You might be aware by now that I have an interest in storytelling. When it comes to fiction stories, the familiar 'Hero's Journey' tales have shaped me since I was young: Bilbo and Frodo Baggins; Harry Potter; Luke Skywalker. They are the heroes who went on an adventure, won their victory, and then came home changed and transformed. These are the type of adventures I grew up loving. These are the characters that have shaped who I am - and who I try to be - as a person.
But whilst 'hero's journeys' are often told, the heroine's journey is less seen. And as life imitates art, it is still true that heroines find less space and places to tell their stories.
This is where Heroine's Journey comes in. Heroine's Journey is a female-led speaker series designed to challenge, inspire and connect adventurous women together. The Founder, Kim Willis, believes that stories have power - and with good reason. As it says on the Heroine's Journey website, "research shows that the stories we hear literally shape our brains. They influence our ideas about what’s possible; about the things we can achieve and the experiences we can have."
Kim started this speaker series as a unique space for women to support women. Women from different worlds share their stories, talk and connect, and pass on the lessons they have learned to help others. It is a space for anyone who identifies as a woman to be encouraged and empowered. Speakers come from different arenas, including business, creative arts, and adventure. (I'm not sure which arena I walk in? But I'm definitely not business!)
I'm very proud to say I will speaking at the first evening of the new season.
It makes me quite emotional to think of myself as a heroine. But the story I will tell certainly fits into the 'adventure and return changed' structure. And for once, it's not the Camino! My Race to the Stones challenge 100KM of running (slash walking) over two days. But it was fourth months in the making. It was nearly a thousands miles of travel. There was a 'call to action' for it that was about more than me. I learned a lot, about myself, my relationship with epilepsy and the way epilepsy is viewed. And I am changed. I look at myself differently, and so do other people, because now I am a runner - something I NEVER thought I'd be.
If you identify as a woman, you can come and listen to this story on 16th October at the Arboretum in London. And because Kim believes that something magical happens when powerful women gather together, I will be speaking alongside two other powerful women. Laxmi Hussain is a London-based artist dedicated to empowering the female form and Irene Moore is an Entrepreneur and business coach empowering female leaders. I love the fact that their focus is so different to mine, and I look forward to learning more from them on the night.