Hi and thank you for reading this post. My name is Adriana and I am the founder of community group Inspiring Women of Southend. I am frightened of blogging. Today I decided I had enough of being scared. Today I decided to come out of my comfort zone, fight that little voice in my head saying “You can’t do it!” and just get on with it. So hopefully the 30day blogging challenge from Sarah Arrow will help 🙂
It’s not easy. It’s frightening. I find expressing myself in one-to-one conversations in person a lot easier, natural in fact. There are many things stopping me. But I realize that by feeding my fear I am not serving those women in our community who may benefit from discovering about our community group.
Two years ago I set up a local community group called Southend Passionate Women. My vision was to support women in our area to connect with their passions and dreams to live their life with joy and fulfilment. Our vision expanded and we then renamed the group to Inspiring Women of Southend. I’ll soon share the reason for our existence.
So how did it all start?
There was a point in my life when despite having achieved what I dreamt about; I felt that something was not right. Something simply was not working and I did not know what it was. I could not name it. At the same time I would stop myself from sharing about this situation with my friends and relatives.
I was worried that my family and friends were going to judge me that I was unsettled, ungrateful and that I constantly look for something rather than just appreciate what I have. I was worried that people around me wanted to hear answers that I did not have. I knew that they care about my happiness but I could not answer their questions. All I had were dreams and ambitions and they existed only in my mind. They were like the seeds and waited to be planted, nurtured and discovered.
I have connected and got to know many amazing and inspiring women in London and Europe, but I was missing having those connections locally in Southend. East Essex, Southend and Basildon in particular, don’t have a great reputation to be honest. So I said to myself, enough of that. Let’s create an amazing network of inspiring women in Southend. A network where women from all walks of life, different ages and nationalities, can all discover what makes them happy, what inspires them and together can make those things happen.
The seed was planted one evening in a local pub. I met a friend of mine and during this meeting, I shared the vision with him. The following day he introduced me to five amazing women. It all started from there. We organised our first meeting, together looked at what we were missing in our community and started creating what we wanted to do. What came out of that was the need for a free support structure and network with friendly environment.
The project was born, the seed was planted. While it seems like “my baby”, I knew I did not want to do this on my own right from the very beginning. So I shared the vision with more women who then became our ambassadors and came on board right away. We are now a team of 15 plus women who volunteer their time, energy and passion to empowering other women in our neighbourhood.
What have I learnt?
I realised two important things. The first one was that something as simple as having a conversation with someone, whether it’s a stranger or a close friend, about my vision, being bold and courageous helped me to get one step closer to achieving my dream or ambition.
Being able to share with others what you care for, what you stand for and what makes you happy gives others and most importantly yourself, the inspiration and energy to turn your passion or dream into a real thing, whether it’s business, a community project or simply your own personal goal.
The second discovery was that no matter how frightened I might be of something, I can do it as long as it’s really important to me, I am then inspired to find the courage to overcome my fears and ask for help. It’s easier for me to overcome barriers when I am working within a motivated positive group.
And these are guiding principles of Inspiring Women of Southend. We create a safe, positive and playful space for sharing ideas, exploring what makes you happy, reflection and assessment of your progress. We cheer each other up when things are not going well, we continuously support each other on our journey to live our life with passion and inspiration.
We organise free monthly workshops and an annual conference connecting inspiring women with those who are in search of inspiration and those committed to making positive changes in their life. Why? Simply because we know that one happy woman can make a huge difference in our society; A happy, inspired and fulfilled woman transforms her environment.
“A fulfilled woman is not only joyful and confident; she transforms her environment, elevates sharing and creates fulfilment. She acts like a heart of her community and the world. She makes difference for herself, her children, partner, family, friends, work environment, business and the society. She finds fulfilment in creating opportunities for others, lives in harmony with both women and men and creates value through existing in the world of freedom, empathy and enlightenment.”
To your inspiration, Adriana