When I crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco on Friday afternoon an excited ball of energy started to build in my belly. I'm not sure if it's because my grandfather survived the 1906 earthquake in this city or the fact that my father grew up in San Francisco or just the idea that I used to come here often as a child. I adore this city probably more than any other city in the world. It speaks to my heart and soul and to spend three days here left me lightheaded. As I walked around the city over the weekend I kept imagining my father as a young boy jumping onto the back of trolley cars and cable cars. I wondered where my grandfather and his family camped as the city burned around them. He was 8 years old, nearly the same age as my Keiran. I watched everyone in awe like a typical country girl and everything from the architecture to the Barneys sign to the St. Patrick's Day Parade and it all amazed me. I was like a young child in a big city. Did I still feel like a Mover & Shaker? You bet.
After Blissdom I guess my first reaction to Movers & Shakers was a bit of a let down. I learned so much at Blissdom that it was difficult to find new things to learn. I've tried to reflect on the weekend and I guess some of the key things I learned weren't necessarily about facts and figures but sage advice about how to get places in life without stomping on the people around you.
The definition of a Mover & Shaker according to this conference is someone who affects lives over time, has something important to share and places more emphasis on service than ego. It isn't the person who lies to get forward in their career, puts their business and goals in front of everything including relationships or someone who puts ego before everything else. The phrase "Relationships before Results" is something that I am going to tape to my Mac and think about every day.
I needed to hear this message. Sometimes our childhood sneaks into our adult lives in a way we don't expect. Yet we are all products of our upbringing so how could it not. I felt very ignored as a child in many ways. I turned within and became my own best friend. I turned toward books when the children around me wanted nothing to do with me. I became invisible. Now as an adult, despite my shyness I want to be seen. I want notoriety but I never quite knew why. Now I do and I need to decide how to go forward with this.
A very strong message throughout the weekend was "It's about Who you become not What you become". Isn't that powerful? I still have that childlike need to become something. Don't many of us feel this way? Cheryl said that we might be driven by an unmet need. For me it would be that need to be seen. Her advice was not easy to hear. She suggested the T word: therapy. Half of the audience nodded their heads knowingly while the other half adjusted themselves uncomfortably in their seats. She also went on to say that we must invest in personal growth, emotional growth and spiritual growth to be a Mover & Shaker. Basically we needed to be healthy inside.
My own weakness is self image & shyness. Both of these hold me back. With the amount of ideas and energy my mind and body have, if I wasn't shy and had a positive view of myself, I may have moved mountains by this time. Even at the conference I held back often watching the crowd as they mingled and got to know each other.
Toward the end of the conference a woman was picked to share an issue that she needed help with. It was my issue. She asked how to get self-confidence. Here were the answers from the crowd:
- Ask close friends for compliments to help you feel better about yourself
- Remind your body to be confident
- Try out for community theater
- Take an Improv Class
- Look back and ask yourself "where are moments where you felt very confident?"
- Write down your fears
- Say affirmations "I am beauty" "I love my body". (say them daily, hourly if needed)
- Get a voice coach to help with how to speak (I'm extremely soft spoken and could use this)
- Join Toast Masters
- Practice what to say to people/strangers when you are alone
There was a strong theme of giving throughout the conference. We were told to be of service not a star. How you treat people makes all the difference in the world. Here's a good tip which we bloggers can relate to. Don't look for the 100 comments that might be fluff, look at the 10 comments by the people who really care. I don't know about you but I can really get sucked into the numbers game of blogging by looking at my stats, my number of comments and even my Facebook fans. Is anyone else guilty of this?
The biggest surprise at the conference was the section that focused on image. I would expect coming from Hay House that flowing skirts and tie-dye shirts would be welcomed. That wasn't the case. Cheryl said that being polished and well groomed would make or break you. We were taken to a couple of websites that do image consulting including Body Beautiful Online and Image Architect. Take a look at the Before & After photos. A part of me felt strange during this discussion. It seemed so wrong to fake it up. But is that what these women were doing?
Cheryl said that how you dress adds to your credibility. She also said that many times we look in the mirror and approve of our outfit/hair style yet what we don't realize is that it might be the wrong cut, color and style. Should we care how we look? I'm not sure. As I get more local readers I keep running into people while I am out and about. Sometimes I look like I just crawled out of bed and I'm not sure I want to meet people looking like that. During the last couple of months I have dressed nicer every day. And you know what? I feel better about myself. My daughter is watching me do this and is copying me by dressing her best when she used to wear stained clothing out and be perfectly content.
Ironically when I saw the photo of Cheryl and me, I immediately hated it. I personally feel so unphotogenic. The photos that do end up here or on facebook are maybe 1 percent of the ones that I delete. There is something very emotionally raw about smiling to a camera. It's almost as if my weakest side appears rather than my confident one. When I downloaded the photos this morning I immediately saw what Cheryl was saying. Why did I wear this shirt? What was I thinking?
Isn't Cheryl beautiful?
We spent quite a few hours on the subject of public speaking. This is something I don't do well but want to learn to do properly. Five people from the audience were able to practice doing a speech and then the audience could give them positive feedback on how well they did. Cheryl and Reid wanted everyone to weave in a personal story into their speech. Cheryl said that Movers & Shakers need to connect not perform, that we should take the audience on a journey when we speak so that they literally feel what we are saying rather than just hearing it.
My favorite part of blogging isn't necessarily sharing my thrifted finds, but creating a story around it whether it is in my past or in my present. And I must say that when I look into my heart and write, I usually have the most connection with my readers. I really got what she was saying about this and feel that I am much more prepared now to do podcast or teleconferences on the subject of Thrifting. I'm ready to use my voice.
I feel over all that I already have many of the tools needed to be a Mover & Shaker. Now I have the advice on how to conquer the things that are holding me back like lack of confidence and self image. I'm going to work on my Movers & Shakers To-Do-List this week and start an action plan. Cheryl did say "It's All About Hard Work". I'm so ready to take that on and be a proper Mover & Shaker.