I decided to go to a seminar this fall. I chose Making Things Happen in Chapel Hill, NC. If you are unfamiliar with this seminar – I will share a bit with you. This is a two day conference. This is with the team of Cultivate What Matters. I did enjoy this – but will share my insight here.
I drove four hours to get there on a Sunday night. I did see that a group was going to dinner together but missed them as I checked in. There was a meet and greet later on that I did attend. I walked into a group of women and got a drink of water and stood around a round table and met a few women. Many of them told me to get ready for the next day and not to wear mascara because I would be crying. What??? I was not planning on crying for two days – and was skeptical from there on. What was I getting myself into? I did meet a few nice women who were nice and I enjoyed talking to them. I was ready for the next day.
On Monday we got up and headed down to the conference room. They took our phones from us when we got inside. This was interesting, too. We had a brunch and we all sat on chairs in rows to eat. We were given a plastic cup with a straw to drink something. The breakfast was fine. Egg sandwiches, fruit, muffins, coffee, and tea. There were a few drink choices. We started with some speakers who sat in the front on a stage. They each got up and told us a testimony – of their own personal life. Everyone had a struggle of some sort – as you can imagine – some were struggling with fertility, some with a loss of some loved one, some with marriage problems, etc. I won’t get into any details because what happens there stays there. However, I was a bit surprised. After a speaker spoke, we were given a prompt and a journal and every break was a quiet break where no one spoke and we wrote in the journal. This first day was about breaking down layers so we could build ourselves up. We then shared with the group – and were told to have our hands out and stretched to share. I didn’t get up willingly – but really they wanted everyone to share and participate. We finally broke into a small group. I was in a parent group. The bad part – I was the only single mom in the parent group and felt like a fish out of water. Each time they all shared about their husband and supportive spouse – I was not loving that. But I did go back the next day. The night of the first day they had a fireside chat. I went to that and left early. They talked about the day and what did we get from it, etc. I thought it was a bit overkill. I didn’t make any life long friends the first day.
The second day was again brunch. This time we had tables in front of us. More sharing. Then we went over how to manage our time better. What could we change in our daily lives to manage better to change our lives. More writing prompts. I was waiting for a goody bag – because every year I saw on social media they had goody bags. No goody bags this year. I was pretty bummed. I also realized that the speakers all were very close and didn’t bring anyone else in. They seemed to be above and better than the guests. Another attendee said they are always a big clique. I did notice that. There were several people who also were there to help and they didn’t try to get to know anyone either. It was strange. I did go with a friend and I enjoyed seeing new faces I knew from social media. Did I feel part of the gang? No, not really. Did I take away a few things – for sure. Will I go back? Not sure. Will I recommend? Maybe. But I will get them prepared before hand. I was disappointed that there was no major goody bags. I can get over that – but if they don’t have one – the price is too high to pay. I wanted to get alone time – I did get that. There were times I felt alone in a room of about 100 people. I didn’t want that.
Here’s what I do know. Women getting together to try to share and make their lives better is a great thing. The Cultivate what Matters team is nice and I like the vision they have to change the world. I like the powersheets and may get more of those – even though I own some and never use the ones I do have. I would recommend but not expect that you will leave with profound change.
I’m adding a picture that is me in the back row with my glasses on. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope I can clarify my experience for you.