Something wonderful is coming.
Summer before last, a group of decidedly driven women came together on a Saturday morning to learn together. What happened was worth so much more than the ticket price, venue fee or the cost of morning bagels and mimosas. These women accidentally solidified what was otherwise just an emerging community. They came as strangers and left as friends. Little has changed in that realm, but every one of us has grown - and a lot of us have grown together. It's been a really beautiful thing.
There is something powerful about a group of people, but especially a group of women, intentionally and thoughtfully contributing to a conversation where no single person's opinion is more important or more right than another's. Technically, I was leading this class, but I left having learned much more than I taught. I spoke on a few sub-topics, but the agenda consisted mostly of blogging-related business content. I regretted, poignantly, a few things about that. I regret that we didn't spend more time on each woman as a group. I wish I'd asked more questions.
In the year-and-some since the event, these women have played recurring roles in my life - and in each other's. Though passive at times, they have taught me many things:
It's so easy to miss the impact someone has made on your life. By taking a genuine interest in someone else - for no reason other than your urge to do so - you often find a piece of yourself you've never known. The most beautiful humans I've met tend to so fully embrace the art of loving strangers out of instinct, that they've achieved a mindset most are never privy to. Some of the most supportive people you will ever know will come in and out of your life never asking for anything but leaving the gift of perspective. You may receive their gift right away - or years later in the moment when you need it most, and the realization will move you.
Just by being your genuine self, you are teaching others to do the same. You are not just encouraging others to be present, you are clearing a pathway to authentic happiness for you both, and to a certain type of peace that can only be found in clarity. Overbearing by nature and only as self-aware as I am oblivious, I am pretty prone to alienating people. It is fairly rare that another person finds their way behind the curtain - but there is a certain type of person who can. And when they do, they give me the one thing that I have the hardest time giving myself. I am learning to live and love more like they do, and I am grateful for them every day.
2014 was full of contemplation. I expected to find clarity, but I didn't. I found messes upon messes upon messes. My Saturn officially begins its formal return this month and (here it is) ends in November, though I've been feeling the effects of its looming presence for a year and a half. I haven't found my balance just yet, but I finally feel like I have the clarity to find clarity. It makes sense, I promise. In this moment, I am enjoying the decision to embrace my Saturn Return fearlessly, no matter the havoc it wreaks. Here's to seeking our true identities and finding our authentic voices.
On March 3rd, I'll have the chance to join many of the women who attended the business-of-blogging workshop in 2013. The upcoming workshop, The Craft of Storytelling, is free and open only to members of the Midwest Influencer Network. A group of inspiring storytellers will guide attendees through the beautiful experience of finding your voice and telling your story.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to sit in as another seat at the table and just listen. Though, I do plan to ask a lot of questions.
For more information, visit www.MidwestInfluencerNetwork.com.