Do you know that feeling of being surrounded by people who are amazing and feeling like just being in their presence makes you a better person?
I have chosen to connect myself with some amazing, super people, whether it is my network of professional women I belong to - or my church or small group. I am a better person just because these people are in my life.
One of those highlights in my life is to connect with a group of creative, soul-searching writers and artists who gather at the TRIBEWRITER Conference each year in Franklin, TN. I love to learn new skills, but this conference is an opportunity to rub shoulders with the people who have been where I am and who say to me each year, “Don’t quit. Keep showing up.”
Sure they have the speaking points of what worked for them or tips of the trade. But mostly they say “Own who you are and do it with all your heart.”
This is my 4th Tribe Conference. I have gone to each one from a new place.
I was scared to death to sign up for a conference for writers when I wasn’t sure I was one. I wanted to be. I had a dream of a book. But… I hadn’t written much of anything yet. That year Jeff Goins said, “You are a writer when you say you are!”
So I declared “I am a writer!” and I published my book that next year.
I was so excited to introduced my newly published book Lovely Traces of Hope. I had worked hard to get the book written, published, and launch. I learned that year that one book will change the way people see you. Mind did. It helped me tell my story to myself so that I wouldn’t forget important things. It also helped other people know they weren’t alone, or crazy in their grief. Look for the hope! But after conference, I went home and grieved for the next 3 months. Grieved that my daughter’s life seemed to be tied to a book that could be closed and put on a shelf. I knew the story wasn’t over. I wanted MORE but I struggled to take a next step.
I went to Tribe Conference tired and weary, trying to launch a new group/course that I thought would be a draw to my women. I was hearing interest, but no one was signing up. Then I heard several speakers say ONE BOOK is really only a taster. What matters is that you develop a body of work that continues to support your message.
Relationships that started in previously years began to be more than social connections. We began to support and cheer one another on in more personal ways.
I heard Jeff and others say “Don’t Quit. Show Up.” He shared his own journey of trying not once, not twice, but 7 or 8 different things till he landed on something that not only resonated with him, but with his audience. It took Jeff years to break through. I was on year 7. I went home chanting “Don’t quit! Show Up” over and over in my head. Truly, the only thing I did well for the next 6 months was not quit. And that was mostly because each week when I started to say “I need to go get a J.O.B”, my husband would say, “No honey! This is what you must do! You can’t quit now.”
Then in June I committed to SHOWING UP through video chats to my GHC community. Sometimes it wasn’t pretty. Most times it was downright messy. Often it was too long. But as I showed up, so did my world. They connected with the messy, were encouraged by the questions and reminded me to keep going.
This year feels different than all the others. I feel more like the solopreneur that I am. I am more aware that I am an UNSTUCK COACH- meaning I help women (and sometimes men) get clear on where they are stuck and figure out how to break free. Whether that involves paralyzing grief, or limiting beliefs or messages from our past that continue to hinder our choices and behaviors that are affecting our next steps.
This year I am going less afraid and more committed to grab some time with a few of the speakers and hear their heart. I have specific questions- not because of my success, but actually because I have tried a lot and I know what hasn’t worked.
I have confidence because I know I will rub shoulders with people who are ordinary like me- but have achieved some extraordinary things because they ‘didn’t quit, they kept showing up, and they own who they are.”
I know the power of accountability and will both submit and support others I connect with.
I have felt the energy of seeing through the lives of these people visions of where I want to go as well. Not to be like them, but to do the scary, audacious, big thing that I have only dreamed of so far.
Here’s to the heroes- some of whom are way ahead of me in the game,some who are just a few steps ahead, but each one is willing to connect with the person who keeps showing up in their space! There is power in the TRIBE!
I want to grow up to be such a person!
Here’s to showing up as ME!