Yesterday morning I was pleased to be at the yoUnlimited event in Sidney organized by Carolyne Taylor. If you haven’t heard of this one-day conference before, I would say that yoUnlimited is quickly becoming the “go to” women’s event in Victoria. I had attended this event when it was held back in November and was so inspired by the amazing women present; I was really looking forward to going to it again.

After Carolyne’s welcome and introduction, the day began with an inspirational meditation by Lindsay Rose and continued with three short talks by Carol Hyland, Theresa Gulliver and Caron Somers.

Carol Hyland’s presentation was all about the rise of the creative class and handmade endeavours. She talked about “buy local” trends, the rise in creative entrepreneurism and “maker faires” and told us that products and services that are handmade and have a story (such as Melinda’s Biscotti, one of yoUnlimited’s sponsors) are what people are increasingly looking for. I must admit, I was really excited to listen to Carol’s presentation not only because I really believe in the handmade movement, but because I had been a tiny bit worried that I had built my entire PowerPoint (for the presentation I was to make right after the opening talks) around images that I had hand drawn. I was nervous about the creative risk I was taking! But Carol’s message gave me permission to relax about it and be proud of what I had done. (In fact, my simple drawings were very well received when the time for my session came. Phew!)

Up next, Theresa Gulliver talked about the importance of physically remaining open, surrendering and letting go. She talked about moving beyond limitations that are surrounding us and reminded us that “fear doesn’t move.” When we feel fear, our body physically locks us up. Theresa had a few tidbits to tell us as well about how science has shown us how valuable touch is, and she had us practicing some handshakes, high fives and hugs in the audience. It felt good, especially since I got to hug a wonderful new friend that I met a few months ago.

Finally, Caron Somers’s presence on the “stage” was awesome. “You’ve got a dream in there!” she said. “Don’t let it go.” Caron told us a little bit of her own story and reminded us to talk about our dreams to other people and take baby steps in their direction. She said, “beauty comes from your shortcomings … your failures.” And Caron was a beautiful presenter whose passion for her topic was quite clear.

These were the three opening talks that set the stage for what was going to be a wonderful day. (If you missed them, they will be up on YouTube soon and I’ll post the link here.) I was up next as one of the breakout sessions presenting about Genuine Blogging, and was so glad that these three women began the day modelling bringing their authentic selves forward. They set the stage wonderfully for what I was about to talk about … but I’ll tell you about that in the next post!