"THE power is all from within."
Life coach and Sydneysider for the past 17 years Kelera Kotobalavu had uttered those words on Tuesday October 9. She had just finished a meeting at the Department for Women and we were having a chat at The Fiji Times here in Suva.
Kelera had stressed then that the majority of women, men included, do not claim what is rightfully theirs in life because they hold on to negative experiences which in turn impede their progress.
She said the words, though simple, were extremely powerful tools for empowering women. As she later explained, she focuses on women "because they are her calling".
There maybe someone out there who is doing the same for men but for this vasu of Kadavu from Yasawa, it's about giving her "sisters" the opportunity to be the agents of change in their very own lives. And when that change is expressed in the positive changes experienced by those they constantly interact with; their husbands, brothers, sons and workmates, there is a ripple effect of goodness stemming from the empowerment of a single woman.
Kelera said the amazing thing about the process of positive change was that it is the individual who does the work. She as a life coach, like any other coach, acts only as a guide, prompting, urging or coaxing as and when the situation demands.
The life coach, peels away the layers that have until that moment of realisation been part of a web holding women captive. As the old layers come off, a different life force emerges which when utilised is the wellspring for change.
It's when a woman realises the goodness that is within that change happens.
One of those who attended a talk given by Kelera in her earlier visit, Lusiana Kuinikoro said: "I am so glad I attended the talk. It was excellent! Kelera's vibrant personality together with her sharing of life's experiences and her life coaching techniques introduced me to practical ways to improve and add more value to my own life as a young woman.
"I also loved how she explained her 'formula for success' down to detail. If what I experienced at the talk was only an introduction, imagine what the one-of-a-kind-workshop is going to be like. I can't wait!"
Another grateful participant, Kesa Vilsoni said: "After attending Kelera's two-hour talk, I came away feeling so enriched and empowered. I do have access to books and magazines on life coaching etc but to sit through Kelera's talk has absolutely boosted my spirit.
"The fact that a local person and a woman for that matter, made a decision to change and experienced extraordinary results is captivating!
"Kelera shared some very practical, thought-provoking steps, during her talk.
"As the saying goes, 'give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. But teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime'," Kelera's philosophy is along these lines.
"More local women should make an effort to attend her workshop.
"Vinaka vakalevu Kelera for thinking of us!"
The "Empowering Women for Change" one-day workshop will be held in Suva on Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17 November and in Nadi on November 23 and 24. Women who want to attend need to only choose one of the two days in each location.