Just Show Up

Young woman relaxing outside
There is something absolutely amazing about the power of Black women when they come together and celebrate one another.  This past Friday I attended a “Waiting to Exhale” Christmas party that was hosted by my physical therapist Dr. Tina Morocco-Collins of NI Physical Therapy.  I had the opportunity to meet a group of very extraordinary women.  The truth is that I almost didn’t go to this event because I was in a bit of a ‘funk’.  Even as I was getting ready I was fighting off the urge to stay home. But I overcame it and empowered myself to walk out the door.  And that is when the miracles happened.

Dr. Collins (also a former professional lead dancer) left the hospital environment to start her own practice in the Beverly area 10 years ago.  She wanted to offer her patients more holistic treatments in addition to the therapies prescribed by their doctors. Often, in the traditional hospital setting, physical therapists are required to specifically treat the area that ails the patient.  For example, if a patient has a problem with a hand, only the hand would be treated.  Dr. Collins, however, works on strengthening the entire arm, neck, and back—which in a hospital setting would not be allowed. Her services are unique and effective. Her office offers yoga, massage, and other naturopathic services.  So it’s no longer a surprise to me that she knew exactly what I needed when she invited me to this event.

The evening began with her persuading about 20 of us to dance through choreographed moves—in unison! It was a freeing and liberating experience to watch all of these women—in the mirror—flow through moves that seemed impossible to accomplish.  As I moved self-consciously through the first dance, I learned a lot about myself and I realized that I almost missed out on an opportunity to grow and come out of my shell.

I was able to experience (on a larger scale) the phrase “surround yourself with like-minded people”.  I say that because we often find ourselves surrounded by people who have no desire to truly know who we are.  Or, to be in the company of women and suddenly realize that you’re in a competition you had no idea you entered into. Not so in this case.  There were women of varying stages of life and occupations—some were business owners, teachers, doctors, and artists.  Some were like me at a crossroad of rediscovery and starting over –on their own terms. The theme within them was common—to answer the question “What do you have to offer the world?” and “How can we empower one another and through that, be a blessing to someone else?”

One of the most important lessons I learned about myself that night is that my gifts and my personality are unique.  I’m different in a way that sometimes makes people uncomfortable because they never took the time to know who I really am, what drives me, or why I do what I do.  The most amazing lesson I learned is that there are women out there who recognized it and understood me!   I can only attribute that to God’s infinite wisdom and love. Had I stayed home that night, I would’ve missed that revelation at a time when I needed it the most.

There, I found a sisterhood and comradery that I’ve never experienced before.   It was unexpected because there was no eyeballing from head to toe, no whispering and side-eyed stares.  There was genuine respect, understanding, support, and fun!   I met a woman named Charmane Dupont who is a dentist by trade but is currently a gifted artist/guitarist and a beautiful human being with a singing voice that I have no words to describe.  Her story resonated with me and is truly going to be a blessing to woman everywhere.  I was blessed to have an opportunity to be in the same room with her, talk to her about her life and gift, and listen to her perform.  I was invited to collaborate with her on a project.  Had I decided to stay home, I would’ve missed a beautiful experience.  That was just the tip of the iceberg of what went on at this gathering. For me, it was a life-altering experience.

I also learned that stepping out of the ‘status quo’ helps to stretch our growth and remove us out of our comfort zone. Because I chose to attend this event I was able to see that Black women can come together without drama, without mediocre conversation, and actually have something to speak about in terms of life and things that are going on in the world and in our own lives and… what we can do to contribute to the process of improvement.  All I had to do was show up.

Bolder Sisters, was there a moment when you decided to “show up” and if so, how did it benefit you or someone else?

IMG_3940Kim Woods earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems at DeVry University. She developed a love for writing poetry and short stories as a child. Kim is socially conscience and her desire to use her life experiences to help others is what drives her to seek opportunities to share her story. She decided to write freelance for the Bolder Sister because it is her desire that women evolve and thrive in their own authentic truth.
Kim resides in Chicago, Illinois and has one son, Donald. In addition to writing, she spends free time creating unique wall art, decorating, and teaching herself how to sculpture. She also has a blog Who Will Speak.

6 thoughts on “Just Show Up

  1. Drama-free, useful collaborations are possible among women of color – especially when we convince ourselves to participate. Excellent job, Kim!

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