She knocked on my door unexpectedly, and there she was – soaking wet from the pouring rain outside. We squealed with excitement and held each other in a long, tight embrace, and it felt like home.
It’s quite a rare occurrence that you meet someone for the very first time and feel the way Brooke made me feel. Her energy is warm, welcoming, vibrant and the very first thing we did together was take a casual stroll, sans-umbrella, in the pouring rain from the room I was staying in to the dining hall. I will adore this fact forever.
What I loved the most about spending time with Brooke that evening was getting to know the woman behind the photographer. I’ve known of Brooke Shaden, the incredibly talented fine art photographer, for a long time. But up until she invited me to speak at the Promoting Passion event, we had never had a prior conversation. I knew she was special, I was excited to meet her – but I truly had no idea how much she would impact me, inspire me, and change me.
Brooke is extraordinary. She radiates kindness, she’s selfless, she’s giving, she’s down to earth, she cares so much – almost to a fault. She’s a natural business woman, she oozes talent and creativity, she’s overflowing with passion and drive, and she genuinely wants to leave her mark on this world and make it a better place.
Every day, I kept pinching myself that I was lucky enough to have been hand-chosen by her to be a part of such a magical event. The fact that I was able to be a part of the very first Promoting Passion Convention, something that is so close to her heart, something that she is so passionate about … and then being able to witness her experience it for the very first time … it did something to me.
Watching her live out one of her greatest dreams, and getting to witness her as it actualized into reality … it made me glow. It lit a fire in me, a warmth in my heart that I know has changed me.
One of Brooke’s favorite quotes that she shared with us this weekend is by Deepak Chopra who says:
Brooke, you changed my life.
Without even knowing it, you invited me to step even further into my own power, to let even more of my light shine. You reminded me that we should always be dreaming to achieve things that feel totally out of reach. You reminded me that in order to achieve greatness, I must expand my view of what I am capable of.
And for that, I love you.
But most of all, I love you for being you. I love you for being brave enough to shine your light. Even though on the surface you make it seem so easy and effortless, I know there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. I know that day-in, day-out, you’re making a conscious effort to be the best person you can possibly be. And I’m so grateful, because it inspires the rest of us to do the same.
Promoting Passion was extraordinary. Brooke never succumbed to what the event “should” have been, she embraced creating an event unlike one that has ever been created before. One that felt natural and authentic with an intimate, family-feeling atmosphere. One where the speakers spoke about the topics that truly lit them up. One where the vibe and energy was so undeniably high, everyone could feel it.
I applaud you, Brooke. And I am proud to call you my friend. And like I said many times this weekend, I know this is the beginning of a magical friendship. I adore you.