'I speak not for myself but for those without voice... those who have fought for their rights... their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.' - Malala Yousafzai, the youngest recipient to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, October, 2014
Apparently, I have a voice that, as I was told by a sound guy when asked to deliver lines for a television show I was on in a bar bursting with over 200 men, 'Can cut through anything.' I was never sure if that was a compliment or not. I know I wasn't given this voice to sing. But I was given this voice for a reason.
I also have quite a big story. And multi-faceted. I know, we all do. That's what makes this world so incredible, though, isn't it? That we inspire and are inspired by eachother? That so many people have found the courage to put themselves out there, willing to speak from the heart in their own unique way, share their story without fear of judgement? Look at Malala Yousafzai.
I was invited by REBECCA BARRY HILL to share some of my story with THE NZ HERALD: from pain comes triumph. To share it was quite a big decision to make because for years, only those who knew me knew. I discovered people had varying opinions as to if I should or shouldn't. But I followed my heart and went ahead doing the story. And it changed my lifepath. Once I tapped openly into the power of words (yip! My favourite video...again), and the amount of people that sharing my story touched, I realised I was right to follow my instinct.
I was then invited to speak at and share some of my experiences to 50 foster kids in L'Oreal's incredible FACE YOUR FUTURE programme. And a teacher at St Peter's College invited me to share some of what I'd gone through and how it related to what I think are some of the biggest challenges facing teens today.
My greatest honour to date, though, is being asked to share aspects of my story and speak at DRESS FOR SUCCESS AUCKLAND, a charity close to my heart.
I asked Ryan Meta to video me at KINGSIZE STUDIOS (Thanks so much again, guys!) on what I wrote for my speaking engagement. This was a rough first draft from the actual night, and I was wearing my wedding dress on the night too. But hey, it's putting myself out there.
More important than my trips ups and why I wore what I wore, though, is the message:
'...right now, we don't have time to figure out the know-how, skill or strategy for the big picture. It doesn't matter how we got to this place. The fact is we did. And we can't stay here.
'Resources used, we have two choices: go to the government, go for a job. Ask for a handout, ask for a helping hand.
'That's why I choose to get in behind DRESS FOR SUCCESS AUCKLAND. Every woman who goes to them HAD A CHOICE. SHE MADE THE TOUGH DECISION TO TAKE THE HARDER ROAD. She chose TO ASK FOR HELP SO SHE CAN HELP HERSELF.'
I know what it takes to take the harder road. And that people who choose the harder road benefits ALL OF US.
So if any of this resonates for you, please donate to DFSA - all donations most gratefully accepted. Even better, we know that CASH IS KING and every little bit helps. Even if you sacrifice one coffee, as Mother Teresa said: 'We ourselves feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.'
HOW DO YOU USE YOUR VOICE FOR GOOD? Feel free to share.
And THANK YOU REBECCA BARRY HILL. Because through you using your voice through the power of your words and helping me use my voice by bringing my story to light, you have done good for people who have never told a soul about some of their traumas until they told me. That is what this world is all about: connecting and collaborating.
Thanks for joining me! If you find anything on here which could be useful to someone, share it!
Until next time,