Wow. It’s hard to believe The HeartStories Summit is over and The HeartStories App is in beta! After almost 2 years of brainstorming, planning and organizing, it’s finally here.
Today, I’d love to share some of the highlights of The HeartStories Summit experience with you mostly in pictures and direct quotes from the women in the room.
I opened the day sharing my own HeartStory about how the company, the app and the summit all got started. Of course I got a little teary, but made it through. I closed by sharing the HeartStories Pledge and we said it out loud together as a group.
The atmosphere was exactly as we hoped. It didn’t really feel like a conference, it was warm and inviting, more like hanging out in your girlfriend’s living room.
“I loved the atmosphere in the room, it was beautiful, and the energy in the room from all of the ladies, was equally beautiful.”
“Not only is Shasta Nelson an amazing speaker who can easily capture an audience, she also challenged us to be introspective in our friendships and to figure out who our closest friends really are and whether or not these relationships are as full, strong, and meaningful as we want and need them to be. “
I can’t tell you how many times I heard the phrase “I want more Shasta!”. Shasta blew the doors off of a personal myth I’ve been believing by asking us to name the friends that belong in each of the 5 circles of connectedness. She explained the progression from contact friends to committed friends and the intentional steps we have to take to go from one to the next. For the first time, I could see that the friends I’ve known the longest aren’t necessarily my closest “committed” friends. Just because we pick up where we left off, doesn’t make them friends I am committed (and able) to spending my life and my time with. When Shasta asked, I had to raise my hand admitting that there are some circles on that continuum I feel lonely in. Honestly, it felt good to admit it and when I looked around the room, almost every woman was holding her hand up. It helped me realize that I need to make some changes and it was comforting to know that ironically, I wasn’t alone in that.
It was also confirmation that the HeartStories app is truly needed to help keep friends in the “Committed Friends” circle in the midst of our busy lives. The app gives us a way to further our commitment to one another by opening up and sharing how we are really doing on a daily basis in a way that fits into our hectic schedules.
“The most meaningful thing I learned at the Summit was when Dr. Firestone suggested that we should treat ourselves like we treat our good friends. In other words, my attitude toward myself should be as kind as I am to a dear friend.”
During Dr. Firestone’s facilitation of “Conquering Your Inner Critic” many women were surprised and encouraged by how similar the critical thoughts of the others seated in their groups were to their own. One attendee shared, “Dr. Firestone helped me reframe the ‘I’m such a terrible mother’ statement into ‘You’re such a terrible mother’. Until then, I never really knew that was a false accusatory attack and not the real truth about me. I felt an immediate and overwhelming relief as I began to see for the first time how I’ve been sabotaging myself with my own beliefs. This one new way of seeing things will be life-changing for me.”
Leisa Hart got us on our feet centering the WiFi in our bodies. We examined the ways we hold ourselves back and she inspired us by sharing simple steps we can take on a daily basis to rise above those things.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Dallas as we moved to the tented poolside to enjoy a gourmet lunch and hear a touching HeartStory from Anne Murray, of Southwest Airlines. Vicki Adkins chatted with Anne as she opened up about the unexpected twists in her story that would have knocked many of us to the floor. She shared candidly how she struggled and why we should listen closely to the call in our hearts when we feel like we are being led to make a change in our personal lives. I’m quite sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
“Anne Murray was truly inspirational in sharing how she overcame incredible obstacles and found strength in her journey.”
Angela Joyner inspired us to be comfortable in our own skin, exactly as we are. She even showed throw back pictures of herself and of me from high school with our big giant bangs!
Then, she jumped off the stage and led us to get our groove on with a high energy Zumba break!
Even Shasta and I shook a leg.
It took Mendhi Audlin no time at all to help us realize how we all sometimes let that dreadful question “What if…” keep us from doing things we really want in our lives. By leading us to share aloud with each other, she quickly showed us the power of changing the framework of the question to be focused on “What if it all goes right?!”.
Everyone relaxed a little more with tension reliving massages provided by Massage Green throughout the afternoon.
We got to know the gorgeous Libba Tullos as she cheerfully kept us prompt and informed throughout the day.
“I was reminded all day long of the importance of connections, and how surface level conversations don’t do nearly enough to feed the soul. I immediately went home and made time that week to connect with my soul sisters, and plan on continuing to do so on a regularly basis by phone and daily through the HeartStories app.”
We had our very own HeartStories photo lounge during The Summit presented by Patton International Realty and Ashley Lowrance.
“Hearing the touching stories about the girls here locally and overseas who are being rescued from human trafficking by Traffick911 and My Refuge House opened my heart to want to become a part of that fight.”
The beginning of my personal journey to create HeartStories was the day I first came to understand the reality of human trafficking and since day one it’s been part of the vision of the company to raise awareness and funds to put an end to this modern day slavery. So we invited two organizations that are fighting for freedom and restoration to join us at the Summit.
Lindsey Speed shared with us about the wonderful work that Traffick911 is doing in Dallas to restore local girls who have been victims of human trafficking. Kim Jones shared about her recent visit to My Refuge House in Cebu, Philippines and a personal story of one of the girls whose life is forever changed by the work they do.
The girls at My Refuge House in the Philippines hand made these wonderful red wire heart shaped bracelets for the attendees of The HeartStories Summit.
With donations for the bracelets and the support of Technology Partners and Marsha Clark and Associates, who sponsored the give-back component of the event, we raised almost $2,700 to bolster the efforts of My Refuge House and Traffick911.
Door Prizes, Door Prizes…..
….and more door prizes!!
We gave away over 50 door prizes from our sponsors, including headphones from ChicBuds, SkinnyGirl tank tops, SkinnyGirl wine, Massages from Massage Green, a healthy yoga package from Hart Yoga and Pilates, a gift bag of full size products from TONI&GUY, full size gift bags from Medicine Mama’s Apothecary, a gift basket from Dorey Aromatherapy, mobile spray tanning sessions from Beachy Tan , a full month supply of Plexus Slim, a full set of eyelash extensions from Lashes by Lisa, an overnight stay at Stanley Fisher House B & B, a gift certificate to 5th Street Patio Cafe, a beautiful gift basket with products and a service gift card from Hotel ZaZa’s ZaSpa, books from each of the presenters, HeartStories necklaces, HeartStories t-shirts, and we ended the evening by drawing for two roundtrip tickets courtesy of Southwest Airlines!
The swag bags were full of Medicine Mama’s products, sunglasses, wine charms, make-up mirrors, coupons and more.
“It was fun for me to have straight hair for the day!”
TONI&GUY spoiled us rotten with hair and make-up styling for anyone and everyone who wanted to be treated like a princess for the day. They also provided full size products for each attendee.
“For the first time in months I was pampered throughout the day.”
“I loved hanging out with the girls all day, getting our hair and make-up done, and growing deeper in our relationships at the same time.”
Finally, in an exciting moment, we launched the HeartStories App live from the stage and walked everyone through how we can use it to share life together.
We all got a chance to hear a little more love in our headphones.
“The summit was so much fun. I loved seeing a group of women come together as strangers and by the end of the day, so many of those ladies were new friends. I came to appreciate my close friends even more and I learned about the importance of nurturing those relationships. It was certainly a great day of reflection and fun.”
We got the after-party started with prosecco and wine from SkinnyGirl, gourmet appetizers and chocolate hearts.
There were lots of fun times with good friends in the photo lounge!
We chatted it up with the speakers and got our books signed.
We ended the evening with the soulful sound of Catie Waters.
“Catie Waters and her awesome band is truly one of the most soulful and talented bands that I have ever seen live and I mean even in comparison to some BIG NAMED artists. Just Crazy good!!! Catie’s voice is better than chocolate!”
“If you didn’t stay for the after party with Catie, you missed it!!!”
It was so wonderful for the HeartStories team and me to be able to hug your necks and hear your stories. Thank you to those of you who made it out and if you missed it, we hope you’ll plan to join us at the next one!
Now, go to beta.heartstories.com and start sharing life with your closest (committed) girlfriends and let us know what you think!
To hearing more love!
HeartStories Chief Love Amplifier
P.S. You can check out ALL the photos from the event here on our Facebook page.
“The HeartStories Summit exceeded any and all expectations I had for the day. Each presenter had a message that found it’s place in my heart. Every message was applicable in some way to what women encounter on a daily basis. Friendships were made, bonds were formed, and vulnerability was a display of beauty throughout the day. I can’t wait to see what HeartStories has in store for us next!” – Rhonda Barr