Last month, I had the privilege of hosting the Brilliant Balance Open. It’s an annual, close-to-my-heart, experience where clients from all over the U.S. take precious time out of their lives to spend two days with my team and me. Last year we held it virtually for the first time ever, but this year we were able to do it again in person – with safety measures – and to say I am grateful is an understatement.
When I reflect on this event, I first think back to February of 2010, when I was sitting at a makeshift desk in my kitchen typing out my very first blog post about a trip down (food) memory lane, wondering if anyone besides my mom would read it.
How it started.
How it’s going.
I couldn’t help but reflect on my own journey as I heard such incredible stories from women at the event. The progress these women are making and the dreams they are turning into realities for themselves – I couldn’t have dreamed it if I tried. After this heart-drenching, bucket-filling, quality time with some of the most inspiring women I know, here are my main takeaways:
- There is nothing – absolutely nothing – like being in a room face-to-face with supportive, all-in, high vibe women.
Let’s face it – after all we’ve been through the last couple of years, we’re all a little human interaction-starved. I mean, we’re in touch more than ever via social media – a text or a like or a funny .gif in the comments. But if you’re like me, you might feel a little rusty when it comes to GATHERING in a meaningful way.
Yet when we do? It’s darn near magical.
At this event, the buzz in the room was palpable from minute one and it built throughout the day. As we listened and talked and laughed and cried and hugged and shared stories and experiences, we were reminded of what it feels like to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. By the time we were clinking our glasses together during cocktail hour, we were a TRIBE.
When we gather women together… when we give them a reason to do their hair and put on a cute dress… when we give them a break from their day-to-day… we remind them of what joy feels like. We let them dance with it and put it in their pocket and take it home with them.
When we’re together, we raise each other’s vibe.
And we could all use a little more of that.
- Balance is an outdated goal. What we really want is brilliance.
A lot of us have been fed a steady diet of work-life balance training. We’ve been to the seminars, have been matched with mentors, and have looked at more PowerPoint slides than we can count showing perfectly balanced scales with rocks piled on each side.
But here’s the thing. The whole idea of balance is outdated.
It’s a static word. It implies that balance is something we can attain… and then if we just hold our breath and don’t move a muscle maybe we can sustain it. But who wants to live like THAT?!
What we actually crave are PEAK MOMENTS – moments where we can strike a pose and strut our stuff – moments where we SHINE – or where we’re so fully in the moment that we lose track of time. We’re willing to tolerate a lot of hard work in between as long as we know these moments are coming.
When we get to watch our daughter land her roundoff-back-tuck in competition. Or when we land the client we’ve been chasing for a year.
When we get the job. Or the house. Or the sign from above that we’re on the right path.
And these moments come readily when we stand in our own brilliance. When we bring something magnificent to the world with courage.
We all want to dwell in possibility, to dream bigger, and to know what it would feel like to make our dreams a reality.
- We need time to play.
At one point during the event, we sent women outside in groups for a scavenger hunt.
During this time, they found monuments, murals, even homemade chocolate chip cookies, and were asked to photograph the entire journey to share with us. And guess what we found in those photographs?
We all wear so many hats in our daily lives. Mother. Wife. Friend. Colleague. Sister. You name it. There were no winners that day – but actually, everyone was a winner. Because in allowing ourselves to play, to focus only on the here and now, and to connect with those around us we find ourselves again. And that’s a victory in itself.
- We spend too much time DOING all the things and not enough time making sure we’re doing the RIGHT things.
The women in the room were all unquestionably bright, accomplished, and ambitious.
Yet at some point in their coaching experience with us, almost each and every one of these women have shared that they are overwhelmed with all of the things, and feel like they are failing at doing it all.
And do you know why they feel like they are failing? It’s because they are. It’s because it’s not possible to do all of the things all of the time. We are failing because it’s not possible in the first place.
We need to spend more time thinking, clarifying our vision, and planning. Most of us spend more time planning a vacation than we do planning our lives. And this is a real problem. Having dedicated time to think and to plan is a game-changer. My clients have experienced this first-hand through their coaching experiences, and the changes they’ve been able to make in their lives – by doing LESS – is pretty incredible to see.
When you pick your head up for a minute and stop spinning your wheels, your future will come into focus right before your very eyes.
- We are closer than we think to everything we want.
With the benefit of outside perspective, it’s so clear that just a few shifts and intentional actions can change the trajectory of your life. I see it every day when someone connects the dots between where she is and where she wants to be. Those two points plot a course forward and give us a path to follow.
The road from here to there is almost always shorter and easier than you think. But you can’t get there until you take the first step.
I hope to see you at next year’s client retreat. It’s a real game changer.