Meet me at the Yellow Conference (my first blog giveaway… EVER!)


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I was the weird one.

Growing up, I was the weird one. The wild one. The one who wanted too much. The one who cared too much. The one who always felt strange for standing outside the lines. The one who tried, with all her earthly might, to shove herself inside of boxes that were always too small. For years and years, that was the game plan and the goal: play smaller. Don’t try to be different. Want normal things. Stop trying to change the world. Just be normal. Why can’t you just be normal? 

I thought I was too much of a dreamer. I wondered why people didn’t care about following a passion like me. I wanted to do something different but I was oh so fearful— beyond fearful— to do something that wasn’t the same as everyone else.

If you are reading this right now and nodding your head furiously then do me a big, ol’ favor: stop. Right now. Stop being sorry for it. Stop downplaying who you are. Stop thinking you need to be “normal.” The world needs your crazy heart. And guess what I learned when I submitted my own wild heart to the world? I learned that doing something that seems a little crazy can change your whole life. Stepping inside of who you truly are– and not being sorry for it– can change your whole life. Stepping outside of the boxes you built for yourself can change your whole life.

More than anything, I want to give you that same chance to change your life.

So this is my first giveaway in the history of… ever. It’s never happened before and who knows if it will ever happen again. I don’t normally deviate from creative nonfiction but when I had the opportunity to give away a ticket to one of the upcoming conferences I am speaking at in August, my heart was legitimately leaping out of my chest. The reason for that is simple: I’ve been blessed with experiences like the Yellow Conference before. And, if you are open to it, these sorts of things dare to change your entire life.

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So what’s the Yellow Conference, you ask?

The Yellow Conference is a gathering for creative women who desire to ignite passion and bring goodness to the world through everyday living. The Yellow Conference will be in El Segundo, (Los Angeles area) California on August 28 and 29, 2014. 

The winner of this giveaway will get a free ticket to attend the Yellow Conference. I’ll be waiting for you at the Yellow Conference, ready to swallow you up with open arms and get the chance to sit down and get to know you better! I’ll be ready to meet you for an in-person Brew Session during the conference. That’s mentorship + fear smashing + a coffee date all wrapped into one.

I’ll also be speaking during the two-day experience, along with several other MAJOR movers and shakers in the creative industry. We’re talking Sevenly, Darling Magazine, and other TED speakers. My talk will focus on igniting uncommon passion inside of you, learning to live a life of service towards others, and getting relentless for the dreams you’ve always wanted to after.

YOUR TICKET INCLUDES: 

+ Admittance to the 2-day conference filled with 10 world-changing speakers

+ Coffee, light breakfast and refreshments throughout both days.

+ Dinner, drinks and restaurant admittance at the Thursday night after party.

+ Goodie bags filled with awesomeness

+ A network of over 150 creative Yellow attendees.

+ Photo Booth and other fun interactive activities throughout both days

+ An inspired spirit and a wealth of knowledge on how to live our your dreams and make the world a better place!

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(( see the full list of speakers here ))

HOW TO ENTER

• Follow the Yellow Conference  on Instagram, ​Twitter or Facebook.
• Leave a comment here telling me why you would like to attend Yellow (be creative as you can be!).
• I’ll be reading throughout the week and choosing my favorite answer as the winner next Friday (May 23, 2014)!

This giveaway will expire on Friday, May 23, 2014.

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113 thoughts on “Meet me at the Yellow Conference (my first blog giveaway… EVER!)

  1. Hi Hannah! As a fellow Assumption grad, it would be a delight to meet you at Yellow. I’m a brand new mama (12 weeks!) who sees the world through an entirely new lens now that my incredible daughter is here. Would be a dream to engage with visionaries such as yourself at Yellow. Doing it for my daughter. 🙂

  2. Hannah!
    Oh, this got my heart racing! This is exactly the sort of thing I have been aching for since I can remember. I would love to be able to attend this conference. I have really big dreams, and I want to do something with them, but sometimes they’re so big that I don’t even know where to start. Being a part of this conference feels like the next step on my journey. I would love to meet the people who are behind such incredible organizations and understand how they got there, and learn how to do the same!

    Some person is going to be so incredibly lucky, Hannah. Thanks for doing this.

  3. Oh Hannah, you have no idea how much I would love to attend this conference. I’ve been feeling so restless, so anxious, so emotional lately; I’ve been praying, praying, praying for opportunities to break out of my stagnant life. I’m done being the girl cooped up inside of her own mind all day, watching other people’s lives play out in front of her on a screen. I’m ready to be the girl who makes things happen, who faces the world head on with the confidence that she can make a difference.
    I’ll be completely honest; I’ve never heard of this conference before. I just looked at the Instagram page for it for the first time about 4 minutes ago. I have no prior knowledge of what it looks like and what it all entails. All I know is that you inspire me; Sevenly inspires me; Ted Talks inspire me. Movers and Shakers inspire me. I want to learn how to do what all of you beautiful people do in my own unique way and learn how to inspire others to join me. Teach me to move; teach me to shake. Show me how you see the world. Let me be a sponge to soak up every drop of your wisdom and knowledge. Take me to the Yellow Conference, please.

  4. Hi Hannah! I’m a senior at the University of North Carolina at Asheville studying political science and sociology. Your posts got me through my junior year, a year of heart ache, existential crisis and finding myself. Life in all its negatives and positives has made me who I am today, and I want to join the movement change the world but I’m afraid I don’t know where to start or how to even really begin. Meeting you and the amazing network at Yellow Conference especially at the beginning of my Senior year of college, I know would be an amazing opportunity that would propel me further into fight mode. I want to make a difference and help others, be a part of la familia at the yellow conference and leave inspired, prepared, and more motivated to press on! It would be great timing as I am about to embark on a new part of life, but more than anything would be an honor and a blessing to experience this.

  5. Passion is deep in my soul. Creativity is my outlet and my love language. Being a part of this conference would be simple a joy! I want to grow, I want to dream bigger, I want to change the world! I want to become more, because I know I was meant for more. I see passion in other people too, and always desire to unleash it. Especially in the unlikely. The ones who have been silenced or labelled; too fearful to unleash it themselves. I want to reach them and I want our dreams to connect and set ablaze. I know this passion in my heart is meant to be shared, and being a part if the Yellow Conference would definitely spark this.

    ps, thank you for being you, I truly appreciate you and your heart.
    : )

  6. I’m sobbing inside while my heart leaps thinking in the thrill of meeting all my favorite bloggers and writers. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, better than the mess of a probate, guardianship, financial struggles. I want to see life rushing like river from the pages and voices and webs during the conference. If it’s for me, I’ll be there.

  7. Hello, Hannah!

    I am elated to discover this giveaway. I happened upon the Yellow Conference on your upcoming events page a few months ago and have been obsessed with the idea of attending ever since.

    I never thought of myself as an earth-shaker or ground-mover until I discovered an adornment for writing and the permission that it was okay to dream bigger. Suddenly I am able to express my thoughts in a way that other people might actually benefit from. My heart leaps at the idea that there could be infinite worth and purpose at the backbone of this personal discovery by helping other people in the midst of the same issues I have learned from. The Yellow Conference is exactly the thirst-quenching experience I need to start moving a little further into this dream.

    I absolutely adore your encouragement, character, and endless love for those that you touch through your writing and movement. You, along with the other nine speakers at Yellow Conference will remain inspirations and sure proof that impact is possible through any avenue that tugs at the hearts of humanity. Thank you for this opportunity!

    Warmly,
    Emily Schrems
    http://www.free–bird.com

  8. In real life, I’m straight up starving for a chance to engage in community with the type of women (like the ones listed above) who are going to grab me by the shoulders, look me in the eyes and say, “You can do it. Just. Start.” There’s magic in that, you know? A pixie-dust that glimmers around those types of people who can call you out – in grace and in love – and propel you toward the fire in your belly. I need that kick in the butt. I crave it.

    I want that. I want this. Because we are the music makers – and we are the dreamers of dreams, right? So let’s get together. Oh, how I long to get together with the movers and the shakers, Hannah B!

    And just in case that’s not convincing enough, hear my plea written in the form of song. It can be rapped to the first verse of Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up”

    Some say the taller the girl, the bigger the shoes,
    I say the longer the legs then the deeper the truth
    I give a holler to my sisters down in Georgia
    Diana Palka says, “That means you, Hannah Brenchaaa.”
    And uhh, I know they like to have ya speak a lot
    When you Tweet a funny Tweet people hit that star a lot
    So please don’t stop, keep writing, never let up
    Create for the Creator and, girl keep your head up
    And when they tell you you ain’t nothin’ don’t believe ‘em
    And if they don’t bring you to life go on and leave ‘em
    Cause sista you don’t need ‘em
    And I ain’t tryin to gash up, I just call ‘em how I see ‘em
    You know it makes me unhappy
    When sisters hate on sisters, and leave a young woman feelin’ crappy
    And since we all came from a woman
    Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
    I can’t wait to learn from these women
    Create with these women, have coffee dates with these women
    I think it’s time to meet all these women
    Time to say hello to these women, meet up at YELLOW with these women
    And if I don’t I’ll cry like a baby
    But I’ll still love all these ladies, that create daily
    And since I really want to come
    I’m hoping you’ll pick this comment… and that readin’ it was kinda fun
    Because I know you love Tupac
    I know you got a lot more comments to read, but you gotta keep your head up

    (Now, I’m 100% embarrassed.)

  9. Hi Hannah,

    Pleased to (virtually) meet you. I have to say, you’ve been a gigantic inspiration to me for the last few years. I stumbled on your More Love Letters project when I was in the trenches of finding myself 24 and unemployed from a job I despised to begin with. That project was what I needed to give away some of myself to others in a positive way. To focus on some good things in life, not bad.

    I watched with a restrained glee while people came across those little envelopes I left, holding my breath while they read my words. I usually had to walk away though. Fear told me I shouldn’t watch for too long, in case they thought I was some big weirdo.

    I’m sitting, right now, in a dark office fulfilling my not-quite-dream as a graphic designer. I’ve got three computer screens on right now, full brightness up, surrounding me and making my face glow with an unnatural light. I am not much for this particular life. I want days with real light, some sunshine, creativity spilling out of my veins. I want to find a higher purpose somewhere in my cup of chai tea.

    In college, I left behind my big life passion. My writing. I am a creative writer turned graphic designer. The little girl I used to be really loved fiction. Telling stories. Scribbling in journals for hours on long car rides. I cobbled together short stories, I crafted novels as a young adult originating from embarrassing fan fiction. I wanted to be known as a writer, full-time. I got good at some things, I thought. But I left that dream behind in pursuit of more steady, safe work. A safe life. A stable life.

    I don’t know what words I ever wanted to write anymore. I’ve lost my stories. They’ve disappeared behind a 8:30 – 5 life. I’d like to get those back. Meeting you at the Yellow Conference… maybe that will do it. Reignite some spark in me that I know once resonated somewhere, deep in my young-adult-lit-loving soul.

    Best regards,

    Amber C.

  10. Hi Hannah,

    Firstly – this might be a double post. WordPress got wonky on me.

    Secondly – Pleased to (virtually) meet you. I have to say, you’ve been a gigantic inspiration to me for the last few years. I stumbled on your More Love Letters project when I was in the trenches of finding myself 24 and unemployed from a job I despised to begin with. That project was what I needed to give away some of myself to others in a positive way. To focus on some good things in life, not bad.

    I watched with a restrained glee while people came across those little envelopes I left, holding my breath while they read my words. I usually had to walk away though. Fear told me I shouldn’t watch for too long, in case they thought I was some big weirdo.

    I’m sitting, right now, in a dark office fulfilling my not-quite-dream as a graphic designer. I’ve got three computer screens on right now, full brightness up, surrounding me and making my face glow with an unnatural light. I am not much for this particular life. I want days with real light, some sunshine, creativity spilling out of my veins. I want to find a higher purpose somewhere in my cup of chai tea.

    In college, I left behind my big life passion. My writing. I am a creative writer turned graphic designer. The little girl I used to be really loved fiction. Telling stories. Scribbling in journals for hours on long car rides. I cobbled together short stories, I crafted novels as a young adult originating from embarrassing fan fiction. I wanted to be known as a writer, full-time. I got good at some things, I thought. But I left that dream behind in pursuit of more steady, safe work. A safe life. A stable life.

    I don’t know what words I ever wanted to write anymore. I’ve lost my stories. They’ve disappeared behind a 8:30 – 5 life. I’d like to get those back. Meeting you at the Yellow Conference… maybe that will do it. Reignite some spark in me that I know once resonated somewhere, deep in my young-adult-lit-loving soul.

    Best regards,

    Amber C.

  11. Too cool, girlfriend. 😉 LOVE THIS.

    And yes, I’ve felt so abnormal all my days, and as a child everyone was all, “Eliesa, you’re so special. You’re a truly special girl.” And I hated it. I wanted to be normal (for some pretty heart-wrenching reasons, too). And those heart-wrenching reasons are going to perpetuate into my new brand. Gah, can’t wait to get it all going, hopefully I can buy you some bubble tea and we can gush over big dreams and changing the world sometime this steamy summer.

    Have fun picking a winner!

  12. You already give so much, and now this. Thank you, Hannah.

    I’m just now stepping out with my words on a brand new blog. But I’ve tried this before, and I’ve always gotten scared, like a bird made skittish by a broken twig in the woods. Right now I’m waking up each morning and writing, but what’s to say that I don’t quit in a month, like I always do? As I write this, I realize I’m not afraid of starting; I’m afraid of my own fear.

    I’d love to attend this conference, but not to help me begin pursuing my dream. I’m not looking to gain courage; I’m looking to keep courage — to keep pursuing, keep living life with honesty and openness, and not to run away like I have before.

    And I know now that the missing puzzle piece in my past attempts was community. I’ve always been a loner, and I’m comfortable with that. I like going it alone (or so I tell myself at the start). But in time I get discouraged and I can’t keep going. I think, “No one cares,” and I quit. I make myself alone and then use my loneliness as an excuse to abandon my dreams.

    In the end, I don’t want to go to this conference. I’d rather stay at home by myself. But I think I *need* to go to this conference.

    In any case, I’m grateful for the community of your blog. And I’d love to have you join me at mine: http://lesshappierlands.wordpress.com/

    Thanks for sharing your heart with us. It’s a treasure.

  13. Dearest Hannah,

    I am the running shoe diaries, and am so very pleased to meet you (virtually of course). The truth is, I stumbled upon you, your ted talk and your blog when I was at the lowest low of my life. And somehow through your story, your acts of kindness and the inspiration that is your heart I found an avenue, a road a pathway to not just believing in the crazy, ambitious and big hearted soul that I am, but to also to start acting on everything I felt to spread joy around the world.

    I took months to get out of my lowest low, but I made a pact with myself and your story to take everything I had learnt and help as many people as I can all over the world. And all over the world it was just that – from the US to Canada, to Africa and now to Europe where I now reside. So since then I have hosted letter writing parties, blogged like a crazy person, left my own personal love letters to the strangers of the world, my friends, family and even to myself and beyond that spent hours and hours convincing hurting loved ones and strangers to never give up, continue believing and to spend the minutes, hours and days they need to draw out their stories, their visions and lives and just put it all out there for the universe to grab hold of and just bring to life.

    And while I continue to live each day embracing this special gift that I have to give back into the world, I search for how I can embed more of it into my life. And if anything take my crazy corporate life and couple it with these emotions and philosophical views and somehow change the way we not only do business, but raise and grow organizations, our people and clients that we interact with. You know what its like to have a million and one ideas racing through your head at once, and I am longing for the time and the inspiration to just figure out how to take all this magic and bring it all to life.

    This Yellow conference would be that chance, that chance for me to be even more inspired, but even more focused to just get all this craziness out on snip-its of paper so that I took like you can bring my dreams to life.

    From one dreamer, life changer and believer to another.

    Yours Sincerely,
    The Running Shoe Diaries
    http://therunningshoediaries.blogspot.co.uk/

  14. The process is alive

    It tells me

    I tell it

    It visits me with words of encouragement

    It washes me away

    In it I find myself hiding underneath the ruins

    I am the ruins

    All at the same time: confusion, chaos, and a blank

    Let these ruins come to life.

    These words above are my artist statement. One of many written, but this one I hold close to my heart. Behind these words there are dreams (and many other “things”,) big and small, some forgotten, some walking around the ruins trying to find a door, a window. Anything.

  15. The process is alive

    It tells me

    I tell it

    It visits me with words of encouragement

    It washes me away

    In it I find myself hiding underneath the ruins

    I am the ruins

    All at the same time: confusion, chaos, and a blank

    Let these ruins come to life.

    These words above are my artist statement. One of many written, but this one I hold close to my heart. Behind these words there are dreams (and many other “things”,) big and small, some forgotten, some walking around the ruins trying to find a door, a window. Anything.

  16. Hannah, wow, I never dreamed this could exist. As a creative idealist, I think it is a positively GOLDEN {yellow} idea! I would be honored to meet your lovely self after being moved and inspired by your blog posts and Letters project.

    Let me introduce myself. I am a professional photographer http://www.lauracphotography.com who experienced a huge life shift through burnout and loss and developed a new way of thinking and living called http://www.theyearofme.net. This year I’m taking it past the blog and website stage into a book and monthly gatherings with inspirational speakers. It’s not a dream anymore, now I get to really share my lessons and encourage and motivate people to live their best lives!

    It would be amazing to attend the Yellow Conference with you and gain inspiration and connections to take my project even further!

    Blessings to you friend.
    Warmly,
    Laura Cottril

  17. Oh, Hannah.
    I’ve taken a backseat to your blog posts and Monday morning emails for far too long.

    Your emails fill me with hope. You somehow manage to reach out from my computer and simultaneously slap the doubt and worry from my furrowed brow while gently holding my delicate heart and whispering in my ear, “you are worthy of good and capable of great.”

    Each week I sit at my computer, reading your carefully chosen words while donning a wide brim smile much like the elegant sun hat I hope to totally rock someday.

    All too often I feel like that large, floppy sun hat. I feel like my dreams, aspirations and potential to love – the world and myself – are these out-of-place novelties hanging over my head, meant more for the elegant do-gooders on the pages of magazines and those far more worthy than I.

    But. I. Am. Worthy.

    You told me that. You told all of us that. And you keep telling us every week because sometimes we need to be told twice. Sometimes we need to be told ten times. Sometimes we need to be marched down to a department store, locked in a dressing room and forced to try on that big, floppy sun hat. We need to realize that we look damn good in hats. That we DO rock them. That our dreams, aspirations and potential to love ARE wide brimmed and floppy in all the best ways.
    And. They. Fit. Us. Perfectly.

    Let’s wear hats together this August. Like you, I would love nothing more than to rub elbows with the people that are going to change the world some day. I want to try on their hats, but more than that, I want to learn to love the one I’m already wearing.

  18. Hi Hannah,
    I’m a 26 year old single girl living all on my own in Philly. Originally from a small town in the south, this place terrifies me, and yet the excitement is at the same time, endless.

    Two months ago, I lost the entirety of 10 years worth of writing, that, all kept under cyber lock and key, belonged to a website that without any notice, now no longer exists. My whole world was poured into those pages, a desperate tale of growing up, the raw and unfiltered emotional tales of my youth, from years 16-26.

    Since the unexplainable and unimaginable heartbreak of losing my life’s work to the one place I thought it could never be lost, I’ve somehow let go of any motivation to begin all over again. What I’m searching for is that kick, that nudge, that shove in the right direction. I’d be honored and thrilled to attend Yellow Conference with you. Not just to meet someone (you) who inspires me daily to keep writing, but to reawaken what I know is just begging to come back up and breathe fresh, new air again.

  19. Hmmm. My reason for wanting to be there? I am sixty-one years old/young and have spent my lifetime caring for others and fitting in art and writing in the minutes I have left for myself. I need a kick in the pants/head/knee (you choose) to make me tend to me before I leave the land of the living. I never apply or comment/enter on things like this, because I can’t imagine ever breaking into that sort of freedom.

    Good luck to all who comment and enter. Have a hopeful day.

  20. After high school, they told me there was one option: college. Every single person in my life told me that I was far too brilliant to do anything else, that I had to color inside the lines. College was my path because that was how you became successful.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love learning. I love books. I love raising my hand and pouring out paragraphs about the way the world works and why history, politics, literature and religion make my heart come alive. But I couldn’t live with being someone who believed that was the only path to success, or that I was less if I chose a different road.

    So, I got on a plane and went to the middle-east for a month. I sunk my feet into unfamiliar dirt and lost my heart in a warehouse that houses a food bank. I left part of my heart on the streets of Jerusalem, and when I left they gave me this precious “thank you for serving” letter.

    That letter now hangs next to my older sister’s college diploma. It hangs where mine is supposed to go. Maybe one will be there someday, but maybe not. I’ve learned to be okay with either option.

    Since then, I’ve been doing reception work, writing, photography, and graphic design. I’ve been mixing a lot of colors together and haven’t been quite sure how to throw them on the canvas that is my life. I think that’s why I want to go to The Yellow Conference; I just want to hear the beautiful journeys of other people who didn’t walk the normal or expected path. The people who took risks, who had dreams that are bigger than their hands could hold. I want to see what some of those canvases that are further along than mine look like. I want to be reminded of why I’m on this journey, of why I decided to make my life look different. I want to be inspired to dream again and to change the world. Because I’ve always known and always said that I was going to change the world. Honestly, I just want to bump elbows with people that are already doing that… with people who just got there a little quicker than I did.

    Ashlin

    1. Ashlin,

      My name is Ashlee and your story touched my heart more than you will ever know.

      I was reading through everyone’s comments, trying to figure out if I even had a shot at getting the privilege of this giveaway. Then, I ran across your post. As I read the words you wrote, the words from your heart, my heart started to race. It blows me away how powerful a persons life story can be. This is almost exactly where I’m at in life. I spent two years in college (I bought into the whole “color in the lines” idea), but now I am lost in a sea of uncertainty. I’m not supposed to be in college right now. I’m not supposed to be in a box. And your story reminded me how beautiful life can be when you trust your heart and break down the walls the world puts around you.

      So, thank you for sharing. You have a beautiful story. Please, never stop sharing it. Be bold and keep fighting to stay true to you. You’re awesome!

      As much as I would love to have this giveaway (it would be the best birthday ever), my vote is for you.

      With love,

      Ashlee

      1. Ashlee,
        I could not have been more surprised by your comment. I’m just sitting here with teary eyes and completely floored by your words. To know that in just a few paragraphs, my story was able to stir something in another person is more encouraging to me than I could ever say. Just knowing that it inspired one person, makes all the struggle seem so much more worth it.

        Thank you so much for telling me this. I can’t explain what it means to me and I will definitely have to print it out and keep it somewhere safe to remind me that the choices we make really do matter and how beautiful it is when they affect other people.

        Thank you so so much! I am more grateful than I could ever say.

        Ashlin

  21. In thinking of what to put here, I imagined a love letter (because, well, obviously), then a list of all the things I admire/adore/love about you, then a parody of some Macklemore tune, then a shopping list because those all seemed “different”. But, really, what I bring to the table is eleventy billion ideas associated with a plethora of dreams and sometimes that’s overwhelming especially since I’m a nervous rambler. Instead, I brought you an agenda of the things most pertinent to us -you and me, us. An agenda that would provide SO MUCH conversation over a cup of coffee (or, if the weather in Southern California in August is like it is now, iced tea) while also keeping me in some way on track because I get so excitable and chatty.

    The agenda holds Target (and Jamal -the imaginary or real), Macklemore and all the goodness there, the importance of handwritten notes, how love letters to ourselves are vital and necessary, what it’s like to conquer the many challenges that make transforming dreams into reality, and our hamarita.

    And, just for your reference, “A Wake” is my favorite of Macklemore tunes.

  22. I love math and physics, whole bunches. I would express this as a child and was met with several responses by the adults around me that left me rather confused. They usually followed the following themes:

    1. Stop showing off.
    2. You’re making the other kids feel bad.
    3. I hate math.

    So I turned inward to keep my own company believing that my love was an illicit affair better kept to myself.

    I was sooooooooooooooooooooo wrong! There are many people out there who love the sciences for all sorts of reasons. As an adult I have come to understand how much I hurt myself but not trying to find a group that appreciated my mathy love.

    I have a project that I want to launch in the US inspired by a Github Repo/Meetup group called “Papers We Love.” Their goal is to get people together to talk about computer science. In their Github repo they curate a collection of the papers people have shared.

    I want to take the Github Repo/Meetgroup idea and make it about mathematical proofs that people love. I would even like to do it as a sister group to the original.

    I need some mentorship on how you can kickoff and launch a group like that! How to get attention, get stakeholders involved (like the various math blogs) and organizing the events where people come in to talk about the papers. A conference like this would certainly be inspiring but would also help me make this project a reality. Something I would like to do within the next year, at least starting in Portland where I live.

  23. Hi Hannah, everyone here is deserving of a chance to make incredibly positive changes in their life and the lives of others. It’s hard to make a case “for pick me, pick me!” I’m at a pivot point in my life, and am ready to be inspired how to do good, be of service, and make a career out of it. I was planning on attending The Yellow Conference, but was saving my pennies until I could purchase a place amongst my fellow life changers. I look forward to meeting you at the event, one way or another.
    Tam

  24. Hannah-
    You would be the reason that I would attend The Yellow Conference. You…the daring soul who loves to roll words around her mouth just to feel the sound; You…who can see other people’s foibles so clearly and still love the imperfection that is surrounded by perfection; You…the one and only, wild crazy heart that is Hannah Brencher.

    You have truly discovered that magical intersection where your talents serve God. You dance with the Divine in every word, thought, emotion and action, and it is all embued with love and Divine grace.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with the world! Your light shines brightly and is not hidden under a basket. You have “let your light shine before men…that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” Matthew 5:16.

    Thank you Hannah, for being you!

  25. Dear Hannah,
    I can’t imagine that you will even read my comment in the midst of the hundreds of comments that have already been written. Reading the stories of others on this page has been enough of an encouragement to me to make leaving you this note well worth it.
    The heart of this conference, with its rhythmic beats of the many women who will attend, beating in unison because in spite of the diverse passions and abilities represented there is a shared, common vision, is what beats inside me as well. As soon as I read more about YC I recognized the similar beat within my own chest; how could it be that I am not alone?
    They say that if you take two functional, beating hearts and put them, hooked up and all, in the same jar that they will eventually find the same heart rhythm and beat in-sync. Since hearing this, I have come to believe that this is God’s way of saying He created our hearts to find each other, to get on the same wavelength. But could it be that God created hearts that beat more like some than others? Could it be that God intended for certain hearts to find each other in order to carry out similar purposes?
    My girl Dorothy Day said, “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?” A Revolution. A Heartfelt Revolution. That Is what I know I am called to be a part of. It starts within each one of us, individually; yet, to become a revolution of impact it must be felt by many, collectively and simultaneously.
    As I prepare to move from my home state of Florida to the state of Texas to begin my graduate program studying Agriculture Leadership, my heart beats louder and louder every day with the hopes and ponderings of a future where I can give my passions and abilities over to help address problems that I had once thought were untouchable. Hunger. Poverty. Women’s Suffrage. My heart, my SOUL aches to get my hands dirty with the work of these issues.
    How absolutely incredible must it be to gather with likeminded souls, with hearts that find the same beat as your own, to ponder the ways we can do something with our lives to make others’ better?
    I’m so excited for you, dear Hannah. I’m excited that your heart is going where it can beat so loudly in-sync with the hundreds of other hearts there at Yellow Conference. Again, with a scroll of the page I doubt that you will even read these words, let alone consider to take me with you to this place. But, I couldn’t give up the chance to write to you. After all, just learning that there were others with the same heartbeat as mine was so good for my soul that I was inspired to dream of one day making the trip to YC myself.
    So Thank You, sweet sister, for the dream. 🙂
    Love, Valerie

  26. Oh! Dearest Hannah,

    To meet the living, breathing, human behind the amazing words that fill my heart with so much. To meet other souls who resonate with the same passion, love, and warmth that I feel that I have to give, would just open me up.

    I feel as if I am stuck in the dirt, waiting to be watered, nurtured. I hear everyone else calling my name-the rebels, the lovers, the dreamers and the doers. The ones who have found their nourishment and are living for it. I know mine is out there, somewhere, but my vocal cords are not yet ready. They have not yet begun to make any sound. I am timid and I am so afraid, but I know that once I bloom, there will be no stopping me.

    But it’s not just about me. It’s about who I meet along the way, their stories, and how we can bring them together to make something so much bigger and better for the world. I am about connecting, yet I’m also the one who sits in the corner to shy to make a move. I’m afraid I’ll become a hurricane and scare everyone off! I have that much fury stirring inside of me.

    I am young, but time goes by so quickly. I don’t want to look at my life in five, ten, fifteen years and realize that I’m still in the same place. I know I will always be learning, growing, doing something, but will I really be growing and learning, and doing what I want? And will I be doing it along side people who are just as crazy in love with the world and others as I am? I want to find my tribe. I want to find where I belong.

  27. You’re very important to me, Hannah. I just finished one of the most trying semesters of my college career, and the fact that I am still in one piece is due in part to your beautiful, life-altering words. You see, your words have given me breath when life knocked the wind out of me. Each time a new post from you arrives in my inbox, it is like you are speaking directly to me. Your Monday morning pep talks are more satisfying than the fat-sounding “plunk” of the daily paper landing on my front porch. I’m a junior in college. I’m a broadcast journalism major. I know all about reaching an “audience.” It’s a science all my best professors have taught me. But you taught me something more, Hannah. Your blog is broadcast to an audience, but your words “narrowcast.” They zero in on the audience most in need of hearing them. I use my job as an on-air personality at a local radio station to connect with my listeners in the same way. I can picture them in their cars, offices, and homes. When I speak to them, I want to hone in on their hearts the way you have honed in on mine. Take me to Yellow with you, Hannah, and show me how to connect with each person I touch.

  28. Hannah,

    I know that there is the raw materials for greatness nestled deep down inside of me waiting for inspiration and a little fire to get the wildly passionate side of my soul burning. My recent divorce has tried to snuff the light out but it’s reading blogs like yours that make me realize darkness only wins when you decide it will. I don’t want to live in shadows, I want the bright heavenly rays basking all kind of glory on the things I thought were broken. I want to be a mover and a shaker of things that will change the world for the better. I want to use these wounds of mine that are starting to be beautiful parts of my redemption story to reach outside myself and help other people see their wounds are not the end…they are the beginning chapter for something greater than the pain. I want to glean all the love and wisdom from not only your work but all the yellow contributors to get a boost into the world you guys see with so much possibility. So if I ever get the chance to meet you sooner or later it will be an honor because your courage has changed my heart in ways I didn’t know it needed. You give me all kind of brave and the gift of truth in me being more than enough…me even just maybe being amazing. Thanks for all the love, cry fests and amens!

    Always,
    Courtney

  29. Hello Hannah,
    I’m not one of the young and energetic, enthusiastic ladies that have put their passions so eloquently on your comments page – I’m a 50+ breast cancer survivor, who tries to give back everyday. By all rights, I should be gone, but there must be a reason I’m still here.

    I follow your blog and listen, truly, to the message you share with all of our hearts. Life is not easy or pretty, but we can make a difference just by being ourselves and putting ourselves out there for others. I don’t know much about the Yellow conference except what you’ve shared and the links provided, but I think by attending the conference I may learn more about ‘why’ I’m still here and it might help me focus more on being all I can be… to myself, to others, to society.

    Thank you for sharing your words… they speak louder than you may even know. Bless you…
    Nancy

  30. Dear HB-
    I’m tired is auffocating the little girl inside me that I lost so long ago. I know she’s in there. Just waiting patiently for someone to see her. Your writing has awakened a fire inside my heart that can no longer be put out by the unseeing eyes of the people around me. I want to be surrounded by creativity and support and love and kindess. But I don’t just want that for your weekend giveaway. I want that for life. And I don’t choose to wait. I choose to start now.
    Keep making a difference. Your words change people. Change hearts. Thank you for it.

  31. Dear Hannah,
    First, thank you for being such a bright light for so many. You have encouraged me to share the shadow as well as the light. Welcoming our own wounds helps others and ourselves to heal. Great Power in Story!

    My life/work has evolved quite a bit since we met on the TED stage in NYC June 2012. Yes, I still carry my FREE HUG sign Everywhere I go. Yes, I still have my bubbles on hand and share them with strangers. but there is also much deeper work happening.

    2 BIG projects that could grow more w/ a bit of brewing: 1. Globally: Artfully Aware, Community Created Book Project. We are changing the Pity/Poverty Model to Potential & Possibility Model. We interview, collect & share real life stories of resilience, overcoming adversity & locally created innovative projects that positively impact communities mostly in the developing world. The stories are shared in books, speaking engagements & online. You can see the Ghana book here: https://www.createspace.com/4782600 the Kenya book here: https://www.createspace.com/4411258

    2. Locally: launching More Than the Skin You’re In: Love Your Body Tour here in the US. (The content is created & was successfully piloted at KU, yay!) I struggled with anorexia & body image issues for 20 years, today I have many more good days than bad days. GRATEFUL! Through performance/presentation I share a bit of my journey, expose the literally Impossible bodies in airbrushed ads & highlight what the body CAN do rather than focusing on only body size. I want to help others see their bodies for the Miracle they are!

    So, that’s it. You know I’d bring HUGS and Bubbles and enthusiasm and more HUGS and probably some pink glitter sneakers and maybe even a pink tutu. And chocolate. And coffee. And LOVE. So much LOVE.

    Best wishes to EVERYONE who is submitting an idea. Thank you Hannah for the potential opportunity. It felt good to simply SHARE this. YAY!
    HUG
    Kristin

  32. Simply, this would be the bee’s knees. The yellow sunshine all over the website already makes me feel all warm inside and makes me want to say things like ‘the bee’s knees’.

    Hannah, I have absolutely loved following your posts and Monday emails. They truly are words that I ‘tie closer than most’. They have helped me through some rough patches and also the good times when you just enhance the positive mindset.

    Ironically, I live a few short miles away from El Segundo and I would absolutely treasure having this experience. I couldn’t ask for any better, and I can’t thank you enough for even offering this up to your many, many followers. I’ve been in the LA area for almost 2 years away from all my family and friends on the East coast. Long story short, it hasn’t been easy at times. I grasp onto all the good vibes that I can, including your posts. This conference would be the cherry on top. Or since you love brew sessions, the foam on top of the cappuccinos 🙂

    Thanks again for listening and for the opportunity!

    Julie

  33. Hi Hannah-

    I am thrilled to see that you’re speaking at this conference and immediately when I saw it I thought of my friend, Megan, and that if I were to go to this conference, she would be who I would want to come along with me. Sadly, I’ll be a week into graduate school in London and there’s no way I could go, even if I won- but Meg could, and she’s much more modest than I am about herself so let me brag about her. Even if it is against the rules- I’m still hoping she enters herself and this just counts as extra points toward her 😉

    Megan is the type of woman that belongs right up there with you. She is extremely passionate about the work she does with non-profits across the US, she is deeply impacted by social issues that go on around the world and she has a heart of gold.

    She’s the type of friend that sends me an email filled with links to sermons and ted talks and articles to make me more aware of myself, my community and the world around me. She just gets it- and there is literally nothing that get’s Meg more excited than being around people who are as equally passionate about what they love.

    If you choose Megan, not only will you walk away from your conference and brew session with a new friend (cause for real, there’s no person out there that cannot love her)- but she’ll walk away being able to impact far more people that you could imagine. Megan is a mover and shaker and she would use what she gained from that conference to help her friends, help her awesome city of Seattle and help the world. Pick Meg ’cause she is far cooler than I’ll ever be and she can give me tips and kudos in London town.

    I know this is probably cheating, but I like to teeter the line when rules are not highly explicit. It’s way better to nominate someone else deserving than it is to nominate yourself, right? If not- then go read Megan Kammarmeyer’s post and PICK HER!!!

  34. “I wondered why people didn’t care about following a passion like me. I wanted to do something different but I was oh so fearful— beyond fearful— to do something that wasn’t the same as everyone else.”

    I’m Olivia Manson and I’m fourteen years old. I have been reading your blogs for some time now and have found a piece of me in each one of your entries; you manage to send my spark of inspiration into a wildfire and I would love the chance to meet you in person.

    I have found myself wondering the same question of why people didn’t care about following their passions, wondering if I was wrong for caring about something so deeply. I hold a deep passion for writing. It was fourth grade when I found the gripping power that words have. I KNOW it’s what I want to do with my life. I want to write. Writing changed my life, in a way only other writers would understand; now I want my writing to change the life of others, just as yours does. So it would be an honor to meet you and to attend the Yellow Conference.
    🙂

  35. Dreams. Dreams. Dreams. This girl is living her dream every single day, but I know it’s just the beginning. It’s just the first step, the beginning of something grander, something more brilliant than I could have ever imagined or DREAMED of.

    The only problem that I have found to stumble me is fear. Fear, doubt, and lack of self-confindence to step out of that box. To step out and be so much more, to allow God to use me in such a bigger way.

    He’s made me for it. He didn’t make me to fit in a box (something I’ve cultivated and have been trying to do for YEARS). It wasn’t until a few months ago, that God came and resuscitated me. He breathed the bigger dream back into me. He has so much more in store for me.

    But it’s like I’m walking around with a fog machine, each level labeled “fear, doubt, low self worth” Sometimes I have one level pushed in, sometimes I have them all, making my vision blurry, making it hard for me to look at my loving Savior, to look at him and see the beautiful picture he has laid out for me.

    It’s an easy fix, all I have to do is put down the fog machine, but I just can’t. I can’t seem to un-cling it’s warmth from my grip, I’ve found security in the fog, I’ve found security in the fuzzy view. Because if I see, if I truly see, I know I’m responsible for what I see. I could be like Jonah and run, but I’ve found myself in the stomach of a whale too many times to do that again. So instead, I’ll stand with my fog machine, making things unclear so that I never have to move.

    BUT I HAVE TO MOVE. I DO. I need to move for my sanity, so that I can be ME. I’m tired of this girl who is too afraid to see who she truly is, to see that she isn’t small, that God made her with a BIG heart and BIG BIG plans!

    I say all this, to say that I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go to this conference. If I could get a free ticket, that be ballin’! For dreams cost money and I’m still paying for mine 🙂 (probably be paying them for the rest of my life, but hey, it’s worth it.)

    Either way, this is an awesome opportunity! I hope to make it one day!

  36. I’m a 21 year-old Georgia Peach. I stand here as honest as I can be, why I would absolutely love your company & to be in the company of these world-shakers, dream changers.
    An aspiration of mine is to empower women to live a life free of toxic fear & to empower them, so they believe in the woman they were created to be. With this said, I need to be equipped & dripping of knowledge. I’ll be entering into a war-zone, full of lies & entangled with compromise – with no disguise – seeing lives alter, not falter, but placed under the Son to shine brightly to guide people’s eyes to believing the worth & potential that is engraved on their hearts from the very start.
    You see, the past few years have been full of unexpected twists & turns. I felt as if all my hopes were burned. Diagnosed with a chronic disease, unexpectedly (in 2011) – this disease is not who I am, but it has shaped my heart with the hands of I AM.
    I wanted to run far, far away – but the faster I ran, my fears gave in, grabbing my feet & locking me in. Weak & feeble I became – full of bitterness & blame. This frustration created a monster inside, a giant I hid behind – who whispered lies. Over time, I gave this giant my heart. I allowed him to pick me apart.
    Hospital visits & surgeries galore, I knew this life wasn’t meant for me to accept – this struggle was not my identity but a tool used to chip away the hardness of my heart & make the fear evaporate & shame depart. Identity was formed, my heart was revived. I came alive, for the very first time.
    Fear is a liar. Fear is something that entangles so many hearts, minds & souls – yet, most people don’t even know the fear they’ve allowed to manifest in their souls.
    There’s comfort in the unknown & a serenity in someone’s eyes when passion comes alive. For me, passion is seen through the eyes of someone who believes & doesn’t allow fear to enter in the stiff, tall gates that guards one’s mind. We were meant to live a life full of spontaneity. We weren’t made to twiddle our thumbs & to become numb to our dreams that run in our DNA.
    To attend the Yellow Conference would be a dream. I believe this conference is a launching pad for those who believe that there’s no room for mediocrity. Times are changing. It’s time to ride on this wave of revelation.

  37. Dear Hannah,

    As I sit here trying to find the right words, I’m struggling. Every. Single. Lady. Commenting on your post has written an incredible response. It is so beautiful seeing the spark that you ignite in so many others.

    I’m going to tell you how I found you. How I was led to your words and captivated by their meaning. To set the scene: You recently talked about your experience with pants and how you hated how they looked on you. Let’s just say I’m still searching for the right pair of metaphorical pants. Anyway, I was browsing through Twitter, procrastinating an attempt at sleep by wandering the inter webs. I came across a tweet a girl had posted with the post office tagged in it with beautiful stamps saying that she was ready to send out @moreloveletters. It piqued my interest and I stumbled upon your organization that would change my mindset forever. You see, Hannah, I was born to write. I was born to share love through words and intertwine adjectives with metaphors and make alliteration dance across paper. It wasn’t by chance that I found your incredible organization. After reading your blog I was hooked by your “Fishing Lines of Loneliness” post. Yes, cheesy pun intended. Your words moved me to tears…finally, someone out there got it. Understood me. Knew my soul. My writing had taken a back seat to this thing called life. You know, the thing that we duck and weave through when we can’t find our metaphorical pants; when we can’t find ourselves because we get too busy weeding through the things we “should” do—college, working for a paycheck, etc. That night YOU found ME, I wrote my first love letter to a stranger. This letter that someone would receive from me, a stranger halfway across the country, would hopefully touch their hearts and make things that much easier, even if it was only for that moment.

    Hannah, I’m an INFJ according to Myers-Briggs. A 1% kind of girl. A girl who knows her calling is to work with people and make this little thing called life easier for others. So here I am, I’m ready.

    Let’s move and shake, baby-cakes.
    Laura

  38. Hannah! There is so much I could say, really. So many times, I thought I am not even going to try because I am sure there are so many people with better stories, with better reasons. But disqualification can be such a liar, can’t it?

    And maybe even in just leaving a comment, we practice a little bit of good ol’ vulnerability and we let it change us.

    Since I first saw Yellow Conference I wanted to be there. I wanted to be there because I want to spread goodness with my life. In everything I’ve done and in every encounter I have with people, that has been my heartbeat. To be love. To release goodness. To bring encouragement. To change atmospheres for the better. To be an extension of His voice. His heart. His very eyes.

    I’ve been on a journey of getting healing for my heart. I’ve been on a journey of allowing for my soul to be restored (because yes, usually, you need to allow it). I’ve been busting at the seams with dreams galore and owning that as who I am. I am a dreamer. Time to stop putting myself in boxes when I was made for canvases.

    I feel like this would give me the spark, the momentum I am so hungry for. That’s my answer, pure and simple. I am hungry for it, Hannah.

    I would also melt a little inside to be able to look you in the eyes and encourage you for the champion you have been and are. And hey, even if I am not the winner of this, it will probably still come your way one of these days.

    I’ve honestly got no witty cultural references to convince you – what I do have is my heart and my passion. What I do have is this unfightable (made that word up) hope that if this is what heaven has for me, then I am saying yes with my everything. Otherwise I’ll be fist-pumping excited for whoever it is goes knowing that it WILL mark them.

    Because grace always marks people. And THIS right here is such an expression of grace.

  39. Hannah,

    Since I first read this post of yours a couple of days ago, I’ve come back to
    my desk numerous times, hoping to finally find the right words for my thoughts and feelings regarding the Yellow Conference. I’ve been shying away from actually writing a comment because i feel like my story is so ordinary.
    I am 14 years old and living in Nova Scotia, Canada. I am a writer, a traveller (whenever possible), and most importantly I am a dreamer–the one with huge goals and a belief so strong in them that I might seem crazy. Since before I can remember, I have always been the girl who doesn’t fit in. The girl who doesn’t play sports. The girl who loves to learn. The girl who gets along with most everyone and refuses to be defined by stereotypes. The girl who takes global issues to heart and has an unbreakable passion to help change the world for the better.

    That’s why I love your blog, Hannah. I feel a deep sense of connection with your words and knowing that there are others out there like me makes me feel at home. Your wisdom inspires me to be myself and be proud, to show the world my spirit and dare others to do the same. Let me tell you, taking action is not easy, but slowly and surely I am embracing all that I am. I am learning to take risks and live in the moment.

    The fact that I am commenting is progress for me. A year ago I wouldn’t have done this. I want to tell you: THANK YOU– for this amazing opportunity, for for the courage your words give me and for taking the time to read this. Best of luck to you at Yellow and in your creative career! And to whoever receives the chance to attend the conference– make the rest of us Movers and Shakers proud!

    ~Claire 🙂

  40. Hi Hannah,From the outside looking in, my life’s work and passions might appear to be disjointed. You see, at the semi-ripe age of 58, it takes all my fingers and, perhaps a few toes, to count the roads I’ve traveled to explore a dream, play with a passion or develop a vision. Some might say I can’t make up my mind. I say, life is short, I want mine to count both for myself, and for the world. I am an artist. I am a single mom. I am a survivor of llife-shattering blows, and a celebrator of all that I am so damned lucky to have. I will not simply skim the surface of this life I’ve been given, no I will not.

    I have worked as a teacher, a designer, a free-lance painter, a chef, and photo stylist and a writer. At the height of the AIDS pandemic in the late 80’s, I created and served as director of a non-profit organization that provided meals, counseling, surrogate families, and unconditional love to those in my community dying of this wretched disease. In later years I served an organization working with people suffering from dementia where I created an arts program that gave them opportunity for expression, reaching deep into that creative space that even Alzheimer’s can’t erase. But throughout the many phases of my career, the common thread has been that of creativity….more specifically, the creation of spaces where creativity and service collide. And so, when I decided several years ago to concentrate on my design work and build a business that could sustain me for the rest of my life, I knew I had to approach it in a way that was larger, more expansive, than mere “aesthetics.’ I had to think of it in terms of spaces….creating spaces that truly matter.

    So, yes, of course, I’m talking about spaces such as home, garden, office, etc. where we spend a big, heaping amount of time. But I’m also talking about a different kind of space….a more “interior” kind of space that composes our emotional, spiritual and creative lives. This is the space that is reserved for relationships, spiritual life and personal discovery. And what interests me most is the intersection of these two spaces, these “exterior” and “interior” spaces. Because I believe that this place of intersection is where each draws influence from the other and culminates in an intentionally developed space that nurtures, support and reflects who we are. This is how “spaces that matter” are created… our physical spaces are created and inspired by our interior lives and our interior lives are energized and supported by our physical spaces.

    My little design biz provides services for physical spaces… back to that home, garden, office, etc. But what drives the direction of each project is the deep belief in the principal of conscious living…. an intentional approach to living creatively. It isn’t just about a pretty room. It is about finding the deep resonance within each of us that, once discovered, manifests in beauty. It’s about creating spaces that matter to each of us, for whatever reasons we may have.

    I draw energy and inspiration from others who are pursuing their passions rooted in service and transformative work. I often feel I am working in a bubble and long for more opportunities to connect and learn from others….to share their creative space for a while, and allow it to influence my own.
    Thanks for reading Hannah!
    Sallie W.

  41. Hannah,
    Your work is an inspiration. This conference will be the same. Each day I am so fortunate to be able to influence. Inspire and positively impact children every day in the public school system. The arrive every day with a new story, not always a happy one. I work to be better for them. What you write is so relevant! I take it to heart.
    I try to spill this positivity over to my friends and to the community. As part of a larger committee I have helped to host three successful TEDx events here in my own town. Your event is something sounds like it is just the inspiration I am looking for.
    JoAnne

  42. Hello Hannah,

    The big thing that I would like you to know is that because of you I have refused to give up on this old tattered dream of mine. Because of you I have faith that by clinging to this crazy idea that I could change the world through my words and through love in action, that I will create a ripple that could be used as a catalyst for much needed change in the lives of others.

    Though I left most of my childhood in the past, I never could shake two things- a deep and borderline obsessive love for one Mr. Neil Diamond and the belief that my destiny would come through pen and ink. Throughout the years people have tried their best to erode the possibility of my writing ever mattering. Whispers of doubt and common sense filled my head and stopped my hand. Too many people concerned that I wasn’t seeing the big picture. That I could never make a living out of writing.

    Just when those whispers seemed to grow into a crescendo of broken dreams and reality, there you were. Your words found me at a time that I had stopped looking and I couldn’t find it in me to believe anymore. It was your words that picked my shattered spirit off of the ground and marched into my head with all the authority I never knew I how to possess and shouted until the whispers ran, trembling away.

    Your words and your encouragement put me back together, handed me a big cup of coffee, looked me in the eyes and urged me to continue. You saved me from a life of settling and what ifs by showing me the way. You, Hannah B., have changed this world of ours with your heart, your mind and your words. You have given wings to the dreams of thousands and thousands of broken spirits and whispered words of courage, urging us to live our lives and to see the beauty in everything, especially ourselves.

    You are what my six-year-old heart hoped to one day be. And when others whisper their misplaced advice to give up my dream because it isn’t a proper way to make a living, you are the example I display proudly.

    “Look,” I tell them “Look at what this girl who shakes the Earth with grace and love and hope! Look at the good that is being done! THIS is the living I was born to make! Goodness and passion are the paycheck I am desperate for and look at this beautiful girl! Don’t you dare tell me that it is not possible.”

    And when my baby girl comes to me in a few years and gushes all of her hopes and dreams, I want her to be her Hannah. I want her to look at me and see the possibility following your hearts path. I want her to cling tightly to it and when she hears the whispers of others trying to seep into her beautiful, determined warrior spirit, I want her to stop them in their tracks with a bold voice and say,

    “You really ought to meet my mother.”

  43. Hello Hannah,

    The big thing that I would like you to know is that because of you I have refused to give up on this old tattered dream of mine. Because of you I have faith that by clinging to this crazy idea that I could change the world through my words and through love in action, that I will create a ripple that could be used as a catalyst for much needed change in the lives of others.

    Though I left most of my childhood in the past, I never could shake two things- a deep and borderline obsessive love for one Mr. Neil Diamond and the belief that my destiny would come through pen and ink. Throughout the years people have tried their best to erode the possibility of my writing ever mattering. Whispers of doubt and common sense filled my head and stopped my hand. Too many people concerned that I wasn’t seeing the big picture. That I could never make a living out of writing.

    Just when those whispers seemed to grow into a crescendo of broken dreams and reality, there you were. Your words found me at a time that I had stopped looking and I couldn’t find it in me to believe anymore. It was your words that picked my shattered spirit off of the ground and marched into my head with all the authority I never knew I how to possess and shouted until the whispers ran, trembling away.

    Your words and your encouragement put me back together, handed me a big cup of coffee, looked me in the eyes and urged me to continue. You saved me from a life of settling and what ifs by showing me the way. You, Hannah B., have changed this world of ours with your heart, your mind and your words. You have given wings to the dreams of thousands and thousands of broken spirits and whispered words of courage, urging us to live our lives and to see the beauty in everything, especially ourselves.

    You are what my six-year-old heart hoped to one day be. And when others whisper their misplaced advice to give up my dream because it isn’t a proper way to make a living, you are the example I display proudly.

    “Look,” I tell them “Look at what this girl who shakes the Earth with grace and love and hope! Look at the good that is being done! THIS is the living I was born to make! Goodness and passion are the paycheck I am desperate for and look at this beautiful girl! Don’t you dare tell me that it is not possible.”

    And when my baby girl comes to me in a few years and gushes all of her hopes and dreams, I want her to be her Hannah. I want her to look at me and see the possibility following your hearts path. I want her to cling tightly to it and when she hears the whispers of others trying to seep into her beautiful, determined warrior spirit, I want her to stop them in their tracks with a bold voice and say,

    “You really ought to meet my mother.”

  44. Hello Hannah,
    Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Before sitting down to write this quick note, I read through the precious responses and will understand if you do not pick me, but decided to give it a shot anyway. This month marks 3 years in which my life changed forever. You see, I’m not troubled with finding my way, dreaming bigger, or breaking down the barriers of my own life. My main goal is to walk through life open to the opportunities that surround me. Obviously, you know it’s a work in progress and not simply done. Big things don’t happen overnight. They take a story so passionately worth telling. Three years ago, I interned at a camp in Maine for children facing life threatening illnesses. It was there when I met Christopher, a 12 year old facing challenges from his brain cancer. That week humbled me forever and I have never taken life for granted since. Truly. Never did I expect fate to introduce him at another camp 4 years later. From there, my life changed from that moment forward — we’d come to spend countess afternoons together, bonding and forming a friendship of a lifetime. As a result, I founded a grassroots organization called Christopher’s Promise — christopherspromise.org. Our goal is to provide children with physical disabilities with adapted bicycles. After all, riding a bike is a real miss of independence and truly a childhood staple. The smiles that come from their faces are enough to bring tears to your eyes and encourage me to move the promise forward day after day. Here we are, 3 years later with partners from Boston to San Diego. Why do I need the opportunity to attend the conference with you? Because we are at a pivotal moment and I need guidance in moving forward. I so desperately need a brew session with you to understand our potential, but also how to tackle it head on to change the worlds of our kiddos. I need a clearer picture and insight from someone who has wanted something so much and raised it from the ground up. I want to learn from you, Hannah. Brew with me. I’m buying.

  45. I don’t have anything particularly pretty or witty or bright to say. I don’t have a heart-wrenching story. I just have desire, and passion, and yes courage, courage to ask, this one time, for something for me. In the confessional that is an intimate relationship, I once told someone that I thought that I was made for more than this, to be more, do more, give more, if not something earth-shattering, then at least heart-shattering. In return I was told “What makes you think you get to be special?” And I’ll tell you, as my fingers hovered over the keys to write this, I heard those words again. Resounding in my head like a rendition of Taps. I’m ashamed to say that I even allowed it to keep me from writing this for several days, I almost didn’t write at all, self-convinced that why should I even bother and why couldn’t I just be happy with ordinary? I’ve always been a little different, a little outside the edges of the normal, a little eclectic but not so much as to draw too much attention. And never once have I stretched out, truly stretched out, for myself and what was inside me. I keep it locked down, bottled up, battened down so that it doesn’t get too crazy. My mother told me recently, “you have so much potential!” and I agree but I don’t want to be 60 and have potential. I want to unlock the potential, do something with it, and be a blessing in the process. I want to be a light, and not one that hides under a bushel, I want it to shine, and shine, and shine. Maybe the Yellow Conference will be the start of something truly mega-watt. Many thanks to you, HB, for even the opportunity to dream about this.

  46. Hi Hannah
    So first of all I’m 17. I really hope that’s not too young to attend. I was never sheltered as a kid, I was exposed to the brutality of the world from a young age. I often feel overwhelmed by the amount of things that are wrong with the world. Luckily I’ve learned to channel some of that anger towards working to better the world. I’m passionate about so many causes and I’ve always felt I care too much about problems in the world. Everyone around me seems to accept issues so much more easily than me. I have lots of ideas and ambition, but fear of putting myself out there almost always stops me from going through with those ideas. I’ve never said (or typed) this to anyone but I feel like god has given me certain struggles and difficulties so that I can be a voice for those suffering, or so that I can do good. I’m probably going to regret even writing this comment because I am putting myself out there so much. I am always looking for a good opportunity to be inspired and I really think this is the push I need to put my goals/dreams/ideas into action.
    I would be honored to attend with you and thrilled to be mentored by you. This year watching speakers(ie you, Brene Brown, Lori Descene, Tavi Gevinson and many more) I know I’m young but I am fortunate enough to have the recourses needed to make a big impact.

  47. I feel stuck, Hannah.

    I just graduated from college two short days ago and here I am, back at home, feeling a little bit helpless. I’m not even sure if helpless is the word. I know I’m full capable, confident, and ready to take on the world — but what I didn’t realize how overwhelming that world could be. I’m only a day into being an “adult” and I feel as though I should be doing more with my life. I even feel guilty sitting in this chair typing this reply. All I want to do with the time I’m given here is make a difference. And I know that’s such a cliche phrase, but every word couldn’t be more true.

    I want to make people feel something through the words I write, the same way your words have effortlessly impacted me. After my grandpa passed away in February, I channeled my inner Hannah and wrote a letter to each member of my family. That’s when I realized the unbelievable power of the written word. I watched tears form in the eyes of the people I love most, and my grandma said, “Sarah, that was absolutely beautiful. You made me see this dark situation in a completely different light.”

    It’s just that simple.

    Words can make people feel less alone during a time when any true connection is based upon your wi-fi connection. And you have done just that for me, Hannah. You have this uncanny knack for providing the unattainable answer to all of my questions.

    Even now, as I sit here feeling completely lost, it’s your words that give me
    some kind of direction. And although the structured life I used to know is lone gone and my world is wide-open, it’s my chance to rebuild.

    Here’s just one more question that I hope you can answer:

    Where do I begin?

    I would be overjoyed, overwhelmed, and overly grateful if I was given the opportunity to meet you. For the first time in my life, I’m sure I would be at a loss for words.

    I can’t thank you enough for being my connection,

    Sarah Sadler

    1. You’re going to make it. The year after college was one of the weirdest ever, for me. The world was confusing and brand-new. But you will find your way, I promise. And you will do beautiful things.

  48. I feel stuck, Hannah.

    I just graduated from college two short days ago and here I am, back at home, feeling a little bit helpless. I’m not even sure if helpless is the word. I know I’m full capable, confident, and ready to take on the world — but what I didn’t realize how overwhelming that world could be. I’m only a day into being an “adult” and I feel as though I should be doing more with my life. I even feel guilty sitting in this chair typing this reply. All I want to do with the time I’m given here is make a difference. And I know that’s such a cliche phrase, but every word couldn’t be more true.

    I want to make people feel something through the words I write, the same way your words have effortlessly impacted me. After my grandpa passed away in February, I channeled my inner Hannah and wrote a letter to each member of my family. That’s when I realized the unbelievable power of the written word. I watched tears form in the eyes of the people I love most, and my grandma said, “Sarah, that was absolutely beautiful. You made me see this dark situation in a completely different light.”

    It’s just that simple.

    Words can make people feel less alone during a time when any true connection is based upon your wi-fi connection. And you have done just that for me, Hannah. You have this uncanny knack for providing the unattainable answer to all of my questions.

    Even now, as I sit here feeling completely lost, it’s your words that give me
    some kind of direction. And although the structured life I used to know is lone gone and my world is wide-open, it’s my chance to rebuild.

    Here’s just one more question that I hope you can answer:

    Where do I begin?

    I would be overjoyed, overwhelmed, and overly grateful if I was given the opportunity to meet you. For the first time in my life, I’m sure I would be at a loss for words.

    I can’t thank you enough for being my connection,

    Sarah Sadler

  49. The truth is, every single soul who’s reaching out to you at the foot of this blog post, pouring their hearts and passions out on to the page….well, they’re beautiful. I’ve never seen them, and I don’t have to in order to know. As I stare at this page, I see the kind of beauty l that can only be found between striking metaphors, raw words, and pure emotions. My heart swells just reading these stories, and for that alone, I am grateful. Regardless of whether I find myself blessed at the Yellow Conference, I am oh-so-grateful.

    Because having just completed my freshman year of college at the University of Arkansas, I’m no veteran in this game of life. I’m learning. Every. Single. Day.

    But not from a textbook, or a curriculum. Rather, from those around me who hold passion for the lives they live, and are hungry for change.

    For as long as my heart can recall (it has memories too, you know. Much like the head, except far more powerful, sometimes painful, and always meaningful) I’ve been rooted in the desire to be a part of something much bigger than myself. I’ve been meeting with Peace Corps recruiters since the age of 16, and when I graduate college, I hope to serve overseas for two years, among various ambitions. Sometimes (most the time) the fire in my heart is a lot to manage….. and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    You see, I fear very little….except “the comfort zone.” In nearly 20 years as a singer, dancer, and pageant queen, I’ve been pushed in that direction more than once; encouraged to conform, to play it safe, to fit the norm. But those butterflies in my stomach? I never want them to go away. Not even for a moment. I strive to be “forever young,” not in the sense of knowledge (learning is pretty nifty), but through undaunted, bold decisions. Decisions bolder than my favorite french roast, and then some. Decisions so bold and unique, the taste lingers long after all has been said and done.

    Hannah, your words are a blessing to anyone and everyone who reads them. You have the God-given ability to put into words the feelings and emotions that we all struggle to explain. In our early 20’s, I think we’re all a little lost in some way or another. Confused, motivated, heartbroken, scared, energized…..you make sense of it all in a way no one else can.

    You’re the kinda decision maker I strive to be. Bolder than bold. What an honor it would be to meet you at the Yellow Conference…..something tells me you like french roast, too.

    xoxoxo,
    Shelby
    http://www.agirlsguidetothesouth.wordpress.com

    P.S
    I see you’ve found yourself in the arms of the South. Welcome! I’m so excited for you to experience the loving embrace of the culture, I can’t even (and I’ve never been able to even. The place rocks my socks off.)

  50. I would love to go to the conference. But mostly, I would value the time with you. This whole blogging thing–the way I want to do it, at least–sometimes feels like freezing my heart in time and putting it on the web for everyone to read. You’ve been walking the path a lot longer than I have, and I have a lot of questions for you–about how to deal with having pieces of your heart live on the Internet, about how to interact with your readers, and about what it’s like to make a living finally doing your heart’s work. I’d really love to meet you.

  51. I desire to genuinely love others fearlessly, invest in multitudes relentlessly and inspire creatively. My passion is to be find the raw and real beauty in people and bring it out. This conference encompasses my heartbeat and I want, nay, need to attend The Yellow Conference to learn how to accomplish these big dreams and shake this world up; I just need some guidance and investment. 🌻

  52. I’ve visited this page so many times in the past few days ready to try to post my comment to convince you of how badly I want this. But every time I see the comment box, I close the tab and say, “I’ll do it later. My words aren’t perfect enough yet.” And I’ve even made little notes of lines and mini drafts of things I wanted to say in this message to show how strongly I feel about this or how desperately I need this conference. But when it comes down to it, I don’t want to use poetically crafted prose to persuade you to choose me over any other lady that has commented on this. All of these comments are so inspiring, and many of them say the exact same things I have been trying to say to you for days. The “I want more out of this life.” The “I want to be a shaker and mover.” Etc. etc. etc. So, I’m just going to write from the heart, and what comes out is what comes out. And I’ll post this comment and just leave it there.

    I feel like I’ve been waking up to something for a while, and I’m not sure – still not quite sure – what it is. And then I saw this conference, and my heart jumped up inside me, my breath caught in my throat, and tears welled in my eyes, and my little heart-hand shot up in the air and said “Pick me! Pick me! Maybe this is it! Maybe this is my chance!”

    When it comes down to it, I need the kick in the pants, the inspiration, to get my gifts going for something good. Writing, speaking, word-crafting, loving with an open heart. These things have been on fire in me for so long, and I keep telling myself again that, “I’ll do it later. My words aren’t perfect enough yet.” Why? Why do I do that? I put myself back in my seat and lower my up-raised, out-stretched hand one more time because I feel, once again, that what I want is unattainable and unreachable. It’s just not my place. I wouldn’t be good enough or polished enough or… interesting enough.

    God has placed within me the deep seated need to help people through the unlovely times and to encourage them to see the beauty in everything – even in the ugly things of life. Doubt, depression, despair, denial, degradation of self. You name it, I’ve been there… and made it to the other side. I’ve learned that the only way to survive the darkest moments in life is to focus on the Light – that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy. And I want to show others how to do that, too. To learn to be passionate about living, to motivate others to find their giftings and passions, and to create beautiful, peaceful, and safe places for others so they can grow into a life of purpose and deliberation.

    This desire has been inside my heart since college. I’ve wanted to learn what my giftings are and use them to my fullest ability. But over the past few years, I’ve somehow lost my way. After college, I went to law school thinking learning the law and “fighting against injustice” was the way to best help people. I worked hard and set aside so much of myself to be able to survive law school. And during that time, something inside of me shriveled and died. No longer could I easily be the optimist, the encourager, the happy one. I became cynical and jaded and depressed. After law school, I found a short term job that ended and threw me into unemployment (coupled with student debt). Two years later, here I am – struggling with finding my life purpose again through all the muck and disappointment I’ve had so far and doubting my degree choice almost every day. Very little in the way of “career paths” excite me like they used to… until now. Until the chance to learn to use my gifts and talents again to set clear goals, to inspire myself, and to inspire others to be the best we all can be.

    I just need to know what that looks like and where to start. Brainstorming on my own has given me a few ideas that I’m going to follow through with on my own time, but this chance. This conference. This two days where I could meet so many people who have the same inner drive as me and who want to express that drive creatively – Chance. Of. A. Life. Time. And then your beautiful words will be there and Darling Magazine’s inspiring mission will be there, and so many other wonderful and ALIVE people will be there. And I want to be there, too. Oh so badly.

    So yeah. Super long message. Sorry about that. I’ll finish up with this thank you to you. A huge part of this reawakening in my heart and mind have been because of your blogs and your Monday emails. I wouldn’t even be writing these words down here if it wasn’t for those things. So I think I’m already learning a bit about my journey. I don’t know my destination, but I think I’ve started exploring down the right trail. And I thank you. For your words, for this opportunity, and for all the lives that you have touched. And whomever you do choose to go with you on this journey will be one very blessed lady indeed (AND SHE BETTER SHARE CONFERENCE NOTES!!!) 😉 Oh, and maybe a “second place” could be a coffee date in ATL with you? That’d be pretty sweet! 😉

    The end.

    (Here goes nothin’! *clicks “Post Comment”*)

  53. I’m a 7th grade teacher, and one of our big focuses in that grade is narrative writing. I LOVE talking to my kids about the writing process and the joys that come from writing, yet I often feel stuck myself. I feel like there is such magic in words, and there are so many times when I find myself just reading a sentence over and over again because I can’t get over how beautiful it is. I might not even know what it means, but the cadence or the flow just gets to me in some deep place. I think your words do that a lot, and I would love to have the chance to meet you and others who are doing amazing creative things like you. I think it would be so good for me, and it would be so good for the teaching I do in the classroom. I want to be a writing teacher who writes, writes often, and doesn’t worry about writing well all the time. I want to write because my heart needs to, because that’s what I tell my kids everyday.

    Here’s my all time favorite quote:
    “The roses under my window make no reference to former roses or better ones; they are what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.” – Emerson

    Goosebumps every time. Couldn’t tell you why. Just love it.

  54. Good Morning Hannah,
    I’ve been asleep for a while now and for the life of me I cannot remember when I closed my eyes. I laid down one day, exhausted by the relentless pounding of life and being told I was different and simply went to sleep. It was supposed to be a nap-a source to give me the much needed rest that I so desperately needed so that I could recharge and be ready to take it all on again. Only, I never woke up. Life is happening all around me and I just lay here in a deep somber. I’ve tried to wake myself up countless times, but nothing seems to work and I’m tired of sleeping. It’s like being in the twilight part of your dreams or even a nightmare, when you are aware that it isn’t real and you’re screaming at yourself to wake up, but nothing happens. I’m trapped in the place of neither dream nor reality and I’m dying to escape, but how? I know it must come from deep inside of me. The place that held the light to my soul that I must have snuffed out when I began seeking rest in the beginning. The place inside that is so well guarded…the keeper of my dreams and the spot that holds my truth. But how do I access it? How do I reignite that flame so that I may find my way out of this dark, cold sleep? I need to remember. Remember all of the things that made me who I was…who I am, and who I long to be. I need to remember that there are others out there that are the same kind of different as me. People who march to their own beat of the drum when others hear no sound, who dance in the rain while most hide underneath shelter and who delight in being the dash of color on the black and white canvas. Remembering all of the beautiful parts of my soul that made me unique is just the antidote I need to break this sleeping spell. The chance to re-inspire myself so that I in turn can get back to inspiring those around me to wake up and let their light shine and to let their heart be heard. I would love the opportunity to be around other beautiful souls who have refused to fall asleep and who are defining their sense of self by protesting to be like everyone else. I’m ready to wake up. It’s time to click my ruby red slippers together and remember that “there is no place like home”. Where else do I begin this journey back? Hopefully, with that first step, by meeting you at the yellow conference. 🙂

  55. Thank you. THANK YOU. TTHHAANNNK YYOUUUU – for this ‘opportunity,’ Hannah! Isn’t that what it’s all about – seizing the opportunity (every last one) the ones that stands in front of us screaming…hey YOU – pay attention! Or the quiet life whispers that cause us to bend and turn in order to hear. So here I am. Bent, twisted, jumping up and down, waving my arms while I sit at my writing desk listening to the whispers. Ever so still.
    I’ve been writing for 30 years (rather lazily at first.) I, like everyone else, have a story to tell. A story of a baby who almost died 30 years ago, and then again, and again. He lived to the unripe age of 23. Whilst here on earth he perpuated within us an intensity of love, community, worry and joy. He cultivated in my heart a ‘knowing.’ It is the ‘knowing’ that I need to tell. To shout. To whisper. To cry out. To indelibly share his life story with the world. (ps – I am a coffeeholic!) ❤ ~Karen~

  56. From one spunky Hannah to another –

    A little story for you: I’m sitting in a more-hip-than-I’ll-ever-be coffee shop near Phoenix, AZ, mindlessly skimming the staff manual for a camp I’ll soon be working at. In between paragraphs I’m allowing myself “brain charges,” including momentary glances at Pinterest, email checks (I’m an email nerd and indeed count organizing my inbox as a “brain charge”), and Instagram stalking. On one particular brain break, about five minutes ago, I came across an email from a dear friend of mine recommending I check out your blog. “Might as well,” I think to myself, “this is only the 400th time someone has told me to investigate hannahbrencher.com.”

    So here I am, reading some of your recent posts and falling in love with your work, when I see the phrase “The Yellow Conference.” I’m big into conferences, learning in general, and all things Los Angeles. I clicked on the link and was hooked within seconds.

    With as much humility as is possible, I must say I definitely consider myself a creative mind. I am passionate about women’s development, specifically in the arenas of innovation, leadership, and the cultivation of abilities for the greater good. Every single speaker that will be at the Yellow Conference already has my attention, especially anyone and everyone involved with Darling. Last month I led a team of 12 young women in creating our own version of Darling Magazine for our dorm of freshmen women at my university, and the opportunity to meet real-life Darling creatives is truly one in a million!

    Now I’m several paragraphs into this comment, not really remembering when I consciously decided that this conference will be absolutely pivotal to my development as a creative woman seeking to lead among other creative women; sometimes my heart takes over and starts typing before my brain, which realizes I logically probably won’t win the tickets, can catch up.

    Anyway, I am so very thankful that that friend of mine recommended your blog to me. I am certain that I will continue to love your work regardless of whether or not that includes a trip to the Yellow Conference (which, I may add, would be a rockin’ kick off to my senior year of my undergraduate education!).

    Thank you for all you do, and especially for the example you are setting for women young and old!

    Much love,
    another Hannah

  57. First of all thank you for your posts. You truly have a gift and you are an incredible gift to this world. It’s amazing to me how perfect you are when it comes to capturing feelings and putting them into words. And by the way, welcome to the South 🙂 I’m at a point in my life where I have no idea what the next step is, what the next move is. I’ve been struggling to find that jumping off point–that opportunity to say “This is it, take this broken heart of yours and start giving pieces of it away because there’s other people who need it.” I need a network, to feel like there’s others like me out there who started out with nothing and did something awesome…I love that the concept of this conference is to “Bring goodness to the world” So simple, so pure, so worth it. Thanks so much for the opportunity, I realize my chances are probably super slim of winning haha because there were so many fabulous comments and written words are definitely not my strong suit. You are amazing. Period. Don’t stop doing you, you’ve made a huge impact on my life and I know you have on others as well. I hope that you find that getting comfortable in South won’t be as hard as you thought. All the best 🙂

  58. Testing my voice in a reply box, testing my toes in the uncharted (by me) waters of unemployment. I fled convention recently, I left the thumbtacks, but took the paperclips. It’s probably a metaphor for something – I’m left to attach things to others, but without the interfering hole left by a tack.
    I left the tacks, took my plants, gathered up my long suppressed voice, and sang “today is the rainy day I’ve been saving for” into a sea of blue clouds. I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know what will happen. Sometimes, you get a note, or a phone call, or a mid 80s tears for fears song that you’ve listened to a thousand times. “It’s a world gone crazy, keeps woman in chains”. It’s that last sip of honey oak bourbon. I took that sip, I flipped the cup, I went into the unknown.
    Maybe the parts I need to know are at the Yellow conference. Maybe the “do what you love, and it will never feel like work” begins at the Yellow conference, a brew session, and honesty with a blogger who writes from her soul, with a cup of tea warming my hand, Tears for Fears in my heart, and a pocket full of paperclips.

  59. This is an incredible opportunity, Hannah. Thank you SO much for doing this!

    It’s truly one of my heart’s desire to meet you one day. This post made me audibly scream with excitement. I think you are just the person I need to help me with a specific book idea I have, (which I plan to interview you for one day, actually.) This conference and an in-person brew session would be just the thing to really kickstart this recent college grad (me!) into fulfilling her dreams.

    I explore the heart. How we take care of it. How we listen to it. How we can convey it. And I write about my experiences, and others experiences with this. It’s a popular subject, but a much messier one than we recognize with depths that never really reach a bottom. And it’s these depths that we need to give attention to in spite of the pulls, problems and people we encounter in our every day lives, distracting us from what lies within. I truly believe that life is a journey we fully experience via the heart.

    All that I am is all I have been,
    and all I will be.
    My mosaic heart,
    never the same as “once upon a time.”
    For this I am grateful.
    Always changing,
    revising,
    and relearning.
    I’m never arriving.
    Thankfully,
    mercifully,
    my being was made to live this way;
    never still,
    in the stagnant realm of arrival.

    -April ❤

  60. For the last two years, I’ve been praying, thinking and reflecting. I’ve been wishing new ideas into existence and sorting through the passion in my soul for an outlet to combine people, food and technology. Forty-eight hours ago, it became abundantly clear. My mind’s been going a million miles a minute. The notes app on my iPhone is overflowing and the green journal I keep by my bedside is littered with scribbled ideas. And, now here I am now reading another of your blog posts and dreaming about this conference for the opportunity to meet and learn from women with the drive to make their far-fetched dreams a reality.

    About a decade ago, my Dad got sick. He’s had two cardiac surgeries and during one, he flatlined. He’s laid on a medical bed and been shocked with paddles another handful of times. He’s 54, but his heart is as weathered and cantankerous as that of an 80-year-old.

    I moved from Indianapolis to Boston when I graduated college to pursue a dream of working in tech. It’s been two years since the move and shortly after relocating, a passion started blooming for a way to use technology to to support my dad on his journey to healing and regaining his health. Forty-eight hours ago, an idea to solve this problem for me and millions of other people, came crashing into my mind. I’ve been praying for clarity on my life’s work from God for the last two years. I’ve finally discovered it.

    Thank you for being daring enough to inspire people (like me!) to start my own business project, vulnerable enough for people (like me!) to connect with you and courageous enough to change the world. And, thank you for considering me for the ticket to this conference.

  61. For the last two years, I’ve been praying, thinking and reflecting. I’ve been wishing new ideas into existence and sorting through the passion in my soul for an outlet to combine people, food and technology. Forty-eight hours ago, it became abundantly clear. My mind’s been going a million miles a minute. The notes app on my iPhone is overflowing and the green journal I keep by my bedside is littered with scribbled ideas. And, now here I am now reading another of your blog posts and dreaming about this conference for the opportunity to meet and learn from women with the drive to make their far-fetched dreams a reality.

    About a decade ago, my Dad got sick. He’s had two cardiac surgeries and during one, he flatlined. He’s laid on a medical bed and been shocked with paddles another handful of times. He’s 54, but his heart is as weathered and cantankerous as that of an 80-year-old.

    I moved from Indianapolis to Boston when I graduated college to pursue a dream of working in tech. It’s been two years since the move and shortly after relocating, a passion started blooming for a way to use technology to to support my dad on his journey to healing and regaining his health. Forty-eight hours ago, an idea to solve this problem for me and millions of other people, came crashing into my mind. I’ve been praying for clarity on my life’s work from God for the last two years. I’ve finally discovered it.

    Thank you for being daring enough to inspire people (like me!) to start my own business project, vulnerable enough for people (like me!) to connect with you and courageous enough to change the world. And, thank you for considering me for the ticket to this conference.

  62. At first, I was really interested in winning but didn’t want to enter because it required commenting publicly (and God forbid I comment and someone I know read/see it).. Then I realized, isn’t that the point? To stop hiding from my passions? To stop making myself smaller?

    Because that’s what I do. I belittle myself so others can take pleasure and feel better about themselves.. But where does that leave me.. I play dumb so others may feel smart {though I could pummel all of your asses in a math bowl any day of the week}. I talk down about how I look so others feel better about themselves. I don’t follow my hopes, dreams, passions, and goals so others can feel they are doing something better with their lives.. And sadly, I have gradually begun to believe the lies I tell the world, and that needs to stop..

    I want to go to the yellow conference so I can learn to not to be afraid of who I am. Learn not to worry about people learning what I’m passionate about. I need to remind myself, and others, you can help people become more self loving without losing your own love for self. So I can gain confidence (and potentially connections) to start the business I’ve been dreaming up in my head for years now, yet just have been too {lazy, afraid, uncofident} something to put into action.

  63. H,

    I’ve been feeling a little useless lately – like my contribution to the world around me just isn’t cutting it. I have been a little squashed… like my wheels just keep spinning but that they aren’t quite aligned with my purpose.

    And you want to know what I did about it? I just kept going. I just kept plowing through my never-ending to-do lists, showing up and being appropriate and polite when all I really wanted was to scream and shout, and letting people take credit for my ideas, believing I would get credit when the time was right. Your writing, your passion, your zeal for your cause plucked me right off of the merry-go-round I have recently settled for in my life. Your blog has served as the service station to the journey ahead.

    To-do lists get you through the day. To-be lists get you through life. Being appropriate and polite in meetings get you to lunch a little sooner. Sticking up for yourself catapults you to what’s better. Letting other people take credit for your ideas gets them ahead. Owning what’s yours gets you ahead.

    Yellow would be awesome. Meeting you would be lovely. But more than that – I just want you to know you are heard. And loved. And admired.

    Thanks for all that you do.

    My very best,
    C

  64. My life was turned upside down on the day I read a particular blog by one Hannah Brencher. I mean, it was one of those I’m not ready! you can’t make me! complete turn around in my life and I thought I’d lost my mind. So really the only way to tell to Miss Hannah what her one blog did to me, how it changed me, and set me on this amazing journey is to get a ticket and tell her face to face. I mean, it’s really, truly, the only way!!

  65. Hello Hannah B! My name is Taylor and I am a 22 year old who grew up on the gravel roads outside of an Iowan small town. 3 days ago, I graduated from a Mercy institution that I fell in love with as soon as I saw the campus. Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mount Mercy University had home written all over it when I visited as a naive high school senior about to make memories and gain friendships that would last a lifetime.

    Four years later, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. During those monumental years at Mount Mercy, I learned so much about myself and the world around me that I could rattle on about it for hours. One of those things I learned is that I am fascinated by hearing other peoples stories and learning from their ideas. I love the feeling of knowing someone is sincere even when I have only known them for 3 minutes.

    In college, I was introduced to my first TED talk by a very dear friend. I was engaged by the talk from the very beginning; the speaker’s sincere demeanor, and her word choice and sentence structure captivated me. Not only that, but her amazing story and idea. It was one you probably recognize- Love Letters to Strangers. 🙂

    What I love about TED talks and that particular one is they take the small thoughts right out of my heart and soul and put them into sentences. I can relate to the ones I have watched SO much and I am so incredibly moved by the person’s courage in speaking to a room full of people with the possibility of criticism or disagreement.

    Now I check TED on the daily and I find out each time that that is what I love about it- each person can stand on that stage and just talk to a crowd of people like they are chatting over a cup of coffee. They aren’t afraid of criticism and disagreement because they have a passion for their idea and it is one that is worth listening to and spreading. And it’s spread because people in the audience, or people watching through a screen are moved and inspired.

    The chance to be on the other side of my computer screen, sitting in the audience and hearing these amazing speakers in person would be unforgettable. This is an experience that will make an individual be overcome with pure glee. Thank you for that, Hannah!

  66. I was five…and I went to go see the Broadway production of The Secret Garden. Magic filled my veins, and I said – I want to do THAT.

    I was 10 and I wanted to dance. But I was tall and, well, I didn’t want to stand out, so I started to hunch, and shrink myself a little bit..smaller.

    I still danced though, always dreaming of more.

    I was 17 and ready to go to college. And that November, I penned my college entrance essay…an Oscar acceptance speech. Because despite trying to shrink myself, those dreams still poked through.

    I was 22. In graduate school in NYC. And lost. Floating. Waiting. I had the mindset of waiting. I’ll do x when y happens. I’ll wait another year. I’m not ready yet.

    I hit a point of sadness that still hurts when I think about it. When I write about it. I cry to the point of drying out my tear ducts.

    I’m 26. I’m still floating. I’m still unsure. Now I’m teaching. And I teach my students the book, 13 Reasons Why.

    I research cool things to do with them to help this understand this story better.

    And I put the words Hannah + letter in that little box on google.

    And there you are.

    Who is this gal I wonder?

    And I push play.

    And this is before the TED talks.
    And this is before the international recognition.
    Before the real purdy website, (not that this one wasn’t pretty, but,you know what I mean.)

    This was just you.

    On the screen.

    Talking about the 4 train.

    And I cried.

    I bawled.

    Ugly, snotty, gross tears.

    And I hate to cry. (It sounds a little crazy, but it’s true.)

    And so MLL came on my radar. And YOU came on my radar. And Tammy came on my radar. And Azure. And, well, life changed.

    And one day I found myself in NYC.

    At a table with you lovelies. Drinking fun watermelon fruity margaritas out of what looked like a mason jar. In an OUTBACK in NYC. I mean, I didn’t think they HAD outbacks in NYC. But there I was. With greatness. With women who didn’t wait for the dreams to come knocking. With women who didn’t wish on stars, no, they just yanked those babies right out of the sky and held them in their pockets until they were ready to pass them onto someone else.

    Whether you realize it or not, you gave me that star. Gave me the courage to stand up straight. To say, hey, I KNOW this is a good idea, I KNOW I have a vision, and even if everyone around me thinks I’m out of my mind, it’s OK to go for it. It’s OK to think bigger. Dream bigger. Love bigger.

    I’ve had the honor of doing a Brew Session before, and I’d love the chance to do it in person. To sit and laugh, to share a cupcake, like, not virtually. I want to be present for these new adventures, not just behind a screen.

    And this Yellow Conference, well, the thought of it just makes me smile, the people of it just make my brain explode with happiness. And really, when it comes down to it, one can never have too many smiles and brain explosions of happiness, can they?

  67. Dear Hannah,
    I’m in the process of buying a new car. Buying a new car and the Yellow Conference may seem like two completely separate things to you but to me, they are very much alike.
    You see, my bones have yearned to be a writer ever since a wonderful teacher told me how much she liked the way I put words together on paper. That teacher ignited a little spark in me that burns to this day. The problem is that I never stoked the flames of that fire and let it burn freely. Oh I’ve added a log here and there over the years, just enough to not let the dream completely burn out, but I’ve always contained the flame. “That dream won’t pay the bills,” I said, “there’s still time for that”, I said, and the one that still makes me cringe “you’re too scared, you’ll never do it.” Until.this.year.
    This year I’m starting a bucket list and am actually going to check things off. This year I’m going to ask for the things I want instead of waiting for someone else to give them to me. This year I’m shoving myself out of my comfort zone. This year I’m doing things that will scare me but will be worth every “what am I doing, I’m going to throw up, I can’t believe this is me” moment. Things like buying a new car on my own and flying across the country for a conference that, by attending, cements in my mind what my bones told me all those years ago….I am a writer.

  68. I would like to attend because, recently, my entire view and previous way of business (and even life) has been blown out of the water. Gone. I’ve realized that in life and business, I operated out of fear and needing to control as much as I could. I opened new businesses because I was afraid Jesus wouldn’t provide, and being well known in the business community was at the top of my list. I thought I was trusting Jesus, but just recently realized that my actions said the complete opposite. I’ve been completely starting over on how I live life and do business, and it’s already been so much better. I feel better in general (not as stressed out, namely), my business is doing much better, and my relationship with my husband is already better. Going to the Yellow Conference might be a good thing to do! Plus, I’d love to take my baby girl, who will be born by then. 🙂

  69. Dear Hannah,
    You always seem to write just what I need to hear. I’m in the process of starting over and trying to put my life together. New university, new friends, new everything and it’s been tough. Tough not only because I am stubborn and starting over wasn’t on my list of things to do, but because life is messy and it hurts to find new dreams. I’m torn between who I want to be and who I was and I’m done playing the victim, and that is why I would love to go to the yellow conference–to learn what it means to be inspired and live for something bigger than yourself. That is why I look up to you and look forward to every Monday morning email to mull over with my cup of coffee–you live for others and shine from the inside out. That is the kind of person I want to be someday. I just want to glow.
    Thanks and blessings from the bottom of my heart,
    Drew Anne

  70. “My wings are out!”

    There are 2 kinds of people; the ones who are naturally outgoing, outspoken, who have the words “leader” and “world shaker” written all over their foreheads. These amazing people seem to know the purpose of their life since they were 3 years old and somehow they’ve remembered and they’ve always worked towards achieving it.
    Then there are the ones who are introverts, those who think too much, who are emotionally driven. It’s in their nature to observe silently from the sidelines, to waltz through life while soaking in all the magic and beauty around them. These amazing people go through life differently, quietly, maybe wishing in the silence they were like the first kind of people. Emotions get in the way of the discovery of their life purpose or maybe they are too scared to being seen, to put themselves out there and being noticed. Scared to be seen and fall in their faces and not meeting their personal expectations.
    I wish I could tell you what kind of person I am. What category I fit in. What box do I check to belong. I belong to none of the above because I’m a hybrid. An interesting mixture of both. I’m a dash of salt, a dash of pepper and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
    I was once the focused, passionately driven girl who “knew” her purpose and pursued it with all her heart. You might wonder what happened to her. I’m going to tell you the cheesy, short version everyone can relate to: Life happened. And in the middle of life’s ups and downs I became the latter type.
    Gratefully healing came. Little by little. Conversation by conversation. Tear by tear. Slowly but surely new friends flooded my life and suddenly my heart remembered that old girl who had flames in her eyes and dreams in her soul. She didn’t come back the same that’s for sure because she knew better. Grace, love, strength and hope built a new foundation for a new version of herself.
    Transformation has taken years. However it’s not over, it’ll never be over. The end of the era of pain, looking back and “ifs” has come and it has given birth to hope, renewed strength, new vision and bigger dreams. No more fitting in a box, no more trying to blend in the normal scene. No more hiding words and feelings. No more fighting purpose. No more shoving it in a drawer.
    I want to be part of the Yellow Conference desperately! I’m ready! I’ve left my cocoon, my wings are formed and ready to take flight. I want to change the world; if I could change, anyone can. Everyone needs to know that.
    I hope to join you in the Yellow Conference! xoxo

  71. Dear Hannah,
    This comment isn’t my submission. I’m up late for the 6th night in a row since getting this e mail in my inbox. I haven’t been able to think about anything else since I opened it, and I wanted to let you know that there’s a video–I’ve been working on it every spare moment I’ve had between my full-time job and sleep– that I hope to have posted here by 11 PM MST tomorrow night. And I’m writing this because 11 PM Thursday night means 1 AM Friday morning in Atlanta, which for all I know means you could have closed the giveaway by then.
    I’ll be honest, if I don’t win, I can chalk it up to “just not meant to be.” But I will be absolutely devastated knowing that my submission didn’t even make it over a time difference.
    So, if you’re reading this, Hannah…please don’t close the contest if it’s not Friday on the west coast, because this girl is dying to show you her video.
    Thanks girl.
    -Anna

  72. Hello Hannah!

    Ever since I read about this give-away, I’ve been thinking of what to say, writing dow ideas to talk about. It’s been over a week and I just have so much thoughts and things that I could say, I couldn’t make my mind up. Reading the other comments while trying to figure out what to say didn’t help much either, I got so discouraged. So I just kept putting it off, but now the time as come, the contest is almost over. I just couldn’t miss this amazing opportunity! So I just decided to start typing.

    My name is Emily. Some know me as a daughter, a sister, or a friend. Others know me as a stylist, a blogger, a wanderer, and a lover of making others happy. I’m the shy, quiet, weird girl who would rather go to a coffee shop than to a club.

    I believe God wanted you in my life, Hannah. One day I was Google searching “God dwells in me, as me” from the movie Eat, Pray,Love. As I was looking through the results, your post “I can’t make you unpack your suitcase” caught my eye. So I clicked on the link not knowing what to expect. While reading it, I began to feel this big lump in my throat. The kind you get when you’re about to break down into tears (good tears). I felt so connected to you. I wasn’t alone! It was as if everything I ever felt or wanted to say, you’re words said it all. I remember reading that post like ten times! I just couldn’t believe how someone else in the world felt how I was feeling and was going through the exact same things I was going through!

    You truly are an amazing person, writer, inspiration, and role-model. That is why I really want to come to the Yellow Conference! Lately, I have been feeling so alone and depressed (that’s scary to say!). I’m at this place in my life where I don’t know who I am or what my purpose is. It’s such a dark hole. I know if I had the chance to talk to you one on one, my life would be forever changed! At the ages of 19-21, I thought I had it all figured out. I knew my place in life, I was so happy and full of energy! Then at age 22, all of my hopes and dreams came crashing down. I had lost myself. I was watching all of my friends graduate with degrees, getting married and having kids while I stand at a stand still, unemployed, singe as ever and feeling lost in a gigantic maze!

    I love helping people and seeing them smile. I feel like I could do so much good but I also feel like I have no voice ( or not a voice loud enough) to make good things happen. If I was given the chance to meet you, I know you would help get my life back on track and help me find my voice so I could go shake the world! You are just the encouragement and sparkle that I need. A good conversation with you would be just what I need!

    In the past, I was able to work as a youth director for my church. I absolutely loved being someone who could inspire and make life have more meaning! I want to be the one to let other’s know that they are not alone. I have so much to say and to express to the world but I honestly don’t know how. What I do know is, I want to have an impact in someone’s life. That to me, is success. No matter what job or education you have, you can always give encouragement to other’s. That’s what I want to do.

    I’m going to stop rambling now, because I could go on forever! So this is my final plea.
    Please, Hannah, help me help myself. More importantly, help me help others!

    Even if I don’t win I want to thank you for the opportunity and letting me share my story!

    Sincerely,
    Emily
    (Little Gypsy Lady)

  73. I’d love the opportunity to immerse myself in a community of impassioned and brilliant women. After a good twenty years of trying to suppress my “too much-ness,” I abandoned my doubts and endeavored to write naked. Write some truths. Write the words only I can. But being brave takes perseverance and these movers & shakers speaking at The Yellow Conference have been known to relight my fires. While I’ve got the hootspah, I could certainly use some solid tools to add to my writers kit. Attending would be an opportunity to unlock unknown creativity buried deep inside me, probably just under all that inflated anxiety.
    With gratitude,
    Lilyish

  74. Dear Hannah,

    You are beautiful. And every one of the lovely ladies sharing before me is beautiful. As I was deciding whether or not I wanted to put myself out there for this lovely opportunity…I took the time to read each of their stories and their reasons and Hannah darling, my heart goes out to each of them. I know that whoever you choose deserves it.
    I decided to write a comment of my own because chances like this don’t come too often, and life is too short to sit in my indecision. I want to love people Hannah B. I want to love them with every fibre of my being, with all that I am. I want to help people to be the best versions of themselves. I want to ignite passion and love in others and I want to change the world. Teach me Hannah, show me. I’m ready to learn.
    Take me to the Yellow Conference. Or don’t. But know that I’m looking to you dear. It’s your move, your call. All my love,

    Becca

  75. Dear Randi,

    It’s time to run into fear. To smash it wide open. To declare it a liar and ignore it’s taunts. Here is one way — declare your heart for the world to see and be vulnerable for a change, for a chance. Yes the giveaway is one reward but the greater reward is realizing as you write that you are not alone. There are other quirky kids, crazy chicks, wacky women who want the same as you — to be seen, heard and free! So join them. Celebrate with them and celebrate your voice. Tell them that too often our heart is heavy but we dance anyway. Tell them how much joy we feel when we encounter a group of hopeful women each other. Tell them to “just keep swimming.” Tell them to keep speaking, shouting and singing. Just tell them. Maybe you’ll go back back to Cali, singing LL along the way or maybe you’ll inspire some one else. Whatever you do just know that you’ve taken a step toward your discomfort and for that alone I’m proud of you. With love always, Me

  76. I’d love to be able to be surrounded by and immerse myself in a community of women with an amazing passion to bring happiness and good to their neighbor, to the person behind them in line at starbucks, the person cashing them out at Target, to the world! After a eight years of trying to make the man I loved happy and nothing I did worked, I kinda let me light dim, it never went completely out but almost! I became such a negative person and the people around me didn’t see it b/c I put on a show. When he chose to break my heart and tell me he no longer loved me or rather hadn’t for the last 5 (out of 8) years of our marriage and hadn’t found me physically attractive in 7 years, mind you I gained a lot of weight during a pregnancy where I lost the baby, then had two more children with him, I lost myself for awhile. Actually correction, I lost myself in my marriage, I was no longer fun and energetic and loving on people. Some friends led me to More Love Letters which then led me to So Worth Loving and other companies who are out there just throwing up love and happiness on people and I want that. I want to live and do that EVERYDAY of my life. I’m teaching my girls (even though we are quite SASSY) to love on others even if we don’t know them b/c no matter how bad our day is, it’s wonderful b/c we are alive in this beautiful world with so many opportunities to just make the people around us and ourselves beam with happiness and shine our brilliant lights of love show people the way to live a HAPPY life. I want to learn other ways to share love with people and teach my children that it’s not about them, it’s about making this world a better, more loving, beautiful place for everyone and I think that attending would be the opportunity I need to learn more about ways to do just that. I would love to be surrounded by the MOVERS and SHAKERS of this amazing community and of course get to hang with Hannah, the baller of love and goodness!!!

  77. Dear Randi,

    It’s time to run into fear. To smash it wide open. To declare it a liar and ignore it’s taunts. Here is one way — declare your heart for the world to see and be vulnerable for a change, for a chance. Yes the giveaway is one reward but the greater reward is realizing as you write that you are not alone. There are other quirky kids, crazy chicks, wacky women who want the same as you — to be seen, heard and free! So join them. Celebrate with them and celebrate your voice. Tell them that too often our heart is heavy but we dance anyway. Tell them how much joy we feel when we encounter a group of hopeful women each other. Tell them to “just keep swimming.” Tell them to keep speaking, shouting and singing. Just tell them. Maybe you’ll go back back to Cali, singing LL along the way or maybe you’ll inspire some one else. Whatever you do just know that you’ve taken a step toward your discomfort and for that alone I’m proud of you. With love always, Me

  78. Good Morning Hannah! I hope your flight is going smoothly and there aren’t any babies crying in your ear. If there are babies crying in your ear, turn around and smile at them. There parents will be grateful.
    There are a few things I want you to know about me, if you should pick me and we meet in August:

    Up until this past year, I did not call myself a creative. I’ve always struggled with the word “creative.” Sometimes I feel like the word creative is limiting. I would be bound in a small group of selective, brilliant people. I would not connect with other people who don’t see themselves as creative.

    But then I stumbled upon your blog. How, you ask? I found a love letter in the bathroom of my university’s chapel. Your website was written on the back and I found you. And you spoke to my heart. You caused me to look inside my heart and figure out the foundation on which I stood. I am a creative. When I look outside, I see the sky God painted each day for me. I see my friend’s smiling faces that God placed in my life. I am a lover of the little things and I seek these out everyday. I need to. I love reading, crafting, blogging, and shopping. I love shopping. Wanna go sometime? I promise it would be fun. I’m a great shopping buddy. We can have mini dance offs in the dressing room and strut through the mall like we just won American’s Next Top Model. (I’m Caridee).

    One of my close friends is the Social Media Designer/Intern/Extraordinaire for the Yellow Conference. Every Thursday night for the past semester, we had a class together. She sat next to me figuring out posts for the next week. She would blog, tweet, design, gram, and search out speakers for the conference. I followed YC on Instagram and saw that you are speaking in August. I freaked out to my friend and knew that I had to be at the conference in August. But it’s not in my budget (poor college student probs).

    I want to go to the conference. I need to go to the conference. I want to search deep inside of me and figure out why God has called me to be creative and how I should live that out. Your blog and Darling Magazine helped me get through my sophomore year of college. When I say “get through”, I really mean “survive” and by “survive”, I actually mean “Thank God, I didn’t die.” This year was hard. I’ll explain what happened when we meet. The Yellow Conference is four days before I start my Junior year of college. I think.. I know I need to go to this conference.

    See you in August, HB!
    Love,
    Abby

  79. Well, I’m going out on a limb here. I’ve been talking to myself a lot in the past year about how all my dreams and all the ways I want to do life aren’t in the least bit responsible – not going to be worth it in the long run because I’ll probably still have college debt and will die having been worked to the bone and ‘Merica wants us to have over-stuffed couch futures where it’s all just cozy and comfy and we’re okay.
    I don’t want that. There are too many things for me to do and too many people that need to be cherished and I don’t think I’m meant for an office life on a mountain with stifled dreams, but I’m like an eagle that hasn’t fledged yet – I’m big and powerful with great ideas and great potential, but I don’t quite know how to take off.
    But it’s time to fly the coop and throw gang signs at the “waiting all my life for something to just happen” way of living this, because that’s not living and you’ll never fly until you’re out of the nest and you’ll still be right there if you don’t jump.

  80. Hey Hannah! What an amazing opportunity–

    I want to share with you something I wrote in my journal recently. It was actually inspired by your Monday #18 post, in which you said “write a little story about the person you want to be.”

    Sunshine Girl

    She walks into the light, beyond ready to share her gifts with the world. No longer is she paralyzed by fears that whispered incessantly, “You don’t know. You are unworthy.” No. More.

    This girl is walking sunshine–radiating with a glow that becomes brighter when shared. Her birth-given name means “source of joy,” and boy, does she live up to it.

    She thrives on the arts and finds inspiration in everyday things. Her design sense is wicked. Artistic. Investigative. Social. She is all these things and so much more.

    Her actions speak louder than her words. And though her kindergarten teacher once called her a “quiet leader,” with age she has become louder and more confident.

    Maintaining social grace and the utmost sense of decorum, she speaks what she feels, what she knows, and what she does not know. Because she knows that “not knowing” is okay…100% okay.

    She loves life & the people in it. She especially loves learning peoples’ stories. Her story is still unwritten *insert Natasha Bedinfield song here* .
    ————
    It would truly be so wonderful to meet you in person and attend the Yellow Conference. I actually have relatives in the LA area, so I’d even have a place to stay 🙂 In one week I’ll be graduating from college, and I’m not quite sure what’s going to be in this next chapter in my life. I do know it will be a good one though. I feel it in my bones 😉

    Thank you for being an inspiration, always.

  81. A poem to describe why my attending the Yellow Conference is so fitting.

    Fitting

    Not clothes for fashion
    Ideas for passion
    Not seeking perfection
    Seeking infection
    Not infection of pain
    Infection of love
    Not love for intimacy
    Love for relating

    Not for a boast of ego
    Ego to be deflated
    Not a deflating of morale
    A morale for the floating
    Not floating in mind
    Turning Mind into action
    Not action for achievement
    Achievement for meaning

    Attending the Yellow Conference could not be more fitting
    Fitting while in transition
    While in need of motivation
    While in need of inspiration
    While in need of common conversation
    Attending the Yellow Conference is oh so fitting.

    A bit of background, I don’t write poems for a living, this inspired a poem. I’m moving from working for myself in a very self-focused manner for over four years to an entirely different field to take over a non profit that has been dear to my heart entire life. It’s unchartered territory and is scary. And the timing couldn’t be more fitting, :), as I take it over beginning in August. I would be honored to attend and share our mission (supporting military widows). Honored for the consideration, Hannah. Much love to you.

    Hilary

  82. HB.

    Because I’m broken down on the side of this road I call life, hands full of all these little pieces, unsure how to fit them all together, unsure of how to make them work so I can just GO. Because there’s a small voice that says, “You were made for more” but I’m terrified it’s not true. Because the hope has run dry and that’s a terrible place to be. Because I keep trying to mold myself into borrowed dreams and plans that were not made for me. Because I keep looking into hollow faces that do not understand what it means to be full of so much fire. Because I’m tired of locking my soul into the furthest, darkest corner and secretly wishing for the freedom in sunshine. Because I’m desperate for a place, for souls that see mine. Because I need to know that it’s okay, that all of this matters. Because I don’t want to live one more second longing for a purpose. Because I don’t want to waste anymore time being lost when all I want is to know the joy in being found.

  83. Because I’m broken down on the side of this road I call life, hands full of all these little pieces, unsure how to fit them all together, unsure of how to make them work so I can just GO. Because there’s a small voice that says, “You were made for more” but I’m terrified it’s not true. Because the hope has run dry and that’s a terrible place to be. Because I keep trying to mold myself into borrowed dreams and plans that were not made for me. Because I keep looking into hollow faces that do not understand what it means to be full of so much fire. Because I’m tired of locking my soul into the furthest, darkest corner and secretly wishing for the freedom in sunshine. Because I’m desperate for a place, for souls that see mine. Because I need to know that it’s okay, that all of this matters. Because I don’t want to live one more second longing for a purpose. Because I don’t want to waste anymore time being lost when all I want is to know the joy in being found.

  84. Dear Hannah,

    The “grown-up real world” knows me as this person: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mary-yaranon/12/a82/4a4

    Yet, I want to be known as this person following her childhood dream: http://eat-andbemary.blogspot.com

    (If you can’t tell, my childhood dream is all about making connections through food.)

    What’s stopping me?

    Fear.

    Fear of failing. Fear of being humiliated. And fear of just being broke. (Hey, at least I’m being honest.)

    But the world doesn’t need another sellout.

    To avoid selling my soul to the “grown-up real world”, I need to stop finding comfort and self-worth in my paycheck and title. However, I need a little bravery to help…be more me, be more Mary.

    I know you’re the right person to help.

    And, not to bribe, but I will totally treat you to brunch. Seriously.

    Love,
    Mary

  85. I’ve always been a dreamer, an adventurer. I started my photography business when I was 16, right now I’m writing a book for young people. (unfoldingquitewonderfully.blogspot.com!)

    The first line of the “about” section for the Yellow Conference says, “Are you a creative lady who wants to change the world?” Oh! Yes! Raising my hand wildly! If I had one dream in this world, it would be to change people’s lives for the better. To give them richer, fuller, better experiences, and for myself, to live a life of purpose and fulfillment. You said, “The world needs your crazy heart.” I want to believe that. My passion in life is seeing others do what they are passionate about. I can’t say that enough. When someone loves what they do, and I can see it? Man. That makes my heart go boom boom.

    Where I live now, there is a lot of competition in the creative industry. Washington D.C. has it’s fast-paced, uptight lifestyle and I strongly dislike it. My desire is to be surrounded by creatives who love what they do and love people. I love people. I want to be around them, make new friends, be a light. I’m 20 years old, I have my whole life ahead of me. I want to put my best foot forward. I want to come to a place where there is love and fellowship and laughter over lemonade, and good conversation over warm bread.

    Plus, my favorite color is yellow. So I feel like that should count for something. 😉

  86. I’ve always been a dreamer, an adventurer. I started my photography business when I was 16, right now I’m writing a book for young people. (unfoldingquitewonderfully.blogspot.com!)

    The first line of the “about” section for the Yellow Conference says, “Are you a creative lady who wants to change the world?” Oh! Yes! Raising my hand wildly! If I had one dream in this world, it would be to change people’s lives for the better. To give them richer, fuller, better experiences, and for myself, to live a life of purpose and fulfillment. You said, “The world needs your crazy heart.” I want to believe that. My passion in life is seeing others do what they are passionate about. I can’t say that enough. When someone loves what they do, and I can see it? Man. That makes my heart go boom boom.

    Where I live now, there is a lot of competition in the creative industry. Washington D.C. has it’s fast-paced, uptight lifestyle and I strongly dislike it. My desire is to be surrounded by creatives who love what they do and love people. I love people. I want to be around them, make new friends, be a light. I’m 20 years old, I have my whole life ahead of me. I want to put my best foot forward. I want to come to a place where there is love and fellowship and laughter over lemonade, and good conversation over warm bread.

    Plus, my favorite color is yellow. So I feel like that should count for something. 😉

  87. Hi Hannah!

    Thank you so much for this opportunity. This is why I’d love to attend the Yellow Conference and, specifically, have the opportunity to pow-wow with you.

    I’m completely starting over and I’m terrified. I’m not particularly old, but I’m not particularly young either and I’m just now taking the leap to follow my dream and write my heart out. I’m honestly scared that it’s too late. That I’ve wasted so much time. That my door has closed. That I no longer have the time or the energy to have the impact I want to have; to help the people that I want to help.

    At the same time, I know that’s not true. I know there’s so many great adventures still ahead of me. I know that I have the heart to make the change I desire. I want to help young women – give them the antidote, the salve, to their doubt; encourage their work, their words, their creativity. I want to push them to their limits in the same way I am pushing myself. I want to spill myself onto the page and not necessarily in anticipation of an audience. Just because I have something to say. And maybe my something will connect with something.

    I don’t yet quite know what I’m doing (clearly!); it’s all so very vague still. But I’m watching my path unfold slowly in front of me and I feel that the Yellow Conference is one of the next pit stops. I know that my teachers are there, my inspiration is there. That is where I’ll make my next move.

    Also, I really adore you & I absolutely love coffee. (Win win!) And yellow is my favorite color. I want to paint my world yellow. 🙂

    Thank you again for the opportunity! You inspire my heart.

    Jenna

  88. Dearest Hannah,

    I stumbled upon your blog last September after a tsunami had just hit my life.

    I never thought I would deal with depression. My alcoholic mother has cited depression as the reason for self-medicating with vodka for years. I refused to be anything like her. I didn’t understand how someone could be so selfish.

    Then, seven months ago, a tsunami hit my life.

    I moved in to college…a new home, new roommate, new schedule, new classes.

    I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years… no one to lean on for stability and support anymore, no one to kiss me on the forehead and whisper in my ear that yes, it would all be okay, when the ground beneath me felt shakey.

    I changed my major after realizing that dissecting dead kittens for Biology 205 “just wasn’t my thang,” and it was time to embrace the fact that I was the nerdy girl with the big classes in elementary school who wrote essays…for fun. The assurance of stability and financial support that would have come from a nursing degree dissipated in the blink of an eye.

    I thought I had built my castle so strategically. There were strong, high walls for protection and a moat to keep out the water, but my castle was flawed…it was made out of sand, ready to crumble as soon as any wave of change threatened to enter in.

    A treacherous, icy wave crashed down on my life with ease, destroying everything…my confidence, my hope, my inspiration. It left nothing behind but a thin layer of foam outstretched over the scattered particles of sand that used to make up my picture-perfect life.

    Life lost color and everything became a shade of gray. The vibrant complexion of the world had lost its luster, washed away and replaced with tiresome monotony.

    Just as the gray started to penetrate my soul, your words found me. They found me in the storm in the middle of treacherous conditions and lots of heartache. They found me at a crossroads in life where everything I knew was gone and everything ahead of me was unknown and confusing. Your words breathed life back into me and reminded me that I am loveable, beautiful, worthy. You reassured me that it is okay to just be.

    In the process of seeking out your voice and your wise words, I somehow managed to find my own. I found comfort and peace in taking pen to paper and letting my soul spill out. I found I could make a difference in other people’s lives through the same words that found me at my darkest.

    I don’t have the world figured out. I don’t have a master plan that outlines how I am going to make a difference & empower young women & end world hunger & become a famous rapper from Tacoma, WA…& then write a book about all of it.

    But I am eager to learn and grow. I want to be mentored and led by individuals who are passionate…I want to hang out and drink lattes with movers & shakers and hear about their lives and what they’re doing to change this big ol’ Earth of ours. I call myself a “professional story-collector” because I like hearing people’s life stories. With that being said, I’d like to collect yours at the Yellow Conference this August.
    I believe in you and your words. So thankful for this opportunity!

    Aly VanCleave

  89. Hannah Baby,
    I am full of false alarms. “Go’s” then “Stops”. The stops seems so subtle but in my heart of hearts I know they are abrupt.
    I am bubbling with energy to RUN–but I have nowhere to go. Actually, I have too many places to go. Where do I choose when there are so many beautiful choices? Shamefully, I know I have trashed the riches of the hungry belly.
    The word opportunity in my self-inflicting danger language actually means “overwhelminglies”. I’m in a bermuda triangle of doubt, passiveness, and unexpressed passion. I’m the girl on vacation who thinks about the day the rest will end and I will have to go back to routine. ROUTINE!! A word that is an enemy to the Meyers Brigg ISTP. It is a gift and a curse to be flexible and to do things because you “feel like it.”
    Right now, I am closer than I’ve ever been to smacking doubt and passiveness in their snarky faces and running with passion for the long haul.
    Commitment is hard for me. (I won’t lie, girl!) But this is not longer about feelings and obstacles. It’s about love and conquering our overwhelminglies. God asked me to be ALL IN no matter what I feel or what inside of me or outside of me is trying to stiff-arm me from his will.
    Hannah, the world I let others build for me came crashing down on me about a year ago. I had to rebuild me and this time I had no opinions from others, no fears of what others would think to guide my architecture. A new me, the REAL me, emerged from the rubble. I didn’t know it would be a house full of love for myself. Love that I forbade myself to have because it was uncomfortable. I knew and ACCEPTED how much God loved me and I found newfound courage to love those around me unashamedly. Sometimes, uncomfortably, but unashamedly.
    You, Hannah, encouraged me on my way out of the rubble. I saw your words dripping sweetly and fiercely and firmly and I told myself, I too will write to the oppressed in heart. I too will SPEAK to those who need to hear and believe that LOVE is so really real and so really for them. It is time–it is always time–to love those how I am loved by a scandalous God. I want love tattooed on every heart. And most of all I want to hug the child who has been neglected and stick with them until they let go and fall into the arms of Love that had them all along. I LOVE CHILDREN. All of them, from everywhere. And I want to ADVOCATE for them and I want others to open their eyes to their pain and advocate for them. I know that my parents loved me and still do, but growing up, I was never affirmed in love by them. I don’t want another child to fall off the grid. Someone needs to be there for them. There are no other options. Love speaks a better word than anything else in all of our lives and if I can be used to show that to the masses–in writing, in person, by mouth–I’m there.
    Hannah, I need your encouragement. I need the encouragement of those who have gone before me and conquered the little voices that say “it’s not worth it to step into your dreams.” I don’t believe that. And neither do you.

    With the sincerest of sincerest hearts,
    Anna

    PS. Our names rhyme. That’s something, right?

  90. Hi Hannah,
    The color yellow.
    It recalled a memory from my mind as of yesterday.
    I have been spending a week away from work to focus on the simpler things. The lovely things. The little things. The unforgettable things.
    My niece. She’s 2.5yrs old.
    Her face is painted with blueberry buckle eyes and crowned by yellow golden strands. Her child-like innocence belts out at the top of her lungs, ‘Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,’ in the middle of a crowded restaurant. Totally unaware of her surroundings, her heart is content in that moment, confident with each note that follows behind the next.
    Begging my sister, she asks urgently, ‘Mom, can I please go outside and pick flowers?’ As we take a walk outside, she talks about going on a ‘venture’ (adventure), even though, we are right in her backyard. She runs over to the edge of where the grass meets the step and with her small little body, bends down to gaze at what she sees below. ‘Awe…’ she says. It’s as if her breath is taken away. She picks two golden yellow dandelions. What we, as adults, may otherwise consider as ‘weeds,’ these little eyes, this fresh perspective, innocence, appreciation and demeanor, and the mere admiration that this little ‘weed’ was truly the best thing on earth.
    I find myself craving that child-like passion and drive, where weeds take on new and undenying possibilities, where the slightest thought of making dreams happen, even if it’s right in my own backyard, takes my breath away. I want to be content, moving forward full speed with confidence, full of awareness and light that only ‘yellow’ can radiate back to others, just like how that sweet 2.5yr old’s heart, influenced mine.
    Yellow would foster an environment of encouragement, creativity, and unleash even further potential that which is very much needed today in my life and influence. Thank you for the opportunity to share on behalf of connecting with others, Hannah B! … Wait, did you say coffee?

  91. Dear miss Hannah,

    here it is, my story/request to join you at the Yellow conference. I truly hope it speaks for itself. thank you for your consideration!

  92. Oh Hannah, you are so good, darling. There, I said it. You are always telling everyone else, I think you need to hear it from a stranger who feels like they know the core of you. You are so good for this earth, I wanted to tell you that in the chance I dont get to tell you in person.

    Replying to something like this is not something I can say I typically do. In fact, I can easily count on one hand the number of times I have put myself out there only to be mocked and laughed at behind and in front of my face. Even my mind knows better. It is screaming out warnings, “Self, out of all the talented, confident, beautiful, strong women out there, you really think that there is even a glimmer of hope that you would be the “one”. Pfffff!!
    This is such a special gift you are offering and as many times as I have tried to close this tab, God keeps me coming back. It has been tugging at my heart strings to finally, just once, take a chance on something, anything to put myself out there like I’ve done before in hopes that I could find understanding that my inner soul has longed for.

    Its funny how I was introduced to you actually. I had been up for about the 24th night in a row with my newborn son. He was beautiful, fearfully made, and such an Angel, but cried like someone just opened up the flood gates to the Nazaros river. Here I was once again feeling like a failure. I mean, God had created me for this and I was still floundering at it. I reached for my phone, 3 am, there you were. A friend had forwarded your Monday words to me and in that moment, thank you God for you, it was exactly what I needed. I am such a believer in timing and things happening for a reason and that is why I am sitting here in this naked moment spilling my guts to you. So, here it is…

    Dear Diary,
    It’s a complicated order. Since I can remember, I have been concocting ways to not be me. To be that someone that everyone expects and wants and needs. To be that girl that’s not made fun of in class because she follows the rules and wants to be a good student. To be that person that is not the butt of jokes because she gets A’s and is the quiet observer in the back of the class. I am so tired of feeling so insignificent, of having to yell in order to semi be heard. So tired of being dismissed. I am ready to stop being so afraid all the time and holding on so tightly for fear I’ll make a mistake. To stop being so dang careful. I am ready to look fear in the eyes and say “Sit down! I’m talking now!” I’m ready to be a baller on Mondays, to say goodbye to all the cumbersome, heavy baggage of company I keep and rebuild this world I’ve tried so long to call my own.
    Hannah Brencher, I am turning 30 in August. I am now a mother of two beautiful boys and married to a man with the biggest heart I’ve ever known and I still can’t for the life of me figure out why he chose me. I know I have so much inside me to give. I just need a little help to believe it. I’ve really been working on figuring it out and think just maybe you might be one of the keys to my journey as weird as it may sound.
    Here I am in raw coffee bean format spilling all over your intricate lkea table ready to be scooped up and grinded into something warm and something good for this earth.
    Will you please share a cup of coffee with me?

  93. “It’s because you are small. You’ve always been small. You are a fleck. You are a speck. But this is a different kind of small. The first time you felt small, it was out of the insignificance you used to make yourself wear. You felt small because you told yourself daily that you were small and unworthy and unlovable. This is a different kind of small. This is you, my dear, getting enveloped in something that’s bigger than you.” – you

    I have no idea how you were able to sum up my life in a few sentences but you did. Amazing. Your words are inspiring, incredible, and moving.

    The only thing missing in my life is that last sentence. I have found my passion. I have found my soul. I have the desire to make changes in this world of disconnect, but I am just a speck.

    I love the fact that this conference is called yellow. Mainly because I feel like my life has been me hopping from one yellow taxi to another because I have been lost and trying to find my way. I have finally found the right yellow taxi where I did find my passion but I am too scared to tell the driver where to go. Then it hits me. I am not the driver in my own life. I take directions from others on the paths I should take. I remain a speck.

    So I would love for you to help me change my life from a speck to glitter and when I show up at the Yellow Conference you help me return driving a SUV instead of always taking a taxi.

  94. “It’s because you are small. You’ve always been small. You are a fleck. You are a speck. But this is a different kind of small. The first time you felt small, it was out of the insignificance you used to make yourself wear. You felt small because you told yourself daily that you were small and unworthy and unlovable. This is a different kind of small. This is you, my dear, getting enveloped in something that’s bigger than you.” – you

    I have no idea how you were able to sum up my life in a few sentences but you did. Amazing. Your words are inspiring, incredible, and moving.

    The only thing missing in my life is that last sentence. I have found my passion. I have found my soul. I have the desire to make changes in this world of disconnect, but I am just a speck.

    I love the fact that this conference is called yellow. Mainly because I feel like my life has been me hopping from one yellow taxi to another because I have been lost and trying to find my way. I have finally found the right yellow taxi where I did find my passion but I am too scared to tell the driver where to go. Then it hits me. I am not the driver in my own life. I take directions from others on the paths I should take. I remain a speck.

    So I would love for you to help me change my life from a speck to glitter and when I show up at the Yellow Conference you help me return driving a SUV instead of always taking a taxi.

  95. Hannah,

    I don’t even know where to begin. I started following your blog almost a year ago after I left behind a person who meant the world to me. Its fair to say that your words have inspired me to be brave and to leave things behind and to show up for the people I love.

    I worked as a social worker, specifically with Women and Children that were Domestic Violence Survivors. I was an advocate for multiple shelters in my city and my job turned into my passion overnight. I strive to help perfect strangers and to change peoples lives. I worked endless nights on the domestic violence crisis line, saving people from our worst nightmares. And I’m proud of that. And I can say that I have already changed lives, Now I answer phones in the corporate world because the organizations couldn’t afford to keep us all.

    So why do I want to attend this conference? Because I’ve spent the last years building peoples lives and dreams from scratch. I’m ready to build mine. I put my writing aside, my passion of starting a non profit and mostly the ability to help others. I’ve already proved to myself and others that I’m part of that breed that bleeds love for everyone else in the world and I want to expand that to the world, not just my corner.

    I’ve experienced injustice. And it changed me. My impulse to help others is bigger than my body and it has outgrown my soul. I want to stand with the movers and shakers. I want to see all these advocates and lovers all in one room.

    I have a redemption song that plays in my head at night and it sounds like a women saying “Lindsay, you saved my life that day and my daughters” and I listen to that song and I hear that women, her words fall against the beat of my heart at night when I feel inadequate or judged for being who I am made to be. And with that, there is NO being inadequate, because we are the movers and shakers, girl.

    I’d love to take on the world with all of you. And if it doesn’t happen now, it will happen later. (because honestly that girls video is pretty dope and creative, I’d like to meet her too and she may just win it all!) Safe flying today, girl. Thanks for reading and using your words to encourage us all every week.

    Lindsay

  96. Dearest Hannah,

    I stumbled upon your blog last September after a tsunami had just hit my life.

    I never thought I would deal with depression. My alcoholic mother has cited depression as the reason for self-medicating with vodka for years. I refused to be anything like her. I didn’t understand how someone could be so selfish.

    Then, seven months ago, a tsunami hit my life.

    I moved in to college…a new home, new roommate, new schedule, new classes.

    I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years… no one to lean on for stability and support anymore, no one to kiss me on the forehead and whisper in my ear that yes, it would all be okay, when the ground beneath me felt shakey.

    I changed my major after realizing that dissecting dead kittens for Biology 205 “just wasn’t my thang,” and it was time to embrace the fact that I was the nerdy girl with the big glasses in elementary school who wrote essays…for fun. The assurance of stability and financial support that would have come from a nursing degree dissipated in the blink of an eye.

    I thought I had built my castle so strategically. There were strong, high walls for protection and a moat to keep out the water, but my castle was flawed…it was made out of sand, ready to crumble as soon as any wave of change threatened to enter in.
    A treacherous, icy wave crashed down on my life with ease, destroying everything…my confidence, my hope, my inspiration. It left nothing behind but a thin layer of foam outstretched over the scattered particles of sand that used to make up my picture-perfect life.

    Life lost color and everything became a shade of gray. The vibrant complexion of the world had lost its luster, washed away and replaced with tiresome monotony.

    Just as the gray started to penetrate my soul, your words found me. They found me in the storm in the middle of treacherous conditions and lots of heartache. They found me at a crossroads in life where everything I knew was gone and everything ahead of me was unknown and confusing. Your words breathed life back into me and reminded me that I am loveable, beautiful, worthy. You reassured me that it is okay To. Just. Be.

    In the process of seeking out your voice and wise words, I somehow managed to find my own. I found comfort and peace in taking pen to paper and letting my soul spill out. I found I could make a difference in other people’s lives through the same words that found me at my darkest.
    I don’t have the world figured out. I don’t have a master plan that outlines how I am going to make a difference & empower young women & end world hunger & become a famous rapper from Tacoma, WA…& then write a book about all of it.

    But I am eager to learn and grow. I want to be mentored and led by individuals who are passionate…I want to hang out and drink lattes with movers & shakers and hear about their lives. Someday I think I’d like to become a professional story-collector. With that being said, I’d like to collect yours at the Yellow Conference this August.
    I believe in you and your words. So thankful for this opportunity!
    Aly VanCleave

  97. I was just a girl, who wanted to create. I was 24 and at that tender age my life had already been hijacked by dream killers. “Don’t be a photographer” they said. “The school you love
    is so expensive and you will never survive” Flashback to age 16, sitting in a dark movie theater, buttery fingers shoved into a popcorn bag…when Director of Photography flashed up on the screen I would always whisper to whoever I was with…”that’s going to be me someday” I wrote poems and short stories, weaving the songs of my heart onto tattered pages. “Don’t be a writer” they said…”you’ll just need a second job” I played the trumpet and the piano and sang sweet melodies and love songs…”don’t teach music” they said, the
    program is so competitive, it will take all of the joy out of it” Why did I listen hb?? Why did I know all this time I was a born creator of stories, pictures and songs? And that I would spend another 25 years stuffing them down when all this time they’ve been spilling out, splitting me wide open…gasping for air and life? I am a creative soul, and I finally want to grab life by the shoulders and shake it up! Stories to share round the kitchen table, pictures frozen in time, sweet songs flowing in the background…I know there is a place for me hb….I’m looking at my courage board right now and it’s asking me how old would I be if I didn’t know how old I was….I’m just a girl hb, maybe 16, maybe 24…and I never gave up the creative dreams. I won’t let the dream killers steal them any more…

  98. Hannah Baby,
    I am full of false alarms. “Go’s” then “Stops”. The stops seems so subtle but in my heart of hearts I know they are abrupt.
    I am bubbling with energy to RUN–but I have nowhere to go. Actually, I have too many places to go. Where do I choose when there are so many beautiful choices? Shamefully, I know I have trashed the riches of the hungry belly.
    The word opportunity in my self-inflicting danger language actually means “overwhelminglies”. I’m in a bermuda triangle of doubt, passiveness, and unexpressed passion. I’m the girl on vacation who thinks about the day the rest will end and I will have to go back to routine. ROUTINE!! A word that is an enemy to the Meyers Brigg ISTP. It is a gift and a curse to be flexible and to do things because you “feel like it.”
    Right now, I am closer than I’ve ever been to smacking doubt and passiveness in their snarky faces and running with passion for the long haul.
    Commitment is hard for me. (I won’t lie, girl!) But this is not longer about feelings and obstacles. It’s about love and conquering our overwhelminglies. God asked me to be ALL IN no matter what I feel or what inside of me or outside of me is trying to stiff-arm me from his will.
    Hannah, the world I let others build for me came crashing down on me about a year ago. I had to rebuild me and this time I had no opinions from others, no fears of what others would think to guide my architecture. A new me, the REAL me, emerged from the rubble. I didn’t know it would be a house full of love for myself. Love that I forbade myself to have because it was uncomfortable. I knew and ACCEPTED how much God loved me and I found newfound courage to love those around me unashamedly. Sometimes, uncomfortably, but unashamedly.
    You, Hannah, encouraged me on my way out of the rubble. I saw your words dripping sweetly and fiercely and firmly and I told myself, I too will write to the oppressed in heart. I too will SPEAK to those who need to hear and believe that LOVE is so really real and so really for them. It is time–it is always time–to love those how I am loved by a scandalous God. I want love tattooed on every heart. And most of all I want to hug the child who has been neglected and stick with them until they let go and fall into the arms of Love that had them all along. I LOVE CHILDREN. All of them, from everywhere. And I want to ADVOCATE for them and I want others to open their eyes to their pain and advocate for them. I know that my parents loved me and still do, but growing up, I was never affirmed in love by them. I don’t want another child to fall off the grid. Someone needs to be there for them. There are no other options. Love speaks a better word than anything else in all of our lives and if I can be used to show that to the masses–in writing, in person, by mouth–I’m there.
    Hannah, I need your encouragement. I need the encouragement of those who have gone before me and conquered the little voices that say “it’s not worth it to step into your dreams.” I don’t believe that. And neither do you.

    With the sincerest of sincerest hearts,
    Anna

    PS. Our names rhyme. That’s something, right?

    (trying this again, as my submission won’t go up! sorry if this is a repeat!)

  99. Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Hannah.

    I am a white male, and with that comes inherent privilege that I did not earn nor deserve. Similarly I do not deserve the gift of attendance to the Yellow Conference and mostly because it stipulates a female audience. However, where ever I go, I attempt to be the minority observing first, then reflection, and eventually is appropriate ,speak. Men and women have a lot more in common than different; there is no monopoly on creative expression. And I would be honored to be the recipient of this giveaway – an outlet to harness my blooming creativity and to find my voice among others who have discovered their true selves.

    Best,
    Stephen
    (Liked on Facebook and Followed on Instagram)

  100. It was a hot April day. Spring had already sprung and succumb to its early death there in the desert. I stood there at the border of 3 countries, leaning against the taxi that would take me from what had become my home to the place that was my home. For years this desert land had become my land, these people my people. I was eager for a fresh start but where would I end up? What would I do? Who was outside of this place? I looked around, soaking in the smells, the sound of the last call to prayer, and that hot sun on my face. I closed my eyes, looking up, letting it all penetrate my core, one last time. I opened my eyes and looked down at my sandaled foot, and there it was, a yellow flower growing from the dirt. It stared back at me, reassuring me that new life was all around.

    I knew that taxi ride would be long and full of awkward silences. I knew I would be biting my lip and holding back tears. Tears because I would miss my dear friends and tears because I knew nothing of what was ahead. But I held that yellow flower between my thumb and forefinger for five hours. It was my reassurance that my spring was near, there was new life at the end of this road and it was mine to create.

    4 years later I feel like I am looking down, reaching towards that yellow flower and the assurance it gave me as I once again start a new phase of life. I have opened to that crisp blank page, waiting for LOVE to paint the words that will become this new chapter. The Yellow Conference is my new yellow flower. The yellow flower breathing new life, creativity, and endless possibilities into the unwritten pages of my story.

  101. A little late, but I hope you’re still reading through these!
    Hannah! What can I say…? I stinkin love you. About 8 months ago I found your blog and sometimes i forget I haven’t actually talked with you about it all. I forget that we’ve never actually met. Eight months ago I was in one of probably the darkest places in my life. I had decided to take a year off from school and felt completely lost. I had no idea the direction God was calling me. In fact, I had no idea if I believed in God at all anymore. He had been silent for so long. I had this aching in my chest that told me that this couldn’t be all there was. There has to be more. I watched as all my friends were stepping into radical plans and moving forward in crazy big ways, and I just felt stuck. Thanks to your blog, and the truth you never fail to spill onto the screen, I started to try and believe that I actually was capable. And I’m still trying to change my own mind about myself. I’m going back to school this summer and I am finally beginning to see some direction laid out. Big things are starting to happen and I’m excited about the future((: “You’ve not needed to know your beauty so much as you’ve needed to see that you’re capable.” You wrote those words and they have been the catalyst that’s changed my life this year. So much has happened, so much has changed, and I just want to tell you about all God has been doing!! Because YOU have been a part of His plan through all this!! And a pretty big part, too.

    I know I was meant for more, and I think God is starting to show me what that is, and the Yellow conference would be a crazy good place to learn just how to step into that. I’m finally believing that I am able, now I just need some guidance in the right direction. Some tangible steps to get me there. I’d love if I could meet you at the Yellow Conference. Seriously, I’ll be fan-girling so hard…

    Hope to see you and chat soon,
    Kayla

  102. |___| /\ |\ | |\ | /\ |___| o
    | | / \ | \ | | \| / \ | | o
    ———————————–
    Throughout life, I’ve noticed that if you don’t think too much about things, they usually turn out better…that the absence of expectation leads to either 1.) the absence of a letdown or 2.) a really pleasant surprise. Once–the only time ever in my lifetime–in the third grade, Principal Shirley called my name over the intercom to announce that I had won some drawing we did at school and that I had become the proud new owner of a bright green soccer themed beanie baby. I haven’t won a damn thing since.

    I know that relating to this post doesn’t really qualify me as a standout candidate for winning this giveaway. Obviously, we all relate to you or we wouldn’t be commenting. And who’s to know by reading a few short words if anyone is deserving of such honors and awards? But I will say this: my choice to rid myself of expectation is not a pessimistic move; rather, it is an optimistic choice to let life surprise me and to not sweat the losses.

    I do hope you choose me. I’ve journaled these odd wonderings of my mind since I was eight years old and made lots of short stories, songs, and pointless musings and I would love the opportunity to grow as a writer and as a creative. But if not, you know what? I might just buy a ticket and go anyway and bump into you while you’re having coffee with whoever it is you do pick 😉 because this conference sounds AWESOME.

    Xo, Kaitlyn

  103. Hi Hannah,
    I just stumbled upon your work recently. I’m not sure how exactly, but I guess that’s not the point. The point is is that something in your message struck a cord with me. I’ve never signed up for an entry like this and put my vulnerability out there, so here we go….

    I feel like I am the definition of a people pleaser. I am always concerned about how I come across and is everyone else OK with me right now. Do I need to show that person I care more? Or that I’m more interested in their story? Am I doing what everybody wants me to do in the moment that they want me to be doing it? I am a chameleon. I change who I am based off of who I am around and what they need from me. I don’t think that I have truly “fit in”. It’s not that I am a true individual who likes to color outside of the lines. My trouble is that I am so concerned about choosing which color that will make everyone else in happy that I haven’t made much thought about how I want to color the page that is my life.

    I have a wonderful family who support and I have amazing friends who I cherish. I am beyond grateful for them. I don’t think that they realize how stuck in my own head that I tend to get, or how much thought that I put into the little things. I keep a “treasure chest” which is basically just a box of gifts. Whenever I am out and I see a gift that is perfect for someone else in my life, I buy it – it doesn’t matter if their birthday is 6 months away, I keep it in the treasure chest – stored away and saved up for when the moment is perfect. I am grateful for the people in my life, but sometimes I care too much. And then I end up feeling heartbroken when similar efforts aren’t made for me. I think I am constantly searching for myself and I am looking for it in the people who know me, rather than looking in the mirror.

    I transferred colleges three separate times. Never feeling like I quite fit in anywhere and also too scared to let myself out. Too concerned about fitting in. I played sports, but I was never the true sporty one. I enjoy art, but I’m not a true artist. I like music, but I’m not a musician. I am a good daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, but I’m not the life of the party, I’m not who people want to see. I feel I am just OK at everything in my lilfe. I have so many ideas about how I could do things that are meaningful. Things that are helpful. Things that are passionate. I don’t know myself or trust myself enough to let that out.

    Have you ever heard the expression that “if a rose doesn’t open up, it withers”? That’s how I feel sometimes. I want to open up so badly, but I’m so stuck in my own head that I don’t allow that to happen. I have plans to start a blog, to start a business but I need to know myself first.

    So that is my entry for attending the yellow conference. I want the chance to meet these wonderful speakers and to feel inspired by their message to the world. But I also want the opportunity to do something different so that I can meet myself.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my message.
    Take care,
    Rebecca

  104. I BELIEVE that I was meant for something more.
    I BELIEVE in random acts of kindness. And random or not, kind acts are the key to life.
    I BELIEVE that you can change your life at any time.
    I’m not one of your fabulous young blog followers that’s artful with words.
    I’m a jeweler, a baker, a candlestick maker (well, not really…but I COULD be if I wanted to!)
    I’m an artist, a MAKER of things, a creative being.
    I’m someone who is dying to inspire others to do good. BE good.
    But I’m also a realist. When what I REALLY want to be is a dreamer. And to make those dreams do good for others.
    I BELIEVE that this conference would help me figure out what those dreams are and how to get there.
    I NEED this. I need a BIG change. Pick ME!

    xxoo
    Carie

  105. I don’t know if I’m too late to enter, but I just found out about The Yellow Conference. Right after reading this article: https://medium.com/better-humans/4d84d539e34 If you haven’t read it, you must. It really gives me some perspective for my life right now…like stop reading through the comments and read the article now!
    Are you back? It was good huh? 🙂 Anyway, I would love to win a ticket. I don’t know what to say because everyone who has already commented has said it. The uncertainty, working multiple jobs to pay the bills, trying to explain to people what you want to do, getting made fun of for wanting to stay home and sew instead of partying, the joy you get when creating, the peace and satisfaction that comes after completing something. But most of all the feeling of wanting to do something to change the world and not know where to start. Not knowing if what I’m doing makes a difference. Hoping it does and wishing I could do more, but instead quieting myself with the quotes that say “Changing the world one smile at a time!”

    I’m sure you know all of this. You wrote some pretty similar things yourself. We all know what this feels like. And that’s why this conference will be history changing. Can you even imagine a world where we aren’t always called a starving creative? Where we can make money, a living even, doing what we love and not constantly being questioned about when our “real” career will start?

    This. Is. Just. The. Beginning.

    And I CANNOT wait to see what’s to follow.

  106. Hello Hannah! My name is Ashley and this is my *partial* story. I began (or tried to start) my freelancing career directly out of college. The job hunt was hard despite some experience under my belt and freelancing was the only option. I was excited, and despite a great effort my client base was almost non existent. After about 6 months, and a bad life event that had me move back home for a time, I started my first full-time office job. Though I currently show up everyday day and work my little butt off I can’t help but feel like there’s something more than my cubicle. Going to this conference would give me the chance to jump start my freelance career again. Knowing many of the reasons I failed the first time (lack of mentorship being the biggest) I feel I can start again fresh. Attending the conference would be a huge boost but I also know the mentorship date would be a great boost to any work I pursue in the future. Thanks for reading Hannah!

  107. For the past few months I have been struggling to figure out what title best describes the jobs I perform. I’ve been called barista, performance artist, visual artist, and writer, among other things. Reading over your Monday email, I decided that I will call myself a builder. Physical objects are just the start of it. I can navigate a wood shop without getting half lost, and I can paint a pretty picture without hesitating to think about the best way to mix just the perfect shade of yellow you would find in the reflection of your favorite sweet tea. *Disclaimer: I don’t frequently drink sweet tea, but I’ve read enough of your work to know that you do. Let’s get back to it.

    I want to build five minute getaways for people. Show them places where they don’t have to worry about how they’re going to pay next month’s rent. I want to give people chances to pet their favorite exotic animals, embark on hot air balloon rides, and drink damn good coffee. I want to make people laugh. I want to whisper too-vulgar jokes in their ears, and have them know that not a thing in life has to be taken seriously.

    I have tried to give people that. I have painted, built, printed, illustrated, written, and performed things that I want people to see, hear, and know. What I have found to be most effective is giving them an access point. Giving them a letter, a cd, a pen, anything to let them know that I care. I want them to know someone cares how their day is going. My job title, the one that envelopes everything I stand for is builder because I will spend my life building experiences for people. That’s why the Yellow Conference is important to me. I could tell you that it means so much because of the hours I’ve spent pouring over your work, TED talks, and researching people to add to my tree of inspiration, but those things are stepping stones. It means so much because I’m aiming to create the very best way to inspire people. We are who we surround ourselves with. It would be the greatest blessing to learn how I can expand my own practice from people who have already found their niche. I’m still learning.
    Always,
    Hannah

  108. Writing was my sister’s thing. So my little ten-year-old fingers dug a hole in the trenches of me, and watched as the matte soil swallowed up my creativity. And there it stayed, untouched in the dark places of me. Until…

    Life is funny, you know. In a matter of moments it is actually possible for the entire trajectory of your life to change. It’s those moments when someone whispers words of worthlessness in your ears, or when hands designed for loving become tormentors of the body. And the soul. And just like that, a burdensome daughter becomes a lonely orphan– Thrust into a new moments where your heart is laid bare, right there in front of you, and the darkness settles over you, heavy, like a cloak. Those moment when there is nothing more to give, and if you could just will yourself away…and just before you shut your eyes in despair, a distant tingling keeps them open. The faraway call of your best kept secret, hidden in the trenches. And a small Voice calls to you, an invitation to dig through the muck to find your creativity, and yourself simultaneously.

    That’s where I am, I suppose. It’s been a journey of wading through the painful things I let define who I was and wasn’t allowed to be. It’s been a journey of writing in order to be healed, and believing that there is freedom in the pages that fill my worn leather journal. It’s been a lesson in unearthing a gift I neglected, a dream I believed did not belong to me, and placing it into bigger hands that long to write new truths over the lies that have covered my heart. Writing is a lesson in trust, a lesson that this may never amount to anything but THAT DOES NOT DEFINE ME.

    Writing is my thing. My bigger twenty-four-year-old hands are covered in dirt, the trenches have been filled with Light, the lies uprooted, the untouched places rediscovered tenderly. And here in my soil encrusted hands—here is my voice, my creativity.

    I would love to attend the Yellow Conference to hear the stories of other creators that have embraced their stories, and their voices and are pressing on. I’ve been inspired by your transparency, and your wit, Hannah; by the fact that you speak those hard things that make our souls wince initially, but later help us sigh with relief. I’m on a mission to love through my words (words are so powerful, I’ve learned). It would be an honor to be surrounded by others who walk through life with that same mission etched across their hearts.

    -Mimi

  109. Hi Hannah! I hope you’re doing well. I have enjoyed stalking your blog since I discovered it 2 weeks ago. I was just wondering if a winner was chosen for this giveaway?

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