This August, I drove to Philadelphia from Columbus with a few friends for The GOOD Fest, a one day wellness festival. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew it was going to be incredible. As a blogger and avid instagram user, I was especially excited to meet the handful of influencers that I follow, in real life. What I didn’t expect, however, were probably the best discoveries of all.

By running from rejection, I’m creating more anxiety toward it

The fear of failing or being rejected is a huge fear for me. I run from it every chance I get. What I didn’t realize is that by running from said fear, I’m not allowing myself to know how it feels, and in return creating even more fear around the subject.

This isn’t to say that  holding on to hope is bad, it’s absolutely not. What I learned from my homegirl Lisa Hayim (who I’d been dying to meet in person) is that I will fail, I will be rejected. When that happens, however, I need to take a moment and sit with how it makes me feel. I will move forward and grow, and in return, become less fearful in knowing that I can move past those fear-based emotions and on towards my goal/desire.  

My vagina and I are extremely disconnected

Growing up, I was pretty prude. I didn’t like PDA, I got red whenever sex was brought up, and I never really felt it necessary to dive into anything sex-organ related. It’s for that exact reason I picked a track that I thought would get me out of a speaker who’s talk was titled, “Keep Your Vagina Poppin.” I’m going to a wellness festival, why does my vagina need to be involved?

As I sat there laughing my ass off at the ridiculous way Shan Boodram approached the subject, I couldn’t help but be grateful that everyone got to hear from her. I learned that my relationship with my va-jay-jay maybe isn’t the healthiest, but that’s okay–I shouldn’t be embarrassed. By making the conversation informative and fun, I didn’t shy away–I leaned in.

The GOOD Fest - What I learned and discovered about myself at a wellness festival

Photo credit: @thegoodfest

It’s OK to feel deeply & show that to the world

I’m not a big cry-in-front-of-others type person. I definitely cry; I just do it alone, usually in my car. I’m not really sure what story I heard that told me that crying in crowds or around others is wrong, but it’s stuck with me for a long time.

Out of all the speakers at the GOOD fest, I’d say about two thirds of them cried on stage. When they did, they didn’t run and hide, they didn’t become a shell of themselves, they stood and gave themselves permission to feel deeply. As the audience, we didn’t scurry to hold them, we didn’t turn away to alleviate any embarrassment they felt, we honored them by loving them and letting them take their time.

We all want to be seen, heard, and loved. On a Saturday in early August, that is exactly what happened for me and 399 other women that spent their day in East Falls, Philadelphia. At the end of our group reiki session with Kelsey Patel, I was very emotional. I had envisioned myself forgiving a person from a very long time ago, and I could barely keep it together. A woman came up to me and asked permission to hug me, to which I said yes. It wasn’t an “oh, there there” hug, this was a hug that said: I see you, I honor you.

On the drive back from Philadelphia, I noticed how quiet my friends and I were. Saturday filled us up so much, had us buzzing with inspiration, and a little vibe-high from all of the beautiful energy. If you ever get an opportunity to attend The GOOD fest, or another wellness event like it, I 100% recommend to do it. Go. Be there, step a little out of your comfort zone, or a lot. I promise that it’s worth it. It’s worth the jitters, the unknown, the hotel, the nine hour drive. It’s worth absolutely everything to feel that true connection to your soul.

Friends, I see you. I hear you. I love you.