#13: Learning in San Francisco

This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of traveling to San Francisco to take part in Landmark's Self Expression and Leadership Program Workday 2. Besides visiting some of the loveliest people, eating some delicious restaurant and home-cooked meals, and going on some runs and adventures I also got to learn a few things. As I have mentioned many times before (but have remained elusive), I am working on a community project as part of the Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program. While the project still has a ways to go (and I will be discussing in more detail in the next coming weeks) I can already see the aspects of this journey that had and continue to have the largest affect on producing worthwhile outcomes.

  1. Step outside of your comfort zone!
  2. Cultivate relationships
  3. Find and experience happiness and fulfillment

ESPECIALLY since Saturday, I have been reminded of how important these things are and how important it is to make them a priority!


Stepping outside of your comfort zone

This one is tough, because no one likes to be uncomfortable. But, there is a huge sense of accomplishment when you do something that you know is positive, but feels out of your realm. For example, public speaking.

I have never thought of myself as someone who had a fear of public speaking, but I have started to realize that I have a fear of vocally participating. In class, if I am not 150% sure that I know the answer, I just think it and never say it. Or I am one of those annoying people who whispers it right next to you. I LOVE to participate... from my the comfort of my chair or mind.

Well this weekend I decided to really participate in my Self Expression and Leadership course and wound up telling a bunch of Californians that I worked for an oil and gas company… Whoops (got a chorus of laughter after I apologized and admitted to wanting to say "I work for an energy company"). This, and other times that I participated in the class, lead to people coming up to me and telling me how interesting or how funny something I said was. And that made me feel good and connected to the people in the class.

So what comfort zone are you stuck in? Figure it out and try to step out of it! The results may surprise you.


Cultivating relationships

No man is an island. No matter how often you want to "do it yourself", you can't always do that. We are pack animals. We need community.

Okay, so let's say you disagree with me. Fine, maybe we don't "need" it, but I believe that we THRIVE in community. We are better as a result of others. We are not great in and of ourselves.

Once we are able to recognize how integral relationships are in our lives, that is when we truly feel effective and vibrant.

For example, in an effort to complete this community project, I have reached out to and gained support from the following people and organizations:

  • Theresa Strong (Bel Inizio)
  • Regina Walker (Brigid’s Hope)
  • The women at Brigid's Hope
  • Mike Puccio (The Beacon Kitchen)
  • HEB
  • Well Done Cooking Classes
  • Garth Davis
  • Ruth Black
  • Christina Jones
  • Julia DeVito

This does not fully comprise the people who will be involved in this project or the people that I have reached out to in an effort of making this happen. This is an effort that has been contributed to by EVERYONE in my life and many other communities and folks in Houston.

But look at all of those names! All of those conversations I had to have! I got lots of no's, but would that be the first thing that you thought of while reading this list? Looks like it is time for another one.... no!

I am so honored to be beginning, continuing, or expanding my relationship with these amazing people and organizations. They are making me bigger, wiser, and filled with a sense of purpose. I have to do right by these people who are trusting me and need me to fulfill on my word. For that, I am eternally grateful.

What relationships are you cultivating right now? How are you serving them and what are you getting in return?


Happiness and fulfillment

Happiness and fulfillment really comes largely from the two mentioned above happening simultaneously. Purpose brings happiness. When you are cultivating relationships that bring meaning to your life, when you are working for a person, people, or a cause larger than yourself, happiness and fulfillment naturally follow.

*Note: I am not saying that the road is paved with daisies 24/7. Happiness and fulfillment is a product of hard work. Knowing what hard work is and how it pays off is where you truly understand that inner sense of joy, satisfaction, whatever it is to you. You understand that it can't be found in that car, that paycheck, or anything materially tangible.

For me, the happiness and fulfillment aspect is due to knowing that this project will have a positive impact on the effort of debunking the myths about healthy eating; that it is expensive, not delicious, and difficult.

So there you have it folks. I am super excited to have shared this with you and hope that you forgive me for the lack of pictures.

To make up for this, I will share some of the weekend's fun:

Day 1 + 2: Orinda with Megan and Ricky


Day 3: Landmark Self Expression Leadership SF... Stephen, Katia, and Ken went to Napa

Day 4: SF exploring with Katia and Ken

*Little lame on the pictures. But that ice cream. OH MY GOSH... Is vegan. YES! That right there is chocolate sorbet (ridiculously delicious) and coconut almond from The Ice Cream Bar.

Later on, we made lots of veggie sushi!!

That little number right here on the bottom I could eat with that spoon. You just chop up some cucumbers and peppers really fine and then add some Garlic Chili Sauce. That's it. We put this in the sushi. It was a huge hit.


Day 5: Big Basin National Park exploring, sea kayaking, and fancy dinner having

Day 6: 17 mile drive and back to Houston