The theory of the Hundredth Monkey says that when a critical number of people change the way they think and behave a new ERA will begin...
Imagine co-creating the world which you wish to see — a world where you are making a difference, a powerful one, and have the opportunity to thrive. ESD Global is a change-agent giving people tools to invoke lasting change within their communities.
What I had not expected on this week-long journey was the change it would invoke within me.
I remember the nervousness that came when I got off that plane. A million possibilities and thoughts roaming through my head:
• Who will I meet?
• What will they be like?
• What will training be like?
• Will I be an outsider?
• Did I bring enough clothes?
• Embarrassing, but will I snore?
• Can I keep up (it’s been a while since I had some hardcore sparing in...will it be like that? I’m not a spring chicken anymore...more like a fall turkey...which, as it crosses my mind, I should never think that again!)
• Do I still got it?
Crap, I’m an introvert and guaranteed there will be people...many, many people (Insert screaming GIF here). Despite my background of hosting events, instructing in self-defense, coaching, public speaking, and being a part of several business groups on my island (Well, Maui isn’t my island, it is an island in the Hawaiian Islands), I spend a large majority of my time alone. So, going into this training, I knew I would be out of my comfort zone which is actually quite perfect. For some reason, my DNA wired me to believe if it’s scary or uncomfortable, I should explore it. People have said I am fearless but that’s just it — I have learned to fear-less by learning more.
On the shuttle ride over, I met my first two friends — first off, one was a Krav Maga Instructor and the other ex-police officer (BadA*s women!). That’s when nervousness began to abate and excitement filled the little nerve endings firing off in my brain.
Women like me! This feeling of connectedness only grew as I made it to base camp and ran into Antonella Spatola (a trainee from last summer's training who came back to offer support)! Antonella and I have collaborated online and I honestly owed her many thanks for sharing about ESD and getting me to apply to come to the training itself. We hadn’t met in person up until that point and I am pretty sure I tackled her in some strange bear hug that luckily she didn’t seem to mind.
Then it was like wildfire, one person after another person, everyone doing stuff I like to call heart work. They were all coming to learn and grow, and let’s be honest, these women were fire.
It was Jeanette LeBlanc who said, “A circle of women may just be the most powerful force known to humanity."
If you have one, embrace it. If you need one, seek it. If you find one, for the love of all that is good and holy dive in,” and so I did.
Our first gathering in the Judo Gym, I got to meet the team of people making this whole thing possible! The ESD Global staff members - Beth, Melissa, Yudit, and Ellen - really made us all feel welcomed. I even had the honor of being the first to wallop Yudit with a foam noodle, and I must say it was glorious!
We were separated into groups for the week; two women’s groups and a men’s incubator group. The group I got to be a part of was comprised of women from 16 different countries, each with different backgrounds and in different professions.
Our facilitators blew my mind as well! To have Liz Cat Fitzgerald and Arlene Limas with us for the week, I was elated! Seriously doing a Snoopy Happy Dance in my mind! Liz and her husband, being the only two civilians allowed to teach both the military and the police force, were very impressive. Arlene, being the first female gold medalist in the Olympics for martial arts, blew my mind!
They were/are so awesome! And so it went throughout my week — mind-blowing connections, situations, and people. These women I got to spend my days and evenings with were strong, fierce, and powerful, even for those who didn’t know it yet.
The power I’m referring to is not just about brute force. It is about resilience, challenging your mind, and pushing it to the brink of breaking. There was even moments midweek that caught me off guard. Two nights in a row, I shared stories of my past I hadn’t expected to bring up at all. Honestly, they were stories that brought me much shame in my past and made me question my effectiveness in my current work.
After sharing them I felt vulnerable, raw, and honestly, a bit mortified but what happened next made the mortification worth it all. I received empathy that I hadn’t expected from both men and women. It is hard for me to accept such an emotional response from others being from a martial arts background where I had learned to just suck it up. I hadn’t realized I kept that mentality and had honestly sucked it up for far too long! I cried in public (again insert screaming GIF here!).
What got me though was after sharing my story, many people shared theirs too, and instead of the sharing leaving me exposed, I felt more whole than I had been before that week. It brought me to redefine my idea of what it is to be strong.
I got so much out of my time spent at the ESD Global Training in New York. The connections I made and training I had can honestly take my businesses to the next level. I got to witness situations and scenarios that elevated me as well. Lastly, I got the experience of a lifetime cause I had the privilege to meet a group of female actionists who are going to change the world, co-creating one where all can thrive.
“She had a gypsy soul and a warrior spirit. She made no apologies for her wild heart. She left normal and regular to explore the outskirts of magical and extraordinary. And she was glorious.”
~Michelle Rose Gilman
Learn more about Tasha.
* Your donation to the ESD Global Scholarship Fund helps more women like Tasha provide ESD training to the women in their communities throughout the world.