What I Learned On My 42nd Birthday

April 10, 2017 No Comments TAGS: Beauty, Career, Motherhood, Relationships, Sex & Sexuality

On Friday April 7th, I celebrated my birthday by sharing the day with 120 women in my first-ever conference, Off The Fence & WISE. Off The Fence & WISE became the collaboration of two Montreal empowerment brands: Women On The Fence and Wise Women Canada. The day was happy, it was funny, it was heavy, it was dark, it was uplifting, it was spirited. And it surpassed my greatest expectations.

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I don’t even know where to begin. I am still on a high. So many of you have asked me about it. So today will be a mixed bowl of those details, life lessons, and some pics. Come along with me on the ride…

All speakers shared some incredible wisdom and life lessons. I want to share them with you. 

But first, Canada’s First Lady Sophie Trudeau coincidentally was my childhood friend. We danced ballet together growing up. When I asked her if she would speak at our #OffTheFenceAndWise conference many many months ago, she answered in disappointment, “Wow, this day is going to be incredible. I will be away at the time, but I would love to share a message with your 100 women.”

And so here it is. We showed it at lunchtime.

Now, for our lessons:

  1. We’re all born with infinite potential and creativity. We all have it in us. Each and every one of us. Our jobs are to discover and uncover what that is, and live creatively.
  2. Our past story is often what blocks us from our breakthrough. We believe the stories we tell ourselves over and over again.
  3. And so, we learned that our past doesn’t define us. It’s simply… our past. And we can change our story any time we choose. Change your story, change your life. YOUR HISTORY DOES NOT DEFINE YOUR DESTINY.
  4. I learned that I need to RELAX… if my house is dirty or the dishes are piled in the sink, but I’m out there PLAYING and having fun, that’s cool. Playfulness is more important than a pristine house. THANKS JULIE COLE!
  5. I learned that sharing a hardship instead of bottling it up is the way to live free. So many times we put up masks, facades, give the illusion that life’s perfect. But when we take off the mask, only then can we begin to heal ourselves. And sometimes it starts by raising your hand and saying, “Life isn’t as perfect as I have made it seem…”
  6. It’s okay to be vulnerable, and it’s okay to not have the answers. Period. End of discussion.
  7. I learned that when the ball drops, and the worst thing we can imagine happens, we are still resilient and we can still make it out alive. The sun will shine again.
  8. I learned that laughter, music and dancing aren’t the solutions to life’s problems, but they make good bandaids.
  9. I learned that people shock you– in both ways. People you expect to be surface people have tremendous substance and can go so deep and open up, and the opposite holds true.
  10. I learned that we ALL want the same things in life no matter who we are or where we’re from: we all just want love, and we all just want to be HAPPY.
  11. Thank you again, Julie Cole: Please don’t pass judgment on the things that are working in my life. My job is to be concerned with me, it’s NOT yours.
  12. I learned it’s okay to play to our strengths, not our weaknesses. Thanks, Lynne Goldberg.
  13. I learned that through visualization, and imagining good things for ourselves, we can actually make them happen for ourselves. Thank you, Susan Wener.
  14. I learned that we need to find our OWN VOICE, instead of being the eternal pleaser. That just comes with self esteem. When we feel good about ourselves, we can be good to ourselves.
  15. I learned that strangers can become fast friends. 
  16. I learned I cannot give from an empty cup.

Enjoy some highlights from our incredible photographer Victoria! Thank you for capturing the essence of the day as it unfolded, AND for donating a FREE BOUDOIR photo shoot to every woman in the room to embrace their sensuality.

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Dinner Thursday night with these amazing humans. From left: Liz Wiener of Wise Women Canada, Julie Cole of Mabel’s Labels, Mama Bee of Eh Bee Family, Lisa Brookman of Wise Women Canada and Moi

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Gotta love supportive husbands. Grateful for these 3. Lisa, Liz and my hubby!

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My little guy meeting his idol Mama Bee!

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Off The Fence & WISE custom cupcakes from DoughNats!

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The power of community. Pretty special.

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Good morning!

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The 3 Stooges, whoops, 3 Organizers!

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120 women ready to learn!

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Some stories are very painful to listen to. This picture pretty much sums that up.

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I am in love with this picture

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Real life, real moments

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From left: Me, Maddy K, Lisa Brookman, Natasha Gargiulo, Liz Wiener

Your MC for the day

Your MC for the day

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Thank you DoughNats for these amazing custom afternoon treats!

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It’s never dull when Mama Bee is in the house!

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The girls and my mom surprised me with a birthday cake! Fun times!

Friends and partners

Friends and partners

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Too cute! DoughNats in my name!

And finally, click below to see the whole gallery.

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Thank you ladies for all your social media sharing. I am in awe of the postings and wise words you are sharing. If you want to see some of those, simply look up #OffTheFenceAndWise on Instagram. Some really nice shots.

So after an intense seven hours of MC’ing the day, I came home, showered, and got to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday and my 42nd together. My boys gave me hugs and told me they were proud of me, and that felt nice to hear (even thought we all know validation is just external, we must find the internal joy ourselves), and I felt grateful that I am doing something I love. That my career can sometimes be meaningful for other people. That really was the best birthday gift of all.

As I lay in my bed Friday night, I came to two real realizations… Our speakers were just preaching to the converted. And here is what I mean… It’s funny, I find in life that the people who don’t subscribe to empowerment or self-improvement, are usually the ones who need it the most. So, I urge you, if you are suffering in any way, to stop complaining, and take action. Movement no matter how small, in the right direction, is game changing.

And second, you want something? Stop making excuses why you can’t have it, and start getting resourceful. You’d be surprised just how resourceful and resilient women are.

So thank you for a magical birthday. I can’t wait for Off The Fence & WISE Fall 2017 Edition.

With love and gratitude,

Erica3

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