Take a Look at Our Denver Event Recap
This weekend was an exciting time for us because we launched our first HNS workshop in Denver Colorado. One of the things I am a huge advocate for is listening to your intuition or inner voice, and over the past year, I have been doing some soul searching when it comes to HNS. I started to feel uninterested with the mixed messaging about body image that we see all over social media. When I looked at what we had built with the online store, I was happy to see so many women joining our movement and liking our message. At the same time, I realized that selling a t-shirt wasn't providing them with the information, tools, or support system that is needed in making a positive change in their lives or self-image. Over the past few years, I have been traveling the country to speak at colleges, universities, women's groups, retreats and festivals bringing the message that healthy is the new skinny. I was able to learn from the various group dynamics and evaluate the most effective outcomes of my workshops and seminars. I found that the workshops that were on the smaller side with about 30-50 people were much more intimate, engaging, and useful than the larger groups.
Several months ago I had this feeling that I needed to take HNS a different direction. I wasn't sure which direction, I just knew it was time to evolve. My intuition was telling me that I needed to start hosting events of my own and Bradford and I have talked about doing a retreat in Mexico for years. This time I listened to that voice and I went from uninspired and frustrated to excited and passionate about the new direction.
I started working daily on the new website and beginning to lay the groundwork for some events. I hadn't planned on doing an event in Denver until I met Logan. (The beautiful woman featured above.) I was sitting on a flight headed to Barcelona when all of the sudden Logan was standing next to me and said, "Hi, I just want you to know I loved your book and I really love everything about Healthy is the new skinny." I was totally shocked. We ended up chatting for an hour and that is when I learned that Logan is a yoga and reiki instructor and she leads group meditations in Denver. It was so ironic because Bradford and I had already planned a trip to Copper Mountain on our fun family road trip to my Mom's house for the holidays. Since I don't believe in coincidence, I took this as a sign that I need to do a yoga event in Denver with Logan!
With help from Glenna, our event coordinator, we were able to find this beautiful yoga studio, Yoga Pod Denver West, along with several healthy brands that contributed to our event swag bag sponsored by Beyond Yoga. I finished the website, and everything was ready to rock. We did it. As soon as we launched our new website with not only this event but also a Los Angeles event in January and a retreat in Mexico this April, the fear started to creep in. I had listened to my intuition and taken a significant risk, what if I fail? What if no one shows up?
That is a valid fear and one that I have had many times over starting my business Natural Model Managment. I feared what people would think and what they would say. Most importantly I worried I wouldn't be good enough to make it work. Fear is something we all experience, especially when we are trying new things. I am sure many of the women who attended our workshop felt a little fear about going. What I have learned about listening to my intuition is that it is not always up to me to try to control the outcome. It is only my job to create the opportunity for success, and when it comes to these workshops, we are building I had to step back and look at things more clearly. What if only ten people showed up? Or 5? Or 1? And those people were there because they needed to receive the message and learn what it was I am there to teach. Would I view that as worth it? Absolutely yes I would. I knew in my heart that the women who needed this message would be at this event, and I chose to let go of my fear. It was a fantastic turnout. We had a full room of beautiful and dynamic women joining us for this experience.
Every person is at a different place on their journey, and every person is going to be able to take away what they need at this moment to better themselves. Maybe it is healing; perhaps it is an intellectual conversation with other women, or just feeling like you are accepted and apart of something bigger. I like to believe it is all of that and so much more.
Our day started with a 30-minute yoga session lead by Jamie Kuttenkuler who shared her story of struggling with an eating disorder and low self-esteem. She was able to find self-acceptance through yoga and in return chooses to include that message in her teachings. One of the parts of her class that stood out to me the most was when she had all of us place our hands on each other's shoulders and balance on one foot. She then instructed us to lean backward using the stability and support of the women next to you. "Remember none of us could do this on our own, we need each others support and stability to succeed." That was such an eye-opening perspective and a beautiful realization to experience.
Together we are stronger
After our yoga session, we huddled around the TV for my media influence workshop. I like to start my workshops by identifying what the beauty ideal is? What does it look like? This is a great ice breaker that gets people talking and thinking. I always find it interesting how extensive the list can get!
Once we have identified what it is that we are trying to attain when it comes to looking perfect, it makes it easier to assess it logically. Through my presentation we as a group talk about social media pressure, the appearance ideal for women, the origin of this ideal, and who is profiting. I always love to see the light bulbs going off as I share how advertising tactics directly target our subconscious mind and our desires we repress there. After giving a short history lesson, I then show them modern day examples through commercials by companies like Victoria Secret and Weight Watchers to assist them in identifying what it is they are being sold. This part of the presentation always sparks fantastic conversation with the group and a chance for self-reflection. Along with teaching women how to be a conscious consumer, I help them to identify their personal beliefs they have accepted to be true about themselves from this messaging and influence. As much as we talk about media, we can't forget the hurtful experiences and or comments that come from family, friends, and partners. To end the workshop we did a powerful writing exercise to make peace with the child within and feel comforted and loved as the women we are right now.
You are allowed to question what you have been taught to believe about yourself.
We closed out the event with a meditation lead by Logan. This meditation was extraordinarily healing and touching. One of the things Logan had us do was to place our hands on our bellies and breath in, making them as full as possible. As we repeated this breathing exercise, Logan brought to our attention how good it feels to be full and take up space. We placed our hands on parts of our bodies that we struggle to accept as our own and we send love to those areas. You could hear a few sniffles and feel that this was a beautiful new experience for many of the women in the room. Logan ended the meditation and our experience with this poem:
Maybe being good isn't about getting rid of anything.
Maybe being good has to do with living in the mess
in the frailty
in the failures
in the flaws.
Maybe what I tried to get rid of is the goodest part of me.
Maybe good is about developing the capacity to live fully inside everything.
Our body is our country,
the only city,
the only village,
the only every
we will ever know.
We live in a good body.
We live in the good body.
You have a good body.
We are so grateful for all the women who we got to meet and get to know. We are honored to have you on our team as we work to create a better future for ourselves and the girls and women we love.
Thank you to our sponsors
beyond yoga swag
Big thank you to Beyond Yoga for sponsoring our swag bags and giving our attendees a pair of leggings! Our even swag bag included so many organic and healthy products we couldn't wait to try. Stay tuned for our product reviews and links to try them out yourself.