she’s mighty mighty

November 21st, 2012

So if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you know that I was recently in Palm Springs, attending Camp Mighty.

camp mighty

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to share it all with you. What you might find most interesting, and maybe even helpful to you on your own journey.

So I figured I’d start by telling you this:

I really, really, didn’t want to go to Camp Mighty.

And it’s not because I didn’t think it would be awesome. I am a HUGE fan of Maggie Mason. There would be lots of people there that I’ve grown to know and love. And Palm Springs (wha??).

But here’s the thing: spending the money and time away from my family – to work on my “life list”?? I could not wrap my head around this – it was too frivolous, too indulgent and way too self-serving.

But my friend and mentor Sarah said to me – months ago – “Sheri, you need to go to Camp Mighty.” And when Sarah tells me that I should do something…well, I took a huge leap of faith that she was right (which she pretty much always is). That I needed to be there. And I booked my trip.

It WAS awesome. And jam-packed – with seminars, group meals, parties and workshops. Each one better than the next.

I listened to a balloon artist, the founder of Pinterest (!!!!), and a former refugee who has built a business recycling used soaps (and saving lives in the process). So inspiring.

I got to meet Jenny Lawson, the dynamic duo of Alison Faulkner and Susan Petersen, and the hilarious Brittany Gibbons.

But the most powerful moment for me – the one that proved to me that yes, I needed to be there  – came from none other than Maggie herself.

maggie mason

All I kept thinking as I sat there was, “wow, how nice of Maggie to invite all of these other people here to listen to our private conversation”.

Because the entire time I felt like she was speaking just to me. She was (not surprisingly) funny, charming, warm and articulate. As she talked about her experience with her own life list, she shared these thoughts:

“Your words determine your happiness”.

“Check marks don’t equal happiness”.

“Be rigid only if you want to snap”.

“My body is a compass”.

“You can predict the future”.

Good stuff, right?

But there were three statements in particular that had a dramatic effect on me:

“Action is transformative”. I almost dismissed this one, as it seemed so obvious. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how powerful that statement truly is. When I look back on the almost 2 years since I started my blog – pretty much on a whim – I can say that my life has changed dramatically.

The friends I’ve made. The skills I’ve learned. The pride I take in putting my heart and soul into a project that is 100% mine. All from putting these words out into the world. From taking action.

“Our opinions of ourselves are not fact”. Oh my, did these words ring loud and clear during my time at Camp. I finally came to terms with how much negativity and self-doubt I carry around inside – I’m too old, not talented enough, too shy. But after spending 4 days with people who I care about and truly respect, I realized that I’m the only one who sees me that way. It’s one thing when your mom or spouse tells you you’re great. It’s another to hear it from those who you aspire to be just like. And I heard it – a lot – along with admonishment to “just stop with the self-deprecating crap, Sheri” (yes, that was said).

And, most importantly:

“It’s about who you love and who loves you”. That the people whose voices are very often the loudest in your head are typically NOT the people who love you the most, but rather a small group of people who do not love you AT ALL. Who do not bring out the best “you”. My first reaction was to disagree. And then I tried to picture who was in my own head as I moved through my life. And it was like the biggest “aha” moment ever.

It was NOT my family. NOT my friends. It was a small group of people. Who don’t love me. Who don’t bring out the best “me”. And since I know they are reading this right now, I’d like to say to them, once and for all:

“Buh-bye”.

Because they will NEVER occupy that space again.

I was so overcome by this that I all but accosted Maggie afterward and told her as much (and thanked her. And probably hugged her. There was a lot of hugging).

Did any of these statements resonate for you? Have you ever read or heard something that altered your perspective in a profound way? I’d love to know!

22 Responses to “she’s mighty mighty”

  • Bravo Sheri!!

  • I loved this recap; I think you articulated so much of what I felt during the weekend.

    Also, I am so blissfully happy I got to meet you, and next year? You, me, scooters, we’re taking a day to explore and do all kinds of “firsts!”

  • Thank you so much for sharing this Sheri!

    All of the posts about Camp Mighty have been enriching to me. And actually attending Camp Mighty is definitely going on my “Life List”–especially after knowing you had such a great experience.

    I also love you had an “aha” moment. I’ve had moments like that in life too–pivotal moments where I mark a change in my thinking about life–and that is so important!

    Love, Caroline

  • I’m going to carry this around with me all day. No, I mean it. ALL DAY! How good do you feel that you pushed through not wanting to go and hopped on that plane?!

  • Sheri, thanks for this. I’ve been following the Camp Mighty posts too and yours really hit home. In fact, I just posted on the Warrior Rising blog today about “action is transformative”. So so true. It’s in the doing that we find liberation. YES to “Our opinions of ourselves are not fact”. Yesssss. For me, it’s the 3rd one I’m still wrestling with. Your knowing and conviction around this inspires me. Gratitude!

  • This..this is amazing–and why the dates are already on my calendar for next year.

  • Maggie’s presentation was the perfect way to kick off Camp. She’s such an inspiring woman. I’m glad that you got a lot out of the weekend. I’m glad to hear you say that you’re dropping that naysayer voice from your head! 2013 is all about realizing how awesome you are. Basically, you’ll just be catching up to what the rest of us think of you. :)

    Love you! xo

  • Camp Mighty sounds like a must! I hope I’ll be able to attend in the future! “Our opinions of ourselves are not fact” – I’m just beginning to learn this myself. It’s an important lesson!

    So glad we’re connected, Sheri. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    • sherisilver says:

      Lisa I think you especially would love it. And I’m so happy we’re connected too – hope you had a great holiday! xo

  • Ironically I was just busy talking to myself (yes, I know… don’t we all do it?) and thinking how it was such a lovely conversation. It reminded me of a workshop I took where women were talking about the negative voice they have in their head and it totally confused me because this isn’t something I’ve wrestled with, but they were beating themselves up for no good reason. Imagine if we all just became our own biggest champion and friend, wouldn’t that be nice? I know it’s easy to say and not so easy to do, but awareness is the first step… you control the on/off switch to that naysayer.

    • sherisilver says:

      “Imagine if we all just became our own biggest champion” – I LOVE this – like, I want a t-shirt with this on it…but as you said, easier to say than do, right?

  • Sheri, Thanks for sharing. I’ve never been to a workshop like this one – definately something to consider.
    Marti

  • I thought I commented on this way before, but man… YES. I tweeted after Maggie’s talk that I kind of fell in love with her at that moment. Glad to know I’m not the only one who was smacked silly by her awesome words. Yay for Mighty You, and Mighty Us. :)

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