I have a confession.
Last January I was busy thinking of all the excuses I could give to get out of going to our Elevate Retreat. I know. Why would I purposely miss the “fun” event to kick off the Elevate year? Am I insane or just purely wasteful, because there was definitely a portion of the financial commitment that contributed to that retreat? Yet, there I was thinking about morning sickness, car trouble, work. All. The. Excuses.
Thankfully my guilt took over. I bullied myself into packing my fears of not fitting in and forced conversations right next to my “yoga” pants that hadn’t seen a day of yoga in their life, and headed to Ojai.
Still giving myself pep talks as I walked into the entryway, I was immediately welcomed with strangers filing around a large wooden table to offer personal-space-bubble-popping hugs, which I awkwardly tried to pass off as being totally normal though it was totally causing Stranger Danger alarms to go off in my head. Then it happened. A quick quip, a combination of intellect with perfectly portioned side of sarcasm, and I found my first “sister” in Maureen.
Driving away that weekend I could not contain my excitement as I babbled on and on to Zee Hubs about how amazing the weekend was. How I met people and shared things with I hadn’t even had the courage to share with family or closest friends. That somehow I felt like they knew me better in a few short days than people I’d known my whole life. That we laughed, cried, dreamed, and manifested a spirit guide (at this point he was one phone call away from having me greeted with white coats upon my return). I’d written a letter to Liliana that finally expressed how beautiful it felt to be “almost parents” together. And so on and so on for nearly the entire drive home.
Now as we near the end of our official Elevate year Molly asked to think of what would make this year feel like a success. My first reaction was to panic. I hadn’t accomplished…
A baby shoe boutique. I hadn’t launched it. It was my big goal and I hadn’t accomplished it.
I hadn’t accomplished it because Molly helped me realize there are more important aspects to dreaming big than checking off boxes and getting gold stars. Looking back I now see what I did accomplish was so much greater than I ever anticipated last January.
I learned what drives me and how to claim my real passions in life. I implemented ways to maintain balance in the face of everyday “busy”, including tools to pull me back to my true center. I let go of things that no longer served me to focus effort on those that do. I created a tiny human. My husband and I tackled some big milestones in our marriage. We put a personal financial plan in order to work toward the lives we are manifesting.
I found my Tribe.
The twelve strangers who I’d been so scared to meet, to be judged by, they have become sisters. They are my Tribe. My family. They are the ones who offer safety to say those secret dreams aloud. They are there reminding each other that a bad day doesn’t make a bad life, and it’s never too late to start over. They protect our dreams even when we, ourselves, are their biggest threat. They dole out tough love when necessary and comfort always. They push us to lay aside excuses and continue to put one foot in front of the other. They hashtag. They dance party. They yurt. They celebrate.
They feel like home.
So whatever else happened or happens this year with Elevate, the biggest success had already been won that short weekend in Ojai. It quietly happened as invisible ties were thread, connecting thirteen sisters across the states (and Canada!).
I can’t tell you to join Elevate. I can’t push you to work with Molly, or a life coach. I can’t force you to ask “what if” and explore how you might be capable of living your best life. But even if you never join Elevate Mastermind, Holiday Council or sign up for coaching, I can only hope that you should be as lucky to find your tribe too.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a tribe to find yourself.
WITH LOVE FROM
Mallory, soon-to-be-mama and current Elevate 2014 Sister.
Mallory is a dreamer, a seeker of inspiration and curator of life’s beauty. A researcher by day, professional pinner by night, she’s often distracted by shiny things and has marked 2014 as the year to end her 90% completion streak starting with giving birth to Zee Shrimpress and launching the first addition to her multrepreneur portfolio – a luxury baby boutique – because who doesn’t love ridiculously cute, tiny things? When not honing her mad visualization skills with Zee Hubs, she can be found celebrating a circular life in Los Angeles with Puffin Muffin (puppy) and Skittler (cat).