The heavy pistons that were pounding in my soul have subsided to a gentle hum. The chaos that has been hindering every thought is now still.
My chin comes back up, and I can finally see the path in front of me. That season, whatever it was, is over.
This past weekend, a humble design conference in Memphis was the first time I found myself truly experiencing Church. While there was no mention of a defined higher power, the conference represented and shed light on every aspect of what we truly believe, and what truly fills our souls.
Creative Works Memphis was founded and executed by my friend, Josh Horton. His love for Memphis was quite evident, and filled an intimate room full of 200 creatives. Artists eager for inspiration and insight into their diverse creative careers, sat upright in their chairs, extracting every ounce of hope, encouragement, and inspiration from each unique story.
There are conferences that people arrive ready to impress and network. Unlike those events, Creative Works was full of artists open to vulnerability. It was a room full of talent, all doing big things, and we just wanted to…
Miraculous things happen when artists open up and tell their story. These seemingly well-adjusted and established creatives open their souls wide enough to let the listeners right in. These esteemed professionals let their guard down, and assure their congregation that they have the same pain, the same doubt, and the same insecurities as them.
Events like this stretch a safety net right under the tightropes that we all walk on a daily basis. We suddenly allow ourselves freedom to take a new path, to push harder, to pull back, to change perspective, and to make leaps without the fear that we once had. Creative Works Memphis made us realize that someone is cheering us along, but also there to catch us if we fall.
Work in the creative field long enough, and you’ll soon realize how important it is to connect with a creative community. Work in the field even longer, and you may muster up the courage to foster that community. Josh, with his heart, coupled with his tenacity and attention to detail, managed to wrap his arms around the attendees and speakers of a sold-out event. His undying conviction and love for his city made a mark large enough for the rest of the creative world to take notice.
Creative Works is one big group hug that the whole creative world needs to get in on.
For me, it was a time to tell my own story, and to bear my own soul. I arrived broken, jaded, and exhausted in my own day to day operation. Speaking for thirty minutes was only a to-do item on an event that I attended in hopes of having a good conversation or two.
I got so much more than what I came for. I was lucky enough to see every speaker, and hear every story. I couldn’t help but to think of all of the ways that I could change and improve upon the approach that I take to my work. With every speaker was a new way that I envisioned stretching my business.
But then there were the conversations. There’s something that happens when the people who inspire us tell us how inspirational we are to them. Our whole perception of life flips around, and we suddenly allow ourselves to see something new in the mirror. We see someone who is inspirational, capable, and more powerful than we ever realized. Not only did I get pulled up off the ground this past weekend, but this community also dusted me off, straightened my collar, and hoisted me up upon their shoulders.
Thank you, Josh. Thank you, Yellow Shirts. Thank you, Memphis. Thank you, Creative Works. I am fully restored.