What I’ve learned during the journey

Happy fifth anniversary to us! Five years ago, I stepped out on faith to create the Movement Maker Collective. And whether you’ve been part of this community since Day 1 or you just joined us, I’m so glad we’re here today, celebrating together.

I launched this platform to provide fuel for #Firestarters like you, whether you are building a movement for change in the world or within yourself. (Over the years, I came to realize more and more that these two things cannot be separated — but more on that in a bit.) 

But something funny happened when I built a place for others to learn and grow: I experienced learning and growth in my own life that I could have never predicted. In the five years of Movement Maker Collective, these have been five of my biggest lessons:

  1. Don’t even try to outrun grief. We don’t like talking about grief and we certainly don’t like experiencing it. As I’ve written before: “I have an undergraduate degree in mass communications, a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership — and a PhD in compartmentalizing my feelings.” But in recent years — as I’ve lost my father, my grandfather and way too many dear friends — I’ve learned to break down those compartments. I realized that I need to stop pushing forward and to just sit with grief. As I have, I’ve begun to experience its transformative power. I find meaning in what the people I’ve lost have taught me and in honoring them with my work.
  2. Take a do-over. As I write this, it’s almost Easter and I’m on my way to London. If you’ve watched my TEDx Talk, you know that the last time I went to London, it was a wakeup call for me that I was not doing the things that brought me joy. As I’m discovering on this trip, we can redo those moments in which we weren’t aligned with our truth. This empowers us to get unstuck and move past difficult memories. And it makes us brighter beings. This “soulcation” is all about being a light seeker for my own truth, but also the lessons the world will share with me. As this season reminds us, rebirth is always within our reach.

  3. First things first. I believe that we all hear the callings of our soul — callings that tell us what we need and what we’re meant to be doing here on this Earth. But what do we do then? Fill our calendars up with everything except our callings. And we somehow think that we can fit the things that light us up — and the things that we can do to light up the world — in between all that other stuff. And you know what I am going to tell you: This never, ever happens. After a concussion sidelined me for months, I knew that I finally had to give what I value most the most value on my calendar. And that changed everything.
  4. Fuel your fire. Like I said earlier, the movement within yourself can’t be separated from the movements you create within the world. This was really driven home for me as I wrote my book “Find Your Fire: Stories and Strategies to Inspire the Changemaker Inside You.” The women I interviewed for “Find Your Fire” told me about how they create the change they want to see in this world. But they also told me that they can be passionate #Firestarters only because they are very deliberate about nurturing and supporting themselves. Caring for yourself and caring about your mission in life are not at odds.
  5. Faith and fortitude, always. Again and again, I’ve faced moments where I’ve had two choices: Step out on faith, or step away in fear. As you’ve probably experienced yourself, stepping away can feel a whole lot easier and safer. And stepping out can feel downright scary. But here’s what I’ve experienced: When I answer the call to step out into the unknown — even when I’m not exactly sure how to get where I am going — whatever I need always shows up, whether that’s advice, support, an opportunity or a person who can guide me. By stepping out on faith over these past five years, I’ve changed jobs, launched my book, delivered my TEDx Talk and accomplished so many other things that gave me butterflies in my stomach when I first thought about them.

So those are my lessons from the past five years. Now I want to hear about yours! How have you grown, transformed and surprised yourself? Have any of the resources from the Movement Maker Collective sparked change for you? Drop me a note and let me know!

In the meantime, thank you for celebrating this milestone with me. I can’t wait to see what we create in the next five years! 

More #Firestarter Fuel

  • Have you checked out my first #Me-Set Minute on YouTube?
  • See some highlights from my recent book talk benefiting the Junior League of Austin and I Live Here I Give Here.
  • Molly Stillman interviews me on her podcast, “Can I Laugh on Your Shoulder.” And I promise you will laugh.

Copyright (c) 2023 Movement Maker. All rights reserved.

Want personal notes from me to you? Sign up for my newsletter, Friday Fuel a newsletter for #Firestarters who are building movements for social good and within themselves. Join the #MovementMakerTribe and sign up for this monthly inspirational letter today. And you can follow Terri on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.