Last night, I’m piddling on the computer, looking at flights, dreaming about get a away, checked to see if anything interesting going on in my LinkedIn and something there reminded me that I hadn’t seen my monthly invite from Creative Mornings for April. So, I hoped over to their website to see when it is…I really was hoping it wasn’t THIS Friday and that I had missed the notification. To my relief, it is next week, April 20 2018.
So as my mind rambles along though this process, I began to think about Cate’s post from earlier in the week, oh my that was last week already, where she reflected about the three things she learned from her ladies luncheon. What have I learned from being a part of Creative Mornings? Which prompted me to click on the speaker’s picture on CM web page. Here are my three takeaways.
- The guest speaker that day, Benjamin Nockels, who owns a very cool book store called commonplace books in midtown is a “real person”. And what I mean by that is, he stood up in front of a room FULL of mostly strangers, but also people he knows and told his “journey”, but not just the good things that have happened in his life, but also the painful things. He stood before me….I was on the front row…and opened himself up. I could see from his body language, from the well in his eyes and the catch in his throat, when he was sharing things that were painful. This impressed me, because I tend to be a VERY private, and very controlled person. I’m almost always happy, and friendly to everyone but it is until I know that I can “TRUST” someone that I share my life’s darker moments with them. I have ALWAYS been very self-conscious of myself. The topic that day was vulnerability and courage. He shared excerpts from 3 books that had helped him. His story of his own vulnerability and courage and the help he found from these books made me want to read them. From that I realized if your giving people real advice to handle real lives, you must be willing to open yourself up and show your vulnerability, so the person can see the connection to the advice you are offering.
- Which leads me to my next point: the BOOKS. Now I love to read, but mostly, romance novels, mystery/detective books, and I’ve been known to read a cookbook on occasion. I have a TON of business self-help books, on leadership, motivation, and being successful and haven’t EVER finished a one of them. They just never hold my attention. Ben recommended 3 books. The reason he recommended them was because of the connection to a story, an opening up of the author and the connection that the story creates. The books are: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The WAR of ART by Stephen Pressfield, and Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of each of them from Ben. I started with Big Magic, because I loved Liz Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Can I just say this out loud, I may not be writing in this blog, if it were not for the fact that She says out loud in her book, all the reasons why we don’t express our creative. For me personally, I’ve been wanting to Blog, and do more on Instagram and a bunch of other Creative things that require me to DO IT! To put myself out there. To let a world full of random people and people that I know see my work. But guess what? Now that I gave myself permission to be afraid, I’ve realized I’m not the ONLY one with these fears, it’s like that choke hold it had on me is released enough that I can allow myself to be CREATIVE (after all a little fear is good). Since then, I’ve started blogging with my friends. I posted a BUNCH of new stuff on Instagram and I’ve gotten GREAT response from it. I’m acquiring some new followers and now I’m even more motivated to be creative. I haven’t finished Liz’s book yet, but I’m close. I will let you know how I feel about the other 2 books when I start reading them.
- Face those crazy fears and walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself. The first meeting I went to, which happened to be Creative mornings first meeting in OKC, I went by myself. I had invited a friend, he couldn’t make it. Despite being uncomfortable with the fact that I was there by myself, (my insecurity showed up and tried to stop me) I started going around and introducing myself. I met a bunch of interesting people. I ran into a client/friend. As we were chatting after the meeting, we met a gal who was a Storyteller…the kind of person I was looking for to help me with my journey. (I have been percolating a business idea that would use my skills as a food stylist, and then I needed a photographer and someone who is good at the social media piece. She might be that social media person I am looking for.) About 2 weeks later I am with a photographer who says “So I hear you met my “social media” gal.” I knew immediately it was her. (Another point never say anything bad about anyone…it is a VERY small world.)
The second meeting I went to, my guy friend went with me. And it was awesome having him there to talk to too, but what I realized was, I spent all my time talking to him (we are both talkers and feed off each other) and very little time connecting with new people. Which isn’t that the point of this kind of event? I missed February’s meeting and then in March I decided to go by myself. But this time I was happy about it. Guess who I saw? My new friend the storyteller, but this time we talked about the mutual person we know. And that at some point we hope to work on something together. I mingled some more but then went to sit down, as the seats were filling up (which is how I ended up on the front row). As I was talking to the people on my left, and then the people on my right, I noticed a woman behind me who was by herself. I turned around and started talking to her. Guess what?! She is working on a project and might need a person just like me! My point is this, don’t let a fear like, “I don’t know anyone” stop you from going out. Go up and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know, they may need your encouragement, or kind word, or they may be the link to something BIG! Think about the people you consider to be your friends, you “met them” at some point.