I'm getting ready for our Las Vegas Power of Moms Retreat this weekend. It is going to be an incredible event, and every time I see a registration come in, my stomach jumps a little as I think about each deliberate mother I get to meet.
My feelings are a little bittersweet, though, because I've decided to cut back on the number of Retreats I attend in order to spend more time with my mom. This one in Las Vegas and our May 4th Retreat in Park City may be my last for awhile. (But you never know, things could change! I'm just going to make sure I enjoy every minute of it.)
Planning this Retreat has really got me thinking about why we gather.
Why do moms need each other? What is it about these in-person experiences that changes us and strengthens our lives?
The best answer that I can come up with is that when we gather together, face to face, we expand our ability to influence and our ability to be influenced.
When we're in our homes, typing on our computers or making spaghetti or unhooking the ping-pong net from the dining room table, we get caught up in our own little imperfect worlds. So much of our motherhood lives is full of the same routines, the same frustrations, and the same insecurities holding us back.
But when we get together, we realize that all the long hours and hard work we invest in our families is actually quite magnificent. We'll share a small idea that's helped us, and we get to see others' faces light up as they realize that our "small idea" will do wonders for their own families.
We get to hear about other moms living courageously and stretching their abilities, and we think, "Maybe, just maybe, I could do that, too."
Somehow, when we step out from behind our computers, do our hair and make-up, put on some nice clothes (nothing fancy necessary!), and sit side-by-side with other moms who really care about motherhood, we open ourselves up to great ideas and we recognize the fact that our motherhood skill set is nothing short of incredible.
I'm getting more excited every second.
Part of the gathering we're having in Las Vegas includes a special "Dreaming Night" this Friday--where we'll have a couple of brief speakers, lots of tasty snacks, and powerful, facilitated small-group discussions focused on helping mothers inspire one another to dream.
We held an event similar to this in January, and the wonderfully talented Macy Robison photographed it for us.
I thought I'd post a few of her photos here to help explain a bit more about what we do. (Because someone who doesn't know us might look at an event like this and wonder if we're all a bunch of crazy people. Oh, I hope no one thinks that.)
|We start out with low-key mingling. We give the attendees suggested questions to discuss (related to the topic of the night), and everyone just gets to say hi. Lots of smiles. No judging. Just a bunch of moms making new friends.|
|The "buzz" in the room is always neat to watch. No matter how shy or nervous you (or I) might be at first, within moments, we all feel welcomed into the group.|
|At our first "Evening of Inspiration"/Dreaming Night, we were privileged to hear from Whitney Johnson, author of Dare, Dream, Do. She spoke about how it is our privilege and responsibility to dream. I just LOVE her.|
|Here's a snapshot of the group discussions. I wish I could jump into this picture and hear what they're talking about.|
|Here are Monica and Dawn (and sorry I don't know the mom on the right!). Monica has been to several of our Retreats (Monica, are you coming this weekend?), and Dawn is on our board (she's the one who helped me totally get over all my body issues). Love these women.|
|My friend Suzanne came and brought her DARLING newborn. If I ever get a free moment at one of our Power of Moms events, I do whatever I can to borrow a baby for a few minutes. I MISS this! (But I do love sleeping all night . . .)|
|This is Macy Robison, Chrislyn Woolston, DeAnne Flynn, and Me. It's so fun to spend time with friends.|
If there's any chance you can join us in Las Vegas, please do. (I even have a little room in my car if anyone else wants to drive up from Southern California.) It's open to mothers of all religions, family size, background, age, etc., and we're even willing to work with you on price if you're having a difficult time right now.
Click here for the information page of the Las Vegas Power of Moms Retreat.
For those of you who have already registered, I can't wait to meet in person. Please don't be nervous, okay? And if you have a meltdown while you're getting ready to go this week, don't worry about that, either. It's totally normal.