Assist Chit Chat – Week 6 – Dianne Casey

Week 6 – Very close to the heart of the ethos of Assist – Who is your tribe? 

“No man is an island”

“No woman can go it alone “. 

This is why brave, safe spaces like Assist matter.  

Assist surrounds women with a tribe of supportive, like-minded women. who cheer you, celebrate your victories and want to see you succeed! 

The word “tribe” means many different things to many different people but we wanted to know in one statement what it meant to the AssistHers.

So, what does it mean?

  • Intergenerational
  • Having each other back at all time
  • Support 
  • Encouragement
  • The 5 generations of woman in my family! Also the people who help me and my children 
  • Trust 

During the session, our thought leader and Queens award winner Ann Stonehouse Chairperson and co-founder of Assist spoke about her journey with tribes.

Though during her presentation many inspiring topics were covered what I took away was to always be brave regardless of the adversity you may face, that although often forgotten networking is one of our most valuable tools and surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you whilst actively supporting your dreams.

The sessions take over coach, Christine shared a personal story during which her honesty, vulnerability and bravery challenging the social expectation to stand-alone reminded us that it is okay to take support from our friends and as such allowed me to reflect on the many amazing people I can personally call my tribe.

During my years (49 but who’s counting!) I have learnt that there is nothing more valuable than time. I have learnt that sticking in one spot regardless of how comfortable I am might not always be the right choice. I have learnt that surrounding myself with kind people, my anchors who know who they are and who live in line with their values is who I am and if I find my instincts saying it’s wrong (what I call the “ick” factor) I walk away with a smile and best wishes.  

And that’s okay.

And in the same vain if someone makes me feel comfortable and safe I walk straight into that with a smile and guess what, that’s okay too!

In the words of Nanea Hoffman “If you want to know who your tribe is, speak your truth then see who sticks around those are the people who get a spot in your blanket fort.”

This is a quote I choose to live by and as such I have surrounded myself with people I admire, people who inspire me, people who force me out of my comfort zone and into my yikes zone.

Positive, glass half full people; idealist, dreamers and people who always think that good things will transpire.  

I admire people who are brave and bold, who stand up, speak out and won’t be a bystander.

I, like some women struggle to do my own PR (that little inner dialogue of “no one likes a show-off” thanks mam!) 

I’ll never forget the time after performing poetry during as exhibition in a local park I was asked by a member of the Audience how they could seek out my work? 

My reply? “oh you don’t need to do that.” 

That inner dialogue of “oh he’s just trying to make me feel better” took over and I found myself feeling inadequate of having fans. 

Fortunately, my good friend and cheerleader stepped up promoting me like a pro, listing my platforms and my upcoming performances before sternly reminding me that I am good enough (in a way only a friend can!) there is nothing more important than cheerleaders, the friends who no matter how I’m feeling can pull a belly laugh from misery, those sympathetic ears who will listen without judgement, the rays of sunshine who can shine through the darkest lights. I love my cheerleaders.

And lastly I would like to finish with a quote.

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” — Maya Angelou

Dianne Casey 

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