Earlier this month, I spent three amazing days with my mastermind sisters and coach in Upstate, NY. It was an experience that I am grateful to have been on - and not for reasons you think. We all hear about how mastermind retreats are life-changing, and they are. But for me, the highlight was how it truly set me free in more ways than one.
I will dive a bit more into that in this article, but first here are the 5 things I learned in the company of inspiring women who are doing amazing things.
That goes with saying. We hear that all the time, and yet it doesn’t really sink in. All the mindset work and morning affirmations routine you follow daily makes ZERO dent in your soul. At the retreat, I was watching my every move and analyzed every word that came out of my mouth. It was like walking on eggshells. I was even worried about whether my occasional snoring would make an appearance since I had a roommate! I was quickly learning that no one cared about little things like that, especially because their attention and eyes are on the things that mattered. Like your story, your quirks, the big dreams, and being in each other’s company.
PEOPLE WANT CONNECTION AND SISTERHOOD
Building on the previous lesson, people want to feel connected and be connected to another human being. People want to feel part of something special, to be part of a group that lets them shine and soar. They want cheerleaders and sisters in this entrepreneur journey. Oh my goodness, how amazing is it that we don’t have to be and feel alone on this path?! I already knew that people wanted connection and to truly belong somewhere, but for some reason I thought it didn’t apply to me. It is hard to make connections, but with this group, it just felt right and inviting. And I am learning to open more of me to let people in - because connection and sisterhood keeps you going on good and bad days.
KEEP YOUR DREAMS ALIVE
Life experiences, people, and even our minds have somehow conditioned us to be realistic because anything more isn’t possible. We have heard a million different ways how our dreams are just that - dreams - and that we cannot indulge them if we want to be able to feed ourselves and our families. When our coach had us write out our big dreams, you can imagine how stumped I was. I literally could not write anything. Slowly, I started remembering those dreams I had for a long time, those dreams others said weren’t gonna happen. I wrote them all down - every single one. Was it easy? Not at all, especially because with each one I wrote down I told myself they are not going to happen and that I shouldn’t waste my breath. I love how our coach talked us through them, had us say them out loud, and encouraged us to write down what we need to get rid of in order for them to happen. For mine, I wrote down doubt, fear, and disbelief in myself. I even wrote down “believing I am ugly and feeling like I am”. She had us read them out loud and throw the pieces of paper in the bonfire. Can you imagine the literal weigh that started falling off my shoulders? As sobering as that moment was, I realized that with every dream I have, I need to find a way to get rid of what stands in the way. It feels so good giving myself permission to dream again!!
TRUST AND SURRENDER
This one is huge. I already know about and practice trusting and surrendering. Yet, I learned that most of my trusting and surrendering carried limits. It is hard to give up control and trust that all is taken care of by God. I *know* in my heart that He has it all well under control, and that He is aligning or discarding things for my own good. After all, He promised us hope and a future - and yet, in my mind, I kept holding on to the fact that I had to take the reins for all of the things. The reins that belong to Him, not to me. This one is hard, friends. BUT - there is true freedom knowing that you are really and truly trusting and surrendering without placing limits on God and on yourself. It is freeing to know that you are doing what you need to do and trust God with the rest. I could write a whole article on just this topic alone, but for now, just know that trusting and surrender could mean the difference between living free and just surviving.
YOUR TRUTH SETS YOU FREE
Lean in and absorb this message: your truth sets you free. Oh - my - goodness. Before I share more about the lesson, I want to ask you this: what is your truth? What is your story? All that you have experienced in your life, your personality and character, your challenges - all of these are things you may not have shared with others as much. People may know just what is on the surface, but they don’t know how you became the person you are now. They don’t know why you do what you do. They don’t know what lead you to this moment in life. They don’t know the challenges you have faced or continue to face behind the scenes. I have carried so much shame with me regarding my own challenges, and I never shared them with anyone. You will hear my story in another post because it is a long one, but to make it short, I have a physical challenge that isn’t noticed by people unless I tell them. It isn’t visible, and because of my experiences, I honestly believed I was less than. I believed others wouldn’t care about my story. I believed they would consider me weak, incapable, or unlikeable. I was surprised when my coach encouraged me to share it with my mastermind sisters. I was so very touched by their love, support, and listening ear - and their genuine interest in my story. People care, my friend. They really do. When you are ready to set yourself free and share yours, I know you’ll feel the difference. It is something that you never expect - and somehow, it is the best gift of all.
The lessons above are what I learned at my mastermind retreat. I learned a few more things but these are the top ones I knew I had to share with you. Again, the lessons I learned are: be yourself; people want connection and sisterhood; keep your dreams alive; trust and surrender; and your truth sets you free. These lessons are meant to encourage you that you, too, can learn them for yourself. If you need a place to start, I would suggest writing down your big dream. Remove the judgement, and write them all down. Then, on a separate paper, jot down the things that stand in your way. You can rip it out afterwards. But definitely start there, by giving yourself permission to dream again.
What resonated most with you? Let me know in the comments below!