Laughter drifted from the house.
There were warm voices and a glow from the living room lights that made the barn, where my friend Sally and I curled in our sleeping bags, feel cold and damp.
“That’s going to be us someday,” Sally said, referring to the teachers gathering across the way.
That night was a little over 10 years ago.
Lying in my sleeping bag, I made a commitment to myself: I committed to taking my teaching to the next level, to reaching more people, and to braving a national stage.
I set my sights on being amongst the teachers in that house.
It’s ten years later.
My teaching has expanded in ways, and to places, that I never could have imagined.
This weekend I’ll be at the Southeast Wise Women’s Conference. While the teachers don’t get their own cabin, we do have a meet-and-greet and I’m psyched to touch base with my posse. These women are powerhouses in their own rights: they are healers and entrepreneurs, visionaries and green goddesses.
And… guess where they were 10 years ago?
Not in the house with the other teachers, but sleeping on the floor in the barn with me.
We often set our sights on the people who are ahead of us on the path. Nothing wrong with that; it’s kind of like following the tail lights of the car in front of you on a really stormy night.
But most of us don’t end up hopping into that front car. It’s already full with people who have been braving stormy nights together for decades. They have their grooves, their inside jokes, and their way of being with each other.
What happens instead is that we set out on our own journey surrounded by others on the same path. As time goes by some will fall away until we have a small group of survivors—a tribe, our posse. We have our own inside jokes and memories of stormy nights that we’ve seen each other through.
And one day it’s us in the big house with the students sleeping in sleeping bags out in the barn, promising themselves that one day they’ll be sipping tea with us after a long day of teaching.
Look around you. Feel out who is road-worthy…
… And then begin where you are right now.
But realize it’s not about becoming one of them. It’s about becoming you.
They say it takes 10 years to create an overnight success.
Whether you want to be the next Mary Oliver or Marie Forleo or Mother Theresa, allow yourself time and space to find your groove, and to accumulate the wisdom and the friendships that build a strong foundation.
Start from where you’re at, and love the people who travel with you as you find who you are becoming.
Now it’s your turn: where are you at right now and what are you heading toward? Share with me here.