Forever In My Heart

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Blog, Media | Comments Off on Forever In My Heart

Forever In My Heart

The words they sang were translated from Mandarin to English on a scrap piece of paper delivered to me as I left campus to come back to the United States:

“I fear I won’t have the opportunity to say goodbye to you because maybe we  can not meet each other again. Tomorrow you will leave this place and me.  When I think of this, the tears come down again.

I will keep your face in my heart firmly forever.  I will value the gifts of you that you gave me forever.  These days we had together will never be forgotten in my heart.

You can not promise whether you will come back, maybe I will just keep walking forward.”

 This was the meaning behind the beautiful sound of 75 Chinese college student women singing to me by candlelight on the spiral staircase as I finished my time of leadership facilitation in China.  They sang and cried and I wondered how I could go back to my room, pack my suitcase and go home without them.  They sang of the gifts I gave them, but I truly believe they gave me even more.

We spent six weeks together on their campus; shivering in the cold winter air in unheated classrooms as they eagerly devoured anything I could share with them about what it is like to be a free woman; a woman from the United States; a business owner; a decision maker; a dreamer.  Their hearts were open and their own sense of possibility was waking up and taking form.

I didn’t leave them empty handed.  I helped integrate the next team of amazing women facilitators who followed me to continue our work and lend assistance to these amazing young women who were ready to change their world.  A bittersweet goodbye and new heartfelt hello.

That was over two years ago and their voices continue to sing in my heart.  Their emails continue to grace my inbox and light up my world.  The scrap piece of paper with their words remains in a special place on my desk where I see it every day.

As I prepare for a weekend of bringing in new facilitators to be trained for the World Academy For the Future of Women, I am reminded that while our journey has not been perfect (understatement of the year), the impact we continue to have on both our students and our facilitators is worth more than words can express.  I know that I am changed and continue to be.

There are young women all over the world who long for connection, for guidance, for attention, for permission to dream and be their best.  They are changing their world, with the help of a few big dreamers and dedicated facilitators who step past their own self-doubts and give a gift of time, talent and love that gets returned 100 times over.

Thank you, my Chinese daughters, for profoundly changing my life for the better (and I already thought it was good before).  You taught me much about myself and about the beauty and resiliency of  the human spirit…and the lessons for all of us have just begun.

You are always in my heart.

Women Change the World when they embrace who and what they are and refuse to be anything less.