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Making Room for Inspiration

May 10, 2012 0 Comments

Mind Map by Paul Foreman |

Excited doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel right now!  I just got back from an incredible conference that has me more “fired up and ready to go” than I have been in a long time! (Side note: If you have not seen the “fired up and ready to go” video you have to watch it – such a cute story!)    I absolutely know that I was exactly where God intended me to be for the past few days.  My mind (and notebook) is overflowing with ideas (not unlike the picture above) and I’m still trying to process it all.  Before I get into some of what I “got” at the conference, I have to share a bit about how I landed there.

While on my personal retreat (I know I talk about this in just about every blog, but it seriously was so powerful to dedicate 3 full days to renewing myself – if you haven’t yet read that post, check it out when you can), one of the things I did was write down my strengths.  The first place I started was my top strengths that were identified by Gallup’s “Strengthfinder” assessment.  I used to work for Gallup’s Education Division and I loved the way they matched employees up with roles and assignments that maximize your strengths.  Of my top 5 themes, “Ideation” really stood out to me when I wrote them all out on the paper.  Gallup says this about Ideation:  People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas.  They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.  This could not be more true of me.  I was reminded of how little time I allocate to myself to just brainstorm new ideas and ways of doing things – a huge passion of mine in addition to it being a strength.  I rarely have time in my day set aside to read things that are outside of my current scope of work or even research what others in my field are doing on a consistent basis (not just when I’m looking to roll out a new initiative).  I was in no way nurturing my gifts – especially this one.

That realization inspired an idea for my education consulting work and I googled “ideation” to see if the word was being used in any business names.  Well, (queue the music) sure enough there was a company with the name “!deation” and it turned out they were putting on a conference that was focused on individuals and organizations with ideas for social good…ideas that will change the world (STOP PLAYING!).  I barely had to scan the site for two minutes before I decided I HAD to be there!  After checking with my husband to see if the dates would work for his schedule, I registered and booked my ticket that week.

The conference was nothing like any other that I had been to.  And that’s a GREAT thing.  It brought together social entrepreneurs, non-profits, corporate foundation leaders, faith-based organizations, educators, creatives, etc., that all were super passionate about changing the world in their own unique way.  They started the days with TED-like talks highlighting individuals and organizations doing incredible things in the social good “space” and then the afternoon sessions allowed for a deeper dive into their work.  There was everything from e-commerce sites that promote products that give back to the communities that developed them to non-profits that raised $30 Million via social media campaigns.  There was plenty of networking time to connect with other participants.  It. was. awesome.  Way too much to put here, but I’m happy to talk offline with anyone who is really interested in learning more.

After it was all over, I was literally in tears.  I knew this was a year of transformation and renewal for me, but I didn’t really know what it was for.  My mind had been all over the place with what I thought I should be doing with my newfound freedom, authenticity, joy, peace, etc.  I had thought of everything from writing a book to becoming a spiritual counselor.  What I “got” after that conference is that God is preparing me for something MUCH bigger than what I had in mind (although some of the other things I had in mind may still happen at some point).  All of the pruning of my old self is so that I can more authenticly and boldly carry out my mission and purpose here on earth.  For now, I am exactly where I need to be, but I now have all of the tools I need to succeed (well, they were always there, but fear was blocking my sight) and none of the fear I had in the past…so, something big is about to emerge.  Now I have to work on not pushing to much for how I want it to emerge and let God continue to have His way with me.

This “ideation experience” was a good reminder to continuously pause, reflect on my strengths, and assess how my daily actions are leveraging what I do best.  You never know what connections will emerge from those quiet moments.  A seemingly simple lesson, but it’s amazing how quickly I forget and get into routines that don’t bring out the best in me and don’t move me any closer to what God intends for my life here on earth.  So glad to be back to walking hand in hand with my God given strengths toward my life’s purpose.  Stay tuned…

Keep shining!


Filed in: Releasing Fear

About the Author:

I used to live life shackled by fear, doubt, and worry. I put on a happy face while navigating my day-to-day duties, but I was emotionally drained, stressed, and unhappy. When I hit rock bottom, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I was determined to live life differently. I knew there had to be another way. Out of that determination, and guidance from Spirit, the "Living in the Light" blog was born. It documents my spiritual journey out of the darkness and into the Light. After nine months of publicly sharing my journey, and consciously releasing my attachment to the ego, I experienced a powerful spiritual awakening. I went from living in fear, doubt, worry, and stress to complete inner peace. My greatest passion has become assisting others on their own journey to inner peace. My spiritual memoir, From Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in Darkness to Living in the Light, is available now on Amazon and Click the tabs at the top of the page to learn more about the From Stress to Peace 21-Day Challenge, Living in the Light Retreats, 1:1 sessions, and the Living in the Light Community - all of which are designed to support your journey to inner peace. I appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog and look forward to supporting you in any way I can!