The Great and Powerful AWE



According to Merriam-Webster, AWE is an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime.

The last 5 weeks of my life have been filled with incredible AWE…

The kind of AWE that made me sob tears of joy upon seeing the space shuttle for the first time, thus fulfilling a childhood dream…the dream of being an astronaut…

The kid of AWE that I felt when my 3 beautiful stepchildren looked me in the eye, held my face in their hands, and told me that I am indeed their mommy…thus fulfilling a childhood dream…the dream of being a mother…

The kind of AWE that happened when I sat in the circle of my badass sisterhood, safely ensconced in their loving arms, vulnerable and raw and finally releasing more than 30 years of grief for my dead father…

The kind of AWE that inspired me to truly step into my true power and finally affirm to myself once and for all that I AM a must know phenomenal woman, a social justice badass, and a fierce speaker who is creating money by building my reputation and people’s awareness of what I have to offer.

Today, I encourage you to look at what strikes the feeling of AWE in your hearts, souls and minds as you move through each precious day.

Today, as I am preparing my speeches for my upcoming emcee gig for My Step, Her Stride in San Francisco on March 16, 2013 I am inspired by a quote by Russell Simmons, “When you give without reservation, you’ll become a magnet that pulls the world toward you.”  Lately I have been giving love and trust without reservation and what I have gotten back has been more great and more powerful than my wildest dreams could ever have imagined.


About Melissa Bird

Melissa Bird is a passionate feminist who has turned her education in social work into a career advocating for children, women and their families. She is a fierce believer in preparing women for leadership roles in politics and has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens. In 2006, Melissa became the Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Utah where she quickly took a struggling political organization from mediocre to powerhouse in just a few years. Melissa has written and passed into law six pieces of legislation that aim to help disadvantaged homeless youth find shelter and women and their families obtain unfettered access to reproductive health care. A spirited public speaker, Melissa derives great joy from speaking to groups of all sizes about social justice advocacy, reproductive health, women’s empowerment, and fundraising. Melissa has presented workshops at many conferences throughout the country such as: Planned Parenthood Federation of America-State Public Affairs Network: New Public Affairs Staff Orientation—Washington D.C. Planned Parenthood Federation of America-Innovations & Generations Conference—Seattle, Washington Troubled Youth Conference—Snowbird, Utah Child Welfare League of America National Conference—Washington D.C. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center of Mental Health Services Conference-Collaborative Approaches to Successful Transition for Children, Youth, and Families within System of Care—Dallas, Texas Melissa has played many roles throughout her life including preschool teacher, professional lobbyist, university professor, non-profit executive, wife and mother. Throughout her life and her career, Melissa has always held a deep conviction that she is here to empower others in order to improve the lives of women and children throughout the world.
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