Say YES to Opportunities That Will STRETCH You.
This past weekend, I was invited to be the keynote speaker for a women's retreat in Melfort, Saskatchewan, called Rise and Shine. This retreat was put together by the amazing, Laura Lawrence, with the intent to get women to slow down, take some time to reflect and reconnect with themselves and other women in the community, in order to RISE and SHINE. There were 24 women who showed up for themselves. It was beautiful. It was moving. It definitely got all of us reflecting.
When Laura first asked me to come, I just knew I had to say yes (even though my first instinct was AHHH -- in a very scared kind of way). I knew it was a great opportunity to stretch my comfort zone, but I was spooked and my ego definitely piped in to show me my insecurities about it all... "Keynote speaker?! Why on Earth would she pick you for THAT?!" Another way to put it is, "What do you have to share that is 'keynote worthy'?!" Thank you, scared ego. BREATHE.
But I said YES nonetheless. WHY? Because stretch fear happens when you're going to move outside your comfort zone. It's part of the process of growth. One of the key things that I've learned in the process of stretching my comfort zone, is that it is imperative to be aware and pay attention to when your ego is getting flared and scared. This is when it (ahem, you) need some extra TLC.
So, when I asked Laura what she wanted me to speak about, she said she wanted me to share my journey to living a mindful and inspired life. She said, "You are an excellent example of someone who just went for their dreams and followed their passion. I'd love for you to share that message with the group." WHOA, really? I do that? HUH, I guess I kind of do. (We never give ourselves as much credit or authentic gratitude as we truly deserve. I thought, hey, there's a topic to cover in my keynote).
When I began preparing my keynote, I did a lot of reflecting, journaling, MindScaping, and soul searching to come up with the outline for my presentation.
What was important to share?
How do I try to live mindfully?
What ways can we find inspiration to light that fire in our souls?
What is the recipe for living an inspired life? Is there one?
I decided I needed to go back to the beginning. I reflected on so much of my life to discover when I began living this way.
Did I always go after my dreams?
At what points in my life did I not chase my dreams?
When did I get more connected to myself and what lights me up?
When did I keep myself small? When did I dare to grow?
When have I been brave? When have I been scared?
What dreams did I accomplish? Which ones did I outgrow? Which ones were out of my reach?
How do I feel about that now?
What experiences did I grow the most from?
This stretched me A LOT. But, it was in a very deep and helpful way.
I began to feel appreciation for all the bumps along the way--all the experiences that shaped me, taught me, challenged me, helped me, stopped me, pushed me, and stretched me.
The morning of my keynote, I got up early to prepare and finish prepping my presentation. I could not believe how much this experience was stretching me. I had butterflies in my stomach ALL morning. I don't get nervous very often, but I knew this was a good thing. Stretch fear shows us that we are moving in the right direction. I've been feeling a lot of butterflies in the last two weeks. I also received this Note from The Universe last week, which was very timely:
One of the big takeaways from my keynote that Laura put into this beautiful quote is here:
I believe this with every fiber of my body, mind, and soul. You have your own special sauce that is made up of your unique desires, your talents, your inspirations, your passions, your experiences, and your gifts. When you can share this with the world, that is how you make your inner magic come to life.
So I have a question for you...
What would you share about yourself if you were asked to be the Keynote Speaker at an empowerment retreat?
Reflect on it. Reflect on how you got where you are. Reflect on how much you've learned, grown, stretched, accomplished, persevered. What is your special sauce?
Perhaps you'd like to reflect on the questions above.
I would love to hear about it. Hit reply and tell me about it!
Yours in Real Life Magic,