Tuesday, March 1, 2016

the retreat 2016

last weekend was a dream come true. over 4 years ago an idea began brewing in my mind. i have been in the Mental Health Field for 15 years and in the Hockey World for the last 8 of those. i have daydreamed that my worlds would somehow collide. i have been to countless seminars, workshops and trainings. i've been moved and inspired by speakers and authors, always walking away with nuggets of wisdom. the hockey world is so transient and we have met dozens of friends who are whisked away to other cities right before our eyes. these women are strong, resilient and supportive of their partners. they lead very unique lives. there are strengths as well as struggles in the lifestyle of professional sports. i have met extraordinary people who have exhibited resilience beyond measure.
last summer i decided to listen to this idea that wouldn't stop nagging me. there was one single girl who i knew would understand this vision. sure enough i emailed her and heard back within hours! brijet had also dreamt of a similar concept and was ready to brainstorm. we had several phone conversations in the following months and by January she was ready to take action. brijet is a well connected woman and a do-er. she doesn't just talk about ideas, she executes them. 
in a month and a half she orchestrated a very special weekend of events, appropriately named The Retreat. my main objective was to prepare a presentation for the Symposium. there would be 7 speakers on a variety of topics. i would speak last and hopefully spread inspiration throughout the room. 

i spent days and weeks trying to conceptualize a topic that would resonate. after speaking with a few trusted comrades, i decided on the topic of resilience. i took classes to educate myself on the newest technology of keynote. i wrote and read and created a presentation. i practiced it. i tweaked it. practice. tweak. practice. tweak.

one day while practicing for southern gent he sparked the idea of ordering stress balls to share with the group. stress balls are the epitome of resilience. i designed them shaped as hockey pucks. damn, he's clever. 

one day while practicing the presentation for my parents, my dad had the idea of having a handout created with key points and tools to reference. much more useful than your average packet of slides. damn, he's smart. 

the day arrived and it was time to travel to the AZ desert. 
off i went!

upon arrival to our hotel rooms, brijet had swag bags filled to the brim with wonderful goodies. we were showered with the trendiest of products in every category. 

even a vodka bottle disguised as a baseball bat. 

the welcome reception was first class! energetic and warm women abound!

the next morning was the symposium! the venue was picturesque and cozy. 
an intimate group was just right for the inauguration. 
to say i was nervous is the understatement of the year. i was nervous because i cared. i was nervous because i wanted to connect and inspire. i poured my heart and soul into this endeavor and i desperately wanted that to come across. when i commit to something i have high expectations for myself. 

i was honored to be among the keynote speakers! my anxiety had been high leading up to the event. as soon as i reached the podium though, a calm feeling arrived. i spoke from my heart and sincerity was my main objective. i am so proud of those 20 minutes. 

almost immediately, the wonderful feedback began. in the days following i have gotten texts, emails and messages that have overwhelmed me. apparently my efforts paid off and girls felt my passion and appreciated my mission. my heart has been exploding ever since. the relief and joy i feel is profound. 

following the symposium, i exhaled for a couple hours. the desert landscape was gorgeous. 

that night was the big celebration with a wine paired dinner! more gifts and lots of silliness awaited us. 

tremendous conversations were sparked!

we ate like queens!

with the best temps and views.

the wine & food pairs were five star

you must order yourself some vino from vineyard36 pronto! promo code Wardo will get you 30% off, until March 15!

the laughter contagious! an unforgettable weekend!

my look for all three events!

i have a very strong message for you. do that thing. that thing that maybe nags at you on occasion. that idea you have in your mind that scares you to death. do it. try it. put it into the world. anything is possible. 
also...collaborate. when you ask for advice from others and genuinely listen, fabulous ideas crop up. joint efforts are the path to greatness! 
february was an epic month for me. i can't wait to create more in this ever emerging year! 
my heart is open and my confidence is tenfold because i took a risk and embraced my fears. 
thank you to everyone who believed in me. you help me believe in me. xo


Joanie said...

To say," I am proud of you" doesn't even come close to how I really feel. You rocked it !!!!!!! Xoxoxox mom

Anonymous said...

During a week when I REALLY need resilience, reading this inspired the heck out of me. I wish I could have heard you and the other speakers. Sounds like it was very incredible and life changing. You get your message out in the best ways. Your caring shines through always. Thanks Liz, and congratulations! This is only the beginning of world-wide speaking tours for you. No doubt! You are the best. Thanks for your wisdom.

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