“We got Dr. Susan Biali as our keynote!”  Salima said excitedly into the phone.  On the other end of the line, I was in my kitchen, trying to get spoonfuls of porridge into my son’s not-so-eager mouth.  At the time, I didn’t know who Dr. Susan Biali was.  I didn’t know a lot of things.  “And I wanted to ask you,” Salima went on.  I waited for her to ask me if I wanted a ticket.  Salima was part of a team of women under the Ismaili Council for B.C. planning an event called Celebrating Women:  Creating Joy Within.  I’m a woman and I love joy.  Yes, I did want a ticket!   “Would you like to speak for a few minutes about your writing?” she finished.

My hand holding the spoon had been hanging mid-air.  I finally let it rest on the highchair tray and turned my body away from my bored son.  This required my full attention.

“YES!” I responded.  The rest of the conversation is a blur but I know I gushed profusely about the honour.  I was deeply touched and equally confused.  I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to talk about or if I had a message worth telling 200 women.  But the YES had come so forcefully from within – an automatic response – that I had to follow it.  That much I knew.

That night I could not sleep. I kept asking myself “What is my story? What would women want to know?”  Finally, at 5 am I crept out of bed so as not to wake my husband. I snuck into my closet, which thankfully has a light and a little footstool – perfect for propping up my journal, of course.  I let my eyes adjust to the light and then I wrote. And I wrote. And I wrote. At 6:30 am I emerged from my cocoon, to the sun sneaking its way into our bedroom through the blinds. And I had a story.

Sharing it with a room full of women was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever been blessed with.  As the event was winding down, I made my way over to where Dr. Biali was signing her book, Live A Life You Love.  I was nervous.  I was about to introduce myself to an amazing woman and that freaked me out a bit.  Dr. Biali had only the kindest things to say and she did so in such an excited voice…no, not just voice, her whole body was cheering me on! Looking back, I can almost see the pom-poms in her hands!  I knew I would be speaking with her again, once the dust settled and once I could get a grip on the reality of that life-changing day.

And I did.  I approached her a couple of months later to coach me with the dream I had for continuing to share my message, and to live my most authentic life.  It was one awesome summer and her friendship definitely makes my gratitude list!

So, to celebrate the gift Salima gave me that day that she asked me to speak, to put on my own pom-poms for a fabulous coach Dr. B., and to honour YOU, dear Readers, without whom this blog would be just words floating around in cyber-space…I am giving away a signed copy of Dr. Susan Biali’s Live A Life You Love to one lucky reader!  Huge thank you to Dr. Biali for this donation!

How do you enter to win??

There are several ways!!  Yes, multiple entries!!

 1.  All subscribers automatically get their names in the proverbial hat (in this case, I will be using random.org to select the lucky winner).  So, if you haven’t subscribed yet to receive my posts by email, you can do it now!

2.  For an additional entry, please leave a comment below telling us at least one thing that brings you JOY.

3. Want to enter again?  Sure!  Just share this post on facebook and/or twitter and then leave a comment telling us you did.  Each share grants you another entry!

This contest closes on Friday December 9, 2011 at 5 pm PST.  The winner will be announced on Let ME Out after contact is made by email.  If you are a subscriber, I have your email address.  If you are not a subscriber and don’t plan to subscribe, please private message me with your email address for notification purposes of this contest only.