I’ve always been one of those people. One of those people who says no first and continues to run through all the reasons why not. I would sit behind my computer screen and watch all the missed opportunities flash before my eyes. Tell myself excuse after excuse why I couldn’t be out there experiencing them. I couldn’t take the time off work. I didn’t have the extra money. I can’t go by myself…I won’t know anyone. I would tell myself these things time after time and miss out. Constantly. And it wasn’t because I genuinely couldn’t…it was because I wasn’t letting myself.
Last summer I was watching all the anticipation unfold for a conference I had been dying to go to. The What If conference. I had some friends who had gone the year before and something inside of me just felt like I needed to be there. But of course, I didn’t do anything about it. I told myself I didn’t have the money. And that I couldn’t take off work. And I felt that sting in my gut that was telling me my choice was not the right one. But I promised myself I would go next year.
That same month I had posted a blog about my cancer journey. Just an honest post about everything I had been through and later that day I got an email. From Jen, the creator of What If, asking me to come. She told me I was what What If was all about and she wanted me to be there. All I had to do was get myself to Portland. The conference was in 2 weeks. I immediately wrote her back saying I couldn’t. For all the same reasons…I didn’t have money to get out there. I couldn’t ask for the time off work. But then everyone in my life gave me a figurative slap in the face and showed me that this was happening for a reason. That I was meant to go. So I asked for the time off…and got it. My family and friends chipped in and helped me buy a plane ticket and I sucked up all my fear and insecurity and flew across the country. It was the scariest and most life changing week of my life. Because I took a leap and didn’t care if it was right or wrong. I just knew it was what I was meant to do.
(Thanks to Chris & Jen Creed for the photos)
My life changed because someone offered me something I wasn’t willing to offer myself. My life changed because Jen didn’t care about the money she was losing or gaining from me…she just knew she wanted me there. And she knew that somehow…one day….I would pay it forward. And today is that day. Today we are giving away a ‘Pay if Forward’ seat to the Turning Tides Retreat because I whole heartedly believe that for someone out there…this retreat is exactly what you need. And somewhere…someone like me is sitting behind their computer running through the reasons why not. And today we want to give someone the reason why.
If you think you (or someone you know) is deserving of a Pay It Forward seat to Turning Tides Retreat in Michigan – follow the steps below to enter!!!
1. You must make sure you can actually make it to Turning Tides Retreat before entering, and that you can also afford to get yourself to Chicago (where we have transportation arranged to drive people to Michigan for the retreat). (See details about the exact dates and more on the site HERE.)
2. Leave a comment on this post with a paragraph explaining why you think Turning Tides is just what you need right now.
3. Post to Twitter (and/or) Facebook saying, “I hope I get a seat to Turning Tides!” using the hashtag #turningtides and including a link to the website (http://www.turningtides.
Once you’ve done all of the above – we’ll add your name to the list to be considered. The winner will be announced on Monday, July 29th. Anyone who entered for the Pay It Forward seat but did not win is eligible for $100 off their seat all day Monday (should they decide to come to the retreat). Yay!
**The small print: You must enter by noon central time on Sunday, July 28th to qualify. You cannot have already purchased a ticket to Turning Tides. The tickets are not redeemable for cash value, nor can they be transferred to a friend (we’ll pick the next person deserving if the winner is unable to go).