No matter what we do, what we do matters.
Meet Dale Emmet and Cindi Roselieb. At the start of 2018, Dale and Cindi created Everyday Deep, a monthly creative community meeting in Downers Grove, IL that inspires women to realize their deeper stories and potential. Dale’s experience as a Spiritual Director and Cindi’s work as a Positive Psychology Coach bring the spirit of exploration and depth to the monthly gatherings by offering featured topics and speakers to inspire and share their stories.
G: How did the Everyday Deep Community get started?
D: We had both been through our respective trainings and were both ready to go out into the world with our work. We realized that there were a lot of interesting women in our community who also wanted to get their work and their stories out in the world, so that was really how it all unfolded. We noticed that there wasn’t a platform for women to share their wisdom. We just hoped to bring inspiration to an audience of women for them to think about what’s on their hearts and what’s important to them.
C: It was really born out of a transitional period that we were both in. Our kids were getting a little bit older and we had both pursued what we were really interested in. We decided early on that we wanted to keep our eyes and ears open to what other women in our community were doing, and it has just really taken off.
G: You both went through these midlife transitions. How did your previous backgrounds impact what you are doing now?
C: I have a social work degree, and so I have always been more oriented towards relationship and self-help work.
D: My background was in marketing and entrepreneurial endeavors and I feel like Everyday Deep brings together my creative talents, but for a purpose and to help others. I also was a reporter years ago and have a natural interest in getting to know people's stories. Spiritual direction is really about that for me as well and Everyday Deep is an extension of this work.
G: What would you say is the heart and soul of Everyday Deep?
D: I carried the two words “everyday” and “deep” around for a long time. I am really drawn to finding meaning in our lives, and finding a spirituality that is really about being human and our everyday lives. It’s about real and relatable women sharing their deeper selves and stories. There’s something awesome about seeing a famous speaker or author, but I think there is something really powerful about hearing from people who are right here in our community, and knowing you are not alone. You are hearing about things that people have been through, challenges they have had, and passions they have followed. I think that’s really meaningful. Our community really gives women an opportunity to share all of that.
G: How did that first meeting last January come about?
C: We had an initial concept, but it changed pretty quickly. We knew we wanted to capture the momentum of the New Year and so we pushed it to start it then. The community was Dale’s concept and we both spoke at the first meeting, but we knew when we started that we wanted to find other women to share and not just keep presenting material ourselves each month.
D: I have said at the meeting that sometimes your heart knows before your head knows. There was this calling and moving towards want I wanted to create, and even now it continues to become more and more articulated. We do follow a lot of the Ted Talk format, and it evolved into each month featuring three speakers centered around a particular theme each speaking for about 20 minutes.
G: After those initial meetings, what was the feedback about this idea that you had given birth to and this community that you had created?
D: From the beginning, we've wanted Everyday Deep to unfold organically. It started with our friends and grew to friends of friends to friends of speakers and outward from there. There are many connections in the room and that keeps a sense of community even as we grow. We've also grown into a bigger space, moving in September to The Treehouse, a creative space that is a wonderful setting for our gatherings. I remember one woman early on coming up to me after a gathering and excitedly saying, "What is this?!!" It really is a simple yet unique concept to see everyday women on a small stage sharing what's important to them. I think some of the best feedback too is that many people who have come from the beginning keep coming and several people who have come to see a friend speak come again after that - and may even bring someone new along with them. Knowing that there are so many women who are interesting and interested has been great to see. We are just so grateful for the support of the community.
C: I recently got great feedback from a friend. We say in our logo to “jump into life” and this friend told me that she finally said yes to something she had been afraid to do because she’d felt inspired by one of the speaker’s stories. She had been empowered by what she heard here and decided to act. Anytime you hear that, that’s really what it’s all about. We have talked about what our individual gifts are, and we have been able to see on this journey how we have come together and each bring something to the process. It has been a surprise and really has taken on a life of its own.
D: There is something in our collaboration that both balances us but forces us both to grow in the strengths that we see in the other person, which has been neat to see.
G: The whole vibe of what you are doing is based on the message to jump in and not be afraid to do something that is interesting to you or calling on your heart. Having an idea and vision is one thing. Executing it, though, is a whole other level, and often what holds people back. How have you overcome the challenges and obstacles of starting something up that initially was just a vision?
C: I'll be honest, I am definitely a work in progress on this subject! Last month, right before our meeting started, I had overwhelming feelings of self-doubt and panic when I saw the size of the crowd. I have some experience speaking in front of people and leading small groups but have never done anything on this scale. I think focusing on being genuine, remembering your reasons for doing what you're doing and being willing to admit that you don't have all the answers is key.
D: We are just everyday women getting up there. Part of the feedback that I am hearing is that if we can do it, so can someone else. We truly are living and showing the message in what we are saying. This is all new stuff to us. I definitely have pieces in my background that help me, but I have never done anything like this before. And we are inviting others to do the same. We are here to support and celebrate one another.
G: How has the group evolved throughout the year?
D: Finding the Treehouse, this open creative space here in Downers Grove has been great. We keep getting more and more people so we have had a space management issue. The whole thing has really just been organic in trying to find the next thing and just paying attention to how it is unfolding.
G: What do you see happening in 2019 for Everyday Deep?
D: We're now planning a separate small group program in addition to our big group get-togethers. It seems like the natural next thing. We are hoping to create a smaller, more interactive and intimate experience for participants who also want to explore their own deeper selves and stories.
G: What I love about this is that it keeps evolving and shifting. You are both so open to how it can continue to grow and serve the women in our community. What advice would you give to people who have an idea or have something they are thinking about doing in the world?
C: I think it’s really important to take the time to get quiet. I think that people really need to allow themselves that inner work. I also think it can be helpful to look to what others are doing that you think are aligned with what you want to do. Doing research into what others are doing, what you like about it, and how they are doing it can also help to hone in on what you want to do to serve it forward.
D: I think you need to incubate something, and to give it thought and reflection. At some point, though, you do have to take action. It’s such a personal thing, but just to know that those two parts are equally important. Both taking some steps and then drawing inward are both a part of that. I think knowing your “why” is critical. If you have to do things that are hard, or make you nervous, knowing your "why" makes those things worth doing.
G: Obviously a big part of your “why” is about the focus on community. Talk to me about what is meaningful for you about local community.
C: Knowing that you are not alone is a huge part of it. We are all living the same story, it’s just in a different order or with different characters. I think that when you are in a community of like-minded people it’s very empowering.
D: That mix of being both a part of community, but then standing out and sharing your individuality is important. My “why” is very much about all of us being authentically and fully who we are, as best as we can. I just think this is a vehicle for people sharing little pieces of that.