This post originally appeared on Twirl Boutique’s blog.
Friends, hello! (Warning: you’ve got a novel coming your way.. sorry not sorry!) Happy Friday!! Anyone else doing a little happy dance with the weekend finally here?! We had a quite a week over here in the world of Twirl. It was my (Liz) first week being back from a week long vacation (you know how that goes.. always an adjustment getting back in the swing of reality.. even when you love your job) and Ty’s sweet little girls started their first week of school, ahh! Clare, her oldest, started kindergarten (cue all the tears) and Audrey, her youngest, started preschool (again.. cue all the tears). So needless to say, it was a week full of all the emotions. Ty & I were talking earlier today about how this week felt crazy but we also had such peace in the midst of it. We had peace because we practiced living out our mission for a well cultivated life. A “cultivated life” is a life driven by deep purpose, living out of our “why”, and making what matters happen while letting everything else wash away. This idea of a cultivated life is something that was seeded in us during our time at the Making Things Happen Conference back in March. Ever since we’ve come home, we’ve had a lot of people ask about our time at the conference and to be quite honest, we haven’t really had words to articulate what we experienced. It’s been a couple months now and we’re really starting to see the fruit of the seeds that were planted in us those two very special days in Chapel Hill. We lived out our “cultivated life” this week and it triggered the thought to finally share with you all some of what God did in our hearts during our time at the MTH conference.
For starters, the MTH conference is hosted by Lara Casey, who is the founder of Southern Weddings Magazine and Cultivate What Matters. These are two brands/businesses that we adore, support, and believe in wholeheartedly. Lara has been someone that has been a beckon of truth & life to us through these brands for many years now. At the conference, Lara was accompanied by a team of incredible women that we adore who were our chief encouragers, leaders, and teachers during the conference (Emily Ley, Nancy Ray, Gina Zeidler, Rhiannon Bosse, Amber Housley, Katelyn James, Kristin Winchester, and several other powerhouse women who we couldn’t love more). At first it was so surreal to be in the same room and conversations with these women we’d been encouraged and inspired by on social media for years but as our time there continued, these women lost their “celebrity glow” and became sisters & friends who laughed with us, cried with us, shared their hearts with us, and cheered us on as we defined what matters most in our lives. It was a beautiful thing to be surrounded by such down to earth women who understand where we are and want to spur us on towards a beautiful, cultivated life.
The MTH conference had been on my “dream list” for a couple years. “Dream list” meaning it would be a dream come true to experience it some day. I had mentioned it to Ty a while back and that sneaky little gal surprised me at Christmas by telling me she had signed us up to attend in March. It was the night of our Twirl Girl Christmas sleepover so I jumped up & down on the bed, cried into a pillow, and squealed like a kid being told they were going to Disney World. Yep. That happened. Ha! We also were able to convince our bestie, Kelsey Malicote, to join in on the fun and so a couple months later we packed ourselves up in the car and took a roadtrip to good ole North Carolina where our lives were changed for the better.
The conference is held at The Carolina Inn which is absolutely stunning. Getting to stay there was such a treat. I will forever drool over that black & white checked floor (insert a dozen heart eye emojis). We were greeted with hugs from the encouragement team that felt like we’d known them our whole lives. It was precious and certainly set the tone for what was in store for us. They took our cell phones during the day while everything was in session. At first I sadly felt a bit naked without it but by the end of our time there I felt a little hesistant to take it back because it’d been so nice to be off the radar for a little while. It’s so rare to have the opportunity to totally unplug and take time to reset your heart and mind. What a gift they gave us in that.
Now I’m not going to share too much about the actual things that we did during our time at MTH because I want to preserve the magic of it all (it’s kind of like Disney in that way). But I will happily share all the sweetness that happened in our hearts.
We were challenged in so many ways to dig deep and really figure out what sets our souls on fire, to name our fears, to speak truth about who we truly are, and to take steps of faith to make dreams realities. Living a purpose driven life is a choice we get to make for ourselves. Seeing change happen in our lives is completely possible. Leaning hard into TRUTH instead of letting lies make us sink IS POSSIBLE. We were set free in so many ways during those two days. Our comfort zones were tested but when we let our guards down, you could watch the fire in our hearts + souls spark again. We each spoke out loud things we had hid in the darkest parts of us and there really is something so profound that happens when we bring those things into the light. Their power diminishes and a renewed freedom is born within us.