How do other women do it so naturally? Walk into a room full of women and gravitate into pods with one another and make instant connections. One of the most uncomfortable things I can think of would be to walk into a room filled with women by myself. It’s scary, it’s awkward and I just feel out of place. I would typically avoid this type of situation and successfully (or unsuccessfully did so) for most of my life. Until last year, when I signed up for a women’s day retreat.
This was all a few months after my second born. My hormones were still adjusting, my body felt like it was still recovering, I was breast feeding and not sleeping much. Everyday was a new challenge as my one year old figured out new dangers around the house. (She was new to walking) and my new baby boy was starting to roll. I was still trying to figure out how to do it all. Which of course was also the tag line of the event, “can we have it all.”
I knew I needed this, everything about it was what I needed. I was struggling even though I wouldn’t admit that to anyone then. My level of self care was zero, close to the number of hours of sleep I was getting. My time with the babies was precious to me and filled my heart with love and happiness, but the stress of every other part of life was building up. This retreat was filled with self development, guidance on balance in your life. It was created specifically for mothers and the moment I read about it, my intuition was telling me this was something I should do.
I don’t consider myself an anxious person in general, but I had major anxiety about this for days beforehand leading up to it. As much as I wanted to go when I first signed up, the closer I got to the date the more excuses I was trying to think up to get out of it.
I can see now in hindsight that my “Rebel Mind” was going off with all kinds of fearful thoughts. (Though I had no idea what a rebel mind was yet at the time)
“I don’t know hardly anyone, what if everyone else is already friends and I’m left out.”
“Everyone is going to turn and stare at me when I walk in.”
“What if something happens at home and I was here doing something “selfish” instead of taking care of my family.”
“What if I say something stupid.”
“What if I have nothing at all to say”
“I hope I don’t need to talk in front of people… oh man I’m probably going to have to talk.”
“What if no one likes me?”
“I hope we don’t do a circle of introductions, I have nothing interesting to say about myself.”
“I’m probably going to need to pee way too many times….everyone is going to notice.”
“I’m going to end up late, I don’t even know where this place is, I especially can’t walk in late!!!”
All these ridiculous fears filled my thoughts leading up to the retreat day, and had me practically in tears half the drive there. I was wondering why on earth I was going to this now. I fearfully drove myself to the other side of town to this retreat going back and forth in my mind. First trying to convince myself it was a mistake, and then also trying to convince myself it wasn’t and to listen to my instincts, it will be fine.
I walked into that room filled with women and was immediately greeted with hugs. I felt welcomed and this eased a good chunk of nervousness, but not all. I scanned the room and as I expected, women were already forming “pods” which made me nervous again. I can’t just infiltrate a pod…. (my rebel mind reminded me.) I avoided that situation and made my way to the food, which was waaaaaaay easier than facing any awkward introductions. I put together a little plate, grabbed a drink and that gave me a few minutes to delay any scary social encounters. I saw a stack of name tags on the table next and thought “perfect that should give me another minute or two to avoid being social and hopefully we will start soon.”
As I wrote out my name, another women beside me was writing hers, we both did a double take as only a few letters differed in our very original names. We laughed and introduced ourselves and started a conversation. It was easy, it was natural and it was nothing like my fears were trying to convince me it would be all week long.
The day went on, the teachings were eye opening. The group of women were like minded, open and accepting. All that fear, all the anxiety, all the doubt; none of those things I feared ever happened. The more I opened up to the possibility that this might actually be really great just like I first thought, the better my experience became.
I’m so glad I didn’t stay home in fear. This retreat was the beginning of a new trajectory for me and the first step in personal discovery and growth I didn’t realize I so desperately needed at the time. I listened to my instincts even though the fear was much louder.
That day I gained a new perspective on myself and life purpose. I gained a new close friend (with a similar sounding name), I gained a new mentor (who is now training me to be a coach) and I gained more clarity on my life vision. From that day forward, a pod of women still makes me nervous, but I can trust the difference between my perception of fear and reality. I’ve had more authentic conversations and more real connections and friendships with woman in my life than ever before. All because I trusted what I knew was true in my heart.
Intuition is greater than fear.
Do you recognize when your thoughts are rooted in a place of fear versus a place of love? Take some time this week to reflect and see if you can notice when your Rebel Mind kicks in.
To take this practice to a whole new level, check out the Mind Rebel Method 16 week program.
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