I recently attended a personal development conference called Rise, created by Rachel Hollis (more info here). This excited me so much that I bought the tickets the day they released. I was the girl watching the clock for them to come available so that I could get them before they sold out. While I didn’t know exactly what I was in for, I had a calling in my heart to attend. To be fair, I love all things Rachel Hollis but I had never been to a personal development conference before and, as an introvert, I was beyond anxious. On the first day, I immediately felt the energy in the arena. I was surrounded by 4,000 other women who also had a calling in their hearts to attend. This was an amazing three days and I’m going to share with you the power in a personal development conference.
The Power in Owning Your Past
Rise is structured in a way that women take ownership of their past, present and future. For me, the first day, “Own Your Past” was the most difficult. We worked through a lot of past trauma, family issues and grief. We talked about a lot of hard things and, to get the most out of it, we had to go all in. There were tears-so many tears. We shared some of our deepest, darkest moments with other women we didn’t know. It was hard and exhausting. It was also empowering to shine light into areas of our lives that we’d held in the darkness for so long.
The Power in Owning Your Present
The second day, “Own Your Present” was my favorite day. We got to get our bodies moving, talk about health and wellness, habits and triggers. Again, we were asked to share some of our own challenges in this area with other women. The power of this personal development conference also included loving ourselves as we are today with no need for a goal weight or to be a certain size.
The Power in Owning Your Future
The final day was, “Own Your Future.” This was where we got to dream big and call our shot. We were taught how to create roadmaps to make our dreams come true. Rachel encouraged us to stop playing it safe and go all-in on our own dreams. We shared some of the things we were committed to doing from now on and things that we would never do again. Dreaming big has always been a struggle of mine. I’m a practical princess and I get caught up in the details. This day reminded me that nobody will care about my dreams as much as I do and that I am capable of making them come true if I keep getting back up after life has knocked me down. Ownership is one aspect of the power in a personal development conference.
The Power of Community
There were 4,000 women that attended this conference and I knew two of them. My sister, Elizabeth, and I went together and we met my friend Carly there. I started talking to my husband a few months before I knew Rise tickets were going on sale about my dream of going to this conference with Elizabeth. We are ten years apart and have different life experiences but I was excited about getting to share this with her. She didn’t know much about Rachel Hollis but she agreed to go with me when the tickets went on sale.
First, the power of this conference brought my sister and I so much closer. There were things that neither of us knew about the other and we felt safe enough to share it. This trip bonded us in a way like never before and Elizabeth even became a Rachel Hollis fan!
Second, the act of sharing our stories with other women that we didn’t know was more powerful than I ever would’ve imagined. At first, anxiety flooded my veins. Then I turned around to find a partner and everyone was so welcoming, kind and honest. We were all in this together and immersed for three days. We held space for one another, listened to the very vulnerable things that each one had to share and became each other’s cheerleaders. I met some amazing women at this conference and we are all bonded together by our stories, laughter, tears and all of the dancing.
The Power of Movement
Rachel Hollis teaches that to change your mental state, you have to change your physical state. She drove this point home (at Rise) by having us dance a lot. Any time the energy started to fade she would scream “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and the music would start and we would burst out of our seats and start singing and dancing for 30 seconds. The “5-second rule” was something that Mel Robbins came up with and I highly recommend checking it out here. I’d read about the 5-second rule but being required to put it into action this way was very powerful. I got to see, first hand, how moving your body can change your mind.
The power of a personal development conference is like none other. If you are ever in a position to go to any conference like this, I highly recommend it. As with anything, you get out what you put into it but if you go all in and are open to hearing different ideas from different people, it has the capacity to be life-changing. For me, there’s a distinct difference in my life before Rise, and my life after Rise.