Last night was the Membership Mixer for the Zonta Club of Hilo. As the 2nd VP and Membership Chair, I dutifully took on the kuleana of reserving a space for the mixer (Hilo Bay Cafe = Oh, so lovely), worked with the HBC owner on a menu (sushi, sliders, and other yummies), and even picked up chocolate dipped fortune cookies from Big Island Delights for favors (conveniently doubling as a budget-friendly dessert). If you know me, you know that anything that even smells close to a "party" catapults me into my growth-zone.
But wait - before you bust out the confetti and the congratulatory kobucha to toast to my outstanding courage, the plot thickens.
Right around noon, the President (Zonta President, not 45) sends out an email saying something about an incredible evening with games.... OMG. Games. That is waaaaay beyond growth zone stuff for this lil pa'ina princess.
I decided to do what most mature, confident, awakened warriors do best when faced with a challenge like this. I ignored it.
Yeah, you know how well that procrastinator champion tactic works out.
I walked into the event at 5:30 and a friend started announcing in a really loud voice, "Janice is here! She's in charge of this event!"
I wanted to say, "NO! Noooooooo. Nope, I'm NOT in charge of this! Not in charge of grown @$$ women!! Nope! We are all in charge of ourselves tonight. No host bar and no host mixer. Everyone just mix and mingle connect with each other and no one is in charge."
Angst and anxiety.
And then my friend Cheryl, who I'd invited as my guest said, "I'm gonna order a wine. You want wine?"
Then she stopped herself and said, "No, you don't drink alcohol. That's right. What can I get you? What do you like?"
And just like that, I found my center. I felt safe to show up as myself. The non-party, non-game, non-alcohol, self.
The "trying to be what I thought other people needed or wanted me to be" self left the building, and I showed up. And when I showed up I decided to introduce the Zontians to the ways of the #highvibetribe.
If I had to dissect the conversations that I've had with every woman of the Daily Becoming Retreat (#highvibetribe, #wearemycelium movement) - it can be broken into three simple questions:
1. What are you holding gratitude for?
2. What is your current game changer?
3. What gift are you offering the Universe?
Three. Simple. Questions.
We walk away from conversations filled, inspired, and connected.
What are you holding gratitude for? This question shifts our biochemistry from feeling exhausted, resentful, worried and oppressed to feeling abundant, held, and hopeful.
What is your current game changer? This question brings forth inspiration, possibility, curiosity, and growth. We share books, quotes, podcasts, beauty products, florists, restaurants, what we've learned in conferences, in meditation, in music, and in life.
What gift are you offering the Universe? Oh, this is my favorite. This goes hand in hand with my Oprah mantra, "Everyone wants to know: do you see me? Do you hear me? And does what I say matter to you?" This is where we listen deeply and connect to the soul of our Sister, and respond by showing her that we see her, we hear her, and that she matters to us. Our response might be silence in honor of her pain, or cheering and toasting her success. Our response might be reminding her of her strength and edifying her till the spark returns to her eyes. Whatever our response, it is a heart-felt gift.
On the last day of the Daily Becoming Retreat, the words that spilled out into our sacred circle over and over and over were, "This is the first time I felt free....."
Free to be feminine.
Free to shine and not be afraid of how that would make other people feel.
Free to connect with other women authentically.
Free to connect to myself authentically.
Free to dance in a boho dress in a grassy field to Pat Benatar's "We Belong Together" (that was me).
I often quote the 'ōlelo noʻeau: "He mana ko ka ʻōlelo". There is power in our words. I think it goes hand in hand with the quote that says,
"If we want to change the community, all we have to do is change the conversation. The shift in conversation is one of problems, fear, and retribution to one of possibility, generosity, and restoration."
So I'd like to know: What conversations you are having to change the world?