Camp Mighty 2011: better late than never

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If you know me, you’ve no doubt heard me jabbering on about my Life List, and working toward (or celebrating) crossing items off of it. And if you don’t know me, you can get to know me better here. I first wrote the first draft of it as inspired by Maggie and in preparation for the inaugural Camp Mighty at the Ace Hotel in glorious Palm Springs… though as long as I can remember I’ve kept a mental tally of “things I want to do someday”… I just hadn’t written it out yet.

Not to get all “THE SECRET!” oprah-style on you, but over time the practice of committing my goals and dreams to writing has been like a magical key to more productivity and opportunities in my life than I could have ever dreamed. Partly thanks to the simple fact that writing it out has kept me focused and culpable – motivating me to pursue them more actively and consistently. And because I do it publicly, it affords friends, colleagues and passers-by the opportunity to offer assistance if they are so moved to reach out… rather than secreting it away in the confines of a hello kitty diary hidden under my mattress.

Call it the Law of Attraction, or call it rewarded effort – but having a Life List has changed my life and given me confidence to pursue bigger and brighter dreams every day. It’s pretty bad-ass.

I’ve since been to two more Mighty events, and have come away changed from each one, in different ways. Regularly touching base with my List and the Go Mighty community helps to keep me focused on moving forward – something I’ve desperately needed this past year more than ever. And the past two events have been critical in the inception of this new blog! So I’m kicking things off with a very belated but well-deserved recap to the event that started this ball a’rollin’.

I came away from Camp Mighty 2011 with a renewed focus on my goals, a wealth of inspiration, tools and skills with which to attack those goals, and an entirely new community of people that have become incredibly dear friends since.

There were inspirational speakers like Evany Thomas, who hilariously reflected on pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone; and Buster Benson, captain of awesome and resourceful sites like 750 words (which I use every day) and HealthMonth, who taught us about the science of habit making and breaking which was absolutely fascinating.

There were life skills workshops (who’s up for sabering open bottles of champagne with samurai swords?!?), delicious meals, hours spent communing in the hot tub… and a killer space camp party complete with costumes and Tang-tinis.

We were broken into 4 Teams in advance, and each team member was responsible for raising or donating $200 to Charity:Water – a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. The Camp’s total funds raised went into buying a drilling rig called Yellow Thunder which will bring 40,000 people clean water each year in Ethiopia.

The apex of the weekend involved splitting into our teams for the afternoon, and sharing the 5 goals from our list we were committing to for the following year, one of which we’d request help from our Team to achieve. My team was super bondy, warm and engaged; and many tears were shed and hugs were given. It was an epic, intense, and vulnerable afternoon that left me feeling more supported, encouraged, and hopeful than I’d felt in a very long time.

Here’s what I laid down for myself last year:

1. Sell and write my book – check!
2. Run the Zombie 5k – check!
3. Throw a proper Greek Easter feast for my Los Angeles family – check!
4. Learn Photoshop – no check, yet. merrrr.
5. Visit Asia – no check, I got divorced instead.
…and my sixth goal, over which I had no control, but wanted to “put out there” just in case it helped:
6. Go a full year without surgery – check! I made it a year and a week. (more on this later)
…plus my super secret seventh goal, which I dared not speak nor write but held quietly in the darkest, most fearful corner of my heart:
7. Sort out my marriage – check. (ouch.) (see #5)

But that was just the beginning. Since last year’s Camp, I’ve completed 13 goals from my Life List.

Pimp as hell.