TEDx women arrives in Melbourne and a tribe is formed...

I am a complete TED-o-phile, possibly verging on evangelistic.

I have started prescribing TED talks alongside anti-depressants to my patients in the psychiatric clinic where I work. I believe inspiration is as powerful as medication.

I am spamming my colleagues in the hospital system with TED inspiration, because I know how the power of stories can change lives and hopefully institutions.

I delight in meeting people who have not come across the ocean of ideas at TED, knowing how excited they will be after their first click.

Melbourne birthed it's very own TEDx women event at the Wheeler Centre, midwifed by Emily Hehir, a young, feisty lawyer who managed to miraculously organize the event within a month of having the idea.

The theme of the night was self-determination and there were many moving personal stories which were shared. Emily set the tone of the night quoting "If you don't risk anything, you risk everything", and shared authentically and transparently about her own journey of chipping away at the perfectionistic drive and allowing her true self to emerge. Her authentic self bubbled out of her on stage as she enthusiastically and articulately introduced the speakers.

Caroline Counsel, family lawyer, started the night by pointing to the loss of power that many women experience within traditionally structured marriages. She took us on a guided tour of the aftermath of separation, what she called "the dead cow", describing the often complete loss of identity and self that women face and setting the scene for the importance of women's self-determination. She explained her collaborative practice of creating contracts between lawyers on each side to avoid the piranha like process that is settlement. Danica Lani , moved the audience with her short film "a gift to the world" which tells of her journey to shift her own self narrative from being a 'mistake in the world' to realising her potential and subsequently sparking a successful business. Asuka Hara, founder of Kinfolk cafe, gently voiced the power of free dance in supporting her movement from self consciousness and rigidity to a more fluid, authentic path. She challenged the audience with a question: What are your shoulds?The fixed "I" stories that hold you back from living true to your authentic self?"

Alexie O'brien, general manager from Lululemon, inspired the audience with her theories around relationship success and happiness. She talked of the "Hokie-Pokie" phenomenon ie. the one foot in one foot out (aka commitment avoidance) which she experienced in her own relationship and suggested the importance of jumping both feet in to allow the cultivation of one's vision. She emphasised the importance of knowing what you want and having a vision to work towards whether in relationship or career.

I was deeply moved by Camilla Maling, a yoga teacher amongst many other things, who shared profound insights from experiences of motherhood. She observed the force of self determination that manifested from her one year old daughter and related this to the force within all of us that can become obscured by conditioning and self doubt. I felt this woman's words emanate from her entire body, evidence of her commitment to Yoga. The body wisdom coming through her reached the audience and concluded with a deep meditation.

Meditation was a clear theme of the night, with Kalvinder Shields, an economics academic and meditation practitioner, floating onto stage in her kaftan, with an angelic voice spoke speaking of the importance of creating space to listen deeply, tune in and follow your truth. She called to redefine success as the degree to which one is comfortable within oneself, rather than blindly pursuing external status. She invited us to remember to ask ourselves how we really feel and then use spiritual practice as a compass to guide and support an alignment between one's inner and outer world.

Throughout the year I have experienced a clear sense of an emerging global movement. Having attended conferences and festivals such as Gathering 11, Creative Innovation conference, Australian Meditation conference, Burning Seed, and Peyo I am noticing the recurrence of ideas which were reinforced at TEDx women. The exponential technological changes in our world are impacting us in profound ways. There is a greater need for spirituality over status, community over individualism, self-narration over cultural conditioning, equality over discrimination, and awareness over ignorance. With the democratization of information that is occurring across the internet and through social media, we are finding our tribes faster and learning more than we ever could. Daniel Dennet, American philosopher states: What you can imagine, depends on what you know. The TED movement is fostering an expansion of consciousness and knowledge, allowing people to imagine beyond what they could before. With this imagination, new stories are being authored and new possibilities are being birthed. I look foward to TEDxwomen 2012...

Watch some TED clips from the latest TEDxWomen in New York

Which speaker resonated with you the most and why? Feel free to comment below...

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