What I Learned at Design Your Life Camp

This past week, at Lake Lanier (north of Atlanta) about 150 people gathered for Patti Digh’s Design Your Life Camp. The theme was Creativity, Courage and Community. There were many presenters and speakers, musicians and a talent show. I led one of the workshops for the Creativity section. But best  of all, I got to attend as well. Here are some things I learned:

1. Some women can be strong and brave, even if they are wearing a tutu over stretch pants and a fuchsia boa.

postcard12. It is amazing to see women get in touch with their inner hero, name them, and do colorful work to call forth their magic. Often while crying as they struggle to admit they are creative, resourceful and whole.

3. I may have to revise my idea that women don’t support each other and will judge each other at the drop of a feather. I can point to about 150 women that will applaud when they hear a story of bravery and strength.

postcard24. If you are an introvert, it is very lovely to sit on your private balcony at dawn and under the stars and meditate and journal.

5. Life is about content and how that content makes meaning.  We don’t find meaning in life, we make meaning.  Andrea Gibson is a spoken word artist, who changes the world one story at a time. She reads her life for the world to feel.

6. Being silent in your misery is as foolish as being silent in your triumph. Spoken word poet Glenis Redmond knows why poetry heals. And she told us why life wounds, as well.

7. No one over the age of 16 is undamaged. It’s how you hold yourself together that makes a life. The glue you use is creativity and courage and community. Which is what this camp was about.

gI_67544_DYLC-SMICON-3wPatti Digh and Dave Harkins and all the women and men who were there created an amazing experience. At the end of each day I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep from the power of the stories I heard.

For some years, I owned my own event management business, so I know what goes into running an event this size and complexity. And I also know that when people say something, they complain but they rarely thank the people behind the curtain. So I”m saying it for everyone who might have forgotten: Thank you Patti, David, and all the people behind the scenes, for your hard, long, and consistent work. Well done!

The best part is that Design Your Life Camp will happen again in 2014. In San Francisco, starting on September 19 – 21. Save the date, registration starts in January.  I’d love to see you there. (Hint, hint, Patti–Ask me!)

–Quinn McDonald presided at two workshops at the Design Your Life Camp. Half your postcards went out today. The rest will go out tomorrow.