Rising Tide Society Leaders Retreat | New Orleans, LA

Time is crazy.  Anyone with me?  How it passes, how you almost can't imagine yourself if you were to go back in time. 

That's how I feel about a month ago.  A month ago I was in New Orleans, surrounded by 100+ incredible souls.  Strangers.  New friends.  People I felt like I already knew via the cool online world, and people that I'm SO thankful to have crossed paths with. 

I attended the Rising Tide Society Leaders Retreat, and holy smokes did it rock my world!  If you were to ask me a year ago, I would have had no idea I'd have the honor to be a leader, and I absolutely wouldn't have guessed I'd attend the leaders retreat across the country, staying with 10 women I had never met.

But that's exactly what happened!  I signed up for the retreat on a whim, really.  Assuming that my co-leader would go with me, and I would stay in my comfort bubble of her sweet company.  When it was all said and done, she let me know she wasn't going to attend... and then I signed up for the Airbnb house with 10 ladies on a whim too.

We joked that it was like signing up for MTVs The Real World -- fun, exhilarating ... then the nerves (and nausea) set in as the date gets closer ... you fly across the country, and before you know it you're meeting your new awesome friends in a huge house and dying of laughter around the kitchen island as you tell each other random facts about yourself.  

And the next two days?  I barely have the words.  My heart was pulled so hard, poured into so vast, and overfilled with so much goodness.  The impact covered every minute - from the incredible speakers that brought the room to tears with messages filled with inspiration and realness - rawness to the core, to the roaring laughter and tears shed over tacos and deep conversations, and spreading our arms like wings on the rooftop of New Orleans.  Talking with others about impact, and the power of love.  The communities we're hugging, and the children we're raising.  Goals and dreams, and plans of rising the tide.  To say my heart is forever changed in an understatement.

And now, it's hard to imagine myself if I were to go back in time.  It's hard to imagine not knowing such wonderful people.  People that hold such wisdom and passion, and the biggest. freaking. hearts!  My words will never do the weekend justice ... but here's a little look at all the goodness. 

And, for anyone who's curious, my fun fact around that kitchen island may or may not have been: "I like to organize my organizing supplies."  HA!  Nerd alert!


Also, the biggest thank you to so many that made this weekend what it was!
Natalie Franke, Jessica Chang, Honeybook, Weebly, and Travelbank - that was amazing!
The Pontchartrain - thank you for hosting us!
Allie - thank you for gathering our house of lovelies!
And my amazing housemates - Emily, Kaitlin, Manda, Alexa, LaShanta, Alicia, Katelyn, Kerry, and Kemari.  I miss you all so much!