It’s been a little of a whirlwind since I returned from Making Things Happen two weeks ago.
I’m so grateful to have been a guest speaker for the last four conferences. I immensely enjoy serving others in this way but I have to admit, the vulnerability leads me to come home and feel like a little piece of me needs a time out from the world.
When this happens, I lay low just reflecting on all that I’ve learned and digesting the little pieces of discovery.
Just letting it all sink in.
I’m very extroverted by nature, but even I need a little quiet time to myself. My self-imposed little break has me feeling now a bit more energized, and I’m happy to be here this evening sharing a little recap from my recent visit to Chapel Hill.
You should first know that each time I attend Making Things Happen, I find that God unfolds a new plan and shakes things up for me. After three previous life-changing MTH experiences (from deciding baby #2 was in my future, to 8 months pregnant last October, to returning last March with 12-week Kayla at home) it’s safe to say, at this point, I just kind of go with it. Hands open, palms up, and ready for what is in store for me.
My experience this time was one where I arrived already feeling pretty firm in where I was at. There wasn’t going to be any surprises. I already knew very well that 2014 was defined as a roller coaster of a adventure and emotions filled with exhilarating highs and long periods of hard work and exhaustion. I was a new mom all over again, our son started kindergarten, my business doubled in size and I left my long-time career at a marketing firm for an amazing opportunity at a growing scrapbooking company. I’m sure I left out some other important details in that summary but I’m tired just reading that sentence.
The experience for me this time was one of reflection and truth. I had a lot of words and emotions in my head for sometime and this was an opportunity for me to voice them, if only for myself to hear and believe it for myself.
In recent months (and years), I had piled and piled and held so many things in my arms for so long. It felt good in the weeks prior to MTH to just drop it all and decide which meaningful things would stay, and which would be packaged neatly away. I didn’t know what the future held (and I still can’t say I do very clearly), but I knew that I was ready to edit, to purge, and just start with a fresh work surface again.
As I sat in my chair in the front of the room, my thoughts drifted back to the girl who first attended MTH in 2011 and I want to hug her.
I want to whisper in her ear and tell her, “Yes! Run hard and fast and chase those dreams. Sometimes you will stumble and sometimes you will leap. You are headed in the right direction. It may not be what you thought…but you will be okay.”
I really do believe it. Though it would have been nice to discover these things years ago, I never would have fully known had I not gone through the journey. The only regret I have is that I wish I had let go a little sooner. Letting go of being in control, letting go of aspirations and achievements and definitions of success that don’t have a lot of meaning to me anymore. I truly just want to serve others through my gifts. I want to inspire others to live a creative and meaningful life. I want to love my family and friends. The End.
As each of us speakers shared in the closing, I looked at the attendees and said something I would have appreciated hearing in the recent past.
That girl with the full arms, the full schedule and long priority list:
Stop thinking your plan is the right one. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Not next week, not next year, not the future you have in mind. Right here, right now. This is where God has placed you to be.
I tend to go back a few weeks and months later and read through my collection of MTH journals. Sometimes I surprise myself at the messages I find that I don’t even remember writing. They are such a treasure from the experience in themselves.
In my most recent journal, I found this neatly written at the top of a page:
“How freeing it is to be not wrapped up in a goal list of achievements of things for me and my business but instead for the heart of my family.”
That sentence alone gives me such gratitude for the Making Things Happen experience.
As I said earlier, it’s been a few weeks since returning home. I think I’m still getting settled in this newly edited life. It feels really good but some days a little bit awkward. The long-time entrepreneur in me still awakes each day with a little tug to start a new chapter of some sort. This clean workspace I referred to earlier has me excited to create. I don’t know what it looks like, but I’m looking forward to just patiently waiting to see how it unfolds. In the mean time, my weddings and Inspired planning for 2015 on top of my new role at Studio Calico keeps me plenty busy and happy.
And for the first time in a really long while, I don’t feel the need to be in a rush to get anywhere soon.
I’m enjoying exactly where I am.
My phrase written for myself this MTH was fittingly:
I AM PRESENT.
The Making Things Happen Conference 2015 registration is now open! You can reserve your seat here. If you have any questions about it, I’d be happy to answer them for you. Making Things Happen is all about living a life with purpose and focusing on what matters most. You can be anywhere in your business or personal journey. We’d love to have you join us.
Thank you to Emily March Payne and Glessner Photography for the photos used in this post!