This is my own synopsis, combined with my own thoughts on a few key points from the event, broken down as follows:
On Invitations - One thing Glennon addressed that particularly resonated with me was the notion of invitations. In short, there is often shame and guilt associated what we perceive as missed opportunities--the small and the huge alike. She came to this point from the place of God issuing an opportunity, and the choice we have to accept or reject that opportunity, whatever it happens to be. When we reject an opportunity, or invitation, we can carry that shame with us and feel that our lives are going in the wrong direction from that point forward; however, here was her response to a woman who came to her with a specific situation, and this same concern: we are all issued many, many invitations to become better, to live better. This life isn't about punishment. Or judgment. There will always other chances.
On Judgement - On the subject of chances, and lack of judgment for making a choice that may have brought on shame at one point in our lives, she also drew us into a talk about why belonging to a group, whether religious or community-oriented, is and should come from a place of inclusion. If we belong to a group that directly instructs us to exclude people …how can they possibly be doing God's work?
On Women & Friendship - And speaking of groups, people need people, right? Even those of us who appear extroverted and are introverts on the inside--we still need people, connections, to make us feel alive. Part of the reason we seek solitude is to recharge because becoming a part of a group, or feeling a sense of inclusion can be difficult under any circumstances, exhausting even. As women, though, we have this inherent bond that links us. We are wired to help one another; however, at times we waste our efforts on something that can only do us harm in the long run: envy. We mirror ourselves in others--sometimes our own friends--and see the part of them that we wish we could be. This tends to manifest itself in ugliness in our words, thoughts and actions. Why can't we simply celebrate one another's gifts and tap into one another's strengths so that we can all grow? Hard.
On Sisterhood - Using the metaphor derived from an example in carpentry, she described sistering with her typical humor and poignance all at once. Sistering (who knew?) refers to the way beams hold one another up when one side becomes to weak to exist on its own--this is the quick description as I am certainly no carpenter either. Let's look at that term, and then look at how women react to one another. Women naturally run to one another in times of crisis, we hold one another up. If we, as the side in need of support, are feeling burdensome in times of crisis, we shouldn't. If we, in turn, make someone else feel as though they are a burden when they seek support, we should probably consider our own position in their shoes, and how we would want our own tribe of sisters to react to our call for help. Would we want to be ignored, simply because it was all too much? Or because we didn't know what to say? Something to think about.
On Sitting with the Hot Loneliness - This one was my favorites. The vivid imagery her story imparted of the actual hot yoga studio she sat in when she discovered this was so real for me. We all have moments when life is simply too much. Some of us move, move, MOVE because we have trouble just sitting still and being, so many thoughts and issues just pile up in our poor brains. Does this sound familiar? There are times, often many times, when anxiety or fear can become crippling. We spend a lot of time in busy-ness, avoiding pain, because we think we can't handle it. We avoid pain so often because we are afraid to feel it, to sit with it. The thing is, we can actually survive the painful moments; we're capable of getting through them. We just need to allow ourselves to sit with the discomfort and feel the anguish of it for a bit because it really is the only way through it.
On Sensitivity & Vulnerability -Finally, she addressed what probably encapsulates all of the above, which led to the Q&A. Glennon is clearly a very open person who could not let her own vulnerability shine more freely-- it is what makes her so special, her energy so contagious, and the very thing that drew so many women to listen to her that evening. Like so many of us, she grew up as an overly sensitive child, and now she is raising an overly sensitive child--something to which I can relate. When you see your own child struggling with your issues of sensitivity, anxiety... the fear begins anew. She gave us her thoughts on children, but one stuck. And it's an important one:
He'll be a beautiful soul…with a tough road for a while, until he learns to cope. Just don't try to fix him. These kids are indeed the world changers.
I nearly feel out of my seat when I heard that last part. It is the exact same sentence I had just sent to my son's teacher the day prior. We teach them to cope. That we can do.
The question I had gone there to find the answer to was asked by two women. Ever feel like you were in the right place at the right time?
And all was well in my world again. I went home and kissed my little world changer good night.
**** I would love to give my copy of Carry on Warrior from the event to someone who would like to read it. It is brand new. Comment and request it, and it is yours. First comment gets it:)