90 seconds. That’s what we were given to share our final thoughts at Unplug’d11. I felt the time frame just couldn’t capture what moved me most during the adventure. So I played it safe. I went into consultant mode and shared a let’s keep learning together and sharing our knowledge together snippet.
What was that?
Authentic-Kelly is usually the one you get. But sometimes, when I get rattled, I think I play it safe. I think when authentic-Kelly wants to come out and play, but she’s feeling rattled, proper-Kelly takes over and says… Just play it safe. Say things in a way that will make everyone happy. Don’t cause discourse among people. And yet, discourse is healthy. Discourse causes us to think and reflect, and go a little deeper into our souls and our purpose.
As I reflect back… the moments that truly allowed me to grow into a better version of myself go way beyond “let’s keep learning and sharing together”.
I biked 23 freaking kilometres just to get to the location. And I’m still convinced it was all uphill! But what was even more awesome about that experience, was being given the opportunity to connect with others. Body, mind and soul. I connected with others’ souls on that bike ride. You can’t beat that.
My essay was authentic-Kelly taking a risk. It was written to trigger reflection in others by invoking a little bit of cognitive dissonance. And what matters to me is the level of personal reflection you apply to the discourse you may feel at times. I value that ability in others. So when I received feedback from my group that I felt was leading me back to revisions that would have been proper-Kelly’swriting, I felt paralyzed. I sat and stared at my computer absolutely paralyzed. It rattled me to my core.
I felt that if I made the changes, I would be removing my voice from the written piece. Something I had worked so hard incorporating. So I struggled. It was an emotional, intellectual battle. But after being led through my own personal reflection with some awesome questions by others, I was able to do it. I was able to find the balance between taking suggestions that would enhance my work, but still maintain my voice in the process. But I couldn’t have done that alone. Again I connected with others’ souls during the editing process. That was worth the struggle.
I learned how to solo paddle a canoe. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time but didn’t believe I had the strength (Physical? Emotional? Hmmm… not sure). I wanted to shout at the top of my voice “Look mom & dad, I’m paddling my own canoe!!!” Maybe I should have… my dad would have been so proud.
At times, I was so captured by the nature, I just wanted to sit and stare and open up my heart and soul to listen to the sounds of Northern Edge. It was difficult for me to find the balance between my own personal reflection time I craved, and the time I wanted to spend connecting and hearing people’s stories. But that’s ok. I tried to allow time for both. Learning how to paddle a canoe by myself was reflective and inspiring.
The magic was compelling. There are so many moments I have captured in my journal as a means to reflect and learn and grow even more. That’s what it was all about. Unplug’d11 was about connecting with other peoples’ hearts and souls, trusting others enough to be confident with your own voice, and feeling empowered to be who you are.
But the greatest learning of all for me, was learning about when I’m willing to sacrifice my voice for others, and when I’m not. I was given the opportunity to stand up for my voice. And I am thankful.