I sent everyone out on errands as I stood in the giant ballroom by myself. The lights were dimmed and the quiet was echoing in my mind. I walked slowly to my computer and put on my favorite song, and then looked up at the giant screens that projected my biggest fear and greatest accomplishment. As the music swirled I did too. The emptiness was astounding, and the melody filled the vast chamber with life. I walked to the middle of the room and stood under the skylights as the light bit of daylight crept through them, arching my back to look up several stories above my head.
As the chorus of the song kicked in I spun in a circle, my white cape twirling with me, and I smiled and cried at the same time, in awe of where I found myself in that moment. To retreat within and manifest that feeling outward – it was a release. All of the hardship that had come earlier (and oh, there was so much…so much) that day melted away. I was alone waiting to be filled; I was empty but receptive.
And then the doors opened, in what felt like hours instead of minutes, as my nerves crept back to me. I heard the first shy footsteps walking through the threshold and saw the first face looking back at me, recognizing that she was in the right place, and I ran toward her and embraced her in a hug so big. I didn’t want to let go. It’s like the Doctor says – hugs are good for when you don’t want someone to see your face. I had tears in my eyes but I wanted to be strong. I was scared but I wanted to seem fearless. And then, I let it all go.
I pulled back and looked each person in the face that came in after enveloping them in a big hug, and I let myself feel everything in those moments. I let myself cry with people and laugh with people and authentically find the connections I had been so desperately searching for. The Promoting Passion Convention started that evening, and as it did, I saw something that I had longed for my whole life – a room filled with people who had the same soul that I did. I was amongst the weird ones in the world, the ones who would, could and will change the world in their own unique ways. And I was part of that. I was home.
Over the next few days I experienced every emotion. I hardly ate and I hardly slept and I knew I should be doing better for myself but I couldn’t help but put everyone first. At night when I would lay next to my friend Kelly I would whisper, “I’m so worried for everyone, I hope they are okay – I hope they feel loved”. And she would reassure me and tell me that they did, and that I couldn’t do any more than what I was doing, and then I would calm down enough to sleep.
We spoke so much at the convention about our fears, and mine is, undoubtedly, letting people down. My heart wants so badly to love everyone and make sure they know they are loved, and that was one big reason why I felt so passionately about putting on the event. I wanted to love people. I wanted people to feel loved. Through love comes our greatest potential, and I certainly began to see mine through the misty fog that surrounded us.
When the convention began, the rain was heavy. A hurricane was coming and we were going to feel the outskirts of it. And so, on top of a tall mountain at the most beautiful retreat center, we lived inside a cloud for 4 days straight. We couldn’t see past the few buildings we were staying in. The air was constantly damp or raining, and we couldn’t see the forest for the trees. We learned so much together. We grew in unimaginable ways together. And on the final day, after we had said our goodbyes the night before, something incredible happened.
When I awoke the day after my convention the air hung heavy as it had previous days, but this time it turned pink. The sun was rising and we could see it for the first time. The clouds burned off and we witnessed the rolling mountains, the fog settling in between the trees, and the fire-streaked sky that woke us up and made us feel alive.
I can’t help but think of it as a metaphor. So many lives were touched that weekend. There was so much to be learned, to soak in, to work through. And by the time it was over, the sun had come up on our adventure. The clouds parted and we could see what we knew was there all along, yet that we could not find. And we all stood watching with the greatest expectations.
Kristy - That is amazing! I am sure everyone enjoyed the learning process. I hope to join in next year!
Tim Stephens - How privileged we all were to share that space together, Brooke! To breathe life and love, understanding and support, into it and make it come alive with the passionate flame of spirit, creativity, and inspiration. It was a beautiful sight to behold and one that will never be forgotten by anyone present. I can’t tell you how many times others came up to me to ask who we were and what was going on. To ask why we were all so happy in the rain and mists. And it was a joy to share the story of the journey that led me to that moment with them, with us, and with you. The story of how and why we came to be a community.
You are not alone. We are kindred. Thank you for being the catalyst that allowed us to recognize and celebrate our oneness and our uniqueness, to take responsibility for being true and authentic people – the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Thank you for your unwavering faith in your vision and your willingness to follow your heart. The bonds formed these past few days are the framework and the inspiration for something we are only just beginning to dream of…
Tom Newforge - So very glad it went well. I never doubted it. The fog looks amazing. Hope you shot lots of cool stuff in that:)
kyla - brooke – i am still finding my way back to my home in the mountains after this event and as i sit here waiting for my car in calgary, alberta i am in tears reading your words. as i left my hotel this morning my mind was clear and i looked out across a world that appears to be a brand new place… or maybe it’s just me who is new here. this is what it feels like to live with a wide open heart… i remember now.
sharing this weekend with those you have called together was nothing short of transcendent and my gratitude floods this chair and this building and i trust it finds it’s way across the ridges of the mountains to your heart. like a family that has been reunited and yet always together… you have made your huge creative soul into a nest where we all might find a branch to hang onto and then leap from.
thank you for being so authentically you. there are oceans of creativity that i have been carrying around inside of me and the promoting passion gathering took my hand and gently laid a key into my palm. i am open… this was an event that will remain a marker in my life.
Evelyn Hayes - It was one of the most cathartic experiences in my life. I have been on a high ever since I got home and I’m letting go of so much fear, which is huge! I feel like a big weight has been lifted and everything around me look and feel brighter. Thank you Brooke for an amazing experience and for the incredible group of people you managed to bring together to learn, grow, laugh and cry! I’m certainly looking forward to next time.
Paulo Carvalho - Now you left me in a state of duality. Right now I find myself in a mixture of emotions: I do not know if I laugh and cry of happiness or if I cry of sadness. Happiness for all you guys, for what you guys lived and shared. I had not doubt that the convention would be a success and quite emotional. That’s why I’m also sad because I could not be there with you all and live those emotions. However, happiness is certainly greater than sadness, and I’m very happy for you Brooke. Stay well! <3
Tina - Dearest, dearest Brooke! I’m getting goosebumps and teary-eyed reading this. You are the most extraordinary, magical human being and will probably never know just how much you touched every single of us amazing weirdos at the convention. Sending you nothing but love and the most humongous hug ever. T
Leesa Voth - Thank you, Brooke, for such an amazing event. I have never been to anything in my life that sustained such a loving and positive environment for so long. It was truly inspiring. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for hosting this event. Life changing stuff, in the best possible way. Smiles to you and a heart full of love.
jon voth - Leesa, I love watching your talent grow-please do not let things get in the way of introducing your talent to the world.I love you!!
Dani Pflanz - Brooke, Thank You! Because of you and all of your amazing and supportive family and friends, the lives of so many have been forever changed.
During a time when all of the energy I had was given to surviving and creating was not an option, the videos that showed your creative process brought life to my creative spirit. I feel as if you shined a light into my soul during a very dark and painful time. I have held onto that light and allowed it to illuminate my path as hope and positive expectations for my future
You. my friend, have been a significant catalyst for change in my life and I will be forever grateful.
chrystal kelly - I felt loved. I was right were I wanted to be, I hope you felt loved knowing that to be there was soo important and right that it didn’t have to be easy to get there. 😉 Thank You Brooke!!!!
Jen Sulak - On the final session with MeRa i was SOBBING quietly in the back…just oozing tears…because i knew i was in the right place…at certainly the RIGHT TIME. I knew that even through the fog that was so clearly present…there would be a time of clarity. I reveled in the fact that i never got my wifi to work…nor did my phone ever hardly work – so i didn’t even talk to my husband for 3 days straight…he wondered where i went…well, i went to the MOUNTAIN…for time away, solitude with my like-minded kindred. So amazing to meet and see so many lives, perspectives and hearts. I cannot wait to see more of the stories and art that come from this event. I’m so glad it was so intimate so we could all have a chance to really see each other as humans…without tons of distractions. Thank you! <3
FIT BMX - Wow, really feel like I missed out on something big! LOL 😉
Sounds like it was really wonderful. I would love to go to your retreat in France, I want to visit France so bad, and spending a week taking photos with you guys would make it perfect! 🙂
The landscape is beautiful, where were you at this time?