?”
The first lady said, “To be honest, I was really nervous coming here tonight. I wasn’t sure if I should come, if I would feel like I belonged.”
Her friend replied, “I kind of wanted to make myself not be seen, I could actually feel my body posture change, I became smaller. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing or stand out, but tonight I stand out.”
I asked them both if they wrote.
“Yes”, I am a journalist said the second woman.
“Could you please write about your experience tonight”, I asked
“What if I say the wrong thing?”
I responded that our lived experiences are never wrong; they are what they are.
We then spoke about how women have been afraid to speak for so long in case they said something wrong. I am up for us saying lots of ‘wrong’ things. In my opinion, being ‘wrong’ is so much more fulfilling than being ‘good’.
The journalist said, “I feel like I have permission to write about it now”.
“From whom do you need permission?” I asked.
“From you”, she replied.
“From me? Why do you need permission from me? The only person you need permission from is yourself.”
We all need to give ourselves permission to share our stories. Even if some people do not like it, that does not mean we have to keep silent.
Every woman gathered at ColourFull – regardless of colour – left the event knowing that our lives, our stories and our experiences matter, and when we share them, we are not alone.
We are never alone.
Wishing you a weekend of being ‘wrong’.
I currently have availability for new clients, so if you have been considering coaching and you would like to end the year proud, book a discovery session.
A discovery session is a 45-minute complimentary session where you can experience the coaching process for 30 minutes and then ask any questions you have for the remaining 15-minutes. We will both know by the end of the session if we are a good fit.
Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take it from there.
“As I prepared to start my first business, I knew I had a physical & mindset mountain in front of me. I wanted a strong experienced coach by my side. Kemi was all that and so much more. Her powerful questions every week gave me the clarity I needed to focus on the right things. But what really blew me away was her kindness, her constant search for places where I was being hard on myself and reframing so I came away from our work stronger and more confident in who I am and what I am here to do.” – Sheila Langan
“My coaching sessions with Kemi were beneficial on many levels. I initially contacted her for support with my work goals and how to ground them with tangible outcomes. Kemi was the woman for the job! She created such a safe container that it felt natural to take a good, hard look at myself in action; I saw where my strengths lay as well as what needed improving. Her questions and requests for ‘homework’ were forthright and spot-on, gently nudging me into a new sense of self-accountability. And how we laughed! On a personal note, Kemi’s ability to listen deeply, with full presence, allowed me to articulate undiscovered parts of myself, which was a welcome gift. Thank you so much, Kemi!” – Charlotte Young