Today I wake up with a special kind of pride in myself. It’s been just under 5 years since I started telling my #ProjectMe story and I had a very clear vision from the start.
This blog and all my hard work of creating my online personality was going to be the vehicle to drive my passion … my passion for writing, speaking and guiding others along their journey to become their own project!
I had no clue that I’d end up in the social media space and that a different path, with a second business would come out of that too, but it’s more of an affirmation that when we set our compass to happiness, we may have no clue what that means, but we’ll be thrilled when we get there.
So today I’m sitting on the afternoon panel at #WiredWomen and we are chatting about online personal branding. Not only am I excited that the topic is yet another affirmation that I am on track, but I am so grateful that I met the owner of QualityLife, Debby Edelstein, years ago and we both agree that the timing is just right to finally be a part of this ever growing conference.
Thank you for this opportunity, Debby …
Here’s the press release and I encourage you to follow the hashtag #WiredWomen, through the day!!
Fourth Wired Women Conference set to provide crucial platform for aspiring tech leaders
“Companies across Africa are experiencing the innovation and collaboration that talented female leaders are bringing to the workplace. We are currently in an exciting phase as the business world adapts to the impact that these tech leaders bring to a range of industries. It’s time to come together to explore new ways of encouraging innovation, diversity and collaboration as Africa continues its steady rise on the world stage.”
So says Debby Edelstein, CEO of QualityLife Company, organisers of the Wired Women Conference set to take place at the Protea Hotel Parktonian in Braamfontein on Thursday 23 October.
Delegates to the fourth annual Wired Women Conference will have the opportunity to hear first-hand insights from some of the top female and male tech and business leaders on the African continent. “We have recently seen a surge in mentorship by experienced tech leaders to the rising female stars on the continent. Women are talking about diversity, change and the impact they make in their organisations. The conference will connect more of our rising female and male tech stars and unlock new opportunities for collaboration and knowledge-sharing.”
The one day conference will feature a range of keynote presentations and panel discussions with some of the most recognisable names in tech, including Enyonam Kumahor, regional managing director of ThoughtWorks, which was nominated as Best African Company of 2013; Professor Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering and Dr Miriam Altman, Head of Strategy at Telkom. “Staying true to our vision of also creating a platform for tomorrow’s rising stars, the conference will also feature a number of up-and-coming female tech leaders who are making an impact in their organisations.”
“After a long association with QualityLife, Strate is pleased to once again be sponsoring the Wired Women Conference. Events of this nature bring together businesswomen to discuss not only the future of technology but, more importantly, the ways in which we can bring more women into this growing industry,” says Monica Singer, CEO of Strate.
Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager of the MTN SA Foundation, also sponsors of the Wired Women Conferences, says: “MTN SA Foundation’s ICT development projects are not only about supporting the implementation of technology in communities. Developing innovative solutions that allow all to leverage the growing talents in ICT has become a key pillar in our Foundation programmes. We will continue to make a significant contribution in developing women for leading roles in the bold new digital world that beckons women in the 21st century and beyond.”
Panel discussion themes at this year’s conference includes:
- Creating a culture of innovation
- Tech Startup: Who Dares Wins
- Best Tech tools for marketing your business and career
About QualityLife Company
In addition to its sterling reputation for creating events and conference which transcend “death by PowerPoint’ and rather create communities of thought leaders, QualityLife Company specialises in providing a range of dynamic, highly effective short courses which focus on leadership development, communication and people skills. It also provides a consultancy service developing and designing customised training interventions – from facilitated conversation to conferences.
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
Warning: Don’t read this is you still have a conservative view of dating and relationships.
I didn’t realise how safe I had made my life since my break-up. The more I think about it, I can see that my original choice of man was a reflection of what the world expected of me.
It’s just been easier to make myself unavailable. It’s been simple to take a slow recovery from a broken heart, engulf myself in my work, live comfortably with my family and have no space in my bed between my 3 cat children.
About 80% of my friend circle is made up of gorgeous gay men. It stems from my bestie and just continues to flow in burst of happy rainbow humans. They do dinners and brunch, they do clubbing and camping (no the real deal, not just wrist flapping) and they also do trying to figure out why their fruit fly is single.
So after too much bubbly & my bestie not there to protect me from the boldness of a pack of Queens, I was convinced to get back into the dating game. It’s so easy these days … just hop onto a free app and swipe your way through an array of potential matches.
I met my ex and my “friend with benefits” on dating sites. It was back when we were all on free Facebook apps, still pretty fresh at putting ourselves out there in this new way of meeting people. We would discreetly say that we were not looking for anything serious. We would go for coffee first … it didn’t have to even get cold before it was time for the second “date”. I would suspect that maybe a guy or two were married and trying to search for some fun, but I stuck to my “more than one pic and willing to become Facebook friends” rules and I had a fun, good time. I’m still friends with some of them and nearly married the other.
Fast forward about 4 years and I may just be that 40 something girl, but as fast at technology has moved on, so has the dating game. It’s not even called dating anymore, I don’t think …
I’ve never professed to being a prude or an angel. On the contrary, at one stage of my life I was a speaker at Sexpo and encouraging women to get okay with their bodies and revel in our body’s right to fully enjoy sex.
I’ve also been very open about not wanting the traditional get married, have kids life. My mother still freaks out when I tell her that I’m totally into Mr Right Now! The only time I wanted something different, the wheels all fell off … the best times of my life have been with Mr InTheMoment.
I still have self respect and integrity though.
I still want to know the truth of who you are so that I can decide if I’m going to let you into my space for a chat, a coffee, a kiss or sex.
I’m an intelligent woman … at least I think I am. I’m cautious, stick to my rules to ensure that I find the truth of the person I’m engaging with and yet, I’m confessing that I have no clue as to whether he was married or not.
Someone has to say it … someone who is on there has to say that they’ve seen familiar faces of people who chose to commit. I have! Then there are ones who are honest about it and say they are married, shouldn’t be there and are looking someone for discreet fun.
I can’t label my belief system, but it pretty much goes along the lines of our existence being a choice, our bodies being sacred and our intentions being our Karma. That makes this crazy world of dating very difficult. Men haven’t asked me for coffee … they have asked me naked pictures. They haven’t sent me their number, they have sent me their penis pics. They haven’t asked me to dinner … they have asked me who’s house we are going to shag at during their lunch hour.
Here’s the clincher … barring the unwanted pics of male anatomy popping up unexpectedly and without welcome and the uncertainty of trusting the promise of being single … I get why this does work.
If you want the fairy tale stuff, then swiping through pictures that are basically a sex catalog is not the place to be hanging out.
However, if like me, you can openly admit that you are still human, with wants and needs and have some level of self worth and respect … then why not play??
Dear mom, if you’ve read this … thanks for teaching me about choices and consequence!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
The day I decided to get my first tattoo, and knew what I wanted, the hunt began. It didn’t take long and when I found the Moon Goddess, it was love at first sight. That’s what a tat is meant to be … the symbolism that will ensure your making will be eternally sacred and the image that speaks to your soul on the canvas of your life.
Yes, I’m that passionate about the one I have and I have wanted another one since the day I got the first in 2010.
A dragon and a wolf … I never would have blogged about this pre my back injury all those years back, but if it weren’t for my belief in the other world and my drawing of strength from my own forms of medicine and healing, I don’t know how long that recovery would have taken. That was the first time I spoke about it, but I’ve had my guides with me for many years.
My wolf, my totem guide, who stares me down when dare fall into the shadow of my strengths and abilities.
My dragon, who smashed things in my home, in a clumsy attempt to get my attention, until I made space for her in my life.
We all have beliefs that someone else doesn’t understand or resonate with and for the longest time, I lurked around, unsure of how the world would react to. Then I started to meet people who guides too and who proudly marked their bodies with the energies that have helped them mold their lives into what they are today.
For me, these two energies are fundamental in who I am, what I believe in and what carries me to where I am going.
I have wanted to do this for ages, but planned to do two different tats, one of the wolf and one of the dragon. I have even had the dragon sketched more than once, but no one seemed to get it right … so I kept putting it off.
Then the other day I met a man, who was a stranger, but after less than half an hour of connecting and remembering each other from lifetimes, he said to me, “so how’s your wolf?” Then he asked me if I knew my totem was a wolf? Well … isn’t that stuff about totems and soul mates (hundreds in one lifetime) and all of that so very true!!
It’s only been a few days, but I got increasingly anxious to find a tattoo artist to draw this wolf and this dragon and combine them in some way. It really is true that when you are ready, it will appear. I have been searching for over 4 years and tonight something made me Google “combined wolf and dragon tattoo”
And now for the tattoo artist to appear on the winds of the same energy!
Let’s do this!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
Yesterday my assistant told me of her frustrations at needing to get some work off her plate so that the could help me to free up my time, as she noticed I hadn’t blogged in a while. I’ve spent ages with my team, making sure they understand my passion for social media, but my soul desire to share Project Me with the world. She’s conscious of my time now, but the lack of writing can’t be blamed on a demand from my businesses.
When I started blogging in 2010, my family weren’t thrilled because they know how open I am and had no clue what I might throw out into the world. It’s taken years and a complete turn around in the dynamic of our relationships for them to trust me with my open platform to communicate. Yet, there will always be a part of my that apprehensively walks the line of knowing there are people out there desperate to not feel alone when their family is at war, and respecting the privacy of my family.
It’s taken a while, but my lessons on unconditional love over the past few weeks are beginning to feel as though they are vital messages through Project Me. I’m also free enough to speak about the gist of the drama because it’s got a whole lot to do with social networks and what a parent should allow their teenage children to do on it and not.
Of course, the wounds always go deeper, but now there’s a huge big mess over the regard for the family when a parent allows their kids to have free reign on how to conduct themselves online. It may seem petty, but my mother is being shattered in the process and that’s where I have decided to draw the line.
My big sister and I used to be at war. You know, the one that I now live with, co-parent with and miss like crazy because she’s on holiday and I feel like my bestie has gone AWOL. Our war got so bad that there was a huge family divide, which was suddenly realigned when our family home burned down.
That statement should be empowering, but I think it’s dangerous. Far too often we hear the message of, don’t fight because one day you will need each other. One day someone will be sick or you will have to pull together for a tragedy. Be nice, stay calm, don’t fight … don’t feel or speak your truth.
Well, the problem is that I’ve worked to hard on my Project Me journey to toss aside my personal lessons (which are my own perception) of integrity and respect.
My philosophies are simple: everyone is free to choose how they live their lives, what their values and principles are and how they choose to love. In exchange, I am free to choose whether those life values resonate with mine. We aren’t all meant to be compatible! We aren’t all meant to have the same understanding of happiness or morals and we all define Unconditional love for ourselves.
The very reason why I chose to become the myth breaker of “the happiness movement” is because living our truth is far more important. Defining our own principles and life values is the key that unlocks our best relationship with ourselves. And that’s where worlds collide!!
I’ve read many definitions of unconditional love. There always seems to be a general thread of understanding that we would all be doing the same thing if we loved unconditionally. Surely this kind of love only has one way of doing it … unconditionally! Wow, what a wake up call … nothing goes without perception towing the line.
What I define as this ultimate form of love has a totally different dynamic to what my sibling defines it as. Reality, we are both right because we can only live the truth of what we believe. This whole blog post for one life lesson I’ve had to adapt to … there are not 3 sides to a story. There is only the perception of each person’s truth. There are only two sides to a story and they are both wrong and both right. Right for the believer and wrong for the person who believes something else.
I’m tired of the written. Actually, I’m tired of the unwritten too. I’m not happy with the messages I’ve been receiving of, “keep the peace”. I’m only happy with the message that resonate with my own heart. I absolutely allow people to have their own beliefs and behave as they will, but if it doesn’t fit within my principles then I would do myself such an injustice to just carry on because it’s the right thing to do.
I don’t think I’ve done too badly, considering the love I am engulfed in by so many people …
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour
Sitting on my kitchen window ledge is an emergency bottle of blowing bubbles. My assistant carries one around with her. On the darkest of days I’m inclined to buy a bottle of bubbly and celebrate the mere fact that I can. Somehow, bubbles just make me feel better.It was less apparent when it was randomly blogging bubble in the garden on a bad day, but when I bonded with me very hedonist friend, Joanne and she taught me the ways of fine wine, champagne and the less priced, sparkling wine, it got serious.
Now that I have an extended bond with bubbles, there was no hard choice on how to celebrate my birthday.
Bubbles, bubbles everywhere and that’s exactly what I did.
I really felt as though I was starting this next birthday year with a very strong and more confident attitude towards my life, but there’s still that part of me that is the eternal child, who wanted to go extreme when it came to bubbles.
Thanks to @Xtreme_Foam I turned what would have been a pretty grown up bubbles and breakfast party into a fun foam filled reason to play like 12 year old kids.
I’ve come such a long way. Well, I’m not sure if that’s true because I’m starting to realise things that I have always been but never really noticed in myself and as I get older, I feel younger and freer.
Drinking bubbles, foam bubbles, blowing bubbles … even the bagels were bubbles … and that’s how I saw my birthday in!
With the most special friends around me, my family absorbed into the fun and surrounded by my favourite things. I had one of the best birthdays I have had in a very long time.
It does help that the transition from 40 to 41 has been a year where I have really grown in confidence. It took me a very long time to understand just how consciously I have been living and the big change happened when I defined my love for Project Me and social media. As Greggie and I decided to split the businesses in two, I felt the determination to grow #ChatFactory into the business that would be financially strong, with an incredible team (which I have been blessed with) so that I could take the time to develop the Project Me program.
It’s been slow, but it’s happening and as I have started to develop the work, I have realised how very strongly I have been living my philosophies for so many years.
It’s empowered me! So has being 40 … It’s true what they say and it’s in-explainable, but there is less care about what people think and more care about who you have decided to be.
My night only got better, which is surprising seeing as though I haven’t had a bond with my Jewish birthright for many years. After the family divide and having to see less of the ones who don’t want to be around us, the dynamic has definitely shifted and I didnt’ want to be anywhere else except with the ones who ooze love.
Dinner was very special and we saw in the Jewish New Year, then it was birthday cake time and my little sister brought me to tears, with a cake that she made with one of my most treasured beliefs … fairies! Okay, my family have come a long way to and receiving a Tinkerbell cake from her (and her hubby who definitely put the sparkle into it) meant so much to me.
I got the most special messages from strangers and friends, felt the love and all of my dreams for myself draw one step closer and I couldn’t be more grateful.
What a beautiful way to grow up!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour