I Went Back To Summer Camp, Here’s What I Learned
Have you ever spent the night in a cabin, surrounded by new friends, with the fire of excitement lit within you, ready to jump back into life the second you get back to the real world?
Jonathan Fields has started a movement, based around the question of what makes a Good Life?
He then brought together 250 of his tribe to create a Great Life for one weekend, so of course I had to join them.
Camp Good Life Project was hosted in New York state, in a kids’ summer camp facility.
Think bunk beds in wood cabins, a lake with inflatable swim toys, communal eating in the dining hall (and dining hall food), s’mores on an open fire, colour wars, new friends and the noise of 250 change makers all making change together.
We had business workshops, meditation, personal development and creativity, and a spectacular talent show, of the variety that Australian shores have never seen (I was on the lookout for footie guys in drag but they never turned up).
It brought me back to myself, and taught me some pretty amazing lessons…
When you live in alignment, so who you are and what you do are completely linked, you become a beacon and people gravitate towards you.
Jonathan and his side kick on stage, Kristoffer Carter, both radiated that. They are the kind of people I want to be around, and be like. I learnt a big lesson from KC that with a deep internal practice I’ll be able to better harness my excitable nature so I can be an hilarious crazy lady without being buffeted by it. Centred, and so much fun.
Action step one: do some more yoga and meditation, as I know they make me feel good and I’ve seen their power in practice. Allowing the peace will make the party more real.
When the right people turn up in your life, magic happens.
I met a lot of amazing people at camp, with a special mention for one particularly hilarious lady I spent a lot of time hanging off and laughing. She described us as Soul Neighbours, as even though we’d never met before it was like we’d been friends for 30 years. I haven’t laughed that hard or felt that completely accepted for a long time.
Action step two: be open to the magic anywhere, and when your soul neighbours turn up make sure you take care of the friendship so that they’ll always be in your orbit.
I got excited the other day when I realised that my oldest best friendship has spanned 20 years. We finished school together, she was my bridesmaid and now she’s the little dude’s Life Guardian. That’s some magic.
Keep on swimming.
There were some amazingly inspired speakers there – Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend fame, John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, Jadah Sellner and Jen Hansard who created Simple Green Smoothies and so many more.
All of them were overnight successes… who worked behind the scenes for years before their businesses exploded. It reminded me that it all starts with the work now, and things will grow exponentially as I keep on trucking and put my true self out there.
Action step three: keep on swimming. Keep working away, and do what it takes to make this dream continue to be my reality.
Take that to your life, too. A beautiful life is created moment by moment, so keep on swimming, make the moments ones you love, and soon you’ll have a life you love.
Simple adventures make an amazing life.
So, it’s true that I was in New York, and that’s a big trip to the other side of the world, buuuuttt… the adventures at camp were all the same things I bring to my life in Sydney.
I connected with friends, I meditated and moved my body, I laughed as often as possible, I rapped out to Vanilla Ice, I learnt tips and tools to grown my business and continue to make it something I adore, I played in the colour wars where we cheered as team yellow dominated* the egg and spoon race, I listened to inspiring speakers and I took over the dance floor on Saturday night.
These are all activities that are easy to recreate in everyday life, which means you can create a life you love right where you are – no need to travel to New York.
Action step four: choose to live the adventure every day. Seek out the things you love to do and fill your life with them. Then you will love your days and love your life. Every day. Wherever you are.
Self care and self love are the absolute foundation for creating a life you love.
I know I’m not alone in letting those things go first when I’m feeling really busy and overwhelmed. I eat badly, don’t get enough sleep, and definitely let mediation go when I’m feeling too busy.
But as KC said
when shit gets tough, double down on the self care.
Without solid foundations, you can’t perform, you can’t work hard, you can’t get into the zone where the work flows, you can’t be present with your friends and family. For me the foundation is exercise, eating well (lots of greens, not much sugar) and meditation, so I can create the space in which to allow the adventures to unfold.
Action step five: Make self care the priority so my light stays bright and strong.
Americans take their talent shows seriously.
I put my name down as a bit of a joke, thinking I’d sing a song from my school song book (badly, acapella, and the words go something like this: ‘I never will marry, I’ll be no man’s wife, I expect to be single, all the days of my liiiiife.’) and then pulled out a bit of laughter yoga. So they laughed, but I’m still not 100% sure whether it was at me or with me.
Action step six: always take my sense of humour with me. At the very least, everyone knew there was an Aussie at camp!
The power of the group is undeniable.
There were so many breakthroughs, so many new friends made, so much laughter, so much enthusiasm and a crazy energy that has connected us all together in amazing ways. I love the feeling of a roomful of people meditating together, you can feel the energy in the room shift, and everyone gets calm and settled together.
At Camp GLP, that collective energy expansion happened everywhere. There was amplified love, much laughter and hugging, and so much momentum now carrying us forward back into life. We were surrounded by people all wishing the best for everyone else, and willing to support and encourage that every step of the way.
Action step seven: find your tribe, spend time with them, use the collective energy to carry you forward (and if you’re keen to join my own tribe, then I’d love for you to come along to my Mindful Adventure on 22 Nov)
And there we have it. A weekend at summer camp with 250 amazing, brilliant, supportive people, who changed my life in a way that I’ll carry with me forever.
* may or may not have dominated
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