Create. Connect. Cultivate Change.

This is Paper Planes Connect.

It's a pleasure to have you here. Let's begin with a tale, because this is the space for stories, yarns and spiels.

I'm Leah Davies and I believe whole-heartedly in the power of the story.

In its ability to transcend time, difference and social constructs.

In its compelling capacity to invoke empathy, compassion, inspiration and authenticity.

In its uncanny proficiency to get people listening, interpreting, relating, exchanging and sharing.

And it is here where the magic happens, in the connection - meaningful connection for that matter.

It is here where change happens.

Where you step outside of your surrounds and all that is familiar to soak up the words spoken by a stranger and really feel what it is like to walk in the footsteps of another.

Someone you have never met. Someone very far away.

You take a moment to reflect. To ponder on the life this individual has created for themselves.

You think about how you too can live out your dreams.

How you can:

+ Stand up for what you believe in.
+ Confront your fears.
+ Rebel against the norm.
+ Raise your voice.
+ Embrace freedom.
+ Stand out in a crowd.
+ And be the greatest version of yourself.

And hey, it's reciprocal!

Your story is like no one else's. Your story is unique and filled with moments, lessons and experiences that has led you to where you are now - exactly where you are this very second.

Your story is a portal for learning, growing and evolving, not only for you, but for everyone else too.

Then an idea was born...

What if we connected with each other some more? What if we held eye contact a little longer and asked each other how we genuinely are? What if we dissolved the borders, the fences, the difference, and recognised we are all one and the same?

I created Paper Planes Connect to coincide with a grand move across seas and continents. I moved to London mid last year - where I currently call home - from the beaches of Australia's east coast.

A big reshuffle that was the nudge I needed. A change that involved busting through some big almighty fears; biggies like letting go of the control, the labels, the expectations, the anxiety and the comparison, and diving deep into the unknown with trust by my side.

It was the subtle nod in the right direction that got me searching my soul and connecting with what makes me happy. Not with what makes others happy, but what lights ME up. What fills me with giddy excitement, empowered drive and inspired action.

And it was here that I learnt that I was completely and unquestionably responsibility for my own happiness.

It is here that I discovered that by being the change I want to see in the world, I can have a monumental impact.

And by sharing the stories of those doing just that - being the change - we can erode borders, boundaries and limiting beliefs, and encourage others to do just the same, simply by connecting. 

How did I get here you ask?

Many different decisions and steps along the way. All of which, upon reflection, have flowed on to the next supportive idea or opportunity. Funny that?! 

My roots have their foundation in communications and social inquiry, which took me to Yogyakarta - central Java, Indonesia - for a year of study and living abroad. An incredible experience steeped in growth, challenge, great learning and the beginning of lifetime friendships. 

I later found myself a position as a journalist with a community newspaper and discovered that I could educate readers and raise awareness about local and worldly issues to do with community development, social justice and human rights.

This opened the doorway to a whole new world. The world of social development. So I returned to uni to get more qualified and more specialised. I researched the world's ills and how most people are denied their entitled human rights simply because of the circumstances they have been born into. I developed my awareness. I studied the law and the politics. I was enraged by the absurdity. I was fuelled by a boiling desire to change the world. 

I was seeking grassroots involvement and went to New Delhi, India with the Centre of Refugee Research to help co-ordinate human rights workshops with a group of ethnic Chin refugees from Burma who had been resettled in the capital. The stories I heard hit me hard. The real life accounts of these beautiful people shook me sideways. 

And it was here again, where I was reminded of the power of the story.  
Of what it means to have a space to raise your voice and share your story. 
Of what it means to be listened to and heard. 
Of what it means to know that your story matters. That you matter.

This is when I found Oxfam and helped platform the communications of an international youth network made up of more than 1600 young leaders from communities all over the world, working to create positive, equitable and sustainable change.

These young leaders are among the most fabulous people I have ever met. 

We worked collectively to carve out a significant space for youth to have a voice and attended the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in June 2012 and the World Social Forum in Tunis, Tunisia, in March 2013.

And now you find me here. Creating and connecting with the biggest smile and fullest heart.

What's in it for you?

It is my hope that you come here to enjoy the stories, be inspired by the messages, delight in the difference, feel supported in the sameness, be compelled to take action in your own life and ultimately, connect as one humanity. 

As you can probably tell, I'm ever so slightly fascinated by the power of the word and how we can in fact change the world though our words. If you too feel the same, come work with me. Let's tell the story together and communicate to have an impact. Why don't you check out where my work has been featured in the media.

My other joy is yoga. I am a Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher and find solace in connecting my mind, body and breath. It is in this space where everything makes sense. Everything is simple. Throughout the stories, you will find sutras, messages and life lessons weaved in and out. If you are based in London at the moment, why not come practice yoga with me at Yoga

What sparks my fire

I am all about justice and pushing for fairness for all because at the root of all prejudices, it simply comes back to this: we are all human and are all entitled to the same rights and joys. 
I'm an avid traveller who gets lost in new cultures, places and people, learning from their values and ways of life and collecting along the way the bits that resonate with me most to add to the life I want to live. 
I'm spiritual (in more ways than I’ve consciously realised), a yogini and a nature lover who regularly stares at the moon, digs her feet deep into the sand and rolls around in the grass with her beloved dog, just because. 

When I'm not here, you'll most probably find me with my man in some new and fascinating destination; running in the early hours of the morning to invite the new day; splashing about in the waves; laughing with friends; reading a juicy book; saluting to the sun; eating a tasty dish or simply sitting silence.
Welcome to Paper Planes Connect. I'm so delighted to have you here.
Leah xx

Post a Comment

Leave a reply below: