Living Our Love Stories
You can feel the support and inspiration in the room. As everyone is watching the love story of Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach unfold in the pre-recorded video, the room is silent. They speak of ups and downs. Challenges and victories. Once the video ends, they turn to the audience and speak of their individual struggles. Doyle, a #1 New York Times Best Selling author, does not shy away from talking about emotionally hitting rock bottom. “Failure is my jam!” she proclaims. The way she speaks about it makes you realize it is ok to have ups and downs. Doyle also speaks about how she is able to rise up, “The valley is where all the power is”.
Doyle’s wife, who also happens to be a two-time gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion, speaks on her fight for equality and inclusion. She discusses her personal battle with addiction which lead to a DUI in April 2016. Wambach is very open in her discussion and stated, “It was the best thing that has ever happened to me.” This in reference to the fact that it helped change her life for the better by leading her journey to sobriety and enabling her to become “closer to more people”.
The Together Tour is the brain-child of co-founders Doyle and Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, head of the Worldwide Books Department at William Morris Entertainment. Walsh is also the host for each of the stops. The stage is set up with a “living room” where the speakers are able to sit down and have informal discussions allowing the audience to be involved. Walsh even shares her personal stories of hardship revealing, “I’ve learned to accept help and love”.
Each city the show stops at boasts a lineup of varying “badass storytellers”. One special to Nashville was Ruthie Lindsey, a Nashville based speaker and stylist. She shares her story of an accident in high school that almost ended her life and all of the turmoil that followed over the years. Lindsey now practices “speaking beauty.” She talks about how our purpose in life is to “look out for people who may be overlooked and love them.”
She also spoke about her Instagram account which is where is actually met her now “bestie” Sophia Bush. Bush, of One Tree Hill and Chicago P.D. fame, is an activist and a global ambassador for The Girl Project. Bush says she had a friend tell her how she must go on Instagram and check out Lindsey’s account because they were posting eerily similar things. From there is was a match made in social media heaven. Bush is very open with her inner battle of taking care of herself before others. She describes how taking care of others was “the thing I was a vessel for.” She also notes that throughout the years she learned that it was ok to take care of her needs and put herself first. Bush explains she learned, “I do not have to set myself on fire to keep others warm”.
Connie Britton was unable to make the tour as scheduled due to production conflicts with her hit show, Nashville, but she sends a message via video encouraging everyone to “stay brave, stay strong, and stay dangerous.” In her absence, the audience is blessed with the inclusion of Karen Fairchild from the Grammy winning group Little Big Town. She speaks of how “music is a healer”. She also delivers the message that “there is enough room at the table” for everyone and we need to lift one another up instead of tearing each other apart.
Another Nashville speaker is author, priest, and social justice entrepreneur Becca Stevens. Stevens is the founder and president of Thistle Farms and, among many other accolades, has been inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame. She spoke on her work to help women who are survivors of prostitution, trafficking and addiction. The message she sends is “love heals”.
An Accidental Blogger
One speaker who will be at every city is Luvvie Ajayi. Ajayi is a blogger, author, and the Executive Director of the Red Pump Project, which educates women of color about HIV. She tells the story of how she is someone who accidentally stumbled into being a professional blogger. Ajayi also talks of how she has been able to use her platform as a way to lead women reach their true potential. She states, “leadership has to be a verb.”
Immigration was another topic of the evening. Lupe Gonzalo of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) was on hand to discuss the issues facing immigrant farmers in the U.S. today. She spoke of the sexual harassment and sexual assault female immigrant workers face daily in addition to the general mistreatment they endure. Her message was simply, “above all, I am a human being”.
Doyle closed by saying we must “stop asking other people what we should do” and instead ask ourselves “what is true and what is beautiful” in our lives.
This event is empowering and moving. These women have the ability to let you see it is ok to have some really low lows. At the same time, they raise you up and give you the push you need to live your truth. If you need that boost in your life, there are two shows left in the 2017 series. Check them out in Chicago on 10.24.2017 and Philadelphia on 10.26.2017. For more information visit: http://togetherlive.com/