On a rainy Sunday morning I found myself squeezing into a crowded little hall. I quickly got myself checked into the Mindset Mast Social. The beautiful woman at the desk greeted me with a warm smile and gave me my goody bag. I’m not sure if they technically call them goody bags, but anytime I’m handed a bag filled with snacks I count it as a one.
I stood on the edge of the doorway for a few minutes, watching other little groups chat and laugh together. I don’t typically go to events alone. I mean, who wants to, right? No one wants to be the one person without a group safety net to catch them if they blunder through an odd encounter, or the event ends up royally sucking.
This year I’ve challenged myself to go outside of my comfort zone. I’ve changed so much in the past few years I’ve found it can be hard to find people already in my circle who are as passionate about the same things I am, so I’ve given myself a little goal to be brave and venture to events and meet-ups based around some of the things that have become so important to me. When I came across The Positivity Charge, I was so excited to see a group of women with such a great mission, and when I saw that they’re doing a few events in Philly this year I made myself sign up without letting myself overthink it.
That’s how I found myself on Sunday at the Mindset Master Social. I really didn’t know what to expect, but when we were lead upstairs I was more than happy to help myself to a mimosa and find a seat. I was immediately grateful to be sitting next to someone else who happened to come alone. A sweet and lovely lady from Lancaster. Bonus points to her for telling me about her dog, that’s the quickest way to my heart.
After everyone settled there were some quick introductions and then we jumped into…
wait for itttttt….
You heard me right. Well, technically it’s called “Cacao Sound Meditation” which sounds a lot fancier. Even as someone who’s not some crazy chocolate lover I was super intrigued. I’ve been trying out some meditation techniques lately to help focus my ever jam-packed brain, so I was excited to participate a led meditation.
It was lead by Jalpa Dhaduk, who started us off with some basic meditation, and then we slowly ate little bits of chocolate, really taking our time and focusing on all of the different senses. She pointed out how usually when we have chocolate we just shove it in our mouths and are quickly looking for more, but slowling down and really savoring the entire experience helped to focus my mind on the moment. Although mine was melting in my hand a little, so I won’t lie, my brain was also going “GET A NAPKIN NOW YOU WEIRDO”. You win some, you lose some.
After that we moved onto the keynote talk with Doctor Colleen Reichmann. Holy moley, is she a woman after my own heart. I honestly wasn’t expecting to hear a talk that was so on point with things running around my own head recently. She started by opening up about her own struggles with an eating disorder. Then she so eloquently explained how we all live somewhere on the mental health spectrum, even though not everyone crosses the border into actual disorders. She did such a great job explaining how some of us are born with some predispositions to mental health problems that start us off farther down the spectrum towards disorders, and things like stressors and environment can push us over that border.
Her main point revolved around how common mental health problems are and how important it is to learn to treat them just like we would regular health issues, ditching the stigma, and learning to embrace proactive care. I actually have a whole page of notes on my phone from the talk!
Like I mentioned before, I didn’t want to overthink going to the event, so I didn’t spend much time even looking at the event list, so by this point in the morning I was thinking “did they really just go inside my brain and steal all these ideas?!”. I finally started journaling again this year after not doing any for over ten years. I absolutely loved it as a teenager, but quickly ditched it when I was paranoid that someone was reading it. This year I dove back in, and have been really loving it.
The co-founders of The Positivity Charge, Parisha and Dr. Rubina led the journaling workshop and went over the benefits of journaling, and gave us tons of useful prompts and idea of how to really take full advantage of journaling.
Like I mentioned, going to events alone is generally not my jam, but this was so worth it. Even though I felt some low-key social anxiety almost all morning, getting to hear from and talk to people about things that have been so close to my heart lately was refreshing and exciting. I’m actually really excited for The Positivity Charge Conference in August to get a little more out of my shell, meet some new people, and really connect!