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In case you weren’t aware I went to a blogging retreat recently. In true Rebekah fashion, I like to wait until everything thinks the hubbub has calmed down before I launch my full-scale assault on your brain with my thoughts. SURPRISE!
A retreat. I get it.
But DO YOU? I think not! I was telling my neighbor about it and she was like ‘Oh! Like rehab!’ which made me laugh and think all at the same time. It WAS sort of like rehab. It also got me thinking about the word ‘retreat’. The definition of retreat is getting my slow pre-coffee brain moving even more. These two definitions in particular:
verb:(of an army) withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat.
noun: a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax
Obviously, the noun version is what Hope was going for when she created this whole thing for us, but that verb really hits home. It also ties into the rehab comment. Bear with me, I’m going somewhere meaningful with this I promise. It’s not a straight road, but it has a destination.
What I learned at the blogging retreat
Being me is what I do best, but it is also incredibly hard. Putting yourself out there in your truest form is vulnerable, raw, and difficult. I am, in general, a happy, fun-loving, and awkward AF individual. I am also involved in direct sales, an industry facing all sorts of stigma. And of course, I blog. Another huge point of vulnerability. Coming from the land of reformed victim mindset, I am still finding my voice and getting comfortable with talking about my crap in a healthy way. Blogging retreat was like the cement I was waiting for to finish my foundation and reaffirm my choices.
You see, I like the verb definition because being a direct sales blogger/ lifestyle blogger in the judgey Mcjudgey world we live in today is a form of constant battle. People judge what I write, what I sell, and who I am. What I look like, how I talk, the fact that I write about my kids, all of it. I have to pull back every once in a while and regroup. I need to find my cohorts in battle and shore them up while they do the same to me. So while we did indeed have a nice quiet place to relax, we also got to polish each other’s armor. It’s a tough world out there for us, and yet we press on.
So blogging is like war… where’s the rehab come in?
It is also like a drug to cave into the expectations and pressures of society and those around us. As a blogger, direct seller, and chronic illness warrior I often slip, and allow myself to be consumed by the drug that is everyone else’s expectations of me. World rehab, aka blogging retreat, is the support system and therapy I never I knew I needed to overcome my addiction to being who OTHERS want me to be.
Blogging Retreat brought so many lessons.
I can’t say what everyone else walked away from the retreat with. But I left with a renewed sense that it is perfectly ok, even GOOD, to be me. I am not JUST a blogger, or JUST a Juice Plus rep, or JUST a mom. I am a freakin’ blogging badass with a thriving business and the Motherf*cking CEO of my home. I’ll keep writing because someone, somewhere needs to read it and to hell with all the judgments. When I need to, I’ll retreat again, regroup, and shine some fellow bloggers armor before we head back out again. Renewed, refreshed, and ready to tackle the world one blog post at a time.
There are several great articles out there to tell you about the amazing speakers and formal lessons we learned, but you know me. I want to talk about the other, totally awkward, stuff! Because I started out this article with all the battle metaphors and downright difficult stuff, I want to finish on a fun note.
The other side of being a blogger at blogging retreat
I would argue that many of us bloggers out there don’t ‘people’ much. Meaning we tend to sit on our computers, alone, or with the friends in our phones, while we conquer the world in our minds. Blogging retreat forced us to be physically present with each other, and while there were some nerves associated with this, something very strange happened. We all got along. Sure, some of us people’d better than others, but as a whole, our entire group melded together like some beautiful piece of artwork.
Never have I ever seen so much acceptance all in one place. I could randomly sing choruses of songs and no one batted an eye. If anything, they joined in. We shared sleeping spaces, cars, got tattoos together, and talked about some really intimate crap. There are some people I talk to ALL THE TIME that I finally got to meet in person and it was like we’d always been together. I loved every minute of it. I loved every person there. It was awesome.
It was so much fun, and yet so deep!
There was so much food, wine, beer, hot tubbing, late night chats, and dolphin spotting that you could almost just call this a girl’s trip and be done with it. I could go on for days about all that we did, all the topics we covered, and all the techniques and STUFF we learned. But the biggest part of the retreat happened in my head. That ‘kerplunk’ of affirmation. That THIS is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.
Blogging Retreat showed me that it’s good to be me
I am a direct seller and damn proud of it. I have an amazing product to offer and I want to share it with the people who want to know about it. I have this amazing blog that I created from absolutely nothing (Shout out to The Purple Teacup!), I am a badass when it comes to dealing with my Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac Disease, and mental health. I run my home like a boss. Hell, I RUN like a boss too. I am healthy and strong, I am one heck of a mama, a wife to be proud of, and a friend people want to have. I. AM. A. BADASS. Awkward, but a badass nonetheless.
I walked away with relationships I’ll foster for the rest of my life. And I walked away with a new best friend too. Me.