A Year of Inspiring Journeys: Reflecting on 2023 - Newsletter #2

inspiration linkedin newsletter Dec 28, 2023
Maven Musings with Heather Cook Newsletter Image

Welcome to Maven Musings! I'm thrilled to connect with you.  Biweekly, we’ll discuss Global inclusivity, technology, women’s empowerment, and workplace positivity, through my unique and joyful lens. Join me on a journey of inspiration, positivity, and creativity.

Global Journeys in Leadership and Theater:

As we stand on the cusp of a new year, it's with a heart full of gratitude and reflection that I share with you the incredible journey that 2023 has been—a year of travels, storytelling, and meaningful connections.

In a year rich with global adventures and the privilege of keynote speaking, I journeyed across the globe—from the enchanting canals of Amsterdam to the lively streets of Dublin and the iconic skyline of Seattle. As a keynote and breakout speaker at esteemed events such as the Microsoft Power Platform Conference, San Diego Comic Con, European Power Platform Conference, WonderCon in Anaheim, Microsoft Ignite Conference, 365 EduCon, and more, I had the honor of engaging in heartfelt discussions on topics close to my heart—leadership, mentoring, and the art of authentic connections. These experiences deeply emphasized the universal significance of building communities and embodying the qualities of a leader.

Amidst the conference stages, the year also granted me the joy of witnessing my passion for theater taking the spotlight. On three separate occasions, my adaptation of "The Yellow Wallpaper" graced the stage—a significant milestone in my journey as a playwright. The profound impact of storytelling, whether spoken or staged, continues to be a guiding inspiration in my life.

Community Building and Leadership Sessions:

Throughout the year, I engaged in sessions that delved into the essence of leadership and emphasized the transformative power of mentorship. The joy derived from discussing these topics is the cornerstone of my passion for public speaking. Community-building sessions allowed for meaningful dialogues that reinforced the significance of forging strong connections and fostering a sense of belonging.

Empowering Women and New Connections:

Empowering women continues to be a cause close to my heart. This year provided ample opportunities to connect with phenomenal women, exchange stories, and champion one another's journeys. The strength found in unity and shared experiences fuels my commitment to fostering an environment where every voice is heard.

Time and Health

As we get older it seems that smaller moments become more important. In our household/family we dealt with two kidney stones, thyroid surgery, potential fatty liver onset, a basal cell carcinoma that is now gone, spent time fending off the flu/staff and supporting family and friends through some major surgeries.

We lost our dear friend Paula Fletcher to breast cancer this Summer, literally 8 friends were diagnosed with breast cancer this past year and a half and have dealt with it and continue to manage through mastectomies and different treatments.

I am happy to share all the places I’ve traveled and all of that, but we don’t always share the health Journeys with others. These journeys are many times the stuff of epic epiphanies, major catalysts of change in our lives and may be the biggest mountains we climb ourselves and alongside others in our lives. To each their own about sharing, health is a private matter and can have so much stigma, shame and judgment around it.

Much of life is pretty pictures and the best of times but it is also all of the health scares, medical directives, driving to appointments, body maintenance, going to checkups, standing in line at the pharmacy and hopefully getting the mammograms and colonoscopies and such too. I am thankful for insurance, wonderful doctors, nurses, my therapist and all the friends who I regularly talk to about all this stuff. Life is short, and more things connect us than keep us apart.

As we bid farewell to 2023, I want to express my deepest gratitude to each one of you for being part of this incredible journey. While the world is facing challenges that are deeply painful and ongoing. I choose to also reflect on the beauty that exists and share it with others. Here's to the lessons learned, the connections made, and the anticipation of what the future holds for each one of us as we are all connected via our humanity. 

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season and a new year filled with inspiration, growth, and endless possibilities, and easy non-eventful good health in 2024 and always. 

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To follow me on my speaking and travel journeys, connect with me on Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn,  and my Podcast!

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