You know you're at the right mingle when it begins with a woman walking into a shaft of light, and then beating on an enormous taiko drum (note to self: get a sky light). It was the first of many I-don't-want-to-be-anywhere-else moments for me at Cross Pollinate, a networking event that fosters women who are developing community and changing the world, starting with Los Angeles.
Who shows up? Women who are scientists, artists, educators, activists, healers and entrepreneurs. And I mean "show up" in every sense of the word: we stand up individually in front of 200 women - some of the women for the first time - and speak about who we are and what our mission is. Then we gather in smaller groups where we share our ideas and resources with other women who are trying to make a difference. You know, that's all.
And as usual, give women a supportive space to create and be heard and suddenly we're alive with possibility. When you fill a room with passionate people who are actually making eye contact and speaking from the heart, and nurture those friendships in real life, collaborations are inevitable. That's *organic marketing, and yes, I believe it's better for you than that fake stuff you've been fed for years.
* I am not a hippie.
And to whomever made the amazing elderberry elixir at the snack table: *omg.
* Ok, I might be a hippie.
More snaps here: (Click on the flowers to see the next image in the series..)