This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the My Taught You Retreat in Cancun, Mexico. The retreat is the first of it's kind from Myleik Teele (creator of curlBox) in which she curated a four day event filled with master classes and hosted at a beautiful resort. I applied for the retreat in July 2017 and awaited to hear if I would be one of the attendees. A few days later, I learned I was accepted! (More about how I almost let self-doubt and fear stop me from applying for the retreat here). I spent several months wondering why they had chosen me to attend and then I finally decided I would fully accept the invite and enjoy the retreat. Before my flight, I told myself I would do three things: be open, listen often, and enjoy the moments.
After a beautiful opening dinner and after party, the rest of the mornings started with master classes. Karleen Roy, Kahlana Barfield, Zim Ugochukwu shared their their journeys and offered some gems about the process of conquering the limits in their lives. Myleik shared why she chose #limitlessliving as her mantra for the year. Luvvie told us about the moment she finally accepted she is a writer, how writing down her vision for her life vs. using vision boards manifested, and gave us the behind the scenes deets on her Ted Talk. The weekend ended with a fireside chat with Myleik and Necole Kane. What stood out to me is the vulnerability and genuineness each speaker showed by sharing their journeys. They were transparent about the importance of therapy, self-reflection, and having supports in their lives. Needless to say, the experience was nothing short of amazing and I almost thought I couldn't put the magnitude of what I felt into words. So I am enlisting the help of the speakers.
Today, I am sharing ten lessons I learned from the retreat as told through quotes from the speakers.
1. "What would happened if we lived without limits?" -Myleik
So often in our lives we placed limits/boundaries on ourselves. These limits are a result of our perceptions and beliefs. The perceived benefits of limits is as a means of protection but in the long wrong, these limits keep us from living to our greatest potential and truly embracing the journey. Myleik encouraged us to be our own best friend, to evaluate these limiting beliefs, confront and conquer them. It starts by monitoring your thoughts: what are you telling yourself? What's your self-talk? Write down these limiting beliefs and consider what steps you will take to remove them.
2. Iron sharpens iron. Don't be afraid to reach out. Your village is here! -Karleen
As humans we thrive on forming connections. Karleen encouraged us to find our tribe and allow them to support us.
3. "You have to be intentional with maintaining the relationships most important to you through nurturing." Zim
Simply put, we have to be intentional with our relationships. Forming bonds and maintaining them require us to put in some work. So in the moments when our professional lives take up so much space, remember to make time to nurture and be available to those who are important to you.
4. "When you do the things that scare you, it levels you up." - Luvvie
"Feel the fear and do it anyway. The destination AND the journey have importance." - Zim
Fear can bind us, it stops us from moving forward, fear limits us. The foundation of fear is to protect us from danger (real and perceived). To conquer fear, we have to begin by acknowledging it's presence, managing stressful thoughts related to fear, and having some courage to go forth.
5. "There's beauty in transition." - Necole Kane
Necole has a beautiful story. She shared how she took a leap and ended her gossip website (which she had known for years she no longer wanted to be involved with) and the depression and judgment that followed with this transition. One thing was for sure, she survived. She took time to pour into herself by moving away from the city to Arizona. Necole shared how this time was integral in her ability to see the beauty in change. Caterpillar to butterfly.
6. "You have to make time for yourself. Know when to get off the burn out train and make time for you." -Kahlana
Self-care is intentional. Kahlana shared a time when she was overworked and neglecting herself and her family. She made a decision to limit her working hours and to make space in her schedule for self-care. No one else is responsible for our well-being but us.
7. "Bloom where you are planted."
Reflect on what areas in your life which offer opportunity. This is a lesson in being grateful about our current circumstances. There is a purpose for every situation.
8. "In order to get to the life you want to have or that God has for you, you have to let some things go." -Zim
You can't take every one and every thing with you. I am a firm believer there is a season for everything and it helps when we honor that season. Letting go is not easy, but oftentimes, it is necessary.
9. "What you do, be the best at it." -Karleen
We are responsible for mastering our craft. In a world of copy cats and competition, Karleen encouraged us to take notice of what inspires us and collaborate with others. There is enough room for all of us to shine.
10. "Promote yourself."- Luvvie
If you don't believe in you then no one else will! Have confidence in yourself and what you bring to the table. Luvvie told us not to be afraid to share our talents with others and get paid for what we have to offer. We have to be our own biggest fan! Let people know you are a badass!
This retreat helped me to embrace the limits I had been placing on myself. I was encouraged by the words my peers shared with me and inspired to no longer downplay my strengths. A sisterhood was formed with these ladies and I am forever grateful. The #mtyretreat was an experience I will never forget. I hope you received as much joy from reading this recap as I had in writing it. I encourage you to invest in yourself by attending a retreat such as this one or a local event.