What do you see when you observe toddlers play with toys or friends? I see pure flow, excitement, curiosity, and 100% presence. That is the definition of joy to me. And growing up, along the way, we lose the continuity of this nurturing, safe, and fascinating feeling of joy. It comes and goes. For some reason, at some point, in our day or week, we catch it from its tail and feel privileged to experience it. Sometimes we get to savor it, and sometimes we do not even acknowledge it while running from one shiny distraction to another.
And that is why when we, as adults, stumble upon an opportunity to cultivate and experience joy continuously, for hours, even days, we feel like happy toddlers.
I just had the pleasure of attending the #encounter360 event in Tampa Bay, FL, which took me back to that infinite joy of being a toddler. For two days, I get to BE and FEEL joy. During those two days, I caught myself saying twice that I felt like a child. When I reflected on that, I saw why I felt that way.
Environments where you can express yourself freely and authentically, where the only energy you receive from others is love, compassion, friendship, and support, make you feel safe. And when you feel safe, you express yourself even free-er, just like a beautiful vicious circle – a positive one for a change – that grows and grows. That takes you right to the happiness you had in your heart when you were born.
Then you get to experience,
- Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphin go off the chart – as Melissa Hughes, Ph.D. shared,
- A common purpose of being – as Ozlem Brooke Erol championed,
- The dissolving of fear and imposter syndrome – as Phillip T. Williams, M.S. HRD expressed,
- A tangible version of great transformation – as Heather Hansen O’Neill described,
- The chance to unleash your innate divinity – as Allison Kenny demonstrated,
- Expansion of collective consciousness – as Jackie Woodside, CPC, MSW explained,
- A declaration of interdependence using your voice – as Mac Bogert pointed out,
- Beautiful energy that starts growing – as Temple Hayes mentioned,
- What happens when you feel you belong – as Paul Haury inquired,
- Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – as Mariah Edgington and Byron Edgington quoted,
- The meaning of owning your awkwardness – as Andy Vargo beautifully articulated,
- How and why we want to be seen, heard, valued, and understood – as Eileen Bild and Trevor Bild presented,
- The sheer happiness of knowing from start to end that you are at a Netweaving Event and not a Networking Event. – as Dennis Pitocco shared.
An encounter that brings everyone closer to each other, where gender, religion, political opinions, status, background, age, cultural differences, and nationality disappear, leaving behind joy, energy, consciousness, loving-kindness, and deep connection.
You find yourself carrying a heart filled with infinite and unconditional love, overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of humanness, and that there is still so much hope for a bright future for humanity.
And you feel the utmost gratitude for being alive and teleported right back to where you were a joyful, creative, curious, courageous, and authentic toddler.
Thank you my Turkish sister for capturing the essence and also summarizing all the points so well. Yes we were like kids and we need to stay that way no matter what. Thank you for all the sharing during the event and after. It gives me joy and makes my heart smile my friend.
Great post Ipek…You’ve summed it up very well.
Blissful it was and people yearned for more.
Wouldn’t life be amazing if we could embrace this openness and childlike spirit everyday?
Mentally…I think this was a pause with a cause “BE cause” we all probably needed it.
It was indeed a pause with a cause, dear Loree. It was lovely getting together with you and everyone in Tampa Bay. We will be waiting for the next one patiently. Love and light!
You are the gift that keeps on giving, my friend Ipek – thank you for lifting us all with your presence and your joyful spirit.
Thank you so much, but know that I am only reflecting what I receive from this beautiful family. We are all mirrors of our environments. Much love and light!
Ipek, this is an excellent capture of the event, the speakers and their message and how doing things outside the box expands consciousness, connections and opportunities for growth. Feeling free to be authentically “me” while learning something new and forging forever friendships. Cheers to living fearlessly!!
Indeed, Eileen! Cheers to living fearlessly, together, in this amazing community of gorgeous human beings! Much love to you.
My dear friend, you have eloquently captured the heart-centered connection I also experienced at #Encounter360. The soul-resonance and amplified energy in gathering together has me feeling elevated and blest. Grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow, share, and BE!
In joyful fellowship,
Dearest Victor, having the chance to get to know you better and witnessing your calm, quiet, and wise presence has been a gift to me. I am so happy to see my essay resonated with you and that your takeaways are aligned with what I experienced at this marvelous event. Thank you for being in my world and I am so looking forward to getting together again and again in the future.