Screenshot 2015-01-30 11.59.58It’s rare for any of us to take four days to really excavate to our core and allow ourselves to be completely vulnerable with ourselves, let alone a group of strangers. It’s hard, it’s uncomfortable and there are a million reasons not to do it, the first being time. I had that rare opportunity last weekend at Hudson Institute’s Life Launch program.

I had been fighting my reaction to the word “life coach” for some time – the words give me a twinge in my stomach and visions of people swindling lost souls.  AND yet on the flip side, I have experienced the benefit of working with people (who don’t necessarily call themselves life coaches, but are trained and certified), and are powerful in their own authenticity and effective in helping me live my life more fully.

So my motivation for showing up at Hudson’s Life Launch was twofold:

1. I knew I personally would benefit from thoughtful and isolated time away where I could get even more clear on my vision for everything I want to create.

2. As Mary and I continue to produce and curate our Wild Precious Life Retreats, I want to be even more aware, skilled and have a thoughtful understanding of the methodology of holding space to help people transform themselves.

So last Thursday, as I sat down in a room of 30+ strangers, my initial reaction was skeptical (and I do confess that I sent Mary a text with the exact words being, “I don’t know what I got myself into!)” Would I be able to relate to these people, would we have anything in common, would I feel comfortable, why would I want to open up to all these people…?

All I can say is that I am so glad I went, trusted and was open to the process. I had a profound and unique experience of being completely honest with myself and 100% vulnerable with 8 complete strangers for which I now feel an incredible sense of gratitude and love.

What I learned was powerful and what I am choosing to take with me and incorporate into my life has already been invaluable.  I won’t get into the nitty gritty of all my takeaways, but here are a few:

1. I have something powerful to learn from everyone.

2. Be nicer to myself (we all have internal voices and stories, we ALL need to be nicer to ourselves)

3. Personal care is the key to everything. If we aren’t grounded in ourselves we can’t truly show up for anyone else. (I am committing to meditating – starting with 11 minutes everyday, a couple minutes of free form journaling, exercising, and just allowing)

4. Be fearless in all areas of life. One specific is not being afraid to have the hard conversations.  What we put off today, becomes a harder conversation tomorrow.

5. Awareness in listening.

For those of you still reading, here is one exercise I loved that you can easily do at home if you’re interested:

Write a letter to yourself form your older wiser self. 

Close your eyes, put your feet on the floor, breathe and imagine yourself at 80.  What do you look like, where are you, feel your wisdom.  When you open your eyes, just write freely. What would your older self say to you today?

This one really got me and illuminated my priorities, mainly don’t sweat the small stuff and be present and enjoy the journey!

Thanks for reading!  Go get ’em!