In July 2016, I graduated from CTI’s Leadership program, and it qualifies as the single greatest adventure I have taken in my life. I’ve traveled the world, jumped off cliffs and out of planes, but NOTHING compares to the terrifying, heartbreaking, exhilarating journey I took into myself in those 10 months. I had the pleasure of accompanying 24 other souls through a rigorous, heart-centered, unapologetic journey; I was challenged, cracked open, grown and truly seen as I found my voice. A friend of mine told me that the year after her program was even richer than the year before, as the learning had a chance to sink in. Now I want to share with you the impact this program is having on my life, and who I am becoming along the way.
We are all scared to do the things we really want to do. It’s because we care so much that we feel that mix of fear and excitement. At Leadership I faced both physical and emotional challenges beyond what I had ever expected of myself, and got to witness my peers overcoming their obstacles. The powerful feeling of facing fear, acknowledging it, and doing it anyway is something I got to practice, and now that I know it’s worth the risk, I will always go for what I want. The reward is always worth the risk if you truly want to follow your dreams.
My life looks more or less the same from the outside as it did before, I’m still a coach, I still live in the same city with the same friends, but inside I am transformed. The Leadership program taught me to quiet the racket in my head and supercharged my ability to be happy, feel good, and appreciate others. I feel free inside, and of course while I don’t always feel good, I have gained so many skills to recognize the dark places as well as the light, and appreciate all of them. I am not my feelings, I am not my emotions, and now I don’t have to live a life trapped by them.
Unapologetic Self Love
We are mean to ourselves. We walk around all day berating ourselves for the mistakes, the wrong turns, the “not good enoughs” and the “shoulds”. This was the hardest lesson for me, and one I am still learning every day. The more I kiss self-doubt goodbye, and quiet the noisy voices in my head, the more I am left with myself, so I’d better love me! The first retreat of the leadership program showed me how others experience me, and what my impact is as a leader. This feedback was intimate, personal, and sometimes hard to hear. But it ended up being the greatest gift. Once I really looked at who I was being in the world, I had the opportunity to embrace all the parts of me, good, bad, ugly and amazing. Now I know where I shine and where I still need to work – and every day I work on loving myself.
Heart Centered Leadership
I am a leader. My life’s purpose is to powerfully call forth the fearless leader within you. I will create warm and safe spaces for women to become leaders with open hearts and fierce courage. I am on fire with passion and purpose for the life I now know the purpose of. This is the greatest gift of my time in Asheville at the Leadership program. Now I have the space to create what I want, the courage to go for it, and a tribe to hold me along the way. Everyone is a leader, if they want to be.
The bonus gift is my tribe. We still meet regularly for calls, read books together, lean in when we need support, and love each other unconditionally. I know this is not the story of all tribes, but it is for mine. We are on a journey now that will last a lifetime. I’ll be back in three months to report on the impact of the year after Leadership!