So a few weeks ago I bought tickets to attend a “networking/wellness in all areas kinda event” called Refresh. You see I’ve heard of Ekene Onu ( the brain behind Refresh) but never went to a Refresh event. This was her third event in Atlanta and I’ve been in Atlanta for years. Not that I didn’t wanna go, but “networking” wasn’t my kinda of thing.
In keeping with my goal of getting out there more and exercising my God-given talents, I decided to buy tickets. I mean, if I want to impact lives by spreading the message of Christ, I have to actually meet people…right? Even if I do it through written word, people would want to see the face behind the keyboard.
So this morning, I got dressed and decided to head out. Truthfully, even though I paid for the tickets I almost didn’t go. One of the reasons is, I work so hard during the week that my Saturdays are for me to just unwind a little. And secondly, I was scared…I don’t do such…meet people. I write, so I’m best behind my laptop. But my hubby who is my number one cheer leader said, “Come on…go now.”
And I had a fabulous time!!. It was as if I was hanging with my homies and we were all letting it hang out. From me to you…here are a few pointers:
- “The space between how you FEEL and how you ACT is very powerful.” When Akilah Richards said this the first time, it didn’t make sense, then I thought about it. HUGE! For me it meant, I can use that space to evaluate before acting, then my Christian walk will be a little easier. When Christ was being lead to the cross, I’m sure He was in pain, tired, weak but HE still subjected Himself to the hands of His creation because HE loved us. He could have been like..”Look, I made these people, how dare they do this to me. Yo’ Dad, I’m not doing this anymore..but HE didn’t!! Lesson 1: When I FEEL down or discouraged, I will use my space to will myself to ACT in faith.
- “How do you want to show up.” Then Kelly Green gets up and gives a branding lesson. We all know that the two most popular phrases in the last few years are passion/purpose and branding. Those simple words..made my brand clearer. She also said something interesting “Everyone has a story, what’s yours and how are you using it? Doesn’t have to be big, but its yours”. Part of the reason I told myself I wasn’t a speaker was because, I felt I had nothing to say. Why will people want to listen to me? But I do. I have a story, might not be yours, might not be mind-blowing, but its mine. Lesson 2: I have learnt to tell my story, but never again will I belittle it. It’s mine!.
- “When you allow people to have a vote in your life. They always vote wrong.” I ‘met’ Jai Stone through her Emotional Nudity brand. I loved her authenticity. You see I’m a firm believer that most people prefer to show you their mountains and not their valleys. They wanna tell you they have arrived but not that it was a struggle. When she entered the room, it was like a rock star entered the room for me…and she “preached”!!!!!. For years, I struggled with how much to blog about my Christian walk. If I say that sometimes I loose faith or I’m mad at God would people judge me as not being a ‘true’ Christian. Then I decided to blog but I’d be so careful but Lesson 3: I can’t allow what people will say or think stop my true authentic self. It’s through my authenticity, I can hopefully affect the world. If I want to be a Christian example and not religious I have to be true to me. It was validating, so once again, I say..I’m navigating my imperfect life serving a perfect God.
Now to my aha moment!!! I always tell my hubby and people who have encouraged me to speak in public that I’m not a speaker…I’m a writer. My husband always says, “Babe..that’s what you think, now. Just watch God.” But I’m adamant about it…I do not speak in public. Here is the kicker…. I got up and told my a story today. I actually held a microphone and spoke in a room full of people. I gave the same speech “I’m not a speaker. I’m a writer.” And guess what? When I sat down, 3 people walked up to me and said, “Your story touched me, and you are a speaker.” How about that?!
My name is Unoma Nwankwor, I am speaker…and this is my Refresh U Story. Thank you Ekene!