FierceCon 2018 – what a great experience! Two weeks ago Andy and I hopped in the car and drove to Redondo Beach for the second meet-up of the women of the Forever Fierce Revolution. Our 4 1/2-hour drive stretched into 7 1/2 non-stop hours, thanks to Friday rush-hour traffic. I wanted to arrive early enough to help with the conference setup. Alas, that goal evaporated amidst thousands of commuters trying to get home and would you believe this? A plane on the freeway! I’ve gone to both Forever Fierce events, and there was a plane crash on the freeway BOTH times! I am completely serious. Fortunately those involved survived in both cases, but what are the chances? I lived in Southern California close to 20 years without seeing anything like it. But I’m totally off topic now.
The Forever Fierce Revolution is an ever-growing group of heart-centered women who lift up and support each other. Members post photos, proud moments, heart-breaking revelations, requests for help. Other members jump in with comments of love and support, advice and empathy. It’s a great group of people who value collaboration over competition.
I could go into the history of how Forever Fierce got started, but where it’s been isn’t as important as where it’s going. What is was is eclipsed by what it is, and what it’s becoming. This is a place for women to find acceptance and discover they are loved and worthy as they are right now. With the exception perhaps of church, where else can you find that, especially among women? It’s been my experience that although I’m my own toughest critic, there is no shortage of women offering their own jabs, although it’s often behind my back. It’s been that way since grade school. You may have felt the same thing.
Flip that situation 180 degrees and you have FierceCon 2018. Here you have women supporting each other. We had a couple panels of women talking about the challenges they’d overcome, such as cancer, depression, inability to be hired due to age, an overall feeling of helplessness and obsolescence. These circumstances were all represented, and so many more. Every women in the audience found at least one story with which they connected. Knowing the circumstances had been overcome by others gave them hope.
Those were big moments, but there were so many more. So many of us have insecurities or less-than-perfect life situations we work so hard to hide. We want to project perfect lives when we feel we’re telling perfect lies. Some of those walls came down during the FierceCon weekend. We’ve continued to hear about them now, almost two weeks out. Especially those of us on the FierceCon Admin Team. We’ve started talking about #shieldsdown, our offort to remove the walls we build to protect ourselves from the judgment of others. The walls we build to hide reality while we try to project those beautiful, perfect lives.
My life is hardly perfect. I have imperfection on top of imperfection. One of my biggest issues in body image. I still feel as though I’m always fighting my weight, or at least monitoring the hell out of it. I remember someone once calling me “pleasingly plump,” and the sting of that comment still sits in my subconscience. Would you believe that comment was made when I was in junior high??? There was a brief period in high school where I got so busy I often forgot to eat. I was looking slim and feeling pretty good about myself. My dad was sure I was heading toward anorexia, and suddenly I felt I couldn’t win for trying. I mean seriously, where is that magic spot where a healthy weight and a good figure meet? It’s as elusive to me as the fountain of youth.
Another issue is finances. I’m no where close to where I want to be at this stage of my life. If I had to retire tomorrow I’d be screwed. That circumstance almost caused me to abandon my quest to become a financial planner because I felt like such an epic failure. At times I feel like a major hypocrite, but I’ve taken a step back and realized as I continue to push toward my goal I can speak from experience as I help others in similar situations succeed. My weakness can become my strength.
And that’s the beauty of #shieldsdown. If we allow ourselves to be vunerable we become more relatable. We also help others realize they, too, can succeed.
What’s my biggest takeaway from the FierceCon weekend? I have a few. This year like last, I value the friendships I’ve made. I was so happy to see women I met at the last event. It was great to see the rest of the Admin Team in person. We’ve been working to make the Forever Fierce Revolution Community and the FierceCon event places where women can feel valued and find their voice. We have weekly video chats to conference and plan, but nothing beats live interaction. We did our best to bring the event to the rest of the Community through live streaming, but there is nothing like being there. Whether it’s a hug, the great food, beach photos or a morning meditation with David Ji, you have to be there to really appreciate it.
Social media is great, live streaming is cool, but nothing beats in person, face-to-face communication. That’s why we held FierceCon 2018. We said it wasn’t a conference, it was a connection, but even we on the Admin Team were surprised by the way the weekend unfolded. Women hugged, cried, broke through barriers and found joy. Some were overcome by a sense of unconditional love they hadn’t felt before. It’s hard to describe. At the risk of sounding cliche’, you had to be there. I hope you’ll consider it next year.
Here’s your Forever Fierce Revolution Admin Team! We’ll be working hard again next year to make FierceCon 2019 even better. I hope you’ll make plans to join us!
4 thoughts on “My FierceCon 2018 Recap and Why You Need to Go Next Year”
It was amazing, and I’m so glad we got to meet up again.
I know social media gets a bad rap, but just think…..this really wouldn’t be what it is without it. And there are SO many wonderful women who want what we want….kindness, support and love. And this is exactly where it is!!
As for #shieldsdown….it’s amazing how those past experiences affect us. Do you know one of my friend’s brother called me a “dog” in junior high….it was definitely during my awkward stage but it is something you don’t forget….
Love ya girl
Oh my stars! Helen! This is a fantastic post! I’m crying, I’m inspired! I’m fired up! I want to print this and get my hi-liter marker out and take notes!
Favorite quotes: “What it was is eclipsed by what it is and what it’s becoming” Life Motto right there! “My weakness can become my strength” How much power is there in that little nugget!
You are an amazing and inspirational writer! I am so glad I know you! Thank you for this fantastic post!
You really captured the vibe if fierce in with these beautiful pics Helen. Marvelous. Thank you for another awesome FierceCon 2018 post!
I absolutely love this post and I love you even more! Your beauty on a visual level is spectacular but your inner beauty, courage and vulnerability is so radiant that it’s truly blinding! You amaze me. Your kindness. Your empathy. Your compassion. I’m so grateful to you and every member of our team. You are the key to this village, this tribe that is onto creating a true revolution both within and without. I also hope every single woman could share in this experience and hopefully, one day, they will. Until next year, sister…even bigger and brighter!
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