Once I shook off the veneer of independence and requested support in living my purpose, the kindness and generousity of friends humbled and astonished me.

Freddi Dogterom opens the festivities

On January 14, 2023, my three months of nearly full-time work culminated in a gathering of over one hundred people in High River, Alberta to celebrate the brilliance of the women that we walk among each and every day.

The theme of the event was New Year, New You! The Journey to Authenticity. We enjoyed world-class speakers and entertainers, all of whom are our neighbours (although a couple came from across the line in Montana). 

We listened, we talked, we danced, we sang. We celebrated ourselves and one another. The air in the room was electric. Lives were changed.

It is too easy to feel the inspiration of a day like that one, then go right back to our “regular programming.” The time is here for women to live their lives unapologetically. 

I hope that you will stay in touch with the women you met at the event, and that you will support one another in taking up your share of the space rather than shrinking yourself to make other people more comfortable. I hope you will seek out people and programs that will remind you of the importance of respecting yourself first and modelling that behaviour to encourage the women around you to do the same.

Thank-you seems grossly inadequate for the contributions of the speakers and attendees that were there. Please know how deeply I was touched by your support. 

P.S. I’m told the word “authenticity” has become a buzz phrase that people are getting tired of. Do you have a suggestion for another word that encapsulates the concept? Let me know.