I recently went to this mini workshop called Shine for Women with my girlfriend Kelly. With no expectations, other than to perhaps learn something new, I left feeling inspired, motivated and keen to run home and put all of my newfound insight to work. Hard to believe all of that can come from a few hours with strangers and two glasses of wine, right? Well, let me explain…

The whole point of this encounter, from the Shine for Women website, is to “maximise individual potential and deliver personal impact.” I only did an introductory session, however the full two-day seminar is where “participants are challenged and coached to build a bigger vision and plan that gives renewed energy and focus to their professional and personal lives.”

So, that might feel a little heavy… let me sum up my experience for you. Through a couple of different activities intended to put you outside of your comfort zone, I began sharing my most unattainable and impossible dreams with complete strangers. In removing the “I can’t” and adding a “what if you could do ANYTHING you wanted” we started sharing. And what came out of my own mouth made me feel vulnerable and, quite frankly, laughable. These ideas had only ever been just that – ideas. Thoughts. “Silly” dreams that weren’t possible because I could never be good enough, talented enough, special enough, to ever actually have them. More importantly, as these strangers started to share too, like clockwork woman after woman began to fall in line with the same patterns as me. Justifying why their thoughts were ‘ridiculous’ and how embarrassed they were to verbalize their wants and desires. Up until this point I had considered myself alone in this way of thinking (ridiculous does apply here). But still, I had never really had these conversations with girlfriends, and realized that we all had this voice inside our heads telling us ‘no.’ Why the hell is that?

I found it interesting to hear that the majority of men measure success in their life against one avenue – home life, career, bank account… if they experience success in any one area of their world, that is the level that everything else rises to and they gain a general sense of accomplishment. For the majority of women however, we measure our success against life as a whole, considering each individual department. She may have her dream job, a rocket body, and a loving relationship with her partner, but if she has a book she has been trying to get published for 3 years without success, she feels overall unsuccessful. Huh. I do that to myself all the time.

Leaving Shine I knew that I was going to go home and start mapping out a blog of some sort. Comparable to my life in general, there isn’t a mainstream focus here. The reason I chose to do this is not because I’ve been harbouring a deep and burning desire to blog. In fact, this is very scary… exposing your thoughts/feelings/opinions to the universe and leaving yourself open to scrutiny. What if people think my blog is stupid? What if people think I’m stupid? What if I don’t have time to perfect each entry? There are so many blogs out there, who cares what I have to say? What if I share an opinion and people disagree and I can’t explain myself? Judgement… Hate… Indifference! Sounds like a nightmare, right? I chose to blog because I feel like I have something to share, and allowing myself to do this is personal growth. Similar to my Shine experience where I found value in the sharing process, perhaps others will find that here.

Let go of being afraid of what other people think.
Get out of your own way.
Quiet that voice that says you can’t.
Try something new, and see what happens.


13 thoughts on “SHINE

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  1. Reblogged this on Write. Eat. Read. Repeat. and commented:
    One thing you know by reading my blog is that I am a feminist who believes in equality for all human beings. One of the topics I cover on my blog is “Livin'” which is a broad category, but it essentially covers food and fun activities in Toronto and abroad. It also covers seminars I have attended.

    That being said, my dear friend April and I attended a mini-seminar put on by an UK-based organization called SHINE at Soho House Toronto. SHINE encourages women to realize their true potential and deliver personal impact, and the speaker (who was an inspiring leader in the marketing world) took us through a series of reflective exercises that really made us ‘dig deep’. I’ve been meaning to blog about what I learned during the SHINE workshop, but I haven’t had the time. Luckily, SHINE inspired April to start her own blog (among other things), and April’s first post talks about what was covered during the workshop and the truths that came from each woman’s self discoveries.

    Click on April’s blog post to read about what we uncovered about how women treat themselves, and how we all must use the tools SHINE teaches us to continue to grow as women.

    I’m proud of April for branching out, putting her thoughts in writing, and doing something she has thought about doing for some time. If our Shine session has inspired us to do anything, it is to embrace a challenge and to stop being afraid. All it takes is a little push in the right direction and some self-reflection.

    And to that, I say #GirlPower.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an incredible first entry! I feel like i’ve been thinking so much about all of these things the past few weeks (fear, making the unattainable possible, etc…) – and you articulated the feeling so well.

    You inspire me, April! Thank you for sharing…looking forward to many more posts! xo

    Liked by 1 person

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