How do you say “thank you” to an online community of hundreds of incredible women? I don’t know, honestly. But what I do know is that since I started this blog in 2010, it has become a place not only for me to inform, inspire, empower, encourage and tell my stories, but a place for me to BE informed, inspired, empowered and encouraged by YOUR stories. What I’ve learned is that we are all beautiful and hopeful and vulnerable. We all have dreams and goals to live a fulfilling life on our own terms.
And we are all afraid.
It’s been almost three years since I started this blog. In that time, I’ve been able to share my experiences in transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, becoming a minimalist, learning to be more compassionate, quitting my job to work for myself, living as a nomad, seeking healthy relationships and striving to take better care of my body.
I’ve also been able to meet many of you fabulous ladies in real life through our HBW Happy Hours. Ultimately, this blog has provided me with the opportunity to connect with amazing women (and the men who lurk!) all over the world. Our conversations highlight the relationship between gaining clarity about how you want to live your life and the challenges we all face in actually making that life happen.
These online conversations have also helped me see the possibility of expanding my own training and facilitation work to help women overcome all the different issues involved in pursuing their ideal lives. To realize this vision, I’ve decided to start coming out from behind the computer and beyond the happy hours to begin offering in-person workshops based on the concepts outlined in my popular personal development program, 31 Days to Reset Your Life.
And I’m afraid.
I’m afraid it’s not going to work. I’m afraid that the women I want to help aren’t going to show up. I’m afraid that the dream I have to support people in the pursuit of their goals just isn’t going to take off. But even in the midst of my fear, it is now that I am reminded of how important it is for me to press forward anyway.
“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. ” – Audre Lorde
Even though I don’t yet know whether these workshops will be a huge success, what I do know is that the content I’ve developed over the past few years can and will help women get from where they are to where they want to be. I also know that my fear is simply a sign that I’m getting closer and closer to the real work that I yearn to do in the world, with you and for you. And really, there’s no way to be certain about what will happen during this process, the good or the bad. Therefore, the best thing for me to do now to assume the good and operate accordingly.
What Happens When I Choose Love Over Fear
If you could record what’s inside my head right now, you’d be watching a mental replay of the following scene I experienced in San Antonio a few months ago after giving my signature personal development workshop at a national conference: How to Develop a Personal Mission Statement.
Most of the time, the audiences I speak to are majority female. But this time around, I was speaking at an arts convention and there were plenty of men in the room. At the end of my personal mission statement workshops, I always invite participants to read their statements out loud for the group to hear, and hopefully inspire each other to live the words they’ve put down on paper. Several people shared and then I ended the session, taking time afterwards to speak privately with a few attendees.
The last person I talked to after the workshop was a man we’ll just call John. John came up to me to share how much the workshop had helped him sort out some things in his life and work. I smiled and nodded, as is my weird custom when I can’t think of words that are good enough to acknowledge people’s emotions. Suddenly, John asked if he could hug me. “I just want to hug you and thank you,” he said. I almost cried as John wrapped his arms around me. Just an hour before, we had been complete strangers. Now, we were divinely connected through a conversation about what it means to live the life we really want.
Today, I want to hug you and thank you.
For everything you’ve given me through this blog and the conversations I know we will continue to have. I am feeling grateful that you’ve allowed me to be a part of your journey. And I hope you will join me as I begin to provide more opportunities for us to work together, learn from each other, and support one another.