I spent this past weekend with 400 Noonday Collection ambassadors at our annual conference in Austin, Texas – Shine! I’m home, and recovering from cedar fever that is Austin allergies and cozying up today to process all that I learned and all the ways I’ve grown and am challenged and I wanted to invite you into that story with me.
In case you are new: Noonday Collection is a socially responsible business who partners with artisan business in vulnerable communities around the world to design and sell incredible handmade goods! Hostesses then create a marketplace in their homes for an ambassador to style + story tell for our fabulous customers!
Ambassadors: kick ass women who want to make an impact in their world by partnering with hostesses and customers to style their friends + change the world.
[ps- you can join us! and I could be your coach! more on that later]
A week ago today, I sat on stage with these brave women and we started the conference off by sharing (very vulnerably) about the stories we’ve told ourselves for so long. do you do that? is there a story you make up about a situation or a certain person that you tell yourself over and over? so many times these stories are BOLD FACED LIES. The story I made up in my head, and allowed to play on loop, was one that started last year at our annual conference and almost sidelined me. I made up this story that I didn’t belong in this community of women any longer.
Isn’t it funny how we do that? It was my hope that in sharing my personal story with everyone, that others would relate and connect and know that they aren’t alone. Most of the reasons I didn’t think I belonged, were based on my performance. When I looked at others performance, and compared it to mine – I felt less than. I felt like because I didn’t xyz (you fill in the blank), I must not belong. what is that thing they say about comparison again? oh yes, it’s the THIEF OF JOY.
but SISTERS!!!!! Let me set you free right here and say that “when our worth isn’t based on performance, we are free to celebrate each other” (thanks Jennie).
I know what it’s like y’all. I’ve placed my identity in my job for too long, and looked for worth and belonging there alone. Whether it was my job that I got paid for, or the extremely challenging job of being a mother. Until we moved to Bryan, and started walking with my core group of girls, I truly finally realized that my belonging wasn’t about what I could DO for our someone, but simply WHO I WAS – that set me free to be ME!
I believe that when we can accept ourselves for WHO WE ARE, and we realize because of our God given identity and worth that we belong, THEN we can truly be who God created us to be. We can “live inside our our story and OWN IT, instead of stand outside our story and hustle for our worthiness” (Brene Brown)
so I know your story is different than mine, and mine is different than hers. that’s life! Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same? The thing we do all have in common is we were all created by an all knowing and loving God ON PURPOSE.This idea of “haven-making”/ creating spaces of belonging for people to be their true self…
that’s something I am passionate about. and you know what? The new story isn’t just about me – it’s going to take a whole lot of us to create those spaces of belonging in the communities and arenas we find ourselves in. [like the amazing group of “connection leaders” that I helped assemble at Shine! all 20 of us “on mission” to make sure everyone who walked into that space felt like they belonged!]
Don’t you want to be a part of that? A part of a group of women who see each other not as threats, but as sisters who run their own races and cheer each other on? Who celebrate each others successes? Who see the world through abundance and not a scarcity mentality? My friend Brynn shared this week, “In a world of scarcity we count things. In a world of abundance, we enjoy things!” – Ashton Gustafson
Abundance and belonging are possible y’all! Let’s hold our hands open to the possibilities of what could happen when we run the race together.
What could that look like for you? how could you help create spaces of belonging for others?
As I send you off into your day, I hope you know that YOU MATTER, and your unique passions, giftings and the way you are wired MATTERS in the community you find yourself in. **plus, just a little plug that you too could join us at Shine 2017! These are some of my everyday friends I’ve made through Noonday + they teach me so much about living with open hands, running our races, and creating space of belonging. join us!