Let’s just jump right in, shall we?
Theme of the Day – Wellness is how you feel, not how you look!
The Buzz – I heard the buzz at the Curtis Culwell Center before our Uber even dropped us off at the front doors. No Doubt, Katy Perry, Beyoncé (duh), and more blasted a welcome to get the party started. Inside, the convention center was decorated in all things Hollis. Branding colors permeated the center in balloon arrangements, the stairs, photo areas for selfies, and more. Clusters of attendees swamped the merchandise booth, debating between water bottles, Start Today Journals, bracelets, and hats. I was in Hollis land, and I loved every second.
The 411 – Soul Cycle instructor Chris Chandler blasted onto the stage and led us in a dance to the Backstreet Boys. I’m forever Team Peloton (sorry, not sorry), but Chris dominated the stage and kept our energy up throughout the day. He led us in two ten-minute workouts and made good on the promise I mentioned in yesterday’s article about making us do tons of squats. In case you were wondering, tons was the actual count. I’m thrilled to confirm there were no burpees.
Rach spoke for the bulk of the day, but guest speakers Alex Ortner of the Tapping Solution and Nick Santonastasso rounded out the ticket. Nick is one of four people in the world with Hanhart Syndrome and was born missing both legs and an arm. He shared story after story illustrating how he never lets his disability define him and how he always finds a way to conquer anything he pursues. The audience was silent as he detailed an experience on an airplane when no one wanted to sit by him. He told us, that in that moment, he cried for a little bit, but then reframed the situation. Instead of looking at the negative, he said, we should reframe the situation and make it into a positive.
Another example of this is called “moments of reassurance.” Nick encouraged us to look for moments that reassure us that we are on the right path instead of focusing on the negatives. His genuineness and resilience inspired many of the attendees I spoke with afterward.
Takeaways – The RISE Conference began as two days, but last year when so many women shared that they hated their bodies, Rachel added Wellness Day to address body image. Today she revealed her “10 Body Image Commandments.” The commandment that resonated the most with me was “Thou shalt compliment your body every time you look in a mirror.” I’ve made progress with my body image over the last few years. For a long time, I was disgusted by my body – the cellulite, my breasts, and loose skin from losing and gaining so much weight. Then I reached a point of body neutrality: I didn’t love my body, but I didn’t hate it, either. But that was progress.
Rachel’s compliment tactic might sound simplistic, but the cumulative effect could be profound. If, every single time you go to the bathroom, you told yourself that your eyes are pretty, collarbone is fierce, or your waist is defined instead of my breasts are disgusting, my eczema spots make me look like a giraffe, or my cellulite shows through my pants, your confidence would skyrocket.
Another thought that resonated with me was the concept of “false wellness.” We’ve all heard that growth can’t happen if we remain in our comfort zones, but Rach took this a step further. When we are in our comfort zones, we give ourselves the false impression that everything is good. Afterall, we aren’t challenging ourselves and taking risks, so then we bypass the doubts that go along with personal growth. Comfort zones, then, are dangerous because 1. They keep us stagnant AND 2. They give us the wrong impression that you are on the right path. Complacency is the death of personal growth. Complacency is the death of personal growth.
Highlights– Hearing Rachel in person was the highlight of the day. I’ve listened to her RISE and RISE Together podcasts and books on Audible so frequently, that I hear her voice in my dreams. Seeing her in person, though, was inspiring in its own way. SHE. IS. A. FORCE. Her personal stories resonate so well because even though she is a millionaire motivational speaker, she also knows what it’s like to handle toddler tantrums, the glass ceiling, and perpetual doubt. Her success reminds us that the road will be fraught with opposition but is also that success comes to those who don’t give up. Period.
Being surrounded by like-minded women who all wanted to better themselves was inspiring. The dancing specifically, though, made us all laugh and connect in our power. Any time Rachel called out 5-4-3-2-1 (the Mel Robbins 5-second rule), we were to leap from our chairs and dance it out for 30 seconds to Macklemore’s “Ceiling Can’t Hold Us.” We ended the day by chanting the lyrics to “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman. To see thousands of women swaying and singing together is a visual representation that we are stronger together.
Throughout the day, Rachel implored us to love our bodies and boost our confidence. Sometimes, and we know this in our hearts, women can be the most ruthless to each other. If one is confident, we might put her down and call her “stuck-up,” as she detailed. Why do we do this? Confidence, growth, and embracing our power are not zero-sum issues. Imagine if all women were confident. If all women sought grow despite others’ opinions. And imagine if all women embraced their power.
That’s exactly what it looked like when we swayed to “This is Me.” It’s hard enough to keep pursuing more when we are riddled with fears, doubts, and insecurities, let alone if other women are piling on disparaging thoughts. Let’s end that. No more, okay? Can we agree to respect each other and build each other? Just imagine.
Hollis-isms: I kept track of how many times classics were referenced for diehard Rach fans.
Pam – 3
Cousin Crystal – 1 hysterical wedding story
“Not an ad” – 2
“Let’s Goooooo!” – 4 (3 by Chris)
Day two tomorrow!
Did today’s topic resonate? What aspect of body image do you struggle with the most? Do you need help feeling inspired? Comment below!