I had another wonderful conversation with Eileen Williams on her blog talk radio show, “Feisty Side of Fifty,” and was more than happy to fill her in on what was coming down the road for Women At Woodstock this October. I told her about the workshop weekend and the writing retreat, and the exciting women who will be leading our sessions. I talked about some of the many women whose dreams have been realized or lives have been changed, a lot or a little, thanks to the women they’ve met at our gatherings. It was wonderful to share with Eileen some of the stories – women sharing an idea or a goal at Women At Woodstock, and then going on to achieve it thanks to the information, suggestions, connections, introductions, and above all lasting encouragement they received from the other women over the ensuing years.
Why does that happen? Why do women who attend find themselves not only inspired, but filled with confidence to do what they want to do? I think it’s the contagion thing. According to a study by two Harvard professors, if you become happy, chances are increased by 34% that your neighbor will become happy. Chances are increased by 25% that your friend will become happy. Well, the same applies to inspiration, and hope, and courage, I think. And of course it goes in both directions. At Women At Woodstock, over our days together we bond; like at summer camp. Everyone becomes a neighbor, a friend, a sister. And then the happiness and the enthusiasm of a few spreads to all, and it lasts far beyond those few days together, because the friendships that have formed are lasting.
Eileen asked me to sum up, in a nutshell, just what is the purpose, the mission, the sum total of the Women At Woodstock experience. I’ve always had a hard time distilling it down into a sentence, but this time this is what came out:
At Women At Woodstock you get a minute to step away and breathe and say to yourself, “What do I want?” and then you get support to do it, find it, or have it.
Yep, I think that says it pretty well. I hope that you can see for yourself just what it’s like.