Since my dad passed in 2016, I’ve been taking a long hard look at who I am and what I want from this life. I’ve been doing a lot of personal development and personal growth. In 2018, Jess introduced me to Lori Harder and created our Tribe Book Club. We met weekly with two other friends and shared very intimate details about our lives, fears, dreams, and random things. The group itself fizzled though Jess and I continued meeting up weekly at the Henry to talk and work on our business ideas.

Jess and her Personal Growth events

Then in 2019, Jess kept bugging me about going to this day event called Powerhouse Women. I was skeptical because at that time I still had a really specific view of who I was and I didn’t feel like I belonged in a crowd of women that looked like they just stepped out of a North Scottsdale Country Club Brunch with perfect hair, perfect clothes, and perfect everything else. I was just a girl who wore denim jeans, a black shirt, and a zip-up hoodie on the daily.

I ended up giving in and purchasing a ticket. The weekend of the event I was supposed to meet up with Jess and Lauryn to get Sparkle Bar makeup done and free headshots. That morning, I woke up and started to get ready. I couldn’t find anything to wear, and by that I mean I didn’t feel good enough in anything I put on. I had worked most of the night before for a work deadline, so I was tired and hadn’t made time to plan for the event.

Getting There

By the time I gave up and just put on my normal uniform of jeans and a hoodie, I had no time to do my hair or anything. I was texting with Jess who was wondering where the hell I was. I let her know I was on my way but wouldn’t be doing makeup or photos. For a moment, I thought about just staying home. I felt so defeated. But just as quickly I told myself I needed to just go. I could sit in the back and be invisible if I wanted to but I was going to go.

I got in the car and drove 30 minutes from my house to the venue. I was really upset at how the morning went and I was feeling super intimidated about how the day as a whole would go I cried the whole way to the event. By the time I got there, Sparkle Bar was wrapping up the makeup portion and again something inside me said screw it, just get your makeup done. So I did. Once my makeup was finished, I got the courage to just get in line and have my headshots done. I figured even if I didn’t use them, it would be better than regretting I never did it.

Once I got into the venue, even though it was gorgeous, I still didn’t feel like I fit in. Everyone is dressed in beautiful clothes in a wide variety of colors with gorgeous flowing hair and here I am in a black hoodie and a messy bun. Woof. I have to keep telling myself, it will be okay, just be present, learn and grow.

Unicorn Dreams

The event starts and we are no joke within the first hour we are doing Unicorn Dream exercises. If you don’t know what Unicorn Dream exercises are, it’s Lindsey’s way of reaching to the deepest part of your soul and turning you inside out. You talk about your crazy dreams and then you talk about what’s blocking you. There a part of the whole exercise where Lindsey tells you to write down all the nasty things you say to yourself as to why you can’t do something. What she doesn’t tell you is next she’s going to make you say all those nasty things out loud to someone else’s face. Oh heeeeyyyy personal growth, I see you!

This was not what I needed and all that I needed at the same time. The girl I was partnered with went first and to hear some of the things she told herself made me start crying for her. Then I went and we were both crying along with all the other women in this place. It was such a freeing experience. It made me start to realize the only person in the way of the things I want to accomplish is myself and the nasty nasty things I say internally to myself.

Once we finished the exercise and sat back down Jess asked me what my unicorn dream was. I responded to her that I wanted to be featured in a magazine. She looks at me with the look that she gives me when she’s not impressed.

“What magazine?” she asks.

I quickly respond with a shrug and an I dunno.

She is now glaring at me. “Yes, you do. What magazine?!”

No sooner than she finished the question and before I can realize what letters are forming what word that word comes out of my mouth. That word was Vogue.

“I want to be on the cover of Vogue Magazine,” I state with a confidence I didn’t know I had.

Jess smiles and she tells me she knew that’s the magazine she knew I would say.

While I love my hoodies, there is a part of me that also loves fashion and the sparkliest of sparkly things. I’m not sure what my Maker was thinking when He was making my recipe but it’s a fun mix that allows me to be very diverse.

Letting Go and Giving Myself to the Personal Growth Process

As the event continued, I began to let my guard down. I began to take feverish notes and devour what all the speakers were saying. I realized that this event wasn’t just an event, it was a safe space with a group of other women who wanted to do the same thing I wanted to do. They had the same fears I did, they had the same insecurities I did, and we were all here to support each other in our endeavors.

I left the event feeling so much lighter than when I got there. The event itself helped me have some breakthroughs that I never would have gotten if I had just stayed home. I’m grateful for that. When I got home I immediately DM’d Lindsey Schwartz and word vomited all of this to her, I’m pretty sure she was like who is this crazy lady but she sent me a nice note back! This is the exact note I sent to her:

So I am sure you’re getting a flood of messages after the event so I’m not sure if this will reach you but I wanted to say thank you. I woke up yesterday coming off a day that was hard. I had put work before myself and it didn’t allow me to set myself up for success. When I woke up Saturday morning none of my clothes were set, I was exhausted from not setting boundaries and doing too much work the day before, and the doubts of not being worthy flooded my head. My two friends who are physically beautiful and perfect in every way we’re texting me asking why I wasn’t there yet. It was because I was having a mini melt down mixed with body shame and deciding if I was even going to still come to the event. I pulled myself together but definitely cried the whole way from cave creek to old town Scottsdale. I wasn’t going to do a headshot because I didn’t want photographic evidence of where I’m at right now. But something inside me made me do it. I think I was one of the last three to get it done before the cut off. It was a small victory. I told my friends why I was late and Jess knew. She’s amazing like that. She also gives no sympathy and gives me the unapologetic truth I need. But when we got into the work book, the first section with all that had happened that morning I was a blubbering mess. I basically just had to write down everything I had told myself driving to the event. Tears just kept coming and I couldn’t stop them. I tear up slightly as I write this, but after that for the rest of the event I felt so open. I felt like nothing could stop me as I learned from these amazing women. I’m not a purse kinda girl, so leading up to the event I wasn’t that interested in Sage but after she spoke I was like YOU. ARE. MY. SPIRIT. ANIMAL. I woke up today with a slight emotional headache from crying yesterday, but I feel so good. It’s like a weight has been lifted and I’m ready to get to work. You are amazing and I’m grateful for your event.

Note: Sage, if you’re reading this, sorry I stereotyped you… you are my spirit animal. ❤️ I didn’t know what I was missing and also learned not to assume someone is like something from only one thing they do.

My Personal Growth Since the Event

Since Powerhouse, I have immersed myself into this wonderful community Lindsey Schwartz has built and I ended up meeting Lindsey months later at her 100th podcast episode recording and she’s as amazing in person as she is to her entire community online. I’ve also met wonderful women like Sage Aubrey, Teri Fucking Crenshaw, the ladies of Creative Label, and Coach Dar just to name a few.

I’ve still been working on my personal growth and at times that self-doubt creeps back into my mind, but I have better tools and a larger supportive tribe to help me work through it. I still have a lot of work to do but this amazing path I’m on now is all because Jess dragged me to an event I had never heard of and didn’t want to go to. I also just won a ticket to this year’s Powerhouse Women event and I’m super stoked to go this year and have a completely new experience after putting in all the work over the last year.