I’m happy to say I ventured down to NYC recently to attend the BlogHer10 conference. It was sold out with 2400 attendees; 99% women. Yaow!
As a newbie to social media and the blogosphere I was pretty impressed with the instant camaraderie and support. With lots of chatter EVERYWHERE it was like floating through vapors of estrogen, in which the innate ability to congregate, connect, and chitchat was infectious. Although cliques were apparent as in any congregation of the female species, in this atmosphere, it was about common interests and one could sit at just about any table or row and strike up a dialog. I couldn’t hold a conversation for three days afterward my cheeks were sore from laughing. Considering that blogging is a bit like scrapbooking, as Amy Wilson suggested, here are a few notables for me to remember.
My Five BlogHer10 Moments
1. I actually won something. Yes, I think it may be the first time ever. I won a half of day media training with Ketchum, a big deal consulting firm in NY. I met 4 amazing bloggers and writers (Motherload, Miss Britt, The Centsible Life, and Sarah’s Cucina Bella). Intimidated would be an understatement, yet these women were finding their footing, too, in one way or another in different phases of their blogging adventures. Thank you to all. It was one of the few times I really got see myself on camera: huffs, snorts, blinks, umms and all. Best part… I got over The Fear.
2. My Faves among "Voices of the Year" was an ode to the vagina. Really, it wasn't that kind of feminist-no-holds-barred conference at all.There were so many amazing women (and a man) to inspire budding bloggers, but I have to say my favorite speaker was Lissa Rankin, a GYN and founder of Owning Pink. Her March 29, 2010 post was better heard than read: “What? We can’t say vagina?” Once I went to the OwningPink.com and saw all the “mojo” tips – of course I was tickled pink – no pun intended. Maybe bodimojo.com for teens can take some lessons from Owning Pink and v. versa. I mean, come on, a rose is a rose is a rose.
3. Women’s intuition rocks. I even got a “reading” from an advice columnist, The Bloggess. She sat at a table with an antique Smith-Corona typing psychic poetry for people. I may be ruining any karma from that moment but she typed: “You tell all your secrets and we love you for it. now tell us everyone else’s secret.” She did not know I am a psychologist and I hold all secrets dear! I confess, however, I do wear my heart on my sleeve. Check out her blog, The Bloggess. Her tagline: "Like Mother Teresa, only better.” I now have humor envy.
4. Na nah na na nah.
For once, I could out do my girls after this weekend with the lalala banter, “Guess what I did today?” Yes, girls, I saw your contemporary tweeny heart throb of the season, Greyson Chance, a 12-year-old singer, pianist, songwriter protégé. He debuted a new song no less. (In case you didn’t know, Greyson was introduced to the world by Ellen DeGeneres for being another YouTube phenomena, re: a rendition of Lady Gaga's Paparazzi at a middle school chorus recital. He has signed on to Ellen's record label.) I even got a button with his picture for my jean jacket. So there.
5. There’s Nothing To Lose. That was the spirit of the conference. With some fresh media training behind me (ala #1) I got up the nerve to go to the YahooShine "reinvention" booth and be interviewed. With some nervous breathing and snippets of my too serious self, I think I survived it ok. But my first thought on seeing the clip: “You should lose 10lbs!” How sick is that? Founder of a website to empower teens to love their bodies, take control of their health, find their mojo – and here I am with my 13-year-old self out in full force. This is just more personal evidence that body dissatisfaction is hard to shake at any age! But I recalibrated. Awareness is the first step; I reassured myself and told that younger part: Life brings us unexpected gifts. Embrace them.
More heart attacks happen on Mondays than on any other day
of the week.What does that tell
you about life?Mondays probably
have been fraught with anxiety from early on in life… getting up early for
school, missed busses, forgotten homework, facing bullies, worries about how
you’ll fit in, wearing the “right” clothes… will the kids like me?
Same for grown ups in the workplace: catching the train,
getting stuck in traffic; the impossible boss or inept co-worker; that presentation you have to give or a sales quota to meet; finding a
job, paying the bills; or parents contending with the never-ending to-do list
where for each checked-off item three more appear.
So I’m taking a stand on Mondays and writing down one
mindful thought, gratitude, image or reflection to empower me for the day - and
maybe it will empower you, too. Nothing scientific here.If I sit quietly I'm sure something will come to me. Or, I may grab a random
affirmation card as an inspirational crutch.(I collect cards of all sorts and then give them away… so I’ll see what’s left.) Or maybe it
will be some insight from our family dog, Leo. So here it goes.
Mindful Monday #1
“Now go away…. I want to get down from the wall.”
The Little Prince says this to the viperous snake at the
bottom of a wall in the middle of a desert, before leaving earth and existing among the stars.It’s my metaphor to stand up to your
Photo: My 1946 copy of The
Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
This quote was printed on the cover of the performance
brochure of the 5th annual Summer Theatre Institute – a
production by Codman Academy Charter Public School and the Huntington Theatre
Company in Boston.
And it was a wonder, indeed.Earlier this year I was struck by a teen program in the
Berkshires, where a Shakespeare boot camp is offered as a remedial probation option
for teens in trouble with the law.Codman Academy has done something similar, to help its own students stay
off the streets in the summers, particularly in the 3-7pm period when kids hang
out.The mastermind behind this is
Meg Campbell, the Executive Director of the Codman School, who tirelessly works
to create a safe and enriched learning environment for high schoolers living in
tough neighborhoods – and who’s academic program graduates 100% of its seniors
every year and from which 73% have gone on to college, work or the military.
And you can see why.Having been in the school briefly one semester to work with students to
help us develop bodimojo.com in its conceptual stage, I am happily on the email
list for many of the student events.This time I took four tweens in tow to see their first Shakespeare
play.It was hilarious.Several of the performers I recognized – they
must be juniors or seniors now – and was floored to see their commitment
and confidence on a professional stage. It was difficult at times to understand the actors, with a
blend of an old English and urban dialect.But even so, dressed in full Elizabethan garb, these kids’ comic
ability was a marvel and filled in most of the gaps we may have missed.The 12-year olds in my charge are presently
in a theater boot camp at a local community theatre in a neighboring section of
Boston, and for them it was all admiration on how these teens could learn such
lines and remember their parts – and
it was endearing when the actors forgot a line or when to enter into dialog, or
when they tried to stifle their own giggles. But those moments were few as this
troupe really put on a good show.
At one moment, my daughter leaned over to me. Mom, are you crying, she asked. (Not an uncommon
question in such venues).I'm just
so impressed, I told her, as I flicked a tear.
Hats off to Meg Campbell, the Directors of Education the
Huntington Theatre Company, Lynne Johnson (also the play’s director) and Donna
Glick – and, of course, to the students. I applaud you.
No information in this blog is intended to diagnose or treat any health or mental health condition. The opinions expressed here are my own. If you have concerns about a personal issue please seek a consultation with a doctor.