As a sold-out crowd buzzed around the chic new Aritzia store, I couldn’t help but anticipate the words of our speaker, Sally Parrott. I knew that Sally was the Sr. Marketing Director of Aritzia, a thought that both intimidated and impressed me. Surprise was all mine though, when a smiling, youthful looking woman addressed the crowd, with dewy freckled skin and long brown braided hair. Pleasantly surprised to see someone so young in such a senior role, my attention was captured, along with the rest of the keen audience.
Although the theme of the evening was ‘Life Balance’, Sally did not make claims to have any secrets, referring to balance in life being a journey, not a destination. What she did share, were six valuable lessons she has learned on her journey.
Lesson # 1: Sometimes you just have to stop. No one will judge you for it. During her mid 20’s, Sally left a cushy job at Proctor and Gamble to travel around the world. People thought she was crazy, but she listened to herself and found fulfillment in it.
Lesson #2: When you are doing something that matters to you, you will feel more balanced and find that life gets easier (not more difficult and more complicated). During a difficult time both personally and professionally, she seriously re-evaluated her life. She felt out of balance and overwhelmed, but a fear of vulnerability prevented her from asking for help. This stressful time spurred on a re-evaluation of her priorities and led her to made serious (life-giving) changes. Lesson # 3: Become selfish with your time. Sally shared that “if people were taking more energy than giving, I stopped spending time with them”. A willingness to ‘clean house’ in relationships allowed her to spend her free time with those who restored her, not drained her.
Lesson # 4: Get help. (Seek out mentors, peers, life coaches, etc.) Sally joined an executive group and hired a life coach. The leap to start accepting help from others changed her life significantly, allowing her to grow by leaps and bounds.
Lesson # 5: Make time to do things that you love- just because—regardless of whether they further your career, make you thinner, healthier or smarter. In an effort to give back to herself she did things that she loved. So she went to a dog show by herself even though her friends thought it was crazy. She took herself on dates to treat herself right.
Lesson #6: Hold your boundaries. Sally shared, “the world will go by without you. If you take everything on, people will let you". Hold yourself and others accountable for respecting your boundaries in order to prevent burnout.
All in all, it was a fabulous evening, filled with decadent cupcakes (thanks to Big City Cupcakes), designers (Jennifer Irving and product developer Jennifer Christie), shopping (thanks to the generous gift cards from Aritzia), photography (courtesy of the lovely Jeremy Lim) and new friends. Thanks all for coming out!