11/20/2014 01:33 pm ET Updated Jan 20, 2015

When Strong Women Come Together


A few days ago I was blessed to go to an amazing event. I always believed that when powerful women come together magic happens. By "powerful women" I mean women that have a deep connection with their inner soul. I call that kind of a woman an authentic soul. A woman with an authentic soul can change her environment but a group of women that are authentic souls can change the world. I am not here to bash men but I feel that as women we look at the world with a different view. When we are together we all of a sudden become friends, sister and mentors. We cry, laugh, sing, dance and create life long connections.

That's how I felt when I went to this great gathering of women. Marianne Williamson came and spoke about how "only love is stronger then hate" and about how women from different religions are basically the same from inside. We all have different views about each other but the core of each of us is the same. She talked about how when women from different religions come together for purposes of peace, things happen. It made me think about how true that statement was. Women across the world all feel the same we are emotional beings that are full of love. We don't want to conquer instead we would rather hug and talk.

I also met a woman by the name of Shaune Arnold, whose story was so beautiful that each person in the room had tears in their eyes. She started by saying, "Have you ever done the unforgivable?" And she went on to tell her story. It made me think of how we take events from our lives and deem them "unforgivable" because that's the way the people around us want us to feel. They want us to feel little because that makes them feel powerful. Yet what action could be called "unforgivable? Maybe in my eyes a murderer, a rapist, an abuser or a sexual predator would be someone who is unforgivable. But then who am I to judge who can be forgiven or not?

Another inspiring woman there was Soraya Deen, a lawyer turned activist and motivational speaker. She talked about how 9/11 changer her life. How her life changed when her child asked her: "Mom are we terrorists?" Being a progressive Muslim she never thought it would come to this. And she talked to her children and now to many others around the country who struggle with their self identity. She talks about becoming a leader and telling our stories, because everyone has a story to tell. After her talk it got me thinking - what is my story? DO I have only one story? Or is my life the culmination of these little stories that are woven together. But then it got me thinking about what about the insignificant times in life when I am just doing nothing? Is it also included in the unfolding of another story?

When I finally left the company of these strong women, I was extremely happy but emotionally drained. I didn't understand why; yes, I had shed a lot of tears made a lot of connections but would that really be a cause me to be emotional? And I realized it was because of the power and beauty that existed in that room. The possibility of what we can do when we open our hearts and souls. The level of intellect, love, camaraderie and support in that one room was a lot for my soul to take because it made me realize that we are all together in our stories, our journeys and most of all in our need to be one.

Thank you Muslim Women Speakers Summit for an amazing day!!!

Tami Shaikh is the author of Detox Your Soul- A 30 Day Roadmap to Loving Yourself