A Season of Illumination.
You might have noticed that my Phoenix blog post went up before a wrap-up did on Illume Retreat. If you didn't notice, that's okay. I love you anyway.
This post is going to be a deep and emotional one (and maybe that's why I've been procrastinating on writing it), so I wanted to start it off with...
a couple fun observations.
- The moment I laid eyes on Katie O. Selvidge, I knew I'd seen her face before. It bothered me the entire four days we were in Waco, until the last day, when I realized it wasn't her face I'd seen before. It was Julia Goldani Telles' face. Because I'm a grown ass woman and I still like watching Bunheads. Sorry, not sorry. (Though the irony of Katie also being a ballerina wasn't lost on me.)
- I never in a million years expected that Kelly Zugay would end up being my Illume Retreat bestie, but by gosh if I don't love that woman. From the story of someone pronouncing her last name as "zwah-gee" through to our conversation on the last night that nearly had us, Kat, and Bonnie crying of laughter, Kelly was the BEST.
- Shanna has the COOLEST husband on the entire planet (and she's basically the best). On the first night, she told me all about how he was building a kit airplane and I got giddy with excitement listening to all the challenges and changes they were going through as a result of his passion. SO COOL.
On to the meat and potatoes.
It's funny. When I registered for Illume in October of 2016, so many things were different. I wasn't a nomad (and nomad wasn't even an idea on the horizon). I hadn't experienced the immense growth in visibility that I've seen over the past 9 months. I hadn't even had my first session with Reina Pomeroy yet. It's as if I were a completely different person. When I clicked that registration button and paid the deposit, I wasn't sure what it was that I wanted to fix by attending Illume but I felt pulled to register.
Eight months later, when I walked in the door of Harp House (and later, Bonnie's studio), I knew exactly what it was that I wanted to get out of Illume. As we gathered in a circle that first night to talk and say hello, I tearfully shared what it was that was on my heart. I was tired. My identity was so wrapped up in entrepreneur and speaker and author that I was starting to forget who Dannie was. Travel was starting to lose it's lustre, something I never thought could happen.
My introverted side really shows at these events and I was pretty quiet throughout, absorbing and soaking in as much as I could. But then one night at dinner, my girl JK asked me to describe my ideal day. The details spilled out of me without even pausing to think and I was taken aback by what I described - because it was so not the life I was living in that moment.
On the last day, each attendee did a hotseat with the speakers. We had two minutes to talk and state what we wanted to change or were struggling with. They had two minutes to ask questions. Then they had five minutes to talk and give advice - and we couldn't interrupt. If you know me at all, you know how much I love to argue and debate. (Ask Drew, he calls me The Excuse Queen).
As the speakers were talking...I couldn't help but nod. They highlighted my desire to control and curate outcomes. They reminded me that I needed to walk through life palms up, fists open. They called me out for running. JK said that I remind her of her, because I like doing things I'm good at, not always things that excite me.
I walked away with so many ideas and so many thoughts on how to move forward (and I even transcribed the recording of that hotseat using good ol' Rev.com). I've started implementing some of the plans I made while at Illume and I'm excited to update you once more concrete things are happening!
in case you missed it
In my email a couple weeks ago, I shared why Illume was so important for me to attend this year. In case you missed it, here's why!
If you didn't know, Illume Retreat is hosted by Bonnie Bakhtiari, one of the dreamiest brand designers on the planet. It's also the only conference/retreat that I've paid to attend as an attendee in 2017 (that's how much I believe in this retreat). I've watched Bonnie (and Illume) become an increasingly talented powerhouse educator over the past few years and Illume has been on my conference bucketlist for the same amount of time. I was so excited to spend time with mega-talented women like Jenna Kutcher and my babe Kat Schmoyer.