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re:Create2020 - GO BIG OR GO HOME



On Sunday, I had the opportunity to share space with 100 women in Durham Region.


My dear friend Jennifer Santos and I co-hosted a day-long retreat called re:Create2020. The day was a retreat from our day-to-day lives, designed to carve out time for ourselves and the women in our community to contemplate how we might re-create our lives in 2020.


Over the past 30 years, I have produced and promoted hundreds of seminars, conferences, expos, concerts, festivals, and special events in Durham Region. This one, was by far the hardest one to attract people to – but ultimately, one of the best events that I have ever been part of in my life. We truly have incredible talent in Durham Region.



Jennifer and I thought that if we announced the event to the Durham Women’s Network we would sell out immediately through our facebook group of over 3,100 highly engaged women. That didn’t happen. Not right away, at least.


Our goal was to bring together 100 women for yoga, mediation, inspirational speakers, and healthy food in a beautiful country setting. We wanted to create space for women to come as they are, and truly connect with other women in community in a very authentic way. We wanted to give them all of the tools to prepare themselves for 2020 – and to dream big!


What we found out is that so many of us have a very hard time making time for and investing in ourselves, let alone dreaming big.


This is strange for me to comprehend. Since I was in my early twenties, I have always invested in personal development – not just as part of the professional development opportunities provided by employers over the span of my career – but personally.


Each and every year, I plan some sort of personal retreat - spring and fall at a minimum. Whether it be a trip to the spa with my girlfriends, a yoga retreat, a personal development class or course, or even just a few days away on my own to read and relax on a beach or in nature – this time is critical to re-setting oneself.



Why do so many of us have such a hard time investing in ourselves?


There were moments over the past couple of months when I thought to myself, what did we get ourselves into? Why are we so committed to creating this special day for the women in our community – the day that they asked for – when they are not willing to commit?


This question was answered over and over by our incredible speakers throughout the day in so many different ways.


The energy in the room throughout the day was electric. And, since the event, I have heard from so many women who were super-inspired and energized as a result of their experience; and excited to re-imagine and re-create the life of their dreams. Many have already made a commitment to read Carol Baxter’s new book, The Confidence Project, or take a yoga class with Carol, or a meditation session with Kate Carson.


Many women purchased Crystal Andrus Morissette’s books and signed up for her upcoming retreats and courses.


It was wonderful seeing the women choosing to continue to invest in themselves!!!


Since Sunday, women have been reaching out to us asking if anyone has the

TOP 10 LIST shared by Celina Caesar-Chavannes during her epic speech....


I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Celina through her work as an MP in our community for the past four years. Celina is one of the most passionate, committed, intelligent, savvy leaders that I have ever had the pleasure to know. And man, can she tear up a dance floor!


In all seriousness, Celina delivered a killer speech on Sunday; one that took me on a roller coaster ride of tears, full-body goosebumps, to roaring laughter. This woman is truly a Canadian Icon.


Thankfully, I was able to capture a good portion of Celina’s talk (best 15 minutes ever!) here:




I have also attempted to summarize Celina’s top 10 list below.


This stuff is priceless….


CELINA’S TOP 10 LIST

  1. Work hard, party harder. Take time for yourself.

  2. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

  3. To whom much is given much is expected. There is a responsibility to give it back.

  4. Never take the first offer – it’s the low-ball. It’s a hard lesson that you have to learn. Know what you are worth. Negotiate.

  5. Sometimes you have to swallow a little. If you swallow the medicine, it will make you better.

  6. If you think about something twice, you’ve thought about it one too many times.

  7. If it doesn’t make you want to vomit, it’s not worth doing.

  8. The rolling stone gathers no doubt. Keep moving, ask questions, connect. If you are passionate about it, just keep moving forward. (ask questions, seek advice, just continue the movement and don’t stop and doubt yourself).

  9. Nothing that’s meant for you can ever pass you by.

  10. Go big or go home. The world right now needs us to show up. The world needs your solutions. Yes, it is. Your go big idea is going to change someone’s life and if you just change one person’s life, it's good enough.


Go big or go home because the world needs you to show up.

– Celina Caesar-Chavannes


Celina left me ruminating on the following questions – and I hope you will too!


1 – How much are you worth?

2 – Is what you are investing in investing back in you?

3 – What’s your next gig?


Remember, go big or go home!


PHOTO BY JOSIE CIPRIANO PORTRAITS

If you are a woman from Durham Region, you are welcome to join our network – it’s free!

Visit us at www.durhamwomensnetwork.com

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