Tuesday, January 28, 2014

my LiveBIG Experience on Day 1

I shared with you my frame of mind and how fatigued I was at my arrival to the LiveBIG Conference in Sandy, Utah in this post.  I am not sure that this post truly conveys how emotionally down and physically drained I was.  I was thoroughly exhausted.  Completely.

I arrived at the conference and got my name badge.  I hung back against the wall, waiting for the event to begin. I was quiet, reflecting on how the trip had gone so far, I was praying "Dear God, please be with me today, I need you now, running the lyrics to that theme song sung by Plumb in my mind, hoping desperately for relief, trying to calm the anxiety I felt in anticipation of the time that I thoroughly expected to be life changing for me."

When the doors to the conference room opened, the music that was playing was the song with the lyrics:  This is your life, are you who you want to be?  Each of the LiveBIG Crew were at the door to give us a high five.  Gerald Rogers was standing back against the wall, watching us come in.  We began shortly after we got seated.  

Gerald explained the general idea of the conference and what we could anticipate getting out of it.  Our first exercise was for us to define:  What does it mean to LiveBIG?  What do you want to experience?  What are you willing to do to make that happen?  Are you willing to let go of what's limiting you?

Here is what I wrote:  
I want to live big with working through my childhood to share my story to inspire others through love and courage.  I want to feel that I am good enough. I want to find my passion and live it out as I do in my core beliefs of generosity and friendships.
We then had to connect with like partners (girls with girls & guys with guys), Partner A and Partner B.  We all had to get up and go find someone.  The first day, everyone pretty much connected with someone sitting near them.  Gerald would walk us through who went first and we would begin by grabbing each others hands, looking in to their eyes and say:  "The Greatness I see in You..." until we were told to stop.  In this session, I connected with Mary, Michelle, Bonnie and Nancy.  

This was an amazing experience!!!  To connect with someone and stand about a foot away from them, look into their eyes, deeply, and tell them what you saw about them, was incredible. I wrote down a few things I was told from these four people about the greatness that they saw in me:
You are a connector.  
You are more than you give yourself credit for.  
You are very passionate.  
You have energy.  
You are very engaging.  
You are dynamic.
You are already doing great things but you doubt yourself.

I was blown away!!!  How could these people know these things about me?  Simply by looking into my eyes?  It was an amazing experience.  Lots of us were crying.  You couldn't help it.  The way someone saw deep into your soul was truly something that was hard to put into words.  This experience was felt by the majority of all people.

They then introduced the LiveBIG Team. Each of them shared why they were apart of the event and what they wanted us to get out of it.  Phenomenal!!!  

The core message was: 
"You get to be who you are, truly are, by forgetting about who you were told you were...and experience full love and greatness."
Tony Litster explained the rules to us and made sure that we all were willing to play a Level 10 and commit at 100% and actively engage as participants.  

Gerald then took over and started into the message of the conference.  After sharing some things on commitment, integrity, results, and trust he asked:  
"Why do we have difficulty in saying No?"
He was hitting on a sore subject of mine and I had answers at the tip of my tongue, but I waited.  The room was silent.  So I launched in and answered the question.  Gerald told us to engage, so here I go!  
"Because we are afraid that if we don't say no we will be a failure, we won't be good enough, we won't meet someones expectations."
Awwwhhhhhh. He paused and looked at me and then asked me another question, to which I answered.  He then asked me to stand up, and I did so.  One of the team got me a mic and he asked me even more questions.  After I answered those, he asked if I was willing to open up and work through this process on my beliefs.  I nodded and said "Yes", inside I wanted to say "Hell Yes, this is why I came!"    He asked me to close my eyes.  I did.  

He then asked me some questions, probing a bit deeper each time.  He was calm.  Gentle. Patient.  But firm when he went to the next question, building on each question as a stepping stone to the next.  If I didn't thoroughly answer the question, he would probe in a different way, forcing me to answer.  The questions he asked, delved into my personal life, and not just on the surface.  He asked me to remember the very first instance when I felt I wasn't good enough and to share it.  As much as I could.  That's tough.  I have so many memories of feeling that way.  The first one?  I shared what came to mind, being a young child in elementary school 1st or 2nd grade and for whatever reason my sister and I left the house late for school.  Mom told us not to run as if we did we would lose our milk money and she would spank us.  She also said that if we were late to school she would spank us for that too.  It was a no win situation, as usual, it always was.  Either way I was in trouble.  We knew we could not risk being late to school or the consequences of having a teacher mad at us all day wouldn't work. We also knew the crossing guard did not stay at the corner late.  We knew we had to run.  The inevitable is exactly what happened.  We lost our milk money.  We had to call her and she came up to the school and spanked both of us in the bathroom, with the famous telephone cord because it made the least amount of noise and stung like hell.

I was really crying now.  My eyes were still closed.  I was here by being a participant, giving more than I anticipated from the very start of the event and yet My Story was the object lesson being used in the teaching for all of us.  It was hard to forget that I was in a room full of people whom I didn't know, and to just pretend I was alone, working through these questions being asked of me by Gerald as he asked me to do.  You then heard sniffles from people.  You heard crying.  You heard noses being blowed.  This didn't make it easier on me.  I wasn't there to make people cry.  It was hard to concentrate and answer his questions without just sobbing over the feelings this brought back to me and the flood of memories.  Would it always be like this?  It was hard to know what was the right answer to some of his questions.  It was hard to engage and keep my eyes closed when I wanted to be taking notes to reflect on the questions he was asking me for later, for other memories.  He asked me questions, some which I couldn't answer except in a vague way, but I did the best I could without feeling like I was consuming the entire opportunity.  For example, I stated that I faced some significant trauma at age 17 as we moved through further years.  I didn't elaborate.  I couldn't say more.  Fortunately, he didn't probe deeper that time.

He asked me to see yourself as you wish your Mom saw you.  Imagine and gather all the hurts and pains in your arms and give them back to your Mom.  Let GO.  Realize your Mom couldn't love you beyond what she gave you. Be empowered to believe you are good enough.  You are loved.  You no longer have to live to be approved of, accepted, strive to be loved.  You are accepted and loved.  {These are the nuggets I wrote down the best I could from memory.}

Some of this process I had already done with Professional Counseling and with my Life Plan Coaching last year, but some of this was from a different angle, much deeper.

So much for wearing waterproof mascara. I had it all over my cheeks.  My friend Jay told me later that I looked like the KISS Band, of course, not having TV and knowing actors, singers and stuff I had to tell him I didn't know who that was.  He actually thought it was cool that I didn't.  My buddy, Brandee, pulled them up on her phone and I then understood why he said that.  They had white mask faces with lots of black outlining.  I am a deeply pale white chic and with the streaky mascara, I am sure I looked like that group.

I sat down, wiping my face, blowing my nose, not looking at anyone, trying to gain composure when he asked me to come up front.  My face still streaked with tears, he turned me around to face the audience, he was now standing behind me, he took my arms and had me lift them up so they were even with my shoulders outwards like I was getting ready to jump out of a plane.  He told me to look everyone of my LiveBIG Tribe sitting in the audience, in the eyes and receive their love.  He told me to not hold back.  To accept it.  He said he knew it would be hard, but to realize that I have great courage, that I am strong, that I am loved.  I was still crying but by looking at people who truly had empathy for you, whose eyes conveyed their feelings, they were proud of me, they were clapping, I couldn't help but smile.  He told me to not lose my smile, it was a beautiful smile that showed life and love.  He shared some more thoughts with me standing there with everyone, then gave me a hug and I sat down.

If I wasn't emotionally spent before this, I was now!!!

The nuggets that I got out of this exercise were:
  1. Release all the hurt, pain, being a failure, disapproved of, striving to be good enough back to my Mom.
  2. Accept that these things have shaped me and created me who I am today.
  3. Believe I AM GOOD ENOUGH!
  4. I no longer have to live to be approved of, to be accepted to strive to be loved.  I am!!!
  5. Open your arms and be empowered.
We wrapped up the morning session with the challenge to ask someone over lunch what it means to LiveBIG.  We were told if we did a video of it we would get bonus points.  

I immediately heard, "If I don't get a video I am not good enough."  This was a perfect example of how I live this out, every single day.  The belief system that is conjured up inside my core being.

I was so emotionally spent that all I did was head back to my hotel and flop on my bed.  I should have gotten food, but I couldn't.  I didn't want to eat.  I wanted to sleep, but there was not enough time to sleep.  

When we got back from our lunch break, we went through discussing qualities of a buddy, picking a buddy and then getting to know our buddy.  Things like this:

My name is...
Some things you should know about my family are...
My business is...
Some things I do for fun are...
Some things I really hate to do...
If I could travel anywhere...
If I had a free weekend I would...
What it means to me to live big...
An area in my life I struggle with...
The reasons....
The greatest fear...
The way you can support me...
Because I am committed to getting the most out of...
etc... {I wrote them down as quickly as I could but I know I am missing a ton of them}

My buddy was Brandee.  She and I shared lots of things in common with our childhood and we connected quickly.

In the exercise when we did to make a list of what are My Stories from Life, People, Relationships, etc - this is what I wrote:
  • I'm not good enough.
  • I don't deserve to be treated differently.
  • I can't say No.
  • I don't want to be just like my Mom.
  • I don't believe I am awesome.
  • I can't take care of me or I am selfish.
  • I feel I will always be a failure.
  • I feel I have to be perfect.
  • I believe its okay for me to be abused and I should just take it and I probably just deserve it.
  • I don't deserve a man.
  • I feel I always have to prove myself.
  • I feel you will never accept me.
This exercise helped to learn to become conscious of your words, your feelings, your thoughts, your actions.  Why do I feel what I am feeling?  What will that give me?  What do I want?  Is it true?  What is the action to create what I want?

In the exercise we did to make a list of what is not working in your life - this is what I wrote:
  • work life balance
  • taking care of me
  • figuring out what my passion is
  • living out I Am Good Enough
Bri Litster talked about abuse and trauma, she even shared some of her own personal story.  She reviewed just how emotions are tied to our trauma, how emotions are supposed to teach us, how we need to be willing to go through the pain to get to the joy.  The steps required for us to do this are: 
  • Stop.
  • Feel it.  
  • Listen.
  • Release it. 
  • Make a choice. 
  • Let it GO.  

I learned in Day 1 of LiveBIG that I need to look at My Story and ask, is it possible?  does it serve you?  is it an impossible game?  I have a choice to believe the truth or lies.  I can't avoid the negative experiences or trauma I have faced, they are real.  {Unfortunately, I know this, even though I have wished it was a dream, I am aware that I have truly experienced this.} Stuff that happened to me in the past will continue to show up.  {Darn, I was hoping that it would go away!}  If we do not examine it, we will self sabotage.  {I didn't realize I do this, but I learned I do this too!}  The goal is to learn how to process it. {Yes, this is why I am here...to learn how to process my junk.}

At one point during a break, I connected with another gal that had my same name, spelled exactly the same way...we became friends quickly.  She was amazed that I wasn't married.  She was amazed that I didn't have a boyfriend.  She was amazed and wanted to know more.  I told her we would talk later.  And we got several small chats in.

Tony took us through an exercise where we were to go to a safe place and explore our beliefs.  In this we learned that our beliefs are our shadow.  Face the shadows.  They are always with us. The shadow is you.  Bring the shadow out to the light.  When the shadow makes noise its because the wounds are unresolved.  Welcome your shadow as a guest.  Don't carry the old stuff anymore.  

Who are you?  Change your story.  Develop a vision.  Reinforce it until it becomes who you are.

We got a dinner break and I went and got a Chipotle bowl.  I forced myself to eat almost half of it, but my stomach hurt.  I was nauseated.  I was emotionally drained from the day and it wasn't over yet.  My heart wanted to head out early and crawl in bed.  But my mind said I needed to stay committed to the conference and learn all I could.

We then did a Soul Script Personality Test to learn more about who we are.  I love personality tests and I learned some different things through this version...some from doing it as a group.

The last exercise we did in the evening was to lay on the floor on our backs, the lights were very dimmed, music was yoga type, to get us into meditation mode.  The exercise was to help us find who we are.  Who are you?  We were to come up with 3 words that described us to the core.  Once we obtained those three words, we were to state:  I am those three words man/woman and keep repeating it over and over and over, getting stronger and louder as we did so.  My three words were courageous, generous, loving...so I am a courageous, generous, loving woman.  The staff would come get us and lead us to the center when they felt we had achieved the results where we should be with the affirmation statement of who we were.  They had us place one hand on one person's shoulder and the other hand on another persons shoulder all the while leaving our eyes closed and continuing to chant.  It was an incredible experience.  

I took away from this that we need to know who we are even when the outside noise becomes so loud that it is hard to still remember and know.  You have to be strong and know who you are.  Because you will reflect who you belief you are in your inner self.

Before I left for the day, I had a conversation with Tony.  We discussed how you improve without feeling the need to prove.  He shared with me how he feels those are two different things and should never be confused as being related.  You always want to improve because without growth, you won't bear fruit, you won't be productive, you won't change.  I also had a conversation with Gerald in which he shared how grateful he was that I came all the way from Texas, was open and willing to sharing with the group, and that I truly am amazing.

Did I feel amazing?  Of course not.  But I am a courageous, generous, loving woman who is learning to rewrite her story!

Day 1 of LiveBIG was an incredible experience!!!  I encourage you to #LiveBIG...

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