Monday, October 19, 2009

I am a Brave Girl

So it's been a couple weeks since I last posted.  You might think there's no such thing as a good excuse, but wrong-o...I have a good one. I spent the last 2 weeks preparing for and going to a Brave Girls Club Retreat.  And I can't stop thinking about it.  Seriously.  I've been putting this post off on purpose because there are a million things I could and should be doing to get caught up around the house.  But I find myself doing a little chore, then coming back to the computer to check facebook and blogs and see what the other "Brave Girls" have written about their experiences there.  I figure MAYBE if I get everything that's in my heart about this incredible REVOLUTION I might be able to focus on something else for 10 seconds.  (m a y b e) :) 

{The Brave Girl Cabin}

Brave Girls Club is something my mom and aunt (two of my best friends).  Their slogan, which describes everything they do is: "Life-changing FUN for women".  There is so much I could say as an "insider" about the planning, preparation and most of all, the LOVE that has gone into creating this new community of women.  The retreat we went to was no different.  I went as staff, so I didn't get to participate in everything that was going on.  I spent most of my time helping to make meals and snacks unforgettable, which I loved.  But despite not being able to work on the projects and introspection that everyone else did, I feel like it was a life-changing experience.  I can't imagine how much MORE incredible it was for the women who came and took full advantage of it.

{This morning fog was beautiful!}

We arrived on Monday afternoon and spent the next day and a half getting the cabin all beautiful before everyone got there.  Seriously no detail was overlooked....the decor was amazing, the dishes were stunning and eclectic, the food was outrageously good (which means no butter, no cream, no carbs...right?  RIGHT?) :).  We had an amazing time getting set up, and when the bus full of Brave Girls pulled up it was like Christmas!  We were so excited for everything that awaited them...and if the other staff had expectations like mine, we had NO idea what was in store for any of us.  

 It was life-changing....all of it.  I learned (again) that women need each other...we just do.  We have a gift for nurturing and inspiring and comforting and we ought to share that not only with our husbands and our children but with each other.  I learned that everyone struggles, and that it doesn't matter what our individual problems are, and if they're big or small to us, our struggles are the same.  But the biggest lesson I learned is the lesson of CHOICE.  That crap isn't perfect and if we're lucky it never will be, but no matter what happens, we have a choice about what to do with it.

{My amazingly talented, fun-loving aunt and bestie Melody...
the one behind the art and life-changing projects.}

{My beautiful, wonderful, also amazingly talented aunt Lynda and mom -Kathy- who provided good food and out-of-this-world live music.}

My dear friend, Tamara, who taught me piano when I was in high school, and whose family has been a big part of my life spoke on one of the nights about this.  She talked about the hard things she's gone through in her life and how she's learned to make choices.  Choices about not blaming others, choices about staying when she wanted to leave, choices about her attitude toward life and what happens in it.

What really drove this lesson home for me, and really catapulted me into changing and believing in choices was when I was talking to my friend Cami about something (of course I don't remember what...maybe her weight or something...she's back to her high school size now...ROCK. ON.)  Anyway, she said something I will never never NEVER forget.  "I woke up one day and decided I didn't want to be fat anymore."  Does that hit you as profoundly as it did me?  And like I said before...nothing I'd never heard before. I know I have choices, but I can't get that out of my head and every time something tries to get me off course I think about what she said, "I DECIDED..."

{The art tent...such a lovely illustration of the power of change....something old and ugly and used for ugly, dark war...changed into something beautiful where lives are transformed and changed forever!}

I think sometimes we think we have to deal with whatever is handed to us.  And it's true that a lot of crap comes our way, and life isn't perfect and our big plans sometimes bomb and WE sometimes BOMB, but the thing is who we are is NOT who we have to be.  It is an accumulation of all the choices we've made (whether on purpose or by default) in the PAST.  We have a choice about who we want to be in 5 years and in 10 years and TOMORROW!  How empowering is that?  We can decide what to do with what we have today.  Like the golf rule says: Play it where it lies.

I can take my life and my body and my home and my marriage and my character TODAY, the way they are, just the same way I would take a piece of clay, and change them into whatever I want them to be.  It doesn't matter how lumpy or drab or weak they seem to be from all they've been through in the yesterdays....I can start molding them now and making them into the masterpieces that a beautiful life should be full of.  And I'm going to!

Along those same lines, there was a project about making promises to yourself.  I haven't gotten mine to paper's something I plan to do this week in my lovely Brave Girls journal.  How incredible to make promises to yourself on things you don't want to fudge on.  Here are some of my promises -
  • I promise to take care of my get to my right weight and stay there both for myself and for my family and loved ones.  
  • I promise to be true to the musician inside of me and to take the steps needed to develop my talents even further.  I promise to use those talents to bless others.
  • I promise to be more forward, open and honest with myself and others about what I really want.
  • I promise to start breaking down the walls around my heart that prevent me from making deep and lasting friendships.
I can't wait to dive further into this and maybe get a chance to make up for what I missed at this incredible retreat.  YOU HAVE TO GO!  The next one is in February, but they're happening 4 times per year.  If you want to go in Feb, I suggest you get signed up ASAP, because I have an "in" with the lady in booking and the spots are going FAST.  :)

{Such a perfect picture -- It's All Good.  This is what the dining room looked like every night.  And this is what it felt like to be's ALL good!!  Don't you want to BE THERE??}

This is an amazing, inspiring revolution - come be part of it...come be a BRAVE GIRL!!!


melodyross said...

one of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL POSTS i have ever read....EVER. You are gifted beyond measure...and I love you sooo much.

Jeanneoli said...

You write so beautifully!!! I so wish I would have had more time with you. I can't believe you did this in one post...I feel like I will be posting for the next month:-)

juju said...

Holy cow! You coulnd not have said that better. You write so beautifully. Thank you. I had the best time of my life.

{connie} said...

amaZing! thank you for being there and sharing your service with us all at brave girls camp. the experience was priceless!! thanks for bringing me lemon blossoms on that first day {out by the pond} your sweet smile and spirit will forever be in my heart. thanks for all that you did for all of us at this wonderful, life changing event!

Megan said...

sounds like a beautiful and refreshing time. May you accomplish your goals going forward!!!!

Julie said...

I love that It's all good sign. It sounds like such an amazing time...I keep saying that but it truly does.

Camille said...

Beautiful Post. I love you so much!! :)

the 7 goddesses

These 7 goddesses share their wisdom with the rest of us. Click on their tabs above to learn their lessons and read their tips:

APHRODITE - goddess of love & beauty - this is you

NYX - goddess of night - lessons on wifery (is that a word?) and all things night time

LETO - goddess of motherhood - all things related to motherhood

DEMETER - goddess of food & harvest - and for that reason, my favorite. Find tried and true recipes here

HESTIA - goddess of hearth & home - on making your house a home

ATHENA - goddess of wisdom - making learning a lifelong journey (plus a killer book list)

ELPHIS - goddess of hope - cause we could all use a little more!

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