• 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:
• 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?
Last week, Laura Mayes and I announced the Mighty Summit giveaway, offering two lucky commenters the incredible gifts — Tieks! Epiphanie and Lands’ End Bags! Jewelry! Life-changing books! — enjoyed by Mighty Summit attendees earlier this month.
The results are in, and congratulations to our number 1357, Ursula! (Life List goal: Wear a fresh-picked Hibiscus flower in my hair, in Hawaii.) Laura announced our other winner on her Blog con Queso earlier today.
Congratulations you two, and thank you to all who participated!
Photo credit: Maile Wilson of Epiphanie Bags.
I haven’t slept very much in the last few weeks.
I hosted a W.A.S.P.-Off Challenge for Labor Day, and the fourth-annual Mighty Summit, attended the first-ever XOXO Festival, and now I’m in New York for the Social Good Summit, attending as one of the United Nations Social Good Fellows. (Which whaaaa? No big deal, just hangin’ with the UN, you guys. We should totes go dancing with the Secretary General later.)
So things have been going well, right? Very well. I’m feeling happy, and grateful, and in need of a three-day coma.
Woof. I have so much to tell you, team. Let’s meet here next week for some good, long chats. I’ll bring the Secretary General, you bring the beer.
When we were pulling together gifts for the Mighty Summit, we set a few aside to give away.
If you’d like to enter to win one, please share an item from your Life List in the comments below. One winner will be chosen from comments on this site, the other from Mighty Summit co-founder Laura Mayes’s Blog Con Queso.
Now for the fine print: Please only leave one comment on each site, because it’s the nice thing to do, and also because multiple entries will be disqualified. I’ll use random.org to select the winner, and I’ll announce who won at the top of this post and in a separate post next Wednesday. You have to live in the United States or Canada to enter, because holy holy the shipping is ludicrous if you don’t. Fingers crossed for you.
Here’s what’s up for grabs:
1. Ephiphanie Camera Bag by Maile Wilson (shown in top and side views)
These compartmentalized camera totes were designed by Summit photographer Maile Wilson, who used to wrap her DSLR in a towel and shove it in her purse. Sound familiar? Contest winners can choose form any of the designs and colors shown on the site. So you should probably get a yellow one.
2. Chevron Necklace by Feisty Elle
This delicate wood necklace is by San Francisco designer Leslie Yang of Feisty Elle, who makes light easy pieces that make you look pulled together in jeans and a T-shirt. We love this necklace because it resembles an arrow, which is a symbol of courage.
3. Tieks by Gavrieli
Gah! These are my favorite things. Tieks are beautifully made, non-skid flats that fold up to fit in your purse. Once you try them on, they’ll never leave your feet, and they stand up to years of daily wear. Contest winner can choose among the rainbow of fruit flavors available on the Tieks website.
4. Scarf by Mixed Bag Design
These soft scarves go with everything, and the Mixed Bag website allows you to hold fundraisers for causes close to your heart.
5. Bliss Beauty Soaps and Scrubs
In blood orange and white pepper. Do not eat them.
6. The Quintet Necklace by Lemonade Handmade
Another favorite thing that makes me sigh. Every year, Mighty Summit attendees make a list of five things they hope to accomplish in the coming year. This delicate, simple necklace symbolizes those goals. Tiny brass rings just within reach.
7. Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown
A book that encourages you to go be brave. We are pro bravery around here.
8. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson
Mighty Summit alum Jenny Lawson, a.k.a. The Bloggess, wrote this movingly funny book, which includes a chapter on the very first Mighty Summit, and photos of me slaughtering the author with a meat cleaver.
9. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
Summit alum Gretchen Rubin is once again on the New York Times Bestseller list with her sequel to the Happiness Project, a tome about a year of seeking happiness at home.
10. Oh Happy Day Piñata
Jordan Ferney, the genius behind the website Oh Happy Day, made these teeny eeny piñatas by hand, and they are perfect. You’ll wish you had two so you could pit them against each other.
11. Lands End Canvas Tote
These extra-large natural zip-top tote bags by Lands End are awesome for trips to the pool or beach, picnics, and summering on your fleet of yachts.
12. Daring Greatly Action Book by Behance
Get started on your Life List goals! This notebook is designed to help you plan visually, too.
And the winner is Liz Nieman, who was commenter number 52. She said,
“Cliche and possibly overdone but how could I not choose creating a human life? By far my greatest accomplishment.”
Congrats, Liz! You win the Quintet Necklace by Lemonade Handmade and a limited edition Mighty Summit print by Ollibird.
If you’re not Liz, there’s still time to enter our tote giveaway, so have at it.
Congratulations to commenter number 533, Dawn, who just won a necklace from Feisty Elle and a brooch from Mama’s Little Babies with her comment:
“Dear crazy over extended younger self,
Stop and take a breath every once in a while. It is good for the soul. And for all that is good in this world stop being so hard on yourself. You are doing amazing things with your life and you will continue to and stop calling yourself fat!
Love, your older self who looks at pictures and wonders how I ever thought I was fat.”
Hooray for you, Dawn! Pretty stuff coming your way.