The event was entitled Women Against All Odds and it included Doreen Lawrence, who spoke of her 18 years struggle for justice and truth following the racist murder of her son Stephen.
I was asked to speak about my personal experience of living with HIV and where I found my inner strength to overcome hardship. No matter how many times I have told my story in public it is always nerve wracking and it makes me feel quite vulnerable and fragile again, which is quite ironic, when I should be be there as this example of ‘strength’!.
I was also asked to give a quote about where I find my inner strength, which was displayed in the hall with those of famous women. I was quite chuffed that my picture was next to Michelle Obama’s!
Here is my quote:
“The sense of interconnectedness with other beings and nature gives me inner strength. I feel that my being and my actions are interwoven in the lives of others and of our planet. When I feel I cannot do something I always think I am not doing this by myself or for my self. I continue in the actions of those who before me tried to contribute a positive change, and I think of those who after me will continue to strife for a better and just world for all. I am a small part of something much bigger. I take a deep breath, feel the ground under my feet, I look at a garden, play with my cat… and keep going.”
The room had lots of picture of ‘Inspirational Women and their quotes. One of my favourites was Maya Angelou:
“If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone to be good to me?” and “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
International Women Day is officially on the 8th of March.