The road was reckless, strewn with vehicles driving at break-neck speeds and an unknown police presence that made me feel entirely uncomfortable. As I drifted down this concrete jungle highway, determined to arrive on time to what was certain to be an evening of excellent company and enlightening conversation, I was suddenly aware that this was the first road-trip I’d taken (via car and on my own) since October 2010.
Y’know, when I got pregnant.
I was glad that I rented a car, instead of opting for the five and a half hour Greyhound trip.
The highway loomed. The cars hissed past. I narrowed my eyes against the setting sun and clenched my fingers tightly on the steering wheel. Ain’t no way I was going to miss this opportunity.
Finally, my exit. I gently pulled off the highway and breathed deeply; thank goodness that leg of the journey was over. Getting from the I-5 to my downtown destination, however, was proving to be much more arduous than I originally anticipated.
Meaning… I was probably going to be late.
After scouting the area for something resembling a good parking spot (one that wouldn’t require cash money, because I’d forgotten to get American cash before I left the country earlier that day), I finally made my way to the Brilliant Women Salon. About damn time, too, because mama (and ZomBaby) are hungry.
If you’ve ever met Molly in person, you know that the woman you know online precisely matches the woman you meet in person. Upon my (almost) late arrival to the event, she wrapped her arms around me and gushed about how happy she was that I was there. And truly? I was so absolutely overwhelmed with joy, I almost cried.
Yeah yeah, we can only blame the pregnancy hormones so much. I’m a sap. There, I said it.
Tara Mohr is everything you think she’s going to be: wise, articulate, and positively radiates warmth. Within moments of meeting her, I felt this incredible connection to her own brand of brilliance. I felt at home. Deeply comforted. Connecting with Amy Kessel — earthy mama and beautiful soul — was a treat. We talked about babies and my pregnancy as the women practically poured in the doors.
To be surrounded by that much awesome was, well, awesome.
The night was dedicated to uncovering brilliance within ourselves and helping each other to articulate what brilliance was within each of us. Tara Mohr’s 10 Rules for Brilliant Women (if you haven’t read this, please do) inspired the event and as we divided into our various groups, it was clear that there was a lot of other ideas about what owning one’s brilliance looked like.
As the groups shared their stories about brilliance, I saw that there was a lot of doubt. Hell, I had a lot of it initially, too. I love to coax introverts out of their shells and get them to open up about their inward awesomeness. Call it my own special brand of brilliance. It’s why my best friends are introverts when I’m this crazy, wild extrovert.
I see shy people and have this incredible urge to love them right-the-hell up.
Within our little group, we talked about what made each of us brilliant, with the help of the supremely excellent Lynn Baldwin-Rhoades of Power Chicks International. As we went around the circle, these incredible stories unfolded, full of courage, inner strength, and fearlessness. Truth? I was more than a little blown away.
Brilliance is a hard thing to inwardly appreciate. There are things that we each do everyday that make us brilliant in one way, shape, or form (usually more than one, honestly). But we’re so busy comparing ourselves to other forms of brilliance within other people that we can’t seem to grasp it in ourselves. Or, if we do grasp it, we’re quick to dismiss it.
After attending the Brilliant Women Salon, I felt more connected to the concept of “brilliance”. I often feel this intense need to downplay what I do (and who I am) because I’m afraid that I’ll come across as crass and rude. There’s something distasteful (especially to we chicks) about tooting one’s horn. But brilliance? Oh baby, brilliance is one of those things that you simply have to own. We are ALL brilliant.
My three rules for uncovering (and owning) brilliance:
- Say no. Brilliant chicks have boundaries.
- Just breathe. It’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be and it’s often far more rewarding than you anticipated. Your best bet is to take a deep breath and let out all of your (crazy?) expectations.
- Give generously. Give because you love to, not because you must.
I’d love to know what your rules are for uncovering and owning your brilliance are.
[Note from Coach Molly: Amanda- I almost cried with joy getting to meet you too! But it was funny how normal it felt as well, like I’d already know you for years… So honored you made the trip and really happy we got sleepover, and long walk, and breakfast out time too. p.s. Thanks Mike for “letting” your adorably preggo wife venture across the border! xoxo
And dear readers, sorry our schedule is all batty! With Launch Week of both The Council and Joy Juice, it’s crazytownz around here! I’m commandeering Thursday’s post, so just roll with us, mkay? And speaking of Joy Juice… Here’s a tasty sneak peek of what’s coming!]
Image found via ImageSpark.