Happy International Women’s Day to you all! This year I want to take the time to honor my ancestors who paved the way, the women I stand alongside now, and you! By committing to changing yourself, you are helping to change the world.

“Change your mindset, change your life, change the world. ” ~Toshia Shaw

I have to keep the above mantra in my mind because it helps me to stay focused on my tasks at hand. Like the big undertaking of opening up my mentoring organization, Purple W.I.N.G.S. Organization (PWs) in Sierra Leone, Africa. I was contacted late last year that they had been studying me and my organization and what we do. Then I was asked if I could form it there. My immediate and initial response was, “No.” No because I didn’t feel I was ready. I was dealing with too much here. My life coaching business, in school for my Master’s Degree in Social Work, teaching online, my kids, and running PWs stateside. It would be too much of an undertaking. How could I juggle all of this, the current problems the girls in the United States are facing to take up international problems? So I turned away from their request and I focused on the problems here.

See there is the teaching moment. I focused on the problems here. The problems of women and girls are universal. I underestimated God and his demands for me. The requests came over and over and I found myself caving in and saying, “Yes,” but reluctantly.

I’m so glad that I did. Why? Because God sent me passionate and creative young people who are ready to tackle the problems Freetown African girls face. They are energetic and very strong. They smile constantly, even in the face of so much opposition. I sat back and looked around my home, watched my children and my parents laugh without a care in the world. I felt the energy of privilege. I saw my problems as minute compared to what they were facing and had faced.

Spirit gently nudged me and whispered in my ear saying, “It’s time.” So after months of planning and teamwork PWs Sierra Leone, Africa was born.

It will never be the right time, the perfect situation, nor will you have it all together. However, when Spirit pushes you, move.

I want to thank all women who felt the Spirit move them to say, “Me Too.” The women who stepped out on faith. Women whose voices were mere whispers when speaking up about the injustices they endure and have endured. The women who locked arms marching. The women who helped their fellow sister up. The women who went down fighting. The women we bravely hold in our hearts.

I see you, I feel you, I honor you, I am you.

Happy International Women’s Day,

Toshia