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.
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.
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:
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!