Saturday, August 30, 2008

It’s OK to have some fun

July 21
It’s OK to have some fun!

Current mood: loved
Category: Life

Ahhhhhhh, Rapport. How to I begin to explain Rapport to those of my (oh-so small) minion who do not know about Rapport?? I am a Master Graduate of a leadership program called Rapport Leadership International. They are based out of Las Vegas and I was sent as part of living the culture of my former employer. The training consists of 100 hours and takes place over 3 weekends. I am not sure what the official party line is of what someone should expect to get out of Rapport is, I can only share what it did for me and why I have now sent 3 of my family members through the program.

To me, Rapport put a mirror in my hand and gave me a time-out of my life to spend some time really getting to know who I am. What my strengths are, where my faults lie and what it really really did was showed me that I have the strength, wisdom and POWER to overcome all my blocks and for once and for all get out of my own way. I really doubt if I would be sticking to the diet or, on a larger scale, be living the life I am leading without having gone through Rapport. It is, without a doubt, the most powerful and enlightening experience I have ever gone through and has given me tools to deal with any situation life can throw at me. That's all!

And now ladies and gents....I'd like to introduce you all to the newest Rapport Grad- Sierra Owen!! Let me back up for a moment before I dive into my observation of her experience. When I went through Rapport one of my first goals was to create a better relationship with my parents and extended family. It is a work in progress, mainly with my mother, however I saw sending my family through Rapport as a chance to give the people I love the most the same tools that I had been given. I see Rapport as a gift I am able to give them and I am dedicated to doing all I can to helping my family grow together. I am not sure if I will ever get there but this is what I feel I can do and I am happy to share it with my fam. I first sent my brother Cory, he attended the first of the 3 classes I attended. I am not sure if he will ever complete it but I know he got a lot out of his expereince. The next person I sent was my oldest niece Holli. I do know of at least one very special thing that came from her experience and for that one thing alone I am so happy and grateful and if she got nothing else I think it was worth it for that (right Holli?). She has mentioned a few things she got out of it and my hope is she keeps going back to that experience and knowing if she did THAT- she can do anything.

So next on the list was Sierra. My beautiful niece who, on the surface, it seems like she is the left-behind child. I had scheduled her 3 times before we were finally able to get her to Vegas for her weekend. The last time we had to move things around was because of my brother's passing and she was so hurt and upset that it broke my heart. I told her that one of the magic things about Rapport is that when you go, it is always with the group that was meant for you. The people in your class create and make the whole experience and while she didn't understand me at the time she did finally "get it" and I think she is glad she went when she did.

The beautiful thing about Sierra is she is so open and has such a good heart. She is an emotional compass and is always drawn to the people who need her the most and she always knows just what they need. Whether her Mom needs a hug and some cuddle time or her cousin needs someone to sit and talk with him while he shreds on Guitar Hero. She is the girl who will always be there for you. That is not to say that the chick does not have some attitude problems but who didn't at 15?? And while it seems like the world gets to her last each time what I hope she will come to understand it that happens that way because she is strong enough to handle it. She is a strong amazing girl.

She flew into Phoenix (first solo flight!) and was amazed at Phoenix. She is (her words) a "picture ho" and snapped about 300 pics during her trip (see her photo gallery). Then we flew to Vegas the next morning. We had a few scary cab rides and while we did not have a ton of time in Vegas we did get to see the Wax Museum and she got the "worlds best muffin" and a $6 fruit cup. Don't ask me why that was so great...she is a strange child, what can I say. For those who have gone to Rapport you can chuckle at how much airport security hated her backpack....I kinda forgot about that part a a few items had to be "surrendered" Oops! But she was rocking Tink (her backpack) and then my good frend Jess met us and loaned us a pillow and sleeping bag (THANKS Jess!!). We got to the Rapport office and watched her class trickle in. I must stop for a sec and give Sierra props for being open and excited to go. She never really questioned me and just really let go and went on faith and trust in me that I was sending her someplace good. I appreciate and honor that so much. Her attitude was a sharp contract to her class which ranged from bored, to scared to just plain pissed. Knowing what was coming for these kids it was hard not to smile as I thought about how they would look just a few days later.

She got on the bus and began her weekend as I hung out in Vegas. I did hit a snag when I got stranded at the Rapport office for over 2 hours waiting for a cab only to finally be driven by one of the Rapprt employees to my hotel. I was assigned the task of getting dice suckers for Sierra and her friend (something about re-enacting a music video, I didn't want to know more) and found them at my hotel! Check! My other task was to take pics of random things which I think I did a fairly good job of...Check again. All I really wanted to do was hang with Jess and we got to do just that so it was a very nice weekend for me.

On Sunday it was time for the graduation. As the parents gathered in the lobby everyone was wondering about their kid. Would they be greeted with hugs or glares? When I finally saw Sierra she was smiley and excited and it was clear right away that the class really clicked. The ceremony was amazing and listening to all the kids share their stories and what they learned was amazing and it was really food for the soul. There was not a dry eye in the house but I kept my eyes on Sierra. When she got up and shared my heart broke and soared at the same time. What she said is her's to repeat (what happens in vegas stays in vegas) but what I know is I have never been so proud of anyone in my whole life. Sierra is a strong, creative and beautiful soul and I am so proud to be her Aunt-T!

So while Sierra thanked me for sending her I want to offiicially thank her for letting me share her experience. Watching her and her entire class come together and share their lives with her, with me and with each other filled up corners of my soul and I needed them more than any of them can ever know. For all you Master Grads I would encourage you to either send someone or at least attend a graduation. It is such a great way to bring it all back and remind you of your own journey.

My beloved girl....thank you Sierra, you taught me so much that weekend and I love you forever!

xoxo, Aunt-T

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