style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
I can’t imagine any work more important than the work we do on ourselves. I didn’t always feel this way. For me, the idea of bettering myself first sprouted in my thirties and started growing like a weed around the time I turned 40. Almost overnight, my appetite for information on how to evolve and become my best self was voracious. Without giving it much conscious thought… I was on a quest.
I researched and read. I listened and learned. I Googled. And then I Googled some more.
Yet, the radical change I hungered for wasn’t happening.
Mainly, because I didn’t take much action. I was deliberately accumulating facts and gaining knowledge, and that felt good… but I certainly wasn’t stretching past my comfort zone. I wasn’t doing the things that would actually promote change. And I certainly wasn’t sharing my dream of transformation with anyone. I didn’t have a community committed to helping me elevate to the next level.
Instead, I privately hunkered down in the land of ‘data collection’. I was actively studying others who were living their best lives and hoping that alone would somehow transform mine.
Silly me. Clearly, that didn’t work.
What did work? Read on…
I received lots of questions regarding what on earth I was doing in the photo above (that photo originally appeared in my last blog post). Understandably. The image captured me looking wild, passionate and alive! Completely overcome. 100% engaged. Far out of my comfort zone!
The photo was taken during a process at BOLD Advanced Leadership. BOLD is a personal growth boot-camp of sorts that I attended in January. BOLD is a fast-paced, intense experience that rockets your leadership skills into a whole new stratosphere! BOLD helps you own your role as a leader. It's safe to say that you'll blow your own mind:-) and come away with skills that will instantly up-level your professional life and your personal life.
Back to the picture... I won’t share the details of the exercise (in case you decide to go to BOLD yourself) but I will say that I was celebrating a big win.
An imagined win. A yet-to-actually-occur-in-real-time win, but boy could I feel it!
Looking at that photo reminds me what it feels like to live my best life.
To up-level to a place where I barely recognize myself.
To be ALL IN!
A bit of back story...
About 18 months ago, I finally pushed beyond the research phase and began to take super real, deliberate action. I stepped cautiously into the world of immersive personal development. I learned the game-changing element of having a tribe.
I went to a retreat.
I’ve now attended three ‘retreats’. The growth that came from those combined 13 days has been epic. Far exceeding all the growth that occurred during my decades of solo research and development.
I showed up and spent time on myself. As a result, I’ve been able to give something incredible to my family, friends, coworkers, clients… the gift of me finally becoming my best self.
I can imagine what you might be thinking…
‘Kristen, there is no way I could ever step away from my family or job for a week’
‘That sounds nice, but I can’t afford it’
‘It’s selfish to attend a retreat’
‘I’d be so scared of what others there would think about me’
‘Retreat? Don’t you mean cult?’
I get it. I remember thinking all of those thoughts.
Mostly, it seemed super indulgent to even consider attending a retreat. It felt lofty to even write ‘Attend a women’s retreat’ on my Live List.
Yet, I wrote it.
And then, I silently hoped that the right opportunity would appear when I was ready…. years later, when I finally had my act together;-)
Again, silly me. The whole idea is to begin before you’re ready!
Looking back, it’s hard to remember the girl I was before I attended my first retreat.
Are you curious about a retreat or some other cool experience that would give you a nudge and quite possibly rock your world for the best?
Here are five things to keep in mind...
1. Pay attention to the pull.
The right retreat or growth experience will find you. When it does, the tug might feel (extremely) uncomfortable. Feel that. Allow it to settle in.
Every fiber of your being might want to go, and yet you’ll resist. (For me, it became painful to even think about NINE because I couldn’t imagine how I could actually make it work yet, I knew I had to go.) Recognize that this could be THE thing you’ve been waiting for. Dig in. Do the research. Listen to your gut. You’ll know…
2. Ignore your limiting beliefs.
If you’re like me, there will be immediate back-talk from your brilliant mind when you begin to consider attending something outside of your comfort zone. Totally normal. Let your mind do its thing. And then take a breath and let go of all the reasons why you ‘can’t’. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
It certainly wasn’t feasible for me to attend NINE Retreat in September, 2017. Greta was just starting her freshman year of college. Financially, it was the worst possible timing. We truly couldn’t ‘afford’ for me to go. But I stayed open and I believed that it would unfold perfectly. I let go of my limiting beliefs and trusted the Universe. The stars aligned and the amazing women who founded NINE helped me see that I could make it work. And… the next two retreat experiences became possible ONLY because I bravely stepped past my limiting beliefs.
If you’d like info about the 'how to make it happen' part, I’m happy to share. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How badly do you want it? Are you sick and tired enough? Are you ready to leap and start living your best life? Then find the event, retreat, conference, etc. that you believe will launch you and commit to it. Stop at nothing to make sure you secure your spot in the front row. No wimping out. No excuses. Do you want to up-level your life or not? ALL IN!
4. Don't get stuck.
Don't become lost in the researching or the retreating. Know when to stop researching. I understand this tendency. Remember, I’m all about the research phase. I existed comfortably in this stage for a little too long. Don’t get stuck there. Gather the info. Attend your thing or things and then get on with transforming your life so that you can live it! In other words, don’t keep searching when it’s really time to take action. Along the same lines, the goal is not to make 'attending retreats' your life's work. If retreat hopping becomes your new comfort zone, you’re wasting time and money.
5. Embrace the group.
There is powerful energy in a group of humans who are seeking the same thing. Spending time with like-minded people helps us shift because we’re all working towards a common goal. In intense, immersive situations, strangers quickly form bonds. A team mentality emerges. Suddenly, you have an incredible support system. They know your weaknesses and your strengths. They celebrate your wins and hold you accountable. Most importantly, they have your back as you begin to test the waters of your best life! When you find even a tiny tribe that feeds your soul, keep them close. Nurture the new relationships. Elevate each other.
Your ‘best life’ is waiting. Find what stretches you and lean in!
I'll gladly share more about NINE Retreat and BOLD - Advanced Leadership. These are top-notch organizations. Both are founded by badass women who have a passion for personal development and are highly skilled at bringing out the very best in everyone who attends. The internal shifts and take-aways are game-changing for your relationships, business/professional life and personal growth. Want more info? Comment below or email me at email@example.com
Have you ever attended a retreat or conference that changed your life? Tell me more...
Still a little rusty, but it's good to be back.
Full disclosure: This is not an affiliate post of any kind. I am not compensated for promoting NINE or BOLD. I simply wanted to share my thoughts. Since attending my first NINE Retreat I've become part of the NINE team. I am honored to be the Assistant Director of The NINE Collective.