Mighty Life List
Sep 27 2012

Mighty Summit 2012

• Attend a state dinner
• Take breakdancing lessons
• Learn to apply false eyelashes

The best thing about Mighty Summit is reading everyone’s Life Lists. It’s like speed dating for your brain.

Though reading everyone’s posts afterward is a close second:

“We stayed at Boon Hotel + Spa for the weekend. The air up there was just so clean. I felt like I could breathe deeper.” - Meg Biram of Mimi+Meg

• Have a sexy marriage
• Own 200 dresses
• Help someone through college

Reading someone’s goals gives me the same thrill I used to get when I first started reading personal websites in the early days of the Internet. You get to know about someone before you dive into knowing them for real. It gives you so many good places to start, so many chances to find their most sympathetic side.

“Each woman at Mighty Summit brought a life list. 100 or so things she wanted to accomplish over her lifetime. And on our last day together we picked five that we want to tackle in the next year. It sounds like it could be a little hippie-dippie woo-woo (and we all know I’m totally hippie-dippie woo-woo) but it was truly powerful.” – Kathleen Shannon of Braid Creative


“There is power in sharing your goals, in being vulnerable, and frankly, in being willing to fail. To really live out our dreams, we need to be prepared for the possibility that we won’t achieve them. It’s easy to make a list of things we can easily do (and there’s a need for that too), but to get to the heart of the matter, we need to dive in, leave fear behind, and say what we really, really want.” – Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper

• See North Korea
• Own a popcorn machine
• Take up barefoot running

It’s scary speaking your hopes out loud. I used to worry that I’d fail to achieve something I said I wanted. Or oddly, I worried that I would succeed, which means you can no longer define yourself by your struggle for a particular dream. What does it mean once you’ve written the book, had the kid, climbed the mountain? What next?

• Renovate a barn
• Drive a stick shift
• Be a junior member of the Explorer’s Club

Hoping for these things suggests that you deserve them. You never know how the people around you will react to that, or even how you will. I think that’s why so many people disdain this kind of emotional exercise. It’s easier to laugh at the idea of improving yourself, or your lot, than it is to face the terrifying vulnerability of claiming something better for yourself, and then attempting it.


“…as we went around the circle sharing dreams and goals of all scales of magnitude — the redwoods towering over us in an appropriately protective fashion — one by one, deep breaths were taken, souls were bared, vulnerabilities shared, help asked for. And 30 women became stronger by way of dipping their toes (sometimes their whole body) into a pool of vulnerability.” – Christine Koh of Boston Mamas


“The whole retreat was a perfect mix of socialization and thoughtful contemplation.” - Catie Nienaber of Cuffington

Talking about Life Lists is filling for me. It’s an exercise in trust, and an education in possibility.


“I left Might Summit with a better sense of self than I’ve had in quite some time. Goals clearly outlined, plans written down, proposals in the works.” – Kelly Beall of Design Crush

So what are you hoping for yourself? Who can help get you there? And if you had to choose, just five things to knock off your life list this year, what would they be?

15 Responses to “Mighty Summit 2012”

  • Lee Anne Says:

    After a few years of reading these posts, struggling with the ‘what ifs’ of actually accomplishing, and reveling in the giddy tone of the accomplishments you’ve listed? I am, finally, starting my life list. It no longer feels morbid or unattainable…it finally feels like FUN.

    Making the list over several days. Picking my 5 by October 10th.

    Thank you. :)

  • Amanda Says:

    “An education in possibility” Love that!

  • Nan Says:

    I love the whole life list concept and thank you for it.
    2012, not much time left, really. So here are my 5 for 2013, if that’s alright — they are ALL completely doable if I would just DO them/get $$$ to fund them. 1.) do immersion course in French in France 2.) birthday trip exploring Morocco w/ good friend J. 3.) write that book I’ve been fantasizing about for a few years and should just write already 4.) learn to juggle (literally) 5. learn to do one decent, graceful spin on ice skates. OK, game on …

  • Sara @ zaharadessert Says:

    As always truly inspiring.
    I would have loved to attend the Mighty Summit but alas it was not to be (next time you should host it closer to Australia!).
    I learnt about this summit last year and it was through this that I was inspired to get my Life List down and set off on my Life List adventures through Zahara Dessert.
    And by doing this I have never been so inspired, challenged or truly happy.
    For this Maggie I say a BIG Thank You

  • Boston Mamas Says:

    Maggie, thank you for inviting me to be part of such a beautiful, fun, and reflective weekend. I swear I’ve been carrying a bit of California glow with me ever since. xoxo Christine

  • christine // darling studio Says:

    I’ve been working on mine for ages. But first, I had to say that reading this post actually *felt* like I was reading a personal website from way back when. Something about the tone, maybe. Or was it the hope? Either way, it felt good.

    My Five for the Year:

    - Take a calligraphy class and perfect my “C”
    - Enjoy 12 different bottles of wine
    - Bake a loaf of no-knead bread
    - Create the community I’ve been craving
    - Surprise my husband

  • Jenn T. Says:

    Oh laws, the first one would be to actually write a life list. I don’t know if I can even come up with five that I would dismiss outright.

  • jen Says:

    I am nearing 40. On the cusp of I know not what and this post made me cry. My birthday party (one life list item would be (had I already written one down) is to throw myself a kick ass, all-night dance party) is going to ask people what their life lists look like. I want to excersize what you write so amazingly about here in my community of family and friends.

    I have been reading about this idea for a bit and hadn’t considered the terrifying reality that i might actually not achieve everything on my list. Now I see that is one of the things that has stopped me from getting it all down.
    Thank you for the inspiration.
    Here’s to trust, letting go of fear, and living the lives we all deserve, desire, and create.
    LOVE!

  • Elizabeth Says:

    Just looking at all the pictures fills my heart. It was such a beautiful weekend, filled with magic and fun. I can’t thank you and the team enough for this incredible vision, and for including me in the ranks of so many fantastic women. And, most importantly, for giving me the shove I needed to go out and make my dreams happen.

  • Amy Says:

    @jen (#8) Hi Jen, I am compelled to reply: I turned 40 in May and it was freakin’ liberating! The last three years have been full of change, challenging, intense and difficult. Maybe due to this, it felt like the first for-real birthday in a long time. I was excited to wake up that day, like a little kid on Christmas morning. I wore black sequins to brunch at my parents’ and hopped out of the car to take a photo by a 40 speed limit sign. I wish you a similar excitement. Happy birthday!

  • Melanie Says:

    This sounds awesome and makes me even more excited for Camp Mighty. Right now my goal is to at least halfway organize my brain before I meet up with you guys. I’ve been feeling kind of scattered. I have so many interests and things that I want to do – not that it’s always a bad thing, it can just get overwhelming. I feel like I need to find more focus, then take another look at my Life List that I started sometime last year and add/delete based on my new ideas.

  • Smedette Says:

    My five in the next year (and I’m hoping you mean 12 months and not the remaining calendar year):

    1. Lose Weight
    2. Brew Beer (which probably will not help #1, but dammit, I’m gonna try)
    3. Attend a City Council Meeting
    4. Add more to Item #90: Photograph the Welcome Signs for all 50 States and Washington, DC
    5. Get Braces

  • Jen Says:

    So cool and inspiring!
    1. Funding to test out Faith Studio
    2. Roll out the faith truck
    3. A minute and 45 second handstand
    4. Travel to Cuernavaca
    5. Learn Spanish and speak easily with amigos!

  • Little Big Says:

    1. Get that tattoo
    2. Grow my own mushrooms
    3. Install a compost bin
    4. Get my house in order
    5. Get pregnant

  • JoAnna Says:

    Sounds like another great Mighty Summit! I’m sending my virtual support to all the ladies there this year.