It is so easy to let the celebration of a long held dream fly under the radar. To let others lack of nurture of a vision wash over you like a wet blanket until your light is extinguished. I have felt my heart go limp with vulnerability and insecurity countless of times from a disdaining, disapproving glance, but I hope I never let such a thing buckle my vision again. And while some pretend they might be above insecurity, baby, we all have it!
When I published my first book, a book of poetry, Blood, Wine and Roses, there was no fanfare and I underplayed any whispers of congratulations that did come my way with the tones of “Don’t draw attention to yourself and don’t stand out”, because we don’t have permission for ourselves either!” All the while failing to let the joy of my personal accomplishment and the wink to self sink deep into my bones.
When I recorded Tidal Wave an album of all original songs, again there was no celebratory gathering, no “Way to go, girl” and no “You did this and you should feel good!” Instead, the culture of false humility and strong withholding prevailed.
And when my boxes of published books arrived all shiny and yellow displaying the title, Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius smiling up at me, there was no clinking of glasses or “Good job, Girl” heard anywhere. I imagine reading this might make some squirm, because of your own lack of deep self-approval and validation.
You might think with this history it natural that I would let another fulfilled dream go unheralded, but this time I have not! Despite those who’ve failed to join in the revelry, after the completion of the Delta Sisters first retreat, Untamed Creative, I am marveling and savoring the accomplishment. To read more about the Delta Sisters, the farm and our history click here.
Wondering How We Pulled It Off?
Realizing most folks in the Delta we spoke with, friends and family alike had no idea what we were talking about, or why we felt compelled to host retreats in the first place except a couple of creatives, Brian Dempsey and Todd King and the ultimate visionary and Delta revitalizer, Gaylan Lawrence. Those with forlorn faces without meaning to offered up discouragement and “Your crazy” messages at every turn. Nevertheless, through much hard work and planning the manifestation of our long held dream came together and the result of women feeling nurtured, validated and released into deeper self-permission, creativity and freedom was glorious.
The seed of this vision began years ago, from my initial creation of the Untamed Creative theme, which was an offshoot of my book, Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius. And so when we recognized that this was the time to begin hosting retreats on the farm, I envisioned the final result, walked it backwards (reverse engineered it) and broke it down into steps and lists that through time and action brought it to completion.
My sister, Lisa and I then dreamed, conceived, strategized and executed our first Delta Sisters event. As I designed and honed the curriculum, participant’s handbook and outline for the event, it seemed the most logical way to up fit the retreat house on our family farm with three months lead-time was for me to do it from Charlotte. I began the vast treasure hunt of sniffing out and gathering furnishings. Friend’s gifted discarded treasures, we found there were a few lovely pieces left behind on the farm and one procured through Craigslist. In every vintage store nook and cranny from Portland to Charlotte I found goodies.
It Takes a Village
With the help of my generous hulky man, who also made a beautiful farm table with benches and two additional bedside tables, we drove a U-Haul eleven hours and toted the “collection” that transformed the retreat house. My cousin Jonathan who now works for our family farming operation oversaw the hard work done by Chuck of getting the retreat house interior painted and the barn and grounds prepared.
Lori who runs the farming office is always a cheery help and Meghan in the office helped greatly after the onslaught of visitors to my website suddenly began ordering my book right as the retreat began, due to the information by Brave Girls University being released about being a new instructor that highlighting my first class! You can find out more about that and use my code kimberbritner to get a month of FREE access to all of the hundreds of creative, soul lifting classes here.
Sandra did a great job cooking for us, and gratefully our step mom Bobbie, helped too. Dad did some of the airport shuffling and hosting us at his house, as did aunt June, as well as our Costco shopping and errand running.
Our neighbors and the great folks in Wilson welcomed the Delta Sister venture by hosting a beautiful dinner at the spectacular White House facility in Wilson, AR and plan to do it again! And Joe Cartwright at the beloved Wilson Café helped coordinate our sweet closing dinner. All the while a few thoughtful friends and kiddos sent text cheering us on. It surely takes a village!
Lisa’s job was less physical, but important. She contacted all the folks and companies we needed to engage with for research and planning. I simply passed the item off to her and she handled it beautifully. Then the monkey wrench of her injury appeared, requiring surgery! I can’t even begin to describe how this complicated things. Nevertheless, with a sister on a walker recovering from surgery and the lovely support of the retreat attendees helping her navigate, the Delta Sisters pulled it off! All participants even commented that it was beyond their expectations. Click here to read about the next event.
You’re damn straight I am celebrating!
This joyful pause of recognition isn’t to boast, but to show kindness, love and support to myself in the healthiest of ways (the very thing I support other women in doing and that most women struggle to do.)
Funny thing, even those that are mystified by our creative natures and wondering what the heck we’re doing, slowly started to glimpse the vision. They got to see that there was nothing to fear. The point of facilitating these events is to support the woman participating and craving for a way to carve a path through the harsh tones of life, that helps them connect to their truest, freest, most creative selves.
Many women are just plain tired of following suit with the messages that encourage them not to feel, not to be curious and to stay in their own lane out of sight and out of mind conforming to group think, but have no idea how to make the leap into the new, to be their most alive selves.
That is where my Life Coaching journey to find answers to things no one was willing to talk about began many years ago. I decided that I was no longer willing to have my hands neatly folded across my lap and my voice silenced. I was no longer willing to give away my power or stay in the back lot with the women who are shamed into silence. There is nothing holy about the compliance of silence. It’s only by letting our voice out of hiding that defuses the hold over us.
For goodness sake we were made with vibrancy, gusto and fullness of life. If we are not free to be the creative unique light that we were each created to be, then we have a very small-minded Creator and I do not believe that for one second.
So to all of those brave souls who have stood under the stars alone with their dreams, and gathered up the courage to breathe their uniqueness into the world, whether it be celebrated, or not, I applaud you for your courage.
The world needs you! We as women must give each other, a hundred times over, the permission for self-permission and personal hospitality and welcome to stand up and shine. Here’s looking at you, Kid! If no one is cheering you on, proudly stand up and cheer for yourself! Your sister, daughters, mothers and children need you to do it for them!