The gift of sharing my story
Today my heart is full and my spirit soaring. This past weekend, I had the privilege of sharing my transformation story in my first-ever keynote speech. I spoke to a group of about 90 women at Girls Gone North Weekend at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts — in the very same room where my transformation journey began two years ago at a live-in weight loss boot camp.
It was truly a blessing to share my story with a group of strong women and, in return, to learn their hopes, dreams and goals. At the beginning of my speech, I asked the women to be brave and share in writing (and then with each other) their greatest/biggest dream, hope or goal. That big, hairy audacious goal. Or the one thing that they really, really, really want that has eluded them? And then I shared my five principles for achieving transformative change in your life and making your dreams come true.
In opening myself up and authentically sharing my story, I allowed myself to be vulnerable. To expose the struggles and well as the triumphs along my journey. In doing so, I was able to connect with so many amazing women on a deeper level. We found connection and commonality. At the end of my speech, several women came up to share their stories or goals with me one-on-one and some asked for help. It was humbling, energizing and empowering.
I have been blessed with incredible transformation and joy in my life, both inside and out. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to now pay it forward. It is my new passion to help others put themselves in the center of the equation of their own lives and make their wildest and biggest dreams come true. Not only do I know it is possible, but it is totally within reach…for each and every one of us.
In addition to meeting so many new and wonderful women, I shared the weekend with seven of my closest friends and confidants — my U of M college friends and sorority sisters. As is always the case when we get together, there was ample laughter, tears, and a bonding that can only happen when people reveal themselves at the deepest level and trust others with their secrets and stories. There is no judgement, just compassion and connection. I feel fortunate to have so many incredible relationships that enrich my life and fill my days with love and support. And this past weekend, I truly celebrated that with my girls.
Gratitude to those who have lifted my up along the way
A special thanks to Jolita Rysdahl and Bluefin Bay Resorts for a fabulous Girls Gone North Weekend and for allowing me to test my wings in this first keynote speech. To my sorority sisters who shared the weekend and showered me with their love and support — I am forever grateful. And to those special friends and colleagues who encouraged me to share my story and helped me find my voice – particularly Marcia Hyatt and Anne Knapp – I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Finally, to all of the incredible women who were brave enough to show up at Girls Gone North and share their innermost fears, hopes and dreams, thank you for your openness and trust and for enriching my experience. This first keynote and those who were in the room will always be special for me.
As my friend Marcia said, it is a gift to be able to share your story. I feel incredibly blessed for this gift.