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Monkee-ing Around with Momastery…..

May 2, 2012

Yesterday, I got a super duper treat! I attended a presentation
by Glennon of Momastery. And Sister was there. So fun! 

Just in case you’ve been living under your keyboard and haven’t heard of Glennon yet, she is a blogger, a tremendous writer, a parent and wife, a sister and daughter, and a recovering addict/bulimic.

She just signed a book deal with Scribner. The name of her blog is Momastery and she calls her readers Monkees (get it, monks, momastery – yes, it’s very, very clever!) The name of her book is Carry On, Warrior. It is due out in April 2013. Her essays frequently appear on Huffington Post.

And yesterday, she became a public speaker. I will never be able to capture her thoughts as well as she does. She writes like she is catching butterflies in a big brutiful net – poetically, gently, with the intent of doing no harm, and with plans to eventually let them go. Glitter falls off her words. I highly recommend you read her words for yourself. But I do want to share some of what she said yesterday.

The very first thing Glennon did after being introduced was kick off her adorable red shoes and sit cross-legged in a chair.

At that moment, the entire audience leaned back in their chairs and relaxed.

And this is (some of) what she told us….

Being Shameless and Truthier

As a recovering addict and bulimic, she has some stories that most people might not be so proud of. But Glennon proudly declares that she is shameless. She says she should be ashamed at how shameless she is. But she’s not. And it allows her a freedom probably few of us enjoy.

During the question and answer session, one of the monkees in the crowd asked about her parents and why they didn’t help her when she started throwing up in fourth grade. (Did that just stop your heart? Bulimic in 4th grade – yes, you read that right.)

The monkee wanted to know: How did they not know? Why didn’t they help?

We all wanted to know. You want to know, right?

She raised her left hand, stretched out her fingers, and tilted her head just a little to slow things down. She shared that she felt as if we were getting into dangerous territory. She said that the facts were they didn’t do a lot. But then she said that it was their story, not hers. Only they could answer those questions. Wow.

And, on the way home, I wondered if Glennon’s own shamelessness sets her free from judging other people. If she is not holding herself up to what other people think she should be, why would she hold others up to what she thinks they should be?

I know, right now you are probably thinking you are so mad you missed the presentation. Keep reading, you’ll be really mad by the time you get to the end. Tee hee.

Sister

If you have read at least a little bit of Glennon’s blog, you know she has a lifeline sister. She seemed equally amazing and they do balance each other out wonderfully. It was a super duper bonus that Sister was there too. Sister is the one who gave Glennon her laptop and told her to get busy writing. I thanked her for that because ultimately it was a gift to all of us.

Finding Your Thing

A lot of the moms in the audience worry about their daughters and their body images. So, who better to solve the mystery of how to starve off eating disorders than a woman who has done it and is raising two daughers? No pressure Glennon. ;-)

In what seems to be true Glennon fashion, she answered honestly, “I really don’t know.” But she did recommend helping kids and ourselves find their/our “thing”. She said that finding joy in our lives scares away a lot of demons (my words not hers – just paraphrasing here). And talking about the things that scare us is extremely important. The more real we are the more safe we become.

There were some moms in the audience who don’t have a “thing” and wanted to know how to find it. Glennon suggested asking our friends what we are good at because they see our strengths.

One woman said, “but we all want to be as good at our thing as you are at your thing.” Then Glennon shared that she spends about 8 hours a day writing and will choose words over sleep. That sounds very Outliersish, doesn’t it? It takes a lot of time to be really, really good.

 Heartbreak

Another monkee question focused on how Glennon manages to deal with the heart-breaking mail she receives. Glennon gets over 100 emails/letters a day from people asking for help. And a lot of them get it. But it is impossible to help everyone. So the monkee wanted to know – how does she do it?

We all want to know, right?

Glennon shared that there is often beauty in heart break. That wonderful things can happen when someone’s heart is shattered. People come together, prayers are formed, and miracles happen.

Mantras

Glennon and her monkees have three mantras…

1. Love wins.
She finds this one particularly helpful when she receives a negative comment on her blog. She chooses to respond with love and she said the effect of that is amazing. She hangs these two powerful words over her computer so that they serve as a constant reminder that love wins.

2. We can do hard things.
A teaching friend of Glennon’s had this posted in her classroom and Glennon loved it so much she had a sign made and hung it in her own home.  She reminds us that “Life is hard. Not because we aren’t doing it right but because it’s hard.” But she also knows we can do hard things together.

3. We belong to each other.
Glennon admits to borrowing these words from Mother Teresa. She said this reminds her that we are all in it together. It ties in nicely to my favorite thing ever that Glennon has written:  “I am confident because I believe that I am a child of God. I am humble because I believe that everyone else is, too.”

Facebook Lives

Glennon cautioned us from comparing our insides to other people’s outsides.

She outlined her outside/Facebook life. In that life she is…..
An author with a book deal
A wildly successful blogger
Talking to tv producers
Pretty and smart
Very funny
Married to a former professional athlete and model
Mother to 3 beautiful children

In her inside life, she is…..
A recovering alcoholic
A recovering bulimic
A recovering drug addict
Was pregnant before she got married
Was arrested 5 times
Overwhelmed by parenting
In marriage counseling
Snuggled in guilt over being a working mom again

She wants us to remember that on Facebook and in other facets of life, people are showing us their best. They might even brag a little lot. But it doesn’t mean it’s the whole story. In fact, we know it isn’t. Life is hard, for everyone. But we can do it.

If you ever get the chance to hear  Glennon speak, do it! Don’t hesitate!

What’s that? You’re surprised I don’t have a picture of me with her. Silly Monkee!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Meg permalink
    May 3, 2012 3:43 pm

    Oh my gosh! I have occasionally come across her blog and really want to figure out how to subscribe to it so I get the reminder when she posts. Just like with yours! : ) Yes, I’ve tried to subscribe and have been unsuccessful. Totally user error, I’m sure. Anyway, I love how “real” Glennon seems and wish I had been there too to hear her in person. Love the mantras!!!

    • May 4, 2012 5:17 am

      I heart her – I really do! She is fabulous – and I tried to follow her blog but I couldn’t find the place to sign up – but you can join her facebook page. I will try to sign you up for mine. You’ll get an email asking if you really want to do that. 8-) Please let me know if it works. Have a great weekend!

      • Meg permalink
        May 4, 2012 5:42 am

        Actually, I did figure out how to sign up for yours and I get a little notice in my email every time you post. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! : )

  2. naomihattaway permalink
    May 2, 2012 10:30 am

    JEALOUS. well, not jealous … maybe covetous? Regardless, am glad you got to see her .. and for some reason I thought she would be shorter?

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