Chantal Pierrat, founder of Emerging Women, introduced Dr. Trent as a true queen, and defined a queen as a woman who, “steps into her own power and reminds all of us we are only one step away from our own.”
I cannot do the story of Dr. Trent justice in one short blog post. Nor relate just how powerful it was to be a room with 400 other women, somewhat tired from a very busy weekend and at the same time exhilarated from all that we had learned, as we were taken on a journey of perserverance, dreaming and humanity.
One of the main threads that came out for me during this talk, and the entire conference, was one of the dream.
When Dr. Trent was a young girl in Zimbabwe, she met Jo Luck, a white woman who at the time was the CEO of Heifer International. Little Tererai shared with Jo her dreams of coming to America to get an education. Jo Luck looked into her eyes and responded, “It is achievable.”
Tererai then shared her dreams of education with her mother, who told her to write down her dreams on paper and bury them, so they would plant seeds in the earth and keep her connected to her dreams and her community. Her mother also said that Tererai would have to come back and share with her community once she achieved her dreams.
“Your dreams will have greater meaning when they are tied to the betterment of your community. They have to be tied to the greater good.”
It can’t just be about you.
The sacred dream connects humanity.
During Dr. Trent’s talk, there were lots of tears. And an equal amount of laughter. Deep emotion for her presence, and her story of commitment, dedication, hardship and victory against every imaginable odd.
And I would also speculate, tears for our own dreams.
Dreams that were never realized. Never written down and buried and sprouted to life. Never spoken aloud to take flight. Never given a chance.
Why? Because they were too big? Too scary? Not realistic enough? People will think you’re crazy?
Many of us are walking around, holding on to past and current dreams like a trapped secret, never to be shared for the fear of .... what exactly? Or they are casually thrown about with a laugh, downplayed as silly or nonsensical.
But what if?
It took Dr. Trent 8 years just to graduate high school. She brought her 5 children to the United States and went to college. With nothing. With no one to support her. She went on to receive a Master’s degree. Then finally her PhD.
Oprah gave her 1.5 million dollars to open a school for girls in her Zimbabwe village.
It is achievable.
What if we got back in touch with our dreams? What if we spoke them and wrote them down and buried them and watered them and fed them and paid attention to them and one day… one day… there is a green shoot. A sign. A signal of the possibilities to come.
Possibilities for a new world.
And what if we continued in our commitment, no matter what, to our dreams? Even in the midst of our daily actions of doing what we do in our “normal” life. Also making the tending of dreams a priority -- watering, feeding, paying attention. And what if they grow? What if they happen?
We don’t have to know the exact steps of how they will occur, or what the process will look like. We just have to keep them present. Keep them nurtured and cared for, like they matter.
Every woman on that stage over the weekend came from a dream. They took care of their dreams. They didn’t back away from their dreams.
They are creating a new world with their dreams.
It is achievable.
Love and big dreams,
P. S. Oh, by the way, on Friday night, we walked on fire...
It is achievable.