Just a couple of weekends ago I hosted my very first weekend creativity retreat, Create & Incubate.
I’d been dreaming of doing such a thing for years, and when I finally took the steps to make it real, I spent months searching for the ideal venue, organizing the event, putting the word out.
Even though the retreat was largely self-directed — most of the weekend was dedicated to “silent creation time,” when everyone worked on whatever creative projects they had brought with them — there was still some “curriculum” to plan. I was still on the hook to create an environment of safety and fun, to set the tone, to create the “bubble” that was our weekend together.
And I have to confess that I was very, very nervous!
Would people like the exercises I had them do? Would it be better to do exercise A or exercise B? What order should I do them in? Did I have enough to engage people, without overwhelming them???
Really, I kind of drove myself crazy for awhile…
If I’d offered this retreat just a few years ago, I think the nerves would have shut down the whole enterprise. But thankfully, I’ve figured something out since then.
It’s something so simple, so seemingly obvious, that I can only shake my head that it took me until my 40s to get it, but life is like that sometimes.
The thing I figured out is this:
My highest value offering is simply bringing my full self to the table. (Click to tweet this!)
That’s it. Nothing more.
Whether I’m teaching a yoga class, singing with a band, working with a coaching client, leading a weekend retreat, teaching my Your Big, Bold, Creative Life Academy sessions, or anything else, my uniquity is the most important thing that I can share.
My presence, my authentic self, my spirit. That’s my gold. That’s my superpower.
It’s the same for you.
Somehow the slings and arrows of life blind us to the truth of this, but just because we can’t always hold onto this truth in our heads and hearts doesn’t make it any less true.
A Consistent Thread
I’ve been interviewing all kinds of amazing folks for Your Big, Bold, Creative Life Academy, and at the start of every interview I always ask, “What does the idea of living a big, bold, creative life mean to you?” I was curious to see how people would respond, and their answers have been intriguing, fun, and always a delight.
What’s been most delightful of all, though, is noticing the consistent thread woven throughout all their answers.
Everyone I’ve interviewed so far has included some element of authenticity, of staying true to oneself, of trusting — and immersing oneself in — one’s uniquity.
As a professional creativity instigator, my mission is to empower people to find that gold inside themselves, to cherish it, polish it, caress it, share it with the world. It’s ultimately what this blog is all about, what my retreats are all about, what Your Big, Bold, Creative Life Academy is all about.
When you can see your uniquity and fully embrace it, everything else becomes easier, everything else falls into place.
As I was planning my Create & Incubate retreat, once I reminded myself that the most valuable thing I could bring to my retreat participants wasn’t the brilliance or cleverness of the “curriculum,” but rather simply my full, authentic self in the room, my nerves went away, and everything flowed.
This is what I wish for you, and for all of us.
Embrace your uniquity, baby.
And go get creating!
The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more – and join us! – by clicking here.
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