The Power of Yes

I’ve just experienced one of the most extraordinary weekends of my life – all because I said yes.  Barely more than a week ago, I sent an email with a link to the trailer of my documentary to Rebecca Self,

Rebecca Self at the European Summit for Global Transformation

who I was introduced to by two of the subjects in my film, Letha Sandison and Maggie Doyne.

Letha Sandison and Maggie Doyne

Rebecca is an amazing woman – she’s a connector of change makers.  The day after Rebecca got my email, she replied “Would you consider coming to Amsterdam this weekend and showing your trailer at The European Summit for Global Transformation.  My first thought was “wow” – and with a title like that, it was bound to be a gathering of very interesting people.  My next thought was, “it’s not possible – there’s not enough time – the airfare will be high” etc. etc.  All very practical thoughts – right?

And then I flipped it and told myself all the reasons I should say yes. I ‘d have the opportunity to show a culturally diverse audience a sample of my film and talk about the idea behind it. I would get to see Letha and Maggie again because they were going to be speaking.  And most importantly, I would be spending the weekend with people that not only believed that anything is possible – but are making the impossible happen, together. So I replied to Rebecca and said YES.

For two days I listened, as all kinds of people told their stories – people who are actively doing things that are making our world a better place. They awed me with their courage, their commitment and their passion.  But the most empowering part of the conference was connecting with these people, who were not only there to talk about what they were doing, but also to network with others to help them make their commitments a reality.

As I write this, on my last night in Amsterdam. I’m ready to head out to have one final dinner with some of the most fascinating  people I have ever met.  It has been a powerful weekend, being part of this group of people, from all over the world that are making extraordinary things happen.  This is what my film is all about – the power of the individual, working together to make things happen – across the globe.

To be able to show my ten-minute trailer to these amazing change makers was an honor and reward in itself.  But to spend the weekend with such a unique group of people who believe that anything is possible, was extraordinary and fortified me as I go forward in editing over 150 hours of footage.

I have a friend who is always telling me that I need to say “no” more often – because I tend to spread myself too thin.  But this time, I was glad I said “yes”.

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5 Replies to “The Power of Yes”

  1. Gail, in a recent interview to David Bailey,now over 80 years of age and still shooting, he was asked if he could tell what is the best piece of advice he has ever received and he said:

    “Never listen!”.


  2. Hi Gail, can I just say I loved the trailer? I can’t wait to see the whole piece!
    I agree with you that this weekend was incredible, I am so thankful I could meet all these wonderful and amazing people, and that includes you.
    I have a little blog, personal / yoga blog, and yesterday I didn’t find anything better to do than start a new one, to try to get the word even more out there and be a Nokia (remember, the whole “connecting people” thing). I may have to quit my day job 😀

  3. couldn’t be more grateful that you said yes, too, gail. lovely beyond words to meet you, to experience your work, and to talk to you about our shared passions. i feel like i found a friend, and mentor, and that alone was, for me, one of my favorite parts of the summit.

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