Last week was my first Inspiration Lab Conference. I recently joined as a member of TIL and was looking forward to participating in an event designed specifically for working women. Stephanie Lanier, Founder of The Inspiration Lab, did not disappoint.
She opened with her inspiring perspective of what it means to be both “rising” and “shining.” During most periods of your life, you are typically doing one more than the other; whether you’re truly shining in your personal life but rising in your career, or shining in your friendships but rising in your physical and mental health journey. However, we are always doing a little of both.
What truly moved me about her story (and brought me to real tears) was when she said:
“You can be broken and still be powerful. Your power is in your darkness.”
This hit me hard. I often feel that unless I am shining, I can’t be a leader or mentor or serve my clients fully. Stephanie reminded us that by being vulnerable and sharing your struggles, you are still leading by example. You are showing others that it’s okay to not have it all together all the time. It’s okay to ask for help. I hope that I can serve all of you by being authentic and vulnerable.
The other major takeaway from Stephanie was when she emphasized that although we (especially as women) tend to want to turn down our light when we are really shining so as not to “outshine” or “intimidate” others, we really should do the opposite. We need to turn up our light for those that are currently in darkness. Light reflects light. By shining your beautiful light for those who are in a season of struggle, you help guide them home. You give them hope. You help show them the way.
So, if you’re feeling like you’re in a period of your life where you’re really shining, broadcast that for those of us who are rising. We need you. That way, when the seasons change and you’re looking for strength and inspiration, those women will be there for you. Let’s light each other up.